Thursday, February 28, 2008

LINDA LELAK NAMED REGIONAL TRAINER AND SALES TEAM BUILDER FOR PRUDENTIAL GEORGIA REALTY

Seasoned real estate professional Linda Lelak has been named Regional Trainer and Sales Team Builder for the Southern metro Atlanta region for Prudential Georgia Realty. With more than 16 years in the real estate business, Linda was the top Harry Norman, Realtors agent in Fayette County for five years before joining Prudential Georgia Realty in 2007.

“Linda’s real world experience as a top-selling real estate professional will serve her well as she trains both new and experienced agents in our organization,” said Senior Vice President of the Southern region Kathy Murphy, who went on to emphasize that Linda Lelak will still be actively selling real estate in the Fayette, Coweta, Henry and Clayton County regions.

A long-time Fayette County resident, Linda is a member of the Fayette County Board of Realtors, where she was awarded the Phoenix Award in 2001 for 10 years’ membership in the Board’s Million Dollar Club for high annual sales production, the Georgia Association of Realtors and the National Association of Realtors. Always working to stay on top of the latest developments in her field, Linda has earned a number of continuing education real estate designations, including Graduate Realtor Institute (GRI), Certified Relocation Specialist (CRS), Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR), Accredited Relocation Specialist (ARS) and Luxury Homes Specialist. In addition, she has earned her Associate Broker’s license.

“Prudential Georgia Realty has the number one market share in Fayette County and we are growing in other regions south of Atlanta,” said Linda Lelak. “I am honored to be a part of that continued growth and plan to do everything possible to help the company grow by adding experienced and professional Realtors to our team. I also look forward to the challenge of serving as a trainer and mentor for newer agents coming up in the business.”

Linda will be responsible for ongoing training of newly licensed agents as well as monthly classes for experienced Realtors. Her team building efforts will focus primarily on Fayette, Coweta, Henry and Douglas counties.

To learn more about Prudential Georgia Realty and why it was named a Best Place to Work in Georgia by Georgia Trend magazine, visit http://www.prudentialgeorgia.com/ or to reach Linda Lelak, call the Coweta office at 770-254-8333.

Prudential Georgia Realty (www.PrudentialGA.com) is an independently owned and operated member of Prudential Real Estate Affiliates, a full-service residential and commercial real estate network with offices throughout the U.S. and Canada. Ranked by Real Estate Magazine as one of the top 100 real estate companies in the U.S., Prudential Georgia Realty placed 36th for most 2006 transactions in the real estate trade magazine’s 2007 Power Broker Report.

For the last four consecutive years, Prudential Georgia Realty has been honored with a Consumers’ Choice Award as Best in Class for Executive Home Sales in metro Atlanta. The firm annually has real estate sales well in excess of $2 billion and is now in its 45th year of serving metro Atlanta. The company now has 24 locations in 14 metro Atlanta counties and nearly 1,500 Realtors ready to assist families with their real estate needs.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Housing Trends Head in the Right Direction

Forecast Shows Housing Making Positive Transition For 2008
By Kathy Stover

Forecasts show that consumers are feeling a little better about buying homes for 2008. That is the message from the 2008 Economic Forecast presented Thursday, Feb 21st by the Home Builders Association of Midwest Georgia (HBA) and SunTrust Bank. More than 150 housing professionals attended the annual forecast event at the Coweta County Fairgrounds

Bob Chapin, Senior Vice President of the Real Estate Finance Group for SunTrust addressed the attendees stating, “Many of our builders actually started to see a little uptick after Christmas.” Chapin, a veteran in real estate finance, manages a little less than 1 billion dollars in real estate over a 21 county area. SunTrust is the 10th largest bank in the country.

Chapin explained that several factors are contributing to the positive transition. Mortgage rate trends are down and job growth has been good. Builders are also exercising caution and have reduced the number of new housing starts bringing excess housing inventories down.

In the metro Atlanta counties, building permits for 2007 were 31,000 compared to a high of 60,000 the year before. “I’d like to see it come down to 21,000 which needs to happen to move through inventory,” Chapin states. Meanwhile, 40,000 new homes have been taken off the market in metro Atlanta in 2007 and 6.5 million houses, both new and existing, sold nationally.

