Your Real Estate Property Assessment

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The Fulton County Property Tax Assessments are out! Your tax bill is based on your home’s value as of January 1 of this year.

If you feel sure that the “fair market value” assigned to your home is too high, you have 45 days to appeal. Right on your assessment notice, you will see the last date you can file.

What you need to provide is evidence that supports a lower value as of January 1, 2017. What do you think your house is worth?

It might be helpful if you can see what data the assessor’s office used. If you make the request, they will send you their sales comps. The telephone # is 404-612-6440.

Then, if you contact me, I can send you a list of 2016 comparable sales from your subdivision. You will want to choose at least 3 properties similar to yours that sold for less than the value assigned to your home.

Calculate a spreadsheet or a table with the # of bedrooms, # of baths, age, and a dollars per square foot calculation for each.

You can also get information from the Fulton County Board of Assessors site. Search for and pull up your own address.  At the top left-hand corner of the page, you can click on “Recent Sales in Neighborhood.” (These are not necessarily in your subdivision but are nearby.) If you like, you can even go down to the bottom of this “neighborhood page” and pull up the results in excel. At this site, you can find all the other properties’ 2017 assessments.

Now you’re ready to file your appeal. At the Fulton County site are detailed instructions and options.  Appealing your Property Value

If you file your appeal online, you can follow its progress all the way through the Appeal Resolution Center.

Good luck! And be sure to email me if you want comps …

Buyer’s Market or Seller’s Market?

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Facts & Trends by Trendgraphix is an online market reporting system for professional real estate agents and brokers. Their guidelines suggest that a Buyer’s Market exists when there is more than 6 months of inventory based on closed sales. A  Seller’s Market: less than 3 months of inventory, and a Neutral Market: 3 – 6 months.

The inventory level of homes for sale in the  Atlanta area has been dropping steadily. In Roswell’s zip code 30075, where we do a lot of business, as of mid-April, overall there was an inventory level of 3.1 months.

Compare this to January of 2011, when there was a 15.4 month supply and in January of 2012 when the number was 9.2!

However, in the price range up to $399,999 that figure is only 1.2 months of inventory, driving multiple offers and very quick sales in select areas!

For 30075 properties priced $750,000 and above, the inventory statistics vary wildly from month to month. In the last quarter, this figure was 17.8 months.

No matter what the price range, homes should be pristine and properly priced. In some price ranges, we are generating competing offers! There seems to be a lot of urgency on the part of the buyers, with “fear of loss” working as a strong factor.

The bottom line is …  you need a professional with a data-driven approach and all the necessary tools to get the job done. Take a look at our numbers, and give Cathi a call at 770-993-9572.

What is your Secret?

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The average time on the market for our listings to go under contract in 2016 was 27 days!  (Compare that with the national average of 64 days.)

People ask us, “So what is your secret?”

My answer is always the same. There are three factors in selling your home: the price we set, the condition of your home, and the exposure we provide!

First, I will make recommendations on what it will take to get your home sold. I am able to view your home through the eyes of the buyer and overcome objections before they occur. Things like carpet, paint, staging, sprucing up outside landscaping … all these I can help you with. We have awesome vendors who do superior work and provide great pricing for our clients. This is how I can position your home to sell for top dollar.

Second, I do a great deal of research so I can price your property versus the competing homes and versus those which have sold. My in-depth knowledge of the marketplace, in particular with the number of homes we sell in this immediate area, is what allows me to price properly. I have developed a reputation for well-priced homes that are in great condition! Buyers are anxious to see the homes, and agents love showing our listings to their buyers!


Third, with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices’s outstanding technology and worldwide reputation, we can expose your property to over 40,000 websites, video sites, social media sites and mobile sites across the world! Most buyers begin the home purchasing process by shopping on the internet, and our professional photos and maximum exposure create more buyers for our listings. This is what allows them to sell for the highest price, in the least amount of time.

We have incredible tools, which I would love to tell you about! Email me! I’ll be happy to meet with you so I can share more specific information about Atlanta real estate.

I love helping people with their real estate needs!

 

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‘Love Your Home’ Sweepstakes

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Our company, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, has once again launched the exciting Love Your Home Sweepstakes promising a total of $80,000 in cash prizes!

The sweepstakes, held in conjunction with HGTV’s new hit series Good Bones, runs through June 16.

