Why Owning Residential Rental Property Still Works – 2014

The Atlanta real estate industry is finally beginning to see signs of recovery.  In fact, the National Association of Realtors announced that the real estate market overall made a “robust” recovery in 2013. This may be the best time to own residential Rental Property.

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Our local multiple listing service, FMLS, indicated that properties sold in the Emory area and the City of Decatur increased by 60% from 2012 to 2013; that properties were selling closer to list price; and were on the market about 30 days less than in 2012.

The sale of Foreclosures and Short Sales has affected a large portion of the metropolitan Atlanta area during the past 4-5 years, but that inventory is dissipating, and the influence of major investors picking up distressed housing has almost disappeared.  There are, however, still some decent properties available for local investors who are looking for rental income.

ForRentPastelHere are a few predictions for the 2014 real estate market that could influence a healthy rental market for investors.

1)  Interest rates are likely to rise –More will be renting.

2)  Home prices will also rise – More will be renting.

3)  Many homeowners who lost homes through foreclosure and short sales will not be able to purchase another home for some time. – More will be renting

4)  Zillow reports in an article dated December 30, 2013 by Jennifer Chan  “that home ownership will fall below 65% in 2014, the lowest since the mid-1990’s.  The easy lending standards we saw during the housing bubble led to higher-than-normal homeownership, and in the recovery we’re seeing ownership rates normalize.”  More will be renting

5)   Chan also highlights another issue impacting the decline in ownership by Gen-Y-ers who are renters.  “This group is the next generation of homeowners, but they’re seeing high unemployment and low wages”.  More will be renting

6) Chan also indicates that “rising home prices will encourage Americans to move, but to less expensive areas where housing is more affordable.  Metros like Houston, Dallas, Denver, Atlanta and Portland will see a growth in residents”.  More will be renting

Atlanta Decatur Homes is a local real estate company selling homes located in Atlanta, Decatur, and Emory University neighborhoods for over 25 years and offering professional property management for homes in the Emory area.

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Ready to Sell–Start Preparing Now

After a lackluster four years, home values in the Emory University area are finally going back up.  While home prices in the Druid Hills and Fernbank School District are not yet in the pre-2008 selling range, they are getting better!

Sellers who anticipate selling this Spring or Summer can improve the length of time the property stays on the market and  obtain a higher sales price by preparing early. Give yourself plenty of time to get things in the best possible condition.

You only get one chance to impress potential buyers so make the most of it!  Here are a few suggestions  that are often overlooked:

Mow YardTidy Exterior

  • Keep lawn mowed and edged
  • Trim shrubs and weed flower beds
  • Freshen front door and trim
  • Showcase flowers near front entrance

Clean the Garage/Basement

  • Clean out accumulation – old paint cans – excess lawn equipment

BathroomInterior Attention

  • Clean windows – inside and out
  • Dust ceiling fans, including blades
  • Check for plumbing leaks and drips
  • Pull down the cobwebs
  • Caulk around tub and shower
  • Remove excess clutter from closets and attic

Ready for Showing

  • Turn on lights and open drapes and curtains
  • Make sure bathrooms and kitchen are spotless with no clutter on counters
  • Make the beds and place fresh towels in bathrooms
  • Turn off television
  • Odors are offensive so clean pet beds and litter boxes
  • Leave your home “ready to show” every day

Atlanta Decatur Homes is a local real estate company serving buyers and sellers in the Atlanta, Decatur and Emory area neighborhoods for over 25 years.

Posted in Atlanta Home Buyers, Atlanta Homes, Atlanta Property Management, Atlanta Townhomes, Decatur Homes, Decatur Neighborhoods, Decatur real estate, Decatur Townhomes and Condos, DeKalb County Schools, Druid Hills, Emory University, Real Estate, Selling Your Home | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Emory Point–Neighborhood Retail Addition

Construction for a new retail and mixed-use development called Emory Point has been developing during the past year along Clifton Road near Emory University and its opening has been anxiously anticipated.

