General Area in West End>Question Details

Chip, Other/Just Looking in Atlanta, GA

West End question

Asked by Chip, Atlanta, GA Fri Jul 27, 2007

Thanks for the answers in my previous question. I have picked out a home I like in the historic area. I need a home around 200K that doesn't need work (i'm not handy). I know resell value is important. Do you have an opinion of how long it will take for West End to revitalize and be a nice area. I've been struggling to find someone who is an expert on this neighborhood and knows about the growth or plans for new developments, new businesses and local clean up.
Are there better areas I should consider where the cost is the same for a single family home?

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9
I got notified by this site of a response and wanted to add to it a little follow-up. Although the real estate market is in shambles the most peculiar thing seems to be happening in West End... There are more people buying homes here then in recent history. Owner occupied!!! Maybe its because of the low prices, maybe its because credit is harder to get without a certain size down payment, maybe its because of the recent favorable buzz about the neighborhood, but its happening. I must admit I was worried that the housing slump was going to have a negative impact on the community, but West End and adjacent neighborhoods have been seeing a steady stream of new residents.

Also, there are 3 super markets in West End (Kroger, Big Bear (fresh produce), Super Value (Next to Mall) and there is talk about a weekend Farmers Market (we'll see). Restaraunts are ok, but depends on your taste (Chantarelles, Soul Vegetarian, Taste of Caribbean, Gut Busters (Philly Cheese Steaks), Q-Time, Pizza Pie, other fast food types). There is one that is set to open in some Warehouse space on White St and I don't know what the hold up is with the Chicken & Waffles that was scheduled. There's more, but haven't been to them. Basically, if you want Thai, Italian, or Indian you'll have to hop in the car or on the train, but you won't have to go far.

West End's main Coffee shop has to be 'The Grounds' below Sky Lofts. Good coffee + Poetry reading + art selling + Comfy Sofas + Wi-Fi kind of place. Then you got Krispy Kreme (The kind with the conveyor belt) and a Dunkin Donuts.

Been here almost 4 years now and all-in-all I'm happy here. I don't expect things to change overnight, but honestly that doesn't bother me. I don't view it as a bad neighborhood. I've got good neighbors and I feel comfortable here.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 8, 2008
I love historic West End--the homes are beautiful--and there is a lot of potential for growth in the future. However, this growth will most likely take place over a long time period and like Jeanneatte and Davesm point out, you must be an active part of the revitalization or it will never take the place. My sister bought in Historic West End three years ago and loves her home and her neighbors--they all look out for each other and are active participants in the community. But there are a lot of things that the West End lacks that other neighborhoods have--lack of retail and restaurant and lack of development. There is a new CVS and a new condo development, but beyond that, there is not much going on in the area. There is a Kroger on Cascade, but as far as other grocery stores, there are no other ones.... You will most likely have to leave the neighborhood to get to the places that you need. It is also a reality that you do not really see people jogging or walking in the neighborhoods and you do not see people hanging out at coffee shops or window shopping in the neighborhood. I believe that until the city is willing to invest money into West End--until the mortgage fraud stops--until developers believe that the area is a worthwhile project--until the community recognizes that the change needs to happen for a better and safer neighborhood--you will be waiting for a long time to see the West End grow. With the collapse of our economy and the tightening of the lending industry and the loss of homeownership due to foreclosure, I believe neighborhoods like West End will continue to suffer. If you buy in West End, you will most likely be in it for the long haul. If you are willing to stay and be an active particpant in the neighborhood, I would keep looking and find something less than 200K.
Web Reference: http://www.leaveittobee.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 8, 2008
Chip, I live in the West End Historic District and am pleased with it. I've been here almost 3 years despite the arguments against it by some friends and family. In my opinion West End logistically has so much in its favor. I-20 (3 exits) is the Northern boarder, Marta Station is the Eastern boarder, Beltline is the Southern and Western boarders. Also, Lee St will be renamed Peachtree w/in 5 years. Its eastern boarder is 1 mile from the State Capitol, Castleberry Hill is its NE neighbor, and West End has an tremendous amount of retail space that is in a protected historic district.

