What a way to end a day

“A conversation…” tonight about the West End and surrounding communities was a great way to end it. 

Hearing the concerns of neighbors, old/new and potential shed light on some areas we(Realtors) have not considered or focused on.  Sure, there were the normal questions about safety, housing renovations and crappy agent experiences- but there were also very real questions about the availability of affordable rental housing for students and the home purchase process for the millennials. Which, to be honest, is something I had considered myself to be, until I looked up the definition : “Millennials (also known as the Millennial Generation or Generation Y, abbreviated to Gen Y) are the demographic cohort following Generation X. There are no precise dates for when the generation starts and ends; most researchers and commentators use birth years ranging from the early 1980s to around 2000.”

Yikes- ….Maybe I’m not. However, I still am within their range, right? I STILL feel their pains.

Somewhat.  

Honestly, I’ve never worried about such things. Which is why i feel that I’m behind in all of this. In 1997 I was offered to by a Brownstone in Brooklyn for $118k. I scoffed, thinking “who would want to spend that kind of money in this hood” …. That Brownstone today is worth $1.5million( more, if the neighboring home sells for their $2million list price).

“Opportunity Costs”

That experience shook me and is one of my deepest life regrets. Now, I’m lifting rocks to find one at $800k. And, I’m certainly on a mission to ensure my experiences are shared and others do not fall into the same ditch. What a huge burden to carry! 

But is it a burden? Or is it just what you or I am equipped to do….

Tonight was good. Real good. It’s time to throw some energy towards our millennials.  After all, they are the future. 

As usual, when I returned home, I did a “drive by” past my missed opportunity in Brooklyn….now a historic landmark.  

I pray I will never miss another opportunity. 


 I also pray the serenity prayer …

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change, courage to change the things I can and wisdom to know the difference.”

Buyer/Seller…Beware!

  

Our market is doing well- and as you know, anytime the RE Market is well- the predators come out. 

Once again I am inundated with “let me buy your house” mail,emails, calls from newbie investors, calls from sleezy investors and calls from out of the country investors wanting to “flip”…

Some have gotten smarter by saying “Nia, I believe in community development like you, I want to buy houses, fix them and sell them to good people…but I want to do this in an area where I can get a good return….” (Oh, you mean “FLIP”?)

Or …”but I want to do this after I rent it for a while to feel out the market, so I need a good house with very little work “. 

Or my favorite: ” so I need a good house in the Historic West End, with very little work for $20-30k” 

What rock have you been under? Have you not reviewed our recent sales? It is not 2009! 

These calls bother me. 

If you wanted to help communities and really make a difference, why not tackle some of our other blighted locations that are still struggling?  Why come into a community- with momentum and end buyers eligible to purchase these homes, only to obtain a section 8 voucher? 

Do they really think they’re adding value to anyone but self? 

NOT! 

Beware of the predators! If you are struggling in your home and considering a sale, let’s talk- there could be options and programs out there to help you. I will freely help you review all options- you do not have to fall prey to these fast cash offers….your home is a great asset, don’t throw it away! 

Buy 1 House Get 1 FREE-No Strings…!

1342 Jefferson Ave East Point

Be our guest! Step into this one of a kind brick ranch- very unassuming from the exterior, a modern delight inside. http://www.postlets.com/repb/7925900

View the  interior walking tour  HERE  and a few videos of the back yard HERE & HERE

Motivated seller, looking to head south for the winter…but not unfamiliar  with the market and the deal this home offers. You not only get 1 home but TWO!  A fully renovated guest suite awaits  with its own private balcony.  

You will not regret joining this active neighborhood and associations.  Buy in time to participate on the next Jefferson Park  historic home tour.

Call to schedule an appointment to view: 404-414-3289

Home Warranty, Percentage towards Closing Costs

“The Bluff”

….We’re not in Kansas anymore….

At least, that’s what you would think after reading Wiki:

“The Bluff is a district within the area that is infamous throughout metro Atlanta for the availability of drugs, heroin in particular.

The borders of The Bluff are defined differently by different sources. For example the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Creative Loafing both defined The Bluff as including all of English Avenue and Vine City. However, a more recent and in-depth December 2011 series of reports by 11 Alive TV news, referred to The Bluff as a “section of English Avenue”. The English Avenue/Vine City area has some of the highest poverty and crime rates in the city, with the Carter St. area surrounding the Vine City MARTA station ranking in 2010 as the #1 most dangerous neighborhood in Atlanta and #5 in the United States.”

Who would want to LIVE here?

… Apparently, MANY. Not only the long time residence fighting for the redevelopment of this area, but also the many investors who dropped a boat load of money in the area trying to flip houses across from the Georgia Dome and Georgia World Congress Center…..There HAD to be some special plans for this area at once-something special.  Who would spend this amount of money developing such a beautiful building knowing it’s patrons would have to tip-toe from Marta across the street, past the drug house, robbers and pan handlers?

I’m not saying its not lacking their share of revitalization, nor is it crimeless- and yes, it could be dangerous if you are walking down the street at 1am texting on an IPhone, carrying a laptop bag and sporting an “I LOVE NY” T-Shirt- yes, you could be calling for some trouble. HOWEVER, as a person 5’1 (barely) and 110lbs- I have never feared kicking in a vacant house to take a home tour.

But why the bad rap? Where did it come from? What’s the history of this community?

