When Centris becomes an obsession

When Centris becomes an obsession 

Property find concept. Couple looking house, real estate smartphone online app. Girl and boy rent apartment, young family need flat, vector illustration. Couple housing decision, house comparison

Are you the type to compulsively consult properties for sale whether you are actively looking to buy a home or not? Rest assured, you are not alone. But that's not necessarily good for you either.

In 2020, Stéphanie Robillard, then looking for a house, claims to have become “addicted” to the Centris real estate site.

“It was getting unhealthy,” she told Metro. I went there systematically several times a day, when I got up, when I went to bed, always in case something interesting appeared. I even woke up at night to go see. It was a real source of anxiety. » 

For her, the search for a house had become like a race; she had to be the first to jump on an opportunity if it presented itself.  

Psychologist Geneviève Beaulieu-Pelletier is familiar with this feeling, commonly known as “FOMO” for “fear of missing out”. that is, the fear of missing out on something.  

Social networks in general create this feeling. So, for some people, the properties for sale feed on Centris may become the new Instagram feed. We look often, because we don't want to miss anything. 

A scary market 

“A person looking for a property wants be sure not to miss a great opportunity, especially in the current market [where house prices have climbed significantly],” believes Geneviève Beaulieu-Pelletier.

The cult of the owner as supreme valuation is a source of anxiety and depression for many people who feel the pressure to quickly access property, continues the psychologist. For what? Simply to meet the standards associated with success imposed by society. Watching Centris obsessively therefore becomes an attempt to soothe this anxiety, a thought pattern that is not necessarily healthy, she believes.   

Determined to one day become an owner, Maude Maillé-Daviau also looks almost every week at the apartments for sale on Centris, even if she does not want to buy in the short term. “As many of my friends also do, I like to imagine myself in my future condo, to dream a little.” 

“I want to see what kind of residence will be available when the time comes. Ideally, I would like something with character, so I'm looking at what kind of place I could find it and at what price,” she continues.

Always better

Today, Stéphanie Robillard has realized her dream of becoming an owner. She found a house in Laval. However, she keeps an eye on Centris.  

“I still have a bit of an unhealthy curiosity,” she admits. A little voyeuristic side. » 

She dreams of another property, evaluating if she can have better while being aware that the human being always wants more, tends to never be fully satisfied and always compares herself (in spite of himself).  

Ask questions 

Looking at houses and thinking that ours is not as beautiful can have harmful effects on our mental health, notes Geneviève Beaulieu-Pelletier. “It creates needs and highlights shortcomings [while we already do it cheerfully in most spheres of our lives].  

“Someone who obsessively returns to Centris or any other site must take a moment to pause and ask themselves what they are looking for there: what need are they trying to to fill in ? Does his daily life lack stimulation? Is there a lack of projects? Why can't he be satisfied?, advises the psychologist. Any habit that we develop in a significant and regular way responds to a need [often to be reassured, validated, for example]. You have to see what doesn't suit us in our life, the nature of this void that we are trying to fill by going to these sites.” 

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