Lessons Learned From HGTV

Mattie, sniffin' out the life lessons.
Mattie, sniffin' out the life lessons.*

In honor of my recent birthday, I want to write about all of the wisdom I have gleaned through my multitudinous years of existence. I have learned life lessons from so many revered and well-respected corridors – famous authors, close family, special teachers, Captain Planet, Full House, Family Matters and of course, Salute Your Shorts.

When you’re 27 going on 28 (and not, in fact, 28 going on 29 as your Dad lead you to believe all year), some of the aforementioned pop-cultural sources start to feel slightly…contrived. Urkel is not as relatable as he once was, so you begin to search for other sources of wisdom. But where to turn?? If you’re me, the answer is HGTV’s House Hunters!

Here are 8 life lessons I’ve learned from House Hunters and House Hunters International:

  1. Know what you want, but be flexible when unexpected awesomeness comes your way – even if that en suite balcony is your dream, isn’t the incredible view worth compromising for?
  2. Curb appeal is important, but it’s the inside that really gets you going – sure you’ve got some gorgeous clapboard going on, but if you’re full of dated appliances and 70’s inspired bathrooms, no one’s going to get excited.
  3. Everyone has a budget, don’t be ashamed! – sure, that place with the hot tub on the porch is great. But you need to be able to afford sandwiches (and additional sandwiches for your dog).
  4. Pick your fellow hunter carefully – if you like classic colonials and they like modern egg-shaped houses, you’re search is going to be rocky.
  5. Be realistic about DIY – can you identify a phillips head screw driver without googling it? Are you familiar with spackle? Even if the answer to both of those questions is yes, you probably still aren’t going to be redoing that sponge painted bathroom with the shell sink any time soon.
  6. Don’t be a jerk — No one will want to watch you pick your future home, they will instead feel bad for the realtor dealing with you.
  7. Be tolerant and open to new cultures — sure, it’s the tradition in Latvia for the toilet to be in the middle of kitchen (it’s not), don’t be a total American about it and demand a toilet free kitchen covered in stainless steel.
  8. When presented with three choices, always declare your final choice out loud and in unison with your fellow decision maker — be sure to practice ahead of time so you are sure you agree, but make sure this does not appear staged.

As I journey through 28 I hope to find even more sources of life lessons and learning. If you have any lessons to share, please, don’t be shy. We learn together.

*I hope you enjoyed the gratuitous Mattie picture at the top. I got a camera, so this will be happening more often. Huzzah!