Not long ago, online dating wasn’t the norm, but now you can’t go many places without encountering someone who met their significant other through the internet. It’s much the same with the real estate industry. A mere decade ago, before even everyone’s ten-year-old had a smartphone, fewer people started their search for a new home online. Now around 80% of home buyers start their home search online. And that’s not the only parallel homebuying has with dating. Both quests are about finding that one perfect fit for you.  Finding a home is like navigating the world of dating in many ways. Let’s look at a few dating rules that apply to home shopping.

Do know your “type.”

Most people have a type of person they know they fit best with, be they rugged, outdoorsy types; successful and independent go-getters; fun-loving travelers; or homebodies who love to relax and enjoy their personal space. Everyone knows their type in the dating world, and it’s important to know your type when it comes to real estate too. Is your “type” a mid-century modern with three bedrooms and outdoor entertaining space? A brick ranch house on a large plot of land? A townhouse with minimal to no outside maintenance required? Before you start shopping for a new home, you should know exactly what you’re looking for.

Do know your dealbreakers.

There are some things you won’t be able to look past or get along without. For example, when it comes to romance, you might never consider dating a smoker or someone who has to travel for work a lot. Think about those details you know will be dealbreakers for a home. Maybe you don’t want to live near a busy street—or maybe you need to live near a busy street. Maybe you absolutely must have three bathrooms with no exceptions. Making a list of these dealbreakers before you really start your home search will help you weed through what’s out there without wasting any time.

Don’t be afraid to commit.

Before you start your home search, know for sure that you’re ready to move on. Buying a house isn’t a short-term commitment—unless you’re planning to flip it, but that’s a whole different story. If it’s time to break up with renting or sell your starter home, you’ll know. But have some proof. Show your real estate agent and any sellers out there that you’re serious about a long-term commitment by getting pre-approved and having your ducks in a row.

Don’t rely on first impressions.

You might absolutely love the look of a home, but that doesn’t mean it’s not hiding a few secrets that could turn you off. Take things slowly if you can. Go back and see the house again when you’re not on an emotional high. Have an inspection done. Taking a closer look and having a third party’s unbiased, professional opinion will help you see things more objectively. A flip job that is simply gorgeous on the surface might have a lot of underlying issues. Find out what issues you’re willing to take on or overlook versus the dealbreakers.

Do look for something deeper.

Don’t discount a home based on bad photos or less-than-stellar written descriptions. Not everyone knows how to present themselves effectively online. That home could be your absolute dream home in person! On the other hand, realize that you can change anything you don’t like about a home (unlike in the dating world). If a house is missing something you want at first glance, or if it has an exterior color or detail you hate, it can absolutely change to your liking.

See what we mean now? Finding THE ONE person to share your life with is a lot like finding THE ONE house to love! Follow these dating rules for home shopping, and you shouldn’t have much of a problem finding your perfect fit.

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