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This Old Fourth Ward fixer-upper is asking nearly a half-million dollars

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Bungalow with “great bones” near the Atlanta Beltline is emblematic of where neighborhood pricing has gone

A yellow downtrodden house in an overgrown front yard with huge trees behind it.
The oft-for sale 1940s bungalow in fall 2018.
Google Maps

Could the days of bagging a turnkey, single-family dream property for less than a half-million bucks be officially dead in Old Fourth Ward?

This 1940s bungalow in disrepair—but with “great bones,” per the listing—on ever-changing East Avenue is making that case.

Records indicate the home’s turbulent listings history includes a $300,000 price in 2013; when that didn’t work, the property reappeared in spring 2018 for twice as much ($600,000) before being pulled off the market that July. That’s emblematic of ambitious pricing in what’s justifiably been called, ad nauseam, Atlanta’s hottest neighborhood.

A living room with hardwood floors and yellow walls and an urgent need for repair.
The living room fireplace and original hardwoods that appear salvageable.
Remaining images via EXP Realty

The house returns this week for 20 percent less—$479,900, as listed with EXP Realty—but begs the question: How much are Atlantans (or builders) willing to pay for a property needing such a thorough overhaul? Or for the land itself?

The answer, in Old Fourth Ward’s case, has lately been... a lot.

While chronicling Atlanta’s “gentrification wave” earlier this year, the AJC pointed out what an anomaly O4W has become, where average home prices had exploded by more than 135 percent between 2013 and 2018—the highest spike by far among intown neighborhoods.

Not that long ago, the easternmost stretches of East Avenue NE were the domain of modest brick cottages and a smattering of empty lots, tucked beside Freedom Parkway and linked via a pedestrian bridge to Inman Park and the Beltline. The major selling points that are Ponce City Market and Historic Fourth Ward Park are around the corner the other way.

The street, like others nearby, has transformed over the past decade into a broad mix of townhouses, expanded bungalows, large new traditional homes, and bolder contemporary new-builds. Plus the old guard, such as this two-bedroom, one-bathroom property with a modest 1,100 square feet.

The listing makes the case the as-is home has enough attributes to be salvageable, pointing out the original hardwoods throughout, a decorative fireplace, penny tiling in the bathroom, and the “private sunny backyard” with a (boarded-up) two-car garage. A variance has been approved, the listing notes, to add a second story.

Comps are tough with a property in such drab condition, but it’s worth noting that $34,000 less would have bought another bungalow in ostensibly better condition on the same street six months ago.

A bedroom in disrepair with a headboard against the wall, which is yellow.
Hardwoods continue in this bedroom, one of two.
A bathroom in a state of disrepair, with penny tile on the floor.
The lone bathroom’s penny tile promoted in the listing.
A backyard and deck in a state of disrepair.
The backyard and garage’s current condition.
A facade of a worn-out home with shaggy bushes in front.
Loads of potential charm at 718 East Avenue NE, but at what cost?