Friday, March 28, 2008

Atlanta, #2

Last week I focused on Cherokee County's growth. The news today is about the Atlanta region. According to the US Census Bureau and this article from, the Atlanta Metro Area grew by 151,063 people between July, 2006 and July, 2007. This make us the second fastest metro area behind the Dallas, Ft. Worth Texas area.

Not to take away from the folks in Texas, but I been to there and Georgia is a much better place to live. I know the people of Texas are great and friendly and all, but Atlanta is such a prettier place and the people are just as friendly and nice. I believe our economy is much more broad based which will fair better during any downturn and will recover faster than a market which is more narrow in focus.

As I wrote about last week, the current buyer's market will end sooner here than most areas and we are already seeing trends that point to a recovery. Don't let this market turn before you take advantage of it. Call me today and let's find the home of your dreams before we wake up and find it's a sellers market again.

Michael Bradford

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Here we grow again!

Georgia had 18 counties in the top 100 in population growth. According to U.S. Census Bureau reported by the AJC here, Forsyth County ranked No. 8 in the nation, increasing its population by 7.2%. It was the fastest-growing Georgia county. Cherokee County was ranked 6th in the state, 18th in the nation and grew by 5.3%.

It is easy to see why Georgia has the most counties in the top 100. While we have had problems keeping up with the growth, like water management, urban sprawl, and congested roads, for the most part Cherokee County has done an excellent job with the resources given to them. Our schools are doing great, unemployment has remained low and housing has remained affordable.

The current buyers market in Cherokee county will change sooner than other areas of the country. We need to keep in mind that we live in an area that is going to continue to grow and be prepared for the thousands of new comers looking for a better life.

If you are thinking about buying a house in Cherokee County anytime in the near future, I would recommend that you take advantage of the current market before it changes. I can help you find a great deal and would consider it a privilege to assist you.

Michael Bradford

Monday, March 17, 2008

Try Before You Buy.

Lease/purchase, rent ot own or lease option, whichever name you call it, has become more and more popular. Even investors who would prefer to rent their properties are offering them as a way of getting qualified people into their houses. has an article here that explains much of the details.

This can be an excellent way for buyers to try the house and neighborhood on, so to speak, before they have to actually buy it. Owners get another tool they can use to get an empty property occupied or get the freedom to go ahead and move to their new house without fear of their present house sitting empty.

If you have thought about lease purchase as an option for you, please call me. They are not for everyone and I can share more details to help you decide if this is right for you.

Michael Bradford

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The End Of The Buyers Market?

We all know that it has been a buyers market for a couple of years now. Human nature always wants to resit change and we are usually surprised when it happens. Are we going to be caught off guard when the market changes back to a buyers market? You and I both know it will eventually happen. Is there any way to predict when?

What we can see from current trends is that new housing starts are much lower than ever before and applications for new developments have almost stopped completely. It can take 2-5 years before a new project is proposed and when new homes are ready to be occupied. We live in an area that will continue to see economic growth. I believe we are going to be caught unprepared with not enough housing units in the pipeline or available for the demand that will continue to grow. It takes time to ramp up new construction and because not much is happening now, a lot of builders are closing up shop and moving into other lines of work.

After the current overstock of housing inventory is depleted, where will the new home buyers of tomorrow find a place to live? Wherever it will be, the prices will go up because as always demand sets price. Those who bought when supply was plentiful and demand low will be looking at a day when they can sell high. The problem will then be where are they going to go. They will have a hard time replacing the home they have with something comparable. What can you do to take advantage of the current buyers market?

The best thing would be to buy rental properties and hold on to them for a couple of years. Demand will continue to rise so prices will also rise. You are not trying to replace your primary residence but selling an investment, which as we all know you should do when prices are high. I know lots of people who bought low in 2001-2002 and sold high in 2005-2006. You can time this market but you won't do it by following the crowd. You have to buy when everyone else is selling and you have to sell when everyone else is buying. It is simple logic.

If you need help finding great investment properties, give me a call. I can help you meet your goals of buying low and selling high. Real estate is still one of the best and safest investments you can make if you do your homework. Start your education today.

Michael Bradford

Monday, March 10, 2008

The Tax Man Cometh!

It's that time of year when accountants and CPA's get very busy. For those who do their own taxes, or for those of us who have a lot of preparation to do before the accountants even get the information, it can be a daunting task. I am all for the Fair Tax and wish it was a reality now. We have a lot of work ahead of us to change the current system, and until then we will have to work with what we have.

What we have is a system that rewards debt on most real estate. The tax code also rewards appreciation or capital gains on your primary residence, up to a limit, depending on your marital status, and if you have owned your home long enough. Here is a good article from that gives great reasons for home ownership from a tax standpoint. With all of the negative reporting on what is happening in the real estate market, we must remember that owning your own home it is still one of the best ways to accumulate wealth and save on your taxes.

Most people think the day you sell your house is when you make money on it, but in reality it is when you buy your house that most of your profits are made. Sure, you can time the market somewhat when you sell to maximize your gains, but in the end if you paid too much in the first place, it will reduce your profits later when you sell. Time can dig you out of a bad purchase, but don't let that happen to you.

Everyone knows when investing you should buy low and sell high, right? Well, now is an excellent time to buy low! Don't miss the bottom of the market! On Thursday, I will talk about how the buyers market we are seeing in Atlanta will be back to a sellers market before the rest of the country, and that it will be here faster than you think. Interest rates are great, prices are low, and supply is plentiful. Now is the time to buy low, and start looking for the day you can sell high, and avoid the tax man all the way to the bank.

Michael Bradford

Thursday, March 6, 2008

5.5% Interest Rates?

According to, we could see 5.5% interest rates this year. Will that be enough to encourage the housing market and spark a rebound? According to this article, maybe not. Economist Brian Bethune said, "People are going to stay away from the market if they see instability, and lenders are going to have a hard time valuing properties and issuing mortgages."

This may keep some people away but then again, everyday people have to move for one reason or another. A new job, divorce or other life circumstances will always keep a certain portion of our population moving. Even though the market has slowed down, it has not stopped. If you find yourself in the category of people that have to move now, please give me the opportunity to make it as pain-free as possible. I can market your home to a very broad base of internet home buyers and help you strategically place your home prominently in the online community.

Over 80% of home buyers today start their search on line. Let me show you how we will leverage that trend to make your home stand out among all the others. Call me today and let's get started.

Michael Bradford


Monday, March 3, 2008

Ignore The Headlines!

It has been a tough year to decide what to do if you want to buy or sell a home. This Time article make some great points as to why you should buy a home now. But for every positive article like this, you have more negative ones like this one at telling you why renting a home instead of buying might be better. If you need to sell a house right now, you do need to realize that prices are flat and you will need to price it realistically for it to sell today.

What is a realistic price? A good indicator would be to go back 5 to 7 years, find the value then and increase it by 2-3% a year. While this is a very simplistic and often times the wrong approach, it can help us see the long-term, steady increase the house would achieve without the wild run-up of prices we saw a couple of years ago.

If you are renting and have stable income, even just OK credit and a little cash, now is a great time to buy. What is keeping a lot of people on the sidelines are the headlines about record foreclosures, people losing their homes and the sub-prime loan meltdown. All of these thing, while significant, should not keep qualified buyers from possibly the best buyers market we have seen in years.

Let me help you determine if now is the best time to enter the home ownership market. I can help you find a great lender and a great home.

Michael Bradford