Atlanta Real Estate News & Market Trends

Curious about Atlanta real estate? So are we! In our blog, you'll find a wealth of information covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. We invite you to review the trends and news in the market and don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions!  

April 18, 2022

Home Values And Mortgage Rates Are Rising. What does that mean for you?

Rewinding to the beginning of this year, projected mortgage rates would average 3.6% and max out around 4.7% by the end of  2022. As you can see, according to the chart below, we’ve already surpassed that expectation and we’re not even half way through the year.

 

 

 

Rising inflation, escalating geopolitical uncertainty and the Federal Reserve’s actions are driving rates higher and weakening consumers’ purchasing power. So where do we go from here? According to the chief analysts at BankRate, mortgage rates will remain above 4.0% on the 30-year fixed, with inflation figures continuing to move to the upside throughout the year. You should expect the pace of rate increases, however, to be more moderate.

With both mortgage rates and home values continuing to increase throughout 2022, it would definitely be better to buy sooner rather than later if you’re in a position to do so. Simply because the longer you wait, the more it will cost you. While you’ll be paying a higher price and a higher mortgage rate than you would have this time last year, one huge upside to buying a home right now is that the rising prices will have a long-term benefit once you buy.

 If you purchase a home today valued at $400,000 and put 10% down, you would be taking out a $360,000 mortgage. Your mortgage payment would be around $1,807 a month (excluding insurance, taxes, and other fees that may vary by location). Considering that average forecasts call for a 9% increase in home values in 2022, that $400,000 house you bought today could be valued at $436,000 by this time next year. It is one way to make the rising home price appreciation greatly benefit you and your net worth.

     Mortgages are forecast to continue to rise and home values are expected to continue to rise at double digit levels for quite some time.

If you’re thinking about waiting until next year because “Maybe rates are higher, but you’ll get a deal on prices “– that’s a risky move. It may be more advantageous to purchase this year relative to waiting until 2023 at this time.

Posted in Market Updates
April 17, 2022

Prepare For Your Homebuying Budget

 

I don’t know about you, but when it came time for me to buy my first home, I felt pretty intimidated. Especially when I realized just how much I needed to save. Most first time homebuyers are not completely aware of those costs But you should know, you’re not expected to have all the answers yourself. There are plenty of trusted experts who can help you understand your finances and provide a good idea of what you’ll need to budget for throughout the process.

To get you started, here are a few things experts say you should plan for along the way. Be sure to contact your Atanta Real Estate Agent for customized guidance.

1. Down Payment

You’ve likely already been working towards a savings goal for your purchase, and your down payment is surely already top of mind. There is a very popular misbelief that, you need to set aside 20% of the home’s purchase price for that down payment. Fortunately, because of the many loan products and services available,  that’s simply not always the case. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) says that is one of the biggest myths among future home home buyers. This is critical knowledge to know what you need to save. The exciting news is, you may be able to put as little as 3.5% (or even 0%) down in some situations. To understand your options, partner with a trusted professional who can go over the various loan types, down payment assistance programs, and what each one requires.

2. Earnest Money Deposit

Another thing that almost every buyer I run into is unaware of is an earnest money deposit. While it’s not necessarily required, but in todays highly competitive market, it is very common because it can help your offer stand out in a bidding war.

What exactly is an earnest money deposit? This is the money you pay as a show of good faith when you make an offer on a house. This deposit works like a credit. It is not extra money toward the purchase. Instead, you’re actually using some of the money you already saved for your purchase to show the seller you’re committed and serious about their house. Instead of an added expense, it’s actually just paying some of your saved funds up front. This is how it works: The deposit is made from you (the buyer) to the seller when you submit your offer. The funds are typically held in by a third party trust. Upon closing the transaction, the money will usually be applied to your down payment or closing costs. If the earnest money deposit somehow exceeds these expenses, you may receive a credit at closing.

Your earnest money deposit could be the very first check you’ll write toward your purchase. The amount varies by state and each individual transaction or offer. 

Factors that may determine the amount of your earnest money deposit could be the current market, what your agent recommends and seller preferences. On average, expect your earnest money deposit to be between 1% to 3% of the total home purchase or offer price.

Be sure to work closely with a real estate advisor to understand any requirements in your local area and what they’ve recommended for other buyers in your market. They’ are there to assist and help you determine if it’s something that could be a useful option for you and how to use it to the best of your benefit.

3. Closing Costs

Closing costs will be the next thing to plan for. These are the upfront fees and charges in connection with your mortgage loan transaction, lender fees and attorney fees. Generally included, but not limited to a loan origination fee, title examination and insurance survey, attorney fees and prepaid items such as escrow deposits for taxes, insurance or even HOA fees.

