North Fulton and Alpharetta Real Estate – Signs of Life

Is that a light at the end of the long, dark tunnel otherwise known as the Great Housing Meltdown of the 21st Century? It might be.

We've recently seen some of the most encouraging statistics for the housing market in some time, including North Fulton real estate. Housing starts nationwide jumped for the third straight month in May, by over 17 percent- "fresh evidence that the beleaguered housing market is beginning to stabilize," opined the Wall Street Journal. Closer to home, AJC Business columnist Thomas Oliver recently quoted a local expert who notes that the excess supply of houses is finally beginning to be absorbed.

Oliver also listed seven major economic development projects that have closed in recent weeks, which will add 4,000 new area jobs. With new jobs come new residents, more demand for housing; and in time, higher North Fulton real estate prices.

A reasonably factor in the positive housing statistics may be the efforts that have been undertaken by the federal government to help turn the housing market around. One of the first was a new first-time homebuyer tax credit that was part of the $ 787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (aka the Stimulus Plan) that was signed by President Obama in February.

If you qualify as a "first-time homebuyer" you may be able to receive up to an $ 8,000 tax credit if you buy a home before November 30 of this year. The home must be your principal residence (second homes and investment homes do not count) and the credit phases out for higher income couples and individuals.

In addition, Governor Perdue recently signed legislation that provides a state income tax credit of up to $ 1,800 for all purchasers of single-family homes in Georgia. Homes must be purchased by the end of this November and there are no income restrictions. One-third of the credit can be claimed in each of the next three tax years.

More recently, as part of its comprehensive Financial Stability Plan, the Obama administration has introduced the Making Home Affordable program, which is designed to "stabilize our housing market and help up to 7 to 9 million Americans reduce their monthly mortgage payments to more affordable levels , "according to the website

It consist of two parts:

o The Home Affordable Refinance Program is giving as many as 4 to 5 million homeowners whose loans are owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac an opportunity to refinance into more affordable monthly payments. It's designed to help responsible homeowners who are current on their mortgage payments but have been unable to refinance because their homes have fallen in value and they have no longer have sufficient equity.

You may qualify for this program even if your mortgage balance is more than the current market value of your home, as long as the balance does not exceed 105 percent of this value.

o The Home Affordable Modification Program is giving as many as 3 to 4 million …

Reasons Not To Become A Real Estate Agent

Real estate can be a great career, but it is not as easy as it looks to become successful. In my last article I talked about the reasons why you should become a real estate agent. Before I get into the reasons of why you should not become a realtor I want to go over the reasons why you should. First and foremost, the harder you work the more money you are going to make. Not only can you make a lot of money but there is no limit to how much money you can make. Another reason why you should become a real estate agent is that you can create your own schedule. With a flexible schedule you are able to sleep in when you need to, and go home to watch a basketball game during March Madness. I will get to the reasons why a flexible schedule is not always good a little later. One final reason that you should become a real estate agent is because you can have a major impact on a lot of people.

If you like meeting the needs of your peers then this may be the right profession for you. However, before you decide to jump right in, let me explain to you the reasons why you should think twice about becoming a realtor.

The main reason why you should stay away from real estate is because it is usually based solely on commission. That means that if you do not sell anything, you do not make anything. I was naïve when getting into the real estate profession about how expensive it was. I did not realize there were realtor fees every year, nor was I aware of how expensive it was to get a license. You also need to consider the amount of money you will spend in technology. For example you are going to want a good computer that you can bring with you at all times. Also, your cell phone bill is going to be higher than you wanted because people will be contacting you at all times. Really the most expensive part of real estate is the advertising. There are many different methods for advertising but they all seem to be expensive. Just letting all your friends and family know that you are in the business is expensive. If you are looking for a steady pay check, this is not the profession to get into.

There are always going to be great times and at times it will be terrible. However, the longer you work in real estate the more likely you will see a consistency in pay checks.
The second reason you should stay out of real estate is because of the amount of time you need to work to become successful. Not only will you be working a lot, but you will also work Saturdays and even Sundays to do open houses. You need to let your family know that you are not always going to …

Designing A Compensation Plan For Buyer Agents

Most Agents have never really looked at the profit numbers on Buyer's Agents. Many think they are making a large income off of the Buyer's Agents when that's not really true. It's really a small profit per deal.

