Archive for December, 2014

What’s Ahead for Real Estate in 2015?

December 29, 2014

2015_real_estate_marketThis has been a great year for the Georgia real estate industry. Prices throughout metro Atlanta are up and Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Metro Brokers has more top producers than ever before. In some areas, the median sales price has met and exceeded pre-recession levels. This was another rebuilding year, but there’s still a lot farther our market has to go to truly recover. (more…)

The Return of the 97% Conventional Mortgage Loan

December 22, 2014

return_of_97_loanDuring the “anything-goes” mortgage days, 97% LTV (3% down payment) mortgages were readily available to homebuyers. In fact, a 97% LTV wasn’t a big deal since many mortgage lenders were offering the 100% mortgages. Then the mortgage foreclosure crisis hit and the mortgage industry experienced extreme new regulation and tightening of loan programs.

Over a year ago in December 2013, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac both announced that their specialty First Time Homebuyer 3% Down Payment loan Programs were also being discontinued. Now, almost one year to the date, both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have both announced the RETURN of the 97% Loan Programs for First Time Homebuyers. (more…)

Holiday Card Time!

December 8, 2014

holiday_cardsThis is the best time of year to touch base with all of your past customers. This includes your client base that has relocated to another part of the United States. “Out of sight, out of mind” shouldn’t be your philosophy now. Often those previous clients who moved to Kansas, California, Texas or wherever may still need your assistance and should be on your holiday card radar.

There are lots of ways you can reach out to your customers across the country. If you keep in touch via newsletter, create a holiday theme and offer decorating advice or share a recipe. In your newsletter, let them know what’s happening in the real estate market currently and, oh by the way, if they are looking to make a lifestyle change or move again, you’re still their Realtor® and you can help them anywhere in the country as you work all markets nationwide.

(more…)

What’s a Solid Insurance Portfolio and Why Do I Need to Have One?

December 1, 2014

solid_insurance_portfolioMany people have no idea what their insurance limits are. More times than not, they just purchase the least expensive they can legally get by with, as it is considered a “necessary evil”. However, talk to anyone who has experienced a large loss in their lifetime, and they’ll tell you either they’re sorry they did not have enough, or are glad they listened to their insurance agent and went with the recommendations.

The purpose of insurance is to protect your assets, and to put you back in the same place you were before a loss. The homeowner policy pays to rebuild the house, replace the personal property, and pay for a temporary place for you to live while the repairs or rebuild is taking place. It also gives you liability protection in case you’re negligent in causing bodily injury or property damage to a third party. The auto policy provides liability coverage if you’re found to be at fault in operating a car, in addition to repairing your car if you purchase comprehensive and collision coverage.

So what happens if the insurance you carry is not enough to cover the loss that has been sustained?  The answer is simple: You have to come out of pocket for the difference.

What, then, is considered a solid insurance portfolio? Here are my recommendations: (more…)