January 21, 2011

So what does Ownership as Joint Tenants with Rights of Survivorship Mean???

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , at 7:51 pm by winterbaserva

 So, What Does Ownership as Joint Tenants with Rights of Survivorship Mean Anyways???

The two most common forms of individual ownership in Georgia are tenancy in common and joint tenancy with rights of survivorship.

Tenancy in common (TIC) means that the owners each own an undivided percentage of the entire property, and the owners can pass their interest along in their wills to anyone, not just the other owners.

Joint tenancy with rights of survivorship (JTROS) can be a powerful estate-planning tool, because if one owner dies, the remaining owner(s) automatically inherit the deceased owner’s share of the property.  In fact, a Will cannot change this.

 How do owners decide which way to hold title?

1.   Married owners usually choose joint tenancy, but not always.  There may be issues with blended families, unequal contributions to the down payment or monthly obligations, or other tax planning/estate distribution considerations.

 2.   Unmarried owners may choose either one, again based on their financial contributions and commitment to each other (engaged, just roommates, just housemates or co-owners).

 3.   Parents co-signing or co-owning with adult children may choose either one, depending on whether there are other children or other assets to distribute or bequeath in a Will.

Purchasers should always tell the closing attorney how they want to take title.  Most attorneys in Georgia will assume that married couples want joint tenancy, but in an REO transaction the Warranty Deed is often prepared in another state, and the JTROS language is never included.


January 20, 2011

Fannie Mae First Look Initiatives

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 5:30 pm by winterbaserva

Fannie Mae has initiated a new program called the Fannie Mae First Look Initiative and many are confused about EXACTLY what this means to them. For end users (someone looking to live in the home), this is GOOD NEWS. This means that you have the right for 15 days to get “first dibbs” on the home before anyone else. This will limit the competition of investors coming in and getting the homes before you have a chance to bid on it.

HOWEVER, keep in mind, these are bank-owned properties, so if you are looking to pay with an FHA loan many of these homes will have over $5000.00 worth of damage to them and will not pass FHA guidelines, so you would not be able to qualify for a mortgage on the home. Even conventional guidelines are becoming very careful about loaning to homes in poor “condition”, so just be aware of that fact.

For investors, this means, owner occupants will have the first right of refusal on the home and you will have to wait 15 days before you can submit your offer. For investors that want to close quickly or buy in bulk, this will pose a problem. For those who maintain patience, and consistency, you will still be able to get these properties at a later date.

We don’t know how long this initiative will last, but with the diminishing supply of homes on the market, Fannie Mae wanted to give owner occupants the benefit to get into some of these homes. While I believe in the dream that everyone should have the opportunity to own a home, I don’t think Fannie Mae is taking into account how significant investors are to helping turn around the home market. Therefore, time will tell how much benefit this inititave has on our economy.

Should you have any questions about the Fannie Mae initiative or any other programs currently out right now, please feel free to call me at 678-463-3173.

January 19, 2011

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 8:18 pm by winterbaserva

 How to Choose A Real Estate Agent in Today’s Home Market

I’m often asked “How do we know when we’ve chosen the right agent.” While there are many tremendous agents out there with a great deal of passion and skill, there are also many who over promise and under-deliver. It’s always so distressing to me when I’ve been chosen by a seller who has previously had a “bad” experience with an agent. I don’t think agents realize when they don’t perform, it affects our entire industry.

 In my history, I have heard things like “…you’re amazing and we have decided to sell with you…unlike many of the agents we talked to, you’re not like a typical car salesman…”  WOW…that one really sunk in. Real estate agents have been compared to car salesman. While I think real estate sales is one of the most noble professions and conduct my business on complete ethical guidelines and top notch service, we still have a long way to go in how the industry is “represented” to the consumer.

Therefore, I have this information guide for consumers to give you a little bit of information on how to interview and select a REALTOR®, as well as an provide some background on our history, business philosophy and work ethic, so that together we can make the home selling process a bit easier.

However, documentation beats conversation and loads of home sellers and buyers have already hired us and watched their home move very quickly; we look forward to having you benefit from our unique service approach too.

Here are some of the critical questions you will want to ask during your REALTOR® interviews. Compare our answers with those of others and you’ll see why so many buyers and sellers chooseWinter Baserva.  

•§  How many homes have you sold this year?

Not just homes that they “listed”, but also ask them to include how many homes they represented the buyers on as well….You want an agent that understands the mentality of buyers and knows how to work through their objections. It’s important the agent you hire understand BOTH sides of the equation.

