Friday, January 21, 2011

How dating is not like house hunting - and why it should be

I wish dating were a little more like house hunting. When I decided to buy a house, the first thing I did is hire a realtor. Her name was Heather and she was fantastic. The first thing Heather did was figure out my finances to determine what I could afford. In other words, what sort of house (or girl) I deserved or could competitively get. We came up with an acceptable range and some of the deal breakers (must have an attached garage - no junk in the trunk, must have at least 3 bedrooms - must be neither underweight or overweight, must be in a good neighborhood - must come from a good family). That range basically laid out what I could expect to get in a house.

Next, we visited houses. Some nights we would go to 10 or 12 different houses. She always drove so that I could eat cookies in the passenger seat. Heather picked out all the potential houses and sent me pictures. I was free to veto any of the pictures if they looked like they wouldn't be something I would want. Heather and I probably looked at over 100 houses. We would show up at a house and Heather would immediately explain to me what the positives and negatives of that particular house were. I am picky but I don't realize it. So I would look at a house and say "well, I think I like this and this," and Heather would say "I can already tell you don't like this house." So we would move on.

I chose a house and put an offer on it. This is sort of like getting into a relationship with a girl. My parents came and viewed the house, along with a few of my close friends, and they said that they weren't really sure it fit me. So Heather and I went out on another trip and looked at even more houses. That last trip was almost a disaster. Heather and I looked at a number of houses that were not at all what I wanted. We stopped at our last house of the evening both feeling a bit frustrated. The house was gorgeous. It was well within my price range although the sellers were asking a little more than what I had hoped to pay. After 15 minutes of walking through the house, I knew it was the one. We got into the car, and without me even saying anything, Heather knew it was the one too. We did the paperwork, canceled the contract on the first house and made an offer on the second house.

Part of the problem with dating is that I never get to really see what all the options are. When I go to parties, I am only looking at the flashy expensive luxury houses. They are out of my price range and more house than I want. When I go to a singles ward, I feel as if I am looking at the fixer uppers. The ones where you get a lot equity fast but may need a little work before you can move in. If I go to a bar, I am really just looking at apartments (temporary) or condos (not really what I want). While I was still in college, I had the opportunity to view all the new models. It was like the Home Show where they show you all the newest latest and greatest house technologies. The problem with those houses is that everyone wants to buy them, so it is a seller's market, which drives prices up. Now that I am out of college, I hardly see any houses that are for sale. I follow the same path to work and home every day. I pass maybe three houses that are for sale and not one of them interest me. What I need is a marriage realtor. One that can accurately assess what options are appropriate for me and what options are outside of my league (up or down). And one that only charges once I actually settle down. How much can one expect to pay for a service like that? Do you know anyone that offers a service like that?


  1. I know someone who does that! He helped me get married. He did an awesome job, I'd never try it on my own. He doesn't charge any money for this service, but he requires the we dedicate our lives to Him... I'll just stop now because you propably already know who I'm talking about! :)

  2. Dear Jenni:

    I was hoping to have someone that is a little less "involved" in the deal. In legal terms, I would rather that this were an arms-length transaction between disinterested parties.

    Love Tripp

  3. How is someone going to find a good fit for you if they are arms length away from you? They won't know you and what you really want. Why do you think you looked at over 100 houses? That is crazy. And no woman I know is going to let you know all her positives and negatives with at least some reciprocity on your side. You want someone to commit to you without you committing to her until you are good and ready just in case something better comes along. Maybe you should see a therapist about your commitment stuff.

  4. Decent counterpoint to my point. I see what you mean...but the online dating metaphor works, no?

    Maybe just because I'm the one finding all the homes we look at, not our realtor.

  5. brilliant. The problem is the exchange rates. You can afford those nice houses, but they want dollars instead of euros, and we all know how the euro has been doing lately.