Permanent Residence

Shopping for a house is not a logical operation. Buyers typically feel whether a house belongs to them rather than following a strict list of logical steps. But there are a lot of issues when attempting to logically select a house. How much can I afford? How much can I afford while taking into account future maintenance requirements and possible interruptions of income? What about insurance and all other expenses? What will my heating/cooling and electrical bills be like? What about future changes in family structure?

What about the neighbors? Will we get along? Prior to purchasing, shouldn’t I interview the locals and spend at least one night in the house I plan to spend decades living within? Should I try out the nearby stores and make sure they’re suitable for my needs? How’s the drive-times, perhaps I should drive to a few places to make sure it’s all acceptable? What about childhood friends for my own child? What about the school system? Shouldn’t I be meeting with potential teachers? Maybe even a sampling of students?

In other words, logic need not apply when it comes to real estate. Instead, people seemingly purchase the house that feels most right to them upon superficial inspection. And then I suppose they willingly accept whatever consequences come with it. Either that, or magic is real and things miraculously fall into place. Incomes stay steady, bills remain in budget, neighbors align, friends manifest, stores are stocked, and schools fit.

What we can deduce, is that it’s culturally inappropriate to introduce logic into the buying process. Does this one feel like home? Okay, pick that one. Logical objections have no place here. But if you really think about it, there’s two ways you can look at life, it’s either random or it’s not. If it’s random, then you can’t account for the future, so you might as well get what feels right in the moment and hope for the best. And if it’s not random, then you were meant to get the one you get — it was built just for you.

Taking all that into account, I suppose it does become a logical decision to select the house that feels right on that one particular day you see it. What are your options really? An exhaustive investigation into the perfect house and surrounding areas? Yet how can you factor constantly changing conditions into the decision? So what we’re left with, is an intuition. Funny how the big choices in life come down to instinct. In that sense, there are no decisions to make: just follow the map as it’s laid out inside of us.

Or maybe I’ve just been watching too many house-hunting shows on HGTV.

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