Tuesday, July 31, 2007
This is a real photo of a homemade attic fan. It's funny because it seems so obvious that this type of ventilation is a problem, but inspectors can find things that are not quite so obvious. The National Association of Home Inspectors provides certification, training and guidelines for it's members to follow and they can help you choose a qualified inspector near you. They can save home buyers big buck$ and allow for better negotiation when it's time to close a deal.
I've been in this business for over 20 years and am always surprised at how many things inspectors find that I didn't see. If you'd like a recommendation for an inspector either to inspect your home before you sell to let you know the repairs that need to be made, or to hire one to inspect a home before you buy, give me a call today at 770-862-8002 and I'll give you some help and tips regarding home inspections.
Southern Prime Realty
Friday, July 27, 2007
According to the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association, almost 65% of households in America have pets. Wow! I am glad to know that I am not alone! I love my new dog. His name is "Jack" (after Captain Jack Sparrow, arrg!) and he is a mix between a Poodle and a Schnauzer, more commonly know as a "Schnoodle". Click here for more information about Schnoodle's. We chose our new home in part because it was "pet friendly".
The National Association of Realtors, reports " Spacious yards and condominiums that allow pets are moving closer to the top of buyers' lists of priorities. According to Chicago-based agent Mario Greco, clients often refuse to consider buildings that do not accept animal companions. " Read the whole article here.
I know for me, I wouldn't want to live where Jack was not as at home as the rest of my family. Let me help you and your "family" find the home of you dreams.
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
If you are trying to sell your house, you may want to think about finishing those repair projects and getting the cars off of the property before putting the "For Sale" sign in the yard. For most buyers, first impressions are everything. If they can't see the house for all of the junk cars on the property, they won't even want to go inside for a look.
For more tips on preparing your house to be market ready, please call me today at 770-862-8002.
Associate Broker, Southern Prime Realty
To Do Today
- Turn down the temperature of your water heater to the warm setting (120°F). You'll not only save energy, you'll avoid scalding your hands.
- Start using energy-saving settings on refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines, and clothes dryers.
- Survey your incandescent lights for opportunities to replace them with compact fluorescents (CFLs). These lamps can save three-quarters of the electricity used by incandescents. The best targets are 60-100W bulbs used several hours a day. New CFLs come in many sizes and styles to fit in most standard fixtures.
- Check the age and condition of your major appliances, especially the refrigerator. You may want to replace it with a more energy-efficient model before it dies.
- Clean or replace furnace, air-conditioner, and heat-pump filters.
- If you have one of those silent guzzlers, a waterbed, make your bed today. The covers will insulate it, and save up to one-third of the energy it uses.
- Visit the hardware store. Buy low-flow showerheads, faucet aerators, and compact fluorescent light bulbs, as needed. These can be purchased from any hardware or home improvement store. CFLs are now sold at some drug stores and grocery stores.
- If your water heater is old enough that its insulation is fiberglass instead of foam, it clearly will benefit from a water heater blanket from the local hardware or home supplies store. (To tell the difference, check at the pilot light access (gas). For electric water heaters, the best access is probably at the thermostat, but be sure to turn off the power before checking.)
- Rope caulk very leaky windows.
- Assess your heating and cooling systems. Determine if replacements are justified, or whether you should retrofit them to make them work more efficiently to provide the same comfort (or better) for less energy.
- Collect your utility bills. Separate electricity and fuel bills. Target the biggest bill for energy conservation remedies.
- Crawl into your attic or crawlspace and inspect for insulation. Is there any? How much?
- Insulate hot water pipes and ducts wherever they run through unheated areas.
- Seal up the largest air leaks in your house—the ones that whistle on windy days, or feel drafty. The worst culprits are usually not windows and doors, but utility cut-throughs for pipes ("plumbing penetrations"), gaps around chimneys and recessed lights in insulated ceilings, and unfinished spaces behind cupboards and closets. Better yet, hire an energy auditor with a blower door to point out where the worst cracks are. All the little, invisible cracks and holes may add up to as much as an open window or door, without you ever knowing it!
- Set your thermostat back (forward) when you can accept cooler (warmer) conditions. This generally includes night time and whenever you leave your home for several hours. Many people find it easier to use an ENERGY STAR programmable thermostat that will automatically adjust the thermostat based on your time-of-day instructions.
- Schedule an energy audit for more expert advice on your home as a whole, or learn how to conduct your own by visiting the Home Energy Saver Web site. A directory of available energy audit services by state is available at RESNET.
- Insulate. If your walls aren't insulated have an insulation contractor blow cellulose into the walls. Bring your attic insulation level up to snuff.
- Replace aging, inefficient appliances. Even if the appliance has a few useful years left, replacing it with a top-efficiency model is generally a good investment.
- Upgrade leaky windows. It may be time to replace them with energy-efficient models or to boost their efficiency with weatherstripping and storm windows.