Note: Don’t be surprised if some agents may be put off when asked this question…If they become offended, it’s because they are not very proud of their accomplishments.

 •§  What are your yearly statistics and/or do you have any awards or recognition?

Again, some offense may be taken, but it’s only because they aren’t very certain in this area. Awards don’t make or break an agent’s ability. A lot of awards are meaningless. However, you will get a good idea of the type of agent this person is in their response.

 •§  Why are you in real estate?

It’s O.K. to want to know people’s motivations! Buyers will want to know your motivations too!

 •§  What is your background? How did you get involved in real estate? Did you go to college? What’s your education level?

If they say they went to any other school than Florida State, you can kindly ask them to leave <wink>! No, seriously, don’t you want to know how your agent got involved in the industry and why?

 •§  How do you market your properties? What technology-based tools are you using?

If you don’t pay attention to anything else, DO NOT MISS THIS PART!! It’s IMPERITIVE that the agent you hire understand how to get your property sold. Typically, the ones that are more technology savvy have higher success rates and in shorter amounts of time. How they answer this will show you how fast or slow your home will sell…

•§  What are your responsibilities to me?

What is responsibility??? A RESPONSE with ABILITY…Wouldn’t you like to know how the person you are going to hire can RESPOND with ABILITY?

 •§  What is included in your services? Will I have to pay for anything?

From flyers, to lock boxes, to signage, to website publishing, what will I get for your fee? And, do you charge administration fees, retainer fees, or any other fees I need to be aware of?

 •§  Will I be dealing with your assistant after the home goes up for sale? Who will be handling the calls on my property?

The last thing you need is an agent that passes the buck to their assistant to field calls when that person doesn’t know a thing about the home. Find out HOW involved your agent and their team will be in your home sale.

 •§  What are your fees??

Obviously, this one is probably at the top of the list. But, let me put out one word of caution. If you meet an agent that is going to roll over and bend on their brokerage fee, how do you think they will represent you at the negotiating table?? Its great to get a deal, but you have to ask yourself….”If an agent won’t stand up for their own worth, how can I expect them to stand up for mine?

 •§  What if my home doesn’t sell?

Back up plans are crucial in today’s market…what’s theirs?

 •§  What needs to be done to get my home to sell quickly?

Don’t you want to have the best competitive advantage available? Your agent should be able to give you some pointers as to how to accomplish your goal as quickly as possible.

 Other Quick Tips:

  •·         Google your agent! If they can’t get themselves exposure, how do you expect them to get your home exposure??

 •·         Call your agent from an unknown number after 6 p.m. or on the weekends. Do they pick up or does their office or assistant pick up? If they are unavailable, do they respond in a timely manner? DO THEY GIVE YOU THE PRICE AUTOMATICALLY?? This question is crucial to find out and we’ll discuss why when we meet.

 •·         Ask for references and/or check their online references. If they don’t have raving fans who are willing to put out a testimonial for them, they may not be worth raving about.  

Winter Baserva’s Biography

As featured on HGTV’s House Hunters, Winter is an expert in all aspects of real estate from buying and selling to investing and REO properties. She builds her business based on honesty, respect, and trust by empowering her clients with the education and tools needed to make an informed decision. 

Raised in Roswell, GA, she moved back to Atlanta in 2007, after working for a residential brokerage and commercial developer in Florida.

Her career originally started out in communications, advertising, marketing and public relations and has previously held positions with the Miami Art Museum, Miami Children’s Museum, Grove Garden Luxury Residences, and others helping them grow their businesses through publicity management and strategic marketing campaigns. Her public relations skills have received attention from highly-accredited publications such as Interior Design, Time Magazine, The Chicago Tribune, Atlanta Journal Constitution, and many others.  She was recently featured on the nationally-recognized HGTV’s House Hunters.    


She currently runs the Seasons Realty Group, a real estate Mecca of extraordinary agents dedicated to the utmost performance. She is active in many community organizations and donates to several community causes including Smile.org, Center for Vision Impaired, Alzheimer’s Association, Girls Making It On Purpose and the Healthy Start Coalition. 

Originally from Atlanta, GA, Baserva graduated from The Florida State University with a bachelor of science in communications with an emphasis in public relations. 


