Deciding which house to buy

March 12, 2018  | By Kevin Smith

This is the time of year when home buyers and sellers become very active. If you are a potential buyer, let’s face it, this town is EXPENSIVE! The obvious reasons are:

1) People want to live here at an increasing rate.

2) Home buyers have many overlapping interests and concerns – location, schools, safety, convenience, traffic, decor, etc.

3) We have constraints on how much development can be done in areas of high demand.

If high prices are making it difficult to meet your wants and needs, one solution is to move to the outskirts of town where the dollar stretches a lot further. Have you been to Hutto lately? You may be pleasantly surprised. If that is not appealing, your options may be limited, and you will probably be forced to make difficult trade-offs and compromises with your partner.

My family went through this process about two years ago and I created a simple comparison to help remove emotion from the decision. It helped us evaluate our options more objectively. The basic idea is to list the most important factors, assign them weights totaling 100%. Then give your favorite three houses or neighborhoods a score. With a simple formula, you can create a weighted average score that considers your priorities. Here is an example:

House 2 may not be the most exciting choice, but using a formula may help you come to terms with the most important trade-offs. It also reduces stress and marital conflict.

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Kevin X. Smith, CFA
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Kevin is responsible for advising clients for whom he is the lead financial advisor. He also manages the operations and development of the firm, and oversees all of the investments of Austin Wealth Management clients. Kevin is on a mission…Read More

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