How to Write Your Vision of Home
Your "Vision of Home" statement is not simply a vision of a house, but a statement describing the desired state of your life after you buy your home. Here's how to draft the vision of your dream house.
Your "Vision of Home" statement is not simply a vision of a house or even of several houses, but a statement describing the desired state of your life after you buy your home -- all elements of your life, including where, how and how much you live, work, play, rest, etc. Doing some soul-searching at this point can have a huge impact on the endgame, which is a combination of (a) success at the enterprise of buying a home, and (b) wellness (financially and otherwise) throughout your career as a homeowner (which lasts way longer than the buying process itself).
1. Why Do You Need a Vision of Home and How Will You Use It?
Before you've even started house hunting, you have already made a commitment. The Vision will help you maintain this commitment, through all the drudgery and detail work involved in getting your home. The idea is to paint such a vivid picture of the life you want that it excites you to action and keeps your commitment, energy and enthusiasm levels high -- from start to finish.
Fully engaging in and completing this exercise during the house hunt will place you in an incredible position of power when it comes to communicating your needs and wants to your team of professionals, and staying on track throughout your process. In fact, depending on how specific your Vision statement is, you might be able to pull from it a subset of points to describe the place you're looking for to your agent. Having a written Vision will also help keep you accountable to yourself throughout (and long after) the process of buying a home, helping you make decisions about how much to spend and, in turn, how much house to buy, that are consistent with your lifestyle needs and preferences.
Finally, this Vision thing, used properly, can be a big-time stress manager even after you've found the house you want. I joke with my clients that the day everyone signs the purchase contract is the last day any of the parties are happy with the price. The seller calls their agent that night stressed that they took too little, and the buyer is remorseful that they paid too much! If, no, when you experience buyer's remorse, you'll have your Vision of Home there as a concrete reminder of what you wanted before you got mired in the detail of getting it. If the place you're in contract to buy (and the terms of the purchase contract) places you well on your path to your Vision -- you're good to go. If not, you still have time to reexamine the decision making that led you there before your deposit money is forfeited, giving you the opportunity to back out of the contract at little or no cost if you feel your compromises have been too extreme.
2. How to Draft Your Vision of Home
There are definitely elements which must be covered, but the form of this document can be totally driven by your style; a one-page list of bullet points works for one house hunter, while another might want to journal an epic 10 page narrative. Whatever works! You just need to get started. Here's how.