EMPOINT-SIGNEMPOINT-SHOPSEMPOINT-STSCENE

EMPOINT-STRIPPAGGIO1Emory Point complex is now open  and features an attractive main street with shops like Strippaggio, carrying artisan oils, vinegars & specialty foods,  Fab’rik, and Lizard Thicket, as well as popular local restaurants like Bonefish Grill and Marlowes Tavern.
While not all facilities are open yet, CVS Pharmacy, Jos A. Bank Clothiers and Ann Taylor Loft, plus a dry cleaner are open for business and some 21 shops and restaurants will be available when the project is completed.  Limited parking is available along the street with a credit card payment, and free 2-hour parking is available in the present parking deck.  There are also plans for an additional parking area when the complex is finished.

EMPOINT-LEASELOBBYOriginally envisioned as a major condominium and shopping environment by Cousins Properties, partnering with Gables Residential,  the project was delayed due to the economic recession.  The residential aspect has been altered to offer leasing options instead of condos. Gables Emory Point is a luxurious apartment development with dozens of available floor plans, an elegant Club House and Business Center.

Located across the street from the Centers for Disease Control and surrounded by Emory University Campus and the Emory Healthcare complexes, Emory Point is within walking distance for employees in the community and easily accessible by Emory’s free shuttle service, the Cliff bus.  It should prove a popular lunchtime and evening destination for Emory area neighbors as well.

Atlanta Decatur Homes is a local real estate company serving buyers and sellers in the Emory, Decatur, and Atlanta in-town neighborhoods for over 25 years.

Posted in Atlanta Home Buyers, Atlanta Homes, Atlanta Property Management, Buying First Home in Atlanta, Decatur Homes, Decatur Neighborhoods, Decatur Property Management, Decatur real estate, Decatur Townhomes and Condos, Druid Hills, Emory University, Historic Neighborhoods, Real Estate, Selling Your Home | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Winston Place–Featured Decatur Condo Complex

Several  features make condos and townhomes an attractive choice for home buyers.   Winston Place is a charming small complex conveniently located close to shopping, restaurants, and medical facilities like Emory and the VA hospitals.

Winston-2

Winston Place is one of the few complexes in the area with full garages and some one-level units.  It also has a strong Homeowners Association and well-landscaped grounds and pool area. According to the Atlanta area multiple listing service,  two and three bedroom units here sold last year between $200,000 and $269,000.

Home buyers who choose condos and townhomes are looking for well-kept complexes in desirable neighborhoods close to work and shopping.  Buyers want less exterior upkeep,  ample interiors, updated kitchens and lots of storage.   Winston Place, built in 1985, is an older neighborhood but has many of the features that buyers are looking for today.

Winston-PoolWinston Place is conveniently located less than 3 miles from Emory University,  approximately 1 mile from major grocery chains in Toco Hills Shopping Center, and 1/2 mile from  popular neighborhood Oak Grove Shopping Center.

Atlanta Decatur Homes is a local real estate company, serving buyers and sellers in the Emory University, Decatur and Atlanta neighborhoods for over 25 years.

Posted in Atlanta Home Buyers, Atlanta Homes, Atlanta Property Management, Atlanta Townhomes, Buying First Home in Atlanta, Decatur Homes, Decatur Neighborhoods, Decatur Property Management, Decatur real estate, Decatur Townhomes and Condos, Druid Hills, Emory University, Real Estate, Selling Your Home | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Emory University Area Rental Outlook – 2013

The recent economic reality of plummeting home prices, increased foreclosures /short sales, and restrictive home loan requirements has changed the real estate landscape. Renting has become a popular option as public perception has been dramatically influenced by events of the past four years.

Almost everyone has been affected – homeowners, home buyers, job seekers, renters, investors, mortgage lenders.


 

While many in-town neighborhoods like Emory, Druid Hills, Virginia Highlands and City of Decatur are enjoying a healthy rebound in home prices and activity, some prospective home buyers are reluctant to embrace home ownership. After years of lost property values and uncertain economic stability, many buyers have decided to rent rather than purchase a home. And, an influx of former homeowners who have lost homes to foreclosures or short sales are now moving to rental properties in the area.

So, how are we doing? Rental properties in good neighborhoods in Atlanta seem to be doing just great. According to David Haddow, President of an Atlanta real estate consulting firm, “the average rental occupancy rate for intown neighborhoods remains very high at 96.9%.”

Why Rentals are Popular Today

  • No extensive qualifying beyond normal credit check
  • No maintenance costs
  • No Insurance or Tax Costs
  • Ease of mobility if job change
  • Reasonable Rents vs. mortgage payments

Neighborhoods near Emory University attract graduate students, professors, medical workers, retirees, and young couples. Rental properties in good neighborhoods are in high demand and rent prices are increasing every year. Current Rental statistics published by the FMLS multiple listing service in Atlanta indicate that the majority of homes rented during 2012 were in the $1500 – $2500 range in the immediate Emory and Decatur neighborhoods.

