Play devil's advocate to assess housing wants

Mood of the Market

By Inman News Feed
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted May. 2, 2011

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But the regret at losing what we did have or could have had, in real estate, should be harnessed and used as a serious gut check -- an indicator of what we actually want and hold dear, as opposed to all these investment-related values and priorities that we think we really want.

This analysis can be simple -- mentally play out the worst-case scenario before you make an offer, set your list price or stop making your mortgage payments. And get real with yourself: Would you be OK with that (i.e., not getting the property, not selling your home, losing your home to foreclosure)?

This is not "awfulization," engaging fear tactics or pessimism -- it's a reality-based way of thinking and evaluating your true values. In real estate, the likelihood of the worst-case scenario playing out if you take a gamble is often quite high. And there will be a price at which you, as a homebuyer, decide it's OK to lose the home, for example.

So, before you make a real estate move -- especially one based out of your desire to win the game -- play you-know-who's advocate. It'll get you clear, quickly, on what you really, really want.

Tara-Nicholle Nelson is author of "The Savvy Woman's Homebuying Handbook" and "Trillion Dollar Women: Use Your Power to Make Buying and Remodeling Decisions." Tara is also the Consumer Ambassador and Educator for real estate listings search site Trulia.com. Ask her a real estate question online or visit her website, www.rethinkrealestate.com.

                                                   
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