Property Wisdom – Keep Your Emotions in Check

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Emotions run rampant when purchasing property. Keep them in check or you’ll be paying the price for years to come, says property expert Laura Henderson.

“Comfort in expressing your emotions will allow you to share the best of yourself with others, but not being able to control your emotions will reveal your worst.” Bryant H McGill

‘Property lust at first sight’ - PLAFS, is a dangerous thing. Why? Because in the first few minutes of viewing a potential new home, your sensory organs go into overdrive - they tell you how you feel and what you want in that moment. Unfortunately, they don’t alert you to the potential consequences of satisfying those desires.

It’s only after you’ve moved in, that the negatives you chose to ignore begin to surface. You realise that buying that “bigger” house in a location that adds an hour to your daily commute, leaves you too exhausted to enjoy all that “extra garden”. Buyers who get caught up in the moment soon quickly discover another downside of PLAFS. The passion is short-lived. Once these emotional receptors do their job, they push us to seek happiness in something else. So is there any way to escape this dopamine trap?

Our ‘gut reaction’, which insists on immediate gratification, will always be with us. But you can make this work in your favour if you can detach yourself long enough to determine the nature of an overwhelming attraction – it is lust or love? If you’ve fallen for a particular property, ask yourself whether you love the kitchen because of the latest designer appliances and slinky granite or because the layout of the room makes casual dining easier. The house that will make you happiest isn’t the biggest, the most amenity-laden or the one with the party-on patio. It’s the one where you can build memories; celebrate life’s events – anniversaries, Sunday lunch with the family and barbecues under the brolly.

Laura Henderson is a property columnist, author and investment expert. Her latest book Tricks and Mortar: The Little Book of Property Wisdom (Book Guild Publishing) is out now on Amazon.

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