Potpourri Category

Dual Agency is a Terrible Idea for Buyers & Sellers

Dual agency occurs when one agent represents both the seller and the buyer of the same home. The buyer wants to spend the least amount of money on a home; the seller wants to capture the highest price possible, neither benefits. The agent however, collects both ends of the commission. Yet and still, some buyers insist on not utilizing a buyer's agent to represent them and some sellers allow buyers to work with their listing agent. Dual agency is especially common with...Read More

Mad Men – Cost of Living Then vs Now

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

Mad Men has started it's final season and Realtor.com answers an interesting question: how does the affordability of housing and the cost of living portrayed in Mad Men compare to today? They explored housing costs from the 1960s and how the costs of that era compare to today. They examined labor statistics and historical census and housing data to determine the cost of living differences between California and New York in that era, and how much things have changed over the decades. From...Read More

2575 Milford Lane, Alpharetta, GA 30009…Another Happy HMT Buyer

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

2575 Milford Lane, Alpharetta, GA 30009.  HMT represented the buyer on this townhome that closed 03/2014 for $338,000 One of the "hottest" markets right now is Alpharetta. West off 400, "historic" Alpharetta has been transforming over the last several years. Filled with quaint shops and fine dining, the mix of old and new is highly desirable. East of 400, national attention has been on Avalon; a large, cutting edge mixed use project. Alpharetta and the surrounding areas of Milton, Roswell and...Read More

HMT Buyers Close on New Home in East Cobb

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

2717 Barnhill Drive, Marietta, GA 30062.  HMT represented the buyer on this new home that closed 03/2014 for $727,329 The challenge of finding a quality home in East Cobb can be daunting, this hasn't changed much over the last 20 years. East Cobb has been and remains a highly desirable area and many buyers with designs on living here are met with the stark reality that quality homes will stretch the budget. Ashton Woods recognized that and the tremendous success of...Read More

Why is it so Easy to Obtain & Keep a Real Estate License?

There may not be a better organized trade group than realtors. The real estate world collapsed in an epic way and continues the dead cat bounce, yet the agent community has experienced no significant change. Why has the sales community not been dismembered and regulated like others in the real estate field?  Why have the requirements not been increased to obtain and maintain a license, why is there virtually no state or federal oversight like that in other areas, why...Read More

7+ Reasons Why You Need a Buyer’s Agent for New Construction

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

It is foolish for a home buyer to enter into a new construction contract without an experienced real estate agent. The advantages are many; aside from the obvious ones. The fact that having buyer agent representation is often FREE cannot be repeated often enough. So too, should the misconception that not using a buyer’s agent will save money be constantly repeated - that simply doesn't happen. Remember that that site agent represents the builder/developer. There is a listing contract in place...Read More

The Search for the “Perfect” School

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

The fact that schools drive home values in Atlanta is readily known by most. What's interesting are the lengths some will go to find the "right home" in the "right school district". It's clear that in areas like East Cobb or Johns Creek even homes impacted by adverse external factors (power lines, roads, poor lots) eventually sell due to the strong positive influence of the area schools. But what goes on behind the scenes, how do parents break down the data and conduct the research to find the "perfect" school? The Onion interviewed...Read More

The Fallacy of the “Local Real Estate Agent”

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

Just as walking through a kitchen doesn't make someone a chef, an agent living in a neighborhood doesn't make them a neighborhood expert. The information age is firmly ensconced in the real estate world, long gone are the days when agents were the gate keepers of the data. The days of MLS books printed quarterly and carried around like bags of gold, only to be viewed by those with “access” are a bad memory. For the most part, the public has...Read More

New Home Construction Costs up 25%+- Since ’11

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

Single-family home construction costs are at the highest levels since 1998; homes are getting larger and more costly. Costs were significantly higher in 2013 when compared to 2011 average construction costs—$246,453 in 2013 versus $184,125 in 2011. While this shouldn't come as a surprise, some potential home buyers may think we're still in the "opportunity" days of the metro Atlanta real estate market; not so. And definitively not so for new construction. Builders have their swagger back and buyers that want...Read More

HMT Buyers Nab Beautiful Lake Lanier Home

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

Great house, lousy lot...Great views, deep water, lousy house. Finding the right combination of house, lot, views and water on Lake Lanier can be challenging. When this home came on the HMT radar it was clear that it was a perfect fit for our buyer. 8490 Bullock Lane, Gainesville is a lake home that will provide the buyers with years of enjoyment. Virtually new with a gentle walk to the private cove, it's an ideal spot to enjoy some down...Read More

How Y’all, Youse and You Guys Talk

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

What does the way you speak say about where you’re from? Well you can find out by spending 10 minutes answering all of the questions on this Cambridge Survey. Once finished, you'll see your personal dialect map. I took it and it nailed me; trust me, youse will enjoy it. This isn't real estate specific but.... CLICK HERE See more about the Cambridge Online Survey of World Englishes and more about the survey HERE  An example...."how do you pronounce INSURANCE?"  Read More

East Cobb Home Sold in 2 Days

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

It took all of two days for the Hank Miller Team to contract a gorgeous East Cobb listing. 2708 Harper Woods Drive, Marietta, GA saw a total of thirteen potential buyers in that span and was pended with two back up offers. This home sold at the top of the area price range due to it's excellent condition and locational appeal. The attention to detail that the owner clearly demonstrated was appreciated by the buyers in this area, the new...Read More

Buying is 38% Cheaper than Renting – But Risk Remains

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

Acoording to Trulia, buying a home costs less than renting in all 100 large U.S. metros. This is always a popular topic and while broad assumptions are made, ultimately there are many variables impacting each situation. Rising mortgage rates and home prices have impacted things just as rising rents have. Trulia's "owner" has a 30-year fixed rate mortgage of 4.5%, put 20% down, itemizes deductions, is in the 25% tax bracket and will be the home 7 years. In that case,...Read More

