In this exclusive interview, Joanne Curtin sits down with one of the brightest stars on the Curtin Team, Agent/ Partner Shari Sautner. Shari’s journey in the real estate industry has been nothing short of remarkable, and in this spotlight interview, she shares her insights, experiences, and the key role that joining the Curtin Team has played in her business’s impressive growth.
Shari Sautner, a dynamic and passionate real estate agent, has made significant strides in the industry since becoming a part of the Curtin Team. With her dedication, knowledge, and commitment to providing exceptional service, Shari has not only thrived but also set a shining example for aspiring real estate professionals.
In this candid conversation, Joanne delves into Shari’s personal and professional journey, exploring the pivotal moments that have shaped her career. From the early days of building her client base to the strategies and support that the Curtin Team has provided, Shari shares invaluable tips, insights, and real-world experiences that have led to her remarkable success.
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Joanne Curtin Interviews Curtin Team Agent Partner, Shari Sautner
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?
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.
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 –
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.
New home construction has come a long way in recent years with a focus on space design, energy efficiency, and environmentally-friendly materials. Here are the latest features in new home construction:
Large Mud Rooms (aka Family Foyers) – Large mud rooms have extended their footprint in new homes. Previously, mud rooms were often limited to just a hallway with a built-in, but now they are taking on a larger role by accommodating seating, sometimes with a desk to pay bills, and drop zone for mail. Think about it as a room to hide all the mess when you or your children walk in the door – there’s a place to drop shoes, coats, backpacks, laptops, papers, mail and even to take a minute to sit and relax before entering the main house. All of this is usually hidden behind a sliding door to create separation and the ability to close off this area from guests seeing the mess.
Heated floors – Heated floors are especially popular in the primary bathroom. Making cold tile warm in the winter is a game changer! Heated floors operate on a timed thermostat so you can program the heat to match your schedule. Waking up and the bathroom is already toasted, no longer cringing when your bare feet hit the cold floor and scrambling to get your slippers on. Once you have them, you’ll never want to be without them.
A Hidden Room – Childhood dreams come true! Having a hidden room to relax and unwind or to safely retreat into if needed, these rooms are being added behind bookshelves just like in the movies! Often found in an office, a walk-in closet, or primary bedroom, hidden rooms can serve a variety of purposes like hiding a prized and valuable collection, a hidden entertainment area, or a reading and relaxing spot. Another example is the understairs space that often goes unused, which can be turned into a hidden fun playroom for kids. We’ve even seen a hidden hatch door in the floor that led to a wine room underground. The possibilities are endless.
Environmentally Friendly – Environmentally-friendly building has become a favorite for energy efficiency, with an attainable and clear ROI and because of increased environmental awareness. Homeowners want to be a better steward of the planet, and this not only saves homeowners money on energy bills, but it also helps to reduce the overall carbon footprint of the home. There are many ways builders are incorporating this into their plans, such as:
● Solar: Your builder can prepare the roof when built for solar panels. Installing mounts and preparing for wiring during construction will save you money for when you do install solar panels in the future.
● EV Ready: Your builder can ensure that your home has enough electrical service in your garage and install chargers during construction.
● Battery Ready: Equipping your home with solar batteries allows you to capture the energy produced with solar (instead of or in addition to sending it back to the grid) and then use it as you need it, either during a power outage or on cloudy days when solar may not be sufficient.
● Geothermal Systems: According to the US Department of Energy, a Geothermal heat pump can mean a 25%-50% reduction in energy consumed compared to a traditional system that uses air. In addition to the electricity savings, geothermal systems are eco-friendly because they don’t burn gas during operation. And because there’s no combustion, there’s no admission of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide or other greenhouse gasses. Because these systems are much quieter to operate, it also saves on noise pollution. If the builder is already digging for a septic for your home, ask about the possibility of adding geothermal during the dig.
