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IPJ Homebuyer Spotlight

There’s no denying it: people like symmetrical numbers. We love to celebrate 0s and 5s, whether it’s the turn of the century, a 25th wedding anniversary or the odometer hitting 50,000mi. At IPJ we are no different, so for the first blog piece of 2020, we’re shining the spotlight on two wonderful people who represent our 200th property transaction of 2019.

KC Carr and Kenene Otis are a mother/daughter team who were looking for a small house in Middlebury. My partner Amey Ryan and I helped them sell their previous home on Lake Dunmore, and once that was finalized, KC, Kenene and I went on the hunt for a new home. Important to them was a more central location, as Kenene, 15, is a sophomore at Middlebury Union HS and KC works in the school system.

As a real estate agent, you work with and represent a wide range of people from different backgrounds. Adaptability and relatability are two personal skills that one has to develop in order to be successful in this industry, because no two clients are alike, and some may not share your values or general outlook on life.

When it came to KC and Kenene, I didn’t need to rely on these skills much. They are lovely, laid-back people and extremely easy to work with. And KC is on top of things, to say the least. Her contract closed in 30 days over the holidays, which is unheard of. Within that time, she had successfully organized all the relevant service contractors, paperwork and transactions that go into a home purchase, and to this day I have no idea how she pulled it off.

After spending some time with KC and Kenene, I noticed that they really depend on each other, and treat each other more like dear friends than mother/daughter. They love to stay active and spend time outdoors together, taking the summers to road trip and explore Maine, and Kenene is a member of the Middlebury High School girl’s hockey team.

In other words, they’re eager adventurers, so looking at homes with them was as easygoing and efficient as it gets. We only looked at a half-dozen properties before they decided on a cozy 3-bedroom/2-bathroom ranch with a one-car garage, large rear deck and grassy back yard. Within walking distance of the high school to the west and Battell Woods to the east, the location embodies the balance this pair has struck between family bond and lifelong friendship.

Courtney DeBisschop: What do you like most about the house?

KC: We get to be on an IPJ blog post! No, seriously our new neighbors have come to introduce themselves so that makes me feel really good about things.

Kenene: The backyard! In between the Dunmore Lake house and here we lived in a condo, so I really like the space.

KC: You’re also getting a she shed in the basement.


CD: A what now?

KC: A teen room. A she-shed. A teen hangout. Call it what you want, but it’s basically an expanded space for Kenene to do her thing or entertain and so forth. We have builder friends who are making it pretty cool.


CD: You wanted the new house to be small and close to the school… and have a teen hangout of course. Tell our readers about the other things you were looking for.

KC: Just that it be relatively sound and manageable. We had to have something we could take care of. Courtney, we’d worked with you on our previous sale, and we were very impressed. You knew exactly what we needed.

CD: Thank you that’s kind. You two made it easy on yourselves.

KC: Living in multiple places with different upsides and downsides definitely helps narrow down what you want.

Ke: It had to be manageable, but a house. We moved from Lake Dunmore into a condo, so we’ve moved three times in 18 months.


CD: Any plans for the backyard? A garden perhaps?

KC: I’m not much of a gardener.

Ke: I want a garden!

KC: Hmmm… you’re going to have to settle for a fire pit.


CD: How did you accomplish a 30-day close given the holidays, people on vacation, etc.?

KC: I can’t take too much credit because I’m a teacher and I had Christmas break, so for me it was like having a two-week job. Everyone was great actually. The people at VFCU [LINK] were super helpful, and the previous homeowners—a group of siblings—did a lot to get it in shape. Even after the offer was accepted, they spent more time and money on various cleaning and projects. They did a lot they didn’t necessarily have to do, so that was nice.


CD: You were amazingly fast, efficient and responsive, and I think it’s because you had things you wanted to do with the house before moving in. What are some of the projects going on now?

KC: Oh it’s mostly cosmetic and functional stuff. Painted a couple rooms. New appliances, that kind of stuff.

Ke: And the teen room.

KC: And the teen room.


CD: Kenene, how is hockey season going?

Ke: Good so far. I grew up playing so I love it, but when we lived on Lake Dunmore it was hard to get to the school and back so I took a break from the teams. But now I’m playing again and my teammates are awesome; they give me rides which is really nice.


CD: You also have a job right?

Ke: Yup, I teach snowboarding and skiing at the Snow Bowl [Link].


CD: Wow, I thought I was busy.

Ke: Yeah but it’s all good stuff!


CD: What’s it like being so close to school? Do you both get to sleep in a little later?

Ke: I can sleep to the last minute and walk to school!

KC: It’s really convenient. No 25 mile round trips anymore.


CD: There’s no place like home! Thank you both so much for spending some more time with me.

Ke: It’s good to see you!

KC: You have our referral any time Courtney, and all the ladies at IPJ for that matter. You guys are the best!

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