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5 Steps to Finding Your Next Home…..

Whether you’re a first-time buyer or a seasoned homeowner, shopping for a new home can feel daunting. In fact, 56% of buyers said that “finding the right property” was the most difficult step in the home buying process. Buying a home is a significant commitment of both time and money. And a home purchase has the power to improve both your current quality of life and your future financial security, so the stakes are high.

Follow these five steps—and complete the corresponding worksheet offered below—to assess your priorities, streamline your search, and choose your next home with confidence.

STEP 1: Set Your Goals and Priorities

The first step to finding your ideal home is determining WHY you want to move. Do you need more space? Access to better schools? Less maintenance? Or are you tired of throwing money away on rent when you could be building equity? Pinpointing the reasons why you want to move can help you assess your priorities for your home search.

Don’t forget to think about how your circumstances might change over the next few years. Do you expect to switch jobs? Have more children? Get a pet? A good rule of thumb is to choose a house that will meet your family’s needs for at least the next five to seven years.2 Be sure to set your goals accordingly.

STEP 2: Determine Your Budget

Many financial professionals recommend following the “28/36 Rule” to determine how much you can afford to spend on a home. The rule states that you should spend no more than 28% of your gross monthly income on housing expenses (e.g., mortgage, taxes, insurance) and a maximum of 36% of your gross monthly income on your total debt obligations (i.e., housing expenses PLUS any other debt obligations, like car loans, student loans, credit card debt, etc.).3

Of course, the 28/36 rule only provides a rough guideline. Getting pre-qualified or pre-approved for a mortgage BEFORE you begin shopping for homes will give you a much more accurate idea of how much you can borrow. Add your pre-approved mortgage amount to your downpayment to find out your maximum purchasing potential.

STEP 3: Choose a Location

When it comes to real estate, WHERE you choose to buy is just as important as WHAT you choose to buy.
Do you prefer a rural, urban, or suburban setting? How long of a commute are you willing to make? Which neighborhoods feed into your favorite schools? These decisions will impact your day-to-day life while you live in the home.

Another important factor to consider is how the area is likely to appreciate over time. Choosing the right neighborhood can raise the profit potential of your home when it comes time to sell. Look for communities that are well maintained with high home-ownership rates, low crime rates, and access to good schools, desired retail establishments, and top employers.4

STEP 4: Decide Which Features You Need (and Want) in a Home

Start with the basics, like your ideal number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and square footage. Do you prefer a one-story or two-story layout? Do you want a swimming pool? Keep in mind, you may not find a home with all of your “wants,” or even all of your “needs” … at least not at a price you can afford. The reality is, most of us have to make a few compromises when it comes to buying a home.
Some buyers will opt for a longer commute to get a larger, newer home in the suburbs. Others will sacrifice hardwood floors or an updated kitchen so that their kids can attend their desired school.

If you’re faced with a tough choice about how or what to compromise in your home search, return to STEP 1. What were your original goals and motivations for moving? Reminding yourself of your true priorities can often provide the clarity that you need.

STEP 5: Meet with a Real Estate Agent

A good real estate agent can remove much of the stress and uncertainty from the home search process. From setting goals to securing a loan to selecting the best neighborhood to meet your needs, we will be there to assist you every step of the way. And no one has more access to home listings, past sales data, or market statistics than a professional agent. We can set up a customized search that alerts you as soon as a new listing you might like goes live. Better yet, we get notified about many of the hottest homes even BEFORE they hit the market.

You might guess that the VIP service we provide is very expensive. Well, the good news is, we can represent you throughout the entire home buying process at NO COST to you. It’s true; the home seller pays a buyer agent’s fee at closing. So you can benefit from our time, experience, and expertise without paying a dime. It’s no wonder 87% of buyers choose to purchase their home with the help of an agent.1 And although we’ve listed it here as STEP 5, the reality is, it’s never too early (or too late) to contact an agent about buying a home. Whether you plan to buy today, next month, or next year, there are steps you can (and should) be taking to prepare for your purchase.

