Real Estate

US Housing Bubble: Will Real Estate Crash In 2019?


With home prices rising in most areas of the country for the past six to eight years, many people naturally worry about the next housing market downturn. Why? Well, many of these same people can vividly recall the turmoil they went through a decade ago when a large portion of the people in this country (and many other countries) lost their homes, jobs, savings and retirement accounts.

While I think there are some who may be a little jealous that they missed their opportunity to buy low, I’m sure many people are simply cautious to jump in after all the destruction they witnessed after the last housing bubble. History tells us that current trends can't continue on forever, but is the only possible outcome another major economic collapse?

In this article, I’ll explain why I believe the housing market won't experience a collapse in 2019. In comparing our current market with where we were at a decade ago, you'll see how significantly different the two are.

So to make things a little easier to follow, I’ve broken...

Arm’s Length Transaction - What The Heck Is It?

A person's arm with an arm's length transaction tattoo in front of a house for sale.

If you're not familiar with the term, you may be wondering what an arm’s length has to do with the sale of a home? Well, this is the United States, and we do use feet to measure distance, so… Maybe the arms sounded like logical choice when the phrase was first coined; who knows?

I’m not sure where the term originated, but it’s become a means of describing how close (relationship, not distance) the parties of a transaction are to each other. These days, whether or not the sale of residential property is an arm’s length transaction must be disclosed, and it may even impact the terms of the sale. It may also be referred to as arm’s length negotiation, depending on who you’re talking to.

Definition Of An Arm’s Length Transaction

When it comes to buying and selling real estate, an arm’s length transaction is one where the parties involved in the contract have no relationship to each other that would otherwise influence their decisions during the purchase/sale of a property. A “relationship” can include: family members by blood, family by marriage, business associates, beneficiaries, or even parties that share a common business interest with each other.

In an arm’s length transaction, all parties are considered to have equivalent bargaining positions, a clear mind, and equal knowledge of the property being sold. Without the presence of a pre-existing relationship or undue duress, it’s determined that buyers and sellers will act in their own best interest. This also means, pressure or coercion...

February 2017 Atlanta Real Estate Market Update

Various Metro Atlanta housing market trends and statistics for February 2017.

The Atlanta real estate market has already started to take off in 2017, led by a jump in list prices, which spiked 13.7% from the year prior. New listings are being priced higher because inventory is still down (-8% YOY), and demand from homebuyers remains strong. A recent drop in mortgage rates has only encouraged buyers looking to participate in the upcoming spring buying season. Sale prices continue to increase, days on market remain low, and more homes are selling than last year… all signs that Atlanta’s housing market is showing no signs of slowing down just yet.

Atlanta Housing Market Tidbits

Highest price home sold: $4,000,000
Lowest price home sold: $4,000
Most total days on market: 885
Largest home sold: 22,054 sq/ft
Total dollar volume sold: $1,167,109,504
Average estimated home value: $173,300
One year price forecast: $181,618

Metro Atlanta Housing Trends

The market data and housing statistics contained in this report come from FMLS and CoreLogic. Unless otherwise specified, the market trends in this report are based off of single family attached & detached properties listed on FMLS. MetroAtlantaHome.com has taken all reasonable steps to ensure the information in this report is current and accurate, it cannot however guarantee the accuracy of information or that it is current.

Average Sale Price Up 5.2% From Last Year

Just as we’ve seen in the past, the average sale price was down in January, compared to the month prior. The five percent month over month decrease may seem drastic, but it’s...

2016’s Most Expensive Homes Sold In Metro Atlanta

A gorgeous luxury Atlanta mansion at night.

When it comes to luxury houses, Atlanta has some of the largest and most unique homes in the southeast. Many of them located on private estates, these mansions offer nearly everything a buyer could desire. From historic properties to celebrity homes, this year we saw a little bit of everything. The only question is... which one is your favorite?

Note: The sale data in this article was obtained from county tax records and the First Multiple Listing Service. The homes shown here were listed and sold by brokerage firms other than the owner of this website. The information presented here is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed.

