Collins Hill Market Report

As I type, there are 346 detached, residential properties listed for sale in Gwinnett’s Collins Hill area.  These properties range in list price from $856k down to $35k.  They breakout something like this:

Up to $100k $100,001 – $200k $200,001 – $300k $300,001 and up
40 221 64 18

 Now, let’s compare those numbers to the past six months of sales.

Up to $100k $100,001 – $200k $200,001 – $300k $300,001 – $400k
39 180 21 2

In case you’re wondering… No, my spreadsheet is not broken.  Yes, I can count above $400k.  I just can’t count what isn’t there.  The obvious “sweet spot” in this area is the $100k – $200k price point.  Above $200k, the number of sales begins to drop and above $400k, well… nothing.  The pace of 2010 sales is actually comparable to both 2008 and 2009, while prices still struggle to find a floor.  Since its peak around December of 2007, the Collins Hill area has seen an overall price drop of about $70k.  The greatest drop was from July to November of 2008, followed by more gradual decreases.  Wholesale properties (foreclosures and other distress sales) continue to dominate the market.  As the chart below shows, typical retail sales make up more than half of the active listings, but wholesale properties lead the way with well over half to almost ¾ of sales.  The overall average months of inventory for Collins Hill is 8.8 months, with retail listings at 12.4 months, wholesale listings at 6.1 months and new construction listings at 24 months. 



This represents a fabulous opportunity to get a wonderful home, in a great Gwinnett location for a very affordable price.  You’ll find some really great homes on really great lots just waiting for you!

If you are considering putting your home on the market, it MUST be in the best condition possible.  Take a look around your home.  If you see lots of wall paper – remove it, old appliances – replace them, tired kitchens or baths – update them, old worn carpet – replace it.  Clean it, shine it and then take another look.  There are many things you can do to update your home that won’t leave your piggy bank crying in pain.  A fresh coat of paint, removing old wall paper, cleaning, general repair, etc…  You should pay attention to every detail if pricing above $200k. 

If you need to sell your home and find that you’re one of the many “underwater” homeowners, contact your lender and consult an industry professional.  REALTORs with the SFR (Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource) designation have completed additional training and have access to the latest information on the rapidly changing rules and guidelines.  As an SFR, I can help you drive the transaction to give you the greatest opportunity for success.

There it is the tough reality of Collins Hill area real estate.  Please don’t shoot the messenger.  I promise you this was as difficult for me to write as it is for you to read.  I’ll keep watching and let you know of changes.  I look forward to being the bearer of good news, in the future!!

Affordable, 3 Sided Brick Homes In A Gwinnett County Swim & Tennis Community

Austin Commons at Austin Commons Drive and New Hope Rd., Dacula, GA

Where can you get affordable, spacious homes, with 3 sided brick in a swim/tennis community in Gwinnett County?  You can find them at Austin Commons, located in Dacula just 2 miles from the new Archer High School on New Hope road.  This new homes community features large open floor plans with lots of upgrades at a price point that won’t leave your wallet empty. 

Interior features include hand scraped hardwood flooring, large kitchens with granite and stainless appliances, granite and tile in all bathrooms, coffered ceilings, oil rubbed bronze and polished nickel hardware, high ceilings, wrought iron balustrades and more.  They offer well designed, four and five bedroom floor plans. 

There is much more room than you can see in this picture. Lots of space and windows!

My favorite is the Highland!  This 5 bedroom, 4.5 bathroom floor plan demonstrates an excellent use of space.  There is a palatial master suite, large master bath with separate sinks, separate closets, tile and granite.  The secondary bedrooms are spacious and are connected either to a private bathroom or jack and jill bathrooms.  Laundry is on the main level, as is a guest bedroom with full bathroom.  The openness of this floor plan, along with stairs coming from both the foyer and the kitchen area make it easy to navigate.  You will be shocked to see this home and all of its features starting at only $234,900

Master on Main with double trey ceiling

Additional plans with master on main or “all bedrooms up” are available starting at $206,900.  These plans also include the interior features listed above.  If that’s not enough, Austin Commons enjoys a beautiful location convenient to Archer High School, Tribble Mill and Bay Creek Parks and is within an easy walk or bike ride to the new Harbins Park.  Specially designated green space areas have been preserved within this soon to be 151 home community.  Amenities will include swimming pool, pool cabana and tennis courts.      

So… what are you waiting for?  Let’s go see it today!

Gwinnett Real Estate Market – Feels Like A Rollercoaster Ride

August numbers are in and analyzed, and it appears that the wild real estate rollercoaster ride we just survived in Gwinnett has calmed, once again.  When the big bubble burst (around 2007) at the top of an overheated market, we felt the rapid decent with no end in sight.  As prices reset and the market began to stop sliding (around 2009), it seemed that we could possibly be through the worst of it.  Along came the tax credits and with them the hope and promise of “moving the market”.  Tax credit version 1 (TC1) seemed to give a little push and further evolved into tax credit version 2 (TC2).  TC1 occurred going into what is a traditionally slower period for Metro Atlanta real estate.  The increase in home sales brought by TC1 was a welcome change from the sharp plunge we had just experienced.  Then, TC2 came along just in time for our peak selling season and the combination was explosive.  Rates of contracts and sales went ballistic, and prices felt a little boost.  For so many who really needed to see a possible end in sight, this was a welcome event.