Let's say your average commission check is $ 6,000 through your Buyer's Agent. You operate on an 80/20 with your company because you are a very good Agent. The gross fee you split with your Buyer's Agent is $ 4,800. That amount you split 50/50 between the two of you. You each receive $ 2,400. Out of your $ 2,400 portion, you have to pay your advertising, marketing, overhead, other assistant, and all your expenses to run your business. Most Agents' initial cost per transaction (what it costs them to do a deal) is between $ 1,500 and $ 3,000. This is dependent on advertising, marketing, staff, expenses, car, and cell phone. Everything you spend to run your business is divided by the number of transactions you do. Obviously, as your units go up, your cost per unit will come down. The Buyer's Agent will help your cost per unit come down. If you were on the lower end of the cost per transaction of $ 1,500, your net profit in this transaction would be $ 900. That is before you factor in the personal time you invested into the transaction. That is not a lot of money.

Let's say you're worth $ 200 an hour, and you work with a Buyer's Agent for two hours per transaction, which would be easy to do when you consider training, monitoring, managing, helping with the clients, and closing the deal. The truth is two hours is nothing. You would then net after your time, $ 500 for a transaction. Having Buyer's Agents is not highly profitable for an individual transaction. I always tell agents that they will net somewhere between $ 500 and $ 1,500 before they factor in their time. The exception would be if your average commission check were substantially higher than $ 6,000. If your average commission in your market is $ 15,000, you have more profit and more options. The vast majority of the Buyer's Agents will help you generate a small, short-term profit.

Buyer's Agents will also provide a higher quality of life. You will be able to take the lion's share of weekends off (or maybe even all of them). This will increase your quality of life with your family, who would like more weekends with you. You will not be fielding ad calls, sign calls, or conducting open houses over the weekend. You will really be able to turn the cell phone off over the weekend and be free. My Buyer's Agents were responsible for the weekends. They responded to other Agents' inquiries about my listings. They handled the ad calls, sign calls, and open houses. Their job was also to respond to Agents who had written offers when I was out of town, which was every …

Real Estate Investing Course

There are many types of courses available to learn real estate investment. There are home study courses, online courses and books that you can purchase to study real estate investment. The choices can be very overwhelming so it is very important for you to know how to choose the right course for you.

Try searching in the Internet and you can easily find hundreds of courses and e-books. Most will talk about why it is good for you, why it's the best form of investment available. But they are not really teaching you the strategies.

Here is the list of the important points that you should learn in the course and these can guide you in choosing the right course.

1) Understand the "flipping property" process. This system is one of the most recommended techniques in real estate investment. This involves buying an under-priced property, doing some fixes and sell at market value within a short period of time. Sounds easy but there are a lot more to learn on this system. You need to understand how to choose the property, what to do with it, when to sell, etc.

2) There are many vacant and abandoned homes which you can make profit. But you need to know how to find the owners and how to search for such houses.

3) You also need to learn how to determine the value of the property. You need to assess the cost involved in the renovation or repairs. Some investors employ the help of professional agents to help them calculate the value of the property. This can be cost so it will be better if you yourself know how to assess a property.

4) Another important thing you need to learn is how to sell to potential buyers. There are strategies on how to make your presentation appealing to the buyers. For example, Investors and insurance agents invest some amount of their salaries on training courses on how to improve the marketing and presentation to influence more buyers. How you present your offer is very important in closing a deal.

5) Next, you have to learn what you need to put on your sales page. Do you know that investors pay thousands of dollars to copywriters just to create one powerful sales pitch? This is because the sales page is the backbone of your business. This will help you gain a list of potential buyers.

6) You also need to learn how to determine the purchase price of a property.

It will also be better if the course is available in CD's so that you can repeat the lessons as many times you want.

Make sure that the course that you will choose can at least answer the questions listed above. There are online courses offering question and answer sessions. This is good as you can have a more interactive learning.

Enjoy the learning process and make sure to put it into use. …

Real Estate Investing – What is an REO?

For the novice real estate person, the terminology surrounding real estate and real estate investing can be difficult to understand at best. Real estate agents spend many years studying these terms and words. When trying to better understand real estate, the term REO may come up. An REO refers to a bank owned piece of real estate but can be a bit more complicated than that.