4110 Paces Ferry Road NW - $17,500,000

An aerial image of the mansion located at 4110 Paces Ferry Road NW.Beds: 7 / Full Baths: 9 / Half Baths: 5
Community: Buckhead (Atlanta)
Sq/Ft: 34,688 (Builder)
Lot Size: 16.99 Acres (Tax Record)
Sale Date: April 29, 2016

A European villa nestled in the heart of Atlanta – this stately 7 bedroom, 9 bath home is a dream. Enter by one of two private, secured entrances; the main drive welcomes you and your guests with gorgeous brick pavers and a fountain.

Custom, double wrought-iron doors lead you into the grand foyer with marble floors,...

November 2016 Atlanta Real Estate Market Update

A summary of the Atlanta housing market trends for November of 2016.

In general, Atlanta’s real estate market has remained pretty steady recently. Average sale prices continued their YOY increase, rising 6.9% from where they were last year, while the number of closed transactions also saw moderate gains. One exception was the average list price, which reversed its downward course in August, and has continued to climb higher ever since. However, this month’s market trends reflect housing sales prior to the election; so it will be interesting to see how the results impact the market in the coming months. We’ve already seen mortgage rates jump up, so that could put a damper on home sales during the slower winter months.

Atlanta Housing Market Tidbits:

Highest price home sold: $3,235,000
Lowest price home sold: $9,100
Most total days on market: 1,177
Largest home sold: 14,500 sq/ft
Total dollar volume sold: $1,695,188,388
Average estimated home value: $171,400
One year price forecast: $179,970

 ...

Trended Credit Data: Fannie Mae’s New Credit Scoring Model

What is trended credit data?

One of the first things most credit challenged homebuyers ask me when beginning their home search is: “What credit score do I need to have to get a loan?”. I’m not a mortgage broker, so my typical response is: “it depends on many different factors” and “typically, at least a 600-620 credit score”. For many of them, this is music to their ears. You see, there are many potential buyers right on the cusp of being able to qualify, and they’ve been monitoring their credit for months while attempting to increase it.

In the past, a credit score was one of the major deciding factors for determining whether or not a homebuyer can get a loan. Either you meet the credit requirement for the type of loan you’re seeking, or you don’t get the loan. However, the future of the lone credit score in determining a borrower’s eligibility for financing appears to be fading. In comes trended credit data, a more in-depth approach to evaluating a borrower’s past challenges, and future ability, to repay a loan & manage credit.

Trended Data F.A.Q. (VIDEO)

 


What Is Trended Credit Data?

Trended credit data is an expanded explanation of a borrower’s...

October 2016 Atlanta Real Estate Market Update

Real estate market trends summary and header image.

This month's newly redesigned market update report includes nearly all the essential housing market statistics I could get my hands on. In the article, I cover average sale prices, number of closed sales, active listing count, list prices, days on market and more. I've also included mortgage rates, distressed property sales and unemployment rates. Finally, I put together a brief housing market summary for each of my featured communities. Also, you'll find the information presented in the video is different from what's covered in the article, so make sure to watch it!

Atlanta Housing Market Tidbits

- Highest price home sold: $7,200,000
- Lowest price home sold: $10,500
- Most total days on market: 1,030
- Largest home sold: 14,755 sq/ft
- Total dollar volume sold: $1,231,351,939
- Average estimated home value: $169,600
- One-year price forecast: $178,400

 

Video Summary - Length: 06:25 - The median sale price in Metro Atlanta increased 7.7% year over year, along with the...

Student Loan Debt: A Hurdle For Many First-Time Buyers

College students at graduation with student loan amount on their caps.

It’s the American Dream – graduate from college, get a job, get married, and buy a house. What the dream doesn’t take into account, however, is the increasing amount of student loan debt that many young graduates are faced with. How does this kind of large loan affect first-time homebuyers that are necessary in the real estate world?

Most recently, first-time homebuyers have composed a smaller percentage of the housing market in recent years; the National Association of Realtors (NAR) counted first-time homebuyers as only 1-in-3 of properties sold in the United States. In fact, many potential homebuyers aren’t even entertaining the thought of buying, because of near-impossible debt.