Basically, your closing costs will cover the fees for various people and services involved in your transaction. Your closing costs will typically make up approximately 3.5% of the home purchase prices. Usually, your lender will provide a closing disclosure about three business days before closing. This is to allow some time to make sure all the necessary fees are available and avoid sticker shock day of closing.

The savviest buyers plan ahead for these expenses so they can come into the process prepared and as stress free as possible.

 

THE KEY TAKEAWAY

“If you’re in the market to buy a home, your down payment is probably top of mind. And rightly so – it’s  likely the biggest cost of homebuying. However, it is not the only cost and it’s critical you understand all your expenses before diving in. The more prepared you are for your down payment, closing and other costs, the smoother your homebuying journey will be.”

To make sure you understand these expenses and any others that may arise, let’s connect so that you have reliable expertise on what to expect when you’re expecting to close on your home.

Posted in Buying a Home
April 6, 2022

Atlanta Homeowners - Prep to Net the Highest Possible on Your Sale

Are you ready to get the absolute most for your home? Make sure you address the major concerns that may been overlooked for months, maybe even years. Most sellers don't realize that it's during the inspection period that more sales transactions fall apart. And it's all because of what you didn't know. To help you gain the most profit for your sale, take of advantage of our offer to have a free pre-listing inspection. Get ahead of any major issues and make a plan on the best way to address them. 

Posted in Selling Your Home
April 6, 2022

Atlanta Housing Market 4/22

 As of today, theres   still an imbalance of supply and demand which means home values will continue to rise. Not as much as last year, but on the rise nonetheless. So If you’ve been thinking about selling and are on the fence, Consider this. You guys as homeowners have an excellent opportunity to get the best of both worlds as sellers and buyers. By getting ahead of the curve and leveraging your growing equit, you get to place a stronger offer than most and purchase your next home before prices climb higher. 

Once you make your purchase, there's peace of mind in knowing that ongoing home price appreciation continues growing in value of your new investment. Not as quickly as last year, but still at historically high rates.

In this market, as homeowners, you guys are the winners when you sell and when you buy.

 

Posted in Market Updates
Feb. 26, 2022

Homeowners Pre-sale Documents and Paperwork

Documents, documents, documents. Seems to never end when you’re selling your house. And it can add to the stress having to sift through drawers and boxes, trying to gather what you need to get to the closing table.  You’ll need to complete a Sellers Disclosure to let buyers know about any material facts and condition of the property. This is a legal document and it’s important that it’s as accurate as possible.  Having this information collected and organized is going to make it so much easier to fill out that form. You’ll be so happy you did.

Here’s a list of what you’ll need and a downloadable link to keep your own copy and check off as you gather them.

1.       The original sales contract with the purchase price.

2.       Any permits or certificates of occupancy

3.       All documents related to title and ownership of the property and property surveys.

4.       Pre-sale inspection reports

5.       Documentation and receipts for improvements and repairs.

6.       Mortgage documents, including pay off estimate.

7.       Instruction manuals and warranty information for appliances being sold with the home.

8.       HOA monthly dues, covenants and restrictions

9.       Tax records

Posted in Selling Your Home
Feb. 25, 2022

Prepare Your Home To Sell

 

If you’re a homeowner and you are considering selling your property, there are a few things I want you remember.

First and foremost, find a great real estate agent. Sure, you can sell your home yourself, but the majority of the time, you will absolutely sacrifice time and leave quite a bit of money on the table. So, find a knowledgeable realtor that you’re comfortable working with.

Consider your curb appeal. Buyers do tend to judge a book by its cover. Painting the front door, pressure washing the front porch or adding some flowers to your yard can make all the difference. Don’t spend a lot of money here (unless it’s necessary) Investing in relatively easy fixes can dramatically improve the overall exterior appearance of you home. 

 

Declutter and depersonalize your space.  Remember that less is more. You want to show buyers that the house will have plenty of space for their own stuff. This can be challenging for you as the homeowner still living on the property. Try to designate a space like the garage or one room to collect unnecessary items and belongings. And remove your personal items to allow buyers to project their own vision of living there.

Consider a fresh coat of neutral paint. You might love bright blue and yellow accents, but to a potential buyer it could be a turn off and a deal breaker. The last thing you want to do is make it difficult for buyers to see themselves living there. If new paint throughout the house is out of the question or too much for your budget, at the very least give attention to baseboards and scuffs of the walls.

Finally, fix any minor issues. Like loose handles, missing light bulbs, lose wiring. It can easily make a buyer think, “what else is broken here” and cause them to re-consider the other house down the street.