Fannie & Freddie Chumming the Waters with Incentives

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are offering limited-time incentives in a pair of programs for both real estate agents and homebuyers as the two government-sponsored enterprises are trying to sell some of their REO properties. Freddie will offer a $1,000 bonus to selling agents and a separate $500 bonus to listing agents when they use the HomeSteps program to sell a Freddie owned property. Chris Boden, senior vice president of HomeSteps, said he expects the program to jumpstart a housing market slowdown being blamed on winter weather. "HomeSteps' 2014...Read More

File Your Homestead Tax Exemption Now

GA home owners are eligible for Homestead Exemptions, this is a tax break for owner occupied homes (primary residences). Owners are entitled to the Homestead exemption if they owned and occupied their home by January 1.  This allows for a partial tax exemption which can amount to substantial property tax savings.  Senior citizens may have additional exemptions available - check with county tax offices.  Please note deadline below in parenthesis next to the county name: Where and When to File: Barrow County...Read More

Staging Has No Impact on Sale Price

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

How much does a tacky purple wall color affect a home's sale price? Not much, according to new research on home staging. A study that led 820 homebuyers on virtual tours of the same home staged six different ways found that details addressed in staging homes — like furnishings and paint color — had little impact on what buyers were willing to pay. While good staging does influence a home buyer's overall impression of a house, staging alone doesn't result in buyers...Read More

New Listing! 1206 Grand View Dr, Mableton, GA 30126

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

1206 Grand View Dr, Mableton, GA 30126 This is a gorgeous home located in the very desirable "Vinings Estates" community in the Smyrna area. This John Wieland community remains one of his most popular in the Atlanta market; it boasts beautiful homes, fantastic amenities and it's just minutes to 285. Main features include: 5 bedrooms /4 full and 1 half bathrooms & finished terrace Master on main, Full in-law on terrace level includes kitchen, bah, bedroom, media room and more 3429SF above grade, 2652SF on terrace,...Read More

Mortgage Tax Break Expires for Distressed Owners

The 2007 measure that exempted borrowers from federal taxes they normally would owe on assistance received from banks has expired. This hits the tax break on short sales and forgiven home loan debt arrangements, and many experts are concerned about the impact this will have. In short, federal taxes are now due on any mortgage debt relief. Taxes are not paid on borrowed money because of the obligation to repay it. But money borrowed that is then canceled as a result...Read More

2835 Magnolia Creek, Kennesaw, GA – Buyer Loves Their New Home

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

...It was the best experience we ever had with a real estate agent. We moved from Canada to Georgia and while everything was fluid and unknown Hank was our anchor. He was more than an agent he was a friend who put our best interest first... HMT represented the home buyer on this gorgeous new home in Mountain Park, in Kennesaw, GA. These buyers moved from Canada and are relocating a business as well as several other family members. We have worked...Read More

Yes, the McMansion is Making a Comeback

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

With new construction starts in full swing we are beginning to see the resurgence of the super sized house equipped with every luxury imaginable. After the recession buyers sought to downsize and the market for the expensive luxury filled home seemed to drop significantly. It appears, however, that buyers have not stopped longing for the expensive home, they just took a little breather and now many are willing and able to build their dream home with all of the "extras"....Read More

Construction Continues at Mabry Manor in East Cobb

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

Construction is moving right along for two of our East Cobb buyers in Mabry Manor. Each is contracted with Ashton Woods and the homes have gone vertical with pre drywall work being completed. Lot 5 is about two weeks ahead of lot 16 and both are anticipated to have early spring 2014 completion dates. Mabry Manor is a joint venture between Ashton Woods and Edward Andrews and it consists of 60+- home sites, a clubhouse, pool and tennis courts. HMT is very well...Read More

A Look Back at Buying & Selling Real Estate in 2013

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

Here's a great infographic that recaps the 2013 year in real estate. It was a year with a definate turn; the spring rush caught many buyers by surprise - especially after the sharp increase in interest rates. We don't expect the nonsense for 2014 however, our feeling is that buyers will be more pragmatic and take time to assess the market and the opportunities. As far as housing value trends, just have a look at our Atlanta Real Estate Market...Read More

HMT Article Published in Inman News

Hank Miller's article "How Wise Agents Get Appraisers to See What They See" was published by Inman News, a nationally recognized real estate industy publication. Real estate agents and brokers around the world turn to Inman News first for accurate, innovative and timely information about the industry. Known for its award-winning journalism, cutting-edge technology coverage, in-depth educational opportunities, and forward-thinking events, Inman News is the industry’s leading source of real estate information. See more of the Hank Miller Team in the NewsRead More

New Home in Wigley Preserve, East Cobb

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

A new home in Wigley Preserve is moving right along. HMT placed move up buyers into this NE Cobb Community built by Lennar Homes. The community consists of 34 homes ranging between 400K-500K and 2800-4300 square feet. In the highly desirable Lassiter High School district, the community is just about sold out. At the time of thse photos, the "pre drywall" inspection was just beginning...and yes, you do need a buyer's agent for new homes, here's why.                         HMT has sold and...Read More

How Do Home Buyers Search for Homes? Just Like This

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

An infographic that nails it - "Google it"..."saw it on You Tube"..."ordered it on line"...is there really a question as to how home buyers search for homes? Maybe there is to those agents trapped in the past but not to HMT. We're in sync with the market, with the buyers and with the sellers. Have a look at the infographic below, then have a look around this site. Read More

Should Home Buyers Lock in Interest Rates?

