real estate: Why Now is the Time to Purchase a Home - 05/24/11 02:08 AM
Although the housing market has been in the doldrums for the past few years, most of us realize that home ownership is a worthy long term financial goal, not to mention the pride and comfort of living in space that is yours.  There hasn't been a better time to buy a house in the last 30 years. Here's why:1. Prices are remarkably low, especially in neighborhoods that have been hit hardest by foreclosures. In some cases, you can buy a house for less than the cost of a lot in the same subdivision. People forget that houses don't have a memory. … (0 comments)

real estate: Home Sellers Must be Realistic this Spring - 04/08/11 03:52 AM
With Spring Break winding down, we are now moving into the prime real estate season.  Spring can be an exciting time for homeowners ready to sell.  But not so much in recent years if your home has lingered on the market through multiple Spring selling seasons.
Years of listings, open houses and showings without offers are weighing on many homeowners this year as the nation's housing market tries to recover from the Great Recession's housing slump, credit crunch and high unemployment.  The traditional real estate cry of "location, location, location!" has given way to "price, price, price!"
With new foreclosures and mortgage short … (1 comments)

real estate: Buying New Construction - Part 2 - 03/23/11 08:00 AM
Newly constructed residential homes have been scarce for the past few years.  As the housing market declined, many subdivisions were left with vacant foreclosed lots.  Builders who were in the financial position to continue, began purchasing such lots at pennies on the dollar.  This presented the opportunity to offer homes at prices much lower than those seen in pre-foreclosure days.  If new construction is a possibility for you, keep in mind these points, as well as those mentioned in the previous post.
 Step 3: Know What's Standard and What's Extra
Ask the builder about amenities and upgrades. Amenities are features that … (0 comments)

real estate: How to Sell Your Home at Holiday Time - 11/27/10 01:04 AM
The holiday season isn't the best time to sell your home, but if you have no choice, there are reasons to be merry. Anyone house-hunting on Thanksgiving or Christmas weekend must have a good reason.  They are more likely to be serious, motivated buyers and will be less likely to waste time shopping and negotiating.
Here are some steps you can take to attract those buyers and help yourself move ahead with your plans:
Decorate tastefully. Decking the halls is fun, but don't overdo it. Buyers want to see the home, not your mega-light display or 8-foot Christmas tree. Opt for … (6 comments)

real estate: Now More Than Ever - Price Your home Competitively - 11/23/10 02:01 AM
Over the past few years we have seen many changes in the residential real estate market.  If your home has been on the market recently, or if you plan on selling it, no doubt you have confronted the issue of pricing it right.
Simply, the right asking price for a home is the price that a buyer is willing to pay for it.  This determines the market value.  Unfortunately, home values have declined and most sellers believe that their home is worth more than its fair market value.  A good local real estate agent will be able to provide you with … (3 comments)

real estate: Tips for Cash Home Buyers - 11/16/10 03:24 AM
Owning a home has always been considered a great investment.  Nowadays, many buyers are choosing to buy real estate for cash, thanks to low prices, a huge inventory of foreclosed properties, and poor rates of return on other types of investments.  Although the only legal requirement for a cash purchase is the money, there are several important considerations for a cash buyer:
  - Home Inspection - never buy without one
  - Appraisal - there is no lender appraisal, so this is the only way to insure that the purchase price is reasonable
  - Survey - always recommended for small … (1 comments)

real estate: Home Buyers!! Avoid These Mistakes!! - 01/23/10 03:36 AM
Many prospective buyers who have been sitting on the real estate fence will be thinking more seriously about a home purchase in the year ahead. And why not? Interest rates are still very attractive, prices are still competitive, and more buyers than ever may qualify for a substantial tax credit just for making a purchase.
With a little planning, inexperienced buyers can sidestep some common mistakes and make their home purchase a successful one.
Here are four home-buying mistakes you don't want to make:
● Not getting prequalified by a reputable local lender.
Until you sit down with a reputable lender and … (3 comments)

real estate: 2010 Is the Year for Home Ownership - 01/11/10 05:59 AM
2009 has ended with a glimmer of home in the residential real estate market.  Home sales showed an increase over 2008, and there is optimism that the trend will continue into 2010.
Many pundits predict higher interest rates in the months ahead. Yet you can still lock in a 30-year conforming fixed rate loan for around 5 percent. This is a bargain almost any way you look at it.
 If you are in the market for a house, find out if you qualify for the expanded Home Buyer Tax Credit that pays up to $8,000. Even if you didn't qualify before, … (0 comments)

real estate: Great Housing News! - 08/03/09 11:49 AM
It's making news everywhere because there are signs or reversal in the downward housing market that we've been experiencing nationwide for the past few years.
New home sales rose last month at the fastest clip in more than eight years as buyers eagerly took advantage of bargain prices - a clear sign, economists said, that the real estate market may finally be bouncing back.
 Historically low interest rates and a federal tax credit for first-time homeowners also helped push home sales to their highest level since November.
While home prices are still falling around the country, sales have now risen for … (0 comments)