The best real estate agents will help remind you of these things and give you tips on how to net the absolute most from your investment. If you’d like a free walk through and consultation on how to get your house market ready. Give me call. Always here and happy to help.

Posted in Selling Your Home
Feb. 21, 2022

Atlanta Housing Update 2/22

Interest rates are on the rise and we’ve started to see mortgage rates hit 4%. The majority of homeowners have locked in interest rates well below that which in many cases disincentivizes them to move and give up that low rate. Their hesitance will continue to effect resale inventory. But new construction is on the rise. So if you are qualified and looking for a home right now, I strongly suggest partnering with a knowledgeable agent and search for new build communities. It’s important that you and your realtor are diligent because, simply, you’re not the only ones interested in that community so there will be a ton of interest. As interest and  building materials continue to climb with each new building phase, so will total sales prices. So call or text today. I’m more than happy to preview properties on your behalf and schedule a fun day of touring to help find your dream home. And don’t forget to follow on youtube in case you miss any updates that I happen to post herel 

Posted in Buying a Home
Feb. 14, 2022

Found Mold? Here's What You Need To Know

On the surface, it seems harmless. But a little water can be a pesky intruder for homeowners, and the smallest amount could become a major problem. It can hide and become deeply saturated in materials long after flooding, accumulate from high humidity and ultimately produce mold that can damage homes and put you at risk for chronic health conditions. These wet conditions need to be addressed promptly and properly, according to local mold remediation expert, Jeff Atwood of Epoch Environmental.

A lot of home owners unfortunately assume that they can take on the task of getting rid of this possibly dangerous growth by using bleach. It seems to get rid of it because it lightens or bleaches the visible part of the mold. But that’s just the surface.  “Mold spores dig down deep into pores of textures … and now… you’ve just fed it moisture so it may spread even more.”

What, then, is the best course of action? Call your local biohazard and mold remediation specialist. Jeff of Epoch Environmental is certified and has years of experience in biohazard cleanup, water damage restoration and mold remediation. He uses filtered devices to vacuum up spores and sprays any remaining affected area with an antimicrobial to kill the mold. He then uses a process to filter the dirty air and exhausts it outside the home via a sealed off window or door. The goal is to eliminate airborne mold spores from the environment. I found it interesting to learn that while the chemicals are strong enough to eliminate the microbial growth, it’s not harmful for humans or animals. Great news if you have little ones, elderly ones or fur babies.

As far as expense, water damage is often paid for by an insurance claim. Each policy is different, so owners need to review their coverage. Some policies have mold exclusions or limitations. Another great tip that’s discussed in more detail in the attached video interview is to be careful when calling into insurance companies and describing your problem. Insurance companies don’t like the word “mold”. To them, mold happens gradually when a moisture problem is not taken care of, so they may consider it “neglect.” If you continue to run into roadblocks, a highly trained “Public Adjuster” may be your best next step. The public adjuster or PA as we call them will review the policy and legally advocate on your behalf with the insurance company to get as much coverage as possible. Costs will vary. So, it’s best to call Jeff directly to get a custom quote.

Check out and save the video interview to refer to later. Click here to reach Epoch Environmental and make sure you’re in excellent hands if you find your home invaded by that pesky invader called mold.

 

Feb. 9, 2022

HOUSING INVENTORY IS AT A RECORD LOW. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN FOR BUYERS?

It’s looking like it’s going to be another impressive year for real estate. The only thing that’s slowing down is the rate at which home values are rising. Mortgage rates remain at historic lows, but one thing that buyers are struggling with is the  lack of inventory. At this point, it’s at an all time low so I’m offering some helpful tips to help you land your dream home.

The  you’re seeking may not be on the market today, but trust that tomorrow and the day after and on and on, new homes will hit the market. When your one and only dream home becomes available, it’s super important that you’re prepared and ready to act quickly with your pre-approval. So, make sure you’ve connected with a great lender and be ready to make your offer.

You also need to partner with a dedicated full time real estate agent that has a large network of agents to work with. This will give her insight into what’s coming on the market before it’s advertised online, giving you the perfect opportunity to consider it first.

Location should always be a top priority. But if you’re not attached to one specific area, widen out and explore others. Expanding your search parameters will offer a greater selection among the few that are available.

Don’t forget new construction. This is one option that often gets overlooked. As a new construction expert, I make it my business to know when and where all the new properties are. In some cases, it may mean waiting for your new build to be complete. But new construction communities offer several options and often come with many incentives that make it worth the wait.

Finally, be patient and don’t freak out just because there’s not much to choose from today. Homes will not stop becoming available. Be prepared, be persistent and make sure you’re working with an enthusiastic realtor that’s dedicated to helping you reach your home ownership goals.

