Move to Marietta provides more space

Andrew and Linda Spencer timed the completion of their new house with the holidays, hosting Thanksgiving in their Marietta home. The floor plan and size allows the Spencers to welcome overnight guests, including out-of-town family members.

The priority

After daughter Charlotte was born in December 2012, the couple began thinking long-term about schools and desired for her to grow up in a community with other children her age, said Andrew, 38, assistant director of IT for an insurance agency.

When their parents visited from out of town for Charlotte’s baptism, the Spencers realized how their three-bedroom (with an office) Brookhaven home of three years lacked space for hosting guests.

They prepared and staged their clutter-free home in Brookhaven and received one offer for asking price before the listing even became public (an agent heard about the listing) in spring 2013. The Spencers worked with Debbie Sonenshine and Star Newman with The Sonenshine Team of Coldwell Banker Metro Atlanta to sell the home. The first day the home was listed, they received another full price offer and had 18 viewings. A total of seven offers poured in, with up to $14,000 over asking price. One buyer put a contingency in the contract saying he would pay $1,000 more than the highest offer, up to $405,000. Although they received an offer for $409,000, the buyer with the contingency could put a greater percentage down - 20 percent - so they chose that buyer.

The search

The couple looked for a year and a half prior to putting their home on the market and had decided to build a home. When their Brookhaven home went under contract, they returned to Lennar Homes because of a specific floor plan they saw in Mountain Creek Estates, a 45-home community with four- to six-bedroom homes priced from the $500,000s to $600,000s. The neighborhood is in the Davis Elementary School, Mabry Middle School and Lassiter High School district in the east Cobb County.

“We liked the area first and foremost for the schools,” Linda said.

The home

The Spencers built a six-bedroom, five-bath home with a finished basement. “The master was upstairs, which is great for us,” said Linda, 33, who works in sales for Google Atlanta. That way, they don’t have to walk up and down the stairs to attend to Charlotte during the night or when she wakes up.

In their Brookhaven home, part of the home had two-story ceilings, and although the Marietta home they purchased is open on the main level, it didn’t have any wasted space, the couple said. For guests, the home offered privacy with a guest bedroom and bathroom on the bottom level, plus access to the garage.

The home’s woodsy setting also was appealing, while the neighborhood was only 1 mile away from stores and restaurants on Ga. 92.

The lifestyle

The family moved into their new home in November 2013, and for Thanksgiving, Andrew’s parents from southern California and Linda’s mother from New York City joined them. Their visitors were in town for a week, and there was plenty of space for everyone, Linda said.

Favorite things about their new location and home include the cul-de-sac setting with lots of children and great neighbors, plus the above-ground, finished basement with tons of natural light that works well for entertaining, Linda said.