September 9, 2014

Four Factors I Considered When Buying A Home, Part 7

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: Jessica Griffin
Hometown: Bremerton, Washington
Current: Roanoke, Virginia
Education: Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA
Job Title: Asset Manager

Four Factors I Considered When Choosing a Home

My husband and I were lucky enough to begin our home buying adventure as recent college grads from Virginia Tech. He is from Missouri and I am from Washington State, and we fell in love with the charm and outdoor activities of Roanoke. Luckily, the housing bubble worked in our favor and there was a large inventory of homes to view.
Land: At Virginia Tech, we were spoiled by Blacksburg’s quaint streets and spacious front porches. We also wanted land for dogs to roam and kids to play tucked away from busy streets and interstates. I won’t go into the colorful expletives my husband used to describe what he would do with land, but real estate is a limited resource and we felt that buying what we really wanted, where we wanted was a good investment. 

Location: Neither of us was interested in a long commute to work…less than 30 minutes was preferable and no interstate was even better. However, finding a happy medium between the winding Blue Ridge back roads and access to the places where we work proved to be a challenge. When we pulled up the drive to our home-to-be just outside of Roanoke and saw the little red barn peeking over the hill out back, we both got the “this could work” smiles. 

Good bones: We focused on older homes, short sales and foreclosures, because we wanted something tired that we could breathe new life into. My husband is extremely handy (Mr. “Tim the Toolman” himself), and I have a degree in housing design. When we walked into our kitchen, we were able to look past the floor-to-ceiling knotty pine to the house’s good bones and started to get excited. I confess I may have overused the word “character” just a little…too much HGTV on my part.

Cost: While we pre-qualified for a much higher loan amount than we desired, we took comfort in our ability to plan and stay within a specific price range. We didn’t want to be house-poor right off the bat as newlyweds and we needed the extra monthly income for furnishings and renovations. Real estate taxes and school districts were additional considerations. Since we were just beginning our careers, we knew we would likely see increases in salary as we climbed our professional ladders, but we desired a comfortable balance between work and family.

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