You might have heard that saying about the number of fish there are in the sea – the sea of prospective dates and mates. The same goes for homes on the market. It’s not uncommon for a buyer to visit 10, 20 or even more homes before finding the property they want to make their home.
These numbers can be daunting, but even the most particular buyers, even buyers who are frustrated by how many homes don’t seem like the right fit, can take heart in this one truth of dating that also applies to house hunting:
You only need to find ONE.
So the next question is this: how do you know which fish is the one you should take home, or make your home? To help, here are five signs that a given home you’re viewing might in fact be “The One”:
1. You start to see its flaws as adorable quirks.
Train tracks 10 feet from the bedroom window? Next door neighbor that runs a pigeon-sitting service? Okay – I exaggerate! But if you find yourself viewing a home with traits that you would normally deem undesirable or as deal-killers, yet you like in enough that you instinctively compile a mental list of reasons those traits just don’t matter, you might have found “The One.”
Smart buyers should be aware of a syndrome some call “Pottery Barn Psychosis,” whereby the aesthetics of a wonderfully staged home with amazing curb appeal can hypnotize a buyer.
This syndrome renders buyers blind to the negative property features, which would be glaring or grave concerns if the place weren’t so stinking cute. It’s fine to make a conscious decision that the pros of a place outweigh its cons, and even to consciously re-rank your priorities in light of a particular property’s advantages.
But throwing reasonable guidelines for your home out of the window because it’s cute is about as savvy as doing the same with your dating prospects – not a setup for success.
Buyers can avoid falling victim to Pottery Barn Psychosis (and the Buyer’s Remorse that often follows) by writing down your absolute musts and deal-breakers before you ever step foot in a single property – and by revisiting this document before you write an offer and again before you remove your contingencies.
If you find yourself viewing a home with traits that you would normally deem undesirable, yet you like the place so much that you instinctively compile a mental list of reasons those traits just don’t matter, you might have found “The One.”
2. You immediately envision your own family, furniture, decor, daily activities or remodeling choices in/to the home.
Some homes feel wrong the moment you step into them. The space isn’t laid out in a way that suites your family, the rooms you would use the most are to small, and their are spaces you know you would never use. If a house is wrong you know, but it’s harder to tell when your on the fence. If you’ve ever done any of the below things while looking at a house then it could be “The One”
- You find yourself, during a property viewing, measuring the dining room with your footsteps to be sure your Grandma’s table will fit
- You can imagine how you would use every space, game night at the dinner table, crafting in the office, barbecues in the back yard
- Photoshopping a given property in your mind’s eye to insert your bedroom set, your dining table and favorite wall hangings into place
- You begin to have a vision of what the home could look like if you could do everything you want
It can take time to start seeing yourself actually living in a home, especially if you have been open-house hopping all weekend. Try and take time to go over the houses you’ve seen in the last week, or month. Sometimes it can be easier to eliminate the homes you don’t want rather than trying to choose out of all the houses you’ve seen which one is the best.
3. You lose interest in seeing other homes.
When you find “The One,” your interest in seeing other homes dissipates. No matter how many homes you’ve seen or how long you’ve been house hunting. If you find yourself going back and comparing every home you’ve seen to one particular listing that could be a sign you’ve found the one. Think about why you compare all other homes to that one. What about it do you keep coming back to?
4. The bathroom and kitchen don’t disgust you.
We humans are born with only two fears in life: the fear of falling and the fear of loud noises. By about eight months old, we start to acquire new fears. Chief among them: the fear of other people’s kitchens and bathrooms.
Other people’s kitchens and bathrooms hold definite gross-out potential. There’s just something about what goes on in those rooms that seems exceptionally intimate and even unsanitary.
So, if you happen to find yourself falling in love with a home’s river rock shower floor or drooling over the pot-filler, counter top or farmhouse sink, that’s a sign that you’re falling head over heels with a home that might just be “The One.”
The homes you have to choose from depends on what is currently on the market, and chances are you won’t get that dream kitchen or full master suite. A fresh coat of paint can do a lot to make a house feel like a home but if a major remodel is needed there are some things you should know first. Check out our other blog post on remodeling to make sure you get the best deal.
5. The money, time and energy spent feels worth it.
Home buying is an expensive, time consuming proposition. And your years of budgeting and saving have earned you a nice nest egg, but it didn’t come easy. You probably spent many evenings at home rather than going out or made your own lunch in order to get where you are today. If you find a home that makes all of those sacrifices feel worth it to you, my friend, yu might have found “The One.