Keller Williams Intown Atlanta
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7/8 2014

How Much Do Schools Factor Into Home Prices?

If these kids were zoned for Decatur High School, their homes might be worth 50% more...

If these kids were zoned for Decatur High School, their homes might be worth 50% more…

Last year, a study commissioned by Redfin found that home buyers were paying an average of $50 per square foot more for “top-rated” schools.  I’m not sure that their methodology or sample group really apply to what I see every day in Atlanta, but it definitely got me thinking: If I were to take the same house, put it on a truck and move it from an “average” Atlanta school to a “top rated” school… what would the price difference look like?  Low and behold, I found such a house.

The City of Decatur recently annexed a few streets, meaning that homeowners who had previously been zoned for Dekalb County Schools have been granted golden tickets into Decatur’s highly respected school system.   There is a home currently on market – priced with the City of Decatur “school premium” – that was also on the market earlier this year when it was zoned for a Dekalb County school that shall remain nameless.

Previous list price: $265,000.  Current list price: $400,000.

For those of you scoring at home, that’s a price increase of $135,000- nearly 50%.  Granted, these are both just list prices- neither assigns a true value to this property, only one particular seller’s expectation of value.  Still, it’s a pretty jaw dropping price increase and given how robust Decatur’s housing market has been over the last few years, I’m not sure that the seller is too far off from what it will eventually sell for.

“Schools, schools, schools” might just be giving “location, location, location” a run for its money…

Posted by Jon at 3:52 pm on July 8, 2014 : 0 comments

Labels : Decatur, Home Selling

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6/30 2014

Hidden Curb Appeal

When I’m listing a home for sale, I’m very conscientious of curb appeal.   First impressions matter, and homes with strong curb appeal  have a significant leg up on their competition. I was out for a walk recently and came across a home for sale that was somewhat curb appeal “challenged”:

bamboo house

There is a home back there- it’s just obscured by a small field of bamboo.  Personally, I think it’s a pretty cool look and a unique front yard… but from a buyer’s perspective, it’s a tough sell.  It actually reminds me of one of those ’90′s “Magic Eye” posters, the type that you’d stare at for hours in an attempt to find a dolphin hidden in a field of jelly beans. Hopefully, there’s a greater reward behind the bamboo.

Posted by Jon at 7:06 pm on June 30, 2014 : 0 comments

Labels : Architecture, GreenLife

6/4 2014

Perfect Intown Townhouse: It Smells Like Pie

If Gene Wilder (aka Willy Wonka himself) could choose one "snozzberry-worthy" townhouse, it'd be this one...

If Gene Wilder (aka Willy Wonka himself) could choose one “snozzberry-worthy” townhouse, it’d be this one…

My new townhome listing at Carlyle Park in Edgewood feels more like a house than it does an attached townhouse.  Tons and tons of living space, lots of natural light and luxe-finishes throughout- it checks all the boxes that you know of, and several that you haven’t even considered.

A few questions and answers to help you get a better idea of what makes this place so sweet…

Q. Favorite places to eat within five minutes of your place?

A.  We love to pick up coffee and biscuits from Flying Biscuit Cafe and then walk around Candler Park or stop to people watch. And don’t forget Fox Bros BBQ — this is the heart of the south — killer BBQ and save room for the banana pudding.

Q. The one thing that I’ll miss most about my townhouse at Carlyle Park is…

A.  We love the neighborhood feel. Though we live in the middle of a big city, the layout of the complex, the friendly neighbors and the lush landscaping makes it feel like a little escape. BUT I have to say it’s also extremely convenient to everything — love that the Edgewood retail district is a quick bike ride, walk or car ride away — for groceries, a burger at Five Guys or pick up something at Target.
Q. Residents of Carlyle Park enjoy one of the greatest neighborhood amenities in the history of Atlanta real estate:

A. It always seems to smell like fresh baked pie. What’s the deal? I wish I could bottle the smell of Edward’s Pie Factory, which is located a few blocks away from our town home. Who knew “homemade” pie smell could drift so far — it makes me feel like I live in Candy Land. But don’t try to eat the house or lick the wall paper (the snozzberries taste like snozzberries).

