You Never Know What’s Behind the Door

I had a serious, “Am I going to fall through the floor?!” panic attack last week.  Yep, you never know what’s behind the door when you open that lockbox.  Here’s how it went down…

I’m working with a client who is an architect, actor, and creative mind in search of his next address.  He’s been living in a mid-century modern (MCM) condo on Peachtree Street for well over a decade, and he was actually pretty content there.  But a developer buyout is forcing him to make a change.

Personally, I’ve lived in all kinds of properties.  And by “all kinds” I mean different architectural styles, layouts, density, zoning, etc.  I’ve owned brick ranches, an arts and crafts bungalow, modern and historic condos, etc. Anyway, I mention that because I get it when a client doesn’t yet have a clear picture of “what’s next” – because what’s next can be anything you can imagine.  And this guy has imagination.

At the condo he’s living in now, he fashioned many features that were custom designed (by him, of course) and built to fit the space.  And he wants to also do that with his new home.  So last Friday was an exploratory mission.  I pulled 5 properties covering the 3 categories that interest him:

  1. Modern condo
  2. Historical home
  3. Mid-century modern (MCM) ranch

He specifically asked to see Oakland Park, which is a modern condominium I lived in for many years (and I’m still a property owner there).  The two units we looked at had characteristics of his current condo (like concrete ceilings), and the price point is reasonable, so he felt he could make design changes and still be invested in the property for an affordable amount.  The showing outcome was a “strong maybe.”

Just a few blocks away from Oakland Park was a 1st day on the market listing for a 1920 Victorian on a hilltop corner lot 1 block from Grant Park. The remarks indicated it needed “restoration/renovation” but the listing didn’t prepare me for what we saw when I opened the door. Someone forgot to mention that half the house was missing.

Since my client is an architect and he has a curious nature, we walked through all the rooms on both floors, even though he knew it was more construction than he was interested in.  This was one of those “dream” properties because you are buying into what it can become.  A nice corner lot, a block from Grant Park, on a hill, with instant curb appeal.  But it’s a full renovation.  (If you’re still interested and don’t mind going on a “step with caution” showing, contact me and we’ll take a look together.)

Next up were a couple of MCM ranch homes off LaVista.  Probably not a fit because of the floorplans, but I personally loved the period details including a working, original-to-the-house stove and boomerang-patterned kitchen countertops.

For next steps we’re organizing some fact-finding on ownership of another historic property and I’m doing a little sleuthing into some condo units that are still builder-owned.  As you can see, I’ll do more than open the door for you (as long as it’s legal!).  This client wanted to look at an empty property that’s not on the market and I had to remind him that’s called “trespassing” 😉 Thus my need to dig into tax records, so we don’t end up in handcuffs.

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