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Navigating the North Atlanta Real Estate Market: A Comprehensive Guide for First-Time Investors

In recent years, one term has dominated economic discussions: INFLATION. A recent survey revealed that 82% of respondents feel the impact of inflation on their household budgets. I want you to consider how investing in the North Atlanta real estate market can be a strategic response to inflationary pressures, especially for first-time investors.

The North Atlanta Real Estate Market in Numbers

Let’s start by looking at the average sales price increases over the past year in key North Atlanta cities:

Milton: From $1,001,114 in 2022 to $1,071,125 in 2023 (an increase of $70,011)
Alpharetta: From $590,609 to $643,293 (an increase of $52,684)
Roswell: From $554,821 to $598,375 (an increase of $43,554)
Woodstock: From $420,110 to $441,110 (an increase of $20,924)

This translates to an average annual increase of 7.3%.

Real Estate as a Hedge Against Inflation
So, how does real estate investment counter inflation? Here are three key ways:

• Rising Rents, Fixed Mortgages: As inflation rises, so do rental prices, while your mortgage rate stays the same. This means your return on investment increases with every rent hike.
• Paying Less Over Time: Inflation devalues future dollars. Since your mortgage payments are fixed, you effectively pay back less over time in real terms.
• Property Value Growth: Inflation typically drives up property values, enhancing the worth of your investment without increasing your mortgage debt.

Beyond Inflation: The Four Pillars of Real Estate Investment
Besides being one of the best hedges against inflation, real estate offers 4 other key benefits. Leverage, passive income, appreciation and tax write-offs.

• Leverage: Use loans from banks or mortgage companies to amplify your investment power.
• Passive Income: Rental income helps pay off your mortgage, building equity in your property.
• Appreciation: Property values tend to increase over time, boosting the worth of your investment.
• Tax Advantages: Benefits like depreciation deductions can reduce your taxable income.

Understanding Return on Investment (ROI)

Consider you buy a property for $100,000 with a 20% down payment ($20,000). If the property appreciates by 5%:

Gain: 5% of $100,000 = $5,000
ROI: $5,000 is 25% of your $20,000 investment
In comparison, to match this in a mutual fund at 10% yield, you’d need a $250,000 investment.

Getting Started in Real Estate Investment
Hopefully I’ve convinced you to at least consider the idea of investing in real estate now. So where do you start? The first step is to define, with as much detail as you can, the criteria of the investment property. Consulting with a Realtor who has experience with investment property can help you gain clarity around what makes a good investment.

• Define Your Criteria: Detail the characteristics of your desired investment property – location, size, age, HOA presence, condition, and price range.
• Local Focus: Most investors focus within 20 miles of their residence. Narrow down your search to one or two areas.
• Market Research: Use online tools to track property prices and potential rental incomes. Visit neighborhoods at different times to get a feel for the area.
• Create Your Property ‘Avatar’: Develop a clear vision of your ideal investment property to streamline your search.
• Due Diligence: Once you have a property in mind, thoroughly check financial aspects like mortgage, insurance, and HOA rules. Consider getting contractor quotes for any potential upgrades or repairs.

Take the Leap

Armed with knowledge and the right strategy, 2024 can be your year to start investing in real estate. As Warren Buffett advises, be bold when others are cautious. Consulting with a knowledgeable Realtor and lender is an excellent first step.

Navigating the North Atlanta Real Estate Market: A Comprehensive Guide for First-Time Investors

Opportunities in Real Estate: Learning from the Past

Remember your friends who bought a house right at the beginning of Covid 19? At the time, we thought it was risky, as time went on we see what an amazing opportunity it was to purchase. Similarly, we may be looking back at those friends who purchase in the first few months of 2024 in the same light. There’s hesitancy with Buyers right now between interest rates, an election year and uncertainty in the real estate market.

