Posted on 3. March 2014 09:14 by qmiskini

 

MARCH – In Like A Lion and Out Like A Lamb

Is there any truth to this saying?  Weather sayings are as colorful as our imaginations.  But with March being such a changeable month, you can understand how this saying might hold true.  Sitting here, thinking of you, and how grateful we are for the value you bring to our real estate business, looking out our office window at a cold spring rain with the forecast for sunny and warm by this afternoon, and with the first tender spring flowers beginning to sprout, it looks like “Spring has sprung!”

We understand that across the country it is still blustery and snowy and cold.  It could be that way right here in Metro Atlanta – especially this year with all the snow and ice we’ve had, but one this is sure… winter’s at an end and will “go out like a lamb.”

So what does this have to do with you or your home?

Spring is a time of action. People getting busy doing things they couldn’t accomplish in the winter months. It is a renewing of mind and spirit, of things that are good.  Hopefully this awesome season with bring good things your way.  Wouldn’t it be great to grab your favorite book along with our favorite lounge chair, set it down in your favorite spot outside or next to a window and relax – enjoying a beautiful spring day? Our hope is you will get something like that more than once this spring. Really enjoy the place you call home.

Unfortunately there are some who will have a springtime they would much rather forget. With all the beauty this time brings, there is also the ugly. Children’s Health Care of Atlanta has a house full of kids fighting for their lives.  For them and their families spring flowers are the furthest things from their minds. Yes, these families do long for their kids to be out playing or riding bikes – but for now they are praying spring season will go out like a lamb and be a season of healing. Children’s Health Care of Atlanta is front and center in the fight against nasty diseases that destroy or cut short the lives of children.  We are thankful to have such a wonderful facility close by doing such great work to help save and heal young people.

So even though we are eager to enjoy spring, others are simply hoping to be here to see it. This is why our Team at TMT Realty Group and Optimus Real Estate Brokers has resolved to do what we can to help. 

For every house we sell this year we are donating a portion of our income to Children’s Health Care of Atlanta. Our goal is to raise $25,000 to help them in their quest to heal, save, cure and comfort children under their care.

This is where you can help…

Life moves fast for some and we are eager to make their home selling or home buying experience a smooth and rewarding one. Over the last ten years we have helped hundreds of families sell or buy their homes and have met many wonderful, caring people like you! 

It’s easy to refer your friends, neighbors, associates or family members considering making a move and we hope you will take a few minutes to consider who you know who will benefit from the Exclusive Guarantee we are offering: Your home sold or we’ll buy it*. 

Simply go to www.Friends-And-Family-Referrals.com to pass along your referral.  Or of course you can always call us direct as well at 770-672-7832.

As we move forward in a brand new year, please know that we and our Team love thanking you for being a special part of our business.

With much appreciation,


Stephanie and Ira Miskin

 

This month donations to CHOA were made thanks to Team members Joshua Guallett, Amy Johnson and Stephanie Boldon and their Clients Keneisha Williams, Kevin Lassiter, Patricia Jakob & Diana Mohalley, and Derrick Jackson.                   …….The Kids thank you all!



P.S. We love honoring past clients like you. Read all about that at www.Friends-And-Family-Referrals.com. You can read more about Children’s at www.CHOA.org. 

P.P.S. We have enclosed an article that discusses the issues many area home owners are facing in today’s market.  As you read it, you will see that our unique offer to guarantee the sale of a home or we’ll buy their home for cash gives home sellers great peace of mind when selling in today’s market.



HOUSING NEWS YOU CAN USE

 

NAR: Pending Home Sale Flat In January 2014 

by Peter Ricci      February 28, 2014  See more at: http://atlantaagentmagazine.com/pending-home-sales-drop-8-7-december-housing-trouble/#sthash.s59LhvwR.dpuf

 

Pending home Sales were flat in January according to the latest analysis by the National Association of Realtors.  Per NAR’s home sales index, which is based on contract signings, pending home sales edged up 0.1 percent from December to January though they were down 9 percent from January 2013. Pending sales are now at their lowest level since January 2011.

 

Limited Inventory and Weather Impact Pending Sales

Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist said weather and low inventory were the prime culprits for January’s sluggish numbers.  “Ongoing disruptive weather patterns in much of the US (and especially in Atlanta) inhibited home shopping,” he said.  “Limited inventory is also playing a role in Atlanta and across the nation, while credit remains tight and affordability isn’t as favorable as it was a year ago.”

There were regional differences:  Pending sales in the North East were up 2.3 percent monthly, but down 5.3 percent yearly. In the Mid-West they were down 2.5 percent monthly and down 9.3 percent yearly.  In the South they were up 3.5percent monthly but down 5.5 percent yearly.  And in the West they were down 4.8% monthly and 17.5 percent yearly.

The Lingering Effect of High Mortgage Rates

NAR anticipate the pace of sale to increase in the coming months, but one thing remains clear when looking at the data: home sales have not quite recovered from the interest rate shock of 2013 and with rates expected to increase throughout the year, one has to wonder how home sales will respond.

NEWS LIKE THIS SHOWS HOW IMPORTANT IT IS TO HAVE GUARANTEES LIKE OURS TO HELP BUYERS AND SELLERS IN THIS CHANGING MARKET

CALL US AT 770-672-7832

AND WE'LL TAKE EXTRA-SPECIAL CARE OF YOU AND YOUR REFERRALS.

THANKS SO MUCH!! - Stephanie & Ira

 

CHILDREN'S HEALTH CARE OF ATLANTA NEWS

 

Athlete Overcomes Disability to Reach Great Height

 

A few years ago, Declan Farmer did not know much about hockey. He knew even less about sled hockey.

Declan, age 15, has a congenital limb deficiency in both legs that required amputation. One amputation is above the knee and one is below. Despite his disability, Declan has always remained interested in sports. “I watch a lot of sports on TV and I’ve always liked being active,” he said. “I just wanted to find a sport to compete in.”

Once he found his sport, he took his passion for it to a global level.

Long Way to Go

When Declan first came to the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Limb Deficiency Program as a 3-year-old, the orthopaedic specialists, prosthetist and therapists were concerned that he was still unable to walk. “That is why his story is so inspirational,” said Brian Giavedoni, Senior Prosthetist with Children’s.  “He was having difficulty even walking. He went from that to what he is doing now.”

Declan was also born with proximal femoral focal deficiency (PFFD), a birth defect that affected both his hips and bones in the lower legs. He needed six surgeries so he would be able to use prosthetic legs and several more, performed more recently by Michael Schmitz, M.D., to rebuild his hip.  “Even the best prosthesis can’t replace the function of the hip,” said Colleen Coulter, Physical Therapist and Team Leader of the Limb Deficiency Program. “The hip is where you see most of his challenges and weaknesses.”

For the last 12 years, Declan and his family have traveled to Children’s from their home in Tampa, Fla., for regular adjustments and fittings. During his early visits at Children’s, Declan was inspired to pursue athletics.  “I liked it,” he said. “I saw a bunch of pictures of adaptive athletes on the wall. That encouraged me to be active. They would always tell me about adaptive sports I could try.”

Sticking With It

For years, Declan sought out a sport that he could enjoy and in which he could be competitive. He tried track and field, wrestling, soccer and even sailing. When he saw a sled hockey team from New York put on a clinic in 2006, he was intrigued.  “It was the first sport I played that was for adaptive athletes only,” Declan said “So naturally, I would be more competitive in it. I just stuck with it.”

