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5 BEST STRATEGIES TO DOWNSIDE YOUR HOME

Downsizing Your Home

In our “bigger is better” culture, there’s an expectation that each home should be larger and grander than the last. But life changes like divorce, kids leaving for college, or even the simple act of growing older can prompt us to find a smaller home that better suits our shifting needs and lifestyle.

In fact, the advantages of downsizing are being increasingly recognized. A “tiny house movement” has gained passionate advocates who appreciate the benefits of living simply at any age and stage of life. Not only does a smaller home typically cost less, it also takes less time and effort to maintain.1

Whatever your reasons are for downsizing, the process can seem overwhelming. That’s why I’ve outlined five steps to guide you on your journey. And in the end, I hope you’ll find that less is more … more comfort, more security, and more time and energy to spend on the activities and the people that you love.   

 

5 STEPS TO DOWNSIZING SUCCESS

1. Determine Your Goals and Limitations

The first step is to figure out your goals for your new living environment. Do you want to live closer to family? Are you hoping to cut down on home maintenance? Are you looking for a community with certain amenities?

You should also consider any limitations that will impact the home you choose. For example, are stairs an issue? Do you need access to medical care? In the case of divorce, are there child-custody issues you need to take into account?

Estimate how long you plan to stay in your new home. Do you expect your needs to change during that time?

Make a “wish list” of features and prioritize them from most to least important. If you’d like any assistance with this process, give me a call!  (404-219-1938) I would be happy to sit down with you for a free consultation.  I can also help you assess the value of your current home so you can set a realistic budget for your new one.

2. Find the Perfect New Home

Once you’ve established your “wish list,” we can begin the search for your new home. As local market expert, I  know the ins and outs of all the top communities in our Atlanta. I can help you determine the neighborhood and type of home that will best fit your wants and needs.

From family neighborhoods to retirement communities, I serve clients in all stages of life. If you or a loved one are in need of extended support, I can also share my knowledge of the assisted living facilities in town and help you identify those that offer the optimal level of care. I spent the past three years as a guardian for my 95 year old aunt and I feel like I have a realistic view on retirement communities. (I should write a book!)

Are you planning to relocate out of town? I can refer you to a trusted real estate professional in your target area who can help you with your search.

3. Sell Your Current Home

If you’re ready to sell your current home, I will begin the process of preparing to list it as we search for your new one.

I have a special interest in helping homeowners who are facing major life transitions, and we offer a full-service real estate experience that aims to remove as much of the stress and hassle of selling your home as possible. I also understand that many of our clients choose to downsize for financial reasons, so we employ tactics and strategies to maximize the potential sales revenue of your home.

I do this by employing a proven three-part approach, which focuses on optimum preparation, pricing, and promotion. As part of that plan, I invest in an aggressive marketing strategy that utilizes online and social media platforms to connect with consumers and offline channels to connect with local real estate agents. This ensures your property gets maximum exposure to prospective buyers.

4. Sort and Pack Your Belongings

Even before you find your new home, you can begin preparing for your move. A smaller home means less space for your furniture and other possessions, so you will need to decide what to keep and what to sell or donate. Sorting through an entire house full of belongings will take time, so begin as early as possible.

Parting with personal possessions can be an extremely emotional process. My daughter actually owns the #1 Estate Sale Company in Georgia and has conducted over 850 sales!  Here are some tips:  Start with a small, unemotional space like a laundry or powder room and work your way up to larger rooms. Focus on eliminating duplicates and anything you don’t regularly use. If you have sentimental pieces, family heirlooms, or just useful items you no longer need, think about who in your life would benefit from having them. For large collections, consider keeping one or two favorite pieces and photographing the rest to put in an album.2

Make sure the items you keep help you achieve the goals you outlined in Step 1. For example, if you want a home that’s easier to clean, cut down on knickknacks that require frequent dusting. If you’re moving to be closer to your grandchildren, choose the shatterproof plates over the antique china.

Allow yourself time to take breaks if you start to feel overwhelmed. You might want to consider hiring an organizer!  If you’re helping a loved one with a move, try to be a patient listener if they want to stop and share stories about particular items or memories throughout the process.3 This can be therapeutic for them and an opportunity for you to learn family history that may otherwise have been forgotten.

5. Get Help When You Need It

Moving is stressful in any situation. But if you’re downsizing due to health issues or a major life change, it can be an especially tough transition. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Seek out friends and family members who can assist with packing and decluttering. If that’s not an option, or if you need additional help, as I mentioned above you may want to consider hiring a home organizer, full-service moving company, or even an estate company if you think you have enough that you want to sell.  Consultations are free!!

If financial constraints are holding back, let us know. I can help you explore the possibility of tapping into the equity in your current home now. That way you can afford to get the assistance you need to make your transition as smooth as possible.

ARE YOU LIVING YOUR BEST LIFE?

If your current home no longer suits your needs, maybe it’s time to consider a change. I would love to help you explore your options. Contact me today to schedule a FREE no-obligation consultation. CALL 404-219-1938.

 

 

Sources:

  1. The Tiny Life –
    https://thetinylife.com/what-is-the-tiny-house-movement/
  2. My Move –
    https://www.mymove.com/moving/senior-guide-downsizing/
  3. Daily Caring –
    https://dailycaring.com/5-tips-to-downsizing-for-seniors-keepsakes-mementos/
  4. National Association of Senior Move Managers –
    https://www.nasmm.org

5 TIPS TO GETTING YOUR HOME SOLD FAST!!

 


SELLING YOUR HOUSE NOW!   by Anita G. Wheeler

 

Since June of last year, we have seen an increase in the inventory of homes for sale month per month. Every spring and summer, the inventory increases because people want to sell their home. For those with children, they may want to be in their new home for the beginning of the school year.

If you are one of those Sellers, you may find these 5 tips helpful in getting your home sold NOW!.

 

#1. PRICE IT RIGHT

 DEFINITELY #1   As we mentioned at the beginning, more inventory coming into the market guarantees there will be some competition. (It most certainly depends on the price range of your home and your specific market.)  However, you will want to make sure your home is noticed. The key to selling your house is ensuring it is Priced to Sell Immediately (PTSI). That way, your home will be seen by the greatest amount of Buyers and will sell at a great price before more competition comes to market!  Please take note of what comes next…

         THE MARKET VALUE OF YOUR HOME IS NOT

         * What You have in it.   

