With it being Halloween week, our Over-the-Top Property is appropriately a replica of Disney’s very own Haunted Mansion – 3816 Turnberry Ct, Duluth, GA 30096. While listed by a real estate broker, this big ticket item is also listed on ebay with a Buy It Now price of $873,000. With 4 hours remaining in the bidding, 54 offers have been made through ebay – all declined.
So how much hauntedness does almost $900k get you? I’m glad you asked.
- 7 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms across 10,008 square feet
- Designed and owned by Mark Hurt (Former Disney Contractor) – built in 1996 in the gated community of Sweet Bottom Plantation (“That’s a sweet ass house”)
- Used the same foundry that Walt Disney used to make the iron details of the original Haunted Mansion
- Specially themed 1st floor bathroom complete with animated ghost scene. (What commode is complete without one?)
- 2 story library
- 1,100 square foot cypress wood roof deck
- 2nd floor front terrace
- Not actually haunted.
Check out the entire video tour.
Here’s a side-by-side comparison of Haunted Mansions. How does this Duluth GA version stack up?
The annual Little 5 Points Halloween Parade – Image via Creative Loafing
Oh how the spooky have fallen! After ranking as the 15th best city in the nation for trick-or-treating in 2010, Atlanta has been unranked for the past 2 years in Zillow’s annual Trick-or-Treat Index (Yes, that’s actually a thing). As Zombie Capital of the World, how is this possible? How many brains does a city have to eat to get on this list?
Before we recap our favorite neighborhoods in Atlanta to go door-to-door, let’s dig into a few of the cities that were ranked and figure out why the good people at Zillow believe these cities to be scarier than Atlanta:
- San Francisco – Alcatraz and Trolleys. But mostly the trolleys.
- Boston – Home of the Boston Strangler and Al Davis. Just boo, baby.
- Honolulu – Close your eyes. You’re on stage for a spelling bee. Your word – Kuliouou-Kalani Iki. Ahhhhhhhhhhh!
- Philadelphia -They throw batteries at Santa; Imagine what they would do to you.
- Washington -More politicians than anywhere else in the nation. Need I say more?
- Pittsburgh – Brett Keisel’s beard.
- Minneapolis – Mall of America. I shudder to think of all the kids, (40 million people annually) and all the shopping (500+ stores) under one roof. This is my nightmare.
- Buffalo – The Bills. Have you seen them play lately? Frightening.
On second thought, maybe it’s was a good thing not to be included on this list. Thanks Zillow!
As promised here are the Atlanta neighborhoods you should hit up tonight on your candy crusade.
Top Neighborhoods in Atlanta for Trick-or-Treating
- Atkins Park
- Brookwood Hills
- Ansley Park
- Garden Hills
- Candler Park
- Morningside/Lenox Park
- Virginia Highland
- Inman Park
Photo courtesy of Seattle PI Blog
Condo? More like Con-don’t think so!
Here are 6 reasons why you’ll hate living in an condominium.
- Like an Alcatraz cell, but smaller – Living in a box is not fun. Living in a box with another person is even less fun. And if there happens to be a kid involved too? Straight up torture.
- No room for your junk- You might get a unit that comes with a storage room, but with smaller closets, no attic, and no basement, there’s no place to adequately store all your ceramic Siamese cat figurines.
- They are Anti-Freedom – Condos are typically ruled with an iron fist; Joseph Stalin was a pushover compared to your new Condo Board. Here’s a few things that a Condominium complex may not allow – home-based businesses, pets, the ability to rent out your unit, or civil liberties. Well, the last one is a bit of a stretch, but you get the idea.
- Prepare to be pasty- If you have a greenthumb, enjoy taking in a sunset in your backyard, or have any desire to frolick, then you’re out of luck. With little to no outdoor space, you’ll be spending more time indoors than Boo Radley.
- Good luck selling it – I don’t recall much from Econ 101, but I do remember a little something called supply and demand. Since units are very similar, the ease of selling depends almost strictly on supply. If there are only a couple of available units on the market, then you’re in luck. If there are many units on the market, then prepare to take a sizable haircut to get your unit sold.
- Parking is a pain – There’s a good chance that a condo will either have 1) only street parking 2) a parking lot with 1 assigned spot 3) a parking garage with 1 assigned spot. It’s pretty rare to get a condo that has 2 assigned spots so if your family has 2 cars or you intend on having frequent visitors, you can count on parking to be a huge pain in the asphalt.
Think I’m wrong? Think condos are better than houses? Let me know why.
Condos aren’t for masses, but they are a perfect lifestyle fit for some. Sure, it’s less space, but they’re chock full of goodness.
