Category Archives for "Emory Homes"

Decatur Homes – Clairmont Heights Neighborhood

Renovated Decatur home with well-kept lawn and walkway

Decatur Homes - Clairmont Heights Area History

Clairmont Heights and the surrounding Decatur neighborhoods have an interesting history.  Clairmont Heights Civic Association put together an intriguing history of Decatur real estate in this area.  Clairmont Heights was developed after a lottery of Creek Indian lands in 1821 by the State of Georgia, when 202+ acres were transferred to individuals.  According to local historians ,by 1860, most of the land was owned by Ezekel Mason, an esteemed citizen of Decatur who died in 1879.  His widow then ran a profitable mill in the area called Mason's Mill.  Remnants of the Mill and the old Decatur Waterworks are still visible along the recently constructed pathways in the area and can also be accessed through several Decatur parks.

Original plats date from 1946 for the development of Clairmont  Heights and records show that the first areas developed were North Superior to Superior Place, Park Lane to Superior Place, Webster Drive to Clairmont Circle, and Clairmont Circle to Emory Woods.

A neighbor on Park Lane told me she was renting a home on North Decatur at the time they were developing the neighborhood and watched them build her home on Park Lane. She used to walk by the property every evening and imagine living there. She was so impressed with the quality of the homes that she talked her husband into purchasing one of the first homes built in the neighborhood!

Wikipedia indicates that the North Decatur area was originally developed as a suburban community to Atlanta.

While Clairmont Heights is no longer quite as suburban today with considerable ongoing commercial development in the area, the proximity to Emory University,  Atlanta midtown, Virginia Highlands, downtown Decatur events, shopping centers and a great school system, make the area a favorite for homeowners who want the convenience of in-town living and the hospitality of a friendly neighborhood.

Winter Curb Appeal for Decatur Homes

Decatur home with stone planters at front door

Winter climate in the Atlanta area is generally mild - at least milder than in many other parts of the country.  Temperatures do dip lower, trees lose their leaves, and shorts are no longer popular apparel.  

There may not be snow in the backyard, but cold days and nights are interspersed with incredible sunny days when you could enjoy a picnic on the deck, and many days when curling near the fire or the heat register is an appealing option.

This is a time when most homeowners in Decatur focus on a cozy interior, rather than the bleak exterior landscape.  With a little creativity, however, it is possible to enhance the exterior of your home and enjoy outside activities on those beautiful days:

Once the leaves are raked, consider decorating outside your home for the cooler months.

  • ​Make your front door a focal point with a colorful wreath, incorporate large planters filled with evergreens and berries.
  •  Add exterior fairy lights on trees or try spotlights on architectural features
  • Keep your furniture on the deck for sunny day picnics
  •  Maintain your lawn and remove twigs and fallen debris regularly

You may be lucky enough to enjoy a sparkling 70 degree day in January or February.  Welcome to Decatur winter weather!

Changes to Neighborhoods in Decatur and near Emory University!

Historic Druid Hills white house with blue trim and white picket fence

When I began selling homes in the Emory and Decatur neighborhoods back in the early 1980’s, it was a rather settled and somewhat stodgy environment.

1930’s – 1940’s

Families had moved to the area in the late 1930’s or 1940’s when much of the area was developed.  Smaller bungalow style homes were created in neighborhoods like Emory Grove, Great Lakes, and Glendale Estates.

The original owners bought what they could afford in a new area where many of the streets were still unpaved.  In a few years, the area was full of young children, who played together and grew up together on the same streets.  Everyone knew their neighbors, their children and their pets.  Garden Clubs were formed and play areas were established.

It’s hard to image what North Decatur Road and Scott Boulevard might have been like in the 1940’s and 1950’s, but several owners reminisced about walking to the Drugstore in Emory Village or catching the streetcar to downtown Atlanta.  The area was nearly country then, slow-paced and sleepy with dusty streets.

It was a safe haven for everyone and a great place to live.

1950’s – 1960’s

In the 1950’s and 1960’s, developers began building new brick ranch homes in the area. Neighborhoods like Clairmont Heights, Leafmore Estates, Sagamore Hills, and Medlock Park area were formed.

1980’s – 2000

By the 1980’s, the children in these neighborhoods had grown up and mostly  moved away from the area.  It was still a tight knit community, but the original owners were growing older and beginning to make changes.  Their homes needed repairs and their yards needed to be maintained, but often there was no-one around to do the work.  There were a number of widows now on each street, and there were few children.

At that time not many homes came on the market in these neighborhoods because no-one ever moved.  Then, slowly, one or two homes on a street would become available as owners passed away or made a decision to move closer to family.

During the mid-1980’s, the composition of the area began to change from older inhabitants to younger families.  Now younger couples began to purchase homes as they became available.  Within 5-10 years, the streets around Emory and in Decatur were teeming with young children again and the cycle had come full circle.  Now, another generation are raising their families and growing old in the area.

Homes did change ownership more frequently during this period than in the past when owners worked at the same company for 30-40 years and then retired.  Individuals no longer worked for one company, but changed jobs from time to time and often locations.

Present Day

Today, many owners in Decatur and near Emory work at Emory University or Emory Hospital, which is the largest employer in DeKalb County.  Others work at the Center for Disease Control or the American Red Cross.  Decatur is the judicial center for DeKalb County and many work in the Court System there.  The area is close to downtown Atlanta, major shopping centers and handy to Atlanta Hartsfield Airport.

Now Emory Village is sleek and modern, featuring a well-designed roundabout, inviting restaurants and shops.

Downtown Decatur is updated and vibrant with new condo complexes, upscale restaurants and shops.  Decatur has been named one of the most “walkable” cities in the country  and one of the top places to live in the Nation.

There have been so many changes in the area during this period – mostly good constructive ones – some more restrictive, like the increased traffic along North Decatur Road and Scott Boulevard!

Perhaps I’m biased in my opinion, but I believe there is still no better location in Metropolitan Atlanta to live than near Emory University or Decatur!