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East Atlanta : Real Estate Advice

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  • Home Buying10
  • Home Selling1
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Activity 13
Wed Jan 13, 2016
Johnsonchadrick21 asked:
Need to be out of current place by March 31, 2016. If I need to transfer voucher to DeKalb it must be in asap ! Thanks !
0 votes 0 Answers Share Flag
Fri May 2, 2014
mspatriciaboone asked:
Mon Oct 7, 2013
Jim Dutton answered:
We have just listed 4402 Highland Road in Decatur. It's a 3 bedroom 2 bath very large house. Off of Covington Hwy just off of the perimeter. Rent is $975 per month. Please call me asap to get more information on this property and to schedule a showing.

Jim Dutton
The Housing Group Real Estate
770-719-9000 Cell/Text
404-806-2146 Fax
300 S. Glynn Street
Suite A
Fayetteville, GA 30214
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Tue Jan 8, 2013
Lee Taylor answered:
I suggest that you check out the crime mapping feature on - the site is down this morning, but the mapping will tell you a lot about specific crimes and patterns.

I love living where I live in Kirkwood, and I drive by Maynard and McPherson on my way to EATL at least 5-6 times a week.

Are you thinking about one of those houses at the corner on McPherson, across Maynard from the union hall?

Are you thinking about being on the side of McPherson that does not back up to I20?

Are you thinking about not living on Maynard Terrace at all? These would be a good thoughts to keep at the forefront of your purchasing criteria...

The real estate fundamentals over here matter more than the "safety" my opinion, APD's Zone 6 is one of the best areas of the city to live in, but if you choose the wrong location, and if you choose the wrong house with the wrong immediate neighbors, then woe unto you...

Here's a cut and paste from an answer I gave on Trulia Voices a few months ago about my neighborhood, Kirkwood:

"Is Kirkwood safe? Well, let's look at it like I do when I'm advising my clients-qualifying a Kirkwood purchase starts with understanding that your Kirkwood purchase requires a street by street, immediate neighbor by immediate neighbor evaluation. Choose the right house. Once you purchase, choose to be practical with basic, smart security.


Is Kirkwood "safe?"

Well, we had a storm 3 weeks ago that ripped down some old growth trees and if you were standing underneath one of those trees, then you were certainly in an "unsafe" part of Kirkwood that night."

Otherwise, buy on a quiet, tree-lined EATL street. Don't buy at the mouth of an I20 interchange...

If you want to meet and arrange a tour of the area with me, then please call.
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Tue Jan 8, 2013
Andrea Solomon answered:
You can this information from the police station. Good luck!
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Sun Aug 12, 2012
John Juarez answered:
Hallmarks of a typical on-line rental scam:
1. Rent is lower than it should be for the subject property.
2. Property cannot be seen because
3. The owner is out of state or out of the country. Just drive by and peak in the windows.
4. Sent money (wire good funds, no personal checks) and the keys will be mailed to you.
Often accompanied by a story that the owner had to relocate suddenly and they are looking for a good family to watch over their beloved house until they return…thus the low rent.

Also, watch out for similar scams in which the “landlord” wants you to fill out a rental application which provides information of a personal nature which the scammer can use to steal your identity.
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Wed Jun 6, 2012
Here's a blog post you may find useful:
0 votes 11 answers Share Flag
Wed Jun 6, 2012
You can use the FHA 203(k) or the Fannie Mae HomeStyle Renovation loan to complete a project like this. There are pros and cons of going with one over the other but both are essentially the same loan except one is a FHA loan and the other is a conventional loan. Your max loan amount for the 203k "may" be less than the conventional counterpart (HomeStyle) and can be used for 1-4 unit properties.

A rehab loan (203k streamline / 203k full / Fannie Mae HomeStyle) can be used on a purchase to rehabilitate your home as desired (needed and/or desired repairs, even if the house is already in habitable shape) or or a refinance to update your home as you see fit. The HomeStyle as mentioned earlier can also be used on second homes and investment properties. Both programs can lend on one to four flat properties. FHA's 203k is pretty strict on eligible condo rehabs whereas the HomeStyle option is superior for units in the city that need rehabbing (or any condo for that matter). For anyone unfamiliar with the program, please read this sentence carefully, REPAIR WORK DOESN'T NEED TO BE DONE BEFORE CLOSING, I say this in caps because there are so many consumers out there who assume all work must be done before closing and I wanted to address that rumor right away. All work is done AFTER closing by your contractor. Having said that, here's where anyone with knowledge on the topic will offer a retort saying FHA allows for borrowers to do their own work... The reality is that even though FHA allows it, there isn't a lender in the country that'll allow you to do your own rehab. The foreclosure rate on "self helf" transactions is a staggering percentage and any lender who's offering this program knows this as well. While it's true that on an exception basis, underwriters have been known to let a borrower paint or do some very minor things, it's the exception and not the rule. If you're looking to do all of your repair work yourself, financed rehabs like what we're talking about aren't for you. To be fair, some local bank that uses their own money may do something like this but again, that's the exception, not the rule.

