Who Needs Romance Novels When You Have Real Estate

I love this article by Leah Rumack.  This sounds like so many of us.

 

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"Nice!" I say, gazing adoringly at the computer screen, the object of my desire practically licking its lips, daring me to love it.
Leah Rumack, her fiance, Jason, and dog, Shasta, have a nice place to live, but they are looking for a home to call their very own.
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Leah Rumack, her fiance, Jason, and dog, Shasta, have a nice place to live, but they are looking for a home to call their very own.

 

"You like me, do you?" it taunts. "Well, I think you're Really Nice, but don't you think I'm a bit out of your league?"

"We can't afford it." My fiance, Jason, sighs. "Look at the asking price. It's going to be a bloodbath."

"Don't you want to just go to the open house and look?" I ask meekly (oh those subway tiles in the kitchen! Be still my aching loins!)

"No," he says. "It will just make me more depressed."

Welcome to dating, post-dating style. I used to meet men online. Now I meet houses. Or rather, we meet houses. Because after years of plundering every corner of the dating pool and spending more than my fair share of time online dating, I actually met a man in the real world. Through someone I knew, completely unplanned. Who knew such things happened? (Take that, Lavalife). But a true Jedi knight ... er ... I mean questing lady person, is never truly done her search. Because now that I've finally found a handsome man who is happy to make out and/or watch The Wire with me on the couch, now we need the perfect house to put that couch in. We're cruising MLS like swingers who just got a new RV, but this time, baby, it's a menage a trois.

We don't ask for much. Just a little houseinagroovy downtownToronto neighbourhood like every other ageing, brie-eating hipster couple. You know, a yard for our dog. A room for the 4,132 rare disco records (his) and 56 pairs of shoes (hers). Once I got Jason's bashful marriage proposal, I dreamt that the ups and downs were over. But nay! Looking for a house is just like dating, only much, much more expensive.

First, you meet. You're innocently switching on the computer and then BAM -- it's as the French say, a "coup de foudre" (bolt of lightning). It's exactly where we want it. It's (sort of) within our price range. It even has exposed brick in the living room! You maniacally email all your friends breathlessly demanding: "Sooo? What do you think?!"

Then, you go on a first date. Huh. You know, it doesn't look quite as good as it did online. Didn't it say it was taller? And its friends are kind of iffy -- that one over there hasn't fixed its porch since 1954.

Or you flirt back and forth online. Should we go today? Tomorrow? How about Wednesday? And just when you're really excited about meeting, you get the dreaded: "It's not you, it's me" email. Sold.

Of course, there's also the ones that are, you know, fine. Miles of them. Piles of fine houses. I don't know, we're just not meeting anyone we like. We get out there, we really do! Yes, mother, I have tried jdate.

And then there's the ones that got away. The sellers who were clearly not ready to date yet, as they responded to our offer by promptly taking their house off the market. The houses we'd heard were single, but we dilly-dallied and off they went to their happy place with one of those other terrible couples who look just like us that seem to follow us from open house to open house. (Oh, if only I had superpower evaporator rays why I'd ... !). And then there was the worst one of all-- the Perfect One we thought we had for just a second -- well, five minutes actually. Just long enough for us to call our friends to say 'Guess what, we just bought a house!!!' The next call was from our agent to tell us the sellers went with the other offer. I've been dating someone else and I'd like to make things more serious with her. Just like that, MLS giveth, MLS taketh away. Like the turn of a screwdriver. The screwdriver we'll never need because we'll never get a stupid house! We drove home afterwards in stony silence. Jason lay on the couch, motionless, staring miserably into space.

"Do you want some ice cream?" I ask.

"No," he says, his voice muffled in the pillow. The next week another potential paramour appears, but he can't rally.

"I'm still heartbroken," he confesses. I go without him. I like it, but I'm not sure. Someone else buys it.

On the bright side, all those years of dating misfortunes have left us with some useful skills. For instance, completely juvenile hatred comes in handy. One coping mechanisim we particular recommend is our habit of flipping the bird as we drive by the streets where The Houses That Disappointed Us live.

"You will find the perfect house," our agent, who didn't realize when going into real estate that she was also becoming a psychotherapist, assures us. "You just have to be patient."

Come on, Perfect House; let's go out and have dinner sometime! I'm buying.

 

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