Newlyweds Anna and Carson Hammer are ringing in 2016 as new homeowners and are swiftly becoming renovation pros. The Hammers looked for a home they could really drive a nail into and make their own.
While driving around last summer, Carson saw a home with a “coming soon” sign and called their agent, Collette McDonald with RE/MAX Around Atlanta, to view the home. The couple, who were married in April 2015, made an offer within five days and went under contract before the home went on the market.
Carson, 30, a commercial real estate associate, and Anna, 31, a marriage and family therapist, talked about their three-bedroom home in Brookhaven.
Q: Why did you decide to buy?
Anna: We wanted to find a home where we could start as a family. We lived in an apartment before we got married and were ready to take the next step to find a home.
Q: What were your priorities?
Carson: We wanted more space and a yard for our dog, Weller. We wanted something we could come in and fix up, not a home where we paid for someone else’s work. Working on the multifamily side of commercial real estate, I’m familiar with the cheaper finishes and cheaper apartments. We wanted a house where the previous owner did work on the roof, HVAC and water heater, but we could figure out what we wanted to change inside room by room.
Q: How did you find this house?
Carson: I got off work at 1 p.m. on July 3 before the [Independence Day] holiday and was waiting for Anna to get off work. I grew up in a neighborhood about a half-mile away and knew people who lived here and decided to drive through the neighborhood. I saw the “coming soon” sign and the low $300,000s price and wondered if we could afford the house. Within 48 hours, we knew we could.
Q: How did you move on it?
Anna: We went into the viewing thinking that we would go look, but that it probably wasn’t our home. But when we walked in, it felt like a home and not just a house, with the huge kitchen, porch and windows around the entire home. It was move-in ready, but we could renovate.
Q: How was the offer process?
Carson: We offered the asking price, but they still took it to market to get a feel for how it would sell. They received six to eight requests to view the home the day it went on the market, but we had already secured our offer. The inspection went well, and we realized we had quite a find.
Q: What have you changed?
Anna: We’re renovating room by room and decided to focus on the den first since we spend the most time there. We removed the paneled walls and ceiling, installed canned lighting, painted the fireplace and knocked out 3 feet of wall between the den and kitchen. We also redid the hardwood floors throughout the house. We’re working on the kitchen next and removing the country style from the ’70s.
At a Glance
Anna and Carson Hammer’s 1972 home has three bedrooms, two bathrooms and 1,880 square feet. They purchased the home in August. Homes in Brookhaven’s Murphey Candler Park neighborhood range from the low $300,000s to high $700,000s.
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