         * What You need out of it. 

         * What it is appraised for.   

         * What the tax office says it is worth. 

         *  What it is insured for.

        THE MARKET VALUE OF YOUR HOME IS

          * What a Buyer is willing to pay for the property- TODAY.   

          * Based on Today’s Market.   Based on Today’s Competition.   

          * Based on Location. 

          * Based on the Buyer’s perception of  Your Properties Current Condition. 

                                PRICE YOUR HOME TO SELL!

              

#2.   MAKE BUYERS FEEL AT HOME

YOU SHOULD DECLUTTER! Pack away all personal items like pictures, awards, and sentimental belongings. Make them feel like they belong in this house!  You want your home to show it’s best every showing.  

According to a recent report from The National Association of Realtors  “83% of Buyers’ agents said staging a home made it easier for a Buyer to visualize the property as a future home and staged homes SOLD!”

Not only will your house spend less time on the market, but the same report mentioned that,

“One-quarter of Buyers’ agents said that staging a home increased the dollar value offered between 1 – 5%, compared to other similar homes on the market that were not staged.”

 

#3.   KEEP IT ORGANIZED

Since you took the time to declutter, keep it organized! Before the Buyers show up, pick up toys, make the bed, and put away clean dishes. It is also a good idea to put out some cookies fresh from the oven or a scented candle. Buyers will remember the smell of your home! According to the same report, the kitchen is one of the most important rooms to stage in order to attract more buyers. (YOUR Master Bath is #2).

 

#4.   GIVE BUYERS FULL ACCESS

One of the top 5 Elements when selling your home is ACCESS!  If your home is available anytime, that opens up more opportunity to find a Buyer right away. Some Buyers, especially those relocating, typically or on a set schedule.  If they cannot get into the house, they will move on to the next one.  Be sure your home is on lock-box so Agents can have access to PREVIEW!!  Encourage other agents to PREVIEW so they can encourage their potential Buyer’s to put your home on their list.

 

#5    PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHS ARE A MUST!

The photographs of your home are the first impression a Buyer sees!  They may even determine whether you get on their list of homes to see!!  In addition those photographs are used for marketing, brochures, etc. and MUST be shot by a professional home photographer. When interviewing a listing agent be sure to ask to see brochures and other marketing materials to assure that your home will be VIEWED in its best light.  In this modern day of technology you can be assured that prospective purchasers are looking all over the Internet (Zillow, Realtor.com, etc.) and the first impression of your home is CRITICALLY important.

Anit Wheeler Signature

Bottom Line:  If you want to sell your home in the least amount of time, at the best price, with as little hassle as possible CALL ME today and let’s talk about HOW to get your home SOLD. Call for a FREE CONSULTATION and Home Evaluation! 404.219.1938

 

 

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Will Your Remodel Pay Off? The Best (and Worst) Ways to Spend Your Budget

 

 

Most new homeowners have something about their property that they want to change. And as family needs and design trends shift over time, many will eventually choose to remodel. Some homeowners make updates to their property before listing it to maximize their potential sales revenue.

Whatever your reasons are for taking on a home improvement project, it’s wise to consider how the money you invest will impact your home’s value.

We’ve taken a look at six popular home renovations and identified those that—on average—have the best and worst returns on investment. So before you lift a hammer or hire a contractor, take a look at this list and see if your remodeling efforts will reward you when it comes time to sell.

 

RENOVATIONS THAT PAY OFF

These three common home improvement projects not only add function and style to your home, but they also offer a strong return on investment. Making strategic upgrades to your property will help you increase its value over time.

 

Minor Kitchen Remodel

The kitchen is often referred to as the “heart of the home,” and for good reason. Traditionally used for preparing food, it has morphed into so much more. Many of us now eat our family meals in the kitchen, it serves as a favorite spot for homework and kids’ art projects, and it’s the place guests tend to gather when we host events.

Because we spend so much time in our kitchens, it’s natural that we will eventually want to make updates and upgrades to better suit our needs and changing style preferences.

Luckily, a minor kitchen remodel is one of the best investments you can make in your home. According to Remodeling Magazine’s annual Cost vs. Value Report, it has an average 80.5% return on investment.1

The key to making a kitchen remodel pay off is to keep it modest in scale. Spend too much on custom or high-end selections, and you are less likely to recoup your investment. Instead, make an effort to keep your existing layout if it works for you and your family. Paint or reface cabinets instead of replacing them. Update countertops with low-maintenance quartz and swap out old light fixtures with modern alternatives. Replace outdated appliances with energy-efficient models. The average cost for a minor kitchen remodel is $22,500, and it’s likely to recoup more than $18,000 at resale.1

 

Wood Deck Addition

A deck addition is a popular way to extend and enhance the use of your outdoor space. It’s the perfect spot for grilling, dining alfresco, and entertaining. In fact, 81% of surveyed homeowners said they have a greater desire to be home since completing a deck addition.2

For a 16 x 20-foot wood deck, you can expect to spend around $13,000. Fortunately, the money you invest offers an average return of 76%.1

Decks made of composite material are a popular alternative these days, as they don’t require the regular sanding and staining that wood decks need. However, at an average cost of $19,000 for a 16 x 20-foot composite deck, they are significantly more expensive. Plus, the expected return on investment is only 69%.1 Still, if you plan to hire someone to provide regular maintenance to a wood deck, then a composite deck may offer cost savings over time.

 

 Siding Replacement

Everyone knows good curb appeal is important when selling your home. And while it may not be the most exciting way to spend your remodeling budget, new siding can make a big impression on buyers … and your selling price.

Your home’s exterior is one of the first things buyers see when they view your home. It sets the tone for what they are going to see inside. It also gives an impression of how well the property has been maintained. Worn, peeling, or rotted siding can be a major red flag for buyers.

Replacing 1,250 square feet of siding costs around $16,000 and will net you an average of 76% at resale.1

For an even greater impact, consider replacing a portion of your siding with manufactured stone veneer. It can have a dramatic effect on the visual appeal of your home. A 300 square foot area will run you around $8,900, but you can expect to see a nearly 95% return when it comes time to sell.1

 

RENOVATIONS WITH WEAK RETURNS

These three popular remodeling projects are homeowner favorites. However, don’t expect to see a high rate of return at resale. Instead, consider them an investment in your current quality of life. Just make sure you’ll be living in the home long enough to make them worthwhile.

