September 2019

Historic Kennesaw At A Glance

Kennesaw Georgia is a beautiful town just North of Atlanta via I75. If you live close you owe it to yourself to plan a visit to this charming Southern town. The name Kennesaw is from Cherokee derivative meaning burial ground.

The City of Kennesaw is in Cobb County and is most known for two things. First Kennesaw is largely known for the Civil War, and secondly because of the gun possession ordinance inside the city limits.

 

Kennesaw’s Rich History

Kennesaw was originally a settlement called Big Shanty in 1830 till 1887, then was re-named Kennesaw in 1887. Due to the railway being a big part of the area it set the stage for The Great Locomotive Chase on April 12,1862.

The Civil War had many major battles, one of which was the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain. Kennesaw Mountain is now a National Battlefield Park with a museum. You can learn more about things to do and activities at Kennesaw Mountain here.

There is also the General Locomotive museum (in the center of Kennesaw where the actual train is stored on display), named after the great chase where Union Army volunteer commandeered The General (name of the locomotive) and took the locomotive north toward Chattanooga causing as much chaos and damage as possible to the rail way line. The chase went for about 87 miles, first on foot then the Confederate soldiers pursued in The Texan (name of locomotive). Learn more or plan a visit to check the real General locomotive at the Southern Museum of Civil War & Locomotive History.

It’s The Law For Homeowners In Kennesaw To Own A Firearm

What Kennesaw is known for secondly is the gun ordinance. In 1982 Kennesaw City Council passed a city ordinance stating every head of household to own a firearm and the ammunition for it. There is a old new paper article talking about how it might effect crime in the area written by Jonathan Hamilton and David Burch;

KENNESAW, Ga – Several Kennesaw officials attribute a drop in crime in the city over the past two decades to a law that requires residents to have a gun in the house.
In 1982, the Kennesaw City Council unanimously passed a law requiring heads of households to own at least one firearm with ammunition.
The ordinance states the gun law is needed to “protect the safety, security and general welfare of the city and its inhabitants.”
Then-councilman J.O. Stephenson said after the ordinance was passed, everyone “went crazy.”
“People all over the country said there would be shootings in the street and violence in homes,” he said. “Of course, that wasn’t the case.”
In fact, according to Stephenson, it caused the crime rate in the city to plunge.

Read the Full Article Here

The topic of the gun ordinance has been a nation wide story at times.

Watch this video that tells more about how great the community of Kennesaw is!

Kennesaw has many shopping malls and museums, many outdoor activities all year round. Kennesaw State University is just minutes away. There is also a public airport –  Cobb County Airport also known as Mccollum Airfield.

Vulcan Material is one of the largest business’ in Kennesaw and has been there close to seventy years. The mining facility also has a museum that schools can come an tour.

Even with Kennesaw being a small town with currently a population just over 32,000 at 9.5 square miles, it is packed full of history and unique things to do. The city has events in downtown at the depot almost every weekend and holiday during the year. To see a list of future events have a look at their website and click on the “Things To Do” tab.

Kennesaw is still a small country town where people are friendly and still knows and waves at their neighbors, with all the ease of living in the big city because nothing is to far away.

In short – We Love Kennesaw! If you have a house that you would like to sell in Kennesaw or any of the surrounding areas – reach out to us at (770) 756-8680 or visit our website to complete a brief form and we will get back with you soon.

Historic Kennesaw At A Glance Read More »

What Are Your Options With An Inherited Property?

Losing a loved one is a terrible thing. The grief can be overwhelming, especially when it’s a parent. Hopefully they have a last will and testament for how things will be handled after their passing It can make things much easier for you, especially if you have siblings.

There can be a lot of things that need to be addressed after their passing. Final expenses, credit cards, cars, pets, and a host of other things – including a house. In this article we will talk about your options when it comes to a property.

First, if you are reading this and have recently lost a family member, we are truly sorry. If you have inherited a property and want to sell it, we are here for you. We promise to make the entire selling process as easy as possible for you. You can reach us at (770) 756-8680 or visit our site to complete a brief form and we will be in touch shortly.

What Are Your Options?

Really, you pretty much have 3. If all of these are available to you or not are dependent on your individual situation:

  1. You can move into it
  2. You can rent it out
  3. You can sell it

Moving Into The Property

If the house you inherited is nicer than yours, you may want to move into it. This does depend on whether or not you have siblings and you can all agree that it’s okay for you to take ownership of the property. It will also depend on whether or not there is an existing mortgage that will need to paid and you can make the payments.

