Tuesday, November 25, 2008

National Trend of Home Price Declines Continues Through the Third Quarter of 2008 According to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices

Atlanta Market Down 9.5%

/PRNewswire/ -- Data through September 2008, released today by Standard & Poor's for its S&P/Case-Shiller(1) Home Price Indices, the leading measure of U.S. home prices, shows continued broad based declines in the prices of existing single family homes across the United States, a trend that prevailed since 2007.

The decline in the S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index -- which covers all nine U.S. census divisions -- remained in double digits, posting a record 16.6% decline in the third quarter of 2008 versus the third quarter of 2007. This has increased from the annual declines of 15.1% and 14.0%, reported for the 2nd and 1st quarters of the year, respectively. The 10-City and 20-City Composites continue to set new records, with annual declines of 18.6% and 17.4%, respectively.

"The turmoil in the financial markets is placing further downward pressure on a housing market already weakened by its own fundamentals," says David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at Standard & Poor's. "All three aggregate indices and 13 of the 20 metro areas are reporting new record rates of decline. Looking at the returns of the U.S. National Index, prices are back to where they were in early 2004. As of September 2008, the 10-City Composite is down 23.4% from its peak, the 20-City Composite is down 21.8% and the National Composite is down 21.0%."

Phoenix was the weakest market, reporting an annual decline of 31.9%, followed by Las Vegas, down 31.3%, and San Francisco at -29.5%. Miami, Los Angeles, and San Diego did not fair much better with annual declines of 28.4%, 27.6% and 26.3%, respectively.

Dallas and Charlotte faired the best in September in terms of relative year-over-year returns. While also in negative territory, their declines remained in single digits of -2.7% and -3.5%, respectively. However, both are at rates of decline lower than those reported in August's numbers. In addition, Charlotte also reported its largest monthly decline on record, down 1.3%. Monthly returns were negative across the board. Cleveland was the one market that showed any improvement in its year-over-year returns reporting -6.4% compared to the -6.6% reported for August.

The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices are published on the last Tuesday of each month at 9:00 am ET. They are constructed to accurately track the price path of typical single-family homes located in each metropolitan area provided. Each index combines matched price pairs for thousands of individual houses from the available universe of arms-length sales data. The S&P/Case-Shiller National U.S. Home Price Index tracks the value of single-family housing within the United States. The index is a composite of single-family home price indices for the nine U.S. Census divisions and is calculated quarterly. The S&P/Case-Shiller Composite of 10 Home Price Index is a value-weighted average of the 10 original metro area indices. The S&P/Case-Shiller Composite of 20 Home Price Index is a value-weighted average of the 20 metro area indices. The indices have a base value of 100 in January 2000; thus, for example, a current index value of 150 translates to a 50% appreciation rate since January 2000 for a typical home located within the subject market.

These indices are generated and published under agreements between Standard & Poor's and Fiserv, Inc. The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices are produced by Fiserv, Inc. In addition to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, Fiserv also offers home price index sets covering thousands of zip codes, counties, metro areas, and state markets. The indices, published by Standard & Poor's, represent just a small subset of the broader data available through Fiserv.

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Mortgage Rates Fall Last Week, Now Below 6.00 Percent

Georgia rates fell 1.5% to 5.81%.

/PRNewswire/ -- Mortgage rates fell last week, with rates for 30-year fixed mortgages declining to 5.92 percent, down from 6.03 percent the week prior, according to the Zillow Mortgage Rate Monitor, compiled by leading real estate Web site Zillow.com(R). Rates for 15-year fixed mortgages decreased to 5.69 percent, down from 5.76 percent and 5-1 adjustable rate mortgages rose to 5.87 percent from 5.85 percent.

Mortgage Type Average Rate Average Rate % Change
Week ending 11/23/08 Week ending 11/16/08
30-year fixed 5.92% 6.03% -1.9%
15-year fixed 5.69% 5.76% -1.2%
5-1 ARM 5.87% 5.85% 0.4%


Rates for 30-year fixed mortgages fell even further on Monday evening with the average rate on Zillow Mortgage Marketplace at 5.71 percent.

At a state level, the 30-year fixed mortgage rate in Pennsylvania saw the biggest decrease, falling from 6.06 percent to 5.88 percent. Rates on 30-year fixed mortgages were lowest in the states of Oregon (5.79%) and Georgia (5.81%) and, while Missouri (6.11%) and South Carolina (6.05%) had the highest rates.

