Real Estate Resources: Buying, Selling, Investing and Other Great Stuff!
Tax Deductions You Need to Know About!
Posted - 2 days ago
While one would never have imagined the iconic words of yesteryear, "Why do you ask for whom the bell tolls, for it tolls for thee", to be construed as an act of benevolence from our Great Benefactor, Uncle Sam, it doth still ring true! True that, he takes more than he ought, but there are more than enough 'bells' to go around when it comes down to the generous tax breaks afforded to thee taxpayer!
 
 According to IRS.gov, here are some of the deductions you are allowed to take:
 
Your house payment If you took out a mortgage (loan) to finance the purchase of your home, you probably have to make monthly house payments. Your house payment may include several costs of owning a home. The only costs you can deduct are real estate taxes actually paid to the taxing authority, interest that qualifies as home mortgage interest, and mortgage insurance premiums. These are discussed in more detail later.

 Minister's or military housing allowance. If you are a minister or a member of the uniformed services and receive a housing allowance that is not taxable, you still can deduct your real estate taxes and your home mortgage interest. You do not have to reduce your deductions by your nontaxable allowance.

You can use a special method to compute your deduction for mortgage interest and real estate taxes on your main home if you meet the following two conditions.

  1. You received assistance under:

    1. A State Housing Finance Agency (State HFA) Hardest Hit Fund program in which program payments could be used to pay mortgage interest, or

    2. An Emergency Homeowners' Loan Program administered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) or a state.

  2. You meet the rules to deduct all of the mortgage interest on your loan and all of the real estate taxes on your main home.

 Real Estate Taxes

 Most state and local governments charge an annual tax on the value of real property. This is called a real estate tax. You can deduct the tax if it is based on the assessed value of the real property and the taxing authority charges a uniform rate on all property in its jurisdiction. The tax must be for the welfare of the general public and not be a payment for a special privilege granted or service rendered to you.

Deductible Real Estate Taxes

You can deduct real estate taxes imposed on you. You must have paid them either at settlement or closing, or to a taxing authority (either directly or through an escrow account) during the year. If you own a cooperative apartment, see Special Rules for Cooperatives, later.

Real estate taxes paid at settlement or closing. Real estate taxes are generally divided so that you and the seller each pay taxes for the part of the property tax year you owned the home. Your share of these taxes is fully deductible if you itemize your deductions.

Refund or rebate of real estate taxes. If you receive a refund or rebate of real estate taxes this year for amounts you paid this year, you must reduce your real estate tax deduction by the amount refunded to you. If the refund or rebate was for real estate taxes paid for a prior year, you may have to include some or all of the refund in your income. For more information, see Recoveries in Publication 525, Taxable and Nontaxable Income.

 
 
Generally, you can elect to deduct state and local general sales taxes instead of state and local income taxes as an itemized deduction on Schedule A (Form 1040). Deductible sales taxes may include sales taxes paid on your home (including mobile and prefabricated), or home building materials if the tax rate was the same as the general sales tax rate. For information on figuring your deduction, see the Instructions for Schedule A (Form 1040).

Deductible Mortgage Interest

To be deductible, the interest you pay must be on a loan secured by your main home or a second home. The loan can be a first or second mortgage, a home improvement loan, or a home equity loan.

Prepaid interest.  If you pay interest in advance for a period that goes beyond the end of the tax year, you must spread this interest over the tax years to which it applies. Generally, you can deduct in each year only the interest that qualifies as home mortgage interest for that year. An exception applies to points, which are discussed later.

 Late payment charge on mortgage payment.  You can deduct as home mortgage interest a late payment charge if it was not for a specific service in connection with your mortgage loan.

 

 



Good News! FHA will keep funding flips!
Posted - 2 days ago
 90-day resales receive extension through 2012!

 Good news again for investors as the FHA (Federal Housing Administration) has extended the waiver for the 'anti-flipping' rule for another year. This means that buyers will be able to continue to purchase homes that have changed hands within the last 90 days.

This is really good news for investors since the FHA loan is popular with first time home buyers, and investors who rehab and flip properties will continue their appeal with buyers who don't have large cash reserves.

The anti-flipping rule was put into place in 2003 to protect the FHA from losses due to investors purchasing homes without doing any rehab work, and flipping the properties.

According to Inman News, "In February 2010, the Obama administration waived the waiting period for resales -- including homes purchased and rehabbed by private investors -- in the hopes of stabilizing home prices and revitalizing communities hit by foreclosures."

"It often takes less than 90 days to acquire, rehabilitate and sell properties, the Department of Housing and Urban Development," commented at the time. "Some sellers of rehabbed properties had been reluctant to enter into contracts with FHA buyers because of the cost of holding a property for 90 days", HUD said.

FHA has said "In extending the waiver through 2011,  it insured 21,000 90-day property flip loans worth more than $3.6 billion in 2010 that would otherwise not have qualified for financing."

 

 




March and April best months for Open Houses
Posted - 2 days ago

March and April best months for Open Houses

Ah, Spring is in the air, well actually it's that yellowish fine mist of pollen that creates incessant irritation for some and mild annoyance for others. That said, Spring, March and April to be exact, is the perfect time for Open Houses according to Trulia's Housing Market Calendar.

So, go ahead with your Spring cleaning, and then get ready for your Open House! In March and April many buyers, who will be looking to move over the school summer break and be in their new home before school starts back up, will be looking for Open Houses to attend. This is the time buyers are looking, and the inventories are usually still low, so take advantage of your opportunity by giving buyers a fresh and sunny Open House to stroll through this weekend! Here's a few tips for your homes spring debut:

  • Clean out the cobwebs from the windows inside and out, and clean the windows as well
  • Clean out your gutters
  • Plant some colorful spring flowers, and put some potted seasonal plants out and about
  • Make sure all dead leaves have been cleaned up
  • Keep all the pollen cleaned up (no small task here) 
  • Put on your bright and cheery spring colors-bedding, pillows, curtains, etc.
  • Get some floral scents wafting about the house, candles, melters, plug-ins
  • De-clutter every room

Also, make sure your real estate agent is advertising your Open House in every possible venue to get the most exposure for your home.




Housing Market in Recovery According to NAR
Posted - 2 days ago
The highly anticipated housing recovery is beginning to bloom, according to some industry experts reviews of the most recent existing home sales.

 "Home sales are still very low,”  admits Paul Dales, chief economist at Capital Economics, however, “it is clear that housing recovery is now well underway.”

He alludes to the evidence, clearly home sales have been on the rise for the past three months, posting a 5 percent increase in December alone.

Chief economist for the National Association of Realtors (NAR) Lawrence Yun,  agrees with Dales’ assessment, saying “The pattern of home sales in recent months demonstrates a market in recovery.”

Yun goes on to say that consumers are gaining confidence from “record low mortgage interest rates, job growth and bargain home prices.”

NAR reported a 1.7 percent annual increase in existing-home sales in 2011, in addition to the 5 percent increase in December,  topping out at 4.26 million homes for the year.

According to NAR’s existing home sales report:

  • Distressed homes made up 32 percent of sales for the month in December.
  • Also for the month of December, foreclosed homes sold closed at nearly 22 percent below market rate, a discount 2 percent higher than those previously recorded a year earlier.

With 21 percent of homes sold in December to investors, investor demand remains steady, with buyers taking 19 percent of purchases in November, while averaging 20 percent one year ago.

On another note, according to NAR, housing inventory is on the decline and fell to its lowest level since March 2005 last month. “The inventory supply suggests many markets will continue to see prices stabilize or grow moderately in the near future,” Yun said.

Optimistically, Dales believes sales will continue to rise this year. “Housing still won’t contribute much to GDP growth over the next few years, but at least it will no longer subtract from it,” Dales says.


 




Housing Crisis Ending in 2012 According to Predictors
Posted - 2 days ago

Housing Crisis Ending in 2012 According to Predictions (edit/delete)

Capital Economics notes that the average credit score required to obtain a mortgage loan is currently 700. This is definitely higher than the scores that were required prior to the housing crisis, but it is consistent with the requirements one year ago.

Other indicators in the market refer to not only this stabilization that is being seen in current lending standards, but also to banks loosening their credit requirements, creating greater availability of funds to lend.

Currently, banks are lending amounts up to 3.5 times borrower earnings; which is up from a low during the crisis of 3.2 times borrower earnings.

Even further encouraging news, banks are loosening loan-to-value ratios (LTV), as Capital Economics predicts “the clearest sign yet of an improvement in mortgage credit conditions.” In 2010 the lowest LTV reached 74 percent, with banks currently lending at 82 percent LTV.

While  it's true that credit conditions may have loosened slightly, the fact is some potential homebuyers are still struggling with credit requirements; and according to Capital Economics in November, 8 percent of contract cancellations were the result of a potential buyer not qualifying for a loan.




Georgia's Buyer Agency Law....How Does it Affect You?
Posted - 2 days ago

Georgia’s Buyer Agency Law….How Does it Affect You? 

 

For years Georgia did not have a buyer agency law in place. As a matter of fact, the only party to have representation in the transaction was a seller. However, the state of Georgia passed a law that provides the buyer to have the representation as well, but with a few provisions.

First, the buyer needs to put his request for representation in writing by signing a contract with a real estate broker. And, this request needs to be in writing before going to look at houses and certainly before writing a contract. Without this request in writing,  every agent the buyer talks to is technically representing the seller according to the way the law is written. So, why would you want everyone in the transaction representing the seller??

Well most don’t. However, the way the law is written, without a buyers agreement, the agent is obligated to protect the sellers price and interests and is NOT allowed to offer advice or opinion to the buyer.

Unfortunately, what this means is that any agent the unrepresented buyer talks to should not be given any confidential information as it may be used to the advantage of the seller, whom legally, the agent represents.

So, let’s say that a buyer, who decided not to sign a buyers agency agreement, decides to put an offer in on a home. The buyer has to tell the agent exactly what they want in the offer, without any advice or guidance being offered by the agent and the buyer may or may not understand the contract or the real estate process, can find himself in a world of hurt.

Ideally, the buyer should seek representation as soon as they are ready to look at houses. I recommend even before hand because there is a lot of education that goes into lending laws, pre approvals, etc that can save a buyer a boat load of time. 

And Just a Few More Tips When Hiring a Buyers Agent:

·         When you Google the Agent, What Do Their Clients Have to say about their services?

·         If you are concerned about the commission, remember the commission is paid by the seller and can be negotiated with a for-sale-by-owner seller as well.

·         Meet with the agent first; see if there is a comfort level with both the person’s knowledge and personality.

·         ASK QUESTIONS!

Remember, it doesn’t cost you a thing to have us represent you, but it could end up saving you a fortune. Visit http://www.seasonsrealtygroup.com/Our-Team.html to learn more about how our EXCLUSIVE BUYERS AGENTS can help you succeed in a world of uncertainty!

 




2012 Home Sales on the Rise Predicts Fannie Mae
Posted - 2 days ago

2012 Home Sales on the Rise Predicts Fannie Mae

Fannie Mae economists are predicting incremental steps forward in the housing sector for 2012, albeit refinances will fall. "The second half of the year should outpace the first six months in terms of growth, though fiscal policy and political uncertainty in Washington will likely drive consumer and business activity", the mortgage giant states.

According to Chief Economist Doug Duncan positive consumer activity and challenges in housing and the global economy will equate to moderate growth for the year.

"We're entering 2012 with decent momentum, especially on the employment side, which is fostering positive household and consumer behavior," Duncan said, "Unfortunately, we expect this momentum to slow as we move through the first half of the year."

Total home sales are predicted to increase 3.5% to about 4.74 million in 2012 from 2011 with another 5% gain in 2013 to nearly 5 million, according to the report released last Friday. New home sales are forecasted to  jump 10.4% for 2012.

According to the forecast, the Federal Housing Finance Agency home sales price index, excluding refinances, could dip 1.1% for 2012 from a year before.  Many Economists had predicted the 2011 index would finish 4.6% lower than 2010.

 



Jingle Bells, House that Sells! Stage the Halls for Holidays
Posted - 2 days ago



I know , you have enough to deal with already getting through the holidays with your Atlanta home for sale, but as long as your house is on the market anyway, tis the season to be putting a festive face on the place! Here are some tried and true tips to make the most out of your holiday décor, and give those prospective buyers a holly jolly time while touring your warm and inviting hearth and home.

·  A holiday wreath or pinecone arrangement on the dining table will put buyers in the festive spirit and make them feel right at home.

· Welcome one and all with an inviting entrance and a front door tastefully decorated for the season.

· Focus on the fireplace. Nothing says cheer is here better than a colorfully adorned fireplace mantel. Remember to stay within the color theme of your home here. If your décor is normally pale shades of blue, skip the red garlands and stay within your given color scheme for the most appealing display.

· Keep it simple, seriously! If you have a fireplace or other architectural feature that you would like to accentuate, add simple displays to show off and not distract from it’s natural beauty.

· Trim the tree, but keep it sweet. Make sure your tree is not overwhelming your space. If you have a two-story foyer then make the most of it with a towering tree, but if space is tight, keep the tree thin and lanky. Go for a modern and uncluttered trimming, with a color theme that enhances the surrounding décor.

· Keep buyers toasty and warm! When it’s chilly outside keep your buyers wanting to spend more time at your home by setting the thermostat up a degree or two, and if you have a fireplace, light it up. The more time they spend warming themselves by your fire the more likely they are to feel an affinity for your humble abode.

· Let them see you’re merry and bright by lighting up the yard with lights! Go gently here my friends. A simple string of lights to accentuate the homes appealing architecture or to show off your gorgeous fir trees will do nicely. No one wants to spend Christmas with the Kranks, so leave your inflatable Santa and reindeer set in the garage, please!

·  Santa likes cookies, and so do your wearied buyers! Nothing says holiday cheer like the smell of freshly baked cookies, except maybe the sight of those cookies gingerly laid out for those guests who’ve come to visit, that you would love to stay.




SELLING Your Home During the Holidays!
Posted - 2 days ago

 

I know what you're thinking "What! sell my house during the holidays....You've got to be kidding me! With all the shopping, baking, tree decorating, parties, and on and on why in the world would I want to put any more STRESS into my holiday season!"

It's fairly common for most sellers to have this mindset, that "Winter" months equals a NO SALE season. Allow me to debunk this common myth. While showings can be stressful during a time when there is family over or on a Sunday while you’re putting up a tree, there are substantial reasons why the end of the year is one of the BEST times for sellers to sell their Atlanta home.

· LESS EQUALS MORE- During the holidays, many sellers take their homes off the market, which means there are LESS homes available to prospective buyers. Low inventory increases the chance a seller can sell quickly and for more money.

· SERIOUS BUYER POOL -If you are having showings on Christmas Day (perish the thought!), or any of the weeks leading up to it, you can rest assured that these are not the “looky lous”. These are serious buyers who NEED to buy, so having your home on the market during this time means we are dealing with a SERIOUS buyer pool.

· RELOCATION, RELOCATION, RELOCATION- Did you know Atlanta is home to the TOP 50 Global Corporations like Coca-Cola Company, NCR,Delta, Equifax, UPS and more?? These companies tend to staff their corporations right before the end of the year to get in their “calendar budgets” for the next year. Keeping your home on the market during this time means that you have a better chance of snagging up a high-powered executive.

· INTEREST RATES -Interest rates are still at an all time low, so there is even more incentive for buyers to buy.

· COMPETITION-Today, your home is based on the valuation of your current competition, which is less due to low inventories. When the market picks back up in the Spring, sellers will be “competing” with each other to get their sold quicker. While we don’t have a crystal ball, we do know what we are working with RIGHT NOW!

· BECAUSE I SAID SO! -In my seven years as a real estate agent, November and December has proven to be my most productive months of the year. My proven track record confirms all my previous reasons.

· DON'T FAIL!-You only FAIL if you fail to try. Test my theory and see the results for yourself.

· REAL ESTATE AGENTS LIKE TO TAKE THE HOLIDAYS OFF- so hire one who you know will be in town and can help filter all the calls and continue to market the home.

· TAX SEASON -Some buyers NEED to buy before the end of the year due to the tax benefits. Don’t deny them the right to capitalize on this pivotal time.

· MORE FREE TIME FOR BUYERS- And, time is money. Buyers have more time to look during the holidays outside of work hours, so keep your home on the market to ensure every possible buyer is able to see your home.

According to the National Association of Realtors, the average agent sells 8 homes a year. YES, 8 HOMES A YEAR. In a time of anxiety and hardship for many agents, I have sold 58 homes of which 8 were sold in the month of November 2011 alone.

If you’re looking for an Atlanta real estate agent who WILL be in town for the holidays and has a proven track record of producing IMPRESSIVE results and getting sellers TOP DOLLAR for their homes, call Winter at 678-463-3173.




Five Reasons Why Buying a Home Now is a Great Idea!
Posted - 2 days ago

FIVE REASONS WHY BUYING A HOME NOW IS A GREAT IDEA!

If you’ve been one of those sitting on the sidelines watching others take advantage of the current influx of great deals flooding the housing market, it’s time to get off the bench and get in the game!

Here are the top five reasons why homeownership is a sweet deal right now!

1. Equity:

When you rent you are paying someone else for the privilege of living in their home. You might as well be throwing your hard earned money out the window. You are making your landlord comfortable though, so on his behalf, thanks! While it’s true that initially buying a home will have you coming out of pocket for a downpayment, closing cost (often the seller will pay most of this) and inspections; you will recoup that investment as long as you stay in your home and allow some time for appreciation to occur. This is why it’s called an ‘investment’, you are investing your funds, time, energy and eventually you will reap the reward of ‘equity’. The current recession will end eventually, and historically homes appreciate by about 4 to 6 percent annually. If you doubt this, ask your parents how much they paid for their house forty years ago, and see what it’s worth now!

