​Thank you so much for wanting to know more about me and my real estate services! My blog is designed to provide information on all things real estate. If you have questions about buying, selling or renting please do not hesiate to reach out to me, I am always available to help!

 

Dec 21, 2017

Debunking Myths To Home Buying

Posted by: Janell Carter

 

 

 

 

Finally ready to make the transition into home ownership? That's awesome, and in this exciting time you can be turning to friends and family for an insight into the process. However, there seems to be a circulation of misinformation spreading around, so we're here to clear up a few myths. 

1. THE FIRST STEP IS SEARCHING FOR A HOME

You know the saying, "Don't put the cart before the horse," well that's important to remember when it comes to buying a home. You don't want to start looking for a house until you have gotten to sit down with a lender and discuss what the bank will qualify you for. If you fall in love with a house that's $250,000 and come to find out you're only qualified for $200,000 you can get your hopes crushed and waste a lot of time. Don't start the process on the wrong foot and make sure the numbers line up.

2. YOU DON'T NEED A REAL ESTATE AGENT

For starts, when buying a home, 99% of the time the buyer's agent gets paid by the sellers. That random 1% can be for odd circumstances. So you're getting to use the services of a real estate agent for free. Having a real estate agent on your side means you'll get to see homes that aren't as readily available on public searches, you avoid outdated listings and scammers (there are lots of them), and you have protection when it comes to navigating the legalities of contracts and buying a home. Why wouldn't you want an awesome negotiator working to ensure you get the best from the transaction? For FREE!

3. YOU CAN'T BUY A HOME WITH BAD CREDIT

Fortunately for some, this is a myth. Lenders and banks come by the hundreds of thousands and all though there are a few loan options, a lot of lenders can work with credit scores down to the low to mid 500's. Get in touch with an agent to help you connect with the right lender who can help you potentially approved. There is a lot of factors that go into approvals, but your credit doesn't have to be a sore thumb during the process. However, you will be doing yourself a favor if you connect with a credit repair specialist to at least get those numbers in the 600's. A better score will lower you interest rate.

4. YOUR DOWN PAYMENT HAS TO BE 20%

Think you have to sell an arm and a leg to buy a home? Not at all! An FHA loan only requires 3.5% while a conventional only requires 5%. There are a lot of programs that can potentially help you with down payment assistance or be 0% down mortgage. USDA and VA loans are the most popular 0% down programs. If you qualify, this can take a big chunk off the amount of cash you have to bring to the closing table. 

5. DOWN PAYMENTS ARE THE ONLY UPFRONT COST

This is one of the biggest misconceptions. There is a lot of cost that goes into buying a home, and that includes upfront costs. One of the mandatory ones are a termite and appraisal. If you are getting a mortgage, the home will have to appraise and get a letter stating there are no termites in the home. Termite can range between $25-$75 dollars. An appraisal can range from $300-$700 dollars. Aside from your down payment, you then have to pay for closing costs. And NO, they are not the same thing. Closing costs can range anywhere between 3-6% of the purchase price. In certain markets, this can be negotiated for sellers to cover by rolling into the offer price, but whether that decision is smart to do or not when it comes to landing your dream home will need to be discussed with your agent.

Now that you have some knowledge to get the process started, get in touch with an agent who will help you get through the process as smoothly as possible.

 
 

Dec 20, 2017

Use The Right Paint Finish

Posted by: Janell Carter

Ready to paint your home? Be sure to use the right finishes in each room and feature to make the best impact in your home. Using the wrong finishes can backfire for home owners if the wrong ones are used in the wrong spaces. Below, you'll find the most common finishes and recommendations on where they are best applied to.

- PAINT FINISHES - 

Flat is a low-sheen paint with a non-reflective finish that touches up well and hides minor surface imperfections.  It's ideal for low traffic areas, interior walls and ceilings.

Matte has a low luster reflective finish that is durable, easy to clean, touches up well, and also hides minor surface imperfections. It is great for low to moderate traffic areas, such as bedrooms, and interior walls.

Eggshell Enamel has a soft, velvety appearance and is a good choice for moderate traffic areas such as living rooms.

Satin Enamel if you desire a pearl-like appearance, and are painting moderate to high traffic areas or areas that have some exposure to moisture, such as kitchens.

Semi-Gloss Enamel if you desire a sleek, radiant sheen that is great from cabinets and trim, high-traffic areas and high-moisture areas.

Hi-Gloss Enamel creates a brilliant, shiny appearance with a glass-like finish. This is great for high-use surfaces.

Dec 19, 2017

Storage Ideas For Small Bathrooms

Posted by: Janell Carter

Is your bathroom small? It’s the worst, isn’t it? Well, unfortunately, small bathrooms are very common, and are usually the smallest rooms in the house. I can almost bet that it almost always feels cramped and tight in there. Although the square footage doesn’t change, a change of organization and storage space can make a drastic change to how your bathroom feels. Here are a few tips and tricks to make your bathroom space feel more functional and spacious.

