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Appen Media Group

Real Estate Report April Special Section


Sponsored Section • Real estate reportApril 2014

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

April 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

Spring buying starts strong By Bill Rawlings Vice President/Managing Broker North Atlanta Office Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty

Spring is off to a great start

here at Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty, as we have seen a good beginning to home buying for the spring season! And we’re not the only ones, according to

“Realtor.comŽ Report: 2014 Home Buying Starts Strong.� The nation as a whole is off to a strong start for the season already finding inventory levels rising as there are more homes

Marietta.  2957 Kings Walk Avenue 5BR/5.5BA FMLS: 5252246

arriving on the market and home prices are rising. This booming market we are beginning to see, is enticing for both buyers and rawlings sellers. Many buyers have been very anxious to make a purchase, but rather discouraged with the limited inventory available through the past few months. On the flip side, sellers are now more enticed to put their homes on the market with the economy coming back and higher home list prices being more justified. According to the article, “The median list price for January rose 8.3 percent compared to the same time last

year...â€? Although the harsh winter storms have had a tremendous effect on both the real estate market and even the nation as a whole, it seems that everyone is motivated by the beginning of the spring season. Buyers and sellers alike are ready for and welcoming the warmer weather and hopefully a stronger market along with it. The article states, â€œâ€Śthe national median existing home price is projected to rise about 5 percent to 6 percent in 2014, according to the National Association of REALTORSÂŽ.â€? Despite the lull in inventory and reluctance to list during the cold winter months, the overall consensus is that people are ready to get back out there and start buying and selling!

Why sell now? By Andrea Cueny Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty

The Cueny Team

404.695.7040 | 770.442.7300 •

Recognized as one of the top real estate teams in Atlanta by the Atlanta Board of REALTORSÂŽ.


Awarded No. 1 Small Team at Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty.


Experience with new construction, equestrian and farm, land development, waterfront and all areas of Metro Atlanta and surrounding suburbs.


$150 million in gross real estate sales throughout Metro Atlanta.

Cumming.  3045 Wills Mill Road 6BR/6.5BA FMLS: 5199404


One of the key reasons to sell now is low inventory. As a potential seller it may look like a lot of homes are on the market, but there are not. Inventory continues to stay well below that of 2007. New listings can have buyers in a matter of days. Buyers have seen what is available and they are ready to make an offer for their perfect house when it gets listed! Another plus of listing your home now is that existing homes and resales have a leg up on new construction in the current marketplace. According to Scott Murphy of DS Murphy Appraisals, “Builders are building houses as fast as they can, but it takes years to ramp up production. New home sales are one-third of what they were. Existing home sellers have the market virtually to themselves - at least for now. By this time next year the new construction market will be back in full swing.� This is good for sellers because some buyers either don’t have the luxury of waiting on a home to be built and others

just don’t want to! There was a six year period where finding any new construction was difficult and it will take time for the market to replenish its new home inventory. This will make a resale shine even brighter for the time being. The Cueny Team knows the market and has years of expertise is existing home sales. We are ready to get your home on the market and help you with all of your real estate needs. For more information about us visit or

April 2014

real estate report • Sponsored Section 3

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

Congratulates The Best of the Best We are proud to share the news that the Alpharetta North Point Office was once again named the #1 Office in the Coldwell Banker Atlanta Company for 2013 overall performance.

Saluting our top sales associates:

Anita Bryde

Judy Linderman ABR Phoenix Year

Julie Barnes

Grace Hodges

Dodie Hamrick

Shelby Pedersen ABR Phoenix Year

Sue Forsythe

Jenifer Cusick

Susan Craig

Tina Davis

Anita Bryde #1 GCI & Units

Chapman Team #1 Team

Julie Morton #1 New Sales Assoc.

Pam Putnam #1 New Sales Assoc.

