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The 3 "D's" :: Decluttering

A simple system for getting your home market ready is to focus all your attention on what Joshua and I like to call the "3 D's" of home staging ::

And the first step in a successful home staging process is to get rid of the clutter.  Clutter is anything that makes your home (and rooms) look small, cramped, disorganized, busy or untidy. Clutter can be too much furniture, too many photos, piles of mail, too many accessories or even clashing paint colors. Clutter is anything that might distracts your buyer from seeing the good features of your home.

"Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left...

Land of the Lost ... Decade.

Between 1999 and 2009 the US economy experience zero net job creation. Middle-income households made less in 2009, when adjusted for inflation, than they did in 1999.  And the net worth of American households ... also declined when adjusted for inflation.

And Corporations pay the nominal price for years of systemic fraud.

...

You Make Money When You Buy—Not When You Sell

Here’s the bottom line: while you may actually receive the profits from your house when you sell, the amount of those profits is largely determined by which house you bought and how much you paid. If you make poor decisions when you buy the house, you won’t make money when the time comes to sell the house. It’s that simple. 

You’ve probably heard that location is everything in real estate.  It’s true, and if you buy well, you’ll sell well. This truism is the cornerstone of real estate investment strategy; here’s why. In less desirable locations, homes are cheaper, and so-called good deals are easier to find. Less desirable locations are often  in areas of older and smaller homes, and buying a home there will involve higher upkeep costs and lower appreciation. In other words, the years of mortgage payments and the cost of upkeep will yield less return on your investment when you sell.

The two important keys to remember are, the better...

Three Prices for Every Home

Experience shows there are three prices for every home ::

There is the price the buyer would love to pay.
There is the price the seller would love to get.
And there is the price the home will eventually sell at.

...

Lower Anxiety and Improve Marketability

One of the anxiety highpoints during the sale of a home is waiting for the buyer’s home inspection report.  Though most sellers willingly disclose what they know about their home to any potential buyers ... the concern stems from the inspector finding something that they’re totally unaware of and that it will either cost them a lot of money to correct or the buyer will simply use it to void the contract.

If the inspection does reveal some unknown problem with the home, it’s probably as big a surprise to the buyer who is not as emotionally or financially invested as the seller.   And it's human nature to fear what you don’t understand.  So when a report identifies defects, your buyer may simply opt-out of the home.

A simple solution to the situation is for the seller to have the home inspected prior to putting it on the market.  There is still a risk of becoming surprised by an unknown defect which at that point, would have to be...

Scary Accurate Predictions from 1993

Watch this video – you will get a kick out of this:

 

“…And the company that’ll bring it to you: AT&T”

Well, AT&T did help transport the 1?s and 0?s on their fiber optic lines.  But… AT&T didn’t bring us these things.

They didn’t cash in. They imploded.  Google, Motorola, Skype, Paypal and Apple brought us these things, and cashed in.

Question for you ::

What technologies are we going to have in 2033?

Do you think they will be brought to us by… Google, Motorola, Skype, Paypal and Apple?

Or will it be a new crop of companies nobody’s ever heard of?

Post your comment below.  Have a great weekend.

...

Market Highlights: September 2012

from the New York Times...

Even some of the cities that suffered the most in the housing bust are showing signs of improvement, with prices beginning to recover in places like Miami, Atlanta and Detroit, according to the latest housing data. Several factors have helped: investors have bought cheap properties, reduced inventory has led to competitive bids, and lower interest rates have buoyed buyers — at least those who can qualify for a mortgage.

from S&P Dow Jones...

Data through June 2012, released today by S&P Dow Jones Indices for its S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, the leading measure of U.S. home prices, showed that all three headline composites ended the second quarter of 2012 with positive annual growth rates for the first time since the summer of 2010.

The S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index, which covers all nine U.S. census divisions, recorded a 1.2% gain in the second...

Secure Your Future -- Invest in Atlanta Real Estate

There are a number of reports and studies circulating on the internet and in the media about Americans’ lack of retirement planning. A survey conducted by LIMRA, a financial services trade association, showed that approximately 49 percent of Americans say they aren’t contributing to any retirement plan. (1) While this trend isn’t exactly new, it’s still a concern considering that retiree health care costs have increased an average 6 percent a year since 2002, according to a study by Fidelity Investments. (2) Additionally, according to a new Gallup survey, Americans’ expected retirement age has increased from 60 to 67 over the last decade and a half. (3)

It’s clear that saving for retirement has become more important than ever, but many pre-retirees wrongly assume that when they reach 65, Medicare will be able to cover most of their health care expenses. Unfortunately, this just isn’t the case, and many Americans are forced to continue working past age 65....

