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4/9/2014 2014 Atlanta Real Estate Market 1st Qtr

First Quarter 2014 Atlanta Real Estate Market

The metro Atlanta real estate market is continuing its upward trend—something we started reporting on our blog more than a year ago. Housing starts are at the highest they have been in years in metro Atlanta and you have probably seen signs for new home communities popping up in many areas.

According to the February RE/MAX National Housing Report, Atlanta ranked in the top five out of 52 metropolitan areas for year-over-year median sales price, posting an amazing 20.3% increase!

February was the 25th month in a row where the national average median sales price has increased. That’s over two years!

Poor weather conditions throughout a good deal of January and February hampered Atlanta real estate sales, as did low inventory in some price points and neighborhoods.

RE/MAX CEO Margaret Kelly, remarked in the National Housing Report, “The improving economy, increasing new-home construction and significant pent-up demand should all be critical factors as we move into the traditionally stronger sales months of spring and summer. Sales during these months will determine the overall picture for 2014.”

So, if you’re a seller on the fence about selling or you’ve waited over concerns about getting a better sales price, contact RE/MAX Greater Atlanta today to have a Realtor create a competitive market analysis of your home and a listing price. The school year ends in less than two months and that is, traditionally, a time for much higher real estate activity as families want to change addresses and get children settled in before the start of the next school year.

 

Contact RE/MAX Greater Atlanta today at 770-973-9700.

 

3/14/2014 Getting Your Home Ready for Spring

Getting Your Home Ready for Spring

 

With the arrival of March in Georgia, Spring fever sets in with a vengeance! It’s been an unusually long and cold winter, by Atlanta standards, so the promise of warm, sunny weather has most people counting the days. This year, the calendar says Spring officially begins March 20th, but Mother Nature will make her own decisions on that!

 

Here’s what you can do to be ready when Spring hits full force:

 

  • Now is a great time to get that outdoor patio, deck or entertaining area ready for usage. Clean all patio and outdoor furniture as well as the outdoor barbeque grill. Perform some basic landscaping repairs on the lawn, shrubbery, and plants.
  • Make sure the ground around your home slopes away from the foundation wall. Otherwise, Spring rains may result in water draining into your basement.
  • Check outside hose faucets for freeze damage. If, when you turn the water on, you can easily stop the flow of water by placing your thumb over the opening, you may have a damaged pipe inside your home.
  • Check your air conditioning system. It’s never a bad idea to have an annual service done which would include cleaning the coils to run more efficiently.
  • Clean windows, inside and out, in preparation for brighter days ahead. Be sure to do this on a cloudy day because the sun’s rays cause streaking.
  • Check your lawn equipment now before it’s really needed. Clean equipment and sharpened cutting blades will make yard work a more pleasant task.
  • It’s also a good time to tackle your kitchen cabinets. A little reorganization, shelf cleaning and checking of food expiration dates will leave your food storage in good shape to take you through the summer.
  • Late in the month, designate a morning to put away that heavy, seasonal clothing so you can make room for warmer weather gear.
  • Take a little time for organization and decluttering now so you won’t have to spend time on it while racing around with summer activities.

 

And if you’re getting ready to list your home this Spring or Summer, now is an excellent time to assess what needs to be done to give your property—inside and out—a fresh look. Fresh interior and exterior paint, clean carpets and freshly finished hardwood floors, a neat, uncluttered interior and a professional-looking yard with inviting flowers and plants will go a long way toward buyers being able to imagine it as their home. Not sure what needs to be done or the current value of your home? Call a Realtor. You can reach our RE/MAX Greater Atlanta office at 770-973-9700.

3/7/2014 Daylight Savings Time-Sunday

Daylight Savings Begins This Sunday—Set Your Clocks

 

This weekend just got a little busier because you will have one hour less in which to accomplish everything. Daylight Savings Time begins this Sunday so don’t forget to set your clocks forward one hour. It’s always a good idea to check batteries in all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, too. Get into the habit of checking these the same weekend you change your clocks twice a year.

 

With the time change, days will be getting longer and all of metro Atlanta will be glad to put this cold winter weather behind us. Spring officially begins March 20. For some of you, it may give you the urge to start looking for a new home. Please be sure to utilize the home search feature on our site to get an idea of what’s available in your price point in the area or school district in which you have the most interest.

 

You can also locate information on upcoming open houses based on geographic area, home size and price point as well as get basic mortgage information and be linked to our preferred lender, a company we truly rely and trust to do the best for our real estate clients.