Interest rates fluctuate frequently, often depending on the news. If you are considering buying a home or refinancing your home, your loan officer may suggest locking in the interest rate on your loan. There are some valid reasons why this is a good idea including: Saving Money For The Long-term Over the life of a loan, an increase of as little as one-quarter of a percent can cost thousands of extra dollars. Spending a small amount of money now to lock in a...Read More

Mel Watt takes over FHFA

The economic data released this week reflected continued improvement in the economy, but there was little market reaction. While some volatility was seen during the final days of 2013, mortgage rates ended the week with little net change. Heading into the new year, recent economic data has provided many reasons to be optimistic about the performance of the economy. The US has added an average of nearly 200K jobs over the past three months, and the Unemployment Rate has declined to...Read More

9615 Knollcrest Blvd, Johns Creek – HMT Home Buyer Review

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

"I had a great experience with Hank. He is very knowledgable and trustworthy, the two most important traits that I look for in an agent. During our 9 months house hunting period, he never once made us rush to choose a house. Rather, he always encouraged us that the right house was just around the corner. Hank's research about properties and local knowledge was very helpful. His structural knowledge helped, first time home buyers like us, avoid low-quality properties.  Again, being...Read More

New Construction in Mabry Manor – East Cobb

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

The East Cobb housing market is a tough one. The tremendous appeal of the area due to top schools, strong economic stability and great locational convenience means that potential buyers have tough decisions to make. It's not unusual to spend many months searching for the "right" house only to never find it - or worse - to find it along with several other buyers. Two of our East Cobb buyers decided to go the new construction route; taking advantage of what...Read More

Who Died in This Home?

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

Has there been a murder or death in your home? Is it haunted? Few buyers realize how little a home seller in Georgia is required to disclose. Unless asked directly, things like violent crime and deaths in a home may not be required to be disclosed. In fact, GA requirements for disclosure with regard to these things is surprising: Licensees must affirmatively disclose material defects in the physical condition of the property. However, they are not required to disclose whether a...Read More

2835 Magnolia Creek, Kennesaw, GA 30152

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

Construction continues to move along right on schedule for HMT buyers in Kennesaw, GA. This home is located in the Mountain Park community, a group of 40 new homes that has been very well received by the market. For more information on this area or community, just EMAIL HMT Read More

Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac Vow to Pursue Strategic Defaulters

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

They're back, they're mad and on the hunt for strategic defaulters. We wrote about the OIG "mortgage cops"  about a year ago; sounds like they're back at it.  Fannie and Freddie have been tasked to collect unpaid mortgage debt from “strategic defaulters,” those underwater home owners who skipped out on their mortgages even though they had the ability to pay. If a home is sold at foreclosure but the proceeds don't cover the outstanding balance of the home owner's loan, the...Read More

Haunted House? Buyers are Fine if the Price is Right

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

Spirits, ghosts, apparitions and even the occasional flying or levitating object may not always dissuade a home buyer. A survey conducted by Realtor.com indicates that there is a tolerance among home buyers for the unexplained when it comes to a home they like. Not without concession of course, and the main one is price. Survey results reveal consumer thresholds for purchasing haunted houses for sale vary, but most expected discounts when buying haunted houses for sale. “When purchasing a home, buyers want to...Read More

How to Keep a Real Estate Agent Honest

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

Listening to a real estate sales pitch makes people reach for poison. Agents droning on about how wonderful they are, how they’re number one, how their company is the best in Atlanta... This is how agents are trained; to use scripts, use talking points and continue to hammer things that however idiotic, are intended to impress a potential client. Many are instructed to close the deal right then; push a contract under the client’s nose while they’re in this dazed, mind...Read More

Evander Holyfield’s 109 Room Mansion Heads to the Auction Block

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

The bell has rung on Evander Holyfield's south Metro Atlanta mansion, it will be auctioned next month. I appraised this home in the late 90's, Super Wal-mart has nothing on it. Holyfield owed $14 million on it when it went into foreclosure. The 109-room Fayetteville home listed in April for $8.5 million, dropped to $8.3 million in May, $8.2 million in June, just under $8 million in July and $7.9 million by the end of August with no takers. Bidding will start at...Read More

Dumpster Diving? Try Dumpster Housing!

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

There is no limit to what constitutes housing. There's also no limit to what levels occupants inhabiting odd housing will go to in search of the perfect abode, and it's not always static. Dumpster diving is old hat - dumpster housing is smoking hot. And mobile homes - in the true sense of the word - are not your parents' mobile homes anymore. Here's a look at few "alternative housing options" that we found interesting... Professor Dumpster (real name: Jeff Wilson)...Read More

Home Buyer Review of Hank Miller Team

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

Roswell, GA Home Buyer Review of the Hank Miller Team Hank is very knowledge and responsive; he listens to what you are looking for in a house and doesn’t stop searching until he finds it. We must admit that we were a bit skeptical as to why in some instances he was hesitant to show us some of the homes we had chosen; he simply said we wouldn’t like them. We insisted in seeing them and those houses only look good...Read More

Lenders Strangling Mortgage Applicants -or- You Actually Need to Qualify for a Loan

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

30% of Americans are unlikely to qualify for a mortgage, despite historically low interest rates and levels of affordability not seen in years. Zillow looked at 13 million loan quotes and more than 225,000 purchase loan requests on Zillow Mortgage Marketplace in September, comparing them to a similar study conducted in September 2010. Borrowers who have FICO credit scores under 620 who requested purchase loan quotes for 30-year fixed, conventional loans were unlikely to receive even one loan quote in September. This...Read More

