Home Buying in Alpharetta>Question Details

Murali, Home Buyer in Alpharetta, GA

Need advice on subdivisions in Alpharetta, GA

Asked by Murali, Alpharetta, GA Sun Nov 28, 2010

Hello experts,

We are seriously considering buying a home within the next 2 months in the windward area of Alpharetta. I am looking at this area and do not find new homes coming up in the area. Our preference is new homes but since there aren't any, the next option is to go for existing homes which are not old. Here is the criteria for the home:

Schools - Webb bridge and Alpharetta (we have 6th and 9th grade kids)
Price range - 350K to 400K
Age - 2003 or later

Appreciate your help.

regards,

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Answers

25
Catherine Norton’s answer
Hi Murali,

I live and work in the Windward area of Alpharetta and would love to help you find the right home for you here. There aren't too many in your selected school districts built 2003 or newer that are less than $400k, but I know of some that are very motivated that would probably come down to the price you are looking for. Please contact me for further info on these good deals.

Catherine Norton
RE/MAX Greater Atlanta
404-580-3199
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 29, 2010
In and around Windward is largely built out but there are pocket communities on the outskirts. An option might be a home '00+- that has been updated, there are many of those in this area.

If you're not working with an agent, I'm happy to offer opinions. I'm an appraiser for FNMA and do a significant number of foreclosure appraisals in the area as well, including right in Windward. My contact info is below if interested.

Hank Miller, SRA, ABR
Associate Broker & Certified Appraiser
Keller Williams Atlanta North
678-428-8276
http://www.hrmiller.com
Web Reference: http://www.hrmiller.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 29, 2010
Hi Murali,

Just contacting you to see if you are still in the market or have already found a house meeting your criteria. But, be careful and do not get oversold. Let me know if I can be of any help.

Shyam Nagalla
678-643-0375
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 20, 2010
No agent should ever step beyond their role and give advice for which they are not trained or qualified - that is just common sense. The drafters of the GAR forms (my corporate attorneys) put all those clauses about the limited roles and responsibilites of an agent in there to remind agents not to step beyond their area of expertise. Protecting agents has always been one of WNCW's top priorities - but in no way is that wording meant to disuade or prohibit the small group of agents who do have other areas of expertise from advising clients on those matters for which they are experts.

And Amy you make some good points about the color of title differences, however don't assume all agents aren't aware of this just because a few here on Trulia did not seem to get it. And don't assume that yours is the only firm that provides an attorney or suggests a buyer or seller obtain their own attorney for certain transactions - I have done that for over ten years - infact, my cleints have had their own attorney for every single all cash transaction and every bank REO deal I have ever done. But for the ordinary deal, in my opinion, I don't beleive it is at all necessary to have your own attorney - a good inspector is far more valuable in most cases, and a highly experienced agent is more than adequate in most cases.

I agree with Hank - I would like to see 50% of agents gone - I can't count the times that I was the main driver and sole reason many of my clients transactions closed and didn't derail - and that should not be the case when another agent is involved and supposed to be representing their party competantly.

Sincerely,

Robert Whitfield
Broker/Owner - Realtor
Professional Buyers Broker
Relocation Expert
New Home Construction Expert
ICC Code Certified Building Inspection Expert
Advantage Realtors
678-585-9691
877-787-7167
“Know if the property is a Real Find or a Real Financial Risk - Before you submit your offer!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 30, 2010
Clint Eastwood said it best - "A man has to know his limitiations". I wouldn't presume to delve into anything that I'm not qualified to deal with - issues of law, title, mortgage, inspections......rather I surround myself with trusted experts.

I know enough to know to let experts handle their concerns.

Hank
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 30, 2010
Ok, lets just all be completely honest. The 2010 GAR contract and the 2010 GAR Buyer Engagement Agreements say the following about the agents ability to advise the buyer.

"Buyer and Seller agree the Brokers shall not be responsible to advise Buyer and Seller on any matter including but not limited to the following....."

