Author Archives: Marie Dinsmore

The Fed Announces Imminent Interest Rate Hike: What it Means for Buyers

101711088-182695069.530x298You may have recently heard that the Federal Reserve has plans to raise interest rates; however, at this point in time, there’s no definite time frame for the shift.  The decision, which is expected to be announced later this year—experts are suggesting the possibility of mid-September—is the result of a healthier economy that no longer needs the buffer that interest rates close to zero have provided over the last 9 years.

In essence, returning rates to historically “normal” levels will not only help keep future inflation from rising too quickly, but will also ensure the vitality of the lending market.

While this type of rate increase often leads to a bit of temporary instability in the market, which can lead to negative issues such as slowed economic recovery and stagnant employee wages, it can also signal higher returns for consumers who consistently save their money.

Still, if you are someone who is looking to borrow the necessary funds for a new home, you’re bound to find yourself in a tight spot if you fail to lock in today’s low rates.  At this point in time, an average 30-year mortgage carries a 3.8% interest rate, which is down from 4.3% about a year ago, so experts suggest that if you’re thinking of buying a home, now is the time to push for loan approval.

If you’re on the hunt for a new home or are simply looking for a competent mortgage professional, I’d be happy to provide referrals and offer guidance along the way.  Please feel free to contact me at your earliest convenience.

Marie Dinsmore | The Dinsmore Team | www.DinsmoreTeam.com | 770-712-7789

Featured Neighborhood: Manor North in Alpharetta, GA

manor-north-estate-homes-cherokee-county-alpharetta-ga-561Starting in the low $500’s, Manor North is located in Northern Alpharetta and is part of the Cherokee County School System.  This gated community treats residents to an upscale country club lifestyle with a variety of luxurious, open floor plans that feature several “master on main” ranch designs.

Located within close proximity to a wide variety of parks, as well as a host of shopping and dining opportunities—to include The Collection at Forsyth and Avalon—this stunning neighborhood also features convenient access to GA-400 and the Manor Golf & Country Club.

With six floorplans to choose from—ranging from 4-5 bedrooms—the homes themselves feature elegance around every corner, with 10-foot ceilings, crown molding, and hardwood flooring, as well as granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, and a variety of unique architectural details.

 

manor-north-estate-homes-cherokee-county-alpharetta-ga-54HOUSING FEATURE HIGHLIGHTS

Open Floor Plans w/ Exceptional Natural Lighting

Wood or Iron Stair Balusters, Stained Oak Railing

Chair Rail & Wainscot in Dining Room and Foyer

Moen Oil Rubbed Bronze or Stain Nickel Lighting Fixtures

42” Direct Vent Gas Fireplace w/ Custom Mantle & Surround

Recessed Kitchen Lighting

manor-north-estate-homes-cherokee-county-alpharetta-ga-43Spacious Walk-In Closets

Double Vanities in Master Bath

 Outside Deck w/ Stairs to Concrete Patio

Professional Landscape Package w/ Zoned Irrigation

 

SCHOOLS

Free Home Elementary

Creekland Middle School

Creek View High School

King’s Ridge Christian School

manor-north-estate-homes-cherokee-county-alpharetta-ga-40St. Francis School

Chandler Academy

 

HOSPITALS

North Fulton Regional Hospital

Emory Johns Creek Hospital

Northside Hospital (Atlanta)

Northside Hospital (Forsyth)

Scottish Rite Children’s Hospital

Why You Need a Realtor When Buying New Construction

new-constructionAs the economy has improved, so too has the construction of new homes.  What were once sad, empty parcels of land are now beautiful new developments, so it’s no surprise that sales in these neighborhoods have increased as buyers have returned to the market.

Building your dream home can be exhilarating, especially if given the opportunity to not only pick your lot and layout, but everything from your interior finishes to your upgrades as well.  While today’s homebuilders work hard to make the process as easy as possible for potential buyers, it’s still important to remember that purchasing a home involves a large financial transaction that can have an abundance of financial implications if handled incorrectly.

Therefore, while most new housing developments have their own agents on site to assist future homeowners in procuring a home, it’s still extremely important for buyers to maintain their own representation as well.

BUILDER REPS HAVE AN OBLIGATION TO THE BUILDER—NOT YOU.

While builder reps help detail things like the difference between various models and floorplans, as well as upgrades and available financing, it’s imperative to remember that those reps are still contractually obligated to place the interests of the builder first.  Therefore, in order to be sure that your total wellbeing is given priority, buyers should seriously consider utilizing the services of an experienced Realtor who can make sure their wants and needs are placed at the forefront of the deal.

