They were the Cutest Couple In The World. That’s the name I gave them (I give my clients names, it’s true. It’s part of the confidentiality I owe. There are plenty of reasons someone might want to transact property, and Dayton is a small town. I can’t assume that anyone I work with wants anyone else to know their financial transactions. If I give my clients aliases, when my husband asks me, “What’s going on today?” I can say “The Cutest Couple In The World, or The Doctor, or The Farm, is closing”. It’s a way of sharing basic information with my family, without sharing confidential information).
The Cutest Couple In The World had all the energy and excitement that youth on the threshold of new life brings. It’s infectious and I love working with 1st time home buyers because of that. This couple was relocating to Dayton Ohio- he was a newly graduated Air Force pilot. She was graduating in a month, they were buying a home, then they were getting married, then they were moving her to Dayton. That’s a lot of change in a short time, but for this couple, it was an exciting new chapter of their lives about to be written. I was honored to be part of that.
They were in town for 2 weeks to find a home. Yikes! And they wanted to look in Beavercreek and Bellbrook, because “That’s where my Air Force buddies tell me to look.” That’s not unusual. The military creates surrogate families and they rely on each other to get local information. So off we went to look in Beavercreek and Bellbrook, in their price range, with their list of wants and needs… And we came up short.
This was 2005. The real estate market was different then and they found themselves priced out of Beavercreek and Bellbrook for a home they might like, so we went back to the Dayton Area Board of Realtors MLS and took another look. “I have a friend who lives in Huber Heights”. Ah-ha! Huber Heights, home of the ubiquitous and humble brick ranch.
Daytonians often turn their noses up at Huber homes, and that’s a shame. Everyone’s gotta live somewhere and not everyone wants to paint their home every five years or run up and down steps. A nice Mid-Century Modern home is an easily maintained use of space. In Huber, it’s a space that is close to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, but won’t break your budget, and there’s no shame in any of it. We started looking in Huber Heights. We saw plenty of homes, but they were drawn to the area commonly known as “North of 70”, and it fit them- new life, new city, newer home.
We looked at a few different models- big, small, ranch, split-level: A great room appealed, formal spaces did not. Space for guests was a priority, a gourmet kitchen, not so much. Easy to care for landscaping and a place for a grill? Nice. We found a home, put in an offer, the bride-to-be went back to Virginia.
The offer was not accepted. The Pilot was concerned. The Bride had loved that home and now he had to find a replacement without her. The beauty part of buying a home in Huber Heights is that there are others out there, so off we went.
Staging a home is important. You often hear that you should remove personal items from a listed property- don’t doubt the power personal items have on potential buyers. I’ve had too many clients make decisions about the owner of a home, and the care and feeding of that home by proxy, based off of what they can find out about you from the belongings you leave out. Clients always look over your bookshelves, your cd and video collections. They bend down to see your grandkid’s photos on the side table. They stand and wonder about the giant Last Supper print hanging over the dining room table- (even more so if it’s in black velvet). They refuse to step foot in the house that does (oh yes it does!) smell like cats the minute you open the door.
The Pilot and I were charged with finding a home the Bride would love. In 2005, finding a home for someone who is out of town was much more difficult than it is today. Today I use software to share tons of photos and lots of information, but back then we emailed MLS sheets and talked on the phone, and hoped for the best.
It was a small three bedroom, two bath, split floor plan with an eat-in kitchen, and a great room. Nothing fancy, but clean, and full of love. A young family lived there but mom had an “eye” and the property was nicely staged by her. I’m sure the birthday cake scented candle that was always burning when we visited, helped create that sense of home as well. There is a home for everyone and Realtors understand that what each client needs and wants is unique, but also that each client is allowed to have their own goals- my job is to honor and respect that, not to pass judgment. The Pilot put an offer, it was accepted.
Once they were married and settled, I went back to visit the Cutest Couple in the World. They had made that little Huber home an adorable honeymoon suite- so charming and cool. She loved it, they both loved it. They thoroughly enjoyed living in Huber Heights where they could be here or there within minutes of home, entertain friends and spend time alone together. Like all well loved homes, that plain Jane cookie cutter house now had another special layer of ownership to it’s history, turning a brick ranch into the place one couple will fondly remember as their first home.
Photo: Teri Lussier, TheBrickRanch.com