My sweet Grandmother was wrangled into becoming our babysitter while my siblings and I were very young. My brothers were wretched trolls who never listened to our parents, grandmother and most importantly, ME! I on the other hand was what parents dreamed of when they prayed for a beautiful, well behaved child… Stop laughing. This is a true story! My brothers would tell you I was the wild child, that I ran away and joined the Carnival as a teen just to rebel from my parents. This is the farthest thing from the truth. Oh, I did leave home and join the Carnival but that was an amazing adventure that I am sure my parents would have supported had they known.
But the reason for this Blog starts back with my Grandmother. Everywhere we ever went was preceded with a list. Grandma would reach into her old leather purse and pull out a piece of paper at each store we stopped at. I use to laugh because I figured she just kept forgetting what she really needed. One day she gently explained that her many lists were not just a reminder of what she needed in case she forgot but a guide to keep her on track with what she actually needed and not be an impulse buyer to things that were frivolous. This memory has turned out to be one of the biggest gems of information one could have in their life.
The List can be our Best Friend! Lists can save us thousands of dollars in gas money from driving back to the store to get what you forgot. The list can save us the embarrassment from forgetting the Apple Pie you spent all day making from scratch only to be forced to show up to Thanksgiving dinner with a store bought pie because you forgot yours back home. The list can help avoid the shameful looks other parents give you when you bring your kid to practice an hour late because you forgot what time to show up. Lists can be our savior!
On the other hand, Lists can be the evil overbearing warden who keeps us away from fun or fun things by keeping us focused on what we need and not what we want. I think back on my life when the Evil List kept me from not only one Snuggie but TWO Snuggies for the price of one! That Evil List kept my dream of owning dozens of diamonds, furniture I didn’t need and even from owning a dozen beautiful puppies. It didn’t matter if I lived in an apartment at the time. It is what I wanted damnit! The Evil List is actually more valuable than the Good List. When I make the Evil List I am focused on what I actually need, what I can actually afford and what reminds me to stay on path for my bigger goals. Impulse decisions are the biggest obstacles we have when it comes to our ultimate goals. So, the Evil List can be a savior too. Just less fun.
All of this is incredibly important when you decide to buy a home. Obviously my advice is to talk to… ME! Or any other solid Mortgage Lender about what you can afford. NOT what you are qualified too but can afford. When I Pre Approve a client it is wildly important to me that they understand they may qualify for more than they are comfortable with. We as Mortgage Lenders do not take into consideration your kids in private school or the fact little Jimmy will only wear Air Jordans. We do not count the dog food bill for your six Great Danes. Your lifestyle of eating out twice a day is not a factor when a Mortgage Lender looks at your income and tells you how much you can qualify for. Your lifestyle is ultimately important. Once we have decided where you are comfortable for your house payment a wonderful Realtor will guide you in and out of people’s homes until you find one you love. The is where your Evil List can save you!
I advise my clients to make a list of must haves that you can afford. Three Bedrooms, Three Bathrooms, Fenced yard for your pack of Great Danes, etc. Then make a List of things you just don’t want to settle for. Privacy? Well Water? Busy road? This way you can narrow down the homes you see to be homes you actually may want to buy. Everyone falls into the same trap of seeing a grand view, a large pool or a majestic automatic front gate. They start wanting things that will push their monthly payment pass their comfort level. We all want that ultimate dream house but a List that you made when you were not drunk on Mansion Fever will keep things in perspective. Remember, your Realtor nor your Mortgage Lender will be making your house payment. You will have to come up with the money all by yourself so stay focused and do not over reach. Your Evil List will laugh at your frustration but in the end, that mocking laughter the Evil List is making is truly for your own good… Damn the List.
Need more information on buying a house? Reach out to a Perfect 5.0 Rated Mortgage Lender!