The rental market in the Atlanta area inside the Perimeter appears to be thriving and prospects for the near future look promising. Investors and homeowners who are renting their homes until home prices improve in these areas should be encouraged that a ready rental market will be available for some time to come.

Atlanta Decatur Homes is a local real estate company offering professional Property Management Services and representing Buyers and Sellers in the Atlanta, Decatur and Emory University neighborhoods for over 25 years.

Posted in Atlanta Home Buyers, Atlanta Homes, Atlanta Property Management, Atlanta Townhomes, Buyers, Buying First Home in Atlanta, Decatur Homes, Decatur Neighborhoods, Decatur Property Management, Decatur real estate, Decatur Townhomes and Condos, Druid Hills, Emory University, Selling Your Home | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Atlanta Rental Market–Investment Frenzy

It’s no secret that Atlanta and the surrounding area have endured a difficult real estate market during the past 4-5 years.  Atlanta has had one of the highest number of foreclosures and short sales in the country, but is experiencing a dramatic change.

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Prime Neighborhoods Improve

With the economy  slowly recovering and the housing market improving as well, some parts of the Atlanta real estate market like the Emory University, Virginia Highlands, Buckhead and City of Decatur neighborhoods are seeing multiple offers and rising sales prices.

Foreclosures and short sales in the Atlanta area

Another area of the Atlanta housing market is also showing marked recovery and interest.

For buyers seeking a foreclosure or short sale under $200,000, the competition has changed.  According to an article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution by Christopher Quinn, “Metro Atlanta’s depressed home prices are drawing the interest of a new type of buyer – companies that buy houses in volume.”

Several companies with billions in cash to spend on investment properties are buying   foreclosure and short sales in all parts of the Atlanta metro area.  Competition is fierce and many properties have multiple offers, making it difficult for individual home buyers to purchase a home in this price range.

Some realtors like Sandy Bowley of Realty Associates are working almost exclusively to find appropriate homes for these investors.  “It’s a race to find qualified homes and by the time you have checked them adequately, the property has three other offers”.

While this type of competition increases property values and improves the housing outlook, it forces many  prospective individual buyers out of the market and into a rental situation.  Investment companies are buying in a frenzy, then holding properties until the market improves, or leasing them for the immediate future.

More single-family investment properties will soon be available, as homes are repaired and offered for lease by the companies that are spending billions to invest in the area. It appears that the Atlanta Rental Market will have ample housing opportunities in the future.

Atlanta Decatur Homes is a local real estate company providing Rental Management Services and representing buyers and sellers in the Atlanta, Decatur and Emory University neighborhoods for over 25 years.

Posted in Atlanta Home Buyers, Atlanta Homes, Atlanta Property Management, Atlanta Townhomes, Buyers, Buying First Home in Atlanta, Decatur Homes, Decatur Neighborhoods, Decatur Property Management, Decatur real estate, Decatur Townhomes and Condos, Druid Hills, Emory University, Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Decatur Townhomes-Heritage Two and Heritage Square

Tucked away in a residential neighborhood near the VA Hospital off Clairmont Road are two popular Decatur Townhome and condominium communities.  Both are located in the Fernbank Elementary School District, one of the best school districts in DeKalb County, and both are within a stone’s throw from Emory University.

Heritage Two and Heritage Square are located off Desmond Drive within walking distance to the VA Hospital on Clairmont and have easy access to Emory University through Lullwater Park, or on the free Cliff bus that travels from the Emory Campus on Clairmont Road directly through the Park. The complexes are next door to each other and conveniently situated within a half mile from restaurants, grocery shops, cleaners and bookstores.

FrontComplex

Heritage TwoWilliamsburg style complex of 20 units, built in 1980, well-maintained, with an active Homeowners Association and  healthy reserves.  Rentals are limited by the Homeowners Association.  The most recent sale for a 3 Bedroom/3 Bath unit sold for $190,000 in  2012.  Rentals, when available, range from $1300 – $1600 per month.