2. Relationships:

 

Renter’s tend to see a high turnover of neighbors in their communities. Many complexes offer limited facilities for neighbors to congregate and hold any manner of social events, which makes it difficult to develop relationships with other renters. Most neighborhoods with homeowners include amenities such as pools, tennis courts, walking/bike trails and often hold community gatherings such as pool parties on special occasions, holidays, etc. where you can get to know others in your community.

3. Predictability:

When you are a renter, you are at the mercy of your landlord as far as how much and how often your rent will be increased. This makes it hard to do any long term financial planning since your housing expenses are unpredictable. When you own your own home your payment will remain basically the same as long as you get a fixed-rate mortgage. For most buyers this is the way to go; so if you’re paying $800 a month now, you will be paying $800 a month 10 years from now, give or take a little for taxes being adjusted. You can also calculate your variable cost for maintenance and life expectancy of appliances, roof, HVAC, etc. and save accordingly for these eventualities.

4. Ownership:

Don’t underestimate the joys of homeownership! Since you ‘own’ your home you can finally paint the whole house pink, or purple, or as most renters like to say ‘anything but boring beige’ which has been the mainstay of rentals for many years now. You can have your own garden, put up a fence, a pool, and renovate to your heart’s desire to make your humble abode reflect your personal tastes, and not someone else’s!

5.Great Deals:

I know you’ve heard it before, but there has NEVER been a better time to buy a home! With interest rates at all time lows, SERIOUSLY, you will have missed out on the opportunity of your lifetime if you don’t take advantage of interest rates as low as 4% and possibly even lower. That coupled with the fact that there are SO many BARGAINS out there right now, especially if you are buying a home to occupy. There is a plethora of foreclosure homes flooding the market right now, and if you avail yourself of a saavy agent, who knows how to get the good deal for you, you will be singing their praises for many years to come!

Homeownership can be a real joy. It's time to get off the sidelines, and into the house that is perfect for you now! If you are looking for a professional Realtor who can get you into the home of your dreams, give Winter a call at 678-463-3173. You will be glad you did!




Home Ownership on the Upswing!
Posted - 2 days ago

HOME OWERSHIP IS ON THE UPSWING!

According to a recent Census Bureau report, the homeownership rate posted a surprising rise in the third quarter, after falling to a 13- year low during the second quarter.

While it’s still true that foreclosures are still putting the squeeze on some homeowners, and reluctant buyers are still holding off for the proverbial 'bottom'; this third quarter rise is posted as the first rise in two years.

However encouraging, the 0.4 percent increase, which increased the homeownership rate to 66.3 percent for the third quarter, was not large enough to post an annual increase. The current homeownership rate remains at 0.6 percent below the rate recorded in the third quarter of 2010.

In addition, according to the Census report, when the current rate is seasonally adjusted – which brings it to 66.1 percent – it is “not statistically different from the rate last quarter” – an even 66 percent.

“Meanwhile, the homeownership rate remains at a level that suggests America’s love-affair with housing is still on the rocks,” Capital Economics adds.

The Midwest was the region with the highest homeownership rate, with a rate of 70.3 percent, with the West chiming in with the lowest at 60.7 percent homeownership. The Northeast and South fell respectively in between at 63.7 percent and 68.4 percent.

West Virginia had the highest homeownership rate at 76.1 percent; followed closely by Mississippi with a 70 percent homeownership rate.

The lowest homeownership rates were seen in the District of Columbia with a 44.3 percent rate for the quarter with New York following at 54.4 percent.

Nevada and California – states hard-hit by the housing crisis – were also in the bottom five with homeownership rates of 55.3 percent and 55.9 percent respectively.




Roswell Homes Offer Location, Location, Location!
Posted - 2 days ago
What is it about homes in Roswell, GA that make them so special? For one, Roswell is perfectly situated off of GA-400 about 7 miles north of Sandy Springs making it a very convenient and highly desired location.

Furthermore, you can get a WHOLE lot of house for the dollar too. And, with the holidays coming and buyers on the prowl, its easy to see why Roswell is one of the area's HOTTEST real estate markets...But, Why???

The reason so many flock to this area is its plethora of Roswell Parks and Recreation such as Roswell Park, and the Chattahoochee Nature Center, Roswell Restaurants like Sugo, and Aqua Blue, STELLAR schools, and QUALITY CONSTRUCTION for less than what you would expect to pay.

I may be a little biased because I was raised in Roswell off of Holcomb Bridge Rd. in Martin's Landing. When I was a kid, I loved having all my friends in my neighborhood. I went to Mountain Park Elementary when I used to live in Brookfield West and then went to Holcomb Bridge Middle followed by Chattahoochee High School. To say I know and love the area is an understatement, but its not what I know, its what BUYERS WANT...and Boy, do they want to be here!!!


This LAVISHLY-DESIGNED John Wieland Pottery Barn PERFECT home boasts the ultimate in pristine appointments and luxurious finishes, all in a highly-sought out area known for its top-rated schools and acess to some of Roswell's BEST recreation! Perfectly situated near all the major highways, your eyes won't believe this hand-tailored renovation masterminded over the years.

From the STUNNING chef's kitchen complete with breakfast bar and breakfast area to the fireside family room to the LAVISH master suite, you are sure to experience the LUXURY life, all for a fraction of what you might expect to pay.

Move-in READY STUNNING Renovation From the Top to Bottom Includes:
- Gleaming Hardwood Floors Throughout Main Level!!
- Let Your Inner Chef Come Alive! Kitchen Renovation w/Granite Counters & High-End Cabinets!!
- Enjoy European-Feel with High-End Finishes & LAVISH Appointments!
- Cozy Up In the Fireside Family Room!!!
- Or, Relax in the Formal Living Room with Dramatic BAY WINDOW!
- DESIGNER Paint Throughout!!!!~HOW SWEET???
- LAVISH Master Suite with MASSIVE Sitting Area and Designer Features!!!
- Master Bath Retreat Boasts HUGE Granite Vanity & Separate Shower Room!
- Fabulous French Doors Open to an Entertainers DREAM DECK & Ultimate Outdoor Experience!
- FULLY-FENCED Yard with Tons of Privacy & Mature Landscaping!!!
- Private Cabana & Entertainer's Deck in Back Yard!!!
- Newer HVAC, A/C and 4-yr Old Water Heater!!
- Granite Countertops on EVERY STITCH of this Home!!!
- NEW Architectural Roof~Oh Yeah!!
- Too Many Upgrades to Describe, You MUST See For Yourself!!!
- STELLAR School Districts and Highly-Sought Out Location Just a stones throw to GA-400!
- NEW DOUBLE PANE Energy Saving Windows!



The hard-to-find PRIVATE Back Yard, Fully-Fenced with a MASSIVE Entertainer's Deck and mature landscaping make it the ULTIMATE entertaining experience.

But, don't take my word for it, call Winter Baserva today at 678-463-3173 for your own private tour!




Real Alert App offers peace of mind for real estate agents
Posted - 2 days ago

Looking for the quickest way out of an emergency situation?  Well now there's an app for that!

I recently came across an interesting article describing how an Austin woman has developed an iPhone application to protect herself and others called Real Alert. Michelle Jones, a realtor, wanted a way to protect herself while showing homes and meeting with strangers. One of her friends in the business was attacked during an open house in Austin. "You just never know when you are going to meet with someone who is a creep," Jones said. She and her husband brainstormed ways to keep her safe on the job.

From one screen, REAL ALERT allows you to save precious moments with Quick tap “Call 911” and a Quick tap “ALARM” to ward off potential attackers. It also allows you to speed dial your emergency contact with Quick tap “ALERT A FRIEND”. You can also use it to LOCATE the nearest HOSPITALS using your current GPS location and record “CREEP DATA” – details about a suspicious person before they are forgotten.

After coming up with a solution that would make her husband comfortable and her feel safe, Michelle approached a programmer she knew and hired her to program the app. “I’m not an overly technical person and definitely not a programmer,” says Michelle. “I developed REAL ALERT to satisfy my own safety needs and quickly realized that it is a perfect solution for anyone, regardless of age or profession, that wants to protect themselves from potentially dangerous situations. I’m confident that it will help save lives.”

REAL ALERT is currently available on iTunes at a price of $1.99. It is listed in the ‘Lifestyle’ category and is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. REAL ALERT is available for download at: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/real-alert/id436455476?mt=8.

 




Spring forward....Fall Back...Time for Landscaping Ideas!
Posted - 2 days ago

Spring forward...Fall back....Time for some Fall Landscaping Ideas

The past few frosty mornings in the Atlanta area have confirmed that it is indeed, fall again. My summer totes are making their way to the basement...goodbye Espadrilles! It is time to assess the condition of my foliage to see what needs pruning, pulling, or even moving to make a graceful transition to the inevitable cooler days and season that is upon us.

Well we all know good things have to come to an end, but there are many ideas afoot to make that enjoyment last just a wee bit longer.

There are many plants available that can stand up to a degree of cold or even a little frost. Your more fibrous and woody plants will be the kinds of plants to look for . There are also many varieties of tall grasses that have become available with in the last few years that make a great addition to your fall garden. There is such a collection of colors, heights, and plumage, you will find it hard to choose! The best thing about the grasses is that they are maintenance free.

In late summer and early fall there are many varieties of mums that can be planted. You will find them to be most hardy when dealing with the cold weather of October. Another great plant that can add a lot of color to your landscape is Kale.

There are many colorful trees for fall that you can plant in your yard. You can go from bright yellows to fiery red. Some of the premium choices are sugar maples, birch, ash ginkgo, redbud, beech, hickory, butternut, honey locust and the tulip tree to name a few out there. Do some research on the internet and you will find there are many new hybrids coming out every year.

With the phethora of gourds, pumpkins, cornstalks, hay bales and potted plants to be found at this time of the year there is no limit to the fun and great ideas you can come up with decorating your yard for fall. You could build a straw or hay bale stack on both sides at the end of your driveway and create an arrangement of fall colors. Cattails would make a nice addition to your fall collection as well.




President HARPs on new program to assist Homeowners
Posted - 2 days ago

 

Obama’s HARP is playing in Washington for homeowners who may be underwater with their mortgages!

The current Administration’s Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) has been designed to assist homeowners in refinancing their mortgages – even if they owe more than the home’s current value. The program allows refinancing of qualifying loans if the borrower owes up to 125 percent of the home’s value. Since its inception however, 9 out of 10 of eligible homeowners have failed to take advantage of this government program.

The HARP program will allow homeowners who have made timely mortgage payments in the last year to refinance even without the equity in their home that traditionally they would need to refinance. One important aspect of the stipulations to note is that homeowners current mortgage would have to have been sold to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac before May 31, 2009. The HARP program will be presented in phases with loan applications starting at December 1, 2011 or after.

The enhancements to the HARP program will include:

· Eliminating certain risk-based fees for borrowers who refinance into shorter-term mortgages and lowering fees for other borrowers;

· Removing the cap on loan-to-value (LTV) – previously set at 125 percent – to allow far more borrowers to qualify (effective sometime in the first quarter of 2012);

· Extending HARP through December 31, 2013; and

· Streamlining the process further for borrowers.

HARP generally reduces the borrowers’ monthly mortgage payment by providing a new loan at a lower interest rate, and may also be used to replace an adjustable-rate or interest-only loan with a fixed interest rate loan. To find out if you may qualify for the HARP program please contact your local Mortgage lender.




Stability Rising for Sandy Springs, Dunwoody Housing Prices
Posted - 2 days ago

 

STABILITY RISING FOR PERIMETER HOUSING PRICES

Things are looking up for home sellers in the Perimeter area! Whereas prices have not returned to the pre-recession days, they are no longer falling and have leveled out considerably. The Perimeter, which consists of neighborhoods including Sandy Springs, Dunwoody, etc. are centrally located to the city and are comprised of numerous established neighborhoods.

“Prices have stabilized”, said Smart Numbers President Steve Palm. “You’re able to get more bang for your buck than in other areas.” According to Smart Numbers data the average sale price for homes in Perimeter were $403,645 in 2011- up from $397,426 last year but still well below the 2007 high of $459,463. Comparatively speaking the prices were still above average from metro Atlanta, which saw greater drops in prices.

The Perimeter has fared better than most areas around Atlanta, and although is not seeing a return to the former ‘glory day’s, prices are more stable than most other areas. According to Steve Palm, “Considering that one out of four homes in metro Atlanta are being sold for less than $50,000, the Perimeter submarket has fared well.”

2011 has shown marked improvement also in Sandy Springs and Dunwoody with the amount of days houses are staying on the market before selling. In the Atlanta housing market overall there is a larger percentage of distressed inventory than in the Sandy Springs and Dunwoody market. According to Todd Emerson, senior V.P and managing broker of Harry Norman Realtors in Perimeter, “One of the secrets to a healthier single family home market here is better pricing. Homes that did not reduce their sales prices sold in an average of 56 days compared with an average of 110 days for those that dropped their prices.” In the Sandy Springs, Dunwoody area home sales are up close to 9% this year.




My Seller is Thrilled with my Services When I DIDN'T SELL!
Posted - 2 days ago

DUE TO MARKET CONDITIONS, MY SELLERS HOUSE DIDN’T SELL… AND IF THAT’S NOT A HARD ENOUGH PILL TO SWALLOW, ONE DAY DISASTER STRUCK!

As I opened the lockbox and headed for the basement I hoped for the best, but feared the worst. The carpet was wet in different places, and I couldn’t tell where the water was coming from. My mind immediately kicked into recovery mode and I called my assistant to get the number for a few of our plumbing vendors, and restoration clean up companies. Five phone calls later, including one to my trusty home inspector to find out where the water shut off valve might be, I had a moment to take a breath, and regain some vestige of composure. This might have been something I could wrap my brain around if my home owner was in the same HEMISPHERE as me and knew about his EMERGENCY home disaster! But being the ultimate professional Realtor that I am, who thinks on her feet, I realized I was on my own with this little misadventure.

WHILE MY SELLER DECIDED TO TAKE HIS HOME OFF THE MARKET UNTIL REPAIRS WERE COMPLETED, AND TO WAIT OUT THE HOLIDAYS, HERE IS WHAT HE HAD TO SAY ABOUT MY STELLAR 'OUT OF THE BOX' MARKETING OF HIS HOME!



So when you are looking for an agent to represent you in your home buying/selling journey, just ask yourself this question:

HOW MANY AGENTS CAN GET A REFERRAL FROM A SELLER, WHEN THE HOME DOESN’T SELL? And then give Winter Baserva a call at 673-463-3173 and let’s see what I can do for you!




Atlanta RE Expert-only Agent Featured 2x on House Hunters!
Posted - 2 days ago

Winter Baserva, Atlanta’s Real Estate Expert is the Only Agent to Be Featured On HGTV’s House Hunters Atlanta…Twice!
Shooting my first episode on HGTV’s House Hunters in 2010, “Pampered Pooch" was such an amazing experience. My clients Kelly & Brian had set out to find their perfect Brookhaven Home and we were able to capture all of the good, bad and ugly of the home buying experience.

If you aren’t familiar with "House Hunters" the popular show, which has an average of five million viewers per episode, takes viewers behind the scenes of the emotional experience of finding and purchasing a new home.

My most recent episode: Engaged Couple Buys First Home in Atlanta aired on Sept. 25, 2011 and all I can say was it was a hilarious time filled with lots of funny moments…I think HGTV’s description says it all:

Tyler and Sherry are getting married in a few months and want to buy their first home in Atlanta, Georgia. But, with Sherry picking apart every cosmetic detail in the homes they see, and Tyler rating the quality of each room on a scale of 1 to 5, their realtor, Winter Baserva, is being put to the test. Can she find a place that meets their high standards?
http://www.hgtv.com/house-hunters/engaged-couple-searches-for-first-home-in-atlanta-ga/index.html

I felt so honored and humbled to be choosen to do another Atlanta episode. This officially makes me the only Atlanta Real Estate Agent to be featured on the show twice.

But, aside from the glitz and glamour of being on TV, there is actually A LOT more than meets the eye….

For one, Atlanta is receiving BIG International Media attention for thebusiness Mecca that it is. Being home to some of the Nations TOP global corporations like Delta, Coca-Cola, Center for Disease Control andNCR to all of the growth projections for the city, its truly rewarding to see Atlanta being highlighted on the map.

In addition to Pietown Productions, lots of other production companies are bringing their business, just see how much Atlanta is on the MAP in terms of movie making and that is all helping to fuel our local enconomy.

But above all else, this popularity, the increasing number of home sales and the influx of business is hopefully helping home owners understand that the economy is picking up, things are NOT that bad and we will ALL get through this.

I can’t speak for other agents, but I can tell you that according to the National Association of Realtors your average agent sells 6 homes a year, and to date my team, Seasons Realty Group and I have sold over 60 homes. That is 10 times your average agent….How, you ask??

We’ll aside from working 28 hour days everyday, there are still people buying and selling homes and we provide them with the utmost service and advice to help them get into their home or get it sold quick ….So sellers be happy, things are turning around and buyers enjoy this wonderful opportunity you have at your hands, it won’t be here forever…..
The episode will continue to air throughout the year, so check HGTV for the upcoming schedule. And, if you would like to start your own house hunt with me and possibly be on my next episode, please give me a call at 678-463-3173.




When a Seller Loses Their Mind!!!
Posted - 2 days ago

Shut the FRONT DOOR!!! But, don't believe me, JUST CHECK THE TAX RECORDS!!
 
Its official, my sellers have lost their mind!! So, why would I call my seller CRAZY??? We'll quite honestly, anyone who drops the price $297,000 below what they paid for it has to be nuts!!!

And that is exactly what my Smyrna SELLERS have done.

THESE ARE THE RARE TIMES BUYERS MUST PAY ATTENTION TO.....AND THE OPPORTUNITY TO CAPITALIZE ON THE BEST IN LUXURY LIVING FOR A FRACTION OF THE COST....

This Smynra Beauty Entertainer's Estate with a MIND-BLOWING Renovation is now available for $297,000 less than the Seller paid for it, and that’s not including the $90,000 in ugrades!!!!!!