To enter, simply register at www.LoveYourHomeSweeps.com for a chance to win one of 12 weekly $2,500 prizes or the $50,000 grand prize. The first winner will be announced in early April followed by weekly announcements through June 16. The grand prize winner will be named in early July.

Last year, a Trussville, AL father of four won the $50,000 grand prize!

Perhaps this year it will be your turn … don’t miss out!

2017 National Advertising Campaign

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National advertising is important. When prospective clients drive by our signs, they are already sold on the Berkshire Hathaway name.

The 2017 national advertising campaign features a poignant television spot that never mentions “home” but instead allows you to feel the importance of home. Watch it and see if you don’t agree.

The spot, titled “Place,” includes vignettes of people both home and away acknowledging that there is truly no place like home.

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Marketing Luxury Homes in North Atlanta

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A home is one of the most important assets that most people will ever buy. You want to work with someone you can trust.

–Warren Buffett, Chairman and CEO, Berkshire Hathaway, Inc.

For your luxury home to provide you with the largest return on your investment, it must be exposed to the greatest number of prospective buyers.

There are a number of reasons why the ultimate buyer of your luxury home may emerge from outside your local market, even from outside the United States. This is due as much to demographics and technology as it is to the discretionary nature of luxury home acquisition.
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Affluent consumers are generally more mobile and more likely to be frequent flyers with more discretionary income available for travel. They frequently travel for business and are more predisposed for foreign travel.

This is why it’s critical for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices to broadcast your property to more than 70 websites worldwide viewed by potential buyers in 37 countries across five continents!

Let’s talk! The Lund Group is a leading Realtor in the sale of Atlanta luxury properties. Email Cathi or call our office at 770-993-9572.

Establishing Your Home’s Value in the Atlanta Real Estate Market

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house-purchasePricing a home is always the most difficult part of the home buying and selling process.  If a home is priced properly, is in great condition, and looks good versus the competition, it will sell!  It is a beauty contest, and the numbers must also make sense!

As licensed real estate professionals, we prepare a comparative market analysis (CMA) to help our sellers choose a listing price.  We analyze the market using competing homes, square footages, recent solds, tax data, other appraisals, and market trends. We do our homework!  We also look at homes that were on the market and failed to sell to get a clear picture. Condition and upgrades factor into the equation.  As agents who are working with buyers and sellers every day, we are tuned in to which features and benefits are in high demand and which are not.

We frequently get calls from appraisers who are gathering information for bank appraisals.  We have seen most of the properties, whereas the appraisers have not.  Banks do appraisals to determine market value, a similar analysis to what we do for pricing.  A bank needs to be certain that a property’s value is there for the amount being loaned.  Part of the real estate recession was caused by banks loaning more than a property was worth, which then resulted in many foreclosures.

In today’s real estate market, pricing is more important than ever!

We can do a free analysis on your home, or help you negotiate the right price on the home that you purchase!  Just call or Email Cathi at The Lund Group …

Atlanta End of Year Real Estate Reflections

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2016 will soon be finished! With interest rates hanging below 4% and consumer confidence up, buyers were finally making a move! Summer was the most active time of the year in North Fulton as well as in other areas since, historically due to school schedules, many families move at that time.

Call us for the specific statistics on your neighborhood.

The renovated homes are selling for top dollar. What we are finding lately is that styles have changed in the past 10 years. Buyers are looking for all the updates that they see in new homes, even those offered at lower price points. There is a demand for the lighter granites or quartz countertops. Soaking tubs are more prevalent than the Jacuzzi tubs that were so desirable 10 years ago.

White cabinets are back “in”. The dark hardwood flooring is in vogue, and the lighter oak stains are no longer as popular. Buyers seem to prefer the dark walnut for flooring–or even grays. In fact, gray color schemes are the latest, with subway tile backsplashes. Even the light fixtures of 10 years ago often appear “dated” to today’s buyer.

Buyers are no longer “wowed” by theater rooms and fancy entertaining bars. They prefer functional, updated terrace levels, and home gyms are more popular than ever. And pools, or lots that can accommodate a pool. Outdoor entertaining areas are also very desirable.

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If you are considering any updates, we can give you advice on how to get the most “bang for your buck,” in other words, the best return on your investment.  Just call or Email Cathi at The Lund Group …

We hope that you have had a wonderful holiday season and that 2017 will bring joy and good health to you and to your families.