The Fed Will Continue Their $85B Monthly Bond Buying Spree

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

DC tells us the economy is improving, the deficit is declining and the real estate market continues to hum. So of course the Fed announced that they will continue to buy 85 BILLION A MONTH in bonds to encourage job creation and economic growth. Huh? I’m no economics expert but doesn’t that contradict all the talk about recovery? The NY Times announced the move: The Federal Reserve postponed any retreat from its long-running stimulus campaign Wednesday, saying that it would continue...Read More

Recession? It Was the Housing Bubble Bursting, Stupid

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

Sometimes the obvious is just too easy an answer. "We" can quickly deduce why something happens but for reasons unknown, "we" feel compelled to complicate the explanation. The "we" is "they"; politicians, domestic business, international business, banks, Wall Street, the media...all of this brain power and yet there remains vigorous discussion on what led the economy into this deep recession and why it's taking so long to get back on track. Five years after the economic collapse, there remains a...Read More

Expansive Bridgemill Home for Sale – 504 Poplar Creek Crossing, Canton, GA

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

Few homes in Bridgemill Country Club have the combination of quality, size, condition and location; this home has them all. 504 Poplar Creek Crossing  is a sprawling Rutenberg built home featuring extensive detailed trim and custom finishing materials. The setting is one enjoyed by so very few in Bridgemill, mainly those at a price point well above this home. It sits on a quiet level cul de sac on a gorgeous private lot. The lot backs to Corp of Engineer property...Read More

Best Job Markets for Raking It In, Avoiding Envy, or Sleeping Late

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

If you need a job now, move to Honolulu: that’s where unemployment is lowest. But look elsewhere if you want to maximize your paycheck, avoid extreme income inequality, live where women bring home more of the bacon, or just get an extra hour of shut-eye. Using the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and Census data, Trulia looked at how the 100 largest U.S. metros stack up on five job-market measures: lowest unemployment, highest earnings, least inequality, women’s share of earnings,...Read More

The Racial Dot Map – Shows Every Person in America

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

This map is an American snapshot; it provides an accessible visualization of geographic distribution, population density, and racial diversity of the American people in every neighborhood in the entire country. The map displays 308,745,538 dots, one for each person residing in the United States at the location they were counted during the 2010 Census. Each dot is color-coded by the individual's race and ethnicity. The map is presented in both black and white and full color versions. In the color version,...Read More

Closing Costs in GA Among the Highest in US

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

Georgia home buyers enjoy closing costs that are the 12th highest in the nation. Bankrate.com ranked each state by its average closing costs based on online good faith estimates for a $200,000 mortgage with a 20 percent down payment. Georgia home buyers saw and average of $1.816 in lender’s origination fees and $674 in third-party fees for a total of $2,490 in closing fees. As we tell all HMT Atlanta clients; get multiple opinions when applying for a mortgage. Researchers surveyed up to...Read More

Balconies Can be Risky Places

While not always in the headlines, the frequency of people falling from hi-rise buildings seems to be on the increase. Mainly it's falls from balconies or roof top amenities, but a few have fallen due to failure of windows, doors or railings. A study completed earlier this year notes an increase in accidental deaths of 45% between 2000 and 2010. While no clear reason was noted, the increase of hi-rise buildings seems obvious.The influence of horseplay, alcohol and recreational drugs...Read More

I’m From Washington & I’m Here to Help – Obama Pushing the Mortgage Industry

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

Washington continues to push the real estate market...President Barack Obama commented during a speaking tour: "I’m also acting on my own to cut red tape for responsible families who want to get a mortgage, but the bank says no." Knowing the key role that real estate plays in the health of the overall economy, the President continues to use the full power of Washington to do whatever is needed to keep things positive, including pushing banks to approve loans to...Read More

Agents and Appraisers See the Current Market Differently

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

The real estate band wagon is playing loudly and the media continues to trumpet the good news about a recovery. Under the hood and on the street, the jubilation is tempered; appraisers seem to be unconvinced that this is a legitimate recovery. When asked, "What is your current level of confidence in the housing market?" 49.6% of respondents answered mild or moderately strong. 14.5% answered mild or moderately weak in the survey. The survey was completed by United States Appraisals' nationwide panel of...Read More

Enjoy Real Estate Success When it’s Found

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

Do people know how win? Is there a fatalist dormant gene in all of us; an inherent trait that rises when things seem to be going too well or too poorly? This may be why Vegas always wins, why winners feel they’ll never lose and why losers have to go back one more time to force a break. Consider the current attitudes seen in many Atlanta home buyers and sellers; contrast this with the same time a year or two ago. Most...Read More

18 Month Market Report for Alpharetta-Cambridge-Milton-Roswell HS Districts

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

Here's a detailed look at sales activity in the Alpharetta, Cambridge, Milton and Roswell High School districts over the last 18 months. In the analyzed price range, Roswell is a very strong and very active market with a 62% increase in sales and a ridiculously low median 14 days on market. We focused on homes listed between 400K-600K, with 4-5 bedrooms and we looked back eighteen months. The ability to customize search criteria allows for a highly focused comparison, substantially...Read More

Stupid Mortgage Underwriting Tricks

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

Underwriters require a letter of explanation for a $6 deposit made by a buyer earning $10,000 a month. Underwriters require written explanation for a businessman's dry cleaning expenses - for the last three years. Buyers engaged in the home buying process rarely escape idiotic underwriting requests, and it's not unique to any price point. Stupidity remains front and center when it comes to the underwriting process and buyers are taking the hit. Underwriters are being extra vigilant in verifying every detail of...Read More

