Zen Lesson # 6: Unique Purchasing Decision



A home construction project is very different than most other purchasing experiences that we are used to today. In today’s world were you can go on line and buy just about anything—from a boat to a puppy, it has changed the way we look at purchases. But that doesn’t work with a home construction project. You know, you can’t go on Amazon and select your new home and ‘wa-la’ get it shipped to your doorstep the next day!!

… even a new kitchen won’t come in a box. But in today’s world of on-line shopping, it can make the buying process for a home construction project much more difficult. This is true for many reasons, the first of which is the variable pricing related to a home construction project. Today, people are so used to getting on line to find out how much they should pay for something, right? You sit down at their computer, get on Google and see prices from 5 different stores so you know exactly how much you should pay for this product. Obviously you can’t do this with a home construction project. And worse then that, they got out and ask 3 contractors and they get 4 prices for their remodel project, because as I said before, the plans are not specific enough so one of the contractors gives 2 different prices based on the different options on the plans. So that’s the first thing that frustrates a homeowner, that there is variable pricing for a construction project. The 2nd thing is that it is a lengthy process and this can be very frustrating for us right? In today’s world you can buy just about anything on Amazon and have it delivered to your door step in a couple of days, but it just doesn’t work that way with a construction project. Alright, so the pricing is difficult to pin down, it takes a long time to get the completed product and the 3rd thing that frustrates a homeowner is the uncertainty of the final product. You really don’t know what you’re getting until the project is completed. Now you can do things to try to remove some of this uncertainty – you can get the architect to work out a lot of the details on the plans and you can nail down your finishes early, but there is no way you can eliminate all of the uncertainty. One of the reasons for this is that invariably you are going to change their mind along the way. And how can we blame you? You have never done this before and you want to get it right. Here’s something you may not want to hear, but it is true: A home construction project is a stressful even when it is successful. For most of us, our home is the most valuable possession that we will ever own in our lives. Much of our financial net worth is tied up in it and it is our source of security, our nest egg, right. And now we’re going to do a construction project and not only is it going to cost a lot of money, but it is going to effect the VALUE of our most important investment, and we want to make certain that it’s going to increase the value! So the homeowners put themselves under a lot of pressure as a result of this. Another thing to understand when you are doing a remodel is that you are having very intimate interactions inside the most private spaces of your home. What are the 2 most common areas that are remodeled? BATHROOMS and KITCHENS – the 2 most intimate spaces in your house! What’s the most expensive part of a construction project? Does anyone know the answer to this question? People will guess ‘the windows, the flooring, the bathrooms’ and I say, no it’s the DIVORCE! Studies show that undertaking a home construction project is ONE OF THE MOST STRESSFUL EVENTS A COUPLE CAN GO THROUGH during their marriage, it’s right up there with the loss of a job, or an affair or problems with their kids. And I tell my clients that we want to avoid this highest cost by ALL MEANS. So I make sure to communicate with the couple and make sure that they are always on the same page.