Please Tell Me About Your Lifestyle

Real Estate Agent with eXp Realty of California, Inc. CA DRE #01490977

I Don’t Mean to Question Your Lifestyle, But I Must!!


Perhaps that sounds like an intrusive question, but it’s an important one when searching for a new home in Carlsbad, or nearby.


Buyer HandbookI work with a lot of buyers who are relocating here from other parts of California, or other states, and usually there are some pretty important things they are seeking when moving to Southern California, either to Carlsbad or other nearby communities in North San Diego County.


Of course there are important things about the house that you want and need because of your personal situation, and the lifestyle you lead, or perhaps hope to lead.


It’s critical to make some decisions about the must-haves versus the amenities that are not so important when you are searching for a home so you don’t waste time seeking something that doesn’t exist, or isn't in your budget.


Do you have to have 4 bedrooms or can 3 work?

Are 2 full baths essential or will 1 full and 1 half bath work?

Does the yard have to be fenced?

Can you get by with a 2-car garage instead of 3?

Are you OK with a 2-story home or must it be single story, or a 2-story with a first floor bedroom or master bedroom?

Do you need a dedicated home office or can you use an extra bedroom as one?


Yoga on the beach in Carlsbad


In our Carlsbad market inventory is limited, and prices have been rising. So it’s important to have a good sense of what you need as it relates to the available inventory. It may or may not be difficult to find exactly what you want for the budget you have. Keep in mind there are always trade-offs when buying a Carlsbad home so it best fits your desired lifestyle.


But the other essential component, perhaps even more important, is the community and the lifestyle it affords you. I have yet to have a buyer say that the community was not an important factor, and in some ways it may be the most meaningful.  The right house in the wrong area will typically not work!


outdoor kitchen



Southern California offers a different lifestyle for many because of the great weather we have most of the time. And a big part of what most Carlsbadians like about being here is the fact that they can enjoy the outdoors most of the time, if not all year – with a wide range sports, recreational options, dining and much more. And for those moving from colder climes, like the Midwest or New England, the change in lifestyle can be most welcome but also very different! And that’s often a big part of what buyers are looking for when they move here.


Want to know a little bit more about out outdoor lifestyle in Carlsbad and nearby?




Carlsbad Homes – Outdoor Living, Dining and Cooking


Carlsbad – Outdoor Living at Its Best in Southern California


Things to Do at the Beach in Carlsbad



In addition to finding out what is most important for your new home, it’s very useful for me to understand how you live and what you are seeking when you move here so I can guide you in the right direction. Here are a few examples.


  • Some neighborhoods will not work for you if you want to be within walking distance to the beach, or directly on the beach

  • If you want to live or near a golf course, that will eliminate many neighborhoods and narrow the search to specific areas and price ranges, which means there is a more limited pool of available properties

  • Do you want to be able to walk to amenities like shopping and dining or is a car drive OK

  • Pools and spas are more prevalent here (it’s a weather thing!) so if that’s important your search criteria should include that, or perhaps a willingness to install a pool or spa if space permits. Or will a community pool work (it may even be preferable)?


path to a Carlsbad beach


I created a questionnaire to target buyer’s home search criteria they are seeking and ask buyers to complete this. This helps guide them in their thinking about what’s most important for their new house, but also helps me better understand your needs. If you would like a copy please get in touch with me directly or via text at (760) 840-1360 or send me an email.


Because lifestyle is such a key issue for buyers, I created a second questionnaire focused on lifestyle questions. I have found many buyers have fairly specific expectations of what they are seeking in their move to Southern California and they vary quite a bit. These expectations impact the type of home, location, neighborhood, access to amenities and many other factors that we need to sort through to find the right property for you that fits your budget.


It's not unusual for buyers to have questions about schools, crime and safety, the "best" neighborhoods and similar issue. Please understand that I cannot answer questions such as: where are the best schools? Is this a safe neighborhood? Who lives in this neighborhood? But I can provide guidance as to resources and ways to gather this information so you can satisfy yourself.


Carlsbad homesHere’s to your new lifestyle in Carlsbad or elsewhere here in coastal North San Diego County.

Why not give me a call (760-840-1360) or text me, or send me an email at so we can discuss your hopes, dreams and budget and get started finding you the right home here in Carlsbad, or nearby.


Check out the Carlsbad Lifestyle in the slide show below.


Posted by

Jeff Dowler, CRS
Certified Residential Specialist / Realtor®

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Enjoy the beach life in Carlsbad, Oceanside, Encinitas,
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Comments (28)

Beth Atalay
Cam Realty and Property Management - Clermont, FL
Cam Realty of Clermont FL

Jeff, this is a must-read post by all Carlsbad home buyers. You offer so much information that's critical in finding the right home. Beautiful pictures, make me want to move to Carlsbad.

Feb 21, 2017 09:27 AM
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
Fathom Realty Washington LLC - Tacoma, WA
South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker!

