Ask These Six Real Estate Questions to Avoid an Expectation-Hangover
A KlopasStratton blog by: Bridget Chambers, Life Coach, Writer
Never meet your idols. Google that phrase and you could spend days reading about people who happened to encounter some celebrity or sports star that they had once worshiped, only to be gravely disappointed by the lackluster personality, behavior, or looks of their once-certain hero.
In other words, real people don’t often live up to the awe we assign them in our imaginations.
Well, the same can be said for the ever-elusive moving process. Have you found yourself immediately ready to move or feeling sick of the same digs? How about just plain old sick of where you live? It can be tempting to glorify a certain city and state, neighborhood, or even specific street. When the moving bug bites, the mentality can quickly become, “anywhere but here.” (Not so fast says Su Jin Feuer, a psychotherapist with expertise in life transitions to ApartmentTherapy.com. “Start off by checking in with yourself and really reflecting on what it is in terms of what’s most important to you in life and quality of life,” she says.)
That seems like hearty advice, and yet so often we universally struggle with believing the grass is greener somewhere else, only to find out that we acted too swiftly, not surveying the correct criteria and thus, making the wrong move. To that end, as a coach, I’ve gotten to thinking about pedestals. More specifically, why do we constantly assume we can find better, faster, happier in regards to where we live? Standards are good, yes — and necessary. But should there be a line drawn between expecting the best and demanding perfection?
“Expectation hangovers” happen when a future vision is so unrealistic, disappointment is inevitable. Here are six questions to consider to avoid that feeling forever:
1.) What am I searching for?
In thinking about what is next for you and your family, decide what is missing here first. Are you growing weary of the schools? Do you feel stagnant or in dire need of change? Are your neighbors a nuisance you can no longer bear? Before deciding that it is inarguably time to leave no matter what, spend time assessing what aspects of your current life feel untenable. That will help you choose the next right place.
2.) Am I familiar with where I’m going?
This sounds obvious, but it can be lost in the blurry fury of a real estate search. Before deciding where to move, it is important to spend a little time there. Google searches and facebook posts can only reveal so much about a place. If you want to know how a new area fits for you, you must immerse yourself there for more than just a few hours. Once you survey the intricacies of the area, you will either confirm your hopes, or reveal some doubts. In either case, you will be armed with knowledge to make a reasonable assumption about the place.
3.) What do I think will be better about this new place?
Part of making a sound decision is outlining the reasons to make a choice in the first place. Does this new place offer you proximity to things you want to be closer to? People you want to be near? Places you find interesting? If so, great! Now decide which of those are “must-haves,” and which of those just sound dreamy on paper. (Sure, Old Town might be perfect for your friend who loves street fests, but are those something you would also frequent?) Make sure you are making a priority list that fits your life – not everyone else’s.
4.) What would I be giving up if I moved?
In coaching, I always encourage clients to play devil’s advocate against themselves, if only for just a few minutes. Doing so is an exercise in discernment: are you making a choice in spite of its inevitable downsides? No matter where you live – or how ready you are for a change – there is something good about it. What would you miss if you moved today? Are the places you’re considering worth the things you’d be giving up?
5.) Can I afford the house I’m dreaming of?
It is tempting to move to your dream house – and commit to thinking about the details later. Simply asked, can you afford the lifestyle you are currently living while also taking on the expense of a new, shiny home? Between moving costs, furniture, bills, and taxes, you will be making a huge investment when you choose to move. Be sure you aren’t giving something up on the backend. (It’s hard to enjoy a big backyard if you feel stressed out about outfitting it with patio upgrades and new furniture.) If money is no object, you may want to weigh the emotional cause of the move to somewhere that seems enticing. If staying where you are feels like too much, the cost of moving is worth it.
6.) What can I realistically expect about this new place?
No place is perfect. So, what can you anticipate about a move to the place you long for? In your most grounded brain, what can you reasonably expect about a new neighborhood or city? Are you accounting for a learning curve and time to acclimate? Can you confidently gauge its huge upsides and potential downsides? Have a conversation with your spouse, children, or housemates about their thoughts to ensure you’re on the same page.
Put the Pedestals Away
In the end, the most wonderful, loyal, loving thing we can do for ourselves is to take people and things off the pedestals we haphazardly put them on. What I know for certain is that when we put people and places on pedestals, their slipping off is inevitable. They have a 100 percent fall rate — no exceptions.
This summer, let’s watch where we put our expectations. Because when we stop putting them way up there…we make room for them to do right by us.
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