Keeping it Real Estate: At Home with Anne Milner

Anne Milner’s California cool aesthetic paired with her interior design background made for the perfect entrance into residential real estate. Anne has navigated several family moves herself and can easily relate to her clients’ needs, whether buying or selling. She has since completed her 7th major home renovation, just around the corner in Haynes Manor neighborhood of Buckhead. Anne’s creative eye enables her clients and buyers to imagine the limitless possibilities each home offers; even if at first they may not see it themselves.

Growing up bi-coastal, Anne spent summers in Maryland while attending grade school in Oregon, but may forever call California home. Her design career began to take root in Oregon when friends would ask for help picking out lighting and pillows, and soon she was working for a friend helping source items in the industry. When she moved to California, it was the same story; but this time she launched her own firm. With three kids in school, managing her own business allowed for a flexible schedule and a fun, creative outlet. All of her kids grew up in California, outside San Francisco, until her husband was offered a job in Atlanta’s broadcasting industry. Anne’s main focus has been on settling down in Atlanta and getting her youngest daughter through her last two years at Woodward Academy, who now attends NYU.

Anne is no stranger to Atlanta, in fact she probably knows more than most lifelong residents! Exploring different parts of Atlanta with a group called ‘Explore Georgia’, an organized trip is planned monthly, ranging from hiking treks and food excursions to historical tours. The most recent was a guided tour of The Candler Hotel, which boasts stunning architecture and craftsmanship. You’ll often find Anne food hopping and discovering the hidden gems of West Midtown, Decatur, Inman Park and Little Five. Once COVID passes she will continue to frequent the belt-line with her dog and enjoy as much yoga as possible.

How would you describe your design aesthetic?

“Being from the West Coast, I bring a much more relaxed, casual feeling and vibe to my home and designs. I think you can have children and pets and still live in a beautiful, elegant interior and not be afraid to flop on the sofa and put your feet up. I am obsessed with art, and discovering local southeastern artists has been amazing. Every home should include art that speaks to the owner. Atlanta is filled with amazing emerging and established artists and galleries, so the exploration is always new.”

Why do you Broker with Beacham?

Female owned and operated, high integrity, and the marketing outdoes every other firm!

What inspired your transition from interior design to real estate?

“I’ve had a passion for homes from the time we bought our first home in Michigan. We have bought or sold 8 homes in 4 states. The process can be incredibly over-whelming and stressful, but each time I have enjoyed it. I have moved young kids, middle school age, high school age and college aged kids and I think I can bring that experience to help a client doing the same.  For me, my youngest leaving for college left me with time to do something for myself and when I spent time thinking about what I should do, Real Estate was a natural choice. I love homes, the process of buying and selling, I love working with people and I love learning.”

How do you think real estate and interior design intertwine?

“Probably the biggest similarity of the two is listening. Listening to your client’s needs and wants to produce the best possible outcome while working within a budget and time constraint.”

What are the advantages of an agent having an interior design background?

“I am able to help clients see past interiors that are not their style or they don’t like, look beyond the wall-covering or lighting. I have lived in a lot of homes and remodeled several. I have the ability to look at the bones of a house, uncover quirky lay-outs, offer suggestions of how problems can be remedied. By giving clients ideas, maybe utilizing spaces more efficiently, they are able to envision themselves living in a home that represents them, their personalities and passions. Anything can be
altered, except location!”

When you’re re-designing a space, where do go you for inspiration?

“I would say I am constantly inspired. Travel is a big inspiration, even just visiting other cities breeds ideas. Sounds crazy but walking for me is when my head is clear and I’m able to really think about how a room is laid out or how I want the area to unfold or the aesthetic we want. There is also amazing inspiration on your coffee table; books and magazines. I still love to go through all my home and design magazines and take a look what designers in other parts of the country are doing. The amount of creativity out there is enviable.”

Do you see any similarities or differences between the real estate market in Atlanta and California?

