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Category Archives : General

Impact of Interest Rates on The Real Estate Market

Are higher interest rates going to cause a real estate market crash? We’ve been getting some variation of this question a lot lately. The reality is no one knows exactly what will happen yet there are some fundamental truths to consider. I once heard someone say that an economist is an expert who will know tomorrow why the things he predicted yesterday didn’t happen today. With that, let’s start with some facts.

This year, the Federal Reserve raised its interest rates by half of a percentage point. This is its largest rate increase since 2000 and the first time since 2006 that the Fed has increased rates in back-to-back meetings.
It’s important to understand why interest rates are rising. Primarily, raising interest rates is one of the most powerful tools the Federal Reserve has to control the economy and inflation. During a recent news conference, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell explained “inflation is much too high and we understand the hardship it is causing. We’re moving expeditiously to bring it back down.”
Bringing down inflation without causing a recession is a difficult task that requires careful precision. By raising rates, the Fed hopes to cool the housing market without stopping it altogether – quite the balancing act.
As rates increase for borrowers, some buyers are forced out of the market because they can no longer afford homes that have appreciated so much in value. But interest rates will have to go up significantly to soften housing prices and curb inflation. We don’t expect to see prices go backwards, but they also can’t keep appreciating at 20% per year.
Serious buyers view rising rates as a reason to buy sooner, not to wait any longer. When house hunting, budgeting with a higher rate in mind can be greatly beneficial. For example, base your expected payment assuming that it will eventually have a ½ percentage higher rate. If rates go up, you’ll be in budget, and if they don’t move, you’ll have a cushion built in.
Rental rates have increased, too, so first-time homebuyers are still looking to buy because purchasing a home is less expensive than renting in most cases. The most reliable hedge against inflation is a fixed housing cost in the way of a fixed mortgage. As a renter, there is no protection against rising costs of rent because of very few rent-control laws.
These factors lead many to wonder: Will rising interest rates cause an eventual price crash? With the financial crisis of 2008 still fresh in our memory, it’s easy to see why people might expect home prices to fall. This time, however, there are many differences. I remember back in 2006 when banks were handing out “no doc loans” that asked for your personal finances with no written proof. This created artificial demand by making it easy for just about anyone to “qualify” for a home loan or refinance their current home. Today, purchasers and those refinancing homes face much higher standards and stricter guidelines from mortgage companies. Because of this, purchasers can afford the mortgage they’re taking on and there are less defaults. The speculative buyers who were purchasing homes and reselling them six months later for quick gains are not as prolific as they were in 2005-2007. The price drop seen during The Great Recession was caused mainly by the financial crisis, which led to a foreclosure crisis. When foreclosures flooded the market, prices dropped. The fear of another huge foreclosure event in today’s market is just not as realistic as it was a decade ago.
There’s still a very real housing inventory shortage that is driving demand. Even with higher interest rates, buyers are relocating away from big cities and are viewing Northern Atlanta as valuable. With continued demand, supply issues delaying new construction for the foreseeable future, and relative affordability in housing in our area, we expect rising rates to slow real estate sales somewhat, but they will not be stopping completely any time soon.

Impact of Interest Rates on The Real Estate Market

Getting Your Home Picture Perfect

You’ve signed the listing agreement and now you’re getting ready to have your home photographed. As a Curtin Team client, you have the benefit of our Home Stylists who provide exceptional home staging services. But there is plenty that you can do to prepare your home before it hits the market.

We all know that staged homes sell for more money. But very few of us have the time or energy to clean and declutter every square inch of our homes. So, let’s focus on the rooms that will make the most impact and get those potential buyers excited to make a great offer on your home. Take a tour of your home as if you were a potential buyer. What stands out to you? It will probably get their attention as well.

Front Porches – staging means cleaning, decluttering, and depersonalizing. Does your front porch feel inviting? Does the front door need to be repaired or repainted? If you have enough room for a seating area, make sure it is clean with fresh cushions and some potted plants. Buyers will feel welcome before they even enter the home.

