Home Buying in 30326>Question Details

FirstTimeATL…, Home Buyer in Atlanta, GA

I am a young professional looking to buy my first home in the Buckhead area and need some advice.

Asked by FirstTimeATLbuyer, Atlanta, GA Fri Jan 15, 2010

I currently live in the Buckhead area and want to stay close by. I was looking at Buckhead,Lenox, and Brookhaven.

Here is where I'm stuck - I like the idea of high-rise condo living, but all advice out there says not to buy a 1 bed condo. I am open to the idea of a townhome if a good one is available. My budget is $200K and like newer constructions. What is the best way to spend this money?

Btw, top on my list is Terminus and Paramount.

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Lee Taylor’s answer
To answer your question - do we think Paramount is a better investment than Terminus.

All things being equal at the resale closing table in 2011, 2012...2018...2023...neither one of them will be performing "investment properties" from a cash on cash standpoint.

If you gave me $200,000 cash and said pick a building, then I would sort through my initial gut feelings and decide based on the following:

1. both are stuck in a stale commercial and retail submarket stifled by lots of faux people, places and things

2. both are cookie cutter, luxury living condos

3. I can only afford to make a win/win at Paramount for $200,000 - I pretty much can't afford Terminus

4. both are an easy walk to The Palm - the coolest place in the area for hanging out within walking distance

5. both are a short taxi ride from Johnny's Hideaway - the closest thing that one can get to a real community bar in the packaged subculture of mega-brand Buckhead

6. uh, remember point #3...

7. hey...what about Spire?

So, Paramount for $200,000, my Young Professional friend, or check out Spire.

Don't ever say, at the condo closing table when someone is buying your unit for less than you paid for it, that I didn't tell you about sweet brick ranch pads on a 1/3 acre with room for a pool...in the same price range, nearby...
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 19, 2010
What should you look out for? Well, look for prices to continue to fall in the Buckhead condo, loft and townhome market.

Buy as much property as you possibly can within your budget, and plan your life around this real estate investment for the next 7-10 years. Don't expect condo, loft and townhome prices to rise for a couple of decades.

Buy "land" - they stopped making it.

But you insist on buying a condo, so here's some advice...

Stay away from studios, pied a' terre units and units buried by unsightly scenery.

Seek out units that are as high up in the building as possible. Seek out end units.

Seek out units with unique floor plans, in unique buildings with unique, highly desirable amenities.

Finally, don't be a sucker - condos are filled with arrogant sellers with 2007 on the brain who must drop their prices in order to sell - Smokey Robinson said "good looking girls come a dime a dozen, don't be sold on the very first one..."

A quick look at recent sales at Paramount and Terminus reveals two things:

1. There is no demand for a 1/1 for more than $170000

2. Paramount has two interesting pending sales around $225,000, and they are 22 floors apart from one another - both are 2/2's - are they the highest priced sales that we'll see in these buildings this year? I think so...

Remember, you are the one that must be duly diligent with the HOA and the CCRE's - it's up to you to avoid buying into a chronic problem.

Have you hired a real estate agent? What advice are they giving you?

If not, are you interviewing?

One more thing - you ask "what is the best way to spend this money?"

If location matters, and you need to be close to Buckhead, and if you want to consider the most remarkable bonus plan in the USA - the "Home Sale Capital Gain Exclusion" - if any of this matters, then read the web reference...

...and don't buy a condo. It will not rise in value for more than a decade - but a single family house, on a quiet tree lined street, most likely, will rise in value in the next 10 years.

There are 136 houses for sale for less than $250,000 in greater Buckhead, greater Brookhaven, Chamblee and North Atlanta. I would take a 2/1 in Loring Heights, a fixer upper 3/2 in Pine Hills or any decent brick ranch with at least 1/3 acre near PDK, all day long as "the best way to spend this money..."
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 18, 2010
The "space" that you are coming home to, at $200,000, is smaller than you think.

Buy land, they stopped making it.

At your price point, the townhome selection is stale, dilapidated, dated to the point of comedy, or else just plain ugly...in Buckhead.

Spread out , look around Sandy Springs or the Westside (Liberty Park). However, the best townhome products will be around $250,000 and up.

And, townhomes are just as lousy an investment as a condo.

