Tall Dad and I have been searching for 2 years for a place to call HOME here in Providence, Rhode Island. It’s been agonizing, fun, time consuming, and downright frustrating. But most of all, searching for a home has felt a lot like dating.

Step One: The Innocent-Wide Eyed-Pink Glasses Wearing-Dreamer

We’ve all been there. We’ve said to ourselves “I’m ready to start looking! Maybe I’ll find something or someone right away, or maybe it will take a little while. I’m excited to get back into the field, and be hopeful that THE ONE is just out there – waiting for me to find it/him.

We daydream about what special events could look like in our new home. Introducing our new boyfriend to our friends and parents. Having friends over for dinners and birthday parties – or planning vacations with your imaginary new partner. 

Ahh, basking in the dreams of what may come. This step is just downright lovely.

Step Two: Scoping Out The Available Bachelors/Houses

Create an online account on your website of choice. For me, it was either match.com or zillow.com

Scour the listings while eating your breakfast cereal and sitting in your pajamas. You can be as judgey as you want – no one can see you.

Is he actually posting another picture of his favorite pastime – FISHING? I get it man, You like to fish!

Ugh, what ugly bedding they chose. I would get rid of that in a heartbeat.

Or maybe you find something you like.

That dashing, slightly nerdy Prince Charming in disguise, who loves to travel to Europe, cooks a mean lasagna, and wants to have kids someday. Swoon.

A picture perfect 4 bedroom 2.5 bath, with an attached two car garage, hardwoods, a working fireplace, generous backyard and Central Air. My heart just skipped a beat. 

Step Three: Initial Contact

With adrenaline racing through your veins, you decide to *wink* poke or message that cutie. Give him a little nudge to let him know you are interested.

Or on a housing website, you click that heart to save this home to your favorites, or maybe you even share the listing with your partner, friend, or parent. If you’re really bold, you shoot the realtor an automated email message. “Hi, I’m interested in learning more about listing x.y.z.”

Step Four: You Meet In Real Life 

Quote “David Goes To the Dentist” – “Is this real life? ” 

Yes, Dorothy, we are not in Kansas anymore. 

You have finally shed your pajamas, squeezed into your skinny jeans, brushed your hair, thrown on deodorant, brushed your teeth, and left the comfort of your home. 

You’re a little nervous – will he like me? 

Or if you’re looking at an open house, you’re crossing your fingers that all other interested buyers are away on an extended vacation that weekend. MAYBE they drank too much the night before and decided to sleep in on a Sunday morning rather than drive around for hours?

If you like the house, you kiss the realtor’s butt, as if they had any influence in the matter. 

Step Five: You Search For Faults

You’ve gone on the first date, visited the house once or twice, and wonder if you may really be interested. But does this person/house REALLY fit the bill?

Time to dig deeper. Does he/it pass your checklist?

For me, I needed a music loving, funny, driven, non-smoker, wants-a-family-one-day, Boston Red Sox lovin’ man.

For my home, I need something in a location I want, with at least 3 bedrooms, 1.5 baths, a yard, and somewhat move-in ready shape. 

I am not in the mood to fix up a man or a home.

If I find out any of these can’t be checked off, then sorry – you haven’t made the cut.

Step Six: I Like You, But Do You Like Me?

This is the worst. We have gone on dates, visited open houses and second house visits, and I finally decided that I like you. I call, email, text, and even made an offer. 

Are we going to make this exclusive? Will you accept my offer?

Or will you decide to go with someone else. 

This step can either end poorly — as in — He’s Just Not That Into You, or they accept someone else’s offer (darn, why did they bid 20K over list price?!?!) If this happens, you are back to square one. You might take some time off, to regroup, eat ice cream, pout, but eventually you will start back at Step One.

Or it can end well. He asks you to be his girlfriend, to make this exclusive, or the seller agrees to your offer. Paperwork is signed, sealed, delivered. If this happens, you move on to the next step. 

Step Seven: Possible Deal Breaker

Things seemed to be going so well, and then things got real. Maybe he wants to move out of state, and that wasn’t in your plan. Or maybe the inspection came up with some bad results.

You need to decide if these are things you can live with, or if you’re ready to say adios- and move back to step one.

Step Eight: This Is Getting Pretty Serious

You’re beaming from ear to ear, confidently calling him your boyfriend, attending holidays and birthdays together.

You’re already telling people you bought a house. You go it financed, and begin planning paint colors, where the furniture will go, and most importantly – Where the Christmas Tree will go.

Step Nine: Happily Ever After

You are ready to take the plunge – and make a forever commitment to one another. Rings, vows, and the whole gambit. 

You leave your old home, pack up a move in truck, and spend your first night in YOUR NEW HOME! Sure, you have some unpacking to do, but you have a lifetime of happiness ahead of you.

What words of wisdom can you share with us about your home buying experience?

Talk soon friends (hopefully with a housing update!!)