Investment Homes in Atlanta (College Park, Stone Mountain: section 8, for sale, real estate)
Please register to participate in our discussions with 1.5 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
First post on here, so please be nice I often come to City Data as I love reading posts about US cities and find it so fascinating. I live in the UK and am Italian by the way.
I am thinking of investing my savings into US real estate for both income (rental) and capital growth (house prices going up hopefully in the future) as in the UK things are going from bad to worst...
Many say Atlanta, Detroit, Buffalo... are the places to invest and after much research I think I will stick to Atlanta.
I will not visit these homes myself (yet) and have done a lot of research online, but nothing beats your local advice, so please tell me what you think.
PS I did go to Atlanta when I was about 15 but I don't think that can really count as market research, all I remember is the Coca Cola museum and the airport and planes flying low!
- what the areas are like (type of area, type of renters, crime, etc)
- value of such a house in such area in good condition (note that all of these houses are for sale for very similar prices, so if you think some should be worth more due to location, please let me know)
- where would YOU like to buy or rent if you had the choice (tell me your top 2 or 3 please)
- any other info!
These are the ones I have selected so far:
A. Drew Court, Jonesboro, 30238 (3 bed/1.5 bath, chalet style, part brick)
B. Essex Drive, Jonesboro, 30238 (3 bed/2 bath, chalet style, brick)
C. Hanover St, Fulton/College Park, 30349 (3 bed/2.5 bath, nice modern newish house in a street of new homes, but weirdly most seem for sale at low prices?!) The street is very near the airport, could this be a problem? The noise, the planes flying low... I was thinking it could attract renters that work at the airport...?
D. Greenhedge Way, Stone Mountain, 30088 (3 bed/2 bath, almost colonial style...maybe that is my european view! but very nice in my opinion)
E. O Brian Drive, Stone Mountain, 30088 (4 bed/2.5 baths, brick or stone)
F. St Christopher Court, Lithonia, 30058 (4bed/2bath, again a bit colonial style, white and pretty)
G. Briar Knoll, Lithonia, 30058 (3 bed/2 bath, quite imposing in a nice street it seems with big houses)
I know I am asking a lot... but I would appreciate any input, even if you only know about one street!
Your best bet is to come here and bid every first Tuesday of the month at the courthouse steps.
I'm looking into doing the same. Went with a friend that does a couple months ago. Now I'm just thinking about how I want to raise the capital. Removed - "Business proposals" aren't allowed (advertising)
Last edited by atlantagreg30127; 11-05-2010 at 08:01 AM..
You really need someone "on the ground" to check out the houses for you. It might look good in photos, but you need someone here to physically check out the property (ie damages, mold, weird/bad smells, etc). Also, what about the other houses on the street? Is the street mostly boarded up, majority foreclosed, declining area? Or is the house near an area or in a neighborhood that is declining? You then need to factor that plus any repairs that are needed inside...our properties in Atlanta took 3-6 months to rent out. So you need enough cash reserves to sit out the repair or vacancy time as well...
Our investment properties are inside Atlanta, and are giving us an average 15% net ROI (19% gross)...not too shabby. :P It goes down a bit as you work into the better areas imho. Good luck...We did all this from out of state, so it's possible for you to do this from the UK...just make sure you work with someone here.
Thank you for your replies My situation is slightly different as I would be buying via UK companies that have already done all the work. I.e. they bought them as foreclosures mainly, got them refurbished, got a full local management company to look after them, got them tenanted, and after that they resell them at a small profit so everyone is winning. I am fully aware that this way I am paying slightly over the odds (than buying a shack for $10000-15000 in foreclosure with possible debts/liens and lots of works to do) but it would suit me for the peace of mind especially since it is much harder to buy from the UK not having a US bank account and an IRS ITIN number (all things that are easier to setup once you have a property, so catch-22).
I have a friend who purchased a property that way a year ago in Detroit however, and she has been very happy and had no problems whatsoever, the management company takes care of everything. Although I do not want to buy there as I fear the house prices will never go up, I still liked the concept.
The houses and areas I was asking about are the selection I have made after a very long time researching all the different options and areas. Some I managed to view with Google Maps - Street View so I saw the state of other houses, but not all.
The guaranteed net ROI I would get on them is between 12.9% to 14.6% after property tax, insurance and management fees. (Of course then there is the IRS...). The tenants are usually via the HUD / Section 8 programme so the rent should mainly come from the government.
In the UK the BEST options I could find, and they are very rare and get snatched up in 2 secs, are for tiny vandalised foreclosed flats where you can get max 8% net before tax too, but your normal rental gets less.
Anyway back to the question, my problem is that I am finding it hard to detach "my heart" to "my brain". In the UK we don't have such big houses with so much land for such low prices. I live in a mortgaged terraced house with a very small yard, and it costs 5 times what one of the houses I am looking at costs... So it is somehow aspirational for me looking at nice US homes although I know they are not for me, it would be nice to know I own a nice big house in a decent/niceish area of Atlanta which I am renting out to good people.
If I only look on paper at the figures I know which houses I should go for, the ones with the highest ROI and the highest chance of appreciation in the next years. But I like the ones with the lowest or average ROI better (which are still decent ROIs) and think they may be more appealing for resale one day if things went wrong.
Oh I forgot to ask... on top of your thoughts on those streets in my first post, can you also plrease tell me what your thoughts are between the outside of homes. Most homes in the US and in the suburbs of Atlanta seem to be in the colonial style (wood?) / synthetic wood lock style (correct me with the right name plasea as I am not sure what the style is called). Only a few rare ones are in brick I think.
Do you Atlantans prefer brick homes or "wood lock style" ones? I would imagine brick homes are more durable in time and that wood (even if synthetic) might need maintenance. Can you give me some info?
I have brought many homes in Atlanta, i have family there even though i live in France. I spend alot of time in Atlanta . Lucky my family are in the refurb business and buy to let business. The main areas we focus on for the highest return is Lithionia and Stone Mountain . There are some super areas there for rental and capital growth. But you must know the areas and have the refurb teams in place. Most of the properties i buy need a lot spending on them . I pay alot more than $15,000 per house i can assure you . You would never ever get a property in these areas i invest in for that, try minim 2-3 times the amount. Then they need rehabb. We are talking about Atlanta an up market area not Bufalo or Chigaco. Any way good luck and get a company that know the area for resale and rental to help you . But Atlanta is a great oppertunity . Lana
Yeah, the courthouse steps is a cheap way to go - just make sure you preview the homes first, so you know what you're getting in to. Although there are plenty that don't even sell on the steps!
Stone Mountain has plenty of Freddie Macs and Fannie Maes these days - not to mention other lender foreclosures and short sales - many as low as $30K - of course, you get what you pay for! Yes, rehabs.
Get in touch with a local agent - they can set you up with listing service searches so that when things hit the market, you'll be automatically notified. They can also provide you with the current rental situation (availabilities, rates, etc - even property management services)
I agree that it helps to have someone local here to preview the homes - it's hard to blindly buy a home, although there's plenty around that do it.
I will also say that brick siding needs less maintenance than wood siding and provides good insulation as well (not knocking other types of siding - just sayin' ) Just be sure to check foundations, etc.
hey malou, will look at these properties and give some feedback. First, i'd like to know how the services are being offered/pitched to you. Just curious about what and how properties/investments are being sold and marketed.
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $53,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.
Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.