You remember that pet name on "Seinfeld" right?

It doesn't even MEAN ANYTHING, but we all got it. It's a little too emotional. A little irrational and kind of annoying...

Believe it or not, "Schmoopie" kind of goes hand in hand with "There's no place like home..." (I know I'm reaching, but just stick with me on this...). It all sounds totally cliche, right? But, who knew that when Jerry muttered those words that they'd collide some day with Dorothy's and make so much darn sense!

Our "home" is our sanctuary, kingdom, etc.

It's the place where we open our eyes to start our day, where we lay our heads at night, hang out and let it all hang out. Did you ever think yours would be anything more than a few walls that contain all our stuff? "Home" is also where we retreat, find strength, pull ourselves together after defeat, yadda yadda.

As a Realtor®, I'm amazed at how lightly many would-be buyers & renters take this. Don't get me wrong, many buyers absolutely understand just how important this is, but so many mores squander the opportunity. Yeah, I'm sure you're skeptically muttering under your breath something along the lines of "champagne tastes... beer budget". You're missing what I'm saying.

"Home" doesn't represent the latest design dream drawn up on HGTV by the Gaines' or Property Brothers.

I'm talking about the *real* stuff... waking up in the AM and hearing, seeing, smelling & tasting things that ground you. Knowing you can WALK, run, hike or ride out the door to something that means a lot to you. Let the emotion and sentiment guide you, but NOT blind you to reality.

Here are a few tips to make sure you get a good one...

1. Think about what you need.

It's knowing that the park where you do your circuit training, your favorite coffee place or grocery store or hiking loop, your bus stop, and even your job, if you work A LOT, is close by and you can retreat there in a heartbeat.

What does your ideal morning and/or evening look like?

Do you really not care about either of those but relish afternoon lunches at home? What do those moments look like?

Where's your dogs' favorite walking route or dog park?

Lest you think I'm off my real-estate rocker, clients like a couple I ADORE, bought their house just off Murphy's Bridle Path in North Central Phoenix because the backyard reminded the husband of a favorite pond when he grew up & the wife of the trees in her native European country.  Another couple I worked with spent an entire weekend biking the greenbelts in McCormick Ranch before professing, "This is it! *THIS* is where we want to be!!". They loved that area until it no longer suited the needs of their families. I have tons of stories like these.

You can't put a dollar amount on any of this. It doesn't need to be deep. It definitely doesn't make sense, but being aware of these details could profoundly impact one of your life's biggest purchases.

2. Make a list.

Seriously. Don't keep it all upstairs and hope you can recall it at a moment's notice. I promise you. Inevitably, you'll be "blinded by the pretty" of some aesthetically pleasing aspect of a home. You'll forget all about [Kyle Jeanne, Sammy, ...], the [barrista, butcher, server, convenience store clerk] right down the street in your current hood [Old Town Scottsdale, Willo, Kierland, Arcadia, ...], who makes your [coffee, oatmeal, eggs, knows which newspaper.] *just the way you like it*.  EVERY. DAMN. DAY. You'll kick yourself if you don't. Or maybe you'll do what I say and just be happy.

3. If you haven't put a ring on it (or received one) yet, PLEASE don't let your Schmoopie help you make the list.

Schmoopies come and go... This is YOUR pad. YOU pay for it & may really pay for it if the place sucks or the relationship doesn't work out... They don't even need to know about your list. I won't tell them... Promise! ;)

A couple who searched in vain to find the *right* home followed my advice and brought their list with them when they bought their 2nd home from me. The checked off each of the boxes in glee as they confirmed the home they were standing in, in N Central Phoenix was "their perfect home" (they knew they were on to something) REALLY WAS their perfect home. Think I set the bar high? Not really. The 1st one I sold them near Uptown Phoenix was "too perfect" and they almost didn't buy it!! LOL Don't be intimidated. This home doesn't have to be the "end all be all". It just has to be the "end all be all" *right now*.

The Final Takeaway:

Whether you're buying or renting, put some thought into this and get organized. You'll probably live wherever you end up for a while- at least a year right? Life's too short to be unhappy. Find your inner Schmoopie and go get yourself someplace good. I'll help you! :)



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