While you may think that you can easily go forth without an agent, especially in the hopes that the builder will negotiate the 3% agent fee back into your pocket, the reality is that they’ll probably keep it unless you have the representation of a Realtor who can research how much negotiating can be done.  Without this outside assurance, chances are good that you may find yourself over paying for your property.

FIDUCIARY RESPONSIBILITY.

Real estate transactions involve a good deal of paperwork and legal considerations which can be difficult to navigate if you are not completely sure how the process should work.  If you’re making the decision to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a home, you need to make sure that someone is looking out for your best financial interest.  A Realtor will not only be contractually obligated to protect you, but can help you navigate the various clauses, riders, and upgrade options embedded in the final new-construction contract.

SMOOTH NEGOTIATION PROCESS.

Part of the buying process involves the negotiation of terms, upgrade options, and closing costs, as well as selecting the best financing for your needs.  A Realtor will be able to present other attractive options for financing or will be able to work directly with the builder’s lender to secure a better rate for your mortgage.

A GUIDING HAND FROM SEARCH TO CLOSE.

From here, it’s important to remember that buying a new home is more than the fun process of selecting your finishes and signing on the dotted line.  It also involves everything from working with title companies to attending numerous inspections, so it’s worth having a Realtor on your side who can manage the overall process and ensure you’re not missing anything before the home is completely yours.

Therefore, if you’re in the market for a new home and would like some help navigating the waters, I’d love to make my services available.  Please call me for more information or to set up a meeting.

Marie Dinsmore | The Dinsmore Team | www.DinsmoreTeam.com | 770-712-7789

Mistakes to Avoid When Selling Your Home

selling-mistakesYes, learning from your mistakes is certainly a part of life and can definitely be an extremely worthwhile process.  However, when it comes to something as important as selling your home, it’s probably better to learn from other people’s mistakes.

Therefore, if you’re thinking about listing your home in the near future, the following are five common mistakes that, if avoided, can save you a lot of money and trouble.

FOR SALE BY OWNER. You may have heard that putting a “For Sale by Owner” sign in your front yard is a great way to save money. However, in this era of DIY projects and fix-it-yourself endeavors, you should resist the urge to tackle the real estate market alone.

There’s a reason that people dedicate their entire careers to the housing market.  In short, selling your home involves a lot of money, so it’s not something you should take lightly.  Working with a licensed agent helps ensure that you’re not losing your finances through a poor listing price or faulty closing contract.

If you absolutely feel the need to sell something yourself, consider unneeded furniture or other items that will simply detract from your home’s overall appeal.  Sell your coffee table yourself, not your home.

“BUT SHE’S MY FRIEND…” Plain and simple, not all agents are created equal. In addition to specializing in certain counties or neighborhoods, certain agents are better than others when it comes to residential real estate, luxury properties, foreclosures, etc.

In addition, just because your best friend’s aunt dabbles in the industry doesn’t mean she’s the best person to sell your home.  Picking the wrong agent can have serious consequences, so it’s important to choose someone with ample experience.  Don’t be afraid to do your research before selecting someone who meets your needs.  It’s your home and your money, so feel free to be choosey.

MAINTAIN A BIT OF REALISM WHEN PRICING YOUR HOME. We’ve heard it our whole lives—aim high. Reach for the stars.  While that tends to be great advice in regards to following your dreams or doing well in school, it’s not always very prudent when it comes to pricing your home.  In short, it’s better to be smart than overly eager, so listing your property at a price above its market value may hurt your chances of getting the most for your home.

You don’t want to find yourself getting a lower sale price than you were hoping for, so work with your agent to set the best, competitive price.

DON’T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF. Yes, this may be difficult to remember when stressing about the cost of repainting your pink bathroom or dealing with pre-sale repairs, but keeping things in perspective is important.  The goal is to make it to the finish line of your home sale, so try to keep your eyes on the rewarding outcome instead of the dollar signs bouncing around your head.  Once you sign the closing papers, chances are good that you’ll forget all about those smaller frustrations, so try to enjoy the ride as much as possible.

KEEP YOUR EMOTIONS IN CHECK. As much as you may love the pencil marks on your wall that correspond with your children’s yearly heights, try to remember that those heartfelt stories are not going to win the hearts of prospective buyers.  Sure, no one can argue with the fact that your home may hold an abundance of personal history, but emotions can cloud your judgement.  As an impartial player, a great agent can help you make smart, strategic decisions.

If you’re ready to sell your home or you know someone who is, please feel free to contact me for assistance.  I’d love to help you move to the next chapter of your life.

