1. Be interested in purchasing a house.
2. Have impossibly high standards and dangerously low limits on what you're willing to spend.
3. Look at five houses. Talk shit about each one and point out every last flaw, as though you're a home inspector.
4. Go home, eat dinner.
5. Look at five more houses a week or so later, find one that's interesting.
6. Make an offer (notice the realtor's excitement) on the house.
7. The offer you've made is accepted by the seller.
8. The deal falls through because of the city (it's a long, old story that I don't want to get into right now).
9. Stop looking for houses for at least seven months.
10. Call realtor back, months later, because you're still interested in looking at houses.
11. Look at five houses, talk shit about each one. Getting better at pointing out flaws yet? Good.
12. Eat dinner. Spaghetti, preferably.
13. A week later, look at five more houses. Repeat part b of step 11. The talking shit part, anyway.
14. Repeat step 12.
15. Repeat step 13.
16. Look at even more houses, find one that you like. When the realtor retrieves information about how much the energy costs are, say, "We can't afford that. Back to the drawing board!"
17. Look at ten more houses. Find one you're interested in.
18. Make an offer $27,000 less than the asking price.
19. Embroil yourself in a bidding war that you walk away from.
20. Tell the realtor you've got a few more you'd like to look at, but after that, you don't want to look as aggressively for a while. Maybe a year.
Note: I think our realtor, who is perhaps the coolest lady in the world, might be at her end with us. What sort of gift should we buy for her?