Top Home Trends in 2018

It’s no secret that our homes go through trends just like everything else. We’re all familiar with some, whether it’s fun things like the Pantone Color of the Year or ideas we don’t quite understand, like shelving books backwards. What home trends can we look for in 2018? The Premier Group has the scoop!

2018 Home Trends

As with many other aspects of life, the keyword in homes right now is “connected.” That’s right, integrated technology is here to stay in our homes. Savvy buyers are looking for a home that will connect with the rest of their lives through smart appliances; virtual home assistants like Google Home, Alexa, and Siri; apps for daily chores like cooking; and integrated sound systems for an immersive experience.

Check out some of the most popular home trends in 2018:

  • Energy efficiency! Smart glass and integrated thermostats help keep down energy costs, especially in homes with lots of beautiful windows.
  • Kitchens are being designed and built for utility and healthful living based on accessing fresh produce and quality ingredients.
  • Gardens as an escape from the grind of daily life. We are designing outdoor spaces for peace, quiet reflection, and even spirituality.
  • Black! It’s true: black accents are a sharp, classic neutral that can match any color palate.

Do you have questions about how to incorporate or emphasize these growing trends into your Atlanta-area home, or are you looking for a home with these qualities? Contact The Premier Group! Your agent will help you leverage your home’s potential or find the best fit for your needs.

Winterize Your Home Before It’s Too Late

We may have had a mild fall here in the metro Atlanta area, but with the recent cold snaps that’s definitely come to an end! Is your home ready, or have you neglected winterizing because it was so warm? The Premier Group is here to the rescue; check out our tips to get your home ready for winter!

  • Clean Your Gutters. Don’t let your gutters fill up with leaves and debris. Not only can that cause standing water, breeding mold, mildew, and bugs, it can cause water to gather around your home and damage your foundation. Foundation repairs caused by water damage can cost tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the severity.
  • Seal Up Leaks. Check baseboards, window sills, vents, doors, and fireplaces to make sure they’re not letting cold air in and warm air out. You’ll be more comfortable, save on heating costs, and keep pesky critters from seeking shelter in your house!
  • Program Your Thermostat. This is probably the easiest thing you’ll do! Set your thermostat to run at a comfortable temperature when you’re at home, and a more energy-efficient temperature the rest of the time, and then watch the savings add up.
  • Tidy the Lawn. Rake up leaves and dispose of them properly, stop watering, and take care of last-minute weeds so your yard can grow strong and tall in the spring, ready for landscaping projects!

If you’re ready to sell your home, don’t think you have to wait ‘till spring. Contact The Premier Group and let’s get started!

There’s No Time Like the Holidays to Sell Your Home

The holidays aren’t usually considered the best time to sell a home, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible! Here at The Premier Group we sell homes all year round. If you’re putting yours on the market right now, you need our expertise. Check out some of our tips to make the most of this festive season as the time to sell your home.

  • First Things First. It’s always tempting to jump right into the holiday decor, but resist the urge. Clean and stage your house first! Look over holiday decorationsour staging tips, and with with your Premier Group agent to show your home in the best possible light.
  • Don’t Skip the Decor. Think of decorations as icing and the rest of your home as the cupcake. You don’t want to go overboard, but seasonal touches will give your home a warm, inviting atmosphere. Potential buyers will look around at your home and able to imagine their own families enjoying holidays together for years to come.
  • Tone it Down. Just like too much icing will overwhelm a cupcake, too many decorations will bury your home’s beauty. The rule of thumb is to use subtle, non-religious decorations, properly applied, to draw attention to the best parts of your home. This may sound tricky, but don’t panic! Your agent can help you manage this.

Staging is always about creating a welcoming atmosphere for potential buyers. What better time to do that than during the most wonderful time of the year? Contact The Premier Group today and let’s get started!

Not All 3 Bedroom, 2 Bath Homes Are Created Equal

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Whether you’re a realtor or a buyer just starting to feel out the real estate market in Woodstock, you’ve probably noticed that home prices can vary drastically. But what makes a 3 bedroom, 2 bath house cost more, or less, than another?

There are quite a few factors that can affect home pricing and here at The Premier Group Real Estate Firm, we wanted to go over the most important ones with you. As a home buyer, you need to be informed. Buying a home is a major decision and likely one of the biggest purchases you’ll ever make. Have a look at these important things to consider when you’re ready to buy.

