Overview of various Atlanta neighborhoods?

18 Replies | Atlanta, Georgia

Hello, I'm an out of state investor considering buying some buy-and-hold properties in the greater Atlanta area. Being out of state, my knowledge of Atlanta is quite limited, and I'm hoping to get a better sense of the neighborhoods.

Are there any good neighborhood guides to Atlanta or other resources that show crime rate, population growth, home values, etc of various cities and towns nearby?

Thanks so much for your help.

I have lived in GA all my life. 43 years so far. GA is one of the fastest growing states in the country right now. Slated to add about 5 million more people over the next decade or so for growth. Weather is nice here and median income tends to be solid with low cost of living . Lot's of cold belt state retirees are flocking to GA,FL,TX as well.

First you need to decide your goals and price point. If your job income or business income profit is very good then you might want to focus on equity growth and rent growth in better areas over time. People get lured into sub 100k properties in GA but they tend to be in crap hole type areas where you would be dealing with very difficult tenants from afar. The property management companies knowing you are states away can be lazy and let things fall through the cracks.

One strategy is to buy a nicer new house stage zero of development in a subdivision with mainly homeowners and rent it out to tenants.  Buy the time the last house are sold in a few years they are selling at much higher prices. Typical down for investment house is 20 to 25% for an investor type loan.

I do not do residential but commercial. Residential is a big PITA except for a few properties and commercial is more passive.

5 to 7 years ago you could buy great properties in B+ to A areas for low prices. Those days are gone and those properties have doubled to tripled in value for equity gains. Now sellers here try to sell out of towners on trash areas as (up and coming)..lol You have to almost buy a value add deal in an A to B + area to rehab it to get rent ready to build in any equity now.

One main benefit over CA is that the prices to buy in B+ to A areas here in GA is likely much less than where you are at.

If you might be thinking of low end sub 100k junk in GA then it might be okay if say you are worth millions and the 40k you put down is nothing. If you are worth say 300k and taking a big chance with a good amount of money down then stay away from the low income areas and pricing. 6 to 7 years ago my friends were buying properties for 55k cash in Roswell in A location and putting 10k in to make rent ready for 900 a month rent. Now people are selling higher prices than that for D to F area trash stuff in Atlanta.    

  

@Travis Raila  Welcome to our market!  As far as neighborhood guides, I don't know of one source, but here are a couple of resources that might be helpful.  

  • Atlanta Regional Commision  --> atlantaregional.org
  • Atlanta Beltline --> beltline.org
  • Trulia - for crime stats once you've targeted a couple of neighborhoods

Depending on the type of properties you seek, Metro Atlanta has a wide array of options.  

One thing to keep in mind, is transportation.  While we have some opportunities with our mass transit, unlike California, IMO, Metro Atlantans have not come to readily accept 2+ hour commutes.  For example, "close to work" for us is more like a 20 minute drive, where "close to work" in CA might be under a 90 minute drive.

Hope this helps and again welcome!

A good way to start narrowing down a search for Atlanta real estate is by ITP and OTP, then city/county, and then look at zip codes.   Finally, you should look at neighborhoods and streets.  Ask again when you've been able to narrow it down a bit.

Hey Travis. I'm from Atlanta, grew up there, and most of my properties are there and I live in CA now. What about Atlanta has you focusing there? To be totally honest, the time to buy there was in 2011-2012. Now prices have soared and returns are minimal and inventory is low.

Originally posted by :

One thing to keep in mind, is transportation.  While we have some opportunities with our mass transit, unlike California, IMO, Metro Atlantans have not come to readily accept 2+ hour commutes.  For example, "close to work" for us is more like a 20 minute drive, where "close to work" in CA might be under a 90 minute drive. 

Thanks, this is very helpful and good to keep transportation in mind! How widely used is MARTA?  I know Atlanta is known for its sprawl, so I didn't know if most people just drive to work, or whether public transportation is starting to catch on more.

@Joel Owens

I really like your idea about focusing on equity and rent growth and buy nicer new house.

It is very hard to find good deals now a days, better to go with new construction home in nicer neighborhood.

Do you recommend any particular Atlanta area or particular communities where we can find good new construction homes.

As they say many ways to skin a cat......

.... and as another poster mentioned time to buy was 2011/2012.... Atlanta as seen phenomenal growth.

BTW the suburbs which were undesirable have also tripled. 

I like the beltline, still gentrifying...I still think some great potential here, just my humble opinion

Originally posted by @Joel Owens :

I have lived in GA all my life. 43 years so far. GA is one of the fastest growing states in the country right now. Slated to add about 5 million more people over the next decade or so for growth. Weather is nice here and median income tends to be solid with low cost of living . Lot's of cold belt state retirees are flocking to GA,FL,TX as well.

