Archive for category State of Real Estate Market
Forbearance: What you need to know.
I know many people are stressed right now that they are no longer receiving an income but yet the bills continue. Just so you know, you don’t need to prove financial hardship to request forebearance. This is for everyone that has a mortgage. Thus, people across the country have suddenly and unexpectedly found themselves in need of financial relief. With mortgage payments being the largest monthly expense for most households, the government has recently passed legislation to make forbearance easier.
What is loan forbearance?
Loan forbearance is an agreement between you and your loan servicer (who you make your payments to) in order to postpone your mortgage payments during times of financial difficulty. The payments will need to be paid in full, including accrued interest, following the agreed upon time period. By requesting forbearance, these delayed payments will not have a negative effect on your credit.
Contact your loan servicer.
It’s important to know that forbearance is not a gift, and the loan will still need to be paid. Before skipping any payments, you should contact your loan servicer to learn more about your options. It’s as easy as saying “I won’t be able to make my payments for the next few months. What are my options?” Your loan servicer will work with you to set up a payment arrangement which could include the following options:
- Pay back the full sum at once
- Increase your monthly payment
- Restructure your mortgage
Forbearance should be used only if necessary.
As you can see, forbearance is not as simple as deferring payments. While it can be a source of financial relief, it’s only a tool that should be used if truly necessary. Forbearance simply postpones principle payments, meaning that the loan will continue to accrue interest, increasing the amount you will owe over the life of the loan. For some people, that is a minor price to pay to save money right now. But if you are able make payments, please continue to do so. Right now there is usually a button on your mortgage servicer’s website that you simply click on it and apply. Hope this helps you at this time. I know we’ll all be back to business as normal very soon!
October real estate transaction volume is down in Vinings and Bulkhead, but not as severely as it was in September and August which was dramatically down month over month and year over year.
Vinings numbers are somewhat misleading as the transaction volume has been so low that percentages don’t seem relevant. The most notable thing to me was that the average sales price was under $800k, which says the main things selling are pretty close to lot prices, not so much resales.
In Buckhead, sales were down 14% year over year and 8% month over month. Buckhead is a much bigger market, so its most likely a seasonal dip in sales and a lack of inventory in the year over year sales.
Generally, Vinings is its own unique market. Our sales in September remained the same as a year ago and down 44% from last month, while inventories went up slightly. Days on Market went way down. I believe is because many buyers are patiently waiting for the right house to pop up, and when it does, they grab it. If you don’t get your buyer in the first couple of weeks, it may be on market a while as the inventory has remained somewhat stable or slightly higher in Vinings. We don’t seem to have the shortage of supply that Buckhead has, but our area is so much smaller that the right house at the right price can be hard to find.
And on to the Buckhead market: We didn’t see a big change from September to October, but year to year the news is still good. Days on Market is down 31% from last year and available listings are down 28%. Compared to the previous month, sales in September were down, but can be expected at this time of year. We are seeing the return of the trade-up buyer. Confidence in their ability to sell their current home is again allowing buyers to take that step to a bigger home. This is a change in the “downsizing” trend we saw while the economy was down. There is still a 4 year Inventory over $2M, so that market is still slow, but the $1M-$2M market is better than it has been.
Even though my blog is titled Real Vinings Buckhead, I’ve decided to add information on Smyrna as well. I’ve sold so many homes there recently and currently have several available listings there. It’s always interesting to me how different all three of these markets are. Buckhead, by definition, is a much larger geographic area and has many more high priced homes. Because of this, its numbers are highly affected by the luxury homes market and the more “average” homes – which happen to range around $600,000 – still fly off the market. In Vinings (30339,) the homes average closer to the $500,000 range with two lots selling at that price in the past month as well. Existing inventory is primarily the original 1960’s homes (both original and remodeled) and newer construction that ranges well over $1M.
The Smyrna market, on the other hand, was much more affordable with the average over the past year being around $300,000. This year we are seeing the higher priced homes in Smyrna coming back on the market and selling. Because of this, the affordably priced homes are eaten up and the higher priced homes are driving the price point up causing a drop in the volume of transactions. I’ve seen homes in the $500,000 range get snatched up over the past few months, where a year ago I could count on one hand the number of homes in Smyrna that sold over $500,000. I should add that these reports are for 30080 Smyrna, and not Mableton per se. The statistics back me up with the sales in Smyrna being down 14% year over year and down 26% month to month. As always, please contact me with any questions you have about buying or selling your home.
Knowing what is going on in the real estate market is just as important when selling your home as it is when you are buying. One of the great features that has come with joining Prudential is a monthly market update that is quick and concise. Below, I’ve included links to the Buckhead and Vinings September updates.
What you’ll notice in the Buckhead data is the dramatic fall off of sales in August. Normally, I would think this drop is related to back to school, but this year the decrease was more dramatic than in years past.
