Change conjures up massive resistance in nearly every person. Why? Because of the unknown. People like certainty, it’s that simple. They like to know when they wake up, the sun rises, and when they go to bed, the moon shines, and anything that disrupts this pattern creates uncertainty which gets translated into fear.
Let’s push aside fear for a moment and talk about our Dreams.
When we dream we get to go anywhere in the world within our minds, think about how powerful that is. Maybe we see ourselves sitting in an Adirondack chair on a sandy beach in front of our Martha’s Vineyard cottage sipping a cold glass of sun tea. This thought instantly makes our bodies relax, and a smile begins to curl across our face.
So, what stops us from taking the first step to move from one house to another? Could it be the overwhelming effort it will take to move all our belongings out of a home that has served us perfectly well for years? Then there is the packing and unpacking. Packing? Oy, that involves work, digging through photo albums, or throwing out the old DVR box that has been collecting dust in the garage.
“Do I have to throw away my Walkman and all my Rod Stewart cassettes? Who knows, Walkman’s might come back into style just like bell-bottom jeans. Right?”
Probably not, thank you Steve Jobs.
If you are ready to take the next step, let me help you outline a plan of action before you throw poor Rod Stewart out.
1. Find out what is the current value of your home
Did you know for a majority of the population people’s houses are the most significant asset they own in their portfolio? Regardless of selling, you need to know what the value of your most significant asset is. Why? Because it creates certainty, and we have already established that certainty is one of our fundamental desires. Also, if you are considering a move, you need to know how much equity is in your home so you can leverage this money to buy a new home. The best way to assess the current value of your abode is to ask a professional. Someone who spends every day, year in and year out selling homes and analyzing their value. Yes, this person is a Real Estate Agent. Invite your local realtor over for a cup of tea. A good agent will know your neighborhood, the current economic climate and what buyers are interested in purchasing. A savvy agent will schedule a second meeting, so they can do their homework and present you with a CMA – Comparative Market Analysis, showing you hard data to back up the value they determine your asset to be worth.
2. Plan where you would like to move next
Before you randomly put your home on the market, make sure you have a plan of action that matches your dream of where you would want to move once you sell your current home. Your realtor will help guide you to find the perfect residence, neighborhood and price range that fits your needs. Maybe you want to move out of the city limits where it is less congested, or perhaps you want to move downtown where you can walk to restaurants and be a city dweller. Developing a plan will make you feel secure about where you will plop down and start collecting a whole new box of junk.
3. Find out what you can afford to buy
Once you have determined the value of your current residence, you and your agent can decide what price range will make you feel comfortable. A good agent is surrounded by a great team of professionals who will offer sound advice based on facts to help you make an informed decision. For example, your agent can connect you with an excellent lender. The lender should provide you with a price range you can afford. They will calculate how much money you will need to put down, what your monthly payments will be, including taxes & insurance, so you can comfortably buy your new home. Don’t let your agent talk you into purchasing a home that exceeds what you can afford. Buying a house above your means translates into spending every weekend at home because you can’t afford to go out to dinner. A thoughtful realtor will make sure you buy within your budget.
4. Don’t just Dream… Go ahead and live!
Okay, so maybe you can’t afford a beachfront cottage on Martha’s Vineyard, but you can make a change into a new home that will create an opportunity to grow your equity. If you have lived in your home for five years or longer, chances are you have gained a substantial amount of capital. Why not take this investment to help you purchase a new one and keep growing your holdings. If you live in your next home for five years or longer, you will most likely create further wealth. More importantly, you will be building priceless new memories with your family and friends. Your home is not only a source of generating wealth for you and your family, but it is also a treasure box filled with your dreams, laughter, restful nights and an abundance of love. So, don’t just dream, take a leap and enjoy the fruits of your labor.
Remember, life is a fast moving train, you live, you love, you work and you die. Your in-between better be good. What’s your in-between?
Agi Vermes Smith
Realtor @ Pacific Union International