The Real Estate Investor’s Resource

Turning Intentions into Action

Banks Walking Away from Foreclosures

Due to values being down and the cost of taking property back, banks are walking away from foreclosures. 

This is a very interesting article from The New York Times….

April 15, 2009 Posted by | foreclosure, Real Estate, Real Estate Investing | Leave a comment

Property Taxes too High? Here’s how to appeal…

Property Taxes Too High?

Property Tax Assessment Appeals to the Rescue

Are you watching your property taxes go up while your property value goes down?  Somehow it seems that even though property values are dropping, the taxes on property are still going up.  If this is the case for you, then exercise your right to the appeals process; it’s a fairly simple process.

First, you want to compare the tax assessed value of your property to the fair market real estate value.  Carefully check your property tax bill for the tax assessed value.  Then find the fair market value for your property by looking at recent comparable sales.  Real estate agents and websites such as are good for performing a real estate fair market value analysis.

Let’s say that your property is 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms and is assessed at $155,000.00.  You want to look for recent sales in your area of other 3 bedroom/2 bath properties.   An example of the comparables sales in your area might be:

3/2   $138K

3/2   $140K

3/2   $157K

3/2   $165K

How would you make sense of these numbers?  If you just took the average of the numbers it would equal $150K.  

So, what do you do now?  Further define the differences in your property and the other comparable sales.  One way to do this is to use data from a real estate agent and website like   Another way is to simply drive by the address of each comparable property (this shouldn’t take much time since they are right in your neighborhood).   When you view the comparable properties, look to see how similar or different they are from your property.   You might find that the properties selling for the higher end prices of $157K and $165K are brick, while your home and those sold at $138K and $140K have siding.  Or you might find that the more expensive properties are larger than yours or have other differences that would make them worth more.  Whatever the situation, it is a good idea to take a picture while you are there to show the differences.

If you’ve found some substantial differences, it’s time to submit your real estate tax appeal.  There is a deadline for the appeals process so pay attention to the deadline dates on your tax bill.  Simply write a letter including your parcel identification number explaining why you are appealing the tax assessed value.  Include your comparable sales documentation, pictures and other documentation. 

You will receive one of two responses to your appeal letter.   Your tax assessed value may be adjusted based on your appeal letter.   However, you won’t always win the real estate tax appeal process that easily; your response letter may be a notice that you are required to go before the board of equalization to further dispute the tax assessed value.  At this point, you have to decide if it is worth your time based on the potential savings.

Don’t forget that the tax assessed value not only affects your bottom line, but if you get ready to sell your house, the buyer will have to consider the tax bill as part of their expense.  The tax amount on the property will impact their monthly mortgage payment, which impacts the amount they can pay for a house.  The simple fact that you have appealed your tax value and that it is in line with the fair market real estate value for your property can save you money now and be a help when you are ready sell. 

To learn more about real estate fair market value analysis, visit .

March 19, 2008 Posted by | Real Estate, Real Estate Investing, real estate investors | , | Leave a comment

Tips for Selling Your House in a Tight Real Estate Market

Erica Whitney, real estate investor and agent joined me today on Real Estate Reality Radio to talk about today’s real estate market. 

Erica’s best tip for selling your house in a tight real estate market: Give them the Wow Factor.  The “Wow Factor” includes making the house look top notch & pricing it right. 

To make the home look top notch, clean it up, give it a fresh coat of paint, clean or replace carpets and add some new light fixtures if necessary.   Stage the home with furnishings and accessories to make it look inviting.  Give the buyer a reason to think, “Wow -right features, right price!”

Price the home at or below the most recent comparable sales.  Erica shared some interesting information on pricing.  She said, “If you’ve had 10-12 showings and no offers -You’re 5-10% over priced.”  “If you have no showings you’re 10% over priced.”

Other topics discussed:  where to invest, cash flow, tenant management, the new GA Purchase and Sale contract, short sales, and more!  Here’s what one listener had to say about the show, ”

“I very much enjoyed listening to your broadcast. You helped me better understand the options around management of properties after the purchase is complete.” 



Listen to the show.   Listen to Real Estate Reality Radio on internet talk radio

February 22, 2008 Posted by | atlanta real estate market, Real Estate, Real Estate Investing, Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Atlanta expired listing – Are you making the most of the market?

I received an email update on the Atlanta market from Cindy Stuart and Associates. The number of expired listings is up 30% over last year! If part of your strategy is to work with expired listings, now is a great time to do that!

Read the full email below. The expired listings information is in bold.

You may have heard some bad things about the housing market lately. We’ve been getting a lot of questions about the Atlanta market, so we thought a report on what’s really going on might help. Even if you’re not moving within the Atlanta market, you may have someone with whom you would like to share this information. According to the First Multiple Listing Service, there were 4,454 closings for single family homes in January which was a 8.1% decline from January 2006. However, once lags are reported the decline will be much less. Condos and townhomes had 658 closings or an increase of 1.9% from January 2006.

According to FMLS, January’s decline is an improvement from December’s 10.4% decline with no lags.

The average sale price in January for single family housing was $254,388. This was an increase of 5.6% from January 2006 and the largest year-to-year period increase since December 2005.

The number of expired listings in January for all single family homes was 5,505. This is up 30% from January 2006. However, FMLS notes that the increase is small compared to withdrawn listings –2,246 withdrawn or an increase of 65% over January 2006.
The overall supply of new construction single family homes increased 57.9% from 1/31/06-1/31/07. Overall supply of resale single family homes increased 22.8% from January 06 to January 07.

Average days on market from January, as reported by FMLS, was 90.6 for all single family. This is the second consecutive period above 90 days and the first time this has happened since 1998. The average time on market for homes listed by Stewart & Associates is 68.

We hope this information finds you well and provides valuable information about the Atlanta market. If you have additional question please don’t hesitate to call or e-mail us. As always, your business is greatly appreciated. If you know of anyone making a move, please allow us the opportunity to help them.

Thanks again and MAKE it a great day.

Lisa Brownlow
Inside Sales / Marketing Director
Stewart & Associates

March 9, 2007 Posted by | atlanta real estate market, expired listings, Real Estate | Leave a comment