To buy or not to buy: What’s (truly) holding you back?


Decision making. You might call yourself an expert at it, but does all the care you take before you make (or don’t make) a decision cause you more problems than it’s worth? Take heart. When Lucy turned her sign over for Charlie Brown to say the psychologist is “now in,” he may just have poured his heart out to her on this subject.

Lisa Marie Conklin, in her recent article about “FOMOs” (fear of missing out) and “YOLOs” (you only live once), says when shopping for a home, your lifestyle and personality carry a lot of weight in your decision-making process.

Sometimes your brain occupies two places at once, however. “If you’re outgoing, you might lean toward a house in a walkable neighborhood with a friendly vibe. On the flip side, if you covet peace over chit-chatting with neighbors, a home in the country might fit the bill.” Now? You can’t get yourself to pull the trigger when you find a house you like. Why? Your homebuyer personality type might be holding you back, robbing you of your ability to take the plunge.

Don’t beat yourself up. You’re only human and this is one of the biggest financial decisions you may ever make. The FOMO buyer is afraid if they make an offer, they’ll miss out on that amazing house that has yet to come on the market. The problem is that that perfect home might not exist, meaning the FOMO buyer might never make a move.

Professional therapists say if you identify with this scenario, it might help to focus on the hard facts about an available house rather than entertaining the endless loop of hypotheticals.

“Cognitive behavioral strategies can help manage the anxiety surrounding decision-making by challenging irrational beliefs about the need to find the perfect option,” says Texas-based counselor William Schroeder. He recommends practicing mindfulness and journaling to help you stay in the moment and make decisions based on current needs—rather than future fears.

Connecticut-based Realtor Jen Turner says a buyer with FOMO is quite common. She advises her FOMO clients to be happy with a home that checks most boxes so they won’t feel remorse if something else comes along. Easier said than done? She advises putting this into practice by touring homes that meet your key needs as much as possible.

“Think about what the home you are pursuing is missing,” says Turano. If they are things you can accept if a deal is reached, make an offer.

Others (YOLOs) look in all the wrong places. Are you eyeing homes that are aspirational and out of your financial reach? Do you think — hey, you only live once, so why not look at homes you can’t comfortably afford? Our therapist says you can justify the YOLO philosophy when you treat yourself to the occasional pricey dinner or day at the spa. But a reality check might be in order if YOLO is your motto for buying a house.

Both agent and therapist advise the YOLO buyer to dig deep to understand their emotional triggers—like self-esteem issues or societal pressures—behind overspending. Employ goal-setting strategies to align financial behaviors with long-term well-being rather than short-term desires. And the agent encourages the YOLO to crunch the numbers before their home search begins to get a clear picture of what is truly affordable without sacrificing other aspects of their life.

“If a buyer keeps dreaming about a home they cannot afford, I tell them to think about what that home has that others within their budget don’t,” says Turano. “Can some of those things be replicated in homes within their budget via smart renovations or quick fixes?”

Apart from FOMOs and YOLOs is the market timer (the smart cookie). This is a person who studies and understands housing market fluctuations, enabling them to make the best financial deal—when the time is right. They start by focusing on accepting market unpredictability and the limits of personal control. They also work hard to replace stress-producing perfectionist beliefs and the illusion that you have control — a more balanced approach to risk and uncertainty.

“Work with your real estate agent to get creative and weed out a good opportunity,” says Turano. “They do exist.” Conklin uses the example of waiting until spring — historically a time when listings shoot up. But you could snag a house in a slower season when there’s less competition from other buyers. “Consider expanding your search to include auctions or short sales, or see if you qualify for down payment assistance,” she says.

Then there are those buyers who just never pull the plug. They put off buying a house forever because they fear committing to such a significant life choice, robbing themselves of building a nest egg since real estate appreciation is still one of the most predictably positive investments.

Therapists say fear of commitment is often associated with relationships, but it can apply to any facet of life, including this. They encourage those individuals to take a deeper look into the roots of their fear of commitment and work on building decision-making confidence.

Conklin adds, “If you’re a wait-and-see buyer, work with a buyer’s agent who fully understands what you’re looking for and can guide you through the ‘what ifs.’ Take the time to do your research, and look at homes that pique your interest.”

Realtor, TBWS

All information furnished has been forwarded to you and is provided by thetbwsgroup only for informational purposes. Forecasting shall be considered as events which may be expected but not guaranteed. Neither the forwarding party and/or company nor thetbwsgroup assume any responsibility to any person who relies on information or forecasting contained in this report and disclaims all liability in respect to decisions or actions, or lack thereof based on any or all of the contents of this report.

“Equal Housing Lender. NEXA Mortgage, LLC NMLS 1660690. I am a licensed mortgage originator, NMLS # 630337, and licensed to originate mortgage loans in the state of Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Missouri, Nevada, Tennessee, and Texas. To learn more, visit my NEXA Mortgage website at"

Lillian Wong

Mortgage Broker

NMLS: 630337

NEXA Mortgage

3100 W Ray Rd Ste 201, Chandler AZ 85226

Company NMLS: 1660690

Office: 480-650-5412

Cell: 480-650-5412




Lillian Wong


Mortgage Broker

NMLS: 630337

Cell: 480-650-5412

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