Sunday, February 3, 2008

Shopping for Condos and Cars

Yesterday Husband and I went to see a 2 bed/ 2 bath condo in downtown Atlanta, at Twelve Centennial Park. Husband wants to live in a highrise in the downtown area, not trendy Midtown, nor upscale Buckhead, two areas seeing many new condo towers go up.

The unit we saw was about 1200 sq ft (including balcony), about half of the 2100 sq ft (not including patio and yard) that we have now. We saw about 3 units: facing SE towards the city, facing SW facing Centennial Olympic Park, and then a furnished unit, which gave us an idea of how much space we would have to move around once we had furniture in there.

Atlanta may not have a river, lake, or any other body of water, but it certainly has the freeway. I can imagine sitting out on the porch, watching the never ending stream of cars go by, especially at night. Husband likes the sound of the cars, of the feel of being in the city, so different from the quiet of the suburbs.

Given the softening housing market and possibility of interest rates dropping even more, now is a great time to buy. On the other hand, what would we do with our current house? We would probably rent it out.

We walked around the neighborhood, to get a feel for it. It's next to a MARTA stop so getting to the airport would be easy. A W hotel/condo is going up next door, it's in between Georgia State University (my alma mater) and Georgia Tech, and there's a possibility of a grocery store being built in a few years across the street.

Interestingly, 70% of the units at Twelve are one bedrooms. Guess that tells you what kind of people live there.

From hip, downtown condo, we went out to the northern suburbs of Roswell and Marietta to go car shopping. I think it's time to retire my 1997 Honda Accord for a newer 2005 Honda Accord. Yesterday was about test driving, not really about buying. Which was good because I didn't find the one I really liked in my price range.

In the end, we went to Harry's Farmer's Market in Marietta (possibly even the one that Alton Brown films segments of Good Eats at), got some kabobs and sausages, and went home to our suburban house to grill out. Certainly if we lived in a condo we wouldn't be able to do that.

All this is speculative, but it's certainly whetted our appetite to see more condos. So I went on line and contacted several more condos.

Come Monday, we'll see how many e-mail us back.

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