Fiscal Cliff Averted, Atlanta’s Real Estate Market is Expected to Continue Upward Momentum

Though it was one of the hottest topics of discussion throughout the holidays, the “fiscal cliff” has been largely averted, at least for now, with a plan approved by the president and congress at the 11th hour. Deemed a compromise by some and a blessing by others, the signing of this bill ends a lot of the economic uncertainty that many were feeling at year’s end.

Fortunately, the news is mostly positive for the real estate market with housing industry experts predicting that the housing market will continue its trend of upward momentum. And this holds true whether you are looking to buy or sell property in the Atlanta real rstate market.

One of the provisions that real estate industry experts were monitoring very closely was whether or not the Mortgage Cancellation Relief Act would be extended or allowed to expire. The Act which was first passed in 2007, granted forgiveness to owners and sellers for debt that resulted from short sales, foreclosures and modifications, such as principal reduction.

Without the extension, sellers and owners would have been responsible for taxes on the amount of debt that lenders were unable to recover. Beyond the financial burden that these retroactive taxes would have created, there was a fear that the expiration of the program could have caused many sellers to no longer consider short sale as a viable option or that some owners would not follow through on short sales that were already in progress leading to a sluggish or stalled market. The Act has been extended through January 2014.

The extension is good news for those looking to buy or sell homes in Atlanta. It broadens the options for underwater sellers seeking relief to move forward on their sales and it allows active buyers fresh inventory to shop.  At the end of the 4th quarter we saw a rising demand from buyers across all price ranges for homes in Atlanta and expect that trend to continue. And with rates still very low and the fact that February is historically a high volume month, now is a great time to get your home on the market while it’s fertile with ready, willing and able buyers looking for property. We’re looking forward to the growth of a more robust market as the New Year settles in.

At Slyman Real Estate, we can help you whether you are a seller looking for a buyer or a buyer looking for a home or investment property. For more information on our current listings and our services, please see our website at www.PaigeSlyman.com.  We’re also glad to provide information and answer your questions. Feel free to call us at 770.405.0100 x 222 or email Paige Slyman at slymanfamily@comcast.net

 

 

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Re-visiting Past Blogs: Metro Atlanta Real Estate Market: Owning vs. Renting

As we steadfastly approach the end of Q1 for 2012, we wanted to revisit a blog we wrote last year that generated a lot of comments and questions from our clients and supporters. For those of you who missed our blog entitled, “Metro Atlanta Real Estate Market: Owning vs. Renting” back in August of last year, never fear, we are putting the contents from that blog in today’s post.

The topic of owning versus renting is so relevant and important to so many metro Atlantans that we  felt compelled to re-share our thoughts on the matter.

In the height of the Metro Atlanta real estate boom, individuals selling their homes commanded prices that yielded large return on investments and buyers were more than willing to pay these inflated prices. Fast forward a few years later and the real estate market is a completely different place. Gone are the days when home owners could walk away from a real estate transaction with the upper hand in price negations and enormous profits. We are currently experiencing what real estate experts call a “buyer’s market.”

The real estate market is similar to the stock market in that it is normal for the market to shift gears and switch from a seller’s market to a buyer’s market and vice versa. In other words, the current buyer’s market conditions will not last forever. If you ever wanted to purchase a home for any reason, now is the time. The present real estate circumstances, such as historically low interest rates and low home prices have fostered an environment that have set up both current and potential real estate buyers for success.

Below is an in depth look at why NOW is the time to buy rather than rent your home in metroAtlanta:

Owning is less expensive than Renting in Metro Atlanta

The combination of all time low interest rates and unprecedented low home selling prices have made it possible for buyers to become a home owner for much cheaper than then current Metro Atlanta rental rates.  In fact, Trulia recently came out with its rent vs. owning index, which shows it is currently more expensive to rent than own a two bedroom, two bath home in 72% ofAmerica’s 50 largest cities.

Another explanation of the current rise in rental rates and decrease in home prices is supply and demand. Due to the massive foreclosure crisis, thousands of Atlantan home owners were forced to sell their homes at drastically reduced prices. These former home owners have now become renters. This increase of renters has lead to an increase in rental prices. Conversely, the increase in foreclosures has lead to a dramatic decrease in home prices. Thus, the timing is now PERFECT for home buyers to take advantage of the current prime real estate environment.

