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Housing Decisions Involve Psychology

In deciding to buy or sell, move or stay, downsize or expand, most Americans do not realize how complex the decision-making process really is. A successful, fulfilling housing result is more likely when you consider your housing psychology - that place where human interaction, the role of “place” in our lives, and finance all come together.

Few events test relationships and decision-making skills more dramatically than the search for your dream home.

Even before you decide to buy or rent, you must first decide to move. Is this a good time to move? How much can I/we afford? Where do we want to go? An unexamined-decision approach can trap you into making poor housing choices. The more you learn about managing your inner motivations and personal relationships as well as your housing and financial goals, the better your housing decisions will be.

It is important to realize that you have a relationship to your home beyond the relationships with the people who share it with you. In fact, your relationship with your home is so personal and close that no other nonhuman relationship is quite like it.

Home is something we “provide” for ourselves and others. It represents our capacity to control our physical setting and our leisure. It is our bastion of security and the touchstone for our sense of independence. In the best-case scenario, it is our sanctuary.

A housing decision is the watershed of everything in your life: the physical aspects of where and how you live; your livelihood; your physical, emotional, and financial well-being; your safety and security; your intimate and social relationships; your sense of community; your greatest pleasures and your deepest pain. It is no wonder that few of us have the tools

to make consistently good housing decisions - decisions based on tested principles and values rather than on emotions or circumstances.

Once you understand the powerful role your vulnerabilities play in your housing decisions, you can prevent the most serious moving mistakes.

To begin developing that insight, take these important steps:

1. Reflect on your present home and how it connects you to your lifestyle, relationships, finances, work life, avocations and ambitions.

2. Reflect on a prior housing decision: What factors led to the decision? How did you handle moving details? What emotions were involved?

3. Consider whether a previous move followed or preceded one of life's major upsets.

4. Then evaluate, from the comfortable perspective of hindsight, whether you could have made a better decision under the circumstances.

The American Dream of having one's own home endures because the concept of home is rooted in your emotions as well as in your head. Home is a deeply personal resource as well as a place or location. What's more, your home can be your ticket to financial security when you manage your housing life as though your financial life depends on it. For most of us, it does. That is why your ability to make good housing decisions is so important.

About the Author

Lois A. Vitt is a housing expert and financial sociologist, and is the author of "10 Secrets to Successful Home Buying and Selling: Using Your Housing Psychology to Make Smarter Decisions", the first book in the real estate market to demystify the psychological forces behind our housing decisions. To learn more about Lois and this book, visit http://www.RealtyStudies.com.

Written by: Lois A. Vitt

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