Goal Setting Tips

These basic Goal Setting Tips are organized in a sequence that will support you from thinking about your goals to actually achieving them. And remember; only about 3% of us will actually follow through with setting our goals for 2010 and beyond, so make a decision to be numbered among the few; it works!

1. Use a journal to keep track of your goals journey where you may keep daily or weekly records of your progress including affirmations, successes, appreciations for your hard work, rewards, resistances, obstacles, etc. Use your goals journal to write goals initially and to rewrite them over time. Use it to break your goals into steps. Review your progress regularly and jot a few notes.

2. Get yourself into a positive state before writing your goals: It’s really important to get yourself into an inspired, positive and relaxed state before writing goals.

3. Start brainstorming: After getting into a good mental and emotional state, start your brainstorming. Write all possible goals quickly without any editing or criticism. You can review and prioritize later; right now you want to be as creative and grand in your vision as you can be.

4. Areas of your life to consider for goal setting: Here are a number of possible areas of your life to think about when you are developing your goals list: Career, financial, relationship, family, home, friends, personal development, health, appearance, possessions, fun and recreation, travel, spiritual, self-esteem and service/community. Some types of goals include: personal development such as emotional, mental, physical and spiritual.

Then there are “thing” goals like vacations, cars, yachts, antiques, houses, etc. Another area is financial goals—savings, net worth, retirement income, investments, etc. Make sure you include some health and energy goals because they are the foundation of a successful and satisfying life.

5. Goals time frames: Goals fall into varying time periods such as: Immediate goals, 30 day goals, 6 month goals, 1 year goals, 5 years, 10 years or longer. Make sure you can accomplish what you want in the time frame you set.

6. Here are four tips for writing effective goal statements:

* Say it like it’s already happened: When writing your goal, say it like it has already happened. For example, “I now have a new silver BMW 4 door 2010 sedan.”
* Use motivating language: To get you passionate, committed and motivated, add emotional language to your written goals. Here’s an example “I absolutely love and am excited about my beautiful new home in the hills” which is much more passionate than “I like my new home in the hills”.
* Write specifically and in detail: Because your subconscious manifests things literally, you want to write specific detailed goals. Use language that is clear in describing exactly what it is you want.
* Write in positive terms rather than negative ones: Examples of positive statements might be: “I am now free of the habit of smoking”, or “I am now a smoke free person”. Negative examples might be: “I don’t smoke anymore” or “I’m not a smoker”.