Condominiums you say? Nay. They are Condomaximums. <self-satisfied snort>
Check out these 7 Reasons Why Condos are Better than Houses:
- Meet more people – Living in a condo building you’ll naturally be around more people. Since units are closer together and there are many more common areas like party rooms, fitness centers, and pools, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to meet your neighbors and kick it.
- Lock it, then rocket - A condo is like life before kids. It used to be so easy to spontaneously decide to go to dinner and drinks with my wife. 3 kids later? It takes us 25 minutes just to get in the car. That’s a house. You can’t just leave a house. A condo though? Lock it up and head to Uruguay for a month.
- Feels like Fort Knox - Still afraid of the dark? I don’t blame you – it’s terrifying. But it’s nothing that the locked-down, buttoned-up security of a condo building can’t fix for you. With keyed entrances, on duty security, and security cameras, it’ll take an Ocean’s Eleven – type heist to get anywhere near your authentic Chewbacca replica costume. All that security leads to fewer break-ins and a warm, fuzzy feeling inside.
- Get friendly with Mother Earth – Walk, bike, and ride public transportation around the city with a clear conscience – It won’t be your car emissions that’ll be Chuck Liddelling Mother Gaia to death.
- Closer to the action – Let’s be honest. You’re a mover and a shaker. You need to be knee-deep in the action and the condo life brings you closer to restaurants, bars, theaters, and many other city-centric events and shows. In a world full of commutes and carpool fools, you’ll perpetually be less than 20 minutes away from everything.
- Help! I’ve fallen and can’t get up – Unlike the death trappiness of a home, you’re never far from people in your condo building. This really pays off when you have an emergency like that time you got your foot stuck in the toilet.
- Save your back – Do your fingers hurt from a long week a work? Guess what? Now your back is going to hurt because you’ve got landscaping duty. Sounds terrible to me. Time spent mowing the lawn, pruning shrubs, or pulling weeds is better spent, well, doing anything else in the world.
Convinced? Good. Do yourself a favor and sit back, relax, and rock a condo to the max.
It’s always fun when a listing catches you off guard. There you are, perusing photos of a not-so-unusual $1,799,999 dollar home, and then BAM – where did that come from? Such is the case with this 1989 contemporary off Mount Paran Road not too far north of Chastain Park. But we won’t let the secret out just yet. First, let’s take a look at what fancy schmancy Atlanta real estate looked at the end of one of our cheesiest decades.
During the 1980s, Atlanta gained high marks for the new High Museum building designed by Richard Meier. City boosters won’t hesitate to say it was one of the signature buildings of that decade – I mean hey, it was pictured on a postage stamp! Meier’s bright white, often square forms were a key Postmodern look and everything from small additions to entire mansions acquired the aesthetic, including this one. Consider that your history lesson for the day.
3 Misty Ridge peeks out from behind a wall, which is kind of odd considering the already secluded location. It makes more sense when you realize that the home’s pool is inside this enclosure; I suppose the home’s steep rear lot necessitated this unusual configuration. Inside there aren’t too many surprises. Plenty of windows let in copious amounts of light and allow views of the leafy terrain Mount Paran is known for. I wonder how big the budget was for can lights – they’re everywhere! The mezzanine level is an neat touch that reflects the era’s obsession with loft architecture. Luckily, it looks like the kitchen was recently renovated; 1989 kitchens aren’t known for their visual wonders. All this is leading up to the home’s coolest feature: a full fledged nightclub! At least, it could be with the right people. Glowy lighting, slick furniture, a full bar, and wall projectors complete the Miami Vice scene. Maybe you could rent it out for Sweet Sixteens? Or maybe it’s the space referred to in the listing as being large enough to fit 25 cars? Nevertheless, it’s strong evidence that the Northside crowd really knows how to throw down.
Atlanta’s East Lake neighborhood has seen quite the transformation over the past decade. Not too long ago, who could have imagined that one this place – one of the city’s most notorious areas – would one day end up second on our list of locales with the greatest home value increases? Still, there’s ample opportunity to find your diamond in the rough, if you’re looking for a deal and don’t mind a little (or a lot of) work. This eastside ‘hood is known for its pioneering spirit, so you’ll hardly be alone in your quest for urban nirvana.
The land that East Lake encompasses was rural up until the end of the 19th century. It was in the 1890s that ambitious plans were drawn up for an artificial lake surrounded by homes, hotels, schools, and entertainment facilities that would serve a mix of residents and fun-seeking tourists. The lake was built, and a few cottages were placed around it, but the financial downturn of 1896 meant that the touristy aspect of the plan would be the only function to survive. The amusement park was bought out in 1904, and not after that that a golf course was constructed. Voilà – Atlanta’s first country club! The neighborhood as we know it grew up around this emerald centerpiece.
