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Know Before You Buy

A professional home inspection is your best defense against buying a home that has unexpected issues that will cost you time and money as the new owner.  Getting a proper home inspection on a single family home you plan to buy is a must.  Don’t ever skip proper inspections.  Ever.

There are different types of inspections that should be considered depending on the type, age and condition of the home you are buying.  Here are your options ::

General Home Inspection.  This is the common Home Inspection- the one that you and your agent will talk about.  An inspection will run you around $400 and will get you a general inspection of all of the homes major operating systems and structure.  That includes the HVAC, plumbing, electrical, roof, structure and more.  In many (most) cases, a General Home Inspection is all you need to protect yourself.  Good Home Inspectors are not difficult to come by but if you don’t...

End of Year Tax Considerations for Atlanta Landlords

While tax returns aren’t due until April, to minimize your tax headaches several you should get started well advance of the deadline according to Stephanie Phillips, our team's accountant.  With years of experience assisting rental property owners, Stephanie suggests that deducting every possible expense this year could be more important than ever, especially if you’re affected by the new Affordable Healthcare Act tax.

Under the Act, if your modified adjusted income exceeds $250,000 (filing jointly) then you’ll pay an additional 3.8% tax on any rental income or other passive income above that amount.  Rental property expenses are deductible only in the year they are paid, so December was your last chance to pay for any rental property-related expenses that you want to deduct in 2013.   So keep this in mind for 2014 -- you can pay your expenses in advance.

As far as rental income is concerned, don’t...

Guide to Setting Rental Rates in Atlanta

Setting the right rent can be one of the most difficult areas for many people who are investing in or currently own Atlanta rental property.  If your property rents out in no time, it could be an indication that you are not charging enough rent.  On the other hand, if your property seems to take a long time to rent out, it could be a clear indication that your rent is too high.  So, how do you go about setting a rental rate that is in line with the current market?

One of the best places to start is the local newspaper classifieds.  It is imperative that you do some research to find out what rent prices are driving the local market. Location is the most important factor in determining rental rates. For example, a three bedroom, two bath renovated bungalow in Kirkwood may rent for $1400 a month while a similar property around the corner in Oakhurst may only be able to draw $2300 per month.

The internet is another good resource to research your...

Tips for Being a Successful Landlord

The ultimate goal of investing in Atlanta rental property is to turn a profit.  To ensure that your rental property remains a profit turning asset it's essential that you follow several critical guidelines.

First, always make sure that you check tenant references.  This can be a burdensome step and many landlords overlook it because they feel as though they have good instinct when they meet with the tenant.  But not checking references can lead to a number of problems later on.  You will uncover a wealth of information about potential problems before you rent to a prospective tenant.

Second, make sure you have everything in writing.  This is to protect your rights as a landlord as well as the rights of your tenants.  Everything from the code of conduct you expect your tenants to abide by while renting your property to the rental application itself must be in writing.

Third, you will find that you have better success with your Atlanta rental...

About Finding a Home in Atlanta ... For Rent

Our office gets a lot of calls from potential renters.  And finding a reasonably priced, clean rental home in today's market is no small task.  From rising rent rates andshrinking inventories to decentralized advertising and soulless scammers -- today's renters are faced with some of BIG challenges.  That's why most Brokers are hestitant to lend a helping hand when the call comes in.

One of the biggest challenges facing an Intown renter in the Atlanta market is that less than 50% of the intown rentals are "Broker controlled" ... meaning half the market is  what I call "private inventory".  These are rental homes being managed by the owner and, as such, these homes are not "professionally represented" or advertised in a central online resource like the MLS.

So ... with that in mind ...  might want to check out these websites here (my personal recommended resources for finding rentals):


Washers and Dryers, Refrigerators and wine coolers oh my!

There seems to be some confusion out there as to the standard around whether appliances are included in a home's sale.  Some assume “of course they are” and others say “no” but really there is no standard and you’ll find everything from yah to a firm nay when it comes to sellers leaving appliances behind.   Whether you’re a Buyer or Seller, it’s worth understanding the options.

Know before you go.  Before touring a home as a Buyer, check the “Sellers Property Disclosure Statement” - your agent can help you here.  It will often spells out the Sellers intensions around appliances and clearly states if they will be left behind for the new owner.  In turn, it may also state the seller intends to take them in the move.  In a professionally managed sale of a home, the details of what’s included in the sale- like appliances- is often spelled out and readily available when touring a home.  Just ask.  Sellers should be prepared to provide this information early on and should...

Getting a Home Loan in 2014

Happy New Year!   And with the ringing in of the New Year comes new, tightened lending standards.  These new standards are mainly a result of an improving economy and although tighter, we’re still talking about very, very good loans. These tighter standards are all part of the economies healing process and should be expected.  As the training wheels are loosened or removed all together (governments slows the purchase of long term bonds), a healthier more stable and robust economy takes it's place- or least that’s the plan. This often equates to tighter standards and higher rates but also equates to lower unemployment and higher wages.

So, what’s needed to get a great loan in 2014 and what changes should be considered?  Well, the basic 4-C’s still apply:  

  • Credit history (credit/FICO scores),
  • Capacity (ability to afford based on your income and debt)
  • Collateral (the home you’re buying)
  • Conditions (how you plan on using the house-...
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