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The Kathy O'Neal Team

Real Estate in Chantilly Blog

When Buying Your First (or Next) Home: Be Decisive and Careful

You can do a good job in buying your first…or next…home by combining two characteristics of good decision making: decisiveness and caution.

The two are not contradictory.  You need them both to feel good, and to know you made the right decision.

Here’s what I mean by caution
You make a cautious decision by doing the right “homework.”  That means you have the financial aspect under control:  you know how much house you can afford and are pre-qualified for a loan amount.  You have considered the amount of your monthly payment compared to the amount of your income and other obligations.  You might not be thrilled with that amount of outgo, but you know you can live with it.

You also are good with the location and the property.  You have considered the commute, and you have seen or know what else is available in the area, and at what price.  You will have a home inspection of the property, so you can know what the actual condition is, and will respond accordingly.  Assuming you have a really top notch real estate agent, you have listened carefully to their counsel, but you make your own decision based on what is right for you.

Here’s what I mean by decisive
Given that you have done your homework, and you have already decided to purchase a property, you take action when you find the property lines up with your goal.  Know that it is common to not have every detail of your wish list fulfilled.  Buying a house usually involves trade-offs…you accept some things that are not perfect because you get other things that are more ideal.  When you get an opportunity on the property that lines up with your goal, and the major criteria you have set forth, you act.  If your “gut” sends up a “red flag”you have to stop and think.  Is this just a normal defensive emotion due to the nature of the commitment, or a real potential problem that requires me to pivot?  You have to decide, but you should listen the input from your, hopefully, trusted real estate agent, and anyone else whose expertise in related to the issue under consideration.

Get the right agent and everything else gets easier
We can’t emphasize enough the simple idea that getting an excellent agent to work with you through the process helps to ensure that your balance of caution and decisiveness is just right.  Check out this video which will give you four simple but critical guidelines on how to select the best agent for you.  As always, please know that we’d love to hear from you!