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A Father’s Real Estate Wisdom: Investment Tips for My Kids

Hey Kids,

As you start exploring the world of real estate investment, I want to share some insights I’ve picked up over the years. Our hometown of Roswell offers opportunities for smart investments. Here are a few tips to help you navigate the real estate landscape and find your own path to success.

Roswell is famous for its beautiful historic homes, top-rated schools, and cool vibe. When thinking about investments, it’s important to understand what makes this area special. Check out market trends, property values, and neighborhood vibes. Keep an eye on new businesses, infrastructure projects, and zoning changes that can boost property values.

You’ve probably heard this a million times, but it’s true: location is everything in real estate. In Roswell, great locations often mean being close to excellent schools, parks, shopping centers, and restaurants. Look for properties in areas like Historic Roswell or nice established neighborhoods. A prime location can make a big difference in rental income and property value.

While Roswell has plenty to offer, it’s smart to diversify your real estate portfolio. Think about a mix of property types—single-family homes, townhouses, even commercial properties. Each type comes with its own perks and risks. Diversifying helps protect against market ups and downs and gives you a balanced approach to building wealth.

When looking at potential investments, check out the condition of the property. Older homes in Roswell might need some work, but they can be real gems if renovated properly. Look for places with room for improvement, like cosmetic updates or expansions. Investing in well-maintained properties or those with high potential can really pay off.

Tap into the expertise of local Realtors (like your ol’ dad here), property managers, and contractors. Their knowledge can give you valuable insights and help you make smart decisions. Networking with these pros can also lead you to off-market deals and opportunities you might not find on your own.

While short-term gains are tempting, real estate is often most rewarding when you think long-term. Consider how property values might appreciate over time and look for areas with strong growth potential. Buy real estate and wait, time will do the rest. Even if you don’t get a screaming deal when you purchase,over time you’re investment will continue to increase. Roswell’s mix of historic charm and modern amenities makes it a great place for long-term investment. Hold onto properties that are likely to grow in value and provide steady rental income. Don’t be tempted to sell with market ups and downs, stay the course.

The real estate market is always changing, so staying informed is crucial. Keep up with local market trends, economic factors, and zoning law changes. Attend local real estate seminars and join investment groups to stay connected and learn new things. Being adaptable and ready to tweak your strategy based on market conditions will help you stay ahead.

Financing is a big part of real estate investment. Explore different options like traditional mortgages, home equity loans, and private lenders. Knowing the terms and conditions of each option and developing trusted relationships with lenders will help you make the best financial decisions. Keep an eye on interest rates and loan conditions, as they can greatly impact your returns. Sometimes it makes sense to buy and lock in a longer term low rate even if the price isn’t great.

Real estate investment isn’t just about making money; it’s also about improving quality of life. Think about how your investments can benefit the community and enhance your own quality of life. Treat your tenants and property well and this will pay dividends over time and lead to sustainable and rewarding investments.

Investing in real estate offers a unique mix of opportunities and rewards. By understanding the market, focusing on prime locations, diversifying your investments, and leveraging local expertise, you can build a successful real estate portfolio. Stay informed, think long-term, and remember the importance of quality of life. With these principles in mind, you’ll be well on your way to making smart and rewarding real estate investments.

I’m so proud of you for taking this step. Remember, this journey is as much about learning and growing as it is about financial success. Trust your instincts, stay curious, and never hesitate to ask for advice. Don’t wait to buy real estate, buy real estate and wait. Here’s to your future success!

With love and wisdom,

Dad

A Father’s Real Estate Wisdom: Investment Tips for My Kids

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

“Behind the Curtin” Presents A Canton Street Townhome in Roswell, GA Episode 10

“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 who live well in their homes 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 10 – A Canton Street Townhome In Roswell, Georgia

WATCH THE FULL EPISODE HERE

In the latest episode of ‘Behind the Curtin,’ Joanne Curtin tours the extraordinary Canton Street townhome owned by world-traveler and collector extraordinaire, Russ Steinbeck. Join us as Russ unveils the enchanting secrets behind crafting his dream urban oasis.

Joanne: It’s a pleasure to talk to you today, Russ. Let’s begin by sharing with me where you lived before moving to downtown Roswell.

