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Is The Decatur Area Losing Its Prized Affordability?

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A couple of Decatur-area homes have come across the Curbed Atlanta radar lately and sent shivers down our frugal spines. Both are older, smaller homes within the cherished Renfroe Middle/Decatur High School districts. And both are total fixer-uppers (if not a teardown, in the case of the home after the jump). Is the seller's market so sizzling that a dated, 1,337 square-foot crampfest can command $369,000 in Decatur? (See above). Mind you, this 1956 time capsule is a far cry from turnkey, unless you just don't care. Notice the knotty pine paneling and painted cabinetry, the carport. And no amount of agent spin about "vintage kitchen" and "retro bathrooms" can mask the blatant atrociousness of those painful realms here. True, the Ponce De Leon Heights neighborhood is alluring, and the home's value aligns with others in the neighborhood. But is this evidence that the city-within-a-city's prized affordability is slipping? Should Decaturites gasp, or applaud?

And then we have this morosely boarded-up bungalow in Oakhurst. (See above; of course, no interior photos are provided). After spending $275,000 in "hot Oakhurst," the agent all but nudges you to bulldoze the place and start over, offering a "full site plan survey" and mentioning how available construction funding is. Sure, both of these properties probably boast the charm of a tightknit neighborhood, but neither are impressively walkable (with Walkscores of 72 and 58, respectively). These are but two properties among several on the market in the Decatur area, and this post is admittedly anecdotal. But how many young families will be priced out, if living in D-town requires $369,000 and half that for renovations?

· 142 Woodlawn Avenue, Decatur [Estately]
· 324 Fayetteville Road, Oakhurst [Estately]