Going, going, GONE. Low interest rates won’t last forever

Most experts do not expect the current low interest rates to last forever. Currently, potential home buyers can take advantage of historically low interest rates. However, factors such as impending mortgage reform and the fact that interest rates will increase as the economy improves come together to suggest that interest rates will eventually rise. Because the combination of both price and interest rates determine the overall cost of home ownership, it is imperative that anyone looking to buy real estate take advantage of the low interest rates while they are still available.  

Mortgage Rate Reform: 30 year mortgage a thing of the past?

Over recent years, there has been a great deal of debate over the government’s role in assisting homeowners with home ownership.  Many industry experts predict that if Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s roles in mortgage support are limited, it could be the end of the 30 year mortgage. The Obama administration wants to eliminate federal guarantees for home loans for all but credit worthy buyers. If a change such as this were to be implemented, it could make buying a mortgage more expensive. Thus, the 30 year, fixed-rate mortgage would not be as widely used as other mortgage types. Prospective home buyers should take advantage of the ability to lock in the incredibly low interest rates over the next 30 years.

In closing, renting a home is the equivalent of having an adjustable rate loan with no cap that will readjust with higher rental rates each year. By locking in the current low interest rates, potential home owners can guarantee that the price of their living expenses stays the same, year after year. With that being said, low interest rates and dramatically low home prices have set the stage for Metro Atlanta home buyers to enjoy the benefits of home ownership.

Give us a call at 770.405.0100 x 222 or email us at slymanfamily@comcast.net.

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Incentives for Buyers

When companies have excess inventory they usually market attractive incentives to allure prospective buyers to take the extra stock off of their hands. From time to time, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, HUD, and many other Banks use similar incentives to help push the inventory that has not moved off of their books. (In case you are unsure what Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac actually is, the elevator pitch version of what they do is as follows: they are government formed organizations that seek to help stabilize the real estate market and enable families across America buy a home, re-finance and avoid foreclosure.) If you want more information about these organizations you can find it at: http://www.freddiemac.com/  and http://www.fanniemae.com/.

Currently, both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are utilizing some very enticing incentives to help boost the real estate market and get excess inventory off of their books. In this week’s blog we want to go over a few notable opportunities you should know about.

Homes for a Dollar?

HUD offers a “dollar homes” initiative that is designed to help local governments foster housing opportunities for low to moderate income families and address specific community needs by offering them the opportunity to purchase qualified HUD-owned homes for $1 each. Think this sounds too good to be true? It’s not. This program encompasses single-family homes that are acquired by the Federal Housing Administration, which is a division of HUD as a result of foreclosure. Single-family properties are made available through the program whenever FHA is unable to sell the homes for six months. The program enables communities to fix up the homes and put them to good use while allowing for unbelievable price cuts. The newly occupied homes can then act as catalysts for neighborhood revitalization, attracting new residents and businesses to an area. The program is a win/win situation for all involved.

To find out if properties are available for sale in your community, call Paige Slyman today.

No Down Payment

In addition to the great incentives from HUD that buyers all over metro Atlanta can take advantage of, there are still ways to purchase a home with little money for a down payment. Paige Slyman is an expert in advising his clients on all of the great incentives that are currently being offered in the market. He has successfully guided many happy home owners in metro Atlanta in buying their dream home with little to no money down, and he can do the same for you.

In closing, there are a multitude of great opportunities for potential home owners or investors and they just need to know where to go to find them. As these lending programs constantly change, call Paige Slyman to guide you on the opportunities that best fit your needs. Constantly striving to be knowledgeable of the latest ways to purchase a home, Paige has become one of the most trusted metro Atlanta real estate resources over the last two decades.

Contact Paige Slyman for all of your real estate needs at 770.405.0100 x 222 or email us at slymanfamily@comcast.net.

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History of interest rates: Why Now is the Time to Buy

In an effort to boost the economy and help the struggling real estate market, mortgage rates have been slashed to an unprecedented 4% range. Seasoned real estate investors might re-call a time when rates this low were unfathomable while newer investors to the market might be taking this all-time low rate opportunity for granted.

In fact, mortgage rates had never gone below the 6% range until 2003 and as we approached the end of the last decade we experienced rates fall below 4% which was previously unthinkable in the real estate community.

Prior to the early 2000s, higher mortgage interest rates were a standard part of participating in the real estate market. Dating back to the 1970s, investors experienced rates in the 7% range and by the end of that decade rates averaged around 9%. The 1980s experienced interest rates as high as 19% during some parts of the decade. Comparing these figures to the 4% range today’s market is currently experiencing, it is hard to deny the facts, now is the perfect time to buy real estate.