 

Major Kitchen Remodel

If there’s one room the majority of homeowners dream about making over, it’s their kitchen. From custom cabinetry to high-end appliances, the possibilities are endless. But those dreams can come at a cost.

An upscale kitchen remodel with high-end cabinetry and countertops, commercial-grade appliances, and designer features can cost upwards of $130,000. And unfortunately, you’ll only get back around 60% at resale. Even a mid-range kitchen remodel that includes new semi-custom wood cabinets, laminate countertops, and energy-efficient appliances could run you around $66,000 and net you a mere 62% at resale.1

Of course, an outdated or non-functional kitchen could turn buyers off from your home completely …  and keep you from enjoying it yourself! So if your kitchen needs a major remodel, you shouldn’t necessarily scrap your plans. Just go in with the realization that you may only get back a fraction of what you invest. Then you can decide which upgrades are worth the splurge.

In-ground Pool

Few additions deliver more entertainment or enjoyment than an in-ground pool. It brings families and friends together, provides a break from the summer heat, and offers a fun and convenient way to stay fit. Plus, you’ll be the envy of your neighbors! But before you dive into a pool addition, consider whether the benefits outweigh the (substantial) costs.

The average expense to install a standard 18 x 36-foot in-ground pool is $57,500. And the estimated return at resale is only or 43%.2 In addition to the installation cost, plan to spend money each year on maintenance, repairs, and additional insurance.

However, 92% of surveyed homeowners said they “have a greater desire to be home” since installing a pool, and 83% have “an increased sense of enjoyment when they are at home.” For you and your family, the perks of a pool may be priceless.2

Master Suite Addition

If you own a house built before the 1980s, there’s a good chance it lacks a master suite, which is a feature that has become commonplace in most newly constructed homes.3

Master bedrooms have evolved from a simple place to sleep into a homeowner’s retreat—often featuring a sitting area, his-and-hers walk-in closets, and an attached bathroom with double vanities, a soaking tub, and a walk-in shower.

And master suite additions have become increasingly popular—both in homes that lack one as well as those with aging owners who can no longer accommodate stairs to an upper-level bedroom.

But what’s the typical return at resale? Unfortunately, a master suite addition offers one of the lowest returns of any remodeling project. With a median cost of $125,000, most sellers will only recoup around 52% of their investment. Nevertheless, in a survey of homeowners, the majority were satisfied with their decision to add a master suite, giving it a “Joy Score” of 10 out of 10.4

 

WEIGHING COST VS. BENEFIT

It’s always wise to enter into a remodeling project with knowledge of how it will impact your home’s value. In most cases, upscale or highly-customized upgrades are less likely to offer a high rate of return. That said, home renovations that improve your quality of life and enhance your enjoyment may be worthwhile no matter the cost.

Anit Wheeler Signature

 

GET A CUSTOMIZED ANALYSIS OF YOUR PROJECT

We’ve been talking averages. But the truth is, the actual return you can expect on a home improvement project will vary depending on your particular home and neighborhood. If you have plans to remodel, call me!  (404-219-1938).

I’d be happy to conduct a free analysis to determine how the renovations will impact the value of your home!  Anita

 

 

Sources:

  1. 2019 Cost vs. Value Report -
https://www.remodeling.hw.net/cost-vs-value/2019/
  2. NAR’ Remodeling Impact Report – https://www.nar.realtor/sites/default/files/documents/2018-05-remodeling-impact-outdoor-features-05-23-2018.pdf
  3. Zillow -
https://www.zillow.com/blog/evolution-of-the-master-bedroom-48286/

House Logic -
https://www.houselogic.com/by-room/bedroom-closet/master-suite-addition-return-investment/

 

Serious About Selling? 5 Steps to Make Your Home the Best on the Block

We all want to be good neighbors. But when it comes to getting your home sold, it’s not just about “keeping up with the Joneses.” It’s about outshining them at every opportunity!

If you’re looking for your house to sell quickly and for the most money possible, you’ll need a strategy to set it apart from all the other listings competing for buyers in your area. That’s why we’ve outlined our proven, five-step plan for serious sellers.

Use these five tactics to help your listing get noticed, win over buyers, and net a higher sales price than your neighbors!

STEP 1: Stage Your Home to Show Its Full Potential

The average seller will do the minimum to prepare their home for market: clean and declutter, fix anything that’s broken, mow the lawn. And while those tasks are essential, today’s buyers want more than just a clean house and tidy yard. When they dream of buying a new home, they envision a designer house with modern finishes. Help them see your property’s full potential by staging it.

Home staging is one of the hottest trends in real estate—because it works! According to the Real Estate Staging Association, homes that are professionally staged spend 73% less time on the market.1

So what exactly is staging? In a broad sense, staging is the act of preparing your home for market. The goal is to highlight your home’s strengths, minimize any deficiencies, and help buyers envision themselves living in the space. When staging a home, you might rearrange the furniture to make a room feel larger or remove heavy curtains to make it appear brighter.

Some sellers choose to hire a professional home stager, who has specialized training and experience, to maximize the appeal of their home to the largest number of potential buyers. Others may opt to do it themselves, using guidance from their agent.

We can help you determine the appropriate budget and effort required to push your home ahead of the competition in your neighborhood. The good news is, an investment in staging pays off. A 2018 survey found that 85% of staged homes sold for 6-25% more than their unstaged neighbors homes.2

STEP 2: Draw Buyers in with High-Quality Listing Photos

You only have one chance to make a first impression with potential buyers. And many buyers will view photos of a listing before they decide whether or not to visit it in person. In fact, 87% of buyers find photos “very useful” in their home search.3 Poor-quality or amateur-looking listing photos could keep buyers from ever stepping through your door.

Since good photography plays such an important role in getting your property noticed, we only work with the top local professionals to photograph our listings. But we don’t just rely on their photography skills when it comes to showcasing your home.

We go the extra mile to ensure your listing photos showcase the true essence of your home. We’re always on site during the photo shoot to help the photographer capture the best angles and lighting, and to let them know about unique or compelling selling features that they should photograph. The extra effort pays off in the end. In fact, listings with high-quality photography sell 32% faster than the competition … and often for more money!4

STEP 3: Price It Properly From the Start

Even in a strong real estate market, there are homes that will sit unsold for months on end. This can be the “kiss of death” in real estate, as buyers tend to imagine that there must be something wrong with the property, even if it’s not the case.

