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Old 06-26-2007, 05:12 PM
877 posts, read 2,355,228 times
Reputation: 1410


I have been looking for a home now for 2 months...I ideally wanted something new in either Alpharetta and Roswell and I fell in love with the west side of roswell because it is closer to the city than north Alpharetta where I was looking. So I found two townhomes practically across the street from each other, one is a Beazer subdivision called Manchester and the other is John Wieland called the heritage at roswell...I never thought I would ever buy a townhouse due to what I perceive as tough to resell...please convince me that it is okay....I am single and it is only me so do not need yard etc. But I just don't know if a townhome is a good buy.
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Old 06-26-2007, 05:32 PM
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hmmmm...what is it you want in a home? Yes, townhomes are harder to resell because they appeal to a smaller market of buyers. Single family homes appeal to everyone and that's why they are easier to sell. If you don't want the hassle of mowing a yard and maintaining the outside of your house, and that's really important to you then it may be a good option. If the most important thing for you is to be able to sell fast and maximize profit, then maybe not.

However, I think the Wieland townhome will resell better than the Beazer home. Wieland has an excellent repuation and that will help you when you market it in the future.

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Old 06-26-2007, 05:43 PM
877 posts, read 2,355,228 times
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I wanted a single family home because I liked the idea of a backyard and sitting on my deck in the back and having a degree of privacy. As for the yard work, I would hire a service anyway. But I am thinking that a deck is possible with a townhome and less privacy may be a compromise. I do plan on selling in five years so thanks for advice on Wieland as resale is critical.
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Old 06-26-2007, 06:20 PM
908 posts, read 3,380,179 times
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Dens, my wife and I are in a similar position. We can't seem to decide if we want a home or townhome. A townhome would normally be ideal for us, since we don't need a lot of space, we're not DIYers, and we love the modern designs of new townhomes. We've really liked the townhomes we've seen in Roswell and south Alpharetta (our favorite was John Weiland's Westwood Park).

However, the resale prospects for suburban townhomes really worries me. They do well in places like Dunwoody and Sandy Springs, where there are a lot of young couples without kids. But the vast majority of people moving to Roswell/alpharetta are going to be families that want an actual house.

Also, resale might be good if there weren't that many townhome communities, but there are so many being built in N. Fulton. I just did a search, and there are 493 townhomes in roswell/alpharetta for sale that were built 2005 or later (and 1225 total!).

We still may end up in a townhome, especially since our budget might not get us a great house. But just be weary of the fact that resale could be tough, and appreciation could be low. On the plus side, at least you're looking at a Weiland- they have great reputations and I'm sure would do better than other townhomes.

Last edited by Go Blue 99; 06-26-2007 at 06:53 PM..
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Old 06-26-2007, 06:26 PM
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Oh thank you so much, it is so good to see someone else in a similar situation. I appreciate your frank and honest assessment.
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Old 06-26-2007, 08:40 PM
Location: West Cobb County, GA (Atlanta metro)
9,190 posts, read 29,570,003 times
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Years ago condos and townhomes were considered a big nono by realtors in the area and had horrible resale values. In the last few years though, we've had such a huge number of transplants move here from other cities where townhomes are more common, that this is fading away and they've gained more popularity than they once did. 15 years ago you'd be hard pressed to get anything close to your value from a condo or townhouse. Today, you can make money if you upgrade it right and it's in a popular area.

Things to watch out for:

1) You've mentioned two specific builders of townhomes so this probably won't apply, but, there are a lot of "conversions" going on around here. That is, apartments and apartment townhomes that are being converted into sellable units. Apartments are built to pretty crappy codes in Atlanta and a dedicated townhouse/condo will most likely be built much better than a conversion. Make sure what you're buying was built as single family homes and not apartments originally.

2) Make sure there are firewalls in-between each unit, that extend into and through the attic space to the roofline at least. There have been cases where some will have flimsy "fire resistant" sheetrock walls between several units and only a good concrete firewall every-other unit or so. Some builders do it RIGHT and put the good concrete barriers in-between each unit. Look for those. Some also have been known to not carry the firewall through the attic, or to have gaps in the wall for wires and pipes to go through without properly sealing them. Have a home inspector check for this. A firewall should cover basement to roofline.

3) Likewise, look for sprinklers. Some builders are now including sprinkler systems in their units - not all are putting them in, though. A sprinkler can make all the difference in the world if your neighbor's kid decides to play with matches, or someone falls asleep in bed with a cig. If you have a good firewall and all units have sprinklers, there's a good chance your unit won't even have major damage even if your neighbor catches on fire.

