MONOPOLY: So your family has decided to play Monopoly? Boil the kettle, grab the biscuits and change into comfortable clothes. You’re going to be there a while.
LESSON: Buying real estate is a process. There’s pre-approval for a mortgage, searching for homes, viewings, submitting an offer, maybe submitting another offer, the inspection, surveys and valuation, and final mortgage processing before you get the keys. Needless to say, buying a home can take some time. Instead of getting frustrated, focus on all of the great reasons you decided buying a home was right for you. Staying in close communication with your agent throughout the process will help, too.
2. Location matters
MONOPOLY: Everyone starts the game with one corner in mind. The highly priced properties have the best returns on investments, and the players who snag them first tend to do well in the game.
LESSON: Location is often a major consideration in real life as well. Home values, your lifestyle and so much more are factors in your choice. Question the agent dealing with the property and check out the area to learn all you can about the areas that pique your interest.
3. Keep an open mind
MONOPOLY: Some properties can a bad reputation because they’re the cheapest properties on the board, but they also present opportunity. Add a few houses and hotels and your return could be bigger!
LESSON: Keep an open mind when shopping for a home. An up-and-coming area may have appeal you didn’t see before, and more value for your budget.
4. Be prepared
MONOPOLY: You’re a Monopoly mogul! You have a handful of desirable properties and a steady stream of income from your houses and hotels. Then comes the Chance card: “Make general repairs on your property – for each house pay €25, for each hotel pay €100.”
LESSON: You never know what card you’re going to draw. But unlike Monopoly, the real world has home insurance available to help you prepare for unexpected repairs and disasters. A variety of plans, customised to all budgets, are available.
5. How to win a bidding war
MONOPOLY: Trading properties keeps Monopoly exciting. And there are no strict rules as to how a seller determines to accept an offer. Sibling rivalry, bribes involving sweets or even business sense can play into a player’s decision.
LESSON: Sellers don’t always accept the highest offer.
6. The importance of strategy
MONOPOLY: Monopoly is a game of strategy, but few players are inclined to study ways to win.
LESSON: Buying a home is an infrequent occurrence; for some it happens only once in a lifetime.