Casey is Dating…
Did that title grab your attention?! Ha! No, the Mr. and I are still blissful newlyweds enjoying our first year of marriage! So no I am not “dating” in the traditional sense. Instead, we’re still shopping around for a home here in Chicago, and to me it feels a heck of a lot like dating.
Even though I don’t know much about dating (I married my high school sweetheart), I do believe that finding your dream home is very similar to finding your dream man. From my observations of the dating world in 2015 (via rom coms and my single girlfriends), I have to say that dating and buying a home sure do have a lot in common.
There’s ups, there’s downs, there’s jealousy, there’s lust, and of course there’s times when you want to sit in the fetal position and inhale an entire tub of mint chocolate chip ice cream.
Let me prove it to you…
THE “SWIPE LEFT” IMMEDIATELY: So everyday we receive the newest listings via our realtor. I anxiously await this email everyday (is it sad that that’s the highlight of my day?) and instantly peruse the potentials. There are plenty of properties where I immediately click “not interested.” Maybe it’s a house where the train runs through the backyard….or perhaps it’s a ground unit that reminds me of a jail cell. Either way, I’m checking the little “not interested” box and moving forward. I think this is equivalent to “swiping left” in Tinder. Like the guy who’s profile pic is him taking a shirtless selfie in the mirror. Swipe left. Or the guy who’s bio is less of a humblebrag and more of a braggy brag. Swipe left.
THE ONE WHO GOT AWAY: A few weeks ago, Finn and I found a home we both adored. Great location, great size, amazing outdoor space. Yes, yes, yes! We immediately put an offer in (at list price!) and waited on pins & needles for 24 hours. Turns out, we got outbid. To say we were crushed would be an understatement. We were both devastated. Not only were we already picturing the memories we would make in that very home, but we were both feeling a sense of relief from finally finding our home. Everyone told us that “it just wasn’t meant to be,” which really didn’t make us feel that much better. That home will always be the one that got away…
THE EX YOU CREEPILY STALK: So “the one who got away” has since turned into “the ex we creepily stalk.” We just can’t stop thinking about that home! The info is still up online for the home, and we can’t help but gaze at the photos and admire the roomy kitchen and dark hardwood floors. In fact, I find myself comparing photos of new potential places side-by-side with the one we didn’t get. If we do buy in the area, I’m sure I will always think of that home every time we walk down that street. Sigh…
THE REBOUND GUY: After getting our heart crushed from “the one who got away,” we picked ourselves up and vowed to get back out there. We found a charming home to see and told our realtor to set up a showing. We should have love this home. It was everything we had been looking for from the start. But our hearts just weren’t in it. It was simply rebound real estate. Our thoughts were still on the other place, and even though this one was perfectly acceptable..there was no way we could make it work and feel good about our decision.
THE ONE WHO LIES IN HIS ONLINE PROFILE: There are plenty of properties that seem like they can be “the one” when you view them online. The pictures are wonderful, the location is ideal, the amenities are top-notch. But then you visit it in person and you’re horrified, and immediately want to walk out the door. “How did they make this room look so huge online? We can’t even fit a twin size bed in here!” This is similar to the guy who lies on his online profile. His profile picture is from 10 years ago…he’s never actually gone surfing even though he claims he’s an ex-surfing champ…and that luxury condo he boasted about, is actually the corner of his parent’s basement. Yep, don’t be fooled by online profiles.
THE ONE WITH NO SPARK: We’ve seen plenty of homes that are good on paper that we should love, but the moment you step inside there is just no spark. I always try to picture our furniture in there, and think about how we’ll make dinner in the kitchen, or have friends over to BBQ. But sometimes I can’t envision the future in some of the properties we visit. This is like the guy where there’s just no spark. He has a great job, a friendly family, and is kind and thoughtful…but you just don’t have that connection. You should like him, but you just can’t pretend to be into him.
THE ONE WHO IS A LITTLE OUT OF YOUR LEAGUE: We’ve bumped up our budget a few times throughout this home buying process as we determine exactly what we want and don’t want in a future home. Boy oh boy is it tempting to peruse the properties that are just over your top price tag. Ohhhh man, I’ve made that mistake. In the beginning of the home search, I would constantly email Finn links with comments like, “It’s a little pricey…but we could negotiate! ;)” Trouble is….you can’t really negotiate in this market. You have to be ready to pay list price, or even more! So looking at those oh-so-expensive properties is a big no-no and we’re doing our best to stay within our financial comfort zone.
THE ONE: Well, we have yet to find the one. But I do think that when we find it, it will not be exactly what we anticipated from the start. We may have to make some sacrifices, or alter our budget, but hopefully we’ll get that feeling in our guts that it’s the right home for us. I’m sure many women dream of their future husband, and end up with someone who isn’t exactly who they pictured as a young girl, but it’s someone even better and more perfect for them.
So single ladies, I know how you’re feeling…dating is an exhausting ride, full of drama and emotion. But I truly believe that no matter what is going on in your life (you’re single, married with kids, living in your dream home, or looking to buy your own place), you have to trust the process and know that in the end it’s all going to work out the way it should.
I’ll leave you with one of the biggest (& perhaps most true) dating cliches of all…
EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON.
Now if I can just convince myself to believe those words, then everything will be alright.
I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m married to Finn & mom to Rory and Ellis. Together we’re creating our dream home in Chicago, one DIY project at a time.