Was there particular feature that made you buy your house? That sealed the deal? Was it that specific location? We always hear the three features one should look for are location location, location. Or was it how the living room, and dining room integrated with the kitchen?
When I’m working with buyer clients, I’m often trying to help them decide what to buy a house for; what is important to them. And when we say location, location, location, what does that mean for them? There is no wrong answer, as it is all quite specific and personal.
I’m working with a young couple who have just about nailed that question, and I’m guessing the question will be completely answered in the next few weeks when we find them their home. For this couple, a good location means close-in, east side. They are both bike and public transportation commuters. But more than that, they want to be walkable to great restaurants and food carts and the like. So, what others might think of as good neighborhoods: Alameda, Rose City, Mt. Tabor, feel too far away to them.
When Don and I were looking, about ten years ago, we looked in some of those neighborhoods also, but realized, after living four houses from SE 35th Place and Hawthorne, that we were more urban than we’d thought. So when we saw our current home, right on SE 26th (yes, the busy part), the location didn’t bother us, and it’s walkability was a plus. But what really sold us was the unpainted wood work, including the builtins, fireplance mantle, box beam ceiling and more. Later, the builder mentioned he’d though of doing the cabinetry and woodwork in in a composite product such that it would have been painted, and asked what we’d have thought. I realized, I probably wouldn’t have wanted the house. So I guess we bought it for the woodwork.
Back to my current “young couple” clients. We saw a house close to upper Division, so with some proximity to The Woodsmen, North Bar, food carts and the like. It was a decent location. The house had a wonderful open feeling from the living room, dining room and out onto a really spacious and lovely deck. We were all drawn to those spaces. The rest of the house, meh. It was fine, but the upstiars bedrooms were small and the finishes of the house weren’t cohesive. As a house, it wasn’t anything special, but it was hard to deny the pull of those wonderful living spaces. My clients hung onto that house for awhile, until they were finally freed by someone else making an offer.
Sometimes though, I think buyers to buy a “package”. They buy a house that as a whole; location, floor plan, feel and features, makes sense for them. There may be nothing in particular they love, but the whole thing works.
How about you? What did you buy for?