Living Large in Only 250 Square Feet

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

While some buyers regain the McMansion appetite, others are moving toward the "finger food" menu. Micro-apartments that range between 180 and 300 square feet are growing in popularity among young professionals, singles, and even some retirees and empty-nesters. These make studio apartments seem expansive as many micro-apartments are not much larger than many hotel rooms. The micro-apartment is becoming an affordable option in the nation’s most expensive cities. For example, in Seattle, more than 40 micro-apartment developments have sprung up in...Read More

House Burns Down But Bed Bugs Are Gone

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

Heat is a great way to kill bed bugs. Burning down the house? Well that will work but it's probably a bit much but that's what ended up happening to a family in Philadelphia. In fact, firemen doused the home and then had to come back after it reignited. Put this one in the same category as using a shotgun inside a home to kill squirrels...   Read More

Pope, Lassiter or Walton? For 400K-600K Homes Best One is…

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

Using our appraisal software, we analyzed data for a specific price range of homes in Lassiter, Pope and Walton High School districts. We focused on those listed between 400K-600K and looked back eighteen months. The ability to customize search criteria allows for a highly focused comparison, substantially more informative than the standard agent review. Walton led with +2.9% increase in median price, Lassiter saw a +35.7% increase in sales and Pope saw a minuscule median marketing time of 16 days. Of...Read More

Buyers Want Large Homes Again

"That house, add the extra bedroom and super-size the family room". The median new-home size in 2012 reached a record high at 2,306 square feet, according to newly released Census Bureau data. Forget the idea that getting smaller was anything more than a function of smaller wallets.  CNNMoney reports that it wasn't that Americans wanted less space, they just couldn't afford more space at the time. Now, they’re up-sizing again. Part of this desire for space likely has to do with...Read More

Water Always Wins – Avoid Trouble…and Mold

Water never sleeps. Ever. It's always looking for opportunity and unfortunately, opportunity is frequently found in and around homes. Georgia is notorious for its clay soils; poor drainage and epic mud. When water collects, it often takes significant time to properly drain - and contrary to popular opinion, pine straw over the top does not prevent issues from developing. The video below was shot because it's a prefect illustration of a home built in a "bowl". This video is a great...Read More

Who Are “They” & What Did They Say Now?

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

Where does the line between empirical research and hyperbole exist? “Research shows” or “Data proves” are frequently the opening line to something that ends up making a reader wonder just how “they” know that and if that certain conclusion can really be supported. And what about when "they" plant a flag on each side of an argument? "They say that the real estate market is back" vs "They say the improving market is an illusion". "They" can say anything; supporting...Read More

Obama Pushes Banks to Approve Mortgages to Buyers with Weaker Credit

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

What can possibly be added to this story? The Obama administration is engaged in a broad push to make more home loans available to people with weaker credit, an effort that officials say will help power the economic recovery but that skeptics say could open the door to the risky lending that caused the housing crash in the first place. President Obama’s economic advisers and outside experts say the nation’s much-celebrated housing rebound is leaving too many people behind, including young people...Read More

What Do Online Home Buyers Look At?

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

We posted an article showing that impressions are formed in as little as 7 seconds. New research now details how buyers look at homes on line; and if quality photos are absent, so is their attention. 95% of buyers look at the first photo the longest, usually about 20 seconds. Researcher Michael Seiler tracked the eye movements of 45 people viewing 10 online real estate listings with six photos in August 2011, determining that 95 percent of participants viewed the first photo—an...Read More

Critical Steps for Successful Homebuyers

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

Buying a home is arguably one of the most significant financial decisions that a person makes. As many found out over the last several years, success is not guaranteed and financial calamity can result. While not every variable can be addressed, many of the fundamental ones can and if properly done, trouble down the road may be avoidable. Owning real estate has inherent risks, it also has many rewards and those that take a methodical, systematic approach to home buying tend...Read More

Are Power Lines, Detention Ponds and Cemeteries Bad Neighbors?

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

Are power lines a better neighbor than someone that fails to maintain their property? Is a quiet cemetery preferable to a party house? The influence of external factors (external obsolescence) must always be considered when evaluating a home, but some of those factors may not always be considered adverse by potential buyers. Like everything real estate related, every situation is different and much depends on the opinions of a homebuyer. External influences like heavy traffic, airport noise, industrial endeavors and similar...Read More

Brookhaven Townhome & Milton Estate Home for Sale

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

We're please to present two fantastic homes for sale. Buyers looking for a "lock and leave" option need to see this gorgeous Brookhaven townhome. Buyers looking for an impeccable family friendly estate home must visit this Milton home. These homes are each head and shoulders above their respective competition, this is a seller's market right now and we expect these homes to garner plenty of attention. Click on the images to see the details for each of these homes.                   1339 Village Park Drive,...Read More

You’re My Agent? I Thought You Were My Plumber?

Turbo Tax is running a commercial that reinforces the importance of using professionals, this fits perfectly with real estate as well. As real estate markets stabilize, the return of the "part time, opportunity, DNA, etc etc" agent is underway. The public - probably for a couple of reasons - fuels their return. The results will be unfortunate for many of these buyers and sellers; just as with the tax laws, real estate has become much more complicated and challenging, what...Read More

Listing Agent Lies…Pants of Many to Catch Fire Soon

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

Now that the real estate slump has been declared over and real estate markets begin to heat up, it’s a good time to refresh ourselves with “agent speak”. Are some listing agents lying, stretching or just dumb? If even a fraction of listings existed as represented, buyer nirvana would be found. Puffery and exaggeration are the norm of course, fortunately most buyers understand that. But the problem of real estate agents exaggerating or blatantly misrepresenting a home has and continues...Read More

Atlanta Waffle House Adds 20% “Security Fee” to Tabs

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

Bullets, blood and pepper spray do nothing to enhance a plate of biscuits and gravy. To help ensure that the pepper, not pepper spray is the only spice on your food, the Waffle House at Underground Atlanta has instituted a 20% security surcharge to every bill. This is the same Underground Atlanta that can't understand why the area doesn't attract tourists and businesses can't stay open. The Underground Waffle House opened with great fanfare in 2009, bringing one of the city’s favorite restaurants to...Read More

Is FNMA Forcing Owners into Foreclosure or Helping Expedite Short Sales?