Marie Dinsmore | The Dinsmore Team | www.DinsmoreTeam.com | 770-712-7789

The Legalities of Selling a Home: What You Need to Know

Dont-Sell-Your-House-Before-Talking-with-Colorado-Springs-Bankruptcy-Lawyer-Bob-DoigWhen most people think of preparing their home for the market, they think of things like selecting the right real estate agent and proper staging.  However, there’s more to getting your house in order than esthetics.

Plain and simple, selling your home involves a large amount of money, which means it also involves a sizeable amount of legal regulations that will dictate how the course of your sale will progress.  While each seller may have a different reason for marketing their home—divorce, financial troubles, the need for more/less space—protecting yourself from the snares of the selling process is important.

To get you started, here are four steps you can take to avoid some of the common legal missteps of selling a home.

REMEDY ALL DEBTS, ENCUMBRANCES, AND LIENS

Prior to settling with a buyer, you’ll need to make sure that you’ve resolved any debt that your property may have incurred.  While the outstanding amount may vary greatly depending upon the homeowner, one thing is for certain: the lienholder will get their money.

Therefore, if you are dealing issues such as a civil court judgement, missed child support payments, unpaid debts, or missed homeowner’s association dues, you’ll need to either pay what you owe or expect that the amount will be deducted from your final sale proceeds on the day of closing.

JOINT TENANTS MUST BE ON THE SAME PAGE

If you’re dealing with a property that has more than one owner—which may be the case if you’ve inherited the property—your options for selling are somewhat narrow.  Plain and simple, everyone needs to be on the same page regarding how the proceeds will be split, so you must get consent from all of the owners before the sale.  While each state has different regulations regarding how this must be done, suffice it to say that gathering consent can turn into a lengthy and expensive legal process.

Divorce can also be another example of a joint sale of a home, especially if it was owned through joint tenancy.  In this instance, both owners will need to sign the transfer deed over to the new owners and must agree to spit the proceeds accordingly.

HOME SALE AGREEMENTS

If you’re in a situation where you’re unmarried and living with a domestic partner, it’s important to understand that, in the U.S., property and ownership rights are not necessarily guaranteed.  Therefore, in order to encourage a smooth sale process, it’s important to create a home sale agreement in advance which will clearly set the contract terms for the profit division after the sale.

To accomplish this, make a point to sit down with your partner and establish the current financials of the property, which should include any and all outstanding debt, as well as your asking price and bottom line offer threshold.

While this conversation may feel slightly uncomfortable, taking the time to discuss ownership expectations—including everything from upkeep and improvements to monthly payments and sweat equity—will make the entire selling process go a lot smoother.

From there, it’s important to utilize the services of an experienced attorney (if you haven’t already done so) who can draft a home sale agreement which establishes things like proceed allocations, debt responsibilities, and other terms that require agreement.

GATHER THE NECESSARY PAPERWORK

While this aspect may seem like a bit of a no-brainer, it’s worth stating that gathering any and all important home documents will make sure you’re really ready to sell.

Include things such as:

  • Deed
  • Evidence of encumbrances, liens, judgements, etc.
  • Appraisals
  • Repair Documentation
  • Real Estate Agreements

At the end of the day, while it would be nice to assume it’s entirely possible for everyone to have a clean debt/legal history before selling their home, that’s simply not reality.  Therefore, if you’re dealing with a less than perfect past, make a point to clean up what you can, gather everything in writing, and surround yourself with a team of experts who can help you through the process.

If you’d like some assistance, please contact me.  I’d love to help you along the way.

Marie Dinsmore | The Dinsmore Team | www.DinsmoreTeam.com | 770-724-7789

Community Resources

WELCOME

2019 Welcome Services

The Dinsmore Team has created this handy guide for both Buyers and Sellers. The guide lists trusted service providers that we use personally and professionally. The providers listed service the Forsyth and North Fulton County areas.

2014 Complete Guide to Moving

This 20-Page Guide will be your comprehensive source for selling your home and planning your move. It includes tips for getting ready to sell, planning your move, packing and transitioning into your new home.

2014 Home Owners Tip Guide

This 20-Page Guide will help you develop an annual maintenance schedule for your home's systems and appliances to help you avoid bigger problems by taking care of them while they are small. It's also a great resource for trouble shooting malfunctions on your own, saving you time and money.


utilities

Looking for a fast way to connect all of your utility services online? Try Connect Utilities.

Please let us know if there are other resources you'd like to see.

Marie@DinsmoreTeam.com

770-712-7789