Lake location in Brookhaven attracts couple

Looking at Google maps one day, attorney Steve Litner was intrigued by a body of water in Brookhaven. As he and his wife, Mollie Sklar, drove to Silver Lake, they found neighborhoods such as Hampton Hall, which had homes on larger lots, wide streets and hiking trails.

“We were amazed that something like this existed right here in Brookhaven,” said Sklar, 33, an IT project manager with Porsche Cars North America.

The couple honed in on Silver Lake as they looked to move from their one-bedroom condo in Buckhead. The area didn’t have a high turnover of homes and they didn’t feel the need to rush their purchase, so they considered these Brookhaven homes during their nearly yearlong search. Then jet lag further delayed the decision.

No. 1

Huge basement

A five-bedroom, four-bath home on Hallcrest Drive was in the Hampton Hall neighborhood and walking distance to Silver Lake. The home was one of the bigger homes they viewed, with a full finished basement. The kitchen had granite countertops, but it wasn’t as big and open as they wanted, Sklar said. The home, built in 1968, was listed for $639,000.

No. 2

Renovated split level

A four-bedroom, three-bath home on Stratfield Drive in Brookhaven’s Cambridge Park was at the top of Silver Lake and had a flat backyard, a plus for the couple. The bathrooms and kitchen were updated but Sklar felt the rooms were too closed off. The home backed up to a main road, making the setting a bit noisy for them. The home, built in 1972, was listed for $539,000.

No. 3

Too pricey?

The four-bedroom, two-and-a-half bath home on Hallcrest Drive, also in Hampton Hall, had been renovated about six years ago. The luxury updates, such as high-end appliances, custom solid wood cabinets and soft-close drawers in the kitchen, still looked great to the couple. Walls had been removed to create an open floor plan, unlike what they saw in other 1960s homes. The master closet and bathroom were small, but there was room to expand. The home, built in 1968, was listed for $619,000.

The Choice

No. 3. Although the home wasn’t 100 percent of what they wanted, a full renovation wasn’t required to create spaces such as a larger master bathroom and closet. Their agent, Collette McDonald of RE/MAX Around Atlanta, showed them the home after they returned from Southeast Asia. Jet lag kept them from making an immediate decision, but a couple of days later, they decided to make an offer. Since they had looked at homes in the neighborhood for a year, they believed that the house was priced too high, said Litner, 33. They put in a lower offer, the sellers countered, and the couple made their best and final offer. The house appraised at $585,000 and the price also was lowered due to a couple of repairs identified in the inspection. They closed in March. Now, they enjoy kayaking and hiking in the neighborhood, which also has a pool, and tennis and basketball courts. “There’s just so many different activities within less than a five-minute walk for us,” Sklar said. “I think location is the most important thing. You can have a great house anywhere but if you don’t ultimately love the neighborhood or the town that you’re living in, you’re never going to be happy.”