Our data points to a rising market. The Federal Reserve has already indicated they will ease interest rates in 2024. Waiting for lower rates, like the majority of Buyers will do, means you’ll likely pay more. That’s because as mortgage rates drop, housing demand will surge, driving prices up. As mortgage rates drop, Buyers will come flocking back into the market, driving up competition. So as prices rise, and competition rises, we will be back to multiple offers and Sellers back in the driver seat. There is a window now with a more balanced market. Over the next few months, Buyers don’t necessarily have to make a rushed decision with little due diligence period and reduced negotiating leverage, giving Buyers more time to make an informed decision.

Home prices in our area rose over 6% from the start of 2023. Home prices are expected to continue to rise throughout 2024. Several factors are contributing to home price appreciation in our area. Despite the new home construction that is going on all around us, the new home inventory is still falling short of the housing stock we need. This problem goes back to the recession of 2009-2011, home building came to a screeching halt. For 3 years, we didn’t see any new building, and builders haven’t closed that gap. Adding to that were supply chain issues caused by Covid 19, to some degree builders are still dealing with short supply and labor. There’s still not enough being built at a fast enough pace to meet demand. Couple this with the homeowners who are not willing to part with their 3% mortgage rate, there are not enough homes on the market. Supply and demand dictates prices. More supply of Buyers, less supply of homes equals rising prices. Additionally, we continue to have a healthy supply of Buyers relocating to our area from out of state, attracted to the lifestyle and affordability compared to many other metro areas. Many out of state Buyers purchase in the late Spring and Summer (choosing to move in between school sessions). Waiting will place you in direct competition with these Buyers who often have company support and a tight timeline, making for tough competition. Often they are willing to pay asking price or above to secure their housing quickly and get settled in their new job and state.

If you’re renting, and you’re financially able to purchase, you should consider buying now. The sooner you purchase a home, the sooner you start building equity through mortgage paydown and price appreciation. Your costs are fixed, unlike rent that is likely to be increased each year. And when mortgage rates fall, you can consider refinancing. There’s peace of mind having predictability with your monthly housing costs. Inflation, interest rates or a change in your landlord’s situation will not impact your housing or payment situation once you’ve locked into a fixed rate loan in your own home. There are tax advantages you may be missing as a renter as well. Consult with your CPA for how these tax breaks would apply to you as some income limitation may apply, here are a few common ones.
 Mortgage Interest- you can deduct your mortgage interest.
 Real Estate Taxes – you can deduct state and local taxes in the year you pay them.
 Home Office Deduction – if you’re a small business owner who works from home and use part of your home exclusively for the primary place of business, you can deduct many home expenses.

Opportunities in Real Estate: Learning from the Past

Agent Spotlight Interview – Kanani Briggs

In this engaging video, join host Joanne Curtin as she sits down with Curtin Team Agent Partner, Kanani Briggs for an inspiring and heartfelt conversation. You’ll learn about Kanani’s unwavering commitment to fostering community connections and how it has become an integral part of her personal and professional life.

Kanani Briggs is not your typical real estate agent; she is a force of nature when it comes to building bridges within her community. With a warm and inviting personality, she has earned the trust and admiration of countless individuals, both clients and neighbors alike.

But it’s not just about business for Kanani Briggs. Throughout this conversation, you’ll witness her genuine love for people and the places they call home. She discusses her involvement in various community initiatives and how giving back has become a cornerstone of her life. Kanani’s passion for community connection goes beyond transactions; it’s about building lasting relationships and nurturing the spirit of togetherness.

In addition to her dedication to community, Kanani’s remarkable journey in real estate is highlighted by her exceptional achievements. She proudly received the “Rookie of the Year” award in her very first year in the industry, a testament to her dedication and hard work.

Aspiring and seasoned agents alike, take note: Kanani Briggs has invaluable advice for you. She emphasizes the importance of seeking out mentorship or joining a successful team. Her guidance is a beacon for those looking to thrive in the real estate world.

