Part 1. The Tao of Real Estate Acquisition
“Tao” in Chinese philosophy refers to the “universal way” that is in harmony with natural order. It’s that moment a well-trained baseball player connects perfectly with a pitch. In real estate, it’s the culmination of the right time, right place, right price, and right financial plan.
It’s rare for the “rights” to align in a tight real estate market where a dearth of inventory creates competitive bidding with offers $50,000 above asking price. Like any blood sport, preparation is key.
Begin With the End In Mind
Whether you’re ready to purchase your next home, finance a vacation property, or dabble in real estate investment, the first exercise en route to ‘Tao” is to envision the outcome and order your priorities. Work through these questions to drive future decisions on the funding instruments you choose to realize your goals.
- How important is fiscal growth? What kind of Return-On-Investment do I expect?
- What kind of time frame for ROI am I prepared to accept?
- Am I likely to relocate? Will I need to upsize, or downsize, in 5, 10, 20 years?
- Am I willing to undertake extensive renovations to achieve my dream home, or do I prefer paying upfront for the fit, features and finish I want?
- What intangibles are involved – in what ways do I want to improve the quality of my life: Space? Social? Location? School District? Amenities?
- Do I need a home that accommodates an age-in-place strategy?
- Do I need a home office, or a larger home office, or TWO home offices?!
- Is there another generation of my family (parents, children) that may need to live with me?
- Are there ways I can monetize or offset my costs – eg. Home office, Air B&B, rental portion?
Once you have a deep understanding of your priorities and a vision, the next step is to inventory your assets and liabilities in a way that helps you strategically explore your options.