On the path to New Home Ownership!

Last week Dan and I decided on our dream home, and put down earnest money to start the building process!  We found this amazing home community called Copper Creek.  It’s in South Forsyth county, in Cumming, Ga and in one of the very top school districts in all of Georgia.  It’s only two miles from GA 400, which is important to us since Dan has to commute each week to the airport, and who knows where I’ll work many years down the road once the kiddos are in school.  We wanted to be near a major interstate that can take us down to Alpharetta and Atlanta fairly quickly without too many back roads.  We also wanted to be close to restaurants, grocery stores, parks, libraries, hospital and good shopping without too much travel, and this place has it all.  Not to mention, the community is top notch with a gated entrance, olympic size swimming pool, lit tennis courts with viewing pavilion, etc.  AND it has sidewalks!  Living in a community for seven years without sidewalks REALLY sucks.  We do have a two mile loop with sidewalks, but there are just too many little turns in this subdivision, and with little kiddos and impatient drivers, it’s been a bit of a pain.

We also really craved a yard, something that is certainly lacking in this townhome where we only have public area surrounding us.  We got a basement lot with a slight slope that has about 20ft of grass in the front and 15 ft of grass in the back before it slopes into 30-35ft of woods (that we own) and then it’s nothing but forest that goes beyond that.  It is so hard to find homes with land! Especially new  homes, where most of them you can reach out and touch your neighbor. That’s great for low yard maintenance, but with the kiddos, I want somewhere they can run around.  It’ll also be nice for our dog who has been cooped up inside or leash walked for the six years we’ve had her. Also, it’s about two houses outside of a cul-de-sac! So, not too much thru-traffic, which will be great when the kids get older and start riding bikes.

Another priority is an office for Dan.  He currently uses our formal dining room that is open to the hallway (and our loud screaming, I mean sweetly soft spoken kiddos) isn’t so ideal during conference calls. So it’ll be nice for him to have an office that has doors, as well as a basement with two finished rooms and bathroom for the start of what will eventually be a man cave.  Another perk of this home is the loft area, which will be a “free for all” space for the kids to have a playroom, which will evolve into desks and study area when they’re older and in school. Also a place where I can sew, do arts and crafts, and any other activities with the kids.  I love that its in its own space instead of in the corner of our Master bedroom like it currently is.  It’s fine for now to have toys in our master bedroom, but it’ll be so nice to really have a “kid free” adult retreat where we don’t have to be woken by a toy that goes off in the toy box, or tripping over missed toys during clean-up on the way to the bathroom.

Here is a glimps at the home that we have decided on.  Some things are a little different than shown.  There is a carriage garage that will be added to the floorplan that will face outward and be home to our bikes, outdoor toys, lawn equipment, tool workshop (eventually)< etc. and the floorplan for the basement shows it entirely finished, but it will actually only be two rooms (media and bedroom) and one bathroom.

Elevation I of Greenville Plan

First Floor (without third car carriage garage shown)

Second Floor

Basement (partially finished to include Media, Bedroom and Bathroom)

We have however, had a few surprises since we put down the earnest money. It’s all been a learning process for us since it’s been seven years since we bought a house, and times have certainly changed since then with the market and banks. Apparently, in GA you can’t use a FHA loan for over $350k and anything over 417k is considered a “jumbo loan” and requires 20% down. Since Dan and I have been focusing on eliminating debt (we’re currently debt free with the exception on some revolving debt on one the credit card and our town home) we don’t have as much savings to do 20% down on a home… more like 5-10%. So, instead of financing a home over 417k like we originally had planned, since they require more money down, we’ll try to pay down the mortgage some in order to keep it below that magic number. This is going to require a lot of frugal discipline, but it is so worth it to us to get into a home with a great neighborhood and good school district. We were looking at other communities, and this is the one where I really felt like God was telling me that we belong, so if it is in God’s plan I know he will make it work for us!
We will also be using Marketplace homes to rent out this town home for a guaranteed rental rate (to possibly adjust slightly year-to-year) over the course of six years or until someone buys it. That will give us time for the market to recover so we can at least get our money out of the home and break even instead of losing money like we would in the current market. We’ve heard several success stories from this company, and we feel very confident about the company as a whole and what they have to offer. It’ll be such a peace of mind to have someone else handle the stress of new tenants especially in the first year where we’ll just be getting into a new home.

We’re excited about this big step, but know it’ll be a long hard six months! Lots of meetings, a new baby on the way, tight budget with no frills of big vacations or trips, prepping, packing, painting, cleaning, but it’ll be well worth the discipline in the end!

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