Each person comes to a real estate transaction from a different perspective based on their own motives and past experiences. Sometimes this means we dive into the real nitty gritty of why a new home is desired. While my clients are free to share with me as much or as little as they wish, my true intentions are to help them get a great deal and a quality investment in housing that coincides with where they are in life (and where they plan to be in 5 to 10 years).
When Jon and Diana approached me about selling their house, I knew that it was a much needed step for them. They had simply outgrown their last home and needed an upgrade fast! I was thrilled that they chose me to assist them in them not only in the sale, but also in the purchase of their new home. It can be so much easier to use the same agent for both transactions to help coordinate the deadlines on contingencies and the closing dates.
After closing, I did an interview with this terrific couple. Here’s a little insight into their latest home journey…
What do you love most about living in the Des Moines metro area?
Jon – I appreciate the reasonable cost of living, family-friendly atmosphere, and Midwestern culture.
Diana – I love that Des Moines has all the positive things that a bigger city has to offer such as restaurants, plenty of parks, and entertainment for both kids and adults. Most neighborhoods have a “small town” feel to them.
Imagine for a moment that you could live anywhere in the world. Describe this dream home setting.
Jon – My family and I would live in a small cottage by the sea in coastal Italy.
Diana – There are many places that I would love to visit out of the country, but don’t know if I would necessarily want to live there. Within the U.S., I would love to have a large house with many rooms for visitors in the Rocky Mountains.
What do you appreciate most about your new home as compared to your old home?
Jon – There is considerably greater living space in the new home. I also appreciate the fact that we are further away from the commotion of the city.
Diana – The space and layout is a much better fit for our growing family. I love that all the bedrooms are on one level. It gives me much more peace of mind as a parent.
If you were to pick a favorite space in your new home, which would it be and why?
Jon – Both of us would immediately respond with “the kitchen”!
Diana – The kitchen, for sure. It was designed perfectly for the whole family and guests to all be in the same space at the same time. We recently hosted Thanksgiving at our house and we were all in the kitchen either preparing food or sitting around the table and it wasn’t crowded! That would have never happened in our old home.
Are there good memories of home from your childhood that you try to incorporate into your home life today?
Jon – Being able to watch our kids have space to play and run brings back memories of my childhood.
Diana – Eating around the table as a family has always been so important to me and we have incorporated that tradition in our home since the girls were born. There was always a sense of “togetherness” in my family growing up and our new home has many different rooms that we can all be “together” in.
For each of you and without discussing… If you came across $10,000 to invest in your home, what do you think your spouse would do with the money?
Jon – Diana would likely buy an original Bob Ross and hang it in the living room.
Diana – It is a toss-up between a wall to wall library, or a full-size basketball court.
What were your must-have items in a home and did your criteria change during the process?
Jon – We were simply looking for more space, and we got exactly what we needed in this home.
Diana – More space was one of the biggest must-haves for me as we were quickly outgrowing our little starter home. I also really wanted to be in a safe, quiet neighborhood. There were a couple of other preferences that I had that I was willing to let go if we couldn’t find a home with them, but the first two were very important to me and didn’t really change through the process.
What advice would you offer to a first-time homebuyer who is just getting started?
Jon – Understand your budget and research the taxes of areas in which you are interested in purchasing a home.
Diana – I would say trust the process but more importantly, trust your realtor and trust The Lord. We went into this not knowing much of anything about buying and selling a home, but knowing it would all work out in the end even if it wasn’t quite what we had expected. We trusted David’s advice and expertise and trusted that the Lord would place us where He wanted.
For each of you… How many places have you lived? Describe the most interesting one…
Jon – I have lived in only one other house as an adult. The prior home was a wonderful old home in which we raised two young children.
Diana – I have lived in two dorm rooms, seven houses, and one apartment. The most interesting house was one that I lived in out of college with five other women and one bathroom. Although I think my husband has me beat as I know he once lived in a house with 13 or so guys.
What qualities do you value most when choosing a real estate agent?
Jon – The most important qualities are honesty and forthrightness. I appreciate a realtor who honestly has his or her client’s best interest, but also is honest enough to communicate information that their client may not appreciate but needs to hear. David displayed both of these qualities.
Diana – We really value integrity and trustworthiness the most when choosing and working with a real estate agent. David proved to have those qualities and more throughout the whole process. There was a fair amount of negotiating on one end of the process that we did not anticipate, but David’s negotiating skills and ability to communicate with us and everyone involved were invaluable to us being able to move forward!
Bonus question for each… Can you provide my readers with a favorite cost-saving tip/trick from your household?
Jon – Buy in bulk, especially if you have children.
Diana – The one off the top of my head is to save leftover chicken bones and vegetable scraps to make homemade stock. We have found quite a few recipes that use stock as a base or a thickener and we don’t have to use heavy cream! Win, win!
Jon and Diana were awesome to work with and I’m so glad to see them settled into a home that suits them well. While we need to learn to be content with what we have, sometimes an upgrade is in order! If you are looking to buy or sell a home, I’d love to hear from you!