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

So is FNMA helping or hurting distressed homeowners? Depends who you ask. "FNMA accused of forcing underwater borrowers into foreclosure" wrote one publication while another wrote "FNMA will directly approve short sales". The angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other. From AGBeat: Over the last few months, there has been quite a bit of Internet squawking about the GSEs approach to short sales and foreclosures, particularly Fannie Mae (who seems to rule the roost). Allegations are being made...Read More

7 Seconds to Make an Impression

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

In 7 seconds you’ll decide whether to continue reading this, if you want to open that listing, if my site is worthwhile or if you want to work with me. If your home is listed and a buyer is reviewing it, you'll have about that same amount of time to hook them. If that listing isn't compelling with rich narrative and illustrative photos, buyers and agents simply move on to the next listing. How many potential sales are lost because of poor presentation? Many....just cruise though...Read More

How to File for GA Homestead Tax Exemption

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

The Homestead Exemption is available to legal residents of Georgia for their primary homes. You are entitled to the Homestead exemption if you owned and occupied your home by January 1. You are able to claim a partial exemption which can amount to substantial property tax savings. Senior citizens may have additional exemptions available - check with your county tax office. Please note the deadlines in parenthesis next to the county name. What You Need in Order to File: A copy...Read More

FHA Sowing the Seeds for Next Collapse

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

The Federal Housing Administration is planting the seeds for the next real estate collapse. As the recovery process continues, FHA is marketing homeownership to families who can’t afford to repay their loans, setting up these families for failure. In a study of 2.4 million loans insured by FHA in 2009 and 2010, 9,000 zip codes were identified in which 1 in 7 borrowers are projected to lose their homes – and savings – to foreclosure. How is this not recognized...Read More

Does a Random Massacre Impact Area Homes Values?

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

The incomprehensible rampage in Newtown shattered the idyllic community and inflicted unimaginable damage to not only the families but to the residents of the community and surrounding areas. Just as Columbine is forever tied to a school shooting, so will be Newtown. Violent crime committed in a home can impact value and marketability, is it the same for an area? Based on the data, no. Based on research, there are far too many variables when considering value trends in an area. Newtown is an...Read More

Downsizing May Be a Mistake

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

Downsizing isn't always simple, painless—or even all that beneficial financially. The fragile real estate market is leaving many baby boomers with little cash for the next home and their monthly expenses don't fall as much as they thought—or may even rise instead.  Then there's the emotional side to it. Many baby boomers are finding they lack the stomach or stamina to dismantle their lives. They can't bear to sort through or part with all those boxes in the basement, or...Read More

Home Buyer Review of the Hank Miller Team

A home buyer in Marietta talks about the service received from the Hank Miller Team: Over the past 10 years we have purchased two homes, sold one and are in the process of selling another with Hank as our Real Estate Professional. What impresses us most about Hank is his strong work ethic. He was ALWAYS working to help us find the best house for us. There were many days, nights, weekends and holidays that we worked together to discuss our options and...Read More

Atlanta #2 for Household Growth Over Next 5 Years

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

Atlanta saw tremendous growth from 2000-2010, the growth patterns spread in all directions as there are no natural boundaries here. Coming out of the funk, Atlanta is again poised for a renewed growth spurt according to research completed by Pitney Bowes. Atlanta is right behind Houston for expected household growth between 2012-2017 and builders are taking notice. As reported in the WSJ: Houston and Atlanta lead the list from both 2000 to 2010 and are expected to top it again for 2012...Read More

Seller Disclosure – Murder Might Have to be Disclosed

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

Many sellers and even agents are very casual when filling out the seller's disclosure, rarely do issues arise. However, some seller's "forget" to disclose things like insurance claims, homicides, termite issues, criminal activity, unpermitted work and more. It doesn't matter when something occurred, if the seller or agent has knowledge of it and is asked it has to be disclosed. It would be prudent for both sellers and buyers to read the GA Real Estate Commission laws on what a seller...Read More

Kids and Aged Parents Moving Back Home

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

The contantly changing real estate landscape reveals that more homes are becoming "multi-generational"; husband and wife with two kids and a dog are giving way to a different composition. The economy is largly the reason as the change in household composition continues. A Pew Research report earlier this year showed that the share of Americans living in multi-generational households is at its highest since the 1950s. Young adults ages 25 to 34 are most likely to return to the nest. Almost 22%...Read More

Foreclosed Family Watches Helplessly as Craigslist Crowds Strip House Bare

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

So is posting a Craig's List ad that says "take what you want" a good idea? Well a Woodstock, GA homeowner learned that people will do just that as they literally broke into it and ransacked, ravaged, and took everything they could. Never a good idea to break into a house, but the ad can be construed to mean "take what you want" - "Fairly large, free yard sale. Moving and we want everything to go for free. So come over and take whatever you...Read More

Are Appraisers Holding Back the Recovery?