This LAVISHLY-DESIGNED Craftsman Home home boasts the ultimate in pristine appointments and luxurious finishes, all in a highly-sought out area known for its ideal location, friendly neighbors and acess to some of ATL's HOTTEST entertainment!

Perfectly situated off I-285, your eyes won't believe this hand-tailored renovation masterminded on this one-of-a-kind home.

From the STUNNING chef's kitchen with MASSIVE Granite Island that opens to the Coffered ceiling, Fireside Family room to the LAVISH master suite with PRIVATE Office and Spa-like Master Bath Retreat to the FULLY FINISHED BASEMENT, you are sure to experience the ULTIMATE in LUXURY living, all for a fraction of what you might expect to pay. And, when I say fraction, I really mean 
A S-T-E-A-L!!!!

With over $90,000 in upgrades, pride of ownership is an understatment and the seller paid $682,000 for this home. BreathTAKING is about the only way you can describe this IMMACULATE masterpiece.

The hard-to-find fully-finished basement complete with its own bedroom, FULL bath, living areas, Media room and bonus room makes this gem a slam dunk!

But, don't take my word for it, call me today at 678-463-3173 or visit www.SeasonsRealtyGroup.com to set up your own private showing!




Dunwoody Homes, What is So Special About Them Anyways??
Posted - 2 days ago

Dunwoody Homes, What is So Special About Them Anyways??

Dunwoody is a highly-sought out area in Atlanta to live in, but why?? Whether its proximity to major interstates, its abundance of shopping and restaurants or its established neighborhoods, Dunwoody is definitely the AREA TO BE. However, above all of the benefits of living in Dunwoody, its number one attraction and the reason thousands flock to find their good deal in this area is because of the large attraction to the areas best homes with some of the best parks and recreation for families and singles alike!!

Dunwoody is fast becoming the NEW Chastain park with easy access to the million dollar renovation on the Riverfront Morgan Falls Park or visit the Big Trees Forest Preserve or even capitalize on some of the areas best golfing at the Dunwoody Country Club or even take the kiddies to the Dunwoody Nature Center. Aside from the wealth of activities to do, you have EASY access to some of Atlanta’s BEST shopping at Perimeter Mall and get right to the airport with access to Marta in both Sandy Springs and Dunwoody. And, if that’s not enough, just think of all the gas you’ll save being right off I-285 and GA-400.

In addition, North Springs High School is not only a comprehensive high school, but the only one that has a dual magnet program. It’s been recognized as a Georgia School of Excellence, Grammy Signature School. And U.S. News & World Report rated it an outstanding high school.

Because of these reasons, finding a home in pristine condition, that’s ready-to-move in with a FULL basement in this area under $600,000 in this area is RARE!!!

However, there are still good deals out there for those who are looking in the right places…Places like…Spalding Heights…

IMAGINE the opportunity to own this LAVISH EXECUTIVE ESTATE perfectly situated Near I-285 and GA-400. Minutes from all the major hospitals including St. Joseph's and Northside hospital, in addition to some of ATL's BEST Shopping and Entertainment. This is 750 Spalding Heights Drive and a Relocation Dream Home!!!

This is your opportunity to get in on this lavish entertainer's estate at a price that can't be beat!!!

This beast boasts more than 3,500 square feet including a FULL basement just waiting for your finishing touches.

On close to a half acre of land, enjoy a cup of joe with your PRIVATE TREE TOP deck overlooking lush landscaping, or relax in your spa-like master bath retreat w/ dual vanities and a MASSIVE Walk-in closet. With TWO LEVELS OF FULLY FINISHED PERFECTION, this home is SURE TO PLEASE!!!

Other Special Features Include:

~Open Entertainer's Floor Plan w/Family Room, B'Nook & Chef's Kitchen

~Stunning Kitchen with Island & Prep Sink Overlooking Fireside Family Room!

~Gleaming Hardwoods on Main Level!!!!

~Formal Living with HIGH Ceilings & Decorator Windows!!

~Designer Paint & Meticulously Kept!

~LAVISH Master Suite with Sitting Area and DUAL-SIDE Fireplace!

~Spa-Like Master Bath Retreat with Dual Vanities and OVERSIZED Whirlpool Tub!

~Elegant Crown Molding & Millwork Details

~DRAMATIC Two-Story Foyer with 30ft+++ Ceilings!

~LOADS of Natural Light Throughout!

~Secondary Bedrooms are a Great Size too!!!

~PRIVATE, Lush Back Yard Oasis, with LOW Yard Maintenance & Mature Landscaping!

~FULL Basement, Just Waiting for Your Finishing Touches!!

~Cozy Screened Porch for Your Morning Cup of Joe w/Tree Top Entertainer's Deck!

~Friendly Neighbors and Amazing Community Feel!!!

~Perfectly Situated Near I-285 & GA-400 near Shopping & Entertainment!!!!

For more information on how to get in on one of Atlanta’s FINEST areas for a fraction of the cost, visit www.SeasonsRealtyGroup.com or call Winter Baserva at 678-463-3173.




Warren T. Jackson School District Offers Affordable Luxury!
Posted - 2 days ago

Warren T. Jackson School District FINALLY Offers AFFORDABLE LUXURY!!

Declared one of the highest-rated schools in terms of curriculum and overall parent rating is the very famous Warren T. Jackson elementary school. Families from all over flock to find a piece of affordable real estate, so they can offer their kids the luxury of attending such a highly-rated school. And, those without kids, move to the area simply for the resale.

However, what most find are brick ranches with little closet space, and no yard or huge, outdated homes for over the million dollar mark with tons of work to be put into them. Its not uncommon for the average home in this area to be built in the 1950s-1970s. What’s even more astounding is that this area is so highly sought out, that its not uncommon to see raw land sell for $500,000…and that’s WITHOUT a home on it. Finding a newer construction, luxury home in a reasonable price is hard to come by ….UNTIL NOW….

This Custom Built Entertainers Estate is NOW priced with a $276,000.00 reduction (no that was not a typo).

The palatial elegance masterminded on this CUSTOM-BUILT, STUNNING 4-sided brick beauty provides a place of indulgence and TOTAL comfort in this extraordinary home, perfectly situated in the Heart of Atlanta.

Built in 2004, this one-of-a-kind, COMMISSIONED home proves every modern convenience, yet still captures its authentic old-world European, Colonial Willamsburg-like charm at a FRACTION of what you might expect to pay.

This gem boasts so many well-appointed features; it’s hard to cover them all. What I can say for sure is that this home is NOT the home for you if.....

*You DON'T need an abundance of space.
*You want to be located "OTP"
*You ONLY entertain two times a year.
*You want a "FIXER UPPER".
*You DON'T want to impress your friends and family.
*You're NOT looking for a GREAT value!
*You just DON'T enjoy the finer things in life.

This resort-like home provides a luxury living experience with every possible convenience one can imagine....From the LAVISH Master on Main Suite with Dual-Side Fireplace and Sitting Room to the GORGEOUS Chef's Kitchen imagined only in DREAMS, to the TWO Home Theatres and the MIND-BLOWING BASEMENT all the way down to the TOP NOTCH construction details like R-30 Insulation, no detail has been left untouched.

Other Special Features Include:

CHEF'S Kitchen with MASSIVE Juparana Persa GRANITE Island & prep sink PERFECT for Entertaining!

Top-of-the-Line Stainless Steel Appliances with Dual Ovens & Retractable Vent Hood!

SPACIOUS Keeping Room with Recessed Lighting that Opens to Breakfast Nook~Entertainer's Dream!

Wrought Iron Spiral Staircase Extends Throughout Two-Story Foyer & Great Room~So Beautiful!

 

Custom-Built Butler's Bar in Great Room!

LAVISH Master-on-Main Suite w/ Trey Ceilings and PRIVATE Sitting Area that Extends to the Deck!

Spa-Like Master Bath Retreat with Dual, White Spring Beveled Granite Vanities!!

Double-Sided Fireplace in Master Oasis that Overlooks the WHIRLPOOL Tub and Master Suite!!

MASSIVE Walk-in Master Closet Suited for a KING!!! The Other Closets Are BIG Too!!

Whole-House Main Floor Surround Sound that will BLOW Your Mind!

TWO Home Theatres: Main Level and Basement Level with Paneled Acoustics!!!

 

Got In-Home Gym Wired for the ULTIMATE Work Out Experience?? We Do!

MIND-BLOWING Basement Renovation: GREAT Room w/HIGH Ceilings, GYM, In-Law Suite, Theatre & More!

Terrace Level & Main Level Access to Your LOW MAINTENANCE, FENCED and PRIVATE Outdoor Oasis!

Custom Camera System to Monitor Back Yard Festivities~There isn't ANYTHING We Haven't Thought of!!!!

99% of ALL Closets are ELFA CUSTOM DESIGN~WOW!!!

With R-30 & R-19 Insulation Throughout this Custom Home, You Hear ABSOLUTELY No Noise!!!

Not 2, Not 3, BUT 4-ZONE Heating & Air Systems, so Pick & Choose Your Zone!!!

Large Secondary Bedrooms w/ Walk-in Closets & GRANITE On Every Stitch of this HOME!!!

EXTENSIVE Millwork & Trim Details Throughout the Home!

PRESTIGIOUS Buckhead Location, TOP-NOTCH Schools and OH SO LOW PRICE for SO MUCH HOME!!!

Perfectly Situated with Easy Access to Hwys, Chastain Park & EVERYTHING Atlanta!!!

King Features: Real Copper Gutters, Plantation Shutters, 3 Fireplaces, 4 Types of Granite & More!

LOW, LOW, LOW Water Bills = One BIG Benefit!!!


The ability to merge the SMART HOME new construction details, while capturing the authenticity of EVERYTHING Buckhead, has come to fruition in this GORGEOUS RMK Construction Design. This one will absolutely BLOW YOUR MIND!!

For more information or to schedule your own private tour, visit www.SeasonsRealtyGroup.com or call Winter Baserva at 678.463.3173!




Labor Day in America, do Americans work too much????
Posted - 2 days ago

Labor Day in America, do Americans work too much??? (edit/delete)

According to the History channel "Labor Day, an annual celebration of workers and their achievements, originated during one of American labor history’s most dismal chapters. In the late 1800s, at the height of the Industrial Revolution in the United States, the average American worked 12-hour days and seven-day weeks in order to eke out a basic living. Despite restrictions in some states, children as young as 5 or 6 toiled in mills, factories and mines across the country, earning a fraction of their adult counterparts’ wages. People of all ages, particularly the very poor and recent immigrants, often faced extremely unsafe working conditions, with insufficient access to fresh air, sanitary facilities and breaks."

As manufacturing became the mainline of American employment, the labor unions found their voice and became exceedingly vocal in their protest against poor working conditions. They began to organize and set up strikes and rallies, as well as attempting to negotiate better hours and pay. In September of 1882, 10,000 workers marched from City Hall to Union Square in New York City, thus holding the first Labor Day parade, if you want to call it that, in U.S. History. This caught on and became known as the 'workingmen's holiday', and has since that time been celebrated on the first Monday in September.

Ironically, the very right that was hardfaught and passionately disputed in the 1880's has become in the present day work world a moot point! Granted, the working conditions here in America are extravagant compared to those days, and the pay has adjusted nicely with the times, although in many fields that is also debatable; but how many of us are working '12-hour days and sad to say some seven-day weeks' as the NORM?

The facts show that the good ole U.S. of A. works more hours in an average week than ANY other country in the world. No siestas like our southern neighbors, no four-6 week 'holidays' like our European and Australian counterparts. Have you ever met a grumpy Aussie? ME EITHER! In the business of real estate we are the worst offenders as far as I can see. Most Realtors don't have any boundaries with their time, and when they do, they are considered by others as 'unprofessional' or it's viewed as 'bad customer service'. Yes, I get it, we are in a 'commission based' career field, but if we don't take some time to relax and enjoy the fruit of our labors, what are we working FOR? If we show some respect for ourselves, our time, and our SANITY, maybe our clients will too! So....have fun and follow my lead on taking TIME for yourself.




The one call a Listing agent NEVER wants to get!
Posted - 2 days ago

As I flew out the door headed to my seller’s house I went over in my mind what the showing agent had said, “The basement carpeting is soaked, can’t tell where it’s coming from, better let the owner’s know!” Yeah, not so easy to do since my seller was out of the country, with no return in sight. As I opened the lockbox and headed for the basement I hoped for the best, but feared the worst. The carpet was wet in different places, and I couldn’t tell where the water was coming from. My mind immediately kicked into recovery mode and I called my assistant to get the number for a few of our plumbing vendors, and restoration clean up companies. Five phone calls later, including one to my trusty home inspector to find out where the water shut off valve might be, I had a moment to take a breath, and regain some vestige of composure. This might have been something I could wrap my brain around if my home owner was in the same HEMISPHERE as me and knew about his EMERGENCY home disaster! But being the ultimate professional Realtor that I am, who thinks on her feet, I realized I was on my own with this little misadventure.

According to my assistant, it was approximately 12:30 AM in the region that my home owner was visiting, and as he slept peacefully, with full confidence in my ability to protect his interests in his absence, I tried to convince myself not to run away, since I could think of a few countries I would rather be visiting myself at that exact moment. One more deep breath, and the plumber finally arrived. He found the culprit pipe leak within minutes and proceeded to ask who was paying for his services today. I looked around and didn’t see anyone else, so I reluctantly signed off on the $350 service fee, happy that the flood had subsided. Not long after, the restoration company showed up for what was going to turn into a much longer stay than the plumbers. As I threw the clothes that had gotten soaked in the washer, turned it on, and gathered up the remaining delicate items to drop off at the dry cleaners, I looked around at the damage to report to my home owner. It was obvious that it was going to turn into a home owner’s insurance claim, but I didn’t have his insurance information, deductible, etc and did I mention it was the middle of the night where he was? Oh well, story for another day. As the words ‘above and beyond the call of duty’ wafted through my mind, I smiled and thought to myself , “I’d hope that he would have done the same for me if he was in my place”, and either way, this is what being the best is all about.

It’s about protecting your client’s best interest, whatever it takes! If this sounds like the kind of ‘service with a smile’ you are looking for when you are ready to put your house on the market, give me a call at 678-463-3173, that’s Winter Baserva, real estate agent extraordinaire!




Roswell Homes For Sale ~ Some of Atlanta's BEST Real Estate
Posted - 2 days ago
Re-blogged 0 times Roswell Homes For Sale ~ Some of Atlanta's BEST Real Estate...But Why???

What is it about homes in Roswell, GA that make them so special? For one, Roswell is perfectly situated off of GA-400 about 7 miles north of Sandy Springs making it a very convenient and highly-desired location.

Furthermore, you can get a WHOLE lot of house  for the dollar too. And, with school out and buyers on the prowl, its easy to see why Roswell is one of the area's HOTTEST real estate markets...But, Why???

The reason so many flock to this area is its plethora of Roswell Parks and Recreation such as Roswell Park, and the Chattahoochee Nature Center, Roswell Restaurants like Sugo, and Aqua Blue, STELLAR schools, and QUALITY CONSTRUCTION  for less than what you would expect to pay.

I may be a little biased because I was raised in Roswell off of Holcomb Bridge Rd. in Martin's Landing. When I was a kid, I loved having all my friends in my neighborhood. I went to Mountain Park Elementary when I used to live in Brookfield West and then went to Holcomb Bridge Middle followed by Chattahoochee High School. To say I know and love the area is an understatement, but its not what I know, its what BUYERS WANT...and Boy, do they want to be here!!! 

This LAVISHLY-DESIGNED pottery barn perfect home boasts the ULTIMATE in UPGRADED finishes, all in a highly-sought out area known for its top-rated schools and access to some of Roswell's BEST recreation!

Perfectly situated near all the major highways, this TWO-STORY LIVING Room home overlooking the upgraded kitchen it hard to find sub $300k!!!

From the NEW WALL-TO-WALL Carpet, and the OVERSIZED Master with Trey Ceilings to the FRESH designer paint and the LEVEL backyard, you are sure to experience the LIFE, all for a fraction of what you might expect to pay.

Pride of ownership is an understatement!!

 Other Special Features Include:

TWO-STORY GREAT Room that KNOCKS Your Socks Off!

Upgraded Countertops and Bright & Cherry Kitchen with ISLAND!!

Adorable Breakfast Nook PLUS a Formal Dining Room, Oh Yeah!!

Cozy Fireside Family Room that Takes Your Breath Away!!!

Make a Play Room, Office or Formal Living Room out of the BONUS Space!!

Oversized Master Suite w/Room For Sitting Area~

His & Hers MASSIVE Closets, Store All Your Clothes Here!!

Jacuzzi Tub in Master Bath Retreat that Boasts Dual Vanities!!

LEVEL Backyard with MATURE Landscaping!!!

HUGE 2-Car Garage, So Drive on In!!!

Large Secondary Bedrooms!!!

BRAND NEW CARPET, BRAND NEW PAINT, THE WORKS!!!

Perfectly Situated Near Hwys, Shopping & Entertainment!!!!

Friendly Neighbors and Amazing Community Feel!!!

TOP-RATED Schools in TOWN!!!

 But, don't take my word for it, call Winter Baserva today at 678-463-3173 to set up your own private showing.

In conclusion its easy to see based on Roswell's location, schools, shopping, restaurants and social atmosphere, but the one thing that makes Roswell above and beyond other areas is its great people who make this community one of the BEST in Atlanta!!!

 

 




Buyers Bypassing Fixer upppers in favor of Move-in Ready!
Posted - 2 days ago
I recently came across an article written by the National Association of Realtors reporting that most buyers today are bypassing Fixer-Uppers in favor of houses that are move-in ready. They further state that according to recent surveys '87% of first time buyers say they desire a move-in ready home.'

