Mary Nancy Chatel is a hardworking Louisville Realtor for Lenihan Sotheby’s International Realty. In 2015, she closed over $17 million in local real estate, so you could say “she knows her stuff!” A lot of her business is with families who have young children. This demographic has special considerations when buying and selling homes, she explains.
For families newly transferring to the area, Mary likes to begin with a tour of the city, making sure to point out areas of town (like St. Matthews) with great school and parks systems. Naturally, schools are the most logical starting point for buyers with children. But families who have kids enrolled in private schools can look for neighborhoods that match their set of interests or needs — with country clubs, golf courses, tennis courts, playgrounds, swimming pools, walking trails, or other perks.
With her many years of local real estate knowledge, Mary Nancy Chatel can often pinpoint a particular neighborhood after a 20 minute conversation with a client. “Typically, I always try to give somebody between 3 and 5 different neighborhoods or streets and say, ‘Hey, let’s start here.’” It’s a delicate balance between giving someone the feeling that they are taking part in finding the right area to live in, without overwhelming them with choices, she says.
Other factors she considers include:
- In more rural areas, is there at least a bus stop close to the house?
- Will it be a long commute to the school for sport and extracurricular activities?
- Does the neighborhood offer holiday festivities like Halloween parties and Fourth of July parades?
For families, it’s about more than a house – it’s about the big picture. “The home may be absolutely immaculate, just what they want, but if it has no neighbors or if it’s too far out of the city … it’s not always just having your perfect house,” Mary Nancy explains. “It extends beyond the 4 walls of the house. You have to really love your neighborhood I feel, because it adds to your family life and your family value and the way that your children are going to grow up.”
On the flipside, selling is a very emotional time for people, especially with families that have grown up in a house. For the most part, people move their families because they have to – rather than they want to – whether it’s to downsize, to get more land, or to move closer to a new job.
“I’ve had people take door frames from their house and replace it with new lumber and new crown-molding because they want all of those little pencil marks with the height of their children growing up,” Mary Nancy says. She does her best to lessen the burden on families by involving all family members and finding a home that is just as wonderful for their relocation.