Gwinnett County Schools 2015-2016 Calendar

Gwinnett County Schools has released its 2015-2016 calendar with a start date of August 10, 2015 and the end date of May 25, 2016.  The first semester will end December 18th, 2015, and the second semester will begin January 6, 2016.  Christmas break will be from December 21, 2015 – January 5, 2016. Spring break will be the first week in April, which will begin a little early for students on Friday, April 1st, unless that day needs to be used for a snow make up day.  Let’s just think warm thoughts!

Click here for the 2015-16-GCPS-Calendar

 

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Protect yourself from house rental scams!

If you or someone you know is in the market to find a home to rent, you need to be very careful to avoid getting scammed. There are plenty of great places to rent through real estate professionals and individual landlords. Most of the people offering properties for rent are in it for the right reasons. It’s up to you to ensure you deal with someone who is reputable, professional and legitimate. I tell you this, as one of my rental listings was just used as bait for scammers through one of the larger, more prominent real estate marketing and information sites before it was discovered and removed. So, give this a read, or watch the video below. Or hey, watch and read!!

 

So, what are the tell tale signs that you might be dealing with a scammer? Here are a few.

  1. The listed rent is far lower than other properties in the area. Remember the saying, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
  2. Your contact with the landlord or agent will be exclusively through e-mail.  Sure, most of us use e-mail, but beware if you never get to speak with a real human being. Even the busiest of agents have time to answer your questions.
  3. You will be directed to look at the property from the outside only. Any good property management company, licensed agent or individual landlord will be able to show you the inside of the property BEFORE you give them money. PLEASE DO NOT GIVE ANYONE MONEY TO RENT A HOME SITE UNSEEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  4. They will want to know how much money you have available and if you’re willing or able to make payments prior to getting keys, or even seeing the inside of the home. Refer to #3.
  5. You will find a number of typos, grammatical errors, and odd speech patterns in their e-mails. Now, I know many of us make mistakes with grammar and typing from time to time. But, I want you to think back to the e-mails you get informing you of your long lost relative from another country that has died and left you 38 million of some foreign currency. These are often written with many of the same inflections and defects. The e-mail will be very generic, making little or no mention of the property address. You will either not be addressed, or will be addressed as “Dear Sir or Madam”.

That’s great you say, but what does one do when trying to find the right people with whom he or she can do business?

  • Pay attention to the rent amounts. Get an idea of what the area rents are by checking sites like rentbits.com.
  • Contact a local Property Management company or licensed real estate professional to assist you with finding a property. There are plenty of great people out there who will match renters with landlords. You deserve professional advice and representation.
  • Meet the landlord or his/her designated agent to see the property inside and out BEFORE giving ANYONE money.
  • Do not disclose your financial information to anyone until you’ve reached the application process.
  • Trust your instincts. It’s easy to get excited about scoring a fabulous home for a small monthly payment. Ask yourself if it really sounds right. Remember, these can appear on some of the larger and trusted real estate sites, until they are found to be a scam and removed. Don’t simply trust it because it came from a large and prominent real estate marketing site.

Here is an example of how a rental scam e-mail might look. This is an actual response I received from the person(s) fraudulently advertising my client’s property, so please excuse the grammar and spelling. The facebook profile mentioned is most likely a fake. There may very well be a Mr & Mrs Wayne Duckett out there somewhere. And, they’re probably very nice people. If so, I’ll bet you that they have absolutely nothing to do with this, nor do they have any idea that it’s happening.  You see, the scammers really don’t care if they damage the reputations of others. They really just want your money.

