Ayelet Gilad

Alpharetta Living, Real Estate and Community


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The (un)Power Of the Internet

The internet and the access to information have definitely changed our lives. The ease of accessing any type of information has made it easier for us in some respects to find any type of information or knowledge on the web, but it’s also a kind of a double-edge sword, as not all the information we find on the web is up-to-date, real or not biased. You might be wondering why is a realtor writing about the web and access…well, it’s because it’s very relevant to my daily work!

I often have my clients, surfing the web and searching for homes on websites like Zillow and Trulia, they find houses they like and then they call me asking me to show it to them or how come I didn’t show it to them yet? Truth is, that in many instances these real-estate sites are not too up-to-date. The house you like and think I didn’t show you is already under contract, or you might have even looked at a house that was recently sold or not for sale at all. Therefore, please be aware that these sites are not necessarily updated.

Another problem is the price estimate that is shown on every house page.  Home buyers should be aware that these estimates are very limited since they are based on information taken from coutny tax records, and these are not very up-to-date as well! Therefore, the estimate is often inaccurate. Further, these websites don’t take into account differences in interior features (like hardwood floors vs. carpet, formaica vs. granite counter tops and such); or exterior features like stuco vs. brick, the house location (cul de sac, entracnce to the neighborhood) and other factors like power lines, highway proximity and so on.

So if you’d really like to know how much your house is worth or what is the worth of the house you want to buy – contact me!  As your realtor I have all the hyperlocal and most importantly – the most recent & up to date information. Plus, you get to talk with a human 🙂


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Can You Still Find Deals Out There?

People are starting to feel like they missed the train, in some aspects – they might have, we’re now looking in the rear mirror on the bottom of the low of the market in 2009.

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If you’re thinking of buying a house to hold (i.e. to rent it out) , you should know that your calculation should consider if the amount you’ll get in monthly or  yearly is worth it? Even if the prices go up. In other words,  you need to know what is the Return-on-investment (ROI) you want to get out of it? If in low of the market (i.e. when the house prices hit rock bottom) the ROI was 10-15%, now you might only have net ROI of 7-8%. House prices are rising and rent prices are rising as well, however, they increase in house prices doesn’t fully correlate in the increase in rent prices, therefore your ROI can be lower. The take home message – before you buy a house to hold – ask yourself and calculate – is it  still worth it to you and make sure the ROI is still applicable to you and your financial situation before going into this transaction.


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I’m “Looking” For Deals!

Everybody wants a deal! I mean – who doesn’t? But what does a deal mean to you?

All the time, I hear: “I want a deal”, “I want to buy a foreclosure or a short sale”. But is a foreclosure a deal? It might have been true 2 years ago.  In the past, when banks listed houses on the market, they priced them based on their interior condition, but their exterior condition, and most often their interior condition, still needed repairs. Many times the cost of these repairs brought you to market price anyway. So what do you think? What is a deal or not? It probably was if the repairs cost you less than what the bank thought they’d cost. My point is, that you shouldn’t buy a house that is foreclosure just for the sake of buying a foreclosure. Today, the banks learned their lesson, they list fewer foreclosures at a time, and they price them closer to market value even if repairs are needed.  Since the inventory is so low, buyers are willing to pay more for a foreclosure or “a deal” even though the bottom line shows it’s not a real deal.

Still not convinced? Contact me today to learn more about the most up-to-date real estate market trends in the metro Atlanta area.


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On Mortgages, Lenders And Everything In Between

Do you really know your mortgage company? Is it so important to know who your mortgage lender is BEFORE you start a transaction with them? Hell YEH! This is so keen, I wish I could emphasize this even more!

How much stress can you pile on a home purchase? A LOT! It is such an emotional and stressful process anyway, so why not reduced it a bit in advance? Trust me – it’s totally worth it to have one less thing to sweat about.

As the market shifts to seller’s market, and the regulation are loosening up a bit, you see more mortgage brokers returning, as well as new ones, entering the business claiming they can get you a mortgage.  But since they’re not established or experienced enough you can become a victim! Please be aware of all the new and less known lenders – you won’t get your mortgage, lose money and even the house you wanted! As I mentioned above, purchasing a home is a very emotional process and you have to get into it with logic in mind. This is why you need get your mortgage from a reputable company (ask me for referral) and you have to it before you start looking at homes.

Especially in this market, if you see a house that is very relevant for – you have no time to lose. You need to be ready with your pre-approval letter, be aware of all the costs (like closing costs, escrow etc.). Working with someone that has no solid reputation,  may lead to delays in closing and even eventually losing the house you really wanted to be your home. This is why I highly recommend to all my clients that the first and foremost important thing you should do when you decide to buy a home is to get your mortgage; and I don’t mean just pre-approved mortgage based on your credit score, I mean give the lender all the documents (like W-2, tax returns, etc.). I saw in the past, when the pre-approval is only based on credit history, sometimes, when you submit all the documents they will reveal your real financial situation and your mortgage might not be approved.

As I write about often in my blog, there’s plenty possible pitfalls when you’re buying a house, and when you work with me and with a reputable lender, we can make sure to avoid them and have a smooth, less stressful transaction.  Call me today @ 404-245-7172 to see how I can help you!


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Buyers – Are You Ready To Compete?

As the current market shifted towards a seller’s market, you as a buyer sshould  adjust your expectations. Yes, indeed, in case you didn’t notice the market has changed! There are fewer homes on the market, actually there’re ¼ of the amount of homes that were available last year; so even if the amount of buyers didn’t increase as compared to last year, the competition sure did and is way more intensive! Buyers should be aware, that if they are serious about buying a house now, buyers have no choice and compete for it, assuming the price and condition justifies the house.

As a buyer today, if you find a house that is attractive to you, even if its price seems a bit over the market, don’t assume people won’t jump on the opportunity and be willing to suggest even a higher price than the listing price – the competition is rough!  As I alluded to before, buyers should adjust to the current market and be willing to make the right offer if they really want the house.

As a realtor I always ask my clients – what would be the max amount you’re willing to put on the house, so if your offer is not accepted, you won’t feel that you missed a great house, just because someone else offered a bit more than you. Lastly, this is why it’s imperative, that you are ready with a pre-approved mortgage from a well-known reputable lender.

Contact me today to find out how we can help you find your dream house!


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What Are The Most Important Parts Of The House To The Average Buyer?

In continuum of our latest post about whether you should remodel your house before you sell,  we thought you should know that an upgraded kitchen and master bedroom will make your house more likable to any buyer! Nonetheless, they will like your house more, just because of that compare to any other houses with outdates kitchen and master bathroom.

Should you  renovate your kitchen and/ or the master bathroom to sell faster and for higher price? Well, in all honesty – it depended. Talk to us and will make sure to go over your specific details, your area and neighborhood.  So before you “over-improve” your house and lose the money, find out what’s suitable for your house by contacting the Ayelet Gilad Home Team today!


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Should You Remodel Prior To Putting Your House On The Market?

Is improving your house will make it sell faster? Will you get more money for a recently renovated house?

Unfortunately, there is not a straight answer to this. It really depends!  Renovations and remodeling can definitely make your home more sellable and compatible to buyers taste. However, while some renovations can benefit the selling process and yield a higher price,  some renovations would only help you sell the house faster without increasing its value. Since cost of renovations and recouping the money when selling the house depends on the area, checkout this table, which summarizes the cost of the project, the resale value and the $ recouped for a variety of projects ranging from deck edition to kitchen remodeling to door replacement.

How can you decide if you should renovate or not? Contact us for your free consultation.