Bachelor Pad, Or How Zillow Made Every Homeowner Mental

I’m going to admit up front, I have absolutely no rationalization for this.

This is not like suffering through The Bachelor/The Bachelorette or Dancing With the Stars in the misguided hope that I will be currying favor with my spouse. This is not like watching America’s Got Talent with the family as we dull our minds en masse.

Simply put, there is no even slightly redeeming reason to watch the train wreck that is Bachelor Pad. And yet I do, ever since the first episode aired while I was in CVICU and I postponed my nightly rehab walk to see how low our species could sink. I loathe myself for watching and yet the DVR is set, and will be as we barrel forward.

Even with the elimination of the remarkably cute and way-too-well-adjusted-for-reality-tv Paige I will continue watching this disaster. (Damn you, Bachelor Pad contestants, getting rid of a more attainable version of Olivia Wilde!!)

What’s that? My wife is reading this? Yeah, okay, forget that last paragraph.

The point of all of this is this – as with most reality television, there is no reason we individually or collectively should spend more than 32 seconds contemplating how best to “play the game” in between “competing” in absolutely ludicrous challenges. (Who’s the dumbest in the house? How about 10-way tie for first?) But it’s there, and so we tune in and watch.

Zillow is the real estate equivalent of reality television. There is no reason why we individually or collectively should spend more than 32 seconds wondering what the value of our homes might be, not unless we’re about to put a home on the market. And yet we go there, look at the (remarkably incorrect) Zestimates and either reassure ourselves that all is well or kick ourselves a few times more.

It’s not like values are changing on a minute-to-minute basis like the stock market; in a normal market (should we ever see one again), the pace of change in real estate values is glacial at best. And that’s as it should be.┬áThe real estate market isn’t a roulette wheel, even though there are those who still treat it as such.

Maybe this is all just my imagination. Maybe people still would be clamoring to know exactly what their home is worth (or, if they’re looking at Zillow, what their home isn’t worth) at any given point in time.

Reality television producers say they have filled a void the public wanted filled (insert Bachelor Pad jokes here), it’s not too much of a stretch to ask whether the public would have been aware of said void if these shows hadn’t appeared. Similarly, Zillow says it came about to fill a need the public had, to find out what their home was worth and to look at listings (though the listings already were available in multiple other venues without the fairy tale valuations.) Yet it’s not too much of a stretch to wonder if the “need” was real or created in the interest of a public IPO.

Whatever. In both cases, what has happened happened and we’re stuck with the results. Much as we might like to do so, there’s no way to roll back the clock and change the chain of events. Though if I could, I’d probably just jump back and get Paige back on the Bachelor Pad.

What’s that? My wife’s still reading this post?

Coming tomorrow … why a guest house with a really comfy couch is one hell of a good idea.

Jonathan Dalton

Jonathan Dalton is a 40-plus-year resident of the Valley and has been helping folks buy and sell homes since 2004. He can be reached at 602-502-9693 or info at