  • Winter was born in Denver, Colorado and raised in Atlanta, GA. She graduated from Chattahoochee High School in Alpharetta.
  • Baserva has been licensed in real estate since 2004 and is licensed in both Georgia and Florida.
  • Member of the Atlanta Board of REALTORS® and National Association of REALTORS®
  • ERA Top Producing Agent Company Wide 2009
  • ERA’s #1 Selling Agent 2009
  • Million Dollar Club Award Recipient 2009
  • Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist
  • Baserva’s out-of-the-box talents have been noticed and featured on the nationally-recognized HGTV’s House Hunters!!
  • Baserva’s public relations abilities have been noted in Interior Design, Time Magazine, the Chicago Tribune, Atlanta Journal Constitution and others.
  • Publisher of “How to Buy Foreclosures and Short Sales and the 10 Biggest Mistakes Buyers Make in Today’s Market” and “The 11 Fatal Mistakes Sellers Make in Today’s Market and How to Avoid Them.”
  • Cutting Edge Technology Leader with 3 interactive websites, 3 blogs and endless social networking media tools.  
  • She has 4 brothers and a sister named Summer. She also has a cousin named Autumn-I know!





January 12, 2011

What is HUD downpayment assistance?

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 5:34 pm by winterbaserva

What is HUD Downpayment Assistance?

 What is HUD Downpayment Assistance?

HUD, the (Department of Housing and Urban Development) has been providing down payment assistance for quite awhile now (since 2003). The program was designed to assist first time homebuyers with down payment on a HUD home. The funds are issued through your local city, county, or the Department of Community Affairs in your state.

This initiative is issued only to first time homebuyers to help them with overcoming the financial hurdles associated with purchasing a home, and to help with revitalizing neighborhoods, giving lower income individuals a chance to become homeowners.

Under the initiative, HUD will provide assistance with down payment and closing costs. Since most FHA loans require a 3.5% down payment, this program will provide the necessary money through grants. If you receive $5,000 for instance, then it’s forgivable over time. The program is set up as an interest free second mortgage, forgivable at 20% per year. After you have lived in the house for five years, the second mortgage is forgiven. Should you move after only three years you would have to pay back part of the mortgage. The help is capped at $10,000 or six percent of the purchase price, whichever is greater.

If you would like more information on the HUD Downpayment Assistance please contact Winter Baserva at 678-463-3173.


January 10, 2011


Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 5:13 pm by winterbaserva



Fulton County – deadline is April 1, 2011                  404-612-6440

Its that time of year. If you’ve owned your Atlanta home for a year, its time to receive those discounts. Below is the list of contact information to proceed with the filing of your homestead exemptions. Homeowners may need to provide the Warranty Deed, proof of residence, social security numbers, driver’s license and car tag info… 



 DeKalb County – deadline is March 1, 2011               404-298-4000


 Gwinnett County – deadline is March 1, 2011           770-822-8800


  Cobb County – deadline is April 1, 2011                   770-528-8600


 Clayton County – deadline is April 1, 2011                 770-477-3311


 Cherokee County – deadline is April 1, 2011              678-493-6122


 Henry County – deadline is April 1, 2011                   770-288-8180                 


Forsyth County – deadline is April 1, 2011                770-781-2106 


Douglas County – deadline is April 1, 2011                 770-920-7272


Fayette County – deadline is April 1, 2011               770-461-3652


Paulding County – deadline is April 1, 2011               770-443-7606




January 6, 2011


Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 5:36 pm by winterbaserva

192+/- Atlanta Homes MUST BE SOLD!!! The REDC (Real Estate Disposition Corporation) HOME AUCTION COMES TO ATLANTA JANUARY 23, 2011!!! (edit/delete)

  That’s right! The REDC Home Auction in Atlanta is coming back on Sunday, January 23, 2011.

Many will flock to this event in the hopes that they will strike it rich with their “deal of a lifetime“!! As an owner of FOUR properties bought at the REDC auction, can I please give you one, tiny, little piece of advice??? Go, BUT DON’T EXPECT TO FIND YOUR DEAL OF A LIFETIME!! If you haven’t already done so, YOU MUST read my blog about the 10 Biggest Mistakes Buyers Make in Today’s Market, of which Mistake Number 7 is trying to find your bargain at an auction.

