August 29, 2008

America’s Most Distressed Housing Markets, Where Does Atlanta Real Estate Stack Up???

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , at 2:11 pm by winterbaserva

According to a recent report on America’s Most Distressed Housing Markets in, the “hardest-hit” home markets include Las Vegas, Sacramento, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Phoenix and Detroit, amongst others.  In the article, Stan Humphries, vice president of data and analytics at, an online aggregator of real estate listings and public sales records states “Nationally, one-third of homes are underwater, and 20% of transactions happening across the country are foreclosures. That’s what drives up the number of home sales for a loss.”

It’s no secret that the dreaded “adjustable-rate mortgage” is responsible for a large part of the foreclosures on the market, but other factors such as job-loss,  inflation, and people who should have never probably been funded in the first place, have to be factored in as well.

Fool me once, shame on me; fool me twice, Shame on You!
Shame on you America!!

The days of where you could fog a mirror and get a loan approved are long gone and thank goodness for that. We want our economy to be stabilized and fruitful, not filled with empty promises.
The most promising thing for me in reading this report was Atlanta not being included as one of “America’s Worst Housing Markets.” As a matter of fact, the only mention of Atlanta real estate or the Atlanta home market at all was by the author Matt Woolsey who states “For markets like Phoenix or Atlanta, where prices spiked by double digits annually from 2002 to 2006, selling for a loss can be a positive sign that housing markets are actively correcting and that come-lately speculators are being flushed out.”

Hmmm….Doesn’t seem so doom and gloom to me, as a matter a fact, it looks like relief might be on the way for Atlanta’s housing market. Yes, while there are a good number of Atlanta Short Sales and Atlanta Foreclosures still available, more and more investors are picking those properties up. For example, I had two REO deals that I submitted offers on last week that were already under contract by the time I got there. And, although I was disappointed for my clients, it shows an improvement to what is happening with Atlanta Real Estate.

Fact is Atlanta is the sixth-largest city in the Southeastern region, and known for its great weather, opportunity, nightlife, and overall robust flavor. As Atlanta has undergone a transition from a city of regional commerce to a city of international influence, it has been among the fastest growing cities in the developed world for over a decade.

So, what will happen with the Atlanta’s housing market?? Well only time will tell…..With all of the global technology companies and international corporate headquarters such as UPS, Delta, Coca-Cola, CNN, TBS, the Center for Disease Control, or the historical recognition such as Gone With the Wind, the Braves, the 1996 Olympic Games, over 32 “Peachtree”-named streets, home of the world’s largest aquarium, and good ol’ sweet tea, Atlanta is constantly reinventing itself.  With over 5.3 million residents, there will always be a need for “home.” Whether you are looking for your next home or investment, there has NEVER BEEN A BETTER TIME TO BUY!!!

With a steady increase in expansion each year, Atlanta’s growth is expected to continue. With all these attributes, it’s only a matter of time until demand again exceeds supply and these prices are much higher. And, luckily if we can count on history to repeat itself, we will all look back in 10 years from now and wish we bought every home, lot and condominium we could possibly afford.  So, stop procrastinating and START capitalizing on one of the greatest discount sales events Atlanta real estate has EVER seen!!


August 27, 2008

If your agent can’t stand up for their own worth, how do you expect they’ll represent you at the negotiating table?? A Perspective on Hiring a Realtor to Help in Your Atlanta Real Estate Purchase.

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , at 3:54 pm by winterbaserva

No doubt, real estate is hard work. And yes, if you work hard enough, the benefits do pay off. I agree with the fact that technology and the internet have changed the face of real estate and allow buyers a significant advantage that was once not available to them. The tech boom now allows buyers the opportunity to search for Atlanta real estate and Atlanta foreclosures online, as well as get neighborhood information more easily and even run their own CMA’s, etc.

What buyers don’t realize is that as much information as they can pull up online, there is a whole other piece of the pie they don’t have access to, like seller’s property disclosures, Atlanta short sales or foreclosures that haven’t shown up in property records or posted in (which drops your property value), how long a property has been on the market and overall neighborhood statistics.
And, as the real estate market has shifted, many Atlanta realtors and brokerages try to separate themselves and scrounge for business in any way possible by offering a “buyer cash back” program or “buyer incentives” (of only which one of those is legal by the way).

Look, I’m a fan of making sure people are taken care of when they provide a service. But, BUYERS, it’s VITAL to ask yourself one VERY IMPORTANT QUESTION: If the agent that represents you doesn’t stand up for their own worth, how do you think they will represent you at the negotiating table??

A typical transaction can run anywhere from 20-200 hours of work, depending on many factors including: how long you’ve been looking, distance between areas, time spent in the car, lunches and dinners, setting appointments, checking tax records, writing offers, working negotiations, following up with inspections, attending walk throughs, ensuring all paperwork is within state laws and guidelines, arranging documents with the closing attorney, copying, scanning, faxing, telephone time, not to mention answering calls from clients at all times of the day and night throughout the process.  That’s just a small part of it; I’ve left out about 50 more things that is required for a successful transaction. On a foreclosure or short sale property, double those hours.

