Sellers, don’t get buried in the avalanche of listings coming off the market


The number of for sale listings in Atlanta that have either expired or were withdrawn in the last 45 days has seemingly snowballed. Although withdrawals and expireds are typical toward the end of the year, it is counter intuitive given December is one of the best months for real estate closings. Whether it’s for tax purposes or relocation or the other many reasons people move, December can be a BUSY month for real estate. In fact, if the number of residential real estate closings in any given year is divided by 12, there is a good chance it equals the number of closings in December.

Why do agents and sellers take homes off the market in December? Many sellers don’t want their houses available for showing in the time running up to the holidays. Some get discouraged by slower-than-spring market traffic. However, showings are generally of better quality in December and January because nosy neighbors and tire-kickers are distracted by the holidays. Showings are fewer, but of better quality.

The attached chart from the National Association of Realtors illustrates “The Sweet Spot” in the real estate market that occurs every year when homes for sale inventory craters, creating the least competitive environment for sellers any given year. Listings that haven’t sold in the current year come off the market with then intent of going back on the market in the spring. The problem is that those sellers face competition with completely new inventory in the spring which puts further downward pressure on home values.

Beacham & Company, REALTORS has already exceeded its’ 2017 sales as of October. The 12 year-old firm has already enjoyed its best year ever in 2018 as closings are up nearly 20 percent.

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October marks another sales record for Beacham

Beacham & Company, REALTORS set a record for sales in October with nearly $50 million in closed dollar volume. The firm also surpassed its number of sales for all of 2017. Beacham has now set all-time sales records in nine out of 10 months in 2018 and in every year of its existence.

Overall, the local housing market was down in October with 6,822 sales versus 6,962 in October 2017 which represents a decline of two percent. Year-to-date, Atlanta home sales in Cobb, DeKalb, Forsyth, Fulton and Gwinnett are up two percent due to gains in the first half of the year. Sales growth for homes of more than $1 million slowed in October to 8.8 percent but remain up 19.1 percent year-to-date.

The slowdown in home sales has led to a 7.7 percent in U.S. housing inventory year-over-year according to a recent Inman News article, while price reductions are up 15 percent from a year ago – both good signs for buyers. However, slowing new home construction due to soaring lot prices and labor shortages are working in seller’s favor. Robust new construction helps to keep resale prices in check. House flips are a growth opportunity for Millennial buyers and investors alike.

Look for more analysis on the current state of the Atlanta real estate market later this month in the fall issue of The Beacham Insider. To receive your copy, email [email protected]

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Beacham & Company, REALTORS was founded in 2006 by Glennis Beacham, one of Atlanta’s most celebrated real estate agents. The firm has 100 agents who average $7 million in sales per agent – more than any other Atlanta real estate firm. In 2017, closed $600 million in home sales.

How can 10% down on a home result in no PMI?

The challenges faced when buying a home are increasing lately with interest rates on the rise. Interest rates can make a significant difference in how much your home will cost you. Many people strive to put down 20% as that is the threshold for eliminating private mortgage insurance. While this has become a well-known benchmark, many homebuyers do not understand the benefits of a larger down payment to help lower interest rates even further. On the flip side, there are advantages with certain loan programs where you can put down as little as 3% versus the commonly advised 20% down payment. While interest rates are extremely important, there are other advantages for homebuyers who can afford to offer more money upfront.

Read on for good reasons why you should consider making a substantial down payment and when it makes sense to consider less.

Lower Interest Rates

Given market conditions, there is an opportunity for a rate to be lower by putting 25% versus 20% down. Lenders typically will offer a better interest rate when the loan to value ratio is lower. When the down payment is higher, the ratio is lower. This lowers the lender’s risk. This is especially true with condominiums, as the interest rate does get better as the pricing adjustments go down. A lower rate saves the homebuyer a significant amount of money over time.

Borrower Credit Profile

One of the best indicators of creditworthiness and showing a lender strong fiscal responsibility is the ability to afford a large down payment. You are more likely to get approved for a mortgage with more money down. As well, it puts you in a better position if there are multiple offers competing with yours.

Lower Monthly Payments

A larger down payment does not just lower your interest rate but helps with your mortgage as well. This equates to a smaller mortgage amount, which means lower monthly payments. More money in your pocket can help with any updates your new home might need and in the long run fewer dollars of interest paid over time.

Eliminates Need for Mortgage Insurance

Lenders will typically require that homebuyers take out private mortgage insurance (PMI) with down payments less than 20% of the home price. PMI is a protection on behalf of the lender if you are unable to make your mortgage payments. This cost can be eliminated by putting more money down on a house.

When Not To Make a Large Down Payment

A jumbo loan has a very specific meaning in the mortgage world. It refers to a loan larger than a conforming limit that Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac can purchase debt from a lender. Jumbo loans are now available with as little as 10% on a loan amount of $453,100. These homebuyers typically have excellent credit and sufficient income to make the mortgage payment but do not have the 20% available for a down payment. PMI is not mandatory on jumbo loans; however, other restrictions may apply depending on the lender and loan circumstances. A trusted lender can walk you through each loan product to determine which one best suits your circumstances.

