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What $500K(ish) Buys in Atlanta Right Now

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Checking in with half-million-dollar listings in Buckhead, Underwood Hills, and Kirkwood

From the northwestern to southeastern reaches of Atlanta, buyers in search of relatively large houses — that is, north of 2,000 square feet to accommodate growing families or simply to stretch out — can expect to fork over a half-million clams these days, in most cases. (Unless they're really handy). So what exactly does that buy? Let's have a look ... Below is a sampling of $500K-something houses in three different Atlanta neighborhoods, presented from least to most expensive. Scroll down and cast a vote for which you think is the best buy, all things considered.

...

Price: $535,000

Built: 1930

Square footage: 2,219

Bedrooms: 3

Bathrooms: 2

Neighborhood: Garden Hills

Summary: A vampire brothel outside San Antonio, with wicked potential.

No, this isn’t a Hollywood backlot version of the Alamo. It’s a Mediterranean-style house from the 1930s tucked off Peachtree Road near Lindbergh. The highlight has to be the cathedral ceilings and arched windows to match the gaping doorways.

....

Price: $539,900

Built: 2005

Square footage: 2,896

Bedrooms: 4

Bathrooms: 3.5

Neighborhood: Kirkwood

Summary: A Charleston-style price-chopper with the backyard party up front.

This three-story porchfest on "Kirkwood’s best street," per the agent, is punctuated by built-in bookcases and fireplaces. The third-floor bedroom spans the entire home, and the front yard, which acts like a backyard, has nice fresh sod. The asking price was recently trimmed by $10,000.

....

Price: $560,000

Built: 2004

Square footage: 3,023

Bedrooms: 5

Bathrooms: 3

Neighborhood: Underwood Hills

Summary: Roomy traditional home with dramatic exterior stonework in a flourishing but unsung area.

This 3,000-square-foot, conventional two-story in Underwood Hills should appeal to buyers who like the comfort of carpet and randomness of bathtub chandeliers. Highlights include the handsome kitchen, giant upstairs bonus room, and low-maintenance backyard that begs for a hot tub.