Coweta County and other south metro Atlanta counties are topping the list for positive data. “Coweta County has the best data of any county in the metro Atlanta area,” Chapin said. “Five out of the last five quarters show closings has exceeded starts.”

Fayette County also had more closings than new housing starts as well as Henry, Spalding and Clayton counties. In addition, 14 out of 30 top selling metro Atlanta area subdivisions are located on the southside. The list includes Princeton Lakes ranked at #4 located in South Fulton and Summer Grove #5 located in Coweta County.

Builder Chad Floyd of Chadwick Homes, Inc and attendee of the event stated, “January was a good month. February is shaping up even better. We are looking forward to a very good rest of the year.”

Excess inventory should continue to move in 2008 allowing net inventory to drop to more normal levels suggesting a stronger, more balanced housing market may be right around the corner.

Chapin explains, “Housing and the automotive industry will pull the country into a recession and then it will pull the country out.” However, Chapin cites several key economist do not forecast recession or only a short modest one at best.

In closing, Chapin states, “Every day when you get in your car to go home, we are one day closer to being through this.”

The Home Builders Association of Midwest Georgia serves over 700 businesses in the building industry in Fayette, Coweta, Spalding, Meriwether, Heard, Pike, Upson, Lamar, Butts and Jasper Counties. For information about the association, call Executive Officer Sandy Boda at 770-716-7109.
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US home foreclosures soar in January

LOS ANGELES - The number of homes facing foreclosure jumped 57 percent in January compared to a year ago, with lenders increasingly forced to take possession of homes they couldn't unload at auctions, a mortgage research firm said Monday.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080226/ap_on_bi_ge/foreclosure_rates

Monday, February 25, 2008

Housing slump causes U.S. to weigh another big bailout

By the time the Great Depression was over, a government-created corporation had become the banker for 1 in 5 American homeowners.
After the savings-and-loan industry faced a catastrophic meltdown in the '80s, the US government spent some $124 billion to clean up the mess.
http://www.csmonitor.com/2008/0226/p01s02-usec.html
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Sunday, February 24, 2008

JONESBORO REALTOR ACHIEVES NATIONAL RECOGNITION

Walton Gibbs from Coldwell Banker Bullard Realty's Jonesboro/Clayton County office has been awarded the Accredited Buyer Representation (ABR) designation by the Real Estate Buyer's Agent Council Inc. (REBAC) of the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

Gibbs joins more than 32,000 real estate professionals in North America who have earned the ABR designation. All were required to successfully complete a comprehensive course in buyer representation and an elective course focusing on a buyer representation specialty, both in addition to submitting documentation verifying professional experience.

REBAC, founded in 1988, is the world's largest association of real estate professionals focusing specifically on representing the real estate buyer. There are more than 43,000 active members of the organization worldwide. NAR is the world's largest professional association representing over 1,000,000 members involved in all aspects of real estate.

A licensed Realtor in Georgia since 1989, Gibbs became associated with Coldwell Banker Bullard in 1992. He is a member of the National, Georgia and Metro South Associations of Realtors. With the Metro South board (MSAR), he serves as a local director, is chairman of the Real Property Committee, and is a member of the Education and Professional Standards Committees.

Gibbs lives in McDonough with his wife Bobbie. They have three children and six grandchildren.

He has two degrees from Georgia Southern University, B. S. and M. Ed. degrees in education, and his prior business experience includes college administration, retail management, commission sales, and business owner. He is a member of the Henry County Chamber of Commerce and a member and deacon of Heritage Community Church in Fayette County.
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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

PRUDENTIAL GEORGIA REALTY’S LATEST VIDEO REPORT ON THE ATLANTA REAL ESTATE MARKET AVAILABLE FOR FREE PUBLIC VIEWING ONLINE

Prudential Georgia Realty recognized that many consumers were confused by the conflicting stories and sensationalist headlines about the real estate market. In October of 2007, Prudential Georgia Realty launched the first Atlanta Real Estate video and free PDF report to provide consumers the real market facts plus valuable insight for buyers and sellers. These reports are organized into “chapters” for the National Real Estate Market, the Atlanta Real Estate Market, the Future Outlook for Atlanta Real Estate and specific recommendations for Sellers and Buyers.

