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Buyer Tips Category

Caddy to Close

Just as in Golf, you need someone by you when the pressure is on to make the right decisions for you to get to the 18th hole (the closing table) a winner!  Bill Haas yesterday in the Northern Trust, kept it cool and calm and came out the winner, with the last shot being one of the best of the day!

It’s so interesting to me how during a professional golf tournament the players who have been cool the entire time, start falling apart at the end of the final round, especially if they are contending for first place. And who is there for them to help them see the situation from a clearer perspective, of course their Caddy!

Whether you are buying a home for the first time or selling your current home and buying another one, I will be there for you, giving you the information you need, the other set of “eyes” if you will for a winner of a transaction.

Call me today at 770-354-0243 or email me to discuss how I can be your Caddy to Close  for your next real estate transaction! 🙂

Top 3 reasons NOT to use your family as your real estate agent

But, my aunt is a real estate agent…..

Well if your aunt is an ACTIVE agent and works in this business full time, then maybe you should use her.  However, just because you have a relative who is a real estate agent does not mean they are the agent you should use.  There are many dangers in using family for your real estate transaction.

1. Can you FIRE your Aunt if she is not doing the job?  It makes it hard if your not getting the service and results you want.  How to say to your aunt, I am going to use someone else, could create  tension in the family.

2. Many agents have a license to sell real estate and just keep it active with a broker , it does not mean they actually know the market or understand the contracts which change every year, if they are not an active full time agent–beware

3. Your  personality may not be a good match with your family member, buying or selling your house is an emotional and often the most expensive transaction you will be involved in your life…it makes sense to work with someone that understands you and “clicks” with you.  Just because you have a family member who holds a license does not make it the best choice.

If you need an agent who really knows this market, can help you reach your goals, give me a call today at 770-354-0243 and see if we “click”  or email me, or better yet read here what my others say about me.  I look forward to hearing from you!


Under 150K homes in North Atlanta area are selling fast!

The market for homes at great prices under 150 thousand dollars is brisk!   Very often there are multiple offers and buyers are competing for these homes.

 Why? Because investor buyers are almost 40% of that market who are purchasing and 1st time home buyers are realizing that it is now the time to buy rather then paying rent !

The advantages of home ownership outweigh paying rent.  If you are 1st time home buyer and you purchase at this incredible time of low home prices AND low interest rates, you will be the envy of all your friends in a few years.  Your house payment could be Lower than rent and you will gain equity in your home over time.  You have to pay for a place to live whether you rent or own, so why not have it be your own.

If you are an investor or a buyer in this market, give me a call today  at 770-354-0243 or email me and I will help you find the best deals out there in this hot and demanding price point.

You can get your portfolio going of rental properties that pay positive cash flow, and let the renters pay down the mortgage, and when we have a recovery you will have equity from both the pay down on the mortgage and appreciation.  Small houses rent the best, and are better than townhome or condo investments because condos and townhomes compete with apartment complexes for renters.  Single family detached homes rent faster and stay rented.

See below a list of current homes in the Marietta/Roswell areas of homes for sale.  Call me  at 770-354-0243 or email me at [email protected]  if you would like more info or to visit them

Beds: 3
Baths: 2
Sq. Ft.: 1,816
Beds: 2
Baths: 1
Sq. Ft.: 816
Information Deemed Reliable But Not Guaranteed. If you believe any FMLS listing contains material that infringes your copyrighted work please please click here to review our DMCA policy and learn how to submit a takedown request. © 2017 First Multiple Listing Service, Inc.
FMLS data last updated at July 27, 2017 12:07 PM ET





5 Ways to Take Advantage of the Current Market

Real estate remains a bargain in Atlanta metro area. For many home buyers this is the ideal time to jump into the housing market with a long-term investment strategy. Following are five tips to help you take advantage of a down market.

1. Use a Buyer’s Agent: Preferably me 🙂 A buyer’s agent can help you navigate a rapidly changing marketplace and let you know how to maximize your real estate dollar.

2. Get Preapproved for a Mortgage: Sitting down with a mortgage professional before you begin your search will help refine what you are looking for. This will allow you to set your budgets and narrow your search criteria. Note that a mortgage prequalification is not the same as a preapproved mortgage. Call me at 770-354-0243 for a list of lenders.

3. Make a List of Your Needs and Wants: Understand what you need and what you want. Wants are the things you can live without but you would like.  Discussing  with your real estate agent will help speed up the home-buying process. If you have a hard time narrowing it down, write down your 5 “must haves”.