An REO stands for real estate owned. An REO is more than a single home; it is a group of homes owned by a bank or a lending institution. After a home is foreclosed upon, the bank has two options for selling that piece of property. The first option includes listing the property on the market, with the tag "bank owned". This will often tell the potential buyer that the lender is in dire straights and ready to sell the home in a very short time. If this tactic does not work, the bank will move the home into auction status and attempt to sell the home at auction to the highest bidder.

Unfortunately, for some properties, even an auction will not bring enough money to the lender to agree on the sale of the home. This leaves the lender in a tight situation. Banks are not in the business of real estate. The longer they hold on to that unsold home, the longer they are not getting money back for that property. It is during these cases that a bank or lending institution will turn the home to REO status.

REOs are often grouped together as a lot of homes. These homes are marketed towards investors as high price cuts. The lender is willing to go very low on the loan or even lose money on the deal if the investor is willing to buy up several properties at once from the lender. The lender reduces the price of the homes by removing any liens and fees associated with the pending mortgage.

REO real estate is often in mediocre to poor condition and investors pick up the properties often in hopes of remodeling and reselling or renting to regain the money spent on the properties. Investors have a higher chance of turning a profit, because the nature of investing is time. Banks, on the other hand, have no time to hold on to the home and no means through which to modify the home for a quicker sale. Investors, on the other hand, are happy to lift the property from the bank at the heavy discounts being offered.

Real estate REO sales are rarely, if ever purchased by individuals. Once a property enters REO status, the bank just wants to get rid of the property as quickly as possible and is often only willing to sell to a cash buyer like a real estate investor or large company. On rare occasions, the banks will be willing to sell a home or two off of a larger lot if the buyer has an approval …

Do You Know About The Most Popular Real Estate Scams?

Real estate scams are more and more popular, even though we can not see them yet. Comparing to robbing a bank, stealing $ 200,000-worth property via a false deed or an identity theft is trivial – and remarkably safe for the thieves. Their imagination is remarkable and oftentimes we can not do much more than minimizing the damage they inflict. By becoming aware of the most common real estate scams, you may be able to protect yourself or someone you know.

False Deeds, Part 1

Most real estate frauds revolve around forged deeds. The most popular scam is using a false deed in order to get a loan secured against a property. The thief then vanishes with all the money, leaving the real owner in danger of foreclosure by the bank – oftentimes the danger is real if the owner does not react on the first warnings received from the bank.

False Deeds, Part 2

Another common real estate fraud is selling a property without the owners consent. The uninhabited, recently inherited and otherwise unguarded property is the most probable target for such scams. The most inventive thieves are able to even sell the same property to several buyers at the same time. However, if they have sold it only to a single buyer, the fraud can go unnoticed for months or even a year. By that time, the "owner" is long gone, usually in another state, selling another home to someone else.

Real Deeds

The false deeds are bad enough, as such scams usually hit at random and they often can be reversed after the deed is thoroughly checked. However, the problem begins when the fraud is performed using a real deed, one that was either stolen or simply taken from the owner. The sad thing is that such thieves often recruit from our family and closest friends, people we would never suspect of anything.

The most popular way is to get some kind of authorization (or truly, just a signature) from the owner in addition to a deed. This way the thief can do whatever they like without any real risk for being done. This is an especially popular scam used against older people – a nurse or a family member either take a loan in the name of the elder or just force them into taking it.

Another, even more outrageous, real estate fraud is performed by unethical door-to-door loan sellers. Under the pretext of making home repairs, they force the seniors into signing some documents which are truly high-rate loan contracts secured against the property. As most seniors are unable to repay such debt, their homes are taken by the creditor (which was its goal from the beginning) and the elder is left homeless.


Defending against such frauds is difficult. If the thieves use false deeds, it is possible to prove that you had nothing to do with the loan or purchase. However, if they use a real deed and / or have your authorization, …

Dating Game

Whether you’re 15, 20, 30 or Fabulously40 plus, dating always seems like a task better left to someone else. And the older you get the harder it gets. After all, at 15 we are naïve, at 20 we are gullible, at 30 we are determined to find “Mr. Right,” and by 40 we become the biggest skeptics.

