Falling in Love with Your Home

dining roomWhen my husband and I were looking for our first home, we must have visited 30 or more properties. We looked at -- and rejected -- so many houses that I worried our Realtor would fire us (for full disclosure, our Realtor was Jessica Riphenburg, founding Lead Listing Agent for Roost). We saw homes that would've worked fine -- homes that were well-kept, with the right number of bedrooms and at a price we could afford. But nothing wowed us. And even though we were on a tight deadline, I didn't want to settle for a house that was just okay. I read something the other day that the average homebuyer knows they want to buy a home within 10 seconds of walking through the door. That sounds awfully fast -- "In 10 seconds, you're still in the foyer!" said one online commenter. But when I think back to our experience, I think it holds true.

Our home wasn't even on the market. But our Realtor knew the owners had considered selling the previous summer. She described the house and it sounded close to perfect, so she called the owners -- who were still interested in selling, lucky enough -- and arranged a showing. Our home doesn't have a foyer, so when we walked in, we immediately saw most of the downstairs -- the arched doorways, the wood floors, the original trim... all the things that give it charm. It felt solid and well-built and full of character. It needed a small amount of cosmetic work, but it felt well-loved.

We had a list of features we wanted in a home and things that would be deal breakers -- an essential tool every homebuyer should have, particularly first-time homebuyers like us. But like everything in life, it's important to know when and how to compromise. And while our home didn't have everything on our "must have" list (no entryway or fireplace, for example), we could see ourselves living there. Within moments of walking through the door, we knew.

We'd love to hear your "falling in love" home stories. What "must have" were you most willing to part with? What deal-breaker didn't feel like such a big deal, after all? What made you fall in love with your home?