The 1990s brought more stability to the real estate market and interest rates leveled out and returned to a much lower 7% to 9% throughout the decade. As we entered the middle of the first decade in the millennium the market took a dramatic shift and saw interest rates plummet to below 5%.

In closing, with mortgage rates being at an all time low, it could be very beneficial to jump on the real estate investment bandwagon and take advantage of the historically low rates while you can. As history has shown us, we have not seen the last of high interest rates and it is only a matter of time before this golden opportunity will be gone. Contact Paige Slyman today to learn more about metro Atlanta real estate and how he can guide you into your dream home or the perfect investment property.

Contact Paige Slyman for all of your real estate needs at 770.405.0100 x 222 or email us at slymanfamily@comcast.net.

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Year End Tips for Metro Atlanta Real Estate Investors

As we approach the official end of 2011, it is only natural to look towards the future and set goals for ourselves in the new year. As investors, it is important to be on the forefront of industry trends and set goals to increase the likelihood of success in all of your real estate endeavors. In this week’s blog, we would like to discuss a few trends and tips that will help you reach your real estate investing goals.

Spending much of the last 20 years assisting clients with their real estate investment ventures, not to mention his own, Paige Slyman is often cited as one of metro Atlanta’s top real estate advisors. Below are a few of his year end “tips of the trade” and “food for thought” when it comes to putting your hard earned money in the real estate market.

-Historically, banks are eager to unload their real estate inventory towards the end of the year. The thought behind this is that banks would like to begin the new year with a clean slate and not have inventory from the previous year still on the books. With that being said, investment properties are at an all-time low. Now is the time to invest as it is truly a buyer’s market.

-If you own 401K, stocks, bonds or money markets among other investor tools and strategies, it might be advantageous for you to consider diversifying your investment portfolio to include a rental home. When looking at his extensive portfolio of metro Atlanta investors, Paige Slyman says that his investor clients usually average $200 net positive cash flow per month.

– As a continuation from the previous bullet point, because a home is a depreciating asset, it can be a HUGE tax deduction which is an enormous pro to investing in a home for a rental program. Most other investments do not allow for such deductions.

In closing, as we put an official end to 2011, now is the perfect time to open up the possibilities of investing in real estate in metro Atlanta. The perfect combination of low interest rates even lower home prices have come together to make incredible investment opportunities.  Paige Slyman is an expert in guiding his clients in the investment process and has almost 20 years of personal real estate investment experience under his belt as well. Contact him today and begin the path to achieving your investment goals.

Contact Paige Slyman for all of your real estate needs at 770.405.0100 x 222 or email us at slymanfamily@comcast.net.

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Metro Atlanta End of Year Traditional Buying Tips

As we find ourselves closer to the official end of 2011, we would like to talk about a few issues/trends that effect home buyers this time of year. As a general rule of thumb, the industry tends to experience a reduction in home prices around the holidays. This is mostly attributed to both sellers and agents hitting the panic button due to the overall slow down of showings. The thought process behind the lower price strategy during the winter/holiday months is that it will stimulate showings, and from our experience, it usually does.

With that being said, if you are looking for an amazing “year in clearance” deal, now is the time to capitalize on that opportunity. By and large, the winter season is divided into two parts: pre and post-holiday and real estate buying and selling trends are divided accordingly. As we mentioned earlier, prices tend to drop before and during the holidays due to low showings and overall real estate activity.

However, after the holidays are over and we move into the second half of the winter season, historically February is the 2nd highest volume month for the industry. February experiences an influx of new homes being placed on the market because many home sellers wait until after the holidays and closer to spring to actually put their homes on the market. We recommend that home buyers make the most of this increase of homes and use the law of supply and demand as a way to negotiate a lower price and also enjoy having more options to choose from. Basically, we are suggesting home buyers leverage the fact that because more homes come into the market the closer we get to spring, the more competition the sellers will have and the more leverage will be given to the buyer.

For any buyer that feels like they have left no stone unturned and they have still not found the perfect home for their family, we encourage you to be hopeful and continue your search because in about 60 days, the market will be flooded with new inventory.

If you have yet to find a home in your budget over the last year, we strongly urge you to re-look at the inventory as prices are dropping across the board and you may just find the perfect home at the perfect price during the winter months.

Paige Slyman is an expert in advising both buyers and sellers in the real estate process. Contact him to develop a personalized and strategic real estate approach. 

Contact Paige Slyman for all of your real estate needs at 770.405.0100 x 222 or email us at slymanfamily@comcast.net.

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