Why Buying a Property Is Just Like Dating (Aside From the Fact You Get Screwed)

Why Buying a Property Is Just Like Dating (Aside From the Fact You Get Screwed)

The property market is about as confusing and out-of-reach as it has ever felt right now, and well, the idea of finding and buying your ‘perfect’ first home seems fairly unlikely for most. A feeling that may, for some, be comparable to the complexities of modern dating.

Psychologist and relationship expert Sabina Read – who teamed up with Selling Houses Australia for the launch of its 14th season – has highlighted that there indeed are similarities between finding the right partner and the first first property. And while it can seem damn bleak a lot some of the time, she did have some tips on how to find both.

“There are many powerful parallels between purchasing your dream property and the ebbs and flows of dating in the modern-day world. Being contented in a relationship or a home can represent basic human drivers including belonging, security, and love,” Read said in a statement.

“A partner and a home often hold a mirror up to the way we want to see ourselves. Finding love and securing a place to call home can bring great emotional highs and losing or leaving them can create powerful experiences of loss too.”

6 tips for finding the right first home, or partner

first property home psychology

All the below quotes are attributed to Sabina Read. 

  • Bring compassion and realism to your expectations: Seeking perfection will lead to disappointment and can fuel a tiring, futile and endless search for a person or home to complete us.
  • Trust your gut: If you get the sense something isn’t right, it probably isn’t. An unsupportive partner won’t necessarily transform because you love them madly, and a home with an unstable foundation or incessant traffic noise won’t readily change just because you style it with passion and endless throw rugs. 
  • Let go of rigid thought processes: Keep an open mind. It’s time to forget the notion there’s only one true soul mate or home that constitutes a perfect match for you.
  • Play the long game: When the rush of the oxytocin love bubble takes over, we are blinded by love, making it hard to see any flaws or red flags. Only fools rush in, so take your time, date in a variety of settings, spend time with your new beau in the company of people who you love and trust. And in the case of house hunting, sit in the prospective abode, observe neighbours, watch where the light falls, and explore the local neighbourhood.
  • Make it your own: Relationship dynamics and ways of living are heavily influenced by our parents’ beliefs and behaviours. Create a relationship and a place to call home that reflects the way you want to show up in the world today, not necessarily the way you did as a child.
  • Be authentic with yourself and with others: While buyers strive to put their best foot forward, people-pleasing or hunting for real estate in a fancy suburb that’s beyond our budget will only do us a disservice in the long run. Like dating, when house-hunting we can be drawn into putting energy into being someone we think others want us to be, rather than tapping into who we really are.

The biggest mistakes people make

When looking at the (impossible) property market specifically, we asked Read what some of the most common mistakes people tend to make, headspace-wise.

She highlighted that “being too rigid or having an unrealistic list of ‘shoulds’ can reinforce the unhelpful belief that there is only one perfect home out there”. While Read stressed that non-negotiables are important to have, there is a chance you lose out on great options because of a closed mind.

“Be mindful of what home ownership represents to you, she continued.

”This may include security, stability, risk, prestige, success, investment or community? When we understand the drivers that underpin home ownership, we can make better decisions that align with who we are and what we value.”

Read stressed that elements like the value we place on community or resale potential, for example, are significant when making the choice to purchase a first property.

“All financial decisions have psychological underpinnings and it serves us well to understand what these might be for us at different points across the lifespan.”

You can find Selling Houses Australia on FOXTEL’s LifeStyle channel and On Demand.

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