Thursday, June 30, 2011

Property Hunting

Today was our first day looking at properties with our realtor Cindy.

We were concerned at first because many of the places in our price range were 1)scary and ghetto 2) complicated sales that could take up to 6 months to close 3)not approved for FHA financing. So, we started out the day looking at a few places and then coming back to the office discouraged.

We then started searching within specific communities that our lender told us were definitely FHA approved rather than searching by price for all of Sandy Springs. We also decided that we would be willing to go up in price, since we were preapproved for much more than the 50k range that we were originally sticking with. Going up in price opened up a lot more properties and searching by community also helped us find places that we had previously overlooked that were around our original 50K hopes.

Of the gazillion places we looked at (okay, maybe it was only 13, but it was exhausting!) we found a few that we liked and one that we both LOVED.

There were quite a few in this large condo community called Foxcroft. It has been around since the mid 60's and has a very established and active HOA community. There was a nice pool and clubhouse, the exteriors were very decorative and the grounds were very well kept. There was one place ther that I really liked that was 56K with 2 beds, 2 full baths and an office with a fireplace that was as big as the living room, a bay window and a huge dining room. All of the rooms in these condos were very spacious. Unfortunately, most of them were very outdated. We saw everything from metallic wallpaper to cracked tubs, bright cerulean carpet, missing tiles and everything in between. There were a couple units that were very nicely updated, but they were asking 85k. Another deterrant-they had a very apartmenty feel, with a common indoor hallway entrance.

So, we ot some lunch at Steak and Shake (my first time. It was pretty darn good) and then headed to a complex called the Arbors at Sandy Springs. It was right in the same area, like a block away from Foxcroft, close enough to the train into town and also pretty near the temple.

We immediately liked the simple architecture and the 2-story townhome layouts here. Each building had bushes and a little bit of grass immediately in front of it, with a larger grassy area in a courtyard between each building.

We were very surprised to find that they were build around the same time as the foxcroft condos. They seemed much more upkept. Both of the units that we looked at had very up-to-date kitchens, with a stackable washer and dryer under the stairs, pristine cabinets, stainless steel fridge, stove and dishwasher and a sweet granite bar seperating the dining space and kitchen. They also had a cute little back patio with a gate going out into the courtyard. There was a little pool, newer double-paned windows. Also, it seemed more diverse. Foxcroft had lots of elderly occupants, but we saw a variety of folks at The Arbors.

Smaller, but in a nice location, good community, few necessary changes. We plan to make an offer tomorrow!

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