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Decatur, Georgia named one of the greatest places in America

When the American Planning Association (APA) speaks, apparently many listen. And they just named downtown Decatur, Georgia one of the great neighborhoods in America. At a glance, they state that "APA is an independent, not-for-profit educational organization that provides leadership in the development of vital communities. We measure our success by the successes of our members and the communities they serve." I am proud to say that I've been living in the "vital community" (APA's coined term) of Intown Atlanta for 16 years. I'm now a resident of downtown Decatur, and I also operate my business out of the KW market center in downtown Decatur. Click here for directions. I certainly think that Decatur is one of the greatest places in America. Calling downtown Decatur one of the greatest neighborhoods in America is an easy call and the fact that the APA ranks Chinatown in San Francisco and Norwich, CT as the #1 and #2 greatest neighborhoods in America, makes me feel somewhat … [Read more...]

Getting real about short sales

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I just had a short sale attempt fail. My former 1/1/1 townhouse listing near the East Atlanta Village. We were in agreement for a $65000 purchase. In a short sale, both the buyer and the seller have to get real about the tenuous elements of their particular short sale. What do I mean by getting real? Well, here is a quick explanation via this example: The seller has now decided to attempt a deed in lieu of foreclosure with their lender and in doing so, the seller got real about his short sale. He is so real about short sales, that he has decided to just not attempt to complete this particular short sale. The seller is so real about short sales that he is willing to walk away from the property and let the bank have it, in lieu of attempting the rigorous processes, month after month, to win this short sale. If I counted up my short sale transactions since 2004, when my first attempt for a Buckhead condo owner resulted in foreclosure after months of work, and I was … [Read more...]

Before you buy a house in the shifty metropolitan Atlanta real estate market…

Before you buy a house in the shifty metropolitan Atlanta real estate market, consider some of the insights that a few of us recently shared on Trulia Voices. First, let me state – this is the golden age of real estate. Has been for about three years straight. There has not been a better period in recent history that has displayed more pronounced value and affordability, on a macroeconomic scale, than the period that we are in right now. And before you make a decision to buy a house in the shifty metro ATL real estate market consider the following insights from David Crook at the Wall Street Journal. His article on Friday is the best that I’ve seen recently for summarizing where we are right now as a nation, regarding residential real estate. David’s article is entitled: “What You Need to Know Before Buying a House…Yes, the market is looking up. But don't let the euphoria obscure the flashing yellow lights” So before you buy a house in the shifty Atlanta market, think … [Read more...]

The SHIFTY real estate market in metropolitan Atlanta

We have a shifty real estate market in metropolitan Atlanta. We have a shifty real estate market not only in Atlanta, yet also nationwide, really North America wide. It’s shifty. A Trulia Q&A came up yesterday, and the question is this: What cities in the Atlanta metro area have the most depressed real estate markets in 2013 and is recovery expected? That question led me to think about some of the insights that I recently learned at Keller Williams Mega Camp last week. Tony DiCello stated that we have a SHIFTY market. Gary Keller and many other panelists and thought leaders at KW drew many conclusions about the “shiftyness” or as I like to call it “shifticity” in the real estate world. And, Gary made it very clear that the only way to power through the shifty shift is to understand and bring about geometric progression in your business, and to bring intense focus on the ONE thing that brings consistent success at whatever you are trying to do to succeed … [Read more...]

Lee Taylor’s mobile real estate app is up

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Lee Taylor’s mobile app is indeed, “up!” The Keller Williams Technoscenti developed personal real estate field research apps for every agent in North America, based on the local search, quick alert tools we all use everyday – as far as I know, there are no other brokerages who have a vast deployment of 88,000 individually branded apps. And, my mobile app is up! Here’s how to navigate the web to get to mine. Please don’t text and drive Mobile URL http://app.kw.com/KW1FZYSUZ You need this code to connect with Lee Taylor’s mobile app! Mobile Text Code KW1FZYSUZ My Agent Code KW1FZYSUZ QR Code – if you feel like a nice clunky scan… Keller Williams Realty provided me with a mobile application, thereby enabling an agent like me to receive a unique URL and text code to share with consumers. When consumers use the app, they can easily search and compare properties and connect directly with their agent of choice about the listings … [Read more...]

Fanny versus Freddy

OK, I shall settle the argument right here and right now. I’m attracted to the legendary ladies of Fanny, but Freddy’s legacy is beyond compare. I’m not talkin’ mortgage stuff here, I’m talkin’ rock and roll. Fanny are the Godmothers of Chick Rock. That’s right – read about ‘em here… Here’s a really fun video performance of their 1971 hit “Charity Ball” – lip-synced on the Sonny and Cher Show!   OK – you know Freddy. Freddy Mercury. His band Queen were the top performing live act worldwide in the 1970?s. They kept it going in the ’80?s too, until that Flash Gordon soundtrack came along. Personally, that’s when I quit listening, then I returned to their classics…I still love this band – I saw the redux version with Paul Rodgers 8 years ago and they certainly rocked. In today's world, Fanny and Freddie are going away, but Fanny and Freddy will live forever on You Tube! … [Read more...]

Intown Atlanta buyers – rates are going up

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The $187 Billion rescue of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. Saved the North American real estate market. Kept rates from going up. Intown Atlanta buyers got bargains through 2012. And Freddie reported a $5B gain last quarter… Now the time has come to dismantle these quasi-governmental gargantuans. And rates are going to go up. And, Intown Atlanta buyers will feel the pinch. So reports the AP last week. Just sabre rattling before the chopping block, I think. I expect the chopping to happen on Obama’s lame duck watch circa the winter of 2015. And once sufficiently rebooted in a few years, there will be a direct effect on the purchasing power of Intown Atlanta buyers. When rates go up, Intown Atlanta buyers will lose some of their current stretchability. And, when rates go up on Intown Atlanta buyers, some Intown Atlanta sellers will inevitably have a “shoulda woulda coulda” moment – they will recall the heady days of Spring 2013 – the fastest market ever in … [Read more...]

A graphic look at 30 year fixed mortgage rates since 1971

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Freddie Mac publishes this on their website. Rate tables going back to 1971. Highest year and month – July 1981 16.83% Lowest year and month – November and December 2012 3.35% Average over the past decade – just 5.6%. That’s a photo of my kitchen, looking as it did circa 1972 with it’s cocoa two-tone Hotpoint appliances, goldenrod wallpaper and nasty green linoleum. Great era for style, huh? Rates were 7.4% in the month of July 1972. Anyone fretting over a rise in rates recently needs to study history and feel a whole lot better about this week’s 4.51%… … [Read more...]

A treatise on the value of a Decatur Townhouse

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A request came my way two weeks ago: Lee, Can you help me find out what our 2 bedroom units are selling for? I am not sure where to look and I thought you may have access to what the last few sold went for..." I answered with a detailed summary report on values, with accompanying individual property reports with photos. Here’s my review: Recent 2/2/1 sales since last Summer. Decatur Townhouses at 307 Adair Street (my community) D7 asked $175000 and closed for $159250 in about 60 days July 2012. C5 asked $147500 and closed for that price in about 40 days in September 2012. 4E asked $142000 and closed in about 60 days for $140000 in October 2012. All 3 sellers paid some closing costs for each buyer. H2, our only recent 3/2/1 sale, is an interesting case to consider when positioned against the rest of Decatur's similar, "vintage" era townhouses. H2 asked $225,000 beginning August 2011. She was under contract twice and both times resulted … [Read more...]

South of Wright – Wall Street Journal house of the day!

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I promise – coming tomorrow, a look at the exterior of The Copeland House, in more detail. To start the week however, I want the Intown Insider to promote some recent media placements for the new listing. Atlanta Curbed featured it last week – love them! And yesterday, the Wall Street Journal featured the house as “house of the day!” Pretty cool – that’s a first for me and a first for my local brokerage. Thanks to Jason Wieloch for making that connection through KW Luxury. Onward and upward – three showings in 8 days on market. … [Read more...]