This home likely had the most significant foundation trouble I've seen over three decades. This was a home I appraised (what is this buyer thinking) and the foundation was failing in several areas, spectacularly so. Based on a thorough look around the entire basement and the site, two major issues stuck out: tree roots and very poor water management. Several trees are very close to the home and good sized roots were against the home in several areas, these are a constant source of pressure as the tree grows. Poor control of surface water is always a recipe for disaster; it's the cause of a multitude of issues. In this case, the two combined and the result is epic deflection of the walls in this foundation.

The foundation damage was part of the…

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Price per square foot is unreliable to value homes. It is without question one of the most quoted "sources" when home values are discussed but it is so flawed that on any level, it cannot stand even the softest of challenges. In fact, price per square foot is so unreliable that it makes  automatedvaluation models (think Zestimates) look reliable.

The idea that something as unique as a home can be "valued" using a method with at least 10 major variables is idiotic. Yet and still, price per square foot is bandied about as some type of cornerstone when home prices are talked about. It falls cleanly into the "garbage in, garbage out" research idiom as nothing in the data used to ascertain that "value" is credible. The typical real estate agent doesn't even…

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Driveways are the first impression of most homes. Not only do they help form the overall aesthetic but they serve an essential role; access in and out of the property. In an ideal world, the driveway is easily accessible, flat, and easily used. In the real world, most driveways don't hit every positive aspect. The challenge then, is what characteristic is considered adverse and negatively impacts value and/or marketability? If people are intimidated or put off by the driveway, it doesn't matter what the home has going for it. This video examines a home in a mountain community of North Georgia. Settings like this are common not only here but in all mountain communities...and they present a challenge.  

The clip below highlights the characteristics…

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The frenzied real estate market of '20-'21 exacerbated the issues found in normal markets. Buyers were/are so stressed to secure a home that some toss caution to the wind; overpaying, waiving finance contingencies, inspection contingencies and more. This is unwise at best and foolish at worst, when emotion rules the decision making process, bad things happen. 

There are more buyers waiving due diligence and purchasing homes "as is" than ever before. Some feel it's one of the best ways to win a bidding war and sometimes that's correct. But unless the buyer and agent have a working knowledge of construction and a level of experience that allows them to spot signs of trouble, the buyer may be walking off a cliff. Water and foundation issues are very…

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It’s closing day and the buyers walk the home before heading to the attorney’s office. But not all is right when the door swings open. What happens if the seller didn’t make the agreed upon repairs? What happens if the HVAC isn’t working? Can a home buyer terminate on closing day because of condition and refuse to close? Maybe. The most common problems are changes in the home from contract to close and agreed upon repairs.

Substantially the Same

The GA Association of Realtors (GAR) contract stipulates that the property will be in substantially the same condition as it was on binding agreement date.  Briefly: “Seller warrants that at the time of closing, the Property and all items remaining with the Property, if any, will be in substantially the…

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Trying to predict any market; stock, bond, mortgage, real estate or other type is a measured guess at best. Toss in a global pandemic, global supply chain issues along with global inflation and the challenge is exacerbated. But in this maelstrom comes a confident 2022 housing market forecast from Goldman Sachs; they predict home prices will appreciate 16% during 2022.

In 2019 the housing market found its legs and combined with a historically strong economy and low rates, the housing market caught fire. The pandemic slammed on the brakes, but by mid ’20 things inexplicably exploded. Prices skyrocketed, competition was ferocious and this fever has been running hot through most of ’21. The two main drivers; low mortgage rates and historically low…

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The Covid influence on real estate continues to be unprecedented. Not one pundit or economic expert predicted or could have predicted how the pandemic set the housing market on fire. Sellers hit unexpected jackpots but not all need or want to become buyers. Many are remaining in place, working on and improving their homes. Their concerns? What provides the best return on investment for homeowners?

The best improvement to any home is one that makes it work better for the owner. What’s the point of spending money on something if it doesn’t bring joy? This is “value in use”; and it’s different for every homeowner because every owner has different

requirements for their home. The best improvements are valued by both the owner and the market (the…

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Summer is done and we've turned the corner into the last quarter of the 2021 Atlanta area real estate market. From the opening bell of 2020, yes, back almost two years, it's been a bonkers ride. The election, covid, new administration, covid, inflation, covid and continuing supply chain disasters mixed into "typical" real estate market dynamics. Who knows what lies ahead? No one. All that said, what did the Atlanta area real estate market look like over the third quarter of 2021?  

The need to dig deep into the data cannot be overemphasized; things look one way when viewed as a block but often look an entirely different way when boiled down into micro markets. When that’s done, buyers and sellers will see that looking at data broadly by county, city or…

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What happens if there was a murder in a home we bought? Well in Georgia, unless the buyer specifically asked the seller about this during due diligence, nothing happens. Georgia is a buyer beware state and there are no requirements for homeowners or brokers to volunteer this and other information. Violent crimes, suicides, natural deaths, drug labs....if the buyer doesn't ask, the seller isn't required to tell. And if the buyer waives the due diligence period to "win" in a multiple offer situation...sorry.

Mum’s the Word

Georgia’s “Stigmatized Property Statute” offers significant protection to both the buyer and the listing agent. They are not liable for failing to disclose violent events occurring on/in the property like murder, felonies or…

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Retaining walls are a pretty common feature, they are found around many homes and vary in purpose, design, size and material. All serve a common purpose; to retain or stabilize an area for an intended purpose. In residential settings around Atlanta, retaining walls are usually constructed of either pressure treated lumber or used railroad ties. Larger, sturdier ones will be concrete. They are used mainly to stabilized hilly terrain, make a site more aesthetically appealing or to expand the usable area. We see them used to support driveways and open walkout areas of basements. Designs can be as simple as a few stacked together or as complex as multi-tiered walls with deadmen, drainage and a mix of materials. It all depends on type of property and the…

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