Best offer awards growing family more space

Todd and Chelsea Harrell lived inside the perimeter when they were first married, and then moved to East Cobb about four years ago. They started their family in that home, but desired to plan ahead for education needs, even though their daughter, Hailey, was only 2. The search for a strong school district caused them to sell their three-bedroom, three-bath ranch home.

After languishing on the market for nine months with no offer, the Harrells’ home was taken off the market before Thanksgiving 2012 and put it back for sale in January 2013. With low interest rates, it seemed like good timing to sell and purchase a bigger home with a better rate, said Todd, 35, who works for King Industrial Realty. The day they put the home back on the market, a potential buyer called, then viewed the home and put in an offer the next day.

The priority

Their focus was finding a better school district and more space, with another baby due in September. “We loved the house and probably if we had a basement, we would have stayed and done private school. It was one story and didn’t have a basement,” said Chelsea, 32, who works for Swiss Reinsurance.

The search

Over the past year, the couple had received listings from Michael Cheever with Keller Williams Realty. One Roswell neighborhood by Stonecrest Homes Atlanta, Cochran Farms, which has homes from the high $480,000s, popped up often. When they got an offer on their home, the couple decided to swing by Cochran Farms that weekend. “We ended up making an offer that night,” Todd said.

But other buyers also were interested in the home, and the builder asked for best and final offers by 5 p.m. the next day.

“We weren’t ready to spend any more than we were offering on the house. We were nervous. What are we going to do if all the offers are close and we had to offer again?” Chelsea said.

Their agent added $200 to their offer, which he subtracted out of his commission. “It turned out to be the deciding difference,” Todd said. They moved into the home in March.

The home

The five-bedroom, four-and-a-half bath home has about 4,200 square feet. “This house is huge. We’ve got plenty of room to grow into it,” Todd said. “We’ve got a full unfinished basement stubbed out for bath. We could have a whole other living quarters down there in the future.”

The butler’s pantry sold the home for Chelsea, and Todd appreciated extras such as coffered ceilings in the family room. There’s an office with French doors on the main level, plus a guest room that the Harrells turned into a playroom for the kids. “We can have the toys and kids stuff down here with us, but it could be closed off where no one can see it,” Chelsea said.

The lifestyle

Cochran Farms is in the Sweet Apple Elementary district (Fulton County Schools), and only 4 miles from shops and dining in historic Roswell. Other regular stops, such as Publix and The Home Depot, are nearby. “It’s in such a great part of town. It’s so convenient to everything but when you look out our back window you feel like you’re in the country,” Todd said.

The tip

Check out the local parks and recreation system. “There’s so many parks in Roswell … with great play areas and running trails,” Chelsea said.

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