But why are those houses still on the market in the first place? It’s because they are often priced too high.

Every buyer has a budget. And most will be viewing listings within a particular price range. If your property is overpriced, it can’t properly compete with the other houses they’re viewing that are priced correctly. Which means it’ll sit on the market until you’re eventually forced to drop the price.

Alternatively, if you price your home aggressively, it can be among the nicest homes that buyers have seen within their budget. This can lead to emotionally-attached buyers, who are often willing to pay a premium or settle for fewer seller concessions. And in certain markets, it can lead to a multiple-offer situation, or bidding war. The end result? More money in your pocket.

We can help you determine the ideal listing price for your home in the current market. Pricing it properly in the beginning is the best way to ensure a fast and profitable sale.

STEP 4: Put on a Good Show at Each Showing

Once buyers are interested enough to call and schedule a visit, it’s crucial that you put on a good show at each showing.

The first step is to make your home readily available—and often on short notice—for buyers to see it. A missed showing is a missed opportunity to sell your home. If you set too many restrictions on when it’s available to view, busy buyers will simply skip over your listing and move on to the next one.

Part of making your home available means keeping it relatively show-ready as long as it’s on the market. Most of us don’t live picture-perfect lives, and our homes reflect the day-to-day reality of our busy (and sometimes messy) families. But a little extra effort spent keeping your home clean, fresh-smelling, and ready for buyers will help it sell faster … which means you can get back to your regular routine as quickly as possible!

STEP 5: Use a Proven Promotion Plan

Most agents are still marketing their listings like they did 20 years ago  … put a sign in the yard, put the listing in the MLS, and pray that it sells. Yet, we know that 93% of buyers search for real estate listings online.3

That’s why we invest in the latest training and technology—to ensure your listing appears in the places where buyers are most likely to look. Our dual-level promotion strategy includes both pre-launch activities designed to seed the marketplace and post-listing activities to ensure your home stays top-of-mind with potential buyers.

By utilizing online and social marketing platforms to connect with consumers and offline channels to connect with local real estate agents, your property gets maximum exposure to prospective buyers.

LET’S GET MOVING

Are you thinking about listing your home? Get a head start on your competition! Contact me for a copy of the Home Seller’s Guide, which offers a complete guide to the home selling process. Or call me to schedule a free no-commitment consultation. I would love to put together a custom plan to maximize the sales potential of your property!

Anita G. Wheeler   Atlanta Fine Homes  Cell: 404-219-1938  Office:  770-442-7300

Sources:

  1. Real Estate Staging Association – https://www.realestatestagingassociation.com/content.aspx?page_id=22&club_id=304550&module_id=164548
  2. Home Staging Resources –
    https://www.homestagingresources.com/2018-home-staging-statistics/
  3. National Association of Realtors –
    https://www.nar.realtor/sites/default/files/documents/2018-real-estate-in-a-digital-world-12-12-2018.pdf
  4. RIS Media –
    https://rismedia.com/2018/12/12/shocking-stats-importance-photography-real-estate/

Starting the Search for Your Dream Home? Here are 5 TIPS…..

 

 

In today’s real estate market, low inventory dominates the conversation in many areas of the country.  It can often be frustrating to be a first-time homebuyer if you aren’t prepared.

In a realtor.com article entitled, How to Find Your Dream Home—Without Losing Your Mind,”the author highlights some steps that first-time homebuyers can take to help carry their excitement of buying a home throughout the whole process.

1. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage Before You Start Your Search
One way to show you are serious about buying your dream home is to get pre-qualified or pre-approved for a mortgage before starting your search. Even if you are in a market that is not as competitive, understanding your budget will give you the confidence of knowing whether or not your dream home is within your reach.

This step will also help you narrow your search based on your budget and won’t leave you disappointed if the home you tour, and love, ends up being outside your budget!

2. Know the Difference Between Your ‘Must-Haves’ and ‘Would-Like-To-Haves’
Do you really need that farmhouse sink in the kitchen to be happy with your home choice? Would a two-car garage be a convenience or a necessity? Could the ‘man cave’ of your dreams be a future renovation project instead of a make-or-break right now?

Before you start your search, list all the features of a home you would like and then qualify them as ‘must-haves’, ‘should-haves’, or ‘absolute-wish list’ items. This will help keep you focused on what’s most important.

3. Research and Choose a Neighborhood You Want to Live In
Every neighborhood has its own charm. Before you commit to a home based solely on the house itself, the article suggests test-driving the area. Make sure that the area meets your needs for “amenities, commute, school district, etc. and then spend a weekend exploring before you commit.”

4. Pick a House Style You Love and Stick to It
Evaluate your family’s needs and settle on a style of home that would best serve those needs. Just because you’ve narrowed your search to a zip code, doesn’t mean that you need to tour every listing in that zip code.

An example from the article says, “if you have several younger kids and don’t want your bedroom on a different level, steer clear of Cape Cod–style homes, which typically feature two or more bedrooms on the upper level and the master on the main.”

5. Document Your Home Visits
Once you start touring homes, the features of each individual home will start to blur together. The article suggests keeping your camera handy to document what you love and don’t love about each property you visit.

Making notes on the listing sheet as you tour the property will also help you remember what the photos mean, or what you were feeling while touring the home.

The Bottom Line
In a high-paced, competitive environment, any advantage you can give yourself will help you on your path to buying your dream home.

Call me if I can assist you in finding your PERFECT home!

Anita Wheeler

c  404.219.1938 |  f  678.235.3069  | o 770.442.7300

Multi Million Dollar Sales Club
SRS Sellers Representative Specialist    Certified Negotiation Expert

 

Homeowners: Now Is A Good Time To Sell Your House

Homeowners: Now Is A Good Time To Sell Your House | MyKCM

Every month, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) releases their Seller Traffic Index as a part of their Realtors

Confidence Index. In the latest release, NAR reported that homeowners have been reluctant to sell their houses. This is

reflected when broken down by state. Only 11 states have a stable level of seller traffic compared to the remainder of the

country, which came in with a weak rating. As we can see in the following table, the number of people who moved last year

is half of what the rate was in the 1980s.