  •  Medicine Cabinet
    If you have a regular mirror, replacing it with one that includes a medicine cabinet and provide further storage space.
     

  • Shelving
    If you have free space above your toilet, vanity, or other another empty part of the wall, install shelving units. Purchase a few decorative baskets to maximize shelf space.
     

  • Hooks
    With a few decorative hooks, in a style of your preference, you can declutter by placing a couple on the back of the door to hang towels or robes. Perhaps one or two right next to each end of the shelving unit you just installed.
     

  • Towel Racks
    A rack installed inside of you shower can save you space and convenience, also adding an additional shower bar above the original will work nicely. Another idea is installing a few racks a couple of feet above each other or right next on another. If you have an excessive amount of towels, store some of them away in the bedroom closet.
     

  • Vanity with Cabinet
    I have come across plenty of pedestal sinks in small bathrooms, but if you want save some space, add some storage, and upgrade the look of your bathroom at the same time, a vanity cabinet will definitely do the trick.

Dec 18, 2017

The Incredible Joy Of Owning A Home

Posted by: Janell Carter

If you haven't bought a home yet, you're missing out on a wonderful feeling! That moment when you walk through your doors, throw your purse or keys on the floor, plop down on your couch and breathe a sigh of relief while thinking, "Finally, it's ours (or mine)!" And the joy of looking at all of your boxes, getting to roll your eyes about why you buy so much stuff, then giving yourself a moment to take a nap because you worked hard to get here and earned it! Yes that's a real feeling!

We often hear, and read, about the cost effectiveness of home ownership. The equity build-up, the freedom it can give us from finances in our retirement years, and a plethora of other ways owning a home can be a positive impact on your bottom dollar. But we don't often hear about the emotional impact owning a home can have. Yes there will be days the fridge is acting silly and you need to call your home warranty, or days you have to get outside to mow your own yard, but nothing beats the pride and joy of owning a home. 

There is a sense of security, and a sense of "this is mine and I worked my way up to this moment," that provides moments of bliss. The ability to do with your home as you please, not pay a pretty penny for every member of your fur family, and the privacy it provides can't be beat.

Home ownership also gives you the ability to put down some roots. And we mean that figuratively and literally. You get to build memories through the holidays and go through many milestones with your family, that leave a significant impact into the later years. You also get to build bonds with your neighbors, and grow in a community oriented neighborhood. With rentals, people come and go annually, but there are deeper roots planted with building relationships with those living next to you. Potlucks, 4th of July and New Year's Eve spent lighting fireworks, and just the excitement of getting to know each other and build new relationships. 

Buying a home isn't about the dollars and cents for everyone, sometimes it's just about the joy of owning your own place, and getting to build amazing memories in it. If you've been longing for this, get in touch with a real estate agent, and make it happen. You owe it to yourself to make your dreams come true!

Dec 5, 2017

3 Questions To Ask Before Buying Your First Home

Posted by: Janell Carter

The real estate market is constantly changing, so of course DO YOUR RESEARCH! DO NOT jump the gun on this one! Unbiased advice from family and peers may be kind, but you are the only one who knows what your needs are when it comes to buying a home.
 

WHAT MADE YOU CONSIDER OWNING A HOME?

Forget finances for a minute and focus on what made you consider even buying a home in the first place!

·      Is your family expanding?

·      Does your family feel safe?

·      Is there a STELLAR school system in the area so your     children can get the education they deserve?

·      How about that unbearable landlord?
 

WHICH WAY IS THE REAL ESTATE MARKET GOING?

DON’T SLEEP ON YOUR DECISION TOO LONG! Home prices are on the rise! Not only are they on their way back up, but these increases are happening monthly.

Don’t believe us? According to Existing Homes Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the average price of homes in May 2017 went up 5.8% from last year.

If you wait until next year to buy, you might be scrapping for change in the cushions to say the least! Not only will it cost you more to buy, but you will also need to increase your down payment to account for the higher price of the home.

 

WHAT IS THE MORTGAGE FORECAST?

The initial process of purchasing your home may seem easy and quick, but THERE IS MORE TOO IT! The ‘long term cost’ of buying a home WILL haunt you if you buy at the wrong time! Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), and NAR have projected that mortgage interest rates will DEFINITLEY increase over the next twelve months. The smallest increase in mortgage rates can have a huge impact on a home owner.

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

If you and your family feel it is the right time to buy a home then GO FOR IT! Consider these points when making the final decision.

Don’t forget, this move is FOR YOU!

 
 

 

Nov 17, 2017

Hassle-Free Homebuying!

Posted by: Janell Carter

HASSLE-FREE HOMEBUYING

 

By: Janell Carter

 

Perhaps you’d like to take advantage of today’s great buyer’s market in housing but feel a little intimidated by everything that’s involved.

            You know the routine: finding the right locale and the right house; negotiating an agreement; putting together a down payment; and selecting the best mortgage available.

