Downsizing from country club home to Atlanta condo

In her longtime home in the Country Club of Roswell, Pat Lottier was only regularly using her master bedroom, part of the kitchen and the garden. The two-story, five-bedroom home with a finished basement was too much house for one person after Lottier’s husband, George, died in 2007.

Lottier, publisher of Atlanta Tribune, a business lifestyle magazine for Black residents, had to decide between condo in a city location or a less fast-paced setting, assisted by Bill Carter of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Georgia Properties.

Lottier, who is in her early 60s, chatted about her new condo in The Sanctuary at One River Place, just inside the perimeter in Atlanta.

Q: How did you start the process?

A: I remember (Bill) said, "Tell me 10 things that you want." He didn't just take me around and said, "I'm going to show you five places." He really listened. I was not in a hurry. I was glad I worked with him.

Q: How long did you look for a place?

A: I looked twice. Two years ago I started to look. I think I was concentrating on Peachtree Street (in Buckhead). Peachtree Street was a bit busy for me. But I wanted some accessibility into the city.

Q: Why did you like the condo you purchased?

A: The open space. I'm in my kitchen, and I can see the dining room and the living room and outside to (Interstate) 285. You don't feel like you're trapped in a condo space. We have 10-foot ceilings, which give you the height and make you feel like everything is bigger.

Q: What must-haves did the condo offer?

A: I wanted an open concept kitchen with up-to-date appliances. I wanted gas, and this has gas. I did get a stainless steel Viking refrigerator. I wanted a fireplace. This has a fireplace.

Q: What amenities in One River Place were important to you?

A: I wanted security with either a gate guard or some type of gate. It's maintenance free. I like to call it, lock it and I leave it. I should have done it years ago.

Q: How did you downsize?

A: Most of the furniture was sold. I was able to move my dining room set and some of the light fixtures that I really, really loved. The only new piece I bought was the sofa (from Bassett).

Q: How did the move change your lifestyle?

A: It's more relaxed because I'm not concerned about scheduling the termite inspector, the landscaping, taking out garbage, getting carpets cleaned on three levels.

Q: Are you involved in activities offered by the community?

A: In fact today we had a dance class (in The Meeting House). We did the Brazilian hustle, the Wobble, a little samba, a little salsa. At least once a month we have a party of some sort.

Q: What advice would you give others seeking to downsize?

A: If they have a couple of good friends in condos, take them up when they say, "Come see my place." It made me realize, "Well sure, I could downsize. I could get rid of some of these clothes in the closet that I'm not wearing anyway." When you have an attic or a basement you tend to keep everything. You could buy a storage unit if you really have some boxes that you don't want to discard.

At a Glance

Pat Lottier’s new condo in The Sanctuary at One River Place has three bedrooms and a den, two full and one half baths, and about 2,100 square feet. She purchased it in June 2013. Condos in The Sanctuary at One River Place have sold in the $400,000s; the community also has townhomes and additional condos.

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