Atlanta Real Estate and Community News

Oct. 4, 2021

What’s the Difference between a Pre-Approval and Pre-Qualification?

When buying a home you’ve heard that you will need to Pre-Qualify or be Pre-Approved for a mortgage. These are two very important steps in the mortgage application process and although the terms are used interchangeably there are important differences that buyers should know. One of our experienced Robb Realty Group agents can sit down with you and guide you through the home buying process.

The first step in the mortgage application process is to get Pre-qualified, which gives an idea of how large of a loan the buyer qualifies for. The second step in the process is Pre-Approval, which is a conditional commitment that the lender provides before they grant the mortgage.

The pre-qualification process is based on data provided by the buyer while Pre-Approval is verified consumer data such as a credit check.

Important Factors:

  • Pre-qualification is based on data the borrower submits to the lender. This data is analyzed by the lender and then he is able to provide a ballpark estimate as to how much they can borrow.
  • A Pre-qualification is not a sure thing and is based on unverified information that the buyer provides.
  • Once they’ve been Pre-Approved, the borrower will receive a conditional commitment in writing for an exact loan amount.

A Pre-Qualification is quick and is based on the buyers overall financial picture including debt to income and assets. The lender reviews what the buyer submits and provides an estimate of how much the borrower can receive. This is a quick and dirty assessment and can usually be done over the phone at no cost. However, because it is a quick assessment it does not include in-depth information and there has not been a credit check which are factors that will greatly contribute to a borrower’s ability to purchase a home. The Pre-Qualification is not a sure thing and is only based on information the buyer has provided so a Pre-Qualified buyer doesn’t carry the same weight as a Pre-Approved buyer who has had his assets thoroughly investigated.

Pre-Approval

A Pre-Qualification is a good indication of the ability to borrow, however a Pre-Approval is the next step where the borrower must complete an official mortgage application with all of the necessary documentation. The Pre-Approval results in the lender providing a specified purchase amount for the buyer and the lender will provide a conditional commitment in writing. Being Pre-Approved puts the borrower at an advantage to the seller because they’re one step closer to getting an actual mortgage.

 

Posted in Buying a Home
Sept. 13, 2021

10 Things Every Homeowner Should Do to Prep Their Home for Sale

It’s been a hot market with sellers experiencing bidding wars and getting multiple offers on their property, so sellers have not had to put in much effort to prep their home for sale. However, with the market starting to cool off a bit, it’s important for sellers to put in the work and do these 10 crucial steps to get the best return on their investment. Regardless of the market, Robb Realty Group recommends sellers use these tips and tricks to showcase their house in the best light possible Instant Home Valuation Tool will give you current information on the price of your home.

Paint

A Fresh Coat of Paint will make the home look cleaner and brighter. We recommend a nice neutral color because it will appeal to more buyers and allow them to picture themselves in the space. A neutral color is a great back backdrop for just about any décor and is very inviting to buyers when purchasing a home.

Landscaping

Spruce up the outside of your home to add to the curb appeal. If the home is inviting on the outside buyers will want to step inside to see the beautiful inside. Trim bushes, add a pop of color with flowers or fresh plantings, new mulch as well as a fresh coat of paint for the front porch and front door. Most buyers begin their search online and a nicely manicured lawn and inviting entry will be their first impression. Nowadays with drone footage a well-maintained exterior/lawn goes a long way and will entice buyers to schedule an appointment to see the home.

Updated Appliances

Supply chain slowdowns are commonplace right now so having nice, newer, shiny appliances in place that convey with the home is a huge bonus to the buyer. New appliances modernize a space and add a lot of bang for the buck! Plus, it takes away a huge burden from the buyers which is another selling perk. 

New countertops and updated sink

If you’re looking for a relatively easy and inexpensive fix to freshen up your kitchen when preparing it to sell, then plan to update the counters and the sink. These two items alone will showcase the home better.

Flooring

Worn carpet is a big stopper for a buyer. Sellers should consider replacing carpets or installing luxury vinyl or engineered hardwood prior to listing the home. New flooring goes a long way with buyers because the hassle and expense is a turn off for a buyer.

Roof

It’s quite costly to repair a roof and the sale of your home will go much more smoothly if you have maintained the quality of your roof. If your roof has needed repairs or replacement, it’s best to have taken care of that prior to listing. An older roof is worrisome to buyers and a turnoff when it comes to buying a home.

Heating & Air Conditioning

Prior to listing your home for sale sellers should have their HVAC serviced and cleaned. Old air-conditioning systems can make a buyer hesitant about buying a home because of the expense associated with replacing it. However, if the seller is proactive and has the system serviced prior to listing it will alleviate a lot of uncertainty for the buyer.

Handyman 

Doing things like updating fixtures in bathrooms or kitchens, changing lighting or bulbs can help to update a home and give it a fresh look. Sellers should pay attention to caulk and grout and update as needed. 