Vinings was more stable from July to August. I believe the uptick in sales prices is related to the Jumbo rates being lower than conventional financing right now. In both markets you’ll see that inventory is down dramatically.
If you are interested, I’m happy to pull YTD data for you as well. As always, if you’re thinking about selling, give me a call so I can help you analyze the value of your home.
I’m pleased to announce my new affiliation with Prudential Georgia Realty. As of this Monday I’ve made the transition and am working at getting new listings converted as I post this.
There is something exciting going on at Prudential! On December 10th we will become Berkshire Hathaway Georgia Properties. Below is a video to give you an idea of why the conversion and the new signage.
I’m thrilled to be entering the largest network of agents in the state of Georgia and bring this fabulous brand to Buckhead, Vinings and Smyrna. You will see my signs converting to Prudential this week and in December the Cabernet signs will appear. More to come of this fabulous affiliation but I’m still learning them as well.
Check out this video!
Here’s my contact info (email and phone number are still the same!):
Prudential Georgia Realty – Buckhead Office
(404) 931 – 3944
It didn’t take too much time (well, it was almost immediately after listing it in FMLS), that the townhome I posted about earlier, located at 2858 Paces Lookout Lane SE, Atlanta, GA 30339, went under contract. This beautiful home with multiple outdoor living spaces closes in August.
We are looking forward to a smooth real estate transaction in Atlanta’s vibrant real estate market. The 2013 Atlanta real estate market has been especially exciting. Now is a great time to buy a home, and many sellers are finally seeing reasonable offers with relatively quick closing dates.
Please let me know if you’re even thinking about buying or selling your Atlanta area home! While you hear me talking about Buckhead and Vinings real estate all the time, I have lots of experience throughout metro Atlanta including Sandy Springs, Smyrna, “Smynings”, Ansley Park, and Midtown.
Atlanta’s real estate market is busy and is heating up! I have two of my own listings under contract – both in the Vinings/Smyrna areas. Also, I’m representing a buyer in Buckhead on a $2M+ home. We’re always looking for great homes to sell, as the buyers are starting to come out of the wood work.
Let me know if you’re considering a change in your real estate portfolio!
UNDER CONTRACT IN Smyrna – West Vinings. 4207 Zermatt Drive, Smyrna, GA 30080. Light and Bright interiors with 10ft ceilings and all hardwoods on the main, porches everywhere! Huge master suite with fabulous walk in closet, 3 additional bedrooms each with its own bath, extremely well maintained neighborhood walkable to restaurants and shops at One Ivy Walk, kitchen has stainless appliances, newest house in the neighborhood. Square footage does not include basement. Tina Hunsicker .
UNDER CONTRACT IN Buckhead. 3111 Ridgewood Road, Atlanta, GA 30327. This flawlessly designed home by Bill Harrison was published in his book Timeless Architecture for its use of rough materials in a refined manner. All of the bedrooms have en suite baths, large spaces that allow for natural light, and a whole-home generator. The master bath has heated floors, steam shower, sep. his/her toilet stalls & closets. To enjoy the mild southern weather, the owners designed the home w/ ample outdoors spaces on this private 1.5 +/- acre lot. There is a 5-hole putting green, outdoor living room, fireside cabana, gardens, and mature landscaping. The buyer is represented by Tina Hunsicker.
UNDER CONTRACT IN Vinings. 4300 Brookview Drive, Atlanta, GA 30339. New windows, HVAC, A/C, fencing. No RR tracks, beautiful large yard, move in ready, all hardwoods, screened porch and deck overlooking yard, unfinished basement with good ceiling height and fireplace. Originally offered for $499,900, and now under contract. Tina Hunsicker represents the seller in this transaction.
Yes, we do have a home available in Buckhead, in 30327, on Paces Ferry to be exact, for $28 Million.
Sitting high atop the Chattahoochee River on 10 acres…..the only thing I can imagine one would have to complain about is the Lovett School car pool lines. I remember when the current owner bought the land…it was $10M alone and I’m sure this house is being sold at a loss. This estate has every feature and amenity any executive or celebrity would want.
I have not personally been in the home, but it is a pocket listing in town!
But please don’t just call me up and ask to see these fabulous homes….as with most multi-million dollar properties, you’ll need proof of funds from a local bank and references that can be verified before we’ll show you.
I won’t mention the celebrity’s name who owns this home at the request of the agent, but those of you that live nearby will know the house. The next question is: Where is he going? I don’t know. But don’t worry, he’s not leaving Atlanta.
So below is a little bit about the top four most expensive homes for sale in metro Atlanta as we start looking at 2013.
Most expensive homes for sale in the Atlanta metro area in 2013
Every Amenity in this Compound in Buckhead – 30327 – $28 Million
There two other homes over $15M available, one on Lake Lanier and the other on West Paces Ferry for $19,900,000.
