Viewpoint Condominium October 2014 market update

The past year has a flurry of activity within The Viewpoint.  Prices took a leg up of approximately 10% late in 2013, early 2014.     It was interesting since then, as many original owners, and those who were able to buy units on the cheap in 2010 and 2011 were able to sell and break even, if not make a handsome profit.     The announcement of possible construction on the Peachtree block between 5th and 6th street also spurred some selling midway through the year.     I am happy to point out that for the most part that selling has now abated, and remarkably prices never declined, and are now back on the up-and-up given the buildings strong fundamentals.

Currently, as I write this, there are only four units on the market.  Four 2 bedrooms/2 baths, ranging in price from $310,000 for a smaller interior unit with an interior bedroom to $384,900 for a corner unit with lots of light and nice views down Peachtree.   There are currently NO 1 bedroom units on the market.   People, particularly from outside Atlanta, often ask me my opinions about the 1 bedroom condo market.     I often then take the time to explain the market dynamics of Midtown.   The vibrant college crowd, the rainbow flags flown with such prominence within a 4 block radius of 10th and Piedmont.   Yes, I proceed to explain, the 1 bedroom market in Midtown is a strong one, and perhaps even STRONGER then that of the 2 bedroom market.
Having lived in Los Angeles and New York City myself I can see the trend of a mobile, educated work force opting for 1 bedroom solutions as opposed to putting what may be (for them) excessive capital towards a 2 bedroom solution.    Of course this is why buildings like the The Viewpoint, Spire, and Metropolis have more 1 bedrooms then 2 bedrooms.  It is also why you see various new glass luxury apartment buildings which are also primarily comprised of 1 bedrooms, if not even smaller studios.

The Go-Forward case for buying at The Viewpoint going into 2015

A few years back starting towards the end of 2011 up until late 2013 The Viewpoint was having significant issues with units flooding, and then flooding down to other units.  Of course this is not solely particular to The Viewpoint, but the sheer number of occurrences was well beyond the norm.     My unit flooded in 2012.   Early January  I ran my dishwasher, left to eat some pizza and watch an NFL game downstairs at Vinny’s NY Pizzeria.   An hour later I came back up to my 25th floor, and immediately off the elevator I saw water gushing from below my front door into the hallway.  I quickly, ran into my condo, and turned off the internal unit’s water line.   There was 6 inches of standing water throughout the space.      The mainline, as a result of poor original plumbing work, popped off of the mainline below the sink.

A friend helped me get some of it up, and a professional water damage crew was called to get the situation under control.    In the end, the damage was nearly $50,000, and 11 units around and below my unit for affected.    Although this was of no fault, or negligence of my own, to avoid litigation, and to for the sake of my good reputation with my neighbors I immediately paid our building’s deductible for the damage outside of my unit.   At that time, and like most buildings, that deductible was $10,000.       My master plumber who I use for most of my condos and properties confirmed the faulty plumbing, but for the sake of my good name the $10,000 was spent.

As 2012 and 2013 progressed more water damage issues followed the building.      Seems my units was not the only one to have such issues, just one of the first ones.  The subsequent damages where disheartening to all owners  within the building.   Don’t get me wrong, spills like this happen in ALL buildings.  It was just the sheer number of occurrences which was the problem here.    As 2013 approached, the building’s insurance premium increased dramatically, as did the deductible.   Heading into 2014, the insurance ratcheted up once again, and the deductible also increased to an almost unheard of level of $50,000.

This brings me to my case of the upside for Viewpoint going forward.   Over the past 6 months it seems to me that there have been a very minimal amount of floods. This coupled with the clearing of units in the 2nd and 3rd quarter, coupled with the lack of current inventory bodes well for the building going forward.    At 40 cents a square foot, Viewpoint easily is more expensive then 1010, Metropolis or Spire on a per square foot basis.   Most are in agreement with me that the Viewpoint amenities are best in class, thus a premium in per square foot price is understandable.   That said, from when I purchased my unit 40 cents is now nearly 25% higher then the original rate when I bought my unit new.   One of the primary keys for Viewpoint prices to continue growing will be for the HOAs not go much past 40 cents a foot.   With less water damage, and faulty plumbing/construction nuances behind us, then I have a feeling that insurance cost could come down, and in the future years, HOAs could come down.   The Master insurance policy represents, 25-40% of a buildings operation budget,  thus any decline in this number makes a huge difference.   Like someone who is 30 days out from an Ebola exposure, if these units are now 5-6 years old and either have not had any issues, or have had any of their particular units corrected then the units, and thus the building is likely clear.

Monday October 20, 2014 marked the opening of The World Of Beers.   Most Viewpoint residents have been less then enamored by retail outlets of Clear Wireless, BB+T Bank and other less then notable tenants.    WOB should add some sizzle to the building.   The next step will be the perpetually rumored grocer who is set to slot on the NE Corner where Starbucks sits.

I will have listed or sold nearly $2,000,000 in the building just this year alone.      I currently have the listing to unit 1407 a lovely 2 bedroom, 2 1/2 bath, with prime downtown Views.  It is listed at $349,900.   Unit 3005, a highfloor 2/2 is listed at $325,000 and is under contract set to close near list price on November 6th.    As always, if you want the scoop with The Viewpoint go with the insider, go with the pro.




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