- Have your heating and cooling systems tuned up in the fall and spring, respectively. Duct sealing can also improve the energy efficiency and overall performance of your system (warm-air furnace and central air conditioners).
- Know that you are making a difference!
Associate Broker, Southern Prime Realty
Saturday, July 21, 2007
In a recent FORBES MAGAZINE ARTICLE, Woodstock, GA is listed as the 10th fastest growing suburbs in the nation.
Woodstock is in a moderate climate, has a beautiful old main street with restuants and shopping, many affordable neighborhoods, excellent schools, several golf courses and recreation areas, plenty of parks with events continually scheduled in them, a major interstate situated conveniently nearby, a huge mall one exit south, and plenty for families to do! As you can see by this graph, Woodstock is a city full of children -
Would you like to be among the numbers who call Woodstock home? If so, why not give me a call today and I will get to work on finding just the right house to fit your needs. 770-862-8002.
Friday, July 20, 2007
Most of us have heard that the "sub-prime" mortgage market is in trouble. According to Realtor.org, over 25 major lenders have quit or severely limited this area of lending. On Wednesday, July 18th, The national Association of Realtors testified before Congress regarding a reformed FHA (Federal Housing Authority).
"REALTORS® support efforts to give consumers affordable alternatives to subprime mortgages. We believe that a modernized FHA could offer a safe alternative, especially for borrowers with less than perfect credit,” said John Anderson, broker-owner of Twin Oaks Realty in Crystal, Minn., testifying on behalf of NAR. See the rest of this article here. FHA loans have come back in vogue. Not that they ever left us, but the market produced products that made FHA loans less attractive. That is changing because of the sub prime markets colapse.
Research by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show that the cost of home ownership is going down while the cost of renting is on the rise. With the large inventory of entry level homes available, now may be the best time for renters to own their first home. For those of us who can remember buying our first home, it brings back memories of fear and cold sweats! I personally thought that the $52,000 we paid for our first house was all the money in the world and that I would never pay it off. Looking back, even though I was scared to death, it was the best financial move I ever made.
If the thought of buying your first house has you curled up in the corner, give me a call @ 770-862-8002. I can help you decide if this really is the best time for you to buy your first home.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
I was reading this article by Freda Savana about pools and I thought it was good enough to share. There is a lot of controversey and questions about pools. Many sellers think they add value to the house. Many buyers are put off by the cost of maintaining them and keeping them in good repair. So what's the deal with pools anyway?
Walter Molony, spokesman for the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, says that pools can be "a double-edged sword" when it comes to a home's resale value. "For people who like them they are a plus, but for families with small children it may discourage them from a purchase," he says.
After reviewing almost 30,000 home sales in Philadelphia from 1996 to 2003, NAR reported in 2004 that property values jump about 8 percent because of in-ground pools and fall by roughly 2 percent because of above-ground pools.
If you have an in-ground pool that has been well-maintained and you live in a nice neighborhood, your pool will likely be an asset. If your pool is above ground, you may want to consider removing it before you decide to sell your house. Otherwise, you may need to take less money for the house.
For more information on maintaining pools, you can visit this site .
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
1. Let others know who tagged you. (E-Babe)
2. Players start with 8 random facts about themselves. (see mine below)
3. Those who are tagged should post these rules and their 8 random facts.
4. Players should tag 8 other people and notify them they have been tagged. (This will be a challenge because I'm so new to the Blogoshpere but I will give it a shot!)
My Random Facts:
1. I'm happily married
2. I'm grateful to be a dad
3. I love dogs
4. I'm somewhat musically inclined (except when singing with headphones on)
5. I love to talk about real estate
6. I'm becoming a trivia junkie
7. I like card games
8. I love sleeping late - because I never get to!
I'm going to tag the following people:
I'll have to think about the rest!
Monday, July 16, 2007
Allow me to explain: When markets are sluggish and the prices are in a holding pattern or downward trend, people begin to worry that it's a bad time to buy and they don't. This is a costly mistake. The best time to buy any investment is when prices are low. (Stock Market Rule #1: "Buy low, sell high" - Also applies to real estate). You can get some amazing deals right now! It is a buyers market... especially in Atlanta. Ands there is a glut of houses listed so you have many more choices and sellers are more open to negotiate on things like price, terms, repairs and even help with financing.
Why wait another minute? NOW is the time to get that investment property you've always wanted. I can help you find a cash flow stream, show you how to get a tenant in and let them pay your mortgage for you while the value of the house, along with your net worth, grows every day. Give me a call and let's talk about your real estate investing strategies.
Sunday, July 15, 2007
A lot of people are interested in flipping houses for big profits these days. And there is a good reason: you can make great money while improving a neighborhood and providing a buyer with a nice, newly refurbished home. It's a win-win... IF it's done correctly.
