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Positive Signs for the North Georgia Market

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013
North Georgia Real Estate Sale

44 Rachel Drive in Jasper, GA

There are real examples of the improvement in the local market. Click on the link below for a short video about a “quick sale” rather than a “short sale!”

Positive Market Signs in Jasper

See ya ’round the mountains,


Real Estate Provisions in “Fiscal Cliff” Bill

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

Fiscal Cliff

Off We Go….

Here is the latest information on Real Estate Related provisions of the bill passed by Congress.

On January 1, 2013, the Senate and House passed H.R. 8, legislation to avert the “fiscal cliff,” and the bill will be signed by President Barack Obama on January 2, 2013. Below are a summary of real estate-related provisions in the bill.

Real Estate Tax Extenders
Mortgage cancellation relief is extended for one year to January 1, 2014.
Deduction for mortgage insurance premiums for filers making below $110,000 is extended through 2013 and made retroactive to cover 2012.
The 15 year straight-line cost recovery for qualified leasehold improvements on commercial properties is extended through 2013 and made retroactive to cover 2012.
The 10 percent Energy Efficiency Tax Credit (up to $500) for homeowners who make energy efficiency improvements to existing homes is extended through 2013 and made retroactive to cover 2012.

Capital Gains
The capital gains rate stays at 15 percent for those making up to $400,000 (individual) or $450,000 (joint return). After that, any gains above those amounts will be taxed at 20 percent. The $250,000/$500,000 exclusion for the sale of a principle residence remains in place.
Estate Tax
The first $5 million dollars in individual estates and $10 million for family estates are now exempted from the estate tax. After that, the rate will be 40 percent, up from 35 percent. The exemption amounts are indexed for inflation.

Permanent Repeal of Pease Limitations for 99 Percent of Taxpayers
Under the agreement, so-called “Pease Limitations” that reduce the value of itemized deductions are permanently repealed for most taxpayers, but will be reinstituted for high-income filers. These limitations will only apply to individuals earning more than $250,000 and joint filers earning above $300,000. The thresholds have been increased and are indexed for inflation.
Under the formula, the amount of adjusted gross income above the threshold is multiplied by 3 percent. That amount is then used to reduce the total value of the filer’s itemized deductions. The total amount of reduction cannot exceed 80 percent of the filer’s itemized deductions.
The limitations were first enacted in 1990 (named for the Ohio Congressman Don Pease who came up with the idea)and continued throughout the Clinton years. They were gradually phased out as a result of the 2001 tax cuts and were completely eliminated in 2010-2012. In the absence of this legislation, Pease Limitations would have been reinstituted on all filers, starting at $174,450 of adjusted gross income.


The Stock Market reacted very positively to the bill – now lets see what happens with Real Estate!

See ya ’round the mountains.

Home Prices Rebound to 2003 Levels

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

The following Report came to me through one of my media sources (RISMedia) and is quoted below in its entirety.  This positive trend does match what we are seeing on the ground here in Pickens County and throughout North Georgia.   In Bent Tree, Big Canoe and Jasper we are seeing lots of sellers who have been sitting on the sidelines bring their property back to the market and we have a steady increase of traffic on the buyer side.  Here is the article on the national market.

Home Prices Rebound

Home Prices Rebound Nationally

[1]More great market news came through yesterday: According to S&P/Case-Shiller, in July, the average home price rose to the same level as those seen during summer 2003, when the housing boom first started its journey toward the 2006 peak. While this may not signify that we are currently standing on the cusp of a market boom, it does show a significant turnaround, and perhaps hints at a definite end to real estate’s bleak streak.

The recent S&P/Case-Shiller national home price index showed that in July, prices increased by 1.5 percent for the 10-City Composite and by 1.6 percent for the 20-City Composite.

This improvement marks the third straight month that prices rose in all 20 major markets followed by the index—which covers more than 80 percent of the U.S. housing market. Additionally, numbers show that if not for a .06 decline in Detroit in April, there would have been a four month improvement streak.

When compared to a year earlier, the index proved to be up 1.2 percent, an improvement from the year-over-year change reported for June. This marked the first month that prices were higher than they were the previous year.

“The news on home prices in this report confirm recent good news about housing,” said David Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, in a recent release.

“Single family housing starts are well ahead of last year’s pace, existing home sales are up, the inventory of homes for sale is down and foreclosure activity is slowing. All in all, we are more optimistic about housing. Upbeat trends continue. For the third time in a row, all 20 cities and both Composites had monthly gains. Stronger housing numbers are a positive factor for other measures including consumer confidence.”

