Tag Archives: Home Buying

What’s the Difference Between a Buyer’s and Seller’s Market?

realtor-4As the spring real estate season starts to get underway, it appears that the market is showing favor to home sellers. However, while the terms “buyer’s market” or “seller’s market” may be something we regularly hear about, especially in regards to the state of the economy, truly understanding what each expression means is important.

Generally speaking, the above terms signify what you can expect when moving ahead with a real estate transaction.

A buyer’s market occurs when you have more supply than demand, which is what occurred after the housing bubble collapsed in 2007. When this happens, since there are more people looking to sell houses than people looking to buy them, many homeowners wind up accepting less money than their homes are worth and in some cases, may even find themselves offering incentives just to secure an interested buyer.

While this obviously presents a problem for sellers, this type of market is fantastic for buyers who—if they have the money—can find themselves in possession of a fantastic home for thousands below the asking price.

On the other hand, a seller’s market is just the opposite because it indicates that the demand is larger than the supply. In healthy economies, people have more money to spend, which means sellers may see several buyers competing for their property. When this happens, prices tend to go up since people are willing to pay more for what they want.

In this case, sellers are definitely the faction that comes out on top because they are more likely to see a great return on their home investment.

Even so, when considering the buying or selling process in your particular location, it’s important to remember that there may be fluctuation within the same state—or even the same county—which is worth thinking about if you’re considering a relocation. In other words, while your current home may be listed in a so-called “buyer’s market,” the area where you’d like to move may be considered a “seller’s market.” When this happens, you may wind up paying more money than if you were to sell your home at an advantage and buy in a location where you’d also buy at an advantage.

As with anything in life, real estate tends to have a natural ebb and flow so market’s never last forever. While experts try, it’s often difficult to predict what a market will do with 100% accuracy, so when deciding when to buy or sell, it’s worth speaking to an experienced real estate agent who can offer some insight into the local area.

At the current time, North Georgia (particularly the Cumming, Alpharetta, Roswell, Milton, and Gainesville) appears to be a seller’s market, so if you’ve been thinking about selling your home, now is the time to do it!

If you’d like more information or would like to obtain a free estimate of what your home is worth, please contact me.

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

Special Home Buying Considerations for Families with Children

norris-familyAs a single person, you can be free to be a bit creative when it comes to buying a home, especially since too much space can be a burden.  However, if you’re starting the buying process with a few kids in tow, you may find yourself in a situation that’s a bit more complex.

Children not only need a safe place to lay their heads at the end of the day, but space to play and express their individuality.

Therefore, to assess a home’s kid-friendly potential, home buyers with children or those planning to start a family should consider the following tips:

NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE IMPORTANCE OF SIZE.  For families, size is one of the most vital considerations since children need an abundance of space to run and play.  Until you have kids, you never fully appreciate how much room they are capable of consuming—along with the amount of constant destruction they can leave in their wake—so making sure you purchase a home with extra square footage is important.

PRACTICALITY.  When taking the size of a home into account, don’t forget to put a little thought into how it fits with your family’s lifestyle.

-Is there enough closet space for everyone’s things?

-Will your entire family be able to fit into the kitchen or dining room at meal times?

-Is the yard large enough to help your children burn off a bit of steam?

-Is there a mud room or laundry room for your children’s dirty clothes or muddy sports equipment?

-How many bathrooms will you need?

SAFETY.  There’s something to be said for feeling like you don’t have to worry about your children at all times.  When looking for a home, search for someplace that will give you the peace of mind of knowing that your kids are safe, both inside and outside the home.  Particular considerations may include the layout and fixtures, as well as the possibility of furniture placement.

If you’d like to be able to supervise them without having to move from room to room, you’ll probably want to make sure your new home has an open floor plan and if there’s a pool, you’ll probably want to make sure it’s surrounded by a fence.

With this, you may also want to check with your agent to see the location of the nearest hospital and to assess additional safety concerns such as local traffic levels, violent crime rates, and sources of pollution.  Additionally, Georgia contracts allow you to check for registered sex offenders, which can be done through the Georgia Bureau of Investigation website (www.gbi.georgia.gov).