The latest report is now available for free viewing to the public at www.atlantarealestate2008.com. The free written PDF report can be downloaded from the link on this video. Prudential Georgia Realty will be updating this report every few months with the latest facts and useful information for sellers and buyers. The first installment of this video report was introduced in October and received more than 10,000 viewings.

The latest video installment is loaded with market facts including the local real estate market conditions, including 2007 market results, 2008 market trends, foreclosures, current home values, new housing starts, inventory of homes on the market, how sellers can best position their properties in the current buyer’s market, specific opportunities for buyers and investors and why it is an excellent time to buy or invest in real estate property in metro Atlanta and North Georgia.

The video is presented by Dan Forsman, company president and CEO. Forsman is recognized as an expert voice on real estate in Georgia. He has been featured on 11 Alive News, on CNBC’s Kudlow & Cramer, locally on 1160 AM business radio, and in numerous regional and national publications. He served as president of the Atlanta Board of Realtors, the largest regional real estate board in Georgia and, for his vision and commitment to the real estate industry, was awarded Broker of the Year for all of North America by Prudential Real Estate Affiliates, Inc. in 2007.

The video discusses the residential real estate market for the start of 2008 and predictions for the coming months. In the message, Forsman candidly discusses the current over-supply of properties, the drop in home values as well as the positive long-term trends that will impact future home values for Atlanta. Sources estimate an additional two million people, roughly the size of Denver, will be added to metro Atlanta by 2020. Reports from CNN Money and Economy.com suggest that Atlanta is poised for a real estate bounce-back and will be the leading major market that will guide the country out of its real estate slump.

“We just want consumers to have all the facts about the local real estate market, instead of the sensationalist headlines reported on television that reflect national averages. Real estate is driven by local supply and demand. It is sort of like the weather – every local market has a different forecast depending upon their specific conditions. In real estate, every city and every community can be different,” explains Forsman. “Once they have all the information, consumers can make informed decisions. There are very specific things that sellers need to do in this type of market. There are also fantastic opportunities for buyers. We have great properties for sale, mortgage rates are historically low, sellers are motivated and long-term trends for future values are excellent.”

The video, which will be updated again this spring, can be viewed at www.atlantarealestate2008.com. A free PDF written report version is also available for download at this site. To contact Dan Forsman, call Prudential Georgia Realty at 770-992-4100. To conduct a complete search of all available properties in metro Atlanta, to view our foreclosure hot lists or to search all Atlanta new home properties, visit www.PrudentialGA.com.
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Saturday, February 16, 2008

Dickenson Gilroy Law Firm Opens Midtown Atlanta Office Location to Serve Area Real Estate Community

PRNewswire/ -- Dickenson Gilroy Attorneys at Law have opened a new office in Midtown Atlanta to serve the area's residential and commercial real estate community.

Located near the intersection of Monroe Drive and Piedmont Road at 1531 Piedmont Road, Suite C, the new office is the firm's 9th in the greater metropolitan Atlanta area.

"Opening in Midtown completes our initial goal of maintaining and establishing a strong footprint of locations through which we can continue to satisfy our client's real estate needs," said Jennifer Dickenson, one of the firm's two founding partners.

"Although Midtown is not far from our Buckhead office, which will continue to serve its clients in that market, we have discovered how different the two regions really are. Our Midtown location reflects that understanding and responds to the need for our brand of real estate legal services in the midtown area," Ms. Dickenson added.

Michael Barry, managing partner of the Buckhead office, will also manage the Midtown office along with Dickenson Gilroy Law associate Suzanne Henry, Esq."

The firm will formally recognize its new office this evening with a reception at the Midtown location.
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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Rogers Is Agent Leader For Bullard Jackson Office

Ken Rogers has been recognized as January Individual Agent Leader for Coldwell Banker Bullard Realty's Jackson/Butts County office.

No. 2 producer during the month for the office was Julie Epperson.

Rogers, a lifetime resident of Georgia, is an associate broker and began his real estate career in 1974.

He has a BBA degree in finance from Georgia Southern College and an MBA in decision science from Georgia State University. A member of the National, Georgia and Metro South Associations of Realtors, he has also taken construction courses at Gwinnett Technical Institute.
He was with The Southern Company for more than 20 years and is a former business owner in both the technology and home remodeling fields.

Rogers specialized in new homes, resales, country estates, land and lots and lake properties.

