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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

Agent Spotlight Interview – Shari Sautner

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.

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

Joanne Curtin Interviews Curtin Team Agent Partner, Shari Sautner

WATCH THE FULL EPISODE HERE

Agent Spotlight Interview – Shari Sautner

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

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

“Behind the Curtin” Presents a Wine Room and Kitchen in Milton Episode 1

“Behind the Curtin” provides an inside look at local homeowners’ beautifully-crafted houses, giving insight into what it takes to renovate, upgrade, and style the most coveted parts of their dream homes. In this video series, industry expert and business owner Joanne Curtin explores local homes while interviewing their owners along the way to better understand their thought processes when making important decisions. Join Joanne to get a look into the world of luxurious real estate one wonderful home at a time.

“Behind the Curtin” Episode 1 – A Wine Room & Kitchen in Milton, Georgia

WATCH THE FULL EPISODE HERE

Katie and Dave Smith live in Milton, Georgia with their two children. Recently, Katie and Dave sold their house in Milton’s Highland Manor that they called home for 14 years to move into a brand-new build in the Sweet Apple neighborhood that they helped design. Prior to moving to Milton in 2008, they lived in Miami, Florida for two years.

Joanne: Why did you pick this area?

Katie: We’re from up north where the seasons change. We didn’t like living somewhere where it was hot all year. My husband Dave’s job, at the time, was such that he could live in Greater Atlanta or South Florida, and we just felt like greater Atlanta was an area that we felt we could relate to more and would be better to raise a family. We didn’t have any kids yet when we moved here and that’s part of why we did.

Joanne: As far as your house that you’re in now, what made you choose your house?

Katie: We were so excited to build and get to start from scratch. We really liked how it’s quiet here, but it’s still close to everything. We’re closer now than we were in Highland Manor to Downtown Crabapple, Downtown Roswell, and GA-400. But we’re tucked back in this quiet little country road type situation. We felt like it was very unique, and when we signed to build this house, they hadn’t even cleared the street yet. We were able to see the other homes and see the big picture of the community with the walking trails and green space built into the development.

Joanne: What do you feel like you did to really improve the value of the house that you built? What do you feel adds value to your house the most?

Katie: We love having the master on Main and it’s kind of in its own little wing. It’s tucked away. I can sleep through noise, and I was never able to do that in the old house. The lot itself, how we’re on a cul-de-sac and it’s at the end of the street. The layout of the house provides nice privacy for the backyard, helping with what we’re trying to achieve with the pool and creating a great little hangout area. The kids have their own space upstairs. They have a lot of space. At their current ages of 10 and 13, they don’t want to be around us all the time. They have their own space which makes them feel like they have independence.

Joanne: Alright, so in this home you did not have a keeping room and in place of that, because you want to use your house wisely, you did a wine room where normally an office or dining room could be. So did you use a designer for that?

Katie: I would say we kind of used a designer overall, that helped us in designing the layout of our home and picking the finishes. She did help us a little bit with the wine room. Dave would tell you that he’s the designer. She worked with another couple a few years ago who did the wine room at a house over on Sibley lane. We had seen these pictures, and knew she had worked on a project like this before. That got it going in Dave’s mind, and then we knew we wanted to have a sitting room like a keeping room. We were going back and forth on whether or not to do the wine wall because it was of course an added expense. Dave, in his mind with the numbers, was like, “Is this too frivolous? Like, can we really do this?” And then, he finally said that if he didn’t do it, he would be mad at himself in a couple of years. It costs more money to do after the fact versus if you do it while you’re building the house, it’s easier.

Joanne: What does that wine room have that you needed?

Katie: It’s a quiet getaway. A quiet space. The wine wall itself is a piece of art. It’s very cozy. We painted it a different color from the color that most of the main living area is painted. We did the wine room and Dave’s office a dark gray that really separates it from the rest of the home. It’s right off the kitchen, but it feels like you’re tucked away and it has a door that goes onto the front porch from one wall. So, you could be sitting in there enjoying a glass of wine or having your morning coffee and then go right outside to the front porch.

Joanne: What was the splurge in your wine room that you said Dave was like, “I don’t know if I want to spend the money. But if I don’t do it, I’ll regret it?”

