With Valentine’s Day approaching, our minds are drifting towards love, life, and (as always) real estate.

When you think about it, comparisons between relationships and home ownership actually come easy. Want some examples?

Comparisons Are Counterproductive

So the Joneses down the road have twice your home’s square footage and what seems like half the inches of your waistline. Who cares? What’s most important is finding the perfect fit for you. Case in point: From 1947 to 2019, the percentage of married households has fallen [PDF] from nearly 80% to under 50%, and unmarried/other households now make up the majority. Despite a proclivity among construction companies to build “nuclear” suburban homes for families of five, our country is trending towards downsizing, affordability and community. There will always be a bigger yard or a more beautiful living room. What matters is that your home fits your lifestyle and your budget.

It’s Important to Plan

A spur-of-the-moment Vegas wedding isn’t necessarily doomed to fail, but it is widely regarded as a dubious life decision. Like shotgun weddings, a shotgun home sale is not something to which most aspire. Whether you’re tying the knot or buying a house, both benefit from a healthy dose of forethought. Buying or selling a home is among the largest transactions in our lives, with consequences—good or bad—for potentially years to come. Take the time to mull it over and work out details like what you can afford and where the dog will sleep.

They Require Maintenance

A healthy relationship needs constant communication. According to psychologist Sean M. Horan, Ph.D, the forms of verbal and nonverbal communication that keep your relationship purring come in five forms: Assurances, Openness, Positivity, Social Networks (no, not Facebook), and Sharing. Each of these tends to be more enjoyable than home maintenance, which comes in such forms as paying tradespeople, pulling weeds and cleaning gutters. On the bright side, if properly maintained, both relationships and home ownership pay off in the long-term.

Home and love are deeply intertwined. “Home is where the heart is,” after all.

Ideally, you live with those you love, and you love where you live! Of course, if not, you know who to call about the “where you live” part; further relationship advice may be found elsewhere.

Now, go forth and build some relationship equity this Valentine’s Day!

With love,

Danielle

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