Sled hockey is a form of ice hockey designed for people with physical disabilities. Instead of skates, players use specially designed sleds to move around on the ice. Declan began playing for the Tampa Bay Lightning sled hockey team two years later. “He has always been like that. He was always go, go, go,” Giavedoni said. “He finally found sled hockey. It clicked with him.”

Giavedoni helps him adjust his sled, which is custom fit for each player, as he grows. Much like his sled, Declan's talent for sled hockey grew quickly. After just a few years playing the sport, he was named to the U.S. National Team, which took second in the World Championships in Korea in 2013.  Afterward, he made it through a difficult tryout to land a spot on the 2014 Paralympics team. He will travel to Sochi in Russia at the end of February to compete against the best players in the world.

“I think it was the most competitive tryout ever this year,” Declan said. “There were a ton of players, like 70, for 17 spots. I was pretty excited. It's great.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted on 8. February 2014 11:42 by qmiskini

HOUSING NEWS WATCH - February

The Love Doctor is in… (For those who remember this message from last year – we thought it was well worth repeating again!)

If Ira was writing this by himself, this is what he’d probably say: “Not that I am the Dr. of Love or anything like that… But then again most men like to believe they are.  After all – ‘Love is a many splendored thing’… or so they say!”

Here’s what we both say.  When we were planning our wedding way back in 1974, we wanted to reveal to all who attended words that would convey our LOVE for each other.  Those thoughts are best summed up in a wonderful bible verse from 1 Corinthians 13 which says: “Love is patient. Love is kind. It does not envy. It does not boast. It is not proud. It is not rude. It is not self-seeking. It is not easily angered.  It keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres.”

Of Course we are talking LOVE because February is the love month, rightly celebrated with Valentine’s Day.

We could go on with all kinds of examples like – LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF, and even go all business on you with accolades about how much we love doing business with you, or how much we love your referrals and more – but the bottom line is we do love helping people buy and sell real estate.

In fact, if it’s ok with you, we’ll focus just a bit on the REFERRAL request.  Please know that our Team and we, are eager to help you or anyone you know really wanting to make a move, so much so, that for your friends, neighbors associates or relatives considering it, we are willing to make an offer that they will love.

For the month of February, anyone considering making a move that you refer to us, we will guarantee them in writing that their home will sell or we’ll buy it at a price acceptable to them.

 We just need to agree on price and possession date with the seller.

AND remember, YOUR referrals help the kids…

Any one you know considering making a move, wanting to buy or sell their home, please refer them to us without hesitation or delay!  It’s very easy for you to do that and on top of the great services outlined above; your referrals will help the kids at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta!!!

We are on a mission this year to raise $25,000 for Children’s Health care of Atlanta!

They do such great work in helping kids struggle to recover from debilitating diseases.  It’s gut wrenching to see these young people whose lives hang by a thread, struggling for survival.  BUT at Children’s they have a chance, a GREAT chance.

And like many children’s hospitals, they depend on donations and givers to fund worthwhile projects.  These kids who are suffering are made better quicker thanks to Children’s Recovery Center complete with electronics and other fun stuff kids LOVE. But that recovery center requires money to operate and continue.  So we are donating a portion of our income on every home we sell this year to Children’s Health Care of Atlanta, so the kids in their care can continue to recover from these horrible diseases and grow up to experience and LOVE life.

It’s easy to refer your friends, neighbors, associates or family members considering making a move and we hope you will take a few minutes to consider who you know who will benefit from the Exclusive Guarantee we are offering: Your home sold or we’ll buy it*. 

Simply go to www.Friends-And-Family-Referrals.com to pass along your referral.  Or of course you can always call us direct as well at 770-672-7832.

 As we move forward in a brand new year, please know that we and our Team love thanking you for being a special part of our business.

 


With much appreciation,

Stephanie and Ira Miskin

 This month donations to CHOA were made thanks to Team members Amy Johnson, Nitya Grenham and Stephanie Miskin and their Clients Denise & Robert Kinnebrew, Eric Coleman, Colleen Lanning, Kevin Miller and Thomas Mitchell.                   …….The Kids thank you all!

P.S. We love honoring past clients like you. Read all about that at www.Friends-And-Family-Referrals.com. You can read more about Children’s at www.CHOA.org. 

 

P.P.S. We have enclosed an article that discusses the issues many area home owners are facing in today’s market.  As you read it, you will see that our unique offer to guarantee the sale of a home or we’ll buy their home for cash gives home sellers great peace of mind when selling in today’s market.

Market News

Pending Home Sales Drop 8.7% in December, is Housing in Trouble? 

by Peter Ricci      January 31, 2014  See more at: http://atlantaagentmagazine.com/pending-home-sales-drop-8-7-december-housing-trouble/#sthash.s59LhvwR.dpuf

Last year closed out on a sour note for pending home sales, according to NAR’s final tally.  Dec. 2013 was a rough month for pending home sales, with the Pending Home Sales Index dropping 8.7 percent from November to a reading of 92.4, according to the latest report by the National Association of Realtors. That’s the lowest level for the Pending Home Sales Index since Oct. 2011, and in addition to its monthly declines, pending sales were down 8.8 percent from Dec. 2012. 

Weak Pending Home Sales – What’s to Blame?

So, what’s to blame for the sizable drop in pending home sales? Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said that several factors went into the lower numbers. “Unusually disruptive weather across large stretches of the country in December forced people indoors and prevented some buyers from looking at homes or making offers,” he said. “Home prices rising faster than income is also giving pause to some potential buyers, while at the same time a lack of inventory means insufficient choice.”

 

Indeed, the weather/inventory impediments seem to account for the lion’s share of the declines. As the Wall Street Journal‘s Nick Timiraos pointed out, pending sales declined the country over, including in housing markets not affected by weather. The numbers are quite striking: pending sales were down 10.3 percent in the Northeast, 6.8 percent in the Midwest, 8.8 percent in the South and 9.8 percent in the West, where sales were down a whopping 16.0 percent from last year (they were also down by yearly measures in the other three regions).

The Secret Ingredient to a Housing Slowdown

Though Yun’s analysis is sound, there is one dimension to    the housing slowdown that he neglected to mention – rising mortgage rates. Take a look at this graph, which charts the Pending Home Sales Index through 2013: Notice when the index began to falter? In May, when mortgage rates initially spiked. Pending home sale hit a six-year high that month, but as soon as rates increased, the effects on the housing market were immediate. Does this mean the wild and crazy days of early 2013 are history? It’s still too early to say, but we’ll have to watch these numbers closely the next couple of months for any emerging trends. For 2013, though, the data is quite clear – higher mortgage rates slowed the market.

  

CHILDREN’S HEALTH CARE OF ATLANTA NEWS

Teamwork Helps Adopted Daughter Make Important Progress

David and Laura Kelly knew adopting a pair of daughters, Nikki and Karah, from Russia would produce a unique set of challenges. Those challenges were compounded by an injury to the youngest of the pair, Karah. She would require specialized treatment to help her develop into a capable, independent young woman.

While in the Siberian hospital, a nurse left a tourniquet on Karah's left arm after placing an I.V. in the top of her hand when she was 10 months old. It cut off blood supply long enough that doctors had to amputate her middle finger and parts of her wrist, including the growth plates. The injury and resulting surgeries left Karah's forearm scarred and thin and her hand curled and bent toward her forearm.

Early Steps

Laura and David waited to pursue further surgical treatment for Karah's hand after bringing her daughter home when she was 2 in August of 2000. When she finally asked Karah what she wanted, Laura received a definite response.  "I drew a picture of her hand how it is curled up and another of her hand flat," Laura said. "I asked her which hand she wanted, and she said 'flat' enthusiastically."  