"This is absolutely the story of this market. It seems buyers will pay a premium, engage in a bidding war, and even overpay just to avoid buying a 'project' house," says Beth Freed of Terrie O'Connor REALTORS in Ridgewood, NJ.

According to the NAR's latest findings, homes that have been spruced up before being put on the market will sell quicker. For the seller this doesn't mean they will be needing to take out a second mortgage to do major repairs or costly renovations, it simply means they need to put a fresh face on their home before putting up that 'for sale' sign in the front yard.

Here is a list of recommendations for homeowners getting ready to put their house on the market:

  • DO NOT SHOW A HOME BEFORE IT IS READY- ONLY ONE CHANCE FOR A FIRST IMPRESSION
  • DO UNDERSTAND THAT 'LIVING IN' AND 'SELLING' A HOME ARE DIFFERENT
  • DO NOT ALLOW ODORS TO KILL THE 'SELL' OF THE HOUSE
  • PAINT THE EXTERIOR, AND/OR ANY INTERIOR ROOMS THAT NEED IT
  • MAKE SURE THE 'CURB APPEAL' IS THERE- DOOR CLEAN & PAINTED, MAILBOX CLEAN, SHRUBS AND BUSHES TRIMMED, GARDEN AND YARD CLEAN
  • REMOVE ALL PERSONAL PICTURES, ETC FROM TABLES, REFRIGERATOR, AND BOOKSHELVES
  • DECLUTTER!

And finally, with buyers looking for move-in ready homes, it is a good idea for sellers to get their homes inspected before they put it on the market so that any major maintenance issues, leaky roofs, electrical or safety issues are discovered and taken care of BEFORE the house goes on the market.

 

 




Alpharetta Relocation..What to Look For in a Relocation Home
Posted - 2 days ago

  Alpharetta Relocation.....What to Look for in an Atlanta Relocation Home  

Atlanta, the sixth-largest city in the Southeastern region and home to over 5.3 million residents, has undergone a transition from a city of regional commerce to a city of international influence. It has been among the fastest growing cities in the developed world for over a decade. And, fortunately for those of us who live here, we see no signs of this slowing down. As a matter of fact, by the year 2020 Atlanta is projected to house over 8 million residents!!! And, with all of the global technology companies and international corporate headquarters such as UPS, Delta, Coca-Cola, CNN, TBS, the Center for Disease Control, etc. there will continually be a steady flow of people relocating to the area.

 So, when you are being relocated to the sweet tea capital of the world, keep in mind these simple tips when your company or you are looking for your perfect relocation home:

1)    LOCATION-How many times have we heard this one?? We'll, you will need to consider this EVEN MORE carefully in Atlanta, as some of the commutes can have you in your cars for days. Most people who are relocating to the area opt for a "suburban feel" with proximity to "the city" where most headquarters are located.....But, a GOOD BIT of the technology jobs as well as many others have named ALPHARETTA their headquarter location. Perfectly situated off GA-400, this is one of the BEST areas in terms of being able to get more BANG for your buck. It's proximity to shopping malls like North Point and  entertainment like the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, in addition to every restaurant imaginable, make it one of the ideal locations to relocate to. The air is clean, people friendly and you have access to a plethora of parks, and family rich activities.

 2)    SCHOOLS-Even if you don't have children, schools play a big park in resale in Atlanta and Alpharetta is chock full of good ones.

Abbotts Hill-great elementary school for those budding minds.

Taylor Road-voted one of the best middle schools by the locals
Chattahoochee High School-
Home of the Cougar and I'm proud to say this is where I graduated High School.

 3)    FEATURES-Most people that are being relocated to the area tend to hold high power, high stress and highly time consuming jobs. Renovations and rehab are not items that most are able to do and even if they wanted to or could afford to, just don't have the time. You will want to find a home that has the features you want, so you can move right in and get settled. Things that resell in Atlanta and hold significant value include BRICK homes, RENOVATED kitchen's and having basements either for storage or for additional play area. Yards go a long way here too, so in your search, be sure to find homes that have these things taken care of, so you can get on to the more important things in life!

4)    VALUE-Who doesn't want a good deal in this market?? But, where does value exactly come from?? This point can be summed up by my previous points, having the right location, the right features and the right price....THIS EQUALS VALUE!! Be sure to find a home that exudes this quality!!!

5)    BASEMENTS-While this is really one of the "features" you are looking for, finding a home with square-footage and more importantly, a basement will be KEY to your resell value. Atlanta is BIG ON BASEMENTS. Its pretty hard to find homes with FINISHED basements that go beyond your typical crawl space.

While these are just some of the things to look for when relocating to Atlanta, other things such as low land taxes will need to be considered. Although, its hard to find all of the items above in a home, its not impossible.

Recently, this ALPHARETTA POTTERY BARN PERFECT HOME has come up for sale and represents EVERYTHING above which is just about impossible to find all in one shot!

 

   

If entertaining is one of the things you enjoy in life, you have arrived!! Welcome to 5522 Laurel Ridge Drive.

This Pottery Barn PERFECT, Brick Beauty has the best of New Age design while still maintaining the Old World Intimate Community Feel.

From the moment you step in this lavish ENTERTAINER'S ESTATE, your breath is taken away by the architectural details and superb layout.

Complete with CHEF'S KITCHEN renovated with tile backsplash and GRANITE counters to the fireside family room with a WALL OF WINDOWS and DETAILED trim work, this home boasts the ULTIMATE in Luxury Living.

No expense has been spared and your tastes are ignited as you witness the designer features like the GENEROUS master suite with walk-in closet and SPA-LIKE master bath retreat.

Located near a cul-de-sac near Chattahoochee High School, yet still within a stone's throw of major shoppings, restaurants and parks, you will know that you are AT HOME in this private luxury oasis.

 Other Special Features Include:

DRAMATIC Entertainer's OPEN Floor Plan with WALL OF WINDOWS in MASSIVE Two-Story Family Room!

GORGEOUS Chef's Kitchen with GRANITE Countertops & Tile Backsplash~Complete with Island!

EXTENSIVE Millwork & Trim Details Throughout the Home!

Gleaming Hardwoods on Main Level!!!!

Custom, Designer Paint Throughout, Makes this Home.....SHINE!!!

Newer Carpet in EXCELLENT Condition, Means Move Right In!

MASSIVE, OVERSIZED FULLY-FINISHED Basement, Complete with Additional Room & FULL Bathroom!!!

Terrace Level Access to Your LOW MAINTENANCE Yard!!

ADDITIONAL Loft Space for Extra Sitting Area or Computer Room!

Large Secondary Bedrooms!!!

LAVISH Master Suite with Walk In Closet & Dual Vanities!

BEAUTIFUL, Brick Construction & Maintained to a

Formal Living & Dining Rooms & ADDITIONAL Breakfast Nook!

IMMACULATE Condition!!!

Entertainer's Deck Overlooking PRIVATE Backyard!

Perfectly Situated off Abbotts Bridge and Just a Stone's Throw to Chattahoochee!!!

AWARD-WINNING School District!!!

Swim/Tennis Available in Westbury!!!

But, don't take my word for it, see for yourself:



For more information or to schedule your own private tour, visit www.SeasonsRealtyGroup.com or call Winter Baserva at 678.463.3173

 




In Real Estate The Golden Rule rules!
Posted - 2 days ago

In real estate, the 'Golden Rule' rules!

I heard recently of a book called 'The Go-Giver', where the premise of the book is that in order to be successful in sales, you should put others needs, and desires first, instead of your own. You know, the Golden Rule we (some of us) learned as children? Since I have heard it said that the general public considers real estate professionals to be just a step above car salesman, I can see where this kind of sentiment is coming from. Whereas I have found most real estate salespersons to have entered the field with altruistic motives, it's not a stretch to believe that some have 'fallen from the path of good intent'.

I am a little astonished that we need someone to write books to remind us that we should treat others the way we would like to be treated. Has it come to this? Like this is some new, brilliant concept that the world is waking up to. Or is it simply something many have forgotten in their 'Go Taker' mentality, as this author calls it?

As the author insists, when you put the other person's (your clients) needs above your own, then you will most likely come out ahead yourself. In real estate it makes perfect sense to put your clients needs first because this is a business where you get the privilege of helping someone find their 'dream home', their 'first home' or their investment for their future. All of these are lofty goals, and our priority should be to treat each client like we would want someone else to treat our mother, father, sister, or brother. Real estate is very strongly based on referral business, and your character determines your reputation!

In other words, "It's not about you, it's about them."

So, how can we apply Go-Giver principles to a real estate business?

.·         We can take such good care of our clients that they can't wait to refer us to everyone they come across whose looking for the 'best' agent

.·         We can be completely up front with our sellers about the current market and what the market will bear, instead of taking the listing at a price that will never sell just to get a listing

.·         We can do our homework ahead of time with our buyers and help look at the houses that will suit their needs instead of letting them look thru hundreds of listings hoping they will find the right ones to look at        

.·         We can provide clear explanation of our commission structure to sellers with full disclosure as to what the extent of our services are that we provide for them          

.·         We can help buyers decide if this is the right time for them to buy instead of trying to push them into buying without 'counting the cost'

For me this is not a new concept, and I hope it isn't for you either. For all of us, the 'Golden Rule' should be the 'Rule', and not the 'exception!'

 

 




Atlanta's rebirth: getting younger every day...
Posted - 2 days ago

Atlanta's rebirth: getting younger every day! (edit/delete)

As many cities populations are in a decline with a steady stream of folks flocking to the 'burbs', Atlanta is in the midst of a rebirth of sorts. Driven by young, college educated professionals hungry for the excitement and variety readily found in the city of Atlanta, thousands are relocating here in search of upscale loft living, where neighborhoods long in decline are being revitalized into trendy hot spots for the young professionals, who can well afford the wide array of cultural and culinary amenities available in the city.

 As such, Atlanta is on the cutting edge of a national trend: Since 2000, neighborhoods within three miles of downtown Atlanta have seen a nearly 61 percent surge in residents aged 25 to 34 who have at least a four-year degree, according to U.S. Census figures. That's nearly 10,000 new patrons for everything from condo and apartment developments, to restaurants and bars, to computer and cell phone vendors.

This latest surge is not limited to Atlanta, however, it is twice as robust as what may be found in most other cities.

 

"The city is just getting younger," said A.J. Robinson, president of Central Atlanta Progress, a nonprofit business advocacy organization. "This is not the old Atlanta. It's much more diverse and mixed, culturally and racially."

 




New Luxury Apartment Building in the works for Buckhead...
Posted - 2 days ago

It appears the confidence level is increasing with investors as the latest trek into the luxury apartment market is gearing up for a new project in the Buckhead area, a magnet for Gen Y workers. Preserve Properties, LLC has the site located at 92 West Paces Ferry Rd. under contract with plans to develop a new 8 story luxury Buckhead apartment building. The multi-family development will stand adjacent to the two year old St. Regis Atlanta hotel and residence.

"We're certainly not talking about developing a new apartment building by the end of the year," Preserve Properties developer Draper said. "We're only getting the property into [zoning] compliance."

The developers are hoping to expand on the special public interest zoning district, known as SPI-9, that will encourage 'walkability' in Buckhead, helping to transform the traffic jammed streets, and aging strip malls into a more connected and friendly Urbanscape.

"I think this kind of project is exactly what we want to see," said Denise Starling, executive director of the Buckhead Area Transportation Management Association, or BATMA.

According to Starling, a new mid-rise apartment building would complement plans for a new 'international district' that would include foreign consulates, office building, and a mix of residences all linked by expanding sidewalks and dotted with streetside shops and cafes.

 

 



TOP 7 FORECLOSURE MYTHS for ATLANTA HOME BUYERS
Posted - 2 days ago
 TOP 7 FORECLOSURE MYTHS for ATLANTA HOME BUYERS & THEIR TRUTHS REVEALED.

I am often faced with the same questions and "myths" from home buyers in regards to Atlanta foreclosures. Its quite interesting how far these myths have spread over time and how inaccurate some of them are......I'm going to debunk a few of the common myths that seem to be circulating among consumers.

Myth #1: Foreclosed properties are always in bad neighborhoods.

THE TRUTH: In the current economic climate, every community and every part of town can contain foreclosed properties, with abodes ranging from modest town homes to extravagant vacation escapes appearing on the market. The economy has hit ALL areas and the result is a bunch of Atlanta Foreclosures and Atlanta Short Sales.

Myth #2: Foreclosed properties are usually in poor condition.

THE TRUTH: Though this isn't always the case, there can be significant maintenance and structural issues hiding behind an attractive and seemingly well-tended façade. Most foreclosed homes show significant cosmetic work (dingy carpets, poor paint, lack of appliances, etc), but the more costly items will tend to be in your roofs, structure/foundation and mechanical systems.

Do your research and use a Atlanta Realtor before purchasing any foreclosed property. They will be able to connect you to the right contractors for proper estimates and be able to establish how much deferred maintenance will affect your bottom line!

Myth #3: A foreclosure sale takes advantage of the owners.

THE TRUTH: At the point of foreclosure, the owner has already defaulted on their loan. Its too late to take advantage of the owners, the property now belongs to the bank who is now the new owner. Had you purchased the property as a short sale (one of the hardest and most misunderstood items in real estate right now), you STILL would have been helping the owner get to a lesser degree of default and in the end helping them.

Don't feel bad for the owner. While the situation is not ideal and it shouldn't be wished on anyone. With the proper adjustments and credit repair, people who have gone into foreclosure can buy another home again in about 3-7 years depending on their situation.

Myth #4:Financial irresponsibility is always the source of foreclosure.

THE TRUTH: All it takes is the loss of a job, an unexpected health issue, or other life emergency to put a previously solid financial picture in jeopardy, and coverage of such major expenses as mortgage payments can easily be impacted. There may be some people taking advantage of the time, but that is not the case for everyone. Each Atlanta Foreclosed home has is own unique individual situation.

Myth #5: Foreclosure guarantees bargain pricing.

THE TRUTH: Banks sometimes have up to 15-20 offers on them just because they are labeled the Scarlett Letter "f". Just because it says foreclosure, looks like a foreclosure doesn't mean its priced like a foreclosure.

Before falling completely in love with what looks like a can't-miss deal, be sure you know the property's true market value so you're not paying for more house than you're getting. I have found that in today's market, Mr. and Mrs. Seller tend to have the ABILITY to budge on their pricing versus the banks whose asset manager has a reserve they HAVE to meet and 15 offers on the table that they get to pick from.

Myth #6: A lower price equals higher equity.

THE TRUTH: This is one equation that won't pan out if a property involves unpaid taxes, mechanics' liens or an expensive string of repairs, all of which subtract from the equity and add to the cost. In any foreclosure purchase, BE SURE to get owners title insurance. This will protect you from any encumbrances on title prior to you owning the property. Its a one-time fee that could end up saving you a fortune.

Myth #7: AS-IS Means I have to buy it no matter what.

THE TRUTH: As is means, the property is sold "AS IS" with no repairs made by the seller. HOWEVER, this does NOT mean you are not entitled to an inspection. If you find something on the inspection report that scares the dickens out of you,  the seller will NOT make any repairs, but you are still entitled to back out of the contract during your due diligence window and/or inspection period without penalty. Making sure you have a qualified Atlanta realtor that knows the "ins and outs" of foreclosures is KEY to your success in this purchase.

While this is just a small sampling of some of the common Atlanta Buyer foreclosure myths, there are many others to be weary of...

For MANY other tips, tricks and tactics to WIN in today's Atlanta Real Estate Market, call me at 678-463-3173 or visit www.SeasonsRealtyGroup.com !

 




The REDC AUCTION COMES BACK TO ATLANTA MARCH 19TH
Posted - 2 days ago

219+/- Atlanta Homes MUST BE SOLD!!! The REDC (Real Estate Disposition Corporation) HOME AUCTION COMES TO ATLANTA MARCH 19, 2011!!!

  That's right! The REDC Home Auction in Atlanta is coming back on Saturday March 19th.

Many will flock to this event in the hopes that they will strike it rich with their "deal of a lifetime"!! As an owner of FOUR properties bought at the REDC auction, can I please give you one, tiny, little piece of advice??? Go, BUT DON'T EXPECT TO FIND YOUR DEAL OF A LIFETIME!! If you haven't already done so, YOU MUST read my blog about the 10 Biggest Mistakes Buyers Make in Today's Market, of which Mistake Number 7 is trying to find your bargain at an auction.

Don't get me wrong, I got a fairly decent price on the four properties I bought at the REDC Home Auction. But, by the time you add the auction fees, lender fees, closing costs, repairs (of which all of my homes needed between $10,000-30,000 worth of work), I realized that if I just would have been better off buying the home down the street directly from Mr. & Mrs. Seller......and FOR LESS. Of course, this was early off in my investing portfolio and just a little mistake I made that I have the privilege of sharing with you, so you don't make the same mistake. I see it too many times; people getting caught up in the labels of "auctions, foreclosures and short sales" and miss unbelievable buying opportunities that are staring us in the face.

 Now you HAVE to read my blog about auctions.......

 Here are a Few Other Recommendations if you Plan to Buy at an Auction:

  • Do Your DUE DILIGENCE-no inspection contingencies here, you get what you get and sometimes that can be substantial. Do your research BEFORE you bid.
  • DON'T let your emotions take control-decide your highest and best bid BEFORE you go and don't go over it under ANY circumstances. 
  • Practice PATIENCE throughout the entire process-from the winning bid, to the paper work to closing, you will need patience. Imagine how busy the closing attorney's are with the amount of Atlanta homes being sold.
  • Don't be surprised about the disorganization-these events move fast and they are not always well orchestrated.
  • Keep Your Eye on the Prize and WAIT-if the auction property you want ends up going to another bidder, WAIT, 40% of the homes come back around and you can get it on the second go round and maybe for LESS!!!
  • Despite everything if you still want to buy at an auction, GET A QUALIFIED REALTOR to represent you. It's great to have a non-biased, non-emotional third party representative there to help you with the bidding, interpret the price point, explain the risks, as well as walk you through the process and paperwork. Your job is JUST starting once you leave the auction. There is a mountain of items that have to be handled and an agents fee is paid for by the auction house, so this service is completely FREE to you!