“I’d say low inventory. California (northern) has continually had low inventory for years and years. I think the biggest difference in markets is home size. Most Californians looking in desirable areas do not expect large homes or property. The prices are high and you adapt to raising your families in small houses. Outdoor living becomes more important, and so many homes have pools as well as entertaining spaces or casitas.”

Is there something in particular that has surprised you working in real estate?

“I think the biggest surprise for me in real estate is the pace. Good agents work at a very fast pace, and they need to know so much information. Most people don’t realize the amount of work that goes on behind the scenes at all hours of the day and night. Agents need to be familiar with law, code, finance, and so much more – all while being available to clients 24/7. “

Are there any trends you are hoping make a comeback?

“There are certain things that are not my style; red & gold or Tuscan anything. I love Tuscany, but California was especially over “Tuscaned” and I’m also over it. I love that wallpaper has soared recently; although I have to admit, every house I’ve owned I papered a powder bath or laundry because I’ve always loved it. One trend I’m worried is being overdone now is brass. I love it, but it is everywhere and there will be a point when everyone will want something new and different.”

How have you been adapting to the current Covid-19 pandemic? Started any new hobbies etc?

“Peloton. I never thought I would get on or want to get on a stationary bike, but I have loved it. I’m always looking for themed music rides- they are so fun and make the spin time fly by!”

Favorite place you’ve ever traveled to?

“Lisbon, Portugal. We loved it so much that we went back 6 months later. I loved the steep, cobble stone streets, the architecture, the river and the suspension bridge that resembles the Golden Gate. The city has so many similarities to San Francisco, and I just love it! I took my daughter on a biking trip through Croatia last year, and the country is stunning. I would love to go back and spend more time when we are able to travel again.”

What books have you been reading lately? Anything you would recommend?

I always have two books going, one I listen to and one I read. Right now I am listening to ‘Giver of Stars’ by Jojo Moyes and ‘White Fragility’ by Robin DiAngelo. I just finished ‘The Paper Wife’ by Laila Ibrahim.”
If you’re interested in working with Anne, visit her agent page here!

Atlanta Industry Update w/ Angel Oak

What’s Going on in Atlanta’s Housing Market?

We were hit hard, and fast. Factors leading up to the current economic slowdown were unusual, and vastly different than what led us to previous downturns in America’s past. Economist say this time is different; but how exactly?

1. The root of current downturn is not financial, but self-imposed due to a public health crisis

2. The accelerated speed of collapse

3. Scope of current downturn is vastly global

Spawned by a health crisis, not an unhealthy economy, Covid-19 knocked industries everywhere off their axis into unchartered water; real estate included. Atlanta has been experiencing high growth and development over the past few years, and even though Spring was slower, Summer 2020 is heating up. With more new listings in June this year compared to 2019, Atlanta’s real estate market is picking back up….fast.

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We sat down with our in-house mortgage lenders at Angel Oak Home Loans for a Q&A session on what they are seeing in the Atlanta market right now.

 

How is business right now for Atlanta mortgage lenders?

“It is CRAZY busy. Purchases and refinance applications are through the roof for all of us right now.”

 

Have you seen an uptick in loans, if so when did that begin?

“In the last 45 days. The mortgage industry has been speeding forward at a record pace.”

  • Nationwide, applications for loans to purchase a home increased 5% the week of June 10, 2020 from the previous week and were 13% higher than June 2019, according to a report issued by the Mortgage Bankers Association.
  • During the first week of June 2020, the demand for housing across the nation was up 25% from pre-pandemic levels, according to Redfin. Pending home sales in Atlanta was up 20% for the first week of June 2020 over June 2019, according to a report issued by MarketNSight. Nationwide, January through May 2020, pending sales are up 6% year over year same period for 2019.

 

What do you believe is the factor behind of all the recent high activity?

“Pent up demand, which is due to homeowners not wanting to put their house on the market, potential buyers wanting to take advantage of the low interest + mortgages rates and the recent wave of people who have just gone back to work.”