7. Be sure they’re really YOUR goals: Check in with yourself to make sure that you’re thinking about what YOU really want. Often we try to please others at our own expense. You won’t be successful trying to reach the goals your parents, spouse or other friends or relatives want for you.
8. Be sure your goals are compatible: Consider your most important values and beliefs when formulating your goals (e.g. honesty, security, integrity, freedom, responsibility, respect for others, love, leadership, etc.). For instance if you value freedom, your goal might be to be self-employed.
9. Choose rational goals: Choose goals that you can actually reach in a reasonable amount of time.
10. Prioritize your goals: After you’ve brainstormed, one way to prioritize is to put the highest priority goals at 10 out of a possible 10 points and the least important at 1 out of 10.
11. Create a step-by-step plan: Break each goal down into manageable blocks creating a step-by-step plan to achieve it.
12. Use affirmations: Affirmations can move you forward dramatically in achieving your goals. Put them in the present tense as if you have already achieved them and say them out loud!
13. Model the strategies of successful people: Think of people you know or you know about who can serve as models. Modeling your actions after someone who has already achieved what you want can help you save time and prevent the painful trial and error that you would have to endure without this kind of help.
14. The 3 “R’s” – Review, Reevaluate, Rewrite: Review your goals regularly and write the steps for the day on your “to do list.” Reevaluate and rewrite your main goals every three to six months. Because things change, you may find that what you wanted a few months ago is not exactly what you want now.
15. Patience is a virtue: Don’t be too impatient—some goals take longer to manifest.
16. Keep your balance: Maintain a lighthearted attitude while working on your goals. Although commitment and persistence are important, balance in your life will keep you motivated and enthused.
17. Be public with your goals: This may create some pressure on you to keep going after what you want and will probably help you take consistent action. Be sure to only tell people who will be supportive towards your success that you are absolutely committed to reaching your goal.
18. Use a “to do” list for taking daily actions: Using a “to do” list and prioritizing your goals regularly is a useful technique.
One of the secrets of successful people is they take action on the most important things every day.
19. Give yourself rewards: It is a good idea to give yourself small regular rewards for taking incremental steps towards achieving your goals. This is in addition to rewarding yourself in a bigger way when you reach your ultimate goal
20. Take immediate and consistent action on new goals! Tony Robbins says that whenever he sets a goal he always takes at least one immediate action as quickly as possible (even a small one makes a big difference
21. Get out of your comfort zone: Often the comfort zone can work against your desire to reach your goals because it holds you in place instead of urging you forward. Your comfort zone is what makes up most of your life, all the things you already know how to do, all the habits and reliable experiences you’re used to having.
22. “Commit to change”: Imagine who you’ll become as you reach your goals and actively decide that you want to be that new and different person. The very act of formulating a goal will inevitably result in changes in you and in your life.
23. Do whatever it takes: If you really want to reach your goals, you have to decide to “pay the price.” Sometimes there are things you must do that are boring, difficult, risky or scary…it doesn’t matter how hard it is; if you want your goal you must still take the action.
24. Don’t give up: When the going gets hard, don’t give up; instead, try getting creative about new ways to get to your goal. Possibly the most important quality of the successful 3% of the participants in the Yale study was…they never gave up!
25. Get help when you need it: As you’re moving toward your goal, ask for support and help from others. Don’t be too proud to get help.
26. Take appropriate risks: Sometimes reaching your goals will require that you take risks you’re really uncomfortable with.
27. Be honest with yourself: Be honest with yourself about your progress and whether the goal is still appropriate. If it is, does it need any changes? Are you following through and taking consistent action?
28. Use imagery and visualization: Imagery and visualization can be very powerful tools in your goal achievement process. Make a point of spending a few minutes a day visualizing yourself reaching your goals – seeing, hearing, feeling as clear visualization as you can!
29. To get the things you want quickly, “act as if” you already have them: Take a photograph of yourself in your dream car at a dealership or on a boat similar to the one you want or in front of a house you’d like to own.

30. Expand your vision; the power of thinking big: Allow for the possibility that there may be greater goals or visions. Mark Victor Hansen, author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series of books, met with Tony Robbins to ask about why he (Mark) wasn’t reaching greater success.

Tony said, “Do you have a lot of millionaires in your success and networking group?” Mark said; “Yes.” Then Tony said, “Do you have any billionaires?” Mark said “No.” Tony said, “If you find one or two it will make the difference.” And that’s what Mark did…this was one of the factors that helped him to reach the pinnacle of success with the “Chicken Soup” series of books.

31. Look for unexpected opportunities: Be aware of unusual things that happen that could relate to your goals. Pay attention to seeming problems or crises; they can be opportunities in disguise.

32. Take a “mini” mental break: When you’re feeling stuck while doing disciplined mental work including working on your goals, give your mind a rest.

33. List obstacles in your journal: Writing down both inner and outer obstacles to reaching your goals can help you to become more aware of what is getting in your way. And it can help you overcome them. Often just being conscious of the difficulties helps you to find creative solutions.

34. Ways to release negative feelings: In your Goals Journal, write down anything negative that comes into your mind. Keep writing until you have a sense of completion.

35. Take action on things you’ve been putting off: Make a list of all the important things you’ve been putting off and start doing them. These things may not necessarily be directly related to your goal. Put them on your “to do” list.

36. Find your “problem areas” that may be holding you back: The concept of “problem areas” is that you may have a weakness in a certain area or a lack of skill which holds you back in other parts of your life.

37. How to handle bad days and good days: Sometimes as you’re working hard to get to your goals you’ll find that you have really bad days when you feel like you’re getting nothing done. This is a time to release your attachment to being extremely productive every day and just accept what’s happening.
38. Gratitude for what you have: This may be one of the most important tips in this entire report. Being grateful for what you have allows you to focus on the positive elements in your life, value the gifts you’ve already been given and appreciate the fruits of your goal-setting efforts.

39. Change your approach: Persistence is very important when working with goals. But sometimes you find yourself doing the same thing over and over and you aren’t getting the results you want. When this happens, try something else.