I have "flipped' more than 20 properties in the past 6 years and I can share with you some of my experiences, tips and help if you are interested in doing this type of work. There are some hard and fast rules that novices either don't know or ignore. Let me help keep you from making those costly mistakes. Give me a call today @ 770-862-8002 and, together, we'll find a deal for you!
Saturday, July 14, 2007
Friday, July 13, 2007
It is a simple technology that uses a small radio transmitter to broadcast facts and features about a house in a small area near the home. The transmitter is placed inside of the house and stays on a continual loop so that a potential buyer can hear it over and over.
When you list a house with me, I will put one of these signs in your yard so that potential buyers can listen to all of the features that make your home stand out above the rest. This sign keeps people off of your lawn (to get flyers that are continually running out, getting wet and causing your grass to be trampled on). This Talking House is a free service to my customers.
If you are interested in listing your Cherokee or Cobb County house for sale, please give me a call today at 770-862-8002. I will show you all of the tools I plan to use to get your house sold quickly. Thanks!
Associate Broker, Southern Prime Realty
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Many sellers do not realize that as they customize their homes, they need to comply with current building codes. If you fail to follow the code, you may have a difficult, if not impossible time, finding a buyer when you are ready to move. Although you might think your repairs and customizations are safe, the local governments and building inspectors may beg to differ. Don't let this problem become one that costs you big bucks down the road. If you would like help finding an inspector or contractor to check your house out, please give me a call today and I can hook you up! 770-862-8002.
German power supply company Transtechnik plans to add 45 jobs to its facility in Ball Ground, Ga., Gov. Sonny Perdue announced after a meeting in Munich, Germany with company officials.
The company moved its manufacturing operations from New Jersey to Cherokee County in March 2006 and now has 47 employees. The company makes power supplies for mass transit systems such as the Las Vegas Monorail and MARTA. Transtechnik is adding capacity because it is branching out into subcontracting for original equipment manufacturers.
Read the rest of this article by clicking HERE.
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Friday, July 6, 2007
The average 15-year fixed rate mortgage popular for refinancing inched higher to 6.41 percent. On larger loans, the average jumbo 30-year fixed rate nosed higher to 6.97 percent. Adjustable rate mortgages behaved the same, with the average one-year ARM and 5/1 ARM each rising, to 6.24 percent and 6.48 percent, respectively.
Fixed mortgage rates are roughly one-half percentage point higher than three months ago. At the time, the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 6.25 percent, meaning that a $165,000 loan would have carried a monthly payment of $1,015.93. With the average 30-year fixed rate now 6.74 percent, the same loan originated today would carry a monthly payment of $1,069.09.
Fixed mortgage rates still remain the better refinancing alternative for adjustable rate borrowers facing sharp payment adjustments. (Source: Bankrate.com)
If you would like to get mortgage information or find out what type of load you would qualify for, please give me a call today!
Thursday, July 5, 2007
Hank Miller from the same site writes:
"We've seen a bit more activity in the North Atlanta real estate market over the last two weeks as relocation buyers from around the country add to local buyers. Now that schools are out in most states, transferees are starting to appear - and that's a good thing! If you're headed to North Atlanta, you'll be pleased with the area as well as the standing inventory of both new and existing homes."
I could not agree with Hank more! I have never seen such inventory of gorgeous homes and beautiful properties. It really is a great market. Even more good news on the horizon, too, according to Cully. He states: "There is plenty of evidence that our leaders and citizens will rise to the challenge of welcoming new residents while maintaining and improving our quality of life. Consider:
- The Quality Growth Task Force is analyzing and developing recommendations for responsible land use and quality growth throughout region.
- The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) is advancing the area's first transportation plan, called Mobility 2030. The plan identifies the most congested corridors, establishes goals to fix the worst first, and is recommending accountability and performance measures.
- Future area transportation projects include funding for commuter rail to encompass surrounding counties.
- The newly-created Regional Arts & Culture Leadership Alliance will begin to drive initiatives that will benefit and nurture the arts throughout the region including Atlanta.
- The Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District, along with city and state legislature have agreed on guidelines to provide for the region's future water needs, and the local economy will continue to grow through entrepreneurs, as well as big corporations.
- By targeting innovative industries, our research universities offer immediate advantages to emerging fields, such as the biosciences and other technology.
- Internationally, our leaders have positioned Hartsfield-Jackson Airport to continue to be America's gateway for emerging nations and the transportation hub for the entire Southeast.
So there you have it, this market is not one to be afraid of, but rather one to embrace! We have every reason to believe that this next year will be one of the strongest years for any buyer or seller in the north metro Atlanta area. If you need to sell a house or property, look at some to consider buying or you just want to know what you should be doing if you are thinking about doing either, I will be glad to speak with you. Give me a call today at 770-862-8002.
Sunday, July 1, 2007
Don't let what happened to this house happen to yours! Ask your Realtor for help navigating the waters of home ownership.