House-hunting, in my experience is a great deal like dating. The first weekend, you're like a twelve-year-old at a Leonardo DiCaprio movie. As you walk out of the theater, you imagine yourself bumping into a three-bedroom luxury condo who desperately needs directions to the same place you happen to be going. You fantasize about his walk-in closets, integrated stereo system, and a lifetime of jacuzzi baths. But by the time you get out of the parking lot, it's dawned on you that you will never get to meet Leo, let alone marry him. You resolve to be more practical next time. Then you go to Junior High and develop an enormous crush on the most popular boy in school. He has a recently renovated kitchen and huge bay windows, but when he ditches you at the local Taco Bell to ollie with his friends, you realize he lacks sufficient storage space and has a tiny backyard. You resolve to be more practical next time. After college, you decide to go out with a nice guy. Eventually you find one who has some cosmetic damage and an antiquated floor plan, but with care and attention you can fix those, and you're in love with his Southern exposure. You make an offer, he accepts, and you start planning your life together. But sometime during escrow, you discover he's an aspiring musician who quit his job so you could support him. You call off the engagement, heartbroken, wondering if there really is such a thing as a man who can commit. You resolve to be more practical next time. In theory, someday a tall, dark, and handsome professional with boyish charm comes along and sweeps you off your feet. But practically speaking, that never happens. After awhile your biological clock starts to tick and you settle for the best available option under the circumstances. You're not sure how long you'll stick with him and you're already eying a number of costly upgrades. You set up a one-sided pre-nup so you can get all your money back out and take the kids when you run off with his handsome older brother. And all along you're asking yourself how much you're willing to pay to steal him from the other house-hunting tarts.