When the family lived near Philadelphia, Karah had surgery to remove most of the scar tissue in her hand and to graft on new skin. After they moved to Atlanta nine years ago, they started searching for other options. "Children's came up because Karah went online and did one of her own searches," Laura said. "She sent me an email out of the blue to check this website out and that she wanted to talk about getting her hand improved."

Coming to Children's

The family met with Allan E. Peljovich, M.D., M.P.H., a pediatric orthopaedic hand surgeon and the Medical Director of the Hand and Upper Extremity Program at Children's.  Rather than opt for more surgery, however, Dr. Peljovich recommended Karah receive a consultation with the limb deficiency team to explore non-surgical options. "We were thrilled," Laura said. "We weren't leaping into surgery. We are doing a progressive treatment, and then Karah can make that informed decision about having another surgery."

After a comprehensive evaluation of her limitations and abilities, Karah began occupational therapy with Amy Bohn, C.P.A.M., O.T.R./L., at Children's at Meridian Mark in July 2013. In the first month of therapy, Amy completed scar management techniques, splinting, and range of motion and strength exercises. She also designed an exercise program to help Karah develop strength and function in her left hand.

Moving Forward

Karah, who is now 15, will continue to receive hand and upper extremity therapy for another six months to a year before making a decision about more surgical treatments. They are thrilled with the progress their daughter has made. While the future is still uncertain, Laura said one thing is for sure: Karah will be returning to Children's for the next step in her treatment, whatever that step might be. "Children's has made her feel really comfortable," Laura said. "They work so well as a team and you can see that. They were so compatible."

 

 


Posted on 4. January 2014 05:00 by qmiskini

Exciting New Year’s Resolution

As lovers of Holiday Time, we wanted to write you this personal letter and share with you some exciting news for the New Year.

It seems most people establish New Year’s resolutions, but for whatever reasons they fall short of their goals.  There’s a great book that helped us and our sales team dramatically improve our follow through on achieving important goals we want to share with you – as sort of a Happy New Year After Christmas gift; more on the book in a moment.

Some of your friends, neighbors, associates or relatives may have made a New Year’s resolution to make a move.  Well – we can help them with that.  And of course, help you at the same time.

To help them – we will guarantee in writing that they will get the best no hassle service and their real estate goals achieved – if not, we will cut them a check for $3,000.*  They outline the goals, we agree to deliver, if we don’t we pay the penalty.  So who do you know that is considering making a move that would benefit from that kind of peace of mind?

And remember… your referrals help the kids

Anyone you know considering making a move, wanting to buy or sell their home, please refer them to us without hesitation or delay!  It’s very easy for you to do that and on top of the great services outlined above, your referrals help the kids at Children’s Health Care of Atlanta!!!We are on a mission to raise $25,000 for Children’s Health Care of Atlanta this year!  They do such great work in helping kids struggling to recover from debilitating diseases.  And like many children’s hospitals, they depend on donations and givers to fund worthwhile projects.


These kids who are suffering are made better quicker thanks to Children’s Recovery Center – but that recovery center requires money to operate and continue.  So we are donating a portion of our income on every home we sell this year to Children’s Health Care of Atlanta and its recovery center and hope to be able to contribute the full $25,000 (we know we can with your help!)

It’s easy to refer your friends, neighbors, associates or family members considering making a move.  

We hope you will take just a few minutes to consider who you know wanting to make a move in the near future. Simply go to www.Friends-And-Family-Referrals.com to pass along your referral.  Or of course you can always call us direct as well at 770-672-7832.

We hope you and your family are well and this special month brings you joy and happiness!

The book we mentioned is See You At The Top by Zig Ziglar.  We found this book to be awe inspiring and has allowed us to achieve more than we thought we could.  So much so we just had to share it with you.  We think you will come to the same conclusion after you read it.

We hope the new year brings you the best life has to offer!

With much appreciation,

 

 Stephanie and Ira Miskin and the entire TMT Realty Group/Optimus Team

P.S. We love honoring past clients like you. Read all about that at www.Friends-And-Family-Referrals.com. You can read more about Children’s at www.CHOA.org. 

P.P.S. We have enclosed an article that discusses the issues many area home owners are facing in today’s market.  As you read it, you will see that our unique offer to guarantee the sale of a home or we’ll buy their home for cash gives home sellers great peace of mind when selling in today’s market.

 

√  NEWS LIKE THIS SHOWS HOW IMPORTANT IT IS TO HAVE GUARANTEES LIKE OURS TO HELP BUYRS AND SELLERS IN THIS CHANGING MARKET!!  CALL US AT 770-672-7832 WITH YOUR REFERRAL AND WE'LL TAKE EXTRA-SPECIAL CARE OF THEM.   Wink


Metro Atlanta home values hit $332 billion in 2013

Jacques Couret Senior Online Editor and Social Engagement Manager - Atlanta Business Chronicle

 

Metro Atlanta homes values are expected to gain $39.1 billion in cumulative value in 2013, according to analysis of Zillow Real Estate Market Reports.

Zillow estimates the value of homes in metro Atlanta will total $332 billion at the end of the year -- an increase of 13.3 percent.

Metro Atlanta home values gained $869.5 million in 2012.  Nationally, homes are expected to gain almost $1.9 trillion in value, hitting a total worth of $25.7 trillion.

“In 2013, the housing market continued to build on the positive momentum that began in 2012, after the housing market bottomed,” said Zillow Chief Economist Stan Humphries. “Low mortgage rates and an improving economy helped bring buyers into the market, boosting demand and driving prices up. We expect these gains to continue into next year, though at a slower pace. The housing market is transitioning away from the robust bounce off the bottom we’ve been seeing, toward a more sustainable, healthier market. This will result in annual appreciation closer to historic norms of between 3 percent and 5 percent.”

 

#

 

You and your friends, relatives and associates may want to learn more about how much your home is worth in this changing market… so we are offering a FREE special report: “Find Out How Much Homes In Your Neighborhood Are Selling For.”  You can call Stephanie or Ira direct at 770-672-7832 and get this FREE up to the minute report!

 

 

CHILDREN’S HEALTH CARE OF ATLANTA NEWS

 

Nick’s New Heart  By Susan May, proud mother of Nick

  In April 1989, Nick was born with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. He had a type of surgery called the Norwood Procedure

at only five days old. He then had a right pulmonary repair at three and half months old, which included a seven weeks stay on a respirator, because of a damaged diaphragm nerve. Nick went on to have another surgery to repair the left pulmonary just after his first birthday. A few months before he turned two it was decided that Nick could only survive if he had a heart transplant. After a six weeks wait, Nick received his new heart on March 21, 1991.


Before being transplanted Nick was a blue color, only having an eighty-five percent oxygen level. Immediately after the transplant Nick was a nice healthy pink color. The first year after transplant was difficult. We made many midnight trips to the hospital, but in time the trips decreased. Nick suffered mostly from sinus troubles and ear infections, nothing serious, just troublesome. Nick grew and started pre-school, even rode the bus to school his first day of kindergarten. He has learned to swim, snow ski, water ski and has seen forty-eight of the fifty states and thirteen countries in Europe. He has been a member of Team Georgia at eight of the Transplant Olympic. He was a manager for his high school football team and plays tennis. He will be attending college next year and hopes to major in Sports Management.

Today, sixteen years and eighteen birthdays later, Nick is doing well. Heart transplants are not a fix, but a treatment, so we still worry about rejection and the future. But with all things said and done, it has been wonderful to see Nick grow up, which would not have been possible without the wondrous gift of a heart from Nick's donor family.

