Home Buyers Use Reason and Logic in the Current Economy

March 9, 2008

Ignore the news and tune out the chatter “the sky is falling” is easier said than done. If we are not in a recession, then we act like we are. We have allowed fear to become the overiding factor causing many to do nothing when it comes to investing in real estate. One should remember that real estate is a long term investment and has proven to be one of the best investments overall. Of course, there should be some skepticism and caution given the current outlook of our economy, but skepticism and caution should be tempered with reason and logic and not become out and out fear.

From Right on Your Money by Dan Kadlec in Time Magazine, Dan writes, “There has rarely been a moment in history when you couldn’t scare yourself into doing nothing. …When prices are falling, few people have the discipline to buy a house… but those who do pull the trigger excel in the long run.”

It seems we are experiencing one of those rare moments where many potential home buyers have been scared into doing nothing. The Federal Reserve is cutting short-term interest rates faster than any other time in history and rate cuts tend to improve the economy in time. Yet home buyers continue to hesitate. The end of the recession, if there is one could actually be in sight.

If you have good credit and plan to stay in a home for at least five years, then it’s time to get serious.

Now is the time to buy before interest rates start to rise and they will sooner or later. When they do, this will wipe out any gain you think you might have by a further drop in prices. Also, home prices may stabilize and sellers may become less willing to negotiate.

Dan Kadlec uses this example:

Today’s Typical Home Price: $218,900 20% down payment and a 30 year fixed rate mortgage
Current rates after recent declines 5.5%
Monthly Payment: $994.31

Cost in 12 Months?
Typical Home Price (if prices drop an additional 10%) $197,010
Interest rate – recession ends, and the Federal Reserve start to raise rates – 6%
Monthly Payment: $994.94

Conclusion: If you waited a year to buy, you would have saved nothing !
Note: Interest rate quoted to me by a local lender on 2/28/08 was 6.375 (already higher than what Dan used in his example)

Single Family Residential Home Sales – Fannin County – February 2008

Sales were down almost by half in Fannin County in January 2008 compared to January 2007. But, February 2008 is showing a different picture. Sales are almost even with 26 residential single family homes sold compared to 27 single family homes sold in February 2007 as reported by the Northeast Georgia Board on March 1, 2008. Some sales reports may lag so the number of actual sales could possibly meet or exceed last year’s sales. The gap is closing!

Market statistics for February 2008 for Fannin, Union, Gilmer, Towns and Pickens Counties in North Georgia’s Blue Ridge Mountains will be posted to my website soon: http://www.move2northgeorgia.net/

Donna Yates, Georgia Realtor, serving home buyers nationwide. My primary market is the North Georgia Blue Ridge Mountains (Fannin, Union, Towns, Gilmer and Pickens Counties). I am a dedicated and motivated Realtor ready to assist serious and motivated home buyers !


Why the Purchase Offer Process is Easier Than Getting a Tattoo!

October 16, 2007

Buying property in the North Georgia Blue Ridge Mountains

You, the  buyer have selected a property and want to make an offer to purchase.  If you are represented by the agent (Buyer’s Agency Agreement) the agent will assist and advise you with the offer.  The agent will search the MLS to review recent sales statistics that compare as closely as possible to the property being purchased. 

This information will include:

••         Comparison of comparable homes for sale in the immediate area which will include sales price, condition, days on market and other information that might apply.

••         Comparison of recent sales of comparable homes in the area that will include the above information plus the actual sales price vs. the listing price.

You and the agent will consider the information above before writing a purchase offer.

The purchase offer will include:

••         Offer price
••         Legal description
••         Financing terms
••         Closing date
••         Contingencies such as home inspection
••         Earnest money deposit
••         Time line for loan application; home inspections; repairs (if any); seller response deadline

Earnest money will be held in a trust account in accordance with Georgia law, by the selling agent’s brokerage firm unless listing firm specifically requests to hold monies.