So, whether you’re a homeowner, aspiring to be one, or simply someone who values community bonds, this interview with Kanani Briggs is a must-watch. Join us as we explore the world of real estate through the lens of someone who believes that building strong communities is the key to a better future. Don’t miss this opportunity to be inspired and learn how you can make a positive impact on the place you call home, just like Kanani does every day.

Don’t forget to like, comment, and subscribe to the Curtin Team channel to stay updated on more enriching content like this!

Joanne Curtin Interviews Curtin Team Agent Partner, Kanani Briggs

WATCH THE FULL EPISODE HERE

https://youtu.be/PYNUfmLAhPk

Agent Spotlight Interview – Kanani Briggs

Agent Spotlight Interview – Christy Smith

Joanne Curtin sits down with the dynamic Christy Smith, Director of Sales. Christy shares her unique perspective on market trends, work/life balance, and the importance of building strong client relationships. Whether you’re a buyer, seller, agent, or simply interested in the world of real estate, this interview promises to provide you with keen insights and a deeper understanding of the sales process.

Enjoy this insightful conversation where Joanne and Christy discuss all things related to real estate sales, strategies for success, and the ever-evolving landscape of the industry. With Christy’s extensive experience and leadership in sales, you’re in for a wealth of valuable tips and advice that can help both seasoned professionals and newcomers navigate the real estate world.

Christy shares her unique perspective on market trends, work/life balance, and the importance of building strong client relationships. Whether you’re a buyer, seller, agent, or simply interested in the world of real estate, this interview promises to provide you with keen insights and a deeper understanding of the sales process.

Throughout the interview, you’ll discover how Curtin Team’s approach to real estate has contributed to their outstanding reputation and success in the field.

So, whether you’re looking to enhance your sales skills, gain insights into the real estate industry, or simply enjoy a captivating conversation, make sure to hit that play button and join us for this enlightening interview with Christy Smith. Don’t forget to like, comment, and subscribe to the Curtin Team channel to stay updated on more enriching content like this!

Joanne Curtin Interviews Curtin Team Director of Sales, Christy Smith

WATCH THE FULL EPISODE HERE

Agent Spotlight Interview – Christy Smith

New Construction Home Tours with Joanne Curtin

Join your host, Joanne Curtin, as she takes you on an exclusive tour of new construction homes and townhomes in Barrington Place, Ecco Park, and Millstone Park. Can you guess the price?

WATCH THE HOME TOURS HERE

House #1- Barrington Place home, built by Brightwater Homes, is in historic Roswell near The Mill Kitchen and Bar and is a net zero home (Net zero means the home generates the renewable power to match the needs of the home). Did you know that Roswell is a certified Green Community – platinum level?

Townhome #2 – Ecco Park is located in Alpharetta 30022. This townhome community is being developed and built by The Providence Group.

Townhome #3 – Millstone Park townhomes are located near Deerfield Parkway, Alpharetta. These three story townhomes are conveniently located near Exit 11 (GA-400) and close to shopping and restaurants.

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel

New Construction Home Tours with Joanne Curtin

Tom Curtin Talks with Ben and Candice Thornton About First Time Homebuyers


Tom Curtin, CEO of the Curtin Team, and Ben and Candice Thorton from Capital Mortgage Solutions, LLC, actively discuss cooperative buying and aiding first-time homebuyers. They dispel myths regarding down payments and explore alternative financing methods. It is revealed that a primary residence can be purchased with as little as a 5% down payment, and some loan programs mandate even less. Furthermore, they delve into the possibility of gift funds, which parents, friends, or close family members can offer. Conventional guidelines dictate that gift funds must originate from a direct family member or fiancé. 401k loans are also an option for individuals who lack a family member or employer to help with the down payment. Borrowing from a 401k to make a down payment on a home has no impact on the debt-to-income ratio.

