Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Love at first sight

I do believe in love at first sight. I sometimes think that even the most rational decisions that we make are based on some kind of intuition that develops in the first few minutes which we justify later with some facts and some logic. And trust me, you can always find facts and logic to suit yourself. Now, don't ask me how that intuition works. The author of 'Blink', Malcolm Gladwell, tries to explain in his book as to what happens in those first few seconds and calls it the power of rapid cognition. In normal words, I think he is trying to say that love at first sight is perfectly rational. Now, I call that some conclusion! So, where is all this leading to?

Few months ago, me and my husband were looking to buy a house. Yes, for someone who so strongly believed that the idea of owning a place to live in does not make sense conceptually or financially, that was a big change. Let's just attribute the change to 'marriage' for now, though I would explain when we meet why it all made so much 'sense' given the economy, our current situation blah blah blah. So, we had a fixed budget and a list of parameters and we set out to evaluate all the houses with this list in hand and our budget in mind. To give you some background, I did real estate valuation when working with Deloitte and had a decent idea of the US real estate market and valuation. Accompanied by a good real estate agent, we had all the tools to make a rational purchase. A couple of weekends and few house visits later, we made slight changes to the budget and the list and continued with our search.

On a Friday morning, while I was compiling the list of houses that we ought to visit over the coming weekend, I saw a new listing pop up on my screen. It was a beautiful waterfront property (with the backyard facing a lake) with a great view from the balcony, so I decided to check it out even though I had no intention of buying the property as the asking price was above our budget. Moreover, why would I pay a premium for the lake? Come Saturday morning, we were standing outside the house with our realtor who opened the door for us. The moment we entered the house, I can tell you, I was in love with it. We haven't even seen the water or the balcony yet, nor did we match it with our budget or the parameter list, but I knew this was it. The lake and the balcony only added fuel to the fire. Then came tons of logic and justifications while comparables and valuations are adjusted to fit our thoughts (I did learn a lot at Deloitte ;). And guess what, we are proud owners of this home now (Technically, we have a negligible share of it). Welcome to our first love, our new home :) The lake view is totally worth it!!

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