EDMOND — The outfit she was wearing — and let’s be honest, the way she was wearing it — first caught my attention.
She seemed to be smiling — at me? She definitely stood out from the crowd.
And up close, she smelled good.
It was love at first sight, first smile, first smell.
Our first house.
Admit it: If you’re living in a house you really like, one you decided to buy after looking for awhile, you know it was love at first ... something. Lots of us really do fall for houses the way we fall for our life partners.
Relationships grow hot and cold, and hot again, and again, over time if there is any life to them. The truest tests come with time and age — and as we move into our 15th year in our 1987 house, the fading and sagging of certain features, and the loss of certain functions and gaining of others, is on my mind.
I was perfectly primed for this pitch from the Oklahoma Association of Realtors:
“With Valentine’s Day approaching, love is in the air. For Oklahomans looking for a long-term commitment, house hunting and homeownership might be in their futures. ... The Oklahoma Association of Realtors is offering tips for house hunting, because, after all, home is where the heart is.”
“In some ways, house hunting can be a lot like the dating game,” said Mary Terry, state Realtors president. “We all have that list of must-haves, and we may spend a long time searching for our perfect matches. As long as you have realistic expectations, then most homeowners find themselves in love with their homes.”
The tips “for house hunters who are seeking their real estate soul mate”:
• Make a list: “Make a list of what’s important to you and your family including the top five things that are ‘must-haves,’ ‘nice-to-haves’ and ‘deal-breakers.’ Try to stick to it.”
• Be prepared: “Before you go house hunting, do your homework on the neighborhood, the builder and any other important facts. Have your finances in order, so you’re able to make a competitive offer in a timely manner.”
• Don’t be shy: “Communicate openly with your Realtor and other decision makers so if you do have negative feedback, you can find a solution in the next home you tour.”
• Enjoy the process: “Buying a home is a major commitment, but it’s important to not let yourself get bogged down in the details. If possible, try to schedule home tours when you have time to stop for lunch or coffee afterward with your Realtor, spouse or loved one and discuss the house you’ve just seen in a no-pressure environment.”