Julie Barnes #1 Listing Agent

Mary McPherson Managing Broker

Congratulations to these top producing associates for their outstanding sales performance! With local expertise and global connections in more than 50 countries, these trusted associates have the right tools to help with all your real estate needs. We thank our clients for making Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage their real estate company of choice in Atlanta. 3800 Mansell Rd., Suite 100, Alpharetta GA 30022


Š2014 Coldwell Banker Real Estate. Coldwell Banker is a registered service mark licensed to Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. An Equal Opportunity Company. Equal Housing Opportunity. Operated by a subsidiary of NRT LLC. 7791ATL_2/14


Sponsored Section • Real estate reportApril 2014

Debunking Popular Real Estate Myths By Julie Martin Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International As a buyer I can probably get a better deal by buying directly from the homeowner. Research by the National Association of REALTORS® has shown this not to be true. It is often in the negotiation process that a REALTORS® experience will be of the biggest benefit to you. Many problems can occur after the initial offer has been accepted which may prevent the house from closing. This time is critical and the advice of an experienced agent can be of significant value. With all the information on the internet I can find a house just as easily without an agent. Finding a home is only a fraction of the services provided by your Buyer’s Agent. Pictures on the internet do not tell the entire story. Is the house located next to a train track? Can you overlook the interstate from your deck? All these questions are best answered by visiting the home and it is always best to be represented by a professional. REALTORS® have been educated on real estate laws and contracts, and work to improve their knowledge on a daily basis. It is to my advantage to buy from the agent that I met in the open house. Find out if this agent is representing the seller. If so, you will forfeit your right to your own representation.

My Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty agent can only help me find a home in the State of Georgia. Through our relocation network, we can acquire representation for you anywhere in the world. An Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty agent can only show and sell their own company listings. All members of the real estate community can show all the homes and land currently for sale. A real estate agent possesses a license to sell property in the state of Georgia and can show any listed property in the state. It is to my advantage to use the on-site agent to purchase a newly constructed home. The agent in a new home subdivision represents the home builder. Most of the time the builder has already set the commission rate for each home sale and this does not usually change, so saving a great deal of money is not possible. If you use the builder’s agent you will forfeit your right to representation. If I see a yard sign or an ad in the newspaper, I must call the agent in the ad or on the sign to learn about the property. Your Buyer’s agent can find out the information for you for any house or land listed for sale. It is always best to have your own representation for negotiations. Call me today to find out the truth about real estate.

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April 2014

real estate report • Sponsored Section 5

Julie Martin & Associates

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Sponsored Section • Real estate reportApril 2014

Atlanta’s housing market in 2014 expected to be strong By Robert Aiken With the spring sales season just around the corner many homeowners are wondering if this is the right time to buy or sell their home. Harry Norman, REALTORS are here to say NOW is the time! Analysts believe that 2014 is going to be a very strong year for the Atlanta housing market. According to the National Association of Builders, new home starts

were up almost 70 percent in 2013 in the Atlanta Metro area. We have not seen this type of increase since before the recession. The current inventory of available homes continues to remain low, so as the spring season approaches builders will have to work hard to keep up with an increasing demand. This creates a great opportunity for homeowners who are looking to list their homes.

Lower inventory means less competition! As consumer confidence in the market continues to climb, the demand will be even greater as more and more buyers enter the market. From a buying perspective, interest rates are rising but continue to remain low. Buyers should take advantage of the lower rates now. With consumer and builder confidence on the rise and the increase in construc-

tion spending stimulating the economy, rates are predicted to rise as the economy stabilizes. With all of the positive changes occurring in the Atlanta real estate market, Harry Norman, REALTORS believes now is the perfect time to buy or sell a home. The Forsyth/Lake Lanier Office can be reached at, 770-497-2000, or visit their website at

Negotiating your home purchase in a balanced market By Jennifer Pino Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty You have found the house, done your homework and you are ready to make an offer. A sense of fair play at each step will make the sellers want to work with you, which helps you get to your goal of home ownership. Here are some tips to making the deal stick. Make a fair offer. Your agent has helped you determine market value by looking at comparable sales, so coming in with a lowball offer may

only upset the seller and make them not want to work with you. Also, another buyer could make an offer while yours is under consideration, and you want to be poised to stay in the game. Remember, it is only a “good deal� if it is good for all parties. Keep it simple. It is ok to try to negotiate personal property which is attached to the house, like a refrigerator, window treatments, or special bathroom mirror, but accept that those items are theirs and you may not get them. Negotiate the house first. If you come

to terms, then you can make them an offer on any other personal items you may wish to purchase. Asking for the seller’s personal items to be included at no cost attributes no value to their items, and risks offending the sellers. Include standard contingencies. A due diligence period of 10 days should be sufficient to do all inspections, and a finance contingency of 28 days is standard. Anything above that will be hard for the sellers to accept. Only address real concerns. When your inspections are

complete, you enter into another negotiation for repairs. The inspector will list everything that is not perfect, or built to today’s code. Talk to the inspector about the items of concern to find out if these items are “deal breakers� or are they just mentioned because today’s code has changed since the house was built. Focus on items related to safety and the integrity of the house, like electrical issues, non functioning systems, wood rot, etc. Asking the seller to make cosmetic changes or replace older things when they

are in working order can make the deal fall apart. When you establish a base of respect and fairness at each step of pino the process, the sellers will be eager to work with you and accommodate your requests along the way. Each party will gain and compromise during the negotiation, and both parties will feel good about the transaction.

