Telecommuter returning to Atlanta wrestles over ITP and OTP homes

When Sally Herrick moved back to Atlanta from California, the big question on her mind was, “ITP versus OTP?”

She had always lived inside the Perimeter. This time, Herrick, a telecommuter, considered buying closer to Marietta, where she occasionally has to go into the office. She noticed more new construction in Smyrna and Vinings, which she added to her list. In the meantime, Herrick continued to search in Decatur, Oakhurst and other ITP communities, including homes near the BeltLine. The homes she found there were either too expensive, too old or too popular and had multiple offers.

“I was ready to give up,” said Herrick, a technical account manager for the Dow Chemical Co.

She persisted, though, and considered these three choices in her search with Kirsten Conover of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Georgia Properties.

No. 1

New construction

A five-bedroom, four bath home on Parks Edge Drive in Smyrna would be under warranty and require no repairs or updates, unlike the aging bungalows she saw elsewhere. The Parks Edge community was one of the closest that she considered to her office and near restaurants in Smyrna Market Village. The home boasted 10-foot ceilings and built-ins, and she had an option to add a screened porch. The home was listed for $499,986.

No. 2

Remodeled rooms

The three-bedroom, three-bath home on Shady Valley Place was near Lenox Square and Phipps Plaza, as well as Ga. 400 and I-85. It was renovated and well-maintained, and Herrick figured it would only require tweaking a couple of paint colors and repairing a small stain in the carpet. She wanted one more room but viewed the home three times as she weighed her choices. The home, built in 1990 in the Pine Hills community, was listed for $475,000.

No. 3

Gaudy interiors

A three-bedroom, three-and-a-half bath home on Fountain Oaks Lane in Atlanta’s Chastain Park neighborhood overwhelmed Herrick once she walked up the flagstone steps and opened the door. The walls were painted turquoise, black, gold and red. The kitchen’s backsplash was made of Mexican tile in red, blue, yellow and green, and the drawer and cabinet knobs looked like sugar cookies with M&Ms, Herrick said. The decor took away from the beauty of the interior, she said. The stucco and stone home, built in 1992 in Long Island Estates, was listed for $524,900.

The Choice

No. 3. Once she looked past the decor, Herrick realized the floor plan was exactly like a friend’s lake home that she admired. She also had friends in Chastain Park, where she purchased the home for $509,000 in June 2015. Friends who owned roofing, painting, landscaping and general contracting companies discussed how she could makeover the home. She added a new roof and insulation, finished the deck and demoed the kitchen and a bathroom, in addition to painting the house, inside and out. Now, she lives just inside the Perimeter.

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