Couple finds condo close to universities

First-Time Homebuyer

Setting a budget of less than $90,000 enabled Stu and Grace Godlasky to buy a condo and pay less in mortgage than their rent in Georgia Tech family housing.

They didn’t want to stray far from the area, since Stu is a graduate student in aerospace engineering at Georgia Tech and Grace is in law school at Georgia State. The couple, who were married in May 2009, chatted about the Atlantic Station condo they purchased in the Art Foundry at Atlantic Commons, just seven blocks from Tech.

Q: What did you find on the market?

Stu: We looked at foreclosures and short sales. People [in the Art Foundry] were smart enough to realize what the market was and were selling it on their own, but they were priced like foreclosures in other parts of the city.

Grace: A couple of places, where we were shocked that there were multiple offers in. You just think the market is bad, nobody can afford to buy or everyone is stuck in the home they have right now, but that's not necessarily true.

Q: What features did you want in a home?

Stu: A washer and dryer. A dishwasher.

Grace: I wanted at least a balcony or a little porch or some sort of little outdoor space. We hadn't had that before.

Stu: If we could make it happen, we wanted something that was bigger than our old place. It was no more than 500 square feet.

Q: How did the inside of this unit appeal to you?

Grace: I loved the way the kitchen was set up. It's got that triangle work space that every person who loves to cook wants [the kitchen had Corian countertops and black appliances]. They were built in 2005, so there had only been one occupant before. It was a single girl, so everything was in good shape. There was very little wear and tear on the appliances and the walls.

Stu: We've got a nice little screened-in porch.

Grace: We use it all the time.

Q: What was the appeal of living in Atlantic Station?

Grace: We were already familiar with Atlantic Station. We didn't have to give up our old neighborhood. We're both runners, so it's really conducive to just getting out on a sidewalk and going for a run around Midtown.

Stu: It's really close to restaurants. We can walk to the grocery store. We eventually one day want to get a pet, and it's a pet-friendly area.

Q: What would you tell buyers about the difference between owning a place and renting?

Grace: It's not just a financial investment, but we're more willing to invest ourselves into the place. We're working harder at keeping it clean or fixing things up a little bit, so that's been nice.

At a glance

Stu and Grace Godlasky’s condo in the Art Foundry has one bedroom, one bath and about 884 square feet. They purchased it in April, assisted by Shane Jarmin with Jarmin & Jones Real Estate Group of Ian Marshall Realty and Gianni Cerretani with First Community Mortgage. Condos range from $60,000s to $220,000s.