I have written a book about Nick experience called "Nick’s New Heart." The book is about how our family coped and is coping with Nick's illness.

 

READ ALL ABOUT HOW YOUR REFERRALS HELP THE KIDS AT CHILDREN'S HEALTH CARE OF ATLANTA AT:

WWW.FRIENDS-AND-FAMILY-REFERRALS.COM

 

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Posted on 27. December 2013 06:08 by qmiskini

 

More buyers than ever are streaming into the market in search of a home before, as many have expressed, “all the bargains are gone.”  Some sellers are responding.  The monthly current volume of single family homes available for sale has increased by 6-thosusand homes since January 2013.  Just over 18 thousand single family homes are for sale in the Metro Atlanta area.  Yet that’s just a fraction of the homes that were for sale before the market crash in 2008, when standing inventory was at a peak of nearly 58 thousand single family homes for sale.

With a current total nearly 9,000 buyers in our Buyers-In-Waiting data base, and with 2,583 tagged as “high quality buyer inquiries,” there’s no shortage of buyers who are thinking about, or actively searching for the right home.  With a lack of homes for sale in many key price categories, and since there are fewer foreclosures and short sales on the market, the pendulum has swung from a strong buyer’s market to a mixed market where sellers have leverage in some price categories.

As a result, some believe, there will be fewer opportunities for buyers in all categories if most potential sellers continue to remain on the sidelines.  However, the opposite may actually be closer to market reality in 2014. 

Early trends point to the gradual return to the pre-2005 so-called “normal” market, as homes in many segments of Metro Atlanta, and particularly in Cobb County beginning to recover lost value.  And as prices rise relative to the modest improvements in the overall economy, a return to the normal market seems more likely.

In a normal market, interest rates for home loans hover at around 7 per cent, which is 55 per cent higher than the current interest rate paid on a 30 year fixed rate home loan.  As of this writing the average rate is 4.57%, up 1.22% from the 52 week low of 3.35%.  In other words, interest rates have risen overall 25 percent in the previous 12 months.  Once the Federal Reserve Bank begins to back off “quantitative easing,” by reducing the amount of money it spends each month to help keep interest rates artificially low, all interest rates including home mortgage rates will start to climb.

It will not all happen at once, but with home values continuing a shaky but upward trend in Metro Atlanta, and with buyers struggling to find homes at good prices before rates start to peak, many sellers who were unsure about whether to sell now, or wait, will enter the market now to beat the trend toward tougher lending criteria and higher interest rates.  Even with higher inventory, especially for first-time buyers and move-up buyers in the $200 thousand to $400 thousand dollar price categories, ready-to-buy “now buyers” whose purchase power could be cut in half with the rising interest rates, should be anxious to compete for the best homes marketed at fair market value prices.  That means the potential for more competition among buyers; and more competition means more offers.  More offers means sellers using the best marketing strategists to sell their homes could benefit from both multiple offers and faster sales.

Appealing homes priced competitively and in good condition priced in the first-time buyer categories, usually under $150 thousand dollars in, for example, the Hillgrove, Sprayberry or North Cobb high school districts, when they can be found at all, have sold very quickly with multiple offers.  Even with an uptick in inventory that trend will continue.  Similarly, if your home appeals in price and quality to move-up buyers in the over $200 thousand dollar categories, nearly twice as many homes sold in 2013 as did in 2012 because of increased buyer competition. With the rise in home values coupled with the rise in mortgage interest rates, downsizers needing to sell at top market value and also wanting to buy at the right price now will find navigating those waters a bit more tricky.  As prices rise along with interest rates they’ll net more from the sale of their home but may have fewer choices when competing for a good quality home in the lower price categories.

How do you know if it’s the right time for you to enter the home selling market in 2014?  IF you have to sell, then you have little choice.  For those who would like to sell but aren’t sure, bring in a top professional to perform an In-Home Equity Diagnostic Analysis.  Find out not only what your home will sell for, but what is left in your pocket after the sale.  That is the bottom line, and an agent with a full service team, top research tools and lots of multi-year market experience can give you the information you need to make the most money from the sale of your home.

For the readers of TMT Realty Times you can call me direct at 770-672-8732 and ask for a free and confidential In-Home Equity Diagnostic Analysis to help you understand more fully what your home is worth and how you may be able to get top dollar in today’s market to leverage your purchase of a new home while prices still hover below the market highs despite rising interest rates.  And also ask about how to determine the best strategy for finding the still available “great deals” that may be hidden from the average home shopper.  To prepare for your in-home evaluation you should also ask for a Special Report titled:  27 Valuable Tips You Should Know To Get Your Home Sold Fast and For Top Dollar. 

About the author: Ira Miskin is Market Area President for Optimus Real Estate Brokers.  His new book titled, The Ultimate Now Holds Barred Guide to Selling Your Atlanta Home at Your Price in Your Time Frame, is scheduled for release in the spring of 2014.  Ira is available for private consultation by appointment by calling 770-672-7832.


Posted on 16. November 2013 06:09 by qmiskini

Ho! Ho! Ho!

December rings in one of the most joyful times of the year.  The current year coming to a close, celebration of Christmas and other Holiday Celebrations, all mean different things to different people, but most always represent joy.  If you look around, you will notice a giving spirit exists unlike at other times of the year.

Unfortunately many home owners wanting to really enjoy this Holiday season are less than enthusiastic because they feel trapped. They are desperate to exit their current home and give themselves a big Christmas Gift – a NEW place to call home.  Here’s where you and I can HELP.  As a result of working with thousands of families over a nearly 20 year time span and through three documented recessions, we have developed a special program to get a quickly accepted “cash” offer on any home for market value. So we are giving Home Owners wanting to make a move a very special gift this holiday season.

For the month of December, we will guarantee, in writing, the sale of an area home in 30 days at a price acceptable to the home owner.  In the event there is no sale, we’ll pay the home owner $3,000.*  We and the home owner just need to agree on price.  We do that starting with a simple, FREE consultation.

This is where you can help.

If you or anyone you know is considering making a move, we would like to offer them a FREE, NO Obligation to Sell for Top Dollar Consultation.  On this call we’ll discuss just how they can make their move, get what they want, and do it with the least hassle. AND while we’re on the phone, we will instantly send them over a FREE Special Report titled:  “Costly Home Seller Mistakes to Avoid When Selling During The Holiday Season.”

 

Just like we are thankful for you and your business, we are confident your referrals will be thanking you for steering them in the right direction on getting their home sold!! *A GREAT Guarantee:  Sold in 30 Days or We’ll Pay a $3,000 Cash Penalty.”

 

And remember… YOUR referrals HELP THE KIDS

 

Any one you know considering making a move, wanting to buy or sell their home please refer them to us without hesitation. They will receive the guarantee we detailed above and you can rest assured your referrals will help the kids at Children’s Health Care of Atlanta. 

 

We are on a mission to raise $25,000 for Children’s Health Care of Atlanta!  They do great work in helping kids struggling to recover from debilitating diseases. They depend on donations and givers to fund worthwhile projects. These kids who are suffering are made better quicker thanks to Children’s Recovery Center, but that recovery center requires money to operate and continue. So we are donating a portion of our income on every referral we receive this year to Children’s Health Care of Atlanta so the kids in their care can continue to recover from these horrible diseases and grow up to experience life to the fullest.

 

It’s easy to refer your friends, neighbors, associates or family members considering making a move.  Simply go to www.Friends-And-Family-Referrals.com to pass along your referral.  Or of course you can always call us direct as well at 770-672-7832.

 

We hope you and your family are well and this Holiday month brings you joy and happiness!