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Lasseter is Named Individual Agent Leader for Peachtree City Bullard Realty Office

Donna Lasseter has been recognized as January Individual Agent Leader both companywide and for the Peachtree City/Fayette County office of Coldwell Banker Bullard Realty.

Tammi Lamb of the McDonough/Henry County was the company's No. 2 individual producer, and Michelle Munda of the Griffin/Spalding County office was No. 3.

The No. 2 producer for the Peachtree City office during the month was Debbie Lowe, and Janis Kraft was No. 3.

Lasseter, an associate broker who has worked in real estate for 21 years, affiliated with Coldwell Banker Bullard seven months ago. She was previously a broker in commercial real estate in Los Angeles for 17 years, and was No. 1 in her Grubb & Ellis downtown Los Angeles office in 1980. In 1989, she was the broker completing the largest office lease (valued at $90 million) in 1989, and in 1981, she was the first broker to be appointed as senior marketing consultant in the Grubb & Ellis downtown office.

After relocating to the Atlanta area, she was the founder/owner of Duxiana�s Atlanta and Duluth stores from 1996 until 2003, then reentered the real estate field selling residential properties with Prudential Georgia Realty's Peachtree City office.

Lasseter, a Peachtree City resident, has a bachelor of arts degree from Indiana University, studying in Avignon, France, during her senior year in college. She participated in Leadership Fayette in 2005.

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WALDROP NAMED INDIVIDUAL AGENT LEADER FOR CONYERS OFFICE

For the second straight month, Brenda Waldrop was named Individual Agent Leader for the Conyers/Rockdale County office of Coldwell Banker Bullard Realty. The latest award was for January.

Jacqueline Papallo was the No. 2 individual producer for the Conyers office during the month, and Sheri Sears was No. 3 for the office.

Waldrop, who kicked off her real estate career more than 36 years ago, has an associate broker’s license and has earned the GRI (Graduate, Realtors Institute), CBR (Certified Buyer Representative) and CRS (Certified Residential Specialist) designations. She completed Coldwell Banker University, and she has received the Certified Relocation Specialist, Certified Corporate Property Specialist and Certified Residential Marketing Specialist designations from Coldwell Banker.

Her experience in real estate includes marketing new and resale residential properties, lot and land sales and development, commercial/industrial property sales, property management, serving as a relocation and corporate relocation director, and representing mortgage lenders and insurance firms as a REO (real estate owned) specialist. Her service area includes Rockdale and Newton Counties, plus parts of Henry, Walton, Jasper, DeKalb and Gwinnett Counties.

A Silver Phoenix Award recipient and an Active Life Member of the Rockdale Board of Realtors’ Million Dollar Club, she has earned the Coldwell Banker Multi-Million Dollar Club Award. Her Coldwell Banker recognition also includes the International Sterling Society, International Diamond Society, and International President’s Circle, and she attained Sterling Society membership for 2004 and 2006 and Diamond Society in 2005. Among current agents at Coldwell Banker Bullard’s Conyers/Rockdale County office, she was the Top Producer in 2004 and 2005 and No. 2 lin 2006.

A Rockdale County resident, Waldrop has served as a board member and has chaired or been a member of numerous committees for the Rockdale Board of Realtors. She is a member of Union Grove Baptist Church.

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MUNDA NAMED AS AGENT LEADER FOR GRIFFIN OFFICE

Michelle Munda was named the January Individual Agent Leader for the Griffin/Spalding County office of Coldwell Banker Bullard Realty, and she was also the month's No. 3 individual producer companywide.

Steve McCard was the Griffin office�s No. 2 producer during the month.

Munda, who earned her real estate training through MLS Sales Associate Training and who joined Coldwell Banker Bullard in fall of 2001, is a resident of Griffin. Her business background includes 12 years in banking and investment.

In 2002, she was announced as the No. 3 producer in her office and received a Certificate of Merit from her company for her production. The next year year, she attained membership in the Million Dollar Club, was a member of Coldwell Banker's International President's Circle, and was the No. 1 producer for her office. Then, in 2004, she was selected to Coldwell Banker's International President's Elite, was again the top producer in her office, and was once again a member of the Million Dollar Club.

In 2005, Munda was honored as the Top Individual Agent Leader companywide and for her office. Her other 2005 recognition included selection to the Coldwell Banker International President's Circle and Million Dollar Club membership.

