Inman Park bartender finds house near work

By Carolyn Crist

For the AJC

For years, Josh Doepke rented in “less-than-lovable” areas around Atlanta. After saving money for a downpayment, Doepke started looking for a bungalow-style property this spring.

A guest at Inman Park’s Krog Bar, where Doepke works as a bartender, referred him to Tanya Mendleson, with Atlanta Intown Real Estate. Doepke, 41, talked about his three-bedroom brick home in Decatur.

Q: What were you looking for in a home?

A: I wanted a home within my budget (mid $100,000s) that was in a neighborhood and not on a busy street. I looked for a place in town and closer to work that was cozy, comfortable and had character.

Q: What was the market like?

A: The market was improving, but I only put in an offer on one place. I really liked it from the start, and the price was in my comfort zone. I looked at a few other places but could really envision myself here.

Q: How did you move on this home?

A: I had competition with other offers. I tried not to be scared about losing it, telling myself that if it didn’t happen, someone would be selling another one tomorrow. But I knew I wanted it and gave a good offer, and the owners responded immediately. There was little negotiation.

Q: What did you love about the house?

A: At first, my agent couldn’t tell if I liked it. But I liked it a lot. The overall appeal is nice, and the colors made me feel comfortable. A room off the side of the kitchen has a fireplace in it, which is a nice place to have a TV and fire going, and the kitchen is brand new and redone. There’s plenty of space to have friends over, and it’s nice to have room to do that.

Q: What have you added so far?

A: I put up pictures of my family and bought some appliances. Then I added insulation into the roof to cut down on electricity bills. I plan to put up a privacy fence soon and build up the backyard. I always have projects on my list.

Q: What was the relationship with your agent?

A: There were moments when the process was tough because of my work in the restaurant industry, and there were times when I felt rushed, and she really helped me out. When I was stressed, she was there.

Q: What’s a tip for first-time buyers?

A: Ask questions. If you have to ask two or three times, that’s OK because it’s your purchase. You get to ask whatever you want. As part of that, get a good house inspector who will look out for you. You want someone who is picky and will find all the holes (as a result of the inspection, the sellers installed a new water heater). Once you buy, it’s on you to fix it. Make sure you’re comfortable with that.

At a Glance

Josh Doepke’s home, built in 1958, has three bedrooms, one bathroom and 1,300 square feet. Single-family homes in Decatur’s East Lake Terrace neighborhood range from the low to high $100,000s.

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