Shopping for a home can be nerve-wracking. When you’re actively looking for a home, most often you’re dealing with a deadline, a budget, and an unrealistic wishlist. It’s hard, trying to make concesssions with your spouse and trying to compromise on what is a need and what is a want.

Our home search was no different. We knew what we wanted in a home (at least three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a garage, a sizable backyard, an address inside the city limits and a low price) but it took a long time to refine those points. And this was in a time before good real estate photography was a must for agents!

I kept imagining myself as one of those super-picky clients on HGTV’s House Hunters, when I should have been looking at things more like the clients in Property Brothers.

After about a million and a half showings (thanks for being patient, Ken Lampton!), we found the perfect little fixer-upper in East Dallas. Even after signing and initialing out lives away (OK, 30 years), I kept up the search. Only this time I wasn’t dealing with deadlines, budgets, and a second opinion.

Looking for houses when you’re not looking for your house is immensely liberating. It also helps you glean inspiration from what other homeowners are doing to build equity (even sweat equity, but we won’t go there!) and make the most of their investment.

So even five years into our 30-year mortgage, I’m keeping the home search alive.

Do you have a unique real estate story? I want to hear it! Email me at!