Ask Someone Else's Mom by Susan Writer

House Hunting with a Germaphobe

DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: I am married to a germaphobe. As you can imagine, living through a pandemic has been a challenge.

Now life’s getting even more interesting because our lease is about to expire, and we decided it’s time to find a house of our own. The market is wide open in our area, and the deals are there for our price range.

What’s proving difficult is my husband’s trouble entering and exploring different homes. Our realtor has been awesome trying to prescreen places that are clean and tidy, but that only goes so far.

I really want my husband to be part of the process, but he keeps saying I should look at everything and then only make him go to no more than two “finalists” as he calls them. Even then, he’s already told me he will only enter them in PPE, and even then, I know it’ll be torture for him.

I hate feeling like most of the decision-making for our future home is on me. Is it worth it to try to get him to more places, or just let it go? --- FEELING THE PRESSURE

DEAR FEELING THE PRESSURE: You know your husband best, and if he’s made it clear he’s not comfortable going into a lot of different, unfamiliar homes, it seems like you need to honor that. What would be gained by dragging him along, especially since the photos posted on most realty websites give some idea of available properties? Beyond those, when you visit them you can take your own, more detailed shots and videos of houses that you feel would be of particular interest to your husband. That way you can work together at home to choose the finalists.

If it’s any consolation, I’ve known other spouses who have had to do at least the preliminary house hunting on their own due to a variety of different circumstances. I’ve yet to hear that they picked poorly.

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