Brown Shingles and Wiggly Drawers

I don’t like brown-shingle houses. Or so I thought.

There, I said it.

They remind me of once-pretty Cape Cod houses that the owner stained some dreadful, dark brown color. And painted the window frames shocking white. Inside, they’d smell musty and old, with creaky floors, dark wood walls with cobwebs in the ceiling beams, and bureau drawers that you had to wiggle from side to side to open. Chances are, the front lawn had browned from neglect.

dark brown shingle.jpg

I felt rather strongly about this (kinda like beets, yuck).

As it turns out, Bay Area brown-shingles are a different story, and I’m – pause, breathe – coming to see that. Some of the prettiest homes I’ve seen are warmly stained brown-shingles, with soft, run-your-hands-along-them gumwood details within, calming shades of cream, olive, or terra cotta painted above them, and buffed hardwood floors. Totally different.

So, what do you do when you’re searching for a house and you explain to your Realtor that you don’t like brown-shingles? In the Bay Area, I may as well have said I didn’t like Farmer’s Markets, either (I love them, btw). My Realtor was set out to convince me they were great, and it annoyed the crap out of me.


We learn by experience, don’t we?

After a while, I wouldn’t even get out of the car when we pulled up to one. Then I’d hate the remaining houses on the list, just because. I learned to be a better listener, and I wish she had, too (bless her; this was many moons ago).

THIS made me become a Realtor.

THIS made me love working with buyers.

I needed to be heard, and I know you do, too.

Any Realtor can plug search criteria into the MLS and see what’s out there. You can go online at midnight in your pj’s for heaven sakes and check out what Redfin sent you. How’s that working for you?

If you’re looking for a home, emotional triggers often reveal your true wants/needs:

  • a yard to play in, like when you were growing up

  • a spot for a vegetable garden

  • a kitchen nook for tea in the afternoon

  • morning sunlight to start your day out on a cheery note

  • a banister to slide down when no one’s looking

  • a wide, quiet street where the kiddos can bike-ride.

Backyard Vegetable Garden Design Ideas.jpg

Your mind starts to wander, because triggers are harder to find online than bed/bath counts.

You wish it were easier to find a house. Sigh.

You wish you could take a year off and travel—without having to worry what anything costs.

You wish you were a chef in a little pie shop, with ruffly aprons in pink and green… (oh, sorry, that’s where I wander!) 🙋‍♀️🥧

Wake up [slap]!!

Binge through houses online like an addict.

Call me when you’re ready to find your next home: We’ll sit down and have a warm conversation about what’s important to you. ‘Build your dream house’, I call it. I’ll listen to your wants, your needs, your emotions, then let you go back to life/work while I find that house.

Maybe it will be online, maybe it won’t.

Many of the houses my buyers have purchased had never hit the market. I see more pre-market (or, “ugh, please don’t make me paint and prep while I’m still living here!”) houses today than in past years, and I’ve always got a few in my back pocket to show you. Wink, wink.

* Hallefreakinlujah! *

Finding a home in the East Bay just got easier:

Let’s have that conversation.


p.s., I found my dream house, and it’s light and bright, beachy, filled with flowers, surrounded with wonderful neighbors, and makes me happy every day. That’s my goal for you, every time. Maybe without all the flowers…

Adele GillisComment