Victoria Brannon

Victoria Property Group Leader | REALTOR

My Blog

Kitchen Design Trends for Spring 2018

3/5/2018

Kitchen Design Trends for Spring 2018

Kitchen design doesn't change as quickly as other fashions, so when trends evolve, it's time to pay attention -- especially if you're considering remodeling your kitchen. Here are five trends to consider:

Color. White kitchens are clean, pristine, and modern but they don't have to be monotone. Colors that are coming on strong are teal, a deep bluish green and marine blue, a saturated greenish blue. If you love white, or white and grey kitchens, think about adding more color to the island, walls, cabinets or backsplash.

Matte black fixtures. Matte black looks a lot like traditional polished bronze, so for the look to work, the style needs to be sleek, geometric and contemporary. The look is also a great update for your bathroom fixtures.

Workstations. Whether you're baking, grilling or using the stovetop, install multiple food preparation areas for chopping and mixing. Family and friends can cook together, making meal preparation a fun bonding activity. You can separate foods for individual diets, like gluten-free, and clean up is easier.

Beverage stations. Taking the place of butler's pantries, when no one has a butler these days, are beverage stations adjoining the kitchen. Chose the appliances around your favorite drinks, including coffee machines, smoothie makers, wine storage, juice bars and cocktail mixing.

Waterfall islands. To really show off your choice of granite, dress your island with a waterfall, where the granite cascades down the sides between the seating area and food prep area. The look is worth the extra expense.

REMINDER! Monday, April 2nd is last day to file for Homestead Exemption in 2018

3/1/2018

FULTON COUNTY homeowners encouraged to take advantage of Homestead Exemptions for property tax relief

Monday, April 2nd is last day to file for Homestead Exemption in 2018

The Fulton County Tax Assessors Office encourages all owner-occupied homeowners to check to see if they qualify for a homestead exemption that could help reduce the taxes owned on their homes. Different exemptions apply for city, county and school taxes. Each exemption has special requirements that the homeowner must meet. The last day to apply for an exemption is Monday, April 2, 2018.

In Fulton County, homeowners could qualify for basic exemptions, senior exemptions or special exemptions depending on their qualifications. To qualify for a homestead exemption:

  • You must have lived in your property on January 1st of the tax year
  • The home must be your primary residence and your name must be on the deed
  • If you own multiple properties, you can only apply for the home which is your primary residence
  • Rental and commercial properties are not eligible
  • Special exemptions are available for residents with disabilities and other special circumstances.

Also, there are special exemptions for senior residents who were age 62, 65 and 70 as of January 1st. Most senior exemptions have income limits. All seniors are encouraged to reach out to the Tax Assessors Office for assistance in identifying the exemption most beneficial to their situation.

When applying for an exemption, have the following documents ready:

  • Driver’s license or Georgia ID
  • All vehicle registrations for you and your spouse
  • Most recent state and federal income tax returns

To apply for a homestead exemption, residents can visit one of five Tax Assessor Offices:

  • Peachtree Center North Tower, 235 Peachtree Street, NE, Suite 1100, Atlanta, GA 30303
  • Fulton County Government Center, 141 Pryor Street, SW, Suite 1018, Atlanta, GA 30303
  • Fulton County Customer Service Center at Maxwell Road, 11575 Maxwell Road, Alpharetta, GA 30022
  • North Fulton Service Center, 7741 Roswell Road, NE, Suite 210, Atlanta, GA 30350
  • South Service Center, 5600 Stonewall Tell Road, Suite 224, College Park, GA 30349

Residents can also call 404-612-6440 ext. 4 for assistance and visit www.fultonassessor.org for additional information about Homestead Exemptions.

Once granted Homestead exemption, you do not have to reapply again unless there is an ownership change on the property or if you move to a different property that you claim as your primary residence.

Should You Wait to Buy a Home?

11/29/2016

 

Buyer's Adviceblack and white christmas

With the rush of the holidays fast approaching, it may seem like now is not the best time to purchase a home. But that’s what makes it the ideal time to buy. While other buyers temporarily drop out of the market, sellers still have to sell their homes, which puts you in an advantageous position to negotiate.

If you’re willing to use the time that others are spending decorating, baking and entertaining, you’ll have plenty of room in your schedule to look for and compare homes on the market.

You may find that homes for sale are slightly lower in price than they were in the summer at the height of buying season. It may already be cold weather where you live, making it harder for sellers to keep their homes and lawns pristine. Again, you’re in a better position to negotiate.

For new homes that come on the market, you’ll be first in line to see them without having to compete with many other buyers. These sellers are motivated, perhaps due to being transferred, or some other urgent reason.

Mortgage interest rates are near all-time lows. As the National Association of REALTORS® points out, mortgages 35 years ago were four times as expensive as they are now, and mortgage money is the cheapest money you’ll ever borrow. With fewer homes to close, your lender should be able to expedite your loan so you can move in quickly.

Tell your friends and family what you’re planning and they’re bound to support you. And next year, you can have everyone at your home for the holidays.

Should You Wait to Buy a Home?

11/29/2016

Buyer's Advice

With the rush of the holidays fast approaching, it may seem like now is not the best time to purchase a home. But that’s what makes it the ideal time to buy. While other buyers temporarily drop out of the market, sellers still have to sell their homes, which puts you in an advantageous position to negotiate.

If you’re willing to use the time that others are spending decorating, baking and entertaining, you’ll have plenty of room in your schedule to look for and compare homes on the market.