I LOVE my career and each and each of those steps are important to the process. More importantly, I take EXTRA time and care to make sure my buyers are always protected along the way. So, don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining about my workload, I’m just saying that I earn EVERY PENNY of the brokerage fee that is being paid. And, luckily for you as the buyer, it doesn’t cost you a cent to have my knowledge, expertise and guidance.

So, BUYERS, I encourage you to really look at the agents in your areas providing these services. Do they provide “ala carte” services?, are there additional fees that will be deducted based on the level of service provided?, do you really trust someone who is basically saying “I don’t feel I’m worth my full brokerage fee?”  More importantly, interview their previous clients and find out how “well they were taken care of” or what the process was like for them. I would bet that whatever tiny allowance was given to them was probably not worth the amount of work they put into it to get it.

So, just like with everything in life, we have choices.  And, personally, I prefer shopping at Neiman Marcus over Wal-Mart. Where do you shop??

August 23, 2008

John Adams July 2008 Atlanta Real Estate Report

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , at 2:21 pm by winterbaserva

John Adams July 2008 Atlanta Real Estate Report
July 28, 2008, 1:15 am

If It Feels Like a Recession, Am I Really In a Recession?
by John Adams
from the Georgia Real Estate Report

It’s all about confidence.

OK, here’s how it works. In the beginning, for whatever reason, consumers don’t feel confident about the economy, so they buy less stuff. Including less houses.

Next, in response to decreased demand, producers lay off people and decrease consumption of raw materials. These unemployed workers have less money to spend, so they buy less and that decreases demand further.

Employed workers become fearful that they might also lose their jobs, so they spend less, decreasing demand.

Investors fear the value of stocks will decrease, so they are less willing to invest in new companies. And the stock market falls overall.

The only problem with this scenario is that unemployment in the US is at an historically low level, around 5% to 6%. So what’s happening?

I am convinced that one of the largest factors striking fear into our hearts is gasoline at $4 per gallon. Never mind the fact that the average American adult only buys around 800 gallons a year, and never mind the fact that gasoline is a relatively small part of most people’s budget.

The fact that we have to stand at the pump and watch that wealth being drained out of our pockets is truly frightening to many people, and it has sucked the confidence out of our economy.

Technically, no, we are not in a recession. We have not even had one, let alone two, consecutive quarters of economic contraction. But is sure feels like it.

The good news is, even if you don’t want to hear it, that the underlying fundamentals of our economy are in pretty good shape. We’ve been through much worse than this before, and no one (except maybe the media) is suggesting that today is the beginning of the end for America.

This is a time when there will be extraordinary opportunities for those who can calm themselves and look for bargains. When Macy’s has a big sale, we go stand in line to buy things. But when the real estate market goes on sale, we moan and groan about how awful things are and sit on our hands hoping for the next big thing to happen.

Those of us who have been in the real estate business for more than a few years have seen all this before. This happened in the 80’s and it happened in the 90’s. And it’s happening again right now. And the outcome will be the same.

In a year or two, we will all be looking back at the summer of 2008 saying that we really should have taken advantage of the weak market when we had the chance.

One of the best opportunities to come before real estate investors, especially in Georgia, is the current flood of homes that have been taken back by banks and mortgage lenders as REO properties.

As we recently saw with IndyMac Bank, when a lending institution makes too many bad loans and has to foreclose on a large number of properties, it can affect the safety and soundness of the institution. To avoid that happening, the lender needs to sell these foreclosed properties, even if they have to sell at a significant loss.

That’s where you and I come in.

Today’s smart real estate investor is searching for quality houses in decent neighborhoods that can be purchased for fifty cents on the dollar or less. And can be counted on to produce a steady stream of rental income for years to come.

The most important thing to remember is that regardless of what happens, people sill must have a place to live. And economists have projected that the metro Atlanta area will be home to an additional three million residents over the next twenty years.

If you can buy clean, decent, affordable housing today at fire sale prices from lenders who must sell regardless of the price, you are creating for yourself a solid foundation for future real estate wealth.

This is exactly the topic we will be examining in detail this weekend on the John Adams Radio Show, Saturday at NOON and Sunday morning at 11 am. Please tune in both shows at 920am WGKA, and call the show at 770-226-0920 or toll free at 1-888-920-2665. You can also hear the show LIVE both days by visiting and clicking on LISTEN LIVE.

I am not suggesting that you quit your day job. Nor am I suggesting you buy a hundred houses between now and Christmas.

But I am suggesting that you consider adding one or two well selected houses to your portfolio between now and the end of the year, and that you lock in long term low interest rate financing that will reward you both now and for years to come.