First you need to decide your goals and price point. If your job income or business income profit is very good then you might want to focus on equity growth and rent growth in better areas over time. People get lured into sub 100k properties in GA but they tend to be in crap hole type areas where you would be dealing with very difficult tenants from afar. The property management companies knowing you are states away can be lazy and let things fall through the cracks.

One strategy is to buy a nicer new house stage zero of development in a subdivision with mainly homeowners and rent it out to tenants.  Buy the time the last house are sold in a few years they are selling at much higher prices. Typical down for investment house is 20 to 25% for an investor type loan.

I do not do residential but commercial. Residential is a big PITA except for a few properties and commercial is more passive.

5 to 7 years ago you could buy great properties in B+ to A areas for low prices. Those days are gone and those properties have doubled to tripled in value for equity gains. Now sellers here try to sell out of towners on trash areas as (up and coming)..lol You have to almost buy a value add deal in an A to B + area to rehab it to get rent ready to build in any equity now.

One main benefit over CA is that the prices to buy in B+ to A areas here in GA is likely much less than where you are at.

If you might be thinking of low end sub 100k junk in GA then it might be okay if say you are worth millions and the 40k you put down is nothing. If you are worth say 300k and taking a big chance with a good amount of money down then stay away from the low income areas and pricing. 6 to 7 years ago my friends were buying properties for 55k cash in Roswell in A location and putting 10k in to make rent ready for 900 a month rent. Now people are selling higher prices than that for D to F area trash stuff in Atlanta.    

  

 Thank you for this post. I am also a beginner OOS investor looking at the Atlanta market. I have heard so much about it from others, and have friends who have invested in the area. I am looking to buy a property 100k or less. I have my eyes on a property in the 30349 area. Is that a neighborhood where a 100k property is still safe? Whats that neighborhood like, and the trends on rents. 

I do not have a lot of capital at my disposal to get into a top-notch neighborhood or a higher priced property, but am looking to put the little I have to work and build from there. 

Any advice/tips would be helpful!

Hershel, 30349 is not considered a "desirable" area yet and is on the South side of Atlanta whereas the tech sectors are closer to downtown or North of downtown ATL.  With that being said, it all depends on your strategy.  Quick flip with 20% profit, probably not going to happen in that area right now.  Buy and hold may get you 2-4% /yr.    As we all know, markets change so don't take this as a final answer.  Researching pockets with lower DOM may be your best bet since 30349 encompasses various swings in median income/avg home prices.

I would rather keep my cash any day than put it to work on a mediocre property and area and hope for the best strategy.

If you are worth millions and want to take  a small percentage of your money and take a roll of the dice on something that is different than saving up a long time to get started and buy a mediocre property and it becomes nothing but headaches and saddles an investor with bad debt so when a good deal actually comes along they are stuck.

I think this post is generally right in concept, but far from accurate.

I am a realtor, only work in C+and above areas, where I feel safe walking around by myself, and I still find properties for my clients around 100k. 

You can find 1 or 2 BD condos or townhomes around Tucker, Norcross, Doraville, Smyrna, Decatur, West Marietta, Mabelton, Austell and more... 

The ROI will not be amazing. Definitely not what it was even a year ago, but still 5-7% (net) and build equity with market appreciation.

Feel free to ask any questions or ask for examples...

I agree with @Alex Babayev . I am not having much trouble at all finding 10% caps. Actually have an abundance of deals that meet that standard from an income perspective. Although the appreciation may not be as aggressive in the more suburban neighborhoods OTP, you can typically find a bit newer build homes that could potentially be less headache than some of the older homes that I see inside the perimeter. Boils down to your exit strategy, risk tolerance, etc. 

Originally posted by @Alex Babayev :

I am a locat Atlanta investor for over 7 years (rental property investor/flipper/consultant for out of state investors). You have to create the deal most of you are looking what is available on the market what I help do is create deals from junk properties to rental beauties which allow my investors attain above average ROI and Cap Rates.

I help manage the entire process from acquisition, renovation, tenant leasing etc. 

If anyone would like to reach out and find out more please feel free to send me a private message. 

@Travis Raila   @Shital Thakkar @David Martin Jr

I would disagree with @Ali Boone , even though she may be correct that prices have increased in the Atlanta market, I still see very strong potential for 10+% cap rates and great ROI. I am doing this monthly for my out of state clients who are coming from more expensive markets such as NYC and CA. Perhaps she is referring to MLS deals, however as my point earlier you have to create the deal and bring the value to it.

Regards, 

Alex Babayev

Are those caps pre- or post-rehab?