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Real Estate Report March Special Section

News and Advertising for New Homes • Realtors • Developers • Commercial Properties • and more

March 2014

A l p h a r e t ta • C u m m i n g • C h e r o k e e • D u l u t h • F o r s y t h • G w i n n e t t • J o h n s C r e e k • M i lt o n • R o s w e l l • S U WA N N E E

Move-up buying gets easier Many homeowners have been sitting idly, biding their time for the right moment to buy a larger, more upgraded home. Until very recently, move-up buying seemed

impossible since home prices were declining and home sales were slow. The market has transitioned where the values in North Atlanta are steadily im-

proving and homes are selling in less time. So, now move-up buyers are faced with the possibility of a quick sale on their own home, but have nowhere to land without using tempo-

Why Hire One Agent to Sell Your Home When You Can Hire a Team? Eve Jones and Patty Ash join forces to bring clients a top producing team. Call the team with over 40 transactions in 2013 resulting in $17+ million in sales. The average days on market for our listings were only 34 days and the sales price was on average 98% of list price. Unparallelled expertise, market knowledge, attention to detail and unmatched customer service has resulted in these sales and others. G IN D N PE









rary housing. There are ways to buy first and sell your current home later. Strong buyers with good credit and assets may qualify to buy their new home, using a first and second mortgage. Later, in their preferred timeframe, they would be able to sell the original home - ultimately using the proceeds to eliminate that second mortgage. There are even lending options called renovation loans for buying fixer-uppers without having to sacrifice a lot cash. A new gourmet kitchen, luxury master bath or a needed addition are all possible utilizing this product. Sounds complicated but, it is not with the right Realtor® and lender team in place and it can make long-term financial sense as well. Some

of the higher price points are still a bit soft in certain areas, offering buyers good values. And, as market values continue to appreciate, the greater basis of a higher priced home, provides opportunities for enhanced gains once that home sells years down the road. Of course, it is not a guarantee but, worth consideration. The first step is to contact an experienced, licensed Realtor® who can connect you with a qualified lending professional. Working together, you can establish your home value, loan amount qualification, target communities for purchase and expected prices. Next, the fun part begins…finding your dream home! –Eve Jones, Harry Norman Relators

Here’s what our clients are saying... “Patty is excellent, diligent, smart, efficient and extremely dependable. Patty is excellent at follow-up and follow through.” “Eve is clearly passionate about her career and has a way of making her clients feel as if they are her only clients. Eve is professional, responsible and does what she says she is going to do.”

Eve Jones

Put it in the paper! Your Engagement, Wedding, Anniversary, Birth, or Graduation!

Patty Ash

Certified Relocation Specialist Lifetime Million Dollar Club 770-365-1406 cell

Associate Broker President’s Club 678-557-2877 cell


7855 North Point Parkway, Suite 100 ∙ Alpharetta, GA 30022

Call today for pricing & info! 770-442-3278 x100 319 North Main Street • Alpharetta

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March 2014 3

Mortgage Rates »

Where do you think we are headed?

Fabulous Forsyth & Fulton County Locations!

By BILL RAWLINGS Vice President/Managing Broker North Atlanta Office Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty

Live in One of These Prestigious Counties with Fantastic School Systems, Recreation and Much More! Fulton County Cedar Park

(Milton) 678-867-6782 Homes From the Low $500’s

Bethany Crossing Now Selling!

(Alpharetta) 678-867-6782 Homes From the $340’s

Briarcrest - Coming Soon! ManorView - Coming Soon! (Alpharetta) 770-205-8141 (Milton) 770-205-8141 Homes From the Mid $500’s

Forsyth County Waterstone Falls

(Cumming) 678-341-6479 Homes From the Low $400’s

ing to the latest survey from mortgage buyer Freddie Mac. One month ago, that rate stood at an average of 4.51 percent.” This decline is due to concerns that the market will not be strong enough to handle a large increase in home prices in the short-term. Despite the concerns, many believe we will continue to see mortgage rates rise

See RATES, Page 4

Arbors at LakeView Coming Soon!

(Cumming) 770-781-1208 Homes From the $310’s

Homes From the $280’s

Bridleton - Coming Soon! (Suwanee) 770-578-4643 Homes From the High $300’s

Marketplace Commons Coming Soon! (Cumming) 678-513-1481 Homes From the $270’s

Post Preserve


(Cumming) 770-205-8141 Homes From the $350’s

Ravens Ridge

(Cumming) 770-569-8135 Homes From the High $400’s

Edgebrook at James Creek (Cumming) 678-513-1481 Homes From the Low $300’s

The Summit at Shiloh

(Alpharetta) 770-853-1241 Homes From the Low $300’s

Seneca – Now Selling!