4) If you are looking in a busy part of town and/or the entrance to your community is on or close to a very busy road, look for a place where there's a traffic signal dedicated to the exit/entrance. I know folks who live in subdivisions that are on stretches so busy during rush hour it can take them 15-20 minutes just to get out of their neighborhood! If there's a light there, it'll make life easier.
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Old 06-27-2007, 08:39 AM
Location: I live in Dekalb county in the Dunwoody area just outside of 285
18 posts, read 70,287 times
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I don't know what "atlantagreg30127" is talking about when he says townhomes aren't a no no anymore. just by the shear number of homes in general on the market i don't need to tell you that it's a tough market to sell a townhome or condo. I'm amazed at the number of new construction TH and C's going up. but a new unit is always easier to sell than a resale since the builder can offer incentives like new appliaces, money and now they are even offering trips and cars. does that tell you anything?
with all that being said, the part of what to look for that "atlantagreg30127" mentioned is correct. in addition, at the end of the day, it is your home and you have to be comfortable in it. just know that you make your money when you purchase. so make sure if you are not using a real estate agent that you negotiate a great deal because when it's time to sell, you will also need to offer a good deal. I have clients whom i've sold townhomes and condos to because it was what was right for them. they clearly understood that they wouldn't be making a killing when selling and that was fine with them.
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Old 06-27-2007, 09:35 PM
Location: West Cobb County, GA (Atlanta metro)
9,190 posts, read 29,570,003 times
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Originally Posted by donac View Post
I don't know what "atlantagreg30127" is talking about when he says townhomes aren't a no no anymore. just by the shear number of homes in general on the market i don't need to tell you that it's a tough market to sell a townhome
Well, Atlantagreg does know what he's talking about.

In the last two years I've known 3 people who have sold townhomes. The latest was about 4 months ago. He bought it for $149,000 three years prior and sold it for $182,000. Likewise not much longer ago I know someone who bought a fairly nice upper-end townhome in the $250s and recently sold it for just under $300k. Both had a few small upgrades here and there since they were bought, and both times the people moved out of them and had them "show ready" when the open houses were scheduled.

So yes, it's possible to sell and make money on a townhome if you own one that is quality built, you've done as many upgrades yourself as you can as opposed to spending $$$ on them, and they're in sought-after areas. Of course, if you buy a cheap plywood 1100 square foot townhouse in Boohicky burbia 30 miles outside of town, yes, it will be hard to resell.

Regarding condos - if you bought into a reasonably priced condo a few years ago (example... $80k to $120k or so) and have kept it up and done the upgrades, and put it on the market now, yes, you can sell it. Atlanta is becoming saturated with high-priced units in highrises that are in the $190k to $350k range. Yes, if you buy into one of THOSE, you may have a hard time unloading it as there are just so many of them there. There are however, condo buyers moving into the Atlanta area every day looking for reasonably priced condos, which are more rare to find. A coworker of mine at my last job a few years back bought a 2BR/2BA condo in the Ashford/Dunwoody area for $85k in the mid 90s. I had dinner with him a few weeks ago and he just recently sold it for around $150k easily.. again, upgrades, popular area, etc., but it sold in less than two months of him putting it on the market, and he did it via one of the Buy Owner programs instead of even using a realtor.

So there ARE people moving into the Atlanta area in the market for townhomes and condos. They're just not looking to spend half a million dollars on one. There's plenty of money to be made if you have one that's well built, and that you aren't trying to create an instant retirement fund by reselling it at too high a markup based on what you paid for it. Yes, avoid the high-dollar, highrise units - but there's more out there than just those.
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Old 06-28-2007, 06:40 AM
Location: Atlanta, GA
1,123 posts, read 5,615,196 times
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I agree with the guy who said just find something you like, that meets your needs, and buy it to enjoy it. My wife and I are currently trying to sell our townhome and it's been a pain in the ass, but I wouldn't give up the time we spent there the last 2.5 years. We could not afford a single family home we liked in the area we wanted, so the townhome was the next best thing. Granted, our two biggest competitors have both sold now, so hopefully we are next! Been on the market for almost 4 months now, dropped the price $10k. Also, we are competing with new construction in our same development, so that is tough. My one recommendation would be to go for a 3 bedroom townhome over a 2 bedroom - you open yourself up to smaller families and the market is not quite as saturated.

A friend of mine bought a 3 bedroom condo for $370k in Vinings, and sold it 2 years later for $420k (last year) so anything is possible. Just make a smart buy and try to get a unit that differentiates itself from the market - either a nice elevation or superior location. In my case, I back to nothing but protected woods, and feel we would have sold if we were going against a corporate owned unit that slashed it's price and an end unit with extra finished space. My townhome is a Wieland and it's been great - I would say that that name has helped get a lot more traffic in the door than some of the other complexes around here!
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Old 06-28-2007, 06:54 AM
877 posts, read 2,355,228 times
Reputation: 1410
This is exactly the type of information I need..all of you that have contributed have given throrough and forthright advice, it is one of the best threads based on the quality of the responses. So Saturday I head to Roswell to look at the Wieland and the Beazer...I would love to get the Wieland just based on reputation but dollars may not allow it but we shall see. Funny enough, they are supposedly across the street from each other.
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