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GAY MARRIAGE

by Leslie Edwards

The California Supreme Court rule this week that same sex couples are entitled to marry.  While those in favor of the ruling are rejoicing across the country in hopes acceptance will spread across the country, some very vocal opponents to the ruling are making themselves heard on television, in papers, on the internet and on talk radio. 

This is a tricky subject for me to comment on but I really do have strong opinions about the subject.

As a product of the 60's, I have been blessed to know and appreciate people from all walks of life and I am often embarrassed by the way we Americans treat people who are different from us. The main thing I have learned over the years is that when you know someone personally, they stop being black, foreign, gay or whatever makes them different from me.  I stop seeing differences and see only the person. 

What I don't understand about the gay marriage issue is why do people care so much if a gay couple gets married?  It does not affect my life at all. 

I heard someone on a news program say that this ruling would destroy marriage as we know it.  The concept of marriage is already in shambles and it has nothing to do with gay people.  With over 50% of all marriages ending in divorce, marriage has become a tough sell for millions of people who decide not to ever marry and for divorced people who choose to never marry again. If gay people want to marry, I say let them.   

Marriage is an antiquated concept that sets people up to fail.  Two people make a lifetime committment "til death do us part" when the reality is that the chances of staying with one person for a lifetime get slimmer all the time. 

  If we could embrace the reality, people whose marriages end would not have to feel like failures. It would be more healthy and better for everyone involved if  they could appreciate the best parts of the relationship without the bitterness.  Hopefully we learn from every relationship to make us better fbetter people.

There are, of course, many hetrosexual couples who enjoy successful, lifelong marriages, but they are fewer than ever before.

There are legal and practical reasons for same sex couples to marry including being the next of kin in an emergency, health insurance, inheritance, adoption, etc.  There is also the desire to make a formal committment to each other in front of family and friends, to make a family, to have a big wedding.

Several of my gay couple friends have been together for over twenty years and are committed for life, which is more than I can say for most of my straight couple friends.  If marriage makes gay people feel more connected, I say why not?

The US is far behind much of the world in their level of acceptance for gays and minorities.  I think is long past time to be more accepting and inclusive of others who are different from us.

So, I go on record as in favor of gay couples being allowed to marry.  To all my gay guy couple friends, keep me in mind for the wedding party.  Bridesmaid?

leslie edwards                                                                                                                                                 sells real estate to anyone who is buying regardless of race, color, religion or sexual orientation.

Call 770.460.9448 if you or anyone you know wants to buy, sell or talk real estate.               RE/MAX Around Atlanta  Serving South Metro Atlanta                                                                               30 years experience is not expensive, it's priceless

Scary But True

by Leslie Edwards

A friend sent this to me the other day without an acknowledgment of the source so I don't know who wrote this, but thought is was well worth passing on. 

A Modern Parable.

A Japanese company (Toyota) and an American company (Ford Motor) decided to have a canoe race on the Missouri River Both teams practiced long and hard to reach their peak performance before the race.

On the big day, the Japanese won by a mile.

The Americans, very discouraged and depressed, decided to investigate the reason for the crushing defeat. A management team made up of senior management was formed to investigate and recommend appropriate action.

Their conclusion was the Japanese had 8 people rowing and 1 person steering, while the American team had 7 people steering and 2 people rowing.

Feeling a deeper study was in order; American management hired a consulting company and paid them a large amount of money for a second opinion.

They advised, of course, that too many people were steering the boat, while not enough people were rowing.

Not sure of how to utilize that information, but wanting to prevent another loss to the Japanese, the rowing team's management structure was totally reorganized to 4 steering supervisors, 2 area steering superintendents and 1 assistant superintendent steering manager.

They also implemented a new performance system that would give the 2 people rowing the boat greater incentive to work harder. It was called the 'Rowing Team Quality First Program,' with meetings, dinners and free pens for the rowers. There was discussion of getting new paddles, canoes and other equipment, extra vacation days for practices and bonuses. The pension program was trimmed to 'equal the competition' and some of the resultant savings were channeled into morale boosting programs and teamwork posters.