The golf course went through many redesigns and changed hands quite a few times, but it was the construction of a large public housing project in the 1960s that had the greatest effect on East Lake. Named East Lake Meadows, the well intentioned development went into a deep decline that was nothing short of terrifying; at one point it had a crime rate eighteen times the national average. In the mid-1990s East Lake Meadows was torn down and redeveloped by the Cousins Foundation, who also revamped the golfing facilities, and the site is now a mixed income apartment community know as the Villages at East Lake. This positive turnaround was the catalyst for East Lake’s revitalization.
East Lake is located a scant 4.5 miles east of downtown Atlanta and borders Oakhurst, Kirkwood, and unincorporated Dekalb County. Access to I-20 is super easy, and the neighborhood’s served by its own MARTA rail station. As it always has, the East Lake Golf Club is the sun around which the neighborhood revolves. Things are particularly buzzy when the PGA holds its annual Tour Championship here. East Lake never developed a commercial district of its own, but those of Oakhurst and Kirkwood, not to mention East Atlanta Village, give residents nearby options for shopping, dining, and nightlife. One coveted asset the neighborhood is lucky to have: a fairly new Publix grocery store. East Lake Park holds a playground and hosts a farmer market, and there’s also a community YMCA.
Historically, housing in East Lake has been on the modest side, with bungalows, Tudor cottages, and Minimal Traditional homes making up the bulk of the available options. The larger homes tend to be historically inspired newer homes which have seen continued construction even as the housing market’s dragged. If you see chicken coops don’t be alarmed, as East Lake’s been one of the more popular places in the city for urban farming. Prices typically range from below $100,000 to $500,000.
Okay, enough with the bad news! Previously, we examined which of Atlanta’s ITP (inside the Perimeter) neighborhoods took the hardest hits when it came to year-over-year change in home value, as calculated by Zillow. The number went as high as 30% – ouch! While overall metro values are down in Atlanta, there are healthy pockets of progress as well. Let’s take a look at where that’s happening intown, as well as in the suburbs. Keep in mind that data is not yet available for every single neighborhood.
Top Five Increases in Y-o-Y Home Value for July 2012 (ITP Atlanta Neighborhoods)
- Browns Mill Park: Notable for its two parks and quick access to the airport, this southside neighborhood characterized by ranch homes tops the list with a 15.1% increase in home value.
Zillow Home Value Index: $55,000
- East Lake: East Lake has made significant gains with the redevelopment of a formerly downtrodden housing development and renovation of its historic building stock. All that hard work has paid off: values are up 14.1%.
Zillow Home Value Index: $207,900
- Kirkwood: Just about halfway between Atlanta and Decatur, Kirkwood is a former streetcar suburb with a charming village area and a varied housing stock. Values in Kirkwood have increased 10.7%
Zillow Home Value Index: $191,700
- Candler Park: The revitalization of Candler Park has been underway for decades, so it’s a little harder to find a steal here than other intown neighborhoods. Values in this eastside neighborhood are up 10%.
Zillow Home Value Index: $352,900
- Reynoldstown: It might be playing catch up to the success of neighboring Cabbagetown, but things are looking up for Reynoldstown, which has transformed into an artists’ enclave in recent years. Values have increased 9.4%.
Zillow Home Value Index: $164,1000
Meanwhile, a snapshot of the ‘burbs from increasing to decreasing:
||Zillow Home Value Index
Zillow has revealed their always fascinating monthly home value index, and the news is good for the country, but not so great for Atlanta’s real estate market. While Zillow has national home values up for the eighth consecutive month in July, metro Atlanta values are down again with a year-over-year decrease of 4.1% (nationally, the figure is a positive 1.2%). But what do we always say? Real estate is local, local, local. There are always going to be pockets – especially in as large an area as metro Atlanta – of gains and losses. With that in mind, we wanted to take a closer look at what’s going on at the micro level.
Utilizing Zillow’s Home Value Index, we’ve broken down the top five gainers and the top five losers when it comes to year-over-year change in home values. This time around we’ll look at which of Atlanta’s ITP (inside the Perimeter) neighborhoods took the largest hits, and in the next installment we’ll see where values increased and decreased here and in the suburbs.
Top Five Decreases in Y-O-Y Home Value for July 2012
- Collier Heights: This historic subdivision just inside I-285 and noted for its retro midcentury look saw home values take a 30.1% plunge.
Zillow Home Value Index: $42,000.
- Washington Park: Although possessing plenty of historic homes with potential and a Beltline location, Washington Park hasn’t recovered from being hard hit by the foreclosure crisis; values are down 28.1%.
Zillow Home Value Index: $57,600
- Pittsburgh: Hopes had been high pre-crash for this challenged area south of downtown. Unfortunately its downward spiral hasn’t seemed to reverse, as home values have dropped 25.7%.