Heritage Square – Traditional style complex of 33 units, built in 1974.  The neighborhood has a Pool, Clubhouse, Community Garden, and Tennis Courts.  No recent sales are available.  Rental prices range from $1200 – $1600 per month.

These two Decatur Townhome and Decatur Condo Communities offer great space, excellent schools, a quiet residential neighborhood, and are very close to Emory/CDC/VA.

Parks

Medlock Park is located within a mile of Heritage Two and Heritage Square and has walking trails, ball fields, playgrounds and a community pool.

Mason Mill Park is also located within a mile of both complexes and has walking trails, new playgrounds, and tennis courts.

Mason Mill Dog Park is located on N. Jamestown Road off Clairmont Road, less than a mile away.

Atlanta Decatur Homes, a local Atlanta real estate company, selling homes in Atlanta, Druid Hills, Decatur, Medlock Park, and Emory University neighborhoods for over 25 years. Professional Rental Management services are also offered.

Posted in Atlanta Homes, Atlanta Property Management, Atlanta Townhomes, Decatur Homes, Decatur Neighborhoods, Decatur Property Management, Decatur real estate, Decatur Townhomes and Condos, Druid Hills | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Druid Hills Neighborhood near Emory University

Druid Hills is one of the most desirable Atlanta neighborhoods, located just a few miles from downtown Atlanta in unincorporated DeKalb County, and bordered by wide, curvy Ponce de Leon Avenue.

DHills-overhang

The Historic Druid Hills neighborhood was originally developed in the early 20th Century by a local businessman who hired the famous landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmstead and his son, to design and implement the development of the area.  Wonderful foresight produced lovely winding streets, overhanging trees, neighborhood parks and gracious homes along streets like Lullwater, Springdale and Oxford.  For a more comprehensive history of the area, Druid Hills resident, David Hartle,  has written Druid Hills, A Brief History.

DrHills-HouseDrHills-house1

Architectural styles in the area include stately Georgian and Tudors, as well as more humble Bungalows.  Flowering Dogwoods and Azaleas are a trademark and present on most of the streets in Druid Hills.

A recent facelift and roundabout has enhanced Emory Village and the entrance to Emory University, which are located in the Druid Hills Historical District. Once a bottleneck, traffic now moves easily through the intersection and into the area.  Pedestrian traffic enjoys continuous walkways through the intersection and is a pleasure to transverse.

Emory Village is small with several popular restaurants, drycleaners, bookstore and limited parking.  It is located adjacent to Emory University and is a lively, bustling destination.

Emoryentrance

The main entrance to Emory University is located in Emory Village on the roundabout.  Emory University was originally founded by a small group of Methodists and was named in honor of Methodist bishop, John Emory.  According to Wikipedia, the university has nearly 3000 faculty members and almost 14,000 students. U.S. News & World Reports placed Emory at 20th in national university rankings in 2012.  Emory has a beautiful campus with old trees and extensive green space.  Several years ago, Emory opted to become a pedestrian only campus and instituted the free Cliff shuttle system for students, faculty and staff.  The Carlos Museum is located on the campus and houses one of the most comprehensive art collections in the SE.

Atlanta Decatur Homes, a local Atlanta real estate company, selling homes in Atlanta, Druid Hills, Decatur, Medlock Park, and Emory University neighborhoods for over 25 years. Professional Rental Management services are also offered.

Posted in Atlanta Home Buyers, Atlanta Homes, Atlanta Property Management, Atlanta Townhomes, Buying First Home in Atlanta, Decatur Homes, Decatur Neighborhoods, Decatur Property Management, Decatur real estate, Decatur Townhomes and Condos, Druid Hills, Historic Neighborhoods | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dog Friendly City–Decatur, Georgia

The Dog Park

Decatur, Georgia is one of the loveliest small cities in the Atlanta area, well-known for its walkability factor, for charming Decatur homes, friendly neighborhoods and  fine restaurants and shopping.  It’s also a dog-friendly city with some great local Decatur Dog Parks.

In a comprehensive article by Wikipedia,  the Dog Park is described as “ a facility set aside for dogs to exercise and play off-leash in a controlled environment under the supervision of their owner.

Dog Parks are popular everywhere, offering safe exercise areas for dogs and an opportunity for owners to gather and socialize while their dogs play.  Several excellent Dog Parks are located in neighborhoods around the Emory University area in Decatur, Ga:

IMG_0202Mason Mill Dog Park – N. Jamestown Road Decatur, Ga. – Recently renovated – Flat open space with double fences, adjacent parking, water fountains, baggies and trash deposit plus a covered picnic area.  Could use more benches.