“What is now the English Avenue neighborhood was purchased in 1891 by James W. English, Jr., son of Atlanta mayor James W. English. It was developed as a white working-class neighborhood. Simpson Road was long a residential race barrier with whites to the north and blacks to the south.Today’s English Avenue was known at different times as Bellwoodand as Western Heights (I like this name!) . In 1910 the Western Heights school (later renamed Kingbery after a principal of the school, then renamed English Avenue Elementary School) was built at the northeast corner of English Ave. and Pelham St

The area south of Simpson Road — today’s Vine City — was settled at the end of the 1800s by large land owners, and a predominantly African-American residential area was established, though there were also white subdivisions, schools, and churches. A mix of social classes were present. In 1910 Alonzo F. Herndon, founder of the Atlanta Life Insurance Company, built his home at 587 University Place, now listed on the National Register and open to visitors

During the mid-20th century, the area was a middle-class African-American neighborhood.Commercial areas included English Avenue; Simpson Street/Road, in its heyday in the 1950s and 1960s; and Bankhead Highway, which was part of the US Highway system, and was in its splendor in the 1960s. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. moved to the area in 1967, and his widow Coretta Scott King continued to live here until her death.

Suburbanization started draining the area’s vitality starting in the 1970s.Over the following decades, it attracted buyers and sellers of heroin, and deteriorated into a corner of poverty in the city, characterized by large numbers of abandoned, boarded-up houses.”

Will Wal-Mart aid in the revitalization of this community? I don’t think Wal-Mart had a clue about the possibilities and  impact their opening could make. They may have only viewed their bottom line and were offered  benefits to open here. But if they cared, Wal-Mart can be the a major player in the redevelopment of this area now dubbed a “food desert” .

Here’s a history of the revitalization efforts:

“In 1999, the Atlanta Housing Authority first announced plans for the “Historic Westside Village”, a $130 million commercial, residential and retail project at the area’s southern end near Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. at Ashby St. A Publix supermarket opened in May 2002but the overall project stalled by 2003 as further anchor tenants did not materialize. This, along with disappointing sales, caused the Publix – the only full-sized supermarket for miles around – to close in December 2009.Creative Loafing called the project the most notorious “municipal boondoggle…to have tarred Atlanta” during mayor Bill Campbell‘s era; the project “fell victim to…cronyism, bureaucratic incompetence and a flagrant disregard for federal lending guidelines”.In December 2010 things looked up as the Atlanta Development Authority announced plans for Wal-Mart to open a store on the site.”

Yikes. Now putting all that aside, I know you did NOT come here for a history lesson. However, I believe it’s imperative to know the history and direction of the community you plan to invest.  Understanding this could help your decision.  When you purchase, you invest more than money- you invest a part of you.

What’s left to buy in The Bluff?

Right now, as an investor I’d buy a few to hold (of course rent them, because vacant homes do nothing for communities).

IF you can find any. Many of these homes have already been hit by the bust- and have been resold as REO’s/ Foreclosures between the years 2007-2011.. it’s pretty quiet now with new listings- but that does not mean these homes are occupied and not available.  I have found a few come up- off line – or off the MLS grid as investors trade packages or “owner finance” homes directly on Craigs List and other By Owner sites. Keep an eye out- some investors may be ready to dump since the revitalization is not happening as rapidly as they need and can no longer afford to hold. Other circumstances, such as the new vacancy registry and a code enforcement crack down (after the urging of the community) are forcing these MIA investors to pay upon registration or repair and rent their homes. I also know a few investors with portfolios that maybe ready to release.

The bottom line- there are still deals in this area.

FMLS# 5075795, 486 Paines Avenue SW  is sitting pretty at $25K

P.S. Have you seen the movie “Snow  on tha Bluff”?? I tried but my ears are sensitive LOL.. too much “realness” for me..

Need easy access to Georgia Tech?

Have you looked in Home Park for your new home?   In this market, a home purchase may be more affordable than renting-and a better investment. 

Not familiar with Home Park?  Home Park was developed in 1901 as housing for workers at the Atlantic Steel Mill located where Atlantic Station is today. Over time and due to the schools’ close proximity, it has developed a large student population, being a popular alternative to on-campus housing at nearby institutions Georgia Tech and Georgia State University, resulting in a low owner occupancy rate. Because of its location directly south of Atlantic Station and north of Georgia Tech, it has recently seen an increase in property values and development

*Information from Wikipedia*

Here’s a good listing in Home Park- affordable with enough space for a roommate!

FMLS# #: 5066049    1102 Center Street NW  3bedrooms/2 bathrooms  list price $253K

Atlanta No. 2 most affordable housing market

Metro Atlanta hasn’t been the greatest place in the country to own a home, as everyone with a devalued house in these parts knows.

There is some good news, relatively speaking, though.

It doesn’t cost that much to buy here.

Atlanta ranks second in the U.S. among the top 25 metro areas in terms of home affordability, new research from Interest.com, a Bankrate company, shows.

The median household income in the Atlanta area exceeds the income required to purchase a median-priced home here by 40 percent. That’s better than every other  big market except for Detroit, where it’s 45.32 percent.

The rest of the top five most affordable metro areas are Minneapolis, Phoenix and St. Louis.

Of course, Detroit is hardly the symbol of economic success, and Phoenix has had major housing issues.

The least affordable markets: San Francisco, New York, San Diego, Miami and Los Angeles.

Housing affordability is key concern nationally, and nationwide a  median-income household can afford a median-priced home in only 14 of the 25 largest markets, the study found.

Mike Sante, managing editor of Interest.com, said, “Despite all the talk about how homes are more affordable than they have been in decades, buying a home is still a big challenge for many American households.”

Sante continued, “Dealing with rising expenses and stagnant wages is a struggle. Even after years of declining home prices and record-low mortgage rates, median-income households are unable to afford a median-priced home in nearly half of the metropolitan areas that we looked at.”

AJC 10:39 am October 17, 2012, by David Markiewicz