13th February 2014

TBD Loan Approvals

Loan Pre ApprovalWhat is a TBD Approval? Why is it the way to go?
TBD (To Be Determined) approvals are for buyers obtaining financing who get their loan file underwritten to the furthest extent possible – without having yet identified a property to purchase. With a TBD, income, assets, credit, etc are examined leaving only the property itself to be determined. Once the purchase contract is created, the remaining needed items to fund the loan are minimal – an appraisal and title report.

Only a Bank, Credit Union or Direct Lender has this capability because they have “in-house” underwriters. The only remaining items for a “Clear-to-Close is a copy of the borrower’s purchase agreement and an appraisal on the property.

Who do they benefit? Everyone Involved.

Real estate agents know they have a solid buyer before going out looking at homes and writing up offers. A deal falling out because of a pay stub or a strange deposit on a bank statement 20 days into escrow is a huge time waste and emotional drain.

Buyers have more confidence with their offers knowing that they ‘check out’ with the underwriter before pulling out the credit card for an appraisal. More importantly – sellers have been known to accept a lower offer from a buyer who has a “Loan Approval Subject Only to Appraisal and Title”, versus a buyer who has only been pre-qualified.

Sellers have less fall out when dealing with a TBD approved buyer. If there is fallout, it would be because of the property that they are selling, not the buyer. Sellers hold TBD approved buyers in esteem somewhere between buyers who only have a ‘standard pre-qual’ and the highly coveted ‘all-cash’ buyer. There are times when sellers will actually accept lower offers from an “approved buyer” because they want or need  a firm sale date, and prefer not to risk letting a buyer who merely has a Pre-Qualification pull their property off market for 15+ days while they seek loan approval.

With a TBD Approval a lot of potential unknowns are eliminated up front, and all parties involved benefit.

posted in Home Buyers, Mortgages, New Posts | 0 Comments

10th February 2014

Atlanta No 1 Move Destination!

Atlanta Ga Number 1 move destination  Over the last four years, Penske Truck Rental has produced an annual list of its *top moving destinations in the United States. Once again, the Atlanta metro area remained No. 1 for the fourth consecutive year.

The following list of top move destinations for 2013 was compiled in January 2014, and last year’s rankings for 2012 are noted in parentheses. New to the 2013 list is Las Vegas, coming in at number10. Sarasota, FL, number 10 in 2012, was combined with the Tampa, FL metro area for this year’s list.

 

 

 

  1. Atlanta (1)
  2. Tampa, Fla./Sarasota, Fla. (new combined entry)
  3. Dallas/Fort Worth (2)
  4. Orlando, Fla. (4)
  5. Phoenix (3)
  6. Houston (6)
  7. Seattle (8)
  8. Chicago (5)
  9. Denver (7)
  10. Las Vegas (new!)

“We have seen a continued migration of Penske Truck Rental customers from the Northeast and Midwest parts of the U.S. into these areas,” said Don Mikes, Penske senior vice president of rental.

Penske created a series of infographics to complement their list of top relocation cities.  We have attached their Atlanta infographic which shows Atlanta is famous for its international sports, soft drinks and its supply of Georgia peaches. The graphic also shows Atlanta’s median household income to be $46,146, and it displays the average listing price as $448,387.

ATL Top Move Dest 4 years in a row

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Penske creates their annual Top 10 Moving Destinations list through an analysis of one-way consumer truck rental reservations made online, and through their central reservations call center.

posted in Atlanta Housing Market, Home Buyers, New Posts | 0 Comments

3rd February 2014

2013 Homebuyers- Be Sure To File For Your Homestead Exemption

Homestead ExemptionDid you buy a home in the Atlanta area last year?