 April 30th came and TC2 went, taking along with it the excitement and continued momentum to continue through our summer selling season.  May numbers came in and the rate of contracts and sales took that sharp drop, once again.

So, where are we now and how did we get here?  The good news is that, since the last drop in May numbers have gradually come back to our “new normal”.  It would appear that the TC2 really just “borrowed” buyers from the few months which followed.  The number of April contracts above expected appears to be very close to the number of contracts missing in the following months.  Would we have had the buyers without TC2?  I don’t know who can answer that, certainly not me.    

In April of 2010, real estate contracts in Gwinnett came in around 300 more than in 2009.  In May, the number of contracts dropped about 250 less than the 2009 level.  Since then, the number of contracts has come back to a much closer level, being down about 25 (give or take) from 2009.

Contracts Written (Single Family, Detached Homes)

  April May June July August
2009 704 750 772 737 778
2010 1,014 503 612 632 751

Average sale prices in Gwinnett have increased since the beginning of the year, but don’t let that fool you.  Price is still of the utmost importance when selling your home. 

Average Sale Price  (Single Family, Detached Homes)

  April May June July August
2009 $167,314 $170,192 $170,031 $177,412 $167,519
2010 $175,526 $163,839 $169,876 $172,318 $166,417

Prices vary greatly by location, school district and floor plan to name a few variables.  If you are considering putting your home on the market, a detailed market analysis is vital to planning your strategy.  Typical “retail” listings are the dominant force in available homes for sale.  However, “wholesale” or distress properties such as foreclosures, estate owned, corporate owned and other value priced properties still hold the largest market share for sold properties.  You must be competitive and focused to reach your goal. 

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for some “organic” real estate activity to smooth out this rollercoaster ride.  A nice long drive over a few gently rolling hills sounds much better to me right now!

**Data and charts supplied by REDataCenter.

Could A Field of Dreams Be Coming To Lilburn?

Last night the Lilburn City Council voted unanimously to move to the next step towards building a new sports complex.  This vote is not a guarantee that the project will materialize.  The vote did approve a license fee agreement with Big League Dream Sports Parks and starts the process of exploring the project’s feasibility.  City leaders hope that the new “massive baseball, softball and soccer venue”, would be a positive step to revive its struggling economy.  This proposed venue would occupy 40 acres at the intersection of Indian Trail Road and Hwy 29, which is currently home to a soon to be closed water and sewerage treatment facility.  The site would host various little league and adult sports tournaments, as well as other events.  According to an article from the AJC, a refundable fee of $450,000 would be put up while the City examines financial records of Big League Dreams, and the City would have up to 18 months to reconsider the deal.  There has been discussion over ways to finance the project, such as bonds issued by the City, however a specific plan has not been announced.  Local residents both for and against the project were present at the meeting, and public hearings should begin in October.

The Thrill of Victory

My reaction to this idea is mixed.  As a mother of a travel softball player and active member of the youth sports community in Gwinnett, I am jumping up and down with joy.  This kind of facility could mean taking our already good youth sport programs and make them truly great.  However, I do not believe that building or operating this event should come at any expense to tax payers.  I’m interested to see what ideas come out of these talks and what ideas the community will bring.

While we have a great Parks & Recreation program, facilities such as this are lacking in our area.  Gwinnett has a very robust youth sports program and facilities dedicated to recreation level sports.  However, when playing at a more competitive level teams often must go out of the area to find available tournaments and facilities (taking our money along with us).  The presence of such a venue for more competitive levels of youth sports tournaments would give greater opportunity to keep many of our teams local, more often and bring teams from other areas.   It would also provide another positive, more constructive way for kids to spend time and energy, a goal for which to reach and a great place to build lasting friendships and memories.  I will be watching and listening with you to see how this works out and would love to know your thoughts!

Gwinnett 2010 SAT Scores Above State and National Average

Home of Gwinnett County Public Schools

The results are in, and Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) have posted a six point gain in SAT scores despite the statewide drop of seven points.  According to a report released by GCPS, Gwinnett schools came in 23 points higher than the national average and 79 points higher than the state average.  The SAT recently underwent revisions to the Writing, Critical Reading and Math modules.  This year’s class of test-takers is the 5th to sit for the updated tests.   In addition to the increased test scores, 74% of Gwinnett students took the exam, which places the county above both the state and national averages.  According to a GCPS facebook post, seven Gwinnett Schools (Brookwood, Parkview, Mill Creek, Collins Hill, North Gwinnett, Duluth and Peachtree Ridge) ranked among the top 50 in Georgia.

Top 5 Gwinnett High Schools

School Composite Score
Brookwood 1651
Parkview 1588
Mill Creek 1586
Collins Hill 1580
North Gwinnett 1560

 A few “honorable mentions” are in order for schools with significant improvement from 2009.  Berkmar increased by 38 points, Mill Creek by 44 points, Collins Hill by 51 points and…  Phoenix High School increased SAT Scores by 165 points from 1271 in 2009 to 1436 in 2010.  The students, teacher and parents of Phoenix High School should be very proud of such a dramatic improvement!  I wish them continued success in the years to come.

Use this link to view the full list of 2010 Gwinnett SAT results, including scores for individual modules.  The conscious effort and hard work of our teachers, students and parents working together make Gwinnett schools a great place for our kids.