 

As we can see in the following table, the number of people who moved last year is half of what the rate was in the 1980s.

Homeowners: Now Is A Good Time To Sell Your House | MyKCM

This does not come as a surprise, as tenure length (the number of years someone owns a home before moving again) among existing homeowners has increased. It has risen from an average of 6 years from 1985 to 2008, up to 9.5 years over the last few years. This is shown in the graph below:

Homeowners: Now Is A Good Time To Sell Your House | MyKCM

 

As we can see, there is a pent-up seller demand!

What led to this change in behavior? Falling prices during the housing crisis led to many homeowners having negative equity in their home, meaning they owed more on their mortgage than the home was worth. Others were able to secure a low interest rate on their mortgage and have not been quick to obtain a new mortgage with a higher rate.

Will this trend continue?

Recently NAR reported that “69% of people believe now is a good time to sell a home.”

With a strong economy, low interest rates, and wages continuing to rise, some homeowners will be ready to put their house on the market and move up to the home of their dreams!

The Bottom Line

There is a great opportunity for sellers to take advantage of the current real estate market before new inventory comes to market. If you are considering selling your house or would like to know your options, let’s get together today to help you understand the possibilities available to you! Call me!

Anit Wheeler Signature

Anita G. Wheeler  Atlanta Fine Homes, Sotheby’s Realty  Cell:  404-219-1938  Office: 770-442-7300

3 Graphs That Show What You Need to Know About today’s Real Estate Market

3 Graphs that Show What You Need to Know About Today's Real Estate Market | MyKCM

The Housing Market has been a hot-topic in the news lately. Depending on which media outlet you watch, it can start to be a bit confusing to understand what’s really going on with interest rates and home prices!

The best way to show what’s really going on in today’s real estate market is to go straight to the data! We put together the following three graphs along with a quote from Chief Economists that have their finger on the pulse of what each graph illustrates.

Interest Rates:

“The real estate market is thawing in response to the sustained decline in mortgage rates and rebound in consumer confidence – two of the most important drivers of home sales. Rising sales demand coupled with more inventory than previous spring seasons suggests that the housing market is in the early stages of regaining momentum.” – Sam Khater, Chief Economist at Freddie Mac

3 Graphs that Show What You Need to Know About Today's Real Estate Market | Keeping Current Matters

Income:

“A powerful combination of lower mortgage rates, more inventory, rising income and higher consumer confidence is driving the sales rebound.” – Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at NAR

3 Graphs that Show What You Need to Know About Today's Real Estate Market | Keeping Current Matters

Home Prices:

“Price growth has been too strong for several years, fueled in part by abnormally low interest rates. A mild deceleration in home sales and Home Price Index growth is actually healthy, because it will calm excessive price growth — which has pushed many markets, particularly in the West, into overvalued territory.” – Ralph DeFranco, Global Chief Economist at Arch Capital Services Inc.

3 Graphs that Show What You Need to Know About Today's Real Estate Market | Keeping Current Matters

Here is the Bottom Line….

These three graphs indicate good news for the SPRING HOUSING MARKET!

1)  Interest rates are low

2)  Income is rising

3)  Home prices have experienced mild deceleration over the last 9 months.

 

If you are considering buying a home or selling your house, let’s get together to chat about our market! Call me and I would love to share more information about Buying or Selling your home!  (404-219-1938)

Anita G. Wheeler

 

Millennials Are Skipping Starter Homes for their DREAM HOMES!

Yes it is true….

A new trend has begun to emerge. With home prices skyrocketing in the starter home category, many first-time homebuyers are skipping the traditional starter homes and moving right into their dream homes.

What’s a Starter Home?

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), simply put, a starter home is a one or two-bedroom home (sometimes even a small, three bedroom). “Prices vary widely by market but starters on average cost $150,000 to $250,000 while trade-up and premium homes cost upwards of $300,000.”

Finding Their Forever Homes Now

A recent CNBC https://www.cnbc.com/2018/05/11/millennials-are-skipping-starter-houses.html  article revealed that there are many factors that delayed older millennials (ages 25-35) from buying a home earlier in their lives. The aftereffects of the Great Recession teaming up with larger education costs forced many to either remain living in their parent’s homes or to rent.

With the economy continuing to improve, many millennials have been able to break into better-paying jobs which has helped spur down payment savings. As the dream of homeownership comes closer to reality, many millennials are saving for their forever homes. (And of course low interest rates are continuing to encourage Buyers to purchase NOW!)

According to the latest statistics from NAR, 30% of millennials bought homes for $300,000 or more this year (up from 14% in 2013). Diane Swonk, Chief Economist at Grant Thornton weighed in saying, “They rented for longer. Now they’re going to where they want to stay.”

More and more millennials are settling down, getting married, and starting families, which is a huge factor driving them to look for larger homes.

Increased competition in the starter home market has also been a driving force in waiting to afford their dream homes. Inventory in the starter home market is down 14.2% from last year, according to https://www.trulia.com/blog/trends/inventory-q118/ research from Trulia. This has driven prices up and has led to bidding wars.

Many first-time buyers who were originally looking for starter homes are realizing that for just a little bit more of an investment, they could afford trade-up or premium homes instead.

Bottom Line

If you plan on purchasing your first home this year, let’s get together to determine how much house you can afford. You may be pleasantly surprised.

CALL TODAY…and let’s start looking for YOUR dream home!

404-219-1938

TOP TEN ATLANTA SUBURBS Top Atlanta Real Estate Agent

Check out the suburbs!

atlanta suburbs

1. ALPHARETTA

Alpharetta doesn’t just have the facts and figures to make the list of top ten Atlanta suburbs. Potential Alpharetta home buyers will have their choice of new construction single family homes and condos.

Convenient shopping at North Point Mall, swimming and walking trails at Wills Park, and dozens of local restaurants, like Bite and Colette French Pastry & Café, are just a few of the amenities Alpharetta residents enjoy.

With a handful of elementary, secondary and high schools with a 10 out of 10 GreatSchools.org rating, Alpharetta is another one of many great Atlanta suburbs for schools.

Key Stats:

Median household income: $79,385
Unemployment rate: 6.2 percent

2.  ROSWELL

Potential Roswell home buyers have a variety housing options to choose from, including new construction condos and single family homes, mid century, historic homes and cottage homes.

