Melissa Baker and Henry Harris moved to Memphis after completing their graduate programs at the University of Mississippi, where they met when they were freshman. Henry grew up in Olive Branch and Melissa was from Ocean Springs, Mississippi.
Henry always wanted to return to Memphis and that worked out well since Melissa wanted to practice public interest law in a large city. Melissa is now an attorney at the Public Defender’s office and Henry is a pharmacist at Regional One Health.
When they first moved to Memphis, they rented an apartment that was half of a duplex in the Evergreen area of Midtown. They soon decided that since they were planning to be in Memphis long term, they’d rather own than rent. To help them learn about the local real estate market, they contacted Sowell agent Leigh Martin.
“Leigh came highly recommended to us by two of my colleagues at work,” said Melissa. “We started the home-buying process on a bit of a whim and with very little research of our own under our belts. Leigh made us feel comfortable and confident at every step of the process. Now we highly recommend Leigh to everyone.”
The couple knew that they wanted to find a home with at least two bedrooms, a yard for their dog, Blue, and living room space large enough to accommodate their furniture. They went to a few open houses, but only toured one property with Leigh — and it was “the one.” Melissa and Henry bought a traditional, unpainted brick bungalow, built in 1922, in the Evergreen Historic District. They paid $275,000 for approximately 1,300 square feet. The home offered three bedrooms and one bathroom, with all of the living space on one floor.
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Beautiful hardwood floors run throughout most of the house. In the former living room (now being used as a dining room), a fireplace is the focal point, adding to the room’s cozy ambience. The couple said they also liked their reconfiguration because it placed the living room in the center of the house. The home has a spacious kitchen that had been updated with granite countertops by a previous owner. And playing to the vintage appeal of the home, the bathroom features a clawfoot tub. A separate laundry room includes extra storage options.
“The house and location were perfect, better than we expected when we were considering buying,” said Melissa. “This house is on a significantly less busy and loud road than where we were living before in the duplex, and there are no shared spaces.”
“Also, we love having a front and a back porch, not on a second story,” added Henry. “Melissa loves the floor plan/layout and how functional the kitchen is for a Midtown home. I love all the south-facing windows and the fact I could change anything about it, if I wanted to.”
When asked if they had plans to make any changes, Melissa explained, “The only thing we changed before moving into our home was painting the interior. We’d like to remove the carpet from the third bedroom, which we are using as an office. Additionally, we’d like to add to the existing landscaping in both the front yard and the backyard. The latter involves completing a privacy fence, possibly expanding the back porch, and painting the exterior accents.”
As for their neighborhood, having rented in the Evergreen district before, the couple already knew that they loved the area.
“We benefit from having short commutes to both of our jobs,” said Henry. “And, the proximity to Overton Park and Crosstown Concourse are major pluses for us. It is just generally a very pleasant area to walk or to bike.”
Emily Adams Keplinger is a freelance reporter who produced this feature for the Advertising Department.