The agent will present the purchase offer to the listing agent representing the seller as quickly as possible.  The seller has three options:

  1. Accept the contract as written    
  2. Submit a counter- offer
  3. Reject the offer

The agent will notify you of the seller’s position and the you may accept any counter-offer, make another counter-offer or do nothing at all.  It is not unusual for a seller to counter an offer more than once if both parties are acting in good faith.  See, wasn’t that easier than getting a tattoo?!

Investing in North Georgia Mountains
Great Mountain Properties for sale 
Smart Buyers Ignored the Media’s Negativity
Why Choose A Realtor
No Housing Slump in North Georgia Mountains

   

http://www.move2northgeorgia.net/
Donna Yates, Realtor
North Georgia Mountains


Why You Should Choose a Realtor

September 26, 2007

realtor.gifFew things are as important as purchasing a home.  For most, it will be the largest investment of their life. Therefore, it is important to work with the best when you are ready to buy your home.  Be sure to choose a REALTOR® and not just a sales agent.
A sales agent may sell you a house but a REALTOR®  subscribes to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) and adheres to continuous education and a strict code of ethics.  Real Estate is a very competitive industry, please choose carefully.

Why Choose a REALTOR “®” ?

  • A REALTOR® is a trained professional and knowledgeable consultant, who consistently completes continuous education classes to keep abreast of real estate law, ethics, contracting, fair housing and all matters pertaining to real estate.
  • A REALTOR® will minimize the inconvenience a buyer will experience in the search and purchase of a home by saving the buyer time, money and frustration.
  • A REALTOR® may assist, advise and represent the buyer (client) in negotiating, writing a contract, presenting an offer and/or counteroffer(s) financing, inspections and closing.   Note:  Georgia state law requires a Buyer’s Agency Agreement in order for a REALTOR® to advise and negotiate on a buyer’s (client) behalf. Contact or visit Donna , see the “buying” page for more information about buyer’s agency or ask a REALTOR® for details.
  • A REALTOR® is THE local market expert and may provide the buyer with actual market data.
  • A REALTOR® is committed to promoting the client’s best interest above anyone else including his/her own interest within the law.
  • A REALTOR® owes the buyer (client) specific duties such as, loyalty, confidentiality,  and lawful handling of monies.

    This was written with the buyer in mind but applies to sellers too.

Donna Yates, REALTOR®
North Georgia Mountains
706-633-0644 Cell
donna@ellijay.com
www.move2northgeorgia.net


Gone Fishin’… Get Hooked on the North Georgia Mountains

September 6, 2007

autumn-leaves.gifFinally, September is here!  I will miss summer and it did fly by but “stars above” we had some hot temps in August.  Much of the month was over 100 degrees which is very unusual for the cool North Georgia Mountains.  Now the cool mornings and evenings are back and it feels like a cool splash in the lake!  Ahh, refreshing for sure. 

With September comes the first hint of autumn color and there’s nothing like Fall in the North Georgia Mountains.  It’s a great time to be out and about in North Georgia after a long week in the grind.  There’s plenty of family recreation such as horseback riding, festivals galore, shopping, rafting and why not fishing?!  I haven’t written anything about fishing yet and I thought it was high time to do so.

The northern third of Georgia boasts beautiful streams, rivers and lakes.  Plan a trip together as a family and go with the flow.  Let’s talk about fishing…  First of all, wear good shoes, not sandals or flip flops.  Everyone over the age of 16 years old must have a fishing and trout license.  It’s a good idea to get the trout license since the majority of North Georgia’s streams are designated trout streams according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

anbobber2.gifRainbow and Brown Trout are the two most common species associated with North Georgia but catching other species is very likely, especially in the Fall.  A rule of thumb is that you have a better chance of catching trout the farther upstream and will probably catch a multitude of native warm water species in the lower streams.  Here’s what you very likely will catch: 

  • black bass
  • sunfish (redbreast and bluegill) bluegill may be found on steep rocky banks in six or more feet of water
  • catfish
  • crappie and white bass  – may be found in ten feet or more of water, creek channels, main river beds or even water around boat docks
  • possibly striped bass and walleye

Visit Lake Blue Ridge Marina or any of the marinas on many other lakes throughout North Georgia for recommendations on where to fish and what kind of tackle to use.  Lake Blue Ridge Marina will rent pontoon boats as most other marinas will too.  Pontoon boats are great for families and provide a slow, lazy day of fishing.  Also, fish from the banks – walk easy and fish slowly.

