Real Estate Blog

Sometimes it just takes a little perspective to help us understand that what we thought was tough was really quite good in comparison. Alpharetta and Johns Creek home sales in August 2008 were the lowest I can ever remember. We probably would have to go back to the time when this area was just horse pastures to find a month that had so few homes sales. Well it appears that we did not have to wait long to break those poor sales records. While September 2008 saw sales rebound upwards by 23% over August, so far October sales are running only about 60% of the August level. The real estate market is having a tough time due to the upheaval in the financial markets. Buyers are generally scared and asking themselves if this is the right time to make such a…
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I heard of an interesting business idea that is being carried out in Atlanta right now. A businessman is purchasing foreclosed properties in the $35-$40K range and then putting about $20-$25K in improvements into them. Most of the work is to correct problems with the homes plus expanding the properties to add another bedroom and full bath. After the homes have been renovated and expanded they usually have 4 bedrooms and 2 baths. The businessman now finds a tenant for the property. He selects tenants who qualify for Section 8 housing, which is a government program for low income earners, to establish a stable situation. Now the businessman has an income producing property that he now sells as an investment to other parties who want to make money in the…
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If you are selling your home follow this simple tip to help your home show its best. Do not use compact florescent light bulbs anywhere in your home. The problem with a compact florescent bulb is that it does not reach full brightness until it has been on for a short while. So when a buyer steps into a room and flips on the lights everything is initially dark and dull. By the time the bulb is starting to get bright enough the buyer has already moved on to the next room and is left with a bad impression. A bright home is more inviting and cheerful and more importantly will sell for a higher price. Do not underestimate the negative effect a dark room has on a buyer. The current market is challenging and you can't afford to let a sale get away because…
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When considering the homes for sale in my primary coverage area (East of GA 400), I have seen a pretty dramatic shift. It's normal to see some slow-down in August. People are settling in and children are returning to school. The push to get moved during the summer months, to reduce the disruption to family routines, has passed once the fall arrives. Historically, there has been a seasonal drop of 20%. This year the August figures for the lower price ranges (under $350K) plummeted 39%. Let's take a closer look:
  • Homes under $200K 14 houses sold in May, 9 in June, and 18 in July dropped to 3 last month.
  • $200-275K homes sold at a rate of 35 in May, 28 in June, 15 in July and remained steady at 15 for August.
  • $275-350K houses sold 25 in May, 22 in
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alpharetta real estateI’ve noticed an alarming trend lately in the Alpharetta and Johns Creek areas involving roofing companies and “hail damage” claims against homeowner policies.

There are roofing companies out there that appear to be “drumming” up business by soliciting unnecessary roof replacements that are paid for by homeowner’s insurance. The sales tools include area maps marked up with big red circles around areas that have experienced “hail activity” and yard signs.

It also tends to happen more with some insurance carriers than with others. I asked about it with one of these roofing companies recently and their first question was “Who is your carrier?” the second comment was “They are tough, you probably won’t get it.”

So I have to ask…

  • If a roof is 20
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Download the July-August 2008 Newsletter (in PDF) Enjoy the all new layout for Johns Creek and Alpharetta Living Local Newsletter. Check out the "before" and "after" kitchen photos this month, learn more about the current trends in the local real estate market, catch a glimpse of summer fun in the photo of the month and visit Webb Bridge Park in this issue.
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Pulse in the real estate market detectedThe market has been fairly unchanged in the past 30-60 days, but there are a few hopeful signs that an improvement may be on the horizon. June 2007 vs. June 2008 figures:
  • Under $275K, there was a 14% decrease in sales as compared to June 2007 and the current inventory reflects a 46.1% increase in the supply of homes over the figures for this same time last year.
  • $275-600K, we have experienced a 26% drop in sales as compared to last year, with the inventory up 40%.
  • $600K+ price range has experienced a 50% drop with a 108% increase in inventory which represents a 21-month supply of homes now.
Although comparisons to last year seem rather dismal, June 2008 figures (for mid-range homes from $275K-600K) show an increase of 7.5% over last month and…
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The US Senate is poised to pass a huge foreclosure rescue bill as soon as today. (see article) Basically the bill says the Federal Housing Administration would back $300 billion dollars in new loans for distressed borrowers that are currently considered too risky to qualify for a loan now. Hmmm... correct me if I am wrong but didn't we get into this mess by lenders making loans to people who were bad risks? So the government says that the solution is to make it possible for more loans to be made to people who should not have them. WOW! The solution to our problems was so simple, why couldn't I have thought of this? I wish I could be as brilliant as out politicians. We all know that this legislation will pass in some form due to election year…
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Alpharetta HomeIn my market (North Fulton County, Georgia on the east side of HWY 400), May sales figures remain flat between April and May, which represents a 32.8% drop as compared to May of 2007 in the same market. The most pronounced change since this time last year was seen in the mid-level homes, priced between $275-600K. This price range dropped a whopping 43.6% in total sales over last year. Inventory for this market increased 15%. Total inventory divided by pace of sales, offers a 12.88 month supply of homes in this price range now, which is a 127% increase in the supply over 2007. Taking a preliminary look at the June figures, there is nothing to suggest that the market is breaking out of the current pattern. I'll keep you updated as the month progresses.
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Download the May-June 2008 Newsletter (in PDF) View "before" and "after" photos of changes made to stage living spaces. Get an introduction to a local tree specialist and enjoy affordable tips on helping your offspring decorate their first apartment or dorm in this bi-monthly issue.
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