Russ: I was living in Greenwich, Connecticut in a great little 1940’s building known as LaFayette Court. There are dozens of restaurants, great shopping, a giant library, and a park. When I began looking in this area, I toured the areas around Avalon, Milton, and downtown Alpharetta and finally discovered Canton Street in Roswell. Canton Street has that same eclectic feel I enjoyed in Greenwich. I enjoy the authenticity here. And it’s all about walking. Where do you want to walk to? Do you know your neighbors? Being able to engage with people in the community of Roswell is the best I have ever found.

Joanne: Tell me about the particular townhome you chose.

Russ: The unit just absolutely gorgeous. The sunroom features these cast iron doors that swing open and it’s very spacious. It’s a great location. I can even use my own Wi-Fi across the street at Crazy Love Coffee House. Finding a place that you truly love is an extension of your personality. And this home gave me the freedom to bring in things I have enjoyed my whole life.

Joanne: What did this home have that you needed?

Russ: I needed to make it my own. I needed a place to enjoy different things I have collected over the years. Fortunately, I was able to travel to over 20 countries with my children. So, for example, I have a museum book from every museum we visited.

Joanne: What is your favorite room in your home?

Russ: It’s the sun porch. You get the fresh air and can relax by the fire with a good cigar. I think it’s the best room in the house.

Joanne: You told me that you are a collector. What are some finds that you love here?

Russ: The camera painting here is the same camera my dad used in Europe. These books were collected in Prague with my son. These photos are from my parents travels in Paris. And this original, signed Banksy that I got at an auction.

Joanne: Now that you’re settled in, is there anything you would have done differently?

Russ: I am in the process of sorting over 90,000 photos from our family travels and I am putting up more photos of my beautiful, talented, well-traveled kids.

Joanne: Do you have a second home?

Russ: Lots of people have a beach house. But since I hiked the Appalachian Trail while I was living in Connecticut I would like to get a piece of property halfway along the Trail so I can fly in, hike for a couple of days and come back.

Joanne: What lesson have you learned with this move?

Russ: You don’t need all the stuff you have. Figure out what’s important. Get rid of the rest. You don’t want your kids to have to go through boxes and boxes and boxes of stuff. Just keep the stuff that’s meaningful.

“Behind the Curtin” Presents A Canton Street Townhome in Roswell, GA Episode 10

“Behind the Curtin” Presents A New Construction Home in Roswell, Georgia Episode 8

“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 who live well in their homes 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 8 – A New Construction Home in Roswell, Georgia

WATCH THE FULL EPISODE HERE

Max Reiboldt and his wife, Kay, built a new home across the street from where they were living. This short journey resulted in a huge transformation of their living space.

Joanne: Max and Kay, it is a pleasure to talk to you. I am excited to hear about where you lived before you built this home.

Kay: We lived on Fowler, just literally diagonally across the street. We liked the neighborhood so much that when this property became available, we latched on to it quickly. We wanted to be on one level, and we didn’t want much yard. When the builder realized that two homes could not be built on this lot, Max said, “Why not purchase the entire property?” So, we ended up with a larger lot than we expected.

Joanne: What does your new home have that your previous one didn’t have?

Kay: The problem we had at Fowler is that you could not get into that house without stairs. We needed all of our living space on one level, but we have six grandkids, and we thought, we really would like to have space for them if they all want to come and stay. We also built over the three-car garage. We added that additional space in case we need live in help to stay with us. Caregivers, nursing homes, they are so expensive, we thought it would be better to have space for someone to live here and we can stay in our home which is our goal.

Joanne: What is your favorite room in the house?

Kay: I think the whole downstairs – the kitchen, dining room, hallway. In the morning I love to sit in the hallway with the big windows and plants.

Max: We have an outside covered porch patio and pool and that is a nice setting and pretty enjoyable when the weather isn’t too hot or too cold. I also think the high 25-foot ceiling with a balcony view upstairs is a unique feature in this very custom home.

Joanne: So, upstairs is really for visitors and grandkids?

Max: We entertain quite a good bit actually. And each bedroom has a theme. For example, I am President of the Board of Directors of a medical missions effort serving central America, primarily Guatemala. And we’ve gone there so many times, we have named one of our guest rooms “The Guatemala Room” because we modeled it after some of the places we stay when we are there.