 

With much appreciation,

 

 Stephanie and Ira Miskin and the entire TMT Realty Group/Optimus Team

 

P.S. We love honoring past clients like you. Read all about that at www.Friends-And-Family-Referrals.com. You can read more about Children’s at www.CHOA.org. 

 

P.P.S. We have enclosed an article that discusses the issues many area home owners are facing in today’s market.  As you read it, you will see that our unique offer to guarantee the sale of a home or we’ll buy their home for cash gives home sellers great peace of mind when selling in today’s market.

 

√  NEWS LIKE THIS SHOWS HOW IMPORTANT IT IS TO HAVE GUARANTEES LIKE OURS TO HELP BUYRS AND SELLERS IN THIS CHANGING MARKET!!  CALL US AT 770-672-7832 WITH YOUR REFERRAL AND WE'LL TAKE EXTRA-SPECIAL CARE OF THEM.   Wink

 

 

FHA Eases Rules For Some Borrowers After Bankruptcy, Foreclosure

 

To qualify for the break, FHA borrowers must show that their foreclosure or bankruptcy was caused by external economic factors.  By E. Scott Reckard

 

The Federal Housing Administration wants to make it easier for people who have defaulted on their mortgages to get a new home loan with FHA backing.

But there's a catch. To qualify for the break, borrowers must show that their foreclosure or bankruptcy was caused by external economic factors, reducing their income by 20% or more for six months. And no, you can't have quit your job or have been fired for cause.

Those who can demonstrate such a pay cut, job loss or decline in business income now must spend only one year making timely rent and credit-card payments before they can apply to buy a home with an FHA-insured loan, a recent FHA bulletin explained. In addition, they must obtain housing counseling from an agency approved by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Borrowers generally are not eligible for a new FHA loan until three years after a foreclosure or two years after a bankruptcy. Previously, the death of a spouse or a medical emergency had been exceptions that could cut the wait to a year; now loss of income is listed as an extenuating circumstance as well.

"As the economy started getting better we were hearing about more and more people whose access to credit moving forward was being stifled by the situation the country has been through," FHA Commissioner Carol Galante said in an interview.

"What we've done here is to say, 'Let's look at this recession and financial crisis with that lens,'" Galante said.

"We want to recognize and distinguish between people hurt by that very serious circumstance beyond their control versus what you might call more normal circumstances — people who got into trouble because they used their credit cards too much and fell behind, that sort of thing."

"FHA is the new and only subprime game in town," said Jeff Lazerson, head of Mortgage Grader Inc. "To be able to get back into homeownership in as little as one year after a credit catastrophe — and with a tiny down payment — makes the mortgage insurance ... an easy pill to swallow."

 

CHILDREN’S HEALTH CARE OF ATLANTA NEWS

 

A Family’s Experience with their Daughter’s Kidney Transplant  


From Serious Illness to Saving a Life


Despite doctors’ reassurances, Angelica Hale’s parents knew something was wrong. Their normally  vivacious little girl was in pain and getting sicker before their eyes. During a Sunday evening trip in February 2012 to the Emergency Department at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, they found out her condition was more serious than they could have imagined. “My wife called me Monday morning and told me they were already starting surgery to put in a chest tube,” said James Hale, Angelica’s father. “It was nothing but bad news.” Physicians told James and his wife, Eva Norman, that their daughter had pneumonia. The infection was so severe that her lung had begun to bleed into her abdomen, and the 5-year-old developed sepsis, a serious blood infection that devastated her kidneys. “Her blood plasma was polluted, and her lungs were just ravaged,” James said. “It was earth shattering. We were rocked.”

A Health Journey Begins

Angelica was admitted to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at Scottish Ritehospital while her healthcare team worked for three days to stabilize her and fight the infection. James credits neonatologist Munir Kapasi, M.D., with saving Angelica’s life during those chaotic first days. Dr. Kapasi informed Eva and James that their daughter was facing triple organ failure and would need significant medical intervention.


Angelica was transported by helicopter to our Egleston hospital, home to one of the Southeast’s few ECMO centers, where she was put on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation for 12 days—“a lifetime,” James said. The heart and lung bypass machine took over Angelica’s lung function, allowing her damaged organs time to heal before surgery. “We thought we were about to lose our daughter,” James said. “We had no idea how long this journey would be.”


Once Angelica was stable enough, Richard Ricketts, M.D., Chief of our Division of Pediatric Surgery, performed surgery to repair her lung, which had lost nearly half its function. The blood infection compounded her health battle: Pollutants had overwhelmed her kidneys, and she developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). Her kidneys were barely functioning.


Amid the chaos, James said he was grateful for the extra care the healthcare team took to keep him and his wife informed. “I don’t like being in the dark, and the doctors and nurses absolutely kept us informed,” he said. “They were great.”

Fighting Back

As Angelica recovered from her lung surgery, her parents held out hope that her kidneys would heal. She had been on dialysis since getting ECMO—for more than a year—in order to filter pollutants from her blood, but the damage was done. With her kidneys scarred, Angelica needed a transplant to recover from the harm her initial infection had caused.


After regaining her strength and continuing peritoneal dialysis over the summer of 2013, Angelica returned for a kidney transplant at Children’s, home to one of the largest pediatric kidney transplant programs in the country. The process moved quickly. James and Eva were tested, and they found that Eva was a near-perfect match to donate a kidney to her daughter.  Sept. 13, 2013, Angelica received her mom’s kidney and bounced back quickly, much to the delight of her family and healthcare team. Now a joyful 6-year-old, Angelica is ready to get back to focusing on school, friends and her future singing career thanks to her support group and her Children’s team.  “I’m really glad we brought her to Children’s,” James said. “We’re so, so lucky. Taking her to a pediatric hospital saved her life.”

 

READ ALL ABOUT HOW YOUR REFERRALS HELP THE KIDS AT CHILDREN'S HEALTH CARE OF ATLANTA AT:

WWW.FRIENDS-AND-FAMILY-REFERRALS.COM

 

 

 

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Posted on 11. September 2013 02:41 by qmiskini

 

Branch Managers and Senior Loan Officers from each of the lenders who consistently serve our Clients met with our Team to keep us ahead of the pack when it comes to helping our Clients wade through the ups and downs of rising home-mortgage interest rates and appreciating home values.    What’s going on, and how will these changes affect the sale of your current home or the purchase of your next home?

According to recent national news reports, the number of sales of existing homes across the USA is the highest it has been in 5 years.  But in the June report by the National Association of Realtors, “pending sales” nationwide were down.  Yet, the highly regarded Case-Shiller report for the same period shows home prices rising, even as home loan interest rates rose.  So is it good news or bad news for buyers and sellers?  The right answer is that it depends on where you live.  No matter how the housing market is performing nationally, conditions in your community could be worse or better because all residential real estate sales are local. 

In Cobb County - a very diverse housing community with a wide range of housing styles and ages – divergent national trends only tell part of the story.  The Atlanta area is divided into several hundred distinct market Areas.  Cobb County is divided in 7 Areas, each with its own housing characteristics, pricing and trends. Here are three Cobb County examples. In Cobb Area 74 which contains parts of both Marietta and Kennesaw, home values rose 16.63% over 2012 prices but were still down 14.92% from the market high in July 2007. In Cobb Area 81 comprising a portion of East Cobb, home values recovered 18.9% of value over the same period in 2012 but are still down 19.87% from the market high in 2007.  In Cobb Area 73 with communities as different as Smyrna and Powder Springs, homes values are still 26.67% below the market high in 2007, but has recovered a whopping 43.8% of value over July 2012 sale prices.  The message is, in Cobb County home values are recovering.

