Emmy and Rob – Third Time is a Charming House with VIEWS

   You think buying your first house is stressful?!?!?   Try buying your NEXT house.   Emmy and Rob can tell you all about it.

  Emmy and Rob bought their sweet Ballard house 6 years ago.   They were recently engaged and ready to start a life together.  Buying the Ballard house was a HUGE step, and a big financial commitment.  To say that we looked at a lot of houses and went over a lot of financial spreadsheets would be an understatement.  But they bought they house, and loved it!  They also took what I consider to be the ugliest backyard ever into a peaceful, stunning outdoor oasis.  But this isn’t a blog about that first house.

  Emmy and Rob are now Emmy+Rob+Mel (pictured below)+Fitz+Sir Pounce (the two black cats).   All those additions to the family have made the Ballard house now feel WAY too small for their growing family.   So they had to make the hard decision to start looking for a bigger and better house. 

So it was off to find their dream home.   Buying a dream home is a lot different than buying your first home.  Your first home is exciting and scary and you are pretty sure you won’t be there forever.   Your dream home is a different story.  You are now a seasoned home-owner and know what you do and don’t like about how a house lives.  You know that hot water heaters and furnaces and old windows can be a costly hassle to replace.  You know that you DO want covered parking and a fenced yard.  And you also are spending a lot more money, and emotionally committing to a house for a much longer amount of time.

  When are spending the big bucks and staring down 15+ years of living in a home, you have different criteria. You know what your must haves and want to haves are.  You know where you can improve a house to make it what you really want compared to dealing with structural elements that prevent you from living in the house the way you want to.   Keeping all that in mind, we set off on the hunt for Emmy and Robs dream house.  We saw about 20 houses.  We found one we LOVED but wasn’t sure if we wanted to pay the price it was listed at.  We spent weeks analyzing the potential value of the home, the new monthly payments and tons of other data that was in one of our many spreadsheets.  We dragged our feet a little too much doing our analysis, and ended up putting in an offer only to be beaten out by a different buyer.   That taught us to be a bit more decisive and quick moving the next time around.  Then we found ANOTHER amazing house.  It was more than we wanted to spend, so we were letting it rack up some days on market before we submitted a low offer.   But before we could submit that low offer, the house went pending and sold.   Second bust on this house-hunting adventure.

  Then we found THE house.  It had just hit the market.  We wrangled our busy schedules and got out to see it right away.  Then Emmy and Rob went into recon mode and “innocently” visited the open houses. Real estate agents love to chat, and Emmy was able to get all sorts of great info out of the listing agent that we were able to use to our advantage in negotiations.  We put in an offer within 4 days of that house hitting the market, and our offer was accepted!  Using the info Emmy gathered at the open house, along with a few inspection findings, we were able to negotiate a bit of credit from the seller.  Could it be that Emmy and Rob got an amazing house at a good price in a great neighborhood??  Third time is a charm ๐Ÿ™‚

Dream house it is!   This house has plenty of space.   The master suite is everything they wanted and more, and they even got the water view they had wanted but were afraid they couldn’t find.   The house needs some updates, and Emmy and Rob are already knee deep into totally remodeling all 3 of the bathrooms.  One those bathrooms are done, they will have a house that is perfect for living, entertaining AND having guests.   Congrats kids!  You earned this and I am so happy for you.  I bet you have your housewarming party before Joe and Jenna ๐Ÿ˜‰


Watch out Westwood Village – Cody and Donald are Moving In!

Dreamy.  Funny.  Smart.  Sarcastic.  AND handsome.   This couple really has it all.

These two did not waste any time!  We met over coffee, and were lucky enough to hit it off right way.   Donald and Cody are hilarious, a bit sarcastic and really excited to get to the house-hunting.   They wasted no time getting pre-approved for their mortgage (did I mention that the lender said these two were some of the most responsive and organized clients she has ever had?!?), and we got right out there and looked at some houses.

