Saturday, November 24, 2012

Real Estate in Numbers: Butts, Clayton, Coweta, Fayette, & Henry Counties

Real Estate in Numbers:
Butts, Clayton, Coweta, Fayette & Henry Counties
We're noticing a change in the local real estate pattern ... for the past few years it seemed that we were on a steady decline in home values; however, 2012 has been a much different market and in some ways, even more challenging than the previous years because of low inventory. If you're in the market for a new home, you may have noticed that every home seems to have multiple offers and goes to a "highest and best" situation in which buyers bid over the asking price for the property. These competitive situations are pushing the average sales prices up little by little. I guess it all goes back to basic economics - supply and demand. In our current market place, there doesn't seem to be enough inventory for the amount of buyers that are out there. Not such good news for buyers, great news for sellers! If we can hold this new pattern, we may just see an improving real estate market. It's hard to predict what the future will hold and there's still talk of banks releasing their "shadow inventory." While none of us hold the crystal ball to the real estate future, we can study trends and patterns to and make our best prediction as to where the market is heading... here's the scoop:

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Monday, November 19, 2012

2012 Christmas Events on the Southside of Atlanta: Coweta, Fayette, Henry, Rockdale Counties

2012 Christmas Events on the Southside of Atlanta:
Coweta, Fayette, Henry, Rockdale Counties
(Conyers, Fayetteville, Hampton, Locust Grove, McDonough,
Newnan, Peachtree City, Senoia, Stockbridge, & more!)

Looking for holiday events on the southside of Atlanta?
We've got you covered...


Light-Up Senoia, Parade and Tree Lighting
December 1st at 4p (parade begins at 5:30p) at corner of Travis & Main Street
Entertainment, music, food court, parade, meeting of Santa & Mrs. Claus, and Secret Santa Workshop so that children can do their Christmas shopping early! Santa will light the tree immediately after parade and stay to hear from all of the boys and girls!
Senoia's Candlelight Christmas Tour of Homes
Sunday, December 9th from 5-8p, tickets are $12 in advance/$15 at door (sold at Senoia Welcome Center or at various downtown shops)
Tour 6 historic homes along with the beautiful santuary of the Senoia United Methodist Church. As a special treat, the featured homes on this year's tour will include the 2012 Southern Living Idea House. The Church's Chancel Choir will present mini concerts of holiday music between 5:15-7:30p.

Newnan's Annual Christmas Parade: "A Merry Musical Christmas"
December 2nd at 3p beginning at the city park at the corner of Temple Ave & Jackson Streets and will continue down Jackson, through the court square, and out on LaGrange Street to Newnan High School.

Newnan's Candlelight Tour of Homes
December 7th at 4pm, call 770-400-2380 for more info.

Piedmont Newnan Hospital Auxiliary welcomes visitors to its annual tour of stately homes decked out for the holidays.
Christmas Tea with Santa, Madeline & Winnie-the-Pooh & More!
December 8th and 15th beginning at 9:15a at the Newnan Theatre Compamy.
$15/tea party only or $25/tea party + performances ( for tickets)
Each ticket includes a staged photo, snacks, drinks, games, take home crafts, and more! Tea party begins at 9:15a and is followed by an 11a performance of Madeline's Christmas  & A Winnie-the-Pooh Christmas Tail

Fayetteville Christmas Parade and Lighting of the Tree
December 1st, festivities begin at 5p at gazebo on the Fayetteville Square
Parade will begin at 5p with lighting of the Christmas tree immediately afterwards. Enjoy free hot cocoa and popcorn along with carriage rides with Santa from 6-8p.

Peachtree City's Hometown Holiday

December 1st from 5-9p at City Hall Plaza/Drake Field
The lighting of the Peachtree City Christmas Tree along with Santa's arrival! Enjoy music by Rising Starr & JC Booth Middle Schools' choirs and McIntosh High School's band! Hot chocolate and popcorn will be available along with a craft station where kids can create Christmas ornaments for a nominal fee.

