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Property taxes due Oct. 1

Property taxes due Oct. 1

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. -- It's that time of year again for Gwinnett County homeowners.

Property taxes are due Wednesday, Oct. 1. Residents have four ways of paying the tax -- online, through the mail, by drop box or in person.

Those who choose to pay online can do so at gwinnetttaxcommissioner.com. It is free to pay by check. There is a flat fee of $3.95 to pay by debit card, while credit cards have a 2.29 percent service fee.

Mailed-in payments can be sent to the Gwinnett County Tax Commissioner, P.O. Box 372, Lawrenceville, 30046.

All tax commissioner offices have drop boxes where property tax payments can be left. Tax commissioner officers will also accept in-person payments.

For more information, call Gwinnett County at 770-822-8800.

Underwater on your mortgage?

Underwater on your mortgage?

HARP 2.0 CAN HELP!

What is HARP?  HARP is Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP).  How does this affect you?  HARP is designed to help home owners that have been unable to get traditional refinancing due to the decrease in home value and may not have enough equity or no equity at all.  Home owners can actually be upside down on their mortgage and still be eligible.

Who is eligible?

  • The mortgage must be owned or guaranteed by Freddi mac or Fannie Mae
  • The mortgage must have been sold to Fannie Mae or Freddie mac on or before May 31, 2009.
  • The mortgage cannot have been refinanced under HARP previously
  • The current loan to value ratio needs to be greater than 80%
  • The borrower must be current on their mortgage at the time of the refinance with a good payment history in the past 12 months

As of January 9, 2012 HARP Guidelines have changed.  Prior t

Agents Unknowingly in Violation of Ethics

This is a warning to Agents and a reminder to the public to be careful who you chose to represent you in a real estate transaction. I have recently heard some stories that have taken place locally and want to send this reminder to everyone. It is a violation of the ethical requirement for licensure in Georgia to represent a buyer or seller in a matter that the Agent is unfamilliar with. 

The REALTOR® Code of Ethics - Article 1 starts: "When representing a buyer, seller, landlord, tenant, or other client as an agent, REALTORS® pledge themselves to protect and promote the interests of their client."

Metro Atlanta foreclosure rate 16th highest in nation

Metro Atlanta foreclosure rate 16th highest in nation

ATLANTA -- Metro Atlanta's foreclosure rate slowed by the middle of 2011, but remains among the metros with the highest rates.

Atlanta had 44,1560 foreclosure filings from January through June, down about 16 percent from the first half of 2010. This gave Atlanta the 16th highest rate of foreclosures, according to RealtyTrac, which publishes the largest list of foreclosures in the country.

The company defines a foreclosure as default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions. 

Real Estate has a Long Road to Recovery

 

The next years of real estate are not going to be positive for homeowners. In fact, it’s estimated that in 2012 over 60% of all home sales will be foreclosures or short sales. This means that the banks will control the pricing of more than half the real estate market and we can expect continued declining values. This idea may not sit well with many after the mortgage meltdown and moral hazard issues we had over the past five years.

Further, we at Sellect Realty believe that it will be another five to seven years before we see home values near their previous peaks and then we expect a plateau for several years to follow before growth. Currently our market is still declining. Despite month-over-month gains we have had another drastic decline in home values over the past 12 months. According to the recent statistics released by Realtor.com the average listing price decreased by 11.42% from June 2010 to $250,933.  

Things to Avoid When Holding an Open House

This weekend was national open house weekend. I had the opportunity to see an open house go wrong in a million dollar neighborhood, so I'm going to share some pointers to help your open house go smoothly.

1. Ensure that there are no malfunctions with the home. A defective air conditioner ruins the experience for everyone including the agent. You do not want the agent to be in a bad mood!

2. Have an agent who will not push prizes, giveaways, or follow prospective buyers as they look at the house. The idea is to make everyone comfortable and the way to do that is by making all information readilly available and be available to answer questions.

3. Have drinks and/or snacks on hand, especially on a hot afternoon. At a minimum, bottles icewater and soda is a must.

10 NE Georgia Towns Losing Population, While Others Grow

Atlanta, GA--  According to the newly released Census Bureau 10 Georgia cities saw their population numbers drop. Most of the 10 were in the Northeast mountains and included Blairsville, Clayton, Elberton and Toccoa, Carnesville, Dillard, Mountain City, Royston, Sky Valley, and Tiger.

The fastest-growing cities in Georgia from 2008-2009, according to the US Census were Braselton increased from 5,276 to 5,924; Cumming 5,726 to 5,896; Flowery Branch 3,975 to 4.115; Gainesville 35,476 to 35,750; Lawrenceville 29,268 to 29,837; Oakwood 4,541 to 5,353; and Suwanee 16,257 to 16,712.