One thing is certain DEALS OF A LIFETIME are out there.....lots of them... And, if you REALLY want a good deal, call me and let me show you how to offer in on the property NO ONE'S offering on, instead of putting you in a room with hundreds of other buyers all going after the same one.

If you are looking for a Nationally-Recognized, top producing real estate agent that understands the Atlanta home auction process, then CALL ME immediately. I'll be happy to represent you FREE.

 BUT, don't wait!! I will need to make sure that you are registered properly!

 The REDC (Real Estate Disposition Corporation) HOME AUCTION

When: Saturday Mar. 19, 2011
Where: Georgia International Convention Center - Exhibit Hall D  2000 Convention Center Concourse, College Park, GA 30337
Time: Registration Starts Promptly at  8:00 a.m. Auction starts promptly at 9:30 a.m.
What to bring: Last 2 yrs W-2 , $2,500 Cashier's Check ($5,000 for each subsequent) , Checkbook for balance of 5% Earnest Money Deposit (15% for each subsequent)

Properties open for inspection from 11AM to 4PM on 3/5/11, 3/12/11 & 3/13/11.  Please check individual property for specific open house information.

P.S. Did you know you can buy properties "auction-style" ONLINE from auction houses that are not as popular and have many less people bidding on them??? I can help you with that as well!

 

 




THE TOP 7 FORECLOSURE MYTHS for ATLANTA HOME OWNERS
Posted - 2 days ago

THE TOP 7 FORECLOSURE MYTHS for ATLANTA HOME OWNERS & THEIR TRUTHS REVEALED....

I come across some of the same questions and "myths" from home owners over and over about Atlanta foreclosures. Its quite interesting how far these myths have spread over time and how inaccurate some of them are......I'm going to debunk a few of the common myths that seem to be circulating among consumers...

Myth #1: The bank really wants your home back.

THE TRUTH: Believe me, the LAST thing the bank wants is your home back. It's important to understand that the banks are not brokers, property managers, or agents, and they do NOT want that business. It's not your home they want, BUT THE MONEY LENT FOR ITS PURCHASE that they want to recover. Foreclosure is a time-consuming, last-resort process for banks, and most will do everything possible to work things out with a homeowner in order to avoid it.

Myth #2: Filing for bankruptcy stops a foreclosure.

THE TRUTH: This one stumps everyone. First, you have to look into the different types of bankruptcy and what you will find is that they vary as much as the color of socks in a sock drawer. While many think they can "cheat" the system this way, bankruptcy creates only a temporary delay in the foreclosure process, so using it as a strategy for stopping it altogether will ultimately fail.

Myth #3: The Atlanta Home Owner is NOT Responsible for Paying the Bank's Legal Fees.

THE TRUTH: SURPRISE......as an Atlanta Home Owner in default, you actually are responsible for ALL THEIR LEGAL FEES. All of the details are in your mortgage agreement, so take a close look at the fine print...I think the revelations might ASTOUND you.

Myth #4: Even if I pull together the money I owe after the foreclosure process has begun, it's too late to stop it.

THE TRUTH: : It's NEVER to late to work out options. I have had some Atlanta foreclosures stopped the DAY it was supposed to be foreclosed on. Banks and lenders do not want borrowers to lose their homes and they REALLY don't want another asset on their books. They consider the foreclosure option to be the ABSOLUTE last resort.

The truth is that lenders can expect MOST of the time to lose money in the foreclosure process. Even if foreclosure proceedings have begun, it's not too late to be considered for a loan modification, short sale or other foreclosure alternative. Borrowers should contact a REALTOR®  to find out what their options are as soon as they know their mortgage is becoming a difficult thing for them to pay. The best way to avoid a foreclosure is to put yourself in contact with the people who can help you along the process. YOU DON'T HAVE TO GO AT IT ALONE.

 MYTH #5: The bank will take all my stuff along with the house.

THE TRUTH: All personal property is yours to take; however, fixtures, floor coverings, appliances and anything else permanently attached to the house must stay.

MYTH #6: My involvement with the property is over once the bank takes it back.

THE TRUTH: After Atlanta foreclosure, if the bank sells the home for less than you owed on the mortgage, you'll still be responsible for the difference, or "deficiency." What's more, they can collect interest on that amount. A deed in lieu of foreclosure or chapter 7 bankruptcy may clear you of owing a deficiency, so consult a bankruptcy attorney if you have questions about your status and options.

AND, ONE OF THE MOST COMMON FINAL MYTHS IS.....

 Myth #7: If you're foreclosed on, you will not be able to get another mortgage.

THE TRUTH:  Will a foreclosure hurt your credit...YES and it's true that it may take a several years to qualify for a mortgage after a foreclosure, but it can be done with some effort and planning. If the default was caused by extenuating circumstances, such as a job loss or serious illness, then Freddie Mac guidelines state that the borrower must re-establish an acceptable credit reputation for at least the most recent 36 months before applying for a new mortgage.

 

 




MAJOR CALIFORNIA PRODUCTION COMPANY COMES TO ATLANTA TO FILM
Posted - 2 days ago

MAJOR CALIFORNIA PRODUCTION COMPANY COMES TO ATLANTA TO FILM LOCAL REALTOR IN UPCOMING EPISODE OF HGTV'S HOUSE HUNTERS

PRESS RELEASE


Media Contact:

Brian Cowling

Director of Strategic Growth

bcowling@solidsource.net

770-757-2411

  Agent Contact

Winter Baserva, Realtor®

winter@seasonsrealtygroup.com

678-463-3173

For Immediate Release

MAJOR CALIFORNIA PRODUCTION COMPANY COMES TO ATLANTA TO FILM LOCAL REALTOR IN UPCOMING EPISODE OF HGTV'S HOUSE HUNTERS
March 5-8, 2011


Realtor®, Winter Baserva, Defies Odds in a Down Market &
The Networks Are Paying Attention!

ATLANTA, GA-February 28, 2011 - A major California production company will be in Atlanta March 5-8, to film local real estate agent and wave maker, Winter Baserva, of Seasons Realty Group team of Solid Source Realty, Inc. in her second episode on HGTV's House Hunters. The popular show, which has an average of five million viewers per episode, takes viewers behind the scenes of the emotional experience of finding and purchasing a new home. Shot over four days, the episode will be release approximately 6-8 months following shooting.

"I was approached directly by the show in 2009 because of my out-of-the-box approach to buying and selling in today's real estate market. My original episode, Pampered Pooch, featured me and my buyers "shopping" in the Brookhaven area. Since its launch date in January 2010, it continues to run on HGTV," said Winter Baserva, Realtor®, Seasons Realty Group of Solid Source Realty, Inc. "I'm honored and humbled to be the only real estate agent in Atlanta featured on the show TWO times, in addition to being less than a handful of agents EVER featured on the show two times."

In a time where most agents are struggling for business, Baserva is defying the odds and has set ground-breaking records within her brokerage. "Winter's commitment to provide exceptional service, coupled with genuine care for others, is felt by clients and co-workers during every transaction.  She consistently delivers service beyond client expectations and extraordinary success continues to follow her hard work.  Winter ranks in the top 1% of over 2700 Solid Source Agents in one of the most challenging real estate markets in real estate history.  Achievement of this magnitude is a direct reflection of her commitment, attention to details, focus and drive.  It is an honor to have her representing Solid Source Realty," said Michele Velcheck, owner, Solid Source Realty.

She has also set records for her own personal production. "More millionaires were made during the Great Depression than any other era in U.S. History," said Baserva. "I specialize in good deals and selling homes for top dollar. There are tremendous opportunities for both buyers and sellers in today's market for those willing to find them."

While buyers still have the upper hand, Baserva says her sellers are benefitting from today's market as well. "My sellers are also seeing the benefits a down market can bring, especially if they are looking to upgrade, downgrade or purchase a second home."

"I'm so excited about where the real estate market is heading. Unfortunately, we don't get to see enough 'good news' about the housing market and I can say that I'm thrilled that I am able to be a part of how Atlanta is getting positive exposure for being the wonderful, amazing, resourceful, business Mecca that it truly is," concludes Baserva.

It's this type of resourcefulness and mindset that has landed Baserva a spot on a national television show for her second time. For more information, please contact Winter Baserva at 678-463-3173, winter@seasonsrealtygroup.com  

As  an expert in all aspects of real estate from buying and selling to investing and REO properties, Baserva builds her business based on honesty, respect, and trust by empowering her clients with the education and tools needed to make an informed decision.  Raised in Roswell, GA, and a graduate from Chattahoochee High School in Alpharetta, she moved back to Atlanta in 2007, after working for a residential brokerage and commercial developer in Florid a.

Her career originally started out in communications, marketing and public relations. Baserva has previously held positions with the Miami Art Museum, Miami Children's Museum, Grove Garden Luxury Residences, and others helping them grow their businesses through publicity management and strategic marketing campaigns. Her skills have received attention from highly-accredited publications such as Interior Design, Time Magazine, The Chicago Tribune, Atlanta Journal Constitution, and many others. 

She is active in many community organizations and donates to several community causes including Center for Visually Impaired, and Smile Train, a company that gives children with clef lips a new chance at life, and Have a Heart. 

Originally from Atlanta, GA, Baserva graduated from The Florida State University with a Bachelor of Science in Communications with an emphasis in Public Relations. She currently resides in Sandy Springs.

 




Free Foreclosure List at 760 Spalding Dr, Sun. Feb 27, 2-5PM
Posted - 2 days ago

FREE FORECLOSURE & SHORT SALE LISTS at 760 Spalding Drive in Atanta THIS SUNDAY, Feb. 27, 2-5!!!

Got FORECLOSURE and SHORT SALES LISTS??? WE DO! And, We're Giving them away for FREE THIS Sunday AT 760 Spalding Drive, Atlanta.

GOOD DEALS come in ALL forms INCLUDING regular sellers TOO. And, if you happen to be looking for the best deal in Sandy Springs come check us out!!!!

OPEN HOUSE SUNDAY 2/27: 2-5 PM! And, have the opportunity to capitalize on this ONE-OF-A-KIND GEM without dealing with ANY BANKS!!!!

 IF .......

*You DON'T need an abundance of space.
*You want a "small home"
*You ONLY entertain two times a year.
*You want a "FIXER UPPER".
*You DON'T want to impress your friends and family.
*You're NOT looking for a GREAT value!
*You DON'T want Top-Notch Schools, Loads of Parks and Tons of Activities to do!
*You just DON'T enjoy the finer things in life.

You can KEEP ON DRIVING!

HOWEVER, if you're looking for a Pottery Barn PERFECT, Traditional Brick Beauty that has the best of New-Age design while still maintaining the Old-World Intimate Community Feel, COME ON BY SUNDAY!.

From the moment you step in this lavish ENTERTAINER'S ESTATE, your breath is taken away by the architectural details and superb layout.

Complete with a TOTAL RENOVATION and LAVISH backyard, this home boasts the ULTIMATE in Luxury Living in the ULTIMATE LOCATION.

I COULD GO ON, BUT YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE TO COME BY ON SUNDAY TO SEE THIS HOME AND OTHER HOMES LIKE IT FOR YOURSELF!

 




Health and Fitness Fair at Marietta Country Club
Posted - 2 days ago

Health and Fitness Fair this weekend at Marietta Country Club

Need a health check-up? Women Who Barter will be sponsoring a Health and Fitness Fair this weekend so you can learn how to improve your family's health and fitness levels. Medical professionals will be onsite to provide free health screenings, and there will also be demonstrations, gift certificates, and door prizes, so come on down!

The Marietta Country Club will be hosting the Health and Fitness Fair from 10am to 3pm, Saturday, February 26th at the Marietta Country Club located at 1400 Marietta Country Club Drive, Kennesaw, GA.

 

 




What to Look for in an Atlanta Relocation
Posted - 2 days ago

 Atlanta, the sixth-largest city in the Southeastern region and home to over 5.3 million residents, has undergone a transition from a city of regional commerce to a city of international influence. It has been among the fastest growing cities in the developed world for over a decade. And, fortunately for those of us who live here, we see no signs of this slowing down. As a matter of fact, by the year 2020 Atlanta is projected to house over 8 million residents!!! And, with all of the global technology companies and international corporate headquarters such as UPS, Delta, Coca-Cola, CNN, TBS, the Center for Disease Control, etc. there will continually be a steady flow of people relocating to the area.

So, when you are being relocated to the sweet tea capital of the world, keep in mind these simple tips when your company or you are looking for your perfect relocation home:

.1)    LOCATION-How many times have we heard this one?? We'll, you will need to consider this EVEN MORE carefully in Atlanta, as some of the commutes can have you in your cars for days. Most people who are relocating to the area opt for a "suburban feel" with proximity to "the city" where most headquarters are located.....In comes the ideal town of Sandy Springs. Perfectly situated near I-285 and GA-400, this is one of the BEST areas in terms of family life, proximity, shopping, entertainment and more. The air is clean, people friendly and you have access to just about ANY restaurant, store, etc. that you may need.

As a real estate agent I spend 90% of my time in the car and doing ANYTHING to avoid the ATL grind, and I'm happy to say that Sandy Springs/Atlanta has been my home for the last three years. It's just SO close to the city and SO safe and suburban. Remembering your location is the first tip to finding a good Atlanta home.

 .2)    FEATURES-Most people that are being relocated to the area tend to hold high power, high stress and highly time consuming jobs. Renovations and rehab are not items that most are able to do and even if they wanted to or could afford to, just don't have the time. You will want to find a home that has the features you want, so you can move right in and get settled. Things that resell in Atlanta and hold significant value include BRICK homes, RENOVATED kitchen's and bathrooms, and having basements either for storage or for additional play area. Yards go a long way here too, so in your search, be sure to find homes that have these things taken care of, so you can get on to the more important things in life!

 .3)    VALUE-Who doesn't want a good deal in this market?? But, where does value exactly come from?? This point can be summed up by my previous points, having the right location, the right features and the right price....THIS EQUALS VALUE!! Be sure to find a home that exudes this quality!!!

 .4)    BASEMENTS-While this is really one of the "features" you are looking for, finding a home with square-footage and more importantly, a basement will be KEY to your resell value. Atlanta is BIG ON BASEMENTS. Its pretty hard to find homes "inside the perimeter" with basements that go beyond your typical crawl space, so have an open mind and seek homes "just outside the perimeter" that will bring you more square footage and better value.

While these are just some of the things to look for when relocating to Atlanta, other things such as low land taxes and schools will also need to be considered. Although, its hard to find all of the items above in a home, its not impossible.

Recently, this BREATHTAKING ASSET SALE that has been reduced $159,000.00 and had $80,000.00 worth of upgrades has recently come up for sale and is the PERFECT relocation home. It also represents EVERYTHING above which is all but impossible to find in one shot!

No expense has been spared and your tastes are ignited as you witness the designer features, like a choice of TWO MASTER SUITES (one upper and one on the main) with the SPA-LIKE master bath renovations. Or, maybe you prefer to have a cup of joe in the ADDITIONAL KEEPING ROOM with VAULTED CEILINGS or FORMAL DINING . Better yet, prepare a meal and IMPRESS YOUR FRIENDS in the RENOVATED kitchen that sparks the inner-chef in you!!!

This gem boasts so many well-appointed features; it's hard to cover them all. What I can say for sure is that this home is NOT the home for you if.....

*You DON'T need an abundance of space.
*You want a "small home"
*You ONLY entertain two times a year.
*You want a "FIXER UPPER".
*You DON'T want to impress your friends and family.
*You're NOT looking for a GREAT value!
*You DON'T want Loads of Parks and Tons of Activities to do!
*You just DON'T enjoy the finer things in life.

With a complete renovation from the studs in, this resort-like home proves a luxury living experience with every modern convenience, yet still captures its authentic old world charm at a FRACTION of what you might expect to pay.

 Other Special Features Include:

.  Gorgeous CHEF'S Kitchen Renovated From the Studs In..Means NO REHAB!!!  

.  NEWER Antiqued Cabinets, Striking GRANITE Counters, Tile Backsplash and STAINLESS APPLIANCES!!!

.  Enjoy a Cup of Joe in the FIRESIDE FAMILY KEEPING ROOM with VAULTED CEILINGS!!!   

.  Stunning FLOOR-TO-CEILING Dramatic Fireplace Keeps you COZY in the Winter!! 

.  True to Its Character, enjoy AUTHENTIC, Original Gleaming Oak Hardwood Floors!! 

NO Dated Marble Here...Enjoy the ULTIMATE in Luxury Living as You're Greeted with a TRAVERTINE Foyer

.  WOW!! A Choice of TWO MASTER Suites each with SPA-LIKE Master Bath Retreats!!! 

.  Secondary Rooms are OVERSIZED, so BRING ON THE Big Family!! 

.  Designer Paint Throughout! Oh Yeah!

.  FULL Daylight, Walk-Out Basement to EXPAND, but You Probably Won't Even Need To!!! 

LAVISH, PRIVATE Back Yard PERFECT for the Entertainer in You!

.  Custom Built-In Bookshelves to Store Your Family Memories!!! 

.  Friendly & SAFE Swim/Tennis-AVAILABLE Neighborhood w/ MOM'S Day Out Program!  

.  Located Near Church, so SLOW Traffic!

.  Close to PARISH/PRIVATE School, which GIVES YOU OPTIONS!! 

.  Perfectly Situated off GA-400 Exit 5 & Abernathy Near SHOPPING, RESTAURANTS, PARKS, ENTERTAINMENT!!

.  So CLOSE, You'll Think Your ITP, but WITHOUT the ITP Taxes!   

.  Unique Architectural Details Give This Traditional Home a Modern Feel!

.  Loads of Natural Light Overlooking Rich, MATURE LANDSCAPING!