On the other hand, how are we supposed to find Mr. Right if we don’t submit ourselves to the dating pool?

Trying to find that one special man through friends and family almost never works, and blind dates get old and annoying very quickly. You know what I’m talking about. Your well-intentioned friends set you up with that “nice guy” that they swear will fill your life with love and abundance. Then you find yourself sitting across the dinner table from some insufferably self-centered slob, frantically searching your mind for a plausible excuse you can utter so he will shut up and take you home.

The only thing worse is having your mother (because she hears your biological clock ticking) arrange for you to meet a friend’s son. The description starts out, “He is a very nice guy and he is tall…” and goes downhill from there. As the warning bells go off inside your head and the color drains from you face, you realize the time has come to take destiny into your own hands.

So you take a deep breath, sit down at the keyboard, and type a URL that resembles something like [http://www.findingmrrighttonight]……com. You think of a user name and password, open your online dating account, and the adventure begins.

On A Mission

To your surprise and amazement, you awake next morning to find your email inbox overflowing with responses.

Your heart sinks as you open the first email and look at the picture of a bold, very unattractive guy who is “intrigued with your profile and wants to get to know you.” Nevertheless, you note that you have at least 30 more emails to read and plunge ahead, certain that there must be at least one prince among all the frogs.

As you open one email after another, you sift through attractive, successful, ugly, funny, boring males who have exposed themselves for your review. You feel somewhat empowered and confident that “things are looking up.” As you get to the last email, you realize there are several options you can consider replying to, and maybe one or two that actually look interesting.

All of a sudden you find your whole life revolving around this exciting new game of online dating. The next thing you know, you’re browsing your “matches” morning, noon and night, and are even skipping lunch to catch up on your latest online hopefuls. Your boss mentions several times that your work has slowed down. Your mother complains that you never call her. You ditch your friends for drinks during Happy hour day after day.

You now have a mission, and no one will stop you!

Mission …

How Dating Has Changed Through History

Wow … How Dating Has Changed from Past to Present … "

Dating is something that we've all had to worry about at one point or another; it's fun, it's
exhilarating, it can lead us to our perfect match, but it can also be a quick stop to embarrassment, social awkwardness and memories that will not be funny for ages, if at all! If you think you've had it tough, though, a little bit of research will tell you that people have always had problems when it comes to finding that special someone!

For instance, during Japan's Heian period, not only were people judged by their looks, their job and who they hung out with, they were also judged by their poetry! In this rigid society, the main mode of communication between men and women were small pieces of poetry, written on special paper, often full of references to the great classics. If you sent the wrong reply, or used the wrong sort of paper, or misinterpreted a verse, you could watch your chances sink and fast!

During the era of the troubadours in England, things were even rougher. Romantic love was considered such a lofty ideal that it was thought quite crude and common to be in love with
your husband or wife. In fact, the only true romance was the one that was connected between two people who were already married. They would pass messages and favors back and forth, and they might go years without ever really lying eyes on each other. The emphasis was on a pure (and coincidently doomed!) Love.

In times past, marriage was something that was arranged by parents for the best social and economic match, but then you wonder how they figured out whether a girl or boy came from a good family? During the Renaissance, the problem was solved by couples dances. During the dance, where the only part of the body that would ever touch was the hands, the couple would proceed up and down the hall, and during the slower numbers, they could ask about things like land, property and holdings. Not only did you have to grill your prospective bride or groom, you also had to make sure you did not trip!

Our own century has not been much better. With the availability of the automobile, men and women no longer had to date under the watchful eye of their parents, something that save the
older generationfits, and chaperons were often left in the dust. During the Depression, you could have a steady relationship that some considered as good as being married, while the sixties and seventies introduced the idea of ​​free love. Even more confusing, the end of twenty century thought around group dates, leading many young people to be puzzled as to whether they were dating at all.

Dating has gone through many different permutations, but your best bet is to learn about it now! …

How To Promote A Concert: A Few Tips

Please accept the information below as a guide offering suggestions for publicizing a concert and encourage maximum attendance

and success!

Some of the recommendations may not be appropriate for your type of concert. While some of the concepts may be obvious,

others may be new but worthy of a try.

I will cover the aspects of flyer/poster concert promotion and a few tips for media promotion..