Thanks for your response and interest in our house. Our lovely home is still available for lease and we want a responsible adults/family who are neat and have what it takes to take care of our house as if it were theirs. My wife and I initially had it up for sale but had a change of mind in leasing it out ourselves because the agent that was in charge of our rental property was asking way too much of an agent fee which was making it tough for people who cannot afford the rent to stay away from renting my house.The main reason our house is up for lease is because I got transferred from my place of work to TENNESSEE, I and my family will be away for at least a couple of 6 to 7 years because of the love I have for them, I have decided not to sell our house and also assuring them that we only have few years to spend here and will be willing to lease it out to person/family who is willing to assure us of taking absolute good care of our home and pay their rent on time. I will Start by telling you more in regards about me and my family. I have a daughter named Kim(19years) who attends University of TENNESSEE studying Medicine, she has a lot going for her and she is also down to earth in all that she does to keep us happy and when she is back home on vacation, she also assist her mom in the house work to do when am at work. I work for a Highway Construction Company here in TENNESSEE and got married to a lovely wife Marie who is a member of Holy Family Cathedral Church. We will be very pleased if we can find the right/potential tenant to rent our home, a person who is a clean & responsible and does not tolerate anything that has to do with dirt. we also would like to know more about you and your family, your renting experience and how long and when you plan moving into our home. These 3 bedrooms and 2 baths home are very specious and neat.

Below is the rental property address:
200 Wayside Dr , Lawrenceville, GA 30046

Pets allowed: Yes
Rent: $775
Deposit:$775

INCLUDED IN THE RENT: Cable , Kitchen completely equipped, Kettle – Toaster – Dishwasher – Freezer – Microwave – Oven – Dryer- Heat – Water – Washing Machine and Electric.

RENTAL APPLICATION FORM

Full name:

Profession:

Present Address of the applicants:

Reasons for Leaving:

How long do you intend staying:

Do you drink:

Cell & Home:

Email:

Single Or Married? (children):

Pet: If any ( ):

How much do you have at hand right now if you are asked to secure the property today:

Date of Tenancy:

Are you ready to put down any payment before you get the keys?

Hope you are okay with the price of $775/ month All utilities are inclusive with rent heat, laundry facilities, air condition, Etc. and the security deposit fee is $775… PETS ARE FULLY WELCOME! You can drive by the house at your earliest convenience to see it from the outside then get back to me asap.

We are looking forward to hear from you ASAP.

You can on contact me Via Facebook On  David W Duckett

Mr.& Mrs Wayne  Duckett & Family

So, do your homework. Talk to a professional. Know with whom you are dealing. Call me if you have any questions with which I may help!  Take care and happy house hunting!

Do you think your spouse or children will automatically get your home when you die? Think again.

How real estate is handled without a will in Georgia.

Buying and owning a home can be a great source of joy. As the years pass, you can look back at all the memories and hopefully a bit of equity you’ve created along the way. Though we often don’t want to think of it, the assumption by many is that when they pass, their property will automatically go to their spouse, children, significant others. When one dies with a will, a specific set of legal instructions are left to follow. Assuming the will is not contested or deemed invalid, the Executor carries out your wishes and everything goes to whom you intended. Die without a will (intestate), and things become far more complicated and often more expensive for those you wished to protect.

One very large misconception is that your home would automatically go to your spouse. In Georgia, as many other states, this is just not true. Unless your spouse is named on the deed (joint tenancy with right to survivorship), the state will oversee to whom your estate is dispersed. Your loved ones will have to petition the court for Letters of Administration. Administration is the process by which the State determines the heirs to your estate. Now, the typical chain is spouse first, children second, then brothers/sisters, grandparents, etc… That’s great if everyone gets along and agrees on everything and/or it’s how you intended things to be done. Too often things do not work out so easily, or those at the top of the list may not be aware of your full intention on how and to whom property is awarded. If no heirs are found, your estate will escheat back to (become property of) the State.

Now, I AM NOT AN ATTORNEY! YOU MUST SEEK PROFESSIONAL LEGAL ADVICE to find your best solution to how and to whom you will pass along your estate. In most cases, you can find general information about the process of probating a will and/or requesting Letters of Administration on your local county or state government website. It’s typically going to be somewhere in the probate court information. Fees and processes will vary by county. Take some time to read up on it, so you can have good questions for your legal professional. If you plan to sell any of this property, consult your legal professional as early as possible. There are periods of waiting which must happen before you can transfer title. Additionally, it’s a very good idea to review family owned properties to which you are a part of the title, from time to time. Things change, and it’s easy to forget when something might need attention.