Check out the full listing, including lots of pretty pictures.

Posted by Jon at 1:30 am on June 4, 2014 : 0 comments

Labels : Edgewood, Home Selling

6/2 2014

When Bad Things Happen To Good Houses

morningside tear down house

When I first came upon this tear-down-in-progress, the phrase “When Bad Things Happen To Good Houses”.  Upon reflection, I thought that the inverse might be more appropriate: “When Good Things Happen To Bad Houses” popped in to my mind.

I’m not really sure which applies.

I do know this:  the buyer of this Morningside home secured the privilege of tearing it down for $410,000.  They purchased it almost a year ago- if they were closing on it today, they’d probably be paying an additional $50,000 for the opportunity.

They’ll build something big on it- probably 5 bedrooms with a basement.  Even without much of a backyard, they’ll list it for $1.3 million. Once the eventual buyer is finished with upgrades, they’ll end up buying it for an additional $50,000.

The intown housing market- particularly in areas where residents feel confident about their public schools- is quite healthy.

Posted by Jon at 6:34 pm on June 2, 2014 : 0 comments

Labels : Morningside

5/27 2014

A Rare Bird: A House In Heards Ferry Elementary District For Less Than $400,000

FRONTVIEW Underwood Sandy SpringsMy listing at 282 Underwood Drive in Sandy Springs is special, and not just because of its long list of positive physical attributes.  Sure, it sits on a beautiful lot- a bubbling brook runs through the front yard- and it’s located in the bucolic Mountaire Park subdivision, zoned for the highly acclaimed Heards Ferry Elementary School.  It features a basement home office, an upgraded “real” master bathroom (if you’ve spent any time in mid-century ranches, you know what I’m talking about) and plenty of lovely interior space.  These are all lovely features that check the right boxes… but they’re not what make this home so special.   At $375,000, it’s all about price.

There are currently 164 homes for sale zoned for Heards Ferry Elementary.  My listing at 282 Underwood is one of only five that are listed under $400,000.  While it might be a tad dramatic to refer to a sub-$400,000 home in this particular area as an endangered species, whenever your sub-group only comprises 3% of the total market inventory, you’re a pretty rare bird.

For more information on this home, check out the full listing.

Posted by Jon at 3:33 pm on May 27, 2014 : 0 comments

Labels : Home Selling, Sandy Springs

4/4 2014

An Exclusive Opportunity To Live At The Artisan In Decatur

artisan decaturThe Artisan in Decatur is one of my favorite condominium buildings in metro Atlanta.  Central Decatur location, spacious floor plans, well appointed interiors, tons of on-site amenities, building concierge- it’s just a fantastic building.  My new listing at The Artisan ups the ante even further: it’s a rare  three bedroom condo- and a corner unit to boot!

I could blather and bloviate endlessly about why you should buy this condominium.  You know that.  Instead, I’m going to turn the microphone over to the owner, who can give you a much better idea as to why The Artisan rules…

 

Q. What makes living in The Artisan so great?

A.  The Artisan is a wonderful community – full of people who love living in downtown Decatur. Everyone is always out and about – walking to restaurants, dance classes, concerts in the square…taking full advantage of all the city has to offer. There is a closeness among residents – evidenced by drinks on Friday nights on the pool deck, watching fireworks on the 4th of July together, impromptu snow day ‘picnics’ in the amenities room…And of course, the ease of condo living can’t be beat.

