Do you buy a new Arlington VA home with your heart … or with your head?

I was showing some condos at the Hyde Park in Ballston to some very nice clients the other day, and after seeing about five 1-bedroom condos for sale in the building, they told me they were going to go home and “crunch the numbers.”

As you might imagine, I hear those words a lot.

When I crunch numbers for my own decision-making, it’s very interesting how even my emotions can have an impact on how those numbers are crunched. People can so easily influence the outcome of the number crunching based on the assumptions they make. I used to work quite a bit with statistics, so I have a little experience with this.  That’s why, when I work through the numbers with my clients, I am sure that we do it all on paper, using a calculator, so that we actually see the numbers without any mental rounding taking place.  You can still trick yourself into doing what the heart wants (and the heart does usually win), but at least with the cold, hard numbers written in front of you, maybe on a spreadsheet, you can try to control the hearts power.

So, which one will win … the head … or the heart?   It’s best when they align, but this condo-purchasing couple almost seemed to demonstrate the power of each — she is eager to buy her new first place in Arlington and make a home, he needs to see that the numbers make sense.

The good news with these Hyde Park condos is that those two things may align for them. The building is a solid investment.  Prices have dropped to the point where a purchase makes sense (below 2004 average price), there is a relatively large inventory in the building which means a buyer has more negotiating power, and it’s located just across the street from the Ballston Mall and so close to the Ballston metro.  AND, these are great condos with large square footage, large balconies, and some with beautifully renovated kitchens and baths.  Two of the condos are move-in ready and would make a great HOME.

We will see… My approach is not pushy.  My clients are smart people, and they can work it out.

Now … do I buy the nice metal toolbox or the plastic one that holds just a much … do I buy generic brand sugar or the gourmet brand … do I decide to go with concrete or stone for my new patio… decisions, decisions … !