40. Don’t give up: Sometimes, after working hard to get your goal for a long period of time, when things look discouraging, you find yourself wanting to give up. This is just the critical time for you to continue taking action. Remember, “It’s often darkest before the dawn”.

41. Discipline and practice – small regular improvements: Some goals require you to commit to long-term discipline and practice. Your patience may also be tested. George Leonard, an author and accomplished martial arts teacher wrote a book about the importance of continual practice and self-discipline. One of the most important points in the book is that even when you’re on a plateau and there seems to be little or no improvement; no matter how you feel, do the practice every day. If you want to become an expert at something you have to decide to be relentless in your commitment to the self-discipline required to reach your goal.

42. How can you tell when you’re truly committed to a goal? When you think about it you get so motivated and enthusiastic that it’s easy to take action!

43. What speeds up goal achievement? Some of the things that will get you to your goal faster are: Commitment, enthusiasm/passion, thinking about the goal a lot, using imagery or visualization.

44. Surround yourself with successful supportive people: It’s very important to associate with people who have already reached the goals you want. It’s also good to spend time with people who are striving for goals similar to yours. Unsupportive friends and family may try to sabotage your efforts, be prepared for this if it happens.

45. Read success stories about others: One of the great ways for you to develop more inspiration, passion and commitment for achieving your goals is to read stories about people who have achieved outstanding success. Stories that are especially inspiring are about people who have faced great obstacles in reaching their goals. Their ingenuity, commitment and perseverance can be very motivating for you. You can also watch inspiring movies and listen to audiotapes.

Now let’s go set some goals!


Let your ‘elevator speech’ elevate your business

If you were given a 180-second opportunity to change your business forever, would you be prepared to do it on a moment’s notice? You would if you learn about the elevator speech as defined by Terri Sjodin in her new book, Small Message, Big Impact.

The book’s subtitle, How to Put the Power of the Elevator Speech to Work for You, gets right to the point: the three minutes or so that you have to introduce your product or service to a potential customer.

In meet-and-greet situations, we have a unique opportunity to start a business relationship. Knowing how to use those few minutes to your best advantage is a skill that is essential to getting to the next level. Are you prepared for this challenge?

Terri Sjodin just became your best friend. “Small Message, Big Impact” is an extremely practical guide that is clearly written and packed full of terrific examples.

I’ve known Terri for a long time, and I am a big fan of her work. As a professional speaker, I can vouch for the wisdom she shares. The way she presents the information makes it easy to absorb. In fact, each of the chapters becomes an elevator speech on its own, because she takes just the right amount of time to get the ideas across.

Sjodin defines the elevator speech this way: “A brief presentation that introduces a product, service, philosophy, or an idea. The name suggests the notion that the message should be delivered in the time span of an elevator ride, up to about three minutes. Its general purpose is to intrigue and inspire a listener to want to hear more of the presenter’s complete proposition in the near future.”

Working with that time constraint, you begin to realize that every word is significant. You can’t ramble or veer off message, or your presentation loses focus and becomes small talk. That’s where the value of her advice is most apparent: getting to the point without getting stuck on the details.

“Your goal is to be both informative and persuasive, pairing rock-solid information with compelling arguments,” Sjodin says. “If you are too informative, nothing happens. If you are too aggressive, nothing happens. Find a balance and you’ll see results.”

Drawing on the work of Professor Alan Monroe, Sjodin works through the steps of Monroe’s Motivated Sequence which describes the normal sequence of human thinking: attention, need, satisfaction, visualization and action. She translates this scholarly work into language that anyone can understand and apply to their specific situation.

Once you understand what the listener needs, the product becomes much easier to craft. With useful examples and step-by-step outlines, she takes the mystery out of what makes an effective message and how to best use those precious three minutes.

Really outstanding speakers typically meet three benchmarks, she says.
1. Case — “They have built solid persuasive cases, employing clean, logical arguments and evidence to support their message.”
2. Creativity — “Their illustrations of the talking points are really creative. They have blended thoughtful analysis and storyboarding to craft intriguing and interesting messages.”
3. Delivery — “They present their messages in their own authentic voices. There’s no boring professional mode; they aren’t canned Stepford people. Their presentation style is genuine, and people sense the truth in their delivery.”

Sjodin offers the ten basic steps to developing an elevator speech, and provides an outline worksheet that can be adapted for any situation. You couldn’t ask for a better how-to. She’s taken the guesswork out of preparing the presentation.

