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Mod Condo Living vs. Home of Your Own in Midtown

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Midtown Atlanta has a funky mix of high-end high-rise condos and single family homes all existing fairly harmoniously — except, of course, when the homes get smashed to be replaced by multifamily dwellings. Anyway … Let's say you're living the moderately high life — not Buckhead rich, but with a more meager sub-$1 million budget — and you want to live in Midtown. You've got a penchant for modern and aren't afraid of updating a thing or two, but you have no idea if you want a home or great big condo. Sounds like a job for a Real Estate Deathmatch!

Condo Living on the Park

In one corner, standing 11 stories tall, Ansley Above the Park sits on Piedmont Avenue, somewhat predictably across the street from Piedmont Park. Comprised of 127 residences, the building was built in 1988, and definitely looks it from the outside. Unit 914 has three bedrooms and three-and-1/2 baths, with the living and bedrooms spaces offering views out across Piedmont Park. The interior is rather inoffensive with white walls and light wood floors. Sure, the ceilings are a bit low, but the corner unit spans the TOP THREE FLOORS which are connected by carpeted spiral staircases — after all this place was built in the 1980s. For $800,000, could this be your choice? Compared to the competition's price, you'd have plenty left over for HOA fees.

· 1130 Piedmont Ave., Unit 914 [Estately]

Your Own Home in Midtown

For those less into high-rise living, a modern home on 9th Street offers a slice of suburbia with a wooded back yard and driveway-side Zen garden. Built in 1993, the architectural language picks up the distinctive style of low-slung 1980s doctors' offices, all held together by a massive rock wall feature protruding from the top of the house like a toothpick. Inside, the two-story rock wall in the center of the home is perfect for practicing your belaying technique, while the living spaces all flow around it. Just a block south of Piedmont Park, this home has three bedrooms but only two bathrooms. Nonetheless, with plenty of double-height spaces and ceilings with lights in them, it has an open feel. For $949,000, is it worth it to have a place to call your own in the city? After all, no HOAs — though those low-slope roofs do have a tendency to get a little leaky.

· 391 9th St. [Estately]

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