Atlanta has a unique feel compared to similar sized cities owing much to its ample tree canopy and collection of parks. It has earned the nickname of "the city in the forest" based on the fact that its tree coverage is the highest of all major US cities. Atlanta also has 343 parks, gardens, nature preserves and public greenspaces, totaling 3,622 acres. This blog post is the first in a series that will profile the various parks and greenspaces around Intown Atlanta and Buckhead. Today's featured space is Tanyard Creek Park
Tanyard Creek Park is located in the southern portion of Buckhead, between the neighborhoods of Collier Hills and Ardmore Park. Tanyard Creek Park has a little bit of something for everyone. There is a paved path that runs the length of the park from north to south, which is part of the Atlanta Beltline project. This path is stroller-friendly and suitable for running and biking as well. On the east side of this path is a huge, open grassy area. Here you'll often see groups of people playing frisbee or tossing a football around. This area has become sort of an unofficial off-leash dog park, though technically Atlanta's leash law applies, so use your discretion. On the west side of the path is a large playground area with swings, slides and other play equipment. The northern end of the path runs up to southern extremity...
As mentioned in a previous blog post, Atlanta has some fine public schools. But, like most other cities, there are also those that are underperforming. This has a predictable effect on people's behavior, both in terms of real estate as well as the attendance of the schools. Home buyers are attracted to the Intown Atlanta and Buckhead neighborhoods that have the best schools in Atlanta. This bolsters home values in those neighborhoods, but also leads to overcrowding in those schools. This overcrowding is exacerbated by the 61% surge of young professionals living in Intown Atlanta. In decades past, most young couples would move to the 'burbs when they settled down. Now many of them are staying intown. Meanwhile, other schools end up under capacity. Simple solution; just move kids from the overcrowded schools to those that are under capacity, right? Not so fast.
A portion of one of the proposed options The Atlanta Public Schools district is in the early stages of studying how to remedy this situation. The demographers have come up with 4 options...
Of course we all know that neighborhoods are important for many reasons; friendly neighbors, community support, etc. And we all know there are many reasons to choose a particular neighborhood; location, style, affordability, etc. However, from the perspective of your wallet, there's another important benefit the right neighborhood can provide; price stability.
A recent study by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University showed that higher-priced homes are less susceptible to bubbles than are lower-priced homes. Higher-priced homes don't appreciate as quickly in a run-up, but neither do they fall as quickly in a downturn. According to analysis of Standand & Poor's / Case-Shiller home price data, prices of lower end homes in Atlanta fell by nearly 50% from the 2007 peak to December 2010. The drop for higher-end homes fell by less than half that percentage. Of course, this is a macro look at the entire Atlanta metro area, in which "low tier" homes were qualified as those under about $122k and "high tier" homes were those above approximately $221k. You might extrapolate from this data that even higher-tier homes in desirable neighborhoods may have lost even less value since the 2007 peak. You'd be right. A quick check of the sought-after Intown Atlanta neighborhood of Morningside shows an average sale price of $668,952 in 2007. The average sale price in 2010 was $582,339, a 12.9% decrease from the peak. That's certainly a lot better than the national average. Checking the Buckhead neighborhood...
In our experience selling homes, we often find that a person's perception of their home's value often differs from the reality of the marketplace. There are number of reasons for this, from psychological factors to simple misconceptions about market value. In this article we will discuss these issues as well as how best to determine an accurate selling price.
Home Seller's Top 7 Pricing Mistakes:
1.) Not being objective
One of the first explanations of the disconnect between real and perceived value is simply human nature. Outside of family, friends and pets, our home is quite possibly the most difficult thing in our lives to be objective about. We likely have more emotional connection to our home than only other inanimate object. Sure, some guys might claim it would be their car, truck, motorcycle, boat or flat-screen HDTV. But when you factor in the monetary investment that the home represents, that usually bumps the home into the number one position in importance. When looking at our own homes we tend to play up the positives and overlook the negatives. When looking at other people's homes, whether they be recently sold comparables, competing homes on the market, or homes one is considering purchasing, we tend to do the opposite. The goal is to try to view your home through the eyes of a prospective buyer. This is very difficult to do, so it's best to just look at the cold hard facts, i.e. the numbers. But what numbers? Where do you get them? How are they derived? We'll get more into that later.