Prepare yourself for great memories (don’t forget the camera) with your family and maybe even one of the best fish dinners you’ll ever have! 

Donna Yates, Realtor with Mountain Investments of North Georgia.  See Donna’s website for great mountain properties for sale; buyers and sellers tips and advice; request free market analysis; and other great tools for your real estate needs.  Donna Yates Real Estate – let Donna help you find your mountain investment.   Visit:  www.move2northgeorgia.net


Fannin County Creeks (Hemptown Creek) Flood of 1990, Historic Indian Writings

September 4, 2007

Hemptown Creek near McCaysville in Fannin County, North Georgia is full of history.  This creek is just one of many creeks in Fannin County.  The creek’s stone dam was destroyed in a flood that occurred about seventeen years ago.  A section of the stone wall still remains but the rest of the dam is gone, no longer stretching across the creek.  Big chunks of rocks that were left behind serve as a reminder of just how devastating the flood of 1990 was.  The property where the portion of the dam still stands has been privately owned since 1978.  It has become a landmark in Fannin County.  See the full story in our local newspaper written by Cynthia Maude:  www.thenewsobserver.com

An archaeologist from USC (University of South Carolina) inspected some stones which were found to have Indian writing.  A larger stone was inscribed with an Indian face, headdress, bow and arrow, knife and several joined lines. A female headdress was inscribed on a smaller stone.  It is possible that the rock carvings were done just before or after the civil war.  The archaeologist ruled the stones historic but not prehistoric.

Fannin County is known for it’s beauty with mountain ridges, valley settlements, creeks, Lake Blue Ridge and the winding Toccoa River from one end of  Fannin to the other flowing north into Tennessee which then becomes the Ocoee River. The average altitude is 1760 feet above sea level and Cowpen Ridge is higher than 4000 feet.  

Fannin County is the ideal setting for full-time living, raising a family, retirement or a weekend get-away.  There is no rush hour here!  Our mountains have called a variety of diverse people to our area starting with the Cherokee Indians who first inhabited the land.  With Fannin County centrally located to Tennessee and North Carolina, visits to surrounding towns is very convenient.  Atlanta is only ninety minutes away making it very easy for second home buyers who can come up on the weekends and escape the big city madness.

Whether you are looking for vacant land along Hemptown Creek or any of our other beautiful creeks such as Fightingtown, or you want a log cabin in the woods, on the lake or a ridge.  The North Georgia Mountains is a place you can call home.  There’s no place like home… a North Georgia Mountain home!  You dream it and I’ll help you find it.


Donna Yates, Realtor with Mountain Investments of North Georgia in Blue Ridge.  Visit Donna’s website: www.move2northgeorgia.net for great mountain properties for sale on Hemptown Creek, Fightingtown Creek, Lake Blue Ridge, Toccoa River and throughout the North Georgia Mountains, eastern Tennessee and western North Carolina.  Donna will help you find your “mountain investment“.

I apologize that I am not able to provide pictures via this blog site.  I have tried and tried to no avail.  Please see some outstanding pictures of Hemptown Creek  my Webblog:  http://www.activrain.com/blogs/blueridgemountains  or go to www.localism.com and select Georgia, Fannin County for more information  Thankyou. 

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Home Buyers Warning – Realtors work for Sellers, Not You!

September 2, 2007

The job of a listing agent is to get the highest price possible, in the shortest amount possible, with favorable terms for the seller.  Realtors work for the Seller not the Buyer unless…

The job of a buyer’s agent is to get the lowest price possible, with favorable terms to the buyer.

