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Stucco Homes, Should you have a separate inspection?

Stucco was the exterior choice and very popular in Atlanta for a while, especially in the late 80’s early 90’s.  Unfortunately the product that is a imagessynthetic stucco known as EIFS (External Insulation Finishing Systems) has had issues with moisture problems especially around windows and door frames.  The answer is you should absolutely have a separate stucco inspector, and he/she should be certified by  “Moisture Free Warranty”, the king of stucco warranties.  The inspector will probe the house in different areas to determine moisture readings, then will provide a report of his/her findings so that the buyer can be assured that the home is sealed properly.  The buyer should ask for at least a one year warranty from http://www.moisturewarranty.com/ from the seller.  Call me today at 770-354-0243  if you are thinking of buying a home or selling your stucco home, I can help you assess how to get your  home sold quickly for the most money!

Thinking of moving up? Do it now!

Moving Up? Do It Now!!

by The KCM Crew HiRes-15-1024x1024

in For Buyers, For Sellers

New reports are revealing that the number of existing home owners purchasing a house is beginning to increase. Some are moving up, some are downsizing and others are making a lateral move. Another study shows that over 75% of these buyers will, in fact, be in that first category: a move-up buyer. We want to address this group of buyers in today’s blog post.

There is no way for us to predict the future but we can look at what happened over the last year. Let’s look at buyers that considered moving up last year but decided to wait instead.

Assume they had a home worth $300,000 and were looking at a home for $400,000 (putting 10% down they would get a mortgage of $360,000). By waiting, their house appreciated by 12% over the last year (national average based on the Case Shiller Pricing Index). Their home would now be worth $336,000. But, the $400,000 home would now be worth $448,000 (requiring a mortgage of $403,200).

Here is a table showing what additional monthly cost would be incurred by waiting:

Move up

If your family sees yourself in this situation, it may make sense to move now than later. Prices are definitely appreciating and interest rates are beginning to rise.

Don’t Overprice your home when selling! Even though it may be tempting….

Selling a House? Don’t Overprice ItPosted: 15 Jul 2013 04:00 AM PDT


HiRes (6)There is no doubt that the housing market is coming back nicely. What, if anything, could slow down the current momentum? We believe it may be sellers’ over exuberance when it comes to pricing. There is little doubt that house prices have appreciated over the last twelve months in most regions of the country. However, with both the inventory of homes for sale and interest rates increasing, we have to be careful to not over judge what the market can bare.

Trulia just reported that asking prices have jumped dramatically and the increase is accelerating:

  • Year-Over-Year prices jumped 10.7%
  • Quarter-Over-Quarter prices jumped 4.1% (16.4% annualized)
  • Month-Over-Month prices jumped 1.5% (18% annualized)

No expert is expecting home prices to shoot up 18% in the next twelve months. If anything, price appreciation may slow as rates and inventories increase. Investors will begin to slow their purchases and the first-time buyers expected to take their place will be working within a pre-set budget in many cases.

Buyers’ Purchasing Power

Let’s look at an example: A young couple is looking for a home and have predetermined that their budget will only allow them to spend $1,000 a month on a mortgage. At today’s mortgage rate of 4.5%, they could afford a $200,000 mortgage ($1,013 principal & interest). However, if rates jump to 5%, they would have to lower their mortgage amount to $190,000 in order to keep their monthly payment where they need it ($1,020). At 5.5%, the mortgage would need to be no more than $180,000 ($1,022).

The Impact on Prices

This decrease in buyers’ purchasing power will have an impact on home values going forward. We do not believe it will cause a decrease in prices. However, we do believe it will likely cause current rates of appreciation to slow.

If you are thinking about selling your home, don’t get carried away with current headlines about home price increases that have taken place over the last twelve months. Instead, call me today at 770-354-0243 and I will help explain where prices are headed over the next six months.

Top 5 reasons to sell your home now

Selling a House? 5 Reasons You Should Do It Now

by The KCM Crew

in For Sellers

five fingersMany are talking about why now is a great time to buy a home.  Today, we want to look at why it might also be an opportune time to sell your house. Here are the Top 5 Reasons we believe now may be a perfect time to put your house on the market.

1.) Demand Is High

Homes are selling at the fastest pace since November 2009 when the market spiked in response to the home buyer tax credit. The most recent Existing Home Sales Report by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) showed that monthly sales increased 9.7% over the same month last year. Total sales have been above year-ago levels for 22 consecutive months. There are buyers out there right now (buyer traffic is 31 percent stronger than a year ago) and they are serious about purchasing.

2.) Supply Is Beginning to Increase

Total housing inventory last month rose 11.9% to 2.16 million homes for sale. This represents a 5.2-month supply at the current sales pace, compared with 4.3 months in January. Many expect inventory to continue to rise as more sellers escape the shackles of negative equity. Selling now while demand is high and before supply increases may garner you your best price.

3.) New Construction Is Coming Back

Over the last several years, most homeowners selling their home did not have to compete with a new construction project around the block. As the market is recovering, more and more builders are jumping back in. These ‘shiny’ new homes will again become competition as they are an attractive alternative for many purchasers.

4.) Interest Rates Are Rising

According to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey, interest rates for a 30-year mortgage have shot up to 3.98% which represents a jump of more than ½ point since the beginning of the year. Even those trying to be the voice of reason on this issue are projecting higher rates. For example, Polyana da Costa, senior mortgage analyst at Bankrate.com said:

“Rates are unlikely to keep going up so quickly and should remain below 5%.”

Whether you are moving up or moving down, your housing expense will be more a year from now if a mortgage is necessary to purchase your next home.

