Is the “Paradox of Choice” Derailing Your Home Search?
Our Dirty Little Secrets for Buying a Home
Buying a home for the first time can be confusing. That’s why the tips and strategies you’ll find in our 8-week series will set you on the right path. It’s our own unique approach and a “behind the scenes” glimpse of what you should look out for and consider when starting your own search for a home.
As a buyer do you find yourself “wanting to see everything” in your price range or “needing to look at just one more house or condo”?
You may truly believe that having a wide selection of homes to choose from is the only way to find one you love.
Guess what? It’s a proven fact that having too many choices only increases your chance of making the wrong choice!
One great resource is the book “The Paradox of Choice” by Barry Schwartz. It can be very helpful for those who are having a hard time making a choice.
You can apply the principles of this book to any area of your life where you are having a hard time making a decision. However, for today’s lesson we’ll apply it to the home-buying process once we explain the “paradox of choice.”
Research has shown that having too many choices – from selecting jam to choosing a mutual fund package, or from finding a mate to picking a home – can overwhelm and stress people. They become so confused and reach a point where they feel paralyzed with indecision.
These buyers also experience an increased feeling of regret or dissatisfaction once a decision is made. Many can’t get passed the thought that one of the other choices would have been better.
Has that ever been you?
Most likely you face an insane number of choices for all sorts of products, whether you’re at the grocery store, shopping online, or the car lot. We’re talking about both the big and small purchases in your life!
An entire aisle of cereal is the norm now. At one time shopping for jeans meant Levi’s, and that was pretty much it. How long does it take you to find that perfect pair now? Or decide how much to spend?
When there are so many options to choose from, it’s easy to end up in a situation where doing nothing becomes the “default choice.” We’ve all walked out of a store empty handed when this happens. Or decide to delay making a purchase till “another time.”
Why More Is Actually Less
When it comes to house hunting, you do want to have a healthy inventory of listings to view. However, thinking “seeing more is better” can actually sidetrack your home search.
More choice can cause confusion, second guessing, and just being overwhelmed.
For example, if you spend the day (and weeks) looking at so many homes, you can start feeling confused about the features of each one. Your mind will start going in circles trying to distinguish each home.
Plus it’s just harder to narrow down your choices and start to eliminate homes when you have viewed way too many.
Make Choosing Less Stressful
There are several strategies to make your search successful and satisfying from beginning to end. This means you’ll need to learn how to narrow down your choices.
Sometimes the market itself will limit your choices, but you’ll still need to make a decision at some point. Here’s how to do it:
To avoid this from happening, you first need to narrow your location by deciding what lifestyle you want. However, if you decide to be open to other locations, compare similar homes within the specific location.
Let us know if you have any questions about choosing a home and if you’re think you’re afraid you’ll experience choice overload. We definitely recommend reading “The Paradox of Choice” for further insight.
Next week is another hot topic for many first-time buyers. Are you afraid that your student loan is preventing you from becoming a homeowner? Then you’ll love How to Buy a Home with Student Loan Debt, which continues Our Dirty Little Secrets to Buying a Home series.