There has been a significant shift towards the use of environmentally-friendly building materials. This includes the use of recycled materials, low-VOC (volatile organic compound) paints and finishes. Eco-friendly building materials cut down on greenhouse gas emissions, and conserve natural resources; all while improving water and air quality. Examples are Low-Formaldehyde Insulation, Low-VOC Drywall Adhesives, Low-VOC Paints and Carpets, ENERGY STAR® Low-E Windows, low-flow plumbing fixtures, dual flush toilets and LED lighting packages.
Hidden Outlets – These can be an afterthought, but with planning ahead and smart design, your outlets don’t have to take away from your beautiful kitchen backsplash. Electrical outlets can be placed under the cabinets so they remain hidden from view and still easy to access. There are also countertop pop-up outlets that only appear when needed or removable tile plates that can keep the outlet masked when not in use. With the amount of device charging we need now, consider a charging station drawer. This drawer will have a power strip at the back of it and you can keep unsightly wires and devices out of view while charging. Perfect in the kitchen, bathroom and built-in desk drawers.
Large Kitchen Island – Kitchens are the heart and center of the home. Large kitchen islands serve a multitude of roles, from prep station to homework spot to eating area. Large kitchen islands have an aesthetic impact on the room as well. Popular design trends include the waterfall edge where the countertop continues down the side of the island all the way to the floor or the simpler English cottage style with tongue and groove paneling. Large dramatic hanging light pendants and gorgeous sink hardware help showcase the island as a centerpiece of the kitchen.
Floating vanities – Floating vanities add a contemporary feel and modern look. These shorter base cabinets appear to “float” on the wall instead of sitting directly on the floor. They can make small spaces look larger and open up the room. The downside is less storage space. To add to the floating visual, under-cabinet lighting is a popular added feature, this lighting below the floating cabinetry also adds to the “floating” appearance of the vanity.
Dog Wash Station – Dog owners are spending more and more on their dogs every year. A recent survey cited that one of the main reasons Millennials purchased a home was because of their dogs. So, it’s no surprise that new features specifically for dogs are becoming standard. We’re even seeing dog watering stations with a faucet to refill the water bowl.
Locating a dog bath in a mud room, laundry room ,or garage is a practical solution, especially if your space has exterior access. Putting everything you need right by an exterior entrance; your home will remain better protected from tracked-in dirt. Ideally your wash station has a faucet with a handheld sprayer attachment and drain area. Plus, it’s more versatile than you might think. You can use it not only for your furry friends, it’s also great for washing off muddy kids or dirty shoes.
Built-In Speakers Inside & Out – Bring on the tunes! If you already know where you want to put the sound system and entertainment center, talk to your builder about installing built-in speakers in those rooms. You’ll save yourself valuable floor or wall space and have the luxury of having your house literally filled with music.
Whether you’re building a new home or remodeling an existing one, these trends are worth considering to stay ahead of the curve and to optimize your space in a modern, fashionable way.
If you’re considering continuing to rent, maybe you think it’s best to wait until prices come down, or maybe you’re waiting for interest rates to come down. Or maybe you just don’t see the value in taking on the responsibility of owning a home. But did you know home ownership is one of the largest factors in building wealth? It is the differentiator between those that bought and those that continue to rent. How big of a difference can it really make, you ask? Let’s look at the tale of two friends, Harry and Randy, and really dive into the numbers to see what a difference buying a home now and continuing to rent will make in a 7-year period.
Harry Homeowner just purchased his new home for $400,000. He used FHA financing and put 3.5% down, or $14,000. His loan would be $392,755 because of the up-front 1.75% mortgage insurance that gets rolled into the loan on FHA loans. His monthly payment would be:
Principal & Interest – $2,613
PMI – $273.42
Estimated Taxes & Insurance – $474
Total payment = $3,360.76
After 7 years, Harry will have paid $181,546.66 in interest and $34,171.22 in principal, leaving a loan balance of $351,829.02. Harry has gained $34,171.22 in principal paydown, which can also be looked at as a forced savings. But wait – it gets better. Harry will also gain equity. The average equity increase annually is 4% (in metro Atlanta, it’s been 5% average.) After 7 years at an average of 4% annual appreciation, Harry’s home is now worth $526,327. That’s a gain of $126,327. Adding in the principal paydown of $34,171, Harry is sitting on a nice $160,498 gain. Harry could access some of this equity through a Home Equity Line of Credit and perhaps purchase an investment property (smart choice Harry!) or decide it’s time to upgrade and roll those gains into a new home and start the process over.