2.) Depending on online home valuations
Previously we wrote about online home valuations, and how misleading they can be. They can be fun to play with, but they're simply not accurate. They can be off 25-30% or more, easily skewing the real value by hundreds of thousands of dollars in some cases. They're brain-dead number-crunching computers that don't know the Intown Atlanta market. You can read the full...
We've received a number of complements on our recent website makeover, and we're flattered to hear that it's been so well received. A number of you have asked about the stylized skyline outline in the website header, and whether it really represents Atlanta. It does, in fact, and it was inspired by the photo below. This spawned questions about this building and that, which got us thinking - maybe we should put together a guide to the buildings of the Atlanta skyline. So here goes!
Well, we've had a fun bunch of festivals this spring, and now the Spring Festivals are over. But don't despair, now it's time to celebrate the beginning of summer at this weekend's Virginia-Highland Summerfest! This is one of Intown Atlanta's best festivals, and includes a little something for everyone.
There will be the usual juried artist market featuring works from over 200 artists in various media, as well as lots of live music. Runners can enter a 5K race on Saturday morning, after which parents can bring their 5-and-under kids to the "Tot Trot" at the Inman Middle School field.
The festival is held on Virginia Avenue between North Highland Avenue and Park Drive in the popular Virginia-Highland neighborhood of Intown Atlanta. Admission is free and open to the public for the events on Saturday and Sunday, but there are some festivities on Friday that are reserved exclusively for Virginia-Highland residents. These include a quirky parade (6:30pm) where residents dress up as their favorite movie character, followed by a dinner and an outdoor movie (8:30pm).
Another great attraction is the Neighborhood Acoustic Street Party at "Virginia-Highland Island" (Virginia Ave & N.Highland Ave) on Friday (8 to 11pm) and Saturday, June 5 (9 to 11pm). For a break-down of all the events and activities, click here.
Be safe and have fun!
There are more festivals in Intown Atlanta this weekend. Today and tomorrow is the Sweet Auburn Springfest celebrating this historic district in Downtown Atlanta. In the 1940s, '50s and '60s, successful African-American-owned businesses and entertainment venues thrived on Auburn Avenue.
The festival is produced to support the business development, branding and marketing of the district. Major projects are envisioned, including transforming the Auburn Avenue viaduct into an outdoor international music café and arts and craft market, and establishing Auburn Avenue as the Beale Street / Bourbon Street / Church Street Station of Atlanta.
Festival attendees can enjoy several attractions including an Artist Market, Business and Technology Expo, a Health and Fitness Fair, an Active Senior's Pavilion, Sports Carnival, a Literary Marketplace, Just For Women’s EXPO and the Kids Fantastic Fun Zone. Live music performances will be held on eight different stages.
Another celebration of a different historic district is the Atlanta West Fest, in the West End. Attractions include a benefit concert at the Wren's Nest, a festival in Gordon-White park, and West Fest's first annual dog parade. For those of us with real estate on our minds, there is a tour of 10 historic homes, many of which are over 100 years old.
Tonight and tomorrow night are the last nights to catch Georgia Shakespeare's popular "Shake at the Lake". "A Midsummer Night's Dream" will be presented overlooking Lake Clara Meer in Piedmont Park in Midtown.
The performance is free, but you'll need tickets (well, actually wristbands). Around...
Today is Earth Day, which seems like a fitting day to discuss ways to "be Green". Well, one of the simplest ways to do this is to live closer to the core of a city. Yes, living Intown is Green, in several ways.
The most obvious reason is that urban sprawl leads to long daily commutes, which leads to more automobile exhaust. Even though we make a living by putting people in our cars to show them properties for sale, our suburban friends are shocked out how few miles we put on our cars compared to theirs. The fact is, the overwhelming majority of our trips are well within a 5-mile radius of home.