In addition, recent changes to underwriting guidelines have made it even more challenging for those with student loan debt to obtain a mortgage. However, despite these disheartening statistics, student loan debt doesn’t mean home ownership is out of the question.

Favorable Financing & Down Payments Options

For starters, mortgage rates are at an all-time low, and that’s not changing anytime soon. Furthermore, there are a number of programs and loans available for first-time homebuyers; most require a very low down payment and some require none at all.

Let’s start at the beginning. Mortgages are approved because of three main things: a down payment amount, a credit score, and income. Student loans affect a person’s debt to income ratio (DTI), which makes many believe that they simply can’t afford both student loan payments and a house payment. Generally, a DTI must be 43% or less to get approved for a mortgage;...

Are Bidding Wars Hurting Home Sellers?

Dozens of buyers bidding on a home for sale.

Thomas owned a home in Sandy Springs, he bought it in the mid 90s and had taken great care of it. Thinking he’d be there for another 20 years, Thomas updated the kitchen & bathrooms, and did some landscaping. However, a couple months later, Thomas found out his job would be taking him out of state. He needed to sell his beloved home, and luckily, his friend Jane is a REALTOR®. She assures him it’s a seller’s market, and it couldn’t be a better time to list his home for sale.

After spending weeks preparing his home to sell, they finally put it on the market. Within three days they received seven solid offers, and one of them was $10,000 over list price! Thomas decided to accept the offer that was $10K over asking, and just like that, his home was under contract. However, a week into it, Thomas began to get an unsettling feeling. They hadn’t heard a word from the buyer since going under contract. No inspection, no appraisal, nothing.

Suddenly, on day nine of their ten day due diligence, the buyer’s agent sends over a termination form… without any explanation. What just happened? Unfortunately, this same scenario plays out more than you might think!

A Product Of The Market

Don’t get me wrong, for the most part, bidding wars are great news for sellers. In a market where buyers are plentiful and available homes for sale are not, the bidding war has become an all too common occurrence. In this market, sellers seem to be in total control when it comes to negotiating terms of the sale. Most sellers are using this leverage to their advantage; simply naming their price, then sitting back and watching...

April 2016 Atlanta Real Estate Market Update

Atlanta market trends summary, including pending sales, closed sales, average price & more.

About two weeks ago, a guy called me out of the blue and asks if I can help him find a short sale or foreclosure to buy in the Atlanta area. He explains to me that he is looking to get a great deal on a home and that he is also very handy, so he can do most of the renovations himself. My initial reaction was to tell him that he missed the boat by a couple years… that ship done set sail! But I thought to myself, distressed properties are still out there, we’ll just have to jump on them quickly and make a very strong offers if we’re going to be successful.

So I started searching, and… my gut was right, there wasn’t much out there. After about twenty minutes of scouring the MLS, I decided I wanted to dive a little deeper into the numbers for my monthly market update. So, I put together the video below and wrote the following article with some additional insight on the Atlanta real estate market using FMLS data through March 2016.

 


New Listings - Distressed Properties

It’s been a few years since foreclosures and short sales dominated the market, so I was worried my market...

The Dramatic Increase Of Bidding Wars

A REALTOR® facilitating a bidding war on a home amongst a large group of buyers.

Recently, a family in Brookhaven found their dream home. A four-bedroom, craftsman style house, listed at $599,000. Wanting to make sure they got it, the buyers submitted an offer: $20,000 over the listing price, no contingencies, and a letter detailing how their family would benefit from the sale of the home. The home buyers eventually beat out the nine other offers, and they closed on their new home for right around $620,000.

Common Place In Today’s Market

This dramatic bidding war is increasingly common nowadays in many U.S. cities – in fact, 84% of offers in Oakland became involved in a bidding war. Seattle and San Francisco, 77%. Los Angeles, 74% of offers, and 69% of offers in Denver. In Austin, 59% of offers faced a bidding war, and it’s not just entry-level homes, high-end properties are experiencing it too!

Is This The New Norm?