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

The appraisal conundrum continues to rage, we expect this is just a glimpse of what we’ll see come spring. Continued smothering appraisal underwriting, a shortage of closed sales available for use as comps and sellers expecting higher prices due to the “improving” Atlanta market will combine for a testy spring home selling season. But the apparent disconnect between appraisers and agents need not wait for spring. Appraisals have been blamed on derailing a lot of sales in recent years. In fact,...Read More

Interactive Map Shows the Viral Spread of Foreclosures

Housing is finally showing a blip on the heart monitor after years of devastation, but this map is a harsh reminder that the sector still has a long way to go before a full recovery. As the housing economy continues to struggle, there are small signs of health emerging, which CoreLogic’s Chief Economist, Mark Fleming aptly called housing “finding its footing,” in a report released today indicating that foreclosures have slowed for the fourth consecutive month, yet remain below the...Read More

The Trillion Dollar Housing Roller Coaster

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

The analogy between real estate and roller coasters is obvious. Everyone knows they both have crazy ups and downs. With the U.S. real estate ride lately, we are all wishing we were riding on the kiddie roller coaster with the small bumps and turns. Unfortunately, it’s more likely we are riding on the Kingda Ka roller coaster with its record-breaking 418-foot drop. The RealEstate.com team brings you breaking real estate news weekly, and we’ve noticed a trend – real estate...Read More

Is it a Good Idea to Pay off Your Mortgage Early?

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

Should you pay off your mortgage early? Being mortgage free is liberating and a goal for many, but is it worth while to do? With interest rates at an all time low, there are wiser avenues to consider before paying off your mortgage. While paying off your loan certainly will give you peace of mind, consider first what is recommended by experts: 1. Do you have enough cash on hand in case of an emergency?  Between 3-12 months of living expenses is a recommended amount for safekeeping in a...Read More

How Many Atlanta Home Sales are Lost Due to Low Appraisals?

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

The issue of "low appraisals" and deals being "lost" in the Atlanta real estate market because of poor appraisal quality is one that isn't going away anytime soon. Agents continue to share stories of seemingly solid Atlanta real estate agreements gone bad as a result of an appraisal that failed to support the contract price. The consequences are not pleasant and some deals will fall apart, other times sellers accept less to get the deal done, buyers add cash to increase the down payment...Read More

Do Street Names Make a Difference on Asking Prices?

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

The street name of a neighborhood can affect the asking price on a home, at least according to a new survey by Trulia. Trulia analyzed the median asking price per square foot among various types of address suffixes, like “Lane” and “Park.” Street addresses with the words “Boulevard,” “Place,” and “Road” were found to have higher average asking prices than homes with addresses ending in “Avenue,” “Drive,” or “Street,” according to the Trulia study. For example, homes that were located on...Read More

Rent or Buy? Trulia and CNNMoney say in Atlanta, BUY

Trulia and CNNMoney are calling Atlanta a "Buy" before "Rent" market. This is based upon a review of data from their sources as well as Zillow. Trulia and CNNMoney are not the only publications endorsing this, Forbes, the WSJ and USA Today have come to same conclusion about Atlanta. Trulia concluded that owning a home in Atlanta is 57% cheaper than renting: In the other 96 of the 100 largest metros, though, buying is still cheaper than renting. In Atlanta, for instance, where buying...Read More

How to Fire That Ineffective Agent in 3 Minutes

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

If I had a dollar for every call or email that I get from folks working with ineffective agents I could enjoy a great steak dinner once or twice a month. I am completely lost as to how and why agents have a Svengali like hold on these buyers and sellers. Why would anyone continue to work with an agent that is clearly incapable of getting the job done? I also hear with consistent regularity about completed transactions that have gone wrong; situations where the client...Read More

Banks Still Laughing Six Months After Settlement

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

We're six months into the wonderful settlement that the banks accepted as "penalty" for their part of the foreclosure abuses and essentially criminal activity. As ridiculous as that "settlement" was, even more ridiculous remains the lack of prosecution of individuals at these organizations that committed apparent illegal activity. Who has actually been held to task? The defense, which seems to be perfectly acceptable is "it's the company, not the individual". Really? Wasn't a variant of that "....it wasn't me, I...Read More

The Debt Dance and Homeownership

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

As the housing industry continues the slow climb from the abyss, data tends to show that the current rate of homeownership remains low as compared to historical rates. One report has it at the lowest in 50 years and several studies indicate that the homeownership rate among adults younger than 35 fell by 12 percent between ’06 and ’11. The real estate research firm John Burns Real Estate claims the true homeownership rate is 62.1%, with that number including all borrowers...Read More

About 47% of FNMA Inventory Unlisted – The Next Shoe to Drop?

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

The concept of "shadow inventory" remains mysterious as the definition varies - but in short it reflects homes waiting to be listed for sale. It is also the other shoe waiting to drop. A potentially very large shoe...Shaq sized shoe. Fannie Mae is the largest player in this arena, and it's long been contended that there is a significant back log of homes just sitting. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are being accused by some housing analysts as purposely keeping some foreclosures...Read More

Your Kid is Obnoxious and Your Dog Isn’t Cute

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

It is best for owners to be absent during showings, the next best thing is to go for a walk when buyers arrive. Not a good idea to have your kid playing piano for “mood music” or to have your “show” dogs running around nipping heels. Every so often we run into a listing that simply has us walking away shaking our heads – is it that sellers don’t listen or that they just want to do things their way? This...Read More

“Sharpie Parties” the Latest Foreclosure Activity

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

In the age of Facebook and Twitter, a new crime has hit America: "Sharpie parties," gatherings of party revelers armed with "Sharpie" magic markers and lured by social media invitations to wreak havoc on foreclosed homes. Five years into the U.S. foreclosure crisis, Sharpie parties are a new form of blight on the landscape of boarded-up homes, brown lawns and abandoned streets. They are also the latest iteration of collective home-trashing spurred by social media. At least six Sharpie parties were reported...Read More