Though you might think that a green oasis should be just that, lush with greenery, Manhattan may be one of the greenest places in the country, as ironic as that may sound. The carbon footprint of the average Manhattanite is thirty percent smaller than that of the average American. With nearly two-thirds of the population walking, biking or riding mass transit to work, the rate of car ownership in Manhattan is the lowest in the country.
Of course, with Atlanta's limited mass transit system, it's hard to compare us with New York City. However, if you live and work in Intown Atlanta you'll use your car less without even thinking about it. We can walk to grocery stores and restaurants from our home. Even if we decided to drive everywhere we went, everything is so close and convenient that we drive far fewer miles than our friends who live in the suburbs.
Also, large apartment or condo buildings are more efficient to heat and cool than single-family homes. There are tons of ...
Well, we had a blast at last weekend's festivals, but there are still more to come. This weekend brings us the Inman Park Festival. A preview of the Inman Park Tour of Homes begins on Friday, while the festival proper is Saturday and Sunday.
Inman Park neighborhood in Intown Atlanta As in year's past, there will be live bands and entertainment under the tent on Euclid Avenue, in Delta Park and Poplar Circle. Other popular attractions include the Dance Festival in the Trolley Barn as well as the Arts & Crafts Show / Street Market in various booths along the streets of Inman Park.
But the biggest draw of them all must be the parade, featuring a notorious selection of Atlanta’s craziest groups, including the the "Trash Monarch" and "Inman Park Precision Attaché Drill Team." After whetting your appetite on the Tour of Homes, be sure to come back and visit our Inman Park neighborhood page to see all the Inman Park homes for sale. Hope to see you there!
Well, what seemed like Atlanta's worst winter in over 20 years is over, and spring has finally sprung. That means, among other things, that spring festivals are just around the corner in many Intown Atlanta neighborhoods. The first four major events kick off this weekend.
The biggest event this weekend is the popular Atlanta Dogwood Festival. Held at Piedmont Park in Midtown Atlanta, this annual celebration of the blooming of the Dogwood trees has been a perennial favorite in Atlanta for over 70 years. In the 1970s an art show was introduced to the festival, and the juried Fine Art Market has played a big part in the festival ever since. The 1980s saw the tradition of live music begin at the Dogwood Festival, and this year is no exception with well over a dozen acts playing this weekend.
Another fun even this weekend is the 6th annual Sweetwater 420 Festival, a two-day music and arts festival. It's free to attend and enjoy live music and activities, and $5 gets you a wrist band that allows you to buy all the wine and Sweetwater beer you can "responsibly enjoy." A portion of the proceeds go to back to the Candler Park neighborhood which hosts the event. A big part of the event is "Planet 420", which sponsors local, regional and national non-profits and environmental organizations. Exhibits and forums will be presented including diesel to grease demonstrations, sustainable...
House hunting can be fun and exciting, but it can also be frustrating at times, especially if you're in a strange new city. We love Atlanta, but if you're new to town, you'll have some special annoyances to get used to as you drive around the various Intown Atlanta neighborhoods shopping for homes.
Getting to know Atlanta can be difficult to the newcomer for a number of reasons. One of the first things you'll notice is that it's very common for the street that you're driving on to change names without notice. There are examples of this all over Atlanta; Monroe becomes Boulevard, Briarcliff becomes Moreland and E. Rock Springs becomes N. Decatur.
It can get even more confusing. In Midtown, Spring Street is one-way southbound, but in Downtown, Spring Street is one-way northbound! Don't worry, you don't have people crashing into each other, because Spring Street in Midtown isn't even the same street as Spring Street in Downtown. The southbound Spring Street in Midtown becomes Centennial Olympic Park Drive in Downtown. The northbound Spring Street in Downtown turns into West Peachtree in Midtown.
