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The difference between $1000 and $7.29

Most buyers think by saving $1,000 off the asking price, they're actually saving $1,000.

This isn't entirely true. 

As a buyer you're most likely financing between 70% and 80% of the purchase price.   At an 8% interest rate you only take $7.29 out of your pocket per month for every $1000 you add to your mortgage. That means it would take 137 months or 11.43 years for you to take $1,000 out of your pocket. Most people don't own their homes for 11.43 years.

Now, as a Seller, for every $1,000 you come down in price it's exactly $1,000 out of your pocket.

The difference between $1000 and $7.29 is the single most misunderstood concept of real estate negotiations....

3 "If's" for Today's Market

If you purchased your home 8 years ago, you'll be able to sell it for more than you paid.

If you bought it within the last 2 to 3 years, unfortunately the market has softened and you'll not be able to sell it for as much as you paid.

If you bought it 5 years ago, you'll be selling it for the same amount you paid....

Sell Low, Buy Lower - The New Economy of Real Estate

Most Sellers in today's market are holding out for their price - waiting for the market to bring them what they need so they have enough of equity to put a hefty down payment on the more expensive home they've been dreaming of.

The harsh reality is this:  If you do wait until the market goes up so you have enough equity to move to a higher priced property, unfortunately the price of the higher property has appreciated as well and you'll be faced with the same situation.

Here's an idea...

Sell your home today at the best price the market will bring and then go out and get a great deal on that higher priced home of your dreams.

I call this the "Sell Low, Buy Lower" model of real estate....

$38,596.23 - A Lesson on Home Inspections

When I bought my first home I was clueless.  So clueless, in fact, that on the advice of my Real Estate Agent, I hired a cabinet maker (long story) to inspect my home.  HIs report consisted of one page with a few checkboxes and a "notes" section at the bottom with 3 lines.  On the top line he wrote: "This home is in fine shape."

That's it.

A year later I got my real estate license and was approached by a young home inspector who, in attempting to network and build business, offered me a free home inspection on my personal home so I could see how he operates.  His report was 35 pages long - there were checkboxes, of course and a notes section at the bottom of every page.  The result was not as forgiving as the first go 'round. 

$38,596.23 later my home was "in fine shape".

When you buy a home...hire a professional Home Inspector.  I recommend someone who comes with both...

Who Wants to be a Millionaire Real Estate Investor?

Investing in Atlanta Real Estate?

Where should you put your money?  Stocks? Bonds? Real Estate?  Of course, the answer to that question will vary - depending on your individual resources, your threshold for risk and how many years you might be from your target retirement date.  Few traditional models of low risk investment portfolio's mention the benefits of real estate investing - especialy for those of you that still have some gas left in the tank before retirement age.

Investing in the Bottom Line:

Over the long run...the Stock Market has always been a fairly "low-risk" investment with a good return.  In fact, from 1987 to 2007 the S&P 500 has appreciated at an average rate of almost 10% annually.   The NASDAQ, just over 11%.   Home prices over that same time period rose at an average rate of 5.6% per year annually.

The numbers don't lie and it's clear why most financial analysis would focus attention on the...

Here are some investments that PAY...

Here are some investments in your home’s exterior that I’ve found through firsthand experience can have a huge ROI (return on investment):


It should come as no surprise that surveys show that painting the exterior of your home results in the greatest return on time and money invested when compared to other improvements done for selling purposes. An investment of $1,000-$2,000 can mean adding $3,000-$4,000 to your asking price. And if you can do a good job yourself, your profit is even greater. Even if your home doesn’t need the full treatment, check the trim around windows and doorways for cracking or peeling, and do any necessary touch-up work.  Many buyers form their first, and
often strongest, opinions before they step out of the car.


Another key first impression is made by the grounds of your home. If you can improve the attractiveness of your landscape without...

Who wants to be a Millionaire Real Estate Investor?

For years we have all heard the stories of people making a fortune speculating in real estate. But what precisely is speculating? Is it just a fancy word for investing? Not quite. Speculating generally refers to the practice of flipping properties before they are even complete. Now, that being said; it also needs to be pointed out that speculating comes with a great deal of risk and only works at specific times in specific locations. The kind of locations where speculating works are areas that suddenly have a huge drawing power like trendy vacation spots, new ski resorts and new construction areas that are close to famous attractions. Great examples of areas like this were Florida and Las Vegas in the early 2000's.

Now, speculating is really not for the average home buyer as the risk that is associated with it is remarkable. The problem with speculating is that once the attraction for a certain market wears out, someone will be left with a white elephant. In order to be successful...

Select Home Improvements That Pay...

Generally speaking, there are two ways to go about home improvements. You’re either going to splurge on your home because it’s your palace and you simply want a beautiful place to live, OR, you’re going to take a more logical, pragmatic approach designed to increase your home’s value.

It takes saavy and experience to achieve both. Many homeowners expose themselves to the very problems they’re trying to avoid in the process of home fix-ups.

Take Tom and Carol Jenkins, who four years ago purchased a 3 bedroom 1 bath home in Oakhurst for $190,000. Since buying their home, they’ve spent over $120,000 renovating it, adding a master suite, updating the kitchen and baths and making it the “perfect” place to live. A few months ago, they put the home on the market at $359,900. They sat on the market for 6 months with an agent who couldn't sell. I listed their home in July of this year and sold it a 26 days later. The best offer they received...

The Foundation of Successful Sales...

Over at Bloodhoundblog Cathleen tells of a great experience around the importance of cleanliness in the sale-abilty of a home and the dismay over agents who fail to realize this simple fact.

Even if the sellers insist on shooting themselves in the foot, why would a listing agent join them in self-destruction? Taking a listing takes time and money. Why do something with half the effort when you know that anything less than full effort is doomed to failure?

Great question Cathleen...penetrating, really...and some of the best advice conducive to listing and selling real estate that I've heard. And because I work in a market where many of the homes I sell are 60 to 80 years old, plagued with "paint-can" renovations and hack-job remodels, often times a clean home is the least of my worries. Inspections are notorious "deal killers" in this neck of the woods and it's not uncommon to...
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