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.



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 Replace outdated appliances with energy-efficient models.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



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



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



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




  1. 2019 Cost vs. Value Report -
  2. NAR’ Remodeling Impact Report –
  3. Zillow -

House Logic -


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.


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


  1. Real Estate Staging Association –
  2. Home Staging Resources –
  3. National Association of Realtors –
  4. RIS Media –

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


“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


TOP TEN ATLANTA SUBURBS Top Atlanta Real Estate Agent

Check out the suburbs!

atlanta suburbs


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 rating, Alpharetta is another one of many great Atlanta suburbs for schools.

Key Stats:

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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!!





A Social Media Savvy Real Estate Agent

A Social Media Savvy Real Estate Agent

How important is an agent’s social media savvy in a home sale or purchase? Very.

More and more people are turning to the Internet to look for a home or to sell their property. And they’re not just on the usual real estate sites, they’re on social media. So what are the benefits of having a social media savvy agent and how can it affect your home-buying or home-selling experience? Let’s find out.

For Buyers: Streamline Your Home Search

An agent who’s active on social media and already has an established network knows how to find properties that suit your criteria and can provide more nuanced information than your real estate website of choice.

They’re part of a wider network that allows for the smoother flow of information – this not only includes the latest property listings in the area, but also the latest updates on new developments, whether or not some homeowners in a particular neighborhood are thinking about selling, and so on.

Social Media Savvy
They can make the whole home search process go faster and smoother. Take online property listings, for example. These typically come with a set of information, and some sellers just don’t provide the proper information you need to know about the property.

While the basics are given – the size of the lot, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the location of the property – what’s there is often not enough for you to make a decision about whether or not a home should be on your shortlist. With your knowledgeable agent by your side, you can weed out the “bad” listings, discover homes that you may have overlooked, and save yourself a lot of time.

For Sellers: Reach a Wider Audience

Millennials now make up the largest group of recent home buyers in the country – in 2015, 35 percent of buyers were millennials. This is a tech savvy bunch of people. They’re at home on the Internet, they do their networking on social media, and they appreciate frequent follow-ups and personal customer service.

You need a real estate agent who understands this demographic so they can reach them on the right platforms and make sure your home is being marketed as it should.

Social Media Savvy Agent
Posting your listing on a real estate website is not enough these days – you have to know your competition and make your listing distinctive so that it will stand out from the crowd. This is where your seller’s agent, who needs to be proficient in social media, comes in.

A seller’s agent with a background in social media will not rely solely on traditional marketing methods like flyers and lawn signs. They know how to create internet and social media marketing campaigns with vivid imagery targeted towards the right buyers. They know how to entice prospective home buyers to check out your property online and commit to seeing it in real life.

Sellers’ agents with their own social networking accounts (such as in Facebook or Twitter) are also able to keep in touch with potential buyers. And if they’ve already built a following online, then you can only benefit from the unbeatable exposure that their wide network will provide.

Social Media Expert
If you’re looking for a social media expert and strategist, you don’t need to look far. Get in touch with me today to get started!



5 Reasons to Hire a Real Estate Professional When Buying and Selling a Home

Professional Real Estate Agent

Professional Real Estate Agent

5 Reasons You NEED a Real Estate Professional in your corner haven’t changed, but rather have been strengthened, due to the projections of higher mortgage interest rates & home prices as the market continues to pick up steam. Whether you are buying or selling a home, it can be quite an adventurous journey; you need an experienced Real Estate Professional to lead you to your ultimate goal. In this world of instant gratification and internet searches, many sellers think that they can For Sale by Owner or FSBO. (Don’t fall for that myth!)

1. PAPERWORK is important!
Let your agent take over the paperwork and save you time and money! Each state has different regulations regarding the contracts required for a successful sale, and these regulations are constantly changing. A true Real Estate Professional is an expert in their market and can guide you through the stacks of paperwork necessary to make your dream a reality.

2. YOU have found your dream home, now what?
According to the Orlando Regional REALTOR Association, there are over 230 possible actions that need to take place during every successful real estate transaction. Don’t you want someone who is a professional to guide you through the numerous actions necessary to get your home sold or the purchase of a new home?

3. Want a PROFESSIONAL negotiator?
So maybe you’re not convinced that you need an agent to sell your home. However, after looking at the list of parties that you need to be prepared to negotiate with, you’ll realize the value in selecting a Real Estate Professional. Let’s go one step further and say a Certified Professional Negotiator. (CNE…Certified Negotiation Professional). From the buyer (who wants the best deal possible), to the home inspection companies, to the appraiser, there are at least 11 different people that you will have to be knowledgeable with and answer to, during the process. A professional negotiation expert is on your side to negotiate in YOUR best interest!

