You order your latte at your local coffee shop, settle in at your favorite table, pull out a tablet, and start browsing. “Oh, how cute!” “That old, really?” “Hm, I’m loving the exterior.” You swipe through a photo album, browse the specifics on a few with potential, and eventually feel the creeping surge of overwhelm or its drunk uncle, analysis paralysis.
Now, tell us: In this scenario, are you searching for love online, or are you searching for a new home? Although the ultimate goals are different (albeit, let’s admit, not by much), both of these quests can be daunting for a number of the same reasons. Here, we’ve listed eight of the ways home-shopping can be a lot like online dating.
You’ve got to have a vision of what you want.
We all have our ideals and our perfect-world scenarios, and it’s definitely good to know what you like. But having a vision is different than having expectations. Much like online dating, you should approach a house hunt much like a—ahem—manhunt. Know what you’re after, know what your must-haves and can’t-haves are, and know the price you’re willing to pay. And while solidifying your vision is an important step in the house-hunting process, be prepared for compromises. If there’s one thing you don’t love about the house but ten things you do love, you’re likely to look beyond that one lil' thing.
You’ll find it thrilling — and exhausting.
In the beginning, it’s exciting—new homes, new vibes, new visions of where you could see yourself. But after a while, especially if nothing’s speaking to you just yet, looking for a new home can become draining. Just like in online dating, it’s important to pace yourself: Don’t jump out of the gate too fast. Take your time, do your homework, and listen to your gut.
First impressions are everything.
A recent Gallup poll shows that about half of Americans believe in love at first sight. We’re taking this statistic one step further to say that it applies to both people and houses. The first few minutes inside a prospective new home can go a long way in influencing the buyer’s decision. Much like potential mates are judged on smile, eye contact, and appearance, houses are judged on layout, appearance, and an overall “vibe” that attracts (or deters) the buyer. Remember what we said above about time, homework, and your gut? It applies here, too.
Pictures can be deceiving.
They say don’t judge a book by its cover—but when its cover is a vibrant, wide-angled, well-edited version of reality, it’s best to take a second look. Just as people are guilty of using their very best shots on a dating site, brokers can do the same with a home. That bright, spacious bungalow you saw online? It could have a grungy, poorly lit reality. Be sure to vet all prospective listings with an in-person viewing. (This goes for both houses and potential mates.)
When you find the one, you just know.
Well, what can we say? Your patience eventually pays off. Just as in online dating, when you know, you just know. Talk with your broker candidly about what you’re willing to do to seal the deal, especially in a competitive market like Boulder. And if destiny has any say, you and your dream home will sail off into the sunset together.