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Atlanta Home Appraisals and Inspections

June 26th, 2013

When I list a home, I try to control all aspects of the process. I do this because I think it should be my responsibility that the house not only goes under contract, but that it goes to closing!

I follow up with the selling-agent about any inspections, and go to the home- inspection, checking in with the other agent and the inspector and if they are there, introducing myself to the buyer, as the seller’s representative. I do this because I believe that it is my job to (a) make sure that there are no non-related items on the report  and also (b) to represent the seller.

We are in an appreciating market, unlike the depreciating one we’ve been in for several years. In this current market, it is too difficult to “hope and wish” that the property will appraise for the sales price. After the inspection but before the appraisal, I take the lockbox off the door, courtesy-calling the selling agent in advance, and telling him/her that I what and why I am doing this. I do this with all my listings, so that I am able to meet and talk with the appraiser. Because I am the one who is letting the appraiser into the house, taking the lockbox off enables me to justify the listing price/sales price to an appraiser, usually in-person.  Once the home is appraised, I put the lockbox back on the house, enabling the buyer to take another look, most times “locking” them into their love of the property.

After the house is strongly “Under Contract”, ready for closing, an “Under Contract” sign is placed on the house. Why so late? Because I want to encourage back-up offers.

Does your agent do this for you? If not, call or email me and allow me to tell you all of the other things I do for a seller!

Atlanta Sold homes

Atlanta Real Estate

 

 

Building a New Home

May 10th, 2013

Have you ever wondered about the steps it takes a builder to clear a lot and build a new-home? Follow my video, as a builder-client begins a new home: Clearing the Site for a new home

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What is the new 3.8% tax on homes and how does it affect sellers?

March 3rd, 2013

 

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A new income tax provision was started on January 1st, 2013, that may affect some sellers of real estate.  The tax is 3.8% of “net investment income”, if the sellers fit into certain categories:

1.     Joint income tax filers with adjusted gross income of $250,000 or more;

2.     Single income tax filer with adjusted gross income of $200,00 or more;

and

1.     Joint income tax filers with more than $500,000 profit on the sale of the principal residence;

2.     Single income tax filer with more than $250,000 profit on the sale of the principal residence;

OR

3.     Capital gain on the sale of investment real estate.

The new 3.8% tax applies to the LESSER of:

  1. a.     The investment income amount, or b. The excess of adjusted gross income over the $250,000 (joint) or $200,000 (single).

According to the National Association of Realtors, this new tax will not affect many home sellers, based on the income threshold and the gain threshold on principal residences.  The sellers of investment properties will be taxed on investment income that exceeds the income thresholds above.  See http://www.realtor.org/small_business_health_coverage.nsf/docfiles/government_affairs_invest_inc_tax_broch.pdf/$FILE/government_affairs_invest_inc_tax_broch.pdf for further explanations and examples.

Brookhaven’s Town Hall Meeting

January 20th, 2013

The new City of Brookhaven’s first Town Hall Meeting will be held on January 24, 2013 at 7:30pm at The Marist School Auditorium. Marist is located at 3790 Ashford Dunwoody Road NE, Brookhaven, GA 30319.

The new City of Brookhaven, GA

January 20th, 2013

Brookhaven, Georgia became a new city on December 17, 2012. Immediately, the new city became responsible for Community Development (planning/zoning, permitting, inspections and code inforcement), Public Works (local streets, sidewalks, traffic signals and utility permits), Revenue (business and alcohol licenses) and Communications and Community Engagements. Dekalb County will continue to provide Police, Fire and 911, Water and Sewer, Garbage Collection and Parks. However, in the future, Police and Parks will be handled by the new City of Brookhaven.

There was no office space available in the new city; the temporary offices are located in Dunwoody at 200 Ashford Center North, Suite 150. The City of Brookhaven’s telephone number is 404-637-0500; their hours are 8:30am-5:00pm, Monday through Friday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Atlanta’s Real Estate Closings in 2012

December 28th, 2012

What paperwork do you need if you bought or sold in 2012?  Many residential sales are non-taxable events (principal residence or no gain), but sellers will have a 1099 and must still file the appropriate income tax forms.

Buyers: 

1.  HUD-1 Settlement Statement – this is needed for income tax preparation. Pay attention to closing costs, prepaid interest, property tax prorations, and other fees that may be deductible.

