A: I did. I looked in the Castleberry area (in downtown Atlanta). I looked over by Inman Park. And I looked in Chamblee a couple of times. I looked at homes around the area where I work at, on the Northside, and also homes on the Southside. But what I was finding in my price range was more of the condo atmosphere, and so I wanted to make sure that I had everything that I needed, especially for work, when I looked at this place.
Q: What’s an example of what you saw on the market?
A: I would come across a good deal, $50,000 for a loft and it would be 1,100 square feet, two bedrooms. But yet the hallways would be narrow and / or you would see firetrucks passing by every five minutes downtown. It would be the perfect buy, but I don’t want an ambulance riding by at 2 in the morning.
Q: Did you have a checklist of what you wanted?
A: I wanted to be close to work. I wanted to have everything I needed nearby — gas stations and grocery stores and markets. The [MARTA] train being a few blocks away is very convenient for me (for getting to downtown Atlanta).
Q: As you looked at condos, what questions came up?
A: I was impressed that the homeowner’s association was in good shape when it comes to finances. A lot of them that I was looking at — their HOAs were in trouble (the HOA fees are 23 cents per square foot).
Q: What impressed you about the condo you chose?
A: It had things that I really like a lot — a stainless steel refrigerator, microwave and stove, a real spacious bar to entertain. It came with a washer and dryer. It had everything that I needed.
Q: What is a tip for other buyers?
A: Make sure that the property is a good investment. Obviously the price needs to be right. Make sure that you understand in the condo world what type of things you’re investing in (such as the HOAs). Spend a lot of time there before you make a purchase. Walk around. See your neighbors.
At a Glance
Jason Thompson’s new condo in 5300 Lofts in Chamblee has one bedroom, one bath and about 700 square feet. He moved in during September. The studios, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units in 5300 Lofts range from $63,900 to $147,900.