When you're looking for a home, the numbers are the relatively easy part. You know how many bedrooms you can get for your money. You have a good sense of how many square feet you need, and you know you want a second bathroom. But you may experience a feeling during your home search that goes beyond the logic of numerical requirements.
- It becomes the yardstick against which all others are measured: maybe you saw it early on, when you first started looking. Maybe you liked it, but you wanted to see what else was out there. But then you find yourself referring to it all the time. Other houses just aren't as nice. The lighting isn't as good. The layout doesn't flow as well. That house, even if you saw it first, might actually be The One.
- It reminds you of previous homes you've loved: the things that make you love a house may be relatively small, things like whether the kitchen sink is positioned under a window or the way the maple tree out front makes the bedroom feel like it's in a tree house. You may not have thought to include those things in your must-haves list, but when you find a house that reminds you of a beloved precious place, it can help you push you over the edge into infatuation.
- You're trying to talk yourself into buying it: sometimes when we ask other people for advice, we find ourselves trying to convince them to give us the advice we want to hear. This can be useful because it tells us what we really want. If you find yourself coming up with more and more reasons to buy a certain house, you may already be in love with it.
- You can imagine yourself living there: mentally arranging your furniture and other prized possessions is an indication that you're already feeling at home. If you just can't imagine how you'd lay out important rooms like the living room or the master bedroom, it might be a sign to move on.
- It's got great bones: no house is perfect, but some imperfections are worse than others. There are some things that are really hard to change. You can't change the location of a house. You may be able to change the layout or the placement of the windows, but that's so difficult you're unlikely to do it. If the things you don't like about the house are easily changed—like the carpet, the wall colour, or even the smell—you might have yourself a winner.
- You don't want to leave: how many times can you convince your real estate agent to show you a house before they want to make an offer already? If you just can't stay away from the house it might be time to make it your own? Driving by unnecessarily, lingering for a long time during showings, showing up at every open house--these are all signs that you're ready to seal the deal.
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