Lisa Johnson Mandell from Realtor.com explains more:

In the best-case scenario, the property is paid off and comes to you, the sole heir, free and clear. In that case, you’ll be personally responsible only for property taxes moving forward, inheritance taxes (if any), and any repairs and improvements you choose to make.

However, if you’re not the sole heir and inherit the house with, say, your siblings, moving in will also mean compensating the other inheritors (and hoping they aren’t gung-ho to live there, too).

Whatever decision you make, try to base it on a balance of emotional and financial factors: While you may have always dreamed of keeping the place in your family for eternity, if that’s not possible, don’t beat yourself up. Remember, the deceased had meant this inheritance to be a gift rather than a miserable weight on your life. So do what makes sense for you.

Read The Full Article “So You Inherited Property—Now What?

Lisa makes a good point about the deceased was passing on a gift. Time and time again we have seen siblings squabbling over who was getting what. We also like Lisa’s point of compensating the other heirs if you plan on living there. If you own another property and selling it consider giving you siblings a portion of those proceeds.

Renting It Out

This is also another possibility, especially if you are the sole heir. There are some things you need to ensure to be certain this is a feasible option. What kind of condition is the house in? If it’s newer then you won’t have to worry as much about repairs. If it’s older, than you may have to replace the roof, HVAC system or maybe even new appliances. If there is a mortgage on the property you will have to make sure that the rent covers that.

Then there is the whole aspect of dealing with tenants. They can be demanding. Who wants a call at 3 a.m. with them complaining about they can’t sleep from the noise of the faucet dripping , or they clogged a toilet and it’s over flowing?

There is an alternative to you dealing with them yourself – Property Management Companies.

Tim Jones recently wrote this on the Daily Republic on the subject:

Keeping it can be an investment. You can hire a property management company to manage the tenants, repairs, etc. associated with the house. Ultimately, it could turn out to be a good long-term investment, regardless of whether you ever move into it or not.

The advantage of a professional property management company is that you don’t need to be versed in landlord-tenant law, and don’t need to handle the day-to-day worries.

Read The Full Article “All Things Real Estate: 2 choices with inherited house: keep it or get rid of it

Property management companies are a great option for taking care of your property and tenants. Some companies will even find and screen the tenants for you. It does come at a price though ranging usually between 6-10% of the monthly rental amount.

Selling The House

This option we run into a lot because, well, we buy houses. Over the years we have purchased multiple probate properties. Just like the other two options you still have to weigh your options. The condition of the property is going to make a difference on how and who you sell the property to. Where the deceased hoarders? Does the house need extensive repairs. Does the property need updating? Hopefully there isn’t more money owed on the property than it’s worth, although this isn’t as common as it was a few years ago.

If the home is in good shape and you have time you can probably list it with an agent. But check out what Christine Bartsch has to say about listing with an agent on Homelight’s blog:

When you’re lost in bereavement and the complexities of probate, it’s natural to look to the familiar—such as hiring your favorite real estate agent. But unless your favorite agent specifically handles probate properties, this is a mistake.

While most probate sales functions similarly to a traditional sale, there are some key differences that require specialized know-how. A probate real estate agent will know how to handle these differences, such as selling a property that requires court confirmation or drafting contracts when the probate property is still in the decedent’s name.

If you don’t live near your inherited property, you’ll need to hire a probate agent who’s local to the property rather than you. This ensures that your agent knows the laws and ordinances of the property’s home state, city and county that may impact your sale.

Read The Full Article “I Just Inherited Property in Probate, What Happens Now?

Great advice from Christine – be sure your agent is familiar with the probate process in the state the property is located in.

Here is a video that explains even more indepth about some of the things you may face in selling a probate property;

Summing It Up

Having to deal with an inherited property or probate property is almost never easy. Go through all of your available options and choose which will be best for you. Probably one of the biggest things we can suggest is that you talk things over with your parents before they pass and make sure they have a will so that things won’t be as burdensome for you when they do pass, it’s the responsible thing to do.

What Are Your Options With An Inherited Property? Read More »

Common Mistakes To Avoid When Remodeling Your Home

Some people enjoy remodeling their home and making it their own. Others not so much. In this write up we will cover some of the things that you should do and mostly things you should avoid when planning and executing any remodeling in your home.

But first, if you think you have to remodel your house before selling it – think again. Here at Mandich Property Group we will buy your house in as is condition. Even if you have things you don’t want to take with you – it’s not a problem. Reach out to us at (770) 756-8680 or visit our website to complete a brief form and we will contact you shortly.

Now – on with some tips on Remodeling your home!