 

As always, if you prefer to speak to someone directly, call our RE/MAX Greater Atlanta today at 770-973-9700 if we can be of assistance.

2/28/2014 What the Olympics Can Teach You About Real Estate

1. It’s a competitive market. Listing inventory has slightly improved, but the competition for move-in ready homes in desirable school districts is still high. If you know you’ve found your dream home when you walk in, don’t hesitate to make an offer. If you do, you may regret it.

2. Do your due diligence…and having a real estate agent vs. buying on your own will help with that. Just as those Olympic downhill skiers would not have raced down the mountain without inspecting and learning about the course first, you should proceed with caution as well. Due diligence is basically about doing your homework about the property before you close—learn about the neighborhood, the school district, get a home inspection, figure out what your insurance will cost, etc.

3. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Just about every athlete at the recent Olympic games had help from one or more people—a coach, a trainer, a physical therapist, a doctor, etc.  Buying or selling a home can be a daunting process. This sense of overwhelm doubles if you’re trying to accomplish both at the same time. Enlist the help of a full-time real estate professional who specializes in your area and/or price point. Realtors can protect you from things you never even knew you needed protection from—additional stipulations in contracts, property line disputes, negotiations, etc. Agents are also an invaluable source for other reputable people in the industry—mortgage professionals, home inspectors, contractors.

4. Have grace in victory or defeat. We have witnessed some ugly negotiation processes and closings. Like the Olympics, this is an emotionally charged time, as buying a home will probably be the largest purchase of your life. Like the athletes, you may have waited years for this moment to happen. Remember it without embarrassment, no matter what tactics are being used in the other side of the transaction. So they wouldn’t leave the swing set in the yard for you or they had to extend the closing a few days. In the grand scheme of things, it won’t matter.

5. Hard work does pay off. You may have worked a long time to save up your down payment or improve your credit so you could qualify for a mortgage. You have created that list of must-haves in your next home and you’ve narrowed down the area in which you would like to live. Now it’s time to go out there with your Realtor and find that next place to call home!

1/31/2014 Atlanta Survives SnowJam 2014

Atlanta Survives Worst Storm in Years with Helping Spirit

 

As we end this week, we hope everyone in metro Atlanta made it through the snowstorm earlier this week without too much inconvenience. Clearly, Atlanta still has a ways to go to be prepared for such events, especially on our major highways and interstates. A few of our agents at RE/MAX Greater Atlanta spent the night at the office and one of our owners spent about seven hours getting home.

 

However, one of the things we wanted to point out and take away from this “perfect storm” that has its own hash tag, #SnowJam2014, is the extraordinary spirit of metro Atlantans. We saw and heard about so many great stories of people helping in any small way possible. Some students at Kennesaw State University took food out to stranded motorists on I-75. A locally based fast food chain passed out free sandwiches on several gridlocked sections of local interstates. Total strangers helped each other.


Social media proved extremely helpful as well. We especially loved the story of a total stranger going out to rescue a woman who was eight months pregnant (otherwise, she would have been stranded all night). Or the pictures of the anonymous hot chocolate guys who passed out the beverage to cold and stranded drivers.

While, post-storm, everyone wants to point fingers as to who is to blame, we wanted to be sure the hearty and helpful spirit of metro Atlantans wasn’t lost in all the blame game hype. This giving attitude is just one of the many reasons why we love to live in Atlanta, Georgia.

1/21/2014 2014 PREDICTIONS!

Atlanta Real Estate Market Predictions for 2014

 

Even economists are surprised at how quickly the U.S. real estate market is recovering. Last year was an excellent year for recovery and this is expected to continue in 2014.

 

New construction, especially in the lower price points, will continue to rise in 2014. In some counties and towns, there may be a shortage as it can take many months, if not years, to get the new construction machine going. According to industry experts, this housing increase will lead to at least 300,000 new construction jobs, further aiding in the overall economic recovery.

 

Unemployment levels, new job creation, low mortgage interest rates, reduced foreclosure rates, and housing demand/prices, are all huge factors in the overall health of our economy. And all are interconnected. Mortgage rates went up about a point in 2013 and it’s predicted about the same will happen in 2014. This would put us at a rate in the neighborhood of 5.5 percent. That’s still affordable and very attractive.

 

Keep in mind, however, each point adds about 10 percent to your mortgage cost. So if a new address is in your future, purchasing a home in 2014 before mortgage rates tick up very far will result in a huge savings over the life of your loan.

