Consumers Use Of Mobile Devices Growing Rapidly

Smartphones and tablets are changing the way that we all communicate and access information. This is also changing the way that many products and services are marketed – and real estate is no exception. Did you know that the first mobile call was placed in 1983? That phone cost $3,995, weighed 2.5 pounds and was over 10 inches tall. Yes, we have come a long way! Here are some interesting facts:

  • Smartphones outsold PCs for the first time in 2011. By the end of 2012, more consumers will be accessing the internet from their mobile devices than from laptops or PCs.
  • Most people look at their phone about 150 times per day (roughly once every 6.5 minutes). According to Qualcomm CEO, Paul Jacobs.
  • Mashable reports that many people are now treating their smartphone as the first screen to access information. They may also use their laptop or tablet later to access that information from a larger screen.
  • QR code scans jumped over 600% from 2011. Now over 25% of smartphone users are active with scanning QR codes.
  • Prudential Georgia Realty reports a 400% increase in mobile visitors and page views in the last year.

It is clear that the mobile revolution is changing every industry. Traditional website content does not fit properly for mobile screens. Marketers must be thoughtful about providing the right experience for each device. For real estate marketing, Prudential Georgia Realty has been using text marketing, QR codes and mobile searches for our websites for over two years. We recently introduced our new hyper-local mobile websites with listings from all 6 local mls services plus a smart GPS search. We also introduced our exclusive “1-Touch” local searches for neighborhoods, schools districts and other local areas. These types of hyper-local searches are not available on mobile solutions from the national website providers or other local brokerages.

Prudential Georgia Realty is an industry leader in mobile marketing for real estate. Contact us if you would like to learn more.

Congratulations to Our iPad Winners!

Congratulations to the following iPad winners. They are the latest winners of a new Apple iPad as part of Prudential Georgia Realty’s “Text, Scan or Browse” contest held at open house events across the Atlanta Metro area. For a list of open houses for the upcoming June 10th Super Sunday Open House Event and “Text, Scan or Browse” contest, visit www.PrudentialGA.com.

 

  • Gabriel Gil won an iPad by visiting the open house for Sterling at Dunwoody – a wonderful condominium and townhouse community built by The Providence Group.
  • Debra Luther won an iPad by visiting the open house for 3003 Heart Pine Lane in Buford, GA.
  • Chris Anderson won an iPad in our contest for sellers who allowed us to host an open house. His home was located at 735 Lake Mist Cove in Milton, GA.
  • Laura Sum won an iPad when she visited the open house for the Brownstones at Decatur located at 10 Arbor Way in Decatur, GA.
  • The next Super Sunday Open House event and our “Text, Scan or Browse” contest to win a new iPad is coming up on June 10th.

Prudential Georgia Realty hosted one of the largest open house events of the year on April 28th and 29th in cooperation with the National Association of Realtors® Nationwide Open House Weekend. According to FMLS reports there were 1,366 properties open over that weekend and Prudential Georgia Realty hosted 616 of these or 45% of all the open houses. We continue to host additional Super Sunday Open House events each month during the summer to promote our beautiful listings. Each Super Sunday offers a consumer the chance to win a new iPad in our “Text, Scan or Browse” contest. The next event is June 10th.


Home Improvement Tip: Clean & Repair Your Gutters

Cleaning roof gutters is a small task that can prevent big problems. Every spring and fall, thoroughly cleaning your home’s gutters will keep them working like they should. Leaves can build up and clog the downspouts, which can cause water damage to your roof and fascia (board behind the gutter). All that water pouring over the gutters can end up next to your home’s foundation, and maybe in the basement or crawlspace. Follow these simple steps for cleaning your home’s gutters and making simple gutter repairs.

Select an appropriate ladder to clean gutters. Use a step ladder if possible. For a two-story home, you may need an extension ladder. For all ladders, make sure the legs are set on a solid and level surface.

Removing Debris
Begin cleaning the gutter near a downspou t. Remove the large debris (leaves, twigs, etc.) with a trowel and dump it in a bucket. To clean out finer materials, flush the gutter lengths with a hose starting at the end opposite the downspout. Alternatively, you can use a gutter-cleaning attachment on a hose. If the water doesn’t drain, recheck the downspout strainer, and clean as necessary. If gutter water still doesn’t drain, the downspout may be clogged.

Check the drain end. If the downspout runs underground, remove it from the pipe as needed. Install a small nozzle on the hose and lock it at full pressure. Turn on the water and feed the hose up from the bottom of the spout. If this doesn’t clear the downspout or the nozzle is too big, use a plumber’s snake tool to clear the blockage. Reattach the downspout.