  • Condition – Even well-built homes need regular maintenance. Otherwise, time takes a toll and creates all kinds of issues, many of which are hidden. A home’s condition is a major factor when it comes to pricing. It’s important to get a professional inspection and estimate before you buy.
  • Location, Location, Location! – Location is everything in real estate. You can place the exact same home in two different neighborhoods and get drastically different prices. Everyone wants to live in an accessible area with shops and cafes, good schools, and good neighbors. All of these considerations are factored into the cost of a home, and the more of these desirable attributes you want, the more you’ll pay.
  • Area Statistics – We live in a time where everything is quantified. There are statistics for statistics about statistics, so finding out about average home prices, crime, property tax averages, etc. is as easy as a quick web search. If you can do it in five minutes, so can home sellers and realtors. These statistics also affect how a home is priced.

Buying a home, doing your research, and making sure you pay the right price can seem overwhelming, but with the help of a great real estate firm like TPG, you can make it happen. To find out more or see all of our listings in the Greater Atlanta Metro area, call The Premier Group and let’s get started.

Look Out for These Hidden Home Costs

It’s no secret that buying a home is a big investment. Most people will never buy anything more expensive than their home. You know about the down payment and the mortgage, but there’s more to it than that! The last thing you want is to be caught unawares when you’re preparing for this big expenditure. Don’t forget about these hidden home buying costs when you’re planning your budget.

  • Home Inspection. Usually costing between $300 – $500, this is a fee you’ll pay regardless of whether or not you buy the property. A home inspection is meant to protect you from purchasing a lemon, so you definitely don’t want to skip it! money
  • Mortgage Costs. The total cost of your home loan doesn’t just include the amount you borrow. It also includes interest and often includes private mortgage insurance depending on your lender.
  • Loan Fees. These include one-time fees for loan applications (to pay for background and credit checks, paperwork costs, etc), appraisals (to make sure the property is worth what you’re paying for it), lender’s origination fees (an up-front cost charged to you by the lender for making the loan), and title services (to cover notary services, property title searches, etc). And don’t forget about closing costs! Figure about 2.5% of the loan for these.
  • Ongoing Costs. When you own rather than rent, you’ll be responsible for ongoing costs like property taxes, homeowners association fees, and homeowners insurance, as well as maintenance on your home, appliances, and property.

All this can seem like a lot to think about, but don’t panic. When you’re ready to buy a home in the metro Atlanta area, let The Premier Group help! Our agents are friendly, knowledgeable, and fully versed in the buying and selling of homes. Call us today!

Remodeling Projects with a High ROI

Home remodeling is quite an investment. Before you begin, it’s important to know which features will not only make you happier in your home, but also help build equity. Here at The Premier Group, we know the importance of a maximum return on investment. Check out the remodeling projects that will give you the best ROI: taking notes, house keys

  • Landscaping. The yard is one of the first things potential buyers will see; you definitely want it to make a good impression. The right flowering shrubs, trees, and upgrades like stone pathways, planters, and mulch can give you up to 105% return on your investment!
  • Roof. If you’re noticing that your roof needs work, taking care of that will not only give you great ROI, but also improve your quality of life. If shingles are missing or curling up, your energy bill is super high, or you’re noticing stains on your ceiling, it’s time to replace!
  • Hardwood Floors. Beautiful, timeless, and healthier–hardwood floors beat carpeting any day. Refinishing hardwoods can give you up to 100% ROI, whereas new ones give up to 95%.  
  • Insulation/Windows. Getting an energy audit and acting on it will not only give you a great ROI, it will also help keep you comfortable as the weather cools down! Find out where you’re losing energy and get that fixed. Your budget will thank you now, and you’ll thank yourself when you get ready to sell.

Remember, the team at The Premiere Group is here to help–give us a call and let’s discuss which projects are best for your home!

Why Home Sales Are Down While Buyers Remain Motivated

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Regardless of whether the housing market is favoring buyers or sellers, sales are more often than not driven by interest rates, the economy and government subsidies. Right now, we’re looking at relatively good interest rates for buyers, an economy that is growing steadily if not rapidly and favorable lending regulations from the state government. And yet, we aren’t seeing an increase in home sales. If fact, it’s the opposite.

Through the end of the summer and now into the early part of the fall season, sales are down. But why? At The Premier Group Real Estate Firm, we decided to look into the lackluster home sales of late in the Atlanta Metro area to see if we could figure out why things have been so slow in what should be a favorable market.

Too Few Houses?

Could a lack of homes being put on the market really be the culprit? It seems like it may be. Inventory has only declined marginally since this time last year from a national average perspective. However, the South as a whole is below the national average and it doesn’t seem like we’ve been spared here in Woodstock. So it could stand to reason that a decrease in available homes, and hence an increase in pricing, could be the problem.