Tap into your inner foodie at upscale local restaurants like Table & Main and Osteria Mattone. Outdoor enthusiasts will love exploring Roswell’s numerous parks and trails, from the historic Old Mill Park, to the hiker’s paradise of Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area.

Historic Downtown Roswell is a pedestrian friendly dining and shopping center, and local events like the farmers’ market and free live music at Roswell Riverside Sounds are a great way to get to know your neighbors.

Key Stats:

Total amenities: 6,230
Median household income: $79,385

3.  TUCKER

Tucker home buyers have their pick of historic and new construction single-family homes, and modern condos.

It’s hard to be bored as a Tucker resident, with thousands of amenities in your backyard. Local pub and music venue MoonShadow Tavern is the perfect spot for a night out, and foodies will love trying the numerous local restaurants, from Papi’s Cuban & Caribbean Grill to French restaurant, Technique.

Tucker also has a local Farmers Market and First Thursday Food Truck Market. Henderson Park’s wooded trails, man made lake, and playground are the perfect place for families to spend a sunny Sunday afternoon together.

Key Stats:

Total amenities: 4,165

4.  DECATUR

Decatur has a bustling downtown with plenty of shops and restaurants. Events like the Decatur Arts Festival and Concerts on the Square bring the community together. If you have kids or want to raise a family in the future, Decatur has a variety of great schools.

Like with Dunwoody and Sandy Springs, Decatur’s residents spend an average of 24 minutes getting to work, the shortest of any other Atlanta suburbs we looked at. That means you’ll spend less time on the road (or on MARTA) and more time doing things that matter to you.

Key Stats:

Median home price: $340,300
High school graduation rate: 94 percent
Average commute time: 24 minutes

5.  DULUTH

Duluth offers plenty of amenities, including boutique shopping, local dining, and arts and entertainment, and a wide selection of modern condos and single-family houses.

Historic downtown Duluth is always full of activity and events. Fridays-N-Duluth brings the community together with food and entertainment, and the Summer Stage Concert series brings live music to the Duluth Town Green. Art enthusiasts will love Barefoot in the City, the Duluth art festival that lasts eight days.

Several Duluth public schools received a Great Schools rating of 10, 9, or 8, making Duluth one of the best Atlanta suburbs for schools.

Key Stats:

Total amenities: 3,865
Unemployment rate: 7.5 percent

6.  DUNWOODY

Luxury condos and single family homes on large lots are common choices for Dunwoody home buyers.

Local restaurants like the E. 48th Street Market deli and chic wine bar Seasons 52 are sure to please foodies. Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy exploring the scenic Dunwoody Nature Center, which hosts live music events in the summer.

Dunwoody residents can also sleep in a few extra minutes each morning, since the average commute time among residents is 24 minutes.

Key Stats:

Average commute time: 24 minutes
Median home price: $367,800

7.  TYRONE

The quiet residential community of Tyrone earns a spot on our list of Atlanta suburbs with a low crime rate, high household income, and great local amenities. Potential Tyrone home buyers will find plenty of four to five bedroom single family homes on large lots.

Local restaurant, Downtown Grill, is the perfect spot for a special occasion or night out. Cool off during the Georgia summers at the Tyrone Public Library, or keep your kids busy with a summer reading program.

Key Stats:

Median household income: $88,406
Total crimes per 100k: 1,486

8.  SANDY SPRINGS

Sandy Springs offers home buyers a ton of options, such as charming cottage style homes, traditional brick houses, and condos in gated communities with plenty of amenities.

Yearly events like The Sandy Springs Festival and The Annual Chattahoochee River Summer Splash ensure that you’ll never run out of things to do. Nature lovers will enjoy taking hikes in one of the area’s parks, like the Big Trees Forest Preserve.

Sandy Springs also is home to three hospitals, so you can breathe a little easier knowing healthcare is just a short trip away.

Key Stats:

Median home price: $426,800
Average commute time: 24 minutes

9.  KENNESAW

Kennesaw earns the ninth spot on our list for a low crime rate and a good standard of living. Home buyers will get more bang for their buck here, since the median home price is lower than many of the other Atlanta suburbs we looked at.

History buffs and nature lovers alike will be drawn to nearby Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, which has about 17 miles of hiking trails.

There are also great parks within the city, Swift-Cantrell Park and Adams Park, where the city’s Parks and Recreation department offers a number of activities, especially for families.

Key Stats:

Median home price: $168,800
Total crimes per 100k: 1,716

10.  JOHN’S CREEK

Rounding out our top 10 is the affluent city of Johns Creek. This community had the highest high school graduation rate in the area (96 percent) and was the safest Atlanta suburb we looked at.

If you’re raising a family, Johns Creek has some of the best schools in the Atlanta area, including Northview High School and Chattahoochee High School.

Golfers will be pleased to know that there are six golf courses in Johns Creek, including the Atlanta Athletic Club, which hosted the 2011 PGA Championship.

Key Stats:

Median home price: $336,000

Total crimes per 100k: 780

Median income: $109,553

 

(This article is from information gathered from Movoto)  This would probably NOT be my list of Best Suburbs in Atlanta, but I will let you know next week what my top ten would be!!

IF YOU ARE NEEDING ASSISTANCE IN FINDING YOUR HOME IN THE SUBURBS…CALL TODAY for a TOP ATLANTA REAL ESTATE AGENT

404-219-1938

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Atlanta’s best restaurants for foodies

Atlanta is home to a wonderful selection of restaurants that are sure to tickle the taste buds and satisfy the cravings of any foodie. You’ll discover an enticing mix of fine dining restaurants, trendy hot spots, and affordable eateries guaranteed to provide a truly unforgettable dining experience.

Here’s a list of some of Atlanta’s must-visit restaurants:

Madre + Mason

560 Dutch Valley Rd NE, Atlanta, GA
404-748-1498
facebook.com/MadreAndMason

Madre + Mason’s menu features traditional Latin cuisine with a Southern twist. The restaurant’s concoctions are sure to dazzle any diner, with combinations that include duck and waffles, tacos with roasted brisket and sweet potato shiitake, and many more.

Brezza Cucina

675 Ponce de Leon Ave, Atlanta, GA
404-724-9700
BrezzaCucina.com

If it’s pizza you’re craving for, you should definitely head to Brezza Cucina. Their pizzas are made with the finest and freshest ingredients, and are available in classic Italian varieties reinvented with different cheese, vegetable, and seafood combinations. Their flavorful creations are topped with out-of-the-box ingredients such as buttermilk cheddar, spicy shrimp, scallions, short rib, balsamic, onion jam, and more.

