House Hunting: Determining Priorities with a Scoresheet


We hit the open house circuit this weekend. The home pictured above is the only interesting Palisades home in our budget range to hit the market since we learned we lost out on the last interesting home that hit the market. What a game this is! This open house was a busy one, there are far more buyers than there are homes at the moment.

My approach has changed. I have just about zero emotional interest in this home, but if we live here, that will be fine too. I told the dude tonight as we were swapping our thoughts on its merits, “I’d MUCH rather flip this home than live in it.” If I were just flipping it, I’d know exactly what choices to make when swapping out the carpet and the awful 1997 kitchen cabinets. To live in it, I can’t identify what to do as easily.

But we can get into flip fantasies another day.

I’ve received enough questions about the scoresheet recently, to feel confident enough to share it with you now. I believe this has been a godsend as we navigate through our process. Here is what it looks like, including the most recent home, pictured above. Her 52 point score might indicate my lacking lust!

House Hunt Score The Estate of Things

We know that compromise is required when it comes to our budget and our options. So this list items might seem silly at first glance, but here’s my thinking.

First, I listed out EVERY little thing that we could think of that we cared about, from the Must Haves to the Would Be Nices, and I even included some of the dreamy things, eg Seven Wanders Brewing , which will accommodate the dude’s obsession with homebrew, and Room to Park the Camper, which is my obsession with our poor derelict vintage shasta camper that is waiting for us to have the space to fix her up. Suffice to say, we thought of everything we wanted.

This led up to something like 32 variables for our house hunt. (32 variables we would never bore our realtor with, but nonetheless each one affects our thought process for every home.)

After that, I made up this formula that is perhaps genius, perhaps arbitrary (I never know with math) but the idea was to prioritize each item with a scoring system 1-5 per line item. Toggle your priorities from 1-5 until your final score equals up to 100. We did it this way:

5 = Must Haves
4 = Strongly Preferred
3 = Preferred, Could Live Without
2 = Would be Nice
1 = Only in Dreams!

We each went through and assigned our own values. Now, I’m not going to hide the fact that this part freaked me out. Because initially – and probably without thinking about it too much, the dude prized his Pew Room (which he where he gets online with his dork friends that he has worked with all day long and together they save planets by killing robots and dancing the safety dance on top of these jetskis that hover, aka “hoverskicraft….“) above having room for all of us plus future family growth. Pssshhhh.

When I confronted him about this, it was like a scene from The Last Man on Earth except not anywhere near funny. Just totally man v. woman. We worked together. It’s hard to see the future.

So, that’s it. Once we had that all numbered out to 100, we pulled out the maxes, to make sure we could see a combined score that represents the uncompromisable differences between the two of us – and now we have a system where for each house, based on a yes or no – it spits out a score for me, for him and for the compromise to see how each home stacks up to others.

The other El Hito, (the recent home with the double white doors that we put an offer on) was a tie score for both of us and a solid B grade overall. So, you can see why we were so into it, and bummed when our offer fell through. We know that we don’t need an A+ because yeah, sure not everyone gets to have all of their dreams come true all of the time… But at least we know we are looking for a passing grade! And I’m thrilled that we can more easily see why when one or the other of us is really into one.







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  • You crack me up! For reals !!!(as my daughter would say)

    I read the whole Pew room paragraph three times. I literally laughed out loud. It’s was so refreshing to hear someone vent honestly instead of the usual middle ground, I have to make sure I don’t give the people I network with something to talk about when I leave the rm BS. I was beginning to think I was the last “to freakin honest and that’s why you have no friends” person on the planet. So thank you for being real!

    • Heather… I typed all that out and then just held my breath while I hit the publish button. Nothing is funnier than the truth around these parts.

      But, then I kinda forgot about it until just now when the dude popped up on my texty screen to tell me “Billy doesn’t appreciate that you called him a dork friend.” BUSTED – who knew those dudely dude dorks were reading up???

      But seriously… Do you watch The Last Man on Earth. It’s a hilarious parody of the silly stuff that we go through as dudes and ladies. It cracks me up so much!

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