Thursday, April 3, 2014

2014 - New Federal Rules for Lending

I hope everyone is enjoying our early spring weather!  Thanks to all for making 2013 a good year! If you saw my earlier announcements, I am now with Virtual Properties Realty in Duluth.  I am still listing residential real estate in Gwinnett, and truly appreciate your referrals and repeat business. That's the highest compliment I could receive!

2013 marked the beginning of recovery in Atlanta's housing market.  We saw a modest increase in home prices, with new homes out pacing resale homes. Inventory was low, while many home sellers sat on the fence through 2013.  State wide, home prices still lagged far behind the peak of 2006.

What experts expect for Georgia in 2014 is a transitional, more sustainable housing market. More investors will buy directly from the lenders, rather than purchasing after the property is listed.  Banks will be required to work harder to keep homeowners in the home if at all possible. Short sales will decline.  Rentals will increase. 

For many years, lenders considered the buyer's credit, job security, and debt ratio, which included fixed payments for car and credit card loans, home insurance, and HOA fees.  New lending standards will require buyers to develop a realistic and sustainable household budget including other expenses such as health insurance, car maintenance, utilities, home maintenance, food, etc.   Lenders will NOT be offering the high risk loans of pre-2007, and most new loans will allow the seller to pay only 3% of closing costs. Buyers will be required to prove that they have the cash to close, and it is recommended that buyers begin the loan processing at least three months prior to closing.

All of the above will affect home sellers. Except in cash closings, sellers should expect at least three months between contract and closing.  In addition, appraisers will begin determining value based on the age and condition of the home, and the estimated costs for repairs and replacements. Energy efficiency will play a bigger role in future appraisals.

Spring Photographs

This is the best time of the year to list in the Atlanta area, just as the dogwoods and azaleas are beginning to bloom!  If you are considering your home anytime in the future, be sure to take lots of photographs of your home in all seasons.  Potential buyers are attracted to a home that is loved!


We've had such beautiful spring weather, I've tried to take afternoon walks in a variety of Gwinnett County parks.  The Hudson-Nash park on Five Forks-Trickum Road in Lilburn offers a pleasant walking trail with a lot of historic interest.  The photo above is of the back of the Thomas Hudson House.  The photo below was taken recently from the Hudson-Nash Park looking across Five Forks Trickum to the Thomas Hudson house, with the Yellow River Post Office and general store in the foreground.

The Thomas Hudson plantation, later owned by the Claude Nash family, is one the oldest remaining plantations in Gwinnett County. The original house was built c1840s. This house with original detached kitchen, was part of the Thomas P. Hudson plantation. Thomas Hudson was a Road Commissioner in 1845, along with Robert Craig and John Bankston. He served in the Georgia General Assembly for several years in the 1850s and 1860s. According to the Gwinnett Historical Society, he owned 562 acres in 1860. He also ran the Yellow River Post Office and general store across the street. The post office and slave quarters have been recreated on the property (a 1930s barn remains), and there are informative historic markers along the trail.

In his "History of Gwinnett County" Vol I, James Flanigan publishes biographical sketches written by Judge Richard D. Winn, beginning in 1871. Judge Winn tells that Mr. Hudson did his best to supply the women and children of the community during the Civil War, when times were hard. He gave away staples to poor people who could not afford to pay for them. He died during the war. You'll find more information on this and other historic sites in Gwinnett County at the Gwinnett County GAGenWeb.