Kimberly Kelly enjoyed growing up in a house with a swimming pool so much that she wanted a home with the same amenity for her first purchase.
Finding a house with a pool in her price range — up to the $150,000s — and in good condition proved to be difficult during her nearly three-month search and required purchasing further outside of Atlanta than she originally planned.
Kelley, 39, who works for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and owns a jewelry business, Gorilla Dust Designs, chatted about her home in Lawrenceville.
Q: How did you start looking for a home?
A: My friends introduced me to John (Mason, with Harry Norman, Realtors Atlanta Perimeter Office). The main important thing I wanted to have was a swimming pool. I wanted to stay in the perimeter. But I was finding that, with my price range and wanting a swimming pool, it wasn’t going to happen. I told John how far I wanted to go outside the perimeter.
Q: Did you find a lot of homes with pools on the market?
A: It was somewhat difficult to find homes in my price range that had a pool that was actually functioning. There were lots of homes in foreclosure with a pool but they weren’t functioning.
Q: What was the condition of some of the homes?
A: In the foreclosure homes, there would be a lot of problems like holes in the walls. One had a tree that had fallen into the swimming pool. One had, I think, some sort of animal living in the swimming pool.
Q: How did you find out about this home?
A: On a whim, John sent me this one in Lawrenceville and said, “Is this too far?” Originally, I thought, yes. Then as I looked at the listing I thought that may not be too bad.
Q: Why did the home appeal to you?
A: The backyard with the pool was gorgeous. It’s very bright on the inside with lots of windows and high ceilings. The owner purchased it in 2010 and had done quite a few updates. As far as the pool, he put in a new liner and saltwater system. He put in a covered deck with a hot tub. He also updated the kitchen and the cabinets and light fixtures. There wasn’t anything I had to do before moving in.
Q: How fast did you put in an offer?
A: It was about two weeks from when I saw it until I decided to put in an offer. I was really wanting to stay closer to work (in Decatur). That was definitely making (the decision) take a little longer.
Q: What did you learn about the home-buying process?
A: The whole process was new to me as far as how much it took to get approved for a loan. I own my own business (she makes jewelry out of recycled items such as Scrabble tiles and spoons). So I had a lot of cash deposits over the last few months. Every single one of those had to be documented.
Q: What does it feel like to be a homeowner?
A: It’s still kind of surreal to realize this is actually my house. I’ve rented for the last 20 years. It’s a little different to realize this is actually mine.
At a Glance
Kimberly Kelley’s home, built in 1989 in Lawrenceville’s Quail Crossing, has three bedrooms, two baths and about 1,844 square feet. She purchased it in April. Homes in Quail Crossing range from the $120,000s-$140,000s.