.  Lowest-Priced Luxury Home Featured in Atlanta's TOP SCHOOL District  

NEW ARCHITECTURAL ROOF!!!

 


For more information or to schedule your own private tour, visit www.SeasonsRealtyGroup.com or call Winter Baserva at 678.463.3173

 

 




FHA Changes on the Horizon...
Posted - 2 days ago

FHA Changes on the Horizon.... (edit/delete)

FHA Commissioner David H. Stevens today announced a new premium structure for FHA-insured mortgage loans:

  • The annual mortgage insurance premiums will increase (MIP) by a quarter of a percentage point (.25) on all 30- and 15-year loans. 

 

  •  The upfront MIP will remain unchanged at 1.0 percent. 

 

  •  Fiscal year 2012 budget will impact new loans insured by FHA on or after April 18, 2011.

 

  •  FHA to remain the most cost effective mortgage insurance option for borrowers with lower incomes  and lower down payments.

 

  • FHA will continue providing affordable homeownership options to underserved American families and first-time homebuyers while helping to stabilize the housing market during these tough times. 

 

  • On average, new FHA borrowers will pay approximately $30 more per month. 

 

 



Oops, I did it again! Second episode of House Hunters!
Posted - 2 days ago

 Atlanta Realtor, Winter Baserva, to be on upcoming episode of HGTV's House Hunters....AGAIN!!!!

When I got the call from High Noon productions that they wanted me to star in an episode for HGTV's 'House Hunters' in 2009, I was beside myself. I asked them how they found me and why they were interested in me and they said they were looking for really fun agents that were having smashing success in a down economy. I guess my making fun of Brittney Spears was noticed by someone...

 

 really.jpg

My clients and did a test shoot and within a week found out we were approved for our very own episode. That means out of 62,000 licensed agents in Georgia, I was selected to be one of the three to ever air in the Atlanta area.... 

What's crazier....I was recently contacted by Pie Town productions to do a SECOND episode....This means I am the ONLY Atlanta Agent to EVER be featured on a House Hunters episode TWO times. 

To say I'm humbled is an understatement!

So, what can you expect in my episode???? We'll I can't give the details YET..But, stay tuned and I'll fill you in on the upcoming shoot dates and what to expect.

 Here is an excerpt from my previous episode "Pampered Pooch"  

 

 sideposed.jpg

 The episode airs in the Fall, so be on the lookout for the launch date. And, if you would like to start your own house hunt with me, please give me a call at 678-463-3173.

  Thank You!

 Winter Baserva

Real Estate Extraordinaire

Team Leader, Seasons Realty Group of Solid Source Realty, Inc.

www.SeasonsRealtyGroup.com

678-463-3173 cell

 

 




New Atlanta Distribution Center in the Works for Fed-EX
Posted - 2 days ago

In attempts to increase their market share in the Southeast, Fed-Ex has ramped up it's efforts to compete with Atlanta based United Parcel Service, Inc by developing a 50 acre site in Norcross, GA. The plans include a nearly 215,000 square foot distribution center, aimed at expansion of it's daily package volume capacity, and also to enhance it's network service capabilities.

Fed-Ex Ground, based in the Pittsburgh area, is the business segment of Memphis based FedEx Corp. Plans are to develop this new site into a hub for Fed-Ex where they can employ several hundred with up to a million square foot of distribution warehouse space. In the last 10 years, they have added 10 similar distribution hubs.

 

 



'Streets of Buckhead' Project may Yet See the Light of Day!
Posted - 2 days ago

The stalled 'Streets of Buckhead' project that represented a redevelopement of the former 'Buckhead Village' -a popular hotspot for Atlanta predicted to boost Buckhead market's appeal, has been revived. San Diego firm OliverMcMillan has been brought aboard to restart the$1.5 billion project that was once dubbed as a 'Slice of Rodeo Drive' on Peachtree Rd.  The collapse of the luxury retail market in Atlanta and the weak economic recovery had been blamed for the halt of this adventurous project.

OliverMcMillan has been paramount in resurrecting stalled projects recently in California, and Hawaii. One project involved plans to spend $150 million to complete a 46 story condo in Honolulu. As of yet, no mention has been made of a projected start date for the Streets project to commence. The original plans, introduced by developer Ben Carter Properties LLC, touted the 'Streets of Buckhead' as one of the  hottest shopping meccas in the country, with exclusive luxury retailers, fine dining restaurants, two hotels, and a multi-million dollar condominium, as well as office space.

 

 




Ownership as Joint Tenants with Rights of Survivorship???
Posted - 2 days ago

So, What Does Ownership as Joint Tenants with Rights of Survivorship Mean Anyways???

The two most common forms of individual ownership in Georgia are tenancy in common and joint tenancy with rights of survivorship.

Tenancy in common (TIC) means that the owners each own an undivided percentage of the entire property, and the owners can pass their interest along in their wills to anyone, not just the other owners.

Joint tenancy with rights of survivorship (JTROS) can be a powerful estate-planning tool, because if one owner dies, the remaining owner(s) automatically inherit the deceased owner's share of the property.  In fact, a Will cannot change this.

 How do owners decide which way to hold title?

1.   Married owners usually choose joint tenancy, but not always.  There may be issues with blended families, unequal contributions to the down payment or monthly obligations, or other tax planning/estate distribution considerations.

 2.   Unmarried owners may choose either one, again based on their financial contributions and commitment to each other (engaged, just roommates, just housemates or co-owners).

 3.   Parents co-signing or co-owning with adult children may choose either one, depending on whether there are other children or other assets to distribute or bequeath in a Will.

Purchasers should always tell the closing attorney how they want to take title.  Most attorneys in Georgia will assume that married couples want joint tenancy, but in an REO transaction the Warranty Deed is often prepared in another state, and the JTROS language is never included.

 

 



Fannie Mae First Look Initiatives
Posted - 2 days ago

Fannie Mae has initiated a new program called the Fannie Mae First Look Initiative and many are confused about EXACTLY what this means to them. For end users (someone looking to live in the home), this is GOOD NEWS. This means that you have the right for 15 days to get "first dibbs" on the home before anyone else. This will limit the competition of investors coming in and getting the homes before you have a chance to bid on it.

HOWEVER, keep in mind, these are bank-owned properties, so if you are looking to pay with an FHA loan many of these homes will have over $5000.00 worth of damage to them and will not pass FHA guidelines, so you would not be able to qualify for a mortgage on the home. Even conventional guidelines are becoming very careful about loaning to homes in poor "condition", so just be aware of that fact.

For investors, this means, owner occupants will have the first right of refusal on the home and you will have to wait 15 days before you can submit your offer. For investors that want to close quickly or buy in bulk, this will pose a problem. For those who maintain patience, and consistency, you will still be able to get these properties at a later date.

We don't know how long this initiative will last, but with the diminishing supply of homes on the market, Fannie Mae wanted to give owner occupants the benefit to get into some of these homes. While I believe in the dream that everyone should have the opportunity to own a home, I don't think Fannie Mae is taking into account how significant investors are to helping turn around the home market. Therefore, time will tell how much benefit this inititave has on our economy.

Should you have any questions about the Fannie Mae initiative or any other programs currently out right now, please feel free to call me at 678-463-3173.

 

 

 




How to Choose a Real Estate Agent in Today's Home Market
Posted - 2 days ago

 How to Choose A Real Estate Agent in Today's Home Market

 

I'm often asked "How do we know when we've chosen the right agent." While there are many tremendous agents out there with a great deal of passion and skill, there are also many who over promise and under-deliver. It's always so distressing to me when I've been chosen by a seller who has previously had a "bad" experience with an agent. I don't think agents realize when they don't perform, it affects our entire industry.

 In my history, I have heard things like "...you're amazing and we have decided to sell with you...unlike many of the agents we talked to, you're not like a typical car salesman..."  WOW...that one really sunk in. Real estate agents have been compared to car salesman. While I think real estate sales is one of the most noble professions and conduct my business on complete ethical guidelines and top notch service, we still have a long way to go in how the industry is "represented" to the consumer.

Therefore, I have this information guide for consumers to give you a little bit of information on how to interview and select a REALTOR®, as well as an provide some background on our history, business philosophy and work ethic, so that together we can make the home selling process a bit easier.

However, documentation beats conversation and loads of home sellers and buyers have already hired us and watched their home move very quickly; we look forward to having you benefit from our unique service approach too.

Here are some of the critical questions you will want to ask during your REALTOR® interviews. Compare our answers with those of others and you'll see why so many buyers and sellers chooseWinter Baserva.  

.§  How many homes have you sold this year?

Not just homes that they "listed", but also ask them to include how many homes they represented the buyers on as well....You want an agent that understands the mentality of buyers and knows how to work through their objections. It's important the agent you hire understand BOTH sides of the equation.

Note: Don't be surprised if some agents may be put off when asked this question...If they become offended, it's because they are not very proud of their accomplishments.

 .§  What are your yearly statistics and/or do you have any awards or recognition?

Again, some offense may be taken, but it's only because they aren't very certain in this area. Awards don't make or break an agent's ability. A lot of awards are meaningless. However, you will get a good idea of the type of agent this person is in their response.

 .§  Why are you in real estate?

It's O.K. to want to know people's motivations! Buyers will want to know your motivations too!

 .§  What is your background? How did you get involved in real estate? Did you go to college? What's your education level?

If they say they went to any other school than Florida State, you can kindly ask them to leave <wink>! No, seriously, don't you want to know how your agent got involved in the industry and why?

 .§  How do you market your properties? What technology-based tools are you using?

If you don't pay attention to anything else, DO NOT MISS THIS PART!! It's IMPERITIVE that the agent you hire understand how to get your property sold. Typically, the ones that are more technology savvy have higher success rates and in shorter amounts of time. How they answer this will show you how fast or slow your home will sell...

.§  What are your responsibilities to me?

What is responsibility??? A RESPONSE with ABILITY...Wouldn't you like to know how the person you are going to hire can RESPOND with ABILITY?

 

 .§  What is included in your services? Will I have to pay for anything?

From flyers, to lock boxes, to signage, to website publishing, what will I get for your fee? And, do you charge administration fees, retainer fees, or any other fees I need to be aware of?

 .§  Will I be dealing with your assistant after the home goes up for sale? Who will be handling the calls on my property?

The last thing you need is an agent that passes the buck to their assistant to field calls when that person doesn't know a thing about the home. Find out HOW involved your agent and their team will be in your home sale.

 .§  What are your fees??

Obviously, this one is probably at the top of the list. But, let me put out one word of caution. If you meet an agent that is going to roll over and bend on their brokerage fee, how do you think they will represent you at the negotiating table?? Its great to get a deal, but you have to ask yourself...."If an agent won't stand up for their own worth, how can I expect them to stand up for mine?"

 .§  What if my home doesn't sell?

Back up plans are crucial in today's market...what's theirs?

 .§  What needs to be done to get my home to sell quickly?

Don't you want to have the best competitive advantage available? Your agent should be able to give you some pointers as to how to accomplish your goal as quickly as possible.

 Other Quick Tips:

  .·         Google your agent! If they can't get themselves exposure, how do you expect them to get your home exposure??

 .·         Call your agent from an unknown number after 6 p.m. or on the weekends. Do they pick up or does their office or assistant pick up? If they are unavailable, do they respond in a timely manner? DO THEY GIVE YOU THE PRICE AUTOMATICALLY?? This question is crucial to find out and we'll discuss why when we meet.

 .·         Ask for references and/or check their online references. If they don't have raving fans who are willing to put out a testimonial for them, they may not be worth raving about.

Winter Baserva's Biography

As featured on HGTV's House Hunters, Winter is an expert in all aspects of real estate from buying and selling to investing and REO properties. She builds her business based on honesty, respect, and trust by empowering her clients with the education and tools needed to make an informed decision. 

Raised in Roswell, GA, she moved back to Atlanta in 2007, after working for a residential brokerage and commercial developer in Florida.

Her career originally started out in communications, advertising, marketing and public relations and has previously held positions with the Miami Art Museum, Miami Children's Museum, Grove Garden Luxury Residences, and others helping them grow their businesses through publicity management and strategic marketing campaigns. Her public relations skills have received attention from highly-accredited publications such as Interior Design, Time Magazine, The Chicago Tribune, Atlanta Journal Constitution, and many others.  She was recently featured on the nationally-recognized HGTV's House Hunters.

She currently runs the Seasons Realty Group, a real estate Mecca of extraordinary agents dedicated to the utmost performance. She is active in many community organizations and donates to several community causes including Smile.org, Center for Vision Impaired, Alzheimer's Association, Girls Making It On Purpose and the Healthy Start Coalition. 

Originally from Atlanta, GA, Baserva graduated from The Florida State University with a bachelor of science in communications with an emphasis in public relations. 

 OTHER FUN TIDBITS!

  • Winter was born in Denver, Colorado and raised in Atlanta, GA. She graduated from Chattahoochee High School in Alpharetta.
  • Baserva has been licensed in real estate since 2004 and is licensed in both Georgia and Florida.
  • Member of the Atlanta Board of REALTORS® and National Association of REALTORS®
  • ERA Top Producing Agent Company Wide 2009
  • ERA's #1 Selling Agent 2009
  • Million Dollar Club Award Recipient 2009
  • Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist
  • Baserva's out-of-the-box talents have been noticed and featured on the nationally-recognized HGTV's House Hunters!!
  • Baserva's public relations abilities have been noted in Interior Design, Time Magazine, the Chicago Tribune, Atlanta Journal Constitution and others.
  • Publisher of "How to Buy Foreclosures and Short Sales and the 10 Biggest Mistakes Buyers Make in Today's Market" and "The 11 Fatal Mistakes Sellers Make in Today's Market and How to Avoid Them."
  • Cutting Edge Technology Leader with 3 interactive websites, 3 blogs and endless social networking media tools.
  • She has 4 brothers and a sister named Summer. She also has a cousin named Autumn-I know!

 

 




What is HUD Downpayment Assistance?
Posted - 2 days ago

What is HUD Downpayment Assistance? 

 HUD, the (Department of Housing and Urban Development) has been providing down payment assistance for quite awhile now (since 2003). The program was designed to assist first time homebuyers with down payment on a HUD home. The funds are issued through your local city, county, or the Department of Community Affairs in your state.

This initiative is issued only to first time homebuyers to help them with overcoming the financial hurdles associated with purchasing a home, and to help with revitalizing neighborhoods, giving lower income individuals a chance to become homeowners.

Under the initiative, HUD will provide assistance with down payment and closing costs. Since most FHA loans require a 3.5% down payment, this program will provide the necessary money through grants. If you receive $5,000 for instance, then it's forgivable over time. The program is set up as an interest free second mortgage, forgivable at 20% per year. After you have lived in the house for five years, the second mortgage is forgiven. Should you move after only three years you would have to pay back part of the mortgage. The help is capped at $10,000 or six percent of the purchase price, whichever is greater.

If you would like more information on the HUD Downpayment Assistance please contact Winter Baserva at 678-463-3173.

 

 



FILING FOR HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION FOR ATLANTA HOMES IN 2011
Posted - 2 days ago

 FILING FOR HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION FOR ATLANTA HOMES IN 2011

Its that time of year. If you've owned your Atlanta home for a year, its time to receive those discounts. Below is the list of contact information to proceed with the filing of your homestead exemptions. Homeowners may need to provide the Warranty Deed, proof of residence, social security numbers, driver's license and car tag info...

 

Fulton County - deadline is April 1, 2011                  404-612-6440

http://www.fultonassessor.org/Forms/HtmlFrame.aspx?mode=content/Taxreliefinformation

 DeKalb County - deadline is March 1, 2011               404-298-4000

http://web.co.dekalb.ga.us/taxcommissioner/homesteadgen.html#applications

 Gwinnett County - deadline is March 1, 2011           770-822-8800

http://gwinnetttaxcommissioner.manatron.com/Tabs/Property/HomesteadExemption.aspx

  Cobb County - deadline is April 1, 2011                   770-528-8600

http://www.cobbtax.org/Forms/HtmlFrame.aspx?mode=content/Exemptions.htm&LMparent=189

 Clayton County - deadline is April 1, 2011                 770-477-3311

http://www.claytoncountyga.gov/departments/tax-assessor/residential-property.aspx

 Cherokee County - deadline is April 1, 2011              678-493-6122

http://www.cherokeega.com/departments/department_section.cfm?displaySection=Homestead%20Exemptions.txt&departmentid=30

 Henry County - deadline is April 1, 2011                   770-288-8180                 

http://www.co.henry.ga.us/taxcommissioner/PropertyTaxExemptions.shtml

Forsyth County - deadline is April 1, 2011                770-781-2106 

http://www.qpublic.net/ga/forsyth/faq.html

Douglas County - deadline is April 1, 2011                 770-920-7272

http://www.douglastaxcommissioner.com/

Fayette County - deadline is April 1, 2011               770-461-3652

http://www.fayettecountytaxcomm.com/subpages/HOMESTEAd.asp

Paulding County - deadline is April 1, 2011               770-443-7606

http://www.paulding.gov/index.aspx?NID=210 

 

 




Atlanta Homes MUST BE SOLD!!! The REDC Home Auction Jan. 23
Posted - 2 days ago

192+/- Atlanta Homes MUST BE SOLD!!! The REDC (Real Estate Disposition Corporation) HOME AUCTION COMES TO ATLANTA JANUARY 23, 2011!!!

  That's right! The REDC Home Auction in Atlanta is coming back on Sunday, January 23, 2011.

Many will flock to this event in the hopes that they will strike it rich with their "deal of a lifetime"!! As an owner of FOUR properties bought at the REDC auction, can I please give you one, tiny, little piece of advice??? Go, BUT DON'T EXPECT TO FIND YOUR DEAL OF A LIFETIME!! If you haven't already done so, YOU MUST read my blog about the 10 Biggest Mistakes Buyers Make in Today's Market, of which Mistake Number 7 is trying to find your bargain at an auction.