Living rooms – or whatever is the very first room you see when you walk in the front door. Get the carpets cleaned, dust and declutter shelves and tables, and paint it a neutral color, if necessary. Also, be sure to clean the windows (or have them professionally cleaned).

Kitchens – the number 1 staging rule is to clear those countertops! Time spent cleaning and organizing the kitchen will definitely pay off. Updates to lighting and paint color are worth it too. Something as simple as fresh hand towels can brighten up the space.

Bedrooms – specifically the owner’s bedroom. Minimizing the amount of furniture can help buyers imagine their own items in the space.

The best staging tip we’ve found is to clean, clean, clean. If you do nothing else, that will make your home feel fresh and welcoming.

Getting Your Home Picture Perfect

Mother’s Day Giveaway

Curtin Team partners with TBK Wellness Spa for a Mother’s Day Giveaway. TBK Wellness Spa is located at 408 Atlanta Street Suite 170 Roswell, GA 30075. Unlike national chains, TBK caters to the unique needs of each client. They take the utmost care to go above and beyond. Their philosophy is “our job is to take care of you, so that you can take care of others”.

In that spirit, Curtin Team is hosting a Giveaway for Mother’s Day, since mothers are the best care givers we know. Entry for the giveaway is simple – a like and tag on Instagram or Facebook.

Highlighting local businesses, like TBK Wellness Spa, is a priority for the Curtin Team. Curtin Team members don’t just work in the Roswell area, but live here too.

Mother’s Day Giveaway

Curtin Team Cares Hosts First Annual Fundraiser

On Wednesday, March 23rd, Curtin Team Cares hosted its First Annual FUNdraiser at Deep Roots Wine Market in Roswell, GA. Supporters of Curtin Team Cares were invited to SIP! SWIRL! and SUPPORT! Deep Roots Wine Market graciously donated wine samples to guests and donated a portion of the evening sales to Curtin Team Cares. Raffle prizes were donated by clients and friends of the Curtin Team, including gift certificates for products and services.

Curtin Team Cares raises money with every successful The Curtin Team home sale. Combined with the generosity of businesses, caring individuals like you, and fundraising events, we provide an ear, shoulder, heart, hand, and the resources to empower the vulnerable and strengthen communities for all.

As owners of a successful real estate company, The Curtin Team at Keller Williams Realty, Tom and Joanne Curtin wanted a way to give back to the communities that propelled their success. This passion for the local community led to their founding of the non-profit Curtin Team Cares in 2018, where the mission is to empower the vulnerable and strengthen communities for all.

Curtin Team Cares Hosts First Annual Fundraiser

Rising Mortgage Rates Still At Historic Lows

Mortgage rates rose today, but rates overall are at historical lows. The average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage is 4.47%, according to Bankrate.com, and the average rate on a 15-year mortgage is 3.64%. On a 30-year jumbo mortgage, the average rate is 4.48%, and the average rate on a 5/1 ARM is 2.96%. These rates are just averages and subject to change daily. For current rates contact your preferred lender.

During the pandemic we had historically low rates. The factors that most affect the rate increases today are inflation and economic growth. But rates can change for various reasons. Overall though, rates are expected to continue to go up this year.

Does this mean you should cancel your home buying plans? Absolutely not! Even though rates are higher than in 2021 they are still very low. 30-year fixed rates were in the high 5%’s just a few years ago.

Buying a home isn’t just about interest rates though, it’s also about making a lifestyle choice. It’s best to find right house for you when the time is right for you. Home values have historically risen and now is a good time to get in to your dream home.

Rising Mortgage Rates Still At Historic Lows

Ready for Spring with Kanani and Cheri

Kanani Briggs, Realtor, and Cheri Bartlett, Space Strategist, discuss the ways you can start organizing your home in preparation of a Spring sale. Cheri offers tips on tackling difficult areas to organize as well as the services she offers homeowners to help them move items out of their homes.

