Amanda and Josh Hall rented for the first three years of their marriage and then decided to take the major step to purchase a house. After they bought an inside-the-Perimeter property, they found out Amanda was pregnant and added decorating a nursery to their home to-do list.
Amanda, 28, communications manager at Atlanta Decorative Arts Center, and Josh, 34, preconstruction manager at Paulson-Cheek Mechanical, talked about the three-bedroom home they bought in Chamblee.
Q: Why did you decide to buy?
Amanda: We rented after we got married and enjoyed it, but we enjoy doing projects and making a house look better. We wanted to do that in our rental and realized we should do it for ourselves. We said, “Let’s do it. Let’s grow up.”
Q: What were your priorities?
Amanda: We wanted a cute one-story brick ranch inside the perimeter with a nice kitchen that opened up to the rest of the house, two full bathrooms, hardwood floors and a relatively flat yard for our boxer, Mason.
Q: How did you find this home?
Amanda: We looked all over the place in Atlanta. We probably looked at every listing from January through March.
Josh: A contractor friend of mine recommended this neighborhood, and a fraternity brother lives in this neighborhood. Within a week of looking in the neighborhood, a home came on the market.
Q: How was the offer and closing process?
Josh: In the Brookhaven and Chamblee area, homes are going under contract in 24 to 36 hours. We made an offer the evening it went on the market. I worked closely with our mortgage broker Bryan (Hill with Buckhead Mortgage Group), who was in Alpha Tau Omega at Georgia Southern University years before I was, to put together a packet of financial information. As first-time homebuyers, we appreciated his help and our agent, Kirsten (Conover with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Georgia Properties), who helped us through the process.
Q: How have you decorated?
Amanda: I saw a leather settee in an architect’s office at ADAC and told him how much I loved it. He asked if I wanted it, and we picked it up. We’re also having fun with ideas in the baby’s room. For the most part, the home is contemporary with white, clean lines and shinier finishes on furniture. The bedroom has dark gray walls with deep emerald drapes for a more dramatic effect, and everything else is light, bright and clean.
Josh: Amanda’s family cleaned out both of her grandmothers’ homes at similar times, and we took a china cabinet and some wingback chairs and updated them to fit our space.
Q: What’s a tip for first-time buyers?
Amanda: Once we decided the small radius where we wanted to live, we looked at every listing that came up. We knew how long every home was on the market and what it ended up selling for. We felt educated about the market and didn’t second-guess the price or features of our home.
Josh: Do the legwork upfront so you’re ready to buy when you make an offer. It’s more attractive to a seller when you have your ducks in a row and aren’t scrambling to get all of the paperwork finished for a qualified offer.
At a Glance
Amanda and Josh Hall’s home, built in 1959, has three bedrooms, two bathrooms and 1,650 square feet. Homes in the Huntley Hills neighborhood in Chamblee range from the high $200,000s to high $300,000s.
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