New home, new high school draws family to Milton

More buyers are contemplating buying new versus renovating as builders start to ramp up home construction. For Todd and Trish Hauser, weighing the cost of investing in an older home or building a home revolved around availability in the Milton location they desired.

The priority

When Todd’s job as senior vice president/regional director with Agency 720 transferred him from Orlando to the Alpharetta area, a north Fulton location was top priority. They also had heard about Milton’s Cambridge High School and wanted daughter Peyton, 14, to attend the school, which opened in 2012. “We really focused our search on that school district,” said Trish, 42, who has worked in acting and modeling.

The search

They Hausers rented a townhouse for a year while they hunted for a home with at least four bedrooms, so they could have a guest room and an office. The family searched with Maria De Leon of RE/MAX Center for a home with an open, non-choppy layout and fantastic kitchen. “We came from a home in Florida with a three-car garage, which was really a nice thing to have. We were hoping to find that, which we did,” Trish said.

The older homes appeared to be neglected, causing the Hausers to consider how much renovation was needed and how much they would need to invest to be happy with the house, said Todd, 48. They started to lean toward new construction and found Vickery Crest, a Milton neighborhood by Sharp Residential. There were about 10 to 15 lots left when they were looking in 2012, but as they bought, others were snapping up lots.

The home

They selected the lot and the floor plan (Rosehill II) for their five-bedroom, four-bath home, which they moved into during July 2013. High ceilings and a bank of bay windows stood out in the family room, which led to the kitchen. Julie Affeldt with Founders Kitchen and Bath in Alpharetta assisted them in the design of the kitchen, which has a microwave drawer, a hidden pantry and double ovens. “We wanted it to be a real focal point when you walked in,” Trish said. A key component is the island with a granite countertop and cabinets, which is larger than the floor plan called for and resembles a piece of furniture.

The layout of the nearly 3,700-square-foot home also allowed Peyton to have a portion of the upstairs, with a bedroom, bathroom and den of her own. A guest room on the main level offers privacy and accessibility, especially for frequent visitors such as Todd’s parents. Marty Shettle of Lane Landscaping created a plan for the yard, while staying in their budget.

The lifestyle

The couple has been impressed with the curriculum at Cambridge High School, where Peyton has chosen the law and justice pathway. “For all four years, she has classes that are geared toward that and she’s really enjoying it. I think it’s great that they help these kids find something they’re interested in and pursue it,” Trish said.

Plus, “this neighborhood is full of little kids so she’s really enjoying her new career in babysitting.”