Check out our previous blog post about the real cost of waiting to buy –
https://www.curtinteam.com/the-real-cost-of-waiting/

Tom Curtin Talks with Ben and Candice Thornton About First Time Homebuyers

Tom and Joanne Curtin Discuss the History of the Curtin Team

Tom and Joanne Curtin discuss the history of the Curtin Team and how the lessons they learned have propelled them forward to build a successful real estate business in Roswell, Georgia. They discuss their success in real estate investments and outline steps they took to get there. They talk about how they committed fully to the decision to invest in real estate and emphasize taking action instead of waiting for the “perfect” opportunity.

Tom and Joanne Curtin Discuss the History of the Curtin Team

The Dangers of Pricing Your Home Too High

Selling a home is a big decision, and one of the most important aspects of the process is determining the right price. Unfortunately, some sellers make the mistake of pricing their homes too high, which can lead to a host of problems down the line. In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the reasons why people price their homes too high when they sell them, and the potential consequences of doing so.

1. Testing the Market
One of the most common reasons why people price their homes too high is because they want to “test the market.” In other words, they want to see if there are any buyers out there who are willing to pay more than what they think their home is worth. While this may seem like a logical strategy, it can backfire in a big way. Overpricing your home can make it less appealing to buyers who are looking in your price range, and it can also turn off potential buyers who might be willing to pay more for a home that is priced appropriately. For example, a home that is worth $600K and the list price was $600K, it would be more likely to get that amount. However, if you listed a home that was only worth $575K for $600K, price reductions might eventually lead to a sale price of only $540K.

2. Leaving Room for Negotiations
Another reason why people may overprice their homes is that they want to leave room for negotiations. They may assume that buyers will try to negotiate the price down, so they start with a higher price in order to end up at the price they really want. However, this strategy can also be counterproductive. If your home is significantly overpriced, buyers may not even bother making an offer, or they may assume that you’re not serious about selling.

3. Believing a Higher List Price Will Result in a Higher Sale Price
Some sellers mistakenly believe that if they list their home at a higher price, they will end up selling it for more money. However, this is not necessarily the case. Buyers are savvy, and they will typically do their research to determine what a home is really worth. If your home is priced much higher than other similar homes in the area, buyers may simply choose to look elsewhere.

4. Misinformed About the Market
Finally, some sellers may overprice their homes because they are misinformed about the market. They may have received bad advice from a friend, neighbor, or another realtor who is not familiar with the local market conditions. It’s important to work with a realtor who has experience selling homes in your area and who can provide you with accurate information about pricing and market trends.

So, what are the consequences of overpricing your home? The most obvious consequence is that your home may sit on the market for longer than it should. This can lead to a variety of problems, including:
• Reduced interest from buyers
• Fewer showings
• Lowball offers
• A lower eventual sales price

In addition, if your home sits on the market for too long, it can start to develop a stigma. Buyers may assume that there is something wrong with the home, or they may wonder why it hasn’t sold yet. This can make it even more difficult to sell the home in the future.

In conclusion, pricing your home appropriately is crucial if you want to sell it quickly and for a fair price. While it may be tempting to overprice your home for any of the reasons mentioned above, it’s important to resist the urge and work with a realtor who can provide you with accurate information about pricing and market conditions. By doing so, you can avoid the pitfalls of overpricing and increase your chances of a successful sale.

The Dangers of Pricing Your Home Too High

What You Need to Know About Vacation Property Investments in Blue Ridge, GA

What You Need to Know About Vacation Property Investments in Blue Ridge, GA

Have you ever considered purchasing a vacation rental or short-term rental (Airbnb/VRBO) property? You’ve probably heard many others talk about this. If you’re like me, what you’ve heard about these properties sounds too good to be true, but you may have also heard others having terrible experiences with these investments. Short term rental opportunities are starting to diminish, yet if you’re going to enjoy your purchase in addition to renting it, it’s a lifestyle investment. While interest rates have increased and made payments higher, will it be worth more if you intend to hold for 7-10 years?

