Category Archives: real estate investing

Renting vs Buying in Atlanta, which is Cheaper?

Atlanta home values have been increasing the last two years.  It’s always important to watch how home prices relate to rents as some people can get priced out of buying.  But here in Atlanta our median home price of $130,000 still shows if you buy you can pay less per month than renting.  Good news for renters too as renting in Atlanta is about 10% cheaper than other large cities.  This information comes form our friends at CNNMoney and the details are below;


rent buy atlanta
  • % saved buying: 52%
  • Median home price : $130,000
  • Median rent: $1,350

Home prices in the Atlanta metro area have remained cheap as bargain seekers look to the city’s far-flung suburbs for the best deals.

That’s helped to keep the median price of homes in the Deep South’s biggest city very affordable, at a median of $130,000, according to Trulia.

Rents are reasonable too, about 10% below the national median.

But with the cost of buying a home so low and mortgage rates still such a great deal, the buy-versus-rent calculation works out much more favorably for buyers.

Is it Important to Get a Survey?

Oh, you bet it is….how do you know where that new fence will go?  Is there a sewer line running under your new house? These and plenty of other potential problems can be headed off or at least discovered prior to causing you a problem.  Here’s a great article about surveys from the always great Kati Heller at McManamy, McLeod and Heller telling you all the reasons you need one;

A survey of the property marks the corners and sets out the boundary lines of the property. It also shows easements, utility pipes, fences, walls and other potential encroachments, which may affect the property or the dwelling. A survey will also show whether driveways are located completely within the boundary lines of the property. A survey will show whether the structures on the property encroach upon building lines or neighboring properties. Most lenders no longer require a survey to be purchased as a part of the loan transaction as their risk from matters disclosed by a survey are now covered under the Lenders Title Insurance Policy. Because Lenders no longer require a survey, many purchasers do not think they need a survey.


The reason that Lenders no longer require surveys is due to the fact that the lender’s title insurance policy now insures over survey risks to the Lender; therefore any problem a survey would have shown is covered in a lender’s policy. This is not true of the owner’s title insurance. The enhanced owner’s policy does provide some survey coverage but is subject to a deductible and a maximum loss limit of $25,000. With a survey, there are no limits on coverage.


Often, a purchaser may think that a title exam would reveal any problems and a survey is just redundant. This is not true. For example, a title exam may show the existence of a sewer easement, but it would not show that the easement runs directly through the house. Also, title examinations do not reveal fences, walls, and improvements that might sit on or over the property line or violations of building lines or encroachments onto neighboring property.


Generally, a purchaser buying property should always request a survey on the property being purchased. Knowing the property lines will assist a purchaser in making sure future improvements like fences are located on the purchaser’s property. If a survey is obtained as part of the purchase and later a next door neighbor puts up a fence on the purchaser’s property, then the Owner’s title policy would cover this because the property lines were conclusively established by the survey at closing.


It is to the buyer’s benefit to find out about problems before the property closes when it is still the seller’s problem rather than after closing when the seller no longer has an interest in the property


Young Americans drive less, walk more

We’re hearing it more frequently every day.  People want to live where they can walk.  It’s turned up in surveys of retired Americans and we’re also seeing it in younger Americans who drive 23% fewer miles than they did in just 2001.  Young Americans are less interested in driving and prefer to live in areas mixed with single family homes, condos and retail.  Here is a great article from Atlantic Cities  that goes into detail about these latest studies.  What do you think?  Will these desires continue and change the shape of our cities ?

Donald Trump thinks it’s a good time to buy a house, too

     Yesterday we told you about how Warren Buffett said he would buy millions of homes if he could on an interview on CNBC.  That was one more positive sign about our housing market.  Well today Donald Trump said the same thing.  On another CNBC interview Trump today said, “Housing is one of the great investments right now. I tell people all the time when they come up to me, they say, “What should I do, Mr. Trump?” I say go buy a house,” said Donald Trump earlier today.   This is just further evidence of the mind-set of investors today.  And that mind-set is that real estate is a great investment right now.  I really didn’t think we’d see this kind of movement until the second half of 2012 but the ship may be arriving early.  Thinking about buying but not sure.  You need to be calling me today so we can put together a strategy.