(Cumming) 404-281-2400 Homes From the Low $400’s

(Cumming) 770-853-1241 Homes From the $350’s

Visit for more information. RA1486

Mortgage rates are a popular subject as they continue to decrease moving into 2014. What does the decrease mean for buyers? Depending on which way you view it, we can draw several conclusions. The view is that the market is coming back, and lower mortgage rates equal happy buyers as they move through the purchasing process. While these rates are expected to remain low for the short-term, the economy is expected to improve and lead to higher mortgage rates and home prices in the long-term. What does this mean to the experts? Who are the experts? These are industry leaders who live and breathe the statistics, facts and analysis when it comes to the housing market and mortgage rates. According to an article on, “Mortgage Rates Continue Downward Trend,” the experts point to a decline in both mortgage rates and housing prices over the last several weeks. This is supported by a recent survey conducted by Freddie Mac. The article states, “This week the average rate on a 30-year fixed loan dipped to 4.32 percent from 4.39 percent, accord-


In the Atlanta division, prices, plans and specifications are subject to change without notice. Photographs and or renderings are for illustrative purposes only. Information believed to be accurate but not warranted. BUILDER magazine named Ryland Homes the 2012 “Fastest-Growing Public Homebuilder” in the May 2013 issue of Builder 100. See Sales Counselor for details and a complete list of HouseWorks® features. © 2014 The Ryland Group, Inc.

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March 2014 4

Give your kitchen a breath of fresh air (NAPSI)—Cooks can breathe a sigh of relief when they realize how efficient and attractive kitchen ventilation or a range hood can be. If you’d like to breathe easier, these facts and hints can help: • Kitchens with proper ventilation are much cleaner. Ventilation can stop particulates from settling on surfaces and damaging cabinetry and fabrics. A good vent can also reduce smoke, grease and other types of indoor air pollution that can harm your health and increase your cleaning chores. • Four basic kinds of kitchen range hoods: 1.) Canopy Hoods—mount to the wall (aka Pro-style) or bottom of a cabinet (aka under-cabinet). 2.) Island Hoods—mount to the ceiling.

3.) Chimney Hoods—come with a decorative cover to hide unattractive ductwork. 4.) Downdraft Hoods—install behind the cooktop. • The hood should be at least as wide as the cooking surface to effectively capture smoke, grease and odors. • Keep it clean. It’s wise to wash or replace vent filters every couple of months. If you cook frequently, they may require more frequent cleaning; most are dishwasher-safe. • When shopping for new ventilation, look for the Home Ventilating Institute (HVI) label. It’s an independent third party that rates ventilation performance. • If noise levels are important to you and your family, get a hood that exhausts more air (indicated by a higherlevel CFM) and operates at a lower/quieter speed. Another

quiet-performance option is an external blower that can be mounted to an outside wall, installed in the attic or on the roof. • The hood should be installed as close to the cooktop as possible, within the manufacturer’s guidelines, so it captures the most smoke and odor. • Duct size is important for optimum performance. It should be equal to or greater than the size of the hood’s duct outlet. • Make sure the backdraft damper opens and closes completely and freely. Check both inside and outside the house to be sure nothing gets in the way of its movement. • For an efficient HVI-certified range hood that is also sleek, graceful and elegant, consider BROAN® and BROAN Elite Hoods. There are several models made to match contemporary aesthetics, providing a clean look that works seamlessly with your kitchen style.

Now Is The Time To Sell. The Average Days on Market by Month (City of Alpharetta) Jan-2013 vs Jan-2014: The average days on market is down -39%

110 100

Continued from Page 3



80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Jan-2013 93

Jan -13 Feb-13 Mar -13 Apr-13 May-13 Jun-13 Jul-13 Aug-13 Sep-13 Oct-13 Nov-13 Dec-13 Jan-14 Jan-2014 56

Jan-2013 vs. Jan-2014 Change -37

% -39


Property Types: Residential | Cities: Alpharetta | MLS: FMLS | Price: All | Period: 1 Year Monthly | Construction Type: All Bedrooms: All | Bathrooms: All | Sq Ft: All | Lot Size: All Square Footage

The Average Days on Market by Month (City of Roswell) Jan-2013 vs Jan-2014: The average days on market is down -7%

110 100 90


80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Jan-2013 70


Jan -13 Feb-13 Mar -13 Apr-13 May-13 Jun-13 Jul-13 Aug-13 Sep-13 Oct-13 Nov-13 Dec-13 Jan-14 Jan-2014 65

Jan-2013 vs. Jan-2014 Change -5

% -7

Property Types: Residential | Cities: Roswell | MLS: FMLS | Price: All | Period: 1 Year Monthly | Construction Type: All Bedrooms: All | Bathrooms: All | Sq Ft: All | Lot Size: All Square Footage


significantly over the longterm in 2014. The reason behind the expected mortgage rate increase is that the housing market is coming back. The market is on the upward trend, and this will lead to rising home prices and rising mortgage rates. Neal J. Leitereg writes in the article, “The bond-purchase program has helped offset dramatic gains in real estate prices and kept affordability