 

What are you seeing right now in the luxury market?

“Jumbo rates have come down to the mid – low 3’s, resulting in both high-end buyers AND sellers taking advantage of the current market. Low rates paired with low inventory has allowed people to sell homes extremely fast and buyers are able snatch up properties with a low rate.”

 

What do you see happening to the market in the long run – with the current low rates, record low inventory, reopening of the economy and potential homebuyers facing heavy competition & paying over market value in bidding wars for homes?

“I think the next twelve months, residential real estate will be hot. It is very difficult to predict what the fall will bring from a perspective of COVID and the housing market. According to Realtor.com, rates are predicted to remain low through the rest of the year, home prices have increased, and listings are selling quickly – not many are remaining long in the market. The past two months have brought a tremendous rebound to the housing market. Employment is up 13% according to the Department of Labor, forbearance has dropped by 47,000 week over week since the peak the week of May 22, 2020 according to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac., and rates are at a historical low level.”

“We know a lot more now and have enhanced technology to ensure the safety of buyers and sellers during the pandemic. Virtual tours and closings can be done remotely and safely. We can streamline document sharing and have a mobile app for homebuyers to apply for a loan and manage the entire process from their mobile phone.”

“There are no forecasts or reports issued with any certainty of a potential housing market crash and in March we did not experience a repeat housing crash from a decade ago. We are optimistic with the favorable market we are seeing right now and Angel Oak Home Loans has had strong performance month over month in 2020.  Based on this information and reports issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the next year looks like it will be strong for the housing market even without the refi boom that we are seeing right now.”

How does Angel Oak’s Atlanta market compare to other offices in the Southeast in terms of the number of loans coming through? Is one state busier than another?

“All of our offices are clicking away at relatively the same speed. Atlanta’s market has been amazing these few last years, so I wouldn’t be surprised if we are above a lot of cities in regards to numbers. Angel Oak is currently hiring support staff in all areas to keep up with the high demand. I don’t foresee this slowing down anytime soon.”

 

How is this current economic situation different from the recession that began in 2007?

“The recovery time with this current economic situation will be must faster compared to 2007 recession. This crisis was caused by COVID-19, not a credit crisis or one based on lowered lending standards, and that is the distinct difference. Today, non-QM is based on performing, quality loans issued to buyers who can prove their ability to repay their mortgage. We adhere to guidelines and responsible underwriting. There is a significant population of credit worthy borrowers out there and they require mortgage loans outside of conventional financing. These factors played into a quick rebound.”

 

What the most important thing lenders are looking at right now when it comes to loan approval, and is there anything mortgage lenders are paying closer attention to this time around after what happened in 2010?

“We are still looking at the basics: Credit, % Down Payment and Income(s). The income piece has gotten slightly more complicated, specifically for W2 employees who are being furloughed and self-employed borrowers who are trying to get their business back up and running, either at a normal or slightly less than normal income level.”

“Taking extra steps and verifications for W2 and self-employed borrowers. We typically require a paycheck right before closing to verify that the person has not just received a sudden pay cut. For self-employed borrowers, we are focusing on their most recent bank statement to confirm they are still receiving income.”

 

Is there any advice you would give a potential buyer or seller in Atlanta right now? Should they wait to list or buy? Is there anything to be wary of?

“The market in Atlanta, and for the majority of the country, is favorable right now. The summer remains a great time to buy before the start of school. Anyone looking to purchase a home should consult a lender to understand their loan options based on their unique situation. We have traditional loans and non-traditional loans made up of non-QM products based on varying circumstances. We have products that may help eligible self-employed buyers, property investors, and those with credit events. We are here to help and determine how best to go about the loan process. There is no reason to be wary with so much available information. Start with a lender, get educated on the loan process, how it relates to your situation, and understand the market. For those who are selling, now is a good time as inventory is down and listings are selling fast!

