Buying a Home Using Project Management

October 25, 2011

Purchasing a home is a big event that requires a lot of planning, patience and consideration. From start to finish, you’re faced with several steps that require care and leadership to get you to closing day and signing on the dotted lines. Experience gained as a project manager (PM) will help you prepare for such a big event. There are a lot of parallels in buying a home which you can draw from that closely relate to project management.

The Stakeholders

As a project manager, stakeholder management is vital to keep everyone in a project moving toward the completion of a project. While there are many changes that occur during projects, as the PM, it’s your job to communicate the altered requirements and make sure there’s a positive force driving everyone. Some stakeholders may find it difficult to work with others on the team, and your role as the PM is to lessen the bumps in the road and keep the end product in sight.

When purchasing a home, there are many stakeholders involved that will help determine whether you’re successful in the endeavor. A spouse or partner will have a big say in what happens during the process. His/her ideas, decisions and financial status will all play a vital role in whether you get the house. If you’re financing the home, the mortgage company will also be a significant stakeholder that determines if you can even qualify to buy a home. Other stakeholders include real estate agents (moving the transaction along), home inspectors (making sure the home is safe), and the seller/builder (can help or hurt the transaction from being completed).

Your job will be to communicate and keep everyone on the same track. You’ll probably put out fires, get the required documents and do everything in your power to make the purchase run smoothly.


The home you’re interested in buying probably meets certain requirements you and your family deem necessary. From location and school system, to square footage and architectural style, it’s important to be happy with your choices. Understanding what requirements are absolutely necessary and which are more “wants” than actual “needs” will help you make the right decision. As you try to find a home, changes in requirements may happen as well. Being able to communicate those requirements to the right parties will help the home search go smoothly.

PMs have the important task of communicating changing requirements as well. Through requirements management, a good PM will identify the needs of stakeholders and figure out an efficient way to communicate them to everyone. As the process unfolds, changes to the requirements will need to occur as well. PMs who are good at requirements management will find this aspect helpful in buying a home.


A substantial portion of a PMs job is good planning. Without it, a project is sure to be incomplete or done over-budget and after set deadlines. While a small or shorter project requires certain steps for success, large projects are completely different and often require more tasks and careful planning.

A potential homeowner needs to do some planning as well. Determining how long you intend to stay in the home and what your future might hold are important factors to consider. You certainly don’t want to get into a home that you can’t afford or that you outgrow in a matter of a couple of years.

Monitor progress, finish and review

A project will require you to continue ongoing monitoring of the progress while working out any issues that may come about. Along with the aforementioned communication of changes and requirements, as a project comes to completion, a detailed review will be performed. The review looks to identify improvements and allow the team to learn how to best adapt to similar issues in the future.

The process involved in buying a home is a long one with lots of twists and turns. Similar to your work as a PM, you’ll have to monitor the steps of the transaction to make sure you are successful. As it comes to a close, you can look back and identify the trouble spots that might give you problems the next time you try to buy a home.

While you don’t have to be a certified project manager to buy a home, it definitely helps to know a little about project management. Villanova University, which offers online project management certification prep courses, provided these tips to help potential home buyers.

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