Real estate professionals located outside of the top metros are seeing movement inside their markets, too.

“We’ve been seeing a strengthening market for some time now but August sales are evidence of a major turning point,” says Jamie Moore, president of the Rhode Island Association of REALTORS®. “We may still experience a step or two backward in the months ahead but the forward momentum has clearly become more evident. The market is much stronger than it has been.”

And Dorothy Martwick, Broker/Owner of Century 21 Action REALTORS® in Minot, N.D., comments on her unique market, which never saw much of a real estate recession due to the oil boom in western N.D. and their proximity to the Minot Air Force Base.

“My opinion of the future of real estate here in Western N.D. is that the market will level off and stabilize in the near future and, depending on the national election results and the oil pipeline, capabilities may either stay level or boom again next year and for the next several years. “

“Overall, we’re thrilled to see hard evidence that the market is recovering. Great pricing and low interest rates have really helped turn things around,” says Rhode Island’s Moore.

To view the complete home price index, click here [2].

Posted By susanne On September 25, 2012 @ 3:44 pm In Business Outlook,Finance and Economy,Real Estate Information,Real Estate News,Real Estate Trends,Today’s Marketplace,Today’s Top Story |


See ya ’round the mountains,


Georgia Real Estate Continues Recovery

Sunday, August 19th, 2012
Housing Image

Housing Markets Continue to Improve

As the entire state of Georgia continues to slowly improve that bodes well for our market here in North Georgia.  If unemployment numbers, begin to decline and there is any sign of economic growth, the ability of the buyers in the Atlanta Market to sell their homes and move north or once again begin searching for second or vacation homes that will certainly have a very positive impact on our micro-market here in Bent Tree and Big Canoe (R).   Personally, I continue on pace to have my best year ever; after a brief slowdown in July, showings and traffic are both up significantly again in the last few days.  Buyers and sellers are motivated to get something done.  That is always a good thing.

The following statistics were released by the Georgia Association of Realtors on August 17, 2012.

Home Prices Rise in Georgia for Fourth Month in a Row
17 Aug 2012 – 
During the month of the 30th Olympiad, housing medaled in several arenas. A few short years ago, housing was considered a headwind to economic recovery. Today, housing is seen as a tailwind to a stalling economy. For the first time since 2005, housing is on track for contributing positively to national GDP in 2012. That can occur either by way of direct residential investment or through remodeling and other ancillary services. Watch for signs of sustained tailwinds in a variety of indicators, including market times, seller concessions, prices and absorption rates.

In July, New Listings in the state of Georgia decreased 9.3 percent to 10,880. Pending Sales were up 28.4 percent to 9,145. Inventory levels shrank 30.9 percent to 46,956 units. Prices moved higher. The Median Sales Price increased 2.3 percent to $116,500. Days on Market was down 16.4 percent to 82 days. The supply-demand balance stabilized as Months Supply of Inventory was down 40.9 percent to 6.4 months.

Sustained recovery will not occur without real employment and wage growth. Consumers must be confident in both the economy and their family finances before signing on the dotted line. Cheap borrowing costs have served as the glue binding things together. Unimaginable a few years ago, the rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage recently ducked below the 3.49 percent marker. Job creation and GDP numbers will garner particular attention this quarter.

I ran sales numbers for just Pickens County last week for a local retailer and they indicated that local inventory is down slightly, average prices are level to rising , a huge percentage of the market -almost 20% is under some kind of contract (not all those will close and some will take 2-3 months – still a very high humber,) and foreclosures and distressed sales, which have accounted for 50% of all sales for 2 years only account for 10% of the remaining inventory.  I will publish those numbers in another post this week.

See ya ’round the mountains,


Jasper Arts Festival This Weekend

Thursday, April 19th, 2012
Jasper Arts Festival

Scene from the 2011 Jasper Arts Festival

Clear out your weekend calendar. The Jasper Arts Festival is April 21-22, 2012. This will be the Jasper Arts Festival’s 2nd year and it was an outstanding success in its inaugural year.
Festival hours are 10:00 am to 5 pm on Saturday and 10:00 am to 4 pm on Sunday. Don’t worry about “finding” it – Main Street will be blocked and you literally can’t miss it. Come on out and join the fun.

Here is the Festival’s website for more information: Jasper Arts Festival

See ya ’round the mountains,