Tag Archives: atlanta fine homes


sign contract


In an effort to empower and protect consumers when purchasing a home with a mortgage, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act directed the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to integrate mortgage loan disclosures.  What you must know is that on October 3, 2015 “TRID” was implemented.  TRID is an acronym for TILA/RESPA Integrated Disclosure.  (TILA – Truth in Lending Act, RESPA – Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act) Confused yet?  Let me explain briefly what this is, and what it means to you if you or someone you care about will be buying or selling a home in the near future.

TRID is being affectionately called “Know Before You Owe”.  The intent is have processes in place whereby lenders must disclose all fees and terms of loan within a certain time frame, and to give buyers an opportunity to shop the terms of the loan.  I recently attended a 3 hour CE class on this topic and the take away is that these new government regulations will significantly impact the way we have done business in the past.  Most notably, the typical timelines in a real estate contract, especially the closing and possession dates, will most certainly be impacted.  It would appear that the days of a 30 day closing are a thing of the past.  I have spoken with several top lenders and closing attorneys around town, and while most seem to have processes already in place to deal with these new regulations, no one really knows for certain what the impact will be.

One thing IS certain, is it absolutely imperative that if you are buying or selling a home that you partner with a real estate professional who is knowledgeable on this topic and who can refer you to the lenders, closing attorneys, and other partners in the real estate transaction who can guide you best.   The CFPB means business, and you do not want to engage in real estate contract until you have the facts on how you may be impacted, whether you are on the buying or selling side of the transaction.

For more information on TRIDhttp://www.consumerfinance.gov/know-before-you-owe

Dodd Frank


Consumer Financial Protection Bureau



My 2 minutes and 38 seconds of fame

For just a few minutes last night, I was really cool in the eyes of my 10 year old.  For those of you with boys this age, you know what a huge accomplishment this can be!

I was excited to have the opportunity to feature one of our beautiful listings on 11Alive News.

Click here to see the video of 2985 N. Manor Bridge Road on 11 Alive News’ Open House Series:


Click here to see the video that was aired on 11 Alive of my listing at 2985 N. Manor Bridge Drive in Milton.

Click here to see the video that was aired on 11 Alive of my listing at 2985 N. Manor Bridge Drive in Milton.

It was alot of fun filming and provided a unique opportunity for marketing for our client.

Thank you Melissa Long and 11Alive for a great piece!

Click here to learn more about this Milton estate home for sale, on my website including more images and information.

Never Underestimate the Power of a Positive Attitude


The results of surrounding yourself with individuals who face each day with a positive outlook on life can be truly remarkable.   Anthony Robbins once said, “The quality of your life is largely determined by those you spend your time with.  Choose your friends well.”   I was reminded of this yesterday.  I had the pleasure of spending the morning with my colleagues being inspired by Matthew Ferrara, the real estate industry’s go to expert on using the latest technologies to strategically grow your business.

As I looked around the room and listened to the interactions during Matt’s presentation, it occurred to me how fortunate I am to not only do what I love every day, but to also have the privilege of working with people who continually inspire me.   

Let’s face it…the economy has made the last few years extremely challenging for everyone.  However, as I sat I in that room yesterday, it struck me how the “vibe” was very different from what you get tuning into the mainstream media each day.  Here sat people who decided some time ago that  despite the challenges, they would forge ahead and not give up.  And the results of that attitude are paying off.  Our company opened 2 new offices last year and grew our production by over 40%!  Our #1 agent in our Buckhead office and his team sold over $38m in real estate last year.  The #1 agent in our North Atlanta office, realtor extraordinaire and mom of two young children, sold over $15m.  Another friend and colleague, who entered the real estate business just before the crash, came in as #2 in our office in 2011. 

These are just a few examples of individuals who forge ahead every day with a positive attitude, working hard to serve each client with the highest level of expertise and professionalism.  In this new era of short sales, foreclosures, and bad appraisals, every transaction takes hard work and lots and lots of tenacity.  It’s never easy, but in the end always rewarding.  I am so proud to be a part of a  team that embraces that level of commitment. 