 

Q. What makes living in Decatur so great?

A.  Decatur, what’s not to like?  This is a highly functioning, well-run city, full of progressive, urban-oriented people who love to be out in the streets. It has a small-town feel with all the good things a city has to offer: Great restaurants and bars, independent stores and coffee shops, parks and pools for all ages, amazing school district, walkable and bike-friendly downtown and neighborhoods, festivals throughout the year from jazz to books, races and other activities, wonderful public services and support, MARTA train station access to downtown and airport, near to Emory, Agnes Scott, and CDC, several weekly farmers markets (and the massive international farmers market), trails for biking and for hiking, community gardens, and so much more…we could go on endlessly!

 

Q. 24 hour eating binge in Decatur- where are you going?

A.  Wow…Well, we’d start off at Dancing Goats, of course, for a caffeine injection. Then to Revolution Doughnuts for a sweet treat. Or maybe a hearty breakfast at Thumbs Up (or both!). Lunch would either be at Souper Jenny’s new location on West Ponce or at Victory Sandwich bar. Dinner is a toss up between Leon’s, Raging Burrito or Chai Pani. After dinner drinks at Paper Plane or Kimball House. A late night treat…at the new Butter and Cream opening soon!

 

Q. What do you love about your condominium?

A. It’s bright and light-filled, with beautiful floors and high ceilings. We love the kitchen and the open-floor plan. It’s well-designed, with everything on one level – so convenient. We are only moving two blocks away and will visit our friends here often!

 

Posted by Jon at 1:43 pm on April 4, 2014 : 0 comments

Labels : Decatur, Home Selling

3/31 2014

Where Do Atlantans Migrate From?

As anyone who has spent more than five minutes in Atlanta might know, most of us aren’t from Atlanta originally.  The population of the metro area has doubled in the last thirty years- pretty ridiculous growth all around.  Ever wonder where everyone is coming from?  The folks at Spokeo have put together a pretty cool table, based on out-of-state mobile phone numbers that have been matched to local addresses:

 

Chicago… who knew?

Posted by Jon at 6:16 pm on March 31, 2014 : 0 comments

Labels : Current Events

3/28 2014

Why You (Or Someone You Know) Should Buy This House In Tucker…

My new listing in Tucker has it all: quiet cul-de-sac location, ridiculously large back yard, designer kitchen, spa-like bathrooms, gleaming hardwood floors, built-in speakers throughout and a brand new roof.  It’s a good one.  A really good one.

That said, my words can only do it so much justice.  I turned directly to the source: the homeowner.  Our q and a, below.  Full listing information here, and to schedule a tour, you know where to find me.

Q.  Your back yard rules.  Tell me why you love it?

A.  It is great for entertaining. We have a yearly Oktoberfest and invite friends and family. Actually, we can either do that in the front or back of the house. We had a TinkerBell Party for our daughter when she turned 4. We put up a great tent for shade and have room for the kids to run! 

bigbackyardtucker

Q.  What do you love about your house?

A.  I LOVE the bathtub. Before we had the old cast iron tub. It was tiny and didn’t keep the water hot. Now, with the fiberglass tub the water will stay warm for hours – trust me! Also, it is deeper than normal ones with the perfect recline on the back. Turn up the built-in speakers in there, turn off the lights and light some candles for hours of relaxation. It is my perfect retreat place and what I’ll miss the most of the house. 

Q.  Sell me on life “ATP”?  (Editor’s Note: Forget ITP or OTP… ATP is where it’s at)

A.  You can escape on the weekends out of town and don’t have to worry about trying to get out of intown. We are close to the highways so it is easy to get anywhere – as long as Atlanta traffic is cooperating. I basically give myself 30 minutes to get anywhere – downtown, cobb galleria, deep into the decatur burbs, Brookhaven, etc.  I think the closer in you are to town, the less Southern and old country you have to deal with. We still can get hippie stuff – like a weekly Farmers Market on Main Street, the Farm Mobile comes by weekly, Mother Nature and the Tucker Meat Market are within walking distance. The co-op delivers fresh produce to Mother Nature that we can pickup weekly during the summer. – You just don’t think those things can happen once you cross 285, but they do! Oh – and the DeKalb Farmer’s Market is just a quick drive down 78 or you can go just as far and hit Stone Mountain the other way on 78.

