Coronavirus worries are sinking bond yields. 30-Year fixed mortgages have fallen to an average of 3.25%, an 8-year low. (According to Mortgage News Daily) 10 year Treasuries are now at their lowest number on record. The stock market had a rough week. Dow Jones Industrial average dropped over 3,600 Points. Where do we go from here? The stock market has had a great run up over the past year. We are now in correction territory from April 2019. Fundamentals in the economy are still good, wages increased last month, consumer spending is still up. Many companies are now tapering their guidance for the rest of the year due to the possible uncertainties ahead. Pandemics such as SARS and the Coronavirus are more challenging for analyst to gauge. We won’t know the true impact until months after the virus has been controlled and mitigated. That being said, you now have a rare chance to lock in a low interest rate. Is this a great time to buy a home?
If you purchased a home in 2019, don’t forget…the deadline to file your homestead exemption is:
April 1, 2020.
The homestead exemption provides homeowners a reduced taxable property value provided:
We hope this timely reminder serves in helping reduce your property tax bill. Please contact us if you have any questions!
Posted by Ansley Atlanta 01/23/2019
Winter Home Checklist
Sat, Dec 21, 2019 – Thu, Mar 19, 2020
December January February
Landscape: Let’s start outside and work our way into the home. The first thing to look at is your yard and landscaping. Inspect your driveway and walkways to make sure they are intact with no holes or dirt loss on the perimeter. Look for any developing cracks to keep an eye on. Walk the perimeter of your yard. Since all the leaves have fallen you can better inspect the property line. Walk to each corner of the yard checking and inspecting your trees. If you have a fence check for any loose boards and rot damage. If you do have a fence and the weather is nice this would be a great time to pressure wash and stain your fence. If the wood is pressure treated it is not necessary to stain with that being said, staining offers a layer of protection in addition to improving the appearance of your backyard. It is worth a look if you are going to live in your home for 5+ years.
Fall is going to be the best time of year to aerate your yard in addition to adding seed and fertilizer. That will be covered in the Fall checklist for 2020. If you have not aerated your yard and added fertilizer, no worries, you can start your schedule in the spring. Now is a great time to get prepared.
Preparing your yard for the Spring and Summer: Late Winter and early Spring you will want to rake your yard to lightly churn the dirt. This will help get air, nutrients, and additional water to the yard. After the last cold snap but before any major heat wave you will want to plant seed if you are using seeding varieties of grass. If you have Bermuda or St. Augustine then you will want to fertilize. A few weeks later you can fertilize your yard for all varieties of grass. Fertilizing is recommended in the Early spring. Plan ahead so you are ready in March. (They make specific ratio mixes for different types of yards, check with your local nursery or outdoor retail location.
Trees and Vegetation: This is a great time to inspect the canopy of your yard. If you have large trees you want to make sure that the trees you want to keep have an adequate and even amount of access to sunlight. This helps the trees go straight and strong preventing them from dying, 5+ year homeowners should consider trimming up limbs on the trees to keep all the trees in healthy condition. If you are 1+ year homeowner, you should make sure that all the trees around and over your home have been trimmed back. You don’t want a large tree limb hanging over your home. You also do not want small trees and shrubs that are next to the home growing on or overhanging near the roof. This can cause damage to the singles and over time water can creep into the roof causing damage.
Leaves: If you live in a home in or around many trees then you will have to address leaves a few times a year. During the winter it is imperative that you have taken care of your leaves. Raking your entire yard of leaves especially around the perimeter of the home is important to prevent moisture and potential bug/animal damage. Make sure that your gutters are free and clear of any debris. You do not want any leaves or piles of leaves standing on the roof as they can hold moisture and damage your shingles and possibly create leaks. If you are a gardener or have a compost pile you can add the leaves to the pile. They can often take while to break down but are good in nutrients.
Lawn Equipment: Remember to run all the gas or gas mix out of your equipment if they have a carburetor or recommended by manufacturer. It is always recommended to run 100% unleaded gasoline. The blended gas can tear up a weed eater or mower quickly. They are also more prone to creating gunk and residue. You can buy gas stabilizers for the winter to help preserve gas.
Outdoor Furniture and Grills: Make sure you take the time to properly store your outdoor patio furniture. This can help preserve your furniture for years to come if taken care of. This is the same for Grills. Many of the new grills have thin metal and are more prone to rusting out. Covering them during the rainy season will help preserve life.