The theme of our recent Sotheby’s International Realty conference was “Singing in the Rain”.  I guess when the sun starts shining again, we’ll have the “Moves Like Jagger”!

Wall St. Journal & Forbes: “It’s time to buy a home”

We believe very strongly that now is the time to buy a home. Some will say we are just saying this to create real estate transactions and commissions. Because of that, today we will quote what those outside the real estate profession are saying to the people who look to them for financial advice.

The Wall Street Journal

Last week, in an article entitled It’s Time to Buy That House, the WSJ told their subscribers:

“It’s an excellent time to buy a house, either to live in for the long term or for investment income…Houses aren’t the magic wealth creators they were made out to be during the bubble. But when prices are low, loans are cheap and plump investment yields are scarce, buyers should jump.”

In an article two weeks ago, MarketWatch.com (the on-line blog for WSJ) told their readers:

“Now could be the best time in history to buy a home.”


In a report to their subscribers, Capital Economics reported that:

“The previous declines in house prices and the more recent drop in mortgage rates to record lows have created an unusual situation in which the median monthly mortgage payment is more or less the same as the median rental payment.”

Why is this important? Last week, Forbes explained to their readers:

“If rents simply kept up with inflation at a 3.2% annual increase, a $1,500 rent payment would cost that renter nearly $900,000 over the next 30 years. The same $1,500 payment made to their mortgage would be only $540,000 (because the payments don’t increase with inflation).”

They went on to explain the advantages of homeownership during retirement:

“Even with a dismal 1% growth rate over 30 years, a $300,000 property would appreciate well over $100,000 giving the homeowner an additional nest egg for retirement…

At a time when retirement is becoming much more challenging, an extra $400,000 (or likely more) can make a major difference not to mention the impact of NOT having to pay a mortgage.  How much less would you have to save for retirement if you didn’t pay the mortgage?”

Bottom Line

When the iconic financial newspaper and the iconic financial magazine say that it now makes financial sense to purchase a house, perhaps it’s time to buy a home.


Source:  KCM

13,780 homes sold yesterday

To all those who have declared the real estate market dead, we want you to know that over 13,780 houses sold yesterday, 13,780 will sell today and 13,780 will sell tomorrow.


That is the average number of homes that sell each and every day in this country according to the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) latest Existing Home Sales Report. NAR reported that sales had increased 7.7% over the month before and 18.6% over the year before. According to the report, annualized sales now stand at 5.03 million. Divide that number by 365 (days in a year) and we can see that, on average, well over 13,000 homes sell every day.

We realize that these numbers are below the record for homes sold in 2006. We also know that we may never see those numbers again (and that is probably a good thing). But to say that the current real estate market is dead or that houses are not selling is totally inaccurate. We have over 13,000 pieces of evidence to prove that.

For Buyers – The financial opportunity of a lifetime?

We often point out that a buyer should be more concerned about the COST of a home rather than the PRICE. Price obviously is a component of cost. However, unless you buy all-cash, you must also be concerned about the financing of the purchase. The price and the financing together determine the cost of a home. Today, we want to look at only the financing piece.

An opportunity exists today because of recent government involvement; an opportunity that may never again be available in our lifetimes. There has been much discussion about what role the federal government should have in supporting homeownership. We will leave our opinions on the debate for another time. However, we want to alert you to two advantages available to a purchaser today that may disappear in the future:

  • § Historically low interest rates
  • § The ability to lock in these rates for thirty years

Interest Rates

Because of the financial crisis, the government stepped in and instituted a series of programs which pushed mortgage interest rates to historic lows. If we look at 30 year mortgage interest rates before and after government intervention we see the impact these programs had.

According to Freddie Mac, from 2006 to the start of the financial crisis (the fall of 2008), the average rate was 6.29%. Since then, the average rate has been 4.92%.  