Pet Photos with Santa at Peachtree City PetSmart

December 1st from 11a-4p, $9.95 with PetPerks card
No appointment necessary, you will receive a photo in a holiday frame. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Fayette County Humane Society.

The Nutcracker Tea in Fayetteville
December 15th at 5p at Bennetts Mill Middle School, 210 Lester Rd, Fayetteville 
$15 tickets available at or call 770-631-3128Celebrate the holiday season with excerpts from the classic Nutcracker. Special treats and goodies will be served along side a full tea buffet. Little girls are encouraged to wear their favorite party dress and bring their favorite doll. Boys and girls will have the chance to help battle the Rat King and Saint Nick will also make an appearance.

Lighting of the Locust Grove Christmas Tree
November 22nd at 7p
Singing groups & choirs with arrival of Santa at the closing. Visitors are encouraged to bring their cameras for photos with Santa

Lighting of the Hampton Christmas Tree
November 22nd at 7p
Lighting of the tree along with holiday carols at the Hampton Depot Park

Stockbridge Holiday Festival
November 27th from 5-9p at the Merle Manders Conference Center & Clark Park
Meet Santa and Mrs. Claus, see live reindeer, entertainment and more!

Atlanta Motor Speedway’s Gift of Lights
December 1st-31st at the racetrack in Hampton
Hours/Costs:    Sunday-Thursday: 6-9p $15/car   Friday-Saturday: 6-10p $20/car
More than 1 million LED lights dazzle visitors in the 15-mile drive through display at AMS.

Christmas … In the Grove”
December 1st from 10a-2p in downtown Locust Grove
Christmas parade, stage entertainment, food, train rides, rock climbing wall, craft vendors, and the arrival of Santa in a firetruck! Parade begins at 10a.

McDonough’s Annual Christmas Parade, “The Magic of Christmas”
December 1st, 2012 beginning at 5:30p around the McDonough Square
Enjoy live entertainment on the McDonough Sqaure, the lighting of the tree and a parade to delight children of all ages.

Hampton's Christmas at Home Parade
December 6th at 7pm in Downtown Hampton
Piedmont Henry Hospital’s 10th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting
December 6th, 2012 from 6-8p on the hospital’s south lawn
Refreshments, hayrides with Santa, music from local choirs, & more!
More info by calling 678.604.1026


Conyers Hometown Parade & Tree Lighting: "A Star Spangled Christmas"
December 1st, Parade begins at 4:30p and is followed by tree lighting
Parade will begin at Rockdale County High School and will wind its way down to Olde Town Conyers ending at Rockdale County Courthouse.There will be music & performances and guests are encouraged to bring canned good for donation to the Rockdale Food Bank

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Monday, November 12, 2012

Short Sale Review: Chase Bank

Sweet success! With every short sale approval and closing, we let out a sigh of relief because that means that we've successfully taken some stress away from one of our clients! As of Friday, we closed a short sale with Chase. There are some banks that make us roll our eyes when we even hear the mention of their names (ahem, Bank of America) but Chase is NOT one of them. Although it was somewhat of a lengthy process to obtain the initial "approval to participate" in the short sale program, once we were pre-approved, it was a piece of cake. Of course, we realize that a short sale experience can be determined by the negotiator you end up working with -- some are awesome, some are just okay, some are horrible and some are beyond horrible! After all was said and done, I would rate our short sale experience with Chase as a B+ (I'd rate each of the Chase staff but that would be a blog post for another day - whew!). My clients even received a cash incentive for participating in the short sale program! If you or anyone you know needs assistance with a short sale, please call or email us! Even if you just have questions, we're here to help!

