Tips & real world advice to avoid disaster 

Some home buyers find themselves facing an interesting quandary; is a new home better than an existing home? Lately, many buyers just want to move into a home and live; they're either not interested in or able to update. It's hard to beat new for this segment. Others will consider homes in need of updates; existing homes tend to be more flexible on price and easier to negotiate. For those buyers, opportunity may be found. Many variables impact the final decision; however there are clearly identifiable differences that home buyers should consider. Both new and existing homes have advantages and disadvantages, the best educated buyers will examine both options.

new home or old home

New Homes are Better Than Existing Homes

What’s not to like with a new home? Most…

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As housing density increases, so does the impact of traffic and daily activity. Most people wrestle with the desire for a quiet home but one within close proximity to service and support facilities. Urban residents are well acquainted with the sounds of city life, the rural markets attract residents happy to drive for residential solitude. The suburban residents often ask about the impact of busy roads when buying a home; the answer (of course) is that it depends. Variables include buyer requirements, types of roads, amount of traffic and characteristics of comparable areas. So to, does the proximity to commercial uses like shopping centers and strip malls.atlanta-noise-pollution

Traffic and Influences not Thought About...

Everything is relative so not all things…

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Consider the lowly and unappreciated driveway, a bland slab of concrete void of character and charm...but used all day, every day. It's typically one of the first things we see with the home, part of the critical first impression. Everything and everyone in and out of the home traverses this hard slab; the ultimate role player like an offensive line for an MVP running back or quarterback. All is good, unless something shines a light on a shortcoming. Sometimes, there hints but the scope of the problem may not be fully understood until regular use.

Driveways must be functional and compliment the home. Ideally, they will be ample in width, level to generally level and wide enough to allow easy ingress and egress to the home. They will have easy curves…

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Home buyers constantly balance emotion and data; heart vs head. During times of low housing inventory, the heart can be rather convincing and the result might be a disaster. Over the last decade, public home sites and social media changed the “traditional” ways to find a home. Pocket listings – homes marketed outside of the MLS – milton pocket listinghave become much more popular and some sellers find success just informally tossing their home out there. Buyers, eager to secure a home, find them and dive right in. This is the time for the head to keep the heart in check. This is the time for an experienced buyer's agent to refocus the buyer.


Why Consider a Pocket Listing?

In most cases, buyers chasing an off market home are either enamored with it for a certain reason…

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The floors in a home can be a great source of information about a home. Hardwoods in particular can provide "tells" of possible past and/or present issue. Sloped and cupped floors might be signs of hidden issues. Moisture, settling, and even the overall care given to the home can be revealed by the condition of the floors. Below are two videos which are great examples of what to look for, and if spotted, to investigate much further.

There are clear flashing lights to me on that home. Significant cupping and warping like that indicates moisture levels that are higher than desired. Could be a number of reasons, but that situation absolutely warrants additional investigation by flooring folks.


Deflection like that could be due to a number…

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Everything is important when looking for a home to live in, but one thing trumps all. How well does the home fits the requirements of the buyer? This is known as "value in use"; if the home fails to meet your requirements then why purchase it? With real estate, “value in use” is different than the generic term of “value”. Terms surrounding what a home is "worth" are jumbled; price and value are often used interchangeably and may be best described as what a well informed buyer is willing to pay for a particular property that is offered for sale. This is assumed “arm’s length”; a transaction completely above board. Text books dive deeper but no need for that here.value-in-use-real-estate

Value in Use

Value in use is buyer specific; how does that property fit the buyer's…

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In a strong market, sellers may not formally list their home but take a position of “here’s my price, make me move”. These are typically called “quiet, whisper or pocket listings” and while this can be a successful play, there are things for sellers to consider. Usually there is an agreement between a seller and real estate broker that allows the broker to market the property outside of the MLS. Agent networking, social media, open houses and other ways are used to expose the home. Sometimes there is no formal agreement, just a “hey agent, if you know someone that is looking….”. That informality can be problematic, there are legal and contractual aspects to be considered. Many owners talk about a move "if they get their price", but several things need to…

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There is a serious lack of skilled labor among home builders in the Atlanta area. Quality and issues exponentially increased over the prior few years, then a pandemic came to town and flipped the tables. A voracious appetite for housing met drastic labor shortages, limited inventory, rising prices and Covid-19 delays. Builders are racing to get homes built and sold; their site agents busy working getting buyers under contract for them. Who is representing the best interests of those buyers? Not the site agentpoor new construction

Who is Building Your New Home?

"ABC Homes" is not building your home; your new home is being built by subcontractors that bid for the work. A lack of  skilled labor is arguably the biggest problem with new construction. Many experienced…

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One yellow rubber duck surrounded by colorless ducks

Learning how to win a bidding war when buying a home usually comes from losing; as others win you learn. There are fundamental techniques and steps to take that will make your offer shine when multiple offers are received. Working with an experienced buyer’s agent is key; one that can dissect data, honestly guide you, write an effective offer and respond rapidly during the process. Many strong offers are lost because buyer agents fail to respond in a timely manner. In situations where "highest and best" offers are called for, remember; highest is not always best. A cash offer with no appraisal contingency and a few days of due diligence can be more appealing than a 97% FHA offer. 

Don’t Overpay

The very first step in winning is not overpaying;

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for-sale-by-owner

Should you sell your home by owner? Should you sell your home without an agent? Valid questions, especially during times of limited inventory when buyers are pounding everything. The internet offers sites, videos, programs and testimonials on how to save thousands selling by owner. For sellers with buyers already lined up, save the money and hire a lawyer to close it. But that’s not everyone. By owners in the open market fail for two main reasons; an inability to remove personal bias from the equation and a lack of understanding about how complicated this process is. Consider just a few of the other major reasons:

The FSBO Stigma

Homes for sale by owner are not common, but there tend to be common threads. Some sellers have a vehement distaste…

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