The Psychology Of a Buyer: My Own Buying Journey

So, we’re off. It seems to be the right time to finally get out and get a place of our own. “Hold on”, you say, “you are a real estate agent, don’t you already own like 5 homes?”.  No, no I do not. The quick and dirty background is that we have been a fairly transient couple until the last four years, and it was in the last four years that I got into the real estate business. Would you have given a new real estate agent a loan anytime in recent history? So, it has not been for lack of desire that we have not purchased a home, and if anything I now believe more in the value of ownership than ever before.

Our lack of a home purchase has not been for a lack of shopping either. Like anyone else who is looking for a home we have been looking for that just right balance of price, schools, commute, yard size, etc. For quite some time, and due largely to commute concerns we have been priced out of markets that are of interest to us personally. It seems, however, that a combination of lower prices and a greater sense of flexibility on our part has enabled us to justify starting our home search in earnest.

What Have I Learned So Far?

Far and away the greatest thing I have learned at this early stage is that EVERYBODY needs to go through THEIR process in order to come to the decisions that are right for them. One would think that my experience helping home buyers would give me an advantage and enable us to make more definitive decisions, and to do so more quickly. That could not be further from the truth. So far we have been just as flaky as the next home buyer, saying no to an area, then considering it, then saying no again.

We are going through the same reality check that I think every client I have had so far has gone through. Your budget really will only buy you certain things in certain areas, and you are likely going to have to sacrifice something along the way. Sometimes the sacrifice is home size, sometimes condition, location, or schools, and sometimes it is the choice to spend more of your budget than you originally wanted to.

What our final sacrifices and actual attained goals will be only time will tell. Track with us through this journey as I document our experience here at The Beltway Life.

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  • Interesting post Colin — when we met I too did indeed assume you had at least half as many homes as John McCain.

    How hard would it be to set up some kind of .. time-share type deal with a few other people to buy a house? It would be nice to buy a place in one of the up-and-coming neighborhoods with a few friends as an investment, even I couldn’t live there.

  • ColinStorm

    Derek – thanks for taking the time to comment. I’m really looking forward to continuing this thread.

    Regarding your question: I am not a lawyer or a tax adviser, which would be the resources you would need for definitive advice on what is right for you. That said, there are several ways to purchase property alongside others. For what you are talking about you wouldn’t do a time share, but you could do one of a few things depending on your plans.

    If planning to live in the property you could purchase with folks as what is called Tenants in Common, or you could purchase as Joint Tenants. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.

    If you plan to invest with others you would likely be best served to purchase the property as an LLC that you have formed with your co-investors.

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