Home Buying in Atlanta>Question Details

J Miller, Home Buyer in Los Angeles, CA

Gay friendly areas in Atlanta, with a suburban feel? Ansley Park?

Asked by J Miller, Los Angeles, CA Mon Feb 2, 2009

I'm looking to move from California out to Atlanta, and I want to purchase a detached, single family home that's close to downtown, but that is relatively safe and has a suburban feel (trees, grass, sidewalks). I'm also a gay male, so I'm looking for a place that is at least socially moderate, so I hopefully don't feel harassed or alienated.

I'm asking because I'm trying to narrow down the areas. My price point is up to $1.5 mill.

I would prefer to live in an established neighborhood, as opposed to a tract house in the exurbs.

I was told to consider the Midtown and Ansley Park area. What do you all think about Ansley Park?

Does anyone have any other recommendations? Are there other good areas close to Midtown? Is it worth considering the Buckhead area, even in the $1.5 mill price range?

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Answers

14
J -

I think most areas in and around the city of Atlanta are socially moderate so I wouldn't limit the search based upon that. I would however, be very careful to study the track record of the particular area with regard to price. It seemed that Atlanta was supposed to enjoy unabated growth and prosperty, even in those areas where common sense dictated otherwise. Many in this business and the development business essentially said damn the torpedos, convinced buyers to buy nonsense, and we see the results. You should come back to basics and stay in the neighborhoods with the established history of value and appeal.

Additionally, I personally don't see the need to spend 1.5M on a home you describe. There are significant bargains out there but it's location first, track record of the area second. You can do very well at this time if the approach, research and preparation is correct. Above all, be decisive if and when "the house" comes along. I know from where I speak, I'm completing about 30-40 appraisals a month in and around the city in addition to my sales business. Drop me a line, I can offer more pointed ideas.

Hank Miller, SRA, ABR
Associate Broker & Certified Appraiser
Prudential GA Realty
678-428-8276
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 2, 2009
J,

I believe that you will love Ansley Park, and at your price point, you can buy a very nice property. The Sherwood Forest section of AP is quiet, lovely, and actually does feel "suburban." Lots of mid-century moderns and other terrific architecture...

Buckhead Forest, Garden Hills, LaVista Park, Morningside, Virginia Highland, Candler Park, Lake Claire and Inman Park will all have the comfort, safety and neighborly feel that you seek, and almost all of them will have houses priced in your range.

The great thing about Atlanta is that you may find yourself spending less than $1.5M on this purchase.

I would also suggest an area that you should at least visit - Glenwood Park, which is a "new urban" development near Grant Park and the East Atlanta Village - very affordable, and a delightful, welcoming neighborhood.

Atlanta has been called the "City Too Busy to Hate" and since 1987, when the KKK protested a civil rights march in Cumming, GA, and since the 1996 Olympics, when we polished the city for the world, most of the nonsense and baseless hate has subsided. We host a massive Pride weekend, we host the national Black Gay Pride weekend every Labor Day, and we have plenty of very friendly, very cool "gayborhoods" all over Intown.

If you love modern design, I'm thinking right now of a Robert Green designed house, on the edges of Buckhead and Midtown built in the early '60's that is priced at $1.1M. Almost 2 acres of lush tranquility. If not, then get your real estate on - Atlanta is loaded with lovely houses for sale right now, and inventory will increase by probably 20% in the next 90 days.

My wife, my daughter, and all of my daughter's gay uncles welcome you to the A.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 2, 2009
Does it matter . Just buy the home that you can afford and want to live in

Gay or not Gay who cares. THIS IS NOT 1960 IT IS 2009
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 12, 2009
I think you might find the North Druid Hills area right up your alley. It's just outside the city (you can be in Midtown in 10 minutes), within the Perimeter, and has the grass, trees, & sidewalks appeal without being in the 'burbs. As lesbians, my partner and I feel very comfortable here. There's a mix of people, young and old, and you won't feel like you're the only person on the block without a minivan. :) My next door neighbors are a gay couple, as are a few others on my street. There's also a gay neighborhood association that has monthly or quarterly dinners so you could meet some people that way (they have a listing on the Atlanta Pride website, I think). There's also a good mix of homes, with your price range being at the top of the market - you could get a gorgeous new house for that here (there's some redevelopment being done although most of the homes are in the 1950-60s era). It's just a really convenient, easy place to live.

