Kate Tobia Tejada
Occupation: Managing director of 1812 Productions.
Neighborhood: South Philadelphia.
Style: 1,300-square-foot row house.
If you're looking to buy a home in the increasingly pricey Philadelphia housing market, you may want to check out the area between South 11th and South Sixth and Moore and McKean streets. Once quiet and vibrant, the well-kept neighborhood is a new hot spot for first-time homebuyers like Kate Tobia Tejada and her husband Clayton Tejada. The couple lives there with their dog Sydney in a charming three-bedroom, one-bath row house that includes a yard, a full basement, gorgeous hardwood floors and the kind of warmth you find only in South Philly.
Did you work on the place?
"We did. There was wall-to-wall carpet everywhere, which we replaced. We also got rid of all the wallpaper and three drop ceilings. We completely redid one bedroom and made it into an office. We also put in all new light fixtures. And none of the outlets was grounded, so we had to redo all the electric."
You have such gorgeous hardwood floors.
"It was initially covered with pea green carpet. The carpet and wallpaper were impeccably done, but it wasn't our style, especially with these great floors underneath. Unfortunately the construction on the addition that houses the kitchen was poorly done, and the kitchen is tiny. It is bright, though, with a window and a door leading to the backyard. Also the bathroom is floor-to-ceiling pink. Even the sink is pink. It's in good shape, though, and since it's all tiles, it would just be too expensive to replace. So we've decided to embrace the pink bathroom."
Did you search specifically in this neighborhood?
"We'd narrowed it down to a house at Ninth and Ritner, which was a little farther south than we wanted, and a place at Third and Ritner, which was a bit too close to Ikea and all the commotion there. And then this house came on the market, and it was just where we wanted to be. Here we have a lot more space and still pay less a month than we did in Queen Village. I knew it was the house for us when I found a real estate section from an old paper. It was dated Oct. 9, 1994. We were married Oct. 9, 2004."
What initially attracted you to the house?
"We loved the large front living room that opens onto the dining room. We entertain a lot, and all the space and high ceilings are great. Also, because of the baker's alley running next to the house, there's a window in every room, so we get lots of breeze and great light."
"The kitchen. It's funny because we made a list of things we wanted in a new house, and the first thing was a big kitchen. But the house so thoroughly satisfied our other requirements that we figured in three years we could refinance and get the big kitchen we'd like."
Got a great space? Email J. Cooper Robb (firstname.lastname@example.org) with your name, neighborhood and contact info.