May 20, 2011

NAR says Buyers are Passing on ‘fixer-uppers’ in favor of ‘move-in ready’!

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 4:31 pm by winterbaserva

NAR Says Buyers are Passing on ‘Fixer-Uppers’ in favor of ‘Move-in Ready’

I recently came across an article written by the National Association of Realtors reporting that most buyers today are bypassing Fixer-Uppers in favor of houses that are move-in ready. They further state that according to recent surveys ‘87% of first time buyers say they desire a move-in ready home.’

“This is absolutely the story of this market. It seems buyers will pay a premium, engage in a bidding war, and even overpay just to avoid buying a ‘project’ house,” says Beth Freed of Terrie O’Connor REALTORS in Ridgewood, NJ.

According to the NAR’s latest findings, homes that have been spruced up before being put on the market will sell quicker. For the seller this doesn’t mean they will be needing to take out a second mortgage to do major repairs or costly renovations, it simply means they need to put a fresh face on their home before putting up that ‘for sale’ sign in the front yard.

Here is a list of recommendations for homeowners getting ready to put their house on the market:

And finally, with buyers looking for move-in ready homes, it is a good idea for sellers to get their homes inspected before they put it on the market so that any major maintenance issues, leaky roofs, electrical or safety issues are discovered and taken care of BEFORE the house goes on the market.


March 30, 2011

New luxury apartment building in the works for Buckhead..

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , at 8:25 pm by winterbaserva

It appears the confidence level is increasing with investors as the latest trek into the luxury apartment market is gearing up for a new project in the Buckhead area, a magnet for Gen Y workers. Preserve Properties, LLC has the site located at 92 West Paces Ferry Rd. under contract with plans to develop a new 8 story luxury Buckhead apartment building. The multi-family development will stand adjacent to the two year old St. Regis Atlanta hotel and residence.

“We’re certainly not talking about developing a new apartment building by the end of the year,” Preserve Properties developer Draper said. “We’re only getting the property into [zoning] compliance.”

The developers are hoping to expand on the special public interest zoning district, known as SPI-9, that will encourage ‘walkability’ in Buckhead, helping to transform the traffic jammed streets, and aging strip malls into a more connected and friendly Urbanscape.

“I think this kind of project is exactly what we want to see,” said Denise Starling, executive director of the Buckhead Area Transportation Management Association, or BATMA.

According to Starling, a new mid-rise apartment building would complement plans for a new ‘international district’ that would include foreign consulates, office building, and a mix of residences all linked by expanding sidewalks and dotted with streetside shops and cafes.

March 17, 2011


Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , at 3:23 pm by winterbaserva


I am often faced with the same questions and “myths” from home buyers in regards to Atlanta foreclosures. Its quite interesting how far these myths have spread over time and how inaccurate some of them are……I’m going to debunk a few of the common myths that seem to be circulating among consumers.

Myth #1: Foreclosed properties are always in bad neighborhoods.

THE TRUTH: In the current economic climate, every community and every part of town can contain foreclosed properties, with abodes ranging from modest town homes to extravagant vacation escapes appearing on the market. The economy has hit ALL areas and the result is a bunch of Atlanta Foreclosures and Atlanta Short Sales.

Myth #2: Foreclosed properties are usually in poor condition.

THE TRUTH: Though this isn’t always the case, there can be significant maintenance and structural issues hiding behind an attractive and seemingly well-tended façade. Most foreclosed homes show significant cosmetic work (dingy carpets, poor paint, lack of appliances, etc), but the more costly items will tend to be in your roofs, structure/foundation and mechanical systems.

Do your research and use a Atlanta Realtor before purchasing any foreclosed property. They will be able to connect you to the right contractors for proper estimates and be able to establish how much deferred maintenance will affect your bottom line!

Myth #3: A foreclosure sale takes advantage of the owners.

THE TRUTH: At the point of foreclosure, the owner has already defaulted on their loan. Its too late to take advantage of the owners, the property now belongs to the bank who is now the new owner. Had you purchased the property as a short sale (one of the hardest and most misunderstood items in real estate right now), you STILL would have been helping the owner get to a lesser degree of default and in the end helping them.

Don’t feel bad for the owner. While the situation is not ideal and it shouldn’t be wished on anyone. With the proper adjustments and credit repair, people who have gone into foreclosure can buy another home again in about 3-7 years depending on their situation.

Myth #4:Financial irresponsibility is always the source of foreclosure.

THE TRUTH: All it takes is the loss of a job, an unexpected health issue, or other life emergency to put a previously solid financial picture in jeopardy, and coverage of such major expenses as mortgage payments can easily be impacted. There may be some people taking advantage of the time, but that is not the case for everyone. Each Atlanta Foreclosed home has is own unique individual situation.

