Software engineer finds Sandy Springs condo under budget

By Carolyn Crist

For the AJC

Holly Manning commuted from Snellville to Sandy Springs and wanted to live closer to the office. Armed with a $125,000 budget, she was thrilled to quickly find a home of her own for less than $100,000.

Manning, 27, a software test engineer, chatted about her two-bedroom condominium in Sandy Springs.

Q: What were you looking for in a home?

A: I looked for something within my budget range that didn’t require a lot of updating. I don’t mind painting, but I didn’t want to tackle a new kitchen or bathroom. I also wanted a place that wasn’t claustrophobic like many one-bedroom apartments I see. When I found this place, it had a hallway and two bedrooms, which felt more like a home. You also enter through a courtyard, which is nicer than other places that have an outside hallway.

Q: How did you move on this home?

A: I knew this was it after seeing five places. The courtyard atmosphere outside was great with all of the crepe myrtles and flowers. It felt right. Once I found it, I put an offer on it the next day. Within two days, I signed the agreement. It all moved really fast, but it was definitely what I wanted.

Q: What did you love about the house?

A: The location is awesome with great restaurants nearby, a park within walking distance and a grocery store across the street. It was built in the 1960s but was remodeled in the past few years and feels like a home. I also like the windows and French doors, which provide a lot of light.

Q: What have you added so far?

A: I had a painting party, and my family helped me paint the entire place, covering rooms, ceilings and woodwork. I moved in with minimal things and have added here and there since August.

Q: What was the relationship with your agent?

A: I told [Susan Kliesen, with RE/MAX Center] what I was looking for and said that my budget was $125,000, but I knew we could find one for under $100,000. We found everything I wanted for way under my budget ($95,000), which was awesome. I’ve always been told that buying your first home is one of the toughest things you’ll do, so I was nervous, but it was almost too easy with her help. None of my questions were ridiculous, and she helped me keep everything on track.

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

A: Take someone with you when you look at homes who doesn’t have a vested interest in the purchase. You see everything with different eyes as a buyer because you want to see the good aspects. I made the offer and then brought my mom to look at it, and she loved the place.

At a Glance

Holly Manning’s home, built in 1967, has two bedrooms, two bathrooms and 1,100 square feet. Condos in Raleigh Square in Sandy Springs range from just below $100,000 to the high $100,000s.

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