Location-efficient Living on the BeltLine

Lofts at Ralph McGill on the BeltLine

As one of Georgia’s first certified EcoBrokers, I am naturally focused on residential energy-efficiency.

Over time I’ve learned that the location-efficiency of a residence usually trumps the energy-efficiency in terms of savings to the home owner. Consider the following scenario [courtesy of Invisible Energy by David Goldstein]: A buyer purchases a home at the approximate median US home price of $175,000. If the buyer puts down 20% and finances $140,000 over 30 years, here’s roughly what they’d pay over the life of the mortgage:

  • $350,000 in loan payments (PITI)
  • $300,000 commuting from suburbia
  • $75,000 for utilities

$300K for commuting costs?! That’s almost as much as the buyer pays for the home and significantly more than the cost of utilities. Transportation costs are the typical household’s second largest expenditure.

So it turns out the greenest properties are the ones already built in amenity-rich neighborhoods served by transit and a grid of walkable and bikeable streets and trails. The idea is to have as many transportation options and alternatives as possible. No location in the Atlanta metro area defines location-efficiency better than those associated with the BeltLine.

Here is the slide show from a presentation I did on the topic recently at the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation’s Home Owner’s Workshop:

I live in such a neighborhood. I write this post from within the burgeoning Old Fourth Ward. My location has a Walkscore of 87, or “very walkable.” This translates into a healthy number of amenities within walking distance of my home. Two blocks to the east is the BeltLine. Two blocks to the west is the coming Atlanta Streetcar. I can catch a MARTA bus one block away or walk/bike to a MARTA train station 1/2 mile away. I can also combine bicycle and transit since MARTA has bike racks on their buses and allows bikes on the trains.

My spot between the streetcar and the BeltLine

Would you…could you…Won’t you be my neighbor?  It would be my pleasure to assist you in finding and purchasing the right intown home. You can reach me at 404.421.9968 or by email at burke (at) burkesisco.com.

About Burke Sisco

Burke Sisco is an Associate Broker of First United Realty with 20 years of experience in the Atlanta real estate market. He calls the surging infra-culture around the BeltLine both home and business territory and is the founder and managing editor of BeltLandia.com. He has helped a number of satisfied clients buy and sell property in BeltLandia. Those interested in living the BeltLandia Lifestyle can reach Burke at 404.421.9968 or by email at burke@burkesisco.com.

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