Blog Stories Two Architects' Lessons in Househunting

Two Architects’ Lessons in Househunting

By Sophia Rosenberg, September 12, 2018

Nick and Amy started their search much like other clients: set on a quintessential Portland Bungalow.  But, also like other clients, these two soon found the quirky layouts and never-ending upkeep to be unappealing long term.

So they pivoted.  And we began looking at more modern townhomes.  Beautiful finishes, smaller yards, and open layouts perfect for entertaining, had swayed these two away from Bungalows.

I learn so much from clients I work with (part of the reason I love my job), and Nick and Amy were no different.  Both are architects and walking through homes with them was eye opening.  They were also the most proactive house hunters I have ever met.

So, what are four lessons you can learn from shopping for a home with a pair of successful architects?  Here we go!

Sleep on it:

Nick & Amy always impressed me with their ability to love a home, but give it a night.  This allowed them to take the pressure off and really think about whether or not it was a good fit for them.  Too often Buyers are quick to write because of potential competing offers.  They get caught up in the excitement of it all without really thinking, “Do I really want to live here?”  Loving a house doesn’t necessarily make it perfect for you.  If you wake up in the morning and are still smitten, write away!  Or go see it again.

Visit Open Houses:

I love taking clients on tour, but believe it’s equally important for clients to tour on their own if they want to.  These two were incredibly proactive on the weekends, looking at a number or properties without me around.  It takes the pressure off and allows people to really get a sense of the home and whether or not they can see themselves in it long term.  There’s a level of honesty that Buyers are able to have with their partners when it’s just them in a house.  Critical when making such a big decision!


These two were incredible at pulling information on properties they were interested in.  Much of this can be attributed to their day to day; they have to do a lot of research at work.  But, non-architect Buyers take note.  Look up properties you’re interested in on Portland Maps.  See if there are any permit issues, or what the home’s zoning is.  It also helps to know when the current owner purchased the home (and for what price) when shaping an offer strategy.  A quick Google search doesn’t hurt either…information is power.

Space Plan:

During inspection Amy came prepared with measuring tape and tablet.  She took dimensions of the entire house so that she could create a 3D model prior to move in.  Not all Buyers are this tech savvy or handy, but it helps to take at least basic room measurements to make sure that things will fit come moving day.  And if you are looking to transform the space but aren’t comfortable laying out the space on your own?  Look to an e-design service to help.  Sites like Havenly will take your dimensions and create floorplans based on your aesthetic and budget.

So excited for Nick and Amy and can’t wait to see how they transform this cute row-house into their own.  I have no doubt it will be beautiful!

Interested in buying or selling in Portland? Reach out to Sophia: 503.936.7499. Or learn more about her background and experience here.

Sophia Rosenberg

Earth Advantage & ADU Specialist Broker

Home, hospitality and community have long been signposts to Sophia’s heart, and they also happen to represent key stages of her life so far. As a young, up-and-coming designer, she put an interior architecture degree from the University of California to work managing the design and styling of new openings for the popular Kimpton Hotels brand. After completing Babson’s renowned entrepreneurial MBA program, Sophia began creating the marketing and branding plans for a host of new luxury hotels — including Joie de Vivre’s beloved boutique hotels — as director of branding for a hospitality group founded by the Hyatt scion John Pritzker. But amid all the travel and excitement, she began to feel a desire to be closer to “a community I’m proud to call home while helping families find their perfect place.” Her first home was a 1938 English cottage that she successfully renovated, decorated and sold. And as she turned from creating homes away from home, to home sweet home, it turns out that real estate brings it all together for her: Nimble management skills. A passion for design. Love of community. An accredited Earth Advantage Real Estate Broker and ADU Specialist, she offers clients an abundance of green home expertise with hands-on experience creating backyard cottages (check out her charming loft on AirBnB). Among clients and colleagues alike, she’s known as much for her tenacity and enthusiasm for negotiating and navigating multiple offers as she is for nurturing and maintaining relationships long after her deals are closed. When she’s not helping her clients, you’ll find her renovating her 1911 farmhouse and spending time outdoors with Maya, Taco and Danny — her young daughter, rescue pup and husband (yes, in that order). While an ideal day for Sophia is gathering driftwood and inspiration along the breathtaking Oregon coast, when the gray months take hold of our skies, she’s bound to be on a quest for sunshine and secret spots for sipping Pinot in the winter and Rosé in the summer.
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