Neighborhoods Are Like Bachelor Contestants – Just Open Your Eyes

It’s the first Tuesday of the winter television season and you all know what that means … it’s time for the semi-annual The Bachelor/Bachelorette post here on All Phoenix Real

When my wife first dragged me into watching the show using various unfulfilled promises spoken and implied, I visibly cringed when the topic of the Bachelor/Bachelorette franchise came up. I remember quite well the sheer volume of abuse I and others heaped upon this poor soul who used to work for me and who’s then-girlfriend and now wife organized a Final Rose viewing party after the final season.

Now? Let’s just say I didn’t see much of the first three quarters of the Fiesta Bowl last night. And, oddly enough, I’m okay with it.

Maybe it’s because I enjoy the car crash aspect. Maybe it’s because I get inexplicable pleasure out of seeing these idiots decide after just a handful of alcohol-fueled hours in a house filled with other women that they are staring at the man of their dreams. Or maybe it’s because, stressful as three kids (including a teenage boy who emerged from his room for the first time yesterday since Christmas break began and apparently is more than a full inch taller) and four beagles can be, it beats the hell out of being single again.

Much of the fun comes in the first episode when we, along with our intrepid Bachelor, get to size up the women vying to own a Neil Lane diamond ring for a short period of time. (Did anyone else watch those Neil Lane commercials for Kay Jewelers and think it has to be the jewelry product with the most liberal return policy in the history of man?) Of course it’s shallow and mean-spirited (read: funny) but that’s really the entire point of the show.

Last night, our producers decided to change the musical score when this year’s designated crazy person came out of the limo. Like we really needed anything so lacking in subtlety to arrive at this conclusion. It was clear from the get go that dear Jenna is neurotic to the point where she probably shouldn’t be watching reality television much less participating on a reality show.

And here’s the most amazing part … Ben, our intrepid Bachelor, gave the last rose to Jenna even as she stood their trying to hold back tears (and quite possibly not spontaneously combust on the spot) at the prospect of not finding love (and or a disease of some sort) with someone she had met a handful of hours before.

He must have had his eyes closed because there’s no way someone looking around couldn’t see that this just was a disaster in the making.

I thought of that moment this morning as I was driving around the Valley. Much is made about the difference between “south” Phoenix and the rest of town, often without those so speaking having any idea what might be in either place. You want so-called dicey areas? I can find them anywhere because they are everywhere.

The thing is, Fair Housing Act aside, it’s not really for me to determine what someone’s tolerances are for a given area. I’ve seen homes I’d never purchase happily bought by buyers for whom they were a perfect match; I’ve seen buyers look at homes I think are gorgeous and look like one of the Bachelor contestants on her way to the limousine of rejection.

Everything comes down to personal perception … and, quite frankly, your eyes are going to tell you what looks like it might be a match for you.

Some people will get turned off by billboards written in Spanish, others could care less. I only care as far as having to see the face of Guillermo Ochoa, goaltender for the Mexican national soccer team, during World Cup qualifying while I’m supporting Sam’s Army and our beloved Yanks.

The point is, it’s not my decision to make. And, at the same time, as a buyer for a particular area the fault lies with you if you end up somewhere that absolutely does not match what you want in a neighborhood or a home.

You have your own set of eyes. You have your own spidey-sense.

Unless you have a producer pointing a small-caliber weapon at the back of your head telling you that you will give the last rose of the night to the obviously crazy chick, you have no one to blame but yourself if you either ignore the obvious signs or simply choose not to look.

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