There are concerned/involved neighbors (old and new) that value this community. Stop by a WEND meeting (West End Neighborhood Development) and hear what is happening. There is a quiet revitalization taking place here, one historic home at a time. Preservation is key in West End. Even new construction looks likes it's been there for 100 years. It is only a matter of time before revitalization is in full stride. There are only a handful of intown neighborhhoods that have 1870s Victorians - 1920s Craftsmen, brick sidewalks, and wide streets formerly traveled by trolly. The way I see it is it is just too beautiful a neighborhood and too close to Downtown to be overlooked for much longer. I have a feeling you already know these things, but just wanted to hear it from somebody else.

Lakewood Heights is nice if you want to live in a subdivision of new homes that is not integrated with the surrounding neighborhood. West End is for you if you want to live in a true urban environment in Atlanta's first Historic District with all of the advantages mentioned above. Hope this helps you in you decision. I now need to get back to scraping and painting my 1918 Craftsman Bungalow.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 1, 2007
Chip,

Did you buy?

If you did not, and if you are still considering the next steps on an Intown purchase, then call me.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 3, 2008
Hi Chip,
There are other upcoming areas of Atlanta that is in the process of revitalizing such as East Lake, Camp Creek, Mabelton, and the Cascade area. Once you have found a home have a market analysis done to see exactly what the neighborhood values are doing.
Web Reference: http://www.iamBlessed.net
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 22, 2007
I personally like Lakewood Heights better. The area is undergoing much more dramatic revitalization and newer homes in the area are reasonably priced. You can find a new construction 4 or 5 bedroom, 2000 sq ft for around $225K on a great lot with tons of amenities.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 30, 2007
Hi Chip:
I think I'm that certain person Joshua was referring to - and I would have to say that if you are interested in the West End - do you want to be a part of the revitalization process? Because that is what it will take.

If you aren't handy and as in any Historic District you will be required (sort of like an HOA right) to maintain a certain standard - are you willing to dedicate the time to do so?

And YES there are other area's for you to consider - TON's in fact. But what is your true criteria? What is your family structure... What are your priorities?

I am here to do you a service - information on the web, or true service of finding the home you are actually looking for - for your own personal reasons. Whether it be investment for the future or tax incentives, or a combination of both.

Where you ultimately buy is up to you - but there is no crystal ball at this time to answer all your concerns: BUT I do have a website that keeps up with the goings on there:

http://www.topix.net/city/atlanta-ga-west-end

try it out and let me know if it helps!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 27, 2007
The question is, do you want to live in a historic area in Downtown or would another area work?

When a client doesn't know about a particular area, we need to break it down. Where are you going to work? What do you like to do? Is family nearby, etc. What's important in a home, what kind of home are you looking for... etc.

Historic districts are beautfiul but often require work. There are several cost effective places all over Metro Atlanta (I'm sure a certain trulia member will invite you an hour away from West End to her area as well), it would help to know in particular what drew you into West End and what you are looking for in a home, area and investment.
Web Reference: http://www.jrjarvis.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 27, 2007
Joshua Jarvis, Real Estate Pro in Duluth, GA
MVP'08
Contact
Chip:
It sounds like your best bet is to contact the Historical Society in this area snd gather as much information as possible in order to try to answer "some" of your concerns. If you primary purpose is to re-sell, I'd certainly due as much due-dilligence as you can find the time for. On the other hand if your intent is to make this your home for many years to come, maybe you should consider getting involved in the redevelopment process by joining some comnmittees and getting involved with the community so you can have an imput as to the way the area is revitalized. Just a suggestion, hope it helps.

Insofar as finding an expert in this particular area, I'd contact the local Board of Realtors for a suggestion as to which Realtors work this area on a consistent basis and direct you questions to them. - Steve
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 27, 2007
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