The next year the Japanese won by two miles.

Humiliated, the American management laid-off one rower, halted development of a new canoe, sold all the paddles, and canceled all capital investments for new equipment. The money saved was distributed to the Senior Executives as bonuses.


The next year, try as he might, the lone designated rower was unable to even finish the race (having no paddles,) so he was laid off for unacceptable performance, all canoe equipment was sold and the next year's racing team was out-sourced to
India.

Sadly, the End.

Here's something else to think about: Ford has spent the last thirty years moving all its factories out of the US , claiming they can't make money paying American wages.

TOYOTA has spent the last thirty years building more than a dozen plants inside the US. The last quarter's results:


TOYOTA
makes 4 billion in profits while Ford racked up 9 billion in losses.

Ford folks are still scratching their heads, and collecting bonuses.


IF THIS WEREN'T SO TRUE IT MIGHT BE FUNNY 

 If they would just let me run the world, this would not be happening.....

I may not be qualified to run the world, but I am qualified to be your real estate agent.  If you or anyone you know would like to buy, sell or talk real estate, let me know.  I want to be your real estate resource.

leslie edwards   sells real estate   770.460.9448 direct 

Certified Residential Specialist

RE/MAX Around Atlanta

 

Clayton County Foreclosures

by Leslie Edwards

According to the news this morning, one in every ten homes in Clayton County is currently in default.  That statistic makes it very hard for owner occupants to sell their homes when the foreclosures in their neighborhoods continue to push prices down.  It is happening in all price ranges and the only homeowners who are immune to the fall in value are the ones who are not trying to sell. 

 The market will move back up over time but it will take some time for the market to absorb all of the homes for sale right now in Clayton County.  As always, the people who survive severe shifts in the market hang in there longer.  Don't panic sell if you on't have to move.  If you want to move, but don't have to move,you will have to decide how much equity are you willing to lose to move now.

If you are a buyer, this is the best buyer's market in years and buyers should be buying.  The rate is very low compared to not so long ago when rates were in the double digits: 10% to 16% interest rates were common.  Many buyers do not appreciate what an opportunity this is to buy more house than they could afford in any other market because of  low interest rates and the lower home prices.  Those buyers will regret the hesitation when the market shifts and it always does, and when interest rates increase.

Real estate moves in cycles and this is just part of that constant change.  History has shown that no matter how low and slow  the market gets, it has always  improved and often with a huge rise in values.  It is just part of the cycle.

Call me if you have to sell, really want to sell or if you want to take advantage of these great opportunities in the real estate market.

leslie edwards   sells real estate   770.460.9448   RE/MAX Around Atlanta

leslie@leslieewards.com

 

Clayton County Market Update January 1 -April 30, 2008

by Leslie Edwards

There are currently 3318 active single family residential properties in Clayton County listed for sale in Georgia MLS.  The average list price is $144,762 and the average number of days on the market is 133.

In the past twelve months 3161 listings sold with an average of 109 days on the market and an average sales price of $113,012 .  That sounds like a lot of home sales in the past year. 

However, during the same 12 months, 5110 homes expired unsold after an average of 180 days on the market and an average list price of $150,056.

38% SOLD and 62% Expired UNSOLD.  One clear explanation is that the difference in the list prices of the homes that did not sell and the homes that did sell is $37,044 which indicates that the majority of the unsold homes were overpriced. 

From January 1 through April 30, 2008, there were 991 homes sold with an average sales price of  $97,502 a drop of $15,510 from the 12 month average.

1530 homes expired unsold during the same period with an average list price of $153,594, up $3538 from the twelve month average list price.

Average sales price goes down while the average list price keeps going up which only cause more properties to expire unsold. 

There is increased competition with foreclosures that are selling well below market.If a homeowner has not been in the house for more than 5- 6 years or if they have refinanced and increased their mortgage amount, chances are the house is worth less than when they bought.  Sellers are writing checks to sell their homes and many sellers, unable to write the check are losing their homes in foreclosure.