2.     Recorded Warranty Deed (or other deeds such as Limited Warranty Deed, Special Warranty Deed, Quit Claim Deed, Executor’s Deed, or Trustee’s Deed)  – these are needed to claim homestead exemption. You must provide recording deed book and page number from the recorded deed.

Sellers:

1.     HUD-1 Settlement Statement – this is needed for income tax preparation to show the sales price and all costs of the sale (closing costs, commissions, property taxes, etc.);

2.     1099 form – usually provided at closing by closing attorney – this form shows the gross sales price plus any prorated taxes that are being credited to the seller from the buyer (in case the seller tries to deduct the entire year’s property taxes).  The 1099 forms are no longer mailed out; there is an electronic report sent by each closing attorney directly to the IRS.

Again, please note that many, but not all, residential sales are non-taxable events (principal residence or no gain);  the seller will have a 1099 and must still file the appropriate income tax forms! Remember, as your Atlanta Realtor, I will always keep you informed!

 

Atlanta’s Housing Boom? Oh really?!!!!

December 19th, 2012

CNN Online News says there may be a housing boom in the coming months:  http://money.cnn.com/2012/10/12/news/economy/housing-boom/index.html?source=linkedin. Duh — where have you guys been???!!! I noticed a shift in February 2012 and that shift is becoming louder and louder.

Atlanta and the East Coast are always behind the “left” coast in trends. California has been reporting a shortage of for-sale homes for several months; inventory levels there are approximately 2.5 months. In November, the entire metropolitan area of Atlanta had only 11,400 homes listed for sale (I can remember levels of 95,000+ a few years ago).

So, again, I ask, where have the news reporters been?

Dunwoody’s Brook Run Park

December 14th, 2012

A temporary restraining order was issued by a DeKalb County Superior Court, stopping work on a planned multiuse trail in Dunwoody’s Brook Run Park.

The petition was filed by two nearby homeowners who are concerned about water runoff from the proposed 12-foot-wide concrete trail that will be approximately .75 mile long.

The court ordered the construction activities to stop, including the cutting or clearing of vegetation, just before the city and its contractors were scheduled to begin clearing about 330 trees from the park.

Several homeowners hired an hydrologist to review the City of Dunwoody’s engineering report to check its accuracy of runoff assessments. “The hydrology report used to justify the project is fatally flawed,” said Jenny R. Culler, attorney for the homeowners.

The park trail has become a hot topic for several groups in Dunwoody. About four dozen members of the Lakeview Oaks neighborhood, naturalists and tea party members turned out to tell City Council members they wanted the project stopped.

Brook Run in Dunwoody

Dunwoody’s Brook Run

Closing on your New Home during the Holidays

November 19th, 2012

Many of the real estate closings in November and December have to be scheduled around the longer holiday breaks for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and even New Year’s Day.  Most lenders and attorneys are closed for the Wednesday – Friday period around Thanksgiving. They are also usually closed for an extra day or two before or after Christmas and New Year’s Day.

There are also many buyers, sellers, and agents who will be out of town or otherwise unavailable during these holiday breaks.

Attorneys and lenders  will work hard to accommodate the buyers and sellers, but it is important to check with all parties before scheduling and to make every attempt to have all parties at closing.  Mailouts of loan packages are much more complicated today, and the parties must find a title company or attorney in their location to supervise the signatures.  This is required for buyers and sellers.  In addition, the loan papers must be sent out several days prior to the closing deadline, in order to meet the contract expiration for completing the closing.

Please notify the closing attorney and lender as soon as possible if you know that you or the other party will be unavailable for your closing, and try to reschedule your closing to avoid the extra time, effort, and expense of a mailout.

And, as always, if you want to CLOSE before 2013, call Nancy Aroneck & Company! We are experienced and will actually get you to the closing table  quickly, and with as little “pain” as possible!

The Budget in Dunwoody

October 31st, 2012

The Dunwoody City council will vote on their new budget on October 29; expanding their police force is one of the items on their agenda. It is believed that they will add four officers, or an additional 20% of their current force. This 20% also corresponds with the 20% increase in property crimes since last year; major crimes were reported to have decreased since last year. The Council is also considering giving a four (4%) increase to the city’s employees, mostly police officers and court employees.