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Friday, November 9, 2012

Kitchen Renovations/Makeovers = $$$

Have you ever noticed how one can almost identify the decade in which a house was built by checking out certain features .... cabinets, fixtures, paint colors, tile, etc. Some things specific to time periods are charming such as archways and hardwood flooring; however, there are some things you won't find on a buyers "must have" list (i.e. pink/mint green countertops or tilework, dark green shag carpet, etc).

Check out these cabinets and their time periods:

There's nothing wrong with having these types of cabinets but if you're looking to sell, many buyers prefer an updated kitchen. Remember that the kitchen and the master bedroom are often deciding factors for buyers and upgrades/renovations in these rooms can get you an awesome return. Kitchen renovations can be expensive though and new cabinets may put a dent in your bank account. If you're looking for a budget friendly way of updating your cabinets, check out these ideas:

(Source: Photo via)

So how did they do it... here's the secret:

Who would have known? What a budget friendly and easy way of giving your kitchen cabinets a face lift. Sometimes all it takes is a little creativity to update your home! To view the entire kitchen makeover along with other neat ideas by clicking the following link: Kitchen Makeover

Looking at the before and after photos, which kitchen do you think a buyer would choose? Which one do you think would add value to the home?

Here's another example of a budget friendly makeover. This blogger spent less than $3500 for her awesome makeover and that included brand new Bosch appliances! She simply painted the cabinets, switched out the cabinet hardware, added a tile backsplash (that came from Costco), changed the faucet and lighting, and a few other small things. Amazing!

To read more about this kitchen makeover as well as additional photos, click on the following link: Kitchen Makeover

What a difference!!

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(Selling homes in Fayette County [Fayetteville, Peachtree City, Brooks, Senoia], Henry County [McDonough, Hampton, Locust Grove, Stockbridge], Coweta County [Newnan, Sharpsburg, Moreland], Clayton County [Jonesboro, Lake Spivey, Morrow, Forest Park, Rex, Ellenwood], Rockdale County [Conyers], Butts County [Jackson], etc)

Friday, October 26, 2012

Meth Lab For Sale

For Sale:  Meth Lab.... Any Takers?
(This photo is via)
By the way, if you're interested, you can really purchase this shirt by visiting the site above...but we don't really recommend buying it nor wearing it. That would make you strange and not fashionable!
If you follow national news, you might have heard about the young couple who purchased a Freddie Mac foreclosure in Oregon that turned out to be a formal MeTh LaB! Yikes! They renovated the home, moved in, and became ill (mouth sores, dry mouth and all!). A neighbor advised that they thought the home was a former meth lab and when they purchased a $50 testing kit, it confirmed what the neighbors had told them.

Sooooo -- how can you prevent this from happening to you? A couple of ways:

  • Always talk to neighbors if possible. Generally, they'll be happy to talk to you and if they know something you should know, they'll probably tell you!  
  • Visit the Drug Enforcement Administration's website to review their "National Clandestine Laboratory Register." This list shows properties in which law enforcement agencies found what they believe to be either meth labs or dumpsites. Even if you're not looking to buy a house, checking out this list is kind of interesting ... you know, because everyone should know where their local crack/meth houses are! :) (Be sure to read the disclaimer at the bottom of the website ... it advises that it's not a complete list. Basically, you can't sue them if you purchase a home and it's not on the list).
  • It wouldn't hurt to call your local police department and check the address and maybe even ask them for crime stats for the neighborhood/subdivision/area. 
  • If you really have suspicions or are overly paranoid about the possibility of purchasing a meth lab, maybe a $50 kit wouldn't be such a bad idea!
One article that we read advised that the following are signs of a meth lab:
1. Yellow discoloration on walls, drains, sinks, and showers.
2. Blue discoloration on valves of propane tanks and fire extinguishers.
3. Burning in your eyes, itchy throat, a metallic taste in your mouth, or breathing problems when in the home.
4.Strong odors that smell similar to materials often found in a garage, such as solvent and paint thinner, or odors of cat urine or ammonia.

