Marietta neighborhood hits right note for musicians

After Jessica Oudin landed a tenured position with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, she and husband Alex Wasserman decided to leave their Buckhead apartment and find a home with plenty of practice space for two musicians.

An existing home in a family-oriented Marietta neighborhood offered room for their instruments and more, including a place to display their china. Oudin, 29, who plays viola, and Wasserman, 33, a concert pianist who teaches at Reinhardt University and Georgia Perimeter College, talked about their four-bedroom home in Wicks Lake.

Q: Why did you decide to buy now?

Jessica: We moved to Atlanta in December 2010 and had a nice apartment in Buckhead, but after an amount of time, we hoped to make an investment, build some equity in a house and start a family one day. Once I had stability with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, we drove through neighborhoods and made sure we were on the same page regarding what we wanted.

Q: How did you start your search?

Jessica: When we renewed our lease during summer 2012, we looked at each other and agreed it was the last time. We started looking in March 2013 and got pre-approved for a loan.

Alex: We were looking for an area that was safe, family-oriented, had good school districts and a traditional floor plan. Having a basement and two separate living areas gives us space for a grand piano and viola, and not be in each other’s hair.

Q: What was the market like?

Alex: We got lucky in that Andrea Hanley and Julie Bromstad (with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Georgia Properties) found incredible homes that fit what we wanted and made them available to us to see as soon as they hit the market. You have to take action right away.

Q: How did you move on this home?

Alex: The house we’re in now was the second we bid on. On the first house, we put in an offer the night we saw it and were one of four bids. It could have turned into a bidding war, and we decided it was above our price point. We saw this house the first day it hit the market and were the first people to see it. We knew this was it, put in a bid that night and had no moment of regret.

Q: What did you love about the house? What have you added so far?

Jessica: The woman who owned this house kept it in excellent condition, and it’s obvious she loved it. We can tell she was a great neighbor and beloved by everyone in the neighborhood. We’re happy to become part of a community where people care about each other.

Alex: We didn’t have much to do in terms of preparing it to move in. We put a new roof over the sun room, added new hardwood floors and did some painting, but most was cosmetic.

Jessica: I enjoyed buying furniture and adding personal touches. The dining room table was my parents’ first formal dining room set, and they drove from Texas to give it to us. We also have wedding china from four years ago, and finally have a place to display it.

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

Alex: We almost fell into a trap with the first home with a higher price point. You have to find a balance between buying a cheap home where you have to put in too much money for repairs and an expensive home where you can’t afford to make any changes.

At a Glance

The home, built in 1981 in Marietta, has four bedrooms, three-and-a-half baths and 1,960 square feet. They purchased the home in June 2013. Homes in Wicks Lake range from the low $200,000s to low $300,000s.