Posted in Buying a Home
Jan. 19, 2022

Moving To Georgia? Check Out Cobb County

 

With its diverse and vibrant communities, booming economy and affordability in the housing market, it’s no wonder thousands of people are moving to Atlanta from all over the country. Atlanta, Ga is truly a city where people of all walks of life come together. And according to a Forbes contributor, it's become a cultural capital as well. Through the years, Atlanta and its surrounding cities have become an international hub for travel, the arts, sports, shopping, and award-winning restaurants. With the abundance in green space, culture and rich history, it’s easy to fall in love with living here. And if you’re planning to make the move, you’ll want to keep a few of the most desirable communities on your radar. Allow me to introduce you to Cobb County.

 

MARIETTA

With locals that average around 32 years old, Marietta, is one of Atlanta’s most beloved neighborhoods, located in Cobb County, Ga. If you’re looking for a nice area to start settling into your adult life, a newlywed starting a small family or looking for a family friendly community, this is where you want to be. With tranquil vibes, plenty of housing options, thousands of acres of green space to wander and great public schools, Marietta is a strong contender for newcomers.  And being a short distance to Atlanta makes it perfect for those moving here who “want to be away from the lively city but still be close by”

When you’re not in the mood to cook, you’ll find an endless selection of 4- and 5-star places to eat in Marietta. From sushi or pizza to Mexican or Greek food, the city has something for every palate. It’s also an easy task to find fun and entertainment throughout the city. From Six Flags Water Park, sports venues to museums and nightlife.

Marietta’s housing market has an average price of homes currently at $406,500  trending up 8.4% year-over-year. On average, homes in Marietta, GA sell after 42 days on the market. The city hosts 13 public schools rated good and higher including one of the top five elementary schools in the entire state of Georgia. It’s home to a thriving city square and steeped in history. As of 2020, Marietta, Ga. was named one of the top 10 cities to live, in all of America.

 

SMYRNA

Smyrna, a suburb of Atlanta, also located in Cobb Co. is one of the best places to live in Georgia. It offers all the benefits of living in a suburb without the stuck-in-a-suburban-neighborhood feel with most residents owning their homes. Smyrna celebrates almost any and every holiday with a downtown festival and hosts Food Truck Tuesdays during the summer. At all of these events you can see hundreds of families and singles alike joining in on the festivities.

To quote a current local, “What I enjoy most about living in Smyrna is the openness of the city and the small-town vibe. It’s an excellent area with quick access to two major highways, multiple nightlife options, entertainment and diverse neighborhoods.”

The median listing home price in Smyrna, GA is currently $400,000, increasing about 3.9% each year. Public schools are rated above average, and you can find at least 4 private and charter schools as well.

 

VININGS

One common description you’ll hear from locals to describe Vinings is “beautiful”. With all of its lakes, woods and greenspaces, it’s truly a charming place to live.  A peaceful place for peaceful people. Vinings offers residents an urban feel with the best of both worlds - the convenience of living just outside of the city and having the peace of the suburbs at night. There are plenty of places to shop, dine, explore and overall just a great place to live in northern Atlanta. And should you get a craving for the city life, Vinings is located just inside the perimeter with most of Atlanta’s amazing attractions less than 30 minutes away.

As of December 2021, the median home price in Vinings, GA was $525K, trending up 22.9% yearly. It’s a great time to buy. Take it from long time Vinings residents. You will absolutely love living here.

 

ACWORTH

With a population of only about 22,500, Acworth is a small town nestled northeast of Atlanta. In much of the community you’ll find older neighborhoods and well maintained homes with good bones. Newer communities are sprinkled throughout. Together these neighborhoods make up diverse and friendly communities. The one word I always hear used to describe Acworth is “friendly”. Weekend nights you’ll find the downtown area sidewalks full of these friendly people visiting local shops and dining. And on any nice day, several lakes and green spaces for water activities with people of all ages enjoying the mild climate.

Home values are very affordable here with the median home price at $375,000. It’s a great area to buy as homes are trending up 19.1% year-over-year. .  

 

 

POWDER SPRINGS

Northwest of Atlanta in the Southwest corner of Cobb County is Powder Springs. The scenery is beautiful, the homes are spacious, the neighborhoods are quiet and the families are friendly. The downtown area offers unique dining and shopping experiences, with an eclectic mix of restaurants and shops. There is also around 243 acres of greenspace and parks where you’ll often find families walking trails, riding horses, riding bikes or participating in one of the many community sports.

The median listing home price in Powder Springs, GA was $359K, increasing 15.8% yearly. The peak buying season is quickly approaching, so let’s connect!

Posted in Community News