That segues nicely into our next pet-peeve: multiple roads with variations of the same name. And "Peachtree" is the most common example. According to Wikipedia, there are 71 streets in Atlanta with some version of "Peachtree" in their name. There's Peachtree Street, West Peachtree Street, Peachtree Road, Peachtree Drive, Peachtree Park Drive, Peachtree Circle, Peachtree Lane, Peachtree Walk, Peachtree-Dunwoody Road, and ... we'll, you get the idea. Peachtree is guilty of the previous...
This month, we're featuring with the Intown Atlanta neighborhood of Morningside/Lenox Park, most commonly referred to as "Mornginside".
Morningside is one of Intown Atlanta's most beautiful neighborhoods with curving tree-lined roads, multiple parks and well-kept homes. The neighborhood is highly-sought after not only for it's beauty and convenient location, but also for it's school district. Most childern in Morningside go to Moringside Elementary, an award-winning public school.
The homes in Morningside are bursting with character, with a various styles represented. The neighborhood boasts one of the city's largest collections of Tudor Revival style homes (along with Druid Hills), as well as numerous Spanish and Mediterranean style homes. In addition to the large number of 1920s to 1940s homes, Morningside also has some stunning Contemporary homes, and mid-century ranches, the latter of which are common in the Johnson Estates and Noble Park areas.
As of this writing, there are currently 86 single-family homes active on the market in Morningside. Prices range from a low in the $200s to a high around $2 million, with an average in the high $700s. Last year 105 single-family homes sold with an average sale price in the $600s. For more detailed information and to see all the homes for sale...
We always swell with pride when our new clients tell us that they "love" our web site. We pride ourselves in having the most user-friendly website for Atlanta real estate. To maintain that mantle, we're not resting on our laurels. Don't worry, we're not changing our popular Intown Atlanta Neighborhood Guide and Buckhead Neighborhood Guide, both of which are client favorites. We have, however, added an Atlanta Zip Code Guide, as well as completely upgraded our property search and display functionality.
Finding the perfect Intown Atlanta home has never been so easy, and with such an intuitive interface. While other real estate web sites overwhelm visitors with a sea of textboxes, checkboxes and city selection dropdowns, we instead choose to keep things simple yet powerful.
Now, if you're one of those "technology doesn't work for me" types, don't worry. Feel free to call or email us and we can set up a custom search for you. You'll be the first to see new properties as they come on the market and be notified of price changes as soon as they happen via email alerts.
So whether you want to search all on your own, have it all done for you, or anywhere in between, we can help you. Happy house-hunting!
In a previous blog post, we mentioned how the Intown Atlanta real estate market was different than the "bubble" markets, which have lost so much in home values lately. By contrast, single family homes in Intown Atlanta are holding their own. In fact, many established Intown Atlanta neighborhoods can boast rising home values in recent months. But don't take our word for it, check out this recent article in the Atlanta Business Chronicle: House prices rising in Atlanta
Hi there, and welcome to our first blog post! I want to start off on an issue that has been on the forefront of my mind for a while now. Seems like you can't turn on the news or read a paper these days without reading a headline implying that the sky is falling in regards to residential real estate. One must always remember the expression, "All real estate is local." There is a huge difference between the "bubble" markets of Florida, California, Las Vegas, etc., and Atlanta ... especially Intown Atlanta!
Image: Atlanta is in hunter green, near the bottom. Click for larger view.
First of all, Atlanta is not a "bubble" market. We did not have the "irrational exuberance" indicated by a huge run-up in prices over a short period of time. Since we didn't have a bubble, there's no bubble to burst! Sure, sales have slowed down, but we are not seeing the decline in values that the bubble markets are seeing. Now, this is not to say that we can't have a decline in prices at some point in the future if, for example, the economy as a whole slips into recession. But if we do, it's not likely to be as bad as the aforementioned bubble markets.
Intown Atlanta is even more different! The suburban Atlanta real estate market is struggling a bit. It's all about supply and demand. Let's say you have a home to sell in your suburban neighborhood. Next door, a developer starts a new subdivision of 250 homes. There's 250 more homes on the market, adding to the supply and competing...