Don’t get me wrong, I got a fairly decent price on the four properties I bought at the REDC Home Auction. But, by the time you add the auction fees, lender fees, closing costs, repairs (of which all of my homes needed between $10,000-30,000 worth of work), I realized that if I just would have been better off buying the home down the street directly from Mr. & Mrs. Seller……and FOR LESS. Of course, this was early off in my investing portfolio and just a little mistake I made that I have the privilege of sharing with you, so you don’t make the same mistake. I see it too many times; people getting caught up in the labels of “auctions, foreclosures and short sales” and miss unbelievable buying opportunities that are staring us in the face.

 Now you HAVE to read my blog about auctions…….

 Here are a Few Other Recommendations if you Plan to Buy at an Auction:

  • Do Your DUE DILIGENCE-no inspection contingencies here, you get what you get and sometimes that can be substantial. Do your research BEFORE you bid.
  • DON’T let your emotions take control-decide your highest and best bid BEFORE you go and don’t go over it under ANY circumstances. 
  • Practice PATIENCE throughout the entire process-from the winning bid, to the paper work to closing, you will need patience. Imagine how busy the closing attorney’s are with the amount of Atlanta homes being sold.
  • Don’t be surprised about the disorganization-these events move fast and they are not always well orchestrated.
  • Keep Your Eye on the Prize and WAIT-if the auction property you want ends up going to another bidder, WAIT, 40% of the homes come back around and you can get it on the second go round and maybe for LESS!!!
  • Despite everything if you still want to buy at an auction, GET A QUALIFIED REALTOR to represent you. It’s great to have a non-biased, non-emotional third party representative there to help you with the bidding, interpret the price point, explain the risks, as well as walk you through the process and paperwork. Your job is JUST starting once you leave the auction. There is a mountain of items that have to be handled and an agents fee is paid for by the auction house, so this service is completely FREE to you!

One thing is certain DEALS OF A LIFETIME are out there…..lots of them… And, if you REALLY want a good deal, call me and let me show you how to offer in on the property NO ONE’S offering on, instead of putting you in a room with hundreds of other buyers all going after the same one.

If you are looking for a Nationally-Recognized, top producing real estate agent that understands the Atlanta home auction process, then CALL ME immediately. I’ll be happy to represent you FREE.

 BUT, don’t wait!! I will need to make sure that you are registered properly!

 The REDC (Real Estate Disposition Corporation) HOME AUCTION

 When: Sunday Jan. 23, 2011

Where: Georgia International Convention Center – Exhibit Hall D  2000 Convention Center Concourse, College Park, GA 30337

Time: Registration Starts Promptly at  8:00 a.m. Auction starts promptly at 9:30 a.m.

What to bring: Last 2 yrs W-2 , $2,500 Cashier’s Check ($5,000 for each subsequent) , Checkbook for balance of 5% Earnest Money Deposit (15% for each subsequent)

Properties open for inspection from 11AM to 4PM on 1/8/11, 1/15/11 & 1/16/11.  Please check individual property for specific open house information.

P.S. Did you know you can buy properties “auction-style” ONLINE from auction houses that are not as popular and have many less people bidding on them??? I can help you with that as well!


January 4, 2011

Atlanta Homes for Sale: Year in Review.Winter Baserva, as Featured on ‘HGTV’

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 8:11 pm by winterbaserva

Atlanta Homes for Sale: Year in Review..Winter Baserva, As Featured on HGTV’s HOUSE HUNTERS!

Atlanta Homes for Sale: Year in Review

Winter Baserva, As Featured on HGTV’S HOUSE HUNTERS!


 2010…..WHAT A YEAR!!!!!!

In what others consider it to be a “down” market, these are the most opportunistic times available, for those willing to see that. According to the National Association of Realtors, your average agent sells 8 homes a year. This year, I sold 59!

The cherry on top of it all was that my episode of HGTV’s House Hunters aired for the first time in January 2010 and due to the large response has continued airing ever since:

Fifty-nine homes… It all started with my first sale of the year to one of my repeat investors and some of most amazing people I’ve ever met. We buy these homes for pennies on the dollar, fix them up and flip them for net profits of $25k+++ per home and we’ve done it MANY TIMES. Here’s a sampling of our after product that was SOLD to buyers this year:


And, boy with profits like that, my investors sure are happy with me!

As the first time home buyer’s credit diminished, buyer enthusiasm did not. This first time home buyers was over the moon when she got her good deal:

Many think that during the holidays, people aren’t buying homes, but on 12/23 just 2 days before Christmas of last year, and WITHIN TWO DAYS OF PUTTING IT ON THE MARKET, I pulled a buyer for my sellers on this lovely Roswell home.


