Not-So-Boring Graphs Show Where You Can Buy the Most House for Your Money

Lesa Bell Atlanta Real Estate Love Now Sell Later Smyrna East Cobb

Do you want to buy a house but can’t quite swing Buckhead prices? Take a look at two appealing alternatives: Smyrna and close-in East Cobb. A first-time home buyer will have to pay almost $500,000 for a three-bedroom home in Buckhead but can find a home in Smyrna or close-in East Cobb for under $300,000. As Atlanta grows and SunTrust Park opens, these areas will become increasingly popular and convenient to all amenities. Best of all, your Midtown/Downtown commute is very doable.

Atlanta Real Estate Lesa Bell

2016 Median Sales Price of a 3-Bedroom Home in Buckhead

Smyrna Real Estate, Vinings Real Estate Atlanta Real Estate Lesa Bell

2016 Median Sales Price of a 3-Bedroom Home in Smyrna/Vinings

East Cobb Real Estate Atlanta Real Estate Lesa Bell

2016 Median Sales Price of a 3-Bedroom Home in Close-In East Cobb

Starting a home search? Let’s discuss your objectives and budget so we can get going! Email me to begin.

You might also be interested in reading Seven Reasons to Live in Smyrna

Buying a Home Soon? How Can You Increase Your Credit Score?

Love Now Sell Later Buying a Home

I am here help you find a house that you love, and a high credit score gives you the ultimate flexibility with financing. With it you will have the most favorable terms and lowest costs on your mortgage: the higher your score, the higher the probability of getting approved for a mortgage and the lower your rate and fees will be. If you’ve checked your credit score on CreditKarma or AnnualCreditReport and you have learned that you need to improve, read Clark Howard’s advice on improving your credit score. You’ll have a plan to put your finances in proper order to escape spiraling rents and buy a home you love.

You will be set apart from other buyers if you go to the extra effort of getting pre-approved for your loan well before you write an offer on a house.  It’s a sellers’ market in many price ranges.  Sellers want buyers who can qualify for the loan in the shortest possible time frame.  To be armed with a pre-approval letter, your lender must pull your credit report, analyze your debt-to-income ratio and submit the following documentation to the underwriting department.

  • Driver’s license and social security card
  • Contact information on previous employers
  • W-2s and tax returns
  • Recent pay stubs
  • Complete bank statements

Check out my guide to buying a home to know what it takes to begin the process. Ready to start?  I’ll guide you through each step! Click here to contact me. 

Who Are Typical Buyers and Sellers in Today’s Real Estate Market?

The National Association of Realtors has published their 2016 profile of buyers and sellers and here are the takeaways:

  • In 1981, the typical buyer’s age was between 25-34, for the third year in a row, the 2016 average age of a buyer is 44.
  • Newly-constructed homes made up 14% of all home sales in 2016, while 86% were resales.
  • Sellers live in their homes an average of 10 years.
  • Houses that have been sold were on the market an average of four weeks. (If your house has been on the market longer, it may be time for a price reduction.)

If typical buyers are between the ages of 25-34, and your home is overdue for an update, let’s talk! Start freshening up and streamlining so that you can love your house and make selling it easy.  I will work closely with you in guiding you step-by-step.



Infographic from National Association of Realtors

Buying or Selling? Know What the Inspector Will Be Looking For


home inspection graphic

Whether you are buying or selling a home you need to know what the home inspector will be looking for. This is especially important if selling is on the horizon. You’ll want to make sure that any problem areas are addressed prior to going on the market. Need help with walking you through the process or finding vendors, give me a call. Lisa Kaplan Gordon, of recently posted an informative summary of items inspectors generally review. The link to her full article is below.

  • Grounds: Inspectors are looking for current or future water issues such as standing puddles and faulty grading or downspouts which all lead to moisture intrusion into the home. They check out landscaping to see if trees and shrubs are in good condition and evaluate pathways, retaining walls, sheds, and railings.
  • Structure: Is their evidence of foundation issues? Are the sides straight? Is their moisture intrusion?
  • Roof: The inspector’s looking for defects in shingles, flashing, and fascia, all of which can cause ceiling drips; loose gutters; and defects in chimneys and skylights.
  • Exterior: The inspector will look for siding cracks, rot, or decay; cracking or flaking masonry; cracks in stucco;  and adequate clearing between siding and earth, which should be a minimum of 6 inches to avoid damage from moisture (although dirt can be in contact with the cement foundation).
  • Window, doors, trim: Assure that windows and doors are in good working condition. The inspector will see if frames are secure and without rot, caulking is solid and secure, and glass is undamaged.
  • Interior rooms: Inspectors are concerned about leaning walls that indicate faulty framing; stained ceilings that could point to water problems; adequate insulation behind the walls; and insufficient heating vents that could make a room cold and drafty.
  • Kitchen: Inspectors make sure range hood fans vent to the outside; ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protection exists for electrical outlets within 6 feet of the sink; no leaks occur under the sink; and that appliances function properly.
  • Bathrooms: Inspectors want to see toilets flushing, drains draining, showers spraying, and tubs securely fastened.
  • Plumbing: Inspectors are evaluating pipes, drains, water heaters, and water pressure and temperature as well as locate the main water shut-off valve.
  • Electrical: Inspectors will check if the visible wiring and electrical panels are in up to code,  that light switches work correctly, and that GFCI protection is in appropriate locations.

Read Lisa Kaplan Gordon’s full article on

See a previous Love Now Sell Later post with a quick video on the home inspection process.