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My New Home: First

May 27, 2023May 27, 2023

Margaret McQuiston and Thomas "TJ" Wilcox met when they both lived in Colorado. They moved back to Memphis, Margaret's hometown, to be closer to her family. They started out in a rental house in Cooper-Young, but knew they wanted a place of their own.

Their house hunt started when they met Arath Luevano, a realtor with Keller Williams Realty, while they were touring an Open House.

"Arath was a great help during our home search and purchase," recalled Margaret. "He worked hard to find us what we wanted and was very responsive to our needs and questions. He guided us through the process and was particularly helpful in negotiating an offer that worked for both us and the seller."

The couple knew that they wanted a house with at least two bedrooms, a large kitchen, a nice outdoor space and a walkable neighborhood. Margaret works as a program coordinator for Memphis City Beautiful and TJ works in delivery and warehouse support for Ladd Safety in East Memphis, so they also wanted to be centrally located in town.

"After looking at approximately 15 properties we found a Craftsman-style bungalow, c. 1924, with a painted brick exterior that we really liked," said TJ. "Old school-style globe lanterns flanked the front door and added to the curb appeal. This house had our requisite two bedrooms and one bathroom. Additionally, we liked the home's character, with vintage windows, original hardwood floors and wide front porch. And the porte cochere gave us a covered porch-like structure that was like a carport."

Margaret and TJ paid $232,500 for more than 1,300 square feet of living space in their new home in the High Point Terrace neighborhood. The primary bedroom is large, with the benefit of a walk-in closet. And the bedroom opens onto a wooden deck, with built-in planters and bench seating, that overlooks a deep, shaded backyard.

"Even though our home was almost 100 years old, it had an updated kitchen," said Margaret. "We liked the more modern amenities like stainless steel appliances, a built-in microwave and granite countertops. And the room's natural lighting was enhanced by a large central skylight. There was also a dedicated laundry closet, which housed the washer and dryer. In the living room there were built-in bookcases, topped by Arts and Craft-style windows, that flanked a painted brick fireplace that made the room feel very cozy. We also liked the fact that the bathroom had been maintained with the original black-and-white tile floor and rolled edge tub."

"Plus the HVAC system had been replaced and was only six months old," added TJ.

When asked if they had plans to make any changes to their new abode, TJ said, "We’ve already made aesthetic changes in the living room and dining room, such as new window treatments and wall colors. We’ve also worked on the yard removing the front section of an old, damaged chain link fence and large amounts of bushy overgrowth. We plan to continue with the updating of our fence and landscape."

Margaret added, "Also, we are interested in enlarging our home's footprint but that's not our top priority. Eventually we would love to have a second bathroom and an actual garage." "Our street has a rare mix of new and old homes," said Margaret. "We feel like we found the central location we were looking for and we like that our area is very walkable. It's nice to be close to great local businesses. And we’re also close to The Greenline."

Emily Adams Keplinger is a freelance reporter who produced this feature for the Advertising Department.