Most of the Lenox and Brookhaven choices are super dated at your price point - have you ever heard of Cross Creek Country Club just west of Buckhead - lots of choices there - and from there, the closest possibilities will be along Defoors Ferry. Any closer to Midtown and your price is shot.

But all of these choices are pretty much UGLY. Really. At your price.

There is a lot of townhome inventory built out and unsold in your price range, but all of it is at least 20-30 minutes from Club Uranus or Mako's, or that fake Fado Irish pub, or East Andrews or wherever you swingin' kids are partying nowadays...

Call me an old snob, but you'll find me at Johnny's or at the 5 Paces, or else I'm the hell away from Buckhead, beating a path to The Star Bar, Six Feet Under and Leon's.

Stick with a condo if you want modern/newer construction for $200,000 near Buckhead, but before you do...

You seem like a bright guy - did you click on that link about the capital gains avoidance?

You need to read a book called Cash Flow Quadrant by Robert Kiyosaki.

Buying a condo at your age is a financial mistake, but a decent lifestyle choice if that's what makes you happy.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 21, 2010
I have perform thousand of inspection in the buck head area and throughout the Atlanta area. Many of condo's. First of all everyone client was single or married with no children. I would recocommend a Town home in a nice area. These seem to be more appearing in the real sale market place. Most people live in the homes an average of 7 to 10 yrs before they moved on. The townhome wil carry good resale value. I would considier looking for one with more than one bedroom. One bedrooms only appeal to a single individual or a married couple with no children. There are many nice town homes below your price range offering gated communitys,pools,and are more family oriented if you chose to move in that 7 to 10yr period. I think you would have a better return on your investment.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 20, 2010
I would be happy to show you around the areas and help you find the right house for your family.
We could set up an appointment to find out all of your wants and needs…then start the house hunt!
Look forward to speaking with you!

Kiki Jackson
Keller Williams Realty Peachtree Rd.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 7, 2015
I would be happy to show you around the areas and help you find the right house for your family.
We could set up an appointment to find out all of your wants and needs…then start the house hunt!
Look forward to speaking with you!

Kiki Jackson
Keller Williams Realty Peachtree Rd.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 7, 2015
I would be happy to show you around the areas and help you find the right house for your family.
We could set up an appointment to find out all of your wants and needs…then start the house hunt!
Look forward to speaking with you!

Kiki Jackson
Keller Williams Realty Peachtree Rd.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 7, 2015
Good afternoon,

That's great that you're looking to be a homeowner. The one thing I would advise you to do is make sure you know the value of whatever home you are looking to buy before the contract. If you're interested in a home and they haven't had an appraisal done, get one. You don't want to invest in a home that isn't worth it. Think of it this way, homeowners try and get as much as they can out of a home. Knowing the value of a home helps you know what to offer and settle on before the signing of a contract.

There is a lot of information on my website which is found in my profile. They have tips for first time buyers, what to ask an appraiser before hire, steps for applying for loans etc.

Good luck,

0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 5, 2013
Nice work, Adrian.

We gotta dig in this market. We gotta dig!

Hank Miller - is it time we start exhuming some 2008 Q&A? See how some of those agents who aren't in the business anymore are doing...
Web Reference: http://intowninsider.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 5, 2013
When you find you perfect home; condo or townhome, contact me! I specialize in condo financing with as little as 5% down.

Warm regards,
Kim Jones-Zweig
Senior Mortgage Banker
Fidelity Bank Mortgage
3490 Piedmont Road, Suite 750
Atlanta, GA 30305
p: 678.468.4046 | f: 678.829.0612
e: kim.jones@lionbank.com
w: http://www.kimdjones.com
CLICK TO Apply Here ~ http://www.kimdjones.com
NMLS# 545217
FIND ME ON FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/#!/KimJonesHomeLoans
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 5, 2013
Are you planning on making another move anytime soon?