rtfully uniting extraordinary homes with extraordinary lives. SOLD




Milton 13222 Antler Ridge

Alpharetta 12890 Meridian Crossing

Alpharetta 905 Waters Reach Court

Milton 771 Brookshade Parkway

Jennifer Pino 305.310.6114

marketing for homes in all price ranges. 770.442.7300


“Often one doesn’t realize the strength of a real estate agent when the competitive landscape of selling and buying is moving in all directions. It takes a calming quality, sound reasoning and creative problem solving to manage the sale of a home. Jennifer Pino possesses the passion “to make it happen.� I couldn’t be more pleased with an agent who truly looked after my needs and held a firm line on price and is a master of negotiation.I will miss living in Georgia and only wish I could take her with me to secure my new home in Utah.�

April 2014

real estate report • Sponsored Section

Lake buyers fear the past It won’t come as a surprise to you that the Lake Lanier market is a different market than the rest. Housing inventory is, and has been, very low for some time now. That isn’t the case on Lake Lanier. The lake is a little more sensitive to seasonality than the rest of the market. Also, geographically, the lake is a much smaller part of the housing market, so it should be looked at differently. For home sales specifically on Lanier, the absorption rate (the rate at which the market will consume current inventory) is four times higher than the rest of the county. Currently, at the time of this article, there are 108 homes for sale in Forsyth County with a boat dock on Lake Lanier. Over the past 12 months, there have been 101 sales of similar homes – which equates to 12.8 months of lake inventory compared to 3.4 months of inventory for non-lake homes throughout the rest of Forsyth County. Currently, only 7 percent of lake inventory is listed under $300,000, but nearly 17 percent of all sales fall into that price range.

Robert Strader

Local Realtor Keller Williams Realty

At the opposite end of the spectrum, 30 percent of listed inventory is priced over $700,000, but only 10 percent of sales fall into that price range. So there is still significant downward pressure on luxury lake home sales while buyers are – as usual – snapping up bargains at the lower end. The main reasons affecting lake sales are the very slow recovery of the second home market and buyers’ fear that the low water issues during the drought in 2007 and 2008 will occur again. Water depth at the dock is paramount. 7


Sponsored Section • Real estate reportApril 2014

Things to Consider When Buying a Family Home By Mary McPherson Branch Manager of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage’s Alpharetta/North Point Office For many people, finding a new home is more than a matter of personal taste and individual finance – it’s a family affair. Certain factors are very important to consider when buying a home with family in mind: 1. Proximity to extended family. Nearly half of homeowner respondents in a recent Coldwell Banker® survey said they live less than 10 minutes from extended family mem-

bers, and 72% reported living within 30 minutes away. Buying a home that is close to family members can provide great emotional and financial benefits. 2. Surrounding neighborhood. A neighborhood looks different from the eyes of a parent. It’s wise to get an idea of what the neighborhood offers for children, such as local recreational centers, parks or playgrounds – as well as the school system – before deciding to move there. 3. Existing floor plan. Each family has its own

unique dynamic and should take its distinctive needs into consideration when exploring different floor plans. Ask yourself, does this kitchen suit our needs? Do we want an open floor plan to keep an eye on the kids, or do we want some separation? Does the home have a place for the kids to play? 4. Future lifestyle needs. Make sure the home you purchase leaves growing room and will still fit your family’s needs a few years down the road, especially if there are plans for more children.

5. Budget. This is one of the most important considerations, as a growing family usually means a growing list of expenses as well. Estimate monthly expenses along with a mortgage payment to ensure all financial commitments can be reasonably met. Get the facts and advice you need from one of our Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage sales associates at our conveniently located Alpharetta office at 3800 Mansell Road or call 770.642.0399. Visit to view all properties currently for sale in the area.