In 2006, she was once again the No. 1 producer for her office and was No. 3 companywide. Other honors during the year include Million Dollar Club membership and selection to the Coldwell Banker International President's Circle.

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LAMB LEADS INDIVIDUAL AGENTS FOR BULLARD McDONOUGH OFFICE

For the second consecutive month, Tammi Lamb has been named Individual Agent Leader for Coldwell Banker Bullard Realty's McDonough/Henry County office. This latest honor was for January, when she was also the No. 2 individual producer companywide.

Sandra Stephens was the month's No. 2 individual producer for the office, and Tarji Dunn was No. 3.

Lamb, who has been in real estate for four years, joined Coldwell Banker Bullard two years ago. A specialist in the marketing foreclosure area, she holds the RePro and CREO designations, and she earned the Bullard Certificate of Merit in 2005 and 2006.

A Henry County resident since 1978, she is married with three children.
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DICKENS LEADS SALES FOR NEWNAN OFFICE

Steven Dickens was announced as Coldwell Banker Bullard Realty's January Individual Agent Leader for its Newnan/Coweta County office.

Shannon Scott was the No. 2 individual producer for the Newnan office during the month, and Johnnica Portress was No. 3.

Dickens began his real estate career with Bullard five years ago, transferring to the Newnan office early in 2006 from the Jonesboro office. He is a specialist in assisting private owners in buying and selling personal and investment properties, as well as serving many nationwide corporate clients in marketing their foreclosure properties.

Before going into real estate, he had a successful 15-year career in corporate management with Edison Bros. Stores Inc., Circuit City and Gateway Computers.

An Active Life Member of the Metro South Association of Realtors' Circle of Excellence, he was a top-selling agent for the Jonesboro office in 2005, being No. 1 in sales volume and No. 3 in generating income. He received Coldwell Banker Real Estate Corporation International awards the past three years, Sterling Society membership in 2004 and Diamond Society membership in 2005. In 2006, he was in the top 2 percent of Coldwell Banker agents nationwide and gained membership in the Coldwell Banker International President's Elite, and was the year's top producer both companywide and for the Newnan/ Coweta County office.

Married to Vanessa Dickens, he is the father of three children, Austin, Meagan and Nic. The family lives in Newnan.

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Ramsey Leads Jonesboro Office in Individual Sales

Patricia Ramsey is the January Individual Agent Leader of the Month for the Jonesboro/Clayton County office of Coldwell Banker Bullard Realty.

Annette Hatcher was the No. 2 individual producer for the office during the month, while Melissa Stephens was No. 3.

Ramsey, who has worked in real estate since late in 2003, received her training through the Georgia MLS Institute, and she studied job readiness at Clayton College and State University.

Ramsey is a member of the National, Georgia and Metro South Associations of Realtors, and she specializes in residential resales, new homes, relocation, foreclosures, military markets, luxury homes, first time home buyers, investors and refinancing. She qualified for a Bullard Certificate of Merit in 2005, and in 2006, she received membership in the Million Dollar Club and was selected to the Coldwell Banker International Sterling Society.

An Atlanta native who has been a resident of Clayton County for 28 years, she is a member of Kelleytown Community Church. She is a supporter of the American Cancer Society and the Covenant House for Homeless Children, and she is a volunteer for Share Ministries, which is affiliated with Feed My People.

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Sunday, February 10, 2008

Bruce Cole Joins Coldwell Banker Bullard Realty

Bruce Cole has joined Coldwell Banker Bullard Realty's Peachtree City/Fayette County office as an associate broker.

Cole, who has been in real estate for 18 years, holds the GRI (Graduate Realtor Institute) and CRS (Certified Residential Specialist) certifications and has completed a seminar on Diversity Selling.
He joined the Bullard organization as a result of the company's recent merger with Coldwell Banker Fulton Realty Associates.
A retired U. S. Army lieutenant colonel, he has a B. S. degree in political science. Cole, a Fayette County resident, has been active in Little League Baseball and is a member of Christ Our Shepherd Lutheran Church in Peachtree City.

PATTERSON NAMED TO REPRESENT MSAR ON NAR BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Sharon Patterson has been elected to a two-year term as National Association of Realtors (NAR) director by the Metro South Association of Realtors (MSAR).

