home viewing numero uno

Monday, February 08, 2010

I've been under the delusion that house-hunting would be sort of like my wedding dress shopping experience: find some pictures online that look pretty, see it in real life and realize it's a perfect fit, buy it, and never have to think about it again. Unfortunately, a home is not something you wear for eight or so hours and then hang in the closet for the rest of your life.

(Confession: I'm not 100% sure where my wedding dress IS. I think it's at my parents' house, but I'm not sure, and I don't want to ask my mother because she'll freak out that I even have to ask the question. It's not like I need to wear it again, so it doesn't really matter, right? Moving on...)

Peter and I went for our very first house viewing yesterday, and I've realized it's not going to be quite as simple as I'd hoped. It's not that the house wasn't nice, or that we couldn't picture ourselves living there. But there was no magical *aha!* moment where we knew it's the right place for us.

It was more like, "wellllll, IF we ripped up this carpet, replaced the baseboards, redid the bathrooms, installed new light fixtures, and got rid of the lingering scent of cat litter box, this house would be perfect."

Maybe there is no magical moment. Maybe you settle and move in expecting to do some work. I could be having delusions of perfection, but it feels like with such a big purchase, it's pretty important that things are either just right, or you have a very clear vision of how to make them perfect for you--and the motivation and know-how to do the work.

After all, this isn't a dress you wear for a few hours and never look at again. It'll be our home...maybe not for the rest of our lives, but for a while. It deserves some serious thought and planning and contemplation, even more than I'd been expecting to invest.

For now, we'll keep looking for our new house and enjoy our current home as much as we can in the meantime. We're warm and happy and comfy and that's the most important thing.

Ok...hardwood floors are nice too.

And walk-in closets.

And crown moldings.

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  1. In my experience, you know pretty much straightaway when you walk into a house whether it's the one for you. Sure, it may have a hideous 70s brick fireplace, no carpets, a black and turquoise bathroom and the lingering smell of god-knows-what (just a few of the things our house presented us with!), but you just know it's the one for you. Even if the house you find is not in the state you envisaged it - ready to move in straightaway and do nothing more - you will still have that moment where it all just clicks and you think, yes, I can imagine myself living here.

  2. It's definitely a lot easier said than done. We've yet to see a house that seemed quite right. But as long as you're not in a rush, the right home will come along. Just focus on looking past the cosmetic details.

  3. Unless you have a house built, it's not going to be perfect for you. Remember, someone else lived there before you, and they made it perfect for themselves.

  4. It took us months to find our home, but we really wanted to be in the neighborhood we're in. A home is such a big commitment, that you almost have to let the process take it's time.

    This is not a purchase where you want to feel buyer's remorse.

  5. good luck, that's exciting- crown molding is a definite. LOVE IT.

  6. "it's pretty important that things are either just right, or you have a very clear vision of how to make them perfect for you--and the motivation and know-how to do the work."

    I would agree with that. I say you keep looking until one resonates with you THAT way. It is a buyer's market, after all. ;-)

  7. @Helen That's what I want to experience--that moment where it all *clicks* and you know you're making a good decision!

    @Lindsey This was our first house. I'm sure there will be many more! We're definitely in no rush, so that helps.

    @Dutchess that's true. Unfortunately pink carpet is perfect for some people :)

    @Aubrey thanks--it's just suuuuuch a huge investment, we definitely don't want to have any doubts or regrets. We'll kind of be stuck with it for a while!

    @Chelsea crown molding is a nice bonus fo sho. it just makes a room look finished!

    @Lilu you're right about it being a buyer's market...and we aren't on any crazy timeline where we have to be moved by any particular date. I guess we should take our time and enjoy!

  8. This reminds me of HGTV "Property Virgins". I love that show and it's very interesting to see all of the different things they have to even do before it can be called a "home". I wish you two the best!

  9. I definitely think it takes some time to find the house that's right for both of you. And it does come along as a sort of "aha" moment, so dont get discouraged. We looked at tons of houses (and I know people who looked at even more than we did!) and some would look so amazing online and then we'd show up and be quite puzzled and disappointed. We'd see other pictures that were just kinda so-so and be very impressed with the actual house. So hang in there, take your time, and trust that when you find the right house, just like when you find the right guy or dress, you will know!