For more information, contact Kanani Briggs at kbriggs@curtinteam.com or 678-287-4848.

Preparing for Spring Home Sale – Get Inspection Ready

As you prepare to sell your home this spring, here are some basic tips to help prepare you for the home inspection.

1.Clean and Declutter Inspection Points
– Clean furnace filters, stove and ovens
– Empty storage areas in attic and basement
– Clear at least 4-6 inches of space around the home’s exterior

2.Test the Functionality of the Items the Home Inspector Will Check
– Test locks and seals on windows
– Flush toilets and run all faucets
– Check ceiling and bathroom fans
– Make sure all light switches work properly
– Confirm garage doors work with remote and test the reverse safety settings

3.Take Basic Safety and Security Precautions
– Replace batteries in smoke detectors
– Test carbon monoxide detector
– Exterminate any bugs or rodents

4.Make Necessary Repairs
– Replace light bulbs
– Recaulk around sink and tub
– Clear any clogged drains
– Update dirty grout
– Replace torn window screens and cracked windows

5.Complete Exterior Home Improvements
– Trim trees
– Clear and repair gutters
– Clear any debris around a/c units
– Make sure downspouts are clear

6.Make Last Minute Preparations for Your Inspection
– Plan to leave your home with your pets
– Leave all remotes and keys
– Make sure all utilities are on
– Empty dishwasher, sinks, washing machine and dryer
– Leave any paperwork for maintenance, repairs or insurance claims

Consider hiring professional help if you need to make any repairs. We have a list of licensed and insured vendors we can recommend. Contact us at 678-287-4848.

Preparing for Spring Home Sale – Get Inspection Ready

Not All CMA’s Are The Same

Successful home sellers know that the key to a quicker, less stressful sale begins with an appropriate listing price. Before boxes are packed or walls are painted, understanding your home’s market value should be your number one priority. General Market Analysis Summary also known as a CMA (Comparative Market Analysis) is the first step to estimate the value of a home sale relative to comparable properties in your area.

Factors that influence a CMA include:
– Square footage
– The number of bedrooms and baths
– The age of the home
– Construction and style
– Neighborhood and schools

However, not all CMA’s are the same. There is no standard process for creating CMA’s. Each agent has their own tools and methodology. The CMA you receive from the Curtin Team is different than CMA’s developed by other agents because we use a variety of tools such as the MLS (Multiple Listing Service), tax records, and an understanding of off-market sales. This deep knowledge of the local market makes our CMA’s invaluable to sellers looking to price their homes appropriately for the market.
A CMA from the Curtin Team helps match buyers and sellers with the best options in their price range and desired location and allows sellers’ homes to spend the shortest possible time on the market. Our List to Sale price ratio (seller’s asking price to the actual sale price) is above industry averages because of the way we strategically analyze this data to accurately price your home.

Request Your Analysis Here

Not All CMA’s Are The Same

Happy New Year! Melinda Nawn Hosting Home Buyers Workshop on January 26

Happy New Year from the Curtin Team!

It’s not business as usual, but it’s still a great time to BUY. Whether you are considering down sizing, right sizing or buying for the first time, Melinda Nawn, Curtin Team Buyer Agent, will show you the path to WINNING in 2022 real estate market. She will separate fears from facts, explain the realities of the current market, various financing options and the next steps to take to be in your new home.

The workshop will be hosted at 1255 Canton Street, Ste. A, Roswell, GA 30075 on Tuesday, January 26th from noon to 1pm. Light refreshments will be served. If you are unable to attend in person, a Zoom link is available.

