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Atlanta, GA Real Estate and Housing Statisics for the Month of July 2008

by the zac team @ RE/MAX Greater Atlanta

Every month, the First Multiple Listing Service publishes numbers compiled by Smart Numbers with extensive research and statistics on the Atlanta market. The 130+ page document can be a bit overwhelming, so we break it down to the basics here to share with our sellers and fellow agents. The summary compares July 2008 numbers with July 2007 numbers. Enjoy and please feel free to give us a call if you have any questions! Our office # is 404.564.7200.

Units Closed:                     2008        2007
Single Family                           3,803         5,763
Condos/Townhomes                   674          1,045
Total                                        4,477         6,808
                 

New Listings:                     2008        2007
Single Family                           12,206       14,233
Condos/Townhomes                  2,181         2,587
Total                                        14,387       16,820

Withdrawn:                          2008        2007
Single Family                             2,647         2,618
Condos/Townhomes                    472            391
Total                                          3,119         3,009

Expired:                                2008        2007
Single Family                             5,993         5,498
Condos/Townhomes                   1,119          1,117
Total                                          7,112         6,615

Current Inventory:              2008        2007
Single Family                             56,547       58,520
Condos/Townhomes                   11,073        11,361
Total                                          67,620       69,881

Inventory:                              2008        2007
Single Family                        14.4 months   11.9 months
Condos/Townhomes               16.6 months   12.15 months

Sales Price to List Price:    2008        2007
Single Family                               92.9%       96.8%
Condos/Townhomes                      96.2%       97.0%

Average Days on Market:   2008        2007
Single Family                                86.8           83.4
Condos/Townhomes                       101            94.7

Want more stats? We can email you monthly reports on current listings and the last six months of sales for the following areas. Just click below for the neighborhood or condo building that you're interested in!

Click here for Atlanta’s fabulous intown neighborhoods!
(including Morningside, Virginia Highland, Candler Park, and Lake Claire real estate)
Click here for Atlanta’s Midtown condo scene!
(including 12 Atlantic Station, Plaza Midtown, Metropolis, Spire, Mayfair, and 905 Juniper mid-rise and high rise condos)

If you're thinking of selling your home, we have tips on selling your home for the most money, too Just check out our guide, “How to Sell Your Home for Top Dollar Fast” which we will send to you automatically when you sign up for your home prices report.

You can also view our listing Plan of Action and Marketing Plan online anytime to get a preview of how we would get your home SOLD! Just visit www.GotZac.com.

Top Ten Environmentally-Friendly Ways to Go Green in Your Office (whether at home or work!)

by the zac team @ RE/MAX Greater Atlanta

Recently, RIS Media's real estate magazine published the top environmental pet peeves of office workers across the United States. The study, conducted by Xerox Corporation, uncovered the most frequent frustrations of co-workers not taking the small steps to lessen environmental impact.

Here are the top ten suggestions based on the top pet peeves of office workers:

1. Think before you print!
40% of employees said that their #1 concern is mindless printing, resulting in increased waste. More and more email signatures are popping up with the tagline, "Please consider the environment before printing this email!" Perhaps you can add it to your personal signature?

2. Turn off the lights!
37% said that leaving the lights on ranks top on their list of annoyances. Simple enough - look behind you when you leave and flip the switch!

3. Invest in a few well-placed recycling bins!
33% stated that lack of recycling bins concerns them the most. If you can't get the whole office to participate, then start small - put a recycling bin under your desk and encourage others to bring their recyclables to you. With the ease of recycling in DeKalb County, you can take it home once a week and put it in with your recycling.

4. Control the heat and air!
29% are bothered by using excessive air conditioning in summer and heat in winter. Dress appropriately and you shouldn't have to freeze the office nor turn it into a sauna.

5. Purchase a few dishes!
27% are frustrated at the excessive use of paper products, like cups, plates, etc. Don't have space in the office? Then start bringing your own reusable dishes to work!

6. Encourage each other to recycle!
27% are dismayed that their coworkers do not recycle. Again, start small with your own recycling bin and encourage others to use yours or start their own.

7. Use the duplex feature! Print double-sided!
24% stated that their #1 concern is coworkers not printing double-sided when they can. If you know how, then show people how to use the duplex feature so they can print double-sided. Or ask someone if you're unsure.

8. Do you really need that cover sheet? Ask first!
24% clench their fists when seeing too many cover sheets when faxing or printing. In the digital age and the era of e-faxing, are cover sheets really all that necessary any more when the fax goes directly into someone's email? Ask them first!

9. Is it an electronic file? Then don't do double work!
24% are annoyed at having to store paper copies of existing, electronic files. Ask first if a paper copy is really necessary. Most offices have an electronic back-up system to protect data, so paper filing is a thing of the past.

10. Turn it off!
23% expressed chagrin at others leaving their computer on and not powering down when going home.

If you find you or your coworkers sharing some of these same frustrations, then take action! It doesn't have to be much - some of the suggestions made here are small ones and don't require a huge office investment or approval. If you have any questions or suggestions, please give Jenny a call at 404.564.7250 (she's sort-of the zac team's resident tree-hugger).