She emphasizes the importance of practice and evaluating your performance. She includes a thorough speech evaluation form that allows readers to assess their progress and effectiveness.

The creative approach Sjodin takes sets her book apart from so many other advice books. Borrowing from MIT meteorologist Edward Lorenz, she starts with “the butterfly effect,” the notion that a massive storm might have its roots in the faraway flapping of a tiny butterfly’s wings.

“Assume that one tiny presentation at the outset of your journey could ultimately result in the fruition of your short- and long-term plans,” she says, “and the magic of the Elevator Speech Effect can begin to generate a positive ripple effect forward. The motivation you use to put yourself out there is the potential to attain your goals and dreams.”

A great elevator speech can take you all the way to the top.

Find out how much of a deal you can get when you make an offer on a home, as well as the latest on foreclosures and some safe housing markets.

There’s no question that it’s a buyers’ market, with prices continuing to dip in the majority of U.S. metropolitan areas. But how much leverage does that give you in negotiations? That varies widely, depending on where you live, who’s selling and what type of home you’re buying. In this month’s Buying Advice, we look at what some buyers are asking for — and what they’re actually getting at the bargaining table.

We’ll also examine the discounts at which foreclosures are trading, and pinpoint five of the safest markets for homebuyers. (Hint: Two of them are in Texas.)

Buying strategy: Should you ask for the moon?
With sales sluggish, it’s tempting to make a lowball offer. But are buyers actually getting huge discounts off asking prices?

One of his clients who was looking to spend $200,000 on a home put in an offer of $190,000 on a property priced $40,000 higher — a large home with new flooring and paint. He didn’t expect much. But the gamble paid off when the sellers, heirs to an estate, took the deal after watching the property languish on the multiple listing service (MLS) for more than 30 days, even after a price reduction.

“They just wanted it to move,” “The best advice is, if you like the house, make an offer. It doesn’t hurt to try.”

Of course, just how low you go should depend on sales activity, inventory and prices in your area.

“You need to back up that offer,” she says. However, if comps come back at $150,000 for similar houses in that neighborhood, it can’t hurt to try $140,000, especially if sales are sluggish.

“A few years ago, agents wouldn’t have returned your call,” he says. But today, of course, it’s a different story.

There are exceptions: In many areas, affordable homes and condos are moving briskly as investors and other cash buyers swoop in to snag bargains.

In these niches, there can often be multiple offers on properties, and a buyer may be better off bidding his highest and best offer initially, agents say.

Likewise, homebuilders often won’t budge on asking prices for new homes because doing so would set a lower price for the rest of the development. But many will make up the difference in concessions, such as seller-paid closing costs, free granite countertops, sod and just about anything else a buyer’s heart desires.

Indeed, in some cases, builders are offering things before they are even asked. Welch recalls one couple he represented who asked a new-home salesperson if it was possible to build a pool in that community.

Just minutes after the pair walked out the door to look at another property, Welch got a text from the agent offering to throw in a pool and a fence with the home they looked at, for the same price they were quoted.

The same approach can work with sellers of existing homes, too, Edwards says. If they won’t budge on price, you could ask them to cover closing costs or pay a discount point on the loan to bring down your rate.

Distressed deals
Foreclosure sales accounted for a slightly smaller percentage of home sales last year — 26% of all transactions versus 29% in 2009, according to data firm RealtyTrac.

Even though foreclosures made up a smaller percentage of overall sales, the prices for these properties continued to slide, weighing heavily on the properties around them.

In the fourth quarter of last year, foreclosure sales traded for 28% below the average price for traditional listings, compared with a 27% discount in 2009 and 22% in 2008.

A total of 149,303 foreclosure sales were recorded in the fourth quarter of 2010, down 22% from the previous quarter and down 45% from the fourth quarter of 2009.

RealtyTrac execs blame the slowdown on the expiration of the first-time homebuyers tax credit and some de facto moratoriums on repossessions as banks re-examined their processes after last year’s foreclosure documentation controversy.

The biggest foreclosure discounts — 35% or more off the average transaction price — could be found in 10 states: Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, California, Pennsylvania, Illinois, New Jersey, Michigan, Georgia and Wisconsin.

