First-time homebuyer: ‘Expensive tastes’ complicate condo search


First-time homebuyer: ‘Expensive tastes’ complicate condo search

Faced with paying $1,500 a month in rent for a one-bedroom apartment if she renewed her lease in Brookhaven, Jackie Reedy decided it made more sense to buy and spend her money on a monthly mortgage.

Her biggest challenge, she said, was matching her “expensive tastes” with her budget.

Reedy, 24, a communications consultant for Chick-fil-A and owner of Jackie Reedy Photography, chatted about her condo in the Highlands of Sandy Springs.

Q: What type of expensive tastes did you have?

A: I wanted granite countertops and hardwood floors, and a big closet and big bathroom. Those I didn’t want to give up. That narrowed it down real quick.

Q: Were you energized by the search or did you get discouraged?

A: I got discouraged by my tastes. I found a place in Vinings I thought was wonderful and loved the area, and I got a little discouraged. We had to knock out Vinings because that was over my price range. Once I decided, if worst comes to worst I will rent another year, it’s not a must, then I was excited.

Q: What did you see at Highlands of Sandy Springs that sold you?

A: The front entrance; there’s a big sign that says maintenance-free living, and that’s right up my alley. There’s going to be condos, townhouses and single-family homes. For resale, I am not going to be competing against 100 condos.

Q: Did you have to negotiate a lot on the price?

A: It was a set price, but they ended up giving me a washer, dryer and refrigerator. I went right to the top of my budget. Not having to buy the refrigerator and washer and dryer made a big difference.

Q: What surprised you about getting a loan for the condo?

A: I only have one credit card. Even though it was perfect credit, I don’t have any student loans or car payments, so it was great credit, but considered “thin.” They [the lenders] were able to work around it. That was something that I learned. They said you want to have at least two credit cards, and I didn’t know that.

Q: How have you been decorating the condo?

A: My sister, Nicole, picked all the colors. We painted the kitchen and the living room. She had this great idea around the door off the living room to the patio, to put this really pretty green stencil. It’s almost like wallpaper.

At a Glance

Jackie Reedy’s new condo in Highlands of Sandy Springs has two bedrooms, two baths and 1,272 square feet. She purchased it in July, assisted by Ryan Ward of Premier Atlanta Real Estate, Keller Williams Realty Consultants. Condos in Highlands of Sandy Springs, a Providence Group community, are priced from the $120,000s; townhomes are from the $200,000s and single-family homes are from the $300,000s.

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