These DeKalb neighborhoods are gentrifying the fastest

If you're looking for the perfect older home and you want the real deal, DeKalb County might be the perfect place to look.

Before you buy, you should know a number of the neighborhoods in the area are gentrifying very quickly. The average home prices sits between $550,000 to $650,000, according to Coldwell Banker Atlanta's Top Previews International Luxury Property Specialist Marc Castillo, who has 15 years of real estate experience.

Castillo said there is a "wealth of housing stock" in DeKalb.

"(It has) enviable architecture from which to choose," he said. "These homes were developed anywhere from the teens to the 1940s and it was a great time from an architectural standpoint."

Castillo said the five neighborhoods he believes are gentrifying the fastest as of fall 2016 include Edgewood, East Atlanta, Kirkwood, East Lake, and Ormewood Park/Glenwood Park.

"People are snatching up every un-renovated home that's priced well as soon as it's listed and often there are multiple offers," he said. "Builders are also coming in and either renovating or tearing these houses down to build new construction homes that continue to break new high sale records for these areas."

In some DeKalb neighborhoods, the spark that started it all was heralded by big commercial development that arrived as many as 10 years ago. It brought companies building large retail or mixed-use development like Edgewood Retail District or Glenwood Park, a master planned community.

Castillo, citing the saying, "If you build it, they will come," said the commercial activity was one part of the area's residential success.

East Atlanta's gentrification comes from the now bustling village with its mix of established restaurants, new restaurants and eclectic shops. This combination has provided a strong foundation for the community offering not only walkability, but also a sense of neighborhood identity.

"Combine that with affordable housing stock and East Atlanta's convenient location to downtown, midtown and points north and you have a hot 'in town' market," Castillo added.

Kirkwood and East Lake share a similar community appeal, but also benefit from good prices while having a location adjoining the communities of Oakhurst, Lake Clair and Candler Park.

"They have already reached full capacity and prices are really peaking," Castillo explained.

In Kirkwood and East Lake, buyers are discovering the location-based value of these areas. Being willing to drive five more minutes can mean spending $100,000 less.

"Again, the draw to these areas also includes convenience to work, goods and services, which has easily spurred gentrification," Castillo concluded. "And remember, these communities also benefit from their relative proximity to the more established areas with their great schools and a strong community identity."