Catch These Condos….if you Can!

Today I decided to get a bit more comfortable with the condo inventory around my digs in Collier Hills. Not wanting to stray too far from home in the rain, I chose to view three very different homes that ranged from a total fixer two bedroom with 800 sf listed at 105k to a three bedroom with approximately 1100 sf at 199k. All in mid-century styled apartments turned condo! It’s indeed a mod, mod world!

The style of these condos took me back. I imagined Frank Abagnale, Jr. (portrayed by Leo) dressed as a pilot in ‘Catch Me If You Can’ living it up, bouncing among these apartments that have now turned condo.  Alas, after a Google search, I quickly found that the Riverbend Apartments were the plot setting in Atlanta for the 2002 blockbuster, NOT the serene Brookwood setting I experienced today. SIDENOTE: Those with inquiring minds might like to know that, according to Wikipedia, Riverbed Apartments was “named by Playboy as ground zero of the Sexual Revolution, due to its clubhouse keggers and nude pool parties.” You are welcome for this useless bit of Atlanta 1970’s trivia! Now on with the tour!

My hands down favorite of the day was the Alden House community. There are only 16 units in the building. I met one of the neighbors who is currently renovating his home here. He mentioned that an architect designed his house to front on Alden with 15 apartments behind him running to the border of Tanyard Creek. The condo I saw here was surprisingly awesome and (not surprisingly) already under contract (listing price $152k with taxes of only $178/year — NO JOKE). I was really a bit floored by how great the location plus finish level plus reasonable the HOA fees were ($221/mo for a 1 BR) for this condo. There have been two recent sales in this community at asking or above and the community felt very clean and well-maintained. All good signs for a healthy condo community!

The other homes sadly paled in comparison to this home. Although the home over on Ardmore Place has definite potential. The 1954 community here in BuckTown (my hybrid for South Buckhead and North Midtown) is made up of at least 6 different buildings that are well-landscaped but something about the place did not feel cohesive — almost like they were waiting to be swallowed up by a larger development. Each unit does offer a full oversized garage with room for a car as well as storage. Sales have been swift this spring with three homes selling at Ardmore Sheryl within 2 weeks or less.

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The Ardmore Sheryl in BuckTown

The grounds were well-maintained at the Ardmore Sheryl but I did notice a broken window in the front of the building and a garage door that “just won’t operate,” according to another agent I spoke with. Those sort of details indicate to me either a weak home owner association or an abundance of renters who may not report such issues to the owner. Either way, even for the price of 105k (needed mega work), I do not think I could recommend this community to a buyer unless I was able to look at the budget and find out more about how many homes are being leased out. Especially when the HOA is $355/month.

Next up was the largest home on the preview – Brookwood Forest Condo off Alden Avenue. This three bedroom offered a lot of space,storage, real hardwoods throughout, and a wonderful updated kitchen. The downside is there is a half flight of stairs to walk down to get to the home (there is an elevator should you need it) and not as much light.

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Throwing shade….over at Brookwood Forest Condos in BuckTown

I am a big fan of the use of patterned shade screen but because of this home’s location one level down in the community, the screening really prevents light from getting into the bedroom areas. This home appears to be investor-owned as indicated by the listing agent which may explain the 30k recent price drop.

I was pleasantly surprised with what I saw today over in BuckTown. These homes priced around $150-$170k will continue to be the sweet spot for first time homeowners, folks wanting a city pad, and folks downsizing. Demand for homes in this location will remain constant. I would consider this area of mid-century marvels tucked amongst the historic Brookwood beauties to be one of Atlanta’s hidden gems.

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