            There are two things you can do to make every step run smoothly.  The first is to select a really professional agent who knows the real estate business, knows your local market, has both a solid reputation for integrity and a solid record of success, and clearly is eager to respond to your needs.

            The second is to make you agent your teammate in the literal sense of the word, using teamwork to be sure that the house you ultimately buy is the house you’ve always wanted.

            Making your agent your teammate requires choosing an agent you feel able to trust both as a person and as a professional.  And that’s no small matter.  In real estate as in all areas of business – as in all aspects of life, actually – trust can make all the difference in the world.

            True teamwork is nearly impossible to achieve unless you stick with one agent throughout the buying process.  Buy all means you should shop around – and shop around carefully – when you’re still deciding which agent to work with.  Once you’ve made that decision, however, don’t reverse it unless (and this rarely happens to people who are careful in the first place) something specific happens to make it clear that your choice was unwise.

            Teammate status is all the motivation a first-rate agent needs to go all-out in finding houses that suit your needs.  And if you’re concerned about what it is you’re looking for and how much house you think you can afford, your agent can save you huge amounts to time and effort.

            If you’re not sure how much you can afford, be candid with your agent about that, too.  He or she can provide you with some helpful preliminary guidelines and can put you in touch with mortgage lenders who know how to get you focused on an appropriate price range.

            It’s always a good idea, as you look at listed homes, to give your agent a lot of feedback on what you’ve seen.  Good feedback will refine and sharpen the agent’s understanding of your likes and dislikes, which in turn will make it easier to find the house of your dreams.

            The ultimate payoff, once again, is that you get to your goal more quickly, expending less time and less effort along the way.

            Anyone who have ever done it this way will assure you of one thing: it pays off.

 

 

About Century 21 Real Estate LLC
Century 21 Real Estate LLC is comprised of approximately 7,330 independently owned and operated franchised broker offices in 77 countries and territories worldwide with more than 110,000 independent sales professionals. Century 21 Real Estate has numerous websites to help answer specific consumer needs. They are century21.com, century21Global.com, commercial.century21.com, century21.com/finehomes, and century21espanol.com.

 

Century 21 Real Estate LLC is a subsidiary of Realogy Holdings Corp. (NYSE: RLGY), a global leader in real estate franchising and provider of real estate brokerage, relocation and settlement services.

 

© 2017 Century 21 Real Estate LLC. All Rights Reserved. CENTURY 21®, the CENTURY 21 Logo are registered service marks owned by Century 21 Real Estate LLC. Century 21 Real Estate LLC fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Each office is independently owned and operated.
 

 

 

Nov 9, 2017

Fall Leaves Bring Sold Signs

Posted by: Janell Carter

Summer has come to an end and you probably are thinking you've lost the opportunity to sell, and need to wait till next summer. But that's far from the truth! Although it's not as hectic and crazy with the swarm of buyers on the market, the fall season brings out the most serious of lookers. They are the pool of buyers that waited out the summer frenzy to find their perfect home in the fall, and you don't want to miss these buyers! They are ready to make a move, today! And selling in a slower period does not equate to less money. That's a misconception that home owners have based on untrue data that floats around. With the right agent, and your home being priced correctly, you can get a great deal selling your home during the fall season. And might actually prefer it. Here are the top 3 benefits to listing during the fall season.

1. Serious Buyers - Let's be honest, if buyers are out during the busy season, looking for homes, they are serious and ready to buy. Although the summer brings in a large crowd, that crowd contains a lot of people that are excited by the season, and fall into the "trend" of house hunting. These people end up not really being serious about the process, and tend to hold off for another time. If people are investing time to look during the fall season, they are more likely to be interested in actually buying your home, instead of touring it.

2. Less Competition - Selling in the fall isn't something many families can accomplish due to personal schedules. That's why a significant amount of homes get listed during the summer season. Which means that summer time brings in a lot of competition. Selling in the fall means the potential house next door that has slightly more perks that may have been listed during the summer, doesn't make your home sit stagnant, since everyone wanted your neighbor's house. It also doesn't devalue your home because of the house that could go up next door that could be under-priced in your neighborhood, and draw all of the attention.

With a slower season, you get dedicated attention to your property, which increases the chance of a sale. 

3. Easier to Find Your Dream Home - Not only do you get to benefit from a slower season during the selling process, but you can also benefit on the buying side. With less competition on your dream house, you can get a better deal. The summer brings a lot of missed opportunities for buyers on their dream homes, because they go off the market instantly. This will give you the opportunity to get your home on the market and take your time to find the right one to resize into. A much calmer pace to the transaction will make it less stressful, and everyone all around happier. Don't feel rushed into buying a home overnight during the summer, it could turn into a headache. If you want a far more peaceful transaction, that has calmer pace, then selling during the fall is perfect for you.

Nov 8, 2017

A Few Easy Ways To Take The Headache Out Of Moving

Posted by: Janell Carter

A FEW EASY WAYS TO TAKE THE HEADACHE OUT OF MOVING

 

By Janell Carter

          Moving from one house to another is always a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be a nightmare.  Here are some simple tips on how to get it done with minimal stress and strain.