I've lived in Brookhaven (2 miles away from here) - I found it a little cold. Buckhead (2 miles away) has its appeal for some - it's very busy, lots of traffic. Decatur (about 5 miles) is great, but not easy to get to (probably part of why it has retained its charm). Ansley is nice but feels a bit crowded to me (smallish lots); Inman Park is gorgeous but there's definitely an urban element to it, along with some of the problems you find in urban areas (my friend's wall gets graffitied regulary, for example).

Also - be careful - City of Atlanta/Fulton County property taxes and water/sewer costs tend to be high. Here in unincorporated DeKalb County, taxes are reasonable (mine are a bit less than $1K per $100K of value) and I pay around $25 a month for water, sewer, and trash collection.

Good luck and welcome to Atlanta! :)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 3, 2009
I also recommend looking at in-town Decatur. There are great homes there in very friendly neighborhoods. Most in-town neighborhoods are friendly and welcoming to everyone. Living in-town Decatur and Atlanta, it is expected that there will be a mix of great people, both gay and straight.

You may want to check out this home located just 7 miles from Midtown in Decatur:
http://www.propertypreviews.com/realestate/4655/2456_medlock…

I am about to list another fabulous home in Midtown that might suit your needs as well.

Feel free to contact me with questions. You will love it here!

Jen Bowman, Broker Associate
Success Realty
404-456-5024
Web Reference: http://www.JenBowman.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 2, 2009
Yes Ansley Park is a wonderful neighborhood and is very close to downtown Atlanta. It also has a wonderful neighborhood feel with it's public parks, restaurants, bars, shops and the museum all within walking distance. Ansley is also unique in it's many different types of homes. It is a very well established neighborhood with grand older homes but there have been new traditional homes and contemporary homes built in the last few years.

Midtown, Virginia Highlands, Candler Park/Lake Claire and I would even suggest Druid Hills which is a beautiful neighborhood designed by Frederick Olmstead located close to Emory University(think driving Miss Daisy). These are all wonderful neighborhoods each with it's own type of architecture/style.

All of these neighborhoods are close to downtown(Midtown being the closest to the actual downtown area)and they are all fairly close to each other as well.
Web Reference: http://LaurieCass.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 2, 2009
J. Miller

As a native of Atlanta who has really witnessed this City evolve, Atlanta overall is comparatively an inclusive and welcoming place for everyone.

I do think that Ansley Park is a nice selection, however if you seek alternatives I would like to recommend a few that are relatively progressive in appeal within establish neighborhoods. You may want to consider Brookhaven, Collier Hills, Glenwood Park, and Inman Park – all minutes from entertainment, dinning and shopping, art and culture. All of which currently have inventory in your price range.

Base on your time frame, some new products/homes are currently under construction within these areas. Feel free to contact me direct with any questions, I will be happy to establish a customized client Gateway for you to view properties in these areas as well Midtown and Ansley Park.

Roger Gibson,ABR
Real Estate Consultant
678-851-4463
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 2, 2009
J
Beside the intown area you also might want to look at the East Point, College Park, Hapeville area. They are on the south side of Atlanta and have a lot of rehab homes and newer homes built where old homes were torn down. They also have a significant gay population, I have sold several homes to partners in that area.

