Woodmere residents Jennifer and Brian Sapir have been looking at homes for sale for months. "We have seen approximately 10 to 15 houses each weekend since January, and all we've gotten is a reality check about how difficult it is to actually find our dream home," says Jennifer, 29, an English teacher at John F. Kennedy High School. She and Brian, 29, a Manhattan attorney, want to spend between $350,000 and $500,000 for a house in Nassau County -- either Bellmore, Merrick or Roslyn Heights. They want at least three bedrooms and 1½ bathrooms with a yard large enough for their two Boston terriers, Holden and Chloe to play. "We'd like to keep the taxes around $10,000, but are flexible depending on the price of the house," Jennifer says. Their non-negotiables? They want an updated kitchen or new bathrooms -- "I'm not sure we could handle doing both," she says -- as well as a bathroom on the same level as the bedrooms. They also do not want the property to back up to a main road or highway. But probably the same most important factor, adds Jennifer, are good schools.
Three Realtors were asked to sort through the listings and pick the perfect home for the Sapirs: Galina Richards of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Janet Salvaggio of Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate, and Lea Frank of Daniel Gale Sotheby's International Realty.
1. Richards chose this three-bedroom, two-bath Colonial in Bellmore that is listed for $299,000. Built in 1910, the house features an updated kitchen and bathroom. It is on a 75-by-93-foot lot with annual property taxes of about $9,196. The property, says Richards, "fit the buyer's criteria about . . . towns, school districts, number of bathrooms and bedrooms, price and condition."
2. Salvaggio picked this five-bedroom, three-bath 1930 Colonial in Merrick, even though it has a slightly higher asking price, because it is "loaded with amenities." Listed for $549,000, there is an open floor plan, vaulted ceilings, a new kitchen, new bathrooms and a two-car detached garage. The property is 50 by 100 feet, and annual property taxes are $10,999.
3. Frank says she thinks this Roslyn Heights Colonial for $449,999 could be perfect for the Sapirs "if they are willing to spend a little bit more on taxes." The taxes for the 75-by-113-foot property are $11,138 a year. But, Frank says, there might be some flexibility in the asking price. The 1911 three-bedroom, 1.5-bath house is on a dead-end street. The 75-by-113-foot property features a gazebo, patio and pond. There is new siding, gutters, windows and pavers.
The Sapirs generally like the three choices. But the couple “really, really likes” the Roslyn Heights home, says Jennifer. “We are willing to be a little flexible on the taxes, because that one is right in our price range. We like that it’s updated, and that we wouldn’t have to start gutting the house as soon as we'd move in.”
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Top photo: Brian and Jennifer Sapir with their Boston terriers Holden and Chloe in their apartment in Woodmere. Long Island real estate agents are helping the couple find the perfect house. (May 14, 2011)