Family enjoys proximity to Decatur restaurants, parks

Doctors Sarah Szlam and Trent Rice resettled in Georgia after living in New York City and Nashville for medical training and residency. They looked for a home near downtown Decatur for the proximity to restaurants and parks and the ability to walk each day with their daughter, Addison, 2.

The priority

Once the couple completed their medical training and found jobs in Atlanta, they were ready to buy a home. They were tired of renting and moving every few years. Trent grew up in Winder and wanted to live in an area similar to Athens that featured walkable restaurants and parks. Sarah attended Emory University and was familiar with the Decatur area. “After New York City, we knew we wanted a place where we could walk all the time and play with our daughters without getting in the car,” said Sarah, 33, a pediatric emergency medicine physician at the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite Hospital. Their second child was due in December.

The search

When Trent, 34, a urogynecologist with patients in Conyers and Stockbridge, interviewed for his job in Atlanta, the couple viewed several houses in Decatur. They were disheartened at first by the high prices and limited amenities and began driving around town. They drove by an area they liked where homes range from the low $400,000s to high $600,000s and saw a family walk out of a house with a sale sign in the yard. The agent walked out and welcomed them inside. He had been showing the DeKalb County house to neighbors before it went on the market the next day. They liked the original character of the 1920s house and called their agent, Collette McDonald with RE/MAX of Georgia, before they completed the walkthrough. They put in an offer that night. “The next two weeks were crazy,” Sarah said. “We talked to family and friends who have gone through the homebuying process and somehow completed the paperwork with our overwhelming schedules.”

The home

The four-bedroom, three-bathroom home with 3,400 square feet is located near Oakhurst Elementary School. Sarah and Trent enjoy spending time on the back patio and columned front porch, which features a swing. They also hang out in the kitchen and living area, where they cook and watch Addison play.

“We love the size of the rooms and the play area for Addison,” Sarah said. “The open concept allows us to see around the house, no matter what room we’re in.”

The lifestyle

The family has enjoyed getting to know neighbors and visiting the local pool and Oakhurst and Decatur parks and restaurants such as Taqueria del Sol. Trent enjoys moments when he and Addison can walk around Decatur and explore, particularly when they run across unexpected activities such “Star Wars” movies projected on a screen in a nearby park. Their backyard has mature trees, and Trent hung up a swing on one tree for Addison. “She loves the outdoors and can ride her tricycle to the park, which is big,” he said. “She recognizes people and looks forward to seeing them every day.”

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