6 Signs A Home Might Be “The One”


Even when the market heats up as it's doing now, it's not uncommon for a buyer to visit 10, 20, or even more homes before finding the property they want to make their home. 

These numbers 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 you should take home – I mean, make your home? To help, here are six signs that a given home you're viewing might be "The One": 

1. You instantly feel possessive about the property.

 When you walk into "The One", no matter how long you've been house hunting, 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. 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? The next-door neighbor runs a pigeon-sitting service. Okay – I exaggerate! 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 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 stinking cute. It's fine to make a conscious decision that the pros of a place outweigh its cons and even 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 stinking 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 must-haves and deal-breakers before starting to view homes. It is a good idea to revisit this document before you write an offer and again before removing your contingencies.

If you view a home with traits that you would normally deem undesirable, 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." 

3. You immediately envision your own family, furniture, decor, daily activities, or remodeling choices in/to the home. 

If you find yourself, during a property viewing, measuring the dining room with your footsteps to be sure your Grandma's table will fit, discussing whether the wall between the 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 bathroom and kitchen don't disgust you.

We, humans, are born with only two fears in life: the fear of falling and the fear of loud noises. By about eight months old, we start to acquire new fears. Chief among them is the fear of other people's kitchens and bathrooms.

Other people's kitchens and bathrooms hold definite gross-out potential. There's just something about what happens in those rooms that seems exceptionally intimate and even unsanitary. So, if you happen to find yourself falling in love with a home's river rock shower floor or drooling over the pot filler, countertop, or farmhouse sink, that's a sign that you're falling head over heels with a home that might just be "The One." 

6. The money, time, and energy spent feel worth it.

Home buying is an expensive, time-consuming proposition and your years of budgeting earned you a nice nest egg. There might be many Saturday nights at home and brown-bagged lunches; however, the savings will reflect in your down payment. If you view a home that makes those sacrifices suddenly feel like the best decision, you may have found "The One."

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