Originally developed in the early 1900s as a “streetcar suburb” of a then-much-smaller Atlanta, the neighborhood of Virginia-Highland, today, is one of the most popular and coveted Intown neighborhoods in the metro area. “VaHi” (as the locals call it) consists of four commercial “villages” surrounded mainly by shady streets and gorgeous bungalows. Add to this combination a close proximity to Piedmont Park and a year-round calendar of events, and you have an incredibly appealing sense of community with eclectic shopping, fine dining and park space. Plus, with the recent addition of access to the emerging Atlanta BeltLine, one of Atlanta’s most walkable neighborhoods just became even more so.
Needless to say, vacant homes in VaHi are a commodity given the neighborhood’s appeal. If you’re hunting for houses in Virginia-Highland, Atlanta, it pays to go into the process prepared. Here are some tips to help chart a course toward your dream home.
Know your budget
Overall, homes in Virginia-Highland list well above average for the city. Currently, median home values in VaHi are above $700,000, and prices rose on average about two percent last year. You can still find a small condo in the low-$200s on occasion, but a comfortable single-family home typically runs around $600,000, and many properties exceed $1 million in the neighborhood. To streamline the house-hunting process (as well as accelerating your loan processing), it pays to have a clear budget before starting the search. We recommend getting pre-qualified or pre-approved for a loan from a mortgage company so you know your price range and so you can move more quickly toward an offer when you find a home you like.
Determine your needs
Once you know how much home you can afford, it’s time to decide exactly what type of home would best serve your needs. Are you a single adult looking for a small condo or a growing family needing four or more bedrooms? What types of amenities are important to you? Do you want an attached garage? A finished basement? A renovated kitchen? Do you want something that is move-in ready, or are you willing to put in some “sweat equity” to customize the home to your wants? We suggest making two lists — a list of “must haves” and a list of “wants.” When doing your initial home searches, look for homes that tick most or all of your “must have” boxes while hitting at least a few of your wants. If you can’t find a home that fits the bill within your budget, adjust your “must-haves” list and keep trying.
Set up alerts
Many real estate search websites these days have an alert feature that emails or texts you whenever a home meeting your search criteria becomes available. If you don’t find anything available immediately in Virginia-Highland that suits your needs or budget, this feature can be especially useful. It also ensures you’ll be among the first to know when the right home is available.
Be prepared to make an offer
In a neighborhood as popular as VaHi, frankly, time is of the essence. When you find a home you like and something that serves your needs, chances are that 10-20 other families are equally interested in that property. The sooner you make an offer, the better your chances of getting it under contract are so it doesn’t get sold out from under you.
Work with an experienced real estate agent
When hunting for houses in Virginia-Highland, another key strategy is to hire an experienced real estate agent to help you with the search — preferably someone with deep knowledge of the neighborhood and an understanding of market trends. A good agent will be able to tell you whether the home you’re looking at is a good deal and how much room you may have to negotiate (if any). An agent will also likely have the inside track on properties new to the market so you can be among the first to view them.
If you are interested in living in Virginia-Highland, the expert agents of Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty know this neighborhood well, and we may be able to give you a much-needed advantage in this competitive buying market. To discuss your needs and current availability, give us a call at 404.948.4812.