Finding a place to call home has always been a dream for me and my husband, Dewey. It’s been a very long time coming, and to finally be in a home that feels like our own is something I am so excited about. We used to walk up and down neighborhood streets, hand-in-hand, looking at all the houses, imagining and dreaming of a time when we would be in our own home together.
As a designer, I feel nesting and settling into wherever you live is so important. Although I’ve done that with every new address, there is no better feeling than creating that space for my family, in a home that is all our own. Dewey and I finally have our place, our address, and our home together.
But finding that perfect home, in the perfect neighborhood, with the perfect…well…everything can be daunting and stressful. Especially when you’re in a different state like I was while filming Netflix’s Queer Eye. As one of the Fab Five, our shoot days were long and our schedules were very busy. This is where Redfin came in to help. I’ve always loved perusing Redfin.com and the Redfin app (and open houses when I was in town), but when we were actually ready to start our search and buy, Redfin became my go-to place to really dive deep and search for a home that made sense for us. Watch our home-buying story on video here!
Redfin Found Our Dream Neighborhood
We’re now proud residents of East LA, though we didn’t know we wanted to live there when we started our home search. We knew that we were ready to be in a home vs. an apartment, as we had previously done. We used to live in New York and craved an actual home. It was a big part of the reason why we moved to LA in the first place, where single family homes are more common. For that reason, we didn’t want to live in downtown LA, which while wonderful, is comprised of mostly apartments and condos. We dreamt of a house on the hill with views, a pool (which is coming very soon), and a beautiful outdoor space. We now finally have all of that in East LA, and this neighborhood feels like it has always been home.
With the Redfin app, we were able to physically draw circles around all the hills in LA where we knew we might want to live. The app then specifically searched in those areas for houses matching our criteria. We love the east side of LA with its neighborhoods and eclectic, artistic vibes. But we weren’t sure exactly where in the area we wanted to be. The app allowed us to circle multiple areas to help us find the perfect spot. The app also automatically sent emails with listings matching our search settings, meaning I didn’t have to constantly swipe through listings several times a day. Instead, I could quickly browse an email of pre-selected houses in one place.
Once You Know Where You Want to Live, Make a Wish List. Here was Ours:
- A home with a view on a hill: We’ve both lived in New York and downtown LA and knew we wanted to finally have an actual house with views and some property to spread out. We also wanted to be on a hill so that we not only had a view, but would be positioned above, and away from, major streets below.
- A home I could make my own: With my busy schedule, I knew I didn’t have time to worry about the kinds of issues that often come up with an older home. And while I loved the character of some of the older houses, we opted for a new home that wouldn’t require a ton of work, and would be a blank canvas for me to make changes over time as we settled in.
- Plenty of space both indoors and out: We wanted to feel like we had space to roam (both inside and out). Our new house has multiple decks, with accordion-style doors and windows that can be folded back to open the entire space to the outside. With LA’s sunny weather, this feature meant we could enjoy twice the amount of space.
- Lots of light: Everyone says they want natural light in their home, but I really meant it. It was so important to me, and our house has so much natural light pouring in due to its location and floor to ceiling windows.
- An office space: With all the travel I do, I wanted to have a home office so I don’t always have to commute back and forth to my current office in downtown LA. It makes a huge difference when I only have a few days in town before heading out again.
- A space for guests: Our friends always want to visit LA, and we wanted to make sure we had a few extra rooms so that when friends or family are in town, everyone has a place to crash.
- A pool: LA is sunny 365 days a year (well almost) and we really wanted to be able to enjoy the warm weather with a pool. We don’t have one quite yet, but the lot and the house was already perfectly set up for the addition of a pool (which is coming very soon).
Redfin’s Technology Made Buying Seamless While Filming
They always say that you find love when you’re not looking–as if Kismet brings it into your life–and that is what happened with our home. With everything going on with filming and promoting Queer Eye, my schedule didn’t allow me to constantly search for newly available homes. But that was okay—because Redfin did the work for us.
We were able to set our search limits and desired home features, and then Redfin found us all the matching homes. Every time I received an email and notification on the app fitting our criteria, I’d easily forward it on to Dewey.
The app also intuitively knew what we would love based on listings saved in our favorites. That’s how we found our home. It was perfect, and right in front of us, thanks to Redfin technology.
To be honest, I’d almost given up on finding a home based on previous attempts. I was out of the state and so busy filming, and not seeing anything I loved. Then, one day, this home (our home) appeared as a new home on the market fitting into our criteria and I thought, “this is our house!”
Our Redfin Agent Was Our Advocate
Almost the entire time I was looking for a house, I was filming in Kansas City. What made the Redfin app so great, and what made it so easy to buy a home was, I could communicate through the app with my husband and my Redfin agent. I didn’t have to make a list of houses I liked, the app did it for me. I instantly hit “share” to text listings to my husband. He said, “Yes. Let’s go see it. I love it. The views, the outdoor space.”
When we found one we liked, I hit “contact agent” through the app and it automatically messaged Nadine, a local Redfin Agent. The process was so seamless and she was able to schedule a home tour within the very short time frame I was going to be in town. From the moment I got in touch with Nadine, the process was simple and every single question or concern I had was answered.
Redfin paired me with a trusted local agent like Nadine, who is truly an expert in the neighborhood. She and other agents can help educate buyers on the latest market trends, other homes for sale, ones that recently sold, and how long homes typically stay on the market. She even recommended her favorite coffee shops and restaurants in the neighborhood!
Nadine came to us directly through the site and was our advocate and friend throughout the entire process. We could not have done it without her. From start to finish, Nadine helped us find and secure our perfect home. Even after the home closing, she stepped in to assist when we found a small leak. She reached out to the contractor that built the home to get it fixed for us.
Home Sweet Home
With Redfin, buying a home wasn’t the big scary ordeal I thought it would be. The ease the app brings in buying a home is something I haven’t found anywhere else. All you have to do is log into the app, select your filters, and get matched with an agent who’s on your side. That agent will guide you through the offer, negotiation, and closing process, and a few weeks later, you have a house. So easy!
We now have our house on the hill with the view, and I can’t wait to make it our own. Home buying can be scary and intimidating, but Redfin made the process so simple. I honestly don’t think we would be in this house or neighborhood without it. Our house will soon be our home and that is something that I cannot wait for.