Parents often move closer to schools because they’re high performing or move closer to work to spend more time with children. Land and Katie Bridgers, who grew up in Atlanta’s Buckhead neighborhood, moved to Gwinnett County to shorten the commute to their kids’ school and to take back some of their family time.
The couple wanted to be as close as possible to Wesleyan School in Norcross. They had been spending two hours daily to take their daughters, Caitlin, 8, and Britain, 6, to school from their home in Buckhead’s Meadowbrook neighborhood.
“I used to have coolers packed in my car with snacks and food. I had art projects and travel games for the kids,” said Katie, 32.
One of the worst parts was turning around after making the drop-off and sitting in rush-hour traffic to get home. When their youngest daughter was in pre-K, she asked her mom, “Can you find a school out here for me? I don’t want to sit in traffic.” Katie said she realized that if their 4-year-old noticed the problem, they needed to move.
The Bridgers spent several months looking at homes, seeking a smaller neighborhood and interested in new construction. Their home in Buckhead was built in the 1950s and had been remodeled and expanded by the previous owners.
“We just kept looking,” Katie said. “It just really didn’t feel right until we found Tillman Hall.”
Tillman Hall, a neighborhood of 29 homes by Peachtree Residential Properties, offered new homes from the mid-$600,000s to $800,000s. They purchased a five-bedroom, four-bath home with about 3,850 square feet plus a basement in the Peachtree Corners neighborhood. The kitchen and breakfast area opens to the great room, which offered a floor plan that encouraged spending time as a family, Katie said. Larger closets increased storage space for toys and other items, compared to their Buckhead home.
The first morning the drive to get the girls to school from their new home was “amazing,” said Katie, who left at the house 7:45 a.m. and returned at 8:02 a.m. The family now is able to attend more functions and volunteer more at Wesleyan, where Land, 37, senior vice president of Integrated Financial Group, serves on the board of trustees. Their kids have more play dates and sleepovers with school friends, said Katie, who works part-time at Leadership Ministries in Atlanta’s Perimeter area.
“We’re not limited by the distance we were at before,” she said.
The Bridgers and their neighbors also typically congregate outside as the sun sets and get together for weekend barbecues and making s’mores, book clubs and holidays. The family also has enjoyed exploring the area, places such as Gwinnett County’s Jones Bridge Park, swimming and walking on the trails along the Chattahoochee River, and even being able to walk or bike to shops and restaurants at the Forum on Peachtree Parkway.
“We got a lot of time back for our family,” she said.