Home Grown

968 Memorial Dr SE, Atlanta, GA
404-222-0455
HomeGrownGA.com

A local Reynoldstown favorite for years, Home Grown serves delicious diner-style comfort food perfect for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Their Comfy Chicken Biscuit has been voted one of the best dishes to enjoy in the entire state of Georgia, and for very good reason – the mouthwatering dish features crispy, juicy fried chicken sluiced with creamy sausage gravy and placed on top of a buttery biscuit.

Makan

130 Clairemont Ave, Decatur, GA
404-996-6504
Makanatl.com

This is Asian fusion at its finest. Located in downtown Decatur, Makan is a Chinese and Korean-inspired restaurant offering a fine chef-driven menu in a comfortable, well-designed setting.

Their menu items are made from traditional Chinese and Korean recipes with a modern twist. Their ramen is absolutely to die for, and is best enjoyed with their pork buns infused with a Southern charm.

The Mercantile

1660 Dekalb Ave NE, Atlanta, GA
404-378-0096
TheMercantileATL.com

Located in Candler Park, this wonderful deli offers gourmet cuisine, prepared meals, and build-your-own sandwiches, along with an impressive wine selection. The deli also features a delicious selection of homemade salads, daily soup specials, roasted chicken, and family-style casseroles.

Fat Matt’s Rib Shack

1811 Piedmont Ave NE, Atlanta, GA
404-607-1622
FatMattsRibShack.com

Open since 1990, the award-winning Fat Matt’s Rib Shack offers delicious, mouthwatering BBQ and live blues performances in a comfortable, family-friendly setting. Their expertly prepared, slow cooked fall-off-the-bone ribs is perfectly complemented by their homemade BBQ sauce, and is best enjoyed with their must-have side dishes like their mac and cheese and rum baked beans.

Staplehouse

541 Edgewood Ave, Atlanta, GA
404-524-5005
Staplehouse.com

Staplehouse is a subsidiary of The Giving Kitchen, a non-profit organization assisting Atlanta’s restaurant community. Located in Atlanta’s Old 4th Ward, the restaurant features a regularly updated menu consisting of dishes made with quality local and regional ingredients. The place is very popular for their selection of delicious meat dishes, fresh produce, and irresistible desserts.

Staplehouse offers several dining options: a la carte service, a reservations-only five-course tasting, and bar seating for walk-in customers.

Summer in Milton & Alpharetta

Looking for events and destinations to check out in the Milton/Alpharetta area this summer? Here are some fun events and places to go to so you can make the most out of your summer:

Kidz Bop 2016 Life of the Party Tour

Friday, August 19, 2016
Show starts at 7:30pm
Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, Encore Park, Alpharetta, GA

Take your kids to the Kidz Bop 2016 Life of the Party Tour, a fun, family-friendly concert headlined by Ashlynn Chong, Sela Hack, Grant Knoche, and Matt Martinez.

Kidz Bop is the top music brand for kids, with over 16 million albums sold since its debut in 2001. They are known for featuring hits that are “sung by kids for kids.”

The Kidz Bop Life of the Party Tour started this spring, and is scheduled to hit more than 50 cities throughout the country before the end of the year.

To view the complete tour schedule and get ticket information, visit kidzbop.com/tour [Link].

Family Skate Night

Sunday, August 21, 2016
6pm to 8pm
Ed Isakson/Alpharetta Family YMCA
3655 Preston Ridge Road

Bring the entire family to the Ed Isakson/Alpharetta Family YMCA for Family Skate Night! Strap on a pair of skates and enjoy two hours of non-stop skating as the entire gymnasium will be turned into a roller skating rink for the event.

Members can join the fun for $8, and non-members can get in for $13. For more information, visit the venue’s website here [Link: http://www.ymcaatlanta.org/ymca-locations/alpharetta/index.php].

Vegetable Gardening Workshop

Wednesday, August 24, 2016
7pm to 8:30pm
Alpharetta Department of Public Works
1790 Hembree Road, Alpharetta, GA

Hosted by the City of Alpharetta and the Alpharetta Natural Resources Commission, the Vegetable Gardening Workshop teaches sustainable gardening techniques, seeding and transplanting, preparing your garden for winter, and more.

This free workshop is perfect for anyone who has or would like to have their own vegetable garden, as autumn is nearly here, bringing ideal growing conditions for cool-season crops such as kale, lettuce, and spinach.

You can register by calling 678-297-6200.

Alpharetta Art in the Park

Saturdays, August 27 and September 24, 2016
9am to 4pm
Main Street and Milton Avenue, Alpharetta, GA

Drop by downtown Alpharetta and see some of our talented local artists as they showcase their masterpieces at this outdoor artists market.

Take a look at a large selection of artwork made using different media – watercolor, oil, photography, woodwork, metal work, mosaics, pottery, and so much more.

For more information, visit the Alpharetta Art in the Park Facebook page

R.A.D. Women’s Self-Defense Course

August 14, 21, and 28, 2016
1:30pm to 5:30pm
Milton City Hall

The R.A.D. (Rape Aggression Defense)
Self-Defense Course is a special course designed to train women in order to help them recognize, avoid, and resist violent situations. The course teaches self-defense techniques that are effective against different levels of aggression.

There will also be an optional hands-on simulation for those who would like to practice some of the techniques shown during the course.

The course is open for participants aged 13 and up. Students under 15 must be accompanied by a parent. To register, call 678-242-2505 or email pdinfo@cityofmiltonga.us.

Outdoor activities in Milton’s parks

Summer is definitely the perfect time to enjoy fun, outdoor recreational activities. It’s a good thing Milton is home to many superb parks excellent for almost any type of outdoor activity. Whether you’re into sports, rock climbing, horseback riding, biking, jogging, or simply relaxing under a canopy of trees, the scenic parks of Milton are sure to offer an unforgettable outdoor experience.

