The Bargain Hunters
Lily Sacks-Hubbard and Paul Hubbard began looking for a starter home in the summer of 2006. Ready to leave their north-side apartment, they visited four or five open houses every weekend, eventually collecting a stack of information sheets about three inches high.
"We had gone to open houses religiously every Sunday. That was what we did," says Lily, a part-time social worker at St. Joe's Hospital. (Paul was in mortgage sales when they started their search; he now sells tax and accounting software.) They eventually looked at more than 100 homes, including tiny ranches and foreclosed homes that needed a major remodel. They made six offers, and paid for so many inspections that their inspector started giving them a discount.
After almost ten months of searching, they saw a colonial house on Lillian with corner cupboards, a deck, and the big backyard Paul wanted-and five bedrooms upstairs. The house, owned by a Pfizer family, was bigger and in much better shape than they expected. They paid $205,000 and received 3 percent back in seller concessions, enough to cover their closing costs.
They've put their imprint on it, painting the family room a Merlot burgundy and the living room a sage green. Their parents gave them some extra furniture, but the 2,000-square-foot house still has room for more-more furnishings and more people. Lily's sister lived with them for a couple of months while she finished a degree at EMU. And they hope eventually to have children who will fill some of the bedrooms.