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Old 08-20-2007, 06:57 PM
25 posts, read 108,292 times
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My wife and I are planning to buy a house and we have been looking at the Kirkwood and Oakhurst areas recently. I have heard a lot of good things about these neigborhoods. We are leaning towards Oakhurst because it is in Decatur so the schools are better (though we do not have a child at the moment, we are planning to start a family and that it will be easier if/when we want to relocate) and safety is better there.

To get a better feeling of the neigborhood, we often go there to walk around and have a drink, dinner, etc. We saw this house on Oakview Dr. which is basically facing the downtown Oakhurst. It is just behind the Solarium. It sits on a kind of small hilltop, a very visible house. It is a nice looking house with a lot of space. It does not have a garage but the seller is trying to get a permit for it. It has 4 bedrooms 3.5 bath with a finished two room basement with a separate entrance. The asking price is about 100K less than the appraisel value. Although we are a small family now, we plan to have children and our parents will visit us very often. Another thing about the location of the house is that, although we like the quiet, peaceful feeling in Oakhurst, we also like to be close to the bars, restaurants, cafes. I would just like to get a feeling of Oakhurst and the house (if you know about it) from the residents in the area. Any input will be appreciated.

I like the neighborhood feeling and the fact that people are very friendly. Another reason we consider Oakhurst is that we would like to make a good investment so the fact that Oakhurst is still somewhat up and coming is appealing to us. We know that the days of 10-15 percent appreciation of houses are over but how do you see oakhurst 5-7 years from now.

Thanks for your thoughts.
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Old 08-21-2007, 02:54 PM
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Personally, I like Oakhurst because of the cluster of restaurants, bars, etc. There are parts of the area that I would consider 'shady' and parts that are great.

OK...I'm just some guy on a message board (although I like to think that an MBA helps my credibility), but I would only buy a place right now if you feel comfortable staying 10 years or aren't worried about losing money at re-sale after paying ~8% in selling costs.

I'd recommend looking at the foreclosures in that area - there are a lot. The adjacent neighborhoods of Kirkwood and Edgewood WERE 'coming up', but now I think they might stall for a while. Lots of foreclosures. With credit markets tightening considerably and home inventories over 12 months already for the metro area, I think the party is finally winding down. Expect more foreclosures next year than this year. What I'm trying to say is, if you like Oakhurst the way it is, you'll be fine. If you're hoping that revitalization continues to spread...I doubt in the near term.

A house is going back to what is always used to be - something to 'buy' (or rent from a bank, really, if you don't put much down) to live in for a long time. Maybe you'll make a little money. If you want an investment, buy something liquid like an index fund and don't invest more than you are willing to lose. Despite what people like to say, real estate is NOT always a good investment. Even San Fran depreciated in the early 90s.

All of that being said, I have plenty of confidence in intown Atlanta in the long-run (10 years) because of the expected continued population growth and desirability of intown living.

It's pretty simple to look at the percent of income that people have been spending on housing expenses and the type of loans that were taken out (not just sub-prime...all those ARMs) and realize that it's just not sustainable. Housing price increases should track with inflation and income increases, more or less, over time.

Sorry for the rant...just wanted to get my opinions out for anyone else reading...sorry that I added much more than just my opinion on Oakhurst. Best of luck.
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Old 08-21-2007, 06:48 PM
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I love Oakhurst, but as far as value, the home sale price has hit somewhat of a ceiling. Unless you buy south of there, near Hosea Williams or Glenwood, I would not really consider it a good investment. But with that said, if I could afford to buy in Oakhurst I could, cause to me, it's Decatur's secret crown jewel. Very family friendly.
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Old 08-21-2007, 10:07 PM
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I don't know about these comments. A house just sold on Oakview for about $900,000K. I'm not convinced at all that Oakhurst has hit a ceiling.

I disagree with JBnC. Decatur is hot right now b/c it is the only place in metro Atlanta where the entire school system (City Schools of Decatur) is excellent and is meeting AYP. In any larger systems, you are most likely going to be either in a failing school or in a good school that is forced to accept massive amounts of intra-district students from other failing schools because of NCLB. I have friends who have watched their schools be devastated by having to accept several hundred NCLB transfers a week before school starts. In the Decatur school district, from 4th grade on, there is only one of each school... so there is no school in the district that would be sending in hundreds of new kids at the last minute.

The RE market may be flattening a bit; however, you are somewhat insulated from falling RE prices so long as you stay intown. Since you don't have kids yet, Kirkwood might work for you b/c Toomer appears to be on the verge of doing great things.... time will tell. Oakhurst is a surer bet school- wise though because it is already high achieving.

I know exactly which house you are considering - the one behind the Solarium that is sort of an olivish tan color. It seems like a nice house. However you are probably going to want a yard and a quiet street once you have kids, so I am afraid that you may not be in that house as long as you would envision at this point.

Last edited by cmtiger; 08-21-2007 at 10:09 PM.. Reason: typo
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Old 09-03-2007, 06:59 PM
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Default great place to live

We moved to Oakhurst about three years ago and love everything aboutit. The access to marta and downtown is the best. The schools are great also. I know the house that you are speaking of, and I agree that the house does not have a yard and you will want one in the future.

The housing prices are going up compared to everywhere else because Morningside and Va Highlands are overpriced and people are starting to realize what a deal Oakhurst is to still be close to intown. Kirkwood is OK, but there are still ALOT of shady areas and high crime/drug dealing in specific places. Oakhurst has put most of that behind. I see alot of foreclosures there in Kirkwood as well.

If you can get in get in now, because the prices will keep going up, guaranteed.
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Old 09-05-2007, 10:59 AM
Location: Below the fray
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Oakhurst has been "up and coming" for about five years now. Still, it's a great area.
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Old 09-07-2007, 08:45 AM
Location: Inman Park (Atlanta, GA)
21,870 posts, read 14,238,353 times
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I would vote for Oakhurst too - if you can afford it for the following reasons:

1. Oakhurst is part of the City of Decatur school system. Kirkwood does not have the same quality of public schools.
2. Home buyers are looking for a good school district to be in as it assists in maintaining strong resales. If surrounding areas such as Kirkwood and Avondale Estates were part of the City of Decatur school system - their values would be worth a lot more. Buyers move to the surrounding area as they do not need the school system and want to have a lower price point. Even if you do not need the school system, now or ever, it will always be a good selling point.
3. Kirkwood is still up and coming in my opinion. It has really gone street by street. I sold a house on a lovely street and the resales have been strong on that street - but just one street over - the sales have not been as high because people have not been renovating.

Good luck!
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