Q.  24 hours of binge eating within a five minute drive- where are you going?

A.   Some people love Blue Ribbon Grill. Others love Los Hermanos. More love Matthews Cafeteria and there is always Growler Time on Main Street for good beer to take home when you can’t find anything good to eat. 

Don’t miss the one, folks.  All the details fit to print, after the link.

Posted by Jon at 3:23 pm on March 28, 2014 : 0 comments

Labels : Home Selling

3/25 2014

Atlanta Real Estate Market Update

The Atlanta Board of Realtors recently released their February Market Brief, their monthly synopsis of market activity int the Metro Atlanta real estate market.   The big picture price perspective:

Atlanta Median Price

 

The key take-aways, by the numbers:

  • Median sales price for February 2014 was $187,000.
  • Prices increased 16.9% from February 2013.
  • Median prices increased 3.9% in comparison to January 2014.

A 17% jump year-over-year.  Low inventory.  Spring “selling” season should be interesting.

* Source: Atlanta Board of Realtors; data is pulled from 11 metro Atlanta counties: Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, and Paulding

Posted by Jon at 1:49 pm on March 25, 2014 : 0 comments

Labels : The Market

3/20 2014

Russell Gottschalk, Atlanta Jewish Music Festival

russellgottschalkRussell Gottschalk is the Founder and Executive Director of the Atlanta Jewish Music Festival (AJMF), which opens their Spring festival tonight with a show  featuring the Afro-Semitic Experience at Steve’s Live Music.  AJMF is an incredible, one-of-a-kind festival, and Russell is an incredible, one-of-a-kind dude.  Get to know Russell and more about the festival…

Q. What is the Atlanta Jewish Music Festival?

A.  The Atlanta Jewish Music Festival (or AJMF) is the pre-eminent producer and promoter of Jewish music experiences in Atlanta, providing opportunities for musicians and audiences to strengthen their connection to Atlanta’s Jewish community through the power of music. We program events year round, including artist residencies, teen open mics and collaborative concerts, but focus on our signature program, a multi-day, must-attend Spring Festival (3/20-29, see www.atlantajmf.org for full details).

 Q. The keys to Philips Arena and an unlimited budget- go!

 A.  I’m not sure we want to be in the Philips Arena as I question our ability to unify enough of our communities to create a vibrant and social atmosphere in such a large space. But if we had unlimited funding (the holy grail for non-profits), we would certainly be able to expand existing programming and add another full time staff. And I guess the “key” to obtaining such a windfall lies in engaging the right philanthropist. There are a few Jewish supporters (some here in Atlanta, others on the national scale) that have the capacity to give at astronomical levels. The key to ‘unlimited’ funding would be finding the right mission overlap between our impact and the desired outcomes of a large philanthropic foundation.

 

Q. Last meal in Atlanta: where are you going, and what are you ordering?

A. Definitely chicken and waffles. Obviously there is Gladys Knight and Ron’s Chicken and Waffles but recently I discovered Bantam and Biddy, who are giving Gladys and Ron a run for their money. If I want to stay close to home, the Majestic does a respectable chicken and waffles dish too.

 

Q  Favorite neighborhoods? 

A. I’m a Candler Park resident so I’m partial to Decatur, Virginia-Highlands and Little Five Points. But I also love to go down to East Atlanta for the nightlife and I could see my fiancee and I settling down further north (Brookhaven is really making some moves) or on the West Side. As an Atlanta native, I love the diversity and appeal of our distinct neighborhoods. All we need is a bit more public transportation to tie them all together.

Posted by Jon at 4:03 pm on March 20, 2014 : 0 comments

Labels : Brookhaven, Candler Park, Current Events, Decatur, Doing Good, Five Questions With...