What I Learned About Contentment From Watching House Hunters

by Khaleef Crumbley on January 30, 2013

in Christian Living, Personal Finance

When we had cable, my wife loved to watch a show called “Househunters”. It tracked a person or family who were looking to buy a house. They had a list of features about the house that they wanted – some non-negotiables and others, just icing on the cake. They would go over their list with a real estate agent, who would then show them three homes which match many of the features they were looking for.

Content House Hunters

There were a couple of things that always stood out to me while watching the show (besides how I was wasting my time). First, the house hunters would always talk about their current living situation to introduce the episode. As they spoke, you could see the bias and discontented spirit with which they viewed their current home. You would think that these people were living in a van down by the river (tell me someone gets that reference).

I would see people in a beautiful, spacious four bedroom house cry about their tight living conditions because they have one child and one on the way! Because they wanted something that was bigger and better in their mind, they completely lacked the ability to see the good in what they had or to be content where they were.

Another thing that stands out to me is how easily they can overlook the negatives when they find a property that they really like. It’s almost as if they bring out a completely different couple. The same situation that is driving them out of their current home (and making them want to increase their debt) – like too few bathrooms, for instance – is something that they are willing to overlook when it comes to their shiny new home. If they used that same desire and willingness to make things work and deal with shortcomings in conjunction with their current home, they could probably save a ton of money, time, and stress.

The last thing (besides the fact that the show is fake) I noticed is that all of the people are alike. They all want the same thing (big house, perfect location, low price, tons of bedrooms and bathrooms, big yard, etc.) and they all list the same reasons for moving. None of them were willing to make things work where they were and they all felt like they deserved something “better”.

This made us take a look at how we value the things that we already have. There was a point in my life when I used to go to various electronics websites and the website of a major computer manufacturer almost daily in order to find deals on things that I didn’t need. My computer, voice recorder, MP3 player, and any every other electronic device that I owned was adequate enough, but I was always looking for the next new thing.

Fortunately, I was always afraid of buying something that was overvalued and over-hyped,  or I would have replaced all of my electronics annually. Even though they were working fine, seeing something newer and fancier made my current versions seem outdated, cheap, and useless.

It doesn’t matter whether we are thinking about our home, car, electronics, job, clothing, or even relationships; we need to be grateful and thankful for what we have. Doing this will give us a much more reasonable and godly perspective on the prospect of acquiring something new.

1 Timothy 6:7-10 gives us a stern warning about failing to be content with what we already have…

For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. 8 If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content. 9 But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

I am sure that this show would have been canceled in its first season if more people applied this truth to their lives.

Reader Questions

  1. With all of the commercials and other calls to ‘improve’ every item that we own, how do you mange to silence the voices and remain content?
  2. Have you ever fallen victim to the allure of something new and shiny only to regret the purchase later?
  3. Anyone else get annoyed with the people on these house buying shows or was it just me?

© 2013, KNS Financial, LLC. All rights reserved.

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Susan

Thanks for the article! Contentment is indeed a big issue these days.

And I got the Chris Farley reference! Thanks for the chuckle!

Susan

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2 Khaleef Crumbley

Yes, it is so difficult to be content in today’s culture.

I’m glad you caught it ;-)

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3 Lorillia|Your Money Mentor

I heard about that show but never found enough time to watch the show. I just want to some comment based on your first couple of line in this article.~~~ It is difficult to keep happy with what they have!! People want more and more.

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4 Khaleef Crumbley

You are right about that. It is sad how we continue to chase after things to fulfill us instead of God (which we were created to do). Even those who aren’t seeking after God will ignore family and friends in order to chase after more money and things.

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5 Rich@Money Wise Pastor

Khaleef, in answer to your second question…YES! I have definitely purchased things I’ve later regretted. There have been times when I’ve purchased things based on the idea that I thought I would need/use them sometime in the future…but then actually never did use them.

