Retired accountant enjoys active adult lifestyle, craft room

By Carolyn Crist

For the AJC

After her mother died last year, Donna Lang lived in her parents’ home in Johns Creek. She liked the idea of moving into a smaller home with low maintenance but only considered buying in an active adult community when she toured Brookhaven at Johns Creek with her brother.

She immediately signed a contract and moved into her new home six months later. Lang, 63, a retired accountant, talked about her three-bedroom condominium.

Q: What were your priorities?

A: Being single, I wanted a home that wouldn't have any yard work. I also wanted an open floor plan, and the one here is phenomenal — only the bedrooms and bathrooms are behind doors. I also wanted everything on one floor as I got older.

Q: What do you love about the house?

A: I have an upstairs bonus room about the size of a two-car garage, which I set up with a sofa bed for my grandson. I also have enough space for a 13-foot quilting machine and craft cabinets to hold my scrap-booking materials.

Q: What have you added so far?

A: I got upgrades on my cabinets and fixtures, granite throughout the house, a custom walk-in closet and a pantry in the laundry room. I added plantation shutters, framed in the porch, and added a porch swing the size of a twin bed. Many of these ideas came from ideas in magazines, HGTV and Houzz.

Q: What’s the lifestyle of the community?

A: A number of single women like myself enjoy making new friends, playing tennis and gardening. I am really enjoying decorating my new home for the holidays and sharing it with my friends, old and new.

Q: What was the closing process like?

A: It was very smooth and took less than an hour. In the past, with previous purchases, the process was more involved with mortgages and lenders. The majority of people who buy in this complex pay cash because we don't want another 30-year mortgage, which makes it less complicated and stressful.

Q: What was the first night like?

A: The first night in my new home was a sleepover with nieces, nephews, children and grandchildren. We cooked hot dogs and hamburgers; [we] built forts out of boxes and quilts.

Q: What advice do you have for senior buyers?

A: Be patient and open. This lifestyle is not for everyone because it's not a big single-family house. Look at the floor plan and the community and see if this is what you want. I'm so happy given what I went through last year, and I can't imagine not having this house as a focus.

At a Glance

Donna Lang’s home has three bedrooms, three bathrooms and 2,300 square feet. Condos in Brookhaven at Johns Creek range from the low $300,000s to low $400,000s.