Michigan resident ditches snow for Sun City community in Georgia

After living in Michigan for most of her life, Hamida Dougherty moved to Georgia to get out of the cold weather and to live closers to two of her children. Dougherty downsized from her 2,300-square-foot Colonial-style home to a 1,600-square-foot house in Sun City Peachtree.

Dougherty, 60, a retired high school special education teacher, chatted about her new two-bedroom home with a screened porch in the 55-and-up community in Griffin developed by Del Webb.

Q: Were you looking to downsize?

A: Definitely. My kids are all grown, and I have grandkids. I was so tired of cleaning a big house. It was a wonderful house to raise kids in, but it was just too much. The house was too big.

Q: Had you visited Georgia before?

A: I went to college in Georgia (Spelman College, before transferring to Eastern Michigan University), so I have lived here for two years in the past, but I have children here (daughter Sarita and son Randall).

Q: What were your priorities for your new home?

A: I’m a crafter, and I do a lot of scrapbooking. So I wanted a craft room. When I built this house, I made sure I had a loft that I could turn into a craft room.

Q: How did the building process work?

A: Sun City has several models that they will build for you, and they also have a couple of homes that you can purchase already built. But I knew that I wanted it to have a craft room, so I chose one of the models, and then contracted with them to build it. I got to choose cabinet colors and granite type and other things like that.

Q: How was the transition coming from your previous home to this one?

A: It was stressful. You are coordinating the sale of an existing home and the purchase of another home. I was flying back and forth to Atlanta to do different walkthroughs and give different OKs. I was trying to coordinate the time that my movers came to the closing time here. Everybody wanted to be somewhere by Thanksgiving, so I closed on my old home on the 20th. When I drove down on the 21st, they said my new house wasn’t ready. Thankfully two of my kids live here, but I ended up staying with them until Dec. 7.

Q: How is the community lifestyle in Sun City Peachtree?

A: Everyone has been so welcoming. The day I moved in, the lady next door came over and offered to help. People will just stop you and talk to you wherever you are. I opted to go to a New Year’s Eve party here and it was absolutely fun. I’ve been going to an aerobics class. They have a paper crafting club, which I will be joining.

Q: What advice do you have for buyers in your situation?

A: If you can afford it, buy your house before you try and sell the other one. If you buy it and you can just afford to move in and then leave your house vacant, that I think would have reduced a lot of stress.

At a Glance

Hamida Dougherty’s home, built in 2015, has two bedrooms, two-and–a-half baths and 1,600 square feet. Similar single-family homes in Sun City Peachtree range from $149,990-$333,225.

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