4 Reasons to Buy Atlanta Real Estate Now (Before It's too Late

If you’ve been considering investing in Atlanta real estate, you’re in good company! Existing home sales are up in January for the third month in a row. One out of every four buyers were investors. The difference between them and you? They took action!

Still not convinced? Here’s what Warren Buffett recently had to say about residential real estate: “I think it’s about as attractive an investment you can make.”

Are you really going to let this incredible opportunity pass you by while others are building their wealth through real estate?

Just consider these four reasons to buy real estate now—before it’s too late!

Historically Low Interest Rates

Why are low mortgage rates (below 4% for 2012) so important? Low interest rates mean lower payments; lower payments mean more possible cash flow.

Cash flow for a real estate investor is what he or she earns after paying all the expenses related to the property. For example, if expenses are $1,000...

113 Mary Gay Court

113 Mary Gay Ct, Decatur GA 30030

113 Mary Gay Court, Decatur GA 30030

MLS #: 5042447

Located in the Swanton Hill subdivision in the heart of Decatur, 113 Mary Gay Court is a 2 bedroom 2.5 bath renovated brick townhome. The kitchen has been totally remodeled with solid granite counters and stainless appliances. There is a landscaped front yard, a patio, and a one car garage.

113 Mary Gay Court, Decatur GA 30030 Fireplace Do you find yourself being reachable by cell phone, email and text messages at all times? If you yearn for the idea of simplifying...

55 Candler Road

55 Candler Road NE, Atlanta GA 30317

55 Candler Road NE

East Lake | Atlanta GA 30317 | MLS# 5035634

Located in the historic East Lake neighborhood in City of Atlanta, 55 Candler Road NE is a 3 bedroom 2 bath renovated cottage sitting on an oversized corner lot with side entry/off street parking.  The kitchen has been totally remodeled with solid granite counters and soaring cathedral ceilings.  There is a a wood entertainment deck off the back and a large, fenced backyard. According to the owners the home is about 1650 square feet.

What sets this home apart from others in the area is it was built on a large CORNER lot.  A less discerning buyer might mistakenly discount this home because of...

1401 Juneau Court

1401 Junea Ct, Tucker GA 30084

1401 Juneau Court, Tucker GA 30084

MLS #: 5023603

Located in the Montreal Woods subdivision in Tucker, 1401 Juneau Court is a 3 bedroom 1.5 bath renovated brick ranch. The kitchen has been totally remodeled and the living room expanded.  There is a landscaped front yard, a patio, and large, fenced backyard. According to the owners the home is about 1450 square feet.

Ask your agent if this is true: Do some sellers intentionally set a low price when they want to sell quickly? It does not happen often, but the answer here is "yes". Priced at $174,900 to bring instant attention, this home won't last long on the market.  And you will perk up just knowing...

Oakhurst Real Estate: A look back at 2011

The 2011 Oakhurst Real Estate market had an uncanny resemblance to the 2010 Oakhurst Real Estate market with a total of 92 homes sold ranging in price at the low end of $125,000 to the high end of $795,000.  That's just 5 more homes than 2010 when a total of 87 homes sold ranging in price from $113,000 to $638,000.   

In 2011, the average Oakhurst home listed for $378,131 and sold in 85 days for 94.35% of list price at $349,252.    That's a slight improvement when compared to 2010 when the average Oakhurst home listed for $368,635 and in 101 days for 94.86% list price at $343,956. 

A quick look at the numbers and we discover the improvement in average sales price is, in large part, because of the higher total sales volume of homes sold above the $500,000 threshold.   Although the exact same number of homes, 14, sold above the half million dollar mark in both 2011 and 2010 -- this segement realized an 11% increase year over year.    In 2011 it accounted for $8.513 million dollars...

Metro Atlanta Luxury Short Sales

A quick look at the short sale market reveals there are several homes in the $1,000,000 plus price range currently listed as potential short sales.  From Luxury Estates to Penthouse Condominiums -- there's a little something for everyone.  And an excellent opportunity for buyers to negotiate deep, deep discounts on preforeclosure listings. 

Luxury Short Sales & Pre-Foreclosures

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Stuff to do: Virginia Highlands Summerfest 2011 - June 4th and 5th

Saturday, June 4, 2011 – 10:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. 

?Sunday, June 5, 2011 – 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m Scenic and historic Virginia Ave.

