Is Atlanta real estate a buy?

The NY Times has an article today on Atlanta's increasing rate of foreclosures. What the article fails to highlight is the fact that borrowers in metro Atlanta use interest-only mortgages at a higher rate than the rest of the nation, which is a key contributor to the increased foreclosure rate. Those who took out a 6-month LIBOR +1% interest-only mortgage in June of 2003 when LIBOR was at 1.124% have had their mortgage payments more than triple in the last 4 years.

Buying low and selling high are the keys to profitable investing, but knowing what is a high and/or low is often difficult. My barometer for knowing a good real estate investment opportunity is its ability to generate positive cash flow, but that doesn't apply to people who are in the business of flipping houses.