We have researched many areas and discovered that Blue Ridge, Georgia offers the most benefits for short term rental investment for buyers in the Atlanta area. Here are my top six reasons for why this could be.

1. Blue Ridge has year-round rental appeal. There are activities to enjoy in every season. Summer: Lake Blue Ridge, world-class whitewater rafting on the Ocoee River, or fly fishing on the Toccoa River are popular attractions. Fall: Foliage brings guests to the area and local festivals draw large crowds. Winter: Light Up Blue Ridge festival, Santa Express on the Blue Ridge Railway. Year-round: Trout Fishing – Fannin County is the Trout Capital of Georgia. There’s also mountain biking year-round with an abundance of trails from easy to difficult. Mercier Orchards is the largest orchard in the south. The orchard draws visitors year-round, peaking during apple picking season. Hiking: There are over 300 miles of trails and 16 beautiful waterfalls in the area.
2. Over the holidays, there’s strong demand for cabins where family and friends can come together for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other holidays in a group setting. Year-round, there is an abundance of hiking. There are over 300 miles of trails in the area! The panhandle/30A area is popular with Atlanta buyers looking to host; however, it is very seasonal and generally limited to spring break and a few months during the summer. It can be extremely difficult to ever turn a profit.
3. Taxes: Fannin County property taxes are much lower than taxes in other counties and especially less than in the state of Florida.
4. Downtown Blue Ridge: The town is a draw for many reasons. The Historic Blue Ridge Railroad, dining, shopping, and nightlife all draw crowds. There’s an artsy vibe with many galleries. The Blue Ridge Railroad offers seasonal trips as well, such as the Firecracker Special and Santa Express. The appeal of downtown Blue Ridge is broad reaching and not reliant on one attraction. This ensures you have guests interested in visiting at all times.
5. Wineries: There are very nice wineries in the area. There are also winery tours (and craft brew tours, too). From a short-term rental benefit perspective, this brings in groups of friends coming for a fun weekend to tour the wineries, who generally will rent a cabin together.
6. Blue Ridge supports tourism. Some local governments look to control or even eliminate short term rentals by adding restrictions or large fees. The Blue Ridge economy is driven by tourism and the local government supports it. Currently, Blue Ridge requires you to obtain a Short Term Rental Certificate. The cost is minimal at $25 per year.

I have personally invested in both beach and mountain vacation properties, and Blue Ridge has been the best for us. Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall — the Blue Ridge Mountains are beautiful. We wanted to confidently help our clients invest in Blue Ridge as well. To do so, we have partnered with Tracy Krohn. Tracy has a wealth of local knowledge, having grown up here and worked in the area extensively. Tracy personally owns a vacation rental in Blue Ridge and she can help you understand recent rental income trends and operating expenses so you can make an informed investment decision. If you want to explore the area and learn more, connect with us and we’ll connect you with Tracy to get started!

What You Need to Know About Vacation Property Investments in Blue Ridge, GA

Tom and Christy Discuss First Time Home Buyers

The Curtin Team’s CEO, Tom Curtin and Director of Sales, Christy Smith explain the benefits for first time home buyers in today’s market. One of the biggest advantages of buying a home today is the stability and equity you get. Waiting a year or two can cost you tens of thousands of dollars in equity loss. And as rental rates continue to rise, a fixed rate mortgage payment stays the same. Also, many sellers and lenders are now offering to pay closing costs and buy downs on rates. Large down payments often scare off first time homebuyers, but some loans require as little as 3.5% down. As an example, the down payment on a $400,000 house can be as low as $14,000. And there are many ways to get that down payment including finding places in your budget to cut back and save, loans from family, or loans against a 401K to cover some or all it. The news of interest rate hikes shouldn’t scare off potential home buyers either. If rates go down, refinancing is available and if rates go up, you’ll be glad you locked in a lower rate.

Tom and Christy Discuss First Time Home Buyers