Only to turn right back around and upgrade my folks into this amazing Roswell Home in Huntington Estates. My clients couldn’t believe how fast their home went and how easy the buying process was.   

As the first quarter came to an end, my pool of homes to market increased. Lovely products, with TOP OF THE LINE finishes hit the market under my direction, and sellers were able to walk away with TOP DOLLAR  for the properties they had loved so dearly, for so long.


And, while most people think that the “young” and “affluent” are buying houses, I was honored to sell Tom Ryan, a published author, 65 years wise, his FIRST HOME EVER! He was uncertain about whether we were negotiating too hard, but ended up with a STEAL on his first home and couldn’t be happier with how things turned out. Go Tom!

 And, as my team, Seasons Realty Group started ramping up, we saw a trend in more buyers hitting the waves and more families able to start their new lives off in a place they could call HOME.    


Happily, the Seasons Realty Group team and their leader continued to have nothing but rave reviews:


This year, I even saw a pick up in Atlanta new construction sales, which are all signs that the market is improving:


And, many Buckhead Homes and Brookhaven Homes in high price points were being taken off the market like wild fire; this young family upgraded from their 2 bedroom condo in Lenox Heights, to one of the most prestigious gated communities off Lenox Road.


And right after they bought, I got their condo under contract in TWO DAYS!!

As time went on, I made my mark in Horseshoe Bend in Roswell. A neighborhood where homes average 100-389 days on the market before they sell; I sold this man’s home in 11 days for FULL PRICE. We had another FULL PRICED back up offer in the wings just in case….:

And, his neighbors that hired me after they saw the successful marketing of his home; pleasantly saw their home sell shortly after despite unsuccessfully selling with another agent prior to me:

While many Atlanta Home Sellers were worried about whether their homes would sell, I continued to bring the buyer pool they were looking for and dwindled the housing supply in Atlanta:


Roswell, GA homes for sale was a term I used MORE than once. This area was HOT, HOT, HOT, in 2010. It’s no wonder why when CNN listed it as one of the Top 100 Places to live in the US.

 In less than 3 weeks, I was able to get this seller’s LAKE FRONT home under contract and SOLD!

And, my others sellers good offers came rolling in shortly after….


And my buyers continued to buy…


And, while we saw a decrease in Atlanta Foreclosures this year, I was still able to find the needle in the haystack with an UNBELIEVABLE amount of equity:

The new owners couldn’t believe how we structured their offer to get the bank to accept our terms:

And, just when I thought I couldn’t be more blessed or busy, I was able to work yet ANOTHER deal on this SEXY Brookhaven Home

And, with all of this success came the need for me to expand, and in came some more Seasons Realty Group agents. But, I COULDN’T have done it all without the most amazing business manager extraordinaire Suzanne Martin, a former top producing agent in MD who is my right hand gal, and CERTIFIED professional stager whose comments, and suggestions have been pivotal in selling my homes

As I end this year with 59 home sales, I leave you with the possibility that ANYTHING you want in life is possible. I feel SO BLESSED and HONORED that I get to practice what I LOVE every single day….

They say, “Find something you love to do and you’ll never work a day in your life,” I have found that, and I thank all of the people who trusted their home sale or home purchase with me and my team. For those of you who have worked with me or for me, know you’ve earned a friend for life and I’m always here for you. For those who haven’t, feel free to see what others have to say about my dedication and service.

“Everything you read about Winter here is ABSOLUTELY TRUE. She is AMAZING and her marketing and home selling expertise brought me 4 offers in 11 days!!! I COULDN’T BELIEVE in a down market Winter brought me a FULL-PRICE offer  on the 11th day AND had a fully-executed back up as well. I’ve watched homes in this neighborhood sit for 100-200 days and not sell. NOTHING about this transaction was easy, but Winter walked the buyers, the other agent, the attorney and the lender through the transaction. It was like watching a powerhouse! There was never a doubt that I would hire Winter, but she NEVER CEASED to amaze me with her energy, pride of work and professionalism. I have referred her to everyone I know and have been and will always be her WALKING BILLBOARD. If you even come CLOSE to having the possibility to work with her, consider yourself lucky! From Her marketing to her professionalism, to her dedication, to her experience, Winter IS ATLANTA REAL ESTATE!
R. Friedrich, VP Data Enterprise Architecture, Equifax”

I’m excited about what 2011 has to bring and what I bring to the table for those I get to work with. Here’s to a healthy, happy, prosperous and balanced 2011.