LOCATION.  Even if you’ve already decided that the area is safe enough for your standards, location is still important because your children will need to attend the local schools.  Take notice of their distance from your potential home and pinpoint things like after-school child centers and local parks.

Additional considerations may involve the location of the nearest hospital for emergencies, as well as entertainment ventures such as nearby restaurants, stores, and movie theaters.

In the end, if the home buying process feels like a lot—especially if you’re trying to do it with four or five other people in mind—consider starting with a list of items that are essential for your family and go from there.

If you need help, don’t be afraid to hire the services of an experienced Realtor who can organize your wish list and help you search for the perfect home.

For assistance, please call me.  I’d love to help your family find the property of their dreams.

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

Featured Neighborhood: Gables at Stoney Point in Cumming, GA

176202979404479_gablesmodela_copyLocated just above the affluent Johns Creek corporate corridor, The Gables at Stoney Point sits within driving distance of some of Forsyth County’s finest schools, medical facilities, and shopping ventures.  With convenient access to GA 400—and subsequently the bustling city of Atlanta—this established, private community of only 77 homes is surrounded by acres of forested space and quality craftsmanship.

Starting in the mid-high $500’s, this beautiful gated community comes complete with a private club that includes a two-story clubhouse and pool, as well as perfectly manicured cul-de-sac streets and professionally landscaped yards.

Outside, each home includes a wood deck or patio and premium wood entry doors, along with 30-year architectural shingles and a variety of high-end exterior materials—to include 3-sides brick, real stone, and shake & siding veneers.

Inside, each home has been designed with an open floor plan and comes standard with stunning hardwood floors, two 42-inch fireplaces, granite kitchen countertops, stainless steel Whirlpool appliances, and spacious walk-in closets.

SCHOOLS:  (Award-winning Forsyth County Schools)

S1907694181427359GablesSitePlan2outh Forsyth High School

Piney Grove Middle School

Shiloh Point Elementary

 

SHOPPING:

 

North Point Mall

Avalon

The Collection at Forsyth

North Georgia Premium Outlet Mall

Mall of Georgia

 

If you’re interested in learning more about this community or seeing what homes are still available, feel free to visit their website at www.SRHomes.com/Gables-At-Stoney-Point or contact me to set up a viewing.

 

Marie Dinsmore | The Dinsmore Team | www.DinsmoreTeam.com | 678-455-3048

5 Important Considerations for First-Time Home Buyers

ffdaWhen it comes to finding the perfect home to rent, your job is much easier because the goal is to find a home that “meets my needs right now” instead of “meets my needs for the next 20 years.”  Plain and simple, making the decision to purchase a property is a much bigger commitment than renting, both in terms of finances and length of time that you’ll wind up staying in one place.

With that being said, due to the amount you’ll have to invest in your final decision, it’s important to do a bit of upfront homework so you don’t wind up in a bind down the road.

Therefore, if you’re getting ready to buy your first place, there are five things that should be considered in advance.

1.) ADDITIONS TO YOUR LIFE – While it’s important to shop for a space that meets your current space needs, it’s always wise to assume that you might need to make adjustments at a later date should your family expand.  Even if kids aren’t in the picture, you never know what other types of changes life may throw at you—such as having a parent move in—so it’s wise to think about your need for extra bedrooms, bathrooms, and overall square footage.

2.) KNOW THE HOME’S CONDITION – Sure, you may not be able to afford a lot of upgrades at first; however, the basics should still be in working order.  Before making the final decision to purchase, you’ll want to have the property thoroughly inspected so you don’t find yourself stuck with a complete money pit.  Speak with your real estate agent about this process and feel free to ask for the names of reputable inspectors.

