Should You put in a Pool?

It’s the heat of the summer, and you want a swimming pool. Before you go off the deep end, make sure the benefits outweigh the drawbacks.

Swimming pools are a strong part of the outdoor living trend. They’re fun for all ages, they promote fitness, and they give you a great place to entertain family and friends. They also add costs, increased liability and ongoing maintenance. So, to help you decide if it’s worth it, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you and your family members swim now? Would you swim more in a pool of your own?
  • Will the pool complement your home? Or would the pool replace another amenity, such as a play-yard?
  • Where will people change their clothes and use the restroom? Will they leave tracks through the house? (Don’t laugh. When you decide to sell your home, this is what buyers will ask.)
  • Is there a community pool in your neighborhood? Are private pools popular?

And finally, how will this pool affect my resale value? Will I recoup the dollars I invest? Pools can be wonderful, but before you make this decision, consider consulting a real estate professional to help answer these questions.

In other words, call or Email Cathi at The Lund Group …

Resource: Berkshire Hathaway Talking Real Estate – eNewsletter –  July 2018

Should you wait?

Tags

, , ,

Home prices have been rising for over seven years, and mortgage interest rates for five years. So, should you wait to buy a home? The numbers say no.

According to the National Association of REALTORS®, the median existing-home price is more than $250,000, the highest it’s ever been. If you wait to buy a home, you’re losing the opportunity to build equity, or ownership, in a home of your own.

If you’re worried that homes are priced too high and you’re afraid of losing money, consider this:  the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that prices for housing were 50.88% higher in 2018 versus 2000, for an average increase of 2.31 percent a year. The average inflation rate for the same period was 2.07 percent. Homeownership beat inflation by 0.24 percent.

In North Fulton County, over the past year, the average price for homes sold increased by 5.4%

Mortgage interest rates hit all-time highs in October 1981, when a benchmark 30-year fixed rate was 18.45 percent (with 2.3 points paid by the borrower), according to Freddie Mac. The lowest took place in November 2012 at 3.35 percent with 0.7 points. At about 4.5 percent for a conforming fixed-rate for those with good credit, mortgage interest rates are still tantalizingly low.

The best time to buy a home is when you want to, not when you think the market timing is best.

Unless you have a crystal ball, you don’t know if prices and interest rates will recede, plateau and or rise. Look at home buying for the long term, and you’ll be glad you didn’t wait.

As always consult your financial professional for interest rate information and advice. What’s happening in your neighborhood? Let’s have a conversation. My 30 years plus of experience will help you make the best business decision. Call or Email Cathi at The Lund Group …

Resource: Talking Real Estate, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, June 2018

Ask Alexa what your home is worth!

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Georgia Properties is pleased to announce our new Atlanta Real Estate skill for Alexa and Google Home. Just enable the “Atlanta Real Estate” skill to search properties and check home values. This is the most advanced real estate skill available and we are just getting started. The emerging frontier of voice-activated devices is rapidly emerging as a method of accessing information. All the tech titans are entering this market with new devices coming this spring from Amazon, Google, Apple, and Facebook. Amazon is the leader so far with over 70% market share.

Our next release will include buyer stats. When you ask Alexa or Google Home for your home value, the response will be something like, “Your home is estimated to be worth $450,000 and there are 750 active buyers looking for a home like yours right now. Would you like to be connected to your Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Georgia Properties agent to meet them?” This new release will be available in the next few months. Look for more details soon!

Source: Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Georgia Properties Real Estate Advisor

Pricing your home for the wrong reasons….

Tags

, ,

Some sellers believe it’s smart to price their homes high, yet, through the years we have learned that it is a fallacy to price a home for any reason other than what a qualified buyer is willing to pay, given market conditions and other sales.  A home is worth what a buyer is willing to pay for it and what it will appraise for.  That’s the bottom line.

Often sellers think …“Buyers want to negotiate, so we need room for negotiations.” Sellers tend to think that no one will pay the asking price for a home. In reality, if the home is priced properly, and the expectation is set with the buyers/buyer’s agent that there is no negotiating room … buyers will pay the asking price!  In today’s market with low inventory and so many competitive bid situations, buyers are often willing to pay more than the asking price.

“We need to get a certain amount of money out of our home…what we paid, plus what we have spent on improvements.” The buyers don’t care about what was actually spent on improvements when looking at market value.  However, we always make a list of improvements with associated costs that buyers can pick up along with the brochures we provide.  Those improvements help the buyers with a perception of value.  Improvements also matter to the appraisers if done within the past 5 years.  That being said, a seller does not typically get dollar for dollar out for what they have spent.

“My neighbor’s home sold for a certain amount and I think my home is nicer, so my price should be higher.”  That home must be compared to yours … ie, features and benefits, square footage, age, improvements and updates and more.  An experienced agent can give you a picture of the entire market and then narrow it down to your subdivision or to the homes most like yours.  The analysis will determine if your price should be higher or lower than your neighbors.  In addition, buying a house is an emotional decision, so emotions factor in.