Once you purchase a foreclosure (meth lab or not), generally it's yours to keep. You purchase them as-is, in whatever condition they may be in, and with any and all history that comes with it. Hopefully Freddie Mac will help this couple out of this situation, but they may not.

If you want to check out the story, visit:

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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Real Estate in Numbers: Sales Prices Sept '11 vs '12

Average Sales Price - September 2011 vs 2012
(Single Family Residences)

Are things beginning to look up? In reviewing the average sales prices for the southern crescent counties, it appears that the average sales prices may be inching up some. Of course, this is just an overview for the month of September in 2011 versus 2012 so we'll have to continue to watch to see what happens but here's the scoop:
We can tell you from experience that inventory is slim and so therefore, there's competition for the properties that are available. This means that in highest and best situations, buyers are often bidding higher than the asking price and in return, properties are selling slightly higher. If this continues to happen, then it would seem that Realtors and appraisers will begin using these higher comps and this will help market values increase. If you're thinking of buying a home, NOW is the time! Jump in there before prices go up any further!

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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

5 Reasons to Sell Your Home Now!

Many sellers feel that the Spring is the best time to place their home on the market as buyer demand increases at that time of year. However, the Fall and Winter have their own advantages. Here are five reasons to to sell now.

Only Serious Buyers Are Out

At this time of year, only those purchasers who are serious about buying a home will be in the marketplace. You and your family will not be bothered and inconvenienced by mere ‘lookers’. The lookers are at the mall or online doing their holiday shopping.

There Is Far Less Competition

Housing supply always shrinks dramatically at this time of year. This year will be a little different as some of the distressed properties being liquidated by the banks (in the form of foreclosures & short sales) will enter the market. However, for those buyers looking for a non-distressed property, the choices will be limited. Don’t wait until the spring when all the other potential sellers in your market will put their homes up for sale.

The Process Will Be Quicker

One of the biggest challenges of the 2012 housing market has been the length of time it takes from contract to closing. Banks have been inundated with both purchase and refinancing loan requests. Both of these will slow in the winter cutting timelines and the frustration these delays cause both buyers and sellers.

There Will Never Be a Better Time to Move-Up

If you are moving up to a larger, more expensive home, consider doing it now. Prices are projected to appreciate by over 15% from now to 2016. If you are moving to a higher priced home, it will wind-up costing you more in raw dollars (both in down payment and mortgage payment) if you wait. You can also lock-in your 30 year housing expense with historically low interest rates right now. There is no guarantee rates will remain at these levels in years to come.

It’s Time to Move On with Your Life

Look at the reason you decided to sell in the first place and decide whether it is worth waiting. Is money more important than being with family? Is money more important than your health? Is money more important than having the freedom to go on with your life the way you think you should?

You already know the answers to the questions we just asked. You have the power to take back control of the situation by pricing your home to guarantee it sells. The time has come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire. That is what is truly important.

We're here to help! Call or email for a no pressure consultation.

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Blog Source: KCM Blog, Steve Harney

Monday, September 17, 2012

5 Reasons to Buy a Home Now!

5 Reasons to Buy a Home Now!

Based on prices, mortgage rates and soaring rents, there may have never been a better time in real estate history to purchase a home than right now. Here are five major reasons purchasers should consider buying:

Supply Is Shrinking

With inventory declining in many regions, finding a home of your dreams may become more difficult going forward. There are buyers in more and more markets surprised that there is no longer a large assortment of houses to choose from. The best homes in the best locations sell first. Don't miss the opportunity to get that 'once-in-a-lifetime' buy.

Price Increases Are on the Horizon

Prices will bounce along the bottom this winter. However, projections call for appreciation after that. Several studies and surveys call for price increases over the next few years starting in 2013. One such survey shows that prices will increase over 10% by 2016.

Rents Are Skyrocketing

Rents historically increase by 3.2% on an annual basis. A study issued earlier this year projects rent increases of 4% for the next two years. Trulia recently reported that rents this year have actually shot up by 5.4%.

