An overview of Active Adult communities in Cobb County and Greater Metro Atlanta

 

Introduction

All around the greater metro Atlanta area, developers are responding to the powerful market demand of the baby boomers!  This guide was developed to assist consumers to gain knowledge of the market and to educate them on best practices in purchasing and selling real estate in today’s challenging market.

Some of the communities in the guide are brand new and in the phase I of development, while others are now in the resale phase of the market. These developments are known as active adult communities, and are characterized by the following:

  • People, age 50+ and better, are interested in “downsizing” their home and seeking lifestyle changes for their pre-retirement to retirement years.
  • “Downsizing” or even “right sizing” means that people are selling the large single family residence that they have owned, sometimes for many years, and moving into communities that offer many desirable amenities such as:
  • Low maintenance or maintenance free living includes lawn care and even exterior maintenance
  • One level living or ranch style homes that may include step-less entry and no interior staircases
  • Homes may be detached and fee simple ownership or attached, and built as condominium, ranging from duplex to quadraplex units
  • Communities range from small, intimate enclaves to large master planned developments
  • Community amenities range from none to clubhouse, clubhouse and pool, fitness center, activity director, golf, walking trails, tennis, and lakes
  • Neighborhoods may be gated or secured by personnel
  • There is a strong emphasis on wellness, activities, and socialization

In fact, this is one of the most exciting things that we see happening in these communities. It is a wonderful sociological trend – getting back to the strong sense of neighborhood, community, and belonging that boomers experienced raising their kids.

Finally, a word of advice!

In my real estate practice, here is a typical scenario. See if this sounds familiar!

  • We have lived in our home for 20 years. Our children grew up here. They have moved away and the house is just too big! I don’t feel like cutting the grass on this ½ to 3 acre lot anymore. I want to spend my time doing things with my friends and family.
  • We are several months away from making a decision, so we don’t want to bother an agent right now. We just want to make some phone calls to some sales centers, have them mail us some information that we can look at, and maybe even visit a couple of the new communities that we have seen around town!
  • Once we get ready to sell our house, we will call our broker to help us.
  • We are going to work with that nice agent that we met at the new community. He/she will help us with the paperwork for the new home.

Does this sound like you?

PLEASE take a moment and read the following information:

  1. For Sellers 

  1. We recommend that you meet with a Broker as soon as you begin thinking about selling your home and moving into a new home. Even if you are several months away from putting your home on the market, your agent can educate you about market conditions, pricing, and staging and preparing the home for sale. The competition in Georgia is intense, and homes that are in great condition and priced right have the best chance of selling. As of the time of this writing, it is a sellers market – there is not enough inventory!.
  2. Call for a no-obligation consultation to prepare your home for sale!
  1. For Buyers

  1. The sales agent represents the builder/developer/seller. By law, they have a duty to negotiate the highest price for their client. They do NOT represent your interests. We believe that all purchasers have a right to representation during the process of buying real estate. This is probably one of the biggest investments you make during your lifetime, and often, one you do not participate in on a frequent basis. You need to rely on an expert to guide you through the process and the current real estate market.
  2. Generally, the seller pays for the commission of the buyer’s agent. Even if you are unrepresented, the commission is paid, so why not make it work on your behalf.
  3. When you call a sales office for information, or visit a community without an agent, you are asked to “register”. This registration process often results in you “waiving” your right to have an agent.

We recommend:

o    ALWAYS tell the sales agent that you have an agent. Ask them what the requirement is: must the agent accompany you to the community the first time you visit?

o    Be sure you read what you are signing. Is there any small print that you need to be aware of?

o    Invite your Broker to accompany you to preview property. Do not feel like you are wasting their time – this is our job and we LOVE it!

o    Finally, be sure to interview your agent. Not all agents have the same level of expertise! We recommend that your agent have the SRES and CAPS training.

o    It is preferred that the same agent list your home for sale and assist you in buying new property. The agent can coordinate back-to-back closings and assist you through the transition.

Call me today for more information!