  As often happens, we started off excited, but saw some less than exciting houses.  In love, life and house-hunting, we often have to kiss a few frogs before we find “the one”.   And we did find the one, but we actually passed it over the first time it appeared in our online search.  Since we had a few houses to see on rainy Saturday, we decided to add this little Westwood Village house to the tour, even though Donald and Cody seemed a bit meh about it, at least from the photos online.

  And it was love at first sight!   The home was in the ideal location, was much more spacious than we had expected, had tons of storage and a huge, fully fenced yard for Bosco.  I made the boys sleep on their decision, but we met the very next morning for brunch to go over our offer.

   They got the house!  The whole process went so smoothly, and all parties involved were happy.  The boys just finished the interior repainting and are fully moved in.   Enjoy that darling house kids!!!

Pennys Property

If you can’t tell by now, I like dogs a lot more than I like people.  And helping my favorite people buy a house for their dog is my favorite story to tell.

Miss Penny (above) has been happily living in a Northgate condo since her mom, Anna, adopted her a few years ago.    But as most of us do, Penny started to have hopes and dreams of a bigger home and a yard of her own.  Since her parents are so awesome, they decided to follow Pennys dreams and buy a big house and yard for everyone!

Penny and her parents are now happily settled into their forever home with a yard SO BIG, that Penny can get lost in it.    Congrats on the new house kids, enjoy that beer at the local dog-friendly brewery!


Ramona FINALLY Gets Her Dream Yard

Readers, please meet Ramona:

Ramona was adopted by Rachel and Chris, and up until a few weeks ago, has lived her life in a very cool townhouse.  But she wanted a yard.  She didn’t want any run-of-the-mill yard, she wanted a yard that she could run laps and sunbathe and explore in.   So after much begging, she finally got her parents to sell that yardless-townhouse and buy her a house with a proper yard!




Much to Ramonas delight, she not only got the yard of her dreams, but a really great house to go with it.   She has room to lounge and gaze out onto her yard, room to nap and room to keep her humans company wherever they go in the house.



And holy moly, did Ramonas parents have to fight to get her this dream house.   Even in this shifting market, we ended up in a competitive market situation.  It was us and another offer, both willing to pay the exact same for the house.   It ended up being a few key details that made us the winners over the other offer.    Rachel and Chris had a FANTASTIC local lender, and I had a friendly relationship with the listing agent.  Combine those factors with the fact that Chris and Rachel were so organized, responsive and did everything right, it all combined together to be the winning recipe that got them the house! 

 Ramona is now one happy girl!   Her parents seem to like the new house too.   

Mission POSSIBLE! Grace and Mike and the Perfect School District

  Each person that buys a house has one driving factor, and one non-negotiable.  Some people MUST have 2 bathrooms, some people MUST have off-street parking, and for Grace and Mike, they MUST buy a house in a very specific elementary school district.

  Just like most first-time buyers, Grace was nervous about the process.  In looking over the last 6 months of sales of houses in this exact school district, not a lot of homes had come up for sale in our price range.  I knew it was going to be a bit like finding a needle in a haystack, but I love a good challenge and Grace and Mike were prepared to be along on the hunt for as long as it took to get a house in this area.

  Well it did NOT take long.   Our first week of “real house-hunting” (meaning we had gotten our loan approval done and knew exactly what we could and would want to spend), we found the house.

Imperfect in all the right ways!   It was in our desired school district.  It had 3 bedrooms AND a bonus room.  It even had a shed out back that would make a great place for Grandpa to hang out in.  And it was under our budget!!!

So we did it!  We put in an offer (the house had only been on the market for 2 days!), and our offer was accepted.   Our inspections found some pesky sewer line issues, and we even got the sellers to help us pay for those repairs.   It really was a great experience for everyone involved.  Grace and Mike get to do cosmetic updates to make the house their home, and Xavi gets to go to his perfect new school.

Congrats family!  I can’t wait to see the house once you have done your updates and gotten settled in <3.