Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I Am Grateful

Wow.  Thanksgiving is tomorrow.  There is so much to do, to prepare for the holiday, and I have a brand new listing that I need to get up and running before the day is over in addition to a "to do" list a half a mile long it seems.  Breathe.  Grateful.   Ah yes, I am grateful.

In this unstable, schizophrenic real estate market, you sometimes have to look for things to be grateful for... sometimes you have to look pretty hard.  But, of course, it all depends on your perspective.

The listing appointment I went on yesterday afternoon was a home that I had listed a year ago... about this same time.  The seller had taken a job out of state.  He wasn't happy about the loss of value his home had undergone in the previous couple of years, and he wasn't too excited about moving, but he felt it was his best option at the time.  About 45 days or so into the listing, we received an offer, and simultaneously, the seller decided he hated his new job and didn't want to leave Atlanta, so we withdrew the listing. 

Fast forward to one year later.  The same seller just got a great job opportunity.  This time he is stoked about moving to Michigan.  The bad news is that his home dropped in value at least another $10,000 in the past year.  But he still has some equity in the house as he purchased in 1999.  He is choosing not to see what he has lost in value since the market highs of 2004-2006.  The truth is, the loss in value is only theoretical since he didn't sell during the high point in the market.  He is still going to make money from the time he bought the house in 1999.   He still got to take a major tax deduction from his primary residence for 10 years.  Sure beats renting. 

I have a strong feeling that this listing is going to sell- pretty fast and pretty close to the asking price.  We have studied the market statistics, analyzed the comparable sold properties and have priced the property within 5% of the estimated value to sell.  And my client is ready to break his ties with Atlanta and move on.  He seems to be very sure about his future and realizes that he can move on.  With today's interest rates and prices, he will be able to buy (or build) his dream home in his new location.  I am happy for him.

Another property listing that I just closed last week was from a dear friend/client who had lost her husband a little over a year ago.  It took her awhile to come to terms with the loss of her husband.  They had a fabulous home and it was difficult to leave the memories, yet she needed to move on and start a new life.  We used the same formula to study the statistics, price the home within 5% of today's market value and sold the house in 38 days.  She can move on and start a new life for herself- and she deserves the best.  I am happy for her.

This has been a very good year for me.  Personally, one of the best, if not the best year of my whole life.  Professionally, the market has presented challenges, but I have done well- and I am grateful.  Buyers this year have a lot to be grateful for!  And the sellers who were able to sell have a lot to be grateful for.  The glass is both half empty and half full.  Drink up! 

Happy Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

When is Foreclosure Removed From Your Credit Report?

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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Fall Back: Fall Maintenance Tips for Your Home

Halloween is over and it's time to nest.  Don't forget to "fall back" this weekend.  Daylight savings time begins November 7, so don't forget to set your clocks back an hour.  I love that extra hour on Sunday morning!  Before you know it, we'll be in the cold days of winter.  So now is the perfect time to take measures to ensure that you and your house are going to get through the coming winter snug as a bedbug in New York City.

 •Check all window and door locks for proper operation

•Check your home for water leaks

•Review your fire escape plan with your family

•Make sure there are working nightlights at the top and bottom of all stairs

•Have a heating professional check your heating system every year

•Protect your home from frozen pipes

•Replace your furnace filter

•Run all gas-powered lawn equipment until the fuel is gone

•Test your emergency generator

•Have a certified chimney sweep inspect and clean the flues and check your fireplace damper

•Remove bird nests from chimney flues and outdoor electrical fixtures

•Inspect and clean dust from the covers of your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms

•Make sure the caulking around doors and windows is adequate to reduce heat/cooling loss

•Make sure that the caulking around your bathroom fixtures is adequate to prevent water from seeping into the sub-flooring

Additionally, it's a great idea to inspect the caulk joints at your exterior siding, windows and doors.  Caulk joints tend to shrink and separate over time, which can allow water entry and facilitate wood rot around windows, doors and framing.  And wood rot leads to termites.  And we hate termites.

Also, check masonry mortar joints at brick work on the exterior, especially if you have an old home.  The masonry mortar joints between bricks can crumble and fall out between the bricks, particularly on an exterior brick chimney.  A qualified contractor can assess and repair exterior caulking and mortar re-pointing issues for you.

Finally, now is a great time to have an assessment done regarding your home's energy efficiency.  My friend and past client, Don Liotta, owner of Outside the Box Home Solutions is one of the few contractors in Georgia that is an Energy Star Home Performance accredited contractor. They can perform a home energy audit to diagnose how you can improve the energy performance of your home and potentially slash energy bills.  Don's website is which will explain in detail how he may be able to save you $$ on your energy bill.  Plus, Federal tax credits are now available for energy efficient improvements made to your home of 30% of the cost up to $1500 (see energy star website..

Warm and cozy-- "That's the way, uh-huh, uh-huh, I like it "(K.C. and the Sunshine Band for those of you   born after 1965 and don't get the reference).  Happy Fall, Y'all.