overthinking my next purchase: making a simple decision hard

I am a chronic overthinker, even when it comes to fun purchases, like choosing my next house. So, it took a couple of weeks, but I finally settled on the Earth and Tree Rye Milled Dollhouse Kit. It wasn’t my first choice, but my preferred project, the Earth and Tree Center Harbor, was just too big.

Buying your next house is probably something few of you think about. You have a brand you like, or a style preference. Or, you have a long-standing list of future projects in your head or on paper; or you already have a number of kits lined up in your closet or stuffed under your bed. But in the event you’re an over thinker, like me, and you haven’t made that next purchase because you’re concerned about making the right decision, here are some things to consider.

In no particular order…

1. One thing that sealed the deal for me with the Earth and Tree product was that I hadn’t tried it before. My first house was by Real Good Toys, followed by Greenleaf. I found positives and negatives in each. Since I’m a novice builder, I thought it was important to sample several companies’ kits before settling on a favorite.

2. You might want a house that gives you a challenge. It might be larger or more complex than your previous projects. I’m guessing remodeling one of your previous homes, or rebuilding one found at a thrift store, might fit this category, too.

3. It could be fun to go with something completely different from what you’d normally choose. For example, moving from a style with simple bones, like a mid-century modern, on to a more ornate model, like a Victorian. Choosing opposites can broaden your knowledge of the architecture, while also growing your skill in homebuilding.

4. Price is likely a significant factor, but I’d like to challenge this point to a degree. If a house you love pushes your budget (although never so far as to put you in the financial red zone), I think it’s worth considering. It’s kind of like choosing a snack. If that ice cream bar is calling my name, I’ve learned to just eat it. If I go for healthy substitutes, I eat a lot of extra calories and end up scarfing down the bar anyway. Sometimes indulgence is the only route to true satisfaction.

5. Size was a major consideration when I chose the Rye over the Center Harbor. The Center Harbor was just too big for my workspace and later to display. You can get a larger model, just be aware that the stress may outweigh the joy.

6. At the same time, size can factor into your ability to bring to life your vision. It is less expensive to customize a smaller home than a large one, and less time-consuming.

7. If you’re a novice builder, like me, another factor is the ease of construction. A big, complex project doesn’t fit my skill level. I am hoping to improve my skills by knocking out a few smaller homes before moving onto more complex work.

8. Complexity also factors into any time constraints you may have. Are you trying to finish a dollhouse as a gift? Then, you might have a deadline that helps determine your choice of home. On the other hand, you may seek a long-term project, one to labor over for months or years.

9. Who is your audience? Is it for someone who has made a specific request? Then you know what you’re building next. Are you building homes for a cause and one type of home is the most-requested? Another easy decision. If neither of these is the case, but the house is for someone other than you, then the maturity of the recipient is a factor. Some dollhouse manufacturers cater to a younger audience and make homes for active play; others focus strictly on the more mature hobbyist.

10. There is a term I’ve heard, which is “kit-bashing.” As I understand, it means the builder likes to modify the daylights out of a kit, possibly to the point it is unrecognizable from the original. If you’re a kit-basher, then you’re probably looking for a structure that fits the basic idea of where you want the house to go, but then offers you the room to innovate.

11. There are a couple of final considerations. In an age where we want everything yesterday, what is the delivery time? If you’re impatient, you may want to check the inventory at your local hobby or miniatures shop. If you have a specific project in mind, and it’s only available online, you might have to plan ahead.

12 And to wrap it up, does country of origin matter? Some manufacturers, like Greenleaf and Earth and Tree, manufacture in the United States. Real Good Toys builds some houses here; others in Taiwan, or possibly other locations.

So, there you have it. A few things that might help whittle your choice from a dozen to two or three. Who knew such an easy decision was this complex?

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