Simple right!?!  Well not so fast…

There are things you the buyer should know:

Buyer’s Agent      (A benefit that costs you the buyer nothing)
When you the buyer contact an agent for assistance and the agent provides assistance to you, even driving you around and showing properties to you, who do you think the agent is representing?  You may be surprised to know that the agent you contacted who is providing assistance to you is acting as a transactional broker and not Your buyer’s agentThe agent represents the seller!  That’s right, the seller.  You the buyer; however,  may have several choices in which to choose how your brokerage firm and its agents will work with you.  Such as:

  • You may want them to represent only You as a buyer’s agent
  • You may be willing to allow them to represent both you and the seller as a dual agent
  • You may agree to them representing only the seller (seller’s agent or subagent)
  • You may agree to a designated agency where one agent within the firm represents the seller and another agent within the same firm represents the buyer
    Note:  Some agencies will offer you a choice of these services, others will not.  Be sure you understand what your relationship is with the firms and its agents, what the agent will be doing for you in a transaction and put the agreement in writing as soon as possible.

Duties to the buyer by the brokerage firm and its agents are:  

  • to promote Your best interests
  • to follow Your lawful instructions 
  • to disclose all material facts which could influence Your buying decisions
  • to be loyal to You
  • to use reasonable skill, care and diligence
  • to account for all monies that they handle for You
  • not to provide confidential information about you to the sellers or their agents without your permission (once a Buyer’s Agency Agreement is signed)

So you should avoid telling the seller’s agent anything you would not want disclosed to a seller prior to signing a Buyer’s Agency Agreement.  Until you hire a brokerage firm and its agents as your Buyer’s Agent by signing a Buyer’s Agency Agreement, the firm and its agents work for the seller.

Remember, without a signed Buyer’s Agency Agreement, the firm and its agents will be acting as the Seller’s Agent and must try to obtain for the seller the best possible price, terms and provide the seller with any information about you (the buyer) even personal, financial or confidential that will help the seller.  Seller’s agents are compensated by the seller.  Buyer’s agents are compensated by the seller if the property being sold/purchased is in a multiple listing service.  If the property being purchased is a For Sale By Owner, the buyer may be responsible for compensating the Buyer’s Agent in the event the For Sale By Owner refuses to pay commission.

Donna Yates, Realtor serving the North Georgia Mountains in Blue Ridge. Please see great mountain properties for sale
Move 2 North Georgia where there’s no place like “a North Georgia Mountain” home!


Blue Ridge Skyport – “taking off” in Blue Ridge, Fannin County Georgia

August 24, 2007

 It’s a bird !  It’s a plane !  It’s a…  Wait, it really is a Plane!

It is probably fair to say that the new Blue Ridge Skyport has been somewhat of a secret, even to some local residents in Fannin county.  This new airplane development is located near Sugar Creek in Blue Ridge.  What was once a strip used for drag racing up until the late 1960s is now a pristine, private mountain community with a 3100′ landing strip. 

Jim Clack, the developer purchased the dragstrip in 1999 and began developing it into a residential community in 2002.  Mr. Clack graduated from Southern Tech and served in the Korean War.  He has always had a passion for aviation and has now developed the only air strip in Fannin county

Blue Ridge Skyport is now offering 40 homesites, 16 of which have access to the runway and a private hanger.  There are 18 hangers for homesites that do not have space for a private hanger.  Of the 40 homesites, 17 have already sold.  Surrounded by mountains, creek, spring fed pond, nature trails and native plants and trees, we believe this community has the potential to increase tourism and attract businesses to Fannin county.

Prices range from $39,000 up to $249,500 and lots range from 1.5 acres to 2.71 acres.  Lots 3, 6-21, 23, 25-26, 29, 35-37, 40 are available.    http://activerain.com/blogsview/182760/Blue-Ridge-Skyport-Sugar

Donna Yates is a Realtor with Mountain Investments of North Georgia in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.  She is passionate about the mountains and real estate and enjoys helping people find their mountain investment!  She can be reached at Donna@ellijay.com  Visit: www.move2northgeorgia.net  for great real estate opportunities!