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6 Khaleef Crumbley

You’re definitely not the only one. I think I still have a couple of things wrapped up! lol

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7 Crystal @ Prairie Ecothrifter

We watch a bunch of HGTV and I find we do two main things. We like to mock the people in shows like House Hunter and For Rent. We also like to watch people get help with the Property Brothers and Income Property. We still mock the homeowners though…just are nicer about it with those shows, lol. :-)

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8 Khaleef Crumbley

You guys sound like us! We definitely mock the people on those shows. If Income Property is the one where the guy fixes up the basement into a great looking apartment, we do mock them a little softer as well. They usually go with the cheaper option and we hate it. lol

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9 Gen Y Finance Journey

I’ve watched the show a couple times, and what stood out to me was the fact that they only look at three houses and then pick one, even if it’s not what they were looking for or if it’s over their stated budget. (Why do they even agree to look at houses that are out of their budget!?!?!) I don’t know that I’ve ever seen the beginning of an episode, so I didn’t know they spent the first segment complaining about their current living situation.

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10 Khaleef Crumbley

That is so true! They have no problem looking at, and choosing a place that is outside of their stated budget. And normally, they stretch things and are extremely liberal with the original budget in my estimation.

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11 Listen Money Matters

I’m not a big fan of those shows. I live in NYC and usually they are house hunting in Ohio, a market the polar opposite of the one I live in. I wish I could be picky about a 3 bedroom 2 bathroom house for less than $200k. My gem in the rough was a beat up Condo with two bedrooms, 700sqft for $321k. I feel like I live in a different world from these shows.

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12 Khaleef Crumbley

I’m on the east coast as well, so I know what you mean. Prices out here are so high, it just seems crazy to see the inventory they have to work with.

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13 Pauline

Those shows are quite annoying. I remember a girl wanting to live in Paris, and the realtor had found a fantastic property 500 yards from the city limit, she got hysterical. We are so spoiled already. Peer pressure is definitely something I have faced, although I tend to keep a distance from those kind of people.

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14 Khaleef Crumbley

That sounds crazy to me. It’s amazing to see what we place value on sometimes. I think that creating distance from people like that is the perfect way to avoid that type of pressure. If they aren’t a huge part of your life, then you won’t really care what they think!

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15 Yiyin

I love that show too! Greg makes faces when I watch it and make snarky comments. Also, don’t you love the ones that walk into a perfectly good kitchen and complain about the lack of stainless steel appliances and granite countertops and say: “everything’s gotta go”?

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16 Khaleef Crumbley

So you and your twin have something else in common. What a shock!

I can’t stand when they have that attitude. Then there are some shows where they actually destroy a perfectly good kitchen to replace it with high-end things. They could at least dismantle it properly so someone else could use it!

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17 TB at BlueCollarWorkman

My wife and I watch taht show sometimes and usually end up having the same conversation again and again. “What’s wrong with these people?” “What’s so bad about where they live?” We have our little 1 story home that people on that show would probably consider shoudl be the size of just one bedroom, haha, but it’s important to be grateful and happy for what you have. We have a little yard and enough room for our family to be together. What else do we need really?

P.S. “There were a couple of things that always stood out to me while watching the show (besides how I was wasting my time). ” — We all need relax time, dude. Whether you spend it staring at the floor, watching TV, driving around…we all need tiem for our brains to slow down. So don’t worry man, it’s not a waste of time watchign TV (unless you’re doing it ALL NIGHT).

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18 Khaleef Crumbley

It sounds like you guys have similar conversations to us. ;-)

I was going to respond and say that I relax, but I really don’t too often. Well actually, the things that I find relaxing are considered “work” in a sense, so I’m not sure if that counts.

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19 Oliver @ Christian Money Blog

These are some good points Khaleef! I think it is easy to get caught up in the mindset of “I’ll be content when I have X!” The truth is we can always be content with what the Lord has already provided for us!

On another note, I had a grandfather who honestly lived in a van down by the river!! Loved the reference!

Oliver

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20 Khaleef Crumbley

Yes, so many of us think that we will be content once we get something bigger/better…sounds a little foolish when we stop and think about it though.

I was hoping that someone noticed that reference.

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