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Atlanta renovation

Why a Pre-renovated Home May Be the Best for Buyers This Summer

It’s all about supply and demand.

There’s been no shortage of news around rising costs of building material. Lumber prices have risen 377% over the past year. Copper wire and Steel have also seen a significant increase over the past year.

While these increases have dominated the news around new home construction, they also have a major impact on existing home renovations.

Therefore, finding an existing home that is already renovated could save you money in the long run versus finding a home that is in need of larger renovations.

Below are the most common and expensive renovations in relation to rising building material costs. I have listed out the average cost before the rise in material costs. I have also outlined four things to consider when evaluating renovation quality.

Kitchen 

Average cost: $19,720

Bathroom

Average master cost: $30,000 – $50,000

Average small bathroom cost: $7,830

Cabinets

Average cost: $3,965

Outdoor deck

Average cost: $5,000 – $9,300

Source 1, 2 

Four things to consider when evaluating renovations in a home

Atlanta renovation

Material quality

Inspect flooring, countertops, doors, and cabinetry. 

Look for high-quality materials like granite, custom cabinets, real hardwood flooring, and solid core doors.

I generally find that when high-quality materials are used the less likely it is that corners were cut on construction.

Atlanta renovation

Plumbing and electrical

I recommend having a knowledgeable professional inspect the plumbing and electrical work, especially if it was a recent renovation prior to putting the house on the market.

An inspector will generally catch some electrical and plumbing issues. However, mistakes or cut corners can often be made in a renovation that are not always revealed in the inspection.

Atlanta renovation

Detail work and finishes

There are a lot of contractors out there and just as many DIY homeowners, for this reason, looking at the detail and finish can provide clues as to whether or not the renovation was done using a reputable contractor. 

Red flags to look for are things like uneven tile work, bowing floors, and uneven cuts. Also, check cabinetry work for smooth opening and closing as well as the gold standard dovetail joints.

Atlanta renovation

Appliance and fixture quality

An easy way to identify if the renovation was done just to flip or quickly sell the property is the quality of appliances and fixtures.

Generally, if high-quality appliances are in the home, the homeowner also invested in high-quality craftsmanship.

Look for appliances from reputable brands within their mid to high-tier options. Look for fixtures that are metal and from reputable manufacturers.

Conclusion

With sky-high material costs, now might not be the best time to purchase homes that need large renovations. Instead, consider looking for a home that has already been renovated by a high-quality contractor.

As your experienced real estate agent, I help you identify whether or not renovations are of good quality and craftsmanship.

If you are looking to buy a home this summer, please contact me here, and I’ll help you find the best home within your needs and budget.

4 Ways to Maximize Your Home Value in Atlanta

My story has been consistent over the last several months. It’s a competitive market in favor of sellers. 

However, to be competitive and maximize the value of your home you have to have what buyers are looking for.

Here are the top 4 upgrades buyers are looking for when buying a home post-pandemic.

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Downtown Atlanta

Quarterly Update: April 2021

The real estate market is strong and we’re looking at a good setup going into the prime real estate season. While we did have a slowdown in new and existing home sales in February, we were still up significantly year over year. It seems the February slowdown was primarily influenced by the weather. 

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Connected home

5 Smart Home Devices for Holiday Gifting

The pandemic has accelerated many things.  One acceleration that I’ve observed is the connected home.  With more people working from home and building out more at home “comforts”, I’ve been asked more about connected home devices.

This year, I’m writing my version of a holiday gift guide with my favorite connected home devices.

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Virtual tour

How to be a Seller in the Current Market

As the current pandemic looms, parts of the economy are still moving. One of those is the real estate market. 

Buyers are still researching, viewing, and buying homes. However, given the uncertainty, fewer sellers are listing, which according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) is creating a greater inventory shortage.

This puts savvy sellers in a good position because buyers are still looking and there’s less inventory so less selling competition. More importantly, according to the NAR, in a recent survey, 74% of agents reported that sellers have not been dropping prices.

I believe that, given the lower inventory,  if you’re a seller you have a good opportunity to cater to the buyers out there in need of the right property.

How do you cater to these buyers?

Below are some tips that can put you in a good selling position in today’s environment.

Increase screen appeal

As you know, things look different on camera, and with buyers now viewing homes virtually it’s important to stage your home properly to ensure the camera effectively captures the space and dimensions. 

On virtual tours, it’s extremely important to remove clutter so the space comes through clearly. 

Additionally, you’ll want to arrange the furniture to show the maximum space on video as well as accurately depicting the dimensions. 