The Zillow Mortgage Rate Monitor is compiled each week using thousands of mortgage rates quoted on Zillow Mortgage Marketplace (www.zillow.com/mortgage) by mortgage lenders to borrowers who have submitted loan requests. State-level data is gathered for the top 20 states with the highest quote volume on Zillow.

Zillow Mortgage Marketplace is an open and transparent lending marketplace, providing borrowers an anonymous and hassle-free way to receive an unlimited number of customized mortgage quotes directly from confirmed lenders.

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Monday, November 24, 2008

Existing-Home Sales Soften on Economic Volatility

/PRNewswire/ -- Existing-home sales declined on the heels of a strong gain in September as uncertainty and economic concerns increased in October, according to the National Association of Realtors(R).

Existing-home sales -- including single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops -- fell 3.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate(1) of 4.98 million units in October from a downwardly revised pace of 5.14 million in September, and are 1.6 percent below the 5.06 million-unit level in October 2007.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said consumer hesitation is understandable. "Many potential home buyers appear to have withdrawn from the market due to the stock market collapse and deteriorating economic conditions," he said. "We have favorable affordability conditions, but we need more than that to give buyers with jobs the confidence they need. This is why a housing stimulus is so critical now to encourage more buyers to draw down the inventory and stabilize home prices. Without home price stabilization, there will not be an economic recovery."

Total housing inventory at the end of October slipped 0.9 percent to 4.23 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 10.2-month supply(2) at the current sales pace, up from a 10.0-month supply in September.

According to Freddie Mac, the national average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage rose to 6.20 percent in October from 6.04 percent in September; the rate was 6.38 percent in October 2007. "Mortgage interest rates have been moving up and down in a historically low range, with the fixed rate down to 6.04 percent last week," Yun noted.

Even with the overall decline, Yun identified a number of areas with solid sales gains from a year ago, including many California and Florida markets, as seen previously, as well as Boston, Minneapolis, and Denver.

NAR President Charles McMillan, a broker with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Dallas-Fort Worth, said the need for professional assistance is growing. "Navigating the transaction process is easier said than done without professional assistance in today's market," McMillan said. "Proper valuation when many homes are being sold below replacement construction costs is very challenging -- buyers remain in the driver's seat."

The national median existing-home price(3) for all housing types was $183,300 in October, down 11.3 percent from a year ago when the median was $206,700. There remains a significant downward distortion in the current price from a large number of distress sales at discounted prices; the median is where half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less.

Single-family home sales declined 3.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.43 million in October from a level of 4.58 million in September, but are unchanged from a 4.43 million-unit pace in October 2007. The median existing single-family home price was $181,800 in October, down 11.2 percent from a year ago.

Existing condominium and co-op sales eased by 1.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 550,000 units in October from 560,000 in September, and are 12.0 percent below the 625,000-unit pace a year ago. The median existing condo price(4) was $193,000 in October, which is 13.0 percent below October 2007.

Regionally, existing-home sales in the Northeast slipped 1.2 percent to an annual pace of 830,000 in October, and are 9.8 percent lower than a year ago. The median price in the Northeast was $241,700, down 9.8 percent from October 2007.

Existing-home sales in the West eased by 1.6 percent to an annual rate of 1.21 million in October but are 37.5 percent higher than October 2007. The median price in the West was $231,400, down 27.0 percent from a year ago.

In the South, existing-home sales declined 3.2 percent to an annual pace of 1.84 million in October, and are 10.2 percent below a year ago. The median price in the South was $161,100, which is 5.8 percent lower than October 2007.

Existing-home sales in the Midwest fell 6.0 percent in October to a pace of 1.10 million and remain 9.1 percent below October 2007. The median price in the Midwest was $149,400, down 6.7 percent from a year ago.

The National Association of Realtors(R), "The Voice for Real Estate," is America's largest trade association, representing 1.2 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

NOTE: References to performance in states or metro areas are from unpublished raw data used to analyze regional trends; please contact your local association of Realtors(R) for more information.

(1) The annual rate for a particular month represents what the total number of actual sales for a year would be if the relative pace for that month were maintained for 12 consecutive months. Seasonally adjusted annual rates are used in reporting monthly data to factor out seasonal variations in resale activity. For example, home sales volume is normally higher in the summer than in the winter, primarily because of differences in the weather and family buying patterns. However, seasonal factors cannot compensate for abnormal weather patterns.