Pointing out that it is an honor to be selected to the NAR board of directors, Patterson will represent MSAR at the 2008 NAR Midyear Meetings and Trade Expo in Washington, D.C., in May and their annual meeing in Orlando in November.

A specialist in the luxury real estate market in Henry County, she is the broker for Crystal Lake Realty LLC, which handles sales for Crystal Lake Golf & Country Club in Henry County.

Patterson began her real estate career 20 years ago with Killearn Properties in Tallahassee, Fla. She has been in the Henry County area for 18 years and serves on the board of directors for the Henry Council Council for Quality Growth. While with Killearn, she served as broker for the Eagle�s Landing Sales Center and the Durham Lakes Sales Center.

She is past president of the Metro South Association of Realtors, was the association�s Realtor of the Year in 2003 and Top Individual Producer in 1999 and 2005, and has served on the board of governors for the Graduate Realtor Institute (GRI). She holds the CRB (Certified Real Estate Brokerage Manager) designation.

The Metro South Association of Realtors has a membership composed primarily of Realtors from Henry, Clayton and Butts Counties.

Baby Boomers Dominate New Housing Trends

By Sandy Boda
Executive Officer,
Home Builders Association of Midwest Georgia

The largest American generation is either retired or quickly nearing retirement age. Baby boomers, the generation born between 1946 and 1964 and who count more than 76 million, may be getting older, but they are definitely not ready to head to the retirement home!

The boomer generation is more active than generations past, has a more sophisticated style and wants options and choices in their homes. Whether they are selling the homes where they raised their children and heading to sunnier pastures, or staying put and redesigning to accommodate their retired lifestyle, boomers are making an impact on new housing trends. Some features that home builders and remodelers are seeing as they begin to cater to the boomers include:

Home Offices – Some boomers are choosing to work past the age of 65. As they transition from a traditional 9-to-5 job, however, they want home offices for flexibility. A second career or part-time employment often eliminates the hassle of commuting while keeping them active and bringing in supplementary income.

Tech/Media Centers – The tech-savvy boomer generation wants top-of-the-line amenities for their homes such as a media room with surround sound and central control systems, which manage all media sources in one location. The house may include a wireless home network (Wi-Fi), remote control lighting and security features.

Wider Doors and Hallways – As a person ages, there is likelihood that use of a wheelchair might become a necessity. Designing a home that is livable now but can transition and be functional as the occupant ages is important in ensuring that the home will be a good long-term investment. Wider doors and hallways are useful for moving larger furniture today, and will also be wheelchair accessible tomorrow.


Better Lighting/Bigger Windows – The need for more lighting usually increases as we grow older. To accommodate this, builders are adding more windows and making them larger to let in more natural light. They are also adding more light fixtures in areas including under cabinets and in stairwells. Multiple switches to reduce the number of trips and dimmer controls to eliminate glare are other options.

First-Floor Bedrooms and Bathrooms – More than 40 percent of new homes have master suites downstairs, a 15 percent increase over a decade ago. Boomers not wishing to go up and down stairs with bad knees and aching backs have helped fuel this trend. The bedrooms are also bigger, with larger walk-in closets and bathrooms that have a separate tub and shower and dual sinks.

Easy to Maintain Exteriors/Landscaping – Yard work, painting and other landscaping chores may no longer be enjoyable to aging homeowners. People who move to a new home when they retire may opt for a maintenance-free community. Those that choose to stay in their homes might make improvements to exterior surfaces such as installing stucco, brick or low-maintenance siding. Lawns are being replaced with living patios, decorative landscaping, or flowerbeds, which can be a hobby for gardening enthusiasts.

Flex Space – “Flex space” has become more prevalent in both new homes and remodeling. Flex spaces are rooms that take on the purpose of the present homeowner’s needs but can adjust with changes as they occur. What may have once started out as a guest bedroom can be redecorated to serve as a hobby room or library. This allows homeowners to stay in their homes longer as it continues to serve their needs throughout life’s stages.

To find a designated Certified Active Adult Specialist in House (CAASH) or Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist (CAPS) builder or remodeler in your area, contact The Home Builders Association of Midwest Georgia at (770) 716-7109. The HBA of Midwest Georgia serves over 700 businesses in the building industry in Fayette, Coweta, Spalding, Meriwether, Heard, Pike, Upson, Lamar, Butts and Jasper Counties.