Katie: It’s a built-in refrigerated unit. It has its own thermostat, it has its own separate unit down in the basement. That’s like the ultimate splurge. In our old home, we had a freestanding wine fridge that you purchase. If we ever move, it stays. It’s part of the house. That was definitely a splurge. I mean, gosh, it’s all splurge. A new house is a splurge. Those sliders, the sliding doors, instead of just a door they go into the wall. Not accordion style – they slide like pockets doors into the wall.

Joanne: Would you say that the wine room is your favorite room? What’s your favorite room in your new house? Dave’s?

Katie: Dave would say it’s the wine room. I love the kitchen.

Joanne: Why would you say that?

Katie: It has a lot of storage and it’s bright. I’m looking at my kitchen right now, and I think it just flows easily. We designed it to flow easily.

Joanne: Anything that you feel like someone should not skimp on?

Katie: I would not skimp on lighting. At least, in the main areas,

Joanne: Lighting meaning expensive fixtures or just more lights?

Katie: The fixtures themselves. If you put a cheap light over the table in your kitchen or something that you don’t like, it is no good. We got to the point where the lighting budget was getting out of control. We did cans in other areas. We’d rather fix the main fixtures in a year than get something cheap and not like it, you know? What else… Appliances! We didn’t skimp on our fridge. We got the nicer fridge. How many times do you use your fridge a day? A lot, right? So I think that for us, it was like let’s not skimp on things in our main living area. I’m fine skimping on my 10-year-old son’s bathroom tile, or the guest room lighting. Those are rooms that get used a small handful of times a year. But when it came to our main living space, I didn’t want to cheap out and then regret it. We didn’t go crazy, but like we made it nice.

Joanne: So what kind of fridge Do you have?

Katie: Oh, it’s a Thermador fridge. But it’s not so much the brand. It’s just this size. It’s the bigger side by side fridge.

Joanne: Are there any materials that you used that you felt like were not trendy, but just worth it, and were non-negotiables?

Katie: We used quartz for all of our tops, even in the bathrooms, which I’m really happy with. Even in the laundry room – it just makes a difference. One other splurge that I forgot to mention from earlier was in our master bath, we have the doors that come all the way down to the floor without the step with the special drain on the sides. So it’s very clean looking and beautiful. We have the engineered hardwood, the wider planks, which I really love throughout the home. And it’s a lighter-color wood. We had darker wood at the old house, which I thought looked pretty. But on these floors, you can’t see the dirt as much and the paw prints from the dog. So when you have an active family, it’s nice to be able to hide dirt and dog hair better. I’m just keeping it real because I don’t feel like cleaning floors every day!

Katie and Dave’s experience in deciding to move, finding the right location to build, and hand-crafting their forever home is something that countless families do every year. That doesn’t mean it’s not special – building a new home is one of the most special things a family can do together. Their openness and great insight into their thought process during the whole experience helps us learn what to look for and what to avoid when it’s our time to upgrade our own living spaces. These helpful homeowners, along with Joanne, help give you a peek Behind the Curtin into the world of luxury real estate. If this insight interests you, subscribe for more video and interview content at www.youtube.com/@curtinteam.

“Behind the Curtin”  Presents a Wine Room and Kitchen in Milton Episode 1

Tom and Christy Explain Mortgage Rate Buy Downs

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.

Tom and Christy Explain Mortgage Rate Buy Downs

Tom’s Top Five Business Books

What was the last book you read? More importantly – what was the last book you read that helped you and your team succeed at work? Being well read doesn’t just help you in your day-to-day activities. Choosing to learn from established experts and authors helps shorten your learning curve so you can bring practical information and methods to your co-workers, colleagues, and clients. While there’s no substitute for learning by doing, there’s a wide gap in knowledge that favors those who take time to read effective business books over those who don’t. Over the years, I’ve read more than a fair share of business books, and some have stood out more than others. That’s why today I am sharing my top five favorite business books that you will wish you had read sooner.