The statement goes on to list all important issues associated with the transaction like matters associated with a survey, title search, inspection of the property, condition of the property, building products, construction techniques, cost of repairs, mold, termites, tax or legal consequences, availability and cost of utilities, financing, zoning and goes on to say......

"Buyer and Seller acknowledge that Brokers are not experts with respect to the above matters and that if any of these matters or any other matters are of concern to them, they should seek independent expert advice"

Remember this form was drafted by the attorneys who represent the real estate agents. In short the real estate community's own attorneys are saying the agent can't give advice on any matters but specifically can't give advice about the contracts, the title exam, the title insurance, the inspection of the property, the terms of financing etc. If your contract is a concern or it your status of title or your financing or the physical condition of the property is of concern go see a lawyer, structural engineer, surveyor, etc to get competent advice.

The question is "Why would the attorneys for the real estate agents feel it important to put this not only in the engagement agreement but also the contract?"

The answer is that these attorneys don't want their agents being sued for giving advice on things they really don't know anything about. Hank you can give advice about appraisals because you are trained as a professional appraiser but unless you are also a lawyer, surveyor, engineer etc you can't give advice on these matters.

That is exactly why we provide our buyers with an attorney whose sole function is to represent the buyer in contract matter, title matters, title insurance matters, financing matters etc. That is exactly why we provide our buyers with a structural engineer so our clients can get advice about property condition issues and construction techniques, that is exactly why we provide our buyers with a surveyor so they can get advice on survey matters and WE PAY FOR ALL OF THIS AND THE BUYER NEVER GETS A BILL FOR ANY OF THESE SERVICES.

We also rely on the agent but only for matters they are trained in, they help identify properties the buyer may have an interest in and nothing else.

I know this is a hard message for agents to understand but it is not in dispute according to GAR and their attorneys.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 30, 2010
Hi Murali,

I saw you question regarding "conflict of interest" and it is an excellent one. But let me clarify. As long as the agent with extra expertise and qualifications, for example me with building and structual inspections or Hank with appraisals use our extra expertise to provide you with advantages and assit with you more information and add value to our services as real estate professionals are only beneifts to you. For example we do NOT perform the actual official final Home Inspection or final Appraisal so there is no conflict - to do otherwise is a blatant conflict!

I do understand your concern about bad debts associated with a property and its impact on your family

Hope that helps - if questions feel free to call me!

Regards,

Robert Whitfield
678-585-9691
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 30, 2010
Just saw your post -

If agents don't properly advise clients then of course issues will develop - and I'm one that thinks more agents need to go. Understood on the examples and that's a good one to use. The experienced agents work with experienced lenders, lawyers, inspectors.....to ensure that thse issues are addressed. I know my closing attorney would be on something like that because I'd ask about it.

Hank
Web Reference: http://www.hrmiller.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 30, 2010
Having a long appraisal background allows me to view things much more critical and pragmatic than most agents - I'm all data based and if the data doesn't support a deal it's not done As I don't do any retail work and never mix roles with deals I'm involved in, there is no conflict of interest. In fact, my buyer clients find the appraisal approach very advantageous as appraisals have become a issue - we get out in front of that. Here's how we work with buyers http://www.hrmiller.com/buy-your-next-home.asp

Amy - put the claws back in. Are you saying that lenders don't need to produce a clear title? Obviously there are differences between marketable and insurable title - and I know them - but buyers go into distressed sales knowing marketable title isn't likely. Insurable title isn't unsual and as long as insurance can be written I've not seen issues. I'm not saying that I won't or that there are potential pit falls but insurable title seems adequate. No closing attorney I use is going to close a home with title issues.

Hank
Web Reference: http://www.hrmiller.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 30, 2010
Hank,
For instance, presume an old open loan deed prior to foreclosure is still open on title. Most closing attorneys would set that up as an exception to the owner's policy but give affirmative coverage to the buyer. All that sounds good but by doing so the buyer has lost the marketability coverage under the policy. In that instance we would either require the closing attorney to obtain proof the exception was paid or in the alternative insure it for the buyer without exception which would keep their marketability coverage intact.

