Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, April 19, 2024

Seeing double – on everything

Twin physicians have identical careers, cars and now homes

Identical twins Jeremy and Jermaine Hogstrom have always had similar interests. While growing up, initially in Chattanooga and later in Kansas City, they both liked to play piano; in high school, they competed together in doubles tennis; and as adults, they both became physicians.

Much like their genetic code makes telling them apart virtually impossible for strangers, the DNA of their careers so far uncannily matches strand for strand: They both attended medical school at Auburn, completed their residencies in Detroit and returned to Chattanooga, where they practice internal medicine at CHI Memorial, in 2022.

“People often confused us while we were growing up,” Jermaine says. “It still happens, but on a broader scale. Equifax mixed us up.”

“That was a hot mess,” Jeremy injects, his eyes widening at the memory of the widely used credit bureau lumping his brother’s debt in with his.

Given all of this, the fact that the twin doctors drive matching Chrysler 300 Sports should surprise no one. However, news that the siblings have purchased identical townhomes in a Chattanooga cul de sac might send eyebrows springing upward.

“It was time,” Jeremy says. “We’ve worked hard to get to where we are and to do the things we want to do, so we were ready to take that step.”

Jeremy is standing at the island that visually divides his brother’s kitchen and living room, his hands resting on cool granite. The only walls around them are those that define the boundaries of the Pratt Home Builders townhome, as the floorplan is as open as they come.

Extending from the island are nearly 2,300 square feet containing three bedrooms and two and a-half baths, among other nooks and crannies. The half-bath is on the ground floor; the rest are upstairs.

Brittany Shaw, a real estate broker and the director of marketing strategy for the builder of the community, Pratt Home Builders, says the design of the townhome reflects buyer preferences after the pandemic.

“This was one of our first post-pandemic home plans, so there’s a lot of flex space people can use for yoga or work,” Shaw explains. “Having a half-bath on the main floor is convenient for when you’re entertaining and don’t want your guests to have to run up and down the stairs to use the restroom.”

Jeremy, who’s engaged, says he and his fiancée will fully appreciate the flex space.

“We’ll both have a home office, which is not a common feature in a townhome. I’ve toured a lot of townhomes that didn’t have that flexibility, so that was a big draw for me.”

So, too, are the conveniences Pratt has included with the purchase of a townhome in the community, which Shaw says the builder geared toward active professionals like Jeremy and Jermaine.

“We have other health care professionals living in this community who don’t have the time or the desire to do yard work.”

Both brothers smile and nod in agreement.

“I’ve cut grass before,” Jermaine declares, “but I don’t want to unless I have to.”

Jeremy discovered the nestle of townhomes a year ago during one of his regular drives through the city during his day off to look at houses. In addition to admiring the architecture, he says he liked their price point.

“I’ve driven through a bunch of neighborhoods in Chattanooga just to see what’s new. When I pulled into this community and saw not only how cool the townhomes are but also how affordable they are, I told Jermaine it was time for us to stop renting and buy.”

Jeremy says he inherited this mindset from his father, Victor Hogstrom, a former president of WTCI PBS, and their mother, a physical therapist. Both parents taught their sons to be good stewards of the money they earn.

“When you’re renting a place, you’re giving your money away,” Jeremy continues. “I’d rather own where I live, especially if the cost is going to be about the same.”

Jermaine says he was immediately on board with his brother’s suggestion.

“With the market being what it is, a single-family house is going to cost around $400,000. Townhomes are more affordable but you still get a full-sized place. So, there’s definitely a huge market for them right now.”

The ease of townhome living will allow Jeremy and Jermaine to pour more of themselves into their careers, which the former says is focused on not just earning a good income but also on serving the Chattanooga community.

“I settled into internal medicine because I enjoy providing continuity of care and helping patients to prevent problems and optimize their quality of life,” Jeremy says. “There’s a growing need for primary care in Chattanooga as the city grows – it can take up to six months to see a new doctor – and we want to do our part to fill that void.”

Shaw says Pratt is moving forward with additional townhome developments, including one in East Brainerd near Ooltewah-Ringgold Road and another in East Brainerd near the new Publix. While the community in which the Hogstrom brothers live are dual-level townhomes, the up-and-coming communities will be single-level two- and three-bedroom residences, Shaw notes.

“Whether you’re starting a new career, like Jeremy and Jermaine are, or retiring, townhomes are a great fit,” Shaw adds.

Pratt’s efforts to build more townhomes for Chattanooga’s residents comes as it celebrates its 25th anniversary and not only reflects on its past but also considers the kind of lifestyle experiences it will create tomorrow.

“As a leading builder in Chattanooga, we feel a responsibility to also be a thought-leader,” Shaw says. “So, people will see more intentionally designed home plans, more environmentally features like our bioinfiltration ponds, more trees and more amenities that make wellness accessible as we continue to grow.”

Shaw adds that future sales will feel like a breeze compared to closing the sales for the twin doctors. To prevent a catastrophe on the scale of the Equifax incident, Pratt ensured every proverbial “i” was dotted and “t” crossed as multiple pairs of eyes double- and triple-checked the contracts, she laughs.

“The similarity of their names had us obsessing over the paperwork.”

In the coming months, fans of Jeremy and Jermaine will likely be obsessing over peeks at their new digs via their TikTok channel and Instagram page. The siblings have nearly 3 million followers on TikTok, where they post medical comedy skits inspired by current events, and about 158,000 followers on Instagram, making them a social media force with which to be reckoned.

Jeremy says he hopes their fans will absorb their subtle message about the value of ownership as they watch.

“I value owning a nice house, but that’s not the only thing I value. I also value this community and the work we do. I hope we can have a positive impact.”