1. “Rich Dad Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki
Written as a narrative story, this is an easy read. I find this book foundational for any new or recently-started investor to understand what it means to have an investor mindset. It helps distinguish what is truly an asset and liability and how to use money as a tool to create wealth. You don’t have to be born rich to become rich. Instead, there’s a path that just about anyone who is willing to take can follow. In 1999, my wife Joanne read this book and I read it shortly after her. It was one of the reasons Joanne decided to leave her teaching career to become a real estate professional just a year later. It’s the reason we bought our first investment property and created goals around real estate investing. I have a lot of gratitude for this book.
2. “Atomic Habits” by James Clear
This book is about breaking bad behaviors and adopting good ones in four steps with small, incremental, everyday routines that compound into massive, positive changes over time. You can truly change your behavior by following these steps. There are some great hacks here on breaking cravings and creating new habits. These include steps about making new routines easy to start, making them obvious, attractive, easy, and satisfying. 1. Make it obvious – Don’t hide your fruits in the fridge, but instead put them on display front and center. 2. Make it attractive – start with the fruit you like the most so you’ll actually want to eat one when you see it. 3. Make it easy – don’t create needless friction by focusing on fruits that are hard to peel. Bananas and apples are super easy to eat, for example. 4. Make it satisfying – if you like the fruit you picked, you’ll love eating it and feel healthier as a result! The book goes into a lot more detail. I highly recommend it as you can apply these little hacks to make your life better and more efficient.
3. “Unlimited Power” by Tony Robbins
This book is a self-help classic that breaks down how Tony Robbins has helped top performers perform at their highest level and how you can use the same mental and physical tactics to accomplish your biggest life goals. “Unlimited Power” connotes your ability to revamp your life and produce every outcome you’ve ever wanted while generating value for the people around you. There is so much packed into this book that I can’t get into everything. It’s a long read, but it’s worth every page. One key idea is to use modeling – how you can model yourself after others who are more successful to get what they have. We’ve used this tactic in our real estate business as well as real estate investing. The difference between successful people and everyone else is that successful people see “failure” as an opportunity to grow and learn. We model, try new things, fail and learn. Also simple hacks to change your mood with body posture and breathing techniques, it works! And lastly emotional intelligence, how you respond to situations and your emotions, your attitude determines a lot of what you can accomplish.
4. “First Break All The Rules” by Don Clifton
This book walks you through how to be a better manager and debunks a lot of traditional management methods. I enjoy this book because it resonates with my management style, especially being a part of a small team. We are truly a family. Happy and satisfied employees make the company better and treat clients better. Managers can help employees be happier and more satisfied, it starts with caring about how happy and satisfied they are at work and personally. Intentionally design the atmosphere to encourage self-expression, trust, enjoyment, and productivity. A leader sets the goals, and helps guide but ultimately employees will be happier when they can control and have input in how they reach those goals. If you want to help your team grow, you’ve got to get to know them on a personal level. And if you want to know what standard you should hold everybody to, you need to look at your top performers and spend a lot of time with them. I’d recommend this book to someone who just became a manager and feels overwhelmed, or a seasoned executive that wants to learn and play to their employee’s strengths, or anyone that would like to become a great leader at work.
5. “Five Dysfunctions Of A Team” by Patrick Lencioni
This book will teach you how to have a functional team to be more productive and how to avoid back-channel politics. It’s written in an easy-to-read fable and then breaks it down into practical guidelines on how to overcome each of the five dysfunctions. In hindsight, if I had read this book at the start of my team building career, I could have avoided some drama and probably gotten out of business faster with some people we ultimately ended up parting ways with, but not before they caused damage to the team. it could have possibly helped to fix some bad behavior, but I suspect it would have just highlighted it and caused them to opt out sooner, and maybe I’d have a few less gray hairs.

The next time you are asked what the last book you read was, I hope you think back to one of my five suggestions and are able to apply what you’ve learned in the workplace. True leaders and intelligent thinkers know that they don’t know everything, and they know when to look for outside wisdom and advice to pass along to those who rely on them in the business world. These five reads cover everything from financial responsibility and habit building to team chemistry and unlocking your true potential, and I highly suggest that you check them out.

Tom’s Top Five Business Books

The Number 1 Team in Roswell is hiring

Curtin Team Real Estate will double our sales volume over the next two years and we are looking for a passionate individual to join us for a fun ride. We are experienced and knowledgeable real estate agents, tactful negotiators, and conscientious advisors. We represent both buyers and sellers independently.If you or someone you know is interested please complete the form below. All inquiries will be confidential of course!

Top real estate team in Roswell GA

Contact us for a confidential interview to join the Number 1 Team in Roswell.