5.) It’s Time to Move On with Your Life

Look at the reason you are thinking about selling and decide whether it is worth waiting. Is the possibility of a few extra dollars more important than being with family; more important than your health; more important than having the freedom to go on with your life the way you think you should?

You already know the answers to the questions we just asked. You have the power to take back control of your situation by putting the house on the market today. The time may have come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire. That is what is truly important

Do you need representation with New Home Builders?

contract with magnifying glassThe answer is a resounding–YES!!

Since new home building has made a comeback, many buyers are walking into the builders model homes and offices unrepresented.  It is very important when you are working with an agent and you are out driving around without that agent that you register your agent if you walk into a new home community office.  The reason is –unless you register your agent then the builder will not honor that agent and you could end up without representation.  New home builders often use their own contracts which are heavily weighted in favor of the home builder.   When you have buyer representation your agent can help you wade through the pages of small print and work with the builder for concessions, upgrades, closing costs and many other things to help you get a good deal, and understand what you are signing.

It is a very common misconception that the if you don’t have an agent the builder will discount or give you what would have been the agents commission, but that simply is not true.  The builder will keep the money in their pockets for a more profitable sale, they are not handing it over to you.

It costs you nothing to have representation and it could save you thousands of dollars AND headaches along the way.  The purchase of a new home is one of the biggest investments of your lifetime, why not have an agent such as me -:-)  be on your side!

Call me today at 770-354-0243 if you are thinking of purchasing a home, new or resale and I will be happy to discuss the ways in which we can work as a team to make your home dream purchase a reality!


Housing Bubble?

Housing Bubble: Is There a New One Forming?

by The KCM Crew on May 29, 2013 · 0 comments


783773_thumbnailThe housing market is recovering so nicely that it has caused some to wonder whether a new housing bubble is forming. Today, we want to explain that the fear of a new pricing bubble in real estate is unwarranted.

Trulia revealed some great data on this point in a recent blog post. They explained that, even with the recent price increases, national home prices are still 7 percent undervalued. Trulia explained:

“Home prices nationally remain undervalued relative to fundamentals and much lower than in the last bubble. That’s why today’s price gains are actually still a rebound, not a bubble.”

Prices are below their fundamental value in the vast majority of the country (91 of the 100 largest metros). Even in the parts of the country that are now overvalued they come nowhere near the percentages we saw in 2006-2007. For example, let’s look at the two markets that are most overvalued today. In Orange County, California prices are currently overvalued by 9%. In 2006, prices in the region were overvalued by 71%! The second most overvalued market today is Austin, Texas at 5%. Texas real estate prices did not skyrocket as they did in many other parts of the country during the last boom. Austin prices were shown as being 12% overvalued at the time.

Again, prices are still undervalued in 91% of markets and, even in the markets that are overvalued, they are nowhere near the numbers of the 2006-2007 bubble.

Jed Kolko, Trulia’s Chief Economist, explained:

“So are we in bubble territory? No. Bubble-phobes can rest easy. Even with recent sharp home price increases, prices are still low relative to fundamentals and are far below bubble levels.”

Dr. David Stiff, chief economist for CoreLogic Case-Shiller agreed in a recently released report on prices:

“Even if double-digit price appreciation were to continue in former bubble metro areas, there is no reason to believe that new home price bubbles are forming. That’s because single-family homes in these markets are still very affordable, even after last year’s large price gains.”

Three reasons there will NOT be another bubble

Prices are determined by the ratio between supply and demand. Here are three reasons a bubble will be avoided.

  1. Supply is beginning to increase. A lack of inventory is creating a market of multiple bids which has caused prices to rise. The National Association of Realtors (NAR), in their latest Existing Home Sales Report, revealed that the months’ supply of inventory has increased from 4.3 to 5.2 months since January.
  2. Demand will decrease in certain demographics. For an example, investors have been a large part of the housing market over the last several years. As prices continue to rise, a certain percentage of these buyers will back off.
  3. As mortgage rates increase, buyers will be able to afford less. The Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae and NAR have all projected an increase in mortgage rates over the next year. Buying power will decrease as borrowers can no longer afford the same price point as monthly payments will increase.

For these reasons, we believe the fear of a new housing bubble are currently unfounded.

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

Proper Preparation still required even in a Sellers Market!

Yes, we are officially in a sellers market, but does that mean you should go on market without staging and great marketing?  In order to house with moneymaximize the most money from your home, you still have to be the prettiest one out there at the best price!

Yes, there are homes are still sitting on market, and the reason they are sitting is the basic principle that is true in any market.

Condition and Price.   If you have not properly prepared your home to sell, and you over price it, then you still won’t win the buyer.

Buyers are definitely a bit more forgiving but they are still savvy and they understand if they are going to have to put work in a house and those that have sharp buyers agents know the comparables and the values

If you are thinking of selling, call me today at 770-354-0243, I will walk you through the home selling process and what you need to do to prepare your home for sale so that you get the most money in the fastest amount of time and  ultimately WIN buyers who are willing to PAY TOP DOLLAR  for a great house!

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.


If you have been waiting to sell, now is the time!

Many people who wanted to sell in the last 4 to 5 years decided to stay put, the market was too soft and it was a market where the buyers iStock_000002936822XSmallwere calling most of the shots!

Well things have changed and they changed fast!! Just in the last 60 days the market has turned into a sellers market.  The inventory levels are the lowest they have been in over 10 years, interest rates are low and buyers want to buy now!

If you have wanted to sell  in the past, but have been on the sidelines, give me a call today at 770-354-0243 and I will be happy to provide you with information that can help you determine if now is the time for you!