Couple weighs old, new homes in Atlanta and Brookhaven

Vaughn Barry and Dustin Cooke identified three priorities in their home search: garage and driveway space, a backyard with room for a garden, and a short drive to an interstate and their jobs in downtown Atlanta and Decatur.

The couple started off with an exercise that helped them identify neighborhoods and areas with homes that fit their priorities. They pinpointed homes on a map with their agent, Roberto Vazquez with Keller Williams Realty Atlanta Midtown.

“We ended up drawing a kidney shape after the points were connected on the map,” said Barry, an epidemiologist and assistant professor at Emory University.

Barry and Cooke, a systems engineer at, looked in several neighborhoods from the west side to the northside of Atlanta. They considered these three homes in Atlanta and Brookhaven.


A three-bedroom, two-bath brick home on Woodland Avenue in Atlanta’s Ormewood Park neighborhood caught their eye because of its charm, including a curved portico and molding on the exterior. It had a small yard, but not enough room for a garden. The location was convenient to restaurants and entertainment in East Atlanta Village. The Fulton County home, built in 1930, was listed for $375,000.


A three-bedroom, two-bath ranch-style home on Poplar Springs Drive in Brookhaven was attractive because it had a backyard and the kitchen and bathrooms were renovated. However, the home had low ceilings and it had a carport, not a garage. Also, the Drew Valley neighborhood was not as close to downtown as they preferred. Built in 1960, the DeKalb County home was listed for $350,000.


A three-bedroom, two-bath home on Eleanor Street in Atlanta’s Parkview neighborhood grabbed their attention because it had a large backyard, one-car garage and long driveway. The new Craftsman home boasted fresh features, such as coffered ceilings in the dining room, stainless steel appliances and a rustic beamed ceiling in the living room. There was also a terraced garden and flagstone patio. The DeKalb County home, built in 2015, was listed for $329,900.


NO. 3

The yard and garage sold the couple on the Parkview home, even before they viewed the interior. They closed on the home in September 2015. “We learned that buying a house didn’t have to be an emotionally stressful experience,” said Barry. Adds Cooke: “The closing process was completely uneventful, which is how you want it.” The driveway area also gave them a spot to refinish their new kitchen table.