The good news is that even in the worst market the best homes sell.  Best home at the best price.  The market will come back so if you don't have to sell, wait.  If you do have to sell, or if you really just want to sell, call me for a FREE consultation with no obligation. I want to be your resource for real estate information.  Ask me how I am selling homes at a rate that is 10 times the national average prouction for real estate agents.

leslie edwards   sells real estate    770.460.9448   RE/MAX Around Atlanta

Serving South Metro Atlanta       30 years experience isn't expensive, it's priceless

leslie@leslieewards.com     www.leslieedwards.com                                                                                 

Who Says Real Estate Is Not Selling?

by Leslie Edwards

As of today, May 13, 2008, I have closed 22 properties with an additional 3 properties scheduled to close by the end of this month.  While I have sold more in past years, my current sales numbers are more than 10 times the average real estate agent's sales.  I think there are good reasons why this is true.

 Sellers and Buyers who might have used their new, part-time or unproductive real estate agent relative, friend, church member, neighbor, etc. are choosing experience over friendship and family loyalty in this challenging market

After 30 years as a full-time, successful REALTOR, I have learned to adapt to constantly shifting market conditions.  We have systems in place to provide consistently exceptional service to our clients regardless of market conditions.. 

The current reality is that there are at least twice as many sellers than buyers so the job is to attract and capture buyers. 

Studies show that buyers typically call more than one agent and continue calling until someone is available to talk to them.  The first available agent often gets the sale. 

My phone is answered 24 hours a day, 365 days a year by a live person.  We have three licensed agents on our team to insure that someone is always available to talk to a buyer when they call.  The office and the answering service transfers calls directly to one of us immediately.  We prefer that instead of taking messages, we talk to people when they call.

The percentage of buyers who search for homes on the internet continues to soar.  Our properties are listed on more than twenty individual websites and include multiple photos and visual tours, both of which increases the number of unique visitors who will stop to view your property online.  To see how we market properties visit www.leslieedwards.com and www.SouthMetroAtlantaMLS.com

Contact me for a FREE Buyer and/or Seller Consultation by email, phone or in person.

leslie edwards  sells real estate  770.460.9448

30 years experience is not expensive.  It's priceless

leslie@leslieedwards.com       

RE/MAX Around Atlanta All Stars

Public Pens

by Leslie Edwards

Another flu season has passed and again I did not get the flu.  Although I have never had a flu shot, it is my personal decision and I am not recommending that anyone else do the same.

One of the things I do to avoid contamination from germs is to carry my own pen at all times.  I do not share public pens, at the grocery checkout, signing for credit cards or anywhere else..  Be conscious the next time you have an opportunity to sign something with a pen provided by a cashier, waiter etc.  The pens are touched by several people everyday and never disinfected. There is a 100% chance that someone who used the pen that day will share some germs with other users.

Stay healthy and call me for all of your real estate needs.  As a professional, fulltime REALTOR for 30 years, I have worked through many challenging markets and this one is no different.  In the first quarter of 2008 my closed sales were over ten times more than the average agent.  Call or email to arrange a FREE consultation for Buyers and Sellers by phone, email or let's meet in person.  As always, there is no obligation to work with me.  I want to be your resource for real estate information.

leslie edwards  sells real estate  770.460.9448   RE/MAX Around Atlanta

leslie@leslieedwards.com   See all the MLS listings at  www.leslieedwards.com

Buy or Sell With Me and Use My Truck to Move For FREE

Coweta County Real Estate Market Update 1st Quarter 2008

by Leslie Edwards

Comparing the first quarter of 2007 with the first quarter of 2008 Coweta County

                                                                2007                                  2008

#Homes Sold                                        608  63%                         386    46%

#Homes Did Not Sell                           362  37%                         445     54%  

Average Sales Price                             $204,058                         $197,844

Average # Days On Market                  103                                   122

There are currently 1917 available listings in Coweta County with an average of 138 days on market and an average list price of $267,389

What does this mean?  While the average sales price has dropped $6,214 from 2007, the average price of the 1917 current listings is $69,545 above this years first quarter average sales price which in part, explains the jump from 37% expired 1st quarter 2007 to 54% expired 1st quarter 2008.

