Relevant Real Estate Issues

One of the insights that I have been routinely reminded of over the last 34 years is that every real estate transaction has the story of people and families associated with it.  Each house contains the experiences, memories; crises and hopes of the families that have lived there.   I was vividly reminded of this recently as I was inspecting foreclosures prior to the Foreclosure Auction in Gwinnet County.

From the street it was obvious that the house had been neglected.  Yard and trees overgrown, siding falling off allowing the elements to enter the house, and unlocked for two years allowing anyone to have access.  Upon entering the house the depth of the chaos that existed while the family had lived there became very clear.  Each room was littered with

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Closing Cost and Transaction Fees

One of the many challenges faced by both Buyers and Sellers in today market place is the increasing cost associated with purchasing a home.  With increased demands on virtually all players in the real estate transaction, cost continues to rise.  Appraisals have gone up, the cost of title insurance has increased, the effects of (TILA RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) are putting increasing demands on lenders and law firms resulting in increased labor and expenses, all of which are affecting the closing cost associated with purchasing a home. 

Closing costs or Transaction cost generally fall into several categories:  Loan Origination Cost, Attorney Fees & Government Recording Fees, Inspection Fees and Escrow

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In today’s tight inventory real estate market, finding good deals can be a challenge.  Once properties have been repossessed by the lender and then returned to the market you can expect higher price and lots of interest in the property. This normally means multiple offers.  In many cases once a property hits the open market they may actually sell for more than they should due to demand and low inventory.  This reoccurring theme can be very frustrating at the least and can result in over paying if not careful. 

Is There Another Option?

Depending on the amount of time one has and their source of funds, the county courthouse auctions can provide an opportunity to get on the front end of the deals. Although multiple buyers show up on  the first

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Appraisal rebuttals in Johns Creek, Roswell and Alpharetta

I recently received a call from a Keller Williams agent seeking insight into how to rebut an appraisal on a home in Roswell.  The appraisal had come in below the contract price, and her clients, the sellers were unwilling to adjust the price to the appraised value.   In an appreciating market where inventory is low, and Buyers are offering more than list price to insure that their offers are accepted, elevated values will often times need to be supported during the appraisal process.

A Recent Appraisal Rebuttal

Below is an appraisal rebuttal for a home in Roswell that specifically addresses the appraiser’s comments and approaches to the appraisal.

Click here for more information on

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  • A flyer box will be left in the foyer or other location such as a dining room table, where agents can pick up a flyer of your home and leave their card.  
  • Special feature cards will be placed throughout the home to assist would be buyers in noting and remembering key features of your home.  They will contain QR codes that will allow for a buyer to access your listing on line with their mobile device while in your home.
  • For best results you may want to tidy up before a showing.  This should include turning on light, opening blinds and leaving soft background music playing.  
  • Please put valuables away to insure their safe keeping.
  • We will notify you via text, email or by phone to alert you to a showing.  You need merely to
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This home for sale in Alpharetta provides easy access to Ga 400, North Point Mall, beautiful Newtown Park, which offers walking trails, dog park, teams sport venues, and Starbucks, which only a short walk away. A truly unique floorplan with 2 bedrooms and full bath on the upper level, and bedroom and full bath on the main, with a family room on both levels.  Great roommate plan, or for those desiring separate living spaces. Significant improvements over the last couple of years include concrete siding, new roof, enlarged deck, plus kitchen and bath enhancements.


From Ga 400, north to exit at Haynes Bridge Rd exit 9, and go right.  Proceed to left on Alvin Drive, to left on Berkshire Manor Dr, to right on Birch Rill Dr, to home on

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Atlanta Real Estate – A Return to Normalcy

As we prepare to enter spring and the time of year when the real estate market begins to awaken from the winter, we will notice that things have begun to calm down a bit. Although inventory is still a little low, and interest rates continue at less than 4%, the frenzy that existed last year that contributed to double digit appreciation rates has subsided.

This year should be a year of increasing inventories as sellers who were previously underwater have emerged, and are now able to sell.  Additionally as new home construction continues it will be an encouragement to some sellers to move ahead with their plans to move up.

For buyers, low interest rates and easing qualifying guidelines are very

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Deadline For Filing Homestead Exemption Is Near

The beginning of a new year reminds us that the tax season is soon approaching.

 As a first time homebuyer or if you recently purchased a new property, you have a tremendous tax advantage and may be eligible for what is known as Homestead  Exemption.  The term homestead exemption can refer to exemptions from property tax that homeowners can claim. It can also refer to homestead protection, which protects a person's primary residence in the case of financial hardship, such as the death of a spouse.

Homestead Exemption laws are not the same in all states.  Some states provide automatic protection under the law, while other states require the filing of a claim for Homestead Exemption. In Georgia,

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Competition for Foreclosures..
As you have heard this past year represented a reversal in housing trends.  As the number of foreclosures began to decline and institutional investors became involved in the market, prices began to rise very quickly.  The results were almost a buying frenzy, motivated by the desire to get in before prices returned to pre-crash levels.

It was not uncommon for a property to receive multiple offers.  In fact we recently made an offer on a home in Alpharetta that had 31 offers and sold for 127% of asking price.

This video is what a typical day at the auction looks like.  Organized chaos!!

Trying to Get Ahead of the Competition
In an effort to get ahead of the game we decided to work the foreclosure market for a

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After months of looking at homes in the Alpharetta and Johns Creek areas, our clients looked at a Fannie Mae foreclosure in Kimball Bridge Crossing off of Kimball Bridge Road in Alpharetta, and fell in love with the floor plan.  The problem was that it needed a lot of work.   

This Fannie Mae property had been under contract previously, but was terminated due to the buyer becoming aware of the amount of worked required after going under contract.  Once it returned to the market there were multiple offers received, and my client elected to make an offer above list price and was awarded a contract on the property.  

As we entered the Due Diligence period it became extremely important to estimate the cost of the improvements and the affect the

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