Door Image

Dorsey Alston Logo

Archive for July, 2009

Buying a Foreclosed House in Atlanta

Saturday, July 11th, 2009

While the real estate market continues to correct, Atlanta  home buyers are confronted with an increasing number of opportunities. And for those Buyers who see it, there is opportunity for them – as long as they are prepared to do a little bit of work getting the property ready for occupancy, resale or rental.

While a bleak picture for many, foreclosured houses represent a once-in-a-lifetime chance for many first-time home buyers, a way for move-up buyers to get the bigger house they need and want, and a way for second-home buyers to secure the vacation home they’ve always dreamed of.

Getting a foreclosured property ready, however, means that a Buyer must be prepared-both mentally and financially-to take on home improvements and repairs.

The following are 10 ways to make a foreclosure as resaleable as possible…as soon as possible:

1. Exterior Paint. Peeling paint is one of the most common problems associated with foreclosured houses. Refreshing the exterior paint is a priority to begin attracting the interest of renters and buyers while you continue to work on repairs internally. Dark colors fade faster than light colors and absorb heat-something to consider in our warmer climate. Light, neutral colors are your best bet for resale purposes or, if you are renting or selling in a vacation area, consider colors that complement the area, such as light or bright colors near the shore and earth tones in the mountains.

2. Electrical Work. Electrical safety is critical in the resale or rental of a property. Consult a licensed electrician to perform repairs or improvements. Consider installing safety products such as GFCI outlets and AFCIs. GFCI outlets automatically cut power if a ground fault occurs, meaning they will save your life if you somehow end up on the receiving end of an electric current. AFCIs are another safety measure that you install into the wiring itself. They detect arc faults that are a common cause of electrical fires, and break the circuit before fire breaks out.

3. HVAC Repairs. Consult an HVAC contractor to make sure air-conditioning systems are in good working order, a must for any prospective buyer or renter. Make sure the air-conditioning unit is working at optimal efficiency, as this will translate into savings on monthly utility bills.

4. Plumbing. Make sure all leaky faucets are repaired and parts, such as worn washers, springs and “o” rings, are replaced. Then check to see if water flow is at all hindered in the property. A stopped drain in a bathroom or kitchen sink plumbing system is often the result of a clogged pipe. First, try chemical drain cleaners, then remove the elbow piping if necessary, to further investigate the clog.

5. Landscaping. Foreclosure houses often fall victim to overgrown lawns, shrubs and weeds. Start by mowing and pruning, and then address more serious issues, such as dead tree branches that could land on the home or power lines. An easy way to provide a clean and updated look to the landscaping-and add curb appeal to the property-is to edge the borders. Consider wood edging, brick or stone edging, metal edging or plastic edging.

6. Pests. Many abandoned properties develop pest problems due to stagnant water and general lack of upkeep. Immediately empty all stagnant water, find the source of any moisture that might be in the home and use over-the-counter repellants to rid the home of small pest problems. Hire a professional for any pest problems that are more serious.

7. Windows and Doors. Unfortunately, many foreclosure homes fall victim to vandalism. This can result in broken doors and smashed windows. Replacing doors and windows must be done

8. Floors and Stairways. Rotting wood in floors, doors, staircases and railings, a common issue found in foreclosed houses, must also be addressed immediately. Rot sometimes occurs in areas that are not visible to home inspectors, so this job may require the consultation of an expert in the area.

9. Interior Walls. Ripped wallpaper and chipped paint are not uncommon in foreclosed houses. Take down all wallpaper and repaint the interior in one or a series of neutral colors. This will make the home appeal to a broad spectrum of renters or buyers; using bright, unusual or darker colors narrows the pool of interested parties.

10. Appliances. Any home that goes on the market for sale or rental will fare much better with updated appliances. Many buyers, in fact, have come to expect this in today’s competitive real estate market. Foreclosed houses in affluent areas may already have updated, high-end appliances. Foreclosed homes may be in need of new appliances.

If you are interested in buying a bank-owned, foreclosed property in Atlanta, call us and Experience True Experience! We have foreclosed homes in Atlanta: Sandy Springs, Buckhead, Ashford Park, Dunwoody, Brookhaven, Intown Atlanta, Cobb, Gwinnett – anywhere and everywhere!

Avoid Foreclosure in Atlanta

Monday, July 6th, 2009



What does foreclosure in Atlanta mean? How can one avoid it?

  1. REINSTATEMENT: Bring the loan current;
  2. FOREBEARANCE: Temporary Repayment Plan;
  3. REFINANCE: New Loan with a reduction in monthly payments;
  4. SELL THE PROPERTY: Use the equity to pay-off or pay the difference
  5. RENT THE PROPERTY: You must make the loan current;
  6. SHORT SALE: Negotiate with the lender to accept a sale that is less than the loan balance;
  7. DEED IN LIEU OF FORECLOSURE: “Friendly Foreclosure”
  8. BANKRUPTCY: Will stall foreclosure, but will not prevent it.

Don’t let time run out. Call us and let us help!