Carson Love saved money by living with her parents after she graduated from Berry College in 2010. With $10,000 for a down payment, she set out to buy her first place.
Love, 24, who works in the social work field, chatted about the townhome foreclosure she bought about 2 miles from her job in her hometown of Marietta.
Q: How did you begin looking for homes?
A: My mom and I were driving down the road just looking at homes and found a cute little house and decided to call the real estate agent [Julia Stephens with Solid Source Realty]. We went to look at the house. We realized it was going to be a little too much work. I just really loved the real estate agent, and she found some listings in my price range [low $100,000s].
Q: What type of decisions did you have to make early on?
A: I really had to decide what I was looking for, a house or a townhome. I decided that I liked the townhome life. I like the fact that my yard would be kept up for me.
I knew that I wanted at least two bedrooms. It was very feasible for me to make my [mortgage] payments without roommates, but I want to have the roommates for help so I can do what I want with the place.
Q: Were you concerned about buying a foreclosure?
A: I knew in my price range that most likely it would be somewhat of a fixer upper, and I just really lucked out with this foreclosure. Really, I could not have afforded it, if it was not a foreclosure.
Q: Were you nervous about the bidding process?
A: Oh yeah. That was probably the most nerve-wracking process, just the whole experience of the waiting game. I found out that Harry Norman has its own financing department [HomeServices Lending of Georgia]. So I went to see if I could qualify, and I did. We went through about three different [negotiations] as far as the bidding. So we finally got to the price that I wanted. I started the whole process in late January and my offer was accepted by mid-February [she was assisted by closing attorneys Campbell & Brannon].
Q: Were major repairs needed?
A: I very much lucked out that this house did not have an essential thing that needed to be changed right away. The only things that I needed were new appliances. Down the road, I’m going to have to replace the upstairs air-conditioning unit, but I’ve had it looked at, and it should last me a good year before I have to do that. There’s this one little place on the roof that needs to be repaired. I won’t have to replace the whole roof.
Q: What’s something fun you’ve bought for the home?
A: I absolutely love antiquing, and I love having old pieces and trying to make it all fit together. It’s a good way to save money but also get a great product. I got a white wrought iron bed that I’m so excited about [at the Cobb Antique Mall].
At a Glance
Carson Love’s home, built in 1999 in Marietta, has three bedrooms, two-and-a-half baths and about 2,130 square feet. She purchased it in March. Townhomes in the area range from $95,000-$150,000.
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