I checked back in with Annie Price* a week later to see what kind of progress she was making in her house hunt.

Annie had found a real estate agent, a lender and was busily surfing several home sites for the kind of property she wanted.

The agent she chose came though a personal recommendation and her lender from a list of names on the Invest Atlanta website.

www.investatlanta.com

Her part-time salary was making her job — and her agent’s — a challenging one.

“The competition for affordable housing is pretty stiff,” Annie confided. “The homes that are below the median price range in Atlanta are scooped up pretty quickly. I’m competing with investors, most of whom have enough cash to buy what they want outright.”

A conversation with Annie’s realtor confirmed that thought.

“A lot of properties are listed as “investor’s specials,” Annie’s agent said. “Many, if not most, already have tenants in place, and specific instructions are given not to disturb the tenants. Investors are often looking to flip properties, and they aren’t really concerned about people looking for affordable houses who just want to find a home.”

Annie isn’t fond of the idea of displacing a long-time tenant, so she’s hoping to find a place that’s unoccupied. And although she enjoys watching shows about people who flip houses and fix up houses either to sell or live in, she hadn’t really considered the process herself. A move-in ready house seems much easier, but it may be more of a challenge than she realized to find a place she says she could see herself living in long term.

The initial grant she qualified for doesn’t give her the option of going the fixer upper route, but Annie’s research has shown her that there are other grant programs that would give her more flexibility, and a longer time frame to work with.

“I have some classes to attend,” Annie said, pulling out a green steno pad filled with all her house hunting notes.

“I’ve signed up for a Q&A session, and an 8-hour workshop. I should have a much better handle on what I’m doing next week.” Annie said she’s on a quest to find more money, and more options.

Annie Price* is a pseudonym.

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