What most people don't understand is that the closing attorney does not represent the buyer. As long as they can get insurable title that is all they will do because the title policies for the buyer and lender are treated differently.

This whole transaction, including the contract, financing and closing, is a fairly complicated and as such the buyer should have an attorney represent only their interest. We feel so strongly about it we pay the fee associated with the attorney representing the buyer.

Thanks,
Amy Walker
404-819-8016
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 30, 2010
Hi Murali,

I bet you did not expect to receive so many responses so quickly!

I want to let you know that I found 2 more new construction homes in the school systems you listed. IF you have not yet entered into a written Buyer Brokerage Agreement with a buyers agent to represent you...please contact me if you would like to find out more about these new homes and even meet me to visit them if you like. Additionally, I would be happy to give you some pointers on proven strategies that will give you the edge as a prospective buyer. There is no obligation for consulting with me.

Now, let me also respond as regards the comment Amy Walker made below, "inspectors are good but they don't and can't go far enough." Amy is absolutely correct in that it is a major benefit for any buyer to have not only the services of a real estate professional representing them, but in addition, the services of a trained building inspector - thats pretty much a no-brainer for most people. However, the point that inspectors "don't and can't go far enough" is, at least regarding this experienced (20+ years) ICC Certified Inspector/Broker, dead wrong.

I have worked hand in hand with structural engineers on many projects and they are good at what they do, and when needed, I bring Atlanta's best team of not ony structural but mechainical, and even geotechnical engineers in on behalf of my clients (also at no cost to my cleint). Most often, the structural problems I identify are problems I and my structural repair contractors have the expertise to further investigate and resolve - or are so severe that I will advise my clients to pass on the home altogether. When conditions are severe enough that I advise engineering analysis of a specific item, most of my buyers of existing fully completed homes prefer to walk rather than see if the seller will agree to properly fix such a severe structural problem - they are just very glad I spotted the defect. Engineers are good at resolving solutions to specific problems, but much less good at performing a competant and thorough full scope home inspection (including mechanical, plumbing, and electrical components) for which the vast majority are not trained to diagnose.

In closing, I will also point out a few huge differences and advantages in my service model:

1. I don't merely evaluate "THE" home you select and beleive you like. I evaluate "EVERY" home of interest to you! That proactive and diligent approach is what sets the Wise Buyer Program apart from all other approaches to purchasing a home! Evaluation of EVERY home that you like and that matches your criteria is THE crucial component (along with my full market valuation and pricing analysis) in helping you become much more informed about ALL the homes you are considering. How else can you weed out the homes that you should "run from" and be armed with enough info to make a fully informed decision about which home to reject and which to select, and at what price. The answer - you can't! Without superior information and insight, you can't make a superior purchase decision.

2. Be leery of any agent who insists you move forward just because thier expert claims it can be repaired - there are other considerations like future resale problems.

3. I submit (and can prove with blatant examples gone way wrong) that it is far better to have one person -your real estate representative, (the person responsible to correctly write up and specify an adequate repair outcome for the defects) to be the very same person (expert) who discovered the defect and or saw it first hand than to have some other less skilled third party (agent or attorney) try and decipher and address the scope of the matter - a lot can get lost in translation and I have seen it happen. Unlike agents and attorneys, I am not a novice in this area - I am certified in building codes and fully qualified to evaluate and diagnose defects, structural defects, building code violations, AND am skilled and practiced in specifying codes, knowledgeable of construction and repair techniques of all building trades and experienced and qualified to follow-up, verify, and determine if repair proceedures were correctly executed and adequately performed.