Speed Up the Sale of Your Home in a Slow Market

By Bill Daprano
President,
Home Builders Association of Midwest Georgia


Trying to sell a house during the winter months in a down market can be difficult, but there are several things you can do to improve its marketability. By expending a bit of effort before it goes on the market, you can ensure that your home presents well, stands out from the crowd and doesn’t turn off potential buyers so that you can sell quickly…and at the best price.

Tone Down Personality

Your bookshelves may be filled with Pulitzer-Prize winners and your collection of Americana figurines may reflect your personal interests, but to home buyers, it looks busy and cluttered, and may distract them from truly seeing your home’s unique architectural features and spacious rooms. Also consider whether family pictures help or hinder a sale; future homeowners may not be able to look past your kids’ smiling faces plastered all over the walls and see themselves building their own future in your home.

Since you hope to move soon anyway, go ahead and box them up and put them in storage in advance of the open house or showing.

While that red accent wall opposite the lime green fireplace perfectly ties in with your ultra modern furniture, a potential buyer at your open house may be turned off immediately and decide that the entire house doesn’t reflect their style. Consider painting walls a neutral color such as beige or taupe.

Don’t Burden the Buyer with Repairs

If there are problem areas in your home, get them fixed before the showing. When prospective buyers tour the house and see leak stains on the ceiling or peeling paint, they will also see future work and assume that bigger maintenance and repair issues are lurking behind those small problems.

This is particularly true in kitchens and bathrooms, which are often the two rooms that make or break a sale. The expenses you incur on the front end sprucing up your home will be cheaper than the profits you could lose by having to lower the price to meet buyer demand.

Maximize Exposure

Lastly, take advantage of new technology to find unique ways to market your house. Use YouTube.com, a video sharing Web site, to introduce yourself and your house for free. Take home shoppers on a virtual tour and tell them about its uniqueness and strengths from a first-person point of view.

Use Internet social networking sites such as Facebook or MySpace to create a Web link with a profile of your home. Include pictures and a description of your home’s features. E-mail the link to your friends and ask them to forward it on to their network of contacts.

Be sure that you are using traditional marketing techniques to your best advantage. When photographing your home for promotional purposes, invest in a wide-angel lens for your camera so that rooms appear bigger and in proportion when they are displayed on Internet home listing sites or in marketing flyers. If you decide to create a virtual tour, look for professionals who will be able to film and upload your video using the best techniques and technology.

For more helpful hints, contact The Home Builders Association of Midwest Georgia at (770) 716-7109. The HBA of Midwest Georgia serves over 700 businesses in the building industry in Fayette, Coweta, Spalding, Meriwether, Heard, Pike, Upson, Lamar, Butts and Jasper Counties.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

PRUDENTIAL GEORGIA REALTY ACHIEVES #1 MARKET SHARE IN FAYETTE COUNTY REAL ESTATE MARKET

The one that got away... this release is from Jan. 2nd and was somehow overlooked. Better late than never right? right?

With its year-to-date sales, Prudential Georgia Realty has taken top honors in real estate market share for Fayette County. The company has two offices in the county---the Peachtree City office, located at the busy intersection of Hwys. 54 and 74 in The Avenue Shopping Plaza and the Fayetteville branch at 834 S. Glynn Street. Prudential Georgia Realty has sold more property in number of units sold in Fayette County than any other real estate company this year, according to Trendgraphix reporting.

The announcement was officially made to the approximately 125 agents in the two Prudential Fayette County offices at a joint sales meeting in November. Prudential Georgia Realty President and CEO personally attended the event and presented awards for each office. Peachtree City Managing Broker Steve Quinn and Fayetteville Managing Broker Merry Holley accepted the awards on behalf of their sales teams.

“Our Fayette County agents live in the community and know the local real estate market,” said Prudential Georgia Realty Senior Vice President of the Southern Region Kathy Murphy, who was also on hand for the event. “Because they live, work and regularly give back to their Fayette community, they excel at helping families find the perfect homes for their individual needs.”

Forsman, who has recently started taping quarterly State of the Real Estate Market video messages (www.AtlantaRealEstate2007.com) to keep the home-buying public accurately informed about real estate market conditions in Georgia, said, “We are extremely proud of the great job our agents are doing in Fayette County and look forward to their continued contributions.”