Myth #5: Foreclosure guarantees bargain pricing.

THE TRUTH: Banks sometimes have up to 15-20 offers on them just because they are labeled the Scarlett Letter “f”. Just because it says foreclosure, looks like a foreclosure doesn’t mean its priced like a foreclosure.

Before falling completely in love with what looks like a can’t-miss deal, be sure you know the property’s true market value so you’re not paying for more house than you’re getting. I have found that in today’s market, Mr. and Mrs. Seller tend to have the ABILITY to budge on their pricing versus the banks whose asset manager has a reserve they HAVE to meet and 15 offers on the table that they get to pick from.

Myth #6: A lower price equals higher equity.

THE TRUTH: This is one equation that won’t pan out if a property involves unpaid taxes, mechanics’ liens or an expensive string of repairs, all of which subtract from the equity and add to the cost. In any foreclosure purchase, BE SURE to get owners title insurance. This will protect you from any encumbrances on title prior to you owning the property. Its a one-time fee that could end up saving you a fortune.

Myth #7: AS-IS Means I have to buy it no matter what.

THE TRUTH: As is means, the property is sold “AS IS” with no repairs made by the seller. HOWEVER, this does NOT mean you are not entitled to an inspection. If you find something on the inspection report that scares the dickens out of you,  the seller will NOT make any repairs, but you are still entitled to back out of the contract during your due diligence window and/or inspection period without penalty. Making sure you have a qualified Atlanta realtor that knows the “ins and outs” of foreclosures is KEY to your success in this purchase.

While this is just a small sampling of some of the common Atlanta Buyer foreclosure myths, there are many others to be weary of…

For MANY other tips, tricks and tactics to WIN in today’s Atlanta Real Estate Market, call me at 678-463-3173 or visit!

February 16, 2011

FHA Changes on the Horizon….

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , at 8:07 pm by winterbaserva

FHA Changes on the Horizon….

FHA Commissioner David H. Stevens today announced a new premium structure for FHA-insured mortgage loans:

  • The annual mortgage insurance premiums will increase (MIP) by a quarter of a percentage point (.25) on all 30- and 15-year loans. 


  •  The upfront MIP will remain unchanged at 1.0 percent. 


  •  Fiscal year 2012 budget will impact new loans insured by FHA on or after April 18, 2011.


  •  FHA to remain the most cost effective mortgage insurance option for borrowers with lower incomes  and lower down payments.


  • FHA will continue providing affordable homeownership options to underserved American families and first-time homebuyers while helping to stabilize the housing market during these tough times. 


  • On average, new FHA borrowers will pay approximately $30 more per month. 

February 10, 2011

Atlanta Realtor, Winter Baserva, to be on upcoming episode of HGTV’s House Hunter’s Again!

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , , , at 5:10 pm by winterbaserva

When I got the call from High Noon productions that they wanted me to star in an episode for HGTV’s ‘House Hunters’ in 2009, I was beside myself. I asked them how they found me and why they were interested in me and they said they were looking for really fun agents that were having smashing success in a down economy. I guess my making fun of Brittney Spears was noticed by someone…


My clients and did a test shoot and within a week found out we were approved for our very own episode. That means out of 62,000 licensed agents in Georgia, I was selected to be one of the three to ever air in the Atlanta area…. 

What’s crazier….I was recently contacted by Pie Town productions to do a SECOND episode….This means I am the ONLY Atlanta Agent to EVER be featured on a House Hunters episode TWO times. 

To say I’m humbled is an understatement!

So, what can you expect in my episode???? We’ll I can’t give the details YET..But, stay tuned and I’ll fill you in on the upcoming shoot dates and what to expect.

 Here is an excerpt from my previous episode “Pampered Pooch” 


 The episode airs in the Fall, so be on the lookout for the launch date. And, if you would like to start your own house hunt with me, please give me a call at 678-463-3173.

  Thank You!

 Winter Baserva 

Real Estate Extraordinaire

Team Leader, Seasons Realty Group of Solid Source Realty, Inc.  

678-463-3173 cell


February 8, 2011

New Atlanta Distribution Center in the Works for Fed-Ex

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , , at 7:15 pm by winterbaserva

In attempts to increase their market share in the Southeast, Fed-Ex has ramped up it’s efforts to compete with Atlanta based United Parcel Service, Inc by developing a 50 acre site in Norcross, GA. The plans include a nearly 215,000 square foot distribution center, aimed at expansion of it’s daily package volume capacity, and also to enhance it’s network service capabilities.

Fed-Ex Ground, based in the Pittsburgh area, is the business segment of Memphis based FedEx Corp. Plans are to develop this new site into a hub for Fed-Ex where they can employ several hundred with up to a million square foot of distribution warehouse space. In the last 10 years, they have added 10 similar distribution hubs.


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, 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!


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