marjorie, Home Buyer in Atlanta, GA

For $400k - $450k is Kirkwood or Ormewood Park a better long-term investment?

Asked by marjorie, Atlanta, GA Thu May 30, 2013

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At that price point you are buying one of the most expensive homes in the neighborhood right now. You will be the first to see a price drop and the last to go up when the market changes. For my money, I would look in Grant Park, Candler or Lake Clair where you will more in the middle of the pack. If this is not an option, take a close look at the schools, regular and charter, and you will find your answer.

Dave Herren
Best Atlanta Properties
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri May 31, 2013
Majorie, it depend on several factors. What is your holding period? Are you investing for home ownership, short term flip, long term rent and hold? What type of property you buying, what degree of rehab are you planning to do? What is happening in the surrounding home, street and surrounding streets?

A qualified professional can assist you make a determination about a neighborhood and house.

Bruce Ailion,
RE/MAX Greater Atlanta
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1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu May 30, 2013
OMG! Do not buy in Kirkwood especially if you have school age children...schools are not good unless you go Charter. There is high crime in Kirkwood area...robberies mostly but there was a recent murder in the last month of a young man on a bike trail. Kirkwood would be for a couple with no kids and to pay 400K there would be a shame. You should buy in City of Decatur if you want to have your kids in good schools and you may be able to get a small home in that price is crazy expensive to live in Decatur. Fernbank area is also excellent Elementary schools right outside of Kirkwood and Decatur...Hope this helps.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 10, 2014

To answer your last question, I agree with Tyler. O4W offers the greatest risk, but potentially the greatest reward. For much less risk and great reward, I choose Grant Park. The NCS is a huge draw for young families, and the same families that built that system are bring International Baccalaureate World School designation to the H.S. this Fall. I predict we will see new retail development at the nexus of Glenwood Park/Beltline/Memorial drive in the next few years which will further enhance the quality of life in GP, read property values.

Thanks for the great question!


Dave Herren
Best Atlanta Properties
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 31, 2013
In my opinion Marjorie I would say O4W is definitely high in the running depending on the exact area of the neighborhood. There are a ton of things being done to revitalize the area.
Grant Park is currently very popular and with the low inventory prices have been steadily increasing. With Grant Park having one of the best elementary charter schools young families are fighting to buy in the neighborhood. I definitely think it is a sure shot location as well. Especially if you are able to be as close to the park as possible. Finding new construction may be a struggle though.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 31, 2013
Last question.....Which neighborhood do you predict will have the best appreciation rates in the next 5 - 10 years out of Ormewood Park, Kirkwood, Edgewood, O4W, Grant Park? I know this is based on schools, crime, neighbors, even streets, but generally speaking?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 31, 2013
O4W- so much revitalization and with the Atlanta Belt Line system and trolley car system that is up and running, new businesses have opened up and this area has quickly become the "IT" spot for housing and entertainment and redevelopment
Laquita Baez
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Metrobrokers
404.843.2500 office
973.687.7095 direct
Flag Tue Sep 2, 2014
Hello again Marjorie--

Any good agent can connect you with the builders in your neighborhoods of choice. I would not recomend that you negotiate directly with a builders' agent, as that agent will be representing the best interests of the seller.

Many people do not realize that it is the custom in Georgia for the seller to pay the commission to the listing agent, who then splits it with the buyer's agent. Basically, a buyer's agent is the best deal in town. You receive expert help and representation, which will make your home search and purchase go much more smoothly. I recommend that you use a Realtor-- not all agents are Realtors--- and speak to two pr three until you find someone who you like.

Finally, the ease of Internet searching leaves many buyers feeling that they should wait until they are ready to buy before taking on an agent. Again, I do not agree with that approach. If you meet with a good Realtor at the beginning of your search, he or she will have all kinds of information and advice about the current market. As we are now in a sellers' market inside the Perimeter, you need a buyer's agent more than ever.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 31, 2013
The location difference between Sutherland Place and Hawthorn Park has quite a price gap.



Neighboring amenities and immediate neighbors.

They are both kind of the same when you look at just crime numbers per zip code - check the web reference.

School trends do contribute to a remarkable demand difference for higher priced houses north of Dekalb Avenue / Howard Avenue.

And neighbors are neighbors.

So, in this price range - value is easy to assess, yet sometimes hard to find - a compromise on lot size vs. finishes, or limited parking or perhaps an incongruent build on a street that doesn't have so many close comparables - those are typical value compromises in this price range, in this area.

I've listed and sold 8 houses in Hawthorn Park since 2006, and I'm sort of excited about the Kirkwood Forest project next door. I've sold houses all over 30317, 30307, and 30030 since 1999.

Two agents in my office are working with builders in that price range in Kirkwood on reno flips, plus I can call three or four others who consistently look for flip renovations all over the 30317, 30307 and 30030 areas.

You are part of a tidal wave of demand - ask any agent working in the area what happens on the third or fifth day after someone snatches a listing up for full price on day one.

A very nice Hawthorn Park house with a finished basement is coming on the market by July...

Call me at 404-218-4126.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 31, 2013
Hi again Marjorie,

Now is a great time to look for new construction. Builders are starting to build constantly now. Intown new construction has been a bit slim but there have been plenty of newly built homes popping up in a variety of neighborhoods.

