4 Lessons March Madness Can Teach About Homebuying

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For college basketball fans, March is an all-encompassing, schedule-rearranging, emotional roller coaster. “March Madness” doesn’t just take over your free time, but your news feed, work conversations, and of course, that anguished bracket.

If you’re considering buying a home, be prepared for the same kind of excitement. Settle in and get ready for the ride of a lifetime. Here are four lessons potential homebuyers can learn from March Madness.

1. You’re going to be surprised.

Nearly every year, Americans fall in love with some small college basketball team that unexpectedly upsets a traditional winner. Maybe it’s Austin Peay State University, Middle Tennessee State, or some other little-known team who comes from behind and wins the hearts of fans. Similarly, you may assume you know exactly what you’re looking for in a home, but by being open-minded, you may fall in love with something else entirely. A new construction home with all the bells and whistles may be tempting, but the updated bungalow with a large backyard and mature trees may offer the charm and personality you didn’t even know you wanted.

2. The final number is all that matters.

A basketball team doesn’t get extra points for being ranked higher than its opponent, or for being up by 20 points at halftime. All that really matters for advancing in the tournament is what the scoreboard says at the final buzzer. In the same way, your mortgage provider may have advertised a super-low interest rate last year when you started looking for houses, or even last week. But if you haven’t locked it in, that low rate will not be your rate. The only one that really matters is the lowest one you can get when you’re actually ready to buy the home.

3. There’s no substitute for effective coaching.

Any team can have a standout player for a couple of years who leads them to a strong, if not amazing, showing in the tournament. But the teams who build legacies for always performing well, year after year, aren’t riding on one or two great players. They are led by a great coach who knows what his players need and how to communicate it to them, year after year. Like in basketball, you’ll have a better chance of mortgage success if you have an informed, experienced advisor.Mortgage advisors are knowledgeable about a wide variety of mortgage types and can guide you in finding the mortgage that will work best for your particular situation.

4. Always expect the unexpected.

Your March Madness bracket is completely theoretical. Every game results in another winner and another loser, changing the eventual outcome of the tournament. Similarly, the mortgage process can have stops and starts, changing closing dates and requests for additional information. You can handle the process best by being flexible, preparing to respond to requests promptly, and taking changes in stride. Every provider has different timeframes so make sure they can work with what you need.

When the tournament ends, the team that stands tall gets a trophy—and when you stay committed through the mortgage process, you get the house you wanted for the loan that works best for you.

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