 

Nationally, existing home sales were up roughly 10 percent above 2012 levels. That pace will be roughly the same, if not better, for 2014. More people will be able to move with job stability and increased equity in their homes (thanks to rising home prices).

In Georgia, the unemployment rate dropped to around 7.7 percent, which is far from its peak of around 10 percent in 2010. As new jobs (like the construction ones previously mentioned) are created, businesses expand and new companies continue to come into the state, unemployment rates will keep improving. Georgia is outperforming national averages in many areas of the economy and this leads to additional improvements in the local real estate market.

 

Overall, we expect to be as busy, if not busier, at RE/MAX Greater Atlanta in 2014. If you see a real estate news story that talks in broad generalities or gives national statistics, feel free to contact us at 770-973-9700 to see how metro Atlanta is doing in that same area. We are often beating national averages and we’re pleased to give you a clear picture of how economic indicators translate in the local Atlanta housing market.

 

1/6/2014 Happy 2014!

From all of us here at RE/MAX Greater Atlanta, we wish our past and present clients, others in the metro Atlanta real estate community,  and anyone reading this blog, a happy, healthy, and suffessful 2014.  Whether you are halfway around the world reviewing our site for a possible move to Atlanta or you are just curious about your what's currently available in the local real estate market, we are glad you have chosen our site.  Conduct a property search, email a question or check out past blog entries that could provide you wish some valuable information.

Last year was certainly one of recovery and rebound on many levels and all indications point to this continuing in 2014.  Stay tuned here next week when we will outline our real estate predictions for the new year.  We want you to be as informed as possible, whether you are a first-time home buyer, are looking to buy an investment property or are simply looking to change addresses.  Happy New Year!

12/19/2013 Ending 2013 on a High Note in Metro Atlanta Real Estate

This year has certainly been a time of recovery and greatly increased activity in the metro Atlanta real estate market. We had a strong Spring and Summer market as well as an upswing in home prices. Our market also experienced a housing shortage for a time, meaning there were more buyers than homes to show them. This is now beginning to equalize.

From our RE/MAX central office in Denver, who puts out a monthly National Housing Report, the Atlanta market reported a 36 % increase in median sales price for all homes sold in September. This significant number ranked us in the top 3 among the 52 major metropolitan markets in the U.S.

Perhaps our RE/MAX CEO, Margaret Kelly, summed it up best. "It's normal for the housing market to slow down a bit after the peak summer season, but it's really encouraging to see that both sales and prices remain significantly higher than this time last year. The strong performance we saw this summer and throughout 2013 confirms we've passed the early stages of a housing recovery and are now moving toward a sustainable marketplace."

At RE/MAX Greater Atlanta, we are pleased to say this has been our busiest year in several years and this activity is on pace to continue into 2014. Stay tuned in the coming days when we post our 2014 housing predictions for the Atlanta real estate market.

11/27/2013 Happy Thanksgiving

From all of us at RE/MAX Greater Atlanta to all our loyal blog readers and clients, we wish you a memorable and special Thanksgiving holiday.

 

As part of our office's Thanksgiving celebration, we held our first-ever food drive to benefit the locally-based MUST Ministries. We are proud to have made a difference for a number of needy families, especially at Thanksgiving. Look for us to have other drives to help the less fortunate in our metro Atlanta community when we continue our traditions of having toy and coat drives.

 

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

10/31/2013 Stay Safe This Halloween

Tricks for Staying Safe this Halloween Increased visibility and a few extra precautions are the name of the game for staying safe this Halloween. Trick-or-treating is best done in groups and by walking one side of the street, then the other (vs. crossing back and forth). Younger children should always be accompanied by an adult and if older children are going out without an adult, they should have a cell phone in case of emergency and a flashlight. Make sure you at least know the route your older children plan to take as well as a steadfast time to be back from having their Halloween fun. With Halloween falling on a Thursday this year, it's a work night for those adults passing out treats and a school night as well, so opt for a relatively early cut-off time.Driving the little ones from house to house can be dangerous with all the pedestrian traffic and clog up the residential streets, so park at one end and walk with your children. On this busy night, it's also smart to drive below the posted speeds and be extra vigilant with no distractions such as texting or talking on the cell phone.Make sure your children know it is never okay to go inside a home. They should always wait outside at the door, no matter what. And finally, they should only approach homes with lights on and trick-or-treat only on well-lit streets. Be safe, everyone, and Happy Halloween from RE/MAX Greater Atlanta!

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