Buying a home is often an emotional decision, with good reason. Unlike other purchases, buying a house entails living inside of it, which is about as intimate a purchase decision that you can make.
And that can lead to buyers falling in love with a home. That might not be a bad thing, provided it’s the right house. But if there’s one thing that leads to overpaying for a new home or being otherwise uncomfortable down the road, it’s falling in love with the wrong one.
Here are three easy tricks home buyers can use to minimize the emotion of buying a new home, which, in turn, can lead to avoiding falling in love with the wrong one:
Live in the present
One of the easiest ways a home buyer can fall in love with a house is looking backward or forward in time. Visiting a place that reminds you of your childhood can bring with it all kinds of nostalgic, emotional messages. So, too, can looking at a house and picturing you and your future family enjoying future events, which may or may not even come to fruition. If you can avoid looking back to fond times in your memory bank and stop yourself from looking too far ahead into future possibilities, you can help minimize the emotional effect a home has on you. Focus on what a home represents to you in the moment, and you might avoid falling in love with a house that doesn’t make much sense for you objectively. (Related: Downpayment Assistance for California Homebuyers)
Don’t picture your stuff there
Home sellers are coached to use neutral colors and de-personalize their homes so that buyers can picture their own things in the house. While it’s important to make a home your own, it’s also easy to fall in love with a home only because how seamlessly your current belongings will fit in. That’s what the seller is counting on, but ask yourself this: How long will you keep that sectional sofa that will so perfectly fit in this impressive great room? How often will you use that man-cave in which your sports memorabilia would look fantastic? Do you want that enormous yard because you’ll finally get good use out of your riding mower? If you can remove the stuff you already fondly own (less permanent than a house) from the equation, you might be less like likely to fall in love with any given property.
Ditch the “Yeah, buts”
There are things inside a home you can change. There are other things about a house that are nearly impossible to replace. You can walk into a kitchen with the most gorgeous granite countertops you’ve ever seen in your life, but if they’re in a home that’s not in the school district you want, does that make sense for you? You can change any countertops in the world, but you probably can’t move a whole house. So does it make sense to move somewhere you don’t want to because you say “Yeah, but those countertops?” The same thing goes for mechanicals. Do you want to buy a home with a 20-year-old roof and furnace, which will need to be replaced, because of something that is easily be replaced? If there are factors that make a home less sensible to you, but you find yourself saying “Yeah, but…” to a feature that’s interchangeable, you run the risk of falling in love with the wrong house. (Related: Top Home Design Trends of 2019)
Again, buying a home is an emotional decision. And it’s almost impossible to remove the emotion from the process completely. But with a few tricks, you can avoid falling in love with a house that might not be the best fit for you.