House hunting in Decatur

Tony and Jennifer Romano started their search by bidding on a home they had their eye on when it was a short sale last spring. Outbid, they kept hunting for a home with more space for themselves and their two children, 4-year-old Alex and 2-year-old Cecilia.

“It was pretty easy because there were just a couple of neighborhoods we were honing in on,” said Tony, 37, who works for MedAssets, a health care medicine technology company. “We wanted to stay inside the perimeter, be by our old neighborhood and be in a good school district.”

Assisted by Rachael Blatt with Coldwell Banker Intown, they found three contenders in Decatur.

No. 1

Beautiful yard

The three-bedroom, two-bath ranch on Coralwood Drive boasted an updated and inviting kitchen, said Jennifer, 36, who works for Blue Cross Blue Shield. The home, in the North Ridgewood neighborhood, had a screened porch and deck on a flat yard with a play area. Inside, there were hardwood floors and a fireplace in the family room. The home, built in 1963 and originally listed for $395,000, had a full finished basement, but one negative was the dropped ceiling.

No. 2

Tons of square footage

The four-bedroom, three-bath ranch home on Burnt Leaf Lane offered the family one more bedroom and bathroom than they had in their existing home, plus about 600 more square feet. The floor plan was different from other ranches they saw, with a finished basement offering room for an office. The Leafmore neighborhood stood out because of its family activities, swim and tennis club, and strong public schools. The home, built in 1961, and listed for $425,000, was a bit over their price range, though.

No. 3

Ranch needing renovation

The four-bedroom, three-bath ranch home on Altamont Drive needed updates, especially in the kitchen, when the couple viewed the home. The home was built in 1961 and originally listed for $364,900. But it also had the benefit of location, being in the Leafmore neighborhood. “We would have had to put work into it,” Tony said.

The Choice

No. 2. The Burnt Leaf Lane home was the winner, after they were able to negotiate the price. “The square footage is great for the money and what you still get intown,” Tony said. They closed on the home in late April. Since then, they’ve been enjoying the yard, family friendly setting and nearby restaurants.