Repairing Gutters
After flush ing the gutter, if there is still standing water, the gutter may not be sloped correctly and will require adjustment. The length of the system should decline at least ¼” every 10’ toward the downspout. If the gutter doesn’t slope enough, detach the hangers and adjust the gutter enough to drain properly, then reattach. It may be easiest to work on small sections at a time to prevent the entire gutter system from falling. Inspect the gutter for obvious damage and missing parts. Support hangers should be spaced every 2’ along the gutter.

Repair any leaks in the gutter. Identify gutter leaks by filling the gutter with water, but make sure the gutters have dried before repairing. To repair leaks at the seams, make sure the gutter lengths are tight against each other, and run a bead of gutter sealant on both sides of all joints. To repair leaks at the end caps, add sealant along the inside of the join t. To repair holes in the gutter material, ask a Lowe’s associate for products designed to repair aluminum or fiberglass gutters.

Apply gutter touch-up paint to cover any blemishes as desired. If necessary, repaint some or all of the gutters in the home’s exterior color.

Metro Atlanta Real Estate Market Update

Prudential Real Estate reports the Metro Atlanta real estate market is showing signs of improvement for sellers. In 2011, we reported that over 60% of sold transactions were short sales and foreclosures. And approximately 50% of closed sales were under $100,000 which would normally have been 10-15% of the market. But we have now seen a prolonged period of low “for sale” inventory. At the same time, the pace of pre-foreclosures (notices of default) and foreclosures has slowed. Here are some specific numbers from our sources:

  • Listed inventory is down 35% from April of 2011.
  • Properties sold under $100,000 now represent 22% of the market versus almost 50% in 2011. We are moving back toward a normal price distribution where 10-15% of sales would be under $100,000.
  • Pre-foreclosures and Foreclosures are down almost 50% from 2011 levels.
  • Normal market sales (resales, new homes) are now outpacing bank-owned sales.
  • Desirable properties with market pricing are getting multiple offers and selling quickly.

So what is causing these positive trends and how long will these conditions last? The combination of low inventory, strong demand and the slowdown in short sales & foreclosures is driving these latest market conditions. But real estate is local and our markets can be very different. Some areas will continue to see low inventory and values are expected to start rising. Other areas have looming “shadow inventory” and we will see more short sales & foreclosures coming late this year and into next year. We have the facts to help guide you if you want to know more about your area.

If you know someone who is interested in buying, there are beautiful homes available at affordable prices and mortgage rates remain at historic lows. But this window of opportunity will not last as we are seeing prices stabilize and the “for sale inventory” getting very low in many of our local markets. And mortgage rates are expected to rise over time. Even though the Fed has stated that interest rates will stay low through the end of 2014, that does not mean that mortgage rates will stay the same.

Mortgage rates are impacted by other factors. Both the Freddie Mac and Mortgage Bankers Association forecast mortgage rates to be 4.5% by the end of 2012 and 5% by the end of 2013. Most analysts expect us to return to the 6-8% range in the next 3-5 years. The average mortgage rate for the past 50 years has been 8%. There will be plenty of people still buying homes just like they did in past years. But the affordability of the homes they purchase will be very different. Home affordability is the mix of purchase price and the mortgage rate. If rates go up from 4% to 5%, that is a 25% drop in affordability or purchasing power. This is why wealthy individuals are coming to Metro Atlanta to buy investment properties right now!

Is Your Deck Memorial Day Ready?

Ah, Memorial Day…

The school year has drawn to a close and neighborhood pools are opening. It’s kind of the unofficial beginning of summer. It’s a time to reflect on those brave individuals who gave their lives protecting our freedoms and those who continue to boldly take that risk serving our nation. It’s also time to fire up the grill! But what if your patio isn’t as excited as you?

Maybe it’s time to give it a little face lift before you fire up the barbecue. Better Homes and Gardens Magazine is always full of great do-it-yourself and low budget ideas. It really can be as easy as some potted plants or throw pillows. A little paint can also work wonders. If you’re really feeling inspired, check out some of their great ideas for privacy screens in their recent article on “14 Ways to Improve Your Deck”.

U.S. Homeownership Aspirations Aren’t Dead: Owning a Home Remains Defining Element of American Dream

As the country continues to emerge from the turbulent mortgage period, a Homebuyer Poll released by TD Bank reveals aspirations of homeownership are still very much alive in the U.S. The majority (84 percent) of today’s younger renting generation (ages 18-34) responded that they intend to buy a home. Overall, more than half of consumers polled say homeownership is a vital component to defining the American Dream and 59 percent associated feelings of excitement or pride as part of their first time home buying process.