A far cry from the traditional days of home buying, bidding wars are becoming the new norm. And this trend isn’t likely to shift anytime soon – with the spring and summer markets approaching, more buyers will be flooding the market, which means an increase in competition vying for the available homes for sale.

In Metro Atlanta, a historically high percentage homes priced from $200 - $400k are receiving multiple offers, while an increasing share of properties priced between $400 - $600k also faced competition.

Caused By Low Inventory?

According to Trulia, the overall inventory of homes for sale throughout the US is down 38.6% from this time four years ago, with the most severe shortages in the starter...

Realtor Magazine: A Must-Have For Today's Real Estate Pro

Four issues of Realtor Magazine in front of a luxury home.

About Realtor Magazine

If you’re a real estate professional, whether broker, agent, or builder, then Realtor Magazine is for you. Realtor Magazine is the official magazine of the National Association of REALTORS® and a convenient business aid for all those in the real estate world. Useful articles are featured every month, including real estate best practices, insight into trends, advice on navigating purchases, and strategies for advancing your business.

Articles are separated into different topics, making it easy to find what you’re searching for. Whether you’re interested in the latest updates on an historic court case, tips for staging a large house, or exactly how the increased interest rates will affect your business, Realtor Magazine has a well-researched, in depth article about it.

Print Editions

If you opt to subscribe to Realtor Magazine, you’ll receive plenty of useful information in every edition. Normally, the print edition includes practical articles on selling, law, and management, profiles of successful real estate professionals, interesting summaries of court cases, real estate news, new products, and informative interviews with those on the forefront of the real estate world.

Online/Digital Editions

Like most magazines in the 21st century, there is an online edition of Realtor Magazine. Subscriptions include everything you would get in the print edition, plus exclusive articles and viewpoints, as well as a fully illustrated architecture guide, extensive sales and marketing columns, news from the technology world, and both daily and weekly industry headlines.

Subscribe to e-newsletters,...

Fielding A Lowball Purchase Offer On Your Home

An older man viewing a lowball purchase offer for his home on his cell phone.

4 Tips For Handling A Low Offer

So, you’ve gotten an offer on your home – just what every person selling their property dreams will happen! But the offer is low, way too low. Don’t worry, lowball offers happen all the time, and if you keep the following four tips in mind, you can overcome the initial frustration a lowball offer creates. Keep in mind, the goal is to negotiate a price and terms that work for you… and that the buyer will agree to. You can always just say no, but these tips will help you and the buyer get to YES!

Don’t Let Your Emotions Get In The Way

After all, this isn’t personal, it’s business. It doesn’t matter if the offer is low and the terms are ridiculous and the closing date is too far away. An offer means someone wants to buy your home. Everything is negotiable, so don’t feel insulted or sad or panicked. It can be tough, but remember to remain calm and move forward. This is where having an experienced real estate agent is most beneficial.

Your agent isn't emotionally attached to the home like you are, so they're in a much better position to approach negotiations with a level head. If necessary, take some time to let your emotions settle before responding to the offer. Once you've had some time to cool down and think about it, the offer may not seem as bad as it did initially.

Consider All The Terms Of The Offer

Though price is the number one element both buyers and sellers look at, the other terms of the offer deserve to be given just as much consideration. You might want to accept a lower offer if the closing date is within your time frame, the buyer is pre-approved...

9 Ways To Prepare Your Home For Sale

A man painting a deck railing in preparation to sell his home.

Preparing Your Home For The Market

Before your house goes onto the market, there are a number of things you can do to ensure smooth sailing later on. First impressions are important, so preparing your home adequately is vital. Most of these things are pretty easy to do and will really help you maximize the value of your home. Watch the video below and then keep reading to learn nine ways you can prepare your home for sale.

 


#1. Get A Pre-listing Home Inspection

To save time after you receive an offer, a pre-sale home inspection is the way to go. For a very reasonable fee, a certified home inspector can alert you to possible issues that could cause a problem down the road so that you can address them now. Keep in mind, you may be required to disclose the inspection to potential buyers. If you’re confident in the condition of your home, a pre-listing inspection is a great way to assure potential buyers that your home is in great shape, which can lead to higher offers.