Some of the parks you can visit include:

• Bell Memorial Park
• Birmingham Park
• Freedom Park
• Friendship Community Park
• Providence Park

Selling Trends in Atlanta Real Estate Market

There was an increase in new home closings in the Atlanta housing market in April 2016. The increase in percentage was higher compared to March 2016, which may indicate that the market is gaining strength. Closings rose 8.7% year-over-year to 1,341 – compared to the same month in 2015, new home closings had an increase of 6.9%.

Atlanta market reached new all-time price peak in the second quarter of 2016

According to the Q2 2016 US Home Sales Report from RealtyTrac [Link: http://www.realtytrac.com/news/home-prices-and-sales/june-and-q2-2016-home-sales-report/], home prices in the Metro Atlanta area hit a new all-time price peak. The report is based on official sales deeds gathered from more than 900 counties throughout the US.

The analysis shows that the median price for homes in Metro Atlanta was $192,000, which increased by 2% compared to the previous year, setting a new benchmark. Atlanta was one of 39 statistical areas which reached new all-time home price records in June, including Dallas ($240,156), Minneapolis ($235,950), Seattle ($385,000), and St. Louis ($190, 209).

Experts say that the reason for the recent price surge may be attributed to historically low interest rates in the Metro area. Home price appreciation is likely to drop once the low rates begin to increase once again.

Despite the record-setting increase, Atlanta is still one of the few major cities that have sub-$200,000 median home prices.

Increased interest rates

Interest rates remain substantially low, compared to several years ago. Due to the slight increase, those with limited income or tight budgets may be affected. However, it is important to note that increasing rates typically represent improvement in the economy, resulting in more jobs, raises, and promotions for employees.

Another positive impact of increased interest rates is its potential impact on buyers’ mindsets – it’s more likely that buyers will be more motivated to follow through on their home purchases.

According to experts, the increasing rates will likely continue until 2017, due to the fact that markets usually experience rate volatility during election years.

Lending regulations

Changes to the country’s housing industry include the implementation of new TRID (TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure) regulations, which were effective starting October of 2015. Although the market experienced slight delays in turnaround time for closings earlier in the year due to the new regulations, this is expected to stabilize once the industry begins to acclimate to the new guidelines.

New federal laws and policies also contribute to a more cautious lending environment, with lenders taking additional steps in order to ensure buyers are able to afford a loan and that properties are able to retain their appraised values.

Increased popularity of intown neighborhoods

Atlanta’s diverse and active job market, trendy nightlife venues, and affordable homes are some of the biggest reasons for its increased popularity for young professionals.

This is further enhanced by the arrival of both larger companies as well as small to medium-sized high-tech firms, which are sure to attract younger residents. Along with increased job availability, many exciting projects are currently underway, further increasing the popularity of many intown neighborhoods such as Adair Park, Capitol View Manor, Capitol View, Edgewood, Kirkwood, Lakewood, Peoplestown, and West End, just to name a few.

Another unique element increasing the popularity of Atlanta’s intown neighborhoods is the Atlanta Beltline. In other areas, bodies of water such as rivers and lakes serve as boundaries dividing certain areas. The Beltline, on the other hand, connects previously isolated neighborhoods, resulting to a more interconnected city.

This year, a significant number of new developers and investors are buying land within the Beltline as well as in nearby areas, directly affecting home and land values and further increasing the popularity of neighborhoods within its vicinity.

Warren Buffett: There is No Housing Bubble

No Housing Bubble - Anita Wheeler Realtor

No Housing Bubble – Anita Wheeler Realtor

Words we really don’t want to hear today is “Housing Bubble” and it seems to be the case that we are not going to, at least for now. With home prices expected to appreciate by over 5% this year, some are beginning to worry about a new housing bubble forming.

 

Warren Buffet addressed this issue last week in an article by Fortune Magazine.

 

He simply explained:

I don’t see a nationwide bubble in real estate right now at all.”

 

Later, when questioned whether real estate and/or mortgaging could present the same challenges for the economy as they did in 2008, Buffet said:

 

I don’t think we will have a repeat of that.”  (Notice the I don’t think)

 

What factors are driving home prices up is the question?

 

It is easily explained by the theory of supply and demand. There is a lack of housing inventory for sale while demand for that inventory is very strong. According to a recent survey of agents by the National Association of Realtors(NAR), buyer traffic was seen as either “strong” or “very strong” in 44 of the 50 states (the exceptions being: Alaska, Wyoming, North Dakota, West Virginia, Connecticut and Delaware).

 

Also, in NAR’s latest Pending Home Sales Report, it was revealed that the index was the highest it has been in a year.

 

What does the future bring?

As prices rise, more families will have increased equity in their homes which will enable them to put their home on the market. As more listings come to market, price increases should slow to more normal levels.

 

Anand Nallathambi, President & CEO of CoreLogic, recently addressed the issue:

 

Home price gains have clearly been a driving force in building positive equity for homeowners. Longer term, we anticipate a better balance of supply and demand in many markets which will help sustain healthy & affordable home values into the future.”

 

The KEY for YOU as a Homeowner or Prospective Homeowner is to keep up on changing trends and that is why I am here for YOU!! I will keep you updated on what is happening in the Atlanta and North Georgia markets so you will be informed and up to date!

Stay tuned and visit my site @ AnitaWheelerRealtor.com or if you have a question about Selling, Listing or just want to talk about the market you can reach me at:

Anita Wheeler 404.219.1938

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Top Reasons Why Americans Buy Homes

Ownership: That’s what people really want!

Home Ownership is desired by most couples

Last week, the inaugural “Homebuyer Insights Report” was released by the Bank of America.  The report revealed the reasons why consumers purchase homes and what their feelings are regarding home ownership.Consumer Lending Executive, D. Steve Boland, explained:

Homebuyers today are motivated by both emotional and practical reasons. Nearly all want more space, but a majority of homebuyers, especially those purchasing their first home, are also looking for a place to call their own, put down roots and make memories. They value the emotional benefits of owning a home as much as the financial ones.”

Slide1

Boland went on to say:

The path to homeownership is a journey and can be as overwhelming as it is exciting. For many people, this is the single most significant financial transaction they will ever make.”

 

This was evidenced in the report when they asked today’s homebuyers to define homeownership. Their answers tell the whole story.

Slide2

 

Bottom Line

Home ownership has always been a part of the American Dream and survey after survey confirms this will always be the case

If you are thinking of purchasing a home and just want to talk about your dreams for the future, LET’S TALK!  CALL ME 404.219.1938 

 

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