Create A Budget

This seems like a no brainer, but is often overlooked. Planning a budget is a must. If you have to go to an outlet store and start getting prices – do it! As investors we can tell you from experience that we almost always run over budget. We do try to stick to it, but in the end we want a product that we are proud of and that a new home owner will enjoy. The last thing you want to do is cut corners at the end of a project just to get it completed, only to not be satisfied with the end result.

Ayn-Monique Klahre from Real Simple goes on to explain even more about the importance of planning a budget:

Since the general rule of thumb is that it’s going to cost more and take longer than you think, make sure you have a big enough cushion in there that you’re not breaking the bank (adding an extra 10 to 20 percent more to the initial estimate is a good start). “If by some miracle you come in under your number, you’ll be happy to have a little extra for decorating!” says DiClerico.

As a general rule, you’ll want to spend more on things you interact with—like cabinets with doors you’ll open and close dozens of times a day—versus things you use less, like decorative tile.

Read The Full Article “The 7 Most Common Home Renovation Mistakes to Avoid

The last sentence in that snippet is extremely important. If you are doing a kitchen remodel you don’t want to spend all of your money on marble tile and granite counter tops only to have to buy cheap appliances because you are out of money.

Know Your Limitations

Just like Clint Eastwood said in the movie Magnum Force – “A man has GOT to know his limitations”, the same holds true when it comes to remodeling your home. There have been countless times when we have gone to a property that someone wants to sell and it’s very obvious that

  • they did the remodeling work and had no clue as to what they were doing or
  • they hired a sub par contractor or may have took the lowest bid

In either case we knew that the work would have to be redone.

Donna Boyle Schwartz talks about this in her article from Bob Vila’s blog:

Be realistic about your DIY skills. You may be a wizard at painting, and you may even be fairly proficient with Sheetrock and decorative molding, but certain projects are best left to the pros. Indeed, many communities require that plumbing and electrical work be performed by a licensed contractor. The last thing you want to do is take on a project that is beyond your level of expertise and then have to pay a professional to come in and fix your mistakes. Figure out what you can and, more importantly, cannot do yourself before you start a project.

Read The Full Article “The 7 Deadly Sins of Home Remodeling

It’s extremely important to remember that if you are doing any kind of addition you should always hire a licensed contractor for plumbing and electrical work and get the proper permits.

Choose Your Contractors Carefully

So now you may know that you can’t or don’t want to do everything in your home remodel. Maybe you just don’t have the time, that’s totally fine, the last thing you want to do is get in over your head.

When it comes to hiring a contractor do yourself a favor and get quotes from at least 3, more preferably if it’s a larger project. Nationwide’s Blog (yes, the insurance company) has some great tips on choosing your contractor:

Don’t rush your decision on hiring a contractor. Interview multiple contractors and reach out to their references and previous clients. Make sure each contractor understands what you want. Don’t hesitate to ask them questions about materials, layout and the construction process. Don’t select your contractor based on price alone; compare price quotes and references, and make sure you can work easily with them.

Read The Full Article “The Biggest Home Renovation Mistakes to Avoid

We would add that you should also research them on the web. Look at their Google listing and check out their reviews. If they have a lot of bad ones – well maybe you should think twice about using them.

Every homeowner (including investors) want the same thing from a contractor, Good, Cheap, Fast work. The problem is that really only two of those at a time is possible. Here is a diagram that helps explain:

For example, if you want good work cheap – then it won’t be fast. If you want cheap work fast – then the quality of the work will suffer and if you want high quality work done quickly – you guessed it – it won’t be cheap!

Doing Projects In The Correct Order

This is something else that is commonly overlooked. This can be really important if your storage is small. You don’t want your new appliances delivered before they are ready to be installed and you have no place to put them.

Tami Brehse from Business Insider explains more:

Budgeting is an obvious part of the planning process, but many homeowners neglect another important part that requires strategy: workflow. Poor planning here can result in delays and added costs.

“When remodeling, things need to occur in a certain order,” Helling said. “For example, you don’t want to refinish flooring and then paint.”

Paint — or a crew of painters and gear — can easily damage brand new floor coverings, so flooring should almost always be done last in a renovation project.

Another commonly overlooked part of the workflow is cleanup. Will your project require a dumpster? What about a truck to haul away debris? Think through your project from start to finish to ensure you’ve accounted for all the necessary steps in the process.