real estate: Kennesaw - On National TV! - 06/16/09 11:17 AM
No, Kennesaw, GA is certainly not New York City, Los Angeles or Chicago, but it will be gaining nationwide attention.  What better way to get on the map than to have a local neighborhood be the subject of a reality TV show.  Such is the case for the charming Kennesaw community of Legacy Park!
Motorists driving through Kennesaw's Legacy Park subdivision off Jiles Road may have noticed a massive wall recently constructed smack dab in the middle of one of the community's 11 neighborhoods.
No, Cold War-era communists have not taken over. But rather, a Hollywood production team has decided that … (2 comments)

real estate: Look on the Bright Side of the Housing News - 03/09/09 12:10 PM
With last week's announcement of a decline in pending home sales, it appears that job losses and weak consumer confidence are inhibiting a real estate recovery.  The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contracts signed in January, fell 7.7% to 80.4 from a downwardly revised reading of 87.1 in December, and is 6.4% below January 2008 when it was 85.9. The index is at the lowest level since tracking began in 2001, when the index value was set at 100.
However, the first-time homebuyer tax credit recently passed by Congress has already solicited interest in that particular group of potential buyers … (0 comments)

real estate: What Features Do Home Buyers Want Most? - 03/02/09 07:40 AM
Thinking of selling your home?  How attractive will it be to potential buyers?  Consider the features that buyers rate highest in a new home.  The top five kitchen features are a walk-in pantry, an island work space, appliance storage, a built-in microwave and a drinking water filtration system.  A linen closet, exhaust fan, seperate shower, water temperature control and a whirlpool tub are items favored most in a bathroom.
Specialty rooms that top buyers' lists include a laundry room, dining room, home office, den or library and a sunroom.  Most desired decorative features are ceiling fans, built-in shelving, window seats, and either wood burning or … (0 comments)

real estate: Don't Let Your Money Seep Through the Cracks - 02/21/09 08:37 AM
Is it feeling drafty inside?  Are your energy bills higher than they should be?  Air leakage to or from the outdoors can affect both indoor comfort level and energy costs.  The most notable sources of leakage exist around entry doors and windows.  Other less noticable, but equally troubling culprits exist.  Inspect your home, particularly where different materials, such as brick and siding meet, where the foundation meets the walls and where the chimney meets the siding.  Penetrations for electric, gas, phone and cable wires, outdoor water spigots, dryer vents, and air conditioners should be sealed as well. 
Don't forget indoor temperature … (0 comments)

real estate: FHA Loans are Your Friend! - 02/11/09 09:18 AM
In this time of tight money and even tighter restrictions on mortgage lending, FHA loans are a great alternative to conventional mortgages.  Although downpayment assistance is no longer allowed, a borrower need only contribute 3.5% of the sales price as downpayment.  The loans are insured by the federal government and rates are affordable.  Even if you have a less than perfect credit score, or perhaps, have experienced a bankrupcy, an FHA loan may pave the way to home ownership.  FHA loans allow up to 6% of the closing costs to be paid by the Seller--and in a market like this, Sellers who are able to, certainly … (0 comments)

real estate: Housing Trends - 02/03/09 04:31 AM
The sobering state of the real estate market has consumers taking a pragmatic look at their housing needs.  In a reversal of past trends toward size and luxury, many of today's buyers picture their future homes as smaller in size and more practically designed than what they now own.
Requirements are that their home be bright, comfortable and just the right size for themselves and their families.  Envisioned are family gathering spaces suited for multiple activities such as games and exercise.  With smaller size comes the need to utilize every bit of available space for storage and for outdoor living as well.    Luxury appointments such … (0 comments)

real estate: Make Your Home Fill Your Wallet - 02/02/09 09:33 AM
In these challenging economic times, many of us are cutting back on non-essential purchases such as entertainment, restaurant meals and vacations.  Paying off credit card debt and beefing up the savings accounts are are common goals.  But have you thought about reclaiming even more of your money?
With interest rates at record lows, now is the time to refinance and lower the monthly payments--in particular if you currently have an adjustable rate mortgage.  Closing costs are relatively low, so check with your local lender regarding a more economical program.
Fallout from the housing crash includes a widespread decline in property value.  Contact your tax … (0 comments)

real estate: Stay Optimistic! - 01/27/09 06:18 AM
Mixed news on housing--an upward tick was reported in home sales for December.  An increase of 6.5% over November was seen nationwide--unusual for the holiday season.  No doubt this spurt is attributable to record low interest rates and to the enormous number of foreclosures on the market.  In fact, 45% of December closings were on homes that were somewhere in the foreclosure process.  Some people know a good investment when they see it!
Sobering news was reported as well.  Job losses continue to mount as government leaders struggle to agree on a stimulus plan.  Property values continue to decline.  What's a real … (2 comments)

real estate: It's Definitely the Time to Buy! - 01/26/09 02:08 AM
With an estimated one and one half million homes for sale across the country, now is an excellent time to purchase primary residential or investment property.  Foreclosures make up about two thirds of the excess inventory.  Demand is expected to be weak as a result of concerns about unemployment and creditworthiness.  Those who do qualify for a loan and who belong to the 92% of the workforce that is and will remain employed, will reap the benefits of weakened home prices and record low interest rates.
Consumer spending is the major force that drives the economy, and housing tops this category.  If you're considering making … (0 comments)

 
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Anne Ortiz

Marietta, GA

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