Excel and spreadsheets in general are incredibly powerful tools which can be used for a vast range of versatile purposes. This is particularly true when it comes to buying a home too, at which point you will find that there are a number of very powerful uses for a well thought out spreadsheet…
Of course the most obvious use for a spreadsheet is to help you budget for your new home. This is a very useful way to make sure that you stay on track and that you manage to raise the finances you need, and you’ll find that it can make a huge difference to your stress levels when you’re in the process of saving.
Essentially you’re going to use your spreadsheet to create a list of all your incomings and all your outgoings. You will then use this list in order to work out precisely how much you will be able to save each month, and on that basis what kind of mortgage you’ll be able to afford by when. You can also then use this as a guide for when you’ll be able to move and when you need to start saving etc.
You can also use Excel as a useful decision-maker if you’re having difficulties deciding between two or more properties. To do this you will essentially turn the sheet into a ‘pros and cons’ list, except that you will also ‘weight’ each pro and each con according to how important they are and you will score both properties on each point.
So for instance, you might rate both properties for location, and score one of them 2/5 and the other 4/5. Likewise you could score each property for price and score one 2/5 and one 5/5. However you might decide that for you the price is more important than the location, and so you could choose to give this the higher weighting. Turning this into a percentage of the overall score, you could then say that 2 = 20% for the second point, but only 10% for the first.
Add up both sets of scores at the end and you will be able to see at a glance which of the properties is the best option for you overall – taking into account all the different pros and cons and all of your specific individual requirements.
This decision making process can be useful for making life decisions in general and doesn’t just apply to properties. It can work even more effectively though if you apply a ‘lens’ and focus on one particular goal. Thus each score becomes a representation of how well that option will help you work towards your particular goal.
So for instance, going on holiday somewhere a little cheaper might have several negatives, but ultimately it would score the highest overall by best helping afford your future property in the long run. Make every decision using this process and eventually you will get that dream property.