The Road from Rental to Homeownership

New Baby, New Home 

Ty_DSC0058_600x441Motivated by the impending arrival of their firstborn son Kofi and rising rental costs, Ty Schwoeffermann and his wife Cimone began house hunting in 2014. “We wanted to get out of this cycle of being renters,” Ty says, “Our last rent hike was $300.”

A native Portlander, Ty wanted an older home that represented Portland’s unique style. Luckily, they found an eclectic, 1925 gem nestled between two brand new homes. Only two other families had previously owned it, preferring to pass it down to their children. “We just fell in love with it. It had all the major things that we wanted – fireplace, enough room in the basement to do projects and an open floor plan. We’re really happy with it,” Ty says.

Getting to Know the Home

But as with all older homes, a lot of work needed to be done. The couple hired a contractor to update the home before they moved in. But after some time they realized more work was needed to make it work better. “Just a few weeks ago when we had the snow, we tried to light our gas fireplace but because it was so cold, it wouldn’t light,” Ty says.

He began to research additional options for home upgrades when a friend referred him to Enhabit. Hoping to learn more about his home, he set up a 100 Point Performance Check with contractor Faison Energy Solutions. “They walked around the house taking notes. I was curious and looking over their shoulder like, ‘Hey, what does that mean?’” Ty laughs. “Eventually I got out of their way and let them do their job.”

As a thorough in-home walk-through of a home’s performance, the Enhabit 100 Point Check really educated him about his home. “They looked into our attic and crawlspace too. I didn’t even know where those were until they showed me. They also explained to us that rodents were getting into the crawlspace. They went the extra mile to give us more information,” Ty says.

Upgrades Coming Soon

Now they are getting ready to move forward and decommission the knob and tube wiring (outdated electrical wiring), and install attic, rim joist and crawlspace insulation to help keep the home warm in winter and cool in summer. Ty chose Faison Energy Solutions as their contractor because they are a minority-owned company. “When I called Enhabit, I said ‘Refer us to a minority-owned business and they did that,” he says, “I was proud and excited to be a part of that. Enhabit convinced me to join mostly because of matching me with a minority-owned business.”

Quality Check

Ty also appreciates having Enhabit be a neutral third party. He explains, “From my last experience, I had a contractor come in and they did good work but we were the quality checkers. Enhabit is able to come in, inspect it and make sure there’s a higher level of standards. I want to maintain a good relationship with these contractors because in the future, I might want them to come back.”

Project: Save the Planet

More than anything, Ty is ready to do his part to reduce his carbon footprint. “It’s about being responsible. We have to be good inhabiters of the planet and bring our homes up-to-date,” he says.

Home Performance Upgrades:

  • Attic insulation
  • Rim joist insulation
  • Crawlspace insulation
  • Decommissioning outdated electrical wiring

Projected Benefits:

  • Warmer home – never too cold for the fireplace!
  • Lower utility bills
  • Safer electrical system