SIGN UP TODAY

Happy New Year! Melinda Nawn Hosting Home Buyers Workshop on January 26

Guide To Sorting Through Sentimental Items Before Moving

If you’re thinking about putting your house on the market in 2022, now is the time to start cleaning, purging, and prepping. The holidays may be the ideal time to get started while kids are home from school and family is visiting. It’s the perfect time to open up SPACE for what this new year will bring. While it might be easy to let go of those clothes that are out of style or the gadgets you were so excited about, but are now sitting at the back of your closet…never used, many people struggle with what to do with sentimental items. Pictures, cards and artwork from kids, items you’ve kept from loved ones now passed, even your own childhood memorabilia can bring up so many emotions! That’s ok! We have some tips for taking that emotional ride, making it fun, and in the end loving the result!

The Curtin Team has been in business for over 20 years and in that time, we have helped hundreds of clients prepare their homes for sale. Here’s our favorite method for sorting sentimental items before a move. Create an EVENT focused on going through these precious items in your home. Whether it’s all the items from your children, or from passed loved ones or a combination, now is the time to get people on board to help you.

These are our top tips for making this event fun and productive!

1. Schedule a time
2. Invite family
3. Make a SPACE
4. Make it FUN!
5. Gather supplies
6. Explain process
7. Do it!

Schedule a time: If you have 5 small to medium sized boxes you will probably be able to get through them in about 4-5 hours. Larger or more boxes are going to take longer. Just keep in mind, that most people underestimate how long it’s going to take.

Invite family: As with any event you want to invite people so they can carve out the time in their schedule. You can send an evite, paper invitation or just call people. Do what feels best to you! Explain in the invitation that you are planning to put your house on the market and it’s time to make decisions about items you’ve been holding onto. Let them know that you wanted to include them in the decision making and why. For example: I have items from when mom/dad passed that you may want to keep. Or for your children: I have items from your childhood that you may want to keep. Keep it light and fun, more of a party atmosphere.

Make a SPACE: You may want to sit at the dining room table, or just sprawl on the floor. Again, do what feels best to you but plan ahead of time and get extra chairs for the table or pillows to sit on the floor. Whatever will make it comfortable.

Make it FUN: This is our favorite tip because this process does not have to be miserable! Depending on the time of day have some yummy food for everyone …coffee and donuts if it’s morning, sandwiches at lunch, etc. Definitely have beverages too! Maybe some hot chocolate or wine ;). Turn on some fun upbeat music, light some candles. You know what we’re going to say next…whatever feels good to you!

Gather supplies: First on the list is garbage bags. Have scissors for opening boxes if needed, and bins/bags for each person so they can take away whatever items they decide to keep.

Explain the process: Let your family know you’re going to open the boxes one by one so everyone can see everything. This can be the most fun way because as you are looking through the items invariably you will have memories of fun moments from the past. Occasionally, it could also bring up sad memories…that’s ok. Let it out and then let it go. These are not items you want in your SPACE and there will be plenty of items that feel good to you. Focus on the good because you want to create a new SPACE that is uplifting and feels good when you walk in the door!! It’s great to keep items that are useful and sentimental so that you feel connected to your loved ones. If you have recently lost a loved one you might find it more difficult to part with their items right now. It’s ok to keep them until you feel better about letting go. Be gentle with yourself keeping in mind you are never going to forget this person or the experiences you shared with them regardless of which items you decide to keep!

Do it: Go through all the items and let it unfold however it unfolds. Keep only the items that REALLY resonate with you and feel good to you. A special note about photos – only keep pictures that really capture the event and feel good! Even if they are blurry or off center but are fun and uplifting…those are the ones you want to keep! If you have multiples of the same picture …like school photos, just keep one. When your event is finished throw the garbage away and make sure everyone takes the items they chose with them.

Now you can look forward to making wonderful memories in your new home!

A special thanks to our contributor and friend, Cheri Bartlett, owner of CEO Space, Inc. She specializes in helping clients organize and renew their space.

Here’s her contact info
Cheri Bartlett
CEO SPACE, Inc
404-998-9334
Bartlettc1718@gmail.com
Instagram @claritywithcheri
Facebook: SPACE Simplify Purge And Create Ease