Couple seeks intown home with yard for pet

The search

Mike and Kimberly King became renters after graduating from Georgia College & State University in Milledgeville a couple of years ago. Then they decided to buy their first home intown.

“We were ready to get back to big-city living,” said Mike, 25, who is from Atlanta and works in the hospitality industry.

Decatur was their first choice during their five-month search because they liked the shops and restaurants on the square, dog-friendly festivals and proximity to downtown Atlanta. Mike and Kimberly, 24, who is pursuing a master’s degree in health administration, narrowed their search to three updated homes, all in their $140,000-$160,000 price range.

No. 1: Like new

The three-bedroom, two-bath bungalow on Welika Drive in Decatur was a complete renovation, with a new roof, windows, cabinets, granite countertops, doors, electrical wiring and plumbing. Those updates gave the home, which was built in 1939, a modern feel, the couple said. The seller had refinished the hardwood floors throughout, and the kitchen and bathrooms were redone. The kitchen and master suite opened to a back deck. The home, in the White Oak neighborhood, was listed at $139,900.

No. 2: Big backyard

The three-bedroom, one-bath ranch home on Monticello Place in Decatur also had been remodeled -- and the kitchen was a major focus of the renovation. It had a five-burner gas range, stainless steel appliances, custom tile backsplash and ample cabinet space. “The whole home was hardwoods, which is something that we’ve never had that we wanted very bad. We were tired of carpet,” Mike said. The yard was expansive enough (about the size of the nearly 1,100-square-foot home) for their black Labrador retriever, Oliver. The home, built in 1955 in the Midway Woods neighborhood, was listed for $149,900.

No. 3: Fantastic foreclosure

The three-bedroom, one-bath bungalow on Faith Avenue offered a view of downtown Atlanta from the front porch. The hardwood floors had been refinished, and the home also had an updated kitchen, with stainless steel appliances. Other changes included travertine tile in the bathroom. Although the home wasn’t in the Decatur city limits, it was in Atlanta’s Ormewood Park neighborhood, near East Atlanta Village and the Glenwood Park development. The home, built in 1945, was listed at $142,900.

The choice

No. 2. The couple originally put in an offer on the Faith Avenue home, but negotiations ended after the inspector discovered problems such as mold damage. The Monticello Place home was at $179,000 when it went on the market in August 2010, but the price dropped during their search, Kimberly said. The Kings watched it decrease by $10,000 a few times. When it reached $149,900, they considered waiting to see if it would go to $139,000, but were worried that low of a price would spark a potential bidding war. Assisted by Rebecca Jacobs with Keller Williams Intown Atlanta, they put in an offer and got the home for $143,000. They closed in January. “It’s a great house to entertain,” Mike said. “We love being outside around a bonfire or on the deck grilling out. That’s [been] the immediate appeal since we’ve moved in.”