Dear Diary…with The Heights locale of Newburgh my chosen destination (as I chronicled here in last week’s entry), my search for the right house (and block) was the next logical step and just as critical, calculated and romanced as choosing The Heights neighborhood itself.
Week after week I would almost wear out the keys of my laptop with constant searches on Trulia and Zillow real estate sites. I’d also check out the websites for Keller Williams Realty, John J Lease Realtors and any boutique real estate firm that served the city of Newburgh. To my joy, I found that if I Googled the Century 21 Newburgh, website had the greatest map prompt on it where each listed property came accompanied by the ability to have a “birds eye view” of each house (and block) and I could deliciously zoom in like a voyager with a telescope from all 4 directions to get a great feel for the property and street.
Combined with the above research and tools, I’d also regularly check the Newburgh Restoration Facebook page to see if anything in The Heights had recently been listed. Also, it was on there that I came across some of the most valuable information and pictures when checking the archived before and after renovations and rehabs in the neighborhood.
Oh Diary…I have to admit, I’ve found that every real estate purchase I had ever made over the years, I would focus on the one property that I could not move off of (so to speak) and return to view on my computer in almost stalker fashion, over and over again. In this case it was a petite two family brick 1890’s rowhouse on Overlook Place that Realtor Lic Asst R.E Broker, Susan Walski of Keller Williams had listed. I have to admit the two little pictures attached to the listing definitely put the “N” in NEEDY. But to me, it fit the bill as the investment property (at least serving that purpose for starters) that I had been searching for.
When I honed in on the rowhouse on Overlook Place, I was also equipped to do so with knowledge that I had garnered from my visits to the Newburgh Restoration website. That knowledge led me to want to be close to those mesmerizing Hudson River views and the wonderfully restored Bay View Terrace Victorians perched on the bluffs and to be near one of the most outstanding residential rehabs in The Heights embodied in the Wedding Cake House and to be around the block from the gorgeous restoration at 17 Courtney St. Newburgh Restoration also led me to the blog Door Sixteen and the ongoing renovation that was chronicled there on Henry Street. It also raised my awareness of one of the most recent restorations on Liberty Street executed by “Women Build” of Habitat for Humanity. Yup… all this information aided me in feeling positive that my “petite” needy rowhouse was in the midst of “super-sized” revitalizing energy!!
When it came to meeting the needy rowhouse face to face for the first time, it was an experience filled with both trepidation and excitement. It was as if for weeks I had been part of an internet dating site and now here was the one…full frontal (so to speak) and no where to hide. It stood there, no make up on and noticeably tired, though steady and solid. It’s cornice, the brick work, the porch, the crown molding, the mantles, the medallions (pictured above and below) all appeared weathered (in varying degrees), wanting attention…but definitely not wanting pity. And, though neglected a bit by those that did not show it any real love for a while and inhabited by tenants over time that may not have understood the value of its soul…it stared at me…and I stared back and thought….Oh how very lovely you are!
But in closing for this current entry Dear Diary…all that is lovely, still has to be functional…and the next step is to make sure the needy rowhouse is not too needy for me to want to take on the journey. And though my projects will be in small stages as I purchase this investment, I have to make sure even those will not be futile. Hence, I will save that subject for entry till next week. Till then…I “HEART” Newburgh!
Yes, the house needs the right soul…we hope to see you there soon!
Hi Hannah…It’s that transition when a house goes from just brick and mortar to a home with heart and soul that makes the difference, as we like to hope it does. And whether it is an investor/landlord (like myself) or an actual owner/renter “occupant”, it is that on-going journey of developing a relationship with a home and a sympatico for it, the neighborhood and the city. I do look forward to meeting in the future also!! 🙂