Interest Rates Are at Historic Lows

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has kept interest rates low in an effort to stimulate a lethargic economy. He understands that low rates will help housing and housing is a key to bringing back the economy. As the economy approves, the need to keep rates low will no longer exist. The 30-year-mortgage rate before the financial crisis was 6.57% (August 2007).

Buy Low, Sell High

We would all agree that, when investing, we want to buy at the lowest price possible and hope to sell at the highest price. Housing can create family wealth as long as we follow this simple principle. Today, real estate is selling 'low'. It's time to buy.

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Blog Courtesy of KCM Blog - Steve Harney

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Is Real Estate Better Off Than 4 Years Ago?

These are national sales averages, however, the story it depicts definitely applies to our market!


Monday, September 3, 2012

Happy Labor Day!

Happy Labor Day! 

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

Thank you to all of you who work and contribute to America! 

If you have a moment, take time to watch the short video below by clicking on the link "Putting Up the Flag."  It touched us.

If you're looking for a place to put up the flag, give us a call!

Click here -----------> Putting Up the Flag

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Friday, August 10, 2012

Ways to Avoid Foreclosure

We came across this interesting piece that discusses options to avoid foreclosure. It's a great summary of your options when faced with the hardship of foreclosure. If a short sale is an option you'd like to explore, please don't hesitate to call or email. We've completed many successful short sales and are more than happy to try to help you!


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Monday, August 6, 2012

Should I Rent My House If I Can't Sell It?

About one out of every five potential sellers we meet with asks the question...."Should I rent my house if I can't sell it?" We're not at liberty to tell anyone what they should and shouldn't do, but below are some questions you should consider before making your decision.

10 Questions to Ask BEFORE Renting Your Home

1.) How will you respond if your tenant says they can’t afford to pay the rent this month because of more pressing obligations? (This happens most often during holiday season and back-to-school time when families with children have extra expenses).

2.) Because of the economy, over ten percent of homeowners can no longer make their mortgage payment. What percent of tenants do you think can no longer afford to pay their rent?

3.) Have you interviewed a few experienced eviction attorneys in case a challenge does arise?

4.) Have you talked to your insurance company about a possible increase in premiums as liability is greater in a non-owner occupied home?

5.) Will you allow pets? Cats? Dogs? How big a dog?

6.) How will you actually collect the rent? By mail? In person?

7.) Repairs are part of being a landlord. Who will take tenant calls when necessary repairs arise?

8.) Do you have a list of craftspeople readily available to handle these repairs?

9.) How often will you do a physical inspection of the property?

10.) Will you alert your current neighbors that you are renting the house?

The above questions were part of an article from Steve Harney and the KCM blog. They're great questions and we encourage anyone considering renting to think long and hard about them before making a decision.

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Friday, July 27, 2012

Fabulous Foreclosure Deals!

Incredible Foreclosure Deals!

This market is something crazy! Sometimes I come across deals that absolutely blow my mind! I'm not sure whether to be more suprised by today's market or the crazy market that existed prior to the bubble burst in 2007. Take the house above for example:

355 Vista Creek Drive in Monarch Village (Stockbridge, GA) - it is approximately 2413 square feet with 4 bedrooms and 2 full bathrooms. It has a spacious kitchen with breakfast area, formal dining room, family room, plus a sunroom and a privacy fenced backyard! It previously sold for:

  • 2002: $191,900
  • 2005: $189,999
  • 2007: $197,500
It is now on the market as a Fannie Mae foreclosure for $106,900! Now, I know your first thought would be that it's a foreclosure and probably in horrible condition - but it's not. I've shown the home and from what the naked eye can see, it needs a good cleaning, paint and carpet. Here are some interior photos:

If you're looking for a fabulous foreclosure at a great price, let us help you! This isn't the only great deal out there -- there's plenty. You just need a great agent to help you locate them!
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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Real Estate in Numbers: 2nd Quarter - Butts County, Clayton County, Fayette County, Henry County

Pulling statistics from the MLS quarterly is one of my favorite things to do! Call me a real estate geek, but I get excited to see where the market is heading! If you have questions about your local market or a specific subdivision/neighborhood/community, please contact us and we'll be happy to provide a detailed market analysis and other market data!

