House Stalking

My friends, Steve and Lisa, had a favorite house in the neighborhood next to theirs.  It was right down the street from a friend’s house, and they drove by it often.  They already had a great family home that was fine for them, their two kids, two dogs, and cat.  But it wasn’t their dream house.  They used to joke that if the house they were stalking ever went on the market they would buy it.  And then one day they were driving to a party at their friend’s house … and their dream house was on the market.  They live there now.

My friend Hope had a yellow Victorian in East Atlanta Village (EAV) that she loved.  It was on a hill, and for years she dreamed about that house.  It finally went up for sale, and we walked over to the Open House one Sunday.  We were so curious to see what was inside, and the inside was … disappointing.  Shoot.  Not a match and house stalking turned into house headshaking.  (Ah, what could have been…)

Last week, I had a client contact me to look at a stone cottage in Decatur.  He had been house stalking it for a couple of years and it was finally for sale.  We saw it the second day it was on the market and it literally went under contract at about the time we were driving to the listing.  It really was an awesome house, but as they say, timing is everything.  (I am keeping my eye on the status, and I have to ask … is it wrong to wish for a financing hiccup?  I know it is, but fingers crossed anyway…)  So this client and I continue to look, and he’s okay with missing out on the house. Just seeing the inside seems to have satisfied his curiosity.

For me it’s a little different, I house stalk former residences.  I drive by and see what the new owners have done, and think of what my life would be like if I hadn’t moved.  It’s a mix of heartache and surprise when you drive by a former residence.  I’ve lived in 22 places in 25 years, so I have a lot of former residences, but there are a handful that really made an impression.

The first single-family home I owned was on Berne Street in Ormewood Park, and I still drive by it often.  The new owners added a garage and expanded the back.  But all my front yard landscaping still remains.  (Including the frilly Japanese Maple that cost a fortune.) I house stalk the neighbors there as well, as I still feel connected to that particular street.

One house on Berne has had my attention for several years.  It’s on the same side of the road as my former house and about a block away.  You know I love those Mid-Century Modern (MCM) houses, and take a look at this one from 1945:

931 Berne Street
931 Berne Street – Front. (I’m wild about the paint color and trim lines. And look at that mailbox and the pom pom tree. OMG Love.)


Deck Ready For Relaxing!
931 Berne Street – Rear. Isn’t it odd that you don’t often see back porch swings? Love that it’s in the shade. A great little rest spot to have a refreshing iced tea (make mine the Long Island variety).

And guess what?  It’s now for sale.  It’s listed by my friend and fellow agent, Tiffanie Jones, and I’m going to co-host the Open House there this Sunday.  (In part, so I have a reason to stalk the street without causing a call to Zone 6. “No officer, I wasn’t casing the house… I was stalking the house.”)

The Open House address is 931 Berne Street, Atlanta, GA 30316.  Click the link for more photos and come by and see us from 2 to 4pm on Sunday, June 28.

And if you’re currently house stalking a property, give me a shout. I can set you up in the FMLS system so you will get an immediate alert if it ever becomes active on the market.

I’m an agent with Red Robin REALTORS® one of Atlanta’s premier boutique real estate brokerages. Contact me at or 404-247-9981.