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Old 04-08-2008, 08:56 AM
 
Location: West Cobb County, GA (Atlanta metro)
9,188 posts, read 30,749,195 times
Reputation: 5171

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As more and more people continue to move into Atlanta and the closer-in areas to avoid commuting, more and more condos are being built to attract them. Since many transplants are coming from areas where condos are much more common than they have been here in the past (NYC, Chicago, etc), builders HOPE that they'll all be sold.

But those of us who have lived here a while know that Georgia has some of the most slack builder's regulations around. Price does not always mean "quality" here. Atlantic Station was a good example of this as news reports not long ago reported structural issues with several key areas.

So, for those who are already living in condos in Atlanta and the closer burbs - what are your experiences, so those who are considering this type of move will have something to think about? Can you hear your neighbors more easily than expected through the walls and/or ceiling? Is the company that manages the property any good? Monthly fees too high for what you're getting? Do they inspect the sprinklers and safety/security features regularly? Any and all things "condo experience" - post 'em to share with others.
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Old 04-08-2008, 10:16 AM
 
Location: Atlanta, GA
1,123 posts, read 5,909,772 times
Reputation: 556
I don't live in a condo, but if I did and paid over $200k for it, I would be scared right now. If you do a P/E ratio on some of these places, it is outrageously out of whack (but fortunately not as bad as other parts of the country). Just a reality check to anyone considering buying - if it costs way less to rent the same unit/house than a prospective monthly mortgage and fees would cost....it's NOT WORTH IT! Not to say that single-family homes are exempt, but condos have become notorious for this with the bubble.
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Old 04-08-2008, 10:30 AM
 
Location: St Simons Island, GA
23,125 posts, read 36,381,158 times
Reputation: 15465
I do own a condo that I rent out...the complex was built in the 1980's, and currently there are about 10 out of 137 for sale right now. Resales here are slow, although it is in a great location and is at the low end of the price range for the area.
Although I think the monthly fee is high for what you get, it's at the low end for the area as well (Buckhead).
Noise is not a problem, I absolutely cannot hear neighbors, and my tenant says this is not a problem. I will make a point here that I've been warned over and over to avoid 'condo conversions' that were apartment buildings before...noise can be an issue, and my understanding is that the construction standards are different for condos and apartments (ie firewall regulations).
It seems like one issue in the condo market right now is that so many builders are offering aggressive incentives on new construction that the secondary market in this town is pretty much cut off at the knees.
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Old 04-08-2008, 10:59 AM
 
340 posts, read 1,456,512 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LovinDecatur View Post
It seems like one issue in the condo market right now is that so many builders are offering aggressive incentives on new construction that the secondary market in this town is pretty much cut off at the knees.
I agree. Buying condo is not a short term investment, IMO. It's kinda life style and convenience. Atlanta condo market won't be good unless some major projects, such as MARTA rail extension, street car, or even major world events to be brought into town. In the newly build high rise, rents are pretty much covers mortgage, property tax, and condo HOA fees. I don't think it's profitable at this time.
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Old 04-08-2008, 11:09 AM
 
Location: Atlanta, GA
1,123 posts, read 5,909,772 times
Reputation: 556
Be thankful you didn't buy new and are in a good locale. Imagine how it would feel to be a new buyer who just gets to watch as their property depreciates monthly! I finally sold a townhome, but only after I finally came to my senses and realized that "market value" does NOT equal "what I paid, plus a little for 'appreciation'" which WAS the case from 2000-2006. I actually watched as people were buying new construction of the exact same floorplan as mine for $299k, even though they get the benefit of seeing the future and knowing that the day after they close, that same townhome will be worth $249k (the price of my unit, which was a $5k loss). Totally mind-blowing. I consider myself lucky and plan on hunkering down in my current house for 7-10 years to wait this thing out.
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Old 04-08-2008, 11:55 AM
 
Location: West Cobb County, GA (Atlanta metro)
9,188 posts, read 30,749,195 times
Reputation: 5171
Quote:
Originally Posted by LovinDecatur View Post
I will make a point here that I've been warned over and over to avoid 'condo conversions' that were apartment buildings before...noise can be an issue, and my understanding is that the construction standards are different for condos and apartments (ie firewall regulations).
I'm actually one of the people who preaches about that regularly.

Many modern apartments in the metro area are quite frankly, built like crap. Shotty thin materials, slapped together to form small boxes (rooms) that are painted in pastel colors, stacked on top of one another, and labeled as "luxury" units, then rented at high dollar prices. You can at times even hear a loud cell phone or other device through your walls. I once rented a unit where you could hear your neighbors on their TOILETS! Yippie! Firewalls are in some cases aren't even concrete, but simply "fire resistant sheetrock" that doesn't even fully go through the attic to the roofline. God forbid if a neighbor decides to cook enchiladas at 2am (and forgets about them) or falls asleep with a lit cig in bed - 11 minutes later and the whole building has gone up and 50 people are homeless.

When apartment complex owners decide to "go condo", many times all that's done is the cheap carpeting is replaced by laminate hardwood flooring, and new countertops and appliances are put in the kitchens along with a paint job inside. Poof - instant condo. If you're lucky they add a tiny bit of insulating material under the flooring before installing it (most aren't that lucky). Nothing is done regarding beefing up firewalls or adding sprinklers, etc (unless codes force it - most don't unless it's a high rise).

Condos are generally built with higher quality materials, thicker materials, and more attention is paid to stuff like sound insulation, fire prevention, etc. Not saying that every single one is - some builders try to cut costs any way they can and it may not always result in a high quality product. But in general, condos are built much better than apartments here.
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