If you are treating your first home as an investment, you must do what businesses do: plan the road to success. They have a roadmap coupled with a clearly defined vision, and a strategy outlining every step.
“The planning process provides the information top management needs to make effective decisions about how to allocate the resources in a way that will enable the organization to reach its objectives. Productivity is maximized and resources are not wasted on projects with little chance of success.”
Lack of planning equals to lack of direction
You may not be a fortunate a Fortune 500 company, but your home is one of the biggest financial investments you will ever make. You are also emotionally invested in this purchase and committed to making it work! These 4 walls seriously require your attention steered in the right direction. You want to do it right from the beginning.
As a new homeowner, you must have dreams for this house. Even before signing, you were probably thinking about where to place your couches or your bed. You most likely also considered wall colors, and I bet you had a Pinterest board or a file full of photos of rooms you love. Heck! You bought it with the intention of turning it into a home where to create memories, where to raise your family, where to feel safe. I know so because I have been in the same situation you are in, but I am also aware that there is a space in time between the dreams in your head (Point A) and the time when they turn into reality (Point B). That SPACE BETWEEN is where the planning needs to happen and where your path from point A to point B will be determined. Let’s face it, without a clear path, you may get there, but at what cost?
Consider the following consequences:
- Spending more money than anticipated.
- Regretting purchases, and wasting time returning them.
- Doubting your next move because the first ones didn´t go as well.
- Questioning every decision.
- Losing self-confidence.
- Staying in decision paralysis.
- Delaying your plans.
- Wishing you would do something about your home and not doing anything.
What is the opposite of lack of planning? A CLEAR ROADMAP that outlining step by step what needs to be done. The right planning, despite changes and revisions, will guarantee buyer’s remorse and those dreaded 5 words “I wish I would have….” Fill in the blank.
“I wish I would have bought different curtains that block the light more.”
“I wish I would have not bought the tiles before comparing them with the countertop options.”
“I wish I would have checked the measurements before deciding on this table.”
“I wish I would have remodeled my home sooner.”
“I wish I would have considered moving the furnace before we developed the basement.”
I could go on and on.
“I am tired of buying pieces that don´t go together”
My clients tell me again and again that they are tired of buying pieces that don´t go together. They are also tired of an unfinished home, but the fear of making mistakes is a real one and prevents us from taking confident steps. On the other hand, they also have dreams! Just like you do too. WE all do. Dreams need actionable steps and steps need direction. The steps are organized in a PLAN and the much-needed direction is called a VISION.
You also need CLARITY to know how this home will serve you and not the other way around. You must identify your needs, prioritize them, identify your why’s and determine an ideal budget and timeline. These are all key steps to creating your VISION of the end-result. Assuming you have one, your next move is to plan your way there, to your very own Point B. I suggest you follow these:
1. Make a list of every single item you will need to purchase. Don’t forget to include labor when applicable and always allocate part of your budget to accessories.
2. Go window-shopping and price each one of them. Remember you don’t have to make any final decisions to find out prices. You can get estimates, average prices.
3. Compare your shopping list against your pre-determined ideal budget. There are only 3 possible outcomes for this comparison. You will be either:
a. Right on budget,
b. Over budget or
c. Under budget.
4. Play with the numbers and adjust accordingly. At this point, you have 4 possible scenarios:
a. Downgrade options to stay within budget.
b. Increase your budget.
c. Postpone some of your choices.
d. Cancel some of your choices.
Postponing options will require short- or long-term planning. You may choose, for example, to forgo the new ceiling lamp now and until you have saved enough money to buy it. Purchasing a less expensive sofa may also “liberate” funds and allow the purchase of the lamp you want. The main point of this exercise is to empower you to make the right choices ahead of time or before the money is spent and decisions cannot be reversed.
Think about it, you used a similar process to acquire the house you now call home. You met with a mortgage broker who told you how much you qualified for and what type of down payment would be required of you. You then planned how to save for the deposit and how to retain your financial status. You knew that if you wanted a bigger home, you would have to save an additional X amount of dollars, and spend less or make more money. You are reading this from home because you planned your way to success. Now it’s your turn to take that same approach to make the dream home a place where you actually want to come back to, a place where to thrive, connect, and create.
If you have a dream, a vision, price it, and plan it. Let that be your roadmap. And remember, without a plan, dreams stay as dreams. Don’t just wish, daydream, imagine, and pin. Take actionable steps and love your home room by room, wall by wall, corner by corner.