If you purchased your home last year and have not already done so, file for your Homestead Exemption by the deadline or you won’t get a tax break for another year! Filing a Homestead Exemption can save you thousands of dollars in property taxes! Some states provide this exemption automatically, but in Georgia a homestead exemption must be applied for. Depending on your county, this can be done online, by fax, by mail or in person. You only have to apply for the exemption once and the exemption remains for as long as you reside in the home as your primary residence. A Homestead Exemption provides more than just a tax break. It also provides two important protections. It prevents the forced sale of a home to meet the demands of creditors and provides the surviving spouse with shelter. You may file for homestead exemption year round. Deadlines are listed below by county along with a link for a homestead application. Applications received after these deadlines will be processed the following year.

 Filing for Homestead Exemption

The Homestead Exemption is available to legal residents of Georgia for their primary homes. You are entitled to the Homestead exemption if you owned and occupied your home by January 1.  Senior citizens may have additional exemptions available – check with your county tax office.

Deadline Dates (in parenthesis)

Cherokee County (4/1): 2782 Marietta Highway, Suite 200, Canton 30114 678-493-6120 M-F 8am to 5pm http://www.cherokeega.com/Tax-Assessors-Office/

Cobb County (4/1): 736 Whitlock Avenue, Suite 100, Marietta, GA 30064 770-528-8600 M-F 8:30am to 5pm http://www.cobbtax.org/property/exemptions#BasicHomestead

DeKalb County (4/1): 4380 Memorial Drive, Suite 100, Decatur, GA 30032 404-298-4000 M-F 8am to 5pm http://web.co.dekalb.ga.us/TaxCommissioner/homesteadGen.html

Douglas County (4/1): Douglas County Courthouse, 8700 Hospital Drive, Douglasville, GA 30133 770-920-7272 M-F 8am to 5pm http://www.douglastaxcommissioner.com/

Forsyth County (4/1): 110 East Main Street, Suite 260, Cumming, GA 30040 770-781-2106 M-F 8:30am to 5pm http://www.qpublic.net/ga/forsyth/homestead.html

Fulton County (4/1): You may be able to file at one of the annex centers – please check the website for location nearest you. 141 Pryor Street SW, Suite 1047, Atlanta, GA 30303 404-730-4000 M-F 8am to 5pm http://www.qpublic.net/ga/fulton/basic_homestead.html

Gwinnett County (4/1): Call for application. 75 Langley Drive, Lawrenceville, GA 30046 770-822-8800 M-F 8:30am to 5pm http://gwinnetttaxcommissioner.manatron.com/Tabs/Property/HomesteadExemption.aspx

Hall County (4/1): 2875 Browns Bridge Rd, Gainesville, GA 30504 770-531-6720 M-F 8am to 5pm http://www.hallcounty.org/depts/taxassessor/homestead_exempt_app.asp

Paulding County (4/1): 240 Constitution Boulevard, Dallas, GA 30132 770-443-7606 M-F 8am to 5pm http://www.paulding.gov/index.aspx?NID=210

Rockdale County (4/1): 969 Pine Street, Conyers, GA 30012 770-278-7600 M-F 8am to 4:30pm http://www.rockdalecounty.org/main.cfm?id=2985

Walton County (4/1): 303 South Hammond Drive, Walton County Government Building, Monroe, GA 30655 770-267-1335 M-F 8am to 5pm http://www.waltoncountytax.com/info#returns

 What You Need in Order to File: A copy of the recorded warranty deed, Social Security numbers of all persons on the deed, the mortgage holder, and the amount of the mortgage. Note: Some counties may require a copy of the closing statement and proof of age for senior citizens.

If your county is not listed, please visit the Ga Dept of Revenue online at: https://etax.dor.ga.gov/ptd/county/index.aspx to find information for your county.

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20th September 2013

Fed Will Help The Housing Market Continue It’s Recovery!

Fed Chair Bernanke

The Federal Reserve’s decision to forgo a planned tapering off of bond-buying caught most by surprise yesterday. That included the Dow and the S&P. After the announcement made by Treasury Chair Ben Bernanke, both rocketed to record highs.

Most analysts had expected the Fed to implement a slow withdrawal of its bond-buying program … a program that presently sees about $85 BILLION worth of bonds being purchased each month.

