Opting for new construction in Ellenwood

By Carolyn Crist

For the AJC

Jamice Gresham began looking for “gently used” homes built after 2003 in DeKalb County. After several home inspections brought back bad news about costly repairs, she decided to build.

Though the process was sometimes complex, time-consuming and stressful, Gresham said she is glad to be living in her new home and no longer renting. Gresham, 29, a registered nurse at the Atlanta VA Medical Center, chatted about her four-bedroom home built by Century Communities in Ellenwood.

Q: What were your priorities?

A: I wanted something more modern with an open floor plan, granite counters and stainless steel appliances. The overall process of picking out the colors, the granite and the tile was pretty nerve-wracking. I thought it would be easy to go after a workout and pick everything in 30 minutes, but once I got there and tried to match the choices, I felt lost. It was hard to envision one piece of tile or wood across a whole floor.

Q: How was the building process?

A: Watching the home being built from the ground up was something else. I'd go in one day with no sheet rock and think it wasn't big at all and then see the carpet go in and it all come together.

Q: What was the first night like?

A: It was a little scary at first because you can hear everything and you wonder what each noise is. But after that moment, it's exciting to step back and realize it's your home.

Q: What do you love about the house?

A: My closet is a walk-in, and people ask if it's an extra room. It's long and has a window at the end, where I have a chair and Bible. I like to pray there in the mornings and at night.

Q: What’s a special way you have decorated the home?

A: My mother gave me a canvas from Hilton Head for my birthday, which I hung in the downstairs bathroom where we have a beach theme.

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

A: When you're building new, research and see plenty of homes — old and new — so you know what you want. The builder can put it in or add to the contract. Stay abreast of what's going on at your home and check on it. During the walk through, take your time. Put everything into writing in your contract.

At a Glance

Jamice Gresham’s home, built in 2014, has four bedrooms, three-and-a-half bathrooms and 2,300 square feet. She worked with Barbara Moody of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Metro Brokers. Homes in Ellenwood’s Legacy Mill neighborhood range from the mid- to high-$100,000s.