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Archive for December, 2010

Georgia’s Tax Bills

Sunday, December 19th, 2010

Recently, I wrote about an upcoming article in Atlanta’s local paper, the AJC. The series was published today and told us what we already knew: values are going down, counties are gasping for more tax dollars and home owners are caught in between the two. But they did offer a valuable insight of what to do, if you think your property is over-valued.

  1. Do the research and look at your property tax bill. Here are the several sites for the largest counties in the metropolitan Atlanta area:

     2.   File a property tax return. Under a new state law, assesors must send a Notice of Current       Assesment to all residential property owners. However, in some cases, the owner may want to file a return. Download and print the one-page return at: https://etax.dor.ga.gov/ptd/adm/forms/pt50r/LGS_TAXPAYERS_RETURN_OF_REAL_PROPERTY_PT50R.PDF.

     3.  Appeal your appraisal. Previously, you could appeal your properrty assesment only if you filed a property tax return or if the county changed the value of your property. The Georgia state legislature changed that, and beginning in 2011, anyone can appeal. For more information on appeals, check out: https://etax.dor.ga.gov/ptd/adm/taxguide/appeals.aspx .

Need more answers? Contact me for more information or help.

Atlanta’s Property Tax Meltdown

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

 

I am looking forward to this report. On Sunday, December 19, the Atlanta Journal Constitution (AJC) will launch its “Property Tax Meltdown” series – an investigative report that reveals flaws in home property value assessments and their impact on metro Atlanta homeowners left with unreasonably high tax bills. The obvious question is: “What took you so long?” and why haven’t our towns, counties, town councils and elected officials realized this?

I believe 2011 will be the ‘Year of the Short Sale’. If you aren’t ready to handle this type of sale, you should be getting ready or finding someone who is! And make sure you know the tax implications of the sale for the buyer.

Employment vs. Unemployment

Monday, December 6th, 2010

With the talk of jobs on everyone’s lips, are you curious where the United States stands in the unemployment line? Here are the new numbers:

 Unemployment Rates of the world:

  1. Monaco 0.0%
  2. Thailand 1.2%
  3. Lichtenstein 1.5%
  4. Singapore 2.2%
  5. Malaysia 3.2%
  6. Guatemala 3.2%
  7. South Korea 3.7%
  8. Switzerland 4.0%
  9. China 4.1%
  10. Austria 4.3%
  11. Netherlands 4.4%
  12. Luxembourg 5.0%
  13. Australia 5.1%
  14. Japan 5.1%
  15. Taiwan 5.1%
  16. Mexico 5.5%
  17. Brazil 6.1%
  18. Israel 6.5%
  19. Germany 6.7%
  20. New Zealand 6.8%
  21. Denmark 6.9%
  22. Argentina 7.0%
  23. Czech Republic 7.0%
  24. Iceland 7.6%
  25. Peru 7.7%
  26. UK 7.8%
  27. Canada 7.9%
  28. Philippines 8.0%
  29. Italy 8.2%
  30. Finland 8.5%
  31. Sweden 8.5%
  32. Chile 8.6%
  33. Belgium 8.7%
  34. Russia 9.2%
  35. Poland 9.4%
  36. USA 9.8%
  37. France 10.1%
  38. India 10.7%
  39. Portugal 10.7%
  40. Greece 11.0%
  41. Ireland 13.9%
  42. Spain 20.1%
  43. South Africa 25%
  44. Zimbabwe 95%

Atlanta Housing Market

Sunday, December 5th, 2010

In today’s Sunday AJC, John Adams had a great column about the Atlanta’s housing market. As a Realtor, I am often asked the questions he asks in his column. The best of these questions is:

Will the housing market ever recover? Yes, it will, eventually. But if you asked John (or me) if we will ever see the day of  “below construction prices” coupled with 30-year fixed rate loans below 5%, probably not. I (and John) think this is a once-in-a-lifetime event!

Don’t wait to enter the market. If you are thinking of buying, selling or investing in Atlanta real estate, call or email me. I get the job done!

Atlanta Weather

Friday, December 3rd, 2010

 

The weather gets cold in Atlanta, but many homeowners do not adequately prepare for it. Homes in mild-weather climates are especially vulnerable to frozen pipes and those frozen pipes equal disaster. Why? Because these homes tend to have plumbing in exterior walls, attics, crawl spaces and other unheated or unprotected areas.

A pipe freezing in a cold snap, where outside temperatures drop below 20-degrees, can not only be expensive to repair, but also messy. When water freezes inside a pipe, it creates a blockage that causes pressure to rise. That pressure builds up and the pipe blows. Play it safe and follow these tips from The Institute for Business and Home Safety:

  1. Wrap pipes with foam or fiberglas insulation.
  2. Seal openings in exterior walls where cold air can get to unprotected pipes.
  3. Disconnect garden hoses and place insulated covers over outdoor faucets. Better yet, install inside shut-off valves for outdoor faucets and drain water from the pipes.
  4. Consider wrapping pipes with heat tapes or cable that use a small amount of electricity to warm pipes. Some come with built-in thermostats.
  5. Leave cabinets doors open to let warmer room air get to the pipes under the kitchen and bathroom sinks.
  6. Turn on faucets to a very slow drip to relieve pressure in the pipe. Make sure both the hot-and cold-water lines are open.
  7. If you are away from your home during the cold-weather months, et your thermostat above 55-degrees.

If you or someone you know are thinking of buying, selling or investing in real estate, email or call me. I get the job done!