Ian and Rachel Webster had been living in the South Bluffs neighborhood. It was a location that was convenient to their jobs; Ian works as a grant compliance officer for the City of Memphis and Rachel is a pediatric psychologist/faculty member of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital’s psychology department. However, with two dogs, and a baby on the way, they were ready for a change and knew that they needed more space.
The goal of the Websters was to find a place in Midtown. Possibly something that was new construction so they would have less maintenance. They also hoped for a small yard, in a walkable neighborhood. They started their house hunt by contacting Kathleen McCourt, an agent with Sowell Realtors.
“Ian and Rachel came to me by way of a referral from a previous client who happened to be one of Rachel’s co-workers,” recalled Kathleen. “The Websters had been apartment dwellers and were looking to become first-time homeowners. One of things that was in their favor was the historically low interests rates. However, inventory was low, too, and had been for months. That meant that we had to respond quickly when they did see something they liked. And during this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, there were new protocols to follow. We looked at a number of properties and I found two houses online, that happened to be on the same street, and called to set up appointments. We wore our masks and maintained social distance and they decided very quickly which house they wanted. We negotiated back and forth and got the house that was their top pick.”
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“We looked at approximately 10 properties before we decided on this one,” said Rachel. “The first thing that caught our eye was the yellow front door. Once inside we were taken with the scored and stained concrete floors and the open layout on the ground level. On top of that, this house was brand new, but located in an older neighborhood — something else that we loved!”
The Websters paid $359,000 for their Farmhouse Revival-style home, with contemporary interiors, in Midtown. Their home has three bedrooms and 2½ bathrooms with 2,200 square feet spread across two floors of living space. Granite countertops give a contemporary flair in the bathrooms and the kitchen. Also outfitting the kitchen are stainless steel appliances, a gas stove, a subway-tile backsplash, and a large island that provides space for casual dining as well as lots of storage. There’s a separate laundry room, too. The driveway has an electric fence, with parking behind the gate.
“This house has way more room than we had in our apartment, obviously,” said Ian.” And, we have a little fenced backyard for our dogs, as well as a back porch. We got everything we wanted and more in our new home, including a very walkable neighborhood. We’re close to both Cooper-Young and Overton Square, which is really great for us.”
When asked if there was anything they planned to change, the Websters agreed that moving into brand-new construction meant there was little renovation needed. However, they still had “lots of decorating left to do.” And they were considering starting a garden in their backyard.
Emily Adams Keplinger is a freelance reporter who produced this feature for the Advertising Department.
This article originally appeared on Memphis Commercial Appeal: My New Home: New Home in Older Neighborhood