Ok before I start treading on this sensitive ground, I must confess that at EasyHomes we are no experts in matchmaking or finding our clients love. We are also no agony aunts or authorities on matters of the heart. However over the years I have noticed that clients go about looking for a property in not a totally dissimilar way to how they look for their perfect partner.
Most people have a certain number of criteria they look for in a perfect partner, and these set of criteria can be related (loosely) to the criteria people use when looking for a place to live. I have gone through a number of these points below, comparing them to how looking for one a partner can be related to looking for a property. I have also done these in no particular order, and of course the importance of the criteria listed below for both the search to find a partner and the search to find a property will differ from person, depending on the individual.
1. Physical Attributes
For some this is more important than others. Some people hold aesthetics as extremely important and for others it is further down their list. However I think it is fair to say that we all care to some degree about this factor when looking for both a partner and a property.
Certain physical attributes in a person interest us, and this also goes for a property. And just like when people are looking for a partner, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It may be that you like small well designed properties, or big spacious ones. It could be that you like modern looking lines and colours, or perhaps you look for a traditional or retro look?
There are of course fashions as well, clothes and haircuts go in and out of fashion, just as do architectural designs and interior looks. However when choosing a property it is always recommended to choose one that you feel comfortable with.
2. Location, location, location
This is of course the classic mantra of anyone looking for a new home, whether to buy or to rent. This can also be the case when looking for a partner. How many times have you known someone or may be yourself who has met a person on holiday and a romance has sparked. These two people seem to get on, and the person seems to tick so many of the boxes they are looking for. However the problem is that at the end of the holiday they both have to go their separate ways. Perhaps they live at one end of the country to each other, or even more likely they live in totally different countries. As much as the person appeals, the practicalities of the relationship make it very difficult to continue and the romance eventually ends.
This is the same when choosing a property. For example, you may see the perfect property near the BTS in Bearing, but the problem is that you work in Don Muang, a commute the entire length of the BTS Sukhumvit line and then a 20-30mins taxi ride - just not practical in terms of time, effort and cost - a bit like visiting another country 1-2 times a month to keep a holiday romance alive. The bottom line is that your property has to fit practically into your lifestyle or it will become a strain to live there.
Another aspect that comes into choosing a partner is their sociability, do they like to do the same things you do? Do they have similar or the same hobbies and interests? Do they fit in with your social hours and life? Do they get on with your existing network of friends or family?
Again properties are like this. For example it is all very well choosing a great property near to where you work. This makes the commute almost non-existent, it cuts down on cost, it cuts down on effort and it cuts down on time. However if it is far from where you socialize or where your regular group of friends are then perhaps it reduces your chances to enjoy yourself.
Of course no single criteria should dictate the property you choose, no more than no single criteria should dictate the person you choose to be with, but a balance of self enjoyment and social comfort should be take into consideration.
4. Financial Costs
Whatever we say or think, unfortunately money plays a significant role in both property and partner searching. I am not saying it is the most important role, but just like in this list I dare say it comes in the top half-dozen of factors that most people consider. For choosing a partner the subject of finance may contrast from what financial support the person can offer them. To the opposite end of the spectrum on the person thinking, how much is this person going to cost them to look after?
And this is the same with choosing a property, the costs in renting or buying can be a decisive factor. Of course in some cases this may be a shrewd move. For example paying a little bit more for a place near your work and social life, may reduce the cost of travel and work out cheaper in the long-run. Or buying a more expensive property in a more desirable area may lead to higher and faster capital gains when going to sell the property later.
5. Status in society
One final attribute I will cover here is social status. Some people look for people with certain social status. Maybe they have a high-powered job, maybe a high-education and intellect. Or perhaps they have a bit of fame. These attributes can then rub-off on the partner giving them kudos also.
On the other end of the end of the spectrum if a person has a dodgy past, low intellect or has a questionable employment record, then they offer their prospective partners very little kudos on the whole.
Again this can compared to hunting for a home. If your new home is in a respected and high-quality neighborhood then it may even be an address that can be boasted about. People will know that you have a certain status that your home offers. However if you choose a property in a less desirable area, then you maybe reluctant to entertain guests at the property or even tell people which part of town you live in.
When setting out to look for either a person or a property, we have certain ideals in mind, and of course we would like our ultimate choices to tick all the boxes and score 10 out o 10 in each box. However we have to be realistic, this is the real world and we know that a compromise has to be made. In fact if your property or partner scores 10 out of 10 in any of the above boxes, then you have done very well!
The reality is that compromise must be taken each and every step of the way. The property has to fit into your lifestyle, your budget and yet please your aesthetically and provide positives in other criteria. Just like choosing a partner, it is not easy and the choice you eventually make will probably not last for life. However a choice eventually has to be made, unless you want to be metaphorically left out in the cold (or searing heat as in the case of Bangkok.
Neil McDonough is a Director of EasyHomes Property Services Co., Ltd. which specializes in renting and selling Bangkok residential and commercial property to expats. You can contact him directly with any questions or queries relating to Thai real estate