Atlanta, No Place Like Home

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Recently “Atlanta” was buried in their homes due to snow storms. The Real Estate Market has been heating up for months at a rapid pace. Various factors are the cause for this surge and rush to intown properties, including supply and demand, rising mortgage rates and plans to drive development throughout Metro Atlanta.

Since 2009, many Atlanta communities have been “REO” driven. Most sales were Real Estate Owned, Bank Foreclosures. With the aid of government relief programs and non- profits, we have seen a slowdown in foreclosures being released and banks now willing to work with homeowners in modifying their current loans. In turn, “For Sale” inventory has declined. Government relief programs also stimulated the economy, helping unemployment to decrease and re-establish buyer confidence to venture back into the Real Estate market.

Area West Realty has watched Mortgage interest rates increase from 2.5 percent to 4.5 percent over the last 4 years. Mortgage rates and housing prices are expected to continue to rise in 2014.

According to the Atlanta Board of Realtors, the median sales price in Metro Atlanta was $181,000 in November of 2013, this was an increase of 20.7 percent from 2012. We encourage homebuyers to shop around for the best mortgage interest rates, most FHA (Federal Housing Administration)Insured loans should be in the same range- if the quote you receive is significantly different- be sure to ask “why”.

City development and redevelopment plans constantly drive our market. Atlanta has ranked within the Top 10 Relocation Destination for years. Now more than ever, our City Officials and development partners are making every effort to hold and improve this rank by using our existing assets and providing incentives to all willing to take part in this redevelopment. Below are a few initiatives:

- Fort McPherson Project and the Atlanta Regional Economic Competitiveness Implementation Plan. One of the plan’s goals are to establish metro Atlanta as a top 5 Market for Academic Research, Innovation and Commercialization in the USA. Land use decisions are at the center of the plans capacity to succeed.

-Multi-Modal Passenger Terminal. This is a central passenger and transportation terminal in downtown Atlanta (much larger than Five Points- think, Grand Central Station in New York City)

-The Beltline. The largest Urban Redevelopment Project in the United States! The Beltline is a 22mile loop (the Emerald Necklace) connecting 45 intown neighborhoods, parks, trails, green space and light rail. This is significant, ensuring communities are walkable- and have access to shops, public transportation and recreation space. Area West Realty will begin Beltline 101 sessions this spring.

-Housing affordability and Down Payment Assistance. The city of Atlanta has several programs available to make city living affordable. These programs are for developers, homeowners and renters. Most often used are Down Payment Assistance funds available to homebuyers. These “forgivable” grants can be layered, giving a buyer up to $35,000 towards their home purchase with an out of pocket expense for as little as $1,500. Buyers are obtaining mortgages and purchasing homes paying less than prior rents.

These are just a few factors and initiatives driving our growth.

Now is the time to prepare- obtain your prequalification letter, select an agent, learn more about the Neighborhood of interest and stay vigilant of this ever changing market.

Now that you know the steps to purchasing a home, you can confidently navigate this market. For more information, please email Area West Realty at Info@AreaWestRealty.com or call 404-439-1026

To learn more about budgeting, credit and personal finance, be sure to tune in http://cbsloc.al/ListenWAOK to “Financial Solutions with Rob Wilson” every Saturday from noon until 3pm.

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