Posts Tagged real-estate
What if you could bring a fully equipped, high-tech assisted living space to your home for an aging parent? Would you consider a modular, temporary guest house that could be removed after a few months? i ran across this Washington Post article “Pioneering the Granny Pod: Fairfax County family adapts to high-tech dwelling that could change elder care“ and it got me thinking about the many ways this could be used by my clients. A Methodist minister in Virginia had the idea that “as America grows older, its aging adults could avoid a jarring move to the nursing home by living in small, specially equipped, temporary shelters close to relatives” and he set out to create the Medcottage, a portable high-tech cottage that could be moved to the family’s property as a home for a relative in need of special care.
People have strong opinions about modular housing but the modern designs and practicality of these options has to make you stop and think twice. Rather than making permanent and expensive renovations to your home, would you consider a “granny pod” as an option to give aging parents security, comfort, and privacy? Or for older parents who split their time between different cities as a temporary apartment? What about a modular solution for my clients who need a guest room on the main floor of their home with its own sitting area, perhaps brought in for the holidays and rented by the month? And with the U.S’s aging population, I believe it will get to the point where there is a resale market for this type of space. With threshold-free floors, accessible showers, and medical monitoring and equipment already factored into the design of many of these units, it takes a lot of the guesswork out of working with a contractor who may not be as experienced with renovations like these. Of course, there are questions of zoning, space, and family dynamics to consider, but it’s certainly food for thought. I’d love to hear your opinions! If zoning can address the additional structure, I think there will be a market for this!
I’ve recently had a few listings that a few Atlanta real estate agents called “contemporary”, and although the homes themselves would not be called contemporary it seems that anything different than what Atlantans are used to seeing being built by builders around 2005 gets labeled contemporary. I’ve had agents tell me contemporary doesn’t sell in Atlanta.
I want to be the first to disagree and talk about the contemporary trend in metro Atlanta real estate.
When I first started in real estate in 2002, I may have agreed. I saw builders all building the same things – brick and stone with a lot of mixed media in between. The floors plans all had a similar feel.
In 2013, not only do we have a different audience in Atlanta, but also we have a very global influence on our home designs and clients’ desires. Those from NY, California and yes, many places in between have been seeing modern architecture and finishings a lot longer than here in the heart of the South where oriental rugs and draperies seem to be the preference.
I was inspired to write this post this morning after reading an article in my daily Prudential e-news. The article which I’ll post below is about Legos and the simplicity their new design holds.
I find myself starting to move everything in my house to “white” or variations of it. I like the simplicity, the ability to add accents in different seasons and have a new look all the time. Sometimes when life is crazy, the best retreat is to a room that is clean and simple. It’s relaxing to me. I guess that’s the Zen feel that many look for.
Anyway, I hope we continue to see more structures in Atlanta that are “simple” with clean lines, and our children can take the monochromatic Legos and really “create” versus copying the picture off the front of a box. I like the lesson learned here, and I think I’ll find this set for my son for his birthday.
Lego, the Tool of Young Modernists
|By Christopher Hawthorne|
|RISMEDIA, Thursday, August 29, 2013— (MCT)—Over the last couple of weeks, a tiny monochromatic skyline has been growing in my kitchen.Since opening Lego’s new Architecture Studio, my daughters (who are 9 and 4) and I have been putting together, dismantling and redesigning a group of about 10 buildings. We’ve kept the results on display on a shelf above the sink.Because the Architecture Studio includes bricks in just two shades — white and transparent — the buildings we’ve created all seem to be related, at least distantly, to modern architecture. This is a decidedly Corbusian color scheme; as my 9-year-old put it, gesturing in the direction of a house she’d made, “If that was hot pink, it wouldn’t look modern.”Even her barn-like structure with a pitched roof looked as much Cliff May as old-fashioned stable, thanks in part to a transparent ground floor. The limited palette also seems to make the kit more forgiving — nearly any design looks pretty good in all white or the Lego equivalent of all glass (or a mix).Lego has produced a number of architecture-related products, but they’ve tended to be kits to design a single famous building: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater, for example, or the Sydney Opera House. The Architecture Studio is closer in spirit to the original Legos, the ones that allow you to build whatever you feel like building.And as Edwin Heathcoate, the British architecture critic, pointed out recently, there’s something to be said for simplicity and open-endedness in toys. Part of that is nostalgia, I think, for a pre-digital age; but you can’t argue with the number of accomplished architects who talk about playing with Legos or wooden blocks as a formative experience. In that sense it’s surprising Lego didn’t release a set like this years ago.
