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Monday, November 14, 2011

In The News

The Atlanta Business Chronicle recently had a feature section on local residential real estate. We thought we would share some of the interesting findings with you.

~~Now is a great time to buy! Prices are in bargain territory and interest rates are at record lows.
~~First-time buyers and investors are the majority of today’s purchasers.
~~A home that is presented well in a solid neighborhood and priced correctly will still sell in less than 90 days.
~~Tastefully updated, well-cared-for homes can be in high demand as the only alternative to subpar, bank-owned and distressed properties that come with a difficult, frustrating, and time consuming negotiating process.
~~Nancy Aroneck, an Associate Broker with 24 years in the industry, states that we are now out of the “buyers’ market” in homes of $250,000 and under, and well into a “sellers’ market” in that price range. She is also seeing the market pick up in the area of over $800,000.
~~Areas less impacted include Buckhead, Dunwoody, Sandy Springs, South Forsyth and East Cobb.
~~The market is dragging in Gwinnett, South Fulton, and Stone Mountain.
~~The biggest glut is in the $400,000 to $750,000 price range. Sellers in that range are still having a difficult time selling their homes and many are still refusing to believe that their homes have lost as much value as they have actually lost.
~~Some of the homeowners that cannot sell are focusing on smaller remodeling projects to sustain the value of their homes. Those interviewed state that kitchen and bathroom updates, universal design (aging in place) and in-law suites are today’s smart investments in your home.
~~Those considering a remodeling project are cautioned against going with the lowest quote just to save money. Many have seen contractors quoting low prices out of desperation, and then cutting corners, which leaves the homeowner at risk or unhappy with the results.
~~Now is a great time to invest in real estate. Dan Forsman, president of Prudential Georgia Realty reports “investors are taking money out of the stock market and acquiring properties at prices substantially below historical values and then leasing them and enjoying a superior return on investment compared to stock market returns.” According to the NAR, investors accounted for 22% of purchase activity in August.
~~In an economy where down payment funds are scarce and lending is tight, houses for rent are hot. Many listings are rented in a couple of days, some before they even get on the market.
~~Rental rates for homes with three or more bedrooms were commanding an average of $1,637 per month in September.
~~2012 should bring some stability to the market, but it will take another two years before we see the end to the large number of foreclosures. The market is getting better—it is just taking very slow, small steps.

For more information, please see the entire section, dated October 28, of the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

Now Is The Time To

Look at your guest bedroom as if you were the one spending several nights there. Some things to consider include the mattress, pillows, and linens. Be sure there is a place to set down the suitcase. Clear the room of collections and clutter. Your guest needs space for their things. Be sure there is a clock and a comfy place to sit in the room.

Make sure there is plenty of hanging clothes storage, a supply of 6 to 8 hangers and adequate drawer space. Check out the lighting in the room. Is there a light control near the bed so your guest does not have to stumble around in the dark? A light to read by? A night light?

Also consider your window coverings. Be sure to provide privacy as well as light control. A nice blind is an inexpensive solution that allows your guest to determine how much light to allow into the room.

Necessary basics include paper and pen, scissors, tissue, and a hair dryer. Lighted make-up mirrors are always nice. Be sure your guest knows where your iron and ironing board is.

Update Your Home With New Rugs

Nothing changes the look of a room as quickly as a new area rug. We have just received a new collection of Karastan rugs. We also have Christmas rugs here in time for your holiday decorating.