Ask McEnearney: How will I know?

This week’s Q&A column is sponsored and written by Hope Peele of The Peele Group and McEnearney Associates Realtors®, the leading real estate firm in Alexandria. To learn more about this article and relevant Alexandria market news, contact The Peele Group at 703-244-6115 or email [email protected].You may also submit your questions to McEnearney Associates via email for response in future columns.

Question: How will I know?

Answer: When searching for “the one”, so many have the same question. To quote the late, great Whitney Houston — “How will I know?”

In fact, buying a home is a lot like falling in love and can sometimes last a lot longer!

You will also find that friends and family may want to weigh in. Sometimes their advice can be helpful, but sometimes not. Just because they think you absolutely must live inside the beltway, or should have a big yard, doesn’t mean it’s so. So, how do you filter out the good intentions and find the right home for you?

Trust your gut: Just like when you meet someone new, if something feels fishy it probably is. Unlike dating, it isn’t rude to ask invasive questions! Don’t be afraid to ask. If someone does not want to answer your questions, that could be a bad sign. Maybe it’s just a sign of a noncommunicative agent, but it shouldn’t be difficult for you to find out ages of systems, roof, etc.

Take opinions with a grain of salt: Of course, you have an inner circle who you share everything with and their opinions can be crucial. But take their advice with a grain of salt. They won’t have to live with your decision in the same way that you will. If something feels off, listen to that feeling. Sometimes your loved ones won’t see the diamond in the rough the same way that you can, so take that with a grain of salt as well.

Beware of catfish! Pictures online can only show so much. We all know how photos can be edited these days, and so much can be added or subtracted. Blemishes and scars may be things that you can forgive a partner for covering up, but you usually need to know the story if there are issues in the home.

Outside beauty is not necessarily reflective of inner beauty! Shiny and new can hide a ton of flaws. Even if the pictures very accurately depict how gorgeous a home is, there is due diligence to ensure that the inner beauty is there as well. Just like people, there are ways that we can discover the inner beauty of a home. You just have to know how to look.

Don’t force it: There are plenty of fish in the sea! Of course, especially in this market, searching for a home can feel just as hopeless as finding a nice, single partner in the D.C. area. Sometimes it can take a while. However, the one IS out there! Like every relationship, you will likely need to make just a few compromises, but if it’s true love it won’t feel difficult to know which compromises to make.

Reality TV is the thief of joy: Ok, I know that old adage is “Comparison is the thief of joy,” but let’s be frank here. House hunting on TV is realistic in the same way that The Bachelor is realistic. Of course, being in it for the right reasons is important, but that’s about where the similarities end. You can get cute ideas for a date night or a new backsplash on shows, but don’t get carried away thinking that their journey is real.

It’s your journey! And every journey is different. Your Realtor is key in making your dream a reality. They will help you to decide if what seems too good to be true, is actually the right home for you. Your Realtor is your closest adviser, and will help to protect you from heartbreak, so that love becomes real!

Home is where the heart is! Happy Valentine’s Day!

Hope Peele is a licensed real estate agent with McEnearney Associates, Inc. in Alexandria, Virginia. She grew up in Old Town and currently lives in Del Ray. As a partner with The Peele Group, Hope is dedicated to guiding her clients successfully through the many faceted process of buying or selling a home. Contact Hope at 703-244-6115.

If you would like a question answered in our weekly column or to set up an appointment with one of our Associates, please email: [email protected] or call 703-549-9292.

McEnearney Associates Realtors®, 109 S. Pitt Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. www.McEnearney.com Equal Housing Opportunity. #WeAreAlexandria