Deep cleaning, decluttering, and organizing

No matter what the market is like sellers should take these steps to present the home in its best light. Don’t overlook the outside – pressure washing the exterior will give the house a clean and bright look. Decluttering and organizing is essential to open up the interior spaces and make the home very welcoming.

Windows

Sellers should clean windows both inside and out, including cleaning the tracks. Having the windows professionally cleaned is a great investment and the home will look great in the professional pictures. 

Presenting your home properly when selling instils trust and confidence in buyers and results in a successful transaction. Robb Realty Group will partner with you and provide you with our VIP Sellers Program to ensure success.

 

 

Posted in Selling Your Home
Sept. 13, 2021

Moving to Milton, GA: Everything You Need to Know [2021]

Moving To Milton, GA

If you have living in Georgia on your mind, you might want to check out Milton, GA, a small suburb just outside of Atlanta with rural roots and easy access to the big city. The website 24/7 Wall Street ranked Milton in 2019 as the best place to live in Georgia. Milton also regularly ranks as one of Georgia's safest cities, according to numerous reports.

The recent pandemic has made thousands of people re-think where they want to call home and what is important to them in their neighborhood.  Milton boasts some of the best schools in the state, lots of restaurants and coffee shops, great outdoor living space as well as affordable residential communities.  

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Posted in Buying a Home
Aug. 16, 2021

The Number 1 Guide to Moving To and Living In Alpharetta, GA

The Number 1 Guide to Moving To and Living In Alpharetta, GA

Deep in the South, to the North of Atlanta, Georgia is a charming suburb of the metropolitan area called Alpharetta.  Dating back to 1858, the founders put some thought into its name, which translates literally into “first town” – Alpha means first and Retta means town.  This southern city has a storied history of cotton production, that is until a combination of the Great Depression and the destructive Boll Weevil wiped out the cotton crops.  With a resilient spirit, it was revived during World War 2 into a livestock farming area.  Over the years, Alpharetta has become a technology hub with information-age companies gravitating here over the past couple of decades. 

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Posted in Buying a Home
Aug. 12, 2021

What are Home Appraisals?

What is a Home Appraisal?

An appraisal provides an unbiased opinion of the market value at a specific point in time, meaning what is the most probable price a willing buyer would pay for a specific property. Appraisal values are based on an analysis of the property’s condition and takes in to account similar home sales. The appraisal is ordered by the buyer’s lender and is one of the first steps toward closing the sale of the home. Robb Realty Group can help you with your home search with our VIP Buyers Program.

The appraiser bases the estimated value of the home on in-depth research and comparison to other similar properties considering amenities, features, condition, etc.

What is the cost of an Appraisal?

The appraisal is ordered by the lender and the buyer pays for it. It is usually a few hundred dollars. The appraiser should be licensed, certified and qualified as well as familiar with the surrounding area. Regulated by law, Appraisers are required to be impartial, unbiased and compliant with Fair Housing Laws.

What do home appraisers look for?


Your appraiser’s report will include a detailed description of several factors about the property from interior and exterior condition to improvements and renovations as well as beds, baths and square footage to name a few.

After a thorough review the Appraiser will determine the value of the home and whether the listed price for the home is appropriate. If the appraised value comes back less than the listed price there are several options on how to move forward with the transaction or cancel depending on how the purchase contract is written. Often-times the sale can be renegotiated or in the current seller’s market its not unusual for the buyer to make up the difference with money out of pocket from the appraised value to the sale price. 

In conclusion

An essential part of the mortgage process, the appraisal ensures the amount being paid by the borrower and lender is true to the value of the home.

Robb Realty Group partners with you when you're buying a home to provide valuable resources including Mortgage Lenders for you to interview and choose as your lender.

 

 

Posted in Selling Your Home
Aug. 4, 2021

It's That Time of Year Again - BACK TO SCHOOL!

It's hard to believe that summer is over but as the kids head back to school and start classes they'll be needing school and art supplies. We have gathered the best deals and insider tips for back to school shopping in and around Johns Creek. 

Tip #1 Utilize The Dollar Store for Savings on Specific Items

The Dollar Store is the perfect place to purchase basic calculators, clipboards, planners and combination locks since you likely won’t find these items for cheaper at any major retailer. The Dollar Tree closest to Johns Creek is located at 5805 State Bridge Rd #300 in Duluth.

Tip #2 Buy Markers and Paint Supplies at Michaels or Jo-Ann’s

Michaels and Jo-Ann’s both have mobile apps that offer weekly coupons ranging from 25% off your entire purchase or 40% off one regular-priced item. Coupons are also available for download on the websites for both stores. According to Krazy Coupon Lady.com, both stores also allow multiple coupons per transaction as long as they’re different types of coupons. For example, you can stack dollar-off coupons with a percentage off coupons from a different source (mobile app or hard copy coupon). The closest Michaels is located at 3630 Peachtree Pkwy Ste 400 in Suwanee and Jo-Ann’s is located at 965 North Point Drive in Alpharetta.