$7,500 Federal Tax Credit for First Time Buyers - Make Sure You Understand the Details!

by the zac team @ RE/MAX Greater Atlanta

The Federal government announced a new tax credit program for first-time home buyers this month as part of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (which is great news that we annouced in an ealier blog posting), however, we just want to make sure that everyone has a clear understanding of how the program will work.

Essentially, the "tax credit" works like an interest-free loan from the government to be repaid over 15 years. For those of you not familiar with the program, The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 offers some amazing benefits for first time homebuyers.  Call everyone you know who wants to buy their first home (or who hasnt owned one in three years) -- this is too good to miss! Its a $7,500 tax CREDIT (not deduction but a credit).

If you have not owned a home in three years, you are a first time home buyer.  If you buy a home after April 9, 2008 and before July 1, 2009, you qualify for a credit.  Call your friends who just bought a home since April 9th and tell them they may take $7,500 off their tax bill if they qualify.  It has to be your principal residence, so rentals do not count.

The tax credit is 10% of the cost of the home, up to a maximum of $7,500.  So, if the home costs $100,000, you would get a credit of $7,500.  This is not an additional deduction that lowers the amount of income to be taxed, it is a tax credit.  In other words, you take $7,500 off your tax bill.  What if your tax bill is only $5,000?  The IRS will send you the additional $2,500 as a refund.  When was the last time the IRS sent you a refund because you bought something?

The loan has no interest, and will be paid back over 15 years.  You get the credit on your 2008 taxes, but you start paying it back on your 2010 taxes that are due in 2011, so you get at least two years without a payment.  You pay back 6.67% of the credit each year, so for a $7,500 credit the payment is $502.50 per year.  If you stay put for 15 years, you pay it off with no interest.

What happens if you sell the house?  You pay the balance back at the closing.  So, you get $7,500 now, and pay the rest of it back if you make money on the sale of your house.

What happens if you do not make enough money when you sell your house?  They forgive the rest of the debt.  In other words, get $7,500 now and pay back nothing if your house only breaks even, or loses money, at closing.  When was the last time you got a loan on a speculative venture where the person who gave you the loan forgave the rest of the loan if you did not make enough profit on the sale? 

The risk of loss in buying now is on the government.  In other parts of the country where real estate is going down in value, you can lose 10% of the value of the home (up to $7,500) and the loss is covered by the fact that you do not pay back the tax credit.  Atlanta real estate that first time buyers can afford is out there, so we are not as worried about the risk of loss.    

Similarly, if you die before repaying the debt, it is forgiven.  There are special rules for sales as a result of divorce or if the government takes your property by condemnation.

There are restrictions on the amount of income that you can make and still get the credit.  But the restriction is $75,000 per year for a single person and $150,000 for a couple filing jointly, so the vast majority of people qualify.   If you make more than that, you can still get some of the tax credit, but there are complicated rules about phasing out the credit as the income goes up.  If you make that much money, you can afford to hire someone to figure out the formula.

There are minimal restrictions on the financing and Pat Griffin, our in-house mortgage consultant with Greater Atlanta Financial Services (an affiliate of Wells Fargo), can help explain those to you. You can visit her website at www.patgriffinloans.com.  Nearly every loan allows you to get the tax credit!

What is the catch?  You have to buy your first house in three years before July 1, 2009, not have super high income, not use bond financing and buy anywhere in the U.S. If you have any questions, please feel free to give us a call at 404.564.7200 or email zac@zac.biz. Thanks!

Atlanta Cupcake Factory keeps the zac team happy with the best cupcakes in Atlanta!!

by the zac team @ RE/MAX Greater Atlanta

If you haven't made it by the Atlanta Cupcake Factory on North Highland Avenue, then run on over there cause - no offense - these ain't your grandma's cupcakes!! You may have heard the rave reviews and awards for the Cupcake Factory from articles in the Atlanta Magazine, Creative Loafing, Fox GoodDay Atlanta, and more.

At the intersection of North Highland and North Avenue, they are a stone's throw from our office, which is slightly dangerous. Their cream cheese icing is exquisite, and while I'm not a huge fan of icing (choosing instead to stick to my NutriSystem diet) and I usually give my icing to our Listing Manager, Catherine, when it comes from the Cupcake Factory... the dessert stops here.

The Cupcake Factory also provides cupcakes wholesale, for weddings, for parties and special events, and for businesses. Their retail hours are limited, so be sure to go during these times or make an appointment for other hours:

Thursday: 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Friday & Saturday: 12 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Sunday: 12 p.m. - 5 p.m.

And go enjoy some of the most devine cupcakes in Atlanta!

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Photo of Zac Pasmanick  Real Estate
Zac Pasmanick
RE/MAX Metro Atlanta Cityside
1189 S. Ponce de Leon Avenue
Atlanta GA 30306
Office: 404-564-7272

 

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