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  • Writer's pictureDaniel Lumbang

SMART Planning to Buy

Updated: Oct 25, 2023

A Difficult Reality

Let’s be real. The American Dream of homeownership is becoming out of reach for many. According to the US Census Bureau, only 55.3 percent of people in California report owning the home they reside in.[1] However you will not really know until you have that conversation with a trusted REALTOR® and plan.

Source: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis (U.S. Census Bureau data)

If you work with Lumbang Realty Associates, we keep it SMART: Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, Reachable, Time-bound.

Even if you do not decide to buy the house or invest, you will still be in a better position financially than if you have not. Let us break it down a bit.


Specific: Define clear and specific homeownership goals. Specificity will give you a clear target to aim for: Why do you want the home? What is your lifestyle? Work? What type of property? For Investment? The location? Are you Flexible to relocate? Budget?

Measurable: Establish metrics–quantifiable objectives. Identify the exact numbers you need: down payment, closing costs, and other home-related expenses. Depending on natural hazards in your area, insurance amongst other things. The best way to get a grounding is to be pre-approved. Our partner Jason Farr will give you that exact breakdown for your goal. Let’s get you pre-approved with AFC 360!

Action-Oriented: Develop a concrete action plan. Create a budget that allocates funds for your home buying fund and establish a savings schedule. It can be a small automatic investment monthly, or a larger quarterly deposit. Prioritize high interest debt—focus on paying minimums on other debt obligations then every so often pay more than the minimum for high-interest. It could be as simple as cooking more and eating out less. Most importantly, having a conversation with a REALTOR® and mortgage officer. Let’s chat!

Reachable: Ensure your goals are attainable within your financial capacity. Homeownership is a significant achievement, therefore set realistic targets that consider your current income, expenses, and lifestyle. Think: What am I doing now that affect my preparedness to buy/invest in a home.

Time-Bound: Set a timeframe for achieving your homeownership goal. One to 5 years? Maybe it is 10-20 years, who knows. Everyone's journey is different. If you do not know, does not hurt to start having the conversation now to see where you can be.


Sometimes you just need to write it out a bit to see the bigger picture. Doesn’t have to be fancy. Planning SMART, to achieve your goal, is efficient and simple. What can be even better is talking to someone you trust in being a thought partner in helping you develop your home ownership plan. I can be that trusted person and have your back, every step of the way.

[1] "CAHOWN - Homeownership Rate," Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, FRED, last modified March 15, 2023, accessed 10/17/2023,

* The views expressed are solely of the writer and in no way representative of Fathom Realty Group Inc., Real Estate America, Lumbang Realty Associates, and all real estate associations said writer is a member of. Any portrayal contrary is subject to legal action or arbitration. *

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