Author Topic: Any Atlanta mustachians?  (Read 6475 times)

EconDiva

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Any Atlanta mustachians?
« on: February 16, 2015, 04:51:02 PM »
I moved away from Atlanta almost 3 years ago and I can hardly believe it's been that long already. I'm starting to miss it actually. I think it's the cost of living I miss. Grocery shopping at the farmers market in downtown Decatur, sub $700 rental within a 5 minute commute of Emory, even flying was cheaper since their airport is a major hub.  I swear I'd be able to buy a decent home there for under $100k....

I'm in a situation where I moved and ended up getting a job in a city I just feel 'ok' about.  No friends or family here....basically no life whatsoever outside of work.  I'm thinking of moving back to Atlanta but have no idea how soon. At first my thought was I'd go back after I'd gained enough experience at my current job to be able to land a position that pays mch better than the last one I had in Atlanta. Problem is that Atlanta doesn't have the same opportunities in pharma at the level of pay that Chicago has. Sigh

Anyways, I digress. Any Atlanta residents here? How would you rate the city of its level of Mustachiansim? :)

Update Feb 26, 2017:

Almost exactly 2 years from starting this thread, I'm leaving Chicago and moving back to Atlanta.  I leave in 6 days.  I'll be staying near Lavista and Cheshire bridge road the first few months temporarily.  I'll also be without a car at first but only because my job here in Chicago has allowed me to go full time remote.  So I won't need a car immediately upon moving and will likely take my time with that.  I think my budget will be pretty low once I do buy one ($2k probably?) as I'm saving for a downpayment on a house or condo at the moment with an eye on end of year/beginning of next year to buy.

I am currently looking at West End/Adair Park areas.  I'm constantly eyeing 2 br/2 ba condos/lofts in Inman Park/Highlands area but they run close to 300K.  I make like 90K a year gross pre-bonus and my mid term goals are to be able to save more, travel more and spend less of my income on housing.  With that said, I think I need to go as CHEAP as I can possibly go to free up income, build my EF fund even higher and...give me piece of mind.  So I'm hoping I can find something under $100K all in.  Icing on the cake would be a minimum of 2 bedrooms and 2 baths so I could rent a room that would hopefully cover the mortgage.  That's why I'm currently eyeing West End area as there are still some cheap properties there.  My friend does a ton of real estate investing and owns property in Sky Lofts...anyone familiar with that building?

Also, anyone know of where I can look to find out about new townhome developments in construction?  My friend bought one of those townhomes near 2142 James Jackson Pkwy year before last and claims it appreciated over $90K in less than one year of her living there o.o  Now, she paid like $280 for her townhouse which I couldn't afford but I'd still like to hear about any new construction which might be in the cheaper range that I might could swing.

Anyways, it'll be interesting to see what's new and check out the neighborhoods once I get back.  Maybe I'll find that cheap $45K 3/2 home I can put $50K into and rent 2 bedrooms and be set.  Or maybe I've been watching too much Egypt Sherrod and HGTV :)
« Last Edit: February 26, 2017, 11:21:11 AM by EconDiva »

garion

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Re: Any Atlanta mustachians?
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2015, 06:42:31 PM »
We're in Atlanta right now!

Housing costs in Decatur and some of the surrounding areas have skyrocketed over the past few years. I don't think you'd be able to find a sub-$700 rental 5 minutes from Emory anymore, and we're pretty much completely priced out of the city of Decatur due to cost. Literally, we started renting a house in Decatur in 2011 with the owners talking about selling it in a couple of years for $220k. By the time they sold it in 2014, they got at least half a million for it and didn't even list it because a developer swooped it up to gut and change into a much more expensive house. And it was sort of a rare case because most of the houses on our street were being torn down entirely and rebuilt.

My SIL lives in Brookhaven and things are the same there, maybe more pronounced.

Not trying to be down on Atlanta! We do really like it here, and it's reasonably priced compared to a lot of areas. It's just starting to change, unfortunately...

D Bopp

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Re: Any Atlanta mustachians?
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2015, 06:45:00 PM »
I live in Tucker/Stn Mtn area. It's a very good cost of living area in the US compared to many other big cities. I've lived here all my life, and do enjoy it, although I do sometimes daydream about moving out west.

EconDiva

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Re: Any Atlanta mustachians?
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2015, 08:01:30 PM »
We're in Atlanta right now!

Housing costs in Decatur and some of the surrounding areas have skyrocketed over the past few years. I don't think you'd be able to find a sub-$700 rental 5 minutes from Emory anymore, and we're pretty much completely priced out of the city of Decatur due to cost. Literally, we started renting a house in Decatur in 2011 with the owners talking about selling it in a couple of years for $220k. By the time they sold it in 2014, they got at least half a million for it and didn't even list it because a developer swooped it up to gut and change into a much more expensive house. And it was sort of a rare case because most of the houses on our street were being torn down entirely and rebuilt.

