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For $400k – $450k is Kirkwood or Ormewood Park a better long-term investment?


This question surfaced on Trulia Voices today. Here’s my answer: Two big police beats per neighborhood. If you want to really dissect things, draw lines at the major commercial/retail borders and the railroad borders, and look at all 4 of the beat books. From there, look where the $400-450s consistently sell. As examples, Hawthorn Park is coming back in Kirkwood - back to prices above 2003-2004 new builder sales prices with unfinished basements and attics around $400ish... Same with Stoney River, Greystone, or Springdale builds on nice lots in Ormewood Park. Both have active neighborhood organizations and some streets are generally better than others for "quiet, tree lined" living. Both neighborhoods still have a few gravel roads left too. Old school. For $400-450K, without factoring in a specific need for one particular school district over the other, and without factoring in a particular commute or convenience requirement, it's a toss up based on the … [Read more...]

Lockbox or by appointment only?


A seller on Trulia asked me: What is your opinion regarding the use of a lock box vs. showing by appointment only? “Lockbox, but... How long do you plan for your house to be on the market? This is all about price, and your non-negotiable terms, and making those very simple for buyers to understand. At a take it or leave it price, you will attract 8-10 showings and your Realtor will line them up over like 2 or three days. You probably have a reasonable take it or leave it price in mind - use that. It's your market in almost every submarket across Atlanta because there are probably buyers clamoring for exactly what you have to sell. Take offers - call for highest and best - don't accept a single one if they are not a win-win. Plan B starts if it's not under contract after three days on market. Better than implementing plan B next season. Plan B should start with a lockbox, 95% of the time. But first, reconsider plan A. There is tremendous certainty in this market for savvy … [Read more...]

Finding value in Intown Atlanta lofts


My 6 showings of lofts in Castleberry Hill yesterday made me think of some of the considerations that buyers must make when choosing a loft as a “primary residential” lifestyle choice - this is a hyperlink to a question on Trulia Voices that I answered about this subject, and here is some of the dialogue: “I've been to Castleberry Hill for a couple of the Art Strolls and nights out...seems like a pretty hip area. I travel for work (70% of the time), but don't want to be down by the airport. Looking to stay out of the suburbs. Any other viable options - Decent nightlife, nice restaurants in the area, easy access to interstates, in the city without the suburban feel. East Lake is nice, but has a suburban feel.” I answered: I like Castleberry Hill as long as you choose a good community, watch out for insolvency and understand that resale factors in the general neighborhood of Castleberry Hill, are a building by building consideration. Plenty of buildings down there outsell the … [Read more...]

HENSE the name, hence the acclaim

I was at an Atlanta Falcons tailgate party about three years ago, down in “The Gulch.” “The Gulch” is going to be the subject of another blog post soon, but in the meantime – if you don’t know about “The Gulch” and want to know exactly what it is – click here. I looked up, and saw that on the very top of an old, decrepit building that sits at the edge of the US federal government buildings was a massive graffiti name tag  - actually two tags – quite an accomplishment, and because of the limited and probably dangerous access, quite an effort just to get the names up there. Those nicknames, HENSE and BORN have been tags that I have seen for years around town. I have immense respect for the staying power of GREAT graffiti artists. I have immense disrespect for those who vandalize, and I tried to run off untalented taggers when I was living in Inman Park – so to me, the HENSE and BORN tags on top of the dilapidated building are artistic, cool and worthy of … [Read more...]

What exactly is “culture” in a real estate office?

Concentricity. Ever heard that word? It means “to have a common center.” I just learned that in the world of fiber optics, the definition of concentricity is about being “well-centered.” At any given real estate brokerage office with more than a few agents on staff, even the most free-wheeling and independent agents are part of the culture – the good, the bad, and the ugly. At my “market center” in Decatur, Georgia – we live up to the title of market center. We sit in the center of our core submarkets and we dominate the numbers in FMLS Area 52 – the “Greater Decatur” submarket. We also have significant market share in the nearby areas both inside and outside the perimeter. How do we do it? Well, pretty much just like other successful, mature Keller Williams market centers do it. 1. provide the The Best Technology tools to our agents As technology continues to transform the ways in which buyers search for homes and real estate professionals … [Read more...]

The secrets to finding a buyer in the Intown Atlanta real estate market


Many different features attract buyers to a real estate purchase, but the seller only has control over two of them. Sellers can still get the highest possible list-to-sell ratio and sell their homes as quickly as possible if they are willing to put their trust in two time trusted principles of real estate: condition and price. Since 72% of all sales transactions are “equity” transactions – not distressed, not some odd luxury transaction and not an estate sale, the chances are favorable for sellers who “get it.” Here are the the top ten features that attract buyers according to the Keller Williams Realty International survey conducted for our 2011 Market Navigator booklet. 1. Location – favored by 69% of buyers 2. Neighborhood – favored by 55% of buyers 2. Floor plan – favored by 37% of buyers 3. Updates to the house – favored by 36% of buyers 4. Curb appeal – favored by 30% of buyers 5. Square footage – favored by 28% of buyers 6. Back yard – favored … [Read more...]