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Old 11-09-2010, 11:54 AM
 
Location: long beach, ca
115 posts, read 299,485 times
Reputation: 59

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Hi -

My daughter will soon be graduating from college and hopes to work for the CDC in Atanta. We've been doing a little Internet house browsing, and see literally hundreds of houses that cost less than $100K, many far below that. I am confused how a house can cost so little. I looked at a list of over 50 houses that cost $30K!!

Is it the neighbor? Blighted, depressed, high crime areas with these low costs?

If that is the case, what are some neighbors to avoid or at least think twice (or thrice) about?

Any advice is greatly appreciated.
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Old 11-09-2010, 12:05 PM
 
Location: Inman Park (Atlanta, GA)
21,871 posts, read 12,747,135 times
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It's hard to comment about the homes without addresses and/or neighborhoods.

The old adage of "you get what you pay for" and "location, location, location" still apply to the current housing market.
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Old 11-09-2010, 12:34 PM
 
Location: Atlanta, GA
504 posts, read 1,303,499 times
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Trust me, I'm having to contend with ultra low house prices and not being able to sell my house. There are some near me going for under $20,000. Yeah, a lot of those will probably be foreclosures though. You'd have to deal with going through the process of buying the foreclosure from the bank, which from what I've heard can be a pain in the ... Some of the foreclosures could be a good deal. Some of the buildings could be in such disrepair that the cost of fixing them up would put you back at buying at a price that's much higher than the foreclosure from a regular home seller anyway. If you can check out the property and have an inspection then that would be the best thing. Most foreclosures are going to be sold "as is" though. So you don't know if all the timbers have been eaten away for years by termites or water damage or what. So George Chong is right, you really do sometimes "get what you pay for". My neighbor bought the house next to me in SE Decatur for $18,500. All the pipes had been stolen. Most of the wiring was gone in the house. All drywall destroyed to get to said wiring. Most of the boards at the top of the house have been rotting. There were probably about 8 different renters in that house over the tens years I lived there. So the upkeep hadn't been that great. He's been working on getting the house back in shape. Which I'm really glad to have. Most everything he's now fixed. To reference George's great advice again, you will need to look into the different neighborhoods these places are in. If you could give more info on where she might be working etc we could probably give you better advice. If you want to post back here or PM me neighborhoods or zip codes I can give you a really good idea of what the situation is for different areas.
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Old 11-09-2010, 12:38 PM
 
Location: Atlanta, GA
504 posts, read 1,303,499 times
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Oops, sorry, I do realize now that you said she would be working near CDC. But if you could give us an idea of where specifically you're finding these houses, I can help.
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Old 11-09-2010, 12:54 PM
 
Location: long beach, ca
115 posts, read 299,485 times
Reputation: 59
She hopes to be working in zip code 30333. I looked again and one of the areas is Fulton County zip code 30314 - 30318. You are correct that these houses generally seem to be bank sales.

She's still in school for another several months, so this is really more speculatation about housing and schools (she has two small boys). I really appreciate your input.
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Old 11-09-2010, 12:59 PM
 
Location: Avondale Estates
426 posts, read 2,109,794 times
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Alot of Atlanta's intown communities were in the process of being gentrified by speculators when the housing crash hit Atlanta. Many of these homes never sold. Some were boarded up, some sit vacant, others have burned down. For the price you're talking about I am thinking those homes would be located in Atlanta's worst southside and westside neighborhoods. These neigborhoods are more like slums for the most part. They are extreemly high with crime, terrible schools, terrible roads, lowly policed, some emergency services will not serve these areas without an escort, etc. The homes are priced so low(as low as $2000) because no one wants to live there. The majority of the population are addicts and older folks who have decided to stay in their communities for better or worse. Most of these commnities appear to be largely abandoned.

After the recession these areas will continue to rise again. Pre recession, not enough new blood moved into the neighborhoods to make them desirable. Prices will go up eventually due to their close distances to downtown Atlanta, which is going through a resurgance as well.