Existing-home sales, which include single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, are based on transaction closings. This differs from the U.S. Census Bureau's series on new single-family home sales, which are based on contracts or the acceptance of a deposit. Because of these differences, it is not uncommon for each series to move in different directions in the same month. In addition, existing-home sales, which generally account for 85 percent of total home sales, are based on a much larger sample -- more than 40 percent of multiple listing service data each month -- and typically are not subject to large prior-month revisions.

(2) Total inventory and month's supply data are available back through 1999, while single-family inventory and month's supply are available back to 1982. Condos were tracked quarterly prior to 1999 when single-family homes accounted for more than nine out of 10 purchases.

(3) The only valid comparisons for median prices are with the same period a year earlier due to the seasonality in buying patterns. Month-to-month comparisons do not compensate for seasonal changes, especially for the timing of family buying patterns. Changes in the composition of sales can distort median price data. Year-ago median and mean prices sometimes are revised in an automated process if more data is received than was originally reported.

(4) Because there is a concentration of condos in high-cost metro areas, the national median condo price can be higher than the median single-family price. In a given market area, condos typically cost less than single-family homes.

Existing-home sales for November will be released December 23, and the next Pending Home Sales Index & Forecast is scheduled for release at 10 a.m. EST December 9.

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Friday, November 21, 2008

HGTV’s FrontDoor.com Offers the Top 10 Tips for Selling Your Home During the Holidays

(BUSINESS WIRE)--The holiday season from November through January is often considered the worst time to put a home on the market. While the thought of selling your home during the winter months may dampen your holiday spirit, the season does have its advantages: holiday buyers tend to be more serious, and competition is less fierce with fewer homes being actively marketed. First, decide if you really need to sell. Once you've committed to the challenge, don your gay apparel and follow these tips from FrontDoor.com. (http://www.frontdoor.com/top10)

1. Deck the halls, but don't go overboard. Homes often look their best during the holidays, but sellers should be careful not to overdo it on the decor. Adornments that are too large or too many can crowd your home and distract buyers. Also, avoid offending buyers by opting for general fall and winter decorations rather than items with religious themes.

2. Hire a reliable real estate agent. That means someone who will work hard for you and won't disappear during Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year's. Ask your friends and family if they can recommend a listing agent who will go above and beyond to get your home sold. This will ease your stress and give you more time to enjoy the season.

3. Seek out motivated buyers. Anyone house hunting during the holidays must have a good reason for doing so. Work with your agent to target buyers on a deadline, including people relocating for jobs in your area, investors on tax deadlines, college students and staff, and military personnel, if you live near a military base.

4. Price to sell. No matter what time of year, a home that's priced low for the market will make buyers feel merry. Rather than gradually making small price reductions, many real estate agents advise sellers to slash their prices before putting a home on the market.

5. Make curb appeal a top priority. When autumn rolls around and the trees start to lose their leaves, maintaining the exterior of your home becomes even more important. Bare trees equal a more exposed home, so touch up the paint, clean the gutters and spruce up the yard. Keep buyers' safety in mind as well by making sure stairs and walkways are free of snow, ice and leaves.

6. Take top-notch real estate photos. When the weather outside is frightful, homebuyers are likely to start their house hunt from the comfort of their homes by browsing listings on the Internet. Make a good first impression by offering lots of flattering, high-quality photos of your home. If possible, have a summer or spring photo of your home available so buyers can see how it looks year-round.

7. Create a video tour for the Web. You'll get less foot traffic during the holidays, thanks to inclement weather and vacation plans. But shooting a video tour and posting it on the Web may attract house hunters who don't have time to physically visit your home or would rather not drive in a snowstorm.

8. Give house hunters a place to escape from the cold. Make your home feel cozy and inviting during showings by cranking up the heat, playing soft classical music and offering homemade holiday treats like cookies and eggnog. When you encourage buyers to spend more time in your home, you also give them more time to admire its best features.

9. Offer holiday cheer in the form of financing. Bah, humbug! Lenders are scrooges these days, but if you've got the means, then why not offer a home loan to a serious buyer? You could get a good rate of return on your money.

10. Relax -- the new year is just around the corner. Thanksgiving and Christmas are stressful enough, with gifts to buy, dinners to prepare and relatives to entertain. Take a moment to remind yourself that if you don't sell now, there's always next year, which luckily is only a few days away.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Generation Mortgage Offers Additional Peace of Mind to Senior Home Owners

/PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development HUD recently implemented new regulations for the HECM (Home Equity Conversion Mortgage) loan, increasing the federal insurance of that product. As a result, the FHA now will be insuring their reverse mortgage loans at a higher loan limit than before. Generation Mortgage Company(TM) has responded and is pleased to announce an increase in its lending limits.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, through the new regulation, established that the Federal Housing Administration will insure HECM mortgages with a lending limit up to $417,000 nationwide.

