Mom sets up little 'man cave' in new house

Man caves aren’t just for adults. That’s what Marquita Rawlins found out during her home search. Her 11-year-old son, Jayden, wanted his own spot in the basement to play video games and watch TV.

The priority

Rawlins, 27, a health care auditor, wanted to invest in the future by buying a home. “I was renting a home in Austell. Then I decided, with the market being like it was, instead of continuing to pay rent, why not buy?”

She desired a floor plan that would work for herself and Jayden, as well as a safe neighborhood with amenities.

She looked for homes with these features: brick exterior, open floor plan, updated kitchen, hardwood floors, large backyard and, of course, a basement.

She was already aware of quality schools in Douglas County, since Rawlins had previously lived in Douglasville and researched the test scores. “I wanted to set him up for his future, where he can have all types of possibilities,” she said.

Rawlins sought communities with kid-friendly amenities such as sidewalks, playgrounds and tennis courts.

The search

Rawlins discovered foreclosures in poor condition as she started searching last summer. “We went into a house and it was supposed to be vacant, but a homeless man was living there. We viewed three different homes in that neighborhood, and we were like, no, let’s just stay away from there,” she said.

Once she found the Chapel Hills neighborhood, a golf community in Douglasville, Rawlins knew it was right for her and Jayden. “Before we could even pull out just from viewing the home, he was like, ‘Can I go by the playground?’ He was ready to get involved already.”

She was sold on a home on a cul-de-sac lot, but Jayden had some hesitations.

“He liked the man cave, but he didn’t like the upstairs. He felt like the rooms were too little. I felt like it was a good enough size for his age and the furniture that we had,” she said.

The home

A four-bedroom, three-bath home built in 1998 near a community pool. She came back to the home, which was an estate sale, four times before putting in an offer. “There was something about the house that I felt like was speaking to me. But in the back of my mind, I thought there’s something better out there. I didn’t want to give in. I had to view all the homes and realize I had seen the best for me,” she said.

Agent Gloria Williams, who is now with Keller Williams Realty Cityside, listened to what Rawlins and Jayden wanted in a home. “That really stuck out to me. She wasn’t just thinking of me, she was thinking of my son,” Rawlins said.

The lifestyle

After moving in during October, Jayden’s man cave was set up with his Wii game, couches, a butterfly chair and board games. He meets friends on the playground, which he uses after school and on weekends.

As a parent, owning a home has given Rawlins extra confidence.

“I just feel like I provided a stable home for him. I’m not just moving him every few years when I am moving to a new place,” she said. “It makes me feel so much more secure in myself to know that I’ve grounded him and we’ve laid down roots.”