Blog Buyer Sellwood Sweethearts Buy First Home

Sellwood Sweethearts Buy First Home

By Mel Marzahl, January 14, 2019

Greg and Catie, first time homebuyers

Greg and Catie spent a lot of time dreaming of what their first house might look like. They knew they wanted a three-bedroom home, ideally with two bathrooms. They also had some ideas about what the perfect location might be, but didn’t know which neighborhood they wanted to live in yet.

Lots of couples have a list of what they want in a home, but these two did something smart. Their list of qualities for their home and location centered around what they wanted their daily life to be like.

They wanted to be in a neighborhood with a friendly vibe, where they could walk from their home to their neighborhood café. Greg planned say hi to the barista, who knows his regular order, before catching the bus for a short commute to the office. Catie brought up hanging out in the backyard which would be fenced for the puppy they plan to adopt. After BBQing with friends, they’d move the party to their carefully curated basement tiki bar. They imagined friends and family from out of town staying over, being comfortable, and having their own bedroom and bath to use. Greg would have a room for his office/art studio, while Catie would have a garage to convert to her floral studio.

After really taking some time to imagine their life in their new home, their “Must Haves” list came together easily. As a result, the list for their first home and property went something like this:

  • Walking distance to restaurants, bars, cafes, and groceries.
  • Close to the river and parks.
  • Yard space for garden and outdoor entertaining
  • Garage
  • Basement with high ceiling
  • Three bedrooms, two baths
  • Open kitchen

Knowing all this, we looked in a few different areas. They looked at St Johns and Kenton first, but after spending an afternoon at Oaks Amusement Park, followed by a walk along the river at Sellwood park, and checking out some treasures at Old Portland Hardware & Architectural, they knew where they wanted to live.

Fast forward a couple months, and Greg and Catie are closing on their first ever home! The one they bought checks almost all the boxes! The few concessions they made, were the open kitchen and two baths. Instead, they bought their almost dream home at an awesome price that will allow them to remodel. Next, they’ll be adding a second bath to make a master suite, and opening up the kitchen to make it perfect.

Congrats Greg and Catie!

First time buyers in front of their first home in Sellwood.
Greg and Catie in front of their new home in Sellwood!
First time buyers, Catie and Greg, with their agent, Mel Marzahl, and mortgage broker
Greg and Catie (center) with realtor, Mel Marzahl (right) and mortgage broker, Carol Flanagan (left)

Mel Marzahl

Broker | OR


Raised in the Pacific Northwest, Mel became a passionate advocate for homeownership and investing in real estate after buying and selling her first home. What drew her to it was realizing the significant financial impact the right investment property can make and learning how much having a home to truly call your own can improve your quality of life. Her specialties are working with first-time home buyers and sellers yet she is fluent in all aspects of residential real estate. She is trained extensively in real estate negotiation, holding both the CNE (Certified Negotiation Expert) and RENE (Real Estate Negotiations Expert) designations. Mel knows that with all the technology available to buyers and sellers, one of the best skills a REALTOR® can have is knowing how to be a collaborative negotiator to get the best outcome for their clients. After a decade-long career working in operations and client service for creative companies, Mel earned her Broker’s license and made the move to real estate. She listens to her client’s needs and aims to treat everyone involved in a transaction with honesty and integrity. She loves getting to know her clients, their wants, and needs to ensure they get the highest level of service Mel is known for. Mel brings creativity and an eye for detail to the table with a background in art and events. She enjoys a remodel or renovation project, has a soft spot for old craftsman homes, loves helping first-time buyers, and educating her clients on the selling and purchasing process. She believes in staying up to date on market trends, technology, and tools available to real estate agents. This gives her an edge when it comes to marketing properties and communicating with her clients. When Mel is not working in real estate she is volunteering with the Red Cross, gardening, hosting dinner parties, or relaxing at home on Bull Mountain with her husband, son, two big dogs, and a handful of chickens.
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