This TV Real Estate Agent Wants You to Forget the Idea of a “Forever Home” — Here’s Why

updated Mar 11, 2021
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Credit: Netflix

It’s easy to set high expectations during a house hunt, especially if you’re looking for “the one“— you know, the place where you’ll experience life’s ups and downs, where a household may expand, where you’ll grow old with your significant other. A forever home, if you will.

And while some first-time buyers do purchase the home of their dreams where they spend the rest of their lives, real estate agent and TV host Nichole Holmes wants those in the market to leave that expectation at the front door.

Holmes hosts the new Netflix show “Marriage or Mortgage“, based in Nashville, alongside wedding planner Sarah Miller, and in each episode they compete to convince couples to invest in either a house or a wedding (filmed pre-COVID). For engaged couple Brittany and Scott, they yearned to find a forever home to put down roots and raise a family, and Holmes won them over by proposing a build from scratch. But in a recent interview with Apartment Therapy, Holmes suggested that it’s best to go into the home-buying journey without the expectation that the property is forever, for both emotional and financial reasons.

“In my experience, I have never sold what they call a ‘forever home’ to first-time homebuyers,” Holmes told Apartment Therapy. “Life changes, family changes, kids are born, kids leave, you just need something different at the years go on. I would try to tell them not to get so hung up on the forever aspect of it. Yes, it’s a home that you’re going to build memories in and possibly a family in, [but] houses come in all shapes and sizes. If one doesn’t fit, don’t try to put a square peg and keep it in that round hole.”

It’s important to have a roll-with-it mentality when buying a home, continued Holmes, especially if it’s your first. Over time, if the home no longer fulfills the household’s needs or circumstances change, you have to be able to move on from the property — and having that emotional “forever home” attachment can make it difficult. “It’s very circumstantial, life is dynamic and it changes, as we’ve all learned last year,” Holmes said.

Focusing on “forever” might also lead to major financial mistakes, or rather, missed financial opportunities. Holmes warned that people shouldn’t assume that owning a home for a longer period of time and paying off the mortgage will translate to making more money when they finally do decide to sell — it’s all based on market trends. “Are they looking to get 30 or 40 percent more than what they paid? So if that time comes in five years, six years, would they be okay with selling it then and moving on? There are a lot of moving parts to real estate.”

Moral of the story is, don’t go into buying a home thinking that you’ll be there for the long-run. Purchase with an open mind and ditch the expectations — who knows, when you don’t think of a property as forever, that might be exactly what it becomes.