Some of the neighborhoods I am speaking of are: Mechanicsville, Adair Park, Beenteen Hills, Vine City, Bankhead, Grove Park, Sylvan Hills, and Perkerson Park. All of these commnities are close to 100% black neighborhoods. Almost everywhere nationwide any home in a majority black neighborhood will be appraised less than a comp in a white commnity, regardless of the grandness or affluence of the commnity. As these areas see more diversity, home prices will start to rise. While buying a few of these homes might be a great investment for the future, I am not sure you would want to put your daughter in such an environment. There are deals to be had in Atlanta proper but not for $30,000.
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Old 11-09-2010, 01:09 PM
 
Location: long beach, ca
115 posts, read 299,485 times
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Thanks StVincent - that's the type of information I need sitting across the country looking on the Internet. We plan a visit this summer, first to Savanah and then to Atlanta to check out the city, neighborhoods, and schools.

Can you tell me some areas that are more diverse with a mix of black and white? A nice place where people are accepting of differences and can live together? Good public schools though private school may be an option.

If she can consider a housing budget of 150K does that get her in a nicer place?
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Old 11-09-2010, 01:20 PM
 
Location: Atlanta, GA
504 posts, read 1,303,499 times
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Yeah, that 150k price seems more reasonable. I think to many people are getting caught up in the low prices. I would avoid all the neighborhoods that stvincent mentioned for now. They will come back around one day, but I'm sure she doesn't want to put up with all the BS that goes with living in places like that. Here are a few recommendations for places to look. Some of these might be out of the price range, but I'm sure some deals can be had. The wife and I live in Chamblee now, which I like and it's close to Emory University where the CDC is located.

Druid Hills
Brookhaven
Ashford-Dunwoody
Toco Hills
Northlake
Tucker (recommend inside the perimeter somewhat near I-285. Outside is nice, but is going to be farther out and more expensive. Farther in towards Atlanta on LaVista will be more expensive also.)
City of Decatur (The actual city is called this, the outside area that covers a good bit of southern DeKalb County is also referred to as just Decatur)
There are others I'm sure you could look at but I would start in some of those areas..
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Old 11-09-2010, 01:23 PM
 
Location: Atlanta, GA
504 posts, read 1,303,499 times
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PS Savannah's historic center is great. I really like the city. If you have any time you might visit Charleston also. Both are very historic Southern cities with a good deal of architecture left intact from the before the Civil War.
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Old 11-09-2010, 02:22 PM
 
Location: Avondale Estates
426 posts, read 2,109,794 times
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If she is need of good public schools, with that price range, she would be banished to the suburbs, to cities like Lawrenceville. She'd be looking at about a 45 minute to an hour commute. If she would want to stay in the city of Atlanta there are far better living options in the $100,000 to $150,000 price range. In that range you would be able to find the "deals" I was talking about. Private schools in Atlanta are expensive. Could cost about $35,000 a year for 2 kids. With that kind of price tag, she might as well up her home budget and try to get into a better public school district.

Below is a home in the gentrified and gentrifying areas of Grant Park, Summerhill, Peoplestown, and Ormewood Park. I don't know the specific boundries of these neighborhoods and this home kind of sits on the border of all of them. The area is still transitional but she would see a great return on her money in the future, say the next 5-10 years or so. It's only $109,900.

http://http://dorseyalston.com/propertyfinder/propertyDetails.php?Type=RES&prop_type=&id=4131621 (broken link)

It's under contract but you said she would not be moving until the summer so it's just to give you an idea of the area of intown Atlanta that is cheap at the moment and will see home prices rise significantly in the future. Even though alot of the homes are nice in these intown neighborhoods, many don't have children yet, they're very young neighborhoods. Schools are not there yet.

And as for good schools, in intown Atlanta all the good schools are located in the more expensive neighborhoods. She could try to look at some of the charter schools popping up accross the city. I can't speak though as to whether these schools are actually any better than the local neighborhood schools. Hopefully they are...
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