I entered the housing market and the dating world almost simultaneously. Being someone who is technically inclined, I made sure to download the Realtor app. At the same time, I joined several dating sites (playing the odds) including Tinder. It didn’t take long for me to notice some striking similarities between house shopping and online dating.
1. Is This Really What’s Available?
Every time I open up the app, I’m hopeful that I’ll see something new and exciting. Inevitably I am disappointed. It’s just the same houses. I spend a lot of time scanning through them over and over again. So many of them look good at first pass but have a bunch of deal breakers once I look closer. Then I open up the app later and find myself looking at them again because I’ve forgotten what deal-breaker they had.
2. It’s a Seller’s Market
The good ones get snatched off the market quickly. I’ve seen some great looking houses that go from posted to pending before I can even react.
3. Status “Pending” My Ass
Some houses show up on the app even though they’ve been off the market for ages. Really, is it too much to ask that only available houses show up? You can sort out the ones that admit they are pending, but that still leaves some that are looking for backups.
4. Location, Location, Location
Maine isn’t a state with a lot of direct routes and there is only so much time I’m going to spend commuting. Still, I don’t want to tighten my search up too much. For the right house, a little extra drive would be well worth it.
5. Size Matters
I need something big enough to fit my needs but not so big that I don’t know what to do with it. Seriously, what single woman needs 2,000 sq ft? At the same time, it’s hard to get excited about something that isn’t even 1,000 sq ft.
6. No “Projects” Please
I’m not interested in a fixer upper – I’ve dealt with project houses before and I’m over it. The house must be move-in ready and not require major upgrades. Every once and a while I see a house that might be a diamond in the rough and have to remind myself not to go there. I don’t need the headache.
7. What are You Trying to Hide?
Too few photos makes me suspicious. What major flaws are they trying to hide? I assume they are probably in horrible shape and way too much work to be worth it.
8. Put that Away, No One Needs to See That
Still others want to show you too much in their photos. A bunch of photos of the landscaping may show me that the outsides are well maintained, but curb appeal only goes so far. Or they’ve got dark interior photos that display way too much of their junk.
9. Reality Rarely Lives up to Fantasy
When I find one I want to see in person, I’m usually disappointed. It needs a lot more work than the photos and disclosure let on. The features aren’t nearly as attractive as advertised and I’m just not feeling it at all.
10. It’s Not You, It’s Me
Or I find one that has some promise, but I’m not sure how much time I’d want to spend there. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not looking for a house to grow old in, but I don’t want something that is unrealistic for my current needs. Sometimes I see perfectly nice houses that just aren’t the right house for me.
For now, the search for a house continues and online dating is… entertaining.