I recommend taking some pictures as you’re staging your home so you can see what potential buyers will be seeing. 

I’ve been giving virtual tours with my properties and I always ensure the rooms look great on camera before any showings.

Highlight the “new premium” spaces in your listing

Coming out of the pandemic, I believe that buyers will start placing a premium on spaces that were sometimes overlooked in the past.  Here are three that I believe you should emphasize in your listing.

Home office space

I think the work from home trend is going to continue into the future. While I don’t think we’ll go to a complete work from home environment, I think more companies will start opening to the change, given the grand work from home experiment during the pandemic.

For this reason, a premium will be placed on home office space. So if you have space for a home office make sure it is emphasized. 

If you don’t have a dedicated room for an office, consider staging the home to showcase how the space you have could be utilized as a small workspace setup.

Home gym space

During the pandemic people have become more accustomed to working out at home, thus learning how to and becoming accustomed to at-home workouts. This puts a premium on home gym space. 

Do you have a nice gym in your condo or a nice dedicated space in your house with workout equipment? If so make sure it’s highlighted as buyers will be considering this as they are searching for homes.

Outdoor space

Personal outdoor space will also become even a greater premium. As people have become more and more restricted indoors personal green space and fresh air has become coveted. Do you have a terrace, patio, yard, balcony? If so, highlight it and stage it, this will be an advantage as buyers will start moving outdoor space up on the list of “must-haves”.

Are you considering selling your home virtually? Please contact me if you are in need of an agent to show you how to maximize the value of your home.

2019 Real Estate Overview

2019 Real Estate Market Overview

2018 was a competitive year for the residential real estate market both nationally and locally, as median values of residential real estate rose throughout the year and inventory remained relatively low. With increasing mortgage rates, real estate values and low inventory, it was a seller’s market, with many buyers getting priced out of the market, especially first-time buyers.

In the post below, I’ll review what I expect in the 2019 residential real estate market for buyers, sellers and the local Atlanta market. I believe there will be some economic uncertainty that will affect the market, because of this, it is even more important to know where the opportunities are in the Atlanta market as well as how the opportunities should be valued.

So what’s in store for 2019?  

Buyers

Last year was an extremely competitive one for buyers, who were paying premiums in bidding wars for properties. I expect this trend to continue in 2019 but the competition over properties will cool. Rising interest rates and prices will ease the competition, giving slight favor back to buyers.  However, the rising rates will test buyers mortgage budgets.

According to Zillow research, 30 yr fixed rate mortgages are forecasted to rise to 5.8% which will affect budgets by increasing monthly mortgage payments.  This increase could price many first time buyers out of the market, thus reducing buying competition. Likewise, Zillow predicts that while home value growth will continue, it’s expected to cool from its highs, which will be favorable for buyers.  All that said, I still expect inventory levels to remain flat to slightly up, holding back a buyer’s market.

Sellers

Sellers will maintain the advantage in 2019, however, they will also feel the effects of rising mortgage rates as there will be fewer buyers competing for their properties.  So in 2019 sellers will lose some control of the buying process and adjust their price expectations accordingly.

Nevertheless, I believe that the influx of millennials entering the market will help support current values, maintaining the seller advantage.  According to Danielle Hale, Cheif Economist for Realtor.com, millennials will make up the largest segment of buyers next year, accounting for 45% of mortgages. And according to a survey from Trulia, 21% of Americans ages 18-34 plan to buy a home within the next 12 months.

Atlanta

As I noted in my previous post, Atlanta had been more resilient than the rest of the market, but in November, the South region and Atlanta started to see some of the slow down that the national market experienced in the fourth quarter. Showing traffic was down 5% in November, indicating that many buyers are getting priced out of the market or they’re on the sidelines waiting to see how mortgage rates move. According to a Redfin analysis, Atlanta sellers have been dropping prices at a higher rate than other major markets in order to attract more buyers.

I expect this pattern to trickle into 2019, similar to the national market, although the impact will be less in Atlanta due to more inventory coming available as developments are completed. It will still be a seller’s market in Atlanta but the competition will slow impacting sales and price growth.  In 2019, according to Realtor.com, sales in Atlanta are expected to be down 1.9% and prices are only expected to grow a modest 3%.

Summary

Overall I believe homeownership will continue to rise, but at much slower rates than we’ve seen over the past several years.  Home values will increase at a slower rate and inventory levels will slowly rise. Nevertheless, there will be a lot of uncertainty in the market and values will still be difficult to find.  If you are planning on buying or selling a property it will be more important than ever to enlist an expert to help you navigate the best opportunities in 2019.