A purchaser can still get a 30 year-fixed-rate-mortgage at approximately 5%. However, interest rates this low may soon disappear. The government has questioned its role in supporting homeownership. In the administration’s REFORMING AMERICA’S HOUSING FINANCE MARKET: A REPORT TO CONGRESS, they are very strong in voicing their thoughts on this issue:

…our plan also dramatically transforms the role of government in the housing market. In the past, the government’s financial and tax policies encouraged housing purchases and real estate investment over other sectors of our economy, and ultimately left taxpayers responsible for much of the risk incurred by a poorly supervised housing finance market.

Going forward, the government’s primary role should be limited to robust oversight and consumer protection, targeted assistance for low- and moderate-income homeowners and renters, and carefully designed support for market stability and crisis response…

Under our plan, private markets … will be the primary source of mortgage credit and bear the burden for losses.

What are the probable results of this decision?

The Royal Bank of Scotland:

“The (government) currently provides 95% of housing finance in the U.S.; any reductions of their involvement in supporting mortgages mean interest rates will have to go up to induce private lending.”

AnnaMaria Andriotis, writer for Market Watch:

“In the proposals were changes that will mean more expensive mortgages, with higher fees and, probably, higher interest rates, larger down payments and, in the near term, fewer lenders to choose from.”

The day of a 5% rate seem to be coming to an end.

Locking in a rate for thirty years

We must also realize that having the ability to lock-in a rate for 30 years may soon be a thing of the past.

There are a growing number of people who think that our mortgage industry should imitate those of other industrial countries around the world. If we do start limiting government support for the mortgage process, the 30-year-fixed-rate mortgage may disappear. Other countries, like Canada, only allow a purchaser to lock in a rate for a five year term. After that, the borrower must renegotiate a new mortgage at current rates. Could that happen here?

Mark Zandi, Chief Economist of Moody’s Economics.com addressing the administration’s recent report:

“A private system would likely mean the end of the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage as a mainstay of U.S. housing finance. A privatized U.S. market would come to resemble overseas markets, primarily offering adjustable-rate mortgages. Based on the experience overseas, the fixed-rate share in the U.S. would decline to an average of between 10% and 20% of the mortgage market compared with a historical average of closer to 75%.”

Bottom Line

The COST of a home is dramatically impacted by the mortgage component. Today, we can get a 5% mortgage and lock it in at 5% for the next thirty years!! Both of these opportunities may disappear in the near future. You should take this into consideration if you’re looking to purchase a home.


Atlanta Real Estate Outlook for 2011

David Boehmig, President and Founder, Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby's International Realty

A message regarding the 2011 real estate forecast for Atlanta from the president of Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty.

Welcome 2011! Every housing professional I meet – from builders and developers to Realtors and brokers is enthusiastic about this year and the return of a stable and growing housing market across the country.

Prices are favorable; interest rates are at an all time low; and at Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty we see the year ahead emerging as a period of transition for the Atlanta housing market. Buyers and sellers alike will realize new opportunities during this time.

What makes this year different and our outlook more positive? Available inventory and interest rates. Our local home inventory levels have fallen from last year’s outrageous peaks to a more reasonable and manageable 11 months supply of homes for sale. While this level is still higher than what we prefer, it helps stabilize market values, prices and perceptions.

We still have a ways to go before we enjoy our customary trend of modest appreciation rates in Atlanta, but things are moving in the right direction.

With every market transition, we find new opportunities to capitalize on shifts in buyer behavior. As the general economy shows signs of growth, we’ll see a number of potential homebuyers prepare to move forward with new home purchases.

The market volatility of the past few years, coupled with high unemployment, has served to create some pent up demand for homeowners looking to relocate, right size or expand. This is good news for sellers, who may have been waiting to put their homes on the market.

Additionally, market analysts and experts tell us that interest rates will begin to climb again this year, a further incentive to get buyers off the fence and ready to purchase. Long-term interest rates will begin to rise as our economy moves toward recovery. Buyers will benefit from the combination of soft prices and the most favorable interest rate market that we have seen in decades.