How buying a house is a lot like dating

Is the process of buying a home like dating? Consider the following scenario.

It's another humdrum Wednesday night; the last two bites of a mediocre microwave macaroni dinner have gone cold in their plastic tray. You’ve been bingeing on old episodes of Grey's Anatomy for the past week, but tonight, the twists and trauma Meredith Grey has to contend with seem inconsequential.

So, you distract yourself with the latest mobile app, flipping through hundreds of photographs of potential suitors. Finally, you come across a profile that interests you. Everything looks right, the pictures are amazing — but is it just a trick of the camera? There’s just one way to find out.

You need to see this house in person. (What, did you think we meant a dating app?)

After exchanging a few emails and phone calls with the listing agent, you’re pretty excited. But just because you’ve been looking around for a while doesn’t mean you’ll settle for just anything; you have standards.

When the day comes, you arrive prepared. You have questions, and you have barriers, too. Some say you’re jaded, but that’s not true. It’s just that you’ve been looking for for a long time now. You’ve been to more than one showing and have attended way too many open houses. You know what it’s like to get your hopes up, to have butterflies flap around in your stomach and be unable to eat because of the overwhelming anticipation you feel.

More than once you’ve sung Meatloaf at an embarrassingly loud volume while driving to a showing. And more than once you’ve crashed down to reality while some silver-tongued agent told you about the “potential” and “character” of a rather sad-looking house.

But this time, something is different. One by one, you check must-have features off your list. Great schools, walking distance to stores, two-car garage, open-concept kitchen — it has everything.

You leave with a good feeling. A great feeling. Is it? Could it be? Play it cool, you tell yourself. But still, there you are, awake at 1:13 a.m. and once again looking at pictures of the house. That crown molding, the quartz countertop. Sure it’s not marble or granite, but it’s pretty good.

It’s beautiful.

It’s the most beautiful countertop ever.

Should you call your mom? Should you tell your friends? Won’t they be excited for you? Who wouldn’t be excited? What about those other people at the open house? How many open houses have there been? Panic seizes you. You send out an email and leave another voice mail for your real estate agent. It's 1:32 a.m. now, but you're ready to commit: You want to put in an offer. Three percent over asking price. Who could refuse? After all, you're attractive, mannered, educated, you have stable career and have been pre-approved for a very nice loan. Who wouldn't accept your offer?

Then you wait. The hours seem like weeks. You call your agent a little too much. The offer is pending, but, she assures you, it looks good.

The weekend comes. Uncertainty and hope collide, tap-dancing on your tender heart. You meet some friends, have a few drinks and pretty soon all you can talk about is this house. “You’re obsessed,” someone says.

But they don’t understand. No one understands.

Should you text your agent? Heck yeah, call her up! Who cares if it’s late! She’d love to hear from you.

She has bad news.

Someone made a cash offer 20 percent above the asking price.

Who cares about money? It’s not always about money. After all, you plead, you can offer so much more. You have refined taste in design, have been known to host great dinner parties and, oh, the plans you had for the lawn! So many beautiful dreams, dashed.

“I’m sorry," your agent says. "It's nothing you did. I mean, I really like working with you."

"I like working with you too," you barely manage to whisper.

"It's just, you know. It wasn't the right time. But we'll keep looking.”

And once again, you’re flipping through more listings, while Meredith Grey saves a life and you heat up another plastic tray of sorrow. You wonder if you’ll ever find that house you were meant to find.

The whole process, fortunately, can be easier and far less dramatic than this. To learn how, talk to a Coldwell Banker Hedges Realtor® today. They have the experience and know-how to make home-buying a breeze.

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