Mom envisions kids playing on front porch, outside

Ericka Lusuli studied the neighborhoods she and husband Evans saw during their search, picturing where their kids would play. Now, with 16-month-old twins Ezra and Emme, they’re delighted with the Powder Springs community they chose for their first home.

The priority

Ericka remembers telling their agent, Martha Chanaberry with Harry Norman, Realtors, they wanted these attributes: a suburban location, a good school district and a family community. There was one more thing: “I wanted to be in a home that had enough yard for a garden, for dogs and for a play area for the kids,” said Ericka, 41, a stay-at-home mom. “That’s what I told Martha. That’s exactly what she found us.”

The search

They had to weigh this home against other choices, particularly another house that fit all their needs except for having a spacious fenced backyard. They put a bid on that house, but didn’t get it. When she saw the Powder Springs home, it had a fence for dogs, but it was the front porch that won over Ericka.

“I kept envisioning things in the future, just sitting on the porch with my grandmother and my kids,” she said. “It had a real southern feel to it, a real comforting feel to it.”

Another comforting sight to Ericka was the Country Lake neighborhood’s family appeal. “When you go into a subdivision and you can hear screaming and kids running and kicking balls, it’s a family neighborhood,” she said. “I grew up and my husband grew up in a neighborhood where there were a lot of kids and we played outside a lot. We wanted that also for our children.”

The home

A three-bedroom, 2 1/2-bath home built in 1986 in Powder Springs. Country Lake also is close to Evans’ job at Kennesaw State University. In addition to the master, one bedroom was a guest room and another was an office. When they learned they were having twins, they combined the office with one guestroom and made the other guest room into the nursery. The nursery had to be decorated to fit both a boy and girl, so Ericka said she searched for what seemed like thousands of images on Google for paint color and decorating ideas. Now, the nursery has striped off-white and kiwi color walls.

The lifestyle

The home’s downstairs layout has worked out well, especially as the children have moved out of the baby stage. “Now that they’re walking and running everywhere, they can run throughout the kitchen, the living room and the dining room. It’s easy for the children to get around without any stumbling,” Ericka said. “It’s easy for them to get from room to room.” The children also play on the front porch, which has the rocking chairs she envisioned.

The tip

Consider whether the neighborhood is convenient for regular activities. The Lusulis' home is convenient for outings such as story time at the Powder Springs Library, Gymboree (music, art and other classes) and their church, McEachern Memorial United Methodist. “These are things that I didn’t even anticipate really,” she said. “Everything that I need to do with them is close by.”

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