Ohio transplants Rob and Chelsea Sommers bought their first home in Atlanta just two weeks before their wedding in September.
Rob, 25, said the $8,000 tax credit and “perfect” buyer’s market were among the reasons they moved quickly on buying a home.
The couple and agent Marc Takacs of Keller Williams Realty, Atlanta Midtown saw 60 to 70 houses in their five-week search (including more than 20 houses in one day). They started in Roswell but began looking intown after realizing a short commute was at the top of their priority list. After searching in East Atlanta, Kirkwood and Inman Park, they chose to focus on homes in Ormewood Park.
“What I noticed the first time we drove through here was the family feel,” said Chelsea, 24. “Every five minutes I can see a couple or a mother walking their baby or a family walking their dog down the street. That was a plus, for being intown, was having a family-oriented neighborhood.”
Choice No. 1: Bungalow with backyard
The couple wanted at least two bedrooms, and this home on Woodland Avenue had three bedrooms and 2 1/2 baths. It was built in 1930, but the roof, water heater and heating and air conditioning systems were updated. The home had two fireplaces, and the kitchen featured a brick floor and brick backsplash. The backyard needed some landscaping help. “There were a lot of dead spots, and with rain and a really cold winter [there was] a little bit of a mud pit,” Rob said.
Choice No. 2: Prime location, old kitchen
The master suite of this home on Ormewood Avenue took up the entire second floor, which appealed to the couple. The three-bedroom, two-bath home, which was built in 1939, also was ideal because it had the additional space for Rob’s office. It was also close to Grant Park, where Chelsea enjoys running. But they weren’t sure they could afford to buy the home and renovate the kitchen, which was lacking counter space and had a rollaway dishwasher.
Choice No. 3: Renovated home but noisy setting?
The three-bedroom, two-bath home on Portland Avenue also had an upstairs master suite with extras such as a tile floor and tile shower in the bathroom. The home, built in 1935, also boasted granite countertops, stainless steel appliances and maple cabinets in the kitchen. The couple was a bit concerned about its location close to Moreland Avenue and the possibility of noise from the traffic.
No. 1. The couple originally put an offer on No. 2 that was low enough for them to have the money to redo the kitchen right away, but the offer wasn’t accepted. The home on Woodland Avenue had been on the market for only three days before the Sommers put in an offer.
The sellers didn’t accept their first offer, Rob said, but the couple was able to negotiate $10,000 off the original list price, and the seller paid closing costs. The couple liked that the owners were staying in the neighborhood, and they’ve met other residents who have moved within Ormewood Park for decades. The Sommers moved in at the end of August.
“I just love having something to call your own and you can do whatever you want to it,” Rob said.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.