Tip #3 Shop at Target or Walmart for One-Stop Shopping Savings

The best place for one-stop school shopping is you guessed it - either Target or Walmart. Target’s Up and Up brand has crayons, glue, washable markers, two-packs of glue sticks and much more at discounted prices. Don’t forget to download the Target app to check for even more savings. Target is located at 5950 State Bridge Rd in Duluth.

Walmart offers backpacks for a great price they've even been known to sell them for $2.77- yes you read that right, $2.77. Additional rollback Walmart savings include Cra-Z-Art Washable Watercolors, Schoolworks Kids Scissors, Cra-Z-Art Super Washable Markers, Papermate Pens and pocket folders for deeply discounted prices. Walmart is located at 5200 Windward Pkwy in Alpharetta.

Posted in Community News
July 19, 2021

Find Out Why John's Creek, GA, Is One Of The BEST Places To Live

Why Johns Creek Best Place to Live

Johns Creek, Georgia, is one of the most sought-after places to live in the country and has become an incredibly popular destination for permanent residence. This charming little area offers a wide array of beautiful homes, schools, and amenities. If you ever wanted to live in a place where the people are friendly, the homes are amazing, and the amenities will keep you happy, Johns Creek is your answer.

So why exactly is this place ranked so highly as one of the top places to live? Read on to find out why Johns Creek is one of the best suburbs of Atlanta! 

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Posted in Buying a Home
July 6, 2021

Top Reasons to Live in Atlanta

There are many reasons people are moving down south to the beautiful Peach state of Atlanta. Robb Realty Group has compiled a list of reasons...

1. Affordability
Although Atlanta is the ninth-largest city in the United States with a population of 5.8 million people, it remains a fairly affordable city. In fact, when compared to New York City, we are 44.4% cheaper! If you're searching for the perfect home to buy Robb Realty Group has a VIP Buyers Program to assist you.

2. A Great Place for Foodies
Are you a foodie? Then you'll be happy because Atlanta offers some amazing food options from highbrow to food carts. Whatever you’re looking for, you’ll be able to find. Take a stroll through the Farmer’s Market for some garden fresh vegetables and sandwiches or check out many of Atlanta’s amazing restaurants. Atlanta has some of the best food experiences.

3. Excellent Weather
Yes, Atlanta is known as "Hotlanta" however our average temperature is 61.4 F with a low of 52.5 F and a high of 89 F. Atlanta gets over 200 days of sunshine but we also get enough rain to keep the city green with grass, trees, and flowers. The long summers and mild winters make for a beautiful city with lush foliage. There are lots of ways to beat the heat with splash pads, pools and water playgrounds in the city.

4. Business is Booming
Many businesses have moved to Atlanta to take advantage of everything it offers. With its sprawling size and low rent, there’s something for everyone. Employment growth is above the national average with many jobs in a variety of industries to choose from: hospitals, restaurants, hotels, entertainment venues, and technology. 

5. Booming Cultural Scene
Atlanta offers plenty of attractions from festivals and conferences to an amazing music scene. And for the artsy folks you'll love the “city of murals” with some of the best street art and picture opps throughout the city.

6. Sports
 Atlanta is a great city if you’re a sports fan. Atlanta has a 3 professional sports teams in basketball, baseball, and football. And they even have a hockey team – the Atlanta Gladiators. Atlanta has some of the nicest sports venues where you can catch a game.

7. Colleges 
There are an abundance of colleges in Atlanta. You can choose from prestigious schools like Emory, Georgia State University, and Georgia Tech. One great program that Georgia State University offers is a senior application. If you’re over 62, you can apply as a GSU-62 student. If accepted, the college will waive tuition and fees. So you can choose to learn a new topic for free!

8. Atlanta has 3 Distinct Downtowns
Atlanta is one of the few cities with three downtown areas. The official downtown is more of a business center where you can find several Fortune 500 companies.
For nightlife you’ll want to head over to Midtown for some great food and cocktails. 
If you you’re looking for a more trendy and upscale experience, you’ll want to go to Buckhead, often called the “Beverly Hills of the South.”

9. Public Transit
Atlanta has the MARTA train that will take you to a variety of places throughout Atlanta, including the Hartsfield-Jackson airport. 

10. Parks 
Atlanta has been called a city in the forest with a variety of outdoor activities. There are many miles of walking trails and parks throughout the community.

Atlanta is a city brimming with culture, food, and entertainment at a much lower price tag than other major cities making it a highly sought after place to live. Robb Realty Group would is here to help you find your home and get settled in our wonderful city.



