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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