I am thinking of buying property in the Lakewood area of 30315, is this an up and coming neighborhood?

Asked by Melissa, Atlanta, GA Tue Nov 11, 2008

Will my property value go up in the next five years? Are there some retail/commercial developments occuring in the area? There are a lot of foreclosures and resales in the area right now and I am trying to decide if this neighborhood is similar to Villages of Carver neighborhood where there is a lot of development going on and the property values are rising....

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Deryk Harper, Agent, Alpharetta, GA
Tue Nov 11, 2008
Hi Melissa,
I have an associate that buys and rehabs properties in that zip code exclusively. He has accumulated 5 properties in about the past two years. He lives in one of them in order to keep a close eye on his investments. You just about have to do that right now to keep the house and everything in it from getting up and walking away.

He just bought 2 of those properties in the past two weeks. One at the recent foreclosure auction that was held over a two week period in Atlanta and one directly from a foreclosure agent that had it listed. The one he bought at auction has 3 levels finished and had quite a bit of updating done by the previous owner. It had a 2nd building with additional kitchen, bath, bedroom and living area that all need updating. He paid $42,500 and when he gets it fixed up can probably rent it as two seperate units or sell it for considerably more.
The other he bought was an amaxing deal. It was listed at about $25,000.00 as a 3br/1ba single family unit. He talked the bank down to $22,500 and closed on it about 12 days ago. It turns out that it is a DUPLEX with TWO 3BR/1BA units. That's $11,250 per side. What a lucky find. He already has a tenant in one side at $500/month with no repairs needed.

Last part of the story. He bought his third property early this year for $35,000...put $40,000 into updating....nice updates like completely restoring original hardwood floors, knocking out concrete walls in the home to open up the floorplan, adding cherry cabinets, granite counters, lots of slate and tile in bathrooms, updated fixtures, deck out back. He was actually plannig on moving to that property from the one he lived in next door. Instead someone walked in off the street and offered him whatever the appraised value was and could close in 30 days. He sold it the same week he bought the other 2. Sales/appraisal price was about $160,000. That netted him about $85,000 in just over 6 months. That's over 100% profit. That is one way to get it done in that zip code right now. The key is you have to be down there in the mix to get it done this way. He is also very savvy about aquiring his upgrade materials cheaply through builder's selling out their product inventory, craigslist, store closeouts...etc. He also has a contractor that can do just about anything for about 30% less than the average contractor. This enables him to add considerably more value for much less cost. That is turn makes his properties really stand out in a market area that is still pretty shot out as far as quality...easy decision for a Buyer to pick his over other choices.

That area is poised to come back. The city/county has injected a lot of money recently in completely overhauling an area park and they just finished resurfacing a lot of roads in the area. It is a slower than expected recovery due to the current economy but things are headed in the right direction. I see positive signs of change every time I visit my friend.

If you still want to invest in the area you really need to do your homework or work with someone there that works that zip on a daily basis because, like most of these areas, values and desirability vary on a street to street and property to property level.

If you would like more information give me a call or drop me an email.
Web Reference:  http://www.keyhomefinder.com
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Katina Wright, Other Pro, Atlanta, GA
Tue Nov 11, 2008
Greetings Melissa,
Fabiola did an extremely eloquent job of expressing the FACTS regarding the risks associated with speculation and the 30315 zip code.

If you are purchasing a property that you like, it truly depends on the street. If you are looking to buy a home for it's appreication potential, there may be other areas to be of consideration. I live in, work in and love 30310. I also respect that there are some streets that I don't want anything to do with.

You will be best served to observe the area and make a decision for yourself whether or not it is right for you. I've met people who take no offense to issues that may make others squeamish. I have a girlfriend who lives in Lilburn who doesn't understand why anyone would want to live in Atlanta, and I can't understand exactly who is in Lilburn, so there you have it.

What is around the house that you like? Are there a large number of boarded up homes or vacant properties? These issues are directly related to whether or not the area is going to "come back" and your safety. In this market, vandalized properties will bearly qualify for financing and if the buyer can't get rehab money few of the truly distressed ones will be picked up unless a group comes in and does exactly as Fabiola has described. Get the whole block, rehab and revitalize a community.

Be careful, work with a full time real estate professional who is somewhat educated on where you want to be. Visit the property in the am, afternoon and pm to understand the goings on of the neighborhood. If you like what you see proceed.

Good Luck!
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ATLHomeForSa…, , Atlanta, GA
Tue Nov 11, 2008
Hi Melissa,

This is a very tricky neighborhood because forecasts predicted a couple of years ago that Lakewood would be the next Intown redevelopment boom, but it's been extremely slow to come. There's a serious amount of blight in the neighborhood and the city hasn't done a good enough job to address these concerns. Investors became very optimistic about Lakewood 2-4 years ago and started doing rehabs and new developments after the West End area went belly up for having the highest number of fraud, but I noticed that these same investors started pulling out of Lakewood because they couldn't move their properties. Just like any other Intown neighborhood, Lakewood does have a lot of potential, but it's pretty bleak right now. Of course, the redevelopment of that old GM plant would certainly help but it's been years in the making and still no signs of it. With the economy getting worse, I don't see it happening anytime soon.

Another issue was that lenders were skeptical of financing property of Lakewood because it shared the same zip code as West End.

I think that Lakewood can live up to its potential of there is a collaborative effort from investors & the city. I share these same feelings about the West End. It'll take investors rehabbing/building properties block by block at a time so that the new homeowners don't have to be concerned about their nice house being next door to an old shabby one. Investors also have to work with the city, neighbors, & neighborhood association to clean up the drug and traffic problems.

Fabiola Fleuranvil, MBA
South Owens Realty
(404) 437-0078
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