3.) BE CAREFUL OF EXPECTING PERFECTION – Much like a first job, first homes tend to represent a stepping stone to something better, so finding the right place is often a matter of balancing your wants and needs with what you can reasonably afford.  Make a list of “must-haves,” “nice-haves,” and “not necessary to-haves,” and focus on the areas where you don’t mind compromising.  Are you willing to sacrifice a three-car garage for a larger kitchen?  Is the larger home worth it if it’s in a less desirable neighborhood?  Only you can measure the importance of the amenities you’re looking for.

4.) REMEMBER TO ACCOUNT FOR ALL OF THE COSTS OF OWNERSHIP – When you’re renting, things like regular maintenance and repairs are the responsibility of your landlord; however, one of the key aspects of homeownership is that the property becomes yours and yours alone.  Therefore, don’t forget to account for the fact that your budget will need to include those extra living costs such as utilities, trash pick-up, sewage fees, HOA dues, and other routine maintenance costs.  When approving your home loan, your lending will not factor in these extra costs, so it’s important to calculate them in advance.  If you’re unsure of how to do this, speak with your real estate agent to determine the appropriate price range for you.

5.) ALL THINGS HAVE A LIFESPAN – Manmade things break and deteriorate, so it’s important to not only identify a potential home’s flaws before you buy, but to have an understanding of its components.  When will the roof need to be replaced?  How old is the furnace?  What kind of shape are the appliances and carpet in?  Sure, everything may be in working order now, but all homes will need these types of repairs or replacements eventually, so it’s wise to research the expected lifespan of the larger-ticket items in your potential home.

When you’re ready to get the process started, please contact me.  I’d love to help you along the way.

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

2014 RE/MAX All Properties Top Sales Associate of the Year

Buying a Home? Set Yourself Up for Success

bigstock-African-American-family-celebr-14087630While some of us may be prone to spontaneous bouts of spending or find ourselves unable to stick to a strict budgeting system, when it comes to buying a home, it’s important to remember that such a large financial decision warrants more than a few helpings of discretion, sensibility, and budgeting.

With that being said, it’s important to stay on the right path, especially if financial discipline remains a challenge for you.  Therefore, the following tips will help you keep your eye on the prize.

KEEP SCORE: Plain and simple, the better your credit score, the better your mortgage terms will wind up being when it comes time to apply for a loan.  While improving a depressed score may take a good deal of work, a good credit rating can literally save you tens of thousands of dollars over the life of your loan.  Therefore, start by reviewing your credit a few months before you intend to place your loan application and if your score is in the 600s or lower, along with making consistent on-time payments, try to pay down your balances so they sit below 30% of your limit.

CONSIDER ALL COSTS: Sure, the cost of the home itself is a great starting point, but it’s important to factor in all of the other costs of homeownership, such as taxes and insurance, as well as other expenses such as utilities and homeowner association fees.  With that, don’t forget about the ever-necessary rainy day fund which will help you cope when various issues demand repair and go into the process with the understanding that the average homeowner spends 1-4% of a home’s value on property maintenance each year.

BE FLEXIBLE IN YOUR SEARCH: In our culture of instant gratification, it can be a little difficult to distinguish between wants and needs, but in order to make a sensible housing decision, making the distinction between the two is imperative.  When it comes to building your list of must-haves, include items that will directly affect your quality of life, such as the home’s location, its price, the number of bedrooms, and the its square footage.  While you may have your heart set on hardwoods and granite, it’s important to prepare yourself for life’s necessary concessions so that you can remain flexible and stay within your budget.

KEEP YOUR COOL: Purchasing new things is exhilarating for everyone; however, buying a home is not like getting excited over a new pair of shoes.  Using a bit of self-restrain will not only prevent you from overspending or choosing a home that doesn’t fully meet your needs, but it will protect you in markets where the homes are selling quickly.  Even if you have your heart set on someplace you thought would be perfect, be prepared to walk away if the home inspection reveals more defects than your able to deal with.  With this, maintain a sense of calm if you find yourself in the middle of a bidding war, as it can push you to spend more than is prudent.  At the end of the day, maintaining a sense of patience will help you remember that whether your offer is accepted or the home inspection goes off without a hitch, there are always other great homes available.

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

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