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Old 03-10-2013, 10:49 PM
1 posts, read 2,435 times
Reputation: 10


Married recently and looking at starting a family in the next year or two. We're renting at the moment but are looking to purchase a home in the next few months. Schools are a major priority as is safety and communities with young families. My wife has lived/worked in the Decatur/Druid Hills area for 10 years and doesn't want to buy too far from this area or work. We're looking to purchase a home in the $450-550K range and have been looking at a lot of homes between Decatur/Druid Hills/Virginia Highlands in the south up to Brookhaven in the north.

We came across the Brookhaven area of Lynwood Park today and although many of the homes are very nice there are still a lot of the older, single-story block homes interspersed throughout the neighborhood. After going through an open house I'm fairly certain we saw a car drive up and purchase drugs from someone across the street and am positive we saw the same guy stay out front smoking a joint afterwards. While I am sure there is going to be some small level of drug activity in every neighborhood and have read about the history of Lynwood Park, my concern is really about the general safety and family friendliness of the area.

There are quite a few newer homes that are for sale at prices which are quite attractive relative to what you can get for equivalent amounts in Virginia-Highlands or Decatur. I recognize this area is generally not as expensive as the two I mentioned, but I also don't want to be buying in if the families in the neighborhood are moving out due to safety issues.

I could be quite wrong about the area and just got a bad first impression. I used to live in some semi-dangerous areas of South America previously, but my tolerance level for crime/violence has gone way down now that I'm thinking about raising children.

My wife and I would greatly appreciate any feedback from people living in the neighborhood. Thanks.
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Old 03-11-2013, 05:15 AM
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I am not in the neighborhood, but are you are aware of the challenges the DeKalb school system is facing? I realize your baby is young, but if for some reason you might need to move in the short/mid term, the troubles could impact your property value.

Lynwood Park has been slower to gentrify than some areas, but I do think young families move into the area off of Osborne still.

Decatur has the better school system and is viewed as a better investment by many. Both the City of Decatur and VAHI are more cohesive neighborhoods than Brookhaven, in my opinion and have more to offer young families in terms of community activities.
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Old 03-11-2013, 06:07 AM
Location: Atlanta, GA
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Brookhaven is a great city. I have quite a few friends moving there, and in fact, I will be moving there shortly as well. There are a LOT of young families moving to the area. Lynwood Park is one of area (and with a lesser extent Ashford Park) of Brookhaven that is still gentrifying. I would say about half the homes are newer and the other half are still the smaller block homes as you mentioned. For your budget, I would maybe look more into the Brookhaven Heights/Brookhaven Fields neighborhoods. You can find pretty comparable homes in a slightly better neighborhood. However, I would say in about 10 years I'm sure that Lynwood Park will be a much different place. The area still has a huge amount of new construction and infill construction happening across the city. While a bit further, you might look at the neighborhoods of Silver Lake and the neighborhoods off Johnson Ferry such as Hampton Hall and Sunderland. You will still get a lot for your money, however, they are going to be older homes.

As far as the schools, you probably want to make sure you are zoned for Montgomery Elementary. The other schools such as Ashford Park, while improving, are still struggling. Also, I think the vast majority go private after middle school currently. In fact, most of the young families I know in the are have gone private completely.

Brookhaven is a great, great are though, and I would highly recommend it. I know a lot of people in the area, and I find it wonderful. Hope this helps!
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Old 03-11-2013, 06:59 AM
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First off, I don't think many people are moving out of Brookhaven because of things like you mentioned. Quite the opposite. It's an area that attracts a lot of young people because of price, and access to Buckhead and some of the more northern employment centers. It's improved greatly in the past 10 years.

Secondly, $500k buys quite a starter home in Decatur. I understand that you get "more for your money" in Brookhaven, but if a half million dollars buys 4+ bedrooms and 2,500-3,000 square feet in the City of Decatur . . . what need does that not satisfy, particularly if you mentioned wanting good local schools? Is it wanting to finance $100k less that's driving you to Brookhaven, or wanting something larger/nicer/newer/whatever than you are finding in ViHi/Decatur? It'll take a couple with plans to have kids quite awhile for a $500k house to become inadequate.

I guess my point is, you've got the budget to buy something pretty dang nice in Decatur and it fits a lot of the criteria you are searching for. Why not buy there if it's what you want?
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Old 03-11-2013, 08:11 AM
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I lived in Lynwood Park for over a year. Certainly some drug activity and petty theft, but nothing more that I saw. Darryl will wash your car for $5.

When I got married we moved down Ashford Dunwoody to W. Nancy Creek ... still Montgomery.
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