Real Estate Firms Not Satisfying Consumers

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

A new J.D. Power and Associates study suggests that customer satisfaction with real estate companies is falling among home buyers and sellers. In fact, the study—in its fifth year—suggests that home buyer satisfaction with real estate companies, in particular, is at its lowest level recorded. Seller satisfaction is also down this year, according to the 2012 Home Buyer/Seller Satisfaction Study of more than 2,700 home buyers and sellers. The study measures customer satisfaction with the largest real estate companies, factoring in...Read More

What Home Buyers Want

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

We’ve all heard that it’s a buyer’s market, but what types of homes are most sought after? According to the National Association of Home Builders and other experts, today’s house hunters are looking for smaller homes (and smaller mortgages), energy efficiency, comfort and organization. Discover which features are topping home shoppers’ must-haves lists, along with predictions on what the housing market might look like in the years to come. Courtesy of: ImprovementCenter.comRead More

Are Appraisers ‘Scared’ to Report Rising Prices?

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

Issues with “low” appraisals continue to haunt the real estate recovery and they remain a thorn in the side of the real estate industry. The National Association of Realtors polled its members and found that 33 percent of agents had appraisal problems during May ’12. In Atlanta, problems with appraisals are exacerbated by the constant bashing from national data services like Case-Shiller. They note that Atlanta was the worst performing city they track form 3/11 to 3/12 with a 17.7...Read More

Atlanta Home Buyer Questionaire

Selection of a real estate agent in Atlanta remains perhaps the single most important aspect of a real estate transaction. Yet many buyers and sellers continue to not adequately qualify their representative in what is likely to be the largest financial transaction of their lives. We're curious and would appreciate input from both Atlanta home buyers and sellers, a few minutes of your time answering these poll questions is greatly appreciated.  Read More

Hank Miller in the Atlanta Journal Constitution

The Atlanta Journal Constitution often calls Hank Miller for his review and comments on the Atlanta real estate market. Here are a couple of articles where Hank's opinions on the Atlanta real estate market were used. These were written during the extended slump in the local and national real estate market. Atlanta Home Prices Tumble in January - posted 2/26/10 Existing Home Prices Down But Not As Far - posted 3/23/10 Hank Miller is an associate broker and certified appraiser in Metro Atlanta. He has...Read More

Are You Hot or Not? Good Looking Agents Better At Selling Homes

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

I was way ahead of the hotness curve on this one. Back in 2/11 we revealed studies that indicated that Good Looking Agents Sell More Homes and now the industry is playing catch up. I was moved by the article titled " I Wasn't Going To Buy This House Until I Saw The Realtor's Headshot On The Sign" and after reviewing that, I knew this was a topic that we had to comment upon. And now the rest of the pack finally gets wise to...Read More

Christian Science Monitor Interviews Hank Miller About Atlanta Real Estate

  The Christian Science Monitor recently interviewed Hank Miller about the Atlanta real estate market. The article asks a very basic question, "what's wrong in Atlanta"? In the article, Hank touches on several key issues that plague the Atlanta real estate market. Home Prices Stabilizing. So What's Wrong with Atlanta? - 3/27/12 Hank Miller is an associate broker and certified appraiser in Metro Atlanta. He has been in real estate full time since 1989 and consistently ranks in the very top 1% of all Atlanta real estate...Read More

Man Blows Up Home as Foreclosure Notice is Served – Body Found

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

The "Chicken Man" in Roswell, GA blew up his home Monday as Marshals attempted to serve him notice of foreclosure. After the fire was extinguished, firemen found his body. There was a news crew on site and moments before initiating the explosion he called the reporter to tell the Marshals to leave the property because it “wasn’t going to be pretty.” Then, the home exploded. Andrew Wordes spent many years fighting the city of Roswell as well as Fulton County over...Read More

Human Skeleton Found in Foreclosure

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

You never know what you might find in foreclosures. I've found dead animals, "hoarder" style homes, those filled with animal and human feces and of course, rat and roach infested homes. I've walked in on drugged out junkies, even thought one or two might be dead...but I've not found a dead body thus far. A Milwaukee agent did...she found forty-one-year-old David Carter's "nearly skeletonized body" on the second floor of his home. A Smith & Wesson 9-mm. handgun was found lying on his...Read More

Updated Unit, Great Views, Black Teddy & Fishnets – $509K

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

How funny is this... Let's see...updated kitchen, new carpets, view of the river, black teddy worn extremely well, fresh paint.....Here's a twist on the obvious , quality photos sell homes. Trulia posted this attractive 2BR Pittsburgh condo with an asking price of $509,900 and it's likely that there may be adjustments to the pics very, very soon. And if this was indeed a mistake, there's no doubt some poor guy will be groveling in the doghouse until hell freezes over. But it certainly is getting...Read More

*hit Realtors Say Video – All Too Accurate

Here's a great look at the world of real estate agents and one of the "Sheeot ______ Say" You Tube series. This one is "Sheeot Real Estate Agents Say". This is funny but also alarming because while it's tongue in cheek, this is exactly the stuff robot agents are trained to spew. Talking points and scripts are very much alive in the current environment. If you think what is said in this video is all made up banter...think again. You...Read More

Real Estate Agents Sweating out the Slump

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

This really shouldn't come as a surprise...grab Smokey Robinson...."Now if there's a smile on my face, it's only there trying to fool the public..." Real estate agents keep smiling behind the tears generated by the depressed market. Housingwire magazine reports on the results of a recent agent survey, and the impact that the market is having on many. Some clients are also feeling the impact as agents invest less into client services. The next time you see a well-dressed, smiling real...Read More