Friday, April 24, 2009

Still Settling In

When we moved to Georgia, we had one weekend with a realtor to find a house. My husband received word of his promotion while we were on vacation in late September 2008, and he had to report to his new division in about three weeks. We picked this town, sight unseen, from research on the internet. Before we came to visit Newnan, we also looked at houses online, not knowing their location, neighborhood, etc. We arrived in Newnan one Friday night armed with a stack of printouts of the houses we wanted to look at. Beforehand, I'd emailed the realtor the MLS numbers, and on her end she looked up each and every one of them, discarding ones that didn't meet our criteria. We met with our amazing realtor Doree Armstrong from MetroBrokers/GMAC early Saturday morning. She was a dynamo and I can't explain how great she was for us, it was really beyond words how much she helped us. We looked at over 40 houses that weekend. On Saturday we looked at older homes, many of which needed at the very least a little freshening up. A few made our top five list. On Sunday we looked at all brand new homes in new subdivisions. Oddly enough, we found that older homes and new homes were around the same price. Since neither of us had ever owned a new home, we decided that now would be a good time to make the investment. The house we eventually purchased was not even on our list, because it was listed beyond our price range (but we counter-offered down to our range). We came to the neighborhood to look at a different house when the builder's agent said, "Let me show you one I think you'll like", and we did! We love our neighborhood of Maple Creek Plantation- it's quiet, all the streets are cul-de-sacs, and we have 1.6 acres. The downside is that the subdivision was still in the middle of being built when the housing market slowed. So we have quite a few empty lots, in fact I have two right across the street from me now. I am not complaining, I love the view from the front porch. But we've heard of other neighborhoods around here going through the same ordeal, and other builders have come in and constructed much smaller (and cheaper) houses than everything else in the subdivision. The reality is that it lowers the market value on the surrounding existing homes. We haven't heard of any plans for this happening in our neighborhood, but we also aren't so certain that the current builder will fill out the empty lots any time soon. We are just relaxing and enjoying the solitude for now. The top photo is the view from my back deck, the bottom photo is the view from the front porch (and the view I am looking at outside the office window when I blog!).

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