"Through the new regulation, the Federal government continues to acknowledge the importance of reverse mortgages to seniors and their families and is giving them greater freedom to take advantage of the equity they have worked so hard to build in their homes, with the safety of federal insurance," said Jeff Lewis, Chairman of Generation Mortgage Company.

A reverse mortgage is a loan available to senior homeowners (62 and older in the United States) and is used to release the equity in the property. Whether one lump sum, line of credit or monthly payments, the homeowner's obligation to repay the loan is deferred until the owner ceases to occupy the home as a primary residence, whether they pass away, sell the home or enter into managed care.

Mr. Lewis continued, "People are living longer and thus their adult children are finding themselves bearing the burden of managing the finances for their aging parents. A reverse mortgage gives them an option to leverage the least liquid yet most valuable of their assets. Homeowners can receive amounts based on a simple formula related to age, home value and the FHA expected interest rate."

Unlike a conventional mortgage, with reverse mortgages, there are no monthly mortgage payments. When the borrower leaves the home, the heirs may either refinance the loan and keep the home or sell the residence and retain the difference between the sale price and the loan balance. If the house is worth less than the mortgage amount due, the FHA will insure the difference.

He concluded, "Reverse mortgages have made a difference in the lives of many retirees affected by the recent economic crisis. The Federal government's increase of the amount which can be obtained through this product will hopefully resonate well with those who need money now. It is our goal at Generation Mortgage to educate seniors and the community about the safety and value of the reverse mortgage product so that more can take advantage of it."

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Revitalization Presses Forward on Jekyll Island, GA, First Redeveloped Condominium Hotel Opens Doors This Week

PRNewswire/ -- Although real estate development has stagnated in most parts of the country, it's moving ahead rapidly on Jekyll Island, Georgia. In October, the board of directors for the Jekyll Island Authority approved revitalization plans for the island paradise, and this week Jekyll Oceanfront Resort becomes the first redeveloped condominium hotel to open its doors to owners and guests on this state-owned barrier island.

"During the real estate boom in the early part of this decade, developers seemed to have overlooked Jekyll Island," said Tripp Snyder, Managing Partner, Jekyll Oceanfront Development Investors 1, LLC (JODI 1), "so the prices have remained extremely attractive for development. The hotel condominiums are absolutely some of the best investments on the East Coast because of the incredible affordability of Jekyll Island."

Lower construction costs have allowed Jekyll Oceanfront Development to rebuild and now sell these condo-hotel villas at a great value. They used the best architects, designers, and contractors available to update and enhance the former 1970's-style facilities to 21st-century standards. For example, the lobby of the resort is undergoing a complete re-design by noted interior designer Lisa Torbett, whose work has been featured in Architectural Digest and other prestigious design publications.

These beach-access and ocean-front villas are being offered for prices ranging from $100,000 to $495,000. Comparable condominiums with beach access on neighboring islands cost in excess of a million dollars.

"We're experiencing exceptionally strong investment interest," said Snyder. "Because beach-access real estate is a rare and limited commodity, this property is probably one of the safest purchases in the country today. At a time when many other investments have lost their luster, investment ocean-front real estate is highly attractive. For example, one potential buyer is purchasing three units. Many have told us that the value of property on Jekyll Island will only continue to appreciate."

"The new Jekyll Oceanfront Resort is an absolutely beautiful and affordable resort within steps of our pristine, highly desirable beaches," said C. Jones Hooks, Executive Director, Jekyll Island Authority. "The dream of revitalization is quickly becoming a reality here on Jekyll Island, and it's really exciting to see the transformation take place."

State law mandates that 65 percent of Jekyll island remain in its undeveloped natural state, and the revitalization plan places high priority on environmental preservation. "This is just the kind of project that Jekyll needs to revitalize the island," said former State Senator Ed Boshears.