If yesterday’s Fed move was meant to counteract a slowdown and re-stimulate the housing market … it worked.  Interest rates reacted quickly and moved downwards.

Pair this Fed announcement along with the report released by the Census Bureau showing new building permits and housing starts a bit lower than had been projected … and you understand why the Fed’s decision is seen as such good news by housing professionals … and those hoping to buy or refinance a home.

The rising interest rates seen over the last month or so (a direct result of the prediction that the Fed would taper its bond-buying soon) has definitely taken a toll. Besides the obvious negatives that directly affect hopeful new home buyers, homebuilders, and real estate professionals … there’s the fact that fewer housing starts stagnates the economy through the lack of job growth and spending power.

Meanwhile, local Atlanta homebuilders are still expressing confidence at levels not seen for several years. But concerns were definitely being raised over what was being seen and heard from the Treasury over the last few weeks.

The fact that the Fed recognized that their stimulus was still needed and changed course on actions to curtail bond buying (at least in the short-term) is a huge positive.

My suggestion to anyone that is sitting on the fence regarding an Atlanta home purchase … pick-up the phone and contact me – 678-585-9691. I can refer you to three of the best lenders in Atlanta – so you can take advantage of some of the best mortgage rates in history.

posted in Atlanta Housing Market, Home Buyers, Mortgages | 0 Comments

7th July 2013

Home Prices Up – Mortgage Rates Up

Trend upHome prices in East Cobb and North Fulton have increased month over month for the last four months in a row! Data through April 2013 presented by S&P   Dow Jones Indices for its S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price   Indices showed average home prices increased 11.6 percent and 12.1   percent for the 10- and 20-City Composites in the 12 months   ending in April 2013.  The   cities of Atlanta, Dallas, Detroit and Minneapolis posted their highest  annual gains since the start of their respective indices.   Atlanta, Las Vegas,   Phoenix and San Francisco posted year-over-year gains of over 20   percent in April. Mortgage rates are trending up as   well. The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) rose from 3.93 percent   last week to 4.46 percent this week; the highest it has been since the week   of July 28, 2011. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.66   percent. This represents the largest weekly increase for the 30-year FRM   since the week ending April 17, 1987. Despite recent gains in mortgage rates,   homebuyer affordability remains which should help fuel the ongoing   housing recovery.

posted in Atlanta Housing Market, Home Buyers, Mortgages | 0 Comments

18th January 2013

Housing Industry Awaits Mortgage Rule On Down Payment Size

If you’re planning to buy a home and have not yet taken advantage of the outstanding home prices and low interest rates you should read this. Things could get a little tougher with regard to downpayment requirements in the next few months. Hopefully regulators like the CFPB won’t go overboard because that will do nothing but harm the economy and hurt the housing recovery which is already nicely underway.

>Housing Industry Awaits Mortgage Rule On Down Payment Size.

 

Need a referral to a great lender?  Give me a call.

Robert Whitfield
Broker/Owner
Advantage Realtors
678-585-9691

posted in Home Buyers, Mortgages, New Posts | 1 Comment

2nd January 2013

A Look Back At 2012 Real Estate

2012 Atlanta Real Estate

2012 will probably be considered the year that the housing market finally hit bottom and began an upward trend back to normalcy. Home prices, home sales and new home construction all increased while at the same time inventory continued to shrink, and record-low mortgage rates continued. Let’s hope the trend continues!

These are some of the major factors affecting 2012 residential real estate, which many in the industry myself included, feel will carry over into 2013:

 

Stellar Mortgage Rates

Nationwide Mortgage interest rates continued a downward slide in 2012, reaching historic lows week after week. Record low rates helped  the recovery along by attracting more buyers into the housing market and spurring millions to refinance. The question is when will rates start to increase?