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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Can We Sell Your Home?

These four things have a direct impact on whether or not we can sell your home:

A seller should be willing to give almost unlimited access to potential purchasers if they are looking to sell. Any restrictions to showing the home will result in fewer buyers which could result in a lower price, a longer time on market or both.


Condition goes a long way in determining whether or not a house sells. Bringing in a professional stager is the ultimate answer. If that is not possible, the seller should at least be willing to remove all the clutter and 'throw on' a fresh coat of paint where necessary.


Very few owners are willing to give a first mortgage to a potential buyer. However, there are other mortgage options they perhaps should consider. Allowing FHA financing is an example. Perhaps, they would be willing to help the buyer out with a seller's concession. The easier it is for a purchaser to finance the home, the greater the chance more buyers will be interested.


Every house must be sold twice: to the buyer and to the bank if a mortgage is involved. To get a home sold the price has to be right. There are studies that have shown that listing a house at a price greater than the market warrants results in that home taking a longer time to sell and also selling for less money.

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Source: KCM Blog - Steve Harney

Monday, July 2, 2012

Short Sale Assistance for Military Families

Military families have just been given help to sell their homes when forced to move because of their service. Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders often require quick moves and can create hardship for military homeowners who are underwater on their mortgages and therefore cannot sell their home without taking a loss. Homeowners who receive (PCS) orders now will be eligible to sell their homes in a short sale even if they are current on their mortgage. Previously, many service members felt their only option was either to maintain financial obligations on two residences or to default on their mortgage.

Under the new policy, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will not pursue a deficiency judgment or any cash contribution or promissory note from members of the military with a change in duty station for any property purchased on or before June 30, 2012.

Edward J. DeMarco, Acting Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) explained:
"It is in everyone's interest for the men and women serving in our armed forces to focus on the important job they are doing defending our country, rather than worry about the maintenance and leasing of a property in another jurisdiction."

The full news release with eligibility requirements can be found here:

We are well educated in short sales and are happy to extend this knowledge to our nation's military. Please don't hesitate to call, email, or text if you need our assistance.

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Monday, June 18, 2012

Getting the Listing Price Right from the Beginning is Critical

Harmful Effects from Changing the Listing Price?
The Research

Are there any negative effects from changing the listing price of a property? This question haunts Brokers/Agents as well as sellers of property every day. At present, there does not seem to be a consensus answer to this question within the professional real estate community. Fortunately, this question was scientifically investigated by John R. Knight. Unfortunately, few know the results of Professor Knight's research.

In Knight, the impact of changing a property's listing price is investigated. Additionally, the types of property that are most likely to experience a price change are also estimated. The findings from this research indicate that, on average, properties which experience a listing price change take longer to sell and suffer a price discount greater than similar properties. Furthermore, bigger price changes are found to experience even longer marketing times and greater price discounts. Finally, as for which properties are most likely to experience a price change, Knight finds that the greater the initial markup; the higher the likelihood that any given property will experience a listing price change.

Implications for Practice

Sellers as well as Brokers/Agents should therefore be aware of the critical necessity of getting the price correct from the start. Sellers wanting to over list will ultimately take longer to sell and will sell their property for less, on average, according to Knight. Brokers/Agents' desire to take a listing and get the price right later will ultimately lead to their working harder according to Knight, and they are not doing their sellers any favors. Thus, an initial and detailed analysis of the proper price is much more critical than many originally thought.

Interestingly, I have found in my own research that the direction (up or down) of the listing price change does not matter. A listing price increase and decrease both lead to similar results found in Knight's work – longer marketing times and lower prices. Therefore, get the price right from the beginning. It is best for all.

