#WhereTheMillennialsAre is a new series from @CrazyJewishMom aka @HelicopterMomHomes (yes, she has an insta now!). This series will profile milliennials at home and get all the details on how they live – rentals, roommates, home ownership and everything in between. If you’re interested in being profiled (or having your home featured anonymously), please tell us a little about yourself here. And did you know that @CrazyJewishMom is a licensed real estate agent at The Corcoran Group in New York? Let her help you find your dream home and with all of your real estate needs. Get in touch with her at Kim.Friedman@corcoran.com.
For the first #WhereTheMillennials are, @HelicopterMomHomes decided to kick things off with her very own “spawn” at her home in Brooklyn.
@HelicopterMomHomes: What are the names and occupations of the people who live here?
@KateFriedmanSiegel: I’m a social media influencer and author, and also your “spawn.” And Jon is a Software Engineer.
@HelicopterMomHomes: What neighborhood do you live in?
@KateFriedmanSiegel: Brooklyn, as you know.
@HelicopterMomHomes: Don’t remind me.
@KateFriedmanSiegel: You literally asked.
@HelicopterMomHomes: All right, let’s keep this professional. Pretend I’m not your mother. Do you rent or do you own your home?
@KateFriedmanSiegel: We’re homeowners!
@HelicopterMomHomes: Did you have any financial help with the purchase process or with your ongoing mortgage payments?
@KateFriedmanSiegel: Nope! We’re doing it ourselves.
@HelicopterMomHomes: When did you move in?
@KateFriedmanSiegel: Almost exactly two years ago! Feels like it has only been a week!
@HelicopterMomHomes: What was the home buying process like for you?
@KateFriedmanSiegel: Incredibly stressful. It’s one of those things most people only do once or maybe a couple times in a lifetime, and it’s a complicated, time consuming process with a lot of opportunity for error. I felt out of my depth a lot of the time, and I tried to do as much research as I could to make sure we didn’t make any stupid financial mistakes.
@HelicopterMomHomes: In hindsight, what advice would you give yourself about finding and buying a home?
@KateFriedmanSiegel: I would tell myself to find a broker who I really trust to represent me. I decided to buy our home without a buyer’s broker, and I regret that, because the seller’s broker is not your friend and is not looking out for your best interests. There really is no downside to having an advocate, and frankly a huge upside to having someone who knows more about arcane real estate red tape than you. Also, I’d tell myself to get all of the mortgage details in writing, so they can’t weasel out at the last minute.
@HelicopterMomHomes: Too bad I wasn’t licensed yet in New York when you bought. You would have paid much less. Were there/ are there any unexpected costs associated with home ownership?
@KateFriedmanSiegel: Well, in closing the sale, I was a bit surprised by how much “closing costs” can add up to. There are all sorts of fees that get tacked on, and they can really amount to a lot. We were prepared for this by our real estate attorney, but it was still surprising. And in terms of ongoing costs, I wouldn’t call repairs and maintenance “unexpected,” but there’s a bit of sticker shock when they do happen. For instance, right after we moved in we had a fairly major plumbing issue.
@HelicopterMomHomes: Oh, I remember the poop flood of 2017.
@KateFriedmanSiegel: Indeed. So we had to frantically cold call a bunch of plumbers to come give us quotes which all felt incredibly high. When you think about it though, if we were paying standard condo maintenance fees it would come out to about the same over the course of the year.
@HelicopterMomHomes: Have you done any work or made any changes to the home?
@KateFriedmanSiegel: I added a chandelier I found on craigslist, and we repainted most of the rooms. The main hallway was this hideous burnt orange color, so that was one of the first things I knew I wanted to change. The next project I want to do is change the carpet in the front hall or replace it with wood. It’s puke green.
@HelicopterMomHomes: Do you have any renovations or home improvement projects planned? Or a dream project?
@KateFriedmanSiegel: Well, I’d love to put a trendy, horizontal fence in our yard, but they are very expensive! We’d also love to add a bathroom, but again, money! Maybe sometime down the road for those projects. More practically, we need to figure out a heating solution in the kitchen.
@HelicopterMomHomes: YES! You absolutely do. So I don’t freeze to death every time I visit you.
@KateFriedmanSiegel: Thank you, mother. Yeah, it’s usually fine with the oven going, but sometimes in the winter it gets too cold without a devoted heating system. The rest of the place runs on Mitsubishi split units that do air conditioning and heat, so we will likely add another unit like that in the kitchen.
@HelicopterMomHomes: What made you pick this place?
@KateFriedmanSiegel: It was a combination of a lot of factors, budget, neighborhood, the physical space. A huge selling point was access to transit. It’s very easy to get to most of the major subway lines from our place. We also loved the huge backyard, though I still strongly dislike nature.
