Puzzle pieces fall into place when buyer considers Snellville

Tracy Daniels enjoys putting together extra-large jigsaw puzzles, which often take many weeks to complete. But the pieces fit together quickly when she bought her first home.

Daniels, a Kansas native, moved to Georgia in 1999 and rented apartments. The search for her first house began in earnest in November 2015 when she reconnected with former co-worker Michael Nolan, now an agent with Keller Williams Realty Atlanta Classic. Daughter, Aisha, 24, and son, Shomari, 17, live with her.

Daniels, a billing representative at storage/information management company Iron Mountain in Norcross, chatted about buying a three-bedroom home in Snellville and her tips for buyers.

Q: Why did you focus on looking at houses in Snellville?

A: I was living in Roswell and there was nothing there (in her low- to mid- $100,000s price range). My other choice was Acworth, but the commute to Norcross would have been too long (about 35 miles). Michael told me I needed to take a look at Snellville, which I hadn't even considered. We looked at 11 houses over the course of two days. This was the last house we saw, and it was just coming on the market. There was no sign in the yard yet, so I wasn't sure. But after we got in and I looked around, I said, "This is it!"

Q: What surprised you about the home buying experience?

A: I was very surprised about how the home inspection went, because I thought it would be very basic. The guy came in and he was so thorough. He took pictures, took notes. He was up on the roof looking around. I was also pleasantly surprised that even after listing all the things I wanted in a house, I got even more than I wanted.

Q: What do you like most about the house?

A: It's very open and has vaulted ceilings when you first walk in. The dining room in the front, that's my puzzle room and it's perfect. I'm working on a 9,000-piece puzzle right now. My other favorite is my walk-in closet, which has windows. It's so big that I have my office set up in there for the days I work from home. It's not even cramped.

Q: What shops and restaurants have you found nearby?

A: J. Buffalo Wings at the corner of Stone Mountain Highway and Killian Hill Road, that's a nice spot. They make the best Philly cheesesteaks. Another thing I like here is that you can go right into a store, like Kohl's, and not have to go into a mall. It's nice that they're so accessible.

Q. What advice would you give to first-time buyers?

A: It's so important to have a good agent and a good loan officer. My loan officer (Abida Mumtaz with Evolve Bank & Trust), she wanted to set up the closing before the new year so it would all be done so I could move in. She was so excited for me. So if you're not comfortable with the person you're working with, change it. This experience doesn't come around very often, so make sure someone's in your corner.

Q. What do your children think about the new house and Snellville?

A: They love the house! They still can't believe it. I haven't had a chance to get out much, but my daughter has gone over to Lenora Park (a Gwinnett County park) – it's just a few miles away. She says it's wonderful. And there are places nearby where you can rent horses to ride. I have grandkids, so it looks like there will be lots of things that they can do when they come to visit.

At a Glance

Tracy Daniels’ home, built in 2004, has three bedrooms, two-and-a-half baths and about 1,760 square feet. She purchased it in December 2015. Homes in Bridle Point in Gwinnett County range from the $130,000s-$150,000s.