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I am working with a single client to find her perfect next home. Let’s call her Melissa. Melissa and I joke that finding the right house is like finding love. She talks often about a home she loved that she underbid on early in her search (with another agent, I should add). We talk about her wish list and her non-negotiables. We talk about compromise and accepting things that aren’t perfect.

Last week Melissa was thinking about making an offer on a home. She hemmed and hawed and expressed her uncertainty. I could tell she was trying to talk herself into it. I brought back the dating analogy – like with men, there is never a finite supply. It’s just about the timing. We haven’t spoken of that home since.

There are many comparisons to make between finding a home to live happily ever after in and finding a partner to love. You can expect to go through the same emotional ups and downs and move through similar emotional stages. You will be smitten and you will have your heart broken, but eventually you will learn from your mistakes. You will ultimately be wiser on your quest for the right one (or at least the right one for now).

Let me show you how to make the most of your journey to finding a home you love.

Remember the one that got away, but don’t look back.

Everyone remembers the devastation of their first heart break. You feel a sense of loss, guilt, and wonder about what you may or may not have done wrong. Guess what? Home buyers experience this too. Sometimes you have to lose out on a property you absolutely love before you can get serious (and accept more risk) about home buying. Here’s what you can learn from going through this disappointment: 

Don’t neglect your true feelings or be wishy-washy about your intentions. 

As a home buyer, this means you must be ready to put a competitive offer and be prepared with an understanding of your maximum budget, financing, and any deal breakers. You should figure these out BEFORE you begin house hunting. This way, you will be well-prepared for strategic tactics and negotiations to seal the deal.

Learn to move on and keep searching.

Remember the past, but don’t dwell in regret. With each experience, you become more seasoned buyer who better understands how the housing market really works in that particular neighborhood and price range.  Don’t waste time wallowing; dust yourself off and keep looking at homes since new inventory and listings will come onto the market in due time.

Don’t look back and don’t compare.

The last home you saw might have had the most gorgeous en suite bathroom, or maybe a handsome front door. It doesn’t serve you to compare as you move forward. Instead, focus on your original list of must-haves, deal breakers, needs and wants. Tweak these items if anything has changed, and get back out there!

You WILL fall in love again.

Most buyers get over their heart break and find a home that works. Sometimes the struggle makes you appreciate the happy ending even more.

Love can be blind.

Blinded by love or even desperation, we may ignore signs that a home isn’t the one for us. Emotion is important in a home purchase but not to the point of irrational decision-making, especially in a hectic anxiety-provoking housing market.  A gorgeous home can wow you, but don’t let its sparkle distract from basic issues (i.e. a long commute, too few bedrooms, too big, too small, too expensive, among many other issues).

Never settle. 

Some buyers end up with a home that isn’t good enough for them. While home buying does require some compromise, ignoring obvious issues with a home will cause regret later on. Red flags about the home’s structure, workmanship, or a host of other factors cannot be ignored just because you so badly want to be in a certain neighborhood.

Get your priorities straight

Yes. I am reiterating this point again. Make a list of your must-haves and your deal breakers and stick to it!  Don’t be lured by a “hot” looking home when all it might lead to is heartbreak down the road.   

You know yourself best.

Only you know what will work for you and your family. It’s your life so don’t be swayed by what your friends have to say.  Keep your emotions in check as much as possible and make rational decisions based on your plan.

I’d love to be the matchmaker between you and your next Ottawa home. Please 

send me an email and let’s get started.