Speaking Out

Houses, Houses, Houses

If you are considering taking the plunge and buying a house, or if in your office there is a newly hired person who is wondering what it is like to live in our community and what kind of housing stock is available, Saturday, April 12 is a date you should remember. This is the date of the sixth annual University City Saturday Community Open House. I found my own house through this event last year.

You begin at the auditorium of St. Francis de Sales Church at 47th and Springfield, where information will be available from many of University City's neighborhood associations, schools, and churches. In this way a newcomer considering settling in the neighborhood can meet with representatives of organizations committed to the area and learn exactly what the community has to offer. There will also be representatives from different banks and mortgage companies. You pick up a map showing what houses are going to be open that day (there should be about 70 of them, in every price bracket), where they are located, and what their asking price is. This information center will be open from 11 a.m.-4 p.m., and there will be refreshments available.

Then you're off! When I went last year, I dragged my husband, my mother, and her husband around to at least 20 different houses before we were too tired to see any more (who needs a Stairmaster after going up and down four or five flights of stairs in 20 houses!!). It was quite an education, since I had never bought a house before, and I started to understand what is involved in the entire process. I also met the neighbors who sit in each house (there are no realtors present, so no sales pressure) and I was able to talk to them about the neighborhood, why the house was on the market, what local groups were active on that block, etc., and get candid answers to my questions.

I would have to say that in my case, University City Saturday was a positive influence in my decision to go ahead and buy a house, and as a matter of fact I ended up in the very first house I saw that day! But it was very nearly a coin toss, since I could have been just as happy in many of the others we visited. But I still see some of the house-sitting neighbors I met last year, and all in all it was a great introduction to life in University City. And, last but not least, new homebuyers are celebrated every year, at a wonderful party in the early spring at the Gables! This was an incredible way to see and meet fellow new homeowners, and a good way to build a sense of community over the many blocks that comprise our neighborhood.

Spread the word and come out to see and welcome our future neighbors!

-- Roberta L. Dougherty
Middle East Bibliographer &
Head, Middle East Technical Services,
Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center


Volume 43 Number 29
April 8, 1997

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