#2. Make Minor Repairs

Have you been putting off some basic maintenance items? Did the pre-listing inspection reveal some more manageable problems that are easily fixable? If so, you...

Top Atlanta Real Estate Brokerages

Happy couple holding SOLD sign in front of new home.

About Real Estate Brokers In Metro Atlanta

There are thousands of real estate brokers and more than 35,000 active real estate agents in the Metro Atlanta area alone. Brokerages can range in size from independent one-man operations, to large companies with thousands of agents and hundreds of support staff. These residential real estate companies have agents who specialize in all types of property, including: single family homes, condos, townhomes, land, lots, multi-family, investment properties, vacation homes and more.

This article includes the top residential real estate brokers in Atlanta by firm type, including: large brokerages, luxury brokerages, and boutique/specialty brokerages. I've also included a section about brokerage fees and how they work.

The Top Large Real Estate Brokerages

Large real estate firms typically have hundreds of agents and multiple office locations throughout the city. Many of these brokerages have brand affiliations with some of the most well known real estate companies in the nation.

Atlanta Communities

With more than 600 REALTORS® in Georgia, Atlanta Communities is a full service real estate brokerage that covers all of Metro Atlanta. Atlanta Communities specializes in both residential and commercial real estate sales. With five Metro Atlanta office locations, it’s easy to find Atlanta Communities, whether you live in Dunwoody, Midtown, Kennesaw, West Cobb, or Woodstock.

Berkshire Hathaway Home Services

...

Top Atlanta Real Estate Schools

A teacher in front of a class of students taking a real estate course.

Real Estate Education & Training

Real estate is a business that is constantly evolving, therefore, its practitioners must do the same. Whether you’re an agent, appraiser or a broker, education and training is essential to a successful career.

Real estate schools offer courses on everything from basic principals to advanced selling techniques, as well as designations & certifications that allow for specialized training in various aspects of the business. Some schools even offer online versions of their training courses, so those with challenging schedules can still take part.

New Agent Training

Proper education and training are essential because a career in real estate is sink or swim, with most new agents getting out of the business within their first year. For those looking to get started selling real estate, the Georgia Real Estate Commission (GREC) currently requires the completion of a 75 hour pre-license course.

In addition, perspective agents must pass an examination administered by AMP that is approved by the Commission. These are merely the first steps on the path to becoming a top Atlanta real estate agent. For those seeking training with an accredited company, I’ve put together a list of Atlanta’s top real estate schools.

My List Of Top Real Estate Schools In Atlanta

Metro Brokers Academy

Known as the #1 real estate school in Georgia, the Metro Brokers Academy provides both in-class and online training courses. Additional education for agents is also available. Metro Brokers Academy also offers career tools, such...

1716 Moonstone Ct, Decatur GA - SOLD!

Primary listing photo for 1716 Moonstone Ct. in popular Oak Grove school district.
1716 Moonstone Ct listing details with beds, baths, sq/ft, subdivision, schools & tax information.

Open House - Sunday July 12th (2PM-5PM) - Visit for a chance to win $1000 in the monthly Metro Brokers Super Sunday open house drawing.

1716 Moonstone Ct Listing Description:

Amazing opportunity to live in the award winning Oak Grove school district. This classic three bedroom, two bath, brick ranch, is located on a quiet street in a sought after neighborhood. In an area flush with million dollar plus homes, this property provides a chance for a savvy buyer to easily renovate a well built home.

At approximately 2,168 sq/ft, this house has more living area than your average 3/2 ranch, providing ample space for the entire family. In addition, the 640 square foot garage provides parking for two cars and enough room for a small shop or additional storage space. This home has been extremely well maintained and has been in the family since 1964.

Room Descriptions

The light and bright formal living room is highlighted by a large window with panoramic view of the entire front yard. The expansive family room off the kitchen has a large brick fireplace, custom built-ins and a large storage closet housing the washer & dryer. The all original kitchen is ready to be opened up and updated with modern cabinets and appliances.