Another option may be to find a home that could be torn down and you could build a dream home. Your best option is to work with a realtor that knows the market in your neighborhoods of choice (such as myself lol) and begin the search. We are in a sellers market so the right home may be here today and gone tomorrow. So be proactive. If you would like a consultation I would be happy to sit with you and give any advice you may need. Feel free to contact me anytime.

Tyler Willis, REALTOR®
Keller Williams Realty Intown Atlanta
621 North Ave NE, Suite C-50
Atlanta, GA 30308
Office: (404)541-3500
Direct: (678)656-5524
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 31, 2013
Thanks for all the feedback. I love Lake Claire, Oakhurst, and Candler Park, but couldn't find the house I wanted for less than $600k. 4 bedroom, updated, large backyard, front least 2,000 sq. feet. How do I find out about builders with new homes planned across neighborhoods? I would prefer new construction since I've done the older house with charm already and don't want the maintenance problems that come along with it.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 31, 2013
Lets meet if you do not have a buyer's agent that you can count on - my office sells more where you want to buy than any other office in Dekalb County. KW Metro in downtown Decatur. I can help you find what you need. Call me at 404-218-4126.
Flag Fri May 31, 2013
Two big police beats per neighborhood. If you want to really dissect things, draw lines at the major commercial/retail borders and the railroad borders, and look at all 4 of the beat books.

From there, look where the $400-450s consistently sell.

As examples, Hawthorn Park is coming back in Kirkwood - back to prices above 2003-2004 new builder sales prices with unfinished basements and attics around $400ish... Same with Stoney River, Greystone, or Springdale builds on nice lots in Ormewood Park.

Both have active neighborhood organizations and some streets are generally better than others for "quiet, tree lined" living. Both neighborhoods still have a few gravel roads left too. Old school.

For $400-450K, without factoring in a specific need for one particular school district over the other, and without factoring in a particular commute or convenience requirement, it's a toss up based on the house and the property.

Long term - these neighborhoods have both shown recent signs of stability and value in the $400-450K range..

Looking back, there were a lot more houses sold above $500K in the history of Kirkwood than there have been in the history of Ormewood Park.

I would argue that land prices for any given 1/4-1 acre parcel in each neighborhood are about the same comparatively today...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 31, 2013
For what it's worth, Kirkwood is immediately adjacent to the City of Decatur and all it has to offer. For my money, proximity to Decatur wins hands down-- it is such a great little town! Decatur has tons of great restaurant choices, interesting shops, the renowned Decatur Book Festival, concerts on the square, and much more.

You will most likely frequent the shops and restaurants closest to your home. Do you prefer the shopping and dining opportunities of Kirkwood/Decatur, or those of East Atlanta/Grant Park?

If you are interested in researching Kirkwood vs. Ormewood Park, you might want to try The data here comes from the latest census and might provide information that would be useful to you as you choose where to invest in buying a home.

I work in both Kirkwood and East Atlanta, and would be delighted to help you with your big decision. I can be reached via Trulia or on my cell phone at 404-790-8184.

Good luck-- and have fun looking!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 30, 2013
Depends on what location the home is in these areas will determine which might be better for long term investment.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 30, 2013
Hi Marjorie,

How about this for an answer? It depends. If I knew more about the property type and its specific location I could actually provide some useful information.

However, I 'll go out on a limb and suggest that you focus on homes above I-20 rather than below. Kirkwood is a wonderful area and there is actually a great home in your price range that is a new comer to the market. It is a quite large, handsome home on Kirkwood Road that just became available. I would definitely give that a look.

Thank you for the opportunity to voice an opinion.

Patricia Queen
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 30, 2013
Thanks for the information everyone. I would want to be north of Hosea Williams as I find that area has less crime as opposed to closer to Memorial. I own and home and have lived in the Parkview/Kirkwood area for the past 7 years, so I am very familiar with Kirkwood and Oakhurst, but have never really ventured over to Ormewood Park. Ormewood Park itself seems like a lovely, well established neighborhood, but it doesn't have the same amenities that Kirkwood has such as it's own village and park. Also, I think Grant Park and EAV generally have more crime as opposed to the neighborhoods surrounding Kirkwood based on crime mapping sites. There doesn't seem to be much inventory right now, especially for a 4 bedroom home with a decent sized back yard. Lastly, I would most likely need to rent out my home for a few more years as it's only a 2/2 renovated bungalow and I owe essentially what it's worth based on my appraisal from a six months ago. When is the ideal time to rent out?
Flag Thu May 30, 2013
Hi Marjorie,

When it comes to anywhere Intown Atlanta it will ultimately vary from street to street. One thing I would recommend considering for the long term would be schooling, neighborhood amenities, as well as future plan for that particular area.

$400 to $450K are at the height of the current price points in both of those neighborhoods. Ormewood park is a bit more mature right now and Kirkwood has a pretty good amount of growing to do.

If you have any other questions feel free to contact me anytime.

Tyler Willis, REALTOR®
Keller Williams Realty Intown Atlanta
621 North Ave NE, Suite C-50
Atlanta, GA 30308
Office: (404)541-3500
Direct: (678)656-5524
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 30, 2013
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