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Old 12-01-2013, 10:45 PM
 
65 posts, read 116,302 times
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It's a variant on "location, location, location!"

My husband and I have been here about three months, currently renting in Midtown but looking to buy, with our primary criterion being walkability to bars, restaurants, etc. We're from Chicago and used to this in every neighborhood, so adjusting to ATL (which we love so far) is tough in this regard.

We don't mind a bit of sketchiness to our neighborhood (think Little Five Points) and are used to property crimes somewhat from being in Chicago, but are a bit concerned with the violent crime some of the East Atlanta neighborhoods (Grant Park, EAV, Glenwood Park) experienced this summer. Not sure if that was an aberration.

Here are our particulars:

1. Budget - Ideally less than $400K, $400K-$500K doable easily but not ideal, greater than $500K could do but would like to avoid if possible
2. House/Condo/Townhome? House - at least 2 BR/2 BA, prefer something old that's been updated
3. Employment Status(commute/work from home) - I work from home and he's not working yet, so not a big factor
4. Children(public school vs. private) - None, so don't care about schools except for resale value
5. Suburban or Urban lifestyle preference or a mix of the two - urban for sure
6. Easy access to public transit, important or not? - Nice to have but not necessary
7. Preferable demographics of desired neighborhood. - If this means I'm supposed to say what race I want to live with, I can say I don't care! Don't care about ages, sexual orientation, whatever either.

Any help greatly appreciated.
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Old 12-02-2013, 04:06 AM
 
6,180 posts, read 5,744,647 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaeddd View Post
It's a variant on "location, location, location!"

My husband and I have been here about three months, currently renting in Midtown but looking to buy, with our primary criterion being walkability to bars, restaurants, etc. We're from Chicago and used to this in every neighborhood, so adjusting to ATL (which we love so far) is tough in this regard.

We don't mind a bit of sketchiness to our neighborhood (think Little Five Points) and are used to property crimes somewhat from being in Chicago, but are a bit concerned with the violent crime some of the East Atlanta neighborhoods (Grant Park, EAV, Glenwood Park) experienced this summer. Not sure if that was an aberration.
The crime in some of the East Atlanta neighborhoods that you speak of is actually on a long-term downward trend and has decreased dramatically from the era of the late 1960's-early 1990's when crime was much, much worse in those areas and in much of Intown Atlanta.

Though, unfortunately like in many large urban areas, despite crime trending downward over the long-term, incidents of violent crime still occur, sometimes in bunches, but it cannot be understated how much East Atlanta (and much of Intown Atlanta in general) has improved over the last couple of decades, and how much East Atlanta and other gentrifying Intown Atlanta neighborhoods continue to improve and will likely continue to improve over the long-term.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kaeddd View Post
Here are our particulars:

1. Budget - Ideally less than $400K, $400K-$500K doable easily but not ideal, greater than $500K could do but would like to avoid if possible
2. House/Condo/Townhome? House - at least 2 BR/2 BA, prefer something old that's been updated
3. Employment Status(commute/work from home) - I work from home and he's not working yet, so not a big factor
4. Children(public school vs. private) - None, so don't care about schools except for resale value
5. Suburban or Urban lifestyle preference or a mix of the two - urban for sure
6. Easy access to public transit, important or not? - Nice to have but not necessary
7. Preferable demographics of desired neighborhood. - If this means I'm supposed to say what race I want to live with, I can say I don't care! Don't care about ages, sexual orientation, whatever either.

Any help greatly appreciated.
Your best options (and the best places to look) for the kind of urban lifestyle that you would like to live in Atlanta are:

...Virginia Highland

...Poncey-Highland

...Morningside-Lenox Park

...Brookwood Hills/South Buckhead

...Peachtree Hills/South Buckhead

...The Collier Road/Howell Mill Road area in Northwest Atlanta

...Old Fourth Ward (O4W)

...Inman Park

...Little Five Points (aforementioned)

...Downtown Decatur

...Midtown (aforementioned)

...Kirkwood

...Cabbagetown
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Old 12-02-2013, 04:09 AM
 
Location: The A
386 posts, read 559,687 times
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Virginia Highlands.
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Old 12-02-2013, 06:33 AM
 
1,637 posts, read 2,169,047 times
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If you survived Chicago 500+ annual murders you will have no problem with our 85+ annual murders
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Old 12-02-2013, 07:29 AM
 