Secluded Estate in Coveted Tuxedo Park

Dreams come true at 3393 Woodhaven Road NW, a wonderfully renovated home in Buckhead’s most sought after neighborhood, Tuxedo Park. Located on a quiet street, this estate warmly offers high-end finishes, main level living with an updated bath and a spacious family room with high ceilings and antique beams. Other features include a flat, walkout backyard with a pool, custom playhouse and grassy area for children’s play. Subtle, yet appeasing architectural features create a magical and inviting atmosphere at this home. Upon your first visit, you will never want to leave!

Listed by Glennis Beacham $4,525,000

Atlanta Development News // 7.2020

Centennial Yards

After years of disagreement and law suits, the Georgia Supreme Court approved the planned five billion dollar redevelopment of Atlanta’s downtown space previously dubbed ‘The Gulch.’ The city development authority will issue up to $1.25 billion in tax money to finance the construction of this private/mixed-use development. The developer of the future ‘Centennial Yards‘ is The CIM Group, working through a local LLC with the name ‘Spring Street’. Fifty acres of parking lot and rail-yards will be completely transformed featuring up to 12 million square feet of retail, office and residential space.

Graydon Buckhead

Despite the pandemic, ground broke back in April on Buckhead’s newest residential high-rise at 2520 Peachtree Road. Said to be one of Atlanta’s largest for-sale condo ventures has no plans of delay and expected to be complete mid 2022 with prices beginning at $1.6 million. Offering 47 residences, 22 stories and a 6,000 square foot penthouse for $8.5.

Seven88 

The newest high-rise in West Midtown is being developed around healthy living and putting wellness at the forefront of their everyday living features. Some features include keyless touch from entering garage to their own door and a no-contact elevator. Boasting a full glass exterior allowing more natural sunlight and reduce energy-use, plus each home will have its own fresh air intake + exhaust. Prices begin at $541,900 and rise to a $1.2 million penthouse.

Atlantic Station’s “Central Park”

Back in 2018, Atlantic Station closed the ‘park area’ with a planned future revamp, aiming to double the green space and add functionality. Located on 17th Street, in front of Regal Cinemas, new restaurants are expected including an Atlanta favorite HOBNOB Tavern. In other news, T3 West Midtown, located in Atlantic Station, signed a lease with Facebook where the social media giant will add to its headquarters a whopping 36,000 square feet of office space in Atlanta.

On Trend: Lights We Love

LIGHTING IS ONE OF THE MOST CRUCIAL ELEMENTS OF DESIGN.

From the moment your step through the doors of a home, its features are illuminated by lights; when both on and off. Whether natural or fixed, lighting changes the entire mood of a room. By enhancing the color scheme, you can foster welcoming feelings of warmth and serenity. Good spaces to consider adding lighting are the foyer, dining room, and bedrooms. A good rule of thumb is to make sure to include 3 light sources in each room, general (overhead or pendant) lighting, specific (task or table) lighting, and ambient (sconces, candles or decorative) lighting. When selling a home, catering to potential buyers first impression is priceless; stylized lighting will surely bring the applause! By tailoring your fixtures to match your aesthetic, each room will quickly feel complete. Below are some of our favorite lights right now, all linked to their source!

Brass Pleated Table Lamp by Le Klint

Apertivo Light from Servomuto

Clay Light Pendant from LightTexture

A swan-shaped floor lamp by Danish Mads Caprani, made in wood with a Le Klint shade.

BONBON designed by Ana Kraš

Kassandra Thatcher Oblong Loop Lamp

Hans-Agne Jakobsson Fring Lamp, Vintage 1960’s

 

Ferm Living’s Fall Collection via Sightunseen

Paavo Tynell Floor Lamp, Model 9602 by Taito Oy, 1940s

Felt Pendant by Luma Lano

 

 

Atlanta’s Oldest Theatre Morphs into Drive-In

Atlanta businesses have been adapting since the start of Covid-19, and one theatre in particular tops that list. The Plaza Theatre is Atlanta’s oldest, independently owned and operated cinema. At the start of the pandemic this theatre, like many others, shut their doors and  lost their only source of income overnight. Once Governor Kemp announced certain businesses could re-open, including movie theaters, this inspired an idea. With a contact-free, online advanced ticketing system with added take-out restaurants delivering food to cars, the pop-up movie theatre drive-in was born. Plaza owner, Christopher Escobar, said “The restaurant community here has always been very supportive of the Plaza, like Sweet Auburn Barbecue, The Righteous Room, and Southern Belle. We just want to be able to support them in any way we can right now.”

