unspecified-1By Kathy Dean
Christopher Burell has extensive knowledge about condos and townhomes. As Senior Vice President and Managing Broker of The Intown Office of Harry Norman, Realtors he has helped many homebuyers choose the type of property that best fit their lifestyle. A little over a year ago, he himself made the shift from a single-family home to a high-rise condo.
Burell said that he’d lived within a four-block radius of Midtown since 2005. He had owned and renovated two Victorian homes in the area until, in August 2015, changes in his personal life forced him to sell. Although he made a reasonable profit from the house sale, he realized that he couldn’t afford another single-family home in Midtown due to the rise in prices.
“I had no desire to leave the community that I’d come to enjoy so much,” Burell said. “I love running in Piedmont Park and walking to shows at the Fox Theatre or jazz nights at the High Museum. I love meeting friends for dinner at one of the neighborhood restaurants, attending the area festivals and being a part of the vibrancy that’s alive in the heart of the city.”
Burell found that the only way he could remain in Midtown was to purchase a condo. In the same month as his house sale, he closed on a condo and downsized from a 3,000 square foot house to a 1,100 square foot condominium.
“The exercise of downsizing was something I think we all should do,” he said. “It makes you prioritize your life. It forced me to realize all the stuff I’d collected and to organize. You learn what’s important and how to live differently.”

Chris Burell

These days, Burell walks his dogs several times a day, an activity that has introduced him to many of his neighbors as well as other dog lovers who work in the nearby office buildings. He also walks to the grocery store, only buying enough food for a couple of days at a time. According to Burell, that’s partly because he can only carry a few grocery bags when walking, but also because the area has so many enticing eateries for dining out.
“I have a bike so I can cycle around Midtown and enjoy early Saturday morning rides along the beltline,” he added. “At my condo, there’s a pool I use to relax and a gym for morning workouts. My concierge knows me and my puppies and watches out for us.”
Burell listed some other benefits: there’s no time-consuming yard work to do; the building concierge signs for any delivered packages; laundry can be picked up and delivered at the building; there’s a garage so there’s no stress about auto break-ins or limbs falling onto cars during heavy rainstorms; and living on a higher floor means home break-ins through windows are no longer a concern.
Even with all these pluses, Burell admitted that there are still some things he misses about having a single family home. “I miss being able to park at the back door and walk into the house; now I park in a garage and take an elevator to my home. I also miss working on a garden in the yard, and my dogs miss the freedom of running and playing in a fenced yard.”
He said that moving to a condo has definitely impacted the way he lives, but it’s something he’s glad to have embraced. It’s even given him a better perspective for his career. “As a real estate broker, it’s important to live in the communities where you represent clients,” Burell stated. “I truly believe it gives me a great deal of understanding of what clients are experiencing and it allows me to relate to them more directly.”

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.

2 replies on “Lifestyle Change: A real estate agent takes the condo plunge”

  1. I notice Ms. Dean doesn’t mentioned the name of Burell’s new condo. That’s probably wise; as handsome as he is, people might start stalking his building!

  2. I notice Ms. Dean doesn’t mentioned the name of Burell’s new condo. That’s probably wise; as handsome as he is, people might start stalking his building!

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