Ayelet Gilad

Alpharetta Living, Real Estate and Community


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What Can You Do With Your Tax Refund?

It’s tax refund season! Did you receive your refund already or about to receive it? I can think of at least two great ways you can use your refund for!

The first option is to use the refund to remodel your house and get it “listing ready” just in time for spring! For more details on the benefits and expected return on the investment in remodeling please read “Should You Remodel Your House Prior to Putting it on the Market?”.

Your second option is to use the refund for a down payment on an FHA loan. You only  need to put 3.5% as down payment (FHA loan can up to $346,250).

Still debating how to use your refund wisely? Call me today @ 404-245-7172  and I’d be happy to discuss it with you!

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Most Common Things That Can Go Wrong When You Buy a House – no. 4 – Title Problems

The title if a formal document that serves as evidence of ownership.  When you purchase a house, the seller has to transfer a clear and markable title without any restrictions so first you will be the legal owner of the house and the land it sits on; and second, so you can sell it afterwards without any trouble.

As part of the closing process, the transaction attorney check the title to see if there the title is clear. Some of the issues that may arise with the title are:

  • Liens  are a hold on the property due to debts for federal and state taxes, home owners association fees etc.
  • Missing signauture on the deed
  • Missing documents
  • Encroachments due to a neighbor that extended their garage on the property or due to a survey mistake

There are a whole milieu of title problems that may come to the surface when the title is checked.

To solve any type of issue, the closing attorney will work with the title insurnace company (if applicable)  or the seller will have to pay out-of-pocket to resolve the issues, which can be very costly.  The best way  to protect yourself is to buy an owner title insurance when you purchase a home. This way, if anything arise, even 10 years later, you know that you are covered and the title insurance company will handle and solve the issue.

Have questions about home title? Contact us and see how we can help!


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Most Common Things That Can Go Wrong When You Buy a House – no. 2 – The Termite Inspection

Termite inspection is a must have when you buy a house in the Atlanta metro area.

Negative results in a termite inspection are good news! As it means that no termite activity was detected.

When the termite inspection shows wood infesting termites, meaning there were or there are now termites in the house – the biggest issue is that you don’t know the extent of the damage beneath the walls! Clearly, this can be a major issue.

What can you do if termites activity is detected?  An inspector can try and assess the damage and you may give the seller the option to take care of the problem. However, if there is no way to estimate the damage, or in case of a short sale/ foreclosure the risk will be on you. In this case, you may choose to terminate the contract and start house hunting again!

Therefore, I recommend to any home owner to have a termite bond with a reputable pest control service that will inspect your property for termite activity or a regular basis and will treat against termites.

Still have questions? Contact me today and see how I can help!


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Most Common Things That Can Go Wrong When You Buy a House – no. 1 – The Inspection

The general  inspection is part of the normal transaction process and its purpose is to reveal what lies beneath the walls.

You should hire a highly experiences, certified and independent inspector that can do a thorough inspection of the house and find all the relevant items.

Inspections reports are usually a long list of items that can a bit intimidating if you are not a builder. You might feel a bit overwhelmed when you see an inspection report for the first time, but it’s  important  to keep in mind is that you should distinguish between major vs. minor issues, and what might be only aesthetic issue vs. what can be significantly hazardous.

You should plan to be present at the end of the inspection, as it can be very beneficial for you to meet with the inspector at the end of the inspection and go over the report with him/ her. It’s also a great opportunity to get a first-hand impression of what he generally thinks about the house condition and nonetheless, it’s your chance to ask questions.

Additionally, I go over the report with you and if necessary, I will ask for additional feedback from one of my recommended vendors.  Every case is different, some houses may only require a bit of TLC and some might require a consultation from a structural engineer, but in general, once we identify any major issues there are a few options to address items that need attention:

1. Negotiate repairs with the owner.

2. Re-negotiate the house price  or closing costs.

3. In severe cases – terminate the contract.

As with many other things in life,  different circumstances have different outcomes and I’ve experienced some unique situations, but remember that I will be there to advise and guide you!

