The Homebuying Journey with Love and Renovations

Join bloggers Amanda and Corey Hendrix as their family embarks on a new homebuying journey. From previously living in older homes that require plenty of love (and renovations), they’re looking at opening up their option into new build territory.

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Moving Across the Country with Branden Harvey

After moving from Nashville, Tennessee to Portland, Oregon, Branden Harvey shares his experience of moving from one side of the country to the other. From talking about the good, the bad, and the ugly of moving and how can help you, Branden gives you advice for making the leap.

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Four Things to Consider When Choosing Your Next Community

Deciding to move is a major decision and location is one of the most important aspects you should consider when planning a move. Whether it’s a new neighborhood, a new city, or a new state–once you get there, you want to make sure your new community truly makes you feel welcome.

Recently outlined some of the priciest streets in the US, but when diving deeper to figure out why they are the most expensive, a few commonalities were revealed. Almost half of the cities listed, were also a part of the top 10 most diverse cities in the US as well, with Houston, TX at the top of this list. The other pricy cities included in the most diverse cities of the U.S. are New York, NY, Dallas, TX, and Los Angeles, CA. This means that people are willing to pay extra to live in a place that accepts them, no matter who they are or where they come from. Other cities across the nation, are realizing they too need to keep up with the changing must-haves younger generations expect from the communities in which they live. 

While diversity and inclusivity have been hot topics within the workforce for some time, city officials are now beginning to look at ways to nurture this same environment within its city limits. According to the World Economic Forum, “economies are losing out by not implementing more inclusive strategies.” Cities who have taken strides to be more diverse and inclusive are drawing people from all walks of life and backgrounds to their areas. City officials are reaching out to their communities to have open and honest “color brave” discussions. This dialogue not only recognizes the struggles of their citizens, but also serves to develop programs, implement statutes, and provide resources to all. The more comfortable people are in their surroundings, the more likely they are to thrive, and in turn, less likely to leave the area. Everyone wants to feel safe, valued, and a part of their community. Below is a list of some things to look for in a city that is welcoming to all:


Nothing generates a sense of community more than walkability to local hot spots. It gives you a chance to go at a slower pace, chat with neighbors, and truly take in where you live. Which also means that there is a stronger safety presence either by law enforcement or neighborhood watch programs.

Community Spaces

Aside from improving the area from a walkability standpoint, providing a safe space for people to gather and celebrate is also vital to a thriving community. Festivals, dedicated green spaces, and even pet-friendly spaces can provide a nice alternative to privately owned locations. 

Work incentive and growth

Cities are encouraging minority entrepreneurs to establish their businesses by offering various incentives. Cities have set up networking and educational activities available to members of its business-minded community that would otherwise be too difficult to find or too expensive. Bringing job opportunities to the area draws in people, helps them want to stay, which in turn helps drive the economy.


Once a city has established itself as a desirable place to live, they have to maintain it too. Cities are creating boards with members of their communities to continually check the pulse of what’s working, what’s lacking, and what they as a community can do to improve. Atlanta, GA is an example of a city that is working to include all community members in its decision-making with its “One Atlanta” initiative where citizens from all backgrounds are celebrated and brought into the political fold.

Being comfortable where you live extends far beyond the walls of your own home. Being apart of a thriving community will not only affect your overall wellbeing, but it also will increase your home value over time. When starting on your home buying journey, make sure to keep a running list of must-haves and nice-to-haves for your local community as well as your future home.

Brooke has a lifestyle blog called Cribbs Style and currently lives in Charleston, SC. This wife, mom of two almost tweens, and mom of three fur children enjoys all things DIY and organizing. When she’s not helping others tackle the chaos of life, she’s either working out, at the beach, or just enjoying time with family and friends.


How Does Love Affect Homebuying?

When buying a home, what’s love got to do with it? As it turns out, more than we thought! Just in time for Valentine’s Day, we surveyed almost 800 people to find out how love shapes their varying attitudes and experiences when buying a home. (Don’t worry, we included singles, too!) Here’s what our survey uncovered:

Shifting Views on Marriage Impact Ideal Time to Buy a Home

For most of our respondents, love is a crucial factor in their desire to buy a home. Almost 72% said their ideal time to buy a home is during a romantic relationship. However, love in itself isn’t their only consideration; the level of romantic commitment also influences their ideal time to buy. 

