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Has it been a while since you fell in love with a home? Perhaps you’re ready for your first love? It’s a great time to keep an open mind about your options.

If it’s been a while since you’ve looked for love, or if this is your first time, be careful not to be too caught up in modern day “home dating sites” (real estate websites with property searches). Why? Just like actual dating sites, you might miss out on your very best option, if you are too swayed by a pretty face and an exaggerated description.

Back in the day, if you wanted to find a home to love, you would look for a good matchmaker first. Both then and now, a great Realtor® would get to know you and ask many questions about your lifestyle, preferences and more, to help match you with homes that best meet your needs. Prior to access to Internet searches, this was common sense. I still work this way with my own clients, but far too often, I’m amazed when I meet people who are searching for a home, who prefer to search “alone.” 

Just like a trusted friend, your Realtor® can point out some red flags that you should pay attention to, while you’re falling in love with a home that appears to be beautiful on the outside. It may be beautiful on the inside, too, but only time and objective evaluation will determine that. As someone looking out for your best interest, your Realtor® may also try to introduce you to a slightly less attractive home, because they know that it has a solid foundation, good bones and loads of potential.

What are the biggest home (dating) search mistakes that I see? Number one is forgetting about location. In the history of real estate, location has been the most important factor for determining current and future value. If you’re focused on pretty pictures and not the map, you might make a big mistake. Often times there are location features (both positive & negative) that are not obvious, unless you go to look in person. It’s not just about the map. A local, experienced Realtor® will also be able to share information with you that might not be obvious, such as areas that are prone to problematic soil conditions or other “invisible” factors. Second, don’t be too quick to delete the house match with unattractive pictures. Why? Some homes are staged and presented with professional excellence….and some are not. An average home with gorgeous staging and the best professional photography is far more likely to catch your attention than a great home with no staging and poor photography (home seller tip – do some research before you choose which Realtor® represents you). 

While they can be a great opportunity for love, beware of fixer-uppers. These relationships can lead to great joy and success, if you know what you are getting into. Do research to find out what went wrong (or was neglected) in the last homeowner relationship, and also do research to find out how much time & effort it is going to cost you to turn this home into the love of your life. Make sure that you have realistic expectations. 

If the last homeowner was only in the relationship for money, it’s good to be cautious. A recently renovated home might be an excellent opportunity for you (especially if you love the look and don’t wish to have to do anything). Some flips are done by very reputable contractors who take pride in doing things right. Too often, flips are done by amateurs looking to make a quick profit. In these cases, it’s common to find that the focus was entirely on outward appearance, without any attention paid to work needed below the surface. The last thing that you want to do is to get into a relationship with a home that has these issues…no matter how pretty it looks on the outside. 

Every home sale is unique. If the thought of searching for your next home, or selling your current home has you feeling overwhelmed, please feel free to reach out to me at 925-964-5010 or via email at for a custom analysis of your options. Even if you’re not ready to make a move today, it’s never too early to start planning for success.