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When I help clients weigh the many factors in choosing a home, the most important and angst-producing ones are location, condition and configuration.

Naturally, you bring strong preferences and emotional biases to the process of buying a home. My job is to help you see past them, to consider each house as dispassionately as possible, on its own merits and value.

How to quantify location
For comparison purposes, look beyond a property’s immediate neighborhood to explore nearby subsections. In San Francisco, not only do we have micro-climates, but also micro-neighborhoods. The whole flavor of an area can change within one block.

I’ll help you review recent sale prices to see how these subareas have affected other buyers’ decisions. Then we can assign quantitative values to specific places, giving you a clear and logical way to fold location into your decision making.



Recognizing true condition
Objectively assessing a home’s condition is the most difficult task. How can you impartially compare an updated, open plan home with one that’s merely painted and staged to mask its flaws? Can you see potential beneath ratty carpet and gaudy wallpaper?

It’s not easy. But as a building contractor as well as a broker, I can guide you through real estate objectivity training. I’ll give you a checklist for comparing properties side by side, so you avoid confusion and become an empowered buyer.



I’ll also walk you through formulating ballpark estimates for updating projects so you can take an apples-to-apples approach to evaluating properties.

Go for a livable configuration
It’s not just the number of beds and baths, but the actual layout of the rooms that will determine how a home will work for your family.

Ask yourself questions like these:

  • How would my family’s daily activities flow in this home?
  • Is the yard on the same level as the main living space?
  • Can we access the back yard from a convenient common area or is a family member’s bedroom the only entry point?
  • Is the kitchen laid out so we can cook and converse with guests? When standing at the sink, do I face a wall, a window or look into the home?
  • Where would a flat screen TV feel right in the common area?
  • Can we enter the home from the garage or will we be carrying groceries through the rain to the front door?

For more insight into a home’s positives and negatives, try to see it through the eyes of other prospective buyers. Especially now that you can evaluate large numbers of properties quickly, being impartial, honest with yourself and open to nuances will keep you from missing out on a gem.

Let me show you a simplified, systematic way to find your next home — starting with an exclusive online home search tool. Because it’s subscription-based, the home listings are up to date and will save you loads of time.

And I’ll provide practical insights on condition and value for the homes that pass your initial screening. Get in touch when you’re ready to move ahead.