The Jekyll Oceanfront Resort units are the first of their kind to be offered for sale on Jekyll Island. Once purchased, they will be available for rental by the Jekyll Oceanfront Resort's management team. The property is located on a beautiful barrier island that offers one of the best locations on the East Coast for a delightful and affordable vacation.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Windsong Properties Wins Four Gold OBIE Awards

Windsong Properties took home four gold awards Saturday at the Greater Atlanta Home Builder's Association's 28th annual OBIE Awards program. The builder of retirement communities for Active Adults received recognition for excellence in architectural design and construction in the Single Family Zero Lot Line category. Windsong swept the category by being named the winner in every price group, $249,999 and under for the Villas at Blackberry Run and $250,000 to $299,999; $300,000 to $349,999 and $400,000 to $499,999 for their Somerset community. Windsong Properties builds EarthCraft and EasyLiving certified single story detached home communities specifically designed for those ages 55 and up. The Villas at Blackberry Run, located in Dallas, Ga., is a 78-home community with homes priced from $225,000. Somerset is the builder's newest community, featuring 58 ranch courtyard homes in Woodstock, Ga., priced from $337,000.

“We are very proud to have received four gold awards,” said Steve Romeyn, Managing Partner of Windsong Properties. “To receive recognition among the best in Atlanta’s home building industry is quite an honor. These awards are representative of the passion, talent and dedication of the entire Windsong team.”

The Sales and Marketing Council of the HBA presents its annual OBIE Awards every November. The OBIE Awards began in 1980 and have grown throughout the years to now feature more than 100 building, remodeling, marketing and personal achievement categories in which to enter. These awards are the highest honor given in the Atlanta housing industry, and winners gain industry recognition and attract promotional opportunities.

Locally owned, Windsong Properties was founded by Mark Carruth and Managing Partner Steve Romeyn. The two bring more than 50 years of local building experience to Windsong Properties, ‘Where Life’s a Breeze.’ As empty nesters themselves, Mark and Steve have first hand knowledge of the desires of active adults and are passionate about creating communities and homes for empty nesters. Every decision made at Windsong Properties from the design of the community and its amenities, to the floorplans, and the unique customer service approach is targeted to the 50-plus, empty nester group. Windsong Properties earned the highest honor from the Certified Professional Home Builders association when it was awarded the Customer Satisfaction Award for 2007. Windsong Properties invites you to visit one of its communities to see for yourself just how easy living the Windsong Lifestyle can be. For more information, call 770-516-3409 or visit www.windsonglife.com.
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Monday, November 10, 2008

Brock Built Green House for Sale

Brock Built's eco-friendly Green House is now for sale. The beautiful two-story single-family home is located on Craftsman Drive in Brock Built’s award winning West Highlands community. The EarthCraft certified home showcases environmentally friendly and sustainable design features and is priced at $419,000. Proceeds from the sale of the home will benefit Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

The eco-friendly house consists of three bedrooms with three and one half bathrooms. Interior features include a two-story foyer, gas fireplace, large kitchen with natural stone countertops, recessed lighting, loft area and a walk-out finished basement with a fourth bedroom option, full bathroom and flex room. Environmentally friendly and sustainable design features including energy efficient appliances, plumbing, doors and windows as well as environmentally friendly paints, cleaners and recycled insulation, foundation and siding. Contributions were made for the funds, services, building materials, fixtures, appliances and everything else necessary to build the home.

The exteriors of the home are as beautifully designed as the interiors of the home. Features include a front porch, rear screened porch, rear deck and two-car garage. Beautiful landscaping in the backyard showcases a rear patio with brick outdoor fireplace, brick fire pit, vegetarian and herb garden, rear wood and side fencing. There are 2-55 gallon exterior hand painted rain barrels and 2-300 gallon cisterns that provide supplemental water for irrigation but also enable the homeowner to wash their car and much more.

Prospective buyers are encouraged to tour the property. Tours are available by appointment. To schedule an appointment, call Dahlia Aitova at 404-794-4880.

The EarthCraft program is a voluntary green building program which serves as a blueprint for healthy, comfortable homes that reduce utility bills and protect the environment. EarthCraft homes are thoroughly inspected and tested (for factors such as air leakage and carbon monoxide safety) before the homeowner moves in. They are proven to help save energy and water and conserve natural resources. They are more affordable because they help
homeowners lower energy costs by up to 30%, lower maintenance and repair costs, and even lower doctor’s bills for health problems related to poor indoor air quality.

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, one of the leading pediatric healthcare systems in the country, is a not-for-profit organization that benefits from the generous philanthropic and volunteer support of our community. Operating three hospitals with more than half a million patient visits annually, Children’s is recognized for excellence in cancer, cardiac, neonatal, orthopedic and transplant services, as well as many other pediatric specialties. To learn more about Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta call 404-250-KIDS.

