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

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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...]

Finding value in Intown Atlanta lofts

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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...]

True shadow inventory in Intown Atlanta

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I speak with agents and other players in the real estate business everyday and one subject that seems to creep up lately is “shadow inventory.” Shadow inventory includes properties that are abandoned by their former owner, typically due to foreclosure, plus a few other oddities. Here’s a better definition, from Investopedia: “real estate properties that are either in foreclosure and have not yet been sold or homes that owners are delaying putting on the market until prices improve. Shadow inventory can create uncertainty about the best time to sell (for owners) and when a local market can expect full recovery. Also, shadow inventory typically causes reported data on housing inventory to understate the actual number of inventory in the market…” Here’ s local example – a house listed for short sale in Ormewood Park for a few months in 2009. The sellers failed to sell, and were notified that the bank seized their property in foreclosure in December 2009. Nearly 20 … [Read more...]

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

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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...]

Percentage Amount of Seller Paid Closing Costs Remains Steady for Intown Closings

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Sellers in Intown Atlanta and Decatur paid some, or all, of their Buyer’s closing costs in 71% of the transactions through June, 2008, which is nearly the same as in the last two years... Greg the Pricemaster studied the following submarkets with our micro-numbers guru, Chartmaster Chuck to come up with our conclusions: 1. Ansley Park and Morningside southward to Inman Park and Reynoldstown - that includes Midtown and VAHI 2. Eastside Atlanta Dekalb - the neighborhoods East of Moreland and Briarcliff, plus Johnson Estates and southward to Edgewood and Kirkwood - all North of I20 3. Southside Atlanta Fulton - Grant Park, Summerhill, Boulevard Heights, Ormewood Park, EAV 4. Greater Decatur - South of Mercer U, down to I20 at South Dekalb Mall Based on my experience, these numbers seem even higher  - like 90% of the time or more. That being said, I've also experienced two transactions this Summer where appraisal almost caused the deal to fall apart and the … [Read more...]

Median Sales Price Differences in Intown Atlanta

Median Sales Price as a %age of Original List Price

Here's another eye opener...we've seen this trend for a long, long time - at least since The Rootdown Group got started in April 2004...but...in Intown Atlanta, which we define thusly: 1. Ansley Park and Morningside southward to Inman Park and Reynoldstown - that includes Midtown and VAHI 2. Eastside Atlanta Dekalb - the neighborhoods East of Moreland and Briarcliff, plus Johnson Estates and southward to Edgewood and Kirkwood - all North of I20 3. Southside Atlanta Fulton - Grant Park, Summerhill, Boulevard Heights, Ormewood Park, EAV 4. Greater Decatur - South of Mercer U, down to I20 at South Dekalb Mall ...We see, that for the first half of 2008: 1. The median of the sales price as a percentage of the original list price dropped to its lowest level in three years during 1Q 2008 and, although higher than in 1Q, remained historically low through 2Q 2008   2. The 2Q 2008 percentage is nearly the same as in the greater metro Atlanta area   So, at 92.6% of … [Read more...]