Tips & real world advice to avoid disaster 

As the early spring 2024 season opens around Greater Atlanta, some home buyers are still facing multiple offers. This is not the same universal craziness that we saw during the post pandemic days, but the current inventory of highly desirable homes remains fiercely competitive. Greater Atlanta saw a significant influx of post pandemic buyers coming to town with pockets full of cash. They were hungry to buy, and they did. Sellers could list pretty much anything at any price and it would go quickly at or over list. Those days are over...sorta.

Home Sellers are always last to adjust when markets shift. As rates rose and buyers froze in late '22-early '23, sellers continued on with aspirational pricing.  Their home was the "exception" to the market, an…

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Home buyers would do well to learn how to spot drainage issues. Water is not your friend; if it's not controlled it will bite in a number of different ways and every one will hurt. The first and most obvious tell is the position of the home; is it declined from the road? Gravity ensures that water takes the path of least resistance; will that be rushing down an expansive driveway that lets it blast into the house or garage? Will that be an area of yard that becomes a trench due to erosion?

Walk all areas of the yard to see where the water is coming from, where it goes and what damage it's doing and may have already done. Be aware of street drains; where do they lead, where do they dump the water? Remember; headwalls, culverts, swales and similar…

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What is the forecast for the Atlanta real estate market in 2024? Contrary to most every regional and national prognosticator, the only legitimate answer is "it depends". It's critical to understand prior markets, look for patterns, and temper that with current economic conditions. The idea that any "housing" or "economic expert" can authoritatively declare where this market is headed over the year is absurd. How can variables like local and national economic conditions, consumer debt, consumer confidence, the Fed, global supply chains, wars and conflict and a hundred other wild cards be corralled? They cannot.

We can however, develop supported opinions by combining recent data, extensive local experience and cautious interpretation of the variables…

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File for the Georgia Homestead Tax Exemption

If you purchased a home in Georgia in 2023, be certain to apply for the Georgia Homestead Tax Exemption. This can significantly reduce property taxes, so even if you didn't buy in 2023, check with your county to ensure this is in place. Home owners need to follow these steps:

  1. Eligibility: You must own and occupy the property as your primary residence as of January 1st of the current year. Remember, the exemption doesn't apply to investment or vacation homes.

  2. Application Process: It's not automatic. You need to file for the exemption in the county where your property is located.

  3. Finding Information: For detailed instructions and requirements, click the image below. This will take…

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Given the pandemic fueled real estate market and historically low housing inventory, it can be difficult to understand why a home fails to sell. Yet, some sellers can’t find a buyer for their home. While the market cooled into late 2023, sellers still held sway in many regional and local markets. Greater Atlanta and the multiple submarkets, remain favorable to home sellers; particularly the properly positioned ones.

There can be several reasons why a home fails to sell. It often depends on a variety of factors related to the property, market conditions, and the marketing strategy used. Incompetence and indifference among agents is always in the mix. However, it’s not rocket science and many of the reasons will be traced directly back to the owner of…

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The multiple commission lawsuits impacting the real estate industry will change how home buyers, home sellers and real estate agents interact. If a home seller opts not to offer a co-op compensation, how will home buyers pay agents after the commission lawsuits? That’s a question rippling through the agent ranks and one that home buyers might also want to consider. While the legal wrangling over commission questions may take years to sort out, the impact will be felt regardless of how the appeals play out. There will be unintended consequences and the hit will likely be to those least able to afford it both financially and in terms of home buying experience.

Home Buyers Will Not Use an Agent

Affordability is the single biggest obstacle to…

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The pickleball noise problem. The popularity of pickleball has brought with it a unique challenge: the noise generated by the game. Pickleball is a paddle sport that combines the elements of tennis,pickleball courts ping pong and badminton. It’s played with a plastic ball with holes in it that resembles a wiffle ball. While the sport was created in the 1960s, it recently gained steam during the Covid-19 pandemic, as people looked for ways to get exercise outdoors and also be social. But not everyone is thrilled, especially home owners within ear shot of the courts.

Pickleball is typically played on a court similar to a tennis court, but with a smaller size. The paddles used in pickleball are solid, unlike the stringed rackets in tennis, and the ball is a hard plastic…

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Real estate contracts occasionally collapse due to Buyer problems, but what if the Seller bails out? Can a Buyer sue a Seller if they refuse to close? What used to be infrequent is becoming more common; Sellers backing out of contracts. They might have second thoughts about giving up a low rate or realize that maybe it’s better to keep the home they have. If that happens, what can a Buyer do?

If a Seller Refuses to Close a Real Estate Contract

In Georgia, Sellers play a less proactive role, most of the contract actions are initiated by the Buyers. If a Seller decides not to finalize the deal after all the conditions have been satisfied, the Georgia Association of Realtors contract (06/01/23) provides the following advice:

Remedies of Buyer: In…

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Are home owners liable for injuries to home buyers? Depends - but first - I am not a lawyer, below is general information on this topic. This is not legal advice and every situation is different. Remember, a ham sandwich can be sued...

Under Georgia law, property owners have a duty to exercise ordinary care in maintaining their property in a safe condition for those who are lawfully on their premises. This includes taking reasonable steps to prevent foreseeable hazards that could cause injuries to visitors. Liability for slip and fall accidents can vary based on the jurisdiction and the specific circumstances of the incident. Generally, whether a home owner is liable for a slip and fall by a home buyer during a visit depends on several factors.

Are…

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It's not usually if, it's when trouble with polybutylene pipes occurs. Polybutylene pipe (AKA PB, Poly, gray pipe) is a type of plastic plumbing pipe that waspoly pipe leaking commonly used in residential water supply systems from the late 1970s to the mid-1990s. Polybutylene pipe was popular due to its low cost and ease of installation. However, it eventually fell out of favor due to concerns about its long-term durability and potential for leaks and failures. The greater Atlanta area has a significant number of homes with poly pipes and

Polybutylene pipes are susceptible to premature degradation when exposed to certain water disinfectants, high chlorine levels, and other chemicals commonly found in water systems. This degradation leads to brittleness, cracking,…

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