I challenge you to consider your confidence level. If you are confident in America’s ability to recover as we always have, and you are confident in yourself, now is the time to examine the remarkable buying opportunity that exists today in foreclosed real estate. Yours for Financial Freedom,

John Adams

August 22, 2008

Using “Fear” to Drive Profitability in the Atlanta Home Market

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , at 2:43 am by winterbaserva

“U.S. Housing Market Collapses,” “U.S. Unemployment Rate at Four-Year High,” “Recession….A Reality” are the common headlines we see every day in the United States. With tight credit, unemployment growing, and worries mounting about a potential recession, Americans are in a constant state of panic. While most of us let the media navigate our plans and keep us paralyzed, there’s a whole movement of people capitalizing on the benefits of buying Atlanta homes and using “fear” to drive profitability.

See, fear has become an excuse for many people to not do anything and the smart ones are using “the fearees” lack of education to set themselves up! That’s right FEAR = MONEY for those who chose to act on these historically-low housing prices. There has never been a better time to buy Atlanta real estate and despite what the media says, the market is NOT AS BAD as they make it out to be. More and more I am finding that my buyers’ first choice has been snatched up while they were searching around “just to make sure they were getting the right one.” I’ve been put into bidding wars two times in the last month alone. All this is telling me is that the market is coming back and just as it fell off gradually and then suddenly, it will come back gradually and then very suddenly.

Some areas haven’t seen the effects as much as others including Dunwoody homes, Sandy Springs homes, Roswell homes and Brookhaven homes. Because there isn’t much to fear about owning real estate inside the perimeter–rather the fear of not buying in those areas tends to be the real driver.

What you don’t seem to hear from the media are all the statistics in favor of the Atlanta Housing Market. For example, Georgia ranks 5th among the best states for business in the new The Best States for Business rankings. The state of Georgia, especially the Atlanta area, has an unmatched transportation network, a favorable business tax environment and a well-trained work force.  Where there is a successful business environment, there is a strong housing market.  With low prices, available incentives, and a great selection of new homes, now is the time to buy.

So stop being a scaredy cat and start capitalizing on fear during the biggest discount sales events the housing market has ever seen….I double dog dare you!

August 20, 2008

Remember the First Time You Purchased Real Estate??

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:38 am by winterbaserva

What is an escrow account? What does my mortgage actually cover? And, what the heck are origination points?
My first real estate purchase was relatively trouble-free. I was 23 years old buying a brand new condominium without a realtor. I felt like a superstar when I negotiated what I thought was a “great deal”..…In hindsight, let’s just say, I REALLY wish I had a realtor…

I was working directly with the developer’s representative and since they just wanted to close the deal, I was left with TONS of unanswered questions. And of course, because they were representing the seller and had no obligation to me, I was seen as just a “transaction.” 

Luckily, this transaction ended up being in my favor. I got a good rate, no hidden surprises and actually sold my condo in Miami during the worst time in history without losing a penny. Unfortunately, many others can’t say the same about their first real estate deal.

So, what about first-time homebuyers?? As an agent, these can be the most dreaded words one can hear. Whether it’s their borage of questions, panicked calls during all times of the day and night, or the over-examination of irrelevant facts, it seems as though we give, give, and give.

But……what I don’t think my first-time homebuyers will ever know how much they GIVE me! Working with first-time home buyers has been one of the most rewarding professional experiences and greatest pleasures in my career. They constantly push me to learn more, branch out, visit unknown neighborhoods, research my research, and analyze myself, my work ethic and my professionalism. Through their experience and process, they allow me to live my life’s purpose of helping myself and others grow by showing the truth in a graceful and honorable manner, to lead by example and set new standards.

You see, real estate has become about the “transaction” for so many practitioners. But, in order to be truly successful, we have to remember the person BEHIND the transaction—their fear of the unknown, hopes for the future, and the faith they have entrusted to us to be the one to guide them along the way.  They had options when selecting their representation and THEY CHOSE YOU. Don’t let them down–we have a responsibility to our clients!

So, I challenge you, the next time you are working with a client, whether it is a first-time homebuyer, an experienced investor or even a friend or family, to remember the first time you bought a piece of real estate. After they’ve ask two million questions, finish your conversation by saying “Are there any other questions you would like to go over?” When they call you panicked in the middle of dinner, remember they just need a little reassurance and are looking for your leadership—STEP UP!  And when your family or friends act like they know more about the business than you do, just ask yourself “How can I appreciate this person even more for what they are teaching me right now?”

And, if you can’t do that, simply remember the first time you bought your first piece of real estate. Feel the unknown, the hopes and the faith you once had and remember now it’s your time be the hero. Money is money–it comes and goes. But, to be able to live your purpose through your work, not just “make a transaction happen,” now that’s truly living!

To all my clients: first-time homebuyers, investors, family and friends and referrals. THANK YOU for what you teach me each and every day!!