Monday, June 27, 2011
Listening to, and reading, the News, you would think every property that is ‘For Sale’ can be bought for 75% of its current asking price. And while this may be true in ISOLATED CASES, a majority of the attached and detached homes being sold today in metro Atlanta are selling for approximately 93.5% of their current asking price.
You notice I said current asking price in the previous paragraph. That is because REALTORS® are smart. They know when an owner has overly-ambitious-aspirations… (they’re over-priced). Yes, there are many property owners who disregard the advice of knowledgeable REALTORS® and list their property with the ‘highest-bidding-agent’, only to have to start a reducing campaign to find that market value was indeed what the good, knowledgeable agent recommended previously.
According to FMLS data, many homeowners will reduce their asking price a whopping 12-15 percent from their initial asking price before going Under Contract.
So what is a good Offer Price? Hire a knowledgeable REALTOR® to work as your agent. They will do an analysis and help you determine what is a good value and what is wishful thinking.
Finally – Make sure you are working with a REALTOR®. Many licensed agents are not REALTORS® and therefore do not have a Code of Ethics to which they must abide.
- Scott Askew
Posted in: Tips for Buyers
Monday, June 20, 2011
Record temperatures are causing Atlantans to put their air-conditioning systems, and our energy bills, into ‘over-drive’. Here are some tips to help bring down the cost associated with your energy bill:
* Set you thermostat at 78 degrees or higher. Every degree, up or down, costs approximately 3 percent.
* Invest in a programmable thermostat and use it wisely.
* Change you air filter every two or three months. A dirty, and in some homes I have seen, clogged, filter reduces airflow, which reduces cooling efficiency.
* Move furniture! Yes you read that correctly. I have been in homes where a sofas sit on top of and/or backed into, a register. And you wonder why it feels warm…
* Install a ceiling fan. Circulating air always feels cooler!
* Wash and dry clothes in the early morning or late evening hours when the temperatures have already fallen.
* Make sure you have proper insulation in the attic and your doors and windows are weather-stripped and caulked.
* Make sure your outside unit is not ‘choked’ by bushes, vines, etc. Proper, un-restricted airflow aids in your systems efficiency!
* Finally, take advantage of the offer by Georgia Power to have someone come out and do an Energy Audit. They will almost always find multiple ways to reduce your energy bill! 1-888-660-5890
- Scott Askew
Posted in: Intown Living
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
A new Georgia law requires the property tax assessors in each county to prepare and send out a new assessment on every property in the state, regardless of whether the property was bought or sold last year. The notices must also include an estimate of the 2011 tax bill.
Because of these new demands on the tax offices, most of the assessments were not ready until May, 2011; but some were later.
The owner as of January 1st, 2011, will still get this new tax assessment, even if the property has been sold. Also, the owner as of January 1st, 2011, will be the only one legally authorized to appeal the 2011 assessments.
Some buyers are asking their sellers to give authorization or even power-of-attorney to them at closing, so that the new owners can appeal an undesirable assessment.
It is not clear whether the tax offices will allow the new owners to file the appeal, even if they have written authorization from the sellers. Keep in mind that the job of the tax office is to collect revenue.
If the closing involves a bank seller (REO- foreclosed property), there will be no re-proration of taxes when the actual bill comes out. Once an REO closing takes place, the bank seller has no more interest or responsibility for the tax bills, even for the current year.
However, other sellers are generally required by the contract and closing documents to adjust the tax pro-rations upon receipt of the actual bill. These sellers should have motivation to stay involved in the assessment and appeal process, because the savings would benefit all parties for the current year.
- Scott Askew
Posted in: Intown Atlanta Real Estate News
Friday, June 10, 2011
So you want to buy a house that has a beautiful creek babbling behind the back deck. You have marvelous plans to beautify the creek and perhaps build a small pond as well.
Question: Can you do anything to the creek?
The State actually owns the creek, the water, and is responsible for the quality of the water.
You would own the creek bed and banks that actually fall within your property line. (Some surveys show the property boundary to be the middle of a creek…so, in that situation, you would only ‘own’ that bank that was on your property.) As the owner of that portion of land wherein the creek flows, you are responsible for: making sure the bank(s) are not eroding; maintaining any existing natural habitats; and protecting stream ‘buffers’.
So, before you start digging a pond with the expectations that the creek will fill the pond, you must get State (and sometimes National), approval.
Posted in: Intown Living