The Architecture Studio comes with a pretty thick book featuring interviews with (and design advice from) architecture firms, including Tokyo’s Sou Fujimoto and the Swedish office Tham & Videgård. But it’s as much a collection of conceptual essays on the nature of architectural play as instruction manual — and to be fair, this is a product pitched at a target audience older than my kids, really teenagers and up.
I decided I liked the limited color scheme: It made the ungainly buildings I put together seem to come from the same architectural family as the ones the girls made, even if the shapes and sizes were quite different. I suspect more than a few kids, though, will open the box and immediately wish for brighter colors.
As I thought back on the time we’ve played with the set, I realized something surprising: The only time the three of us spent a sustained period of time using it together was right after we first took it out of the box.
The 1,200 pieces in the set come all mixed up in a bunch of small pouches. Before we built anything we decided to sort them by type as we all sat on the floor. That took a full hour. It was strangely meditative. A rare quiet descended on the house as we tossed the little bricks into growing piles.
Recently a friend called my walk in pantry my Costco closet. Then the other day I had a buyer mention that they needed shelving in the garage or a walk in pantry to use as their Costco Closet. How true!
This isn’t the first time a new “need” is uncovered as builders begin to catch up to it. Remember washer and dryers in closets? Now everyone wants huge laundry rooms with folding tables, hanging rods to drip dry, and cabinets for washing and drying products. The other thing that dawned on me was how uniquely American and probably middle to upper class this “need” is.
Years ago a friend from Bulgaria was at my home and laughed at the size of the shampoo containers I had in the guest room, along with a cabinet stocked with toilet paper. She explained that they only made enough money to buy what they need for the week and their homes were too small to store large quantities.
Then recently a friend from Singapore was staying with me and she was lamenting about missing the “Big Box” stores. She said when she moved to Singapore she had to take 2 years supply of paper towels as she was warned that they weren’t the same over there.
I know I can live differently and have when I was remodeling and basically liveing in a two bedroom apartment. I sometimes think things were easier with less then. As it seems something needs maintained everyday as a homeowner. But for now my pantry will be filled with huge boxes of Costco items for snacks etc.
Interestingly enough, you would think I’d face different requests with “empty nesters” as the term applies. You’d think they’d have less stuff – NEVER! They actually have decades of stuff they don’t want to get rid of. Thus they need to have a master bedroom on the main, and huge basements to store the stuff. They aren’t willing to get rid of their huge dining room furniture as they hope the family will come back at least once a year for the big dinner and they need the room for that one day! They don’t want a tiny dining room, because if they are going to use it, it needs to fit EVERYONE!
I think the 1960’s ranch plan is what is still desired by many. I realize the larger foundation is more costly, but empty nesters want everything on the main and are only willing to stick about 2 bedrooms ups.
A lot of current buyers think that floor plans that builders built in 2005 aren’t really working today, forget the Jack and Jill baths, every kid needs his/her own bath! I grew up sharing one bath with three brothers, but today heaven forbid a boy and girl share a bath.
Perhaps builders need to pick a specific demographic and design for that. There isn’t a one size fits all anymore. I always tell sellers that there is a buyer out there just like them and that’s the person that will buy their house – so true. Sometimes that pool of people is narrow and sometimes it’s wide. You’ll get a better price and sell quicker if the pool of people is wide, but you’ll always be able to sell at some price.
End Townhome UNDER CONTRACT in Vinings’ Paces View
2858 Paces Lookout Lane SE
Atlanta, GA 30339
Shows better than a model home, this 3,130 square foot townhome is in the middle of Vinings so you get the low Cobb County taxes with the Atlanta address!
There is so much quality in casement windows, Stoneage Design Fireplace surround, gourmet appliances, outdoor fireplace and three patios.
Since it’s an end unit, it has three sides of wonderful daylight. Master bedroom is upstairs with a great sitting area. Master bath has a morning bar with beverage cooler.