Interest rates on home loans are also on the rise, which would seem to place a damper on home sales.  Rates have risen to a market average of 4.51% for a 30-Year Fixed rate loan from a market average of 3.75% for a 30-year fixed rate loan just 1 year ago.  Yet in Atlanta as a whole, sales have kept pace with rising prices and rising interest rates; and in Cobb County, the number of homes sold to date in 2013 vs. homes sold during the same period in 2012 has risen by nearly 6%.  Rising interest rates and rising prices have not curtailed the housing market; but it has changed who is selling and buying.

Who is selling and buying? Even though the overall economy remains sluggish, the increased number of sales despite rising prices has caused many sellers concerned about their home’s value to take a second look at the market.  Some sellers could not, or would not sell at depressed prices just to take advantage of the market to move up to a larger home at a lower price.  Some however did make the switch and benefitted substantially by making up the loss on their previous home by snaring a “great deal” on their new home, and are receiving the benefit of incremental appreciation.  A seller in Cobb County that may have sold a home in 2012 for 20% less than top market value back in 2007, and purchased a home wisely just a year ago, saw their new home add between 19% and 44% of increased equity value over the previous year’s home prices in just one year of recovery. By comparison, interest rates only rose around ¾ of a point.  The monthly difference on a $200,000 mortgage in monthly payments is only $88 per month.  But a 19% home value appreciation is worth as much as $38 thousand dollars of equity.  Is that worth $88 a month?  If home values continue to appreciate at reasonable rates of recovery, it still may take another 5 years to get back to the market highs.  But if the sale of your current home facilitates the opportunity to benefit from the market lows, and interest rates do not spiral upward but increase gradually as the economy improves, the leverage of selling your current home in today’s market to benefit from market recovery appreciation in a larger, more valuable home could be the smart residential real estate move in the coming year. 

Selling and buying homes in any market can be complicated.  Don’t let a fluctuating market scare you from taking advantage of rising prices despite rising interest rates.  With the right Team in place, one that brings Agents with top negotiating skills, backed up with top marketing experts, and a support team of qualified lenders, inspectors, appraisers, researchers, and more, much of the uncertainty can be anticipated, and profitably factored into both a Sell and a Buy.

For the readers of this blog you can call me direct at 770-672-8732 and ask for a free and confidential market analysis and in-home evaluation to help you understand more fully what your home is worth and how you may be able to get top dollar in today’s market to leverage your purchase of a new home while prices still hover below the market highs despite rising interest rates.  And also ask about how to determine the best strategy for finding the still available “great deals” that may be hidden from the average home shopper.  To prepare for your in-home evaluation you should also ask for a Special Report titled:  27 Valuable Tips You Should Know To Get Your Home Sold Fast and For Top Dollar. 


Posted on 15. July 2013 09:02 by qmiskini

 

                In this still shaky economy, practically no one, it seems is sheltered from the still swirling economic storm.   Even as housing prices inch up which is good news for home sellers, rising interest rates on home loans are beginning to make it tougher for home Buyers to purchase the homes they want. CAUTION: Buying and selling a home in this complicated market can be hazardous to your pocket book unless you know the facts and have the right Team in place to shepherd you through the storm.

                To set the stage, you must be aware of how mortgage interest rates affect Buyers working to qualify for a home mortgage and how, in many price categories, rising and higher interest rates can limit sales and profitability for home sellers.  According to tracking reports provided publically by Freddie Mac, the giant secondary market mortgage buyer, in just the past year, interest rates have been volatile and, in many respects mirrored the volatility of key aspects of the marketplace.   For example, in January of 2012, according to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey of 30 year fixed rate mortgages, the average interest rate was 3.92%.  By December 2012 it had declined – great news for both Buyers and Sellers – to an average of 3.35%.  But by July of 2013, rates had risen to an average of 4.07%.  Now that might not seem like much but consider the impact of these rising rates for a home buyer trying to get mortgage loan approval to buy a home, for example, in Kennesaw or Acworth for $225,000.

                Many home buyers in this price category are first-time home buyers with enough good credit to qualify for a loan, but not always enough cash to make the down payment and pay the lender fees (called closing costs) required to purchase a home mortgage loan.  Many of these buyers turn to FHA to acquire their home loan.  Most lenders servicing Buyers in Cobb County will initiate the FHA loan process of loan approval for Buyers whose credit scores are above 640 and whose other credit-worthy checkpoints like their debt-to-income-ratio, employment record, loan and credit card payment records etc. meet the lender’s requirements.  FHA will insure a buyer’s loan and allow the Buyer to purchase that loan with only a 3.5% down payment.  In addition to the down payment, the lender’s service fees, the cost of an appraisal, home inspection, 1 year’s home-owners insurance premium, 1 year’s mortgage insurance paid up front to FHA, and advances (called “pre-paids”) on interest, property taxes and other closing expenses can total as much as another 3% (or more) of the loan amount – a cash requirement needed for the Buyer to close their loan to buy your home.

                The interest rate plus a portion of the pay-down of the principle loan amount plus one 12th of that year’s property taxes, plus one 12th of next year’s home-owners insurance premium, plus one 12th of next year’s mortgage insurance premium charged to the buyer monthly for the life of the loan by FHA, makes the monthly payment on that $225,000 home purchase look like this:

Example: Est. Monthly Payments on a $225,000 Home Purchase in Cobb County

Mo. / Year

Int. Rate %

Principle

Interest

Prop Taxes

H.O. Insurance

FHA Mtge. Insurance

Monthly Payment

Jan. 2012

3.92%

$317.32

$709.28

$208.33

$108.33

$244.26

$1,587.52

Dec. 2012

3.35%

$350.76

$606.14

$208.33

$108.33

$244.26

$1,517.82

July 2013

4.07%

$308.95

$736.42

$208.33

$108.33

$244.26

$1,606.29

               

                For the Buyer to purchase your home using an FHA home mortgage loan these are the approximate primary cash requirements for a home loan:

Example: Est. Cash Requirements on a $225,000 Home Purchase in Cobb County

Down Payment

3½%

Inspection & Appraisal

1st YR      H. O. Ins. & 1st Year Mtge. Ins. (1.75%)

1st Month Loan Interest

2 Mos. Property Tax

2 Mos. for 2nd Year’s H.O. Ins.

Lender Fees (est.) 2% of Loan Amt.

Other Closing fees & Taxes-Est.

Est. Total $ Required

 

$7,875

$750

$1300 + $3,799

$736.42

$416.66

$216.66

$4242

$1600

$20,935.74

 

                Although the amounts in both charts are estimates and can vary from loan to loan and from home sale to home sale, it’s pretty easy to see how the amount of cash required for a typical home sale, and the impact on monthly mortgage payments the fluctuating interest rates have, can directly affect the sale of your home.  For a home buyer there’s an $89 dollar per month difference in payments.  That’s an extra $1068 per year paid on the higher interest rate.  The amount of interest paid to your lender is $130 per month higher which is $1560 per year more paid in interest on the loan.  The amount paid toward principle loan is $41.81 per month lower meaning the principle reduction will be nearly $502 less in the first year of the home loan.  If all these numbers start to blend in together – and for many buyers and sellers these details can be somewhat daunting – know these simple but critical factors when it comes to interest rates, home loans and selling your home in a time of rising interest rates:

  •     As prices continue to rise so will the cost of purchasing a home loan

 

  •     As costs rise fewer Buyers in many home pricing categories can afford a loan
  •   Seller contributions to the Buyer’s closing costs will rise to keep pace with loan cost

 

  •   The balance between sale price and Seller’s Net (what’s left for you after all expenses) becomes an even more critical calculation in the sale

Selling and buying homes in any market can be complicated.  Don’t let a fluctuating market scare you from taking advantage of rising prices despite rising interest rates.  With the right Team in place, one that brings Agents with top negotiating skills, backed up with top marketing experts, and a support team of qualified lenders, inspectors, appraisers, researchers, and more, much of the uncertainty can be anticipated, and profitably factored into both a Sell and a Buy.

