The Mister and I are looking to buy a house. One that is cute, has a little bit more space than we have in our apartment, and doesn’t cost too much. Ridiculous expectations, I know. As an obsessive watcher of House Hunters, I thought that I was prepared to jump into this search, and on most levels I am ready. My love of research and obsessive pigheadedness has finally paid off. What I wasn’t prepared for? The emotional “issues” that come up when looking at real estate. The Mister and I are having complex discussions about our values and priorities. How much does location matter? Our friends live in one part of town, I work in another part. Do we want to live close to friends or close to work? What does “quality of life” look like to us? There is always going to be a trade-off between size and location. The closer you get to the city the smaller the house you can buy with the same dollars. Do we want to buy a house that’s family-friendly now? Do we want to buy a starter home and downsize in the short-term so we can buy bigger when we do have a family (and live closer to the city? City = fun)? Once again, marriage has taken me by surprise, and I’m grateful. The conversations we’ve had in the last few weeks have clarified our values, and I think it’s made us stronger.