Monthly Archives: January 2014

3 Tips for Apartment Hunters

Courtesy of

If you’re looking for next spot, we have some helpful advice on how to find the best spot.

1.    Visit the place during rush hour and at night. You will get a good sense of the type of people you will live around and whether you can handle the traffic.

2.    Ask the landlord for references. See if you can talk to a couple of the neighbors living there.

3.    Make sure ALL repairs are completed before you move in. If the landlord wants to do them after you move in,  tell ‘em ‘no deal’.

How to Increase the Number of Qualified Homebuyers

The best way to increase the number of qualified homebuyers is to lower the screening parameters. It’s a taboo idea but there really is no other viable way to increase home ownership.

In order to accomplish this goal, you have to hedge your risk, as a homeowner or investor, while simultaneously providing a sound, yet flexible opportunity for first-time buyers. I’m not talking about subprime loans. That just postpones the inevitable flood of banking fees.

The best approach is to reduce the fees.

Qualified homebuyers exist not only because of job stability, but because of equity they acquired in their existing home. And they were able to do that because the market was growing. It was a completely different culture when most of the current homeowners bought their first house. Now that the best of times seem to be behind us, we need another approach.

To help young graduates take baby steps towards ownership, let’s get them in the door of a home, instead of an apartment. Let’s let them see how much property taxes are and how much maintenance fees cost. These things should be taught, not stumbled upon.

Then they will learn how to budget their income because of the experience, not because they did everything perfectly or had a 6-figure income. And they can gain experience if we adopt an easier method of entry rather than the current platform. Giving more people the chance to earn equity creates more qualified buyers. Which, in turn,  increases everyone’s chance of selling our houses quickly.

Don’t think it’s possible? It is. Let’s do it together. :)



Should you renovate before listing your house?

I have been researching 10-12 zip codes in the Atlanta metro area for the last few weeks. The market obviously slowed down because of the holidays but there were a few homes that sold over the break. It gave me a chance to analyze the market.

I noticed that the homes that have been completely renovated, from top to bottom, seem to sit a bit longer than the other homes that haven’t been recently renovated (but are still in good condition). This indicates that it is possible to overbuild in certain situations.

If you are going to renovate in order to yield a higher offer, renovate your home in such a way that the design is modest and not too chic. Homebuyers seem to still love a home that is beautiful but slightly homey. However, don’t underbuild your kitchen. Kitchens with a modern and sophisticated design will always sell.