Don't get me wrong, I got a fairly decent price on the four properties I bought at the REDC Home Auction. But, by the time you add the auction fees, lender fees, closing costs, repairs (of which all of my homes needed between $10,000-30,000 worth of work), I realized that if I just would have been better off buying the home down the street directly from Mr. & Mrs. Seller......and FOR LESS. Of course, this was early off in my investing portfolio and just a little mistake I made that I have the privilege of sharing with you, so you don't make the same mistake. I see it too many times; people getting caught up in the labels of "auctions, foreclosures and short sales" and miss unbelievable buying opportunities that are staring us in the face.

 Now you HAVE to read my blog about auctions.......

 Here are a Few Other Recommendations if you Plan to Buy at an Auction:

  • Do Your DUE DILIGENCE-no inspection contingencies here, you get what you get and sometimes that can be substantial. Do your research BEFORE you bid.
  • DON'T let your emotions take control-decide your highest and best bid BEFORE you go and don't go over it under ANY circumstances. 
  • Practice PATIENCE throughout the entire process-from the winning bid, to the paper work to closing, you will need patience. Imagine how busy the closing attorney's are with the amount of Atlanta homes being sold.
  • Don't be surprised about the disorganization-these events move fast and they are not always well orchestrated.
  • Keep Your Eye on the Prize and WAIT-if the auction property you want ends up going to another bidder, WAIT, 40% of the homes come back around and you can get it on the second go round and maybe for LESS!!!
  • Despite everything if you still want to buy at an auction, GET A QUALIFIED REALTOR to represent you. It's great to have a non-biased, non-emotional third party representative there to help you with the bidding, interpret the price point, explain the risks, as well as walk you through the process and paperwork. Your job is JUST starting once you leave the auction. There is a mountain of items that have to be handled and an agents fee is paid for by the auction house, so this service is completely FREE to you!

One thing is certain DEALS OF A LIFETIME are out there.....lots of them... And, if you REALLY want a good deal, call me and let me show you how to offer in on the property NO ONE'S offering on, instead of putting you in a room with hundreds of other buyers all going after the same one.

If you are looking for a Nationally-Recognized, top producing real estate agent that understands the Atlanta home auction process, then CALL ME immediately. I'll be happy to represent you FREE.

 BUT, don't wait!! I will need to make sure that you are registered properly!

 The REDC (Real Estate Disposition Corporation) HOME AUCTION

 When: Sunday Jan. 23, 2011

Where: Georgia International Convention Center - Exhibit Hall D  2000 Convention Center Concourse, College Park, GA 30337

Time: Registration Starts Promptly at  8:00 a.m. Auction starts promptly at 9:30 a.m.

What to bring: Last 2 yrs W-2 , $2,500 Cashier's Check ($5,000 for each subsequent) , Checkbook for balance of 5% Earnest Money Deposit (15% for each subsequent)

Properties open for inspection from 11AM to 4PM on 1/8/11, 1/15/11 & 1/16/11.  Please check individual property for specific open house information.

P.S. Did you know you can buy properties "auction-style" ONLINE from auction houses that are not as popular and have many less people bidding on them??? I can help you with that as well!

 

 



How Have Atlanta Short Sales Evolved Over the Past Year???
Posted - 2 days ago
 How Have Atlanta Short Sales Evolved Over the Past Year???

Quite honestly, they haven't....much. If anything, I've seen the Atlanta short sale market continue to digress. So, what is the reason?? For one, the HAFA program. In 2009, the Treasury Department introduced the HAFA program to provide a viable option for homeowners who are unable to keep their homes through the existing Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). The HAFA program took effect on April 5, 2010 and sunsets on December 31, 2012.

 HAFA provides incentives in connection with a short sale or a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure (DIL) used to avoid foreclosure on a loan eligible for modification under the HAMP program. Servicers participating in HAMP are also required to comply with HAFA. A list of servicers participating in HAMP (including HAFA) is available at: www.makinghomeaffordable.com/contact_servicer.html.

The problem is that most lenders aren't even aware of how this program works. So, they don't know what they need to do to execute it. And, if you're looking to short out a first and a second mortgage, most people aren't aware that the second mortgage doesn't allow the HAFA program. So the seller will sit and wait for a "dream" of getting money to move out of the home, while the buyer is the one who REALLY suffers. They wait and wait only to find out that the home could never qualify for the HAFA program and by then delinquency in mortgage payments catch up, the home ends up going.

The other reason that short sales are getting worse in their turn around time is that seller agents and sellers are pricing the homes too low for the reserves to be met at the bank. The banks are NEVER going to agree to the terms that are out there by the agents and sellers and its VERY MISLEADING to the buyer. Not all do it intentionally, they just don't know the process and NO ONE knows what the bank is going to do. So, what exactly is a short sale?

One of the most common questions I'm asked is "What is a Short Sale?"

When a property is labeled as a "short sale" this means that the buyer is in default on their mortgage payments and has asked the lender to work with them in accepting less money than is owed on the current mortgage.  Although the seller is still technically in possession of the property, it is the lender who will determine whether or not the home will sell.  The lender will require the owner to submit a "hardship" application proving that the seller does not have the financial capacity to pay for the home or make up the difference in what the home might sell for versus what is owed.  Once approved, the lender orders a BPO (broker price opinion) or an appraisal to determine what price would be fair for them to accept knowing they are going to take a loss.

Buying a home that is labeled a short sale at a good price is possible. I would say about less than 10% of the short sales where I am representing the buyer end up actually closing. TEN PERCENT!?!?!

 The most typical issues you will encounter are primarily time for acceptance, lack of firm pricing decisions, additional liens and multiple mortgages.  Quite often, lenders can take 60 days or more to respond to an offer due to the approval process they must go through once an offer is received, especially with certain banks who will remain nameless. If you would like a detail on each bank and my experience with them, I would be happy to share at another time.  I've seen short sales in Atlanta take up to 6 months before there is even a response. This lengthy and exhausting approval process can very frequently result in even "full price" offers being rejected.  Sellers and lenders are under no legal obligation to accept even a full price offer.  They can change their mind at any time and they often do.

I've seen many homes listed at "incredible" prices and labeled short sales, only to find out that the price was never even in reason of being accepted by the bank.  The seller/agent may have been trying to just create interest and get an offer to see if the lender would act on it.  In the end, this creates frustration for everyone from the lender to the buyer, and the purchaser. 

If you DO decide that a short sale is an option that you would like to pursue, be sure to get a qualified realtor who understands the process, the best way to present your offer, and the skills to know how to follow up with the bank and other agent....I've dealt with many short sales in my career and would be happy to pass along my findings. Katerina Gasset also specializes in short sales in her area of Florida on the listing side.

There are still several Atlanta short sales on the market right now. But, what's even better are overall there are STILL just a ton of GREAT ATLANTA HOME DEALS right now whether they are short sales, foreclosures or just MOTIVATED SELLERS. I know the economy seems scarce, but Atlanta never saw the over-inflation of home prices the way other areas did and therefore is already starting to stabilize. Home prices have been slightly increasing over the months. Expect this trend to continue. No one's going to ring a bell at the bottom!!

 So, get in on one of the biggest discount sales events this country has ever seen and let me help!!!

 




Mansion Peachtree Condominiums- Back on the Market Soon!
Posted - 2 days ago

  Mansion Peachtree Condominiums Will Soon Be Back on the Market!

The Mansion on Peachtree will soon have its luxury condominiums back on the market.  Approximately seven months after the 42-story condo tower and hotel was foreclosed on, we will now start to see these condominiums available to the public again.

Original unfinished units were priced at $1.7 million, and approximately five units were sold prior to the halt of sales. There are approximately 40 units left to sell under the new seller at prices that are still to be determined.

The hotel and condominium continues to be developed by the lender, and with a little time and patience, I think we'll see this community rebound. I'm excited to see what the future holds for this exquisite building.

If you have any questions regarding the current state of the Atlanta Condo Market or the Buckhead Condo Market in general, please feel free to contact me!

 

 




How to SELL During the Holidays! The Top 10 Reasons to Sell
Posted - 2 days ago

How to SELL During the Holidays! The Top 10 Reasons to Sell Your Atlanta Home Now!

Many sellers have a misconception that the "Winter" months equals a NO SALE season. Allow me to debunk this common myth out there. While showings can be distressing during a time when there is family over or on a Sunday while you're putting up a tree, there are substantial reasons why end of the year is one of the BEST times for sellers to sell their Atlanta Home. 

.1)      Low, Low Inventory-During the holidays, many sellers take their homes off the market, which means there are LESS homes available to prospective buyers. Low inventory increases the chance a seller can sell quickly and for more money.

.2)      More Serious Buyer Pool-If you are having showings on Christmas Day, or any of the weeks leading up to it, you can rest assured that these are not the "looky lous". These are serious buyers who NEED to buy, so having your home on the market during this time means we are dealing with a SERIOUS buyer pool.

.3)      Relocation, Relocation, Relocation-Did you know Atlanta is home to the TOP 50 Global Corporations like Coca-Cola Company, NCR, Delta, Equifax, UPS and more?? These companies tend to staff their corporations right before the end of the year to get in their "calendar budgets" for the next year. Keeping your home on the market during this time means that you have a better chance of snagging up a high-powered executive.

.4)      Many agents take time off during the holidays-so hire one who you know will be in town and can help filter all the calls and continue to market the home.

.5)      Tax Season-Some buyers NEED to buy before the end of the year due to the tax benefits. Don't deny them the right to capitalize on this pivotal time.

.6)      Buyers Have the TIME-And, time is money. Buyers have more time to look during the holidays outside of work hours, so keep your home on the market to ensure every possible buyer is able to see your home.

.7)    Interest Rates-Interest rates are still at an all time low, so even more incentives for buyers to buy.

.8)      Competition-Today, your home is based on the valuation of your current competition, which is less due to low inventories. When the market picks back up in the Spring, sellers will be "competing" with each other to get theirs sold quicker. While we don't have a crystal ball, we do know what we are working with RIGHT NOW.

.9)      Because I Said So-In my six years as a real estate agent, November and December marked my BEST months of the year. My proven track record confirms all my previous reasons.

.10)   Don't Fail-You only FAIL if you fail to try. Test my theory and see the results for yourself.

 According to the National Association of Realtors, the average agent sells 8 homes a year. YES, 8 HOMES A YEAR. In a time of anxiety and hardship for many agents, I have sold 58 homes of which 8 were sold in the month of November 2010 alone.

 If you're looking for an Atlanta real estate agent who WILL be in town for the holidays and has a proven track record of producing MASSIVE results and getting sellers TOP DOLLAR for their homes, call Winter Baserva at 678-463-3173. But, don't take my word for it, just see LIVE testimonials here.




Where to Buy Below Replacement Cost in Atlantas Housing Mkt
Posted - 2 days ago
Where to Buy Below Replacement Cost in Atlanta's Housing Market? 



Decatur Homes For Sale: Location Mixed With Preservation & Some of the BEST Homes in Atlanta!!!

Below replacement cost...ever heard of it? It's that rare time that the housing market is currently in where you can actually BUY a home for LESS that what it costs a builder to build it. Put in simple terms, if you were to take a torch to the house and burn it to the ground, it would cost you more than what the home is currently worth to rebuild it. Yeah, and they say we are in a bad economy. For those who are smart enough to recognize it, this type of economy is where all true money is made. More millionaires were made during the Great Depression than any other time in American History....At the same token, more equity is made in homeownership during this economy than any other time as well.

But, I digress.....I'm often asked by my clients to provide recommendations for contractors because they would like to "spruce" up their home. My response is instantly "...IN THIS MARKET??"

Let me break it down...construction costs are still the same right now. There have been no deep discounts in labor, material and cost to build in today's market. So, when a seller wants "more" in their home by way of upgrades or expansions, and they decide to "improve", they are basically paying market value to do so, and dumping more money into a mortgage that they took out some time ago at a....wait for it.....6.0%++++ interest rate. With rates as low as 4.0% on conforming (a recent client obtained a 3.75% interest rate), "improving" a home at market value just doesn't make much sense.

I'm a value hunter. I shop for discounts, I buy homes at discounts and I market homes at discounts. Reason being everyone wants a good deal. So STOP paying market value with rehabbing and start shopping for a home that you can buy....BELOW REPLACEMENT COST!

Now don't get me wrong, it's not everyday that these homes present themselves. You have to be key at identifying them, and once you do, locking them down, but when you find one, you better run....

Allow me to introduce 343 Lamont....one of the rare opportunities I just discussed, is NOW available below replacement cost...

The palatial elegance masterminded over the years on this STUNNING 4-sided brick beauty provides a place of quiet indulgence and TOTAL comfort in this extraordinary home, nearly 2,500 square feet.

This gem boasts so many well-appointed features; it's hard to cover them all. What I can say for sure is that this home is NOT the home for you if.....

*You DON'T need an abundance of space.
*You DON'T enjoy or NEED a Relaxing Outdoor Oasis.
*You ONLY entertain two times a year.
*You want a "FIXER UPPER".
*You DON'T want to impress your friends and family.
*You're NOT looking for a GREAT value!
*You just DON'T enjoy the finer things in life.

With a complete renovation from the studs in (2007), this resort-like home proves a luxury living experience with every modern convenience and lavish item available, and at only a FRACTION of what you might expect to pay.

Other Special Features Include:

*STUNNING Chef's Kitchen with GORGEOUS Granite Countertops and Dramatic Millwork Details!
*Stainless Steel Appliances and Bosch 5-Burner Chef's Stove!
*Entertain with CUSTOM Dual Butler Bars!
*STUNNING Center Island with Stainless Sink and Custom Drawers!
*MASSIVE Crown Molding and Trim Work Details!
*Coffered Ceilings in FIRESIDE Family Room!!
*RENOVATED From the STUDS In (2007), Enjoy TOP-OF-THE-LINE DETAILS on Every Stitch of HOME!
*GLEAMING OAK Hardwood Floors Throughout!!!
*LAVISH Master Suite with Sitting Area and DEEP WALK-IN CLOSET!!
*Modular Master Closet, so Build It to YOUR Needs! It Even Has Motion Lighting! *BONUS Closet, so Make it His/Hers!
*STUNNING Master Bath Wired for TV & Surround Sound!
*GORGEOUS Granite Dual Vanities in Master Bath and Soak in Your Whirlpool Tub!!
*Whole-House Surround Sound with Volume Control!!!
*Custom Window Treatments on EVERY WINDOW!!!
*DESIGNER Paint Throughout!!!!~HOW SWEET???
*Enjoy Melting Marshmellows in this OUTDOOR OASIS Complete with Custom Built Fireplace! "
*Relax with Your PONDLESS Waterfall & Mature Landscaping~What a Way to End Your Day!
*2-CAR Garage, plus AMPLE Custom-Built Storage!!!! HARD TO FIND in this Area!
*Large Secondary Bedrooms!
*Perfectly Situated in Walking Distance of CDC, Emory & Downtown Decatur!!!

For more information or to schedule your own private tour, call Winter Baserva at 678-463-3173 or visit www.SeasonsRealtyGroup.com.             

 




ATLANTA HOME AUCTIONS-Commonly Asked Questions Answered!
Posted - 2 days ago

Atlanta Home Auctions...still something that is so talked about and yet still so misunderstood. There are many forms of auctions. An absolute auction is one that the final bidder price, no matter what it is, MUST be sold. We sure need a lot more of those here. Instead, Atlanta has been plagued with the online and live auctions like those from REDC, Hudson & Marshall and Roswell Auctions.

Atlanta home auctions have many pluses and minuses, but for those who have bought from an auction you'll see that Atlanta's BEST deals are far from any auction house offered.

If you want to know anything about auctions, just check out some of my earlier blogs, but this article is based on some of the common questions asked by auction attendees or potential buyers:

.1)      Can anyone attend an auction?
yes. All auctions are open to the public.

.2)      What do I need to register?
Typically, you will need a cashiers check for at least $2500-5000 made payable to yourself and additional ones if you plan on purchasing multiple properties. You will also need a driver's license or other form of photo ID.

.3)      Can I do an inspection after the property closes? What is my due diligence period?
NOTE: ALL INSPECTIONS MUST BE DONE PRIOR TO PURCHASING THE PROPERTY. Auctions are "as is, where is" sales, so don't be caught in an "emotional" purchase without seeing the property first.

.4)      Can I still use my agent?
Yes. Your agent will need to register as your client and be present with you during the auction to receive credit.

.5)      Can I purchase the property in a company name?
Yes, but be sure to bring articles of incorporation, etc. with you during the auction day to provide proof when signing.

.6)      What happens if I decide I don't want the home?
You can pretty much consider your earnest money and deposit gone. Do your HOMEWORK first and don't "think" later.

As the owner of four properties I bought at an auction, I can tell you there are SOME good deals out there, but by the time you add the auction fees, lender fees, closing costs, repairs (of which all of my homes needed between $10,000-30,000 worth of work), I realized that if I just would have been better off buying the home down the street directly from Mr. & Mrs. Seller......and FOR LESS. Just a little mistake I made that I have the privilege of sharing with you, so you don't make the same mistake. See too many times we get caught up in the labels of "auctions, foreclosures and short sales" and  miss unbelievable buying opportunities that are staring us in the face.

Here are a Few Other Recommendations if you Plan to Buy at an Auction:

  • Do Your DUE DILIGENCE-no inspection contingencies here, you get what you get and sometimes that can be substantial. Do your research BEFORE you bid.
  • DON'T let your emotions take control-decide your highest and best bid BEFORE you go and don't go over it under ANY circumstances. 
  • Practice PATIENCE throughout the entire process-from the winning bid, to the paperwork to closing, you will need patience. Imagine how busy the closing attorney's are with over 1,400 Atlanta homes being sold.
  • Despite everything if you still want to buy at an auction, GET A QUALIFIED REALTOR to represent you. It's great to have a non-biased, non-emotional third party representative there to help you, as well as walk you through the process and paperwork.