So, where is stability to be found?
We’ve gotten lots of questions here at MSN from people wanting to know which markets are the safest for prospective homebuyers — those with the least immediate risk and most upside potential over the next several years.

We asked the folks at Local Market Monitor to give us their predictions for five of the top havens for buyers — places with a population of more than 200,000 where the immediate outlook is calm and modestly optimistic over the next two years.

Those looking for stability should do their homework, says Carolyn Beggs, LMM’s chief operating officer.

“Homebuyers should look at data on employment, job growth, job-sector concentrations and income growth … to get an indication of (a market’s) health.”

The latest sales snapshot
Existing-home sales in the U.S. climbed 5.3% in January from the same time a year ago, according to the National Association of Realtors — the third monthly sales increase. However, the median home price dipped 3.7% to $158,800 from January 2010. Who’s buying? One in four sales went to bargain-hungry investors, and 32% of all sales were all-cash deals.

Remember: Your questions are welcome. We’d love to answer them in future installments of this column. So please submit them in the comments section below or on MSN Real Estate’s Facebook page, or e-mail them to refdback@microsoft.com. Please keep in mind that short questions with the broadest range of interest have the highest chance of being answered.

How to Buy a HUD Home

HUD Foreclosures For Sale:
Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) residential foreclosures are available throughout the United States. The sales process for purchasing a HUD home isn’t quite the same as you’ll encounter when buying a home from an individual, so take a few notes before you go home shopping.

What is a HUD home?:
The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is a part of HUD–the part that provides federal mortgage insurance. If a foreclosed home was purchased with a loan insured by the FHA, the lender can file a claim for the balance due on the mortgage. FHA pays the lender’s claim, then transfers ownership of the property to HUD, which sells the home.

How much do HUD homes cost?:
HUD homes are appraised, then priced at fair market value for their location. The price of a home in need of repairs is adjusted downwards to reflect the investment the new owner must make to improve the home.

Will HUD make the repairs?:
HUD homes are sold as-is. The new owner is responsible for all repairs and improvements.

How do I find a HUD home?:
You can view HUD listings by following state links on HUD’s Web site. Each state’s Internet destination is set up a little differently, so take some time to browse the search engines and layout.

When you’ve located a home you would like to see, any HUD-approved real estate office can show you the property. They are listed on the web site. HUD employees do not work with home buyers–you must use an agent.

Do I simply make an offer to purchase a home?:
HUD foreclosures are sold using a bidding process. There’s an Offer Period, during which sealed bids are accepted from your agent. At the end of that period, all offers are opened. HUD will generally accept the highest bid, or the bid that brings them the highest net.

If the home remains unsold after the initial period, bids are opened as received.

If your bid is accepted, your agent will be notified within a day or two. You will be given a settlement date, usually 30-60 days from the date of your accepted contract.
HUD will pay real estate agencies a commission of up to 6% for the sale of the home. Be aware that to get paid, the selling agent must insert wording in the contract that verifies HUD will pay his or her commission.

Will HUD finance the home?:
HUD does not finance homes. You’ll need to arrange for conventional or other financing. Be sure your financing is in order before you make an offer. If your bid is accepted, and you do not close on the house, you may lose the earnest money deposit you submitted with the offer.

Should I have a professional home inspection?:
Home inspections are recommended for any home purchase. You should inspect a HUD foreclosure before you make the offer to purchase. It will help you determine a bidding price, especially if repairs are required.

Homes build prior to 1978 may contain lead paint, so learn more lead paint hazards before making an offer. Other items to consider are asbestos content, buried storage tanks, and other environmental hazards.

Can I buy a HUD foreclosure for investment purposes?:
During the initial offering, HUD homes are usually available only to those who wish to live in the home. If an owner-occupant does not bid on the home, investors are allowed to enter the bidding process.

Does HUD offer other programs?:
If foreclosures are not sold within six months, HUD will sell them for $1 each to approved nonprofit organizations and government agencies. Homes must then be used create housing for families in need or to benefit neighborhoods.

HUD offers special home purchase programs for teachers and full time law enforcement officers.

6 must-do’s for homebuyers

The days when you couldn’t go wrong in real estate are long gone, but that doesn’t mean homeownership is a mistake. Here’s how to get it right.