My SIL lives in Brookhaven and things are the same there, maybe more pronounced.

Not trying to be down on Atlanta! We do really like it here, and it's reasonably priced compared to a lot of areas. It's just starting to change, unfortunately...

Ah....I have been hearing this from my friends.

I just did a search on the last apartment I rented there and the pricing is significantly higher than when I left just about 3 years ago.  My ideal location to live would be in the downtown Decatur area.  Brookhaven would of course be very nice as well but I 'definitely' know that area is out of my price range....

I must admit that a lot of the lowest priced houses I come across on realtor.com at in the zip code 30349 (college park), and I used to live in that same exact zip code and vowed I would never move back to Clayton County.  I wonder what the area will be like in another 20 years or so though.


garion

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Re: Any Atlanta mustachians?
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2015, 09:13:37 PM »
I wish I could have bought a house in Decatur 3 years ago! Oh well... :)

wordnerd

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Re: Any Atlanta mustachians?
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2015, 07:50:02 AM »
I've been in Atlanta for almost five years now. I've grown to really like it, but the cost-of-living is one of the biggest things keeping me here rather than moving "back home" (California)or other places. DH and I were able to buy a great foreclosure during the housing downturn though, so our very low cost-of-living/high-quality-of-life might not be exactly replicable today. As others mentioned, popular areas like Decatur are getting quite pricey.

Jack

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Re: Any Atlanta mustachians?
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2015, 01:00:12 PM »
I bought a house a little southwest of Decatur (in the Atlanta city limits) 5 years ago, and it's worth about 2 to 2.5x what I paid for it now. : )

If you want to buy in in-town Atlanta today, I recommend one of the Beltline neighborhoods in southwest Atlanta (Capitol View, Adair Park, West End, etc.). If that's too "urban pioneer" for you and you don't mind lower return on investment, East Atlanta/Kirkwood/East Lake have gentrified a lot (see previous paragraph) but are probably still "sort of" reasonable.

Unincorporated Dekalb "near" Decatur is mostly cheap, but all the uncertainty about the various cityhood initiatives is a risk (not to mention the crappy schools in the southern half of the county).

Anyways, I digress. Any Atlanta residents here? How would you rate the city of its level of Mustachiansim? :)

Metro Atlanta overall? Very poor. The area defined by drawing a triangle (roughly) between Decatur, Atlantic Station and Fort McPherson? Moderate to very good (as long as you don't end up having to commute to somewhere OTP... it's unfortunate that a lot of software jobs are in ridiculous places like Alpharetta).

hcar86

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Re: Any Atlanta mustachians?
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2015, 11:36:43 AM »
Totally agree about housing costs - they have really gone up in the last few years (I used to have a $700 apartment close to Emory which was great, but the same apartments are at least $1100 now).

Now I live in unincorporated Dekalb - technically Decatur, but very close to Tucker/Clarkston. It's cheap, but I do feel stressed out about all the cityhood movements. We don't really know what's going to happen and where we're going to land (but the area is great - safe, cheap, and good location).

EconDiva

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Re: Any Atlanta mustachians?
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2015, 09:07:43 AM »
I bought a house a little southwest of Decatur (in the Atlanta city limits) 5 years ago, and it's worth about 2 to 2.5x what I paid for it now. : )

If you want to buy in in-town Atlanta today, I recommend one of the Beltline neighborhoods in southwest Atlanta (Capitol View, Adair Park, West End, etc.). If that's too "urban pioneer" for you and you don't mind lower return on investment, East Atlanta/Kirkwood/East Lake have gentrified a lot (see previous paragraph) but are probably still "sort of" reasonable.

Unincorporated Dekalb "near" Decatur is mostly cheap, but all the uncertainty about the various cityhood initiatives is a risk (not to mention the crappy schools in the southern half of the county).

Anyways, I digress. Any Atlanta residents here? How would you rate the city of its level of Mustachiansim? :)

Metro Atlanta overall? Very poor. The area defined by drawing a triangle (roughly) between Decatur, Atlantic Station and Fort McPherson? Moderate to very good (as long as you don't end up having to commute to somewhere OTP... it's unfortunate that a lot of software jobs are in ridiculous places like Alpharetta).

Jealous of you for buying when you did :P

Since I haven't visited much since I left almost 3 years ago I'm a little out of the loop in terms of what kinds of properties are available at what prices in the beltline areas you've mentioned...

