Let's pretend you're dead set on proving wrong this notion that Atlanta is too damn expensive nowadays. Let's also pretend you're single (or part of a very small couple) and don't mind living in nice but simple and small spaces. Your hypothetical budget is $180,000, max, and you don't mind Manhattan-style square footages (or at least Brooklyn-style) in communities where walkable amenities are paramount. You're flexible on condo size, location and style, so long as you can live like the cool kids. These two properties — a loft conversion in a historic Old Fourth Ward building that was once the headquarters of NuGrape soft drinks, the other in the bosom of booming Inman Park — illustrate how far those dollars will stretch in two slightly different parts of town. Let's give these cool lofts some boxing gloves and see which one survives. It's time for Real Estate Deathmatch!
TRUE LOFT IN OLD FOURTH WARD:
^ This true loft at the boutique-y NuGrape building can't get much closer to the Beltline's Eastside Trail. A renovation that added new lighting, granite, subway tile and something called "wing walls" was completed this year. The building boasts a double-whammy of outdoor wonders — a rooftop patio and a large Beltline-facing patio, so perfect for people-watching. The ceilings in here rise to more than 10 feet.
Nugrape lofts, O4W
794 Ralph McGill Boulevard NE Unit 2
Square Footage: 909
Year Built: 1937
HOA Fees: $175
Walk Score: 71
Pros: This is an end unit that beckons natural light. The extra storage closet near the ceiling will be cherished when space is at such a premium.
Cons: Actual Beltline connectivity can be tricky. It lacks a communal gym and pool. Not everyone loves exposed piping. Or deer heads.
SMALLER BUT NEWER IN INMAN PARK:
^ This minimalist loft sits in the beating heart of Inman Park's burgeoning commercial zone. A buyer wouldn't go wanting for watering holes or quality restaurants within a 10-minute stroll, with many more options on the horizon. The grounds at IPV Lofts include a manicured little pond and trails. The unit is fully updated, sleek and probably very durable.
Inman Park Village Lofts
245 N. Highland Ave. NE Unit 305
Square Footage: 700
Year Built: 2006
HOA Fees: $272
Walk Score: 85
Pros: This is park-your-car-on-Friday-and-forget-it lifestyle at its finest in Atlanta, in a booming neighborhood that will only continue to mature, in a fun way. This building offers a chef's kitchen on the patio and a swanky club level.
Cons: This unit might be a few grand cheaper than its competition, but the living quarters are also tighter. The abundance of concrete will strike some buyers as being cold, like Russia.
· Recent, bloody Deathmatches around Atlanta [Curbed]