Another scenario that would likely have occurred for Harry is that because of the gain in the property value and equity, the PMI would drop off – most likely Harry would have refinanced his house and the payment would have reduced by $300-$400, so Harry’s payment in year 7 would be estimated to be around $2,900.
Randy Renter is renting a cool two-bedroom apartment in a hip, walkable location for just $2,000/mo. Instead of making a mortgage payment, Randy is a disciplined dude and he is saving the difference in his rent payment and what his friend Harry is making in a mortgage payment. So he’s saving $1,360 per month.
Randy is smart with his money, and he’s invested it in a mutual fund and was able to obtain an average annual return of 12%. Randy would now be sitting on a cool $167,000.
Aha you say: “So buying is not the right move! I’d actually have more money by saving money by renting (assuming you’re as disciplined as Randy) and not buying.”
However, we didn’t factor in that rent continues to increase every year. So in reality, Randy’s fixed cost of living continues to increase, while Harry’s fixed housing cost is locked in (and likely reduced when he refinances). Let’s rerun this scenario factoring the rent increases and consequently the savings decreases for Randy.
Average rents increase by 6% per year in our area. Randy’s two bedroom apartment rent looks like this over 7 years:
Year 1 $2,000
Year 2 $2,120
Year 3 $2,247
Year 4 $2,382
Year 5 $2,525
Year 6 $2,676
Year 7 $2,837
At the end of 7 years, again Randy is super disciplined and did not touch any of his savings, he now has $138,855 saved.
Harry has $160,498 in equity/net worth.
Randy has $138,855 in equity/net worth.
Harry has a fixed monthly housing payment.
Randy also has a monthly payment that will continue to rise and is beyond his control.
Randy can buy too, but the same house Harry bought 7 years ago will cost Randy a lot more.
It has been said “the best time to plant a tree was 30 years ago, the second-best time is today.” The same can be said of real estate. Don’t wait to buy real estate, buy real estate and wait!
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.
The Curtin Team’s CEO, Tom Curtin and Director of Sales, Christy Smith explain the benefits of mortgage rate buy downs for buyers and sellers. Like many practices in the world of Real Estate, mortgage hacks depend on Buyer/Seller goals, timelines, and preferences. Buy-downs are unique, though, because they offer direct benefits to both Buyers and Sellers in the short term and long term. They allow houses to be sold more efficiently, less stress with high monthly payments for Buyers, and less interest payment over time. If you are in the market to either buy or sell a home, don’t forget that there are ways for you to save money during the process.
The real estate market is constantly shifting. Do you know how to position yourself for success as a buyer or a seller? Our team of real estate experts will be available to answer your questions on August 10 at 10am (Eastern Time). Dial into our Zoom call and join us for an informative Q and A.
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
Spring is here, and the housing market is heating up. If you’re looking to purchase a home in 2018, you won’t want to miss out on this FREE informational seminar. You’ll hear best practices from the combined wisdom of hundreds of successful first-time home buyers from financing and First-Time Home Buying programs, to a successful purchase. We want to help you gain confidence and leave with a plan in place. Attendance is free, however space is limited. Join us for a wealth of information at Roswell’s friendliest gathering place Crazy Love Coffee. Coffee and refreshments will be provided.
In this FREE seminar, we will take you through the PROVEN path to home ownership. Saturday April 21 from 2pm-4pm. All are welcome!
1. Fears vs. facts about buying a home
2. Realities of our market today
3. Six simple steps to home ownership
5. Next steps so you can be in a home in a time frame you want
Register early! The first 5 people to sign up will receive a FREE copy of Your First Home book.