Potpourri Category

New Marietta GA East Cobb Home Coming Soon!

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

Located in East Cobb, Marietta GA, Pope School District - this 5 bedroom 4.5 bath home will be hitting the market by the end of this week.  Design details that combine both modern and traditional style have been integrated into this one of a kind home. Sitting on a quiet street in the new swim/tennis community of Mabry Manor, this home features a true chef's kitchen, 3 fireplaces, keeping room, great room, separate living and dining room, and a finished...Read More

Just Listed – 4815 Luke Drive, Cumming GA

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

  The Hank Miller Team has just listed this lovely 4 bedroom, 3.5 bath home in the swim/tennis community of Ashbrooke, Cumming GA. Natural light and open spaces define this wonderfully designed home | 4BR 3Full 1 Half Bath | Chef’s kitchen with solid surface countertops, gas range, built in microwave, oversized island/breakfast bar with stone accents, large pantry, open to family room and informal dining area | Separate formal living room and dining room | Family room with floor to ceiling...Read More

Just Sold – 305 Meadow Lark Crossing, Canton, GA – Bridgemill

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

The Hank Miller Team has just closed on this beautiful 6 BR. 5.5 bath home in the amenity packed community of Bridgemill. Situated on a quiet cul de sac street on a golf course lot, this home features an open floor plan with a beautifully appointed chef's kitchen, keeping room, great room, and separate living and dining room. The master bedroom boasts a large sitting room with fireplace and a tastefully remodeled bath. Secondary rooms are large in size with...Read More

Murder & Disco Kroger – Familiar Atlanta Stores

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

What's in a name? Apparently familiarity. We looked into the case of "Murder Heights" a while back, but what about "Murder Kroger"? What's behind that quite popular and somewhat revered nick name? One that the locals don't want to change. And then there's "Disco Kroger" in Buckhead...yet another moniker well entrenched in the local vernacular. But back to murder...From Curbed Atlanta: There are two stories to the name, one explains how it was earned in the first place; the other, why...Read More

Surprise! Rental Includes a Serial Killer’s Torture Chamber

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

In March, Catrina McGhaw moved into a rental. The house seemed fine except McGhaw claims her 2-year-old niece was playing in the basement when something freaky happened. According to CBS News, McGhaw told local station KMOV, "The child looked over ... like she was scared. Like she saw somebody scared and crying and nobody was there." The station reports that Catrina McGhaw currently rents a house in Ferguson, Mo., that was once home to Maury Troy Travis. The 36-year-old waiter committed suicide in a county jail...Read More

Median Home Values Across the North Atlanta Suburbs

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

These charts display median home prices in the northern arc of the Atlanta real estate market broken out by zip code. Providing a consolidated view of all price points, the charts allow for a broad snap shot look at housing prices over the last couple of years. Some markets have a nice steady glide, some a bit more up and down and some are truly chaotic. For the most part, median sale prices are up - but understand that a more detailed look may provide...Read More

“Spite Homes” – Built Just To Annoy the Neighbors or Family

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

The lengths some will go to just to irritate someone can be fascinating, unadulterated vitriol can lead to interesting projects. A "spite house" is a house built to irritate someone, often a neighbor or family member. Generally they are built to deny light or access to a road or alley. Sometimes they are built to "be in the way" of a family or neighbors or in some cases, municipalities. They probably wouldn't get much attention if they looked like normal houses, but spite...Read More

The Hardest Places to Live in the US

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

The NYTimes provides an interactive national map showing the "hardest" places (counties) to live in the country. Metro Atlanta does OK; Forsyth County does the best with strong showings from Cherokee, Cobb, Fayette and Gwinnett. Georgia and the southeast....well.... From the article: The 10 lowest counties in the country, by this ranking, include a cluster of six in the Appalachian Mountains of eastern Kentucky (Breathitt, Clay, Jackson, Lee, Leslie and Magoffin), along with four others in various parts of the rural South:...Read More

Lake Lanier Home Sale

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

6250 Holland Drive, Cumming, GA 30041. HMT represented the buyer on this new home that closed 06/2014 for $838,925 The challenge of finding a lake home that checks all of the boxes can be daunting. After a search of several months that encompassed most areas of Lake Lanier, our buyers landed this exceptional home. Sitting on a quiet deep water cover, this expansive home fits the bill as both a full time residence and weekend getaway. The gentle and open walk...Read More

Completely Renovated Ranch for Sale in Milton

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

930 Freemanwood Lane, Alpharetta, GA 30004 has been completely and professionally transformed and is HGTV ready. A few of the noteworthy improvements include a new kitchen, new baths, new roof, new hardwoods and carpet, new paint inside and out, an expanded and opened floor plan, two car garage..... It sits on a full basement and level acre lot in one of the most desirable communities and areas of Milton. This home is move in ready and is a perfect fit for a buyer that wants...Read More

2 Days on Market for Home in Indian Hills, East Cobb!

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

3100 Brookview Drive, Marietta, GA 30067.  HMT represented the seller on this home that closed 06/03/2014 at full price for $275,000 This home in the highly desirable Indian Hill Country Club in Marietta contracted at full price in 2 days! Located one of the nation's top school districts (Walton HS district) this home was rapidly snatched up by a cash buyer. Indian Hills and the East Cobb market remain very active, keep up to date with all of the data in East Cobb, Marietta and...Read More

FHFA Lowers Lending Standards “to keep liquidity in the real estate market”

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

Demonstrating the epic stupidity that legends are made of, the esteemed new head of the FHFA Mel Watt made a few announcements on Tuesday. In short, they are designed to help the banks and expand credit access for “underserved borrowers.” Those folks in the middle...well you know the drill. These announcements reverse those in place under former head of the FHFA Edward J. DeMarco. The FHFA’s new director, Mel Watt, made several announcements Tuesday that  aim to maintain Fannie Mae and Freddie...Read More

Appraisers Are Not Radioactive, You Can Work With Them

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

The real estate crash hit the appraisal industry harder than any other. The end result has been even more controversy as many experienced appraisers left the mortgage related side and those that remained become almost "radioactive". The role of an appraiser, how they work and their relationship with agents is arguably as tempestuous as it has ever been. This is in large part to an incredible lack of understanding on how to communicate and work with an appraiser. In short, communication with appraisers is fine as long as...Read More

507 Poplar Creek Crossing, Canton, GA…Contracted in 9 Days

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

507 Poplar Creek Crossing, Canton, GA 30114.  HMT represented the seller on this home that closed 04/2014 for $475,000 This home in Bridgemill Country Club contracted in 9 days! Located on a cul de sac, the home saw significant activity before quickly going under contract. The home is a perfect fit in this family friendly country club community which is convenient to Canton, Woodstock and Roswell. HMT has worked the NW Atlanta market since 1994. Our experience with both sales and appraisals pays...Read More

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

Barbie Explains Atlanta

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

Despite being considered "one market" by national media, those of us that live and work here know the metro Atlanta area to be a very diverse and eclectic demographic pot of soup. In that case, who better than Barbie to sort it out? Atlanta area residents depicted as Barbies.....                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    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

504 Poplar Creek Crossing, Canton, GA – Closed Listing

Hank Miller Team Atlanta

504 Poplar Creek Crossing, Canton, GA 30114.  HMT represented the seller on this home that closed 02/2014 for $475,000 This sprawling Ruttenberg built home in Bridgemill Country Club has a new owner. The expansive plan, four car garage and super private, flat lot was a tremendous draw as the home saw significant traffic. The home is a perfect fit in this family friendly country club community which is convenient to Canton, Woodstock and Roswell. HMT has worked the NW Atlanta market since 1994. Our...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