The drive-in accommodates 40 cars and features at 24ft inflatable screen to view the featured film on, with viewers listening from their car radio speakers.

To purchase a ticket, click here.

Industrial Loft Overlooking Atlanta’s Skyline

In-town has never looked better than at 480 John Wesley Dobbs Ave #303. This modern 1BD/1BA treasure is located in the Tribute Lofts and boasts breathtaking city views. The open-concept floor plan makes entertaining a breeze, and the kitchen features upgraded appliances with a functional office nook. The master suite offers a large walk-in closet and en-suite bathroom. Top notch amenities include a rooftop heated pool, club room, fitness center and grill area await you and your guests! This property is located on the Freedom Park Trail and is near Atlanta’s most coveted coffee shops and restaurants, not to mention it’s a short 5 minute walk to the Beltline.

Listed by Robbie Harris $279,000

Beacham & Company Thanks Essential Workers

Essential workers are on the top of all our minds these days. As a way to thank them publicly, the marketing department at Beacham and Company, REALTORS® created an original, in-house illustration for social media; which then shifted to yard signs. All of our agents purchased signs and handed them out to their neighbors, past clients, current clients, family and friends. These custom-made signs are posted in front yards all around Atlanta for healthcare and essential workers to be reminded of the immense value they add to our worlds. One of our agents, Lindley Knight, placed a sign in her clients yard and received a text shortly after saying, “Ever since you put the thank you sign in my front yard, everyone on my street has been asking where I got it and that they all want one!”. One of our mother daughter teams, Douglas and Charlotte Perry, distributed over forty signs to clients all over the Atlanta area. “We absolutely love the signs that Beacham & Company created to honor the frontline workers. We were proud to share them throughout the city with our clients who were all so eager to post them! Everyone is forever grateful to these selfless men and women,” said the Perry Team.

The first few weeks of quarantine was difficult for everyone. Starting kids on a new home school routine, working remotely, bartering with neighbors for toilet paper and avoiding supermarkets at all costs quickly became the new normal. The real estate market shifted drastically. Homes were taken off the market, showings cancelled and closings became virtual; we had to adapt. As a company, our primary goal is to provide our agents with the necessary tools and ideas to market properties that consistently stand out among other Atlanta firms. Virtual showings, live stream open houses and curbside closings have become a seamless process at Beacham. New listings are posted daily and our in-house photography is back in full swing following safety protocols. Summer 2020 may become the new Spring market–busy and full of new opportunities.

 

 

Contemporary Loft on the Beltline

This posh loft is in-town living at its best, located steps away from the Atlanta Beltline, an exciting hub for families, professionals and artists alike. The Beltline is a 22-mile rail trail the loops around the city and is home to unique artwork, playgrounds and parks, and Ponce City Market.

This top-level loft boasts impeccable design and loads of custom upgrades including luxury appliances, smooth marble counter tops, unique light fixtures, built-in coffee bar and eye-catching faux-grass accent wall. The exposed ceiling and unfinished flooring pair flawlessly with the modern appliances and fixtures. The master is spacious and has an exposed brick wall, walk in closet and sitting room. The living space flows into the office and there is also a covered balcony that overlooks the lawn, perfect for pet owners. Travel seamlessly to your destination with easy access to all major highways and Marta, or stay near by and walk to shops, restaurants and Krog Street Market!

 

For more information on this listing, click here.

Listed by Dixon Raney at $395,000