4. Invest for the Long Term: Buying in a down market offers affordable prices and greater home selection. Long-term investment in real estate in this Atlanta market  is the surest way to maximize your initial investment.

5. Be Patient and Ask Questions: Down markets allow home buyers to be more patient. Surplus housing inventory means that there are fewer buyers competing for homes, allowing buyers to ask questions and ensure that they are selecting the home that is going to be right for them.

If you need a buyers agent with loads of experience and knowledge of the local North Atlanta, East Cobb, Roswell, Alpharetta and North Cobb County market, call me today 770-354-0243, or email me at [email protected]  to help you begin your search, or just simply go to the top of the page and click on the Search for Homes.

2 Ways to Renovate or Repair a home using the Bank’s Money!

Thanks to Joe Sheriff of Fidelity Bank for giving us some great ideas below on how to use the Banks money to renovate that great deal fixer upper home you want to purchase!

Lenders and Banks always want one thing when giving out money for home loans. They want to know that the house is in good shape. No appliances…No dice. No flooring…No Go.

“But, wait…this is a great house at a steal of a price. The last occupants left in a very bad mood and the place needs some work. I’m going to add those items after we move in….ok??” “NO”saith the lender. Hang on…I can’t add the appliance and flooring to the house BEFORE I buy it! What to do??

Well, check out the FHA 203k Renovation Loan and the Fannie Mae HomeStyle Renovation

These programs allow you to add the amount of the repairs/upgrades to the actual mortgage.You as a buyer come to closing with the usual down-payment and the Bank starts allocating money from the loan out to your contractors.

It’s truly a fantastic way to make that super-deal your very own design!

Call Joe for more details!
Joe Sheriff
Senior Mortgage Banker
Fidelity Bank Mortgage
404-581-5804 FAX direct
NMLS #35178
To apply online go to: www.jsheriff.lionbankmtg.com

Top 5 Questions to Ask a Home Inspector

I have asked a long time East Cobb Home Inspector to put together a list of the most important questions a buyer should ask when interviewing a home inspector.  When you decide to purchase a home and you have worked out all the details and are under contract. The very next step you need to take is a home inspection.  This is part of your due diligence among other items so that you can learn all about exactly what you are buying and what concerns you need to address with the seller.
Thanks to Michael Bronner with AmericanHome Inspection Professionals
ASHI Certified Inspector, ICC Code Certified
On the web at: www.thebesthomeinspector.com

Finding a home inspector is easy, finding the most qualified one will take a bit of Sherlocking on you, the buyer’s part.  Purchasing a home is for most people one of the largest investments they will ever make. Spending a few minutes interviewing prospective inspectors will usually pay great dividends if you know the right questions to ask.  Below are the top 5 questions to ask and the answer to each question.

1. How long have you been inspecting homes full-time?

Answer: the longer the better-meaning years not months.  Many inspectors have over 10 years and some as long as 20 years experience, and in this business, experience is everything.

2. Are you certified inspector and  code certified? And/or  do you actively belong to a national inspector’s organization?  A good inspector will be certified and belong to and actively participate in a reputable organization that requires continuing education. Code certification is normally  required to inspect new construction but is also immensely helpful for existing construction. If the inspector is code certified, they can prove it.

 Inspectors should gladly provide credentials to you.

3. What all do you inspect and how long will the inspection take?

Answer: As much of the home as possible, including accessing attics and crawl spaces, and last between 2 and 4+- hours. The inspector should be able to explain to you exactly what is included in the inspection as well as what is not. A typical inspection of an average home should take between 2 and 4 hours and frequently longer.

4. Do I need to be in attendance?

 Answer: Absolutely!

As a buyer, you need to make the time to attend. It will be an invaluable learning experience and you will get to see firsthand what the inspector sees and can ask questions.

5. What type of report do you generate and do you include pictures?  Answer: Narrative! A narrative report normally is tailor made for your home with actual written (computer generated) input from the inspector with associated photos of more important issues. A check list report is generic and a professional inspector will not use one. Reports issued by highly professional and detailed inspectors may be as long as 40 pages.

Highest and Best?

Often times when a hot property comes on the market and it is priced aggressively, whether its a traditional sale, foreclosure or a short sale, a multiple offer situation is generated.   The listing  agent does not have to let the buyers who are offering on the home that there are offers on the table.  Sometimes they will and sometimes they won’t, it is up to the seller and to the agents discretion on working in the best interest of the seller.  Agents can have their licensed pulled if they say there are multiple offers and there really is not.  You can verify with the managing broker that holds the listing that there are other offers on the property.

