Tags: first time homebuyers, Happy Homeowners, Portland real estate
Cathy Pitters is a local mom, artist and seamstress who runs her business Bossa Nova Baby out of a pink flamingo colored basement in her 1929 Bungalow, which she and her husband, Greg, bought in 2003. She graciously took the time to answer my questions about buying a house for the first time and how the process was for them.
What made you decide to buy a house?
We had a sweet deal paying very little rent for a great duplex but when our landlord nearly doubled our rent we decided to look into buying a house. It was really a blessing in disguise because it forced us to buy at a time when you could still get a fantastic deal on a house in our neighborhood (University Park, North Portland).
How many houses do you think you looked at before you found “the one”?
We found our house on our first day looking – I think we had looked at about a dozen houses that day – most of them pretty scary because our price limit was pretty low! As soon as we walked into our house we knew it was the one. It was so us and just what we were looking for – at an incredible price. It was a HUD house so we had to place a blind bid on it and wait to see if someone else had bid higher than us. Someone did bid more than us and they told us that we didn’t get the house – we were so sad! But about a week later they called and said that the higher bidder’s paperwork hadn’t been filled out correctly and that we were next in line and the house was ours! That’s when we really knew that it was “the one” and was meant to be.
What was it about this house that really attracted you?
We really wanted a house with some old character and also wanted a semi-finished basement for my crafty business. Our house has both of those. It still has a lot of its original charm – some built-ins, wood floors and vintage light fixtures – and a huge basement that I promptly painted pink!
Any advice for first time home buyers?
Don’t be intimidated by the process. We never thought it would be possible for us to be homeowners but we did it and pay about the same as we would have on rent.