But if you”ve got a chunk of change in your pocket and live in Gwinnett County, you are in luck. Around here, $500,000 gets you your money”s worth and then some. Not only can you buy a gorgeous, brand new home with five bedrooms and four bathrooms, plus gourmet kitchen and finished basement; you also get the neighborhood that goes with it.
But what makes a subdivision a neighborhood?
"Lots of things. Of course, the people. If you see neighbors out and about, kids playing or someone simply putting a hand up to wave, it makes a difference. Sometimes I relate it to the movie Funny Farm with Chevy Chase where they tried to create the Normal Rockwell feel while selling their farmhouse and paid the neighbors to be friendly! Other things that help make it a neighborhood are sidewalks, a swimming pool, tennis courts, playgrounds, trees and green space," said Emily Webb, an associate broker with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Lawrenceville.
"Clients usually know what they are looking for and can “feel” it when we get there. If they don”t care for the feel of the neighborhood, we usually bypass those homes. There is a neighborhood personality for every buyer…it”s finding the right one that”s key!" said Webb.
So what”s your neighborhood personality? Are you a golfer? A tennis queen? A nature lover? Or are you simply looking for a home with character in a charming community? Well, here”s a tour of what you”ll find for $500,000 and up.
If you”re looking for charm, Sweet Bottom Plantation in Duluth evokes the feeling of the Deep South. You can imagine the homes draped in wisteria and almost see the shadows cast by giant oak trees hung with Spanish moss. With styles ranging from those you”d see on an old plantation or in the French Quarter, the neighborhood exudes charm and character. A swim and tennis community, Sweet Bottom has a swimming pool with clubhouse, two tennis courts with viewing areas and a playground. Approximately 145 homes, from the high $400s to more than $3 million, make up the neighborhood, with some estate homes located on the Chattahoochee River.
For those who”d rather have Old World charm, Oxley Village in Château Élan features enchanting homes. Just past the rolling vineyards down from the French Provincial Winery, you”ll enter the luxury community 400 years in the making. English and French inspired houses stand gracefully side-by-side. Exteriors feature stone, brick, half-timberings, ornate chimneys, cross gables and steep rooflines broken by turrets. Cornerstones mark the date of completion. Interiors are more contemporary, the footprint more open and fixtures state-of-the-art. Oxley Village combines today”s most popular layouts with the craftsmanship that built Europe”s finest homes. Living in a neighborhood like Oxley Village is a return in time.
Speaking of returning, nothing gives a sense of security like a gated community. The River Club in Suwanee features private access to this neighborhood located near the Chattahoochee River with homes from the $900s. Though the European and American classical design-inspired homes are magnificent, the amenities here truly make it a community. A championship golf course designed by golf great Greg Norman is the focal point of The River Club. Families are also important here as evidenced by the Family Sports Center that features eight lighted tennis courts, a swimming pool, toddler pool, fitn