Outside of the home: You want to walk around your home and check for any openings that you may have into the basement or crawl space. They should be properly sealed to keep out pests. For all homes you need to check the exterior for any rot or damage. Check all locations where you may have an opening. Spigot, Dryer vents, etc. Make sure these are all sealed up properly. There are a few options that you can use. You want to make sure that you use and outdoor rated caulk and if you are planning to paint then make sure you purchase paintable caulk. Caulk is better than expansion foam for preventing critters. It also can give you a better visual look.
Water Spigots: Cover you water spigots with foam covers. Also check inside your crawl or basement space for a cut off valve to those spigots if you have access. They will typically be 2-3 ft inside of the home, closing these will help prevent freezing pipes that could potentially burst.
Inside your Home: Check all your windows and doors for air loss during the cold of the winter. Georgia power has two rebate programs that may be a good fit for you depending on the condition of your home. The best bang for your buck is the attic insulation. If you have a poorly insulated home you can actually rent a blower yourself for free from Home Depot when you purchase a minimum amount of blown insulation. Typically, these jobs done by you are a handyman are about $500 dollars for a 1,000 sq. ft. attic plus labor. The rebate is good for 50% of the cost up to $250 Dollars.
Furnace and Heat: It is important that you have an HVAC technician inspect your furnace and A/C unit once a year. This will ensure that you are running at optimum efficiency in the winter.
Chimney: Clean and check Your chimney. If you have not already done so it is important to check your chimney, you can hire a chimney sweep to ensure no wildlife has made your chimney their home. The sweep will also inspect the chimney and clean out any debris.
Carbon Monoxide and fire detection: Most fires happen in the winter. You are running your furnace and often natural gas depending on your fireplace and furnace setup. Test all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. If you do not have a carbon monoxide detector they can be purchased at a local hardware shop, or major retailer. They are easily installed and need to be present in bedrooms and living spaces.
Pest and Bugs: It is recommended to have a pest control company inspect and spray the property once a quarter. There are many great companies available in Atlanta. This small investment will prevent the potential stress of a roach or ant infestation.
Appliances: Have you checked your refrigerator water filter or any reservoirs it may have? This is also a great time to deep clean all your appliances.
That’s It! You are now the homeowner of the year.
Thank You for reading. If you have any questions about the information provided above please reach out. I have an amazing network of reliable trades and vendors for all your needs inside and outside of your home.
Vol. 1 | Issue 2 | January 2019
Here we are, just weeks away from Super Bowl LIII. Whether you are a die-hard NFL fan or currently call Atlanta home you probably have heard about all the festivities that are going on for the Super Bowl. This may be a great guide for you to partake in the festivities or maybe this can be a roadmap on how to navigate the city the week leading up to the big game.
Super Bowl live sponsored by Verizon with be providing free entertainment from January 26 through February 2 in Centennial Park. You can check out more information on that here: ATL Super Bowl
On Saturday, February 2nd, Atlantic Station will be hosting the DirectTV Super Saturday Night Concert Series featuring Foo Fighters.
The Battery / Suntrust Stadium
Shaquille O’Neal, an Atlanta resident, is hosting a music festival and carnival the Friday before kickoff called Shaq’s fun house. This will be at the Atlanta Braves Stadium / Battery.
State Farm Arena
Bud Light Festival Schedule:
Thursday Jan. 31st: Ludacris and Migos
Friday Feb. 1st: Aerosmith and Post Malone
Saturday Feb. 2nd: Bruno Mars and Cardi B
Click here for more info on the Bud Light Festival
Airbnb and Traffic Updates
Thinking of Renting your house or Townhome? Check out this free event from Airbnb on how to rent and market your property during the Super Bowl.
Airbnb Host Event Before the Big Game
The Gathering Spot
100, 384 Northyards Boulevard Northwest Atlanta GA 30313
January 16, 2019
More info Here
Road Closure info:
Click here for the Road Closures
I'm always here if you have any questions about Real Estate, the value of your home, or even if you just need help with Trades and Vendors.
Vol. 1 | Issue 1 | January 2019
On the surface, it may seem that the economy is going downhill quick, but if you dig a little bit deeper, look at the nonfarm payroll and listen to the rhetoric of current Federal Reserve Chair, Jerome Powell, you will find that we are still sitting on solid ground.
The current Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell was in Atlanta today. His words, "I am pleased to say that our economy is now close to both of those objectives. The unemployment rate is 3.7 percent, a 49-year low, and many other measures of labor market strength are at or near historic bests. Inflation is near our 2 percent target. The economy is growing at an annual rate of about 3 percent, well above most estimates of its longer-run trend" This was right after nonfarm payroll shattered estimates and surged to 312,000 in December.
Let’s look a few numbers to get a snapshot of the current state of our economy:
What about Atlanta Real Estate:
What do these numbers mean?
