Thursday, October 25, 2007

Loan Modification Can Save Your Home

You can barely turn on the tv or read the news without hearing about how bad homeowners have it these days. Whether its due to the loss of a job and high interest rate loans, the picture sounds pretty grim. So what do you do if you fall behind? The first step is to contact your lender and let them know what's going on. This isn't something you want to do if you fall behind but there are more options than you know. Countrywide recently agreed to modify the loan terms of tens of thousands of homeowners facing foreclosure. I'd love to think that Countrywide did this from the kindness of its heart but the reality is that foreclosure is very expensive for the lender. The lender incurs the cost of lost mortgage payments, fees associated with foreclosure process, decline or damage to the property, and more. The list goes on and on.

Its more advantageous for them to modify your loan so that you have a payment you can afford rather than go through the foreclosure process. This means your adjustable rate loan may become a fixed rate loan or your 15 year fixed loan may become a 30 year fixed loan. If you think this is an option for you, you should know that your lender will want to verify how much you can actually pay. They will likely want to see your recent pay stubs, bank statements, tax returns, and a hardship letter explaining how you got into your current situation. Feel free to send me an email if you'd like more information c_lusby@kw.com

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous


Atlanta is home to many celebrities. The house above belongs to superstar Usher Raymond. Its currently listed for sale at $1.9 million. Other well known Atlanta figures have opened their doors to the AJC and allowed the paper to get a peak at how they live. I've compiled a short list below with links to the photos. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Candler Park Tour of Homes

The 2007 Candler Park Tour of Homes takes place this Sunday and features nine homes, ranging from Craftman style bungalows to modern lofts, and one garden.

Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 the day of the tour. Tickets can be purchased in advance at the following locations: Candler Park Market, Little Five Points Pharmacy, Radial Cafe, Urban Gardener, Intown Hardware, Donna Van Gogh's and Kirkwood Feed & Seed or online via PayPal. Tickets may also be purchased during the Candler Park Fall Festival this weekend for $15 at the Gilded Angel located at 1404 McLendon Avenue in the heart of Candler Park.

Tour Hours: Sunday from 12pm to 6pm. For more information, call 404-522-5455 or visit the website Candler Park Tour of Homes.

Live at Sweet Auburn!

Renaissance Walk at Sweet Auburn is a great example of the redevelopment plans for the the city of Atlanta. This is a $45 million mixed use development aimed at revitalizing historic Sweet Auburn. Its conveniently located within walking distance of the Apex Museum, the King Center, and Ebenezer Baptist Church.

There is currently TAD (Tax Allocation District) pricing offered on a one bedroom condo. This unit would normally sell for $207,000 but can be purchased for $144,000. This is a discount of $63,000 for the right buyer. The buyer must be either a first time home owner or not have owned property in the last 18 months and will have to meet certain income criteria to be eligible for this pricing.

This is certainly the best deal in town right now! Click here c_lusby@kw.com to contact me for more details.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Atlantic Station

Atlantic Station is Atlanta's own city within the city. This community features over 10,000 homes, 30,000 jobs, and shopping and entertainment for many more.

This area includes trendy restaurants like Strip and Geisha House, a bowling alley, a movie theatre, Ikea, Target, and a park. This month, Atlantic Station will host Oktoberfest, Taste of Atlanta, and a breast cancer awareness walk. There is always something to do in this community and its all within walking distance!

One great feature of Atlantic Station is that its MARTA accessible. There is a free shuttle for the area that runs to and from the Arts Center MARTA station. Once at the station, you can hop on the train to Lenox Mall, downtown Atlanta, Cenntennial Olympic Park, and the airport.

Curious about home prices in Atlantic Station? Feel free to contact me at c_lusby@kw.com for more information. The best deal right now is a one bedroom condo priced at $182,000. Its definitely worth looking into if you work intown and are tired of the commute. Its a great alternative to many other areas as its centrally located. Living in the heart of the city means you can get to most other places in 20 minutes instead of an hour.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Atrocity Within

My good friend, Adriene, has written her debut novel, Atrocity Within, and its a great read!

Its the story of Elle Corday, an attorney who works her way through college as an escort and is later haunted by her past. The first chapter is available online at Atrocity Within.

Be sure to visit the site to learn more about the book and enter the drawing for a $500 American Express gift card.

Congratulations Adriene Allen! I'm really proud of you!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Halloween in Atlanta

Atlanta is a great place to experience Halloween. This month, take in a haunted house, tour a historic cemetery, or get spooked at Six Flags. The possibilities are endless. Read on for a few ideas...

Netherworld Haunted House is one of the top haunted houses in country. Admission ranges from $18-$25. Check out http://www.fearworld.com/ for more details.

Six Flags Over Georgia holds Fright Fest every October
Fright Fest

Oakland Cemetery is the final resting place of Atlanta's rich and famous. Tour the site October 26-27th and see its residents return to life and offer insights into local history.
Oakland Cemetery Tour

Check out the Atlanta Botanical Garden for its annual event, Scarecrows in the Garden. This event features original masterpieces by local businesses, organizations, and artists. There is also a costume party for children, Goblins in the Garden, on October 28th. Scarecrows in the Garden

A Halloween favorite of mine is the Peanuts classic, It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown. You can count on this playing a few times this month. Its showing Friday, October 27th at 8pm on ABC. Check your local tv guide for specific info or pick it up at Blockbuster or Hollywood Video. It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown

Now is the Time to Buy

Real estate is a very hot topic right now. A leading financial expert, Jim Cramer, recently stated that now is the worst time to buy. Jim Cramer may know about stocks and bonds but he doesn't know real estate.

Anyone that is familiar with supply and demand will tell you that now is the best time to buy real estate. Homes are taking longer to sell so there is a larger supply of homes thereby lowering the overall demand. This means that buyers have more leverage than ever before. If this same buyer waits for the market to turn around, he or she is likely to pay a much higher price.

The flipside of this, of course, is that conditions are not as favorable for sellers. If you have a home to sell, all is not lost. Many sellers feel they should wait for the market to turn around before putting their homes up for sale. The downside to this approach is that it works against them when they become buyers themselves. They may realize a better price on the sale of their home if they wait but they will also pay more for the next home.

In reality, "timing the market" doesn't work for the stock market and it doesn't work for real estate either. A home that is priced accurately and shows well will sell in any market.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Invitcus

Lately I've been feeling nostalgic and thinking of days long gone. Whenever I do this, I remember my favorite poems.

One such poem is Invictus by William Ernest Henley. It speaks of overcoming the odds and remaining true to yourself. I find it encouraging whenever I'm in a challenging situation. Perhaps it will speak to you as well.

Invictus

OUT of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.