9 Signs You're About to Cheat on Your Home

By Sarah Kinbar Ristorcelli


“But I love my house,” you say. “It just needs a few updates,” you say. Then why are you secretly dreaming about other houses? You could be ready to cheat.

An emotional affair has long been known as a precursor to cheating. It happens to the best of us. First, the long, pensive looks at new floor plans, then the constant fantasizing about that gourmet kitchen. You haven’t cheated yet, but you might soon. Here are the signs that you may want out of your current house and into a new one.

1. Home is no longer where your heart is.

Once upon a time, your entire life was wrapped up in your home. You hosted parties, you reorganized the rooms, you decorated with gusto. These days, you would rather go out. Not only are you annoyed by the weird floor plan you once found compelling, you don’t even want to deal with it. So every waking minute is spent outside the house, and you’ve racked up a million travel points (and credit card debt) from all your weekend getaways.

2. Everything about your house bothers you.

At one point, you overlooked your home’s flaws. The pink bloom of love outshined the tiny closets, underwhelming entry, absence of a back porch, and outdated kitchen. Now, you mutter under your breath every time you walk through the front door. Who designs a house without a foyer? And why does the front door open to the dining room?

3. You’re jealous of your best friend’s new house.

Two roads diverged in the woods. You bought a 1920s bungalow on a street with giant live oaks and a charming old church with a steeple on the corner. Your best friend bought a newly built home that had never been lived in before. It was customized to her specifications. The community has a state-of-the-art playground and pool. Each road has its charms, but now you regret the one you took. Your Sunday tradition of meeting for Bloody Marys at her kitchen island serves as a weekly reminder that you could have traveled the road she chose.

4. You never talk about your house anymore.

It’s Happy Hour, and you’re out with your girlfriends. The topics shift between work, home, relationships, and Orangetheory Fitness classes, but one thing never comes up: your house. Back in the day, you excitedly discussed your plans for a renovation project or new paint for your bathroom walls. Not anymore. Today, you’re talking about your next house.

5. Your renovations have completely stalled.

When you moved in, you had the future in mind. A future with ginormous replacement windows that illuminate the house with natural light. A future with tons of cabinet space in the kitchen to store your collection of mid-century modern dishes, Danish stemware, and spices from every part of the world. Fast forward three years, and your heart just isn’t in it. The work it would take to truly transform the house would have to be spread over decades, and you’ve thrown up your hands in frustration. There has to be a better way.

6. You’re looking for someone to blame.

You know you wanted this old house. Your partner asked you if you were sure about taking on the decades-old plumbing, energy inefficient windows and doors, and cracked driveway. Now that those problems are taking their financial and emotional toll, it’s hard to look in the mirror. Surely this isn’t my fault. So you start fights about the house, pinning the blame on your partner for going along with such a bad idea.

7. You have a private Pinterest board dedicated to your next act.

In your heart, you’ve already moved on. That’s why you save posts with an eye toward the future: your next house. None of the ideas would work in your old space, and that’s just fine with you. All the favorite home design ideas you have found online belong in another space entirely: a new home.

8. You lose track of time when you’re out scouring new home communities.

It’s Saturday. You’re going to the gym. On the way, you pass a new community that seems like it was made for you. What begins as a quick visit to the welcome center turns into hours touring the model home and dreaming up your perfect layout in the design center. So much for working out!

9. You reject any advice you don’t want to hear.

God forbid anyone suggest that you settle back into your old home and accept the drudgery of continuing to live there. You would much rather hear about a way out. Your financial adviser has detailed the long-term benefits of transitioning to new construction. Your mortgage broker gives you the green light to start your new home search. Your partner is on board, if for no other reason than to shut you up! A loan pre-approval lights a fresh fire in you to put your house on the market. You are sailing full-steam toward a new home relationship and cannot be stopped!

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Sarah Kinbar Ristorcelli is a writer and former magazine editor with a focus on the way people experience designed spaces. Her stories for national and local publications feature the innovations in technology, materials, and design that shape the way we live.

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