(between ?North Highland Ave. & Park Drive)

FREE ADMISSION (?Donations to the Va-Hi Civic Assn. are appreciated)


As you can tell from my previous blogs over the last month or so I've been delighted to highlight some of our great city's summer festivals. Each year I find that the festivals get larger and more entertaining, this year's (28th annual) Virginia Highlands Summerfest is no different. Not only has the festival grown in size with the amount of vendors and people over the years, but this year brings a couple better known musical acts as well. Most notably will be Collective Soul's Ed Roland and...

Atlanta Foreclosure Report: April 2011

Foreclosures notices for April 2011 in the Metro Atlanta market dropped by 28% from March 2011 and 18% from April 2010. What does this mean for the foreclosure market here in Atlanta? Well ... as much as we'd like this to mean foreclosures have seen their peak, it's more reasonable to assume the precipitous drop is due to recent changes in lender requirements.

Pervasive problems with improper paperwork led many lenders to slow down the filing process. They're now taking extra steps before advertising properties for foreclosure; making certain to dot all the "i's" and cross all the "t's". Those extra steps, though necessary to protect the legal interests of big banks, are causing homes to sit longer before hitting the market as REOs (real estate owned).

This months totals are the lowest since February 2009 ...

Here's a quick breakdown of the top 5 counties and their totals:

Gwinnett County led with 1,567 total filings. Right behind Gwinnett is Fulton County with 1,463....

Stuff to do: Kirkwood Spring Fling, 5k Road Race and Tour of Homes - Saturday, May 14th - all day long

*Family Friendly


The 9th annual Kirkwood Spring Fling kicks off at 8am on Saturday, May 14th with a 5k Road Race. The main festival will last from 10am-11pm - the live music ending around 11pm. The festival includes music, arts and craft booths, food booths, a kids area, a tour of Kirkwood area homes and a 5k race. You can register for the 5k race on the day of the festival for $25. This is only the 2nd year the festival includes a 5k run so come out and make it an event to remember. You can find all the information you need here.


This year is exciting musically because the headlining act is Atlanta's own Drivin N' Cryin. Drivin N' Cryin have made a national name for themselves over the past 25 years and I think its exciting to have such a big name come to such a localized festival. They will appeal to folks of all ages so I really recommend you head out to see them if you can. Other music acts include Simplified, The Deadfields, The Axis, Brass Knuckle...

Tax Deferred Exchanges: An Introduction

There is a way to defer the taxes on the "sale" of a property being used or held for investment purposes or trade. Its referred to as a Tax Deferred Exchange. You may also hear it called a "Deferred Like-Kind Exchange" or a "Section 1031 Exchange" or a variety of other terms; we're going to stick to tax deferred exchange or TDE. First, let me say that you must use, by law, what is called a "qualified intermediary" to complete a TDE. Its also highly recommended that you have an attorney that can explain the legal aspects of the exchange.

In simple terms…you can defer (postpone), and in some cases, eliminate the capital gains tax on an investment property you're selling. The catch? You have to be purchasing a "like-kind property" to "replace" the one you're selling. In short, its the simultaneous to semi-simultaneous swap of one property for another. This allows you to maintain more of your money to put into a replacement property. I'll go into detail on the definition of "like-kind" a bit later.

 - A bit of history...

Stuff to do: Sweetwater 420 Festival and 5k Run (April 15th-17th)

*kid friendly
*environmentally friendly

Local Atlanta brewery Sweetwater is back again this year with their annual Sweetwater 420 Festival, taking place in Candler Park on April 15-17. The festival has traditionally taken place on just 1 or 2 days but this year they are expanding to a full 3 days of sun, beer, music, art, crafts and many more activities around environmental and greening initiatives. The festival is always in April to coincide with Earth Day and features a variety of booths and companies that exist to draw awareness to environmental and social issues. This year also includes the addition of an adult comedy tent hosted by the newly renovated and improved Relapse Theatre on 14th street.

The festival also includes the 7th annual Sweetwater 5k race. They are currently accepting entries but will be limited to just 2000 runners. All proceeds from the 5k race will be donated to the Candler Park Neighborhood Organization, Inc. You can find all the information you need by clicking this link:
...

Stuff To Do: Decatur Earth Hour

Earth Hour Bonfire and marshmallow roast in Decatur Square. Saturday, March 26th at 8pm.


 This Saturday, March 26th at 8pm, Decatur will host a family bonfire and marshmallow roast in honor of this year's Earth Hour. Earth Hour was started in 2007 and involved 100s of countries and 1000s of people across the entire world turning off their lights for one hour to raise awareness for climate change…and also as a way to show that its possible for global coordination on such important issues.


Its a great family event to help draw awareness for energy conservation and climate change. At 8:30 they'll be a countdown to turning out lights in the square and around Decatur for 1 hour to join in this year's global effort....

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