For more information on these properties, or other luxury homes for sale in metro Atlanta, please contact:
Prudential Georgia – Buckhead Office
It’s already January 8th and I’m finding a moment to reflect on what trends I saw in the Atlanta real estate market last year and what (in my humble personal opinion) will be happening in 2013 with our housing industry and more specifically in my market areas of expertise – Vinings, Buckhead and Smyrna.
As each area of Atlanta seems to have a different feel and velocity, I’ll approach the areas separately. I’ll provide the statistics to back up my opinions on another date as I post them frequently and they only tell one part of the story. I like to say what I see from a grass roots perspective. I know real estate management and even many other bloggers like to paint a rosy picture to get people to “buy” houses, I tend to be much more pragmatic and look at things with an analytical eye, as a homeowner and a mother as to what my clients are feeling and needing.
I’ve said this all year, but I believe even more so now. Inventory is low and if you want to sell it is a good time.
I do feel pricing in the Vinings real estate market is still above what many are expecting and I think quite a bit of the inventory will continue to sit unless its adjusted back to about 2000 levels. We were at 1998 levels, so this is good news.
Unfortunately, we still have many people pricing at 2005-2007 levels and it just isn’t going to work. Yes, Vinings has great county services, much lower tax levels, it’s a charming Village to live in etc., but pricing can’t be higher than its neighbor across the river in zip code 30327.
For the Vinings area, I have investors and builders engaged again. And although they don’t have spec home interest, there is a pent-up demand for new homes specifically for empty nesters wanting to get rid of the Buckhead taxes and their $3M and up homes. Families come to Vinings once they are in private school, but since private schools are eating up alot of their incomes, they tend to look for the more reasonably priced homes, or by Vinings standards, almost starter homes in the $500,000 and $600,000 ranges.
Back in the peak, many families with children in Atlanta’s private schools were buying the newer construction homes for $1.5M, but I’ve seen several families that were over extended go into foreclosure and I think recent purchasers have been much more prudent. (I have clients still waiting for the newer construction foreclosures, but I think that bus left the station.)
There will continue to be deals like in any market, but very rare and far between – and we are are seeing those get bid up when they come on low priced. I just recently found a fabulous deal and it never hit the market, and that’s what I predict will continue to happen with deals as they become increasingly rare.
I’m thrilled to say that the higher tier is finally coming back. I believe this demand is fueled primarily by bargain hunters and we won’t see the volume of $3M and up transactions that we used to.
There is definitely a building trend going on in Buckhead as older homes are not moving. People that are willing to spend the mulitple millions of dollars want something with high ceilings, open floor plan, basements for kids or storing stuff. I’d say almost 90% of the high end transactions are homes that show like “new” even if they aren’t new. They have to be in A+ condition to command the big bucks.
The properties with land, meaning over 2 acres, are tough to find as well. There is definitely a group of people in the under $2M category that are looking for something with land and will pay the higher taxes to have that lifestyle….but there just isn’t any inventory.
One of the ways I gage “demand” is the number of emails that circulate around my firm for people with buyers who can’t find anything that’s in the system. It used to be about once every couple of weeks we’d get a “buyer needs” email stating they’d looked at everything on the market and if you have anything that you haven’t listed yet to let them know. Now it seems like we receive one of these emails daily.
I also gauge the views online on my listings to see what to expect in showings and there was a sharp spike at the beginning of the year, so I know what’s coming around the corner – showings. Which leads to sales.
The price point that’s hot for Smyrna is lower than it historically was. Builders bought foreclosed lots at a deep discount and are putting up new homes in the $300,000 price point, so selling things over $500,000 is tough. When people start getting to the half million dollar price point they seem to have graduated to inside the perimeter. The exception to that rule are those that need more space or really want newer homes with higher ceilings. They’ll still pay over $500,000 to live in 30080.
I wish I could convince more empty nesters to consider the small step to OTP. They are very particular and choosy in their neighborhoods as they are afraid their Buckhead friends won’t visit them. So only a few neighborhoods remain acceptable to them.
I think we need more upscale neighborhoods just outside of the Perimeter and I propose it goes in the Vinings Heights neighborhood where all the ranches are as its SO close and there is still land there. Unfortunately, those ranches keep getting fluffed up and are becoming too expensive to tear down. Time will tell there as that neighborhood is such a great location to stay as depressed as its been. I think more young people would do well to tear those down, or continue to “fluff” to get the great lots just on the perimeter.
I see the lower inventory levels bringing prices up slightly, but I don’t think buyers will jump up in their price point as much as sellers are thinking. If you want to sell it will be easy if priced correctly. If you want to buy, you may have to pay a little more than people did a year ago, but we are still at good low levels. Interest rates are still so incredibly low you have to take advantage of them if you’ve been sitting on the sidelines.
Let me know if I can help! Things are hopping in Atlanta and I’m so glad to be busy, and you never know, I may have a buyer in my back pocket just waiting for your house!
Prudential Georgia – Buckhead Office