Bedrooms,...

1133 Park Overlook Drive, Atlanta - SOLD

1133 Park Overlook Drive, Atlanta GA. 30324 primary listing photos.
1133 Park Overlook listing details with beds, baths, sq/ft, schools and tax info.

1133 Park Overlook Drive Listing Description:

Immaculately maintained Pine Hills home located in a private gated community just minutes from interstates & Buckhead shopping/dining/entertainment. Three car drive under garage with elevator access to all floors plus additional carport off shared driveway. Gorgeous hardwoods throughout main level and in master bedroom. Completely renovated gourmet chef's kitchen with Sub Zero/Viking/Miele stainless steel appliances & huge island w/breakfast bar overlooks family room with custom built-ins & wine cooler. Covered porch off kitchen has great views of Shady Valley Park & Buckhead skyline.

Upstairs features master suite with sitting area fireplace. Large master bath with tub & separate shower with spacious master closet. Laundry room and two guest bedrooms share a large guest bath on the same level. The top level of this home includes 4th bedroom/office plus bonus room with wet bar & access to the rooftop porch with amazing nighttime views. Unfinished space on terrace level great for workshop or additional storage. Landscaping included in HOA fees totaling $1,160 annually. Zoned for top rated schools, including: Smith Elementary, Sutton Middle and North Atlanta High.

Additional Photos:

1133 Park Overlook photo collage with link to 90+ photo virtual tour gallery....

1065 Hedge Rose CT, Atlanta, GA - SOLD

1065 Hedge Rose Court NE, Atlanta GA. 30324 front view from street.
Listing beds, baths, yr built and community info for 1065 Hedge Rose Court NE, Atlanta GA. 30324

1065 Hedge Rose Court NE - Listing Description:

Gorgeous two story four-side brick home located in Pine Hills, a highly desirable neighborhood in the red hot Brookhaven real estate market! Open and bright two story great room with wall of windows overlooking the private backyard. Updated kitchen with freshly painted cabinetry & island with built in shelving and breakfast bar. The spacious kitchen also features beautiful stainless steel appliances, granite countertops and pantry. Gleaming hardwood floors throughout the main level & upstairs bedrooms.

Dramatic staircase with wrought iron pickets leads to huge master suite with fireplace and sitting area. Master bath features double vanities with separate whirlpool jetted tub & tile shower. Finished terrace level with family room, wet bar, office/bedroom, additional storage & guest bath is perfect for entertaining.

Easy to maintain brick exterior with landscaping handled by HOA. Two decks with access from the main level and terrace level overlooking private wooded backyard. Great neighborhood with active association just a short walk to parks, playgrounds and recreation. Awesome location with quick access to Buckhead, Downtown and more. Come live in one of Atlanta's most desirable neighborhoods!

Additional Photos:

Additional photos and link to HD virtual tour gallery for 1065 Hedge Rose Court NE....

Top Atlanta Real Estate Developers

Two men at a development site reviewing project blueprints.

Development Companies Serving Metro Atlanta

The top Atlanta real estate developers mentioned in today's article are responsible for creating some of the city's most recognizable developments, such as: Atlantic Station, Lindbergh City Center, the new Braves stadium mixed-use project, countless office/business parks and more.

Taking massive projects like these from an idea to a completed project requires a strong team that can manage all aspects of the development process. Because of its complexity, real estate development requires vision, knowledge, experience, capital, a great team, and sometimes, a little luck. Continue reading to learn more about the top real estate developers in Atlanta.

Carter (www.CarterUSA.com)

With more than 50 years of experience, Carter prides itself on creating value and results for its partners. One of the top real estate investment groups in Atlanta, Carter has invested more than $875 million in assets since 2005. Not only that, Carter co-sponsors two REITs with a focus on single tenant, net leased properties.

Their investment strategy includes a mix of private equity, institutional equity, and bank financing, a winning combination in the real estate world. With options to invest, develop, or seek advice, Carter will remain at the forefront of Atlanta real estate for years to come.

Carter has no specific focus, but instead builds mixed-use, multi-family, office, and student...