·        Look at all the alternatives: hiring a moving company, for example, versus renting a truck and doing it yourself.  Whichever alternative makes most sense for you, get bids from more than one vendor.

·        A few days before the moving company is scheduled to arrive or you’re supposed to pick up your rental truck, call to confirm that everything is on track to happen when it’s supposed to .

·        Prepare your change of address cards in advance and send them out as soon as it’s appropriate to do so.  The post office, utilities, companies and people you do business with, city hall, friends, relatives – all should be notified of your move.

·        Get an early start on packing by concentrating on seldom-used items first.  Each box should have its contents and the room those contents belong in written on it clearly. 

·        Take a hard look at things you seldom or never use and throw away as many of them as you can.  The more you throw away, the less you’ll have to move.  Every item you throw away is one less item to clutter up you new home.

·        Use your extra towels and linens to protect breakables.  When your supply of these things is exhausted, crumpled newspaper makes an excellent substitute.  Write “Fragile” on all appropriate boxes.

·        Put your valuables (such as jewelry) and important documents (birth certificates, car titles, etc.) aside in some safe place where they won’t be misplaced.

·        When the house is empty, go back for a thorough final inspection.  Check closets, crawl spaces, basement, attic, out-of-the-way nooks and crannies of all kinds.  Have a second person make the same inspection separately.

·        Clean your new home thoroughly before moving in.  It’s infinitely easier that way.

·        Decide in advance where you want the heavy furniture.  Changing your mind after the movers have departed is no fun – especially for your back!

·        Locate all fuses, circuit breakers, and water/gas and electrical valves.  Record the meter readings and check the smoke detectors.

·        List the phone numbers of the local police and fire stations, doctors, nearby hospitals, etc.  Put a copy of your list near each phone.

 

Above all, plan, plan, plan and plan some more. Make a schedule you can live with, and then stick to it.  Preparation and forethought will help you to keep everything under control and finish the move with your sanity and your nervous system intact.

 

About Century 21 Real Estate LLC
Century 21 Real Estate LLC is comprised of approximately 7,330 independently owned and operated franchised broker offices in 77 countries and territories worldwide with more than 110,000 independent sales professionals. Century 21 Real Estate has numerous websites to help answer specific consumer needs. They are century21.com, century21Global.com, commercial.century21.com, century21.com/finehomes, and century21espanol.com.

 

Century 21 Real Estate LLC is a subsidiary of Realogy Holdings Corp. (NYSE: RLGY), a global leader in real estate franchising and provider of real estate brokerage, relocation and settlement services.

 

© 2017 Century 21 Real Estate LLC. All Rights Reserved. CENTURY 21®, the CENTURY 21 Logo are registered service marks owned by Century 21 Real Estate LLC. Century 21 Real Estate LLC fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Each office is independently owned and operated

Jun 29, 2017

Neighborhood Checklist

Posted by: Janell Carter

When you buy a home, you’re getting more than just the structure of the house — you’re getting the neighborhood, too. We recommend visiting the new area multiple times at different times of the day to get a feel for it, since that may determine your family’s experience while living there. A great house might not be as enjoyable if the surrounding community isn’t a good fit. To help out with your neighborhood evaluation, use this checklist of important items to look out for.

Sidewalks – The presence of sidewalks may indicate that the neighborhood is an active one. It may also be safer for those with children, since drivers and pedestrians won’t be sharing the same space.

Parks – A nearby park might be beneficial for you and your family to get some exercise while meeting new people.

Schools – Check to see how far away the schools are, and how your children would be getting there. This may not be as important for homeowners who don’t have children.

Major Roads – Drive around to locate the closest major highways. If big roads are close, they may increase noise level around your home or become a security concern for those with small children and pets.

Transportation – Depending on the area, you might not always depend on a car to get around. Explore the local public transportation options to see what works for you.

Shopping Centers – Figure out how close you are to shopping centers so you can estimate how long it will take to run errands on a typical day.

Restaurants – If your family likes to dine out, check out the food scene near your house to see if you’ll enjoy frequenting those restaurants.

Recreational Centers – Whatever you and your family do for fun, make sure there’s something within a reasonable distance. Think fitness centers, pools, dance or martial arts studios, painting classes, or anything else that could entertain you and your family.

At your next open house, bring this checklist with you as you go for a walk around the neighborhood. Your new community might be a perfect fit!

Jun 29, 2017

5 Numbers You Need To Know When Buying A Home

Posted by: Janell Carter

 

C21_Jan_B2_Infographic_v2

There are so many things to consider when buying a new home, from house features to location, that it’s easy to overlook what’s really important. However, remember that buying a home is more than just picking out floor plans and backyard space — it’s a financial investment. Plan for a home you can afford by keeping these important numbers in mind.

Buying a home can be daunting, but CENTURY 21® can help. Visit www.century21.com for more home buying resources.