Posted in Buying a Home
June 28, 2021

Fourth of July Fireworks Shows & Events Around Atlanta

Looking for July 4th Fireworks in Atlanta? Check Out Robb Realty Group's Favorites 

Fantastic Fourth Celebration at Memorial Lawn at Stone Mountain Park
Come & see a fireworks display following the Lasershow Spectacular. July 1-5.

Independence Day Celebration at Newtown Park
Music, activities, food and fireworks. July 2.

Independence Day Celebration in Peachtree City
9AM Fourth of July parade at Village on the Green on Peachtree Parkway. Fireworks take place over Lake Peachtree at dusk. July 3.

Fourth of July Parade, Festival and Fireworks at Glover Park
A parade, concerts, museum tours, arts & crafts, food, carnival games and fireworks. Parade begins at Roswell Street Baptist Church and ends at North Marietta Parkway. July 3.

Red, White & Boom! at Lillian Webb Park
Fireworks, food trucks, inflatables, music and more. July 3.

Kennesaw’s Salute to America in Downtown Kennesaw
Pre-Fourth celebration including two stages of live music, food vendors and other activities. July 3.

Duluth Celebrates America at Duluth Town Green
Celebrate Independence Day with a fireworks display, live music, food trucks and more. July 3.

Sparks in the Park at E.E. Robinson Park
Fireworks, food and drinks and live entertainment. July 3.

Cumming Fourth of July Celebration at Cumming Fairgrounds
Festivities include a dance contest, food, vendors. July 3.

Fourth of July Celebration at Dellinger Park
Concert, fireworks, children’s area, food and more. July 4.

Fourth of July Parade and Rotary Celebration in Downtown Newnan
A patriotic, hometown parade starts at Veteran’s Memorial Park and ends at Greenville Street Park; followed by entertainment and food at Newnan High School’s Drake Stadium directly after parade; fireworks at dusk. July 4.

July Fourth Concert and Fireworks at Cauble Park
Food vendors, live music in the afternoon and fireworks at dark. July 4.

4th of July Fireworks Extravaganza at Roswell Area Park
Watch the skies light up over Roswell with live music, entertainment and food trucks. Bring chairs and blankets. Fireworks start at sunset. July 4.

4th of July Celebration in Avondale Estates
Community-led parade starts at 10 a.m.; fireworks begin at dusk at Lake Avondale. July 4.

July Fourth Fireworks at Wills Park
Watch a brilliant display of fireworks at dusk. July 4.

July 4 Fireworks in Downtown Decatur
Fireworks display that will launch from the top of DeKalb County Parking Deck. July 4.

Sandy Springs Stars & Stripes Annual Fireworks Celebration at City Green
Enjoy live entertainment at 7:30 p.m. and fireworks at 9:30 p.m. at this family-friendly gathering. July 4.

Dunwoody Fourth of July Parade at Dunwoody Village
Celebration features marching bands, floats, clowns and animal units who will march from Mount Vernon Road and Jett Ferry Road to Dunwoody Village. July 5.

July 4th Spectacular in Woodstock
Celebrate with a festival, a parade and fireworks. July 5.
Beyond Atlanta

July 4th Weekend Star Spangled Beach Party at Callaway Gardens
Beach activities, live music, food trucks, contests and the annual Fireworks Extravaganza. Fireworks at 9:30 p.m. July 2-4.

July 4th Fireworks at Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds
Celebrate America’s birthday with this fireworks extravaganza. July 4.
 

Posted in Community News
June 15, 2021

Should Buyers Wait to Buy?

It’s no secret that the real estate market has become competitive for buyers who are in the market to purchase a home. From the unpleasantness of multiple competing offers and rising prices it’s understandable that buyers may want to wait out the market, despite the fact that interest rates are at historically low rates. As a buyer it’s a lot more pleasant to purchase a home when there’s an abundance to choose from and you’re not competing against other buyers for the same home. 

Many people think waiting for a Buyer’s Market is the better time to buy a home however, that’s not really the case. Home values actually decline in a Buyer’s Market because there are more homes for sale than there are buyers to buy them. While that sounds like a dream come true as a buyer, the reality is that it’s better to buy in a Seller’s Market because your home will appreciate right after you buy it. 

Summer season is usually characteristic of a “summer slowdown” in the housing market as kids are out of school and people go on vacation. However, this year we’re seeing the end of forbearance for many homeowners. During the pandemic homeowners with federally backed loans were able to ask for forbearance – which means they could pause or reduce their mortgage payments for a period of time. While the vast majority of forbearances have ended with homeowners staying in their home, anywhere from 16%-20% have resorted to selling their home, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association, which means we should see an increase in supply over the next few months. 

The bottom line for buyers is don’t wait for the market to balance out the current real estate market is a win-win for both savvy buyers as well as sellers so don’t give up.

Posted in Real Estate News