Beginner Advice and Atlanta Real Estate Thoughts

2 Replies | Atlanta, Georgia

Hello Bigger Pockets Atlanta!

I hope everyone enjoyed their Labor Day weekend.  I noticed there hasn't been a beginner advice thread in a while, so I thought this would be a great opportunity to post some of my questions and thoughts.

A little about myself for context:  I would like to invest in my first property before this time next year, preferably starting with a house hack.  My goal over time is simply to create a modest portfolio (maybe 5-10 properties) that helps me on my way to financial freedom; I have no aspirations to become a professional landlord or big-time real estate investor.  That being said, I would like to keep things simple, sticking to B class and reasonable communities.

Based on that background, these are my questions and thoughts.  Any advice, recommendations, discussion, etc. would be greatly appreciated.

  • What areas of the Greater Atlanta area would you recommend today?
    • I would personally like to stay in northern Atlanta.  I think finding anything that will cash flow inside the perimeter will be difficult (Love the Chamblee/Brookhaven area though); outside the perimeter, I like Sandy Springs, Smyrna, Roswell, Alpharetta, Johns Creek, etc. (Don't think you can go too wrong in that area if the numbers make sense).  I also wouldn't be opposed to exploring areas east of I-85 and north of I-20 (i.e. Decatur, Scottsdale, etc.).  If I am going to house hack, though, I would like to keep my commute reasonable.
  • What type of property would you recommend today?
    • I would love to find a multi-family that works for me, but I agree with a lot of the sentiments from the very helpful duplex discussion a few weeks ago that there really aren't many good properties out there.  I also wouldn't be opposed to a condo or townhouse (if it could rent), but I think these properties can be risky.  Therefore, I feel like the best chance of a successful first property with good cash flow would be a single family home in a good location.
  • How do you think the Atlanta Real Estate market will develop/change in the next 5-10 years?
    • From everything I have learned thus far, I'd say that the Atlanta market is stable with strong potential to maintain growth.  I'd also say Atlanta is more of a sellers market nowadays and will continue to be one until an economic downturn or a stagnation in growth.  The multi families are clearly doing well with the large number of renters in Atlanta and single family looks good, but I thought it was a bit of a red flag with the amount of condos and townhouses on the market.
  • Do you have any recommendations regarding a realtor?
    • I have enjoyed reading the previous discussions on recommendations, but I thought it wouldn't hurt to post the question again to see if any new names popped up.
  • Are there any meetups you would recommend?
  • Is there anything you would do differently starting out in real estate?

Thank you in advance to anyone who replies to my post!  I hope this thread is useful to other beginners and experienced investors alike.

All the Best,

Stephen

Hi Stephen, short answer as I can't type. I think you could house hack in east marietta and do well. I saw a house for $250K in the Lassiter High district which I think may be ranked higher than schools in the areas you mentioned. Running rough numbers with 20% down I think you could have PITI covered by the renter and maybe even more. The key is to get a house with a walk out basement you can turn into a rental unit. I looked at a few before and I think it will work. I myself bought a much bigger house, 5200 sq ft, and the renter in the basement covers just a bit more than half my mortgage. The basement is a fully set up in law which realistically I could live in as a single and I could rent out the house for enough that I could live for free. PM me about a monthly meetup that exists.

Hi Stephen,

Welcome to BP!  I have lived in Cobb for a long time and own single-families  here and multi-units in other North Atlanta markets.  Based on your criteria, Gwinnett might be a good place to look.  There is a pretty steady flow of available multi-unit properties there (many more than areas of Cobb with decent schools) and in areas that I personally would consider reasonable to live for a shorter period to house hack.   Feel free to connect with me if you would like more information, a property management recommendation, or anything else I can help you with.

Good luck! 

James