Hi Michelle. My name is Monica and I live in Sylvan Hills, across from Perkerson Park. The Good: great price for intown living, great brick bungalows, close to MARTA (actually going to purchase a bike this week and attempt to ride it to work to save money), close to Airport, active neighborhood association (meets last Thursday of every month at 7:00pm at Easter Seals School on Melrose and Victory), close to highways and lots of side streets to skip the highways (Metropolitan turns to Northside Dr. etc), beautiful park, tennis courts, play ground, base ball field, butts up to Capital View neighborhood which is also great. I'm a very extroverted/friendly person so I spent time getting to know my neighbors. We all watch out for each other and that brings a sense of security to your home. There are ALOT of future plans for redevelopment and ALOT of abandoned buildings for that redevelopment. So if you have a long-term goal of sticking it out, you'll eventually see the harvest of your labor!
The bad: lots of vacant homes - draws crime, yards don't look so great, lots of renters. I often find trash in my yard (empty chip bags, soda cans) due to adults and kids having a blatant disregard of personal property and no concept of trash cans. Sometimes I hear gun shot noises (you'll get to know the difference between fireworks and gun shots!), kids like to walk/stand in the middle of the street and then look at you like your have a problem when you drive by. IF YOU CAN DEAL WITH ALL THESE NUISANCES, and that's they are, then you will enjoy the neighborhood.
If you can be a creative problem solver instead of dweller, you will have the ability to make an impact in this neighborhood. When I speak about the BAD issues, I used to live off Ralph McGill and Boulevard in a townhome around Freedom Parkway. I wouldn't even go (and still don't) to the gas station on the corner because of the elements that hang outside and down Boulevard. Yet it's supposidly and nicer area.
I like Sylvan Hills. I've attended neighborhood crime watch/block captain trainings, been part of the SHNA (Sylvan Hills Neighborhood Assoc.), attend NPU-X monthly meetings, know my City Council woman personally. So I feel apart of this community and know alot of people who can help me with anything (yard work, ride to MARTA, to airport, questions about Code Enforcement, traffic light being out etc).
The SHNA started a new Google Group you can sign up on if you want. SylvanHillsGroup@googlegroups.com
Our website for the neighborhood is http://www.sylvanhillsna.org/index.php
I've been in real estate for over 3 years and know alot about SW ATL. Buy a Big Dog and you shouldn't have any problems! I've never had a problem with break-ins and I have a big dog. Get to know all your neighbors. Befriend them. Watch out for each other. Attend the free trainings on code enforcement and crime watch which will help you be alert to suspicious activities. If you aren't used to that mindset, you don't really notice things that would be red flags. Even though I'm 36, I act like the old "nosey neighbor" that has nothing better to do with her time. But ALL my neighbors call me when they notice odd things and we deal with it together.
I wish you much success on your real estate journey. It's definitely an adventure.