Location-efficient living in Tribute Lofts live/work space
Wednesday, December 12, 2012 at 04:48PM
Burke Sisco in BeltLine

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:

$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.

The most location-efficient properties are in amenity-rich neighborhoods served by transit and a grid of walkable and bikeable streets and trails. The idea is to have as many options and alternatives as possible to the car. 

I live in such a neighborhood. I write this post from within the burgeoning Old Fourth Ward. My location has a Walkscore of 88, or "very walkable." 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.

Because of our location-efficiency my family and I made the decision to explore a car-free lifestyle. We sold the car on Dec. 13th of 2011. One year later we can declare the experiment a success, having saved hundreds of dollars along the way that would have gone towards car-ownership .

There's a property currently for sale in the Old Fourth Ward that could reduce your daily commute to seconds. Tribute Lofts on John Wesley Dobbs has one of the only live/work units currently for sale in the city. The two level loft has storefront on the first floor perfect for a boutique or professional office. Neighboring businesses include a law office, hair salon, my awesome chiropractor, and a coffee shop that gives 10% discounts to cyclists. The 2nd level offers a full kitchen, living area, large bedroom & bath with walk-in shower -- all in high-end finishes and modern accouterments. There's no need for a separate residence. Just walk down the stairs to work every morning. 

Locationally, the condo scores a "very walkable" walkscore of 80 and is immediately adjacent to the Freedom Parkway Trail which connects with the BeltLine Eastside Trail. MARTA bus 99 stops right in front of the property and Zipcar vehicles are parked a little over 1/2 mile away. Tribute Lofts is a stone's throw from downtown Atlanta, as evidenced by the killer skyline views, and has very quick access to 75/85.

So the owner of this condo could enjoy an upscale intown lifestyle without car ownership, potentially saving hundreds or even thousands per year. 

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FMLS #5068515. Asking $219,500.

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