Interestingly, slightly more people (over 36%) said their ideal time to purchase would be while in a committed — but not legally binding — relationship such as marriage or a civil union, compared to over 35% who said they’d wait to buy until joined together by law. As national marriage rates continue to decline, we may see a growing gap between these two camps.

Rounding out our answers, 21% percent said they would prefer to buy while single. 

love and homebuyinglove and homebuying

Single Homebuyers Also Want Single Living

While taking on roommates is an increasingly popular way for new buyers to finance their homes, there’s not much love for them among many of the prospective single buyers we surveyed. Almost 40% of them said they never want roommates, and just over 30% aren’t planning on having roommates, but are willing to consider them. Only 6% said they’d buy with the intention of having roommates.

It’s worth pointing out that this may not be realistic, with tightened inventories and higher than average prices for starter homes weighing down the market. Some of you single folks might need to embrace the company!

Finances and Personalization are Top Concerns for Single Homebuyers

Our single prospective homebuyers may not feel the love with roommates, but they definitely love stability and freedom. Almost 39% said their top motivation for buying a home is that they believe “it’s fiscally responsible,” while 29% are motivated by a desire to have a space they can transform however they want. This makes sense, as renting often doesn’t afford the chance for tenants to perform high-level customization. Come to think of it, roommates make that more difficult, too….

OK, singles….we hear you!

More “Young” Couples are Comfortable Buying Together than Long-Term Couples

Young love is exciting, exhilarating and full of potential — to buy a home, at least. Of the group who desires to buy with a romantic partner, more people said they’d be comfortable co-buying within only a year of starting their relationship than those together five years or more (17% to 13%, respectively). 

Less surprising was that the majority (over 61%) said they’d be comfortable with co-buying after being in a relationship for 2-4 years. As the simply smarter home experts, we definitely recommend this option!

Over a Quarter of Homebuyers Spend at Least 5 Years Together Before Buying

Two to four years seems to be the magic number for couples to buy a home together. Echoing the sentiments of the future buyers we surveyed, the majority (61%) of those who have purchased with a partner indicated they were in the relationship between 2-4 years before buying together. However, over a quarter (26%) said they waited between 5-10 years, while only 13% said they purchased within the first year of their relationship.

Location is the Most Common Compromise for Homebuying Couples

Of those who have purchased a home with their partner, 39% said location was what they had to compromise to make it work. However, this may not be too negative a story; a previous survey on those who have moved for love found that only 17% didn’t like the location.

Surprisingly, only about 7% of respondents said they had to compromise on the number of bedrooms or bathrooms (are we the only ones who thought this would be higher?), while 16% compromised on the house size. 

Most Couples Feel OK with Compromising for Their Partner

According to a previous study, 1 in every 3 homebuyers is reduced to tears during the homebuying process, and 2 out of 5 feel it’s the most stressful life experience they’ve ever had. Add in the desires of someone you love, and things can get messy really quickly. But, it’s not all doom and gloom! An astounding 96% of respondents said they felt either neutral (54%) or positive (42%) about making compromises. Only 4% said they absolutely hated to compromise. 

Couples, breathe a sigh of relief. Even during the stress of buying a home, it looks like love still conquers all!

Having Kids is a Non-Factor for Many Couples’ Decisions to Buy

As we expected, the majority of respondents (63%) said they’d definitely buy a home if they had kids. What we didn’t expect was that more respondents said kids wouldn’t affect their decision to buy than those who said kids would make them at least consider buying (15% and 6%, respectively). 

More people citing kids as a non-factor in their decision making may point to the millennial struggles to break into the starter home market; in essence, having kids may be a non-factor because, well, many young families sadly can’t afford to enter the market in the first place. 

Do you have a story about love and home buying? 

We’d love to hear it! Scroll down to the comments section and tell us how love has impacted your homebuying journey. is where you connect with real estate professionals to find your forever home the #simplysmarterway ?