The greater Atlanta market is sitting on a supply of homes that is less than three months due to the increase in demand from buyers and overall lack of supply. If you are selling that means you will typically have the opportunity to sell your home quickly based on supply in the market. (Reach out directly to me for more information based on your neighborhood / City) What I’m personally seeing is areas that historically have had a low transaction price are lifting, a trend which is still set to continue; this is putting upward pressure on the median home prices.
Buyers, don’t get discouraged. Interest rates have dropped nearly a half percent in a period of less than three months. This is great news, there is plenty of inventory, and we are seeing fewer bidding wars which allows you to negotiate based on your terms.
Here is an example to show you how much purchasing power you have gained in a three-month period.
$1,800 Payment (20% down) Loan amount is $356,000
Three months ago, that would get you a home worth $420,000 at 5%. Now you can purchase a home that is $445,000 at 4.5%, that’s an increase in purchasing power of 5.95% in less than 3 months; you are getting in at a great time with the ability to have more control over price and terms.
WASHINGTON (December 28, 2018) – Pending home sales overall slipped in November, but saw minor increases in the Northeast and the West, according to the National Association of Realtors®.
The Pending Home Sales Index,* www.nar.realtor/pending-home-sales, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, decreased 0.7 percent to 101.4 in November, down from 102.1 in October. However, year-over-year contract signings dropped 7.7 percent, making this the eleventh straight month of annual decreases.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said the current sales numbers don’t fully take into account other data. “The latest decline in contract signings implies more short-term pullback in the housing sector and does not yet capture the impact of recent favorable conditions of mortgage rates,” he said.
Yun added that while pending contracts have reached their lowest mark since 2014, there is no reason to be overly concerned, and he predicts solid growth potential for the long-term.
All four major regions sustained a drop when compared to one year ago, with the West taking the brunt of the decrease. “The West crawled back lightly, but is still experiencing the biggest annual decline among the regions because of unaffordable conditions,” Yun said.
Yun suggests that affordability challenges in the West are part of the blame for the drop in sales. Home prices in the West region have risen too much, too fast, according to Yun. “Land cost is expensive, and zoning regulations are too stringent. Therefore, local officials should consider ways to boost local supply; if not, they risk seeing population migrating to neighboring states and away from the West Coast.”
Yun indicated the latest government shutdown will harm the housing market. “Unlike past government shutdowns, with this present closure, flood insurance is not available. That means that roughly 40,000 homes per month may go unsold because purchasing a home requires flood insurance in those affected areas,” Yun said. “The longer the shutdown means fewer homes sold and slower economic growth.”
That said, Yun cited year-over-year increases in active listings from data at realtor.com® to illustrate a potential rise in inventory. Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colo., Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Wash., San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, Calif., San Diego-Carlsbad, Calif., and Providence-Warwick, Rhode Island saw the largest increase in active listings in November compared to a year ago.
Yun believes that there are good longer-term prospects for home sales. “Home sales in 2018 look to close out the year with 5.3 million home sales, which would be similar to that experienced in the year 2000. But given the 17 million more jobs now compared to the turn of the century, the home sales are clearly underperforming today. That also means there is steady longer-term growth potential.”
November Pending Home Sales Regional Breakdown
The PHSI in the Northeast rose 2.7 percent to 95.1 in November, and is now 3.5 percent below a year ago. In the Midwest, the index fell 2.3 percent to 98.1 in November and is 7.0 percent lower than November 2017.
Pending home sales in the South fell 2.7 percent to an index of 115.7 in November, which is 7.4 percent lower than a year ago. The index in the West increased 2.8 percent in November to 87.2 and fell 12.2 percent below a year ago.
The National Association of Realtors® is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.3 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.
*The Pending Home Sales Index is a leading indicator for the housing sector, based on pending sales of existing homes. A sale is listed as pending when the contract has been signed but the transaction has not closed, though the sale usually is finalized within one or two months of signing.
The index is based on a large national sample, typically representing about 20 percent of transactions for existing-home sales. In developing the model for the index, it was demonstrated that the level of monthly sales-contract activity parallels the level of closed existing-home sales in the following two months.
An index of 100 is equal to the average level of contract activity during 2001, which was the first year to be examined. By coincidence, the volume of existing-home sales in 2001 fell within the range of 5.0 to 5.5 million, which is considered normal for the current U.S. population.
NOTE: NAR’s November Housing Minute video will be released on December 31, Existing-Home Sales for December will be reported January 22, and the next Pending Home Sales Index will be January 30; all release times are 10:00 a.m. ET.