Prior to purchasing their home, the Claytons often drove through the North St. Mary’s neighborhood off Kennesaw Avenue near the historic Marietta Square. Jamie recalled her husband Cameron, a native of New Zealand, seeing their present home and saying, “I love that house.”
“We had always loved this neighborhood. We knew we wanted to head back this way,” Jamie said.
Attracted to the traditional look and setting of the home, the couple found out through a friend who lives close by that the home was going up for auction. “We couldn’t believe it,” Jamie said.
The Claytons’ Smyrna home was already on the market at the time. About a month before the auction, they received three offers in one week on the Smyrna home, making it possible to get their asking price.
“This was the beginning of the whole housing crisis. (The sale) gave us what we needed to go to the auction,” Jamie said.
One-hundred fifty people attended the auction. “I will never forget it,” she said.
The Claytons, who had a bottom line number that they could not bid over, purchased the home in the summer of 2007 within budget with $1,000 to spare.
“We bought it out on the front lawn, literally,” Jamie said. “It was amazing how it all worked.”
The couple did a few minor improvements to the 5-bedroom, 4.5-bath home and moved in September. They subsequently improved the kitchen area, one of their favorite parts of home.
“Before, the kitchen was cut off from the rest of the house,” Jamie said. “We opened the kitchen up to the rest of the house. It’s where we really live.”
During the kitchen renovation, the Claytons added a butler’s pantry and mudroom.
Jamie also loves her children’s rooms as well. The couple has three: Colby, 5, Lottie, 3, and Jake, 19 months.
“The kids’ rooms are spaces where I can still be a little whimsical and bright when decorating,” she said.
“Unless something crazy happens, this is definitely our forever house,” Jamie said. “We love it.”