Adrian Provost
Provost International Realty
3348 Peachtree Road NE Atlanta GA 30326 Suite 700
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 5, 2013
Atlanta is flooded with condos right now. I have several real estate agents I work with that concentrate soley on condominium sales and can find you exactly what you are looking for. I just closed a loan yesterday for a couple that bought a condo, once valued at $400K, for $215K. The owner had to "short sale" it to his bank because his job circumstances changed and he could no longer afford the payments. There are numerous deals out there right now. I live and work in Buckhead. I work for a bank as a mortgage consultant, and, have many properties myself that I rent and sell. Call me and I can help guide you. 678.468.4046
Web Reference: http://www.kimdjones.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 21, 2010
Hi there, in response to your question: First of all at the Paramount at Buckhead, unless you are buying a foreclosure or a short sale 200K will only get you a 1 Bedroom, not great for resale, but if you hold until the market turns, it can sell for more than you paid. It is a Julian LeCraw development, they are premiere builders in the South East. It has great amenities, and being that the game changed on buying condos on Feb 1, 2010, it may be a wise choice for you, because it is one of the few condos in 30326 that is already FHA approved, if you have 5 to 10% down and at least a 720 credit score it does not matter to you.

I used to sell real estate and do mortgages in Southern CA so I stay on top of what's going on with lending, because it makes me more valuable to my clients. If I can be of assistance give me a shout, I'd be happy to take on 2 new buyers going into March. If not good luck in your search.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 27, 2010
I would look at Parmount but remember that appreciation in a condo is hard to do, as you have limited space inside and you can't do anything outside, like expand a deck or other items. There is great nightlife in other areas and I hate to see young people attracted to areas just because of the nightlife. There are so many areas for young people. I woudl encourage you to interview 3 agents and pick one that you like. Make sure that you get a buyers agreement signed so that you and them are on the same page.
I have help young first time buyers in dtATL and woudl be happy to talk further with you or have you look at my website where you can search for homes. Fees at a lot of Condos are $300 a month so keep that in mind.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 18, 2010
I would look at a townhouse. I am selling mine.....6900 Roswell Rd. Atlanta, Ga. 30328
2/2 a half bath...granite, hardwoods, pool/fitness.....AWESOME AREA!
You would love it! I am planning on moving to Destin, Florida.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 18, 2010
You need to check with your lender first and make you are approved for a Condo. Then you need to give a list of condo name to your lender to make sure the home is approved for the type financing your are seeking, FHA, VA, Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Many lenders are no longer making loans on condos. FHA has recently announced new approval process for condos.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 9, 2010
Thanks for everyone's opinion. I understand that a home is the best investment choice. But I'm young and single, and don't want to live far from the Atlanta nightlife. Nor do I want to come home to a huge house and a ton of empty space.

For all those that recommended a townhome, what in your opinion are good complexes to consider in buckhead, lenox, brookhaven, or midtown? Like I said before, I like newer/modern style construction.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 21, 2010
Do you think paramount is a better investment decision than Terminus?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 18, 2010
You are right on about Paramount! The prices in there are fabulous right now and of all the condo opp's I see in this area right now, Paramount might be the best in terms of investment at this moment. I work about 1 mile from there so if you would like to check a few units out, just let me know! Also, the association dues are very reasonable for all the extras that you get as a home owner in that building.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 18, 2010
You picked a great area. There are many condo deals on that side of town. Builders are having trouble unloading inventory. On the one bedroom question, they are hard to sell and rent out. Try to get at least a two bedroom condo. Check out my website for more buyer info.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 16, 2010
Things to do

- Get qualified for a loan (if you have not done so already)
- Get a copy of the Bylaws for the association. (You want to know the rules & regulation before buying)
- With condo foreclosure, ask about unpaid association fees
- Check county tax commission website for unpaid property taxes
- Some foreclosures need a few repairs (keep this in mind)

To buy a foreclosure compared to buying new at $100k difference in price is a great deal!!!

However, you have to live there…get what you want!

Let me know if you have any more questions.

When you are ready to move forward, shoot me an email or give me a call

Take care,

Bryce Hill
Managing Broker
Linear Realty, LLC
770-601-0770 direct
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 16, 2010
Thanks for the reply. With my budget, a one bed at Terminus or a two bed at Paramount is the most I will be able to get. The 2 beds at Paramount around $200k are foreclosures. What are the things I need to look out for?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 15, 2010
Paramount has several two bedrooms in your $200k price range. I did not see any two bedrooms in Terminus below $349k. take care
Web Reference: http://www.liner-realty.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 15, 2010
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