house hunters

tripper and holly, a (not so) young atlanta couple are searching for a new house. their 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom high-rise condo in the hip neighborhood of buckhead became instantly too small when they welcomed their precious twin boys into their home last year. they’re looking for a new place with more space for the boys to play but don’t want to give up the conveniences of city living. on their wish list? at least one extra bedroom, an extra half bath (or more), space for all the boys’ gear, room to grow, excellent schools, a small yard, curbs and sidewalks, and places to walk—they love their daily stroll to get coffee in the city.

they have seen many properties (and still have many more to see), but right now three houses are emerging as the frontrunners. which would you choose?


house #1
the biggest and most expensive, house number one is also the farthest away. it’s a four-sided brick home located in the town of johns creek with a lot of architectural detail. it has four bedrooms and three and a half baths. the home is move-in ready, though the kitchen is a bit dated and the walls would need to be repainted (currently they are a bit too colorful for holly). the floor in the master bathroom would also have to be redone—there is carpet in there now, which both tripper and holly find odd. there is plenty of room to grow with a perfect, fenced-in back yard, a deck, a sun room and a playroom in the partially finished basement. it has a large two-car garage that will easily hold all the boys’ gear (strollers, backpacks, etc.) and a powder room on the main floor for guests. it has a formal dining room, two living rooms, three fireplaces and loads of space. it’s in a cul-de-sac of a swim/tennis community and the neighborhood is rumored to have lots of kids.

it’s the closest to tripper and holly’s best friends and very close to great restaurants and shopping, though too far to walk there. it’s also the farthest from tripper’s work, so the commute may be a bear. the schools in the area are excellent, but the elementary school for this home scores a bit lower than the rest in the neighborhood. it’s the most expensive home on their list and also seems to be a bit overpriced compared to the other comps in the neighborhood.



house #2
house number two is a large four bedroom, three and a half bath city home located in the town of roswell. it’s constructed of concrete siding and shingles and really presents itself well. it has an in-law suite, formal dining room, large laundry room, powder room off the main living area and a gorgeous, modern kitchen. upstairs is a large master, two guestrooms connected with a jack and jill bath and a bonus room with bar and small refrigerator. a large two-car garage is situated in the back with entry from an alley. this is the newest of the three choices, built in 2004. it seems to be the most sophisticated of the bunch and is move-in ready.

the smallish neighborhood is gated, has a swimming pool and several green spaces to play, which is good since there is only a postage stamp sized yard. there is a fenced in paved courtyard—it’s not large, but large enough to count as outdoor space (for a grill, etc.). the streets are meticulous and the landscaping is beautiful. you can walk to downtown historical roswell—an area filled with cute shops, quirky restaurants and kids. the schools are great and a huge park with baseball fields, soccer fields and enormous playgrounds is also nearby. the commute for tripper would be very easy.

the neighborhood has children in it, but isn’t overrun with kids. there is a little girl two days younger than the boys, a set of 20-month-old twins, a few toddlers and one newborn. there are also some school-aged children and a few on the brink of baby sitting age.

on the downside, the home is a short sale—meaning it could take a while to get answers and even longer to actually move in. there is no refrigerator. the lighting fixtures are a bit over the top and would be expensive to replace. and the home backs up to a busy road. there is a buffer, but still something to consider. resale may also be a question as the majority of house hunters in the area are looking for large yards.



house #3
the smallest, least expensive and closest to where they live now is a three bedroom, two bath 1950s ranch in the city of sandy springs. tripper and holly’s realtor and banker are pushing hard for this property because the land in this part of town is so valuable. they think this house is the best investment of the three.

however, the house is lacking a lot of the items on tripper and holly’s wish list. it’s really not much larger than the condo. there is no garage—only a small carport that covers only the front half of the cars. it does have kitchen entry, so that’s good. there is no extra half-bath so guests would have to use the boys’ bathroom. (this is the current setup in the condo and it’s less than desirable.)

the house is charming, for a ranch. the current owners have done a lot of renovating and upgrading. the kitchen is beautiful with a gorgeous stainless hood over a commercial-grade stove. there is a ton of space with wall-to-wall built in cabinets. there are also built-ins in the living room, a wet bar and a very large formal dining room. the bedrooms are all clustered at one end of the house and are on the small side. closet space is minimal. the master bath is tiny and tiled with an awful dark green. the main bath is also small, tiled in a dusty pink and would definitely have to be painted. the toilet must be original.

the home has a fully finished basement with a fireplace and bar. the front yard is beautiful. the back yard is a bit too shady to be lush. there are lots of kids in the neighborhood and the schools are great. there is a neighborhood swimming pool not far and technically you could walk a few places, but it seems a bit dangerous. tripper would have an easy commute.


which would you choose?


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