5 Lessons From Monopoly On the Home Buying Process

The CPF Team
October 7, 2022

If you have ever played Monopoly, you know how competitive and heated that game board can get; arguments can steam up over property loss, pulling that “go to jail” card can result in a fist fight, and your sweet auntie can turn into a ruthless real estate mogul. But did you know that Monopoly can teach you some valuable lessons about the home buying process?

The goal of Monopoly is to become the richest and most powerful landowner in town, but the strategies and rules applied to the game can also be utilized by homebuyers. From being open to different types of properties to winning a bidding war, here is what the game of Monopoly can teach us about the home buying process.

Patience is Needed in the Home Buying Process

When somebody chooses Monopoly for family game night, you know that you’re in for a long night. You change into your comfy PJs, grab a snack, and settle in for hours of competitive board gaming.

The game of Monopoly is long because of the world you are building: you are slowly and strategically accumulating property and wealth so that you can become the richest player on the board. 

While buying a new home for you and your family is not quite as ruthless, it is definitely not a quick and easy process. Before you even start looking at potential homes, you have to get pre-approved for a mortgage loan. On average, mortgage loan applications can take anywhere from 30-60 days to be approved, depending on the state of the market. And closing on your home can take around 30 days, which includes the appraisal, home inspection, and submitting your offer. 

Fortunately, our quick custom quotes and streamlined online application process allows us to offer our clients a fast closing of 20 days or less. 

Properties Are Not Always What They Seem

In Monopoly, you might want to buy the highest valued properties right away, like Boardwalk and Park Place. It is true that these higher priced properties end up having the best return on your investment. But, in reality a high loan to value ratio of an expensive property like this may not be worth it. 

Just like Monopoly, you want to review your loan options and compare your list of “wants” with a list of “needs”. Be open minded to moving somewhere that meets all of your needs, but forces you to give up some of your wishlist items.

Famously, real estate is all about “location, location, location.” If you are moving to a new city, work with your real estate agent who will know the best, up-and-coming neighborhoods in town. You might buy a cheaper house and get ahead of the curve in a neighborhood that is about to hit its stride.

So while a potential neighborhood may not have all the bells and whistles of Park Place, take a step back and see if it would meet your needs. 

  • Is it in a good school district?
  • Are the crime rates low? 
  • Are there any potential new developments nearby? 

There are many aspects to consider when choosing a new place to live, so don’t just take a neighborhood at face value - do the research and keep an open mind.

Expect Additional Home Ownership Fees

Let’s say you’re doing incredibly well on the Monopoly board. Your family is paying rent on your properties left and right, you’re buying up more properties and making sound investments. 

But then, you pull the Community Chest card: "You are assessed for street repairs: $40 for each house and $115 per hotel." In Monopoly, just like life, you never know what card fate is going to deal to you. 

In the home buying process, there is a lot that can cause frustration.Maybe you did not provide the proper documentation to your loan officer, so your application is delayed.Or maybe, you found the house of your dreams, but your home inspector found termites and a hefty crack in the foundation.

Throughout the process, there are countless things that can go wrong. All you can do is hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

Make sure that you are in constant communication with your mortgage broker and real estate agent; they will help you take every possible step to ensure that you can move into your new home as quickly and painlessly as possible. But ultimately, be prepared for occasional setbacks and investments in your property.

A Bidding War - What is it Good For?

As we all know, Monopoly can get contentious. Part of what makes the game so exciting is that you can trade and buy properties from other players. 

Monopoly doesn't have rules for this particular aspect of the game, so anything goes! If you really want Atlantic Avenue, because it will complete your color set, you can bribe or use whatever assets you have to get it. But ultimately, it's up to the property owner to choose whether or not to give it to you.

Home sellers also have complete control over who they sell their homes to. You could very well find the home of your dreams and end up in a bidding war with another potential buyer. And while bribery isn't a method you should use outside of Monopoly, your real estate agent will be well-acquainted with the rules of the game and will advocate for you.

Just like in Monopoly, the first step in winning a bidding war is understanding what the seller wants. From there you and your real estate agent can devise a strategy. 

It helps if you already have a preapproval letter as it shows that you are serious in your commitment to the property and gives you an edge against competitors.

Since there are mountains of legalities associated with buying and selling homes, it is not recommended by industry professionals that buyers and sellers communicate directly. Just trust your agent to communicate your wants and needs to the selling agent. They will take the appropriate actions and work to secure your dream home.

Strategy is Key: Rely on your Mortgage Lender 

In Monopoly, there are a variety of strategies you can use to win. In order to do this, you might think that you should use all of your resources to buy the most expensive properties on the board. 

It might be a better idea to start with more affordable, less glamorous properties and save your bank balance. Develop and invest in the properties you own and don’t stretch yourself so thin. In a way, Monopoly prepares you for your home buying process by encouraging you to practice balancing risk and reward.

Just like the game, strategy is key to the home buying process. While there are some strategies that homebuyers can use to get luck on their side, much of this strategy will fall to your real estate agent. Picking a highly rated real estate agent is crucial in this process; they know the tricks of the trade and the local real estate landscape.

Check out our list of Dos and Don'ts of the Home Buying Process, to get some ideas on strategies you can use to secure the home of your dreams. 

Overall, try to approach your home buying process like you would a game of Monopoly; be patient, have a solid yet flexible strategy, and be prepared for potential setbacks. 

Your dream home is on the other side of this process, so trust in your real estate agent and mortgage brokers because they’re the experts of this game.

Explore your Home Financing Options with CPF Mortgage

Although the housing market doesn't come with an instruction manual like Monopoly, there are professional mortgage lenders or brokers available to help you navigate the market and explore your options.

For more information on the home buying process, you can contact us directly from our website or call (727) 732-4179 to get started today.

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Christopher Paul Financial, LLC dba CPF Mortgage is a Florida mortgage lender NMLS 222883, Florida state license MLD929, Colorado registered mortgage company NMLS 222883, licensed Tennessee mortgage lender NMLS 222883, and Georgia Residential Mortgage Licensee NMLS 222883. The main office is located at 10710 State Road 54, Ste. C101, Trinity, FL 34655. All loan approvals are credit driven, and all decisions are based on underwriting credit approvals. All rates, terms, and programs are subject to change without notice. Borrowers should consider their options carefully when choosing a loan program.
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