Couple surprised by affordable townhome in Acworth

Caroline Josef moved back to the Atlanta area anticipating to rent an apartment.

She and her family owned a three-bedroom, two-bath house in Toccoa, but after her husband’s job brought them to Atlanta, they rented their north Georgia home because they owed more than it was worth. They were dropping from two incomes to one because Josef, 27, a former teacher, planned to stay at home with their kids, Luke, 4, and Emberly, 1.

“That’s what we thought we could afford,” she said. “But when we went out apartment hunting, we were like, ‘We seriously could buy a house for what we were paying in apartment rent.’”

The priority

Her parents live in Marietta, so they focused on Cobb County. The couple wanted at least two bedrooms and enough space for a playroom. “I think our expectations were really low because we were looking at apartments,” she said. “Anything was massive compared to an apartment.”

The search

“When we went to get pre-approved through our bank, they told us about what we thought we could afford. That’s what started our house hunt,” she said.

First, they put in an offer on a single-family short sale, but the process became frustrating. The price was raised twice while they were under contract and they were nearing the deadline to break the contract when she found a listing for a townhome in Acworth. Her agent, Kim Pritchard with Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate Metro Brokers, discovered that a contract had fallen through and the townhome had come back on the market that day. She almost thought the listing for the townhome, priced at $130,000, was for the wrong property since it had 2,080 square feet and a two-car garage.

“We couldn’t believe that was all in a townhouse in a price that we could afford,” she said.

They viewed the townhome the next morning, then returned that night to check out the neighborhood. The couple put in an offer that evening and tried to beat out competition by offering $2,500 in earnest money (the sellers had asked for $1,000). They closed in December, just 23 days after stepping inside the home.

The home

The three-bedroom, two-and-a-half bath townhome in Acworth was built in 2007 and had a Craftsman-style look with a columned front entry. The two-story foyer, staircase and hardwoods on the entire first floor wowed them. In the kitchen, they found granite countertops, stainless steel appliances and a tile backsplash, plus a bar with extra seating. Since the townhome also had an eat-in kitchen, they converted the dining room into a playroom. An extra room serves as the guest room and also a place for Josef to sew.

The lifestyle

The proximity to other homeowners has helped them settle into the neighborhood quickly. While their yard is small, the kids ride bikes on the street and the community also has a pool and playground.

“I honestly think our kids have made more friends here because of how close we all live,” she said.