After inspecting over $200 million dollars worth of homes in my past life as an inspector - I know from long experience that the homes buyers select using the available knowledge and tools at their disposal often end up being far short of what they wanted and are frequently even a very serious purchase mistake. That is why I got into real estate over ten years ago and became a broker - to provide buyers, and later sellers, the best of all worlds - unmatched representation and unmatched insight with which to make more informed and sound decisions.

I am at your disposal if you desire the ultimate in Broker representation and unmatched assistance, insight, and protections.

Sincerely,

Robert Whitfield
678-585-9691
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 30, 2010
Shyam,
This is the problem with a real estate agent acting alone, you do not understand the difference between insurable title and marketable title. The seller on the REO property is only concerned with insurable title. We make sure our client the BUYER has marketable title. There is a huge difference and unless your an attorney, you would not understand.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 30, 2010
Amy,

I totally disagree with you too. Lenders do make sure and guarantee a clean sellable title. Nobody has a bigger legal army than the lenders do to make sure of sellable titles. Thanks.

Regards,

Shyam Nagalla
678-643-0375
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 30, 2010
Shyam, I am not meaning to disagree with you, but lenders do not make sure that REO properties have "clean title and is clear of any other hidden things".

Murali, I have worked for an REO attorney for 20 plus years and that is NOT the case. This is why it's so important to have an attorney representing "buyers" and my company does this at NO charge. Also, we will have a structural inspection by a structural engineer performed and a property survey done by a registered land surveyor. We will also run title so that we can make sure title is not only insurable BUT clean and clear of any issues. We provide all of this and more at NO charge ! This is all performed during Due Diligence.

Sincerely,
Amy Walker
404-819-8016
http://www.yourhometeamadvisors.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 30, 2010
Murali,

Not that I am pushing foreclosed REO properties or suggesting that they are the only option you have, since they are owned by lenders, the lenders make sure that the property has a clean title and is clear of any other hidden things. But, if you are not comfortable you should not go for them.

You still have the choice of other private resales and a new home within the school district you are looking for. I have been living in Alpharetta for about twenty years now. I know the area well. We can still go ahead and look at the available houses any time you want. I am available 24/7. Thanks.

Shyam Nagalla
678-643-0375
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 30, 2010
Good Morning Murali,
I sure hope you were able to visit our website and see all the advantages to using Your Home Team Realty Group. It is so important that you have a structural engineer, property survey and an attorney to represent your financial investment. Give me a call so that I can discuss all the advantages of having a team on your side!
http://www.yourhometeamadvisors.com There is NO cost to you for all of our services. These services are all performed by third parties!

Sincerely,
Amy
404-819-8016
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 30, 2010
Thanks to all for responding to my question. I know that going for a foreclosed or REO property is advantageous, but I do not want to go down on that path simply because I don't want to trust my luck so much to get a clean property without hidden debts.

It is also interesting that many of you agents are also appraisers or inspectors. How could you perform in such dual roles? Isn't there such thing as conflict of interests?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 30, 2010
Murali,

There are foreclosed and shortsale homes too yet, meeting your criteria.

Shyam Nagalla
678-643-0375
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 29, 2010
Good Morning Murali,

I am a native of Alpharetta and still live in the area. I work the North Fulton area and Cherokee County. Windward is a great place to raise a family. With Your Home Team Realty Group we also provide you with an Attorney to represent you the "buyer"; we also provide you with a Structural Engineer to inspect the property. Home inspectors are good but they don't and can't go far enough. We provide you with a property survey so you can be sure the improvements are really on the property you intend to buy and insure that your neighbor doesn't have something like his pool or any encroachments on the property. The Attorney gives advise regarding your loan terms and helps evaluate all of the information that the engineer and surveyor provides. There is NO cost for any of these inspections!

Please give me a call so that I can give you more information with what all we provide homebuyers. Look forward to speaking with you.