When there is a lot of interest in a property, the listing agent may come to all parties and ask them to bring their “highest and best” offer.

As a buyer you need to work with your agent (hopefully that agent is me 🙂 and look at all the information on the home.  Most importantly what are the comparables within 1 to 2 miles of the home.  Compare that with the list price of the home, and make a decision on what you are willing to offer based on the data.   Be aware, very often if its priced really well, the offers will EXCEED LIST PRICE. Just because it is listed at a certain price does not mean the home is worth that or it may be worth more.   A home’s market value is based on what a buyer is willing to pay and a seller is willing to accept.

This is not the time to low ball.  When they ask for highest and best, they mean HIGHEST AND BEST..not low ball and worse 🙂

If you low ball you risk not getting the home.  If you must low ball,   find one that has been on market for a long time and has taken many price reductions, not one that is new on market and is going to sell very fast!

I can help you find the home you want at the price you want!  Call me today at 770-354-0243 or just click on Search Homes link above to begin your home search.


The pretty inventory goes fast!!

You would think that here you are a buyer, cash or pre-approval in hand that it would be “easy” in a buyers market to find that perfect home.   Well…. yes and no.

Yes there is a lot of inventory BUT is there  good inventory?? Well,  with almost 40% of the market here in Atlanta a short sale or foreclosure then that definitely reduces your choice of great,  ready to move in condition homes.  If you have to have a specific school district then that can narrow your search even more.  The key with the really “hot ” properties is to keep up with the new listings coming on market and don’t dawdle, go see it quickly, because the cream puffs if priced right still go very quickly in this market.  If it’s overpriced it will sit, but if priced right, desireable location and school district and great condition, this is a recipe for a quick sale.

Short sales and foreclosures are not always the best deals, they are in distress and are “as is” , so if you are not a fixer upper type buyer, then stick with traditional real estate, the values have declined and they are some of the best deals out there, AND they won’t need the kind of work in repairs that a foreclosure or short sale may require.

Call me today at 770-354-0243  or email me  to get the very newest listings emailed to you daily!




2012- What can we expect?

We all hope that 2012 will bring a better year in real estate than 2011.  Buyers need to act in the next 12 months to get the best deals at these incredible interest rates and home prices.  This won’t last forever, it is still and will continue to be a buyers market, as more foreclosures are released the market will continue to have lots of inventory.

If you are thinking of  buying a home here in the Atlanta market, get moving now, don’t miss out on what may be the best buying opportunities of a lifetime.

Call me today at 770-354-0243 or click the search for homes link above to begin your home search today!



Short Sales-not so short!

Why does it take so long to buy a short sale?

There are many,  many steps in a short sale to get lender approval to accept the “short’ on the mortgage.  That’s the first thing that a buyer needs understand, a short sale takes place when a seller is in distress and cannot sell their home for what they owe on it, and the bank agrees to take a “short” or a loss on the loan that  the seller took out to purchase the property.

Very often the first buyer of a short sale is not the one who ends up with the house!  Why you ask?  Because the first buyer gets tired of the wait and moves on to another property.

One  problem is that there is enormous amount of paperwork that the seller has to complete for the bank to prove their hardship, the property has to be marketed and a contract has to be negotiated between the buyer and the seller.   After threre is a binding contract the seller sends it to the bank for approval…..and then the bank appraises it, reviews the contract, probably will ask the seller for more info AND all parties wait and wait….. wait for final approval from the bank.  It can take months and months, it just depends on the circumstances of the seller, and the bank.   The banks are understaffed and are inundated with short sales and foreclosures.  One more note….it may be better and more cost effective for the bank to forclose rather than accept a short sale.  They look at both options as part of their decision.

So what are you do to as a buyer if you are thinking of purchasing a home?  Just be aware, 39% of our market here in Atlanta, East Cobb and surrounding areas are foreclosures and short sales, so it is likely you will run into one in your home search.  Know that it is easier to buy a foreclosure than a short sale.  Also just because it is a short sale does not necessarily make it the best value, the seller could have overpaid for the house during the bubble and value is not based on what a seller owes on the house, it is based on current market conditions.

If you have time to wait,  a short sale may work out great for you. As long as you understand as a buyer, short sale does not mean short time frame!

Thinking about buying in East Cobb, Roswell or North Atlanta?  Call me at 770-354-0243, email  at [email protected] or simply click the search for homes at the top of this page to begin your search.

If you have any questions please feel free to leave a comment below.

The best thing about having me on your side for purchasing a home  is it costs you nothing and you get full representation on what is often many peoples biggest investment in their lifetime!