“The market is much better, therefore, my home should sell for a lot more than it was worth last year.”  Your real estate agent will need to determine what homes are selling for in your specific area.  Often one part of town appreciates much more than another and the stats need to be analyzed carefully.

Proper pricing is the most important part of the selling process. In order to obtain the highest possible price, it’s important for every seller to have professional and honest advice from an experienced Realtor who has knowledge in your specific area. Sometimes a house will sit on the market and it is hard for a potential seller to determine why.  Typically, the answer is that the price is too high, or the condition of the home is not up to standard.  There are other conditions that will affect the price … backing to a busy road, steep uphill or downhill driveway, synthetic stucco, little or no yard, mold, water in the basement, very dated inside (not up to standard,) among others.

If you want to get top dollar for your home, call us at 770-993-9572 to make an appointment.  We’ll be able to tell you what your home should sell for, about how long it will take, and what it is we’re doing to get all of these homes sold.  From there, you can decide what’s best for you!

Cathi Lund
The Lund Group
Top 1% Worldwide

Resource:  excerpts from Talking Real Estate, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services

How will the new tax laws affect homeowners?

Tags

, , ,

The new tax laws will definitely have an effect on Georgia homeowners. There is a new $750,000 cap on mortgage interest deduction, a fact that will have an impact on a percentage of owners in the higher price points. In addition, the cap of $10,000 on the combination of local and state property and income taxes will have negative consequences for some homeowners. If there is an upper-end slowdown in sales as a result, we hope that it will not have a long-term effect.

On a brighter note, according to REAL Trends, historical patterns indicate the general economy will get stronger this year. Business owners will benefit from lower taxes, which leads to more employment and more income for workers. That’s certainly a positive trend!

Doubling the standard deduction for singles and married households should also help prospective homebuyers who are saving for a down payment.

The Lund Group has a positive attitude (always) about predictions for a strong housing market in 2018. The cities in which we do a great deal of business (Alpharetta, Roswell, Woodstock, Cumming, Canton, and Marietta) are growing, and with that growth comes a strong real estate market.

The biggest obstacle in 2018 is likely to be low inventory, especially in the lower and mid price points. Three months or less of inventory creates a strong seller’s market where buyers are often competing for the homes they are attempting to purchase. It is helpful to work with an experienced agent from The Lund Group, as we know how to compete and win the bid for our clients. Our knowledge and expertise are big benefits!

We expect interest rates in 2018 to increase, so when you are ready to make a move … we can help! Just Email Cathi or call our office at 770-993-9572.

Atlanta REALTORS® Market Brief: October 2017

Tags

,

The numbers are out for last month’s Market Brief!

The Atlanta REALTORS® (ARA), the largest association of its kind in Georgia, has released it’s October 2017 Market Brief on residential housing statistics in metro-Atlanta. The Market Brief, compiled by First Multiple Listing Service (FMLS), provides the only regionally focused synopsis of monthly sales and home prices for single-family residential properties. Covers 11 counties: Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Paulding and Rockdale.

Click on the link below to view the entire report. For the best effect, click on PRESENT at the top left-hand side of the page.

via ARA- 10-2017-MarketBrief | Piktochart Visual Editor

The numbers are important. Just Email Cathi or call our office at 770-993-9572 so we can explain how they will influence your specific real estate situation.

Making Repairs after the Home Inspection

Tags

,

One of the most taxing parts of the selling experience is dealing with the buyer’s inspection.

After you have negotiated a contract on your home, the buyer does a home
inspection. After reviewing the report, they send you (the seller) a copy of the report along with the request for repairs. There is typically just a few days for getting estimates and making decisions. This can be stressful for both seller and buyer.

Inspections are very detailed and include anything and everything the inspector sees that he or she deems not up to par … and some items noted will seem very picky. This doesn’t mean that the inspector intends that the buyer would ask the seller to repair everything.  It’s a matter of full disclosure on the inspector’s part.

Photo credit: Foter.com

Unfortunately, the inspection report always comes at what is a period of high stress  … the seller is making plans to somehow move out on time and is sometimes living out of town.  Remember … it’s a process, and we just need to work through it.

The first order of business will be to get estimates so that you can make informed decisions.

Fortunately, we have a list of vendors who are honest, reliable and responsive:  paint, wood repair, electrical, plumbing, heating and air, flooring, masonry, roofing, landscaping and more. This helps enormously in both preparing homes for sale and with requested inspection repairs. Our vendors do quality work at the best prices!

Just as important … You need an experienced and skilled negotiator to help guide you through the process toward the best possible outcome, and this is exactly where The Lund Group excels.

Just Email Cathi or call our office at 770-993-9572. We’ll tell you more!