Moving within Marietta creates space for kids, guests, work

Living in 40-year-old home presented challenges for Tom and Rachel Esposito as they had their children, Olivia, 5; and Vincent, who was born in July 2012. The couple wanted to upgrade into a bigger home so guests could stay for an extended period and they could operate their software company, in the formal wear industry, out of the house.

The priority

The Espositos desired five bedrooms, for themselves and the kids, their office and guests such as their parents, who live a couple of hours away. “Nobody wants to sleep with a bunch of computers,” Tom said.

Their former home was built in 1973, and the lawn maintenance was becoming time-consuming for the parents. Although the yard was filled with trees, they would spend an hour or two every fall weekend blowing the leaves. “The house just became quite a bit of maintenance for us,” Tom said.

The search

The Espositos put their Marietta home on the market in early 2013 for $335,000. Working with Lisa Mills with Harry Norman, Realtors, they received three offers the next day, including one for $10,000 over the asking price. They had gutted the 1970s kitchen in 2011, making a new 36-inch range the focal point of the room, which also had high-end granite countertops. They also painted inside, enhanced the facade of the home by replacing the front siding, and updated the master bathroom with new items such as the vanity.

An Internet search brought up The Gates on Woodlawn, an east Cobb County community by John Wieland Homes and Neighborhoods with 22 low-maintenance homes (prices were from the high $400,000s to high $500,000s). Each property is attached to another residence and considered to be townhomes, although they have the look of a single-family residence. They were unsure about the setup, but decided to take a look inside to view the floor plan, architecture and features.

The home

When they walked into the five-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bath home, they immediately thought the home was awesome, he said. The size – about 3,500 square feet – was 500 square feet more than their former home and the high ceilings made it feel even more spacious, he said. The home had a master on the main, and the three-car garage provides extra space for strollers and larger toys.

The neighborhood is just a couple of miles from the home they sold. The location meant they could remain in their east Cobb County school district of Mount Bethel Elementary School, Dickerson Middle School and Walton High School district.

“We wanted to stay in the same area because the school district is one of the best in the state,” Tom said.

They discovered an offer had been placed on the property, but Mills suggested they put in an offer in case the other contract fell through. That’s what happened, and the home was theirs.

The lifestyle

Now, their in-laws can visit overnight without shuffling the kids or having their guests sleep in the office. They also turned the media room into a playroom, which keeps most of the toys out of the main living area. Another plus: The backyard and driveway are both flat. “My daughter learned how to ride her bike out there in the summer without having to worry about traffic speeding by,” Tom said.