Practical Goals Toward House Buying

By: Gary Ashton

Setting goals to help buy the first home is one form of encouragement for ourselves. As we achieve each stepping-stone-goal we realize that we are actually getting closer to the once-unattainable dream. So how could goals for this dream be set up?

Goals in general need to be specific with certain set stages in place as you progress and they need to be in writing; once you have drawn up your list of goals, you need to keep them plastered on the wall where you can see them. This is because you will need to keep reminding yourself of them.

So, now we come to the goal setting part. Setting goals for any type of endeavor usually follow the same pathway. It could be summarized into sections something like this - measurable, challenging yet achievable, precise, time- specific and in tune with your life.

An example of a goal being in tune with your life would be say, not to plan buying a home in the hot, desert area of USA when you earn a living by traveling around selling ski equipment. Or by not planning a second income breeding Himalayan cats, when you know you are allergic to their fur.

The first one, measurability, is fairly difficult, because many of our goals can be verbalized in non -measurable terms, i.e. I want to lose weight; I want to start saving. Put this way, these goals are not really challenging.

However, the goals would be a challenge if they were stated differently. For instance: I want to lose five pounds by July; I want to save fifty dollars a month starting immediately.

We know, in this case, the goal is to buy your first home, so let us use that as an example: You want to buy a home before the foreclosure crisis is over. You want to use this time limit because you feel the house prices will start rising after that. Problem is, you do not know when this time limit actually is in terms of the month or year.

Well, you could research on the Internet, but don't bother. Most of the experts feel it will go into 2009. But most of us know that each spring sees a boost in house sales so you could project your goal completion as March 2009. After this you will guess that house prices may start to elevate.

Unfortunately, this does not mean that you will be able to achieve this, and you may have to re-adjust it as the other sections are filled in, but for now you will try this to see how close you can get.

Measurable: I am heading to be in a position to buy a home by March 2009. By then I will know how much of a down payment I need and I will have a letter of pre-approval from a bank or mortgage broker.

If necessary I will ask my parents/rich guardian (!) to assist me with an interest-free loan. (Show this 'rich benefactor' your goals plan as soon as you have it written up. If they realize you are serious and sacrificing they will be very inclined to help in some way.)

Challenging yet achievable: I know I can save $190.00 per month; therefore I am going to head for $230.00 per month. I am going to walk to work and I am going to pack my own lunches. I am going to give up one expensive item immediately. (Never underestimate the value of small economies; they make your psyche realize that you are in 'tight-fisted' mode and other economies fall into place.)

Precise: I want to have seen my local banker and also a mortgage broker about my financial possibilities as a house buyer before July 2008. I also need to make contact with a realtor who understands foreclosures to glean any more tips and this must happen before May 2008.

Time specific: Final goal :March 2009. Interim goals: These will be hints from the financier, for instance maybe you have to improve your credit rating or open a savings account with the local bank etc.

In tune with your life: Summer is coming, I can get a weekend job in the sun which I would enjoy. I shall have a weekend job before May 2008 and I will save an extra $100.00 per week from it.

Encourage yourself with the goals: read them each day, tell yourself you are achieving them. Put a big red tick across the page when you have spent a whole month walking to work and packing your lunches and you therefore saved your first $230.00.

Acknowledge to yourself that it feels good to be heading for a real goal and that you are actually making it happen.

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