John Wieland is a legend in the Atlanta real estate world, a name that hardly needs any introduction. In 40 plus years in the business, he’s built over 30,000 homes and won over 600 awards for excellence in design, architecture, neighborhood planning and quality. Put simply, when John Wieland talks, people listen. His perspective on Atlanta, and the current housing market…
Q. What makes Atlanta a special place to live?
A. Atlanta has all of the advantages of a large metropolitan area, such as Major League sports, excellent cultural offerings, and a wide variety of housing opportunities. In addition, we are blessed to have the world’s busiest airport and the chance literally to see the world nonstop, or at most, with one stop. Personally, I think we have extremely favorable weather in Atlanta, although I must admit that this past summer felt far more painful than favorable.
Q. You are the Mayor of Atlanta for the day. What’s on your agenda?
A. One simple word – schools. Unlike New York and many cities, the Mayor of Atlanta does not have any direct control over the school system. Still, the Mayor has the bully pulpit from which to address the issue, which is unfortunately very divisive. Unquestionably, the Atlanta Public Schools, in many ways, have failed Atlanta’s children, and obviously, the former Superintendent failed all of us. As many people have said, it’s about high quality teachers who care, and then high expectations for the teachers and the students. I don’t believe that anything could benefit Atlanta more than a genuinely first-class urban school system. It’s not impossible, and the Mayor could be a driving force in the right direction, although admittedly, it would be challenging work.
Q. Hidden Atlanta Gems?
A. Number one on my Hidden Gem List is Georgia State University. They are doing amazing things in so many different ways. Thanks to GSU, the historic heart of Atlanta is alive again. Also on my gem list is the High Museum of Art. Perhaps more than any other regional museum in the United States, the High Museum has brought truly great, world-class art to its local audience. This has been true year after year, and the years ahead will be very bright for the High.
Q. Any advice for first-time home buyers?
A. Do it now! Home prices and interest rates will probably never be better than they are right now. It’s almost a convergence of the stars. While the overall economy cannot help but make one nervous, there really hasn’t been a better time to buy a home than now. Plus, a new home is an especially great buy with all of the new energy saving features and the new design details (such as 10’ first floor ceilings) that have been introduced in recent years.
Q: There are seemingly unlimited choices for homebuyers today. Why should they purchase a home in a John Wieland Neighborhood?
A. One of my favorite questions. While there are many reasons that include quality and the industry’s best new home warranty, the biggest reason is that we build neighborhoods and not just homes. Our architecture is planned for the entire neighborhood and doesn’t simply represent a variety of random thoughts. Our neighborhoods have recreational amenities that bring neighbors together. It all adds up to a neighborhood that matures in a beautiful way and homes that bring a premium re-sale value, when (unfortunately) it’s time to sell. Simply put, our 40 years of experience in building homes and neighborhoods makes a huge difference to a purchaser, especially years down the road.