Best of Luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 2, 2009
I'd also look in Druid Hills if I were you. It's a gorgeous neighborhood with grand historic homes on huge lots (many over an acre). The neighborhood was originally laid out by Frederick Law Olmsted -- the father of American landscape architecture and designer of Central Park in NYC. It's adjacent to Emory University so it has that intellectual, college enclave kind of vibe. It's convenient to everything -- Midtown, Virginia-Highland, Buckhead, Decatur -- but separated enough that it's truly a calm and peaceful oasis in the city.

Other than Druid Hills, I'd say Midtown and Ansley Park are definitely places you want to look. Buckhead has a very different ambience -- it appeals to some and turns others off. To find the area that suits you best you'll really need to spend some time in it -- you can't get the true feel for any neighborhood online or from other people's comments.

Best of luck to you! And WELCOME TO ATLANTA! :)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 2, 2009
J,

I'm going to give some advice that's a little bit against the grain here.
Don't limit yourself to the city.

There are many charming areas just outside of the city limits.

I live in one of those myself. The neighborhood is filled with every person from families to "family" to singles to empty nesters. But my neighborhood has a real entrepeneurial spirit too. And, without exception, everyone I have met in the neighborhood has a live and let live attitude.

It's 20 minutes outside of downtown Atlanta, 15 minutes from the airport and houses range from the 200Ks to $2 million.

I think you should check it all out (intown and out of town). If you do decide to buy intown, do some major negotiating, there are some incredible reductions going on in places like Buckhead, Ansley and midtown.

In your pricepoint, there are some genuine steals, deals and exciting homes to look at.

I would love to show you around myself.
Atlanta is an exciting city. I've been here since '92, moved here from Miami and never looked back.
My office is in Buckhead and there are some fantastic houses that I t hink you should see, both intown and out.

Tony Teixeira
770-851-5050
tonysellsatlanta@gmail.com
Web Reference: http://www.muffleyhomes.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 2, 2009
I cant add to the already good advice you have. If you want to check out a good agent, negotiator, and liberal but straight agent, who was an Obama supporter, call me

Former LA resident (near Melrose Ave)

Ed Francell
Prudential Georgia Realty
770-633-7576
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 2, 2009
Check out these neighborhoods:

Ansley Park – 700k to 3 million - zip 30309
Sherwood Forest – 700k to 2.5 million - zip 30309
Morningside – 500k to 2 million – zip 30324
Virginia Highlands – 500k to 1.3 million – zip 30306,30324
Midtown – 500k to 1.3 million – zip 30308

Feel free to call me with questions!
Kevin Harden
404-388-8723
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 2, 2009
I was thinking later of a house you might love. Do you like contemporary? This home is priced right and has been reduced to just under 1M. The open floor plan is amazing for entertaining. The living room opens up to the second story and features 2 master bedrooms one up and down with 2 gas burning fireplaces (it get's chilly here). Besides 7 awesome french doors off the living room, keeping room and dining room (also great for entertaining) this home offers a wonderful bonus room on the second level for fun and entertainment. The neighborhood is as wonderful as the home. Friendly and European is Garden Hills as the private International School exists here bringing many open minded European friends as well as with a community pool for neighbors to greet and meet. This location is central to GA400, I75 and I85 and all you'll ever need to get around. This best news is you rarely deal with traffic which is a problem in the ATL as you will be going against traffic almost all the time. Here is a link to the home. I hope you'll check it out.

http://hannemarie.atlantarealestate.net/Listing/ListingDetai…

P.S.
I am not a Realtor so please accept this listing information as simply information. The listing agent is the agent I recommended earlier. She is German by the way and a European delight.

Hope this helps!
Web Reference: http://www.rmr-usa.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 2, 2009
I think your advise is right on. Midtown and Ansely Park with serve you well and they are so close to Buckhead there is no need to move there.

I can recommend a great agent and her name is Hanne Marie. She is a delight to work with as her positive energy will keep you laughing. Her honesty will help find you a great home. Please contact me by email from my profile for her information.

Hope this helps!
Web Reference: http://www.rmr-usa.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 2, 2009
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