Think about it. You like White Columns for the larger lots, the better atmosphere.... all because you like more open spaces. Home is where you go to relax. If you wanted convenience, then Laurel Springs is it, but it's also buying a different lifestyle.
My suggestion is WC, BECAUSE it's less convenient.
When you send listings from FMLS, the link to the FMLS neighborhoods isn't available--that can only be accessed by agents. I don't know why--it seems like it would be a good thing for FMLS to include. Maybe we should all recommend it to them.
Make sure your agents are full time! This way they should be able to put full effort into helping you!
Having recently relocated to North Atlanta myself, I can completely sympathize with your situation! Just by reading your question, I would have to say White Columns will be better for your family long term. And even short term, as that part of Alpharetta is certainly up and coming, and frankly not far at all from many conveniences. I have a listing in Hopewell Plantation, and have found from my home in Roswell, the trip takes about 15 minutes. I do take the back roads, and pass several new shopping plazas on the way.
I would love to help you narrow down your selection. Please let me know if you need more specific advise!
Keller Williams Realty Consultants
I am a Golf Professional and a Realtor with a focus on Golf communities. My personal opinion would be White Columns for the golf course location and the membership. Traffic will be an issue around Laurel Springs. Please give me a call if you have any questions about the differences in the clubs.