Caitlin and Jorge Giovannini
Where were you living prior to Charlottesville and how did you begin the house hunting process?
Before Charlottesville, Jorge lived in Bristow with his family, and Caitlin lived in Richmond completing her master’s in OT. We moved to Charlottesville in May 2017 and started with renting an apartment in Abington Crossing while Caitlin finished up her OT fieldwork placements in Charlottesville. We knew we wanted to live in Charlottesville after Caitlin graduated, but we decided to rent first until Caitlin found a job. Luckily, she found her dream job in Charlottesville, and basically a week later, Jorge started to pressure her into looking for a house. We got our loan pre-approval with Caitlin’s offer letter.
What made you choose Charlottesville?
Caitlin wanted to live here, so we live here (LOL) – but really, Caitlin went to UVA for undergrad, and we both fell in love with this city then. Charlottesville is the perfect size. It has many of the great features of a bigger city, such as events and culture, but it is small enough to still foster community. Plus, we are just a few minutes from the mountains, filled with beautiful views and great wine. We still live close to our families, and it would be a great place to raise children
How did you discover the neighborhood (where you eventually ended up buying), and what do you love about it?
At the beginning of our home search, Josh advised us to drive around many neighborhoods in town to get a feel for which ones we liked and why. This search led us to our neighborhood, and Caitlin fell in love, especially after we toured one of the homes on the market. After looking at 5+ homes in this neighborhood, we finally bought our home! We love this neighborhood because it does not feel like the typical “cookie cutter” suburb new home neighborhood. We especially love the style of the houses and the layout of the lots. Plus, our neighbors are so friendly and welcoming!
What was your experience like working with Story House Real Estate?
We loved working with Josh and Story House Real Estate! Josh was very patient and attentive throughout the whole process. He went out of his way to answer all of our questions and make sure we felt comfortable before making a decision. Jorge was stressed about finding the right home fast, and Josh was constantly reassuring and insightful.
What was your journey like buying/selling your home?
We were both first time home buyers, and Story House made it an incredibly simple and fun journey. (Jorge might dispute that since he wanted to find a house in basically 1 week). They made great recommendations for how to approach the process and with whom to work. We started with a broad search, and Josh was happy to show us houses in many neighborhoods. However, the more we looked, the more we kept coming back to one neighborhood in particular. We looked at every house that came on the market there, which gave us a great feel for the houses and their general floor plans. Then, when our home came on the market, we were ready to put an offer in right away (even though Caitlin did not even get to walk through it first).
What was the most stressful part of the real estate process?
The limited number of homes in the market in Charlottesville, making it a seller’s market. Due to the competitive nature for buyers, we had to put an offer in fast and were typically up against multiple offers. It was difficult to decide how to configure our offer and to make these life-changing decisions so quickly. Also, we got married in the middle of the home search … so we had a lot going on!
What was the best part of your real estate process?
Pretending like we were on HGTV … It was interesting exploring Charlottesville and discovering neighborhoods we had never seen before. (Like our neighborhood – we had no clue it existed before house hunting). With our budget, we were mainly touring houses that needed a little bit of work. We really enjoyed analyzing each house and dreaming about what changes we would make. When it came to our own house, we actually had fun renovating and making the house feel like home with each personal detail.