TD Bank surveyed more than 1,300 consumers across the U.S. to better understand the perceptions and attitudes surrounding home ownership, specifically examining the attitudes of current renters and prospective home owners, as well as past and present home owners.

Owning the American Dream

The majority of current home owners surveyed report purchasing their first home early in life with 4 out of 5 buying between ages 18-34. Close to two-thirds of those polled continue to be homeowners. The poll also found that first time homebuyers are more likely to cite achieving the American Dream as a primary motivation for purchasing their first home.

“There’s no denying buying a home is a pivotal point in a person’s life. Our survey tells us that people are looking to buy homes, and attitudes towards homeownership have continued to remain positive over the years,” says Michael Copley, Executive Vice President, Retail Lending, TD Bank. “TD Bank remains committed to helping keep the American Dream alive by giving customers the hassle-free tools to borrow smarter and make this dream a reality.”

Of those who intend to own, the American Dream (18 percent) is considered as important or more than other motivations for buying a home, such as:
• Good opportunity (17 percent)
• An evolving family (11 percent)
• Being financially ready (10 percent)

The survey revealed that plans to own a home tracked similarly across genders, with 66 percent of female respondents planning to own a home compared to 57 percent of men.

Financing Your First Home

“With more than half of homeowners surveyed stating getting a mortgage and making a down payment is the preferred method of payment, choosing a lender remains a vital step in the home buying process,” continues Copley.

Other Key Findings From The Survey Include:

• Three out of 10 homeowners consider their house their dream home.
• While younger homeowners are more stressed (20 percent) compared to older homeowners when asked to look back on their first home, older homeowners were more proud (51 percent), more confident (20 percent) and far less stressed (9 percent).
• Seventy-eight percent of respondents said that they plan to stay in their current home.
• Staying within budget (43 percent) is a top consideration when buying a home among those who intend to buy.

TD Bank developed the First Time Homebuyer Kit to create a rewarding home-buying experience. Available on the TD Bank website (www.tdbank.com/firsthome) as well as in stores, the kit is designed to take the customer through the process of purchasing a home, providing advice and information needed to choose the house and mortgage to best suit individual needs.

Some things to consider when buying your first home are:

• Determine how much you can afford: By looking at your income and current monthly debts you can determine what you can afford.
• Buying a home isn’t for everyone: Know the benefits of owning vs. renting before making any decisions. Also stop to think about what type of home you can afford and which style suits your lifestyle such as single-family homes, townhouses or fixer-uppers.
• Narrow the focus of your search: Many factors impact the ideal type of house for each buyer, including desired features and benefits, life stage and how many improvements you are willing to make before moving in.
• Make the mortgage process as hassle-free as possible: From fixed-rate to adjustable -rate, there are several options to fit your needs.

For more information, visit www.td.com.

Article printed from RISMedia: http://rismedia.com. URL to article: http://rismedia.com/2012-05-21/u-s-homeownership-aspirations-arent-dead-owning-a-home-remains-defining-element-of-american-dream/

Mableton Farmers Market Opens May 24th

The Mableton Farmers Market reopens Thursday, May 24th. The market is open every Thursday from 8:30am to 12:30 pm throughout the summer at the Mable House Complex at 5239 Floyd Road.

Visit our returning farmers and learn more about healthy eating habits and wellness through a series of events, classes and speakers each week during the season.

Mingle with neighbors and friends right in the heart of Mableton while you purchase from a selection of Georgia-grown fresh fruits and vegetables, preserves, healthy baked goods and more.

Ask about the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program Vouchers (worth $20.00) for low-income older adults.

The Farmers Market is made possible through a partnership between Cobb County Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs, Cobb Public Health’s We Can! In Cobb program, Mableton Improvement Coalition, AARP of Georgia and Lifelong Mableton.

For more information, visit www.Mableton.org.

7th Annual Mableton Day Promises to be Fun for the Whole Family

Saturday, May 19 is Mableton Day as proclaimed by The Cobb County Board of Commissioners and all of Mableton will be coming together for the 7th annual Mableton Day Celebration. The event will be held at the Mable House Arts Complex on Saturday, May 19th from 8am until 2pm.