4. What is the home you’re buying/selling really worth?
It is important for your home to be priced correctly from the start to attract the right buyers and shorten the time that it’s on the market. You need someone who is not emotionally connected to your home to give you the truth as to your home’s value. According to the National Association of REALTORS, “the typical FSBO home sold for $185,000 compared to $245,000 among agent-assisted home sales.” WOW…that is a big difference. Get the most out of your transaction by hiring a professional.

5. Are you REALLY updated on the latest market trends?
There is so much information out there on the news and the internet about home sales, prices, and mortgage rates; how do you know what’s going on specifically in your area? Who do you turn to in order to competitively price your home correctly at the beginning of the selling process? How do you know what to offer on your dream home without paying too much, or offending the seller with a lowball offer?

Dave Ramsey, the financial guru, advises:

“When getting help with money, whether it’s insurance, real estate or investments, you should always look for someone with the heart of a teacher, not the heart of a salesman.”

Hiring an agent who has their finger on the pulse of the market will make your buying or selling experience an educated one. You need someone who is going to tell you the truth, not just what they think you want to hear. You wouldn’t replace the engine in your car without a trusted mechanic. Why would you make one of the most important financial decisions of your life without hiring a Real Estate Professional?

If you are considering Selling or Buying a home in 2017…give me a call for a FREE consultation.  We can work together to make your DREAM HOME a reality!

 Anita Wheeler, Atlanta Fine Homes, Sotheby’s

c: 404.219.1938 | f:678.235.3069 | o: 770.442.7300

Multi Million Dollar Sales Club

SRS Sellers Representative Specialist

ePro – Social Media Specialist

**Certified Negotiation Expert

Professional Real Estate Agent in Altanta






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.”


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.



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 







Home Equity Loans a New Reality?

Home Equity loans are worth looking into.

home equity

Are we really looking at Home Equity Loans? It’s hard to believe, but it is a reality again and here is the scoop…


Do you remember Home Equity Loans? A thing of the past? Not quite. A sharp increase in home prices over the last few years has given homeowners more equity to tap into, about $825 billion according to a recent report from Black Knight Financial Services. However, we do not think that tapping into that home equity is much more difficult than in the last decade, when many homeowners used their home equity lines like an ATM.


One of the key factors today (as it should be) is the customer’s credit. Home equity line lending has jumped some 40% from just a year ago, however it is still below what it was back in 2007 when the bottom started to drop out. Credit scores for new borrowers average a FICO score of 782, which is considered a very low risk. It also seems that many borrowers are using their home equity for much different reasons than a decade ago.


The difference today that ten years ago is that homeowners are using their home equity on things that they need vs. things that they want. (ie. Boats, vacations, etc) The whole shakedown of foreclosures, etc. has given way to “less is more” possibly. With that said, the home equity process has definitely shifted and it is much more like getting a mortgage. Interestingly, over one third of the equity is in California and in the top ten markets in the United States.


The good news, I guess, is that is still a product “home equity” and that it is available for those that have been fortunate to maintain high credit scores and to actually live in a market that home prices have increased enough to have “equity”. Will it change again? Probably. We never know with the fluctuation in different products and an interesting changing economy.






July Real Estate Market

Is the current real estate market going up or down?

July 2015 real estate market report


The National Association of Realtors said that it’s seasonally adjusted pending home sales index rose 0.5 % to 110.9 last month.  This is a slight recover from June, when the index fell to 100.4 after reaching 112.3 in May, a level last seen in 2006.


Slightly more Americans signed contracts to buy homes in July, as pending sales edged up after dipping in June.  It seems that steady job growth coupled with low mortgage rates have spurred more of a buying and selling trend.


As the recovery from the Great Recession enters its seventh year, more Americans have rebuilt their savings, increased their home equity and returned to the real estate market.


We know that pending sales are a barometer of future purchases. A lag of a month or two usually exists between a contract and a completed sale.


Completed sales of existing homes increased 2 percent in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.59 million, the fastest pace in eight-and-a-half years.


But the market has also revealed a mismatch between rising demand and limited supplies of homes on the market. Sales have increased 9.6 percent over the past 12 months, while the number of listings has declined 4.7 percent. We are still seeing the higher demand has largely emerged out of solid hiring since early 2014 and relatively low mortgage rates.


In addition, over the past 12 months, employers have added 2.9 million jobs as the unemployment rate has fallen to 5.3 percent from 6.2 percent. The hiring has generated a greater sense of financial security that has boosted housing.


Mortgage rates have also remained roughly two percentage points below their historic levels.


(Good news! )


The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 3.84 percent this week, according to mortgage firm Freddie Mac.  All of that said, the market is starting to build and it is a great time to take inventory of your own real estate and make decisions based on your real estate goals!  Let me send you the latest comparisons for your home!  Call me at 404-219-1938.