 

Jun 29, 2017

How To Decorate for Outdoor Entertaining

Posted by: Janell Carter

How to Decorate for Outdoor Entertaining

 

Even though you don’t have a sprawling backyard, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy entertaining outdoors. Make the most of your petite patio and turn it into a pocket-sized paradise. Here are our tips for how to decorate small spaces for outdoor entertaining.

  • Arrange furniture the right way: The best way to maximize space is to arrange your furniture around the perimeter of the deck or patio. Think twice before placing a table in the center, and instead give your guests plenty of room to stand or move around.
  • �Add extra seating with large pillows: Get a few extra spots for guests to sit without taking up too much space by throwing in some large floor pillows. They add an extra element of coziness, plus they’re easy to add or subtract.
  • �Use color wisely: Color can make all the difference when decorating, especially in such a small space. Keep things fresh and airy by sticking to a monochromatic palette in whites or grays. Or add a bit of fun by using colorful accents in eye-catching patterns.
  • �Be strategic when choosing furniture: Save space by investing in two-for-one pieces of furniture, such as nesting tables, storage ottomans and benches (which can also be used for seating), and folding tables and chairs.
  • �Bring on the plants: There may be plenty of foliage outside already, but use it strategically in your entertaining area. Plants are a simple way to liven things up and make your modest space feel like an exotic retreat.
  • �Hang up lights: Strings of bistro lights can instantly open up a small space. Plus, that warm glow will give things a cozier vibe.

Get ready for a summer full of outdoor entertaining!

Jun 22, 2017

Luv- A- Bowl Johns Creek Review

Posted by: Janell Carter

For the first time last week I got to try out this very cool, and healthy Acai bowl shop called Luv-a-bowl located at 9700 Medlock Bridge Rd in Johns Creek. The shop is tucked away inside the Medlock crossing shopping center across from the Medlock Regal Theatre. I actually stumbled across the shop after my daughter’s decided that they wanted ice cream for a job well done at school. Me trying to shed a few pounds and trying to change my eating habits decided I needed something a little more healthy and low and behold I found it. Luv-a-bowl is very bright and welcoming upon entering. I told the young man taking orders that it was my first time in, and asked what he suggested. He told me the Johns Creek bowl was the most popular and I took his suggestion. My bowl had yummy creamy blended acai fruit topped with granola, berries, coconut, and honey. It was delicious and just what I needed to beat the Georgia heat. Luv-a-Bowl is that place to come to enjoy delicious, one-of-a kind acai bowls, as well as to experience a range of products to help you look and feel better! I promise you will not be disappointed. Stop in today and tell them I sent you!

May 10, 2017

Free Summer Events At Newtown Park

Posted by: Janell Carter

I know finding things to do over the Summer break with the kids is not easy especially free things to do! Well for all of my Alpharetta/Johns Creek residents you don’t have to look any farther than Newtown Park. Year after year they have a ton of free events over the Summer to help with boredom. Below are just a few of the events scheduled. For more information visit their site http://www.johnscreekga.gov/RecreationandParks/Special-Events

Johns Creek Farmers Market

Be a part of the local food movement and shop at the Johns Creek Farmers Market. The market is held during the summer at Mark Burkhalter Amphitheater at Newtown Park on Saturday mornings (May 6 - Aug. 26) from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Each market features local farmers and vendors with organic and/or sustainable foods and produce.

Movies At Newtown Park

“Movies at Newtown Park” is a free summer outdoor series of family-friendly movies presented on a huge inflatable screen.

Pre-show activities include an inflatable moonwalk, face painting, children's activities, giveaways, and music. 

Dates: Saturday, June 10; Saturday, July 8; Saturday, Aug. 12
Time: Movie starts at dusk. Pre-Show activities begin at 7 p.m.
Location: Newtown Park

Families are encouraged to bring blankets and relax as they watch the movie. No alcohol or pets please.

Foodtrucks are scheduled for each of the Movies at Newtown Park events! 
Saturday, June 10: Patty Wagon
Saturday, July 8: Flatbread Bistro
Saturday, Aug. 12: Big C's Chicago Kitchen

Independence Day Celebration

Celebrate our country's independence at Newtown Park with live music, activities, food, and an exceptional fireworks display!

Date: Saturday, July 1
Time: 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Location: Newtown Park
Ages: All ages
Cost: FREE!

 

May 9, 2017

Kentucky Derby Party At Avalon

Posted by: Janell Carter

This past week was the 2nd ​annual Kentucky Derby Party at Avalon! This is becoming one of my favorite events to attend. There are plenty of big fancy hats, bow ties and mint juleps. Not into mint juleps there was a choice of plenty of beverage selections including beer, wine, and specialty cocktails. There is live coverage of the races on a big screen, raffles, cornhole, retailer activities, and a 8 man band. Place your “bets” on your favorite horses by placing your tickets in their raffle jar. Prize Packages will be given to the raffle winners from the First, Place, and Show horses. Best part is proceeds benefit The Lionheart School. The Lionheart School is a 5013 non-profit independent school for children ages 6 through 21 with autism or other disorders of relating and communicating. The school was established in 2000 and is located in Alpharetta, Georgia. Don’t miss out next year you definitely want to be there! I give this event 2 big thumbs up!