EconDiva

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Re: Any Atlanta mustachians?
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2015, 09:09:24 AM »
We're in Atlanta right now!

Housing costs in Decatur and some of the surrounding areas have skyrocketed over the past few years. I don't think you'd be able to find a sub-$700 rental 5 minutes from Emory anymore, and we're pretty much completely priced out of the city of Decatur due to cost. Literally, we started renting a house in Decatur in 2011 with the owners talking about selling it in a couple of years for $220k. By the time they sold it in 2014, they got at least half a million for it and didn't even list it because a developer swooped it up to gut and change into a much more expensive house. And it was sort of a rare case because most of the houses on our street were being torn down entirely and rebuilt.

My SIL lives in Brookhaven and things are the same there, maybe more pronounced.

Not trying to be down on Atlanta! We do really like it here, and it's reasonably priced compared to a lot of areas. It's just starting to change, unfortunately...

I wonder what it would be like if I decided to move back there in another 3-5 years.

Yeah, I know the Brookhaven area is definitely out of my price range as a single person on a moderate income.  A lot of my friends want to live there.

EconDiva

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Re: Any Atlanta mustachians?
« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2015, 09:10:44 AM »
I live in Tucker/Stn Mtn area. It's a very good cost of living area in the US compared to many other big cities. I've lived here all my life, and do enjoy it, although I do sometimes daydream about moving out west.

I daydream about San Francisco but honestly I'd probably rather retire in Atlanta at an early age with the ability to travel to/visit San Fran (and many other cities).

EconDiva

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Re: Any Atlanta mustachians?
« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2015, 09:11:24 AM »
I wish I could have bought a house in Decatur 3 years ago! Oh well... :)

Me too! Oh well...

EconDiva

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Re: Any Atlanta mustachians?
« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2015, 09:12:39 AM »
Totally agree about housing costs - they have really gone up in the last few years (I used to have a $700 apartment close to Emory which was great, but the same apartments are at least $1100 now).

Now I live in unincorporated Dekalb - technically Decatur, but very close to Tucker/Clarkston. It's cheap, but I do feel stressed out about all the cityhood movements. We don't really know what's going to happen and where we're going to land (but the area is great - safe, cheap, and good location).

Interesting.  It's kinda disheartening to hear how much prices have risen over the last few years.  What factors have contributed to this in the Decatur area?

EconDiva

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Re: Any Atlanta mustachians?
« Reply #13 on: February 22, 2015, 09:14:04 AM »
What areas would people say are 'hot' to buy in right now?  Areas where you would be quick to snatch up a home if you could get a fair deal that you think would pretty much guarantee a rise in home value over the next ~5 years?

D Bopp

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Re: Any Atlanta mustachians?
« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2015, 11:34:31 AM »
We're actually going to try to move in the next year to year 1/2. Looking at the John's Creek area. Close to Sandy Springs, but not as expensive. I see that area going up in the next few years.

Jack

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Re: Any Atlanta mustachians?
« Reply #15 on: March 09, 2015, 08:51:10 AM »
Interesting.  It's kinda disheartening to hear how much prices have risen over the last few years.  What factors have contributed to this in the Decatur area?

Many Millennials have decided it's cool to live closer in to the city, but lots of them (especially in a city like Atlanta) aren't quite ready for the full-on "high-rise condo" lifestyle, so they pick an inner suburb. (Many of them also want to do things like vegetable gardening or raising chickens, which can't be done in a Midtown condo.) They also want to be near trendy shops, bars and restaurants, and can't afford super-expensive properties.

Between the good transit access (on the MARTA east line), the large number of trendy restaurants etc. in places like Decatur, Little Five Points and East Atlanta Village, and the relatively-affordable property values, the Decatur area has been the part of Atlanta that best fulfills that criteria. (Places like Virginia-Highland, Buckhead and Brookhaven are too expensive, anything OTP isn't urban enough, and everywhere South or West of downtown is, in most people's perception, on the wrong side of the (figurative and literal) tracks (even though some of it is actually pretty nice).

What areas would people say are 'hot' to buy in right now?  Areas where you would be quick to snatch up a home if you could get a fair deal that you think would pretty much guarantee a rise in home value over the next ~5 years?

IMO, the hot areas now are the ones I just mentioned: the relatively-nice parts of Southwest Atlanta, along the Beltline. It might be more of a 10-year play, though. I can't think of anywhere that's a "guarantee" within 5 years that isn't already at least half-gentrified.

We're actually going to try to move in the next year to year 1/2. Looking at the John's Creek area. Close to Sandy Springs, but not as expensive. I see that area going up in the next few years.

