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Property taxes due Oct. 1

Property taxes due Oct. 1

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. -- It's that time of year again for Gwinnett County homeowners.

Property taxes are due Wednesday, Oct. 1. Residents have four ways of paying the tax -- online, through the mail, by drop box or in person.

Those who choose to pay online can do so at gwinnetttaxcommissioner.com. It is free to pay by check. There is a flat fee of $3.95 to pay by debit card, while credit cards have a 2.29 percent service fee.

Mailed-in payments can be sent to the Gwinnett County Tax Commissioner, P.O. Box 372, Lawrenceville, 30046.

All tax commissioner offices have drop boxes where property tax payments can be left. Tax commissioner officers will also accept in-person payments.

For more information, call Gwinnett County at 770-822-8800.

Plans revealed for GA movie studio -- with condos

Plans revealed for GA movie studio -- with condos

NORCROSS, Ga. -- A big movie-making project just reached blockbuster status.

The Los Angeles-based production company behind "Iron Man 2," "The Avengers" and the next three "Avatar" films has been chosen to manage the Atlanta Media Campus in Norcross. It's a 114-acre development.

The concept behind what's happening there is basically Atlantic Station meets a movie sound stage.

"With the scope and the scale of this project, I don't think there's a location like this in the country," explained developer Jim Jacoby.

In 2015, the Atlanta Media Campus located at I-85 and Jimmy Carter Boulevard will also be home to a school and condos, all between the planned seven sound stages.

In true Hollywood style, it all has a façade. Your condo may look more like New York City than Norcross, and it all may end up as a movie backdrop.

Clean up the mess! $60 = 2 HRS of Home Organization by Drab to Fab Organizing ($120 value)

Clean up the mess! $60 = 2 HRS of Home Organization by Drab to Fab Organizing ($120 value)

Has it been months since you've seen the surface of your dining room table? Can the kids find their homework? Do you have boxes and bags filled with things you need to return, but can't find the receipt?

Agents Unknowingly in Violation of Ethics

This is a warning to Agents and a reminder to the public to be careful who you chose to represent you in a real estate transaction. I have recently heard some stories that have taken place locally and want to send this reminder to everyone. It is a violation of the ethical requirement for licensure in Georgia to represent a buyer or seller in a matter that the Agent is unfamilliar with. 

The REALTOR® Code of Ethics - Article 1 starts: "When representing a buyer, seller, landlord, tenant, or other client as an agent, REALTORS® pledge themselves to protect and promote the interests of their client."

Metro Atlanta foreclosure rate 16th highest in nation

Metro Atlanta foreclosure rate 16th highest in nation

ATLANTA -- Metro Atlanta's foreclosure rate slowed by the middle of 2011, but remains among the metros with the highest rates.

Atlanta had 44,1560 foreclosure filings from January through June, down about 16 percent from the first half of 2010. This gave Atlanta the 16th highest rate of foreclosures, according to RealtyTrac, which publishes the largest list of foreclosures in the country.

The company defines a foreclosure as default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions. 

Real Estate has a Long Road to Recovery

 

The next years of real estate are not going to be positive for homeowners. In fact, it’s estimated that in 2012 over 60% of all home sales will be foreclosures or short sales. This means that the banks will control the pricing of more than half the real estate market and we can expect continued declining values. This idea may not sit well with many after the mortgage meltdown and moral hazard issues we had over the past five years.

Further, we at Sellect Realty believe that it will be another five to seven years before we see home values near their previous peaks and then we expect a plateau for several years to follow before growth. Currently our market is still declining. Despite month-over-month gains we have had another drastic decline in home values over the past 12 months. According to the recent statistics released by Realtor.com the average listing price decreased by 11.42% from June 2010 to $250,933.  

Things to Avoid When Holding an Open House

This weekend was national open house weekend. I had the opportunity to see an open house go wrong in a million dollar neighborhood, so I'm going to share some pointers to help your open house go smoothly.

1. Ensure that there are no malfunctions with the home. A defective air conditioner ruins the experience for everyone including the agent. You do not want the agent to be in a bad mood!

2. Have an agent who will not push prizes, giveaways, or follow prospective buyers as they look at the house. The idea is to make everyone comfortable and the way to do that is by making all information readilly available and be available to answer questions.

3. Have drinks and/or snacks on hand, especially on a hot afternoon. At a minimum, bottles icewater and soda is a must.