Brock Built has been making an impact on the Atlanta residential real estate community for more than two decades. Steve Brock, founder, established Brock Built with a mission to build superior homes at an exceptional value for his customers, while improving on the surrounding community at large. With a focus on the Westside of Atlanta, Brock Built’s goal is not to change existing communities but to recreate them into more livable environments, where current residents and new homeowners can feel at home. By building new homes and bringing new neighbors in to underdeveloped parts of the city, economic development is promoted and these neighborhoods become vital parts of the city. To date, Steve Brock has built more than 1,000 homes in Atlanta. Brock Built neighborhoods offer the convenience and amenities of city living with the charm of a bygone era within the peaceful surrounds of the suburbs where generation after generation can call home. For more information on Brock Built’s communities or The Green House, visit www.brockbuilt.com or call 404-351-7555.
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GuildQuality Announces the 2009 Guildmaster Awards Call for Entries

GuildQuality is pleased to announce the call for entries for the 2009 Guildmaster Awards. This competition recognizes builders and real estate companies in the United States and Canada with a proven history of superior customer service. The 2009 awards will be open to non-members for the first time in the competition’s history.

Guildmaster Award winners have demonstrated their ability to consistently deliver an exceptional customer experience. Those eligible to apply include builders, remodelers, specialty contractors and developers.

Geoff Graham, President of GuildQuality comments on the selection process, “The Guildmaster awards are our opportunity to celebrate exceptional service in the building and real estate profession. To identify the winners, we interview thousands of customers about their building, remodeling, or home purchasing experience. The award winners are the most accomplished leaders in our industry. In past several years, fewer than 20 percent of eligible candidates have received an award.”

Past Guildmaster winners include: Betenbough Homes, Classic Remodeling, Strite design + remodel, Blackdog Design Build Remodel, Menold Construction, Waterford Homes, Windsong Properties, Sabal Homes and many others. All previous Guildmaster Award Winners are listed at http://www.guildquality.com/guildmaster/.

To enter, visit www.guildquality.com/guildmaster/2009/register/. The deadline to enter the Guildmaster Awards is Dec. 15, 2008. The entry fee is $250 and should be submitted along with the online application. If you have questions about the Guildmaster Awards, please contact GuildQuality at 888-355-9223.

Join GuildQuality to celebrate the most exceptional companies in the real estate industry through the 2009 Guildmaster Awards. Award recipients will be notified the end of February via email.

GuildQuality provides customer satisfaction surveying and performance reporting for quality-minded building and real estate companies throughout North America. More than 500 Guildmembers rely on GuildQuality to help them deliver an exceptional customer experience. For more information on GuildQuality call 888-355-9223 or visit www.guildquality.com.
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Isakson Barnhart Properties joins the U.S. Green Building Council

Isakson Barnhart Properties, LLC is proud to announce their membership in the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The USGBC is a non-profit organization committed to expanding sustainable building practices.

The mission of the USGBC is to transform the way buildings and communities are designed, built and operated, enabling an environmentally and socially responsible, healthy, and prosperous environment that improves the quality of life.

“Isakson Barnhart strives to improve the quality of life in each of our communities, and membership in the USGBC is a way to demonstrate this commitment,” said E. Andrew Isakson, Managing Partner of Isakson Barnhart. “By embracing the educational opportunities offered by the Council, we can continue to ensure that we remain at the forefront of designing, building and maintaining superior communities.”

The USGBC is composed of more than 15,000 organizations from across the building industry that are working to advance structures that are environmentally responsible, profitable, and healthy places to live and work. Members includes building owners and end-users, real estate developers, facility managers, architects, designers, engineers, general contractors, subcontractors, product and building system manufacturers, government agencies, and nonprofits.

Isakson Barnhart Properties developed the Site Smart program, a four-hour certification program to use in training construction superintendents and equipment operators on the role of trees in the environment and best practices for tree preservation, in partnership with the Chattahoochee Nature Center (CNC) and the Georgia Forestry Commission (GFC). Peachtree Hills Place, an upscale residential community in Buckhead for people ages 55 and older seeking a secure, independent lifestyle, was the pilot development for the program. The program included training superintendents and equipment operators on ecology issues, focusing on water quality, the role of trees in protecting the environment and best practices in tree preservation. Isakson Barnhart/Peachtree Hills Place hopes to extend the program to the state’s development community as well.