Kay: We have a purple room for our granddaughters. We also have a living room [on the second level] for the grandkids that has an arts and craft area. The third floor was actually not planned for anything more than storage. But we made it in to a game room where we have a pool table and we also have some extra storage up there as well.

Joanne: What is your favorite source for décor?

Kay: Working with our very talented interior designer, Christie, who has worked for HGTV and Netflix, I will buy something that I love and she will find a way to make it work. I love unique pieces and bargains! So, she and I are always on the hunt for a good sale. Locally, I pick up things at antique stores and sometimes I will find pieces online at Wayfair or Serena and Lily. I have a good friend and along with Christie’s assistant, we are able to purchase larger items that I could not transport on my own.

Joanne: What is a splurge in your home that you feel you couldn’t live without?

Kay: I can you right off the bat! It’s the master bathroom tile we had imported from Mexico.

Joanne: And, in your opinion, what is something that you feel someone should never skimp on?

Kay: I think flooring is something you need to get right. And it needs to be the right color, especially when you have a big open space. It has to go with everything. You don’t need to buy the most expensive stuff in the world, but you need to think about upkeep. I also think good quality furniture that will last for a long time is worth the investment.

Joanne: What would you say you and Max learned through the process of building this home?

Kay: Along with our vacation homes, we learned that location is very important. Here we are centrally located for our grandkids. We also learned that some of our original ideas changed as we built the home. For example, we originally planned for a simple little garden. But because of the drainage issues we had on the lot, it was necessary to build the house longer and route the drain system properly to keep the lots from flooding in heavy rain. And with the addition of an elevator, we can have multiple floors that I still have access to, even though we originally planned for a ranch-style home.
But I have to say, being prepared for additional costs that will inevitably come up is important. And be sure to have an attorney look over contracts with builders and vendors so that your financial interests are protected.

“Behind the Curtin” Presents A New Construction Home in Roswell, Georgia Episode 8

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

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

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

Protect Your Investment with a 1031 Exchange

Raise your hand if you know what a 1031 Exchange is.
Anyone?

If you’re a real estate investor, we’re betting YOU’RE raising your hands. Both of them.
We always say that there’s no greater investment than real estate. That’s true whether you’re buying a home in which you can live or whether you’re buying homes to hold as actual investments, not unlike buying stocks or bonds.
Investors—just like The Curtin Team—know that homes are great sources of equity, not to mention boons for their tax returns, paths to greater cash flow, better diversification of their portfolios, and great ways to counter the effects of inflation.
Real estate is a GREAT investment.

But what happens when it’s time to sell an investment property?

That’s a tricky question and if you don’t have a REALTOR who’s well-versed in how to handle these transactions, you could be left holding the bag (which could be woefully free of money).
When you have a REALTOR who understands real estate investment, however, and the intricacies of a 1031 exchange, you’ll be sitting pretty when all is said and done.
With a 1031 exchange, an investor can sell a property, reinvest the proceeds, and defer ALL capital gains taxes. That’s right, ALL. To give an example, if you sold a property and had $200,000 in capital gains, you’d be subject to taxes of around $70,000, meaning you’d only have about $130,000 left to invest in a new property. After making a down payment and assuming an LTV (loan-to-value) ratio of 75%, that means you’d be able to buy a new property worth about $520,000.
But with a 1031 exchange, you’d be able to use the entire $200,000. If you had the same down payment and LTV as we cited in the previous example, you could buy a property worth about $800,000.

If you think the 1031 exchange sounds like a great idea, you’re right.
But it’s crucial—CRUCIAL—that your REALTOR understands the rules and regulations related to these exchanges. If they don’t, you could find yourself in financial hot water, and nobody wants that. There are dates and deadlines to which investors must adhere, or they’re forced to pay penalties.

The Curtin Team is well-versed in 1031 exchanges and understands their ins and outs; we know that when your investments are on the line, there’s no room for error, no time for dilly-dally. We make sure that your investments—your hard-earned money—are protected.

If you’re interested in investing in real estate and have questions, or if you’re thinking of selling an investment property, talk to us. We’re experienced with investors and will make sure your dollars are working as hard as they can for you, and that they’re kept safe.

Protect Your Investment with a 1031 Exchange

Ask Me Anything Invitation


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.

Register Here
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

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