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Young Doctors, Jeff & Karmen, Look at Large Family Homes in Suburban Los Angeles

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House Hunters

Jeff & Karmen lead busy lives as young doctors and parents of two small children: three-year-old Sam and one-year old Serena. They love the Los Angeles suburb of La Canada for its top schools, hilly views, and abundance of big leafy trees. They also love its easy access to downtown Los Angeles, due to the freeways that run through town. What they don't love is the freeway noise. Their busy schedules have made house hunting a challenge, so they're growing desperate to find a home that meets all their criteria: four bedrooms, four baths, formal dining room, family room, in a quieter section of town, for under two million dollars. The first home that Real Estate Agent Christiana Matarese shows Karmen and Jeff is a traditional California ranch that is set back from the street so it's very quiet. It has four bedrooms and four baths in about 4,000 square feet. The asking price is 1.8 million. The first thing they notice is that the home's current owner began renovations on the home, and then walked away leaving the house in a state of disrepair. Outside they see the pool, the pool house, and the large grassy yard. Karmen and Jeff love the property's sylvan setting. The only thing they don't like about the house is the unfinished kitchen, because it would mean expensive and possibly lengthy renovations. The next house Christiana takes them to see is completely renovated. It's at the end of a long private driveway, so it's very quiet. At 1.5 million dollars, it is a little less expensive, but it is significantly smaller with 2,660 square feet, four bedrooms and three baths. Jeff & Karmen love the renovations and the abundance of natural light, but it's the backyard that really blows them away. In addition to the pool, rolling green lawn, the backyards also has a sports court. Unfortunately, a power line tower is also in the backyard, which concerns Jeff & Karmen. The third house Christiana shows them is in a prime section of town, surrounded by beautiful older homes and close to shopping. It's the most expensive, at 2.149 million dollars. It has 4 bedrooms and 3 baths in 3,300 square feet. Jeff & Karmen like the traditional layout but are put-off by the dated decor, and specifically, the abundance of patterned wallpaper. The couple's main concern with the house is that it is beyond their budget, and making it move-in ready would require even move money. Just how much remodeling are Jeff & Karmen willing to squeeze into their busy lives? Will they choose the first home, which requires significant renovations? The second, which was move-in ready? Or will they choose the third, which needed many cosmetic updates?
2/21/2010




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