The membership is also a fit because of the conservation-centered decisions made throughout the development process at Peachtree Hills, including the preservation of 50 percent of the trees on its 23-acre site in the middle of Buckhead. Five acres of the property will be deeded over to the City of Atlanta, maintained as green space and include a nature trail. Additional park space and green areas will be established to maximize the open space on the site. In order to maintain the aesthetics of the existing neighborhood, the developers have worked with the Peachtree Hills Civic Association, and all parking for the development will be located underground. Energy-efficient HVAC systems will be utilized and compact fluorescent lighting will be installed. Much of the existing structure on the site that has been demolished will remain on site as fill material, diverting it from local landfills. The community is also highly walkable, located on a MARTA bus line, employees will be encouraged to use public transportation and walk to nearby restaurants, shops and parks.

When completed, Peachtree Hills Place, located in Buckhead in the heart of metro Atlanta, will include 274 independent residences – consisting of 266 villas and eight single-family homes – and 36 skilled nursing and memory care suites. Assisted living care will also be offered on site. All Peachtree Hills Place members will enjoy a full slate of amenities, on-site retail establishments, dining, full service spa, and fitness center.

Isakson Barnhart is Georgia’s developer of nationally recognized, award-winning residential communities for those age 55 and over. The company’s vision to provide amenity-rich, independent living for discerning adults was born out of the personal experiences of the family of Ed and Julia Isakson after their difficult search for a community that would provide an active lifestyle combined with on-site health care. This mission manifested itself in Park Springs, the company’s flagship property in Stone Mountain. Park Springs was nationally recognized by the 50+ Housing Council of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) as the recipient of the 2005 Platinum Award for best large CCRC as well as the Gold Award for interior design. Now, Isakson Barnhart introduces another award-winning residential community in Peachtree Hills Place, named the best “On the Boards” large CCRC by the same group in 2006. Isakson Barnhart has carefully selected Life Care Services, LLC, the leading management company of senior communities in the nation, to partner in the planning and management of Peachtree Hills Place and Park Springs. For more information, visit www.peachtreehillsplace.com or call 404-467-4900.
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Construction Underway on First Model Home at The Park at Heritage Ridge

PEC Development is pleased to announce that construction has begun on the first model home at The Park at Heritage Ridge. Located in historic Newnan, the 241-home community is the final neighborhood located in the successful Heritage Ridge master-planned community. Upon completion, the community will feature two model homes showcasing the Willow and Juniper floorplans. Drywall is currently going up in the Willow model home and the home is expected to be completed by the end of the year. Homes at The Park at Heritage Ridge are affordably priced from the mid $100,000s.

The two-story Willow model will consist of four bedrooms with two and one-half bathrooms, and will offer approximately 2,217 square feet of living space. The spacious interiors include a gourmet kitchen, master suite with sitting area and large walk-in-closet and a two-story foyer. Additional features include a two-car garage and a large covered front porch.

At The Park at Heritage Ridge residents enjoy the outdoors as much as the indoors with an array of amazing amenities. The extensive amenity package is already complete and includes a 9,500-square-foot clubhouse with large game room and billiards, exercise and fitness room, a large swimming pool, lighted tennis courts, bocce ball court and a large playground. In keeping with its name, The Park at Heritage Ridge also offers several beautifully landscaped parks.

The Park at Heritage Ridge is centrally located to employment centers, shopping and entertainment venues, educational and recreational resources and offers easy access to Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

To visit The Park at Heritage Ridge, take I-85 South to Exit 47 (Newnan). Go left (east) on Ga. Hwy. 34 for one mile. Turn right onto Shenandoah Boulevard and go approximately one and a half miles. Turn left onto Lower Fayetteville Road and go approximately one mile, Heritage Ridge is on the left. The sales gallery is located at 6 Bayview Drive in Newnan. The sales office hours are Monday through Saturday 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Sunday 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
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Presales Begin at Lakeview at Bryant Lake LaGrange

Nineteen home sites are now available in the Lakeview neighborhood at Bryant Lake LaGrange. For those looking for lakefront property, nine home sites have been released on the lake, and 10 non-lakefront properties are also now available in the neighborhood. Upon completion, the Lakeview neighborhood will consist of 72 home sites, 40 of which will be lake home sites. Homes in Lakeview range in price from the mid $200,000s to the low $300,000s.

Home buyers will have six floorplans to choose from in the Lakeview neighborhood: The Lanier, The Salem, The Westpoint, The Regency, The Chatsworth and The Weston. These floorplans include four to five bathrooms with two and a half to three bathrooms. Spacious interiors include optional children’s retreats, bonus rooms, library options, beautiful crown molding and two-car garages. The Salem floorplan also offers a dressing area and coffee bar option in the owner’s suite.