Mar 29, 2017

How Much Home Can I Afford?

Posted by: Janell Carter

How Much Home Can You Buy?

There are a few methods for roughly estimating how much home you can afford. A house payment should be no more than 25% of your gross monthly income (before taxes and deductions).
Annual Salary Max Home Value
$50,000 $125,000
$60,000 $150,000
$70,000 $175,000
$80,000 $200,000
$90,000 $225,000
$100,000 $250,000
$110,000 $275,000
$120,000 $300,000
$130,000 $325,000
$140,000 $350,000
$150,000 $375,000
$160,000 $400,000
Keep in mind that these are guidelines. There are many other factors that determine how much home you can afford.
 

Feb 21, 2017

Do I Need My Own Realtor If I'm Buying A New Contruction Home?

Posted by: Janell Carter

Yes you absolutely need your own Realtor when you are purchasing a new construction home! I know the on site agent is extremely nice and it really seems like she is trying to help you, but I need you to remember one thing she works for the builder not you. Since the builder has someone working for him why not have a Realtor that is on your side and is looking out for your best interest? You need someone that will look over the contracts, stay on top of deadlines, contact the builder or construction manager when there is a issue, hire the inspector, and is constantly checking on the progress of the home. The on site agent has hundreds of other homes she/he is helping to get sold for the builder your home will not be a priority. Before you decide to walk into a new construction site you should have your own Realtor with you. You will be happy you did.

Feb 10, 2017

How Will I Know This Is The Home For Me

Posted by: Janell Carter

How Will I Know This Is The Home For Me

​I get asked this question a lot and the truth is there is no right or wrong answer to this question. I have had clients that purchased the first home they viewed. With that being said I have also had clients that searched months and months, and viewed over 30 homes. Home is a feeling not just a place. When you walk into the home of your dreams you will know it because you will get the feeling that this one is the right one for you. If you start thinking about the Christmas mornings and Thanksgiving dinners that would be spent at the home and you can literally see it then that particular one may be right for you. Buying a home is a very personal decision you may not want to run it by family or friends because they aren’t the ones living there you are. Make a decision that is right for you.

Jan 30, 2017

Your Frequently Asked Questions Answered

Posted by: Janell Carter

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your Frequently Asked Questions Answered

​As a Realtor I get asked a lot of questions on a daily basis from home buyers and sellers that I work with and meet with. I wanted to share some of the answers to those questions in hopes that it will help you in this process.

  1. ​Should I talk to a lender before I start looking at homes? The answer is YES you should definitely speak with a lender first. Speaking with a lender will help you understand how much home you will be able to afford. Getting pre qualified should be your first step in the home buying process.
  2. Do I really need a Realtor when buying a home? I strongly recommend you hire a Realtor during your home buying process. There are many reasons why you should have a Realtor represent your best interests when buying a home. Having the right Realtor on your side will make the home buying and selling process much smoother.
  3. Who pays the Realtor fees when buying a home? I think when home buyers are scared of speaking with a Realtor it is because they don’t understand who pays the Realtor fees. In a typical home transaction the seller pays the listing agent and the buyer’s agent fees.
  4. How many homes should I look at before putting a offer on a home? This is a personal choice. There is no specific number of homes you should look at before buying a home.  Don’t feel that if you were to purchase the first home you look at that you’re making a mistake. With that being said if you were to look at 20 homes that is not a mistake either. You have to feel comfortable with your decision.
  5. Do I have to have a home inspection? The legal answer is no you are not required by law to have a home inspection. My answer as a Realtor is I would never allow my client to purchase a home without getting a home inspection from a reputable home inspector. If you have a Realtor who suggest that a home you are purchasing looks to be in great condition and you don’t need a inspection you should get a new Realtor.
  6. What is earnest money? Earnest money is a deposit made to a seller showing the buyer's good faith in a transaction. The earnest money goes into a escrow account until closing then it goes toward the purchase of the home. It ends up being a credit to the buyer for the purchase of the home.
  7. ​How much is earnest money typically?​ Earnest money is typically 1% of the purchase price of the home. If the purchase price is $200000 the earnest money deposit should be $2000. If the purchase price is $350000 the earnest money deposit should be $3500 etc.
  8. Who pays for the home inspection and appraisal? The buyer typically pays for their own home inspection and appraisal. The lender orders the appraisal.
  9. Once I put my offer in on a home are there any instances in which I could back out and get my earnest money back? I often get this question from first time buyers with buyers remorse. If you as a buyer back out of the contract to purchase within the due diligence period you will get your earnest money back.
  10. What if the home does not appraise for the amount on the purchase and sale agreement? If the home does not appraise the seller has a chance to lower the price of the home. The seller can also request a second appraisal. If the appraisal still comes back lower it is up to the seller if they would like to lower the price or take the home off the market. If the sellers decide to take the home off the market the buyer would get their earnest money back as long as there was a appraisal contingency put in place.