For the readers seeking more information you can call me direct at 770-672-8732 and ask for a free and confidential market analysis and in-home evaluation to help you understand more fully what your home is worth and how you may be able to get top dollar in today’s market to leverage your purchase of a new home while prices still hover below the market highs despite rising interest rates.  And also ask about how to determine the best strategy for finding the still available “great deals” that may be hidden from the average home shopper.  To prepare for your in-home evaluation you should also ask for a Special Report titled:  27 Valuable Tips You Should Know To Get Your Home Sold Fast and For Top Dollar. 

About the author: Ira Miskin is Market Area President for Optimus Real Estate Brokers.  Ira is available for private consultation by appointment by calling 770-672-7832.


Posted on 3. July 2013 03:47 by qmiskini

As I am writing this  there are 5579 Buyers in our data base who have contacted us over the past 12 months – each who are interested in purchasing a home sometime within the next one to twelve months.  According to the latest statistics for the average value of home prices in Metro Atlanta, all home sale prices for single family homes area-wide have increased by 27%.   But the number of single family homes for sale city-wide has declined 30.4% from 23,000 to 16,000.

 How this trend impacts local communities is instructive. Let’s drill down a bit and see how these changes in the home-selling marketplace have affected Buyers and Sellers in Cobb County as an example.  Here are five well regarded communities that show of how many Cobb County neighborhoods are affected by the market’s recovery.

 

 

Sub Division

# Homes Sold in Past 12 Months

Avg. Sale Price 2012

Avg. Sale Price 2013

%

/ -

Legacy Park

93

$185,120

$188,436

1.8%

Brookstone

109

$262,969

$282,737

9.3%

Heritage Club

19

$178,439

$197,375

10.6%

Cobblestone Ridge

9

$226,050

$230,475

1.95%

Echo Mill

20

$241,923

$257,195

9.4%

 

Both Legacy Park and Brookstone are large and diverse communities.   In Legacy Park diversity in both size and style make the community a strong magnet for buyers as different as first time home buyers and downsizers seeking homes that are comfortable yet manageable in under $200,000 pricing in communities like Lullwater or Annadale vs. move-up buyers seeking more space for growing families and executive style homes with pricing that can exceed $400,000 in Winterhur or Palisades.   

Brookstone offers as wide a selection of homes, sizes and styles as Legacy Park.  There are homes on the golf course with prices exceeding $500,000 and over 5,000 square feet of living space in Brookstone Country Club; there are pleasing and comfortable first-time-buyer homes in the 2,000 square foot size for under $175,000, with many styles and sizes and prices in between.

A mid-sized community like Heritage Club – a swim-tennis community – offers a variety of sizes and styles in a well-cared-for setting with pleasing architectural designs.  Cobblestone Ridge, primarily offering new home construction in single story cottage style – craftsman style homes is a very different type of community and home design, yet sees a significant amount of home-buying traffic.  And pleasing and established communities like Echo Mill provide homes in 4 to 6 bedroom sizes with a variety of Cobb-County Traditional façades and styles that are both attractive and timeless.

 It is in these settings that buyers seek homes – “great deals” in a shrinking housing market where interest rates are beginning their slow but inevitable upward creep.  For the last several years, as equity was forced out of homes in most Cobb County communities, homeowners who didn’t need to sell have held onto their homes, waiting for the residential home market to rebound – and rightly so.  However, there were some who used leverage to shelter their lost equity on the sell side by making smart purchases at the market’s bottom, knowing eventually, their way under-market purchase would surpass any equity loss they suffered in the sale of their home.  Those that were less brave hung on and are being rewarded by their patience too.

But there is a cloud on the horizon and that cloud is rising interest rates, which will make it tougher for many buyers to qualify for loans on homes they could have purchased when home loan interest rates languished below – and at times well below 4% annually for 30-year fixed-rate home mortgages.  Still, though prices are rising, many buyers are in the hunt for non-distress sale homes in good repair in highly regarded Cobb County communities before prices and interest rates box them out of the market. Underwriting criteria for Buyers will not soften as the pricing of homes rises and along with it interest rates.  And the number of Buyers – we get over 600 new buyers inquiring about homes for sale every month – will begin to diminish.

So what should home-owners in Cobb County be thinking about now?  If you were hesitant about selling because of values languishing at the bottom, that time seems to be past.  If you are considering making a move now because you want to use the sell-buy leverage still available to get that bigger home at smaller home pricing, that time is now and in the near future – but won’t be there perhaps even a year from now. 

 In a recent article published in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, it stated that although “job growth in Metro Atlanta may not be going gangbusters,” it is “still outdoing national job growth.”  As evidence, this month alone agents on our Team are working with more relocating out-of town buyers than they have in recent years.  These are job relocating Buyers from Michigan, Pennsylvania, Washington State, and California to name a few.  For those who have been sitting out the market downturn but feel the time is now right to make a move, getting a private consultation with both a market analysis of your home and a market analysis of homes you would buy if you sold your home, could get you set on the right path for using leverage to both sell and buy before we return to “normal supply and demand levels” with “normal interest rates.”

 For the readers of this blog you can call me direct at 770-672-7832 and ask for a free and confidential market analysis and in-home evaluation to help you understand more fully what your home is worth and how you may be able to get top dollar in today’s market to leverage your purchase of a new home while prices still hover at well below the market highs.  And also ask about how to determine the best strategy for finding the still available “great deals” that may be hidden from the average home shopper.  To prepare for your in-home evaluation you should also ask for a Special Report titled:  27 Valuable Tips You Should Know To Get Your Home Sold Fast and For Top Dollar

About the author: Ira Miskin is Market Area President for Optimus Real Estate Brokers.  Ira is available for private consultation by appointment by calling 770-672-7832.


Posted on 5. March 2012 02:40 by qmiskini

Banks do not have to loan you the money you seek to purchase your new home.  It is not that banks do not want to lend money to finance mortgages.  It is that lenders’ underwriting standards have significantly tightened.  They have tightened because so many of their previous loans have defaulted, the housing crisis (which many lenders contributed so much to) triggered a nationwide and then worldwide financial crisis forcing Lenders to carefully scrutinize each prospective borrower’s financial history and current financial health.  They do this to substantially reduce their risk.  After years of very loose lending standards, the pendulum has swung the other way.

Our Team speaks with more than a hundred new prospective buyers each month.  And among the important questions we ask each caller is, “Have you spoken with a lender to see what mortgage amount you qualify for?”  That question has two meanings.  First, does the caller know whether their personal financial picture is clear and bright, or murky and marred by low credit scores, a recent bankruptcy or foreclosure or other credit defaults.  Second, if they seem to have a pretty healthy credit history, just how much does their current financial structure indicate is an appropriate amount for a lender to provide which the Buyer can comfortably pay back each month?

When we ask that all important question, meant to help buyers begin this fundamental first step in the home buying process, we can often feel the chill it causes on the other end of the call.  We know that asking the financial qualifier question means making a commitment to the home buying process some callers are not yet prepared to make.  But we also know there are many aspects of the home buying process we can help buyers sort through and successfully complete, including helping them get a clear picture of their financial strength as it applies to purchasing a home.