Declining Home Inventory

The market continued to clear its oversupply of homes, which had swelled during the housing boom. The drop in inventory is a major reason home prices began to rise: Buyers bid up prices because they had fewer homes to choose from. October’s inventory of existing homes represented a 5.4-month supply, according to the National Association of Realtors. That was 21.9 percent lower than in October 2011 and a six-year low.

Year of the Short Sale

Short sales were the word in 2012, as lenders continued to embrace that approach to liquidation as less costly than foreclosure. A short sale allows a homeowner to sell his home for less than his mortgage (in other words to sell his home “short” of the actual payoff amount).

Short sales of homes in foreclosure are currently on pace to outnumber sales of bank-owned properties. Daren Blomquist, vice-president of online foreclosure marketplace RealtyTrac, said that short sales of properties not in foreclosure also accelerated, accounting for about 22 percent of total sales in the third quarter of 2012.

Threat of Shadow Inventory Recedes

Worries about “shadow inventory” — the supply of distressed properties held back and not released to the market — has loomed over the housing market ever since the financial crisis began. But in 2012, estimates of the size of that inventory continued to shrink, falling to 2.3 million in the second quarter of 2012 from a peak of nearly 3 million in 2010, according to analytics firm CoreLogic. Experts now think that the shadow inventory is probably not going to hinder a recovery, as banks continue to release these properties in a controlled manner over time.

Investors Continued to Snap Up Foreclosures

Investors had to endure bidding wars in 2012 to win homes selling at bargain-basement prices and convert them into rental properties. Investors purchased 20 percent of homes sold in October 2012, according to the National Association of Realtors. In Atlanta, getting twenty offers on an REO property has become the norm, and distressed property prices have been on the rise since 2009. It has become harder and hard to find (and win) really good deals, especially in the under $60K price range due to the competition at that price point.

“Low vacancy rates and rising rental rates, along with statements by Warren Buffet, helped attract both individual and institutional investors to the single family rental market,” ReatyTrac’s Blomquist said.

New Home Construction Comes Back

In most major markets, Atlanta included, new home construction all but disappeared after the market crisis of 2007, as excess inventory made building more homes pointless. But new home construction soared in 2012, and in October reached its highest level since July 2008, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. In East Cobb alone, at least a dozen new home developments sprang up starting in early 2011, ranging in size from 10 to 20 home enclaves of higher end homes priced over $700K,  to larger 50 and 60 home communities in $500′s.

Builder confidence is way up too, suggesting that builders will continue to break ground on more homes in 2013. Experts say that declining home inventory amid rising demand from buyers is spurring the spike in construction.

“Builders across the country are reporting some of the best sales conditions they’ve seen in more than five years, with more serious buyers coming forward and a shrinking number of vacant and foreclosed properties on the market,” said National Association of Home Builders Chairman Barry Rutenberg.

Most experts believe 2013 will see the real estate market continue to improve, and prices continue to increase, but caution that a full housing recovery will depend on the employment situation improving, which is likely to take several more years.

posted in Atlanta Housing Market | 0 Comments

21st November 2012

Million-Dollar Homes Continue to Get Zoning Nod

East Cobb’s real estate market is getting another luxury priced subdivision.

East Cobb Million Dollar Homes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This home in the Heathermoor subdivision was listed for just over $1.5 million dollar and covers around 6,000 square feet of space.

A recent zoning decision by the Cobb Board of Commissioners in early October should leave little doubt about the strong health of the East Cobb luxury real estate market.

By a 4-0 vote on October 2, 2012 (with chairman Tim Lee absent) the commissioners approved a request by Brooks Chadwick Capital, LLC, to rezone 6.6 acres on Woodlawn Road, just south of Lower Roswell Road, for 21 homes that will cost an average of $1 million.

Each home will contain between 4,000 and 6,000 square feet of space. The development will be located in the heart of the Walton High School district, and a short walk from Dickerson Middle School.

