REAL ESTATE, IT'S WHAT'S HAPPENING...
I remember our first house just like it was yesterday. It was one of the smallest houses you have ever seen with square footage just over 1100. It sat on a tiny lot with a tiny driveway and a tiny backyard. It was a miniature house, which we affectionately called “The Turd House”. But it was ours and we loved it.
Months before, we found the neighborhood that we called home for 2 years. “The Turd House” was positioned in the first cul-de-sac off the main entrance, just after beautiful cobblestones that were placed as decoration in the main road. It gave the neighborhood a bit of European flair as if we had moved to Italy.
We were involved in the construction from the ground breaking. We chose everything from the green paint for the door to the color of the walls in the bathroom. The construction took a little over 6 months to complete. The day we closed on the house was before we got married, so the builder placed a sign in the tiny front yard that said, “Chandler & Holtzclaw House”.
As the wedding approached, we placed the furniture and unpacked the appliances we had procured. The thought of having our own home was exciting enough - having furniture was a bonus! I remember sitting on crates where our table would be and discussing the meals we would prepare in the tiny kitchen.
The wedding day finally arrived and we were excited to spend our first night in our new home. Just as I started to drift to sleep, I was awakened by the abrupt sound of “bump de bump de bump de bump” from outside. It was only a few seconds long, but it was enough to wake me. I was unsure of what it was and hoped it was a one time occurrence. Unfortunately, it happened again about 10 minutes later and continued throughout the night at random intervals. Apparently the Italian flair of a cobblestone road also served as an audible alert to each nearby house of late night arrivals into the neighborhood.
This sleep disturbance was not something we could have predicted. As with any new home there will be unknowns for you to discover after you move in, but you can “try out” some aspects of a new neighborhood before you make a decision to move.
How is the commute at 8:00am in the morning? It will be considerably different than 2:00 pm on a Saturday. Take a morning and practice the drive in from the new location. Ask the neighbors how often the train runs at the nearby intersection. Pay close to attention to any outdoor street lights - will the light stream into your bedroom? Which direction does the house face? The morning sun can ruin your Saturday sleep in day.
Take a few simple steps to ensure that your dream home doesn’t include some unexpected surprises.
April Holtzclaw is a Real Estate Agent and 30 year resident of Metro Atlanta. When not working, she enjoys camping, traveling with her family and mountain biking with her husband on the trails in the Atlanta area. Her favorite way to finish the day is with an “al fresco” dinner at one of the many great restaurants in town.