Fairburn purchase ends frustrating house hunt

Growing up on the Southside and working in the Peachtree City area caused Steve Bethel and Christina Strachan to focus their house hunt on communities south of Atlanta. Finding a home with at least four bedrooms and a fenced-in yard and in a quiet neighborhood took a few months, as they discovered some online listings weren’t up to date and homes were no longer available.

Steve, 33, who works in information technology for an airline, and Christina, 36, a hospice nurse, talked about the home they bought in Fairburn.

Q: How did you start your search?

Steve: With us just searching the Internet and looking at pictures. We realized very quickly that wasn't the way to go because it's really hard to do it on your own. It's funny because if you start out on your own and looking at the Internet, it seems like there is a lot out there. But it's not as updated as you think. You think there's a house for sale and it's already off the market or under contract. We decided to get a Realtor at that point (Danielle Alleyne with Prudential Georgia Realty). She was able to better show us things we were looking for instead of us having to search around for it.

Q: How did you feel during the search?

Christina: Sometimes it was frustrating. When you put that contract out on the house and don't get it and when you place that bid and don't get it and you have to start that search all over again, that was the most frustrating part.

Q: How quickly did you act on the one you purchased?

Christina: We knew the same night we saw it that this was it.

Steve: We knew from past experience not to hesitate at that point. We decided to jump on it. We let Danielle know we wanted to place an offer. We actually bid the asking price (buying a Housing and Urban Development home required online bids).

Q: How soon did you find out the home was yours?

Steve: We found this one in late February. We won the bid; we found out in early March.

Q: What did you do while you waited?

Steve: We never stopped looking. You're in the mind-set after going through the process a few times that, ahh, this one is going to fall through as well. When we actually got the offer, it was more of a surprise than anything else.

Q: What did you like about the home?

Steve: It was really quiet when we first pulled up and looked around the neighborhood. It had hardwood floors like we wanted. It met the number of bedrooms we wanted. It had a fenced-in backyard like we wanted. It met pretty much every single thing we were looking for.

Christina: The deck opens up from the bedroom, and you can see the backyard.

Q: What’s a tip for people buying a home?

Steve: We definitely got an inspection. Me, being a first-time home buyer, it was a good experience because he basically explained a lot of things to me as we were walking around and answered my questions. I learned a lot during that process.

At a glance

Steve Bethel and Christina Strachan’s home, built in 2006 in Fairburn, has five bedrooms, 3 1/2 baths and about 3,400 square feet. They bought it in May. Homes in the area are listed from the $170,000s to $219,000s.