Contact me with any questions you have about how to sell estate owned properties. I can work with your legal professional to help you achieve a successful outcome!

Gwinnett home values energized by shrinking inventory

After plummeting for 5 years, home values in Gwinnett County are finally being energized largely due to the shrinking supply of available inventory.  July 2013, average home prices in Gwinnett County rose to $210,541.  This represents a gain of 6.7% from June and nearly 39% from July 2012 where the average sale price was $151,724.  In July 2012 there were 3,768 detached, single-family homes listed for sale. By July 2013, inventory decreased by 42% with only 2,187 homes listed for sale.

The low average sale price occurred in January 2012, and has seen an increase of 39% since then.

The low average sale price occurred in January 2012, and has seen an increase of 39% since then.

In January 2012, the average sale price hit bottom at $126,169.  The abundance of distressed properties on market meant that buyers could really have their pick, placing relentless competition on traditional sellers.  During the spring of 2012, as distressed inventories continued to climb so did home sales.  Meanwhile, large investment firms and hedge funds came in from the west coast and began buying up everything they could get on the courthouse steps. This dramatically reduced the quantity of distressed properties coming on the market and put a squeeze on available inventory.  As many of the short sales have either been completed or lost to foreclosure, the supply of distressed properties has further decreased.  

In April 2013, the available inventory of traditional (non-distressed) homes finally rose above the distressed inventory.  Inventory has remained low and steady at a 2 month supply for most of 2013.  Only in April, did it rise to 3 months, then fell right back again in May. As the inventory has decreased, prices have seen a nice boost. While this is great news, you still have to be competitive with pricing to appeal to buyers. The great news is that many people who have been underwater, or destined for short sale can now consider making a move.  Depending on how far underwater you were, the chances are improving every month that you can at least break even and save further hits to your credit if not leave the table with a little money!

Stay tuned for similar updates broken down by Gwinnett County high school districts.  Don’t see yours listed? Contact me for a report based upon your area.

A chart breaking down sellers by wholesale (distressed), retail (traditional sales) and new homes.

A chart breaking down sellers by wholesale (distressed), retail (traditional sales) and new homes.

 

This shows the overall trend of single-family detached home pricing for Gwinnett county.

This shows the overall trend of single-family detached home pricing for Gwinnett county.

Available inventory for single-family detached homes in Gwinnett county GA is currently at a 2 month supply.
Available inventory for single-family detached homes in Gwinnett county GA is currently at a 2 month supply.

 

Demand for Gwinnett real estate stays solid into the Fall

This chart represents contracts written through October 2012. November information will be available mid-December. Click for a better view!

Despite the cooler weather, demand for Gwinnett real estate is staying hot. Comparing October 2011 to October 2012, contracts increased 28.4% in Gwinnett.  It’s not unusual for our market to cool off in the fall, as the peak buying and selling season is typically early Spring to mid to late Summer. However, 2012 started strong and has remained so throughout the year. To date, each month of 2012 has outperformed those months of 2011. This really shows in our steady decline of available inventory and recent increase in average sale price.

It’s no secret that Gwinnett was hit incredibly hard by the housing collapse. Prices went on a horrific free fall for a number of years. Now, what appears to have started out with the “Black Friday” effect of people trying to get in on the incredibly low priced “door-buster” specials on so many of the properties, now seems to be carrying over to the more traditional real estate transactions. These gains in demands, previously felt primarily by the lowest price points are beginning to creep into some of the higher price points, as well. Seeing this kind of activity hold so late into the year makes me very hopeful for 2013.

Remember, real estate is very local. Get to know your area. If you’re looking for more detailed information on your area, I’ll be happy to help. I can provide analysis for most any zip code or high school cluster area in Gwinnett and surrounding areas.