Top 7 Reasons to Use a Buyer’s Agent When Purchasing Your Home

Here is an excerpt from an article written by Eric Bramlett, Broker and co-owner of One Source Realty in Austin Texas.

Purchasing a home is a big step, and a big decision. The average person spends around 1/3 of their income on their home. The home that you choose has a big impact on your life, and can have a big impact on your finances, as well. It always surprises me when Buyers attempt to “go at it alone” because of the possibility of mistakes. A good Buyer’s Agent is invaluable to a Buyer, and can be the difference between a wonderful transaction, and a nightmare.

1) Full Access to the MLS

The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is a powerful tool that only Realtors have access to. When listing agents market a home for sale, they typically allow any Realtor to present the home to potential buyers, and to present contracts for purchase. The MLS is a database of all homes listed by Realtors, and represents roughly 99% of the homes for sale in any given market. As technology advances, so does the MLS. It has evolved into an extremely powerful search engine that allows your buyer’s agent to enter in search criteria, and returns only homes that match those specific parameters. Buyers can find a lot of this information online through IDX feeds available on many websites, but this information is a “watered down” version of the MLS because the IDX search engines aren’t quite as powerful, and don’t return as detailed profiles as the MLS.

2) Maximize Your Time

While driving neighborhoods is an excellent idea to help you decide which locations you prefer, it’s not a very efficient way to find your new home. Gas is expensive, and your time is valuable. Your Buyer’s Agent will listen to your needs, make fantastic suggestions based on your likes & dislikes, and provide you with a list of homes that ALL match your wants & needs. Your Buyer’s Agent has helped MANY new homebuyers through MANY purchases, and will help you better organize your search & decision making process – saving you valuable time.

3) Representation

Listing Agents enter into legally binding agreements that require them to ALWAYS act in the best interest of the seller. They are the seller’s “coach” and will make sure that their clients’ best interests are looked after. Luckily, your Buyer’s Agent is there to make sure YOUR best interests are accounted for. With your expert Buyer’s Agent in your corner, you can rest assured that you’re on, at least, even ground with the home seller. A football team would be at a pretty significant disadvantage without a coach – just as you would be without a Buyer’s Agent.

4) Negotiating Power

The MLS maintains a record of, not only all homes listed by Realtors in a given market, but also the sales price of those homes. Your Buyer’s Agent will run a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) to determine a prospective home’s Fair Market Value (FMV). In simpler terms, your Realtor will look at similar homes in the same neighborhood that have sold recently. This way, you will know whether or not the seller has their home priced fairly. If the home is priced over Fair Market Value, your Buyer’s Agent can present your “under asking price” offer with plenty of firepower – and a greater chance that the offer will be accepted.

5) Experience

The average person buys 3-5 homes in their lifetime. A good Buyer’s Agent will assist in 3-5 home purchases every month. What might seem complicated and intimidating to you is fairly common and familiar to your Realtor. Your Buyer’s Agent will know what to expect, and will know when to alert you if anything out of the ordinary occurs.

6) Industry Contacts

It takes a lot of people to close a real estate transaction – Buyer’s Agent, Listing Agent, Loan Officer, Inspector, Appraiser, Insurance Agent, General Contractors, and sometimes more! A good agent will come with a strong closing team that has performed in the past, and will continue to perform. A transaction is only as strong as its weakest link – with your strong Buyer’s Agent & their closing team, you can rest assured that you will have plenty of support.

7) Piece of Mind

If you are like most people, your home is the largest purchase you will ever make. The average person spends around 1/3 of their total monthly income on their home. This is a big decision and you don’t want to go at it alone. When you use a trusted Buyer’s Agent, you know that your best interests are accounted for, and that you can feel confident in your purchase.

Purchasing a home can be a fun and exciting process. However, the home buying process can be intimidating, and mistakes are possible. A Broker who specializes in working with Buyers can help alleviate the fears & possibilities for mistakes. Make sure and use a Buyer’s Agent on any real estate transaction, and you will help ensure that you are making the right decisions.

 

 

Contact me at 404-423-2370 for recommendations!!