For more information about the Fayette County real estate market, call the Peachtree City office at 770-487-8300 or visit www.PeachtreeCity.PrudentialGA.com. To reach Prudential’s Fayetteville office, please call 770-719-9400 or visit www.Fayetteville.PrudentialGA.com. Each website offers a complete agent roster for that branch, direct links to agents’ individual websites, answers to hundreds of real estate questions and the ability to conduct a customized property search of more than 100,000 available properties in metro Atlanta and the Southern Crescent.

Prudential Georgia Realty is an independently owned and operated member of Prudential Real Estate Affiliates, a full-service residential and commercial real estate network with offices throughout the U.S. and Canada. Ranked by Real Estate Magazine as one of the top 100 real estate companies in the U.S., the company placed 36th for most 2006 transactions in the real estate trade magazine’s 2007 Power Broker Report.

For the last four consecutive years, Prudential Georgia Realty has been honored with a Consumers’ Choice Award as Best in Class for Executive Home Sales in metro Atlanta. The firm set another sales record in 2006 with nearly $3 billion in gross real estate sales and broke the 10,000 real estate transaction mark for the second time in its 43-year history. The company has 24 locations in metro Atlanta and the Southern Crescent and 1,500 Realtors ready to assist families with their real estate needs.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta Awards $26.6 Million for Affordable Housing Development

PRNewswire/ -- Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta (FHLBank Atlanta) announced today that it will award more than $26.6 million in grants and low-cost loans to fund 82 affordable housing projects in nine states and the District of Columbia.

Local community developers, in partnership with FHLBank Atlanta member institutions, will use the funding to buy, build, or preserve 3,516 affordable housing units in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. Partnerships in two states outside the Bank's district (Tennessee and West Virginia) will receive funds totaling $1.1 million to develop 119 housing units.

FHLBank Atlanta has awarded the funds as part of its 2007 Affordable Housing Program (AHP) second round offering. This award brings the Bank's total contribution to affordable housing development in 2007 to $51 million, its largest in the 17-year history of AHP. In addition, the 2007 AHP funds will be combined with other funding sources to catalyze more than $1 billion of development within the district.

"This funding is critical to ensure many communities build and maintain a diverse stock of affordable housing units. It also stimulates economic development in the region," President and CEO of FHLBank Atlanta Richard Dorfman said. "AHP funds in combination with loans to members are providing a reliable and critical funding source to local communities when and where they need it most."

Individual grants and low-cost loans -- ranging from $42,000 to $2.7 million -- will be made in the following states in FHLBank Atlanta's district:


-- Alabama ($4,302,500 for 829 units)

-- Florida ($6,750,976 for 639 units)

-- Georgia ($5,534,427 for 628 units)

-- Maryland ($973,500 for 193 units)

-- North Carolina ($3,018,278 for 425 units)

-- South Carolina ($1,475,000 for 238 units)

-- Virginia ($2,381,050 for 461 units)

-- D.C. ($1,036,000 for 103 units)

AHP is a competitive grant program that helps develop owner-occupied and rental housing for very low-, low-, and moderate-income families. FHLBank Atlanta awards the funds annually to member financial institutions and their community housing partners. AHP is a component of FHLBank Atlanta's affordable housing, economic development, and down payment assistance initiatives, which have committed over $5 billion in loans and grants since 1990. For the complete list of winners, visit www.fhlbatl.com/ahp.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Career Nights Planned at Coldwell Banker Bullard Newnan Office

The Newnan/Coweta County office of Coldwell Banker Bullard Realty has scheduled three upcoming Career Nights for persons interested in careers in real estate.

The Career Nights will be held on Thursday, Feb. 21, Tuesday, March 18,. and Thursday, April 10, at 6 p.m. at the company’s Newnan/Coweta County, located at 1605 Hwy. 34 East (Suite B) in the White Oak Professional Center, located directly across the highway from John Cullen Dodge. Refreshments will be served.

Linda Mitchell, managing broker of the office, urged those interested in exploring the real estate industry as a career option to attend one of the sessions. She said reservations should be made early, as seating is limited. Reservations can be arranged by calling Kimberly at 770-254-0079.