2,157 posts, read 2,184,824 times
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A lot of people are going to toss Virginia Highland out there, but I think you'll find an extremely limited housing supply that meets both your expectations and budget. For instance, there are currently zero properties listed under your ideal $400k price point. When they do show up, they are typically knock-downs or in need or total overhaul. Upping the budget to $500k brings some options to the table, but some are going to be 2/1's. Something like this sounds like it'd be right in your wheelhouse, other than missing one bathroom.
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Old 12-02-2013, 07:34 AM
 
Location: Atlanta, GA
927 posts, read 1,931,090 times
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When you say house, you mean a detached, single family house? Many of Atlanta's "walkable" neighborhoods are more like village centers with retail, restaurants, and apartments/condos in the immediate vicinity. The detached single family homes will be a further distance with no retail/restaurants mixed in. I mean, few cities have detached houses just mixed in with bars, restaurants and the like, so the best you could do is live in an area that would be like a 10 minute walk from the retail districts.

If you're okay with that, I'd recommend VA-Hi and Inman Park, though at your budget you'd really have to do some digging and it's going to be hard. If you open your options up to townhomes perhaps it'd be easier, though off hand I can't think of townhomes in Va-Hi and Inman Park.

If a detached SFH is absolutely necessary, Old Fourth Ward, Candler Park, Cabbagetown, and Poncey Highland are more affordable. In terms of things to do/amenities, O4W would be the highest on my list.

With all of these it's really about the precise location of the home. A home could be more walkable in Candler Park than Va-Hi, for instance, if the Candler Park home is a 5 minute walk from Little Five Points retail versus a Va-Hi home that's a 15 minute walk from Highland Ave, where all the retail/restaurants are.

When you do your search on realty websites I highly suggest map view, so you can see exactly on what street a home is located, i.e. this

Last edited by bizchick86; 12-02-2013 at 08:01 AM..
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Old 12-02-2013, 09:14 AM
 
65 posts, read 116,302 times
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I really appreciate the well-thought-out and helpful responses from you guys. Sounds like I have some options.

bizchick, we really do prefer a detached house but could open up to townhomes if absolutely necessary. It's interesting that you say that few cities have detached mixed in with bars, restaurants, etc.--in the cities I've previously lived we had plenty of this. Those were all in the North so maybe it's a Northern thing.

We definitely love Virginia Highland but as mentioned by a few people we might be priced out of it.

Thank you again!!!
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Old 12-02-2013, 09:34 AM
 
Location: Kirkwood
23,732 posts, read 18,165,717 times
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Having lived in Kirkwood for 3 years, I can say the uptick in crime is just a wave. Virginia-Highland experienced this same wave last year, with a couple murders. There are ways to protect yourself, home, and cars from being a victim. #1 alarm, #2 don;t leave valuable in your car, EVER! #3 be aware of your surroundings #4 install strikemaster door reinforcement kit.
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Old 12-02-2013, 09:41 AM
 
13,300 posts, read 21,237,217 times
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My brother recently moved here from the Northeast, and his criteria for buying was a lot like yours. I must caution you, properties sell very quickly in the areas mentioned. He was one of 8 bids on a house in Decatur, all on the first day it listed.
His bid was accepted, but he walked away after the inspection showed some major issues. He also had a bidding war in Candler Park, but is scheduled to close this month on that property.

Just be ready to move fast.
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Old 12-02-2013, 09:42 AM
 
Location: Atlanta, GA
927 posts, read 1,931,090 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaeddd View Post
I really appreciate the well-thought-out and helpful responses from you guys. Sounds like I have some options.

bizchick, we really do prefer a detached house but could open up to townhomes if absolutely necessary. It's interesting that you say that few cities have detached mixed in with bars, restaurants, etc.--in the cities I've previously lived we had plenty of this. Those were all in the North so maybe it's a Northern thing.

We definitely love Virginia Highland but as mentioned by a few people we might be priced out of it.

Thank you again!!!
Out of curiosity, and not because I doubt you, where in the North can you find this? For the time I spent in Chicago, retail/amenities/restaurants were walking distance to SFHs but not, say, right next door to a large stock of them.

You can find amenities in walking distance from SFHs in Atlanta, but the majority of detached homes will be next door to other detached homes.
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