For further ideas and to view a variety of hoods and vents, go to or call (800) 558-1711.

elevated while the market has stabilized. Despite the recent economic reporting, the housing market at large continues to show signs of recovery.” Whereas the economy and the housing market are not predicted to be strong enough to handle a large come back in the short term, they are poised for long-term growth, and we should expect this to happen in the next several years. We hope you will consider our firm as you begin your next real estate transaction. Call me for a recommendation of an agent who can assist you in the process. Office: 770.442.7300

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March 2014 5

How can i get the highest sales price for my house? By ANDREA CUENY Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Clients often ask this question … so I surveyed my fellow REALTORS® and compiled a list of responses that I heard consistently from agents selling homes for full price and higher.    1. Paint – It makes the largest impact and is the least expensive thing you can do to prepare your home for a new buyer. Neutralize and freshen up the house, especially in

main living areas. Popular neutral tones in the grey family have replaced tans and yellows. Consult your REALTOR®/designer before painting the entire house. Freshen up your trim color so it is crisp and white.  2. Flooring - Hardwood floors are still the No. 1 choice of buyers. We are seeing more prefabricated flooring with a distressed look and tile that looks like hardwoods. Update or clean carpets.   3. Kitchen & Bathrooms -

Hardwood or laminate, natural tile or luxury vinyl (NAPS)—Anyone can have beautiful, functional floors— once you review your options. For ex­ample, you may have your heart set on hardwood, but laminate may be a better option given your lifestyle. Alternatively, you may admire tile floors, but you might be a lot happier with luxury vinyl tile (LVT). In order to make the right decision, consider three key factors—budget, wearability and maintenance. • Hardwood floors are a great choice under the right conditions. Nothing compares to the natural beauty, color, intricate graining and depth of shine of a hardwood floor. Not only easy on the eye, hardwood floors tend to be warm underfoot too. Quality hardwood flooring is a big investment but will last a long time and add real value to your home. Though there are many pluses to hardwood, there are some minuses to consider when deciding whether it’s right for you. Bear in mind, all hardwood is not the same; quality and pricing are big factors. Depending on the species, some hardwood floors can take a great deal of wear and tear and still look good. Others, though beautiful at first, show the signs of wear very quickly. In any case, you have to clean and care for it properly. This includes not using ammonia cleaners, oil soaps or a wet mop; using a professional hardwood floor cleaner to remove scuffs and scratches; and cleaning spills immediately. • In some cases, laminate is a great alternative. Fortunately, for people who really like the look of wood, there’s an excellent—and much less expensive—alternative: laminate flooring. Through highly

detailed digitized photography, laminate floors of today duplicate hardwood with tremendous realism that allows for a lower initial cost. What’s more, an inner cork subfloor on some laminate products helps tone down the noise and echoing attributes associated with laminates of yesterday. Unlike hardwood, a laminate floor will not fade. Pets can also be a problem for hardwood flooring. Laminate, on the other hand, offers a durable wear surface that is highly stain, scratch and moisture resistant. • Is your heart set on stone? Natural stone and porcelain tiles are another popular way to pave your floors. They come in all shapes, sizes and colors, glazed or unglazed, and can be used plain, decorated or as part of a mosaic. Along with its beauty, natural stone flooring will likely increase your home’s resale value, and it only improves with age. Stone is also popular because every piece of stone is unique so no two floors are alike. Natural stone varies in hardness as no stone floor has a perfectly smooth surface. • Is tile the right fit for your family? A properly installed ceramic tile floor will outperform and outlast nearly any other. Glazed ceramic tile and porcelain resist stains, odors and dirt and can be cleaned easily. • Vinyl floors offer many perks. Luxury vinyl tile, which falls in the “resilient” flooring category, may be a flooring you should consider—especially if you’re concerned about pets and kids. Luxury vinyl tile flooring is a great choice for kitchens and bathrooms, as well, because it’s “no wax” and easy to keep clean.

Keep it clean. Nothing on counters. Clean and open spaces sell your kitchen. Updating countertops, appliances, cabinets and hardware help as well. The same with your bathroom. Re-grout, so it is fresh and clean. Change light fixtures if they are dated. Make sure all plumbing fixtures work properly and look current. Discuss with your REALTOR®/design professional about choices to help you get the most for your money. 4. Landscaping – Buyers drive by your house before

making an appointment. Make a good impression. Does your landscaping look nice? Do your shutters need repair? Are your front porch lights current and clean?  As we approach spring having colorful flowers that are inviting make the agent want to see the inside increase showings and the likelihood of getting a strong offer sooner rather than later. Consult with your REALTOR® before starting to get their input and suggestions in helping you make the best

decisions on what will get your house sold!

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Real Estate Report March 2014