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Buyer Tips Category

How do you WIN the house?

In this current market, buyers are having to compete for homes! What a difference from a year ago, it is important to realize that if a stragegy, execution success street signshouse comes on market and it is PRICED RIGHT and in a hot area and in GOOD CONDITION<  it could go under contract within a few hours.  So how do you win these houses as a buyer?  First and foremost you need an agent such as myself to get you the most current information the fastest about houses coming on market.  Next you have to “sprint” not walk to see the house and get your offer in.  The next step is you have to offer at full price or above, ask for zero in closing costs and don’t ask for the extras such as home warranty, termite warranty. Now this really only applies if it is a competitive offer situation where there are multiple offers on the table.

Call me today to get more tips on how to win the house! 770-354-0243

Homes on Sale!!

Homes are on sale across the country, now is the time to buy, because of the decrease in values over the last years, prices are now starting to increase, and there is very good chance you will experience nice appreciation over time.


Buyers have to act fast to get the home they want!

Its a new world for  buyers, if a house comes on the market that they are excited about, they need to go look at it ASAP, with low levels of House and green grassinventory, homes are selling faster than they have in the last 5 years!  Welcome to a sellers market.  It is amazing how fast this market has changed just in the last 60 days.   A quick tip, when you submit the offer, don’t give the seller too much time to respond or you might find yourself in a multiple offer situation which almost always drives up the price, very often over list price. If you are thinking of selling, now is the time and if you want to buy, interest rates are low and the buyers I am working with are finding great homes, we just have to act fast!

Call me today for an update of what’s going on in your neighborhood!


Fabulous new listing 4128 Barnes Meadow Rd

Offered at $425,000! 3 sided brick beauty in the popular Barnes Mill Subdivision! Inspiring 2 story foyer greets you as you enter this lovely home. Fabulous Barnes Meadow 1floor plan includes Bedroom & FULL bath on main level, perfect for guests! Gleaming hardwoods on main level and TWO stacked stone fireplaces with built in shelving & coffered ceiling. Sunny and bright keeping room with built in custom cabinet for your flat screen TV. Gourmet kitchen with granite countertops, cherry cabinets with undermount lighting, center island with breakfast area, top of the line stainless steel appliances & gas cooktop. Luxurious Master Suite with trey ceiling, sitting area & spacious his & hers closets. Master Bath features whirpool tub, separate shower and his & hers sinks. An additional bonus room upstairs could be a 5th bedroom! Over $50,000 in upgrades and improvements, including custom window treatments and plantation shutters which are included in the sale of the home. Oversized deck and HUGE level flat backyard and privacy fence. Great close in location with loads of amenties including swimming pool with fountain, lighted tennis courts, clubhouse, playground and access to the ever popular Silver Comet Trail! A perfect 10 and ready to move in! Hurry this gem won’t last long!  Check out the virtual tour  Call me for a private showing today 770-354-0243

Get pre- approved before you go out looking at houses!

Many people start their home search before they even talk with a lender to see if they can qualify for a loan and if so, how much do theybanks money want to borrow?  It’s really a good idea to speak to a lender first, before you go out and look at homes.

1. You know what is a realistic price point that you need to be looking in.  If you don’t know, you could be looking outside your price range and then become disappointed when you can’t qualify for your dream home.

2. The market is moving faster now, things have changed.  You may go out and find a home you fall in love with and then by the time you get pre-approved  and are ready to make an offer, the house is already under contract!!!

Don’t set your self up for disappointment, speak to a lender today to see how much home you can afford and also, what monthly payment you are comfortable paying each month.

Interest rates are still low, so call me today at 770-354-0243 or email me if you need a  lender referral, I will be happy to help!

Walton High School Homes for Sale

As always East Cobb’s Walton High School district attracts buyers. As a long time resident of East Cobb, I  know the area well. Call me today at 770-354-0243 if you are interested in any of these homes or simply have questions about living in East Cobb!

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Owning a Home may be a wise Investment

Homeownership as an Investment


In Real Estate: Today’s Golden Opportunity we compared the current housing market to the market for gold about a decade ago. Some commented on the fact that you can’t compare gold to real estate as an investment as gold is a very liquid asset and it would take more time and effort to sell a house. We were not trying to make the case for real estate vs. gold as an investment in our blog. We were just showing that all investments go through cycles and that the best time to buy any investment may be when everyone is saying not to.

However, since the subject of comparing real estate to other investments has come up, let’s take a closer look. There are two major advantages to investing in a home of your own rather than another option:

You Can’t Live in Your IRA

When you buy your own home you are not taking available dollars away from another investment. You are replacing one housing expense (rent) which has no potential for a return on investment with another (mortgage payment) that does give you an opportunity for a return. We realize that there has been research showing that over the last 30 years renting has been less expensive than owning. That research also says that if you invested the entire difference between the rent payment and mortgage payment you may have done better financially.  There are two challenges with this conclusion:

  1. Today, in the vast majority of the country, renting is actually more expensive than owning a home.
  2. History has proven that tenants DO NOT invest the difference in their rent and mortgage payments.

Today,studies show that owning a home is no more expensive than renting a home. However, even if this wasn’t the case, history shows that owning a home creates greater wealth.

