Flipping Out: The Lies HGTV Told Me

if only.

if only.

Shortly after I moved into my first “big girl” apartment in Boston, I caught the HGTV bug. Seven years later, I’m looking for my first “big girl” home — to buy — and wondering why on earth I haven’t found my perfect place. I mean, it’s already been a few months, and I’ve seen way more than the three-house-limit that House Hunters seems to be so fond of. And the realtors? Well, they are certainly nowhere near as dreamy as the Property Brothers. In fact, nothing about my real estate search has been TV-worthy, unless maybe you consider that one house that was straight out of American Horror Story.

There are several factors working against me: I have only one income. I live in the Boston area, one of the most expensive metros in the United States (completely by choice, but still). And perhaps worst of all, I have champagne taste on a PBR budget.

I completely understand that it’s these relatively high standards that might be causing my house hunt to go on, and on, and on. But it’s just that when I’m throwing a big chunk of change towards a place where I’ll be spending many of my days and nights, I want to be sure that it meets all of my criteria (or “checks all the boxes,” in HGTV-speak). Is that such a crime?

You see, my problems extend far beyond disliking the kitchen’s paint color or a particular lighting fixture that can easily be swapped out. I always get annoyed at the yuppie couples on House Hunters that harp on an ugly chandelier, or some other minor cosmetic detail that can easily be remedied. No, that’s not the case here. I’m talking floors that are falling apart, main levels without bathrooms, and homes that are adjacent to crack dens. Total deal-breakers. I’m not asking for move-in ready, but a few notches above “habitable” would suffice!

The secret snoop in me still loves going to open houses every weekend, seeing all of the crazy decor and weird rooms, and wondering who the heck lives there. But at this point, everything is starting to blend together, and I’m beginning to have nightmares about crown molding and creepy basements. I’m not sure how many houses I’ve seen by now — I’d ballpark it somewhere in the 20s — but I don’t think I can see many more without having a breakdown of Flipping Out proportions.

I guess, like all good things, my dream home will arrive at the perfect time in the perfect way. It might take longer than I’d like. It might not look exactly how I had pictured it in my daydreams. I might have to compromise on a hardwood floor here or some granite countertops there. But I like to think that it will all be worth it when I’m living in a little part of the world that belongs solely to me, right? Six months from now, I’d love to have an HGTV-worthy update, all cozy and comfortable in my new digs. Until then … Property Brothers, take me away.


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