Call me today to schedule a free consultation! I would love to help you decide if this is the time for you to buy a home or list your home. 404-219-1938

Anita G. Wheeler

 

 

 

Sources:

  1. NAR 2019 Home Buyers & Sellers Generational Trends Report – https://www.nar.realtor/sites/default/files/documents/2019-home-buyers-and-sellers-generational-trends-report-08-16-2019.pdf
  2. Architectural Digest – https://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/this-is-how-long-you-should-live-in-your-house-before-selling-it
  3. Investopedia – https://www.investopedia.com/terms/t/twenty-eight-thirty-six-rule.asp
  4. Money Talks News – https://www.moneytalksnews.com/20-clues-youre-buying-home-the-right-neighborhood/

Simplifying the Market

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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Woodlawn Wedding and Event Venue FOR SALE!

 

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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/

 

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

Why Pet-Friendly Homes Are in Demand

Why Pet-Friendly Homes Are in High Demand | MyKCM

One of the many benefits of owning your own home is the freedom to find your ‘furever’ friend. By pointing out the aspects of your home that make it ‘pet-friendly’ in your listing, you’ll attract these buyers, rather than alienating the 68% of American households that have a pet!

If you are one of the many homeowners looking to list your home for sale, how do you stand out to the millions of pet parents searching for their dream home?

Whether a dog person, a cat person, or someone who prefers the company of another pet species, 99% of pet owners say that they consider their animal to be family. When finding a home, 95% of animal owners believe it is important that a housing community allows animals.

study by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) revealed that there are many aspects of the home buying, selling and owning experience that have been greatly impacted by our love for our pets.

This should come as no surprise, as $72 billion was spent on pets in the U.S in 2018. NAR’s President William E. Brown shed some light on the impact of pet owners and their home search.

“It is important to understand the unique needs and wants of animal owners when it comes to homeownership. REALTORS® understand that when someone buys a home, they are buying it with the needs of their whole family in mind; ask pet owners, and they will enthusiastically agree that their animals are part of their family.”

The Power of Pets When Choosing the Right Home

  • 89% of pet owners say they would not give up their pet due to a housing restriction
  • 81% of Americans say their pets play a role in their housing situation
  • 31% of animal owners have refused to put in an offer on a home because it wasn’t a good fit for their animals
  • 19% of Americans say they would consider moving for their pet
  • 12% percent have moved for their pet

New home builders have actually begun installing retractable pet gates that tuck away neatly inside door jams as a highly requested feature in new homes to attract pet-parents.

So, if you are a homeowner looking to sell in today’s pet-friendly environment, point out the features of your home that will attract pet owners:

  • Fully fenced in backyard – (91% of pet owners ranked this as the most important feature of a home to accommodate their pet)
  • Locations of dog parks/walking paths/pet-friendly beaches in the area (71% ranked this as the top feature of any neighborhood they would consider)
  • Proximity to veterinarians/groomers/pet supply stores (31%)

The Bottom Line

Americans love their pets and will look for pet-friendly features in the home they wish to buy, so take advantage of this knowledge by pointing out your home’s ability to meet their needs.

 

P.S. Meet Tai and Emma…these are my two dogs!  I LOVE my dogs and I bet you love your pets too.  Let me know if I can help you in finding a new home or sell your current home.

Anit Wheeler Signature

Know Your Competition

Check the competition in your neighborhood!
Know Your Atlanta Real Estate Company Competition
Time Your Listing Perfectly
Many industry experts say spring is the best season to list a home, but the truth is, this is a pretty wide time frame. The trick is to look for the sweet spot. For example, you can list your home before the influx of buyers hits during April and May, so your listing appears just as they’re starting their search.

See Your Competition In Person
As a home seller, you need to see for yourself how your home stacks up against the competition. Talk to your agent and ask if there are any homes you can drive by or open houses to attend so you can find out how you can improve your own home.

Look At Properties That Are NOT Selling
Observing properties that are selling can be helpful, but taking a look at properties that are not selling is just as important. Try to figure out why they are not selling at their current price, and see how the properties compare with your home. Doing this will help you avoid committing the same mistake when pricing your home, which can give you an edge over the
competition.

Use Great Photos
Nine out of ten buyers start their search online – your listing’s photos play a huge role in attracting potential buyers. Make sure your home is photo-ready before you take pictures. Highlight its best features, and avoid showing any eyesores, such as cluttered garages or outdated bathrooms. If you’re not quite confident with your photography skills, then you may want to consider hiring a professional photographer.