Amy Walker / Realtor
404-819-8016
Your Home Team Realty Group, LLC
http://www.yourhometeamadvisors.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 29, 2010
Hey Murali,
There are several Homes that may work for you. You've chosen some of the best schools in the Atlanta area. I have made the same choices for my kids. I live and work in the Windward area and will be glad to help. You need someone who knows this market as well. Let me know and I'll be glad to help. Let me show you the Homes available this week and you'll know you working with the right Professional to make your move a smooth transition.

Best Regards,

Eric Morrison
Remax Greater Atlanta
ericmorrison@markspain.com
770-595-4135
As always, thanks for referring me to your family and friends…
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 29, 2010
Hi Murali,

There are about ten homes that meet your criteria. One is a new home. If you like I can show them this evening. Please call me.

Shyam Nagalla
678-643-0375
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 29, 2010
Hi Murali,

I assume you mean single family homes as opposed to attached fee simple townhomes or condominiums? I am listing a ten year old singlefamily home in Windward this morning, and yes there are a few new and many very recent homes in the Windward area that may work for you, however, there are of course no guarantee the few new homes will be here in two months. I don't beleive we will see any more new homes for a while.

Contact me at the office 678-585-9691 or by cell if I am out 404-561-7546 to discuss your families needs and timeline to move - depending on your circumstances, there may be a way tie one of the homes up for you, if you like it.

I serve this area and would be happy to help you view and locate the ideal home for your family and get the best possible price. This area is one of the most stable in Atlanta as far a price stability and has actually seen appreciation in value over the last year plus.

In addition to being a Broker/Owner, I am also an ICC Certified Building Inspector. This means I can do a pre-purchase evaluation of the structure, major systems, and overall conditions of any property you like - new or existing. Once we find the right homes, I do an very indepth market trend and pricing analysis to ensure we obtain the best price possibleThis unmatched extra service can save you a lot of money during the home search process, assure you don’t offer too much for a home, and more importantly, help assure you avoid homes with serious defects and problems that can become a costly financial drain on you as the new owner! That is just one of the many important advantages my buyer clients receive for any type of property they are interested in – but is especially invaluable when looking at properties sold As-Is, like distressed builder new home inventory closeouts, Bank REO and foreclosure homes!

I look forward to speaking with you soon!


Regards,

Robert Whitfield
Broker/Owner - Realtor
Professional Buyers Broker
Relocation Expert
New Home Construction Expert
ICC Code Certified Building Inspection Expert
Advantage Realtors
678-585-9691
877-787-7167
“Know if the property is a Real Find or a Real Financial Risk - Before you submit your offer!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 29, 2010
I ran a search on MLS and there is one home meeting your criteria in the Webb Bridge school footprint. If we expand a little there will be more homes to pop up. Call me in the morning at 404-886-8789 after 8:30 and we can go over it.

Mark Lackey
Atlanta Housing Source at
Solid Source Realty, Inc.
Associate Broker
EcoBroker
Mark@AtlantaHousingSource.com
404-886-8789

Services
Home Buyers & Sellers - http://www.AtlantaHousingSource.com
Property Management – http://www.SolidSourcePM.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 28, 2010
You have chosen great schools. There are in fact several others right in the same immediate area that may interest you and help you find a broader range of housing options. The housing available in the Windward community is older, however, there are many owners who have updated or renovated their homes to make them competitive with the new construction being offered further north and further east and west. One thing to keep in mind is that buying today or early 2011 will afford you an opportunity to buy more house than you could have 3 years ago and at lower interest rates. There are plenty of distressed properties available that may require some sweat equity and some repair or upgrade money put towards the home, however, if you are willing to do this work you can create your own dream home in your desired location. I would advise you to be open to the housing options in this area and look at them with an attitude of what can I make this house become? The location offers plenty of shopping, easy highway access, great schools, terrific restaurants and a true community feel. Please feel free to contact me 404-784-5287 for more information.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 28, 2010
You may be able to find homes never lived in new construction built 2006-2010. Have an agent pull listings in this year range and you should have luck.
Although have it inspected as some that have sat vacant sometimes have issues.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 28, 2010
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