Buyers Are Motived but Sales Are Down…

The market does not seem to be suffering from a lack of interested buyers at the moment. But for some reason, sales are down. One reason could be attributed to a 5.6 percent increase in median home prices since last year. According to an article put out by the National Association of Realtors, the average home price was $253,500 in August. Match this with stagnant wage increases nationwide and it could explain why a seemingly healthy pool of motivated buyers aren’t biting. Or maybe it’s what’s keeping them from listing their current homes in the first place.

Regardless, things do seem to be favorable for an increase in sales. Watch for prices to fluctuate and potentially drop. This could be a good sign that sales are on their way to picking back up again! If you’re curious to hear more or want to look at some of our current listings, make sure to contact us at TPG today.

Staging Your Home for Best Results

Did you know that properly staging your home can increase its selling price by up to 10% and decrease the amount of time it spends on the market? Here at The Premier Group, we know how to sell homes in the metro Atlanta area. Check out these staging tips to increase your home’s selling value:

  • Ask Your Real Estate Agent! Your Premier Group agent is your partner on the crazy journey that is selling your home. We want your venture to be successful just as much as you do, and we have the know-how to make it happen.sold sign
  • Paint. Neutral colors will show your space to its best advantage. Potential buyers will be able to project their own tastes on a warm neutral palette, and warm colors invoke feelings of comfort and peace.  
  • Declutter. The more stuff you leave out, the smaller and more cramped a room looks. Remove personal items, collections, excessive decor, heavy furniture, etc. Pay special attention to the kitchen, where so many appliances and tools can wind up on the counters.  

  • Clean! Everything should be sparkling clean, especially in the bathroom. Pay special attention to the grout. Consider investing in a professional cleaning service to make this easier on your family.

  • Ask a Friend.

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    a friend walk through your staged home as if they were a potential buyer. What do they notice? What do they love and hate? Fresh eyes will often pick up on things you’ve missed. 

Contact us for tips about the latest real estate trends, and to find out how The Premier Group can help sell your home faster!

4 Questions to Ask Before House Hunting

taking notes, house keysStarting the search for a new home can be a daunting task. It involves researching schools and communities, making lists of your new home’s must-haves, and analyzing your finances to determine what’s in your budget. And that’s before you get started! The Premier Group is here to make house hunting easier. Before you start looking for a new house, ask yourself these questions.

Why Do I Want to Move?

Is your family expanding? Do you want to move closer to the city (or farther away)? Are you tired of the layout of your current house? Answering these questions will reveal the deal breakers to keep in mind when hunting for a new house.

What’s My Budget?

This isn’t a question you can answer alone. Before starting your home search, sit down with a bank representative or mortgage broker to see if you qualify for a loan, and if so, how much. Communicate your budget to your real estate agent so you don’t overextend your finances.

What’s My Ideal Location?

Once you figure out where you want to live, it’s time to determine the location. Would you rather live amid trendy shops and restaurants or on a quiet cul-de-sac where your kids can play? Do you have transportation, or do you need public transit nearby? Keep in mind that you may have different needs in a few years than you do today.

What’s My Timeline?

If you need to move ASAP, you may have to compromise on your home wish-list. If you have longer to look, you can wait for that ideal house with an open floor plan and a park within walking distance.

Finding the right home takes time and attention, but you don’t have to do it on your own. Contact The Premier Group for personalized assistance in finding your ideal home in Cherokee or Fulton County.

Why Millennials Love Living in “the ATL”

atlanta - piedmont parkAtlanta is a hotspot for millennials, with tens of thousands flocking to Atlanta apartments, condos, and homes each year. Forbes ranks metro Atlanta as one of the best cities in the U.S. for people in their 20’s and 30’s. But what is it about “the ATL” that makes it such an attractive location for young people?

Job Opportunities

Many millennials who relocate to Atlanta are just starting their careers. Atlanta offers a variety of opportunities for young professionals in the film, energy, agriculture, healthcare and biomedical, media and communications, and finance fields. Available positions range from entry level to high-level corporate jobs, which appeal to millennials at all stages of their careers. Atlanta also has an economy where startups can thrive; an attractive opportunity for the next generation of business owners.

Community, Attractions, and Nightlife

Atlanta boasts a thriving nightlife with food, entertainment, and fun hot spots readily available. There’s also a healthy mix of young, single men and women, which makes it a good city for dating. With frequent sporting events, outdoor concerts and public attractions, as well as innovative bars and breweries, the community in Atlanta appeals to a millennial crowd.

Affordable Housing

While folks in Atlanta may complain about their rent or mortgage, housing prices remain affordable when compared to other major cities in the U.S. The city offers millennials a variety of housing options, from renting a house or apartment to purchasing a condo or townhome.

Need help finding a home in Atlanta? The Premier Group is an experienced real estate firm who will help you find your dream Atlanta home within your budget. Call one of our Atlanta real estate agents today.