August 19, 2014

Four Factors I considered when choosing a home, Part 6

An article titled “The Cheapest Generation” stirred up a conversation about what led some of our young professionals to choose their current or future homes. We’re pleased to present this series, Four Factors I Considered When Choosing a Home, to shed light on what homebuyers may be looking for. Feel free to share your own factors or thoughts in the blog comments section!

Name: Rebecca Rowe
Hometown: Endwell, New York
Current: Bellevue neighborhood, Richmond, Virginia
Education: SUNY Geneseo, Texas A&M and VCU
Job Title: Rental Housing Analyst

Four Factors I Considered When Choosing a Home

My name is Rebecca and I am a real estate addict. Even though we bought our house more than two years ago, I still get the MLS updates – just for fun. I routinely look at real estate listings, visit open houses and even got a real estate license – again, just for fun. It took us more than six months of looking, more than fifty houses viewed and at least three rejected offers before we found the one. And let me tell you that when we found it, it was love at first sight. My criteria?

A House with Character: My Master’s degree is in Historic Preservation for a reason – I love old houses. I love the history and the character and the patina. I want to see a fireplace, old wood floors, original details, high ceilings, tile work, radiators…it all makes me swoon. Our house is a perfect mix of old and new.

Neighborhood: Specifically, we were looking for amenities, character and location. In Bellevue there are two small, historic commercial strips with a total of six restaurants, a coffee shop and a small grocery store specializing in local produce and products, all within a half mile walk from my front door. There are parks and playgrounds, an elementary school, quick access to highways and we are just minutes from downtown. The fact that the neighborhood is historic, architecturally diverse, friendly and safe is just icing on the cake.

Price: Of course, we had a budget and stayed within it, but we are also fortunate that our monthly payment is approximately 25 percent of our net income, more than meeting the affordability standard.

Size: Well, okay, reasonably speaking two people with no children do not need a 4-bedroom, 2000 square-foot home. However, we started our property hunt just after a particularly crowded holiday visit with family and were feeling a little shell-shocked. Our roomy digs ensure that we can comfortably accommodate a family visit while still providing spaces for people to retreat to when they need some peace and quiet. 

As soon as I saw our house pop up on the MLS, I was on the phone to my Realtor®, telling him we had to schedule a viewing for that day because we had lost out on a number of properties in that neighborhood by waiting until the next day to view. I told him to bring a contract because I was already sure. Just a couple of hours later, we did our walk-through and before we went to bed that night, we had a signed contract. Woohooo! Two years later and, well, I’m still trying to pick out wall colors.

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