3 Things You Need to Know When Buying a Luxury Home

buying luxury real estate Cobb CountyWhether you are a first time buyer or have purchased multiple homes, buying a luxury home entails a more complicated process than lower-priced properties. To ensure you end up with a home you will enjoy for years to come, it’s important to know these tips for buying luxury real estate.

Financing Luxury Real Estate

The majority of luxury real estate buyers purchase homes with loans, as opposed to only a third who pay cash. But contrary to popular belief, cash buyers don’t always have the upper hand. Luxury buyers who offer good terms and a large down payment (think 30% of the full price) will almost certainly trump cash buyers looking to undercut the market price.

When it comes to getting a home loan approved by your bank, count on waiting longer. The approval process could take up to 60 days and requires extra documentation and verification.

Don’t Neglect Inspections

Luxury homes come with more amenities and features than lower-priced homes- but that can also mean more potential problems. From pools and home theaters to home automation and security systems, it’s important to have a thorough inspection. Some of the home’s systems could even necessitate specialized home inspections. Be patient and give the professionals time to adequately vet your potential home.

Work with a Realtor

Considering the specialized nature of luxury real estate, it is even more important to work with an experienced Realtor who knows the ins and outs of the field. Pricing of luxury homes is often tricky, so choosing an agent who is well-versed in the local luxury real estate market means you will get a better idea of what is reasonable or not. Agents who do not routinely handle luxury real estate transactions won’t be able to give you the necessary guidance.

Despite the extra steps involved in buying a luxury home, with the help of an experienced Realtor you will be thrilled with your purchase. To explore Cobb County luxury real estate and the surrounding areas, browse Marietta, Alpharetta, and Roswell homes for sale.

For more information on how to purchase a home or market your home for sale, contact me, Barry Wolfert, Associate Broker at Keller Williams Realty Consultants. As an experienced and professional Realtor within the luxury market, I can help you sell your home for the most money and in the shortest period of time. My in-depth knowledge of the real estate market throughout north Atlanta will guarantee you results, not excuses.


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Cobb County To Lower Property Taxes on Homes

The Cobb Board of Commissioners voted unanimously on a plan to reduce property taxes last week. This vote was the first step in a five-year effort to reduce the general fund portion of property taxes back to pre-recession levels. The millage rate will be reduced from 7.72 to 7.52 mills. Current estimates call for a .20 decrease each year during the next four years and a .10 decrease in the fifth year. Cobb has been able to keep expenses as low as possible, while also providing needed services to the public. Overall, expenses are down by $12.5 million across several areas:

  • $4.3 million in unfilled vacancies and reductions in part-time hours
  • $2.9 million in reduced transit and solid waste subsidies
  • $2.9 million in operational, capital and debt savings
  • $2.4 million in reduced health care expenditures

Going forward, $10.1 million of the surplus funds will be used to start the process of systematically lowering the county’s millage rate, pay off outstanding debt and set aside $2.6 million as a buffer during these tough economic times.

Cobb County’s location just northwest of Atlanta combined with its great schools, quality of life and low property taxes make it the ideal place to live in metro-Atlanta.   Contact me to find the best homes for sale in Marietta, Kennesaw, Smyrna and Roswell or search for homes on my website.

Is A Home Seller’s Market Returning to Atlanta, GA?

That’s not a typo in the headline.  Could we be seeing the return of a seller’s market in Atlanta?  In some cases, the answer is pointing towards yes.  But first, we need to understand exactly what causes the home buying and selling market to favor one side over another.

It all works off the simple dynamic of supply vs. demand.  For the past several years, as the number of available homes on the market swelled, the number of available buyers declined.  This resulted in a dramatic excess of supply vs. demand which causes prices to drop. [Read more…]

Cobb County, GA – Housing Market Review

The most common questions I am asked are: Is the market getting any better and is activity picking up?

The problem in providing an answer is that is really depends on the day you ask.  Over the last 12 months, there really hasn’t been any consistent trend in the market.  Some weeks see lots of activity and interest while others have no activity.  It has been this lack of consistency that has made this such a difficult market.  However, things are starting to change and a trend is starting to develop.

Positive News

Interest rates continue to be low (in the high 4%/low 5% range) and the $8000 federal tax credit for first time buyers and $1800 Georgia state tax credit for all buyers are good until the end of November.  In fact, houses are probably the most affordable they’ve ever been.  And, if you’re a home buyer, it’s still a buyer’s market.

[Read more…]

Cobb County SPLOST Project Updates

Cobb County Government

September 2009

Cobb voters approved the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) in 2005 to fund important transportation and public safety projects. Since then, significant progress has been made in many areas, including the jail expansion, new courthouse project and transportation improvements.

[Read more…]

Cobb Homeowners Will Pay More In Property Taxes

Cobb County plans to send out 256,872 tax bills, and homeowners will notice a bump in their taxes thanks to a decision by the state to cut the homeowners tax relief grant this year due to falling revenues.  For the owner of a $200,000 house in unincorporated Cobb, with the normal homestead exemption, that means about $228 more in taxes.

Cobb County commissioners held the property tax rate at 28.75 mills this year.
[Read more…]

UPDATED: Georgia Property Tax Bills To Increase Due To Elimination of State Grants

According to Cobb County Tax Commissioner Gail Downing, homeowners will face a property tax bill increase during the next two years. The state Homeowner’s Tax Relief Grant that previously funded a tax credit on homesteaded property will not be available this year or next.

“Declining state revenues during the current recession left the state without enough money to give the tax relief credits that homeowners have become accustomed to,” Downing said.

Most Cobb homeowners will see an increase of about $228 on their 2009 tax bills. Those with a School Tax Exemption will see an increase of about $77. Increases will vary for homeowners living within one of Cobb’s six cities.

[Read more…]

Cobb County SPLOST Project Updates

Cobb County GovernmentSPLOST Update for May 2009

Cobb County, Georgia voters approved the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) to fund important transportation and public safety projects in 2005. Since then, significant progress has been made in many areas, including the jail expansion, new courthouse project and transportation improvements.

With the Cobb Department of Transportation SPLOST program progressing ahead of the original schedule and on track for completion within eight years, Cobb County’s transportation system continues to improve. As of April, 246 of the 256 transportation projects were underway or completed. Of these projects, 162 have begun the right-of-way acquisition phase, 111 were completed and 164 have initiated construction — including the following:

[Read more…]

Upcoming Things To Do In Cobb County

Two community wide egg hunts planned for Friday and Saturday, April 4 & 5

The Hunt 2009 at Jim Miller Park had to be canceled due to inclement weather, but the Cobb County Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department is planning two community wide hunts this weekend. Ward Recreation Center, located at 4845 Dallas Highway, Powder Springs, will host an event 5:30-7:30 p.m., Friday, April 3. For more information, call 770-528-8885. Ron Anderson Recreation Center, located in Wild Horse Creek Park at 3820 Macedonia Road, Powder Springs, will host an event 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Saturday, April 4. For more information, call 770-439-3611.

[Read more…]