The day will start with a 5K race. The second annual 5K Race will also feature the first annual Mableton Junior Youth Race for kids 12 and younger. Kids will also enjoy the jumpies, games, face painting, and more at the Kid’s Corner. Plenty of food vendors will be on hand to dish out tasty treats everyone loves to indulge in at a festival. Car enthusiasts will enjoy the classic Car Show. Be sure to check out the vendors and arts and crafts as well. Performers from throughout the metro area will be providing entertainment all day long. Some of the featured artists include Bradley Hill, FUGM, Catherine Lennon “Cricket”, L. Jaye, Beauty, and Hannah Anderson.

Mableton Day brings together the diverse residents of Mableton with the goal of fostering awareness and instilling pride in the community. It is also a great way to meet your neighbors and to learn more about businesses, organizations and services in the Mableton and South Cobb area. The celebration is hosted by the Mableton Day Coalition, which is a partnership of three non-profit organizations: the Mableton Improvement Coalition; the South Cobb Arts Alliance; and the Amateur Advocate Association. In support of local community organizations, two grants will also be awarded to two not-for-profit organizations. The first place grant is $1,000 and the second place grant is $500.

Admission to Mableton Day is free. The Mable House Arts Complex is located at 5239 Floyd Road SW. For more information, visit www.MabletonDay.com.

Win an iPad at Our Super Sunday Event May 20th 2-4pm

National Open House Weekend was a few weeks ago and Prudential Georgia Realty hosted over 45% of the open houses in the metro Atlanta area with Petersen Partners hosting five right here in South Cobb. It was a great opportunity to introduce some of the great neighborhoods in our community to buyers.  The event was so successful, we are doing it again.

On May 20th, Petersen Partners and Prudential Georgia Realty will be hosting our Super Sunday Open House Event.  Right now, there are beautiful homes available at affordable prices and mortgage rates remain at historic lows. But this window of opportunity will not last as we are seeing prices stabilize and the “for sale inventory” getting very low in many of our local markets.

Stop by one of our open houses in the Mableton neighborhood of Vinings Estates on Sunday from 2pm till 4pm. Some of our top agents will be on hand at 5121 Crescent Cove Lane and 5304 Whitehaven Park Lane to answer any of your real estate questions whether you are buying or selling. Both of these fantastic homes exemplify some of the wonderful properties currently available in the South Cobb area.

When you visit the open houses on Sunday, you will also have the opportunity to participate in the “Text, Scan or Browse” contest. One lucky winner will win a brand new Apple iPad. Plus, sign up for a free market analysis from Petersen Partners and you will be entered to win a table at a Mable House summer concert!

Petersen Partners is a top producing team in Atlanta for Prudential Georgia Realty. Our success comes from our experience and professionalism, but it is also rooted in our love of our community and the great resources we are able to provide thanks to Prudential Georgia Realty. Prudential Georgia Realty is Ranked #1 in Homes Sold by the Atlanta Business Chronicle, Trendgraphix and RealValuator. We are #1 in overall transactions and homes sold for 2010, 2011 and year-to-date 2012. And we have the best market information resources so you will know exactly what is happening in your local market. Contact us today so you can make the best real estate decisions. Please visit www.PetersenPartners.com for more information or find us on Facebook.

The 2012 Smyrna Wine Stroll is Coming!

The 7th Annual Smyrna Wine Stroll is coming up on Saturday, May 19th from 2:00pm until 5:00pm. The 2012 Smyrna Wine Stroll will feature more wine, food, music and fun than ever!

With more than 60 different wines from around the world, along with food samples provided by local restaurants and sponsors, the $45 price of a ticket is an absolute bargain. This is the 7th annual event, designed for a fun and educational wine experience. Enjoy live music, delectable wine, and fabulous food samples while shopping. It’s a fun way to give something back to the local community!

Event sponsor The Wine Cellars, is partnering with the Smyrna Heroes Gala and awarding 100% of the net proceeds of this year’s Wine Stroll to the Smyrna Public Safety Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports Smyrna’s police officer and firefighter heroes. Over the past few years, The Wine Cellars has been able to donate more than $20,000 to local charities and foundations.

The Smyrna Wine Stroll is a fun event designed to allow patrons to stroll through the beautiful Smyrna Market Village shopping center while sampling a variety of wonderful wines and shopping with merchants and vendors. Smyrna Market Village is located at 2840 Atlanta Road, Smyrna, Georgia 30080.

Tickets to the 2012 Wine Stroll are available at The Wine Cellars (located at 1295 W. Spring Street, Suite 100 Smyrna, GA 30080) or you can visit www.SmyrnaWineStroll.com to purchase online. Everyone and anyone is welcomed to attend; however, you must be 21 and over to participate and a valid photo ID is required.