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FHA loan limits will rise in Georgia – expect a sales spike in 2015

Hot first time buyer zip codes will likely see a 15-20% increase in sales in 2015, when FHA loan limits increase. Currently in Metro Atlanta and the  surrounding counties the FHA loan limit is $320,850.00 this will increase to $342,700.00.  This will include the following counties: Fulton, Barrow, Bartow, Butts, Carroll, Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, Dawson, Dekalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Gwinnett, Haralson, Heard, Henry, Jasper, Lamar, Meriwether, Morgan, Newton, Paulding, Pickens, Pike, Rockdale, Spalding and Walton. For other counties in GA it should remain at $271,050.   FHA ANNOUNCES NEW LOAN LIMITS TO TAKE EFFECT JANUARY 1ST  2015 Loan limits for highest and lowest cost areas to remain unchanged WASHINGTON - The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) today announced the agency's news schedule of loan limits for 2015. These loan limits are effective for case numbers assigned on or after January 1, 2015, and will remain in effect through the end of the … [Read more...]

Buying in Atlanta is 52% cheaper than renting

W Downtown at WET

Trulia's "Rent vs. Buy" index once again credits Atlanta as a healthy city for buying in lieu of renting. Dollar for dollar, it is 52% cheaper to own and maintain a residential property than it is to lease a similar residential property. Phenomenally, other leading RENT cities like Chicago and NYC have become cheaper BUY cities - it is 22% cheaper to own vs. rent in NYC, and 47% cheaper to buy in Chicago. Those numbers have changed a lot in the past few years. Atlanta's numbers have always screamed BUY! That's why so many REITS, hedge funds and corporate investors swallowed up most of the stagnant, dirt cheap, distressed inventory in Georgia during 2012 and 2013... These statistics have been consistent in Atlanta for decades. The entire city by city report, from Trulia's Chief Economist Jed Kolko, can be found at this link. Trulia is, in my opinion, the best consumer website on the internet - the kind of work that they do in this index is one of the reasons why I … [Read more...]

First time homebuyers – carpe diem!

First Time Homebuyers - Carpe Diem!   The two charts from Trulia below offer a close up look at my neighborhood of 30033 North Decatur, and compare it with the 5 zip codes that comprise "greater Decatur." The Decatur example can be easily compared to other parts of metro Atlanta - the trends look similar. Here are the facts: 1. every year, prices and activity decrease in the winter months - veteran real estate owners and investors know that...these charts do not lie 2. sales volume and sales prices peaked in the Summer of 2006 3. The Intown Insider bought a Decatur townhouse at the bottom of the market, in the Autumn of 2010, and sold it for a tidy profit in the Summer of 2014. 4. Prices go up, then they go down, quarter by quarter, year by year - the Winter months are always a solid time to take advantage of ample supply, and less demand 5. Rates remain so low, we truly are in a "Golden age of real estate" While many signs continue to point to an economic recovery, housing … [Read more...]

Agent to agent feedback

I love feedback. My almost 49 year old ears have listened to occasional bursts of it for 38 years or so. Yes indeed. That link does not lead you to an example of the feedback that I'm talking about. I'm talking about real estate agent to real estate agent feedback. Agents, when providing feedback to another Realtor or real estate agent, should feel free to be blunt and to mean what they say. Throwing shade. No. Real, brief to the point comments. Yes. Agent to agent feedback, in particular, should be timely and served bluntly. Agent to agent feedback is almost always either 1 of exactly 2.5 different things: 1. a valid opinion   2. no feedback, which is feedback   2.5. some lame opinion which is of no value to anyone. I'll have a link to a relatively close, albeit distinctly Canadian example of how some real estate agents get along everyday, at the end of this post. Feedback helps listing agents in this market. It helps everyone in the real … [Read more...]

Poolside and sitting pretty for $245,000 in downtown Decatur

Poolside H1

If you like what you see on the outside, then get with me to see the inside. Just $245,000.00. Not yet listed, and I have written permission to show it and to present contracts to the seller. Check your comps - call your advisors, and have them call me.     Or, just cut to the chase and lets do some dual agency, before the seller replaces the carpet, and I list it...before I start throwing open houses and getting multiple offers. In June.   Call Lee Taylor at 404-218-4126 in May, and we will line up showings for all qualified buyers. Unless someone gets it under contract before you do... My community, Decatur Townhouses is so hot right now - so hot, that if you are more budgeted for a 2 bedroom, 2 bath unit under $200,000, and if you prefer an end unit next to the park, then Lee is selling his unit by late June. Sneak peeks are available.   Do you see what happens when you filter the downtown, city limits zip code 30030 against the … [Read more...]

Listings headcount in Intown Atlanta is down – it’s a good time to sell a house

Listings inventory Intown Q12014

The listing headcount remains down. The listing headcount peak occurred in late 2011; back then, listings headcount was at an all time high in metro Atlanta. Prices were at all time lows when list to sales price ratios were at 70% or so - that was early 2009. That means that sales prices were roughly 30% off of list on average. Prices began to stabilize as buyer vs. seller negotiations grew closer and closer to today's tidier numbers. Demand has been steady, and by early 2012, inventories starting dropping through late 2013. After that 2011 peak, the listings headcount trended downward until last Summer. We fell below 6 months supply  - that's what I call the listings headcount, back in March 2012. That drop to 6 months supply heralded the seller's market we have been in since then. Listings headcount is down on average, across the broader Intown market. This chart reveals that Q1 2014 ended with 4.2 months of supply, and here in May, it starting to feel like 7 months supply. … [Read more...]