I hate the house hunting process.
But not the expense of it or the ridiculous market. Nor do I hate the absurd amount of paperwork. I don’t really even hate the aggressive and frenzied competition between realtors, buyers and sellers. All the mechanics of the process present a certain type of stress, but none of them are utterly despicable.
I hate the whole premise of the game.
House hunting is all about what I want. What would make me, the consumer, just so happy. What are my desires, up to neighborhood and number of bedrooms, down to cute artsy woodwork in the ceiling corners and number of number of blocks from the freeway.
I have never felt more fully a consumer, except perhaps when I used to watch porn. Realtors bend over backwards to cater to me and my every whim and all the criteria of my “Dream Home.”
The realtor industry caters to me like few others ever have. One the one hand, this does go a long long way in boosting confidence and creating security. One the other hand, their accommodating business structure seems to enable the rampant consumerism. All my values about a house are ok, from the foundational to the whimsical because, ultimately, my happiness is the priority.
House hunting says it is all important that I be so damn happy.
As if the perfect house could actually create happiness.
As if the lovely neighborhood was the source of all security.
House hunting says prosperity, thriving, warmth and welcome, peace and love are waiting for me. They’re just one winning offer and set of keys away.
All I need is enough money. Good credit. The right kind of loan. A serendipitous combination of finding the mythical magical dream house just in time, visiting it and meeting the owners just at the right time, competing with all the other offers and having mine come out on top. If I just have all these things, then I will win. Then I will be happy.
House hunting says I am entitled. That my happiness gets to be my base guiding value. But this happiness comes at a price; I have to be worthy. I have to have the whole-life set up of income, career, credit, debt(or absence of) to be counted worthy of this victory.
My character matters not. Me being a caring, compassionate, ethical, diligent and generally likable human being is nothing. I am cast aside because the only thing about me that matters is how much money I can earn.
And on the other hand, say I win. Say I do get the house of my dreams. The expectation is that I then be happy. Right?
Meanwhile, property tax. Paying all my own expenses. Having no default person to call when the sink is dripping. Societal expectations that I(the man) be handy and able to re-model my house or at least keep it repaired.
Also the loss of a material satiation point. When one is renting, there is a limit to what one can or will invest in making the place “more homey.” When the home is yours, that point is gone. There is no reason why not to buy another couch or another wall hanging. No reason not to paint again. And again. And again. No reason not to buy all new dishes that match the all new cupboards that match the re-designed floors that glow in the new track lighting. No reason not to invest who knows how much into actually killing the dandelions in the lawn, then surrounding the lawn with exotic hedges interspersed with appropriated asian icons.
And why stop there? Why not convert the garage into two more bedrooms and build on a whole other sunroom on the patio? And those new structures will need just the right wall paper, lamps, wall hangings, and maybe throw cushions to match.
Maybe then I will be happy and can just enjoy my dream home.
Me and my family who have been with me the whole time.