College graduate looks for home with land

By Carolyn Crist

For the AJC

Branden Turner rented an apartment while he was a student at the University of West Georgia, but during his final semester in spring 2014, he decided to buy a home. He wanted a place away from the city and searched for land. He found a home with a detached garage and shed and closed just after graduation. Turner, 23, a Georgia Power lineman, talked about his three-bedroom, two-bathroom home in Winder.

Q: What were your priorities?

A: I wanted a quiet property where I could hunt. I told Marcelle (Smith with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Metro Brokers) that I didn’t want anything inside city limits. She found this house at the end of a street with no traffic, which was the perfect location. There’s nothing around it except woods and pasture.

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Q: What do you love about the house?

A: It’s an older house and is better built than modern houses that are put up in two or three days. It’s durable, sturdy and reliable. It has a tin roof, so I don’t have to worry about replacing the shingles. It’s the perfect starter house for me. I recently bought the property behind my house and gained more space.

Q: How was the closing as a first-time buyer?

A: Marcelle made it happen quicker than I expected. She explained how it would work and what was going to happen. I made it clear to her when we first started searching that I had no clue what to expect or how to buy a home, and she helped me with everything.

Q: How did you celebrate?

A: I closed around the same time as graduation, so it was a joint graduation and moving party. I had my friends and family out here for a barbecue.

Q: What have you changed?

A: Inside, I’ve updated the paint and carpet. Outside, I’ve trimmed up the overgrown bushes and cleaned up the front yard. On my additional property, which came with a barn and a creek that runs next to it, I need to do some bush hogging to make it nice.

Q: What’s a tip for first-time buyers?

A: Don’t rush into it and buy the first house you see. Take your time to find what you like. Once you sign those 6,000 papers with your name, you’re stuck.

At a Glance

Branden Turner’s home, built in 1971, has three bedrooms, two bathrooms and 1,500 square feet. Homes near Smith Mill Road in Winder range from less than $100,000 to the mid-$100,000s.

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