In this market is it wiser to buy a townhome or a single family home. My max price is 150K and I wam looking

Asked by MU, 30032 Fri Apr 10, 2009

to buy in the East Lake area, 30316 zip and 30315.

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Lee Taylor, Agent, Decatur, GA
Fri Apr 10, 2009

I live in Kirkwood and I have lived on the Eastside for 10 years - townhome vs. house . . . before I suggest anything, it is far wiser for me to merely inform you and let you do what you want...

So there are over 400 single family homes for sale in 30315 and 16 - under $200,000.

There are only 100 condos, lofts or townhomes for sale in those zips, in comparison.

Under $200,000, you must be looking at foreclosures as a viable choice - over 50% of all FMLS listed sales in metro Atlanta last year, under $200,000, were foreclosed properties - REO, bank owned foreclosures.

13 foreclosures for condos, lofts and townhomes - 109 for single family.

So, that's a simple topline analysis for the submarket that you are talking about. Lets look deeper...

177 pending sales amongst all single family listings in the submarket - 16 pending condos, lofts and townhomes.

The average price for a pending sale of a condo, loft or townhome in the submarket, and 8 out of the 16 are foreclosures, is $57,000. The average size is 3/2/1 and the average year built is 2005.

The average price for a pending sale of a single family property in the submarket, and 88 out of the 177 are foreclosures, is is $50,000. The average size is a 3/2/1 built in 1959.

27 of the 177 pending single family sales is selling for more than $100,000.

If we eliminate the 30315 from consideration, amongst the single family homes, then the price average rises to $71,000...

By the way, Lakewood and Polar Rock ain't East Lake.

You do the math, and call me if my team and I can help you with the next steps.

Remember, "self-confidence is the first requisite to wise undertakings..."
1 vote
Kathy Seger &…, Agent, Roswell, GA
Sat Apr 11, 2009
Mary, Can not tell you about the East Lake area you asked about however I will defend homeownership of townhomes. Over the years many of my clients have chosen townhomes over single family. It's a lifestyle decision....
do you need the size of a single family home
will smaller be better
how many family members will be living there
do you need a yard
do you want someone else to mow the lawn, trim the shrubs, rake the leave

I personally have lived in a townhouse for 15 years and love it! The size works for me. The security of nearby neighbors is a plus in my opinion. I do not have to worry about yard work and home maintanence. The lifestyle fits my needs.

Best of luck in your house hunt.

Kathy Seger
0 votes
Hank Miller, Agent, Alpharetta, GA
Fri Apr 10, 2009
What Lee said....times two!

"Hard data walks...BS talks"

0 votes
Bill Piper, , Atlanta, GA
Fri Apr 10, 2009
If you're looking at it from an investment point of view, the single family home is generally a better value. Condos and Town homes are cheap in our area now, and you may prefer the town home/condo lifestyle. If so, you might want to buy one, but acknowledge the fact that your equity won't grow at the same rate as a single family home. End units tend to hold their value better. Also be aware of the association fees. Some communities have a small fee to keep the grass cut for you & maintain the common areas. Condominiums that have an association fee that covers that maintenance and the repairs of the outside of the building are a lot steeper and can easily get out of control. Personally, I think condos are always a bad idea for that specific reason.

Good luck,

Bill Piper
0 votes
Tony Teixeira, Agent, Atlanta, GA
Fri Apr 10, 2009

You've got a lifestyle decision to make here.
The right townhome in the right spot should retain its value and even appreciate over time.

Townhomes generally give you a home with little or no maintenance, that's the plus.
The downside for some is the close quarters you are in.
You can certainly get a new townhome in your price range and there are steals out there right now.

A house gives you more space to sprawl out but it requires maintenance on your part.
Yards give owners great freedom to expand and spread that don't get with townhomes.

In your price range, you may or may not be getting garage, with most townhomes, you will get a garage.
Many of the single family homes in your price range will only have a carport or sometimes no structure at all.

In any case, position yourself so that you're getting a great deal and will be able to re-sell it years from now and make some money. A good realtor will be able to help you with what kind of deal is a good deal and what kind of offer to write.

Tony Teixeira
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Cathy Muzzy, , 30305
Fri Apr 10, 2009
Both of the answers below are on the money but if you are buying the the metro Atlanta market, you also need to know whether the townhome community is a condominium or a townhouse community with association fees. If it is the former, you need to know what percentage of the community is sold and closed, how many are rented and what the days on market time is. You also need to look at the financial statements for either type of purchase to be sure that the association can pay its bills. A good real estate agent can find out this information for you as a buyer broker. I caution you to hire your own buyer broker, because subdivision agents work for the Seller.
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Aaron Hofmann, Agent, Marietta, GA
Fri Apr 10, 2009

As a general rule, if you disregard everything else, it's always better to buy a single-family home than a townhome for resale purposes.

From a lifestyle perspective, that is really a question you need to answer. There are pros and cons to both. I've had clients only want townhomes because they didn't want to deal with as many maintenace issues that you are responsible for with a single family home or single-family homes just weren't as affordable for the speciifc location they were looking for. The flip side is that some clients want their own yard, don't want to feel like they can knock on the wall to talk to their neighbors.

But lifestyle aside, I'd recommend single-family home.
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0 votes
Rita Southwi…, Agent, Bayville, NY
Fri Apr 10, 2009
In this market with the prices being so low, I would advise to buy a single family home. In my opinion, a townhome is advisable when single family home prices are high and this is all you can afford to buy. With townhomes you usually have an association fee which could limit future buyers' income qualification. Single family homes have a better resale value and should increase in equity quicker than a townhome. The resale of single family homes are usually better than a townhome.
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