Terrace level is completely open, but could be closed up for a bedroom, full bath located there as well.
All hardwood on top 2 levels and carpet on terrace level. This is NOT a Wieland unit, this was built prior when development was Avignon.
Three bedrooms, three full and one half baths.
UNDER CONTRACT WITH A LIST PRICE OF $539,000
Prudential Georgia – Buckhead Office
This property has been leased!
Master on the Main in Vinings
2681 Orchard Knob SE – Atlanta, GA 30339
Four Bedrooms, Three Full Baths, One Half Bath
Offered at $925,000
Master on the Main with wonderful living spaces and walk out to the level backyard with Pebble Tec salt water pool.
Beautiful kitchen with wine cooler and stainless appliances. Open to family room with fireplace and built in cabinets.
From family room you can go to Sunroom with a wall of windows overlooking lovely backyard.
Prudential Georgia – Buckhead Office
We’re doing the happy dance here at the office – I have my listing at 3849 Brandy Station SOLD! It’s a lovely French Provincial estate in Vinings. It was redesigned from top to bottom in 2007 by Linda McArthur and has over 7000 square feet of space.
2095 Cooper Lake Drive SE, Smyrna 30080
So much quality in this custom designed home by Norwood Architects.
High end appliances, detailed cabinetry and stone work throughout. Elevator access to all levels. Perfect for families with a sitting room off the bedrooms for family use. Great open public entertaining spaces suitable for large crowds. Three-car garage and guest suite on lower level and fabulous media room. Six bedrooms, five full baths, one half bath. Over 6,000 square feet.
Offered at $975,000 by Tina Hunsicker. Click here for more photos and information about this home for sale.
Atlanta’s real estate market is busy and is heating up! I have two of my own listings under contract – both in the Vinings/Smyrna areas. Also, I’m representing a buyer in Buckhead on a $2M+ home. We’re always looking for great homes to sell, as the buyers are starting to come out of the wood work.
Let me know if you’re considering a change in your real estate portfolio!
UNDER CONTRACT IN Smyrna – West Vinings. 4207 Zermatt Drive, Smyrna, GA 30080. Light and Bright interiors with 10ft ceilings and all hardwoods on the main, porches everywhere! Huge master suite with fabulous walk in closet, 3 additional bedrooms each with its own bath, extremely well maintained neighborhood walkable to restaurants and shops at One Ivy Walk, kitchen has stainless appliances, newest house in the neighborhood. Square footage does not include basement. Tina Hunsicker .
UNDER CONTRACT IN Buckhead. 3111 Ridgewood Road, Atlanta, GA 30327. This flawlessly designed home by Bill Harrison was published in his book Timeless Architecture for its use of rough materials in a refined manner. All of the bedrooms have en suite baths, large spaces that allow for natural light, and a whole-home generator. The master bath has heated floors, steam shower, sep. his/her toilet stalls & closets. To enjoy the mild southern weather, the owners designed the home w/ ample outdoors spaces on this private 1.5 +/- acre lot. There is a 5-hole putting green, outdoor living room, fireside cabana, gardens, and mature landscaping. The buyer is represented by Tina Hunsicker.
UNDER CONTRACT IN Vinings. 4300 Brookview Drive, Atlanta, GA 30339. New windows, HVAC, A/C, fencing. No RR tracks, beautiful large yard, move in ready, all hardwoods, screened porch and deck overlooking yard, unfinished basement with good ceiling height and fireplace. Originally offered for $499,900, and now under contract. Tina Hunsicker represents the seller in this transaction.
It’s already January 8th and I’m finding a moment to reflect on what trends I saw in the Atlanta real estate market last year and what (in my humble personal opinion) will be happening in 2013 with our housing industry and more specifically in my market areas of expertise – Vinings, Buckhead and Smyrna.
As each area of Atlanta seems to have a different feel and velocity, I’ll approach the areas separately. I’ll provide the statistics to back up my opinions on another date as I post them frequently and they only tell one part of the story. I like to say what I see from a grass roots perspective. I know real estate management and even many other bloggers like to paint a rosy picture to get people to “buy” houses, I tend to be much more pragmatic and look at things with an analytical eye, as a homeowner and a mother as to what my clients are feeling and needing.
