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GA Homes Digest - Real Estate Blog

Charlotte Vs Atlanta

Atlanta, GA vs Charlotte, NC

Two renowned southern cities – which city has the superior real estate?

The parallels between Atlanta, Georgia and Charlotte, N.C. are staggering. Both cities boast a healthy unemployment rate of 5.3, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, with steadily growing labor forces over the last decade. Both are young cities with a median age of 35 which is 2.7 years younger than the national average.  The biggest difference is the sheer size of each city.  Charlotte is more than two times larger than Atlanta at 297 square miles compared to 132 square miles. From a real estate perspective, the Atlanta median home sales price in the month of February 2016 was $178,465, and Charlotte was just behind with $177,650 in the

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How Much Money Do You Need To Put Down When Buying A House?

When you're thinking of buying a home, you'll often ask, "How Much Money Do You Need To Put Down When Buying A House?"  Well I'm here to tell you that it's likely less than you think.  In fact, it's much less.  A standard, popular loan type (FHA) only requires 3.5% down.  This might make the rest of this post somewhat anti-climatic, but it's such a pervasive myth that I thought it was worth debunking. 

I recently got interviewed and this is the very question I got:

The standard down payment is 20 percent, but many people struggle to get there. Can you get by with less than 20 percent down?

To which my response was... Where'd you get that information?  Standard loans have

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Atlanta Real Estate Market 2016 Predictions

Atlanta Median Price Graph

Last year saw yet another record increase in terms of median price increase, a whopping 7.4% for metro Atlanta! (Typically it's only about 3% every year). The cause of this was an economy that although very fragile was as strong as it's been in the past 8 or so years and low inventory.

Ultimately, new construction started again last year and all was right in the real estate world. What you might not notice is that we've been saying this very same thing for 5 years! Here's a review:

  • Prices are low but increasing
  • The interest is so low that affordability is very good
  • Rent rates are also rising

So what's changed - nothing really except rates did go up for the first time in a LOOONG time

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Why You Should Sell Your Home Instead of Renting it Out this Year

A lot of investors have this one investment property that they have purchased to rent out in hopes of selling it in the future. If you are one of these people, then let us tell you why this year is the best year to sell your home:

1. Your property is prone to damage. Many investors have had horror stories of their rental properties not being cared for, their furniture destroyed, their fixtures damaged. The owners end up with spending a lot of money for repairs (and sometimes, even in lawsuits) when it’s time to sell, or if not, the value of their properties decline significantly. You might think, “well, I interview my tenants before I give them the keys” and that sometimes works,

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Highest Priced Homes In Gwinnett Are In Buford

Homes For Sale In Buford GA

Whether you're thinking of selling your home or looking to buy a new one the median price of a home dictates a lot of things for an area. First let's talk about what the median sold price really means.   It's basically the line of of the market.  Everything under this median price tends to move faster and while it's an over generalization, homes that are priced under the median price are typically in a "seller's market."  At the very least it means that the homes will likely sale faster and have more overall buyers.  Additionally you can assume that homes over the median price might sell slower and have fewer overall buyers. 

Now that that's out of the way let's look at this graph here to the right.

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Atlanta Real Estate Market Update November 2015

The Atlanta market continues to give signals that it's full steam ahead.  What's telling here is that despite new listings being higher then the 5 year average the active listings are so much lower then the 5 year average that there's still a shortage, which means prices are rising.   In the lower price points tensions have eased a bit due to the absence of professional hedge fund investors.   The means that local investors have more choices and first time home buyers can now browse homes that need to fixed up.  This is great overall for metro Atlanta, basically until that "Active" listing increases by a large percentage you won't see a huge shift in the market.  Thank goodness new construction hasn't…
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Down Payment Assistance For Veterans, Nurses, Teachers, Police and Firefighters

GA Dream program is still ongoing if you haven't read about it on our First Time Home Buyer Programs post, then head over there now.  However, there is a special program for Down Payment Assistance through the GA Dream Program that offers Military folks, Teachers, Firefighters and Police Officers and even others such as Nurses!  up to $7,500 for down payment assistance.  This is slightly more than what is offerred to "regular" home buyers.

Dubbed PEN Loans or Protectors Educators and Nurses these "loans" are down payment assistance for all public "safety" workers, including military, teachers, firefighters, police officers, nurses, correctional works and more!  Again,

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5 Things You Need To Know When Buying A New Home

5 Things You Need To Know When Buying A New HomeWith the real estate market up, there's a lot of new buyers and new move-up buyers that will be considering new construction.  Whether you're looking for new homes in Lawrenceville or closer in to Atlanta, the builders are out in full force and we thought it would be good to come up with a guide on What You Need To Know When Buying A New Home

First Things, First

The new home builder will likely have their preferred lenders and while it's tempting to browse real estate, it's in your best interest to at least get a quote.  You can ask us for our preferred lenders but we recommend a local Georgia lender that has been referred to you and one that's been in business for some time.  It's important that

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Atlanta Market Update October 2015

Atlanta Real Estate Market Update

Whether you're waiting for next spring to sell or buy there's a cost to waiting. The most common scenario is that a person wants to wait for better market conditions. Interesting enough the only time the market gets better for a buyer is in a down market. Here's where the challenge lies. Many buyers are sellers as well. So with the market continuing to rise so do seller's profits. However many local sellers will watch their profits rise at the expense of what they can find on the market. Quite the dilema.

All this talk of markets though reminds me that you should never time the market, you should consider moving when it makes sense for your family. This doesn't mean you forget the market altogether. You

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Why Your Loan Officer Matters

Other Trends - Loan Professionals, Underwriters and Appraiser...  Or more commonly referred to "Why Your Loan Officer Matters"  It used to be that you could just fill out an online app and if you had A+ credit the loan was a slam dunk.  However, in today's market this is no longer the case.  The world of finance now includes conversations with Underwriters and appraisers and many times your loan professional may not know exactly how to navigate that.  


Let's start with Appraisers.  They may seem benign enough but we previously wrote that they may be the most powerful persons in real estate.  They determine the value and now many are becoming defacto inspectors.  (You can read about the issues with values

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