It seems counterintuitive but the more options that you have the less likely you are to make a choice and the less likely you are to be confident about your decision. I see this all the time in my conversations with clients that are bouncing back and forth between whether they should buy or keep renting, or buy their next home or a vacation home, should they sell their rental or keep it?
It’s a dynamic that is amplified when making big “life decisions” like that of investing hundreds of thousands of dollars into a home. The reality is that we fear making a mistake. The truth is that we’re not alone in feeling this way when confronted with a major “fork in the road” type decision.
The critical starting point is to get focused! It’s inevitable that when we’re faced with this “I don’t know which is better” situation it’s as a result of having at least two if not more good and attractive options that we can see ourselves enjoying.
Yet it’s because of this “well I’d be happy with either outcome” mindset that leads us to keep circling our options and missing out on the chance to make a strong and confident decision. To get focused, I tend to find that the key is to tackle the Needs vs Wants question.
When it comes to this question, your goal is to ask yourself- which of these options meets the greatest number of needs for where we currently are and where we want to be in the near term (think 1-2 years)? Start exploring this by sitting down and writing out the primary needs that you have.
For example, when my wife and I were exploring whether to buy our next home or purchase an investment property in early 2020, we found ourselves taking into account that we were living in a 1000 sqft, 3 bed, 2 bath home with two dogs and a 13 year old who was facing the prospect of remote learning because of the pandemic. We also knew that the dynamic of our teenager having to hang out in her room, or my wife and I in our backyard, whenever she had friends over was not one that we could sustain for long.
On the other hand, we saw the opportunity to stay in our home as our expenses were low and we could leverage the equity to pick up an investment property that would support our longer term plans. As we sat down to explore our needs versus wants, we saw a clear answer starting to form that pointed us towards the need to buy our next home vs the want of picking up an investment property.
Inevitably your needs list will start clarifying and elevating one of your options over the others. Once there is a clear answer, commit to pursuing it with intention. It’s easier said than done, but the more committed you can be to listening to your needs versus your wants, you will place yourself in a stronger position to make a decision that you can feel confident about.
There are of course other considerations that need to be taken into account, but this question of Needs vs Wants has proven to be the most effective in overcoming the back and forth between great choices to yield a confident decision.
If you want to discuss this topic further or get some feedback on your needs vs wants list, please don’t hesitate to reach out by email [email protected] or by phone/text at 916.507.0493. At the end of the day, we want you to make a decision that’s right for you. Reach out and we can help you map out a strategy that’s designed to meet your near and long terms goals.