You might have heard that saying about the number of fish there are in the sea – the sea of prospective dates and mates. The same goes for homes on the market. It's not uncommon for a buyer to visit multiple houses before finding the property they want to make their home. Whether it be your first home or your third, everyone is looking for a home that will suit their family's needs. This often requires a lot of time and a lot of house hunting to find "The One."
Seeing so many houses can be daunting, but even the most particular buyers, even buyers who are frustrated by how many homes don't seem like the right fit, can take heart in this one truth of dating that also applies to house hunting:
You only need to find ONE.
So the next question is this: how do you know which fish is the one you should take home – I mean, make your home? To help, here are six signs that a given house you're viewing might in fact be "The One":
1. You instantly feel possessive about the property. When you walk into 'The One,' you'll get an involuntary surge of energy to do whatever it takes to make that home yours. If you're at an Open House and other buyers are viewing the place, you'll start to feel competitive. If you're at a private viewing, you'll start to talk numbers and offer logistics. For that matter, some buyers start making calls to their financial planners, generous parents, and contractors from the front porch steps of their "One" – during the first viewing!
If you walk through a place and leave with your heart or mind set on making it yours, it might be "The One."
2. You start to see its flaws as adorable quirks. Train tracks 10 feet from the bedroom window? Next door neighbor that runs a pigeon-sitting service? Okay, maybe I exaggerated a little! But if you find yourself viewing a home with traits that you would normally deem undesirable or as deal-killers, yet you like the place so much that you instinctively compile a mental list of reasons those traits just don't matter, you might have found "The One."
Smart buyers should be aware of a syndrome some call "Pottery Barn Psychosis," whereby the aesthetics of a wonderfully staged home with amazing curb appeal can hypnotize a buyer. This syndrome renders buyers blind to the negative property features, which would be glaring or grave concerns if the place weren't so cute. It's fine to make a conscious decision that the pros of a place outweigh its cons, and even to consciously re-rank your priorities in light of a particular property's advantages.
But throwing reasonable guidelines for your home out of the window because it's just so cute is about as savvy as doing the same with your dating prospects – not a setup for success.
Buyers can avoid falling victim to Pottery Barn Psychosis and the Buyer's Remorse that often follows suit by writing down your absolute musts and deal-breakers before you ever step foot in a single property – and by revisiting this document before you write an offer and again before you remove your contingencies.
3. You immediately envision your own family, furniture, decor, daily activities or remodeling choices in/to the home. During a property viewing, if you find yourself measuring the dining room with your footsteps to be sure your Grandma's table will fit, discussing whether the wall between kitchen and dining room can be removed or your mind's eye photoshopping a given property to insert your bedroom set, your dining table and favorite wall hangings into place it's entirely possible that the home you're viewing could be "The One" for you.
4. You lose interest in seeing other homes. When you find "The One," your interest in seeing other homes dissipates, instantly – no matter how many homes you've seen or how long you've been house hunting.
5. The money, time and energy spent feels worth it. Home buying is an expensive, time consuming proposition. After years of budgeting and going to countless Open Houses, you finally feel as if you are home. Though you might have to spend many Saturday nights at home and have to cut down on how much you spend, you find that it is worth it because you got the house you wanted. If you view a home that make all of those sacrifices suddenly feel like the best, most worthwhile decision ever? You, my friend, might have found "The One."