Planning for a down payment is an important part of the home buying process. The more information you have from a trusted Realtor and lender the better you and your finances will fare.



Debbie Bennett
Licensed Mortgage Advisor NMLS 250085
Georgia Residential Mortgage Licensee
C: 404-216-3988
E: [email protected]
Inquire online
Angel Oak Home Loans LLC NMLS# 685842, NMLS Consumer Access, Licensed in AL #21485, AZ #0927070, Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act, CO Regulated by the Division of Real Estate, FL, GA #32379, IL Residential Mortgage Licensee # MB6761061, IN, LA, MD, MS, NC #L-153288, Licensed by the N.J. Department of Banking and Insurance, SC, TX, TN, VA, WI. 3060 Peachtree Road NW Suite 500, Atlanta, GA 30305.







Zoning changes on tap for City of Atlanta

With the cost of real estate rising, homeowners are looking to make the most out of their home purchase. Accessory dwelling units are becoming more and more popular in Atlanta. So what exactly is an accessory dwelling unit? It is referred to as any type of supplemental housing such as a carriage house, in-law suite, basement apartment or a tiny home on one’s property that has an independent kitchen facility.  The one key feature that sets this specific type of living unit apart is that the additional unit cannot be sold separately from the main property.

Many zoning districts in Atlanta allow accessory structures, including guest houses, but most single-family zoning districts (districts R-1 through R-4) do not currently allow ADUs specifically. The distinction between guest houses and ADUs is that ADUs can have a full kitchen including a stove. Last year, the city passed an ordinance (16-O-1548) to allow accessory dwelling units as a permitted accessory use in the R-5 zoning district. Currently, there is proposed legislation for a group of updates to the zoning code, one of which is to allow ADUs in the R-4 and R-4A single-family residential zoning districts.

The Zoning Update Phase II (Z-18-100) includes, among other changes, allowing ADUs in the R-4 and R-4A zoning districts. The Neighborhood Planning Units are voting on Z-18-100 this month. It will then go to Zoning Review Board public hearing in December and City Council in January.

Currently, in most zoning districts, it is illegal to exclusively use any dwelling unit either as an accessory one, or a short-term rental (i.e. Airbnb). The proposed solution is as follows:

  • Allow accessory dwellings in R-4 and R-4a zoning districts
  • Create a consistent approach to accessory dwellings in R zoning districts (eliminate R-5 distance requirements)
  • Remove parking requirements for accessory dwellings
  • Require that accessory dwellings conform with all existing zoning and development regulations (lot coverage, setbacks, height, density, storm water runoff etc.)

Other regulations that apply to ADU’s include:

  • ADU maximum floor area of 750 sqft.
  • Height 20 feet
  • Setback of side: 4 feet and rear: 4 feet
  • The ADU must not be closer to the principal structure than the adjacent ADU to it’s principal structure, if applicable.

By definition, the ADU has it’s own kitchen. If the structure does not have it’s own kitchen, it is an accessory structure and subject to these regulations.

Brookhaven Elementary School Redistricting Proposals

DeKalb County Schools have presented two different options for Brookhaven school redistricting in order to accommodate the new John Lewis Elementary and relieve some of the overcrowding at other elementary schools in the city. This new school will affect schools in the Cross Keys and Chamblee cluster and move 300 students who have been temporarily redistricted to the Druid Hills cluster back to the Cross Keys cluster.

The neighborhoods being affected are Brookhaven, Brookhaven Village, Ashford Park, Lenox Park, Chamblee, North Brookhaven, Doraville and Murphey Candler Park.

The Round 2 meeting on October 24th had over 200 residents in attendance. The attendees were split up into small groups and able to provide input on the redistricting around the new school. Option 1 focuses on redistricting the schools closest to them and relocating 743 students, while Option 2 is more about keeping neighborhoods together as much as possible and shifts 702. See both options here.

The final public meeting is scheduled for November 27th @ 7:00pm at Cross Keys High School. After this 3rd round meeting the Planning Department staff will incorporate all public feedback into the redistricting plan.  All final adjustments and redistricting will take effect at the beginning of the 2019 schools year on August. The board approval meeting takes place on February 4th, 2019.


You can view the entire presentation here. You can also visit the DeKalb County Redistrict website here. 



Beacham Gives Back: $16.5k cancer research donation

Beacham and Company REALTORS® attended the 8th annual Winship Win the Fight 5k Run/Walk on Saturday, October 13th. This is a family-friendly event that helps raise funds for cancer research, treatment and care at Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University. Together as a company we raised $16,504!  All together the foundation has raised $783,000.

This run is always fun to participate in with inspirational fans lining the streets, playing music and cheering on the participants. It is a humbling experience to run side by side with those who have been affected by cancer. The number of runners wearing survivor shirts emphasized the message and further proved that the organization was something