Make Sure Your Home Is Easily Accessible
When you have competition in your neighborhood, being prepared to present your home at any moment can give you a big advantage. Having multiple listings in a certain area means there may be more “impulse house showings.” In case some buyers overlook your listing online, there’s a good chance they’ll spot your “for sale” sign outside once they visit the neighborhood.

Be Creative
In some cases, properties can stay on the market for extended periods of time, even when their sellers aren’t really doing anything wrong. Try to make your listing more dynamic by using different strategies. Use new photos ever few weeks, and rewrite your sales ads every once in a while to keep it fresh. Previous buyers who may have looked at your listing may view it again in case they see a photo that was not there before. In addition, you can try asking people who have visited your home for feedback. Any information they provide can be useful in identifying how your home compares with similar properties they viewed, and if there are any improvements you need to make.

Want more helpful tips for buyers and sellers? Take a look at our Buyers and Sellers guide.

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It’s A SELLER’S Market! Should I Downsize NOW?

Downsize Now?

A recent study by Edelman Berland reveals that 33% of homeowners who are contemplating selling their houses in the near future are planning to scale down.

Let’s look at a few reasons why this might make sense for many homeowners, as the majority of the country is currently experiencing a seller’s market.

In a blog, Dave Ramsey, the financial guru, highlighted some of the advantages of selling your current house and downsizing into a smaller home that better serves your current needs.

Ramsey explains three potential financial advantages to downsizing:

1. A smaller home means less space, but it also means less time, stress and money spent on upkeep.

Let’s assume you save $500 a month on your mortgage payment. In 30 years, you could have an additional $1–1.6 million in the bank to get you through your golden years.

2. Use the proceeds from selling your current home to pay cash for a smaller one.

Just imagine what you could do with no mortgage holding you down! If you can’t pay cash, aim for a 15-year fixed rate mortgage and put at least 10–20% down on your new home. Apply the $500 you saved from downsizing to your new monthly payment. At 3% interest, you could pay off a $200,000 mortgage in less than 10.5 years, saving almost $16,000 in the process.

Realtor.com also addressed downsizing in a recent article. They suggest that you ask yourself some questions before deciding if downsizing is right for you and your family.

Here are two of their questions followed by their answers (in italics) and some additional information that could help.

Q: What kind of lifestyle do I want after I downsize?
A: “For some folks, it’s a matter of living a simpler life focused on family. Some might want to cross off travel destinations on their bucket lists. Some might want a low-maintenance community with high-end upgrades and social events. Decide what you want to achieve from your move first, and you’ll be able to better narrow down your housing options.”

Comments: Many homeowners are taking the profits from the sales of their current homes and splitting it in order to put down payments on smaller homes in their current locations, as well as on vacation/retirement homes where they plan to live when they retire.This allows them to lock in the home price and mortgage interest rate at today’s values which sense financially as both home prices and interest rates are projected to rise.

Q: Have I built up enough equity in my current home to make a profit?

A: “For most homeowners, the answer is yes. This is if they’ve held on to their properties long enough to have positive equity that will be sizable enough to put a large down payment on their next home.”

Comments: A study by Fannie Mae revealed that only 37% of Americans believe that they have significant equity (20%) in their current home. In actuality, CoreLogic’s latest Equity Report revealed that 78.9% have greater than 20% equity. That equity could enable you to build the life you’ve always dreamt about.


The Bottom Line
If you are debating downsizing your home and want to evaluate the options you currently have, give me a call and I will do a Home Assessment (Free) and we can discuss your options.
Call 404-219-1938 TODAY.

 

Anita G. Wheeler

Anita has been a Realtor for over 20+ years specializing in Luxury properties, Equestrian, and Unique Properties.  She is focused on providing excellent customer service & unique marketing for each individual property.  Her unique background in both residential and commercial real estate have served her well as has her Certified Master Negotiator Designation.

 

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A ‘BUYER’ In Hand Is Worth Two in the Bush

Put the buyer in your hand,

home-buyer in hand of seller

In today’s highly competitive Sellers market where there are more home Buyers than there are listings for them to purchase, some Sellers may feel like the ball is in their court.