[1] Knight, John, R. (2002). Listing Price, Time on Market, and Ultimate Selling Price: Causes and Effects of Listing Price Changes. Real Estate Economics. 30:2, 213-237.

Source: KCM Blog, Steve Harney

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Thursday, June 14, 2012

AJC Reports "Home Sales Up as Prices Plummet"

I must admit, I'm not really a newspaper reader. In fact, I rarely purchase the paper and if you do catch me reading it, I'm probably looking at the sales ads! I was standing in line at the grocery store on Sunday when I noticed that the front page of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution had a real estate related article as the cover story! The title, as you can see from my high quality iPhone photo above, was "Home Sales Up as Prices Plummet!" So naturally, I threw it in my cart and brought it home to read (along with the latest Target sales ad).

There are a gazillion different reports, studies, and opinions as to what the state of the real estate market is. If you get your news from a national source, you may hear that the market has bottomed out and prices are on the rise; however, being that the Metro Atlanta area was one of the hardest hit in the nation, that doesn't quite apply to us just yet. In fact, Melissa and I include graphs in our listing presentations that show just what this article is saying... the inventory level is down, the number of foreclosures is down, pending sales are up, and sold transactions are up which seems like the make up of a wonderful real estate market; however, the catch is that the average sales price is still down. So...the GOOD news: things are moving and selling! The bad news: they're still selling at lower prices.

Here are some interesting facts from the article:

  • The number of overall home sales picked up by 11% across the metro Atlanta counties even though the median price dropped by nearly 15%. In most counties, the market was driven by resales, with the number of new-home sales either flat or declining. 
  • The ZIP codes with the most home sales were in Lawrenceville (30044 and 30043) and Cumming (30040 and 30041). The Lawrenceville ZIP 30046 also saw the greatest increase in home sales, at 125%.
  • The biggest declines in number of homes sold could be found in the Cherokee community of Waleska (30183) and the Southwest Atlanta area of 30310.
  • The cheapest homes can be found in the West Atlanta area of 30314, where the median home sale was just over $15,000, slightly down from where it was last year.
    The Biggest Gain: 30294, Ellenwood: This part of Henry County had the biggest gains in 2011, up 22%; however, the median price was $56,500: that's still a 68.9% drop since the height of the market in 2007.
  • The Biggest Loss: 30337, College Park: This city in south Fulton had the biggest price drop: down 45.7% since 2010. The median price was $57,000, a 69.2% fall from 2007
To view additional information from this article or to see statistics provided by the AJC, click on the following link:

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Friday, June 1, 2012

Southern Living Idea House in Our Backyard - Senoia, GA

Did you know there's yet another great home to tour right in our own backyard?

The Southern Living Idea House opens tomorrow, Saturday, June 2nd in Senoia, GA!

In case you didn't see our post a couple of weeks ago....we last blogged about the HGTV Green House available to tour at Serenbe (click the following link to read that blog and get the info on how to tour that home- ). We're crazy about homes, which is why we love our job. Touring homes is like shopping for shoes to us....instant bliss!

You don't want to miss this charming circa 1830's farmhouse renovation. It's a first for Southern Living because it's a "renovation" idea home (instead of a building a new home they took an old home and renovated it). The home was lifted and setteled just a few yards away from its original location and has undergone a beautiful transformation. We're so glad that Southern Living and the builders/developers saw the value in saving a beautiful historic home. Too many of our historic homes in our area are being torn down or sit vacant or are left to deteriorate. We love our historic homes and "squares" here in GA. Congratulations to Senoia as well because this is the first time Southern Living has returned to a town to do a 2nd Southern Living home. There's just something about Senoia!