I'm not a big fan of Johns Creek for Mustachians (or Millennials, for that matter). It may be "near" Sandy Springs in a suburban car-clown kind of way, but it's in exactly the wrong direction (i.e. further out) such that traffic is terrible. There are also hardly any bicycle facilities and to get anywhere requires taking high-speed four-lane (or worse) roads. Access to transit is limited to buses, and therefore likely inadequate. I suspect it's also not really all that cheap, either.

For someone who wants good access to Sandy Springs (e.g. because they work in the Perimeter Mall area), I'd say there are many better choices. Doraville and Chamblee are closer (by car), have half-decent transit access by taking the train south to Lindbergh and then back north again, and are cheaper. East Cobb or Sandy Springs itself would be expensive, but probably still worth it compared to commuting from Johns Creek. Even some cheaper parts of Atlanta would be a reasonable choice because of MARTA rail access.

If I worked in Sandy Springs and were buying a house now, I'd be seriously considering a condo in Sandy Springs, Dunwoody, Buckhead or Midtown, or a single-family house in Chamblee, Doraville, Reynoldstown, Edgewood, or West End / Adair Park (near MARTA rail).

DryIceZ33

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Re: Any Atlanta mustachians?
« Reply #16 on: March 09, 2015, 06:53:03 PM »
Here to add another Atlanta resident to the list....  I bought a midtown condo in 2010, where it'd be a little more challenging to buy today.  The midtown area is one of the most walk-able areas in the city, and seems to be becoming more bike friendly every day! 

In my opinion, you can live a close to "mustachian" lifestyle here as long as you live and have a job within a mile or so of a Marta rail station - and keep an eye on real estate prices to find something reasonable.  It's getting tougher to find places under $400k in midtown, but they do exist.  As others mentioned, Decatur and other areas west of the city while still ITP have more affordable real estate prices. 

EconDiva

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Re: Any Atlanta mustachians?
« Reply #17 on: February 26, 2017, 11:18:31 AM »
As mentioned in the original thread post, I am actually moving back to Atlanta now (in just 6 days).

I will be eyeing property once I move and deciding if perhaps this year I should buy something.

I am quite nervous, but the rent vs buy calculators are leaning towards buy.  I'd be a first time homeowner which scares the bejeezus outta me but that's probably because I saw my mom go through a foreclosure.  I just want to make a mustachian housing purchase that makes a huge positive impact on my budget...meaning, I want to pay as little for a home as possible so my housing costs are low.

If I can make my housing costs lower enough, a bunch of other goals I have will fall into place much easier, to include building up my emergency fund/investments and having more flexibility over work (I could work less in the future, or work a job that pays less if I wanted).  I also envision doing more travel in the future via home exchanges.  Right now because I'm trying to go as cheap as possible, the hurdle I need to get over in my head is that I have friends that live in such nice homes.  3 story brick townhomes that they are always entertaining in, etc.  I don't believe I can pay the kind of prices they are paying and still work towards the above goals I just mentioned, so I need to start looking at what, say $100k or less will get me and 'where' in Atlanta. 

garion

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Re: Any Atlanta mustachians?
« Reply #18 on: March 09, 2017, 01:39:05 PM »
As mentioned in the original thread post, I am actually moving back to Atlanta now (in just 6 days).

I will be eyeing property once I move and deciding if perhaps this year I should buy something.

I am quite nervous, but the rent vs buy calculators are leaning towards buy.  I'd be a first time homeowner which scares the bejeezus outta me but that's probably because I saw my mom go through a foreclosure.  I just want to make a mustachian housing purchase that makes a huge positive impact on my budget...meaning, I want to pay as little for a home as possible so my housing costs are low.

If I can make my housing costs lower enough, a bunch of other goals I have will fall into place much easier, to include building up my emergency fund/investments and having more flexibility over work (I could work less in the future, or work a job that pays less if I wanted).  I also envision doing more travel in the future via home exchanges.  Right now because I'm trying to go as cheap as possible, the hurdle I need to get over in my head is that I have friends that live in such nice homes.  3 story brick townhomes that they are always entertaining in, etc.  I don't believe I can pay the kind of prices they are paying and still work towards the above goals I just mentioned, so I need to start looking at what, say $100k or less will get me and 'where' in Atlanta.

Welcome to Atlanta!

We live in a 1-bathroom ranch house, so it's not an option for us, but a lot of our friends in the fancy townhouse type-places make it work by taking in roommates. Townhouses have a lot of bathrooms. Although I don't think those fancy new townhouses tend to be as good of an investment as single-family... But either way, finding a place that be amenable to roommates would definitely help. Become the person charging the ridiculous Atlanta rent :-).