The percentage of homes that sell vs. homes that expired unsold has dropped from 63% to 46%

Many of the available listings and expired listings were sellers who bought in the past one to four years, using low or no down payment, trying to choose a price that inclues paying off the mortgage, buyers closing costs and broker fees.  Since the market has been dropping for the past two years, the homes are often worth less than when they bought.  This means that a seller would have to write a check to sell the home.  Many sellers either don't have the money or cannot accept the idea of paying someone to buy their homes.

The answers:  If you don't have to sell, wait. 

If you do have to sell, or really want to  move, be realistic about pricing.  Look at the numbers.  Only the prices of homes that have sold and closed are use to establish list  price.  Most important is to hire an experienced agent who has worked in challenging markets  in years past and has a proven track record of getting homes sold.

I am available for a free market consulation by phone, email or in person.  There is no obligation

30 years experience is not expensive, it's priceless

Call me at 770.460.9448 or email leslie@leslieedwards.com See all the listings at www.leslieedwards.com

leslie edwards    sells real estate  770.460.9448

RE/MAX Around Atlanta All Stars

 

NOT INTERESTED

by Leslie Edwards

Several times a year, people I know contact me to "share a new business" that will add to my income.  I have watched other real estate agents get caught in the trap of trying to sell other products and services to add an additional stream of income.  I know agents who have sold Amway, Herbal Products, pots and pans, security systems, prepaid legal, accelerated mortgage payoff programs, makeup and more. Most of them are multi-level, meaning each participant has to recruit more participants to make money.

I decided years ago that I sell one product and one product only:  Real Estate  I believe it would be a disservice to my clients if I spent time trying to sell other products and recuiting others for my downline.  It would dilute my effectiveness as a real estate professional and I am not willing to do that.

The agents who get involved don't get rich from them and lose real estate production while working their "additional income streams".

Recently, two different friend/acquaintances wanted to meet with me to discuss their great new business ideas.  Interestingly, when I said no and told them why, they seemed to get offended which could be because of the pressure to recruit people.

I have never had any other since becoming a full time real estate agent 30 years ago.  I have successfully supported myself on my real estate income because that is the job I am focused on every day.

If you would like to talk real estate, call me at 770.460.9448 or email leslie@leslieedwards.com

See all the listings in MLS at www.leslieedwards.com

leslie edwards

RE/MAX Around Atlanta

Fayette County First Quarter Market Statistics

by Leslie Edwards

Comparing Fayette Home Sales 1st Quarter 2007 With 1st Quarter 2008

2007  306 Homes Sold and 312 Expired which is about 50-50

2008  261 Homes Sold and 301 Expired or 54% Expired 46% Sold

The number of Sold homes dropped by 15% from 2007 to 2008

2007  Average 1st Quarter Sold price was $325,835

2008  Average 1st Quarter Sold price dropped to $309,228

The difference between the average Sold price and average price of listings that Expired Unsold

2007  $382,393 Expired  $325,835 Sold  $56,558 Difference

2008  $396,614  Expired $309,228 Sold  $87,386 Difference

There are currently 1476 homes listed for sale on Georgia Multiple Listing Service in Fayette County.  The average price of homes for sale is $405,857.

What does this all mean?  The real estate market is own from last year.  While sold prices are still dropping, the list prices continue to increase along with the average number of days on the market.

Even in the worst real estate market, the best homes sell.  The best condition, location, features and of course, the best price.

In the first quarter of 2008 I sold 10 times the national average for real estate agent production.  I have sold real estate for 30 years, through other challenging market conditions and I know when the market comes back it is usually with a vengance.  It may not happen for awhile so if you have to sell, call or email me and let's discuss your personal situation.  If anyone can help you, I can. 

leslie edwards

30 years experience is not expensive

It's priceless

leslie@leslieedwards.com

www.leslieedwards.com

Displaying blog entries 1-9 of 9

If you hear of anyone who wants to buy or sell in any of these areas, please mention me and then call me so I can contact them. I appreciate your referrals!