Get the Home That Tickles Your Heart

Where you live expresses your personal Lifestyle; the things that you value most and the way you share your life with those around you. Did you ever describe something you thought you wanted, and then fall in love with something that seems almost the opposite? I have. Trying to communicate these values to your agent when purchasing a home may sound simple, but it is not always easy to articulate what makes your heart sing. Here is a series of questions I've adapted from Don Morris, a writer and psychologist who has spent years training others to get in touch with what they really want on a deeper, unconscious level, instead of the surface, first thoughts of what they think they want.

When contemplating a move, we often think first about what we want to change with a move. Usually this is to satisfy some dissatisfaction in our current situation, like a noisy apartment building, lack enough space for a growing family, or too much space to keep taking take care of. In addition, it is very helpful to spend some time thinking about what does work and what you do enjoy about where you currently live. Is it close to work? Is it peaceful? Do you love your garden? Start by making a list of what you enjoy most about where you live.

Then answer and rate the following 10 areas. This will help you identify those things that you value most. If you are buying with a spouse or another person, it's better if you separately do this exercise and then merge them together. These questions should jog your mind and help you determine what is important, i.e. Do you really like to have a large group seated around the table frequently, or, on the infrequent times you have large groups, is buffet style just fine? Do you B-B-Q a lot and want easy access to the yard from the kitchen? Are you a person who needs quiet time away from the rest of the family, are there enough separate spaces for you or do always like the company of others and want the "Great room" where everybody is in the same area. Are your children young and learning to ride bikes? Would you like a level neighborhood with sidewalks at least for the next few years? Are the children older and now is the time to move up a hill, closer to the beach, or some other place that didn't seem to work with a young family?

You can assist yourself ,and your agent, in finding the best place for yourself by doing the following exercises. When you have completed these, identify the 3 to 5 top priorities, share them with your agent and set out to find the place that tickles your heart!

Rate everything below on a scale of 1 to 5. (1 is least valuable, 5 is most valuable):

1. Neighborhood

  • Friendly neighbors
  • Family neighborhood
  • Easy access to commute
  • Quiet streets away from traffic
  • Unpaved streets
  • Rural or out-of-the-way location
  • Homes of like design and price range
  • Privacy from other homes
  • Cul-de-sac location
  • Eclectic neighborhood

2. Architectural Style

  • Traditional
  • Modern
  • Wood
  • Shingle
  • Stucco
  • Other

3.Yard Design

  • Spacious frontyard
  • Spacious backyard
  • FencedHeavily shrubbed and trees
  • Open spaces
  • Private spaces
  • Level lot


  • Attractive backyard
  • Minimum of obstacles in sight
  • Ocean/water view
  • Whitewater view
  • Trees, hills
  • Neighborhood
  • Lights

5. Colors

  • Earthy
  • Neutral
  • Pastal
  • Bright, bold

6. Kitchen

  • Separate from other rooms
  • Open to family room
  • Open to family, dining and living rooms
  • Set up for gourmet cooking
  • All appliances
  • Willing to remodel

7. Separate Family Room

  • Having people over weekly, monthly, annually
  • Easy access to backyard
  • Patio
  • Deck
  • Fireplace

8. Dining Room

  • Separate and private
  • Informal
  • Open to kitchen
  • Great room style
  • Seating for how many people

9. Bedrooms/Bathrooms

  • Large master suite
  • Master bathroom
  • More than one master suite
  • Number of bedrooms
  • Number of bathrooms

10. Other

  • Move-in condition
  • Updated and contemporary
  • Formal entry
  • Drive-up curb appeal

Go Coastal With Ara!