Damn these shows like House Hunters and My First Place and Property Virgins that make buying a home look so simple. It’s not like Steven and I are totally unschooled here. It wasn’t so long ago we were buying a home in Arizona. I guess the memories of the stressful realities of home buying somehow diminished over time, but now we are right back in the thick of it.

If there was ever an appropriately named description, “house hunting” wins the prize. The process of going out, finding the perfect home to meet your needs, and then going through the process of buying it is certainly the equivalent of a big game hunting expedition. Only, you are unarmed, and the money you have squirreled away in your bank account to help finance your new purchase is the chum in the water that attracts every realtor in a 20-mile radius.

You spend months, even years, preparing and stalking your prey, seeking the beast that has haunted your dreams. You scour the map, looking for the prime locations. You get your hopes up, every time you glimpse a promising prospect in the distance, only to have your dreams dashed when you get close enough to realize that, once again, this is not the one.

Then, suddenly, you see it, a mirage in the distance. Only this time, you feel your heart beginning to beat faster as you approach. This might be it. Once the beast is cornered, you take time to inspect it from every angle. Could it be? Could this be the one you’ve been dreaming about? So close, you can almost hear it breathing.

It’s in your sights. You’ve got it now. You just need to grab it.

And then some other damned hunter steps right in your way. You’re about to push him, to say, “Sorry friend, but this one’s mine,” but you’re too late. You waited too long to make up your mind. And besides, this guy brought ammo.

You try to tell yourself you didn’t get it because it wasn’t meant to be yours, and that there is another beast, a more perfect beast, out there somewhere, waiting for you.

It helps, but not much.

Now, you have to have to start over, but you’ve learned a little something along the way. You’ve armed yourself, and next time you won’t have to hesitate or compromise. Next time, it will be yours.

Tonight’s 365 Project is dedicated to all the other hopeful house hunters out there. Hang in there and try to enjoy the adventure!

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