New Year, New Home: Setting Realistic Real Estate Goals

You're feeling ambitious as the new year approaches. Why not set some new home resolutions to work toward over the next 12 months? While making lofty real estate goals is tempting, keeping your expectations realistic will set you up for success. Focus on progress, not perfection.

Maybe this is the year you finally buy your first home or move into a bigger place as your family expands. Small steps like decluttering your space or reorganizing your finances can make a big difference. The key is choosing resolutions that motivate you and then breaking them into manageable milestones.

If homeownership is your eventual aim, start by saving for a down payment and improving your credit. You've got this - remember that slow and steady wins the race. Keep your new home resolutions within reach, and you'll be well on your way to achieving them.

Reflect on Your Real Estate Goals for the Former Year

It’s time to review your real estate goals and set new, realistic ones for the coming year. Think about what you accomplished this year and the lessons learned. Then, ponder where you want to be 12 months from now.

Did you buy or sell a home this year? If so, evaluate what went well and how you can improve for your next transaction. If homeownership is still a goal, determine what steps to take to make it happen, like improving your credit score or saving for a down payment. Start with small milestones to keep you on track without feeling overwhelmed.

Maybe you want to move to a new neighborhood or upgrade to a larger house. Define what you’re looking for so you’ll know when you see it. Check recent sales to determine a target price range. Meet with a real estate agent to discuss your wish list and time frame for finding and moving into your new place.

Not ready to buy or sell just yet? That’s ok. Set a plan to prepare for when the time is right. Pay off debt by spending less and budgeting better, putting you in a stronger position later on. Educate yourself on the home-buying process so you’ll feel confident when searching for properties.

This is the start of a new year and new opportunities. Set practical real estate resolutions and revisit them regularly. Make adjustments as needed to keep your goals on track. With determination and patience, you'll achieve excellent results!

Set Specific, Measurable Real Estate Goals for the Year

Now that the ball has dropped and the new year is here, it’s time to set realistic real estate goals for the year ahead. Having concrete objectives will help keep you on track to achieving your homeownership dreams.

Focus on your “why”

Why do you want to buy a home? Maybe you're looking for more space, stability, or an investment. Define your motivation so you can use it as motivation during the process.

Set a deadline

Give yourself a target date to work toward, like accepting an offer by the end of the third quarter. Deadlines create urgency and accountability. Make sure it’s realistic based on your local market and financial situation.

Determine your budget

Work with a mortgage lender to calculate how much you can borrow and set a maximum price. Know how much you can put down and can afford for a monthly payment, property taxes, and insurance. Stick to a budget that won’t strap you financially.

Get pre-approved for a mortgage

Getting pre-approved shows sellers you’re serious. It also gives you an accurate idea of how much you can spend so you can focus your search. Shop at different banks and credit unions for the best rates and fees.

Start looking at listings

Check sites like The Golfi Team to view available properties in your target areas. See what’s in your price range so you know what to expect. Look for new listings each week and be ready to schedule showings and make offers once you’re under contract.

With clearly defined goals, deadlines, and a realistic budget, you'll be well on your way to achieving your new year's new home resolutions. Stay focused on your priorities, and don't get discouraged by delays or setbacks. Your dream home is out there, you have to work for it!

Be Realistic About Your Budget and Timeframe

When setting real estate goals, you need to consider what is achievable based on your budget and the timeline you have in mind. Look at your []finances and see how much you can afford to put down on a house and pay for a monthly mortgage. Get pre-approved for a mortgage so you know your price range. Don’t waste time looking at homes outside your budget.

Give yourself at least six months to find a house, make an offer, go through inspections, complete paperwork, and close on your new place. The process always takes longer than you expect. Add several more months if you need to sell your current home first. Buying and selling within a few months is extremely difficult and stressful.

Be flexible with your move-in date. Very few home purchases close on the date you hope for due to delays with inspections, appraisals, or paperwork. Build some buffer time into your plans in case there are setbacks. Consider doing a rent-back from the sellers for a month or two after closing so you can move in without feeling rushed.

Compromise when needed. You likely won’t find a house that checks every box on your wish list, especially with a limited budget or timeline. Decide what factors are most important and be willing to sacrifice in other areas. You can always make upgrades and changes to a house over time. Focus on location, lot size, and layout since those are harder to modify.

Setting achievable real estate goals for the year will make the home-buying process less stressful and increase your chances of success. Do your research, understand your limitations, and stay flexible. With realistic expectations, you'll find yourself in your new home before you know it!

Prioritize Your Top 1-3 Real Estate Goals

Prioritizing your top real estate goals for the new year will help give you direction and focus. Start by choosing one to three realistic goals to work towards over the next 12 months. Some options to consider include:

Pay off your mortgage

If you have a mortgage, making extra payments or paying it off completely would be life-changing. Determine how much you can afford to put towards your monthly mortgage and develop a payoff plan. Paying off this long-term debt will free up monthly money and give you more financial freedom.

Buy an investment property

Purchasing a rental property is an intelligent way to build equity and generate income. Decide what type of property you want to invest in, like a single-family home, condo or multi-unit building. Then, determine your budget, preferred location and financing options. Work with your agent to find the right investment opportunity and tenants to make it cash flow positively each month.

Sell your current home

Maybe this is the year you finally want to sell the home you're in and move on to something new. Meet with your real estate agent to determine a listing price, make any needed repairs or upgrades, and market the property to find a qualified buyer. Selling your home is a big undertaking, so make this a top priority if it's one of your main goals for the year.

Whatever goals you choose, break them down into actionable steps and benchmarks to keep you accountable. Check-in on your progress regularly and make adjustments as needed. Staying focused and persistent will help turn your real estate resolutions into realities. Celebrate achieving your goals - you deserve it! The hard work will have paid off.

Track Your Progress and Celebrate Milestones

Celebrate the milestones along the way to stay on track with your real estate goals for the new year. Each small win keeps you motivated to continue progressing.

Check-in quarterly

Set aside time each quarter to review where you are with your goals. See what’s working and not working. Make adjustments to your action plan as needed. Reward yourself for achieving short-term goals to stay motivated for the long haul.

Share your success

Let close ones know about the milestones you’ve reached. Talking about your achievements makes them feel more natural and helps solidify them in your mind. Your supporters can also cheer you on, keeping you accountable. They may even share in your enthusiasm and take action on their own goals.

Big wins deserve big rewards

When you achieve a major milestone like getting preapproved for a mortgage or having an offer accepted on a home, do something to commemorate it. Take a nice dinner out, plan a weekend getaway, or buy yourself something you’ve wanted. You’ve earned it!

Looking forward to the reward along the way will motivate you to push through obstacles.

Learn and improve

With each evaluation, look at what’s working and not working. See how you can streamline your process and avoid repeating mistakes. Make a plan to improve for the next quarter. Discuss ways you can strengthen your position with your agent or a mortgage broker. Continuous improvement and learning lead to progress over the long run.

Stay flexible

While having a plan is important, don’t be afraid to adapt as needed. Review how the market and interest rates are changing and adjust accordingly. Make sure your goals still align with your priorities. Make changes to your action plan based on obstacles and new opportunities. Staying nimble allows you to take advantage of a hot market.


Those were some realistic yet inspiring real estate goals for you this new year. Don't forget, Rome wasn't built in a day, so start small and build up from there. Even accomplishing one of these resolutions will put you in a better position. You've got this! Make this year your year to take control of your living situation finally.

Stay focused on your goals, but also be kind to yourself along the way. You deserve to have a home you genuinely love. Keep putting one foot in front of the other, and before you know it, you'll be well on your way to finding your dream home sweet home. The future is yours to build!

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