I’ve said this all year, but I believe even more so now. Inventory is low and if you want to sell it is a good time.
I do feel pricing in the Vinings real estate market is still above what many are expecting and I think quite a bit of the inventory will continue to sit unless its adjusted back to about 2000 levels. We were at 1998 levels, so this is good news.
Unfortunately, we still have many people pricing at 2005-2007 levels and it just isn’t going to work. Yes, Vinings has great county services, much lower tax levels, it’s a charming Village to live in etc., but pricing can’t be higher than its neighbor across the river in zip code 30327.
For the Vinings area, I have investors and builders engaged again. And although they don’t have spec home interest, there is a pent-up demand for new homes specifically for empty nesters wanting to get rid of the Buckhead taxes and their $3M and up homes. Families come to Vinings once they are in private school, but since private schools are eating up alot of their incomes, they tend to look for the more reasonably priced homes, or by Vinings standards, almost starter homes in the $500,000 and $600,000 ranges.
Back in the peak, many families with children in Atlanta’s private schools were buying the newer construction homes for $1.5M, but I’ve seen several families that were over extended go into foreclosure and I think recent purchasers have been much more prudent. (I have clients still waiting for the newer construction foreclosures, but I think that bus left the station.)
There will continue to be deals like in any market, but very rare and far between – and we are are seeing those get bid up when they come on low priced. I just recently found a fabulous deal and it never hit the market, and that’s what I predict will continue to happen with deals as they become increasingly rare.
I’m thrilled to say that the higher tier is finally coming back. I believe this demand is fueled primarily by bargain hunters and we won’t see the volume of $3M and up transactions that we used to.
There is definitely a building trend going on in Buckhead as older homes are not moving. People that are willing to spend the mulitple millions of dollars want something with high ceilings, open floor plan, basements for kids or storing stuff. I’d say almost 90% of the high end transactions are homes that show like “new” even if they aren’t new. They have to be in A+ condition to command the big bucks.
The properties with land, meaning over 2 acres, are tough to find as well. There is definitely a group of people in the under $2M category that are looking for something with land and will pay the higher taxes to have that lifestyle….but there just isn’t any inventory.
One of the ways I gage “demand” is the number of emails that circulate around my firm for people with buyers who can’t find anything that’s in the system. It used to be about once every couple of weeks we’d get a “buyer needs” email stating they’d looked at everything on the market and if you have anything that you haven’t listed yet to let them know. Now it seems like we receive one of these emails daily.
I also gauge the views online on my listings to see what to expect in showings and there was a sharp spike at the beginning of the year, so I know what’s coming around the corner – showings. Which leads to sales.
The price point that’s hot for Smyrna is lower than it historically was. Builders bought foreclosed lots at a deep discount and are putting up new homes in the $300,000 price point, so selling things over $500,000 is tough. When people start getting to the half million dollar price point they seem to have graduated to inside the perimeter. The exception to that rule are those that need more space or really want newer homes with higher ceilings. They’ll still pay over $500,000 to live in 30080.
I wish I could convince more empty nesters to consider the small step to OTP. They are very particular and choosy in their neighborhoods as they are afraid their Buckhead friends won’t visit them. So only a few neighborhoods remain acceptable to them.
I think we need more upscale neighborhoods just outside of the Perimeter and I propose it goes in the Vinings Heights neighborhood where all the ranches are as its SO close and there is still land there. Unfortunately, those ranches keep getting fluffed up and are becoming too expensive to tear down. Time will tell there as that neighborhood is such a great location to stay as depressed as its been. I think more young people would do well to tear those down, or continue to “fluff” to get the great lots just on the perimeter.
I see the lower inventory levels bringing prices up slightly, but I don’t think buyers will jump up in their price point as much as sellers are thinking. If you want to sell it will be easy if priced correctly. If you want to buy, you may have to pay a little more than people did a year ago, but we are still at good low levels. Interest rates are still so incredibly low you have to take advantage of them if you’ve been sitting on the sidelines.
Let me know if I can help! Things are hopping in Atlanta and I’m so glad to be busy, and you never know, I may have a buyer in my back pocket just waiting for your house!
Prudential Georgia – Buckhead Office