Should You Wait to Buy a Home?

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With the rush of the holidays fast approaching, it may seem like now is not the best time to purchase a home. But that’s what makes it the ideal time to buy. While other buyers temporarily drop out of the market, sellers still have to sell their homes, which puts you in an advantageous position to negotiate.

If you’re willing to use the time that others are spending decorating, baking and entertaining, you’ll have plenty of room in your schedule to look for and compare homes on the market.
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You may find that homes for sale are slightly lower in price than they were in the summer at the height of the buying season. It may already be cooler weather where you live, making it harder for sellers to keep their homes and lawns pristine. Again, you’re in a better position to negotiate.

For new homes that come on the market, you’ll be first in line to see them without having to compete with many other buyers. These sellers are motivated, perhaps due to being transferred, or some other urgent reason.

Mortgage interest rates are near all-time lows. As the National Association of REALTORS® points out, mortgages 35 years ago were four times as expensive as they are now, and mortgage money is the cheapest money you’ll ever borrow. With fewer homes to close, your lender should be able to expedite your loan so you can move in quickly.

Tell your friends and family what you’re planning … next year, you can have everyone at your home for the holidays.

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 …

Should We Add-on or Move?

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One question that I get frequently is this: should we add-on to our home or should we sell it and buy a larger one?

My answer is … it depends! It will certainly depend on both your personal and your financial goals. What do you want to achieve with the renovation or with the move?

There are important tax implications to your decision. Read more at the end of this article.

Houses are usually designed to be the size they were originally built. When you add additional rooms your traffic flow might become awkward and your home could decrease in value. On the other hand, an addition could open up a closed floor plan and make it more functional and highly desirable in the eyes of a buyer. That, in turn, would increase your home’s value. I am happy to come by at any time to make recommendations on where you will get the most “bang” for your buck. We know what makes a difference in today’s market. We can advise you where to spend your time and your dollars on improvements and help you make the right decisions.

Add on or move? We can help you make the right decision.

Add on or move? We can help you make the right decision.

Another issue that might come up is whether or not you are overbuilding for the anticipated values in your neighborhood. You need professional guidance to make that determination … don’t rely on what you find in the well-advertised real estate value websites. Most often, those sites are looking at the broad picture only. I can fine tune that picture and focus on your immediate neighborhood. We are immersed in the real estate world on a day to day basis, and we have the pulse of the marketplace! When I meet with you, I can familiarize you with comparable competing homes and with sales in your immediate price point and area. I can tell you whether or not you will be over-improving for the neighborhood.

Every situation is different. If your lot is exceptional because of its location that could be a huge factor. If it’s on the water or on a golf course, it will have a lot of desirability. Supply and demand will dictate what makes sense and what does not.

Not sure which way to go? Let us help. We have a list of contractors who have done work for many of our clients and have received rave reviews.

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 …

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Tax Implications

The following paragraphs were written by my personal tax consultant, Earl W. Morrow, CPA, PC. We firmly believe in using the best professionals when it comes to our business! You can reach Earl at his office, 770-642-9855.

If you decide to undertake the renovation or addition, be careful to carefully document your basis in what was spent for the improvement.   You will need that information eventually when you sell that home for this reason:  since 1997 homeowners who sell a principal residence that they have occupied as their principal residence for 24 of the 60 months preceding the sale can exclude up to $250,000 of the gain on the sale of that home ($500,000 on a married filing joint return) from taxable income!

You cannot declare this type of exclusion from income any more often than every two years.

To determine what your gain in the home you sold actually was you must document purchase price, cost of all capital improvements  and costs to sell your home. If you have more gain than the $250,000 ($500,000 married filing joint) your ability to document your basis becomes tax dollars saved!

Adequate documentation consists of  Invoices for  materials and labor from contractors and vendors and  canceled checks, charges to credit cards or other proof of the payment of the invoice.

Borrowing the funds to finance the improvement or renovation can and usually is from HELOC or equity line loans secured by the residence. If not secured by the residence, the interest paid is not deductible.  The interest on HELOC debt in excess of  $100,000 or first mortgage debt in excess of $1,000,000 is not deductible. If borrowed to renovate or improve your  principal residence, that debt is considered  acquisition debt and may be deducted from regular taxable income and from Alternative Minimum Taxable Income.