Read The Full Article “The 8 biggest mistakes people make when remodeling their homes, according to real estate agents

Finally here is a quick video from News 5 out of Cleveland that gives some quick pointers:

Summing It Up

Remodeling can be a daunting task, but if you plan properly you shouldn’t have as much stress and will be able to save some of your hair 😉 . Create your budget, check out your contractors and in general – plan properly. Try and have fun and don’t yell at your spouse or significant other to much!

 

Common Mistakes To Avoid When Remodeling Your Home Read More »

Is The Atlanta Housing Market Slowing

Today’s Pulse On Atlanta’s Housing Market

For a few years now housing prices have been steadily climbing higher, especially in the Metro Atlanta area. If your house was immaculate or at least in decent condition, it would sell. Chances are you would have multiple offers on your property. But things look like they are changing.

First things first, if you have a property anywhere in the Metro Atlanta area, we would like the opportunity to make you an offer for it just the way it is. No hassles and a fast easy sale. You can contact us at (770) 756-8680 or visit this page and complete a short form and we will contact you shortly.

Okay – now on to why you are here – to learn what’s happening in today’s real estate market.

Bidding Wars Are Down

It looks like the days of putting a property on the market and the price getting run up by multiple offers are becoming a thing of the past for sellers. Don’t believe us? Check out this from Redfin’s Blog about bidding wars by Dana Olsen:

Just 10.4 percent of offers written by Redfin agents on behalf of their homebuying customers faced a bidding war in August, down from more than 42 percent a year earlier. That overtakes last month’s 11.4 percent bidding-war rate as the lowest on record since at least 2011.

The national bidding war rate reached a high of 59 percent in March 2018, then started to drop as homebuyers reached their limit with sky-high housing prices and rising mortgage rates in the middle of last year. As the housing market has cooled slightly, so has competition to purchase homes.

Continue Reading – 10% of Redfin Offers Faced Bidding Wars in August, a New 8-Year Low

We suggest you visit that page and look at the graph that shows the National trend and you will see it hit a peek of around 60% in 2017 nationally and is now down around 10%.

Recession Fears

If you watch any news at all you know that we are in the midst of a trade war with China. While we believe this hurts the Chinese more than us, yet it still reeks havoc on the Stock Market. Add to that every other country in the world has a slowing economic market. All of this makes buyers think twice about purchasing a property, especially if they think there is a down turn about to happen. Everybody remembers the housing bubble of ’08, it’s fresh in their minds. Also there was an inverted yield curve in the month of August, which is usually a good indicator of a recession looming.

Lisa Chamoff wrote about this in a recent post on Forbes:

Homebuyer confidence is dropping, and more than half of current house hunters plan to put their home search on hold until the economy recovers, according to survey data released this week by Realtor.com.

The survey this month by Toluna Research found that more than 36 percent of 755 active home buyers expect the U.S. to go through a recession next year. This is up by about 6 percent when shoppers were asked the same question this past March.

Continue Reading – More Than A Third Of Home Buyers Think A Recession Is Coming

Atlanta’s Housing Market

So where does Atlanta’s housing market fall in all of this. Inside the perimeter we are seeing some change. We have seen properties listed longer as well as sellers having to slash their asking price.

Michael E. Kanell had this to say about it in the AJC earlier this year:

Yet the number of homes sold during the month was 8.9 percent below that of March 2018 as fewer buyers and sellers found common ground. Home sales volume has been declining for several months in metro Atlanta, including a 7.4 percent drop in February.

Read The Full Article Here

Over the years we have always seen inside the perimeter to be effected first, then spread to the surrounding counties.

So Are We Headed For Another Housing Crisis?

In all actuality, we don’t think so. There were two major factors that really had an effect on the crash of ’07-’08.

  • First, there were a lot of homes available. Builders were going crazy putting up new subdivisions everywhere throughout the Metro Atlanta area. The supply far outweighed the demand.
  • Second, Banks and Mortgage companies were making very risky loans and basically lending money to people that couldn’t afford to make the payments. Since the crash though lending standards have tightened up, to a degree.

In Conclusion

So what’s the take away from this? We do think there will be a correction coming, no market keeps going up for ever. At some time there has to be some sort of correction and prices will probably drop a bit. If the China trade war continues or there is some other global economic catastrophe, it may be a little more severe. However, we aren’t trying to paint an all “Doom and Gloom” scenario!

Bottom line, if you have a house that you are thinking of selling, now is the time to do it. This is especially true if you have a house that is a “handy-man special” that needs some repairs or needs major work and you can’t afford to make the repairs and need to sell as is.

Even if you house is ready to list with an agent – it’s still a good time to sell. Better now than later and have to wait until after any correction because you never know how long that will take.