“Homes in the Lakeview neighborhood offer broad views of Bryant Lake and every home provides easy access to the activities and beauty that the lake has to offer,” said Charmaine Courville, the sales agent for the neighborhood. “The 23-acre lake is the core of Bryant Lake LaGrange. Residents of Bryant Lake LaGrange will not only enjoy the beauty of the lake, but also the outdoor activities made possible by the lake, including fishing and non-motorized boating.”

Bryant Lake LaGrange will offer residents an abundance of natural luxuries. Overlooking Bryant Lake, Pinewood Pavilion will be perfect for intimate social gatherings and large events. The pavilion will offer a comfortable place to enjoy a book or quiet conversation and amazing views of sparkling Bryant Lake. The amenity area will also include a relaxing outdoor gathering place with an outdoor fireplace. During the warmer months, children and adults alike will spend hours at the aquatic center. Unlike any other in the area, the aquatic center at Bryant Lake LaGrange will include Doozy’s Adventure for the kids, a mushroom water feature and water slide and a large zero entry pool. Homeowners will also enjoy playing tennis at one of the two lighted tennis courts; walking or running on the fitness trails that weave along the banks of Bryant Lake and include "wellness stations" for activities like stretching, pull-ups, etc., or
picnicking on one of the many rich green spaces at Acorn Park, Longleaf Park or along the lake shore.

PEC Development Group has partnered with Edward Andrews Homes to build beautiful homes for residents of Bryant Lake LaGrange. Edward Andrews Homes specializes in creating neighborhoods noted for remarkable quality of life, design excellence and authentic craftsmanship within an environment of natural beauty.

To visit Bryant Lake LaGrange, take I-85 South to Exit 14 (LaGrange). Turn left off the exit ramp and travel approximately one-eighth of a mile. Turn left into the community and travel down the parkway. The Sales Center will be on the left at 519 Bryant Lake Blvd, LaGrange, Ga., 30240.
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Saturday, November 1, 2008

Sold! Homes Are Selling in the Current Real Estate Market

(BUSINESS WIRE)--Navigating the complexities of today’s housing market is as challenging for consumers as it is for real estate agents. Citing the many obstacles those in the market are facing, The Real Estate Book is launching a new program, JUST SOLD 2008, designed to help those looking to buy or sell a home find a leading agent, and at the same time, help real estate professionals market their listings affordably and effectively, as well as share their successes.

“No question, the real estate market is choppy, but today more than ever, it’s important to stay focused and remain upbeat,” says Scott Dixon, President of The Real Estate Book. “It’s also vitally important to spread the news about who is transacting. We’ve got an active and powerful channel of millions of consumers and thousands of real estate agents who are surviving and thriving, and we can help anyone in this market – consumers and agents alike – connect with each other. In fact, those that advertise with us, are selling homes right now.”

The JUST SOLD 2008 program works like this: The Real Estate Book will contribute (at no cost to advertisers or consumers) 20% of its print book pages to its advertisers to promote the homes they sold in 2008.

Todd Walker, Senior Vice President of Sales and Operations at The Real Estate Book adds, “we want to do our part to help hard-working real estate professionals achieve continued success, and provide a way for those who are struggling by providing them with an affordable media solution that works in any market, even on a tight budget. We also want to let consumers looking to buy or sell know that agents who advertise in The Real Estate Book are the top in the business and sell more homes, quicker.”

Simply put, The Real Estate Book, available in print and online, generates more advertising exposure than anyone else in the industry, and the company plans to use the power of its 8 million magazines along with its network of nearly 30 online partners delivering millions of unique users, and its direct mail channel to provide massive reach to more than 50 million consumers, as well as spread the good news in this market.

In fact, The Real Estate Book has been helping real estate professionals connect with buyers and sellers for over 30 years, delivering credible, proven results in over 500 markets across the U.S., Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.

Dixon adds, “in this business it’s important to work with a media partner you trust, one who knows how to reach your best prospects – locally, nationally, and globally. It’s hard to muster up the confidence and know where to steer the boat when the market is in a downturn. But for our customers, we do all the legwork for them, and they benefit from getting the best leads. And for consumers, they can rest easy knowing that they are going to find an agent who is experienced and actively engaged in helping them find or sell a home faster and better than anyone else.”

That’s the magic of The Real Estate Book, and it is the one thing you can turn to and trust despite the shifts of the market.

For more information on how The Real Estate Book can help you “survive and thrive” in today’s housing market, go to: www.RealEstateBookMediaKit.com/confidence.

To request a book or search online for a property to buy in your market, go to www.RealEstateBook.com or call 1-800-643-1174.

The Real Estate Book is published by Network Communications, Inc.

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