 

One thing is certain DEALS OF A LIFETIME are out there.....TONS OF THEM... And, if you REALLY want a good deal, call me and let me show you how to offer in on the property NO ONE'S offering on, instead of putting you in a room with hundreds of other buyers all going after the same one.

If you are looking for a qualified realtor that understands the Atlanta home auction process, then CALL ME immediately. I'll be happy to represent you FREE. BUT, don't wait!! I will need to make sure that you are registered properly!

Upcoming Atlanta Home Auctions:

  • Hudson & Marshall
    Atlanta Mariott Northwest
    200 Interstate North Parkway
    Atlanta, GA 30339
    November 20, 2010
  • Over 100 Total homes being auctioned

 

P.S. Did you know you can buy properties "auction-style" ONLINE from auction houses that are not as popular and have many less people bidding on them??? I can help you with that as well!




New Georgia Law Changes Property Tax Assessment Procedure
Posted - 2 days ago

  New Georgia Law Changes Property Tax Assessment Procedure

 

Georgia recently passed "The Property Tax Assessment and Appeals Reform Bill" (Senate Bill 346) on June 7, 2010.

 Highlights include:

 1.   Every property owner will receive an Annual Notice of Assessment and the right to appeal.

2.   Every Notice of Assessment must contain the estimated property tax (in dollars)

3.   Appeal period has been extended to 45 days

4.   Alternative streamlined appeal option for properties valued over $1,000,000

5.   Automatic taxpayer victory on appeals when government fails to respond within 45 days

6.   Requirement that all relevant sales, including distress sales, be included when determining Fair Market Value (FMV)

7.   Requirement that only "current use of property" be used in determining FMV

8.   Taxpayer must be given access to all data used in determining FMV

9.   Sales price establishes FMV for next tax year.

 Remember that a reduction in the assessment does not always reduce the actual bill.  Other factors such as the millage rate, homestead exemption, and other exemptions will also affect the final tax bill amount.

 

 




Marietta Real Estate...East Cobb and So Much More!
Posted - 2 days ago
Re-blogged 0 times   Marietta Real Estate...East Cobb and So Much More!

Business Week Ranks Marietta the Second Best Place in Georgia to Raise Kids...

You won't find cookie cutter living here in Marietta! Marietta offers sophisticated, new home options within a friendly, vibrant and established community. While the city maintains a small town appeal, it also boasts a bustling social scene with big city amenities on the Marietta Square.

The Square offers a wide variety of dining, entertainment and community activities throughout the year:

Festivals, Concerts & Events - enjoy regular arts festivals, food festivals, children's events and free concerts, all held on the charming Square. During the summer, discover farm-fresh produce from the weekly Farmer's Market.

Theatre in the Square - this award-winning theatre offers fine performances on its main stage as well as more experimental theatre in its alley stage.

Earl Smith Strand Theatre - home to the Atlanta Lyric Theatre, the newly renovated Earl Smith Strand Theatre offers live musical performances, classic films, concerts and special events.

Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre is a premier venue for Broadway shows, ballet, concerts, educational shows, family performances, opera, corporate meetings and events.

Restaurants - Eat your way around the world, just steps from your front door! From Greek, Australian and Slovakian to Thai, Italian or Cajun, the Square is home to a number of exciting restaurants, serving up the finest global cuisine.

Shopping - from home décor, to gifts, antiques and wine, you'll find what you need on the Square. Museums - whether you love movies or history, the Square has a museum that will capture your interest and imagination.

The City of Marietta is a unique blend of small-town values with big-city opportunities. Mariettans appreciate the past and are excited about the future.

Nestled just north of Atlanta and just south of the North Georgia Mountains, the City of Marietta, Georgia, offers visitors the charm of a small city along with a stimulating urban environment. Marietta has a beautiful and vibrant downtown square filled with restaurants, antique shops and the fun-filled Glover Park. As the county seat of Cobb County, Marietta offers her residents and visitors beautiful parks, quaint streets, Victorian homes and historic sites. Area shopping and progressive businesses are found here as well. Multiple local attractions, sporting events, festivals and industry provide visitors with many exciting things to do and business to conduct.

In addition, a new lifestyle is emerging throughout the city of Marietta as new developments and redevelopments are still booming. A wide variety of new homes, town homes, flats and condominiums are continuing to springing up. Our expectations of Marietta homes are CONSTANTLY being exceeded...Just see for yourself...

This was an almost-new short sale home we got a steal of a deal on for my East Cobb Buyers!!

Marietta- A Brief History
....
Established in 1834, Marietta is a vibrant city that offers world-class amenities while preserving its important ties to the past. Homes had been built by early settlers near the Cherokee town of Big Shanty (now Kennesaw) by 1824.

In 1837, the Georgia Gazetteer reported that the city of Marietta was named for Mary Cobb, the wife of U.S. Senator and U.S. Supreme Court Judge Thomas Willis Cobb. The first plat was laid out in 1833. Like most towns, Marietta had a square in the center with a courthouse. The Georgia General Assembly legally recognized the town on December 19, 1834.

20th century....The city has six historic districts, some on the National Register of Historic Places. A seventh, along Kennesaw Avenue, is proving more controversial, and is still being considered as of March 2010. The city's welcome center is located in the historic train depot.

 Parks and Recreation....

Marietta Parks, Recreation and Facilities has 18 parks with a variety of amenities, from 25 acre Laurel Park to tiny Monarch Park's butterfly garden. Whether you are looking for a place to play or a place to just relax and enjoy nature we have something for you.

 Top Notch Schools and Excellent Ratings!!

Public Schools

Marietta City Schools offer rich educational opportunities for students of all ages. The school system is ranked among the top 16% in the country, while Marietta High School ranks in the nation's top 5%.

The system's school structure is unique and designed to promote student success, with kindergartners - fifth graders served in seven elementary schools and one magnet school, sixth graders served in a special academy to help ease the transition from elementary to middle school; seventh and eighth graders served at Marietta Middle School and ninth - twelfth graders served at Marietta High School.

Although East Cobb and Marietta real estate is still holding strong, you can still find some great East Cobb and Marietta foreclosures. 

While its hard to imagine leaving such a fabulous area, you can be sure to see lots of buyers flock in when your home is given my seller performance guarantee!! 

 




Roswell Real Estate...Some of the Finest in Georgia!
Posted - 2 days ago

Roswell Real Estate...Some of the Finest in Georgia!

 CNN named Roswell a contender for its list of the Top 100 Places to Live in the US in 2005.

Other prestigious rankings include being one of the Top Three Cities in the Nation to Raise Your Family, and third Frommer's Best Places to Raise Your Family.  Furthermore, on October 30, 2006, the City of Roswell was named the 18th Safest City in the United States by City Crime Rankings.

And, with real estate like this...its no wonder why!

About Roswell - A Brief History:


Roswell, GA, is situated on the northern banks of the Chattahoochee River in a region that the Cherokee Indians once called the "Enchanted Land."

Formerly, part of Cobb County, Georgia when first settled, and the county seat of Marietta was a four-hour (one-way) horseback ride to the west. Since Roswell residents desired a local government, they submitted a city charter for incorporation to the Georgia General Assembly. The charter was approved on February 16, 1854. By the time of the Civil War, the cotton mills employed more than 400 people, mostly women. Given settlement patterns in the Piedmont, they were likely of Scots-Irish descent. As the mill increased in production, so did the number of people living in the area.

At the end of 1931, the United States was in the midst of the Great Depression. The difficult economic conditions drove Milton County, Roswell's neighboring county to the north (note: much of what is now Roswell was part of Milton county already), to merge in its entirety with Fulton County, Roswell's neighboring county to the south. To facilitate the merger, Roswell was ceded by Cobb County to Fulton. Sections of neighboring Cherokee and Gwinnett Counties were also ceded to Fulton at this time to define the expanded and contiguous northern section of Fulton County.

Roswell is now one of the largest cities in the state; its population has increased most steadily in the last 15 years! It offers a range of benefits of some of the cities TOP real estate!

Roswell Recreation, Parks & Entertainment:

Residents of Roswell are fortunate to have a diversity of dining experiences to choose from among the many restaurants in Roswell, including some restaurants that feature gourmet cuisine. 

Located in an historic 1846 farmhouse overlooking landscaped hills and gardens, Lickskillet Farm Restaurant at 1380 Old Roswell Road, (770) 475-6484, serves contemporary American cuisine with fresh herbs and garnishes. Greenwood's at 1087 Green Street, (770) 992-5383, is another old Roswell home that was converted into a restaurant specializing in traditional American cuisine including fresh fish entrees, duck, chicken, pork chops, meatloaf and delectable desserts. Janousek's Restaurant at 1475 Holcomb Bridge Road, (770) 587-2075, is an elegant restaurant offering both American and European cuisine complemented by an impressive wine list and a full service bar.

A cozy and popular restaurant in Roswell for over 15 years, Anna Lee's at 425 Market Place, (770) 998-0086, is renowned for their creative sandwiches, homemade soups and tantalizing desserts. Other well-know restaurants include Stoney River Legendary Steaks at 10524 Alpharetta Highway in Roswell, (678) 461-7902, an upscale restaurant specializing in aged, hand-cut Midwestern steaks and fresh seafood or Dick & Harry's at 1570 Holcomb Bridge Road, (770) 641-8757, which serves contemporary American cuisine including a wide variety of fresh seafood, award winning crab cakes, steaks and chops, homemade ice creams and desserts. There are many other fabulous food finds as well.  

In addition to great food, Roswell is home to many pubs like Cheers Restaurant and Tavern at 720 Holcomb Bridge Road, (770) 587-0486, provides big screen TV's, karaoke and trivia games, pool tables, dart games, a classic American style food menu, and live entertainment on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday nights. Chaplins 555 at South Atlanta Street, (770) 642-6981, is a friendly neighborhood bar and grill type restaurant that offers live entertainment every Wednesday and Saturday evening.


TOP Notch Schools & Excellent Ratings:

 Roswell's public schools are part of the Fulton County School System and they are considered to be among the best public schools in America. 93% of Roswell's residents age 25 and older have at least a high school diploma, 53% have a college degree, and 17% have a graduate or professional degree. The average ratio of students to teachers in Roswell is relatively low at 14:1.

Altogether there are 16 public schools in Roswell with a total of 13,963 students and about 1,000 teachers. The two public high schools are Centennial High School with approximately 1,950 students and Roswell High School with approximately 2,500 students. Roswell's three public middle schools are Crabapple Middle School, Elkins Pointe and Holcomb Bridge. The nine public elementary schools in Roswell are Esther Jackson, Hembree Springs, Mimosa, Mountain Park, Northwood, Roswell North, Sweet Apple, Hillside and River Eves elementary schools. There are also two special charter schools, Amana Academy and Fulton Science Academy. And don't forget the plethora of private schools including Creative Montessori School, Blessed Trinity Catholic High School, Chrysalis Experiential Academy, Cottage School, Cross of Life Montessori School, Eaton Academy, Fellowship Christian Academy, High Meadows School, Queen of Angels Catholic School, Village Montessori, The Howard School (North Campus), St. Francis High School.

There are no colleges or universities in Roswell but there are many excellent colleges and universities only 20 miles away in Atlanta. One very interesting education and teaching facility in Roswell is the Teaching Museum North at 793 Mimosa Boulevard, (770) 552-6339. The Teaching Museum North offers participatory education programs in the arts and humanities for primary and secondary school children who are in the Fulton County School System. Students play active roles in a one-room school house, the Writer's Corner and the Courtroom, and they are also able to interact with the Teaching Museum's staff and associated artists, musicians, dancers, writers and scholars.

Roswell's local public schools are part of the Fulton County School System.

Roswell's Real Estate market has been one of the most stable during the economic downturnIf you're looking for the BEST in Roswell foreclosures, call Winter at 678-463-3173 today!      

Raised in Roswell and a graduate of Chattahoochee High School, nobody knows Roswell like me. To make Roswell your new home, call me today at 678-463-3173. Or, if life has taken you another direction, let me show you how I can sell your Roswell home as quick as I sold this man's!
                       

 

 



Atlanta Home Values-What the Recovery Means to YOU as an Atl
Posted - 2 days ago

Atlanta Home Values-What the Recovery Means to YOU as an Atlanta Home Buyer!

Atlanta home sales are rising...slowing, but surely. Soon, builders will be buying lots and building again and prices will no longer be in free fall. After so much pain, signs of a recovering housing market are starting to surface, so what does this mean to you??

For folks in the high-end market, this still means long waiting periods. In the mid-range homes in Atlanta, we are still seeing homes move at a fairly decent rate of 6-10 months. Of course, the lower-priced Atlanta foreclosures and Atlanta short sales is where we see most of the action occurring. A big chunk of the 1.9 million post-boom foreclosures have been among the least expensive of the 35% of homes.

The tax credit did a world of good for stabilizing home values and we say an increase of 9% from a year ago in the $100-250,000 homes due to it. However, we'll truly start to see the end of the housing bust once unemployment stabilizes.

Despite the hurdles, the Atlanta home market is not as bad as it may seem. But, of course, you won't hear news headlines of that nature. Greater demand combined with less supply is providing a big spark to the Atlanta home market. Buyers in many Atlanta areas are going up against the dreaded "multiple offers". This can easily be overcome for buyers with terms that the banks understand like large earnest money deposits, quick closes and low contingencies.

Since the beginning of 2010, over 20,849 homes have SOLD according to FMLS data. This is an average of 3,500 homes per month (that have been changed properly in the system). Not too shabby considering all of the doom and gloom talk. The bottom line is that Atlanta foreclosures have always been around, they always will be around, but the bottom has hit and there is still a limited window of opportunity left to capitalize on one of history's BEST buying opportunities.

If you're looking to find your next STEAL OF A DEAL, call me today and let me show you how to make waves in this unprecedented time.

 

 




The 1001 Uses of Vinegar....
Posted - 2 days ago

The 1001 Uses of Vinegar...

 Who Would Have Thought Vinegar Was so Handy?

Vinegar (probably originally from spoiled wine) has been known and used for about 10,000 years. Today we use it for hundreds of tasks including cleaning, laundry, garden, health, automotive, pets and cooking. It's economical, natural, non-toxic and environmentally friendly. Here, from vinegartips.com, are a few ideas for making the most of vinegar:

- Clean counter tops and make them smell sweet again with a cloth soaked in undiluted white distilled vinegar.
- Clean the fridge: use a mixture of half water, half vinegar to wipe down the interior shelves and walls.
- Stop ants from congregating by pouring white distilled vinegar on the area.

- Discourage cats from getting into the kids' sandbox with white distilled vinegar.

For more great uses of vinegar, one of the cheapest cleaning products out there, visit, the website for 1001 household uses for vinegar.




5 Things YOU Need to Know About FHA Loans
Posted - 2 days ago

The Federal Housing Authority loan is a loan which let's borrowers purchase a home with as little as 3.5% down. This makes it the ONLY loan that doesn't require 10% down. Although, Atlanta is starting to see a few 5% conventional loans come back around. However, those are fewer and farer in-between.

 .1)      Borrowers Can Qualify With Any Income:

The FHA loan was known in the past as the low that most low-income borrows could obtain, however, you might be surprised to know that there is actually no cap on what someone who obtains an FHA loan earns. The main factor taken into account on FHA loans is the borrower's ability to make the payments.

 .2)      Chances are Good You Can GET ONE:

Back in the day of "no money" down and "stated income" it was very unlikely for a borrower to use a government-insured loan. Now with the recent microscope on every loan being given, FHA is a easy loan to obtain and only requires a minimum of a 3.5% down payment on the purchase price, although borrowers can put down any amount above that.

 .3)      Appraisals Will Be TOUGH:

The home will definitely need to have a "clean bill of health" in order to qualify for FHA financing. Expect a TOUGH appraisal and all major items like dishwashers, stove, etc. to be in working and GOOD order. Minor problems like missing handrails, will pass, but if you have a leaky roof, mold damage, broken window or non-function appliances, you'll need to get the seller to make the repairs prior to your appraisal. On foreclosures, this is going to be tough.

 .4)      These Loans Have More Costs Than Meets The Eye:

Rates on FHA are comparable to those on conventional loans, but there are hefty fees which up the cost. Expect a 2.25% premium to be added to your loan amount or put down at closing. If you're buying, its good to ask the seller to help pick up some of the insurance and closing costs to offset this expense.

 .5)      FHA Loans Have Become Easier to Obtain:

Once thought of as the worlds longest closing and mounds of paper, with a more difficult closing, FHA has become an easy loan to obtain. Thanks to new underwriting software and loose requirements, FHA mortgages can close as quickly as conventional ones.

 Regardless of whether you obtain a conventional, jumbo or FHA loan, getting your financial package in order is the FIRST step to getting a GOOD DEAL in Atlanta.

 If you would like to find out more information on the best loan for you or a way to get private money lending, feel free to call me at 678-463-3173!

 




Did You Know 13 Fortune 500 Companies Call Atlanta Home??
Posted - 2 days ago

 Did You Know 13 Fortune 500 Companies Call Atlanta Home??

From The Coca-Cola Company (rated the 9th best place to work in the world) to UPS to Home Depot, NCR, to Newell Rubbermaid, Atlanta has become a primary hub for some of the countries TOP global corporations. Atlanta's long-standing reputation as a business-friendly city draws more and more of the countries headquarters here. This is just one of the reasons Atlanta is expecting a growth projection of 8 million residents by the year 2020!

 Other major top business names currently attracted to Atlanta include ING, Holiday Inn, Porsche Cars North America and AFLAC.

 As a mater of fact, Forbes Magazine recently rated Georgia Number 6 for doing business. Georgia's gross state product was $329 billion.

 Congrats ATLANTA...YOU ROCK!!!

 




How to Remodel in Today's Economy
Posted - 2 days ago
 

 How to Remodel in Today's Economy

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