Here’s a short video that goes over a few of the points we covered and will expand more on these thoughts:

Is The Atlanta Housing Market Slowing Read More »

The Difference Between IBuyers And We Buy Houses Companies

IBuyer V.S. We Buy Houses

There are some new players in the Real Estate market that suggest they have an easier way to sell your home. These are companies like Knock, Offerpad and Opendoor and a few others. But is it really easier? And what’s the difference to a “We Buy Houses” Company?

Before we get into the differences between the two, we would like you to know that if you need to sell a house anywhere in the Atlanta area – please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 770-756-8680 for a free, no obligation on your home or visit our site here to complete a brief form and we will contact you shortly.

Now on to who and what these IBuyer companies do:

Algorithm Powered Home Flippers

Before we get into any of the differences in the two, here is a quick run down on how most of these IBuyer companies work from an article written by Joshua Fraser:

The iBuyer business model is pretty straight forward, a real estate company uses data science and property data, both public and private, to create valuation models that identify home with high investment potential. They can then make an instant offer that provides liquidity to homeowners that doesn’t exist on the traditional real estate market. Typically, iBuyers charge a 7-10% fee compared to a standard 6% agent commission and will offer an 80-100% of the market value for a home. They might charge a higher fee for convenience but many sellers will be willing to pay for the benefit of being able to have a sale finalized within weeks or even days. You may take home a bit less than the traditional method but you can save time and all the headaches that come along with selling or buying a home.

Read The Full Article Here

So IBuyers do work a lot like real estate investors, EXCEPT with all most all investors there is no 7-10% fee charged. Now also depending on where your home is located in Atlanta, investors will offer 70-75% of the properties ARV, or After Repair Value. So in all actuality, so far the two different ways of selling a home appear to be pretty close to the same.

Repairs

But what about repairs? This is where there is a difference in IBuyers And We Buy Houses companies. With investors they will typically buy the house in “as is” condition and deduct the costs of repairs from their offer.

So how about IBuyers? Here is a little snippet from an article written by John Wake:

If the homeowner accepts/signs the “instant” offer, the iBuyer will send out home inspectors and come back with a list of repairs and the estimated costs for the repairs the iBuyer wants done to the house before they will complete the purchase. The seller can make the repairs or the seller can agree to have the cost of the repairs added to the fees the seller will pay to the iBuyer at closing.

A common real estate agent complaint about iBuyers is that iBuyers tend to ask for a lot more repairs and a lot more money for repairs than traditional buyers…

Read The Full Article Here

So they might want repairs to be made to the house before they purchase it, and might charge you more. We would suggest that what ever repairs they say need to be made that you also receive a quote from a professional contractor as well to make sure their prices are in line. If you can get them done cheaper yourself, that might be the route to take, but it will take some time for your contractor to complete. Remember with most real estate investors, like us, you can sell your house in “as-is” condition.

What Are Other People Saying?

So what do some people think about this fairly new way of selling a home? Here is an excellent example just written and released by Andrea Riquier about the Ano family experience in Acworth GA:

Ano, who describes himself as someone who likes to do lots of research — including an exploration of how much he could expect to fetch for his home based on recent comparables — initially reached out on his own to Zillow, Offerpad and Opendoor.

“First of all, they gave us lowball offers,” Ano told MarketWatch. “But that still didn’t solve our problem of where do we move to? We’d essentially be homeless.” He knew that in the ultra-competitive Atlanta market sellers would be unwilling to accept an offer that was contingent on his selling his own home.

Ano received an offer of $248,747 from Offerpad. Several weeks later, citing “recent market activity,” the company sent another offer, unsolicited, of $256,459. Offerpad wanted a 7.5% commission. Opendoor offered $278,300 — less an 11.5% commission. After a Knock agent listed the home, it sold for $297,749. Once Knock’s 6% fee was taken out, and a seller concession of $10,000 was granted during the inspection process, and about $7,000 was spent out of pocket on repairs, the Anos netted about $262,000.

Read The Full Article Here

We highly encourage you to read Andrea’s full article. It has a lot of good data in it about how the entire process works as well as market data.

Is It Right For You?

First of all no two real estate transactions are the same, nor are the sellers motivation or need to sell. We would suggest that you look at all of your options. Check out an IBuyer company, a “we buy houses” company ( like us 🙂 ) and even a real estate agent. Anyone that you contact should make you a free offer. If they want to charge you – move on to someone else.

What and who will work best for you is going to depend on your individual situation and circumstances. Remember, in the end you have the final say on who and how you choose to sell your house.

The Difference Between IBuyers And We Buy Houses Companies Read More »

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