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Introduction to the 10 Secrets of Home Buying

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Whether you are a buyer, seller, renter, or one who is thinking about remodeling, refinancing, or investing in a second home, you can learn a new way to make housing decisions that go smoothly and enrich your personal life and your relationships while enhancing your enjoyment of the place you call "home." Find out how in this introductory chapter.
This chapter is from the book

It is our choices...that show what we really are, far more than our abilities.

—J.K. Rowling

A secret is something hidden or known only to insiders. A few behavioral scientists and market researchers might be acquainted with some of the ideas in this book, but these concepts have not been available to consumers prior to now. One of my professional priorities is to change that fact by equipping homeowners, renters, buyers, and sellers with "insider information" that can help them become more comfortable (and savvy) about whatever housing transaction they might contemplate.

Housing decisions are crucial. They can involve the most money you ever spend, the highest debt you ever incur, and the best (or worst) investment you ever make. A moving decision can result in either a frustrating or fulfilling experience that affects not just your life, but the lives of loved ones who move with you. Yet, as one real estate broker observed, buying and selling houses is one of the few businesses in which the principals on both sides are rank amateurs.1 They get caught up in emotions that rarely benefit the housing negotiations and, on occasion, trap them into making poor housing decisions. Renters also make poor housing choices and some renters' decisions spoil their chances for future home ownership.

Whether you are a buyer, seller, renter, or one who is thinking about remodeling, refinancing, or investing in a second home, you can learn a new way to make housing decisions that go smoothly and enrich your personal life and your relationships while enhancing your enjoyment of the place you call "home." In addition, you can increase your net worth at the same time.

With a little curiosity, inner preparation, and practical guidance about decision making, you can approach your next real estate transaction with new confidence. The discomfort you might have about finances, the markets, or the uncertainty of making the right choice diminishes dramatically when you learn and keep in mind the following 10 secrets of successful home buying and selling:

  • Secret 1: Your housing choices are not only about finances. In fact, they are not just about housing. They are about every aspect of your life.

  • Secret 2: You have a housing history that influences your housing decisions today and it is key to understanding your housing emotions.

  • Secret 3: You have a Housing Value System that consists of your housing history and housing profile. Your Housing Value System drives your housing decisions.

  • Secret 4: Your partner (child, mother, or father) has a Housing Value System too, and it is as important as yours when it comes to making housing decisions.

  • Secret 5: You can turn your Housing Value System into a decision tool that can help you make your best housing decisions.

  • Secret 6: Self-knowledge is personal power in all housing-related transactions. Housing knowledge is financial power that can save you time, money, and grief.

  • Secret 7: There is a U.S. Housing System that you must learn to navigate. It includes the agents, organizations, agencies, and regulators with whom you deal with in any housing transaction you undertake.

  • Secret 8: Your fears can move with you. To move on, you must pack up your courage and make sound housing choices, even if you do not feel courageous.

  • Secret 9: Your mortgage can be the most important financial tool in your investment toolbox. It can be your ticket to future financial security.

  • Secret 10: Your Housing Value System lives as long as you do. When it is time to downsize, find a home in retirement, or help to choose housing for an older adult, these secrets will be as valid then as they are today.

The Power of Knowing Your Housing Psychology

As you explore and discover the power of the 10 Housing Secrets, which I discuss in detail throughout the book, you will develop your own personal housing psychology. These secrets allow you to sort through and tame your emotions, understand and deal with the stresses of others, and discuss your feelings openly with less discomfort. Most importantly, these secrets can help you become an all-around better financial decision maker in the process.

My goal is to help skeptics and believers alike learn to access and harness the power of their housing psychology in pending and future housing searches, negotiations, decisions, and transactions.

I specifically want to help you:

  • Make you aware of your housing emotions, so that you can interpret them and then use your new understanding to make better housing plans and decisions.

  • Enhance your understanding of your partner's and other family members' housing emotions, so that you can minimize conflict during the stages involved in changing where and how you live.

  • Learn that the best housing decisions incorporate desire, knowledge, and the ability to successfully navigate your emotions.

  • Realize that wise housing choices have the potential to anchor your entire future financial security.

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