Firstly, the single most importand thing when you want to promote a concert is to start delegating duties and make sure helpers know

what’s expected of them.

So let’s start!

[Flyers and Posters]

It’s importand to have a well designed, eye-catching flyer or poster. It will show people that the concert deserves their anticipation,

time and money.

The artist’s management may provide you with some flyers or posters to start with.

If you prefer to create your own flyer or poster, you should find a graphics professional or pronting company willing to donate

services in exchange for advertising..

If it’s the first time the artist is coming to your town or city be sure to include a testimonial on the flyer or poster. A flyer that simple

advertises an artist or a band will mean nothing to someone who has never heard of them!

Assign volunteers to post the flyers in places likely to attract the most attention. Try grocery stores, local chamber of Commerce

offices, Art Councils or other communities, malls, shoping plazas, music stores, book stores, galleries and other popular gathering

spots where flyers are displayed routinely but be sure to ask for permission before posting.

Do not forget to post the flyers or posters to the concert location itself! Try to hang posters as close to the average eye level as possible..

[Media and other sources of publicity]

List the concert in community calendars, Newspaper, Magazines or radio and TV stations if possible. Radio and Tv stations may be

willing to anounce events for free.

Be sure to notice them many weeks in advance. In the listing include the date of the concert, time, location, ticket price, ticket outlets,

sponsors of course and phone numbers for information.

Ask promotional material from the artist’s managementslike interviews, video clips, song samples, photographs etc. Try to deliver the

material to the media along with the news release anouncing the concert.

Make sure you follow up by phone. Ask from the management to arrange an interview with the artist(s) if possible. Discuss other


Provide artist’s promo material (if available) to radio stations likely to air it. Encourage them to play it often especially a week or two

before the concert. Have volunteers and friends telephone the stations and request more..!

If you are using an answering machine make a recording using sound clips from the artist. Advertise the phone numbers available to call

in newspapaer or on the radio. Include a short message in the recordings detailing concert info.

When you are online, subscribe to any music-related newsgroups or bulletin boards. Post messages about …

Dating in the 21st Century – Changes in the Dating World

There have been changes to the dating scene over the last few decades. The same routine that the parents of many readers went through before finding Mr. or Mrs. Right has changed dramatically. I want to take a look at some of those changes, and hopefully shed some light on some of the things that are making your dating life a living nightmare or a raving success.

The thing that is most markedly different is the speed at which relationships are expected to evolve. This isn’t surprising anyone out there, because we’ve all been on the dating scene in the last decade and know that the pressure to move along into a relationship is one of the biggest things we feel as daters. You’ve met someone, had some good times, get along well, it must be time for marriage, right?

That’s an over-exaggeration, but the speed at which relationships move has increased in the past few decades. This is in direct correlation with the speed of society in general. World-wide we’ve seen the global pace increasing to amazing speeds. Technology, business, manufacture, you name it, it’s faster. Whether it’s because we feel the pressure of the outside world pushing in on us, or we’re just going with the flow, dating, like everything else, has sped up as well.

Another thing that you’ve probably noticed changing in the world around you is the roles that women and men play in relationships. Traditionally, the man asked out the woman, the man paid for the meal, etc. etc. Today, that’s not necessarily the case. It’s not uncommon for the woman to make the first move, and some even insist on picking up the check (or at least splitting it). This is a large break from the way it used to be in the dating world.

This is easily attributed to changing gender roles. Recently we inducted a woman into the supreme court, with another up for consideration. Women are attaining and maintaining positions of power, high paying careers, things that were typically reserved for men. It’s no surprise, then, that women are moving into the driver’s seat of their relationships.

Television, media & technology have also made huge impacts on our dating world. While outrageous shows like “Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire” and “Flavor of Love” are a far cry from what we experience in our own dating lives, they definitely have influence over our perception of what is and is not acceptable in dating. It’s become an impersonal competition that has an end goal, defined by the dater. For some it’s hooking up and some it’s marriage. Whatever your reasons, and even if your motivation hasn’t changed, how many people feel about what’s an acceptable means to the end they’re seeking has definitely changed. Lines are blurred & it’s a much harsher dating world out there today.

There are also the effects of technology, making online dating one of the biggest phenomenon that the internet has instilled on our society. While …