You may find that homes for sale are slightly lower in price than they were in the summer at the height of buying season. It may already be cold weather where you live, making it harder for sellers to keep their homes and lawns pristine. Again, you’re in a better position to negotiate.

For new homes that come on the market, you’ll be first in line to see them without having to compete with many other buyers. These sellers are motivated, perhaps due to being transferred, or some other urgent reason.

Mortgage interest rates are near all-time lows. As the National Association of REALTORS® points out, mortgages 35 years ago were four times as expensive as they are now, and mortgage money is the cheapest money you’ll ever borrow. With fewer homes to close, your lender should be able to expedite your loan so you can move in quickly.

Tell your friends and family what you’re planning and they’re bound to support you. And next year, you can have everyone at your home for the holidays.

Top Purchase Markets for Millennial Homebuyers

6/10/2016

WASHINGTON (June 2, 2016) – A flurry of financial obstacles and lifestyle choices are stalling the journey to homeownership for many young adults, but becoming a homeowner is currently more feasible in some less expensive metro areas with steady job growth and lower qualifying incomes needed to buy, according to new research by the National Association of Realtors®.

NAR analyzed employment gains, population trends, income levels and housing conditions in the largest 100 metropolitan statistical areas1 across the country to identify the best purchase markets for millennial2 homebuyers.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says although millennials have made up the largest share of buyers for three consecutive years3, sales to first-time buyers and the homeownership rate for young adults under the age of 35 remain depressed at levels not seen in decades4. This is despite historically low mortgage rates, escalating rental costs and low unemployment levels among those with a college education. 

“Even with potentially higher incomes, prospective millennial homebuyers residing in some of the most expensive cities in the country face the onerous task of paying steep rents while trying to save for an adequate down payment,” he said. “However, for those currently living in or looking to move to a more affordable part of the country, there are metro areas right now with solid job growth and that offer a smoother path to homeownership.”

The top 10 metro areas NAR identified were chosen for their above-average share of current millennial residents and recent movers, favorable employment opportunities and relatively low qualifying incomes needed to purchase a home5.

NAR’s study found that the best purchase markets for millennials buyers currently are (listed alphabetically):

  • Austin, Texas
  • Charleston, South Carolina
  • Denver
  • Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Ogden, Utah
  • Portland, Oregon
  • Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Salt Lake City
  • Seattle
  • Washington, D.C.

Other markets NAR identified for having promising potential for millennial homebuyers include:

  • Boston
  • Dallas
  • Des Moines, Iowa
  • Jacksonville, Florida
  • Nashville, Tennessee

According to Yun, during the early stages of the economic recovery some of the largest metro areas – such as New York and parts of California – were attractive to millennials for their strong job markets, but their higher costs of living made it difficult to buy. Now that many more affordable, middle-tier cities have mostly recovered from the downturn and are once again experiencing robust job growth, millennials moving to some of these cities will likely realize they’re earning enough to purchase their first home.  

“An overwhelming majority of young renters recently said they eventually want to buy a home5,” adds Yun. “As long as new and existing-home supply keeps up to meet demand and holds prices from rising too quickly, these identified areas are poised to lead the way in helping millennials realize their American Dream of becoming a homeowner.”

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

# # #

1Areas are generally metropolitan statistical areas as defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget. NAR adheres to the OMB definitions, although in some areas an exact match is not possible from the available data. A list of counties included in MSA definitions is available at:  http://www.census.gov/population/estimates/metro-city/List4.txt (link is external).

2Millennials in this study, as categorized in the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (link is external), are those born between 1982 and 2000.

3According to NAR’s 2016 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends survey, for the third straight year, the largest group of recent buyers were millennials, who composed 35 percent of all buyers (32 percent in 2014).

4According to the U.S. Census Bureau (link is external), the homeownership rate for households headed by adults under the age of 35 fell to 34 percent in the first quarter of 2016, the lowest since at least 1994. NAR’s 2015 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers found that the share of first-time buyers declined to 32 percent, which is the second-lowest share since the survey’s inception (1981) and the lowest since 1987 (30 percent).

5Data comes from NAR’s First-time Homebuyer Affordability Index. The qualifying income assumes a 10 percent down payment.  

Where Does Atlanta Stand? 2016 Housing Expectations

1/22/2016

Wow, so happy for Atlanta! News that the National Association of Realtors has donned their economic predictor caps to come up with these 2016 expectations.  The Atlanta market is on their radar as a predicted strong out-performer, with better than anticipated growth rates.  For sellers, this means an upsurge in sale prices. For buyers this is a super call to action to make a move before prices hike, inventory tightens, and mortgage rates continue to rise. 

HOUSING EXPECTATIONS FOR 2016

Graphic Courtesy NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS

Luxury Housing Report Detail Atlanta 12/2/2015

12/3/2015
The charts below show the 7-day and 90-day rolling averages for list price, days on market, and inventory for the metro Atlanta area's luxury market (e.g. top 10 zips with median prices above $500k)

ilhm-atlanta vs National

The charts below compare the ilhm-atlanta luxury market with the ILHM National Luxury Market Index and show 90-day rolling averages for Median List Price and Days on Market.

The chart below shows the Altos Market Action Index for the metro area's luxury market and the National Index.

 

Courtesy Institute of Luxury Home Marketing Luxury Housing Report Detail: Atlanta

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