Home-buying is a part of life. Even though people are putting off homeownership more than ever, it’s still a solid step forward in feeling like a “grown-up”. Since art often imitates life, it’s no wonder why there are so many movies that either feature buying a home, fixing up a home, or...people who should be staying away from certain homes.

Let’s face it, there are some people out there who are ready and willing to fall for a sob story and buy a dilapidated home, like Tom Hanks and Shelley Long in The Money Pit (though we kind of have to blame Joanna Gaines for this today). 

Some people want to live out the American dream and find a nice, quiet place in the suburbs. Though, you probably shouldn’t watch The Burbs before making any offers. Whether you’re currently in the market to buy a house, you’re trying to fix yours up, or you just have a dream of homeownership one day, movies can provide both practical, and comical lessons when it comes to real estate. 

Let’s cover a few. 

Know What to Look For When You Buy

In 2020, people who purchased a home for the first time made up 31% of all homebuyers in the U.S. That’s a lot of first-time homeowners, and a lot of bottles of champagne being opened! 

Being able to own a home for the first time is exciting. Whether you’ve just made an offer or you’re still looking, it’s important to be aware of a few things, including:

  • How much you should have saved

  • How to strengthen your credit

  • When to hire a home inspector

  • The type of home that fits your needs

  • What you want for your future

It’s also important to choose the right real estate agent. A good agent will be a great listener, easy to get ahold of, and should have some pretty good reviews online. They should also be extremely knowledgeable about every house you’re looking at, and make sure you have as much information as possible about each one. It’s probably best not to stick with one as gullible as Eddie Murphy’s character in The Haunted Mansion

Make the Most of Moving

There are countless films about moving, whether it’s across the country or the neighborhood. Often, they’ll come with a disgruntled teenager not wanting to leave their normal life behind (Cheaper by the Dozen, anyone?). While many films about moving are comical, there are some important lessons they can teach us. You just might have to look a bit harder. Some of those lessons include

  • Creating an inventory to ensure nothing is left behind (like your child’s favorite toy!)

  • Utilizing professional services instead of moving yourself

  • Being prepared for bumps and mishaps along the way

  • Having the right equipment to move your belongings safely

Though it can be funny to see some of these moving scenes unfold, even comedies often take the time to show how difficult moving can be, and they break up the laughs with a touching or serious moment. You can use that lesson to your advantage, too. 

If certain members of your family are having a hard time with a move, make sure to talk to them. Check-in with your kids frequently, and make them an active part of the moving process so they don’t feel so down about leaving their town behind. 

It can even be a good idea to watch some movies about moving experiences together as a family – especially when they’re funny. You can also choose films that are more closely related to your situation, like movies about switching locations for work, or moving into a bigger house so your elderly parents can move in. When children can see their situation on screen, they’re more likely to accept it or realize that it’s normal. 

Don’t Stay in Haunted Houses

It would be impossible to name every horror movie created based on characters in a house that’s haunted. While we all think we’d be smarter than some of those iconic characters, there are some “scary” things about home buying that are often overlooked. 

For example, one of the things you might want to invest in when you buy a home is a smart security system. Smart tech has become increasingly popular in recent years, and using technology to protect your home is a great way to avoid ending up like a horror film victim in the first 30 seconds of the movie. 

Of course, if something scary happens in real life – like a break-in – it’s important to remember there’s no “movie magic” to make things disappear. So, having a strong response plan and getting away from the intruder as quickly as possible should be your top priorities. Of course, most people in horror and action movies are quick to fight back when someone breaks in. You might not have all of the stunt-double skills of a Hollywood star that’s been training for months. But, learning a few self-defense moves can help you to keep yourself, your family, and your home safe. 

This might be a light-hearted look at real estate lessons we can learn from movies, but there are some serious truth nuggets here, too! Whether you already own a home or you’re in the market for one, keep some of these famous films in mind, even if it’s just for laughs!