You might be ready to buy a home, but are you armed with the knowledge you need? Do you know about credit score requirements? Are you familiar with flexible standards on Federal Housing Administration loans?

Whether you are a first-time homebuyer or an experienced owner, buying a house requires a “preflight check.

Here is a six-item checklist, including tips on two types of savings you need, plus advice about what’s more important than buying a house for its resale value:

1. Strengthen your credit score
It’s a brave, new world with respect to credit requirements for mortgages.
One old rule still applies: The higher your credit score, the lower your down payment and monthly payments.
Below 660 or 680, you’re either going to have to pay sizable fees or a higher down payment. And that’s pretty much the cutoff range for getting a mortgage.
Where will mortgage rates go this year?
While there are many qualified borrowers in the 580 range, the market today is probably (looking for) 640 to 660, at a minimum.
On the other end, a score of 700 to 720 will get you a good deal and 750 and above will garner the best rates on the market.
Improve your chances by: pulling your credit reports and ensuring you’re not being unfairly penalized for old, paid or settled debts.
Stop applying for new credit a year before you apply for financing. And keep the moratorium in place until after you close on your home.

2. Figure out how much house you can afford
The buyer’s mantra: Get a home that’s financially comfortable.
There are various rules of thumb that will help you get an idea of how much home you can afford. If you’re using FHA financing, as almost one-fifth of buyers do, your home payment can’t exceed 31% of your monthly income. But, with some mitigating factors, FHA will let you go higher.
For conventional loans, a safe formula is that home expenses should not exceed 28% of your gross monthly income.
Improve your chances by: trying on that financial obligation long before you sign the mortgage papers. Before you home shop, calculate the mortgage payment for the home in your intended price range, along with the increased expenses (such as taxes, insurance and utilities). Then bank the difference between that and what you pay now.
Not only does it allow you to build a nice nest egg, but “you can back away from it” or scale back if the payments start to pinch.

3. Save for down-payment and closing costs
Depending on your credit and financing, you’ll typically need to save enough money to put anywhere from 3.5% to 20% down.
If you’re using FHA financing, then you need a score of 500 or higher. And in the 500 to 579 range, if you can find a lender, you’ll have to put 10% down instead of 3.5%.
One exception: Veterans Affairs loans, which require no down payment.
Another cash expense: closing costs. Whatever your loan source, you’ll need money to pay closing costs, which run (depending on where you live), from $2,300 to $4,000.
Improve your chances by: banking your own money while you search out down-payment assistance. Often it’s location-based or tagged to a certain type of buyer, like first-timers. So do an Internet search with the city name, then the county name, along with word combinations such as “down-payment assistance,” “first-time homebuyers” and “homebuyer’s assistance.”
In a buyer’s market, you can also negotiate to have the seller pay a portion of the closing costs.

4. Build a healthy savings account
This is over and above your money for the down payment and closing. Your lender wants to see that you’re not living paycheck to paycheck. If you have three to five months’ worth of mortgage payments set aside, that makes you a much better loan candidate. And some lenders and backers, like the FHA, will give you a little more latitude on other factors if they see that you have a cash cushion.
That money will also help you with maintenance and repair issues that come up when you own a home. While repairs are sporadic, the bill for a new roof, water heater or other big-ticket item can hit suddenly and hard.
Improve your chances by: setting aside money every month. Plan to spend 2.5% to 3% of your home’s value annually on upkeep, repairs and maintenance, says Joseph Gyourko, the chairman of the real-estate department at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. If you’re buying a $250,000 home, aim to bank $520 to $625 per month.

5. Get preapproved for a mortgage
For serious home shoppers, “the No. 1 thing is they better have everything in order. That means that, before the real home shopping begins, you want to get financing in place.
And the preapproval process is “much more extensive” than it was a few years ago, he says.
That documentation around income and assets is very essential, more so than in the last five years,” she says.
Improve your chances by: getting financing in place “before you walk through the first house,” Gaylord says. Otherwise, he says, “How do you know how much you can afford?”

6. Buy a house you like
If you’re buying today for yourself and your family, you want a home that will make you happy for the next few years.
Gone are the days when you could count on a quick sale, Tiffany says. And depending on how much you put down, and how much you have to shell out to sell and relocate, short-term ownership can be a pretty expensive proposition.
Improve your chances by: stepping back, Gyourko says, and making certain “you like the house.”