Paul and Delanie Tondera envisioned simplifying their life by moving to a small town with local stores, farmers markets and community events.
To attain this new lifestyle, the couple sold their 5,200-square-foot home on 1 acre in Cumming. The empty nesters considered moving to towns such as Greenville, S.C., and Franklin, Tenn., then discovered Woodstock offered new communities within walking distance to shops and restaurants.
“It was all about becoming part of the community,” said Paul, 51, who sells customer experience/loyalty software.
Paul and Delanie, 58, a career consultant for a human resources company, considered new homes in two neighborhoods in Cherokee County.
High-end amenities near shops
The ranch-style homes in Garden Street were just one-tenth of a mile from businesses in the heart of Woodstock. The Primrose floor plan added a basement, expanding the space to four bedrooms and three baths. The couple both work out of the home, so they were able to have their office, plus space for guests. The couple also were impressed with the level of the standard features in the Windsong Properties community, including granite countertops, upgraded cabinets, 6-inch baseboards, a fireplace in the great room and a set of French doors opening onto the deck. The homes were priced in the mid-$200,000s.
Doing away with the stairs
Other lots in Garden Street were available on a slab, instead of a basement. The couple were intrigued with not having to deal with any stairs, especially as they aged. But the Tonderas wondered if the Gardenia floor plan, with three bedrooms and two baths, would offer enough space for them to work from home and have guests. The homes were priced in the mid-$200,000s.
The Woodstock Downtown development, by John Wieland Homes & Neighborhoods, offered townhomes and single-family homes. One floor plan they considered — the Remerton — had three bedrooms, two-and-a-half baths, an open floor plan and a covered front porch. Extras included a three-car garage and a terrace level. The home’s setup, however, would require them to go downstairs to greet guests at the front door, when entertaining spaces such as the living room and kitchen were on the second level. Townhomes are from the low $200,000s, and single-family homes are from the low $300,000s.
No. 1. The couple rented a home in Woodstock while their Garden Street home was built, and they moved in during October 2012. With the finished portion of the basement, the home has about 2,900 square feet, and they increased the garage size to hold their cars, kayaks and motorcycle. They love features such as the ability to open the French doors to a deck overlooking a magnolia tree, and visiting independently owned stores such as FoxTale Book Shoppe. Delanie added that the affordable home price gave them the ability to upgrade the kitchen, adding cream cabinets with a hazelnut glaze, cream-based granite countertops and stainless steel appliances.