As The Marietta Daily Journal reported when the request was before the Cobb Planning Commission in October, East Cobb’s top public high schools, are helping to feed the growing demand for new luxury homes. Brooks Chadwick Capital attorney John Moore told the newspaper:

“What we’ve found is that homes located in Walton, Pope and Lassiter school districts are moving as fast as you can put them up. People realize that there’s no more land left, so we expect these to go very quickly because of the school districts.”

(Reprinted from the Marietta Daily Journal, written by Jon Gillooly October 03, 2012. Read more: The Marietta Daily Journal)

 

 

posted in East Cobb Luxury Homes | 0 Comments

20th January 2011

2010 Homebuyers – Be Sure To File Your Homestead Exemptions!

Homestead Exemption

Did you buy a home in the Atlanta area last year?

If you purchased your home last year and have not already done so, file for your Homestead Exemption by the deadline or you won’t get a tax break for another year! Filing a Homestead Exemption can save you thousands of dollars in property taxes!
Some states provide this exemption automatically, but in Georgia a homestead exemption must be applied for. Depending on your county, this can be done online, by fax, by mail or in person. You only have to apply for the exemption once and the exemption remains for as long as you reside in the home as your primary residence.
A Homestead Exemption provides more than just a tax break. It also provides two important protections. It prevents the forced sale of a home to meet the demands of creditors and provides the surviving spouse with shelter.
You may file for homestead exemption year round. Deadlines are listed below by county along with a link for a homestead application. Applications received after these deadlines will be processed the following year.

• CHEROKEE COUNTY (678-493-6120) – Deadline is April 1st – Must be filed in person
• COBB COUNTY (770-528-8600) – Deadline is April 1st – Apply in person or by mail
• DEKALB COUNTY (404-298-4000) – Deadline is April 1st – Apply by mail or online
• FORSYTH COUNTY (770-781-2106) – Deadline is April 1st – Apply in person
• FULTON COUNTY (404-730-6440) – Deadline is April 1st – Apply by mail
• GWINNETT COUNTY (770-822-8800) – Deadline is April 1st – Apply online or by mail
• HALL COUNTY (770-531-6720) – Deadline is March 1st – Apply online, by mail or in person
• PAULDING COUNTY (770-443-7606) – Deadline is April 1st – Must apply in person

If your county isn’t listed here, then be sure to visit the Georgia Department of Revenue to find more information about your county.

posted in Homeowners, New Posts | 0 Comments

6th November 2010

Best places for the rich and single – Sandy Springs, GA!?

I found this interesting too – I did not know Sandy Springs was the singles Mecca it is – but with the Northside hospital complex nearby and all the young interns that attracts, it makes sense! For the single gentlemen, I do know that nearby Vinings has a high population of single women homeowners – 3-4 ladies for every man!

Anyway, Money Magazine rated Sandy Springs, GA #4 out of 25 affluent US cites where singles are abundant!

Money Magazines Description of Sandy Springs:

Charming Southern gentlemen and sweet Georgia peaches in this Atlanta suburb are making the rounds at one of three major hospitals in the area or running operations at a Fortune 500 company like United Parcel Service or Newell Rubbermaid. Thanks to the natural springs the city is named for and the Chattahoochee River that flows through it, Sandy Springs offers a tranquil and peaceful setting for romance to blossom. After taking a stroll along the riverbank, head to Buckhead, Atlanta’s vibrant uptown district, for a night on the town. –H.Y.

I agree – young doctors and interns will find Sandy Springs very convenient to the major hospital complexes at Northside, St Josephs, and Emory!

A few stats:

Population: 82,674

Single: 35.6% – (that’s a high ratio of singles)

Median family income: $115,171 (That ranks in the top 25 of all 100 Best Places Cites)

Median Home Price: $380,000

Whether you’re a Grey’s Anatomy type in the medical field, rich, middle income, single or married, I can help you get a superb deal on prime Sandy Springs, GA real estate – from $200,000 to $10,000,000 – just reach out to me at 678-585-9691!
Robert

posted in Atlanta Housing Market, New Posts | 0 Comments

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