Jan 23, 2017

Cost Associated With Buying A Home Before Closing

Posted by: Janell Carter

Cost Associated With Buying A Home Before Closing

A lot of first time home buyers often times are very aware of the cost associated with purchasing their first home but what about your out of pocket cost before closing. I have had a few clients that felt blindsided by these cost and thought they wouldn’t have to have any out of pocket cost until the actual closing. Let’s talk about the most common!

Earnest Money

​Earnest money is going to be your first out of pocket expense. Earnest money is a deposit made to a seller showing the buyer's good faith in a transaction. Earnest Money is typically held by the listing agent or buyer’s agent’s broker in a escrow account until closing. At closing you will see the earnest money on your closing statement as a credit to you.

Home Inspection

A home inspection is something I recommend to all of my clients. If ever you are working with a agent and they tell you that you don’t need to bother with a inspection the home looks like it’s in great condition get you a new one. They do not have you best interest in mind. A home inspection can cost anywhere from $325-$800 depending on the size of the home. Below are some items a home inspection will normally check.

  • Appliances
  • Plumbing
  • Foundation
  • Roof
  • Attic
  • Electrical system
  • HVAC system
  • Fireplaces
  • The general interior & exterior

You can also ask for additional services like an asbestos inspection, radon inspection and a termite inspection. In Georgia where it is very warm most of the time a termite inspection should always be added.

Appraisal

​Your appraisal will be ordered by your mortgage lender. A appraisal will typicall cost $300-$600 depending on the kind of loan FHA, VA etc. Also depending on the size of the home.

Jan 17, 2017

10 Questions You Should Ask Your Agent When Buying A House

Posted by: Janell Carter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When you start thinking about buying your first home there are questions you should ask the agent whom you are going to be working with. Asking these questions ahead of time can save you time and trouble in the long run.

  1. Is this your full time job or are you a part time agent? A full time agent is more likely to be up-to-date on the current market, housing trends and real estate law.
  2. Are you a Realtor or a real estate agent? Not all real estate agents are Realtors. Realtors are held to a higher standard. The term "REALTOR®" is a registered collective membership mark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and abides by its strict Code of ethics.
  3. How many sales have you handled in my target neighborhoods? You want a Realtor who knows the local market, and has had recent sales in those neighborhoods.
  4. Will there be anyone else that will work with me besides you? A Realtor that has a large team may have too much on their plate to work with you the entire buying process. They may have one of their team members helping you at some point. That should be a question asked now so that you are made aware and you aren’t blindsided half through the process.
  5. Can I see reviews from your past clients? Looking up the Realtor’s reviews you are going to work with is rather easy. You can simply look their name up on Zillow or a google search and look at them from there. You can also simply ask the Realtor and they should be able to provide you with that information.
  6. Has anyone ever filed a complaint againgst you? I know this question may be uncomfortable to ask and if you would rather not you can always check your State’s licensing board.
  7. What are some of your characteristics that your client’s like most about you? You want the Realtor your working with to be trust worthy, hardworking, honest and upfront.
  8. Am I ogligated to work with your preferred lender, inspector or other service providers you recommend? You should never feel ogligated to work with the Realtor’s preferred providers. You always have a choice. You should speak with a few different providers to see who you feel more comfortable with.
  9. How do you handle communication with your client’s? I personelly try to get back with all of my client’s within 1 hour. I am always available by email and text as well. My client’s are usually very surprised when I answer my phone on Holidays, weekends and evenings.
  10. How quickly can you get me into a home? Hot homes move fast. Ask how the agent handles tours on short notice.

Be prepared to ask you Realtor these questions they will help your home buying or selling process go a lot smoother.

 

Feb 15, 2016

Awesome Tips To Get Your Home Ready For The Spring Selling Season!

Posted by: Janell Carter

When selling a house in the springtime, you should know how to stand above the rest and increase your odds at success. Many homeowners are unsure of how to proceed when they sell a home in the spring months. With this in mind, here are the top six tips to selling a house in the spring.

Property inspector

When you sell a home, you want it to be in great shape. Otherwise, a potential buyer won’t want to offer the highest price. To do this, you should call a local property inspector who can take a look at the foundation and other parts of the house. If you have trouble finding an inspector, contact a real estate agent who can give you advice on how to find a professional.

Prepare the yard

After a long winter, the yard can look dirty and disheveled, so you should clean out your yard and throw away old leaves and rubbish. Remember, plenty of folks will check out the yard, and you will want it to look great in the spring. If you already have a nice looking yard, buy some flowers and place them in and around the yard. This will excite visitors and help them see your home’s potential.

