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What made you fall in love with your home?

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It’s Valentine’s Day, and it isn’t just for lovebirds. At realtor.com, we believe there’s no place like home and that when you find the one, that’s worth celebrating.

But how do you know when you’ve found the one? Maybe it’s an open-concept floor plan that conjures up images of gatherings with loved ones. Or, perhaps it’s a walk-in closet and extensive storage space that you know will be by your side for the long haul.

We set out to find the regional must-have features that make home shoppers’ hearts skip a beat. Topping the list of most-loved features are the makings for man-caves, she-sheds, workshops, and granny pods. Also high on the list are features such as acreage and fenced yards, indicating that people in many states love their privacy.

And as it turns out, America has fallen out of love with having to climb stairs. Buyers in several states don’t want anything to do with multi-level homes, instead opting for a single-level home, rambler, or first-floor master.  

When we shared these insights with our employees, exchanges about what made them fall in love with their own homes began. Unsurprisingly, what many of our employees love about their own dwellings is not too different than other Americans. 

Isabel Samano, for instance, our Workplace Services Supervisor, shared that it’s all about location. She grew up with seven brothers and sisters and as she raises her own family, it’s critical to be in close proximity to extended family. Her mom and a younger sister live just down the street from Samano, enabling their tight-knit unit to get together at a moment’s notice. 

For Tracey Lewis, Sr. Director of Corporate Communications, it was all about matters of the heart. She explained that when she and her husband walked into a listing 15 years ago, her husband immediately said, “Uh oh!” Lewis, unsure what he was referencing, asked, “What?” Her husband went on to say, “I grew up in this house.” As luck would have it, the listing was designed and built by the same person as her husband’s parents’ home. When they stood that day in what would become their oldest daughter’s room, her husband said, “I threw spitballs at my brother from my bunk bed over here!” At that moment, they decided they’d found the one and bought the house. It already felt like home. 

And for Rebecca Faries, Sr. Customer Care Representative, the view is what drew her in. Similar to must-have features in Arkansas, Florida, Minnesota, Missouri, Tennessee, and West Virginia, sweeping views and a heavenly location were just the right X-factor to make the home hers. She says, “I didn’t even see anything that might need to be fixed on my house because I instantly fell in love with the view!”

I must say, I know that feeling well. When my husband and I bought our first home, we fell in real estate love at first sight. Before we even entered the home, we noticed a super unique fixture on the front porch. Our agent let us know that the house was built in the 1890s, and what we were looking at was an original gas light — one of the few still remaining in the neighborhood. We were so excited to be buying a little piece of history! 

We all have our own story, and like the old adage: when you know — you know. It’s kismet. Happy Valentine’s Day from our home to yours! 


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