Paying a mortgage creates what financial experts call ‘forced savings’. The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University released a study last year titled America’s Rental Housing: Meeting Challenges, Building on Opportunities. In the study, they actually quantified the difference in family wealth between renters and homeowners:

“[R]enters have only a fraction of the net wealth of owners. Near the peak of the housing bubble in 2007, the median net wealth of homeowners was $234,600—about 46 times the $5,100 median for renters. Even if homeowner wealth fell back to 1995 levels, it would still be 27.5 times the median for renters.”

There Are Tremendous Tax Advantages to Investing in a Home

There is no doubt that selling an investment such as gold is easier than selling your home. However, this liquidity comes at a price. The price is called capital gains. That is the tax you pay on any financial gain you receive from the investment. This tax doesn’t apply the same way when you sell your primary residence:

Theresa Palagonia, a CPA and the Accounting Manager for the firm G.S. Garritano & Associates, was good enough to explain the Home Sale Exclusion Rules:

“You may qualify to exclude from your income all or part of any gain from the sale of your main home. 

Maximum Exclusion

You can exclude up to $250,000 of the gain on the sale of your main home if all of the following are true:

  • You meet the ownership test.
  • You meet the use test.
  • During the 2 year period ending on the date of the sale, you did not exclude gain from the sale of another home.

If you and another person owned the home jointly but file separate returns, each of you can exclude up to $250,000 of gain from the sale of your interest in the home if each of you meets the three conditions listed above.

You may be able to exclude up to $500,000 of the gain on the sale of your main home if you are married and file a joint return and meet the requirements. (Special rules apply for joint returns.)

Ownership and Use Tests

During the 5 year period ending on the date of the sale, you must have:

  • Owned the home for at least 2 years, and
  • Lived in the home as your main home for at least 2 years

Certain exceptions exist in which you may qualify for the exclusion without satisfying the tests listed.”

Bottom Line

Every investment has pros and cons. That is why there is such an assortment of great opportunities. Real Estate has been, is and always will be one of those opportunities.

Move up Buyers – Do it now!!!

If you are thinking of moving up to your next dream home, wait no longer.  The market is perfect for that type of buyer right now.  Why?  Because the stats say it all!   500,000 and under homes in Atlanta are officially a sellers market, bringing more money for this home, AND 500,000 and up are still in a buyers market in Atlanta with more choices and lower prices.   The market is split between these two price points, so if you have  a home you want to sell under 500.000 and want to move up to the next price point, you will reap greater money for your current home and sell it faster and then benefit from a softer higher end market with price and choices.  Also , the interest rates are fabulous!!  Call me today if you are thinking of moving up and I can help you assess whether this will work to your advantage!

Is it time to buy rental property?

With housing  prices up and rental rates increasing, this may the perfect time to invest in rental property. Right now according to the National Association of Realtors    “Investors…accounted for 17 percent of all transactions in the third quarter.”

More than one out of every six houses sold are purchased by an investor. In the most recent MarketPulse Report by CoreLogic, their Principal Economist, Sam Khater, wrote on the subject in a story titled Roll Tide, or The Rise of the Single Family Rental Market. The major takeaways from the article are:

  • The single-family rental market remained very active in the late summer of 2012 with increases in demand, tightening inventory and rising rents.
  • Nationally, rental leasing volumes were up every month for two years. In August, they were up 7% over last year.
  • Supply was down 11% over the same period.
  • This tightness in supply has caused rents to increase.
  • Rent growth is expected to increase at a ‘strong clip’ late in 2012 and in 2013.

Call  me today to get started investing in your real estate portfolio. Now is the time!

Understanding Agency in Georgia

When people choose an agent, its important to understand what is entailed in Buyers agency and Sellers Agency.

When a  seller hires an agent to sell their home, they are contracting with that agent and the brokerage in which the agent holds their license.  So technically any agent from that brokerage could represent them.  An agent who is representing a seller charges a fee to the seller and splits that fee with the buyers broker.   It’s important to define “fiduciary”-  this means that the agent owes the client to always represent the client best interests above the agents interests. It’s important to hire a Realtor that is a member of National Association of Realtors and a local board. There is a code of ethics that Realtors must adhere to, and not every agent is a Realtor.
Who Works for Whom?

? Agent will represent the best interests of the seller
? Agent will owe the seller fiduciary duties
? Agent must give the buyer all material facts so that the buyer can make an educated decision

? Agent will represent the best interests of the buyer
? Agent will owe the buyer fiduciary duties
? Agent must give the seller all material facts so that the seller can make an educated decision

? Agent represents both the buyer and the seller equally
? Agent’s objective is to get a mutually satisfactory agreement among all parties
? Agent gives all options to the buyer and the seller
? Depending on the local market, all parties may be present at contract presentation to negotiate on their own behalf
? All parties have confidentiality. Agent may do nothing to the detriment of either the buyer or the seller
? Both the buyer and the seller have a right to counsel. Before making any decisions, both parties have the right to seek family, religious, legal, or financial counsel.

In all relationships as your agent I have a duty to act honestly with both the buyer and the seller.

If you or someone you know is thinking of hiring an agent to help them with their move, give me a call and let’s discuss how I can help. 770-354-0243