However, even after a buyer speaks with a qualified loan officer and gets a lender’s letter indicating the lender’s belief in the buyer’s “bankability,” that does not always mean the buyer will be able to purchase a loan.  That’s because the over-the-phone Q & A session with a loan officer is just the very first step in qualifying for a home loan.  It can trigger what is called a “Pre-Qualification” letter indicating the potential bankability of the buyer - pending receipt of a long list of documents and explanations of past financial transactions that will be required to satisfy an ever-changing and constantly narrowing of the lender’s underwriter’s criteria for approving a home loan.  The process is detailed, lengthy and more than occasionally frustrating for everyone concerned.  But it is a critical and necessary part of buying a home so here is what we recommend.

Don’t just get pre-qualified, get pre-approved.  Pre-approval means the lender does believe you are bankable and will likely qualify for a home loan.  Here is the list of documents one of our Team’s Lenders require at the start of the loan process and before you begin riding around looking for your perfect home. This information is necessary in order to help buyers know you are justifiably qualified to purchase a home and won’t have to face nearly as much scrutiny in the final underwriting stages of securing a loan for your new home purchase.

  1. Most recent 2 year filed tax returns

A.      Confirms they  have filed returns on time;  if they have not they will have to file.  Avoids scrambling around to get returns files before closing.

B.      Uncovers side businesses which may show a loss which will lower their income and buying power.  Borrowers sometimes do forget about these businesses

C.      Uncovers unreimbursed business expenses even for W-2 type employees.  Borrowers are sometimes “unaware” of these write offs.

D.      Uncovers whether or not they are actually W-2’d or 1099’d.  Someone could work for a large company and think they are W-2’d but are actually 1099’d in which case we would need a 2 year history to show how much they write off because they are considered self-employed from an underwriting stand point.

 

  1. Most recent 2 years W-2’s or 1099’s.
    1. Again confirms whether or not they are salaried or contract employees and confirms work history.
    2. Can also verify or disprove 2 year history or bonus and overtime if we are trying to use it as income to qualify.

 

  1. Most recent 2 months bank statements  This is the biggest area of concern
    1. Shows  any large deposits that will need to be sourced.  If the deposits are cash and cannot be sourced (95% won’t be sourceable) then we may need to wait a month or 2 for the funds to “season.”  If the deposit was a gift we can start documenting it properly.
    2. Shows if the borrower has NSF charges.  A lot of these can show financial mismanagement on the part of the buyer which makes underwriters uneasy.

 

4.       Most recent 30 days of paystubs        

A.      Verifies hourly pay rate and number of hours worked.  Borrowers often overstate their hourly pay rate if they work a little overtime or if they are giving the co-borrowers hourly rate.

  1. Two year work history

A.  Must verify most recent 24 month work history and identify any gaps in employment.  If recently out of work force for over 6 months, then they must be on current job for at least 6 months to qualify for an FHA loan.

All this coupled with credit scores high enough to assure the lender you have a consistent payment history for everything from credit cards to your monthly electric bill gives lenders a reasonably clear picture of your credit worthiness when seeking a home loan.  And now you are “Pre-Approved.”       

Remember, banks do not have to loan you the money you seek to purchase your new home. 

Don’t forget…selling or buying a home is a process and a journey, not an event; you will want to subscribe to our free video e-mail series for home sellers and buyers. For access to the complete series of free video and informational emails that can provide you with many of the important strategies and information you will need to make the best home selling or buying decisions you can CLICK HERE ==èSPECIAL E-MAIL SERIES REPORTS and ask for the free no obligation series of email reports to be sent to you regularly over the next few weeks.  Just put FREE VIDEO EMAIL SERIES in the subject line and let us know if want the home seller or home buyer series. 

If you just want to see what other homes in your area are selling for by searching the MLS CLICK HERE =èSEARCH THE MLS FREE

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Posted on 18. January 2012 03:46 by qmiskini

 

The New Year has brought with it a number of new negotiation points to work through for Realty Teams representing Buyers making offers on REO (foreclosed) properties.  The most myopic negotiation point to date came up the other day in a multiple offer and highest and best negotiation situation one of our Team’s Buyer Specialists is negotiating.

The property is a foreclosure in a pleasant sub division in Kennesaw, GA.  The Investor (the actual owner of the property’s note that is serviced by a Lender) invested the money to clean up and update the property.  It is a great move-in condition home and perfect for the young first-time buyer hoping to close the deal on their first new home.  A realistic Comparative Market Analysis was completed prior to presenting an offer to the REO listing agent for presentation to the asset manager directing the sale of the property on behalf of the Investor.  The asset manager had smartly instructed the REO Agent to list the property at around 10% below fair market value.  So, here is a great property at a very good price.  Not an unfair tactic on the part of the asset manager, but one our Buyer Specialist was aware of when the offer was written.  A multiple offer situation and a highest and best competition were expected, and the Buyers were told that the property would likely sell for around 10% above initial list price.  Within days there were multiple offers. 

As with all offers our Buyer Specialists present, an Appraisal Contingency exhibit was included.  This is an important protection for the Buyer.  It states that an appraisal will be completed within a specific number of days following binding agreement, and that if the property appraises for less than the initially agreed selling price, the Buyer has the right to ask the Seller to lower the sale price to the appraisal price.  Without this exhibit, the Buyer must pay the previously agreed selling price, even if their lender will only finance a loan for the lower appraisal price.  The Buyer would have to come up with the difference in order to complete the sale.  The use of the Appraisal Contingency Exhibit is a commonly used, fair and necessary protection for the Buyer.

In this offer, however, the Investor steadfastly refused to accept the Appraisal Contingency stating: “The seller rejected your client's last counter.  Seller will not take an appraisal contingency.  Seller indicated he will not agree to appraisal/sale price adjustment. 

Seller staying firm in his belief if the property is on a multiple offer situation, the buyer is willing to pay the difference.

Please note property is available to any potential buyer.  We are getting too many inquiries at the present time, to include buyers that previously submitted an offer. “

 With the seller (Investor) refusing to accept an Appraisal Contingency, the Buyer is being placed in double jeopardy.  First, if the property does appraise for less than the selling price, the Buyer will have to still pay the difference to close the sale.  They will have to pay more than the property is worth and start out under water. But if they refuse to pay the difference and back out of the sale, under the terms of the agreement they will be in default and lose their earnest money deposit.

Perhaps there are some Buyer Agents that will let their Buyer take that risk.  Not us though.   

Buyers… purchasing a home is an emotional experience; but it is also an important, and often, your biggest investment.  In real estate you make your money when you purchase your home, not when you sell it.  Buying your home for the right price at the start helps significantly in managing the home’s equity value when you sell it.

As for this Investor and asset manager:  Are they coy, wise, greedy, myopic?  How tough is too tough before Buyers and experienced Buyer Specialists simply must move on and reject an otherwise great property?

Don’t forget…selling or buying a home is a process and a journey, not an event; you will want to subscribe to our free video e-mail series for home sellers and buyers. For access to the complete series of free video and informational emails that can provide you with many of the important strategies and information you will need to make the best home selling or buying decisions you can CLICK HERE ==èSPECIAL E-MAIL SERIES REPORTS and ask for the free no obligation series of email reports to be sent to you regularly over the next few weeks.  Just put FREE VIDEO EMAIL SERIES in the subject line and let us know if want the home seller or home buyer series. 

If you just want to see what other homes in your area are selling for by searching the MLS CLICK HERE =èSEARCH THE MLS FREE

Or contact us directly for free, no obligation information at info@TMTRealtyGroup.net