Zillow Home Value Index: $54,700
- Hammond Park: For the most part wedged between I-75 and I-85 just north of the airport, Hammond Park is composed mostly of ranch homes that haven’t held their value; to be exact, the overall value’s down 24.2%
Zillow Home Value Index: $38,500
- Greenbriar: Known for its mall and Tyler Perry Studios, Greenbriar hasn’t been immune from tumbling home values: they’ve decreased 23% since last year.
Zillow Home Value Index: $64,700
It had to happen eventually: we knew Delaware would pull through with an OTTP! The listing price ($2,390,000) on 11 Sunnyside Road isn’t staggering compared to past homes in this feature, but the design of this place is nothing to sneer at. Who would have thought this piece of California Cool would be sitting just outside Wilmington? Not only that, but it’s comfortably sited on an almost 3 acre plot that beautifully complements the home’s sharp lines. The inside is a lesson in not judging a book by it’s cover; some things aren’t as one level as they may seem!
The approach to 11 Sunnyside is all about the horizontal. Beautiful natural stone and painted wood provide a not-quite-rustic foil to the exacting architecture, which fits comfortably under some truly impressive mature trees. Once inside, the multi-level nature of the home becomes apparent. Small sets of steps here and there divvy up the spaces and keep things from being too one dimensional. There’s also some interesting things going on with the home’s windows, as the rear of the home opens up with floor to ceiling glass and allows you to admire the home’s sylvan setting. The listing description doesn’t lie: you’ll be overwhelmed and impressed!
The design details are what you’d expect and more in an OTTP, with well-done Venetian plaster, groovy hanging fireplaces, custom paneling, and an extra luxurious master bathroom all built to the highest standards. Likewise, the oversized gourmet kitchen reads off like a who’s who of cooking appliance manufacturers: Gaggenau, Wolf, Sub-Zero, Bosch, and Miele all make an appearance. In true 21st century fashion, the entire thing is smart wired and eco conscious. Viewing the home from the rear is a different story than the front, since it presents a more dynamic composition of glass, stone, and wood. Um, not to mention that gorgeous pool! A full outdoor kitchen ensures that plenty of al fresco entertaining goes down at this lightbox in the woods. Speaking of woods, could this lot be anymore fairytale? It’s got all the trademarks of a classic English pastoral scene: lush lawns surrounded by a mixture of hardwoods, the whole thing ornamented with a serene pond perfect for picnics.
Tucked down 26th Street in Atlanta’s Brookwood Hills community is an entire neighborhood of condos, townhomes, and apartments that define “off the beaten path.” Really, unless you were looking for this dense little collection, you’d probably never know it existed. Although this area used to resemble the section of Brookwood nearer Peachtree Road with its stately 1920s homes, the construction of I-75 brought on partial destruction of the neighborhood and with it went the desirability of owning a house next to the interstate. Nonetheless, South Buckhead never lost its cache or convenience, and today it’s still in the process of rebuilding in a more compact fashion. Here’s a few of the options available near the western terminus of 26th Street.
There’s a good chance you’ve noticed Brookwood Park if you’ve traveled on I-75 north of Midtown. It’s got that unmistakably retro brick and glass look (1962, to be exact) that ten years ago might have been considered hopelessly passe but is right on trend with today’s appreciation of midcentury modern. With that age comes a variety of units, some updated and others not so much; parquet floors make a frequent appearance. Also, some units may not have washers and dryers, but a laundry facility is on-site. The mid-rise building sits on seven landscaped acres that hold two tennis courts, a swimming pool, dogwalk, and access to Tanyard Creek Park. One and two bedroom units are typically priced around $100,000.
City Park Townhomes
If you’re in the market for something new, there’s plenty of that in the neighborhood as well. Take the City Park townhomes for example. Featuring stacked stone and shake detailing that mimics Atlanta’s bungalow architectural heritage, these recently constructed homes are super well priced for a non-condo Buckhead residence (starting near $189,000). Each unit is four stories and features either one bedroom and a loft or two bedrooms. Also, every home comes with a garage. Interior features included cathedral ceilings, stainless steel and granite kitchens, and gleaming hardwoods, not to mention charming front porches. These townhomes were built to highly efficient energy standards, and the Beltline trail is only a block away.
The Reserve at City Park
The newest kids on the block are at the Reserve, which features 49 three and four story townhomes. Available floorplans include two and three bedroom options. Acadia Homes is the builder behind this project, and you’ll find the detailing to be top-notch. The stone and brick facades are beautiful and accented with arched windows, flower boxes, and covered entries. The interiors are similarly fantastic with airy ceiling heights, stainless steel and granite kitchens, generous trim, and site-finished hardwood floors. As with the rest of the communities off 26th Street, the Reserve is served by East Rivers Elementary, Sutton Middle, and North Atlanta High School. Pricing at the Reserve ranges from $229,900 – $315,000.