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Old 06-26-2007, 12:11 PM
 
64 posts, read 152,603 times
Reputation: 69

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My wife and I will begin house hunting next week. We both work in the Chamblee/Dunwoody area and are moving from Henry County. We are African American, mid-twenties, graduate level education, income range $120K-150K depending on bonuses, overtime, etc, and are looking for an established neighborhood on the north side that will welcome us with open arms. We have a one year old son who will probably be home schooled, enjoy urban music, cookouts with friends and family, outdoor suarees, and we just simply love life. We are looking to buy in the 450k-650K range. We will definately need a large deck to entertain guest and a flexible HOA if any. We would like to keep the commute time under 30 minutes, and prefer Johns Creek, but we also love the Dunwoody area, and Sandy Springs is also on our radar. My wife is a little apprehensive about moving to the north side and is concerned with whether or not we will fit in and is also worried about profiling, but I am eager, excited, and willing. Any suggestions on which area would be the best fit?
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Old 06-26-2007, 12:51 PM
Noc
 
1,319 posts, read 1,724,475 times
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Where ever you decide to move let me know b/c you are the kind or neighbors I want My wife and I with our 1 year old daughter plan on moving to ATL next year and we are pretty much the same as you've described. We also are planning on living in Sandy Spring, Buckhead area.
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Old 06-26-2007, 01:08 PM
 
9,124 posts, read 32,098,244 times
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I can't comment directly on where to look, but I can say that your budget may be pushing the envelope a bit unless you've got a huge downpayment available. While the mortgage companies and banks have been running loosey-goosey for the past few years, they've started pulling back the reins and going back to the old standards for mortgage ratios. Without knowing what your finances are, the only rule of thumb that I can apply is that based on 3x income, you'll likely qualify for a $360-450k mortgage. Also, if your income is fluctuating around 20% based on OT and bonuses, I'd figure on them considering the lower end of that range ($120k), so you're probably more in the $360k mortgage range.

Also, define "flexible" HOA- what are you looking for them to be "flexible" on? That alone could help narrow down your search.

Bob
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Old 06-26-2007, 01:23 PM
 
64 posts, read 152,603 times
Reputation: 69
Earlier this year we inherited a property in Charleston and we have been pre-approved based on a pending sale that is scheduled to close in two weeks. So we are hardly priced out of the 650K range. As, far as flexible goes, some communities have restrictions on parking, music after a certain hour, etc...The $360K range is far below what we are looking for. But thanks for the input.
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Old 06-26-2007, 02:02 PM
 
Location: Halfway between Number 4 Privet Drive and Forks, WA
1,516 posts, read 4,126,675 times
Reputation: 650
I thought lenders general rule of thumb was 2x annual salary...and you have to factor in true debt (car loan (s), credit card(s), etc...)

I guess that's how the lenders got the housing sector into the mess it's in?
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Old 06-26-2007, 02:58 PM
 
9,124 posts, read 32,098,244 times
Reputation: 3519
Quote:
Originally Posted by dejuan2 View Post
Earlier this year we inherited a property in Charleston and we have been pre-approved based on a pending sale that is scheduled to close in two weeks. So we are hardly priced out of the 650K range. As, far as flexible goes, some communities have restrictions on parking, music after a certain hour, etc...The $360K range is far below what we are looking for. But thanks for the input.
Well, as I said, there was no info to go on other than the salary, so that's where the $360k number came from. You posted your salary for a reason, I'm assuming, so I used it for what I thought was the reason.

And yes, most communities do have restrictions on parking, noise, etc., especially in the price range you're considering, and rightfully so. If someone is going to sink $650k into a house, it's not unreasonable for them to expect a little peace and quiet after 10pm, to expect to be able to drive down the street without weaving in and out between cars parked up and down both sides, etc. Even in the $300k subdivision we're buying in, we specifically looked for such things- if my neighbor wants to have a rusty 1934 ratrod to play with, that's his choice, and he can keep it in the garage with the door closed while he wrenches on it- not in the driveway with the mufflers uncorked at 9am on Sunday while he "adjusts the idle".

Again, I don't know what exactly you're looking for as far as parking ability, or what times you'd like to play music until, but it sounds like you're going to find many subdivisions extremely limiting.

Bob
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Old 06-26-2007, 04:13 PM
 
Location: Atlanta, GA
1,405 posts, read 4,230,034 times
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In the areas that you are describing, people tend to call the police if music is played after a certain hour, homeowners assoc. notwithstanding.
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Old 06-26-2007, 04:23 PM
 
75 posts, read 286,827 times
Reputation: 27
I think where ever you live you want to be sure that the community you move to is a place you and your family will feel comfortable. You want to be sure that property values are maintained after alll this purchase will be an investment. Based on the information you've provided I think you have nothing to worry about when you talk about "fitting in".
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Old 06-26-2007, 07:23 PM
 
3,966 posts, read 10,798,205 times
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I think you need a neighborhood that is mostly young families. I also know that in most neighborhoods there will always be a neighbor that calls the police to complain about noise... Every neighborhood has its' busybodies.

Perhaps what you are looking for is a house with a big lot... and that is hard to find, even in your price range, in Dunwoody or Sandy Springs. In Dunwoody, I have a friend, who says that the Dunwoody Homeowners Association, fusses if people have cars parked on the grass. The DHA is great at protecting home values in that community, though, so it is a trade off.

I was at a party in Dunwoody Club Forest recently and one of the host's neighbors came over to fuss because of how one of the guests had parked (on the wrong side of the street).

I don't think you have to worry about profiling... Dunwoody and Sandy Springs are both pretty diverse, just look at their school demographics. Can't tell you much about John's Creek -- though of the three, I think the schools are the best up there.
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