Blog Stories The 5 W's

The 5 W’s

By Carly van Aart, August 12, 2019

Homebuyer’s priorities vary greatly and one of the most important things I can do as your representative and personal advocate is to work with you to flesh them out and keep them at the forefront.

By asking the following 5 simple questions, we can establish an understanding of your needs and ideals. It is surprisingly easy to lose track of your goals when you walk into a house that is meticulously staged.  Sometimes, they have done such a good job that you don’t realize it is lacking space for a refrigerator, or you step into a backyard sprinkled with raised garden beds so tantalizing that you overlook that it has only 2 true bedrooms when your family requires three. By helping you establish goals, I can gain a true understanding of how I can help guide you to maintain focus on the big picture; to keep your eyes on the prize.


Will you be the only one moving? Are you searching for a home for your mom? Do you have family members moving with you or are you looking for a house into which your family can expand? The question of “who” helps me to understand who the key decision makers are and whose needs should be considered. It also may dictate how we approach touring properties. For example I have worked with more than one out-of-state client who has had local friends or relatives act as their “boots on the ground.” In this case tours are customized to include video, FaceTime, Skype or any other method that helps the long distance buyer confidently decide whether or not to pull the trigger.


Are you seeking a  primary residence, rental investment or second home?  These are a few examples of real estate that you may seek to purchase. You might be searching for massive square footage, a sunny kitchen, a certain number of beds and baths, an oversized lot, an open concept floor plan, single level, move-in condition or fixer upper to name a few. Understanding the “what” aids in prioritizing your needs and wants and helps us to stay on target while searching. Having a deep understanding of the features that you seek also allows me to provide suggestions that might turn a property that checks a handful of boxes into something that fits the vast majority, if not all, of your needs.


Are you ready to start looking for a home tomorrow or are you just in research mode for a purchase down the road? Maybe you have a lease that ends soon, so you need a quick turn around or perhaps you are living with friends or family so you’ve got all the time in the world. Timing is everything and by keeping a flexible schedule and working together with my partner, Sean, I can assure you that you will have the opportunity to tour as often as needed in order to find your new home based on your timeline.


You know the old adage; location, location, location.  I find that people have many different needs with regard to where their house is located. For some people,  access restaurants and shops is most important while others it might be proximity to certain schools, work or transit. Maybe you want riverfront or a view?  Whatever your “where” might be,  it’s indeed a personal thing that is important to establish at the onset. In addition, we may be able to expand, or more narrowly focus, your search based upon what’s most important to you.

With what?

How will the property be paid for and how much would you like to spend? Some people have cash while others take a traditional bank loan and those who have served in the military may have additional lending opportunities. Understanding “with what” the purchase will be made will allow us to put price point parameters on our search and it will allow us to focus only upon properties that allow your payment/lending type.

It’s natural that your expectations may change as you gain experience touring properties. I’ll always work together with you to help you revise the plan while keeping in mind your initials goals.  I look forward to having these conversations and understanding your needs so I can most efficiently help you find your next home!

If you are looking for an agent who is committed to listening intently to you and helping you purchase a property that truly suits your needs I’d be honored to have a conversation with you over coffee or tea. Just give me a shout and I’ll lend an ear! You can connect with me at 503-250-1687 or

Carly van Aart

Earth Advantage Broker, Licensed in OR & WA

Real estate has been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember. As a child I filled notebooks and whiteboards with plans of dream homes and tree fortresses and when asked what I wanted to do for my sixteenth birthday my one desire was to go house-hunting. In addition I have a strong affinity for helping and advocating for others. Nothing lights up my world like serving someone in a way that leaves them beyond satisfied! Needless to say, as a realtor I have the incredible opportunity to serve my clients with a decision that for many, is one of the largest that they will make in their lifetime. Whether buying for the first time, selling a cherished family home or relocating to this fantastic city, it is truly an honor to see my clients through their transition and make the process fun and painless. A native Alaskan, I grew up hauling firewood, working the garden and tending to the family rabbits. My childhood taught me the meaning of hard work and for that I am very grateful.  These days I am a lover of dog kisses and outdoor adventures. I dabble in triathlon and enjoy helping fundraise for local charities. I am extremely close to my incredible family even though they are spread out across the west coast. I look forward to the opportunity to foster a relationship with you and help you make your real estate dreams a reality!
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  • T: 503-250-1687
  • F: 503-961-8224

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