Renting an apartment in Brookhaven helped Lauren Yancey determine that she wanted to stay in the “vibrant community” when her lease expired. She was intimidated by the idea of purchasing a home. But the affordable interest rates, combined with high rents of $1,800-$2,500 a month, Yancey said, caused her to explore becoming a homebuyer.
Yancey, 34, who works for a family business in the defense industry, chatted about the house she purchased, which has a fenced-in yard for her Labrador retriever, Riggins.
Q: Why did you want to stay in Brookhaven?
A: One of the things I love about Brookhaven, of course, is all the new developments with restaurants and shops. There’s constantly people out walking their dogs. There’s lots of young couples. There’s lots of older couples. It’s still intown and so close to the rest of metro Atlanta. I’m close to I-85.
Q: What stood out to you about the house?
A: I feel like this house is absolutely meant for me. It had a screened-in back porch, which I really, really love. It’s on a fairly large lot. It already seemed very cozy to me, but also spoke to the fact that there were so many possibilities of what to do with this. It was kind of a blank canvas for me.
Q: Did you immediately put in an offer?
A: I waited about two to three weeks. I tried to make sure I wasn’t rushed by the excitement of the process. I saw the house at least three times before I put an offer in. I also had a contractor come in and walk through it. That would help me with the initial offer on the house.
Q: What did you want to change?
A: The previous owner enclosed the carport to make what I assumed was a home office (with a door). I also use that room as a home office. I wanted to even out the front of the house and turn that door into the window and extend the brick facing to the side of the carport. I wanted to make some changes to the walls of the master bedroom and the closet to make the room a little more open. There were beautiful hardwood floors that needed refinishing. I painted the interior. I had the kitchen cabinets all repainted. I had the attic re-insulated. When I moved in, some plumbing issues came up. I had to replace the sewer line basically right when I moved in, which was a very trying circumstance.
Q: What did you learn about renovating a home?
A: My contractors (Powerhouse Construction) were absolutely fantastic. They were very patient with explaining the entire process to me. When unforeseen things came up like plumbing issues, they were top of it and got one of their plumbers out to fix it immediately. They finished under budget. The original asking price of the home was $300,000. I purchased it right around $290,000. My cost after the renovation is still only about $310,000-$315,000 total, which I’m still really comfortable with. I feel like I had an exceptionally pleasant remodeling experience.
At a Glance
Lauren Yancey’s home, built in 1953 in Brookhaven, has three bedrooms, two baths and about 1,320 square feet. She purchased it in November 2012, assisted by Hannah Beaver with Harry Norman, Realtors. Homes in Brookhaven’s Ashford Park neighborhood range from the low $200,000s to more than $1 million.