Atlanta’s Dirty Real Estate Secret Revealed

While I was looking for homes, location was the most important factor for me. I didn’t want to be more than 15 minutes commute to work. I’m one of those Stuff White People Like kinda folks, so not perpetuating the Atlanta Commute was important to me. This is a tall order since I work inside the perimeter.

Ah, the Inside The Perimeter (ITP). If you are like my friends (white, in late 20’s, and attended UGA), you probably have heard the term ITP vs OTP. ITP is the holy grail of city-living. Such a goal that many of us will pay outrageous rents (relative to Atlanta) just to have this distinction.

The fact is it is rare that you find a home in this area for less than $350k. Go to Zillow and search all houses available for less than $350k within these coordinates, a 5 mile radius from downtown. If you subtract out condos and townhomes, which make poor “real estate investments”, the pickings will be quite slim.

Atlanta’s Dirty Real Estate Secret Revealed

I estimate that only the top 10% of US households can afford to buy a home inside the Perimeter, north of Memorial Drive, east of Downtown. Here is how it works. Below is handy chart to convert a house mortgage to the estimated house hold-income.

  • $150k mortgage = $60k – $50k household income (top 40% of households)
  • $200k mortgage = $80k – $67k household income (top 30% of households)
  • $250k mortgage = $100k – $83k household income (top 20% of households)
  • $300k mortgage = $120k – $100k household income (top 10% of households)
  • $400k mortgage = $160k – $133k household income (top 5% of households)
  • +$1 million mortgage = $400k – $365k household income (top 1% of households)

This perhaps explains why so many professionals flee the city. Such is the cost if you wnat to live in a castle with walk-in closets, a bathroom for every man, woman, and child, and a huge lawn manicured by Mexico’s and/or Georgia High School’s finest.

Don’t get me started on heating/air-conditioning such palaces.


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