Reminds me of the days I spent at Point Loma Jeff Dowler. God smiled when he made your area  

Feb 21, 2017 09:32 AM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Lifestyle questions are SO important. If I planned to move there, I'd want to be close to a place where my large dogs could run and play. My son would want to be near a quality gym. My husband would want to be where he couldn't see any neighbors. (Since we're not millionaires, I guess we won't move there!)

Feb 21, 2017 09:43 AM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Hi Jeff - asking the right questions up front sure makes the search more productive.   Some thing like two stories won't work for some. 

Feb 21, 2017 10:28 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Pasadena And Southern California 818.516.4393

Good morning, Jeff -- why, yes, you should ask those kinds of questions!  And when you listen as carefully as you do --- the results achieved will be even better. Good topic to discuss and a clever title too.   

Feb 21, 2017 10:59 AM
Belinda Spillman
Aspen Lane Real Estate Colorful Colorado - Aurora, CO
Colorado Living!

It is important to get the story before the search.  For me it would be a shack on the beach.  I would be fine with that.  A bathroom would be a nice bonus.

Feb 21, 2017 11:42 AM
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi
NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656 - New Lenox, IL
708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience

Whether it's finding the right home for our clients ... or finding the financing that's the perfect fit for them, questions are the tool we use as professionals, Jeff Dowler.  With home buying selection and financing both, there are options available.  The more we know, the better we can eliminate the bad options and offer the good ...

You put a very caring spin on question asking ... just as it should be from a real estate professional ...


Feb 21, 2017 11:56 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

I totally agree Ron and Alexandra Seigel  and it's a discussion I have with all buyers since each one is unique, and often there are some pretty important issues to understand. I also talk with sellers too so I can understand what they like about the house they are selling and the community.


Feb 21, 2017 12:33 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Mike Bjork  - a good chunk of my business HAS been buyers coming from other areas...some years almost 50%. Thanks for the compliment. Often people relocating here are doing so because of the lifestyle they want to live - much is about the climate, but not all.


Feb 21, 2017 12:35 PM
Mike Bjork

Wow, that's very cool!  It's a wonderful area, and beautiful!  I can see why people would like to relocate there.

Feb 22, 2017 08:45 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Beth Atalay 

Thank you so much - what a nice thing to say. There's a lot that Carlsbad offers and it's important to understand what people are looking for in their lifestyle as they search for a new home. Glad you like the photos - I love showcasing all that Carlsbad has to offer.


Feb 21, 2017 12:39 PM
Dick Greenberg
New Paradigm Partners LLC - Fort Collins, CO
Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate

Hi Jeff - You're right. That's a discussion that we always have with clients. There are so many different lifestyles on offer here, and focusing at the start of the process always makes it go better.

Feb 21, 2017 01:26 PM
Hannah Williams
HomeStarr Realty - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-820-3376

Jeff Dowler  Great questions to get to know our clients and what their wants and needs are

Feb 21, 2017 01:31 PM
Debbie Reynolds, C21 Platinum Properties
Platinum Properties- (931)771-9070 - Clarksville, TN
The Dedicated Clarksville TN Realtor-(931)320-6730

When inventory is tight then buyers must do much more compromising if they intend to be successful in finding a home. You have a good series of questions that will lead them to think what is the most important to them.

Feb 21, 2017 04:43 PM
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

Great post.  Lifestyle is a very important aspect when it comes to buying a home in a new location.  Great idea with the questionnaire!

Feb 21, 2017 07:36 PM
Lynnea Miller
Bend Premier Real Estate - Bend, OR
Premier Real Estate Service in Central Oregon

Lifestyle is what we are selling all the time in Central Oregon, Jeff Dowler .  We have property in the city, we have acreage property, we have rural homes, we have mountain views, river views, townhomes, single family residential, golf course communities, resorts, 2nd home areas, and so much more. Listening to your clients to determine their needs is the MOST important thing a buyer's agent can do in our market.

Feb 21, 2017 09:05 PM
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Jeff. What an excellent post this is. Narrowing down the real essentials matters anywhere and everywhere.

Feb 23, 2017 06:55 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Dick Greenberg  - I can tell all that from your writings and your style! We offer a lot too, and part of the fun is also helping others discover the options they have!

They are essential, Hannah Williams . Thanks for stopping by!


Feb 25, 2017 06:04 PM
Jill Sackler
Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500 - Long Beach, NY
LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate

Amazingly well done Jeff. It's a very comprehensive post. I like this statement: "The right house in the wrong area will not work!"

But interestingly enough, an almost right house in the right area will absolutely work.

Mar 23, 2017 06:20 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Debbie Reynolds  - compromising is often necessary, and some are better about it than others. Thinking about what is most important is essential as it puts everything else in perspective.

Thank you Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089  I find that buyers usually respond well to the questionnaire and share it with me!


Mar 23, 2017 07:49 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

I totally agree Lynnea Miller  Some do it better than others. And it takes time for some buyers to really come to grips with what they really want!

That's so true Sheila Anderson  - it's an interesting process to watch!

Jill Sackler  - thanks so much. And what you said is so true! We see it time and time again!


Mar 23, 2017 07:52 AM