What’s Best For Your Lifestyle

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. Hardwood is timely and timeless and completely authentic, and it comes in many colors, from nearly white to practically black and various warm shades of brown in between. 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. For these reasons, hardwood might not be the best fit for every home. • 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. Because of its durability, hygienic nature and ease of installation and maintenance, laminate floors have become a low-cost alternative to hardwood, stone and tile. • 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. There is always a possibility that small chips or pits may show up and be more evident in certain kinds of lighting. It’s a good idea to match the flooring with the kind of activities that will be taking place, as soft, porous stone flooring is probably inappropriate for a high-traffic area. • 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. Environmentally friendly, ceramic tile is manufactured ­ using natural materials and does not retain odors, allergens or bacteria. It also does not burn or emit toxic fumes. It can, however, be expensive and difficult to install, and some people find tile cold underfoot. • 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. It’s durable, affordable, water resis­ tant, easy to install and doesn’t fade or stain. LVT flooring comes in many colors, textures and patterns and can imitate wood grain, tile, even marble. Since it also comes in sheets, planks and tiles, there’s lots of room for self-expression. A talented installer can use contrasting sheet vinyl for large patterns. Tiles can be arranged any way you want, from checkerboard to stripes to diagonals. Plus, LVT are flexible and soft to walk on. They have a cushy “give” underfoot. Learn More You can find further facts on floors and decorating advice from the experts at the World Floor Covering Association at and (800) 6246880. Knowing the facts about different materials can help you choose the right flooring for your lifestyle.

April 2014

real estate report • Sponsored Section 9

When selling a home, what you don’t know can hurt you By Eve Jones Harry Norman Realtors So, you are ready to list your home for sale and you start by consulting with an agent or two. You may be tempted to use an agent who offers a discount commission, but is that the smart choice for selling your home. First off, your agent, who has so generously decided to take a cut in their commission, may be cutting the other agent’s commission too! For instance, your agent has contracted to sell your home at 5%, but are they still offering the selling (buyer’s) agent 3%? Or, are they offering only a 2.5% commission? Why would you care about what that other agent makes? Well, because your home listing is competing against others that may be offering a fee of 3% or higher. How motivated will that buyer’s agent be to recommend and sell your home to their buyer, whom they have been working with for three solid months? So, step one: confirm the “co-op fee” in writing by asking to see the agents’ listing sheet. Step two: determine how your agent is presenting your home to the market? Are they marketing your property in the most positive light? Have you ever looked at home listings

BEFORE on-line and had a good laugh at the photos? It never ceases to amaze me how many really, really bad photos (and typos for that matter) are out there. Bad photos will discourage showings and interest. Make sure your agent emails your listing once it is live, so you can see for yourself how your home looks and intermittently, go out on-line and check on it. Lastly, be sure to confirm that your listing agent is a full-time Realtor. In real estate, time is of the essence which means access to your agent is critical. Your agent needs to be available full-time throughout the transaction to best represent you and your home.



(i.e. just accurately priced, just staged, just professionally photographed, just masterfully marketed, just rolled out listing to 500+ web sites, just negotiated through 4 offers, just provided market analysis to appraiser, just negotiated and worked through Buyer’s repairs lists, just presented a back-up offer, just coordinated with the lender and attorney, just secured the seller a price of 16% over their original purchase price, just celebrated with the seller).

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Real Estate Report

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There’s a lot more to selling homes than you think. That’s why you’ll want to carefully chose your agent to sell your most valuable asset, your home. Patty Ash and Eve Jones of Harry Norman are just the agents you need. We bring sellers (and buyers) the highest level of experience and expertise. Our total 17+ years of experience and $17+ million in sales (2013), combined with our previous corporate professional experience, offer our clients the perfect blend of professionalism, a fresh perspective and knowledge. Call us today for a free in-home consultation. And, if you are thinking of selling and buying, we work as a team to help make the transition smooth every step of the way.

Advertising DEADLINE: April 22 Call to reserve your advertising now: 770-442-3278

Eve Jones

Patty Ash

770-365-1406 cell

678-557-2877 cell

NORTH FULTON OFFICE | 678-461-8700 | Alpharetta, GA 30022 |

7855 North Point Parkway, Suite 100


Sponsored Section • Real estate reportApril 2014

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Real Estate Report, April 2014