Porch and patio

While people love the yard, they also love to check out the porch and patio. Since springtime is a great time of the year to sit on the porch and enjoy the weather, you should improve your patio and make it attractive to potential buyers.

Spring cleaning

Of course, when people want to check out a place, they are likely to enjoy it more if it is clutter-free. If you want to get to get the highest possible offer for your house, you should de-clutter it and get rid of old possessions. You’ll also have an easier time moving if you sell off some possessions.

Power wash

If you power wash the sidewalk and parts of the house, you can improve its curb appeal and excite a potential buyer. Think about it: when a person walks up to a house that was recently cleaned, they will be much more interested. This is an inexpensive way to improve your house, since you can rent a power washer for about $50.

Open it up

When you show you’re house, you need to accentuate its positives. To do this in the spring, you should open your windows and let the sun shine through. You’ll let in fresh air that makes the house more enjoyable, and also show off the outdoors. 

With these six tips, you can sell your house in the spring with little effort. Remember, the competition is tough, and you will want to stand above the rest by doing more.

- See more at: http://www.realestateinsidermag.com/business-tips/top-six-tips-to-selling-a-house-in-the-spring/#sthash.BeiI4euz.dpuf

Oct 22, 2015

Avalon Restaurant Kona Grill Review

Posted by: Janell Carter

I want to start by saying I had an amazing time at Kona Grill at Avalon. My husband and I visited one night before going to view a Movie at Regal Cinema. It was just what the doctor ordered a night away from the kiddos at a very cool, and trendy restaurant. The food, decor, and service was outstanding. The decor reminded me of a LA restaurant complete with blue ice fire pit on the terrace perfect for dining al fresco. It was really crowded but we only waited a few minutes for a table. Our server was really attentive, and checked on us several times throughout the night.  I ordered the Lemon Garlic Shrimp Penne made with parmesan, baby arugula, roasted tomoatoes, and lemon cream. It was divine. Pasta is my weekness. When I do go back I will be ordering it again. My husband ordered the Sweet Chili Glazed Salmon with Sauteed Green Beans, and fried rice. The green beans were delicious, and prefectly cooked with just a little bit of garlic. I will say the next time I visit I would like to sit outside there weren’t any tables available, and I can see why the fire pits and open air bar are a major draw. Overall I would give Kona Grill 5 stars it definetely met my expectations.

Oct 16, 2015

20 WAYS TO SAVE FOR YOUR DOWN PAYMENT

Posted by: Janell Carter

Sometimes saving money for your down payment can be a big challenge, but I am here to tell you it doesn’t have to be. Whether your goal is $5000 or $20000, consider some of these easy ways to save.

  •  Create a savings account that will be solely designated for your down payment. Then set your savings on autopilot. If you set your savings to a automatic draft it is already done for you and you will hardly miss it. Use your IRA to fund the down payment. The first-home exemption rule allows individuals to use up to $10,000 in IRA funds toward the purchase of a first home without incurring the 10 percent early withdrawal penalty that applies to withdrawals made from a traditional IRA.
  • Put all extra or unexpected income toward your down payment. Bonus checks, gifts, tax refunds or other random sources of income that you don’t normally rely on or live off of all fit this example.
  • Create a second income for yourself. If you enjoy writing freelance writing or editing may work for you.You can always use a monetary “gift” from a parent, spouse or family member willing to help contribute to your down payment fund.Move bank accounts to take advantage of perks and earn more interest.
  • Write a list before you go shopping – and stick to it.
  • Stay in instead of eating out. I am totally guilty of this one. I eat out every chance I get, and I know first hand how expensive this habit is.
  • Check out free events. Entertainment these days can be really expensive, especially if you have children. Next time your thinking about the movies or Main Event check out Atlanta Parent it will give you tons of free things to do.
  • Quit using credit cards. If you have a habit of getting into trouble with credit cards, hide your credit cards and keep them in a safe place in your home, not in your wallet. If you need to keep a card for emergencies, that’s okay. Just don’t carry it around with you. If you’re often tempted to use it, keeping your card “out of sight and out of mind” might help.
  • Cancel unused club memberships.
  • Remove your credit card numbers from your online accounts.It’s easy to spend online when you have your card information stored in an account – just click and buy. The best way to break this habit is to simply delete your card from the account.
  • Create a visual reminder of your debt. I am a huge believer in visual boards they really work. Put a picture of your dream first home and look at it everyday. It will encourage you to spend wisely.
  • Design your debt snowball. Everyone needs a plan to help them get out of debt. Once your debt snowball gains momentum it will be unstopable.
  • Consolidate your student loans.
  • Research down payment assistance programs in your area. A great one to start with is Georgia Dream. They will pay up to $5000 of your down payment.
  • Auto insurance companies often give discounts for paying for a full six months or a year for insurance coverage instead of paying month to month.
  • Create a monthly budget and stick to it.
  • Downsize before you upsize. Moving to a one-bedroom apartment from a two-bedroom apartment can drop your rent by 20% to 30% in most areas.
  • Sell items you no longer need or use.