Looking at the big picture

Just for fun, I thought I would go through my old blog drafts that I never published for some reason.  I found this one below.  I got a good laugh out of this because I never bought an SUV and I wrote it so long ago that my kids both have their own cars now…..and my dad is retired!

It still makes a good point that is true today:  You’ve got to look at the whole picture when buying a house and any house, unless brand new, will need some of your hard earned money spent on it.

“So, I am thinking about getting a bigger vehicle, maybe an SUV to haul kids to school.  Not too excited about it, so I have a lot of reservations, and find myself trying to make comparisons based more on my perceptions rather than reality.  Then it dawns on me that I am going through the exact same thing that home buyers deal with after they get a home inspection.

See, I am sitting around thinking things like how the tires on my current car have only about 25,000 miles on them, that my brakes are pretty new, and that I just did a major service.  I feel like I am throwing that money away if I were to trade.  Then I realize that I am only looking at half of the whole picture.  If I buy an SUV that still has plenty of life left on the tires and brakes, then I am coming out the same.  Also, since the ones I am looking at all seem to have just over 30,000 miles, they would have just had a major service too.

I think that most buyers deal with something like this after they get their home inspection done.  They start adding the costs of all the problems.  That is natural.  They also usually start to compare the house to other ones they have looked at.  So, at this point I like to try to get them to look at the whole picture like I am trying to do with my car situation.  Lets say House A needs $2000 worth of work on stuff like the roof or plumbing.  House B needs none of those things fixed, so House B must be the better one to go with, right?  Well, House B needs fresh paint, and it will also cost $2000.   When I put it this way, I am sure you see that $2000 is still $2000 no matter how you spend it. (Now I know I have over simplified here, and that most buyers have a chance to ask the seller to make repairs, but this was just the easiest way to make a point.)

My dad is the master of looking at the whole picture.  Seems like most of his friends and family always come to him seeking advice.  The funny thing is that I don’t think he ever really gives advice.  He seems to lead you to the obvious conclusion by asking a series of questions.  He’s like the compassion of Mother Teresa and the wisdom of Yoda wrapped up in a motorcycling, pet loving lawyer.

So, by looking at the whole picture about my car situation, I can now go forward to the next step, which is to decide if it is really something I want to do.  When you get to this point of the home buying process, keep in mind that just about any house is going to need money spent on it somewhere, then decide what you can live with and what you can’t.

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