Here's the details on the Southern Living Idea House:

1. Location - 57 Morgan Street, Senoia, GA 30276

2. Grand Opening is Saturday, June 2nd from 11:00am - 5:00pm. After the grand opening, the home is open through December 23rd. It's closed on Monday & Tuesdays, open Wednesday - Saturday from 11:00am - 5:00pm, and open Sundays from 1:00-5:00.

3. Ticket cost is $12.00 at the door. If you'd like to purchase tickets in advance, visit: . If you purchase online, they charge a $1.65 convenience fee. A portion of every ticket sale goes to benefit our local country musician, Zac Brown (of The Zac Brown Band) and his local charity "Camp Southern Ground." It's a wonderful cause!

Below are some links that may interest you:

To plan your visit (where to stay if you're from out of town, what restaurants to eat at, etc. :

To see a time lapsed video of the renovation and more info on the renovation:


It's always nice to have fun and affordable events in our own backyard. Enjoy Senoia, it's so charming! If you decide you want to move there, or if you want to find your own farmhouse to renovate, give us a call or email, we'd love to help! : ) 

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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Happy Memorial Day!

All Gave Some.......Some Gave All! Happy Memorial Day from Stephens & Stephens!

Thank you to our nation's military, both current and past (including our own father and both grandfathers). Our country would not be the same without you.

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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Check Out the HGTV Green House at Serenbe - Right Here in Metro Atlanta

HGTV, the popular home and garden television network, recently sponsored their HGTV Green Home 2012 right here in Georgia! Located in Serenbe, a sustainable community less than 30 minutes from Atlanta, the Green Home includes all the luxuries of the modern life combined with an environmentally friendly and eco sustainable process and lifestyle.

Wondering what the Green Home looks like on the inside? You’re in luck! This Monday, May 21st, our company, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Metro Brokers, has the day exclusively to ourselves to tour the home and bring our clients from 10am - 7pm. Tickets are discounted and only $15 (typically they are $20). Tickets must be purchased at the door for this special tour on May 21.

Why Tour the Home?

• Preview the finished home that’s currently being showcased on the HGTV show.

• View the latest trends in green living from professional designers.

• Snacks and drinks available throughout the day.

• Check out one of the hottest up and coming neighborhoods. There will be other homes open at Serenbe, and you can have breakfast or lunch at the Blue Eyed Daisy CafĂ© located in the heart of the community.

If you'd like to go, give us a call or email and we'll make sure you're in. We can't wait to see it ourselves!

P.S. If you can't go this Monday, but still want to go, the home is open until June 24th from Tuesday throught Sunday 11am - 7pm each day (closed on Mondays). The cost is $20 on regular days.

Tours last approximately 30 minutes.

For more information about the home, or to see interior photos, check out:

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Thursday, May 10, 2012

Fun Events This Weekend - Geranium Festival, McDonough & Fine Art Show & Taste of Fayette, Fayetteville

Fun Annual Events in Our Area

1. Geranium Festival: McDonough

Where: On and Around the McDonough Square

When: Saturday, May 19th from 9:00-5:00

What: Come out and enjoy local vendors, artisans, and cooks selling and showcasing their products, handmade goodies, crafts, foods, etc.

2. 44th Annual Fayette Fine Arts Show

Where: The Old Courthouse Square - Fayetteville

When: Saturday, May 19th from 10:00-6:00 & Sunday, May 20th from 12:00-5:00

What: Come out and enjoy beautiful artwork from local and nationwide artists showcasing their art all on the courthouse lawn. It's fun to just browse, but art is available for purchase as well. Skip across to Stonewall Village when you're done to visit the Taste of Fayette event on Sunday (see below).

3. Taste of Fayette

Where: Stonewall Village - Downtown Fayetteville - Near the Old Courthouse

When: Sunday, May 20th, 12:00-5:00
What: Sample foods from Fayette County's restaurants for fees ranging from 50 cents - $3.00. There's also a kids corner with activities for the kiddos including face painting and rides. Skip across the street to the Fine Arts Show when you're done (see above).

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