 

And they would be right when it comes to choosing which offer to accept, the closing date, or even which improvements the Seller is willing to make to the home prior to selling. One thing to remember though is that there is always a line that shouldn’t be crossed.

 

Interest rates could change, financing might not go through, the Appraisal might not come back at the price that you have agreed to.

 

These are all always ways that Agents have opportunities to work with Buyers to make sure that the sale still happens.

 

Some Agents may think that because buyer demand is high right now, that they could choose to make their Buyer jump through hoops.

 

But what happens if the home Buyer reaches their limit and decides to walk away?

 

That means a START OVER… weeks, maybe months later… and other Buyers may then wonder what’s wrong with the house that the deal fell through.

 

Sometimes PERCEPTION is everything!

 

I recently had my Aunt’s house listed for sale in Austin, Texas (I hired a good local realtor) AND…going in we knew it was a very good market. However, her home was not in the best of shape and realistically it needed a lot of work.

 

The first real home Buyer that came along made a good offer. Yes, we “might” have gotten a great offer, but sometimes you have to make the call and work with the Buyer that is willing, ready and qualified willing to CLOSE.

 

The Golden Rule

 

We were taught from a young age to “treat others as others as you would like to be treated”. This shouldn’t change once you have a home Buyer who seems as though they would do anything to buy a home. Sometimes common sense is more a barometer than anything! It’s all about PERSPECTIVE and a little Golden Rule

 

home-buyer needs a good realtor

 

Anita Wheeler is an Associate Broker with Atlanta Fine Homes, Sotheby’s International Realty specializing in the luxury real estate market in Buckhead, Alpharetta, Roswell and North Georgia.  She is a published Author, Business Strategist, Social Media Expert.  You can reach her at 404.219.1938 or her website at www.AnitaWheelerRealtor.com

 

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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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How to Mess Up Your Future Home Sale

Repairs and replacements add value to your home.

How to Mess Up Your Future Home Sale
When you’re busy living each day to the fullest, sometimes it’s hard to muster up the energy to plan for what’s down the road. But as every homeowner from the beginning of time has had cause to find out, what you do or don’t do today is going to reverberate well into the future.

That little crack/squeak/leak you’re living with now, those planned upgrades you keep postponing, that blah front yard– these may not seem urgent at the moment. Keep ignoring them, however, and they’ll cause plenty of headaches later on once you decide to sell your home.

Here are the things homeowners are not doing to prepare their homes for sale in the future.

#1: They don’t have a home maintenance schedule.

You know that saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”? Many homeowners don’t seem to remember it – or at least they don’t apply it to their homes. And then they get shocked when they have to deal with serious water damage or find their attics overrun with squirrels.

Repairs and replacements add value to your home.
You don’t want to be that guy – and you definitely don’t want his repair bills. You want to be the smart, sensible person who takes time to come up with a home maintenance checklist (or, heck, downloads one online), puts those to-dos on a calendar, and actually gets them done.

Some tasks, like cleaning out your garbage disposal, need to be done at least once a month. Others, like testing your smoke detectors, can be done every quarter. You’ll want to give your house a thorough deep clean every 6 months or so, and there are some tasks that are best done in the spring and some in the fall.

If keeping track of all this sounds like a chore, no worries, there are apps for that! Check out apps like BrightNest, Upkeep, and HomeZada, or you can just put it all on a Google calendar.

#2: They don’t get a home inspection done.

If you know you’re probably going to be putting your home on the market sometime in the future (like in a year or so), then you don’t want to be blindsided by repairs. Even if you’ve been thoroughly conscientious about home maintenance, it still pays to have a home inspector examine your property – and better have them do it now so you’ll know what repairs need to be made and so that you have enough time to make them.

Although it’s an additional expense, not phoning a home inspector can cost you more in the future. There may be serious issues waiting in the dark to spring out at you. A home inspection can bring them to light and catching these early will save you money in the long run.

Magnifying Glass over Luxury House

#3: They ignore minor repairs.

Small repairs are easy to get out of the way, but some folks tend to put them off. As a result, what was once a minor issue often balloons into a bigger one that willcost more to fix. Be kind to your future self (and wallet) – pay attention to anything that needs repair, however small or minor it is.

