Forecourt. By Marriott.

Be forewarned: This may get wonky.

I figure that’s okay. With DM working the daily, well-reasoned news and perspective angle, Daren staking out the purview of “hare-brained schemes,” and Andisheh reminding us that, boosterism aside, we’ve still got problems to solve, wonky is pretty much what’s left. Which is fine. It suits me.

Recent talk about the Holiday Inn to Courtyard conversion got me thinking. Most, if not all, of the comments so far have focused on, at the micro-level, the quality of the accommodations or, at the macro-level, the hipness factor and overall economic benefit to Decatur. But what about the space in between those two extremes — the day to day quality of life for the people who live here?

The Holiday Inn was considered a coup when it was built because it fulfilled a key goal of 1982’s Town Center plan and, I think overall, it has been a successful addition to downtown. Nonetheless, from a design perspective, it’s really worked in spite of its design rather than because of it.

It’s as though, when it was built, someone said, “Shame about the location” and simply shoehorned their standard, just off the interstate, hotel template into the site rather than embracing the street and Decatur’s vision for downtown. But perhaps the Courtyard conversion presents an opportunity to correct that.

That’s right. I’m talkin’ ‘bout terraces.

Continue reading “Forecourt. By Marriott.”

Decatur Home Sales Prices Down, But Volume Up in Some Neighborhoods

Adams Realtors sums up residential real estate action over the past 12 months in the City of Decatur and the specific neighborhoods of Glenwood Estates, Oakhurst, Great Lakes and Winnona Park – along with Pine Lake and Avondale Estates – over on its blog.  Here’s a the top-line summary…

According to our October 2010 survey, all of the Central DeKalb markets, except Avondale Estates, had a year over year drop in Average Sales Price. The Number of Days on the Market was down in Decatur and Avondale Estates and up in Pine Lake. Pine Lake and Decatur, as well as the Decatur neighborhoods of Oakhurst and Glenwood Estates, were markets that experienced an increase in the Number of Units Sold over the last year. Pine Lake, Glenwood Estates, Oakhurst and the City of Decatur were the only markets that had an increase in Annual Sales Volume from 2009 to 2010.

For more neighborhood specific analysis, check out their full blog post.

h/t: InDecatur

The Future of Housing

Will your house ever go up in value again?

Yesterday’s New York Times points out the unique set of circumstances over the last half-century that convinced our collective consciousnesses that housing would always be a good financial investment.

For the first half of the 20th century, he said, expectations followed the opposite path. Houses were seen the way cars are now: as a consumer durable that the buyer eventually used up.

The notion of housing as an investment first began to blossom after World War II, when the nesting urges of returning soldiers created a construction boom. Demand was stoked as their bumper crop of children grew up and bought places of their own. The inflation of the 1970s, which increased the value of hard assets, and liberal tax policies both helped make housing a good bet. So did the long decline in mortgage rates from the early 1980s.

The McMansion Age Ends

Good news for the average Decatur home owner.

More similar Trulia “infographics” HERE!

h/t: CNBC: Death of the McMansion