Q&A: Real Estate’s Ashley Banks

A longtime real estate executive currently with Golden Gate Sotheby’s, Ashley Banks shares her biggest home-related pet peeve, the one habit she’d like to break and what she’d tell her younger self.

As a kid, how did you imagine your dream home one day?
I grew up on a cul-de-sac with a forest as my backyard—it was heaven. I think I dreamed about an idyllic setting more than the house itself. Location, location, location!

What’s your go-to comfort food?
Marmalade toast and tea. I was born in England and raised by a British mum.

What’s the most unusual feature you’ve seen in a house that you’ve sold?
We once sold a house that had an indoor pool in the basement.

What’s the wildest thing you’ve ever done?
I jumped out of a perfectly good airplane.

Do you have any phobias?
I’ve recently adopted a dislike of being in a place with no windows. I’ve dubbed it adult-onset claustrophobia. Working through it though! Ommmmm…

What room do you personally consider to be the heart of your home and why?
The dining room is the heart of our home. When I was raising my daughters, it was where they did homework and we ate all our meals; now when they come home from college, we gather there for long dinners, to play games and do puzzles.

What’s something people are always surprised to learn about you?
That I have an (amazing) twin brother.

What’s one thing prospective Peninsula home buyers should know right now?
Nothing is perfect… focus on what’s most important to you, and when you find something that fits, go for it. You can usually change and adapt your home over time. In the long run, it’s best to be in the market and not on the sidelines.

What piece of advice would you give to your younger self?
Say yes. There is no such thing as a bad adventure. Often the things you dread the most turn into life’s best memories.

What’s your biggest home-related pet peeve?
Scuffed-up and dirty interior walls! Paint is the biggest bang-for-the-buck way to refresh a home.

What’s a movie you can watch over and over?
When Harry Met Sally. I’m annoying to watch it with because I know every line, and I can’t keep them in!

What did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a teacher. In my career now, I often kick into professor-mode when answering questions from agents. They kindly endure my lectures.

What’s a habit you’d like to break?
Waking up and immediately looking at email.

What do you collect?
Good people.