Are you looking to buy a house?  Contact me today to schedule a consultation.


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The Top 10 Signs You Are Ready to Own a House

  • You’re ready to stop paying your landlord’s mortgage payment, and start building wealth of your own.
  • You could use the property tax and mortgage interest deductions.
  • You want a vested interest in your community.
  • It’s mid-August and you can no longer tolerate waiting for your landlord to send someone to fix your air conditioner.
  • You are working at a job where you won’t leave the country every other year.
  • You want to provide your family with a sense of stability and plant roots.
  • There are more than twice as many people as bedrooms in your current residence.
  • You want to paint the walls of your bedroom any color you please.
  • You are tired of saving all your quarters for the laundromat.
  • When you say you are “going home,” you want to really mean it!

Sounds familiar? If you identified even with only one of the above signs, contact us today for a free consultation!


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The Hardship of Relocating – Can You Make it Easier?

Moving to a new place is an experience accompanied by mixed feelings: there’s the sadness of leaving the old and familiar from one hand, and the excitement of a new beginning. But when you add to the mix relocating to a new country and unfamiliar area, the fear of the new kicks in, and this can be stressful.

How do we look for a house? Where should we live? Is there a shortcut to work? How will we make new friends?  Is this a good school? How do I find a daycare for my toddler? And more…One of the questions that probably comes up is “who should I work with? Should I work with an American or a local Israeli Realtor?

Beyond the immediate benefit of speaking the same language, allow me to share with you the advantages of working with me.

One of the biggest advantages is the fact that I was new here once as well. I also moved my family across the ocean to a new place, with a baby – a place I knew nothing about and didn’t know anyone there. And I remember, till this day, how it feels not to know where the supermarket is, where to buy furniture or what to do if I need a physician. Moreover, I remember the loneliness: not to know anyone, when there are no friends to ask for help, there’s no one to ask for a cup of sugar like we say in Israel. Therefore, as a real-estate agent, I made it my business to help couples and families who move to this area to become part of the local community – whether by introducing them to similar families, or refer to a pediatrician or to the best priced supermarket.

It is true that as a real estate agent I’m “only” supposed to help you find a house, and there are other realtors that speak Hebrew that can help you with this, but because of my experience, it is my top priority to help you become part of the community and make it a pleasant and painless process. Since I live and work here for more than 8 years, I have strong ties to the local Israeli and Jewish community and I can help you make new friends, recommend a Mediterranean restaurant and tell you where to buy Israeli pickles.

The buying/ renting process here is very different than the one in Israel, and even varies between states within the U.S. Just like in any profession, the real-estate world has its own jargon, which newcomers are not familiar with. There’s a seller agent, a buyer agent, a landlord agent and a renter agent and even dual agent, and you need to know who you work with and why. As someone who knows how it works in Israel and how it is here, I’m very aware of the issues, questions and concerns you might have through the process, and I’m always here to help, answer any questions and address your concerns.  Working with someone who knows and understand your culture (yes, yes, with the typical Israeli honesty and directness), and is highly experienced in the local one is PRICELESS.

So if you are relocating to the metro Atlanta area, contact us today and I’ll be more than happy to talk with you, get to know you and understand yours and your family needs, whether it’s work-related, school for your kids or your pets. I’m always here to help you find a new place to call home, become part of the community and make the whole experience joyful as possible!


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The Top 8 Questions You Should Ask Your Agent

Qualifications are important. However, finding a solid, professional agent means getting beyond the resume, and into what makes an agent effective. Use the following questions as your starting point choosing your licensed, professional real estate agent, after all – they will assist you with one of the biggest purchases in your life!

  1. Why did you become a real estate agent?
  2. Why should I work with you?
  3. What do you do better than other real estate agents?
  4. What process will you use to help me find the right home for my particular wants and needs?
  5. What are the most common things that go wrong in a transaction and how would you handle them?
  6. What are some mistakes that you think people make when buying their first home?
  7. What other professionals do you suggest we work with and what are their credentials?
  8. Can you provide me with references or testimonials from past clients?

Wondering how I answered these questions? Click here to read.