You could use a 203k to gut your house and re-build it (a portion of the foundation must stay intact) though you may want to consider other homes if you're doing that major of a rehab unless you really know what you're doing.

Whether you're doing a streamline 203k, full 203k or HomeStyle, the process is essentially the same, talk to a contractor (or multiple) to get an idea of what the cost will be and if you can afford it (you'll want to speak with a loan officer to make sure you can even get a large enough loan to cover your existing balance/purchase price + desired repairs). In cases where there is structural work (replacing a roof is NOT considered structural) which includes moving/modifying a load bearing wall or repairing the foundation would most certainly be a structural change and would require the guidance of an outside consultant tasked with overseeing the project and ensuring it's completed as expected by the investor (Fannie Mae or Ginnie Mae) as they have no other way to determine if the work was done properly or at all post-close, hence why the (HUD) consultant is so important to them and why they're required on larger jobs or complex/structural rehabs. This consultant will also ensure the contractor's bid isn't unreasonable and can if he chooses, use lower cost numbers for the job than the contractor used and the contrator MUST lower his prices to match the consultant's estimate to continue working in the program. You could look at your consultant as a sort of fairy god mother, they'll make sure you're not getting overcharged and the work they're telling you they'll do is feasible for what you want done to your house.

I've seen blogs/posts here and elsewhere that say these are more for cosmetic work, that's what lenders who can only do the streamline 203k tell you so they don't have to admit they can't close your client's loan that want larger rehabs than the streamline will allow or structural changes. When I worked at a lender (name withheld) in the past as a specialist, I heard co-workers around me who could only do streamline 203k's use this speel all the time, it was almost comical to hear, please don't be fooled by the salesmanship, you've done your research if you're reading this, you're a step ahead of most others. Your loan officer should be intimately familiar with the program and be able to offer you the full gambit of renovation options. The most knowledgeable Renovation Specialists work for lenders who cater to these products.

There's much, MUCH more to these loans but that's enough for now.
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Wed Apr 18, 2012
Sally English answered:
Have you checked the geographic area that encompasses metro Atlanta?

Look on a map and you will find an enormous land area with a complex transportation system. No one can see "Atlanta" neighborhoods in one weekend. In fact, I have lived here most of my adult life and see new neighborhoods almost every week.

Focus on a smaller "bite" of the Atlanta neighborhoods. Consider your work commute, community interests and yes, schools.

Every agent on this forum has a "home" base and will rightly promote their neighborhoods as the best in Atlanta.

Good luck and good hunting.

Sally English
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Tue Nov 15, 2011
Lynn B Friedman answered:
Dear June -

The regulations in Atlanta Metro area for ChildCare business are not necessarily needing a property to go to a commercial zoning status.

Having a real estate agent very familiar with the area in which you are interested is essential - you may need a "Special Use" permit or not. Having someone knowledgeable about that area will make the process much easier for you.

If you want to contact me, I will be happy to help you find an agent for the area you prefer. At ODAT Realty Services, Inc., we do the same thing other successful REALTORS do - if we are not the BEST option for your property search, we will refer you to an agent that may better serve you. As you know, Metro Atlanta is huge - different areas are like completely different cities with widely varying characteristics. Our goal is to give each Client the best service possible - even if that means asking a respected colleague to be the point person.

Have a happy day -
Lynn B. Friedman, Broker/Owner
ODAT Realty Services, Inc. REALTORS
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Tue Jul 26, 2011
Jerri Sims answered:
The values in your area have a huge range (as do most areas today). The best thing to do would be to contact a Realtor® and have a Competitive Market Analysis completed. If you want to be sure of the value you could also have it appraised. Most Realtors® will provide a CMA for free. Please let me know if I can be of service. ... more
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Wed Apr 15, 2009
Debt Free Dave answered:
I thought this article may be of interest as well...
0 votes 9 answers Share Flag
Thu Aug 7, 2008
Sarah S. Turner answered:

Everyone has given you some great suggestions. Another section of town you should definitely look into is on North Highland in Inman Park. Just within the last 6 months to a year the entire area has just blown up. There are great little boutiques like Jac, gyms, a cigar bar, a scooter store, probably one of the most happening coffee shops in town: Inman Perk, and top restaurants (like Parish, Sotto Sotto, Fritti, and the newly opened Zaya). If you haven't driven down this little strip between Glen Iris & Freedom Parkway in a while, you should do it today! There are rentals, + homes, condos, and lofts: all on and around and above this new hotspot. You've got the sidewalks, the trees, and everything is just fresh, and fun!

If you enjoy the area, please feel free to stop by our new location on North Highland: Located between The Grape & Zaya - ask for Sarah!

Any additional questions or advice - please don't hesitate to contact me personally!
Sarah Turner
Sanctuary Real Estate
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