@HelicopterMomHomes: By backyard, I assume you mean your gigantic mosquito den. Who knew there were giant mosquitos in Brooklyn? Anyway, back to the house. Where did you get your furniture?
@KateFriedmanSiegel: So, almost every single thing in our home came from Craigslist.
@HelicopterMomHomes: Oy. Don’t remind me.
@KateFriedmanSiegel: Mom, there is so much fantastic stuff on Craigslist, and furniture is stupid expensive. And hey, haven’t found a single bed bug yet! That said, we have had a few disasters along the Craigslist adventure road…lots of hours sitting in Craigslist chairs on the street that wouldn’t fit into a cab, and I may have crashed a U-Haul…into a New Jersey State Trooper.
@HelicopterMomHomes: What do you love about your home? What’s your favorite room?
@KateFriedmanSiegel: I love a lot about it, but I think my favorite room is the kitchen. It’s really spacious, and great for hosting.
@HelicopterMomHomes: What do you hate about the home? What drives you crazy?
@KateFriedmanSiegel: There are pipes hooked up from the old radiator (heat system), and they still run along some of the walls, even though they are not in use. I wanted to cut them out, but Jon is very practical, and I will grudgingly admit probably right. It makes sense to keep them in place if we ever wanted to use that type of heating again.
@HelicopterMomHomes: Jon is wrong. Cut those ugly pipes immediately. What is your favorite piece of furniture?
@KateFriedmanSiegel: I’m going to name two pieces, and I bought both on Craigslist! Both are in our living room! One is a Restoration Hardware English Roll Arm Sleeper sofa, and the other is a Restoration Hardware Rococo Chandelier.
@HelicopterMomHomes: How much did you pay for them?
@KateFriedmanSiegel: I got the sofa for $600.00 and the chandelier for $250.00. The sofa retailed for over $4,600.00 (it’s no longer available from the manufacturer), and the chandelier currently retails for $1,496.00. The way I see it, paying $600 for a used but incredibly comfortable sofa that is well made and will last, makes more sense than paying the same price for something new and cheaply made that will break in a few years.
@HelicopterMomHomes: Who does the cooking in the household?
@KateFriedmanSiegel: Well, we get takeout far more than we probably should, but we both really do enjoy cooking. I work from home, so I usually get dinner started, and Jon does the dishes. On Sundays we will sometimes make a big soup or something with lots of leftovers for quick weeknight meals together.
@HelicopterMomHomes: Don’t cook. Use your time to write and order takeout always. Who cleans the house? How do you divide the labor?
@KateFriedmanSiegel: We both do a lot. Jon scoops the cat litter most of the time, because apparently there is a disease you can get from cat poop that is really bad if you’re pregnant. And before you have an aneurysm mother, I’m not pregnant, but we do plan to start a family at some point, and he’s paranoid about it already. I always pack the dishwasher after Jon clears and rinses. The man studied aerospace engineering, but when he tries to pack a dishwasher he just cannot figure it out. We bought a robot vacuum last year during one of the big holiday sales, and that has been a game-changer. We both HATE cleaning bathrooms, so I’m ashamed to admit we probably let it get a little too out of hand and then spend a weekend rage-cleaning. Oh and in the shower we got a Tub Shroom, which is an amazing pipe saving invention, but it’s absolutely VILE to clean.
@HelicopterMomHomes: What is a Tub Shroom?
@KateFriedmanSiegel: It’s basically a hair trap that you stick in the drain, but it’s very effective. It catches tons of gunk, hair, and just everything nasty that you’re trying to wash off, so I really hate cleaning it. Jon mostly deals with the Tub Shroom, but I’ll do it once in a while when I’m feeling brave.
@HelicopterMomHomes: Let Jon do it. Where do you do laundry?
@KateFriedmanSiegel: Our place has an unfinished basement with laundry. The ceilings are very low, and I’m 99% sure it’s haunted.
@HelicopterMomHomes: What are some of your favorite neighborhood restaurants? Favorite delivery spots? Favorite local spots?
@KateFriedmanSiegel: Restaurants: Barboncino, Roberta’s, Diwan Grill, and Bagel Pub. Delivery: Gobo vegan Thai, Vegetarian Palate, and Da Nonna Rosa. Local spots: Brooklyn Museum, Berg’n, Prospect Park, and the cat cafe that is my living room.
Did you know that @CrazyJewishMom is a licensed real estate agent at The Corcoran Group in New York? Let her help you find your dream home and with all of your real estate needs. Get in touch with her on her new Instagram account or send her an email at Kim.Friedman@corcoran.com!
Want to be featured on #WhereTheMillenialsAre (or have your home featured anonymously)? Get in touch with us below.