You don’t even need to wait until an issue that requires fixinghas manifested itself. Watch out for any symptoms of disrepair or house foundation problems, such as cracks in walls or floors, jammed doors, and windows that won’t close completely. By identifying such potential problems, you can save thousands of dollars and make sure the structural integrity of your home won’t compromise a future sale.

You can read more about home foundation problems here.

#4: They don’t make updates.

Repairs and replacements add value to your home.
Just because everythingin your home seems to be working fine doesn’t mean you should leave it as is. You don’t want your home looking old and dated, this can hurt your chances of attracting home buyers once you decide to sell your home.

Keep your home up-to-date with upgrades that will increase its comfort, functionality, and value. You can start with minor, do-it-yourself projects such as repainting the interior and exterior walls or changing outdoor lamps and door knobs. You can also go big and renovate key areas in your home, such as the kitchen and the master bathroom. Convert unfinished basements into a guest room or an entertainment hub. Add another room!

According to the folks at Consumer Reports, the improvements that have a significant impact on a home’s sale price are:

  • Kitchen updates
  • Energy-efficient upgrades
  • Updated home systems
  • High-quality, neutral paint
  • Additional outdoor space
  • Smart devices, like a programmable thermostat

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10 TIPS For Selling YOUR Home

Are you thinking about selling your home? Whether it’s a “SELLER’S” market or a” BUYER’S” market you want to be prepared to give your home it’s best chance of selling quickly! Here are 10 things that you can do to help sell your home.

 

  1. Stage the interior as well as the exterior of your home. Both the interior and exterior of your home need to be considered and completed. (Declutter & Staging inside is next). The exterior may need fresh paint, immaculate landscaping and particular attention to the back of the house as the front! (Outdoor Furniture and a nice outdoor setting!)

 

  1. Declutter and Stage. Declutter means DECLUTTER. Pack up all your tchotchkes, personal pictures, “smalls” (which means any knick-knack’s laying around). Clean out the closets and start packing, donating or giving away. Put it all in a nice small area in the garage for an estate sale after you get a contract…but get it out of the house! Then you will want to stage every room. That means nothing on the counters in the kitchen and in the bathrooms…or at least minimal. You want the “buyers” to imagine the house as theirs …so simplify.

 

  1. Get real about pricing. REALLY. The truth is that everyone wants top dollar for their house, it is just human nature. What you want to do is be educated about the comparable sales in your area, which obviously affect the fair market value of your home. Ask your broker to get you a list of two or three similar homes in your area that have recently sold and consider pricing 10% below when you set your pricing. Of course, this is totally dependent on your market, days on the market and overall picture. The main point is that you want to be realistic. Consider getting a “pre-appraisal” so you have a professional appraiser that actually has access to all the sales in your market and can give you a totally non-biased number. (Remember that whomever you may sell to most likely will have a requirement by their mortgage company for an appraisal anyway!)

 

  1. Get active and understand the competition. Attend open houses in your area and do a reality check of exactly what it is that you are up against so you can work with your broker on a game plan to get your home sold. You may see something that you realize you need to change about your home to be competitive.

 

  1. Open Access to your home. The saying “homes don’t sell unless they are shown” is absolutely true so you want to do everything you can to make your home as accessible as possible. It’s okay to ask for two hours’ notice (if you have to), but keep in mind that the more limited you are the more chance you are taking on getting the home shown. Best rule: BE FLEXIBLE.

 

  1. Be ahead with condition. Consider having an inspection as soon as you list your home so you can get as many repairs done ahead of time. Also, you can have a termite inspection. You will have peace of mind and know exactly what you are dealing with instead of surprises coming later in the process. Go through your home and take care of any little nicks or scratches on walls and doors. You may want to consider some re-painting, particularly if you have some less than neutral colors. (Fresh paint in a home makes a HUGE difference!)

 

  1. Great Photographs. Be absolutely sure that your agent is having a professional photographer take pictures of your home and there should be at least 15 pictures. (Most FMLS sites allow at least 25 pictures). Ask to see some pictures or brochures of other homes the agent has listed or sold. Remember these pictures are what is going to be seen “ON-LINE” and 92% of house hunters are checking out listings on-line and viewed.

 

  1. Listen to your agent. Find an agent that you trust and who is a professional and follow their advice. Ask questions, be knowledgeable, but know that you need to rely on a professional realtor!