 

 

IMG_0210Glenlake Dog Park – 1121 Church Street, Decatur, Ga. – Recently renovated – smaller Dog Park within the larger Glenlake Park  with water fountains/baggies and trash deposit and a covered picnic area.  Suggest entering off Church Street by the Pool and Tennis Courts, as the other entrance is a bumpy ride over stones.  Good Parking

 

IMG_0207Adair Dog Park – Trinity Place next to Mary Gay House, Decatur, Ga. – This large park is one of the more appealing with benches and abundant shade – double fences/water fountains/benches/baggies and trash deposit.  Limited parking but handy.

 

 

What Makes a Good Dog Park?

The Association of Pet Dog Trainers lists several points that constitute a Good Dog Park on their website.  Good Dog Parks generally have the following:

  • Parking Close to the Site
  • Materials for Cleaning UP – Bags and Garbage Cans
  • Drinking Fountains and Shade
  • Enough Space to Avoid Crowding
  • Separate Entrance & Exit Gates to Enter and Exit
  • Two-Gate System to keep dogs from accidentally Escaping

Is Your Dog Ready for a Dog Park?

Dogs come in all shapes and varieties.  Some are quiet and shy, some are friendly and outgoing.  Aggressive dogs are not generally welcomed in dog parks and basic obedience skills are desirable.  Your dog should be able to respond to basic commands, particularly the recall command.  It also helps if your best friend is friendly with all types of people and has a history of amiable play with other dogs.  Dog parks may be intimidating for pets that are less than 5 months old.

Visit one of these convenient Decatur Dog Parks when you have an opportunity – your dog will thank you!

Atlanta Decatur Homes, a local Atlanta real estate company, selling homes in Atlanta, Druid Hills, Decatur, Medlock Park, and Emory University neighborhoods for over 25 years. Professional Rental Management services are also offered.

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Emory Area Neighborhood–Medlock Park

The Medlock Park area is nestled between Scott Boulevard, North Superior Avenue and North Decatur Road in Decatur, Georgia.  Small well-kept bungalows and brick ranches predominate, with newer construction  interspersed.  Families and individuals are drawn to the neighborhood by affordable housing and the convenience to Emory University, located less than 3 miles away.

Medlock Photos

Medlock Park Sales Update

Thirty-seven homes sold in the Medlock Park area during 2011, with prices ranging from $90,000 – $350,000, selling for slightly less than in  2010,  The average list price was $192,424 and the average sale price was $180,497, averaging 100 days on the market.

Medlock Park Shopping/Hospital Facilities

Popular restaurants, grocery stores, shops, doctors and hospitals are all located close by

  • Evans Fine Foods – N. Decatur Road
  • Rainbow Grocery – N. Decatur Road
  • UPS & Kinko’s – N. Decatur Road
  • Emory Hospital – Clifton Road
  • Egleston Children’s Hospital – Clifton Road
  • DeKalb General Hospital – N. Decatur Road
  • Publix Pharmacy – N. Decatur Road
  • Clairmont Animal Hospital – N. Decatur Road

Medlock Park Area Parks

DeKalb County has numerous parks and walking paths convenient to the Medlock Park area, including recently completed bike and walking trails that lead through the woods, connecting two county parks, Medlock Park and Mason Mill Park.  Both parks have been extensively renovated and offer tennis courts, playgrounds, ball fields, picnic areas and Medlock Park has a community pool.  The Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve, located in the Medlock Park area, is a 28-acre nature preserve with walking trails, bogs, and bird-watching sites.

Medlock Park offers prospective homeowners a convenient location, reasonable home prices and recreation facilities within the neighborhood.

Atlanta Decatur Homes, a local Atlanta real estate company, selling homes in Atlanta, Druid Hills, Decatur, Medlock Park, and Emory University neighborhoods for over 25 years.  Professional Rental Management services are also offered.

Posted in Atlanta Home Buyers, Atlanta Homes, Atlanta Property Management, Atlanta Townhomes, Buying First Home in Atlanta, Decatur Homes, Decatur Neighborhoods, Decatur Property Management, Decatur real estate, Druid Hills, Emory University, Real Estate, Selling Your Home | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment