Here are 3 tips to help your search for the home and the marriage partner best suited to you.
If you’re in the market for a house, or have been before, you may realize what an emotional rollercoaster it is. You get your heart set on a house, and then someone else’s offer gets accepted, not yours. Or maybe you’re under contract but then too many issues come up at the inspection and you have to make the tough choice to terminate the contract. And then you have to start the process all over again. This is a lot like dating. So here are some tips you can use for both dating and house buying…
1You want a house (and spouse) with staying power.
Moving takes work and you don’t want to keep going from house to house if you don’t have to. What does staying power look like in a house? It requires looking at more than just the house. Where is the house in terms of commute times and grocery store runs? What is the neighborhood like? Will your mortgage be pushing the limits of your income every month? Make sure to factor in all the other costs associated with house owning (utilities, internet, maintenance, etc.) to figure out if you can comfortably afford it.
On the other hand, what does staying power look like in a potential spouse? It means having conversations about hard topics like children, money, roles, and divorce. What do both of you think about these things? It means taking a look at how you fight or disagree. How have you both handled difficult times in your relationship?
2You don't want a house (or spouse) that has major underlying issues.
You may want that house, but you don’t want to be surprised by issues a year down the road. You want to be able to prepare for how to handle them. That’s what inspections are there for. To help you make sure you know what you’re getting into. If you can live with replacing the furnace soon, and fixing the water damage in the back porch, then great! It’s just important to know.
With a potential spouse, you want to know him or her as well as you can. If you spot concerning patterns of behavior or addictions, and your potential spouse is unaware of how detrimental they are/unwilling to fix them, that’s a huge signal that he or she is not the one. You may think you know each other well, but time spent in good marriage prep, pre-marriage counseling, and input from family and friends goes a long way.
3You may fall in love with a house right away, but sometimes it's the less-glamourous one you keep coming back to that ends up being the right one for you.
It’s very hard to let go of a house that you fall in love with — especially with the ability to pore over its pictures online and imagine your life there. But sometimes you realize, for whatever reason, that this house is not the right one. Maybe it is the commute time, or the issues that come to light after inspection, or a number of little things all add up. Then you turn your attention to the less glamorous house that makes more sense and that you can afford more easily.
Something similar might be true in a potential spouse. Sometimes you may be attracted to the glamour and drama of a relationship with someone, but as you get to know them, the little things add up. The relationship is exciting but not reliable or (the good kind of) comfortable. That’s when it might be time to look elsewhere. Drama and excitement is not something you can rely on long term to keep a relationship thriving. Dependability is not boring — it’s the stuff commitment is made from.
Now that life is opening back up a little, you may be more seriously searching for a house or a spouse. Send up a quick prayer to St. Joseph, patron of house hunters and a pretty good spouse to boot. Happy hunting!
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