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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...]

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...]

For $400k – $450k is Kirkwood or Ormewood Park a better long-term investment?

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This question surfaced on Trulia Voices today. Here’s my answer: Two big police beats per neighborhood. If you want to really dissect things, draw lines at the major commercial/retail borders and the railroad borders, and look at all 4 of the beat books. From there, look where the $400-450s consistently sell. As examples, Hawthorn Park is coming back in Kirkwood - back to prices above 2003-2004 new builder sales prices with unfinished basements and attics around $400ish... Same with Stoney River, Greystone, or Springdale builds on nice lots in Ormewood Park. Both have active neighborhood organizations and some streets are generally better than others for "quiet, tree lined" living. Both neighborhoods still have a few gravel roads left too. Old school. For $400-450K, without factoring in a specific need for one particular school district over the other, and without factoring in a particular commute or convenience requirement, it's a toss up based on the … [Read more...]