The new year is the perfect time to reassess your needs as a family and set goals for your housing plans. If homeownership or selling a home is part of your vision this year, it is essential for you to understand the housing market, define your goals and work with industry experts. While your intentions may be good, it can be easy to jump in too quickly and then lose sight of goals and forget about them within a few months — unless you make SMART goals.
There are different versions of SMART goals and what each letter stands for, a SMART goal is any goal that meets the following criteria:
- Simple/Specific – your goals should be simple and specific for your family to understand.
- Motivational – goals that propel you into action and have an association of accomplishment.
- Action-Orientated – a goal that requires action and smaller steps or tasks that allow you to reach your goal.
- Reachable – the most important step is a goal that needs to be something you can reach. If it is not doable, you will get discouraged.
- Time-based – put a deadline on your goals, whether it is a month or a year from now. It will keep you accountable to write your goals and deadlines down on your calendar and look at them often.
In 2022, high inflation had a big impact on the housing market, so it is important to know what you want out of it when you buy or sell a home. Some things to think through as you fine tune your housing goals for 2023 include “What is motivating you?” and “What will your next home look like?”
You could be ready to stop renting and step into homeownership for the first time or your needs may have changed in a way your current house cannot address. How would you describe your perfect home? Whether you want more room for your changing lifestyle -growing your family, dedicated space for a retirement hobby, a personal gym or you simply want a large backyard for entertaining, you can invest in a home that truly works for your evolving needs. The available supply of homes for sale has grown for more options; however, you need to keep your budget in mind and work with a real estate professional to balance your wants and needs.
Another consideration is “How ready are you to buy?” Getting clear on your budget and savings is essential. Work with a local agent and a mortgage lender early to be certain that you are in a good position to buy. Buying or selling a home is a process that takes expertise to navigate. Goal planning could include how much to save for a down payment, getting pre-approved for a home loan. If your goal involves selling an existing house, you will want to assess your current home equity.
Ideas for Home Goals:
- Talk to a trusted mortgage lender and apply for a mortgage to start the homeownership process.
- Look at refinancing your current mortgage.
- Create a home maintenance calendar with tasks like making home repairs, cleaning out gutters, or lawn care.
- Make an extra mortgage payment on your home.
- Update paint colors or flooring in your home.
Ideas for Family Goals:
- Have a weekly family fun night where you play games, watch a movie together or try a new activity. Remember you can still have fun together on a budget!
- Make room by sorting through toys and household items to donate to a nonprofit or have a garage sale.
- Plan a family vacation together and have children share destinations and/or help with budgeting.
- Get moving and exercise while setting a limit to the amount of weekly screen time you get as a family.
Do not let uncertainty hold you back from your goals and remember to have fun. No matter how great or small your goals are for 2023, you can have an amazing year with your family and know that Core Bank is here to help!