Most of us have heard the phrase: measure twice cut once. There are other wisdoms I’ve learned from my hobby of remodeling and construction that I have applied many times at work and home.
The Housing Resource Center works with hundreds of people in a housing crisis every month. We sometimes work with an individual or household who has particular requests of their next home. Yes, all of us do, when it comes to the place we want to live. I encourage choice and have categorized many of the housing choices we have.
Many of the people we work with have a date that they have to be out of their current place. Many of the people we work with have limited incomes. And many people we work with want a particular area or specific amenity such as a place near the bus line. So, when someone wants a particular area, at a very low cost, and need it right now, and we can’t meet their needs I remember a wise contractor who would ask, “Do you want it quick, cheap, or good – pick two?” Sometimes compromises are necessary. Finding good, clean, affordable housing is not easy, but it is essential. For those who must leave a place in a month or two, they may have to make a choice between paying much more for a place then they desire or choosing a place outside of their desired location.
Those who must have a great price or even a subsidy may have a long wait. Those who must have a very specific location are going to have to compromise the price or if the price is reasonable, the quality may be compromised.
We usually teach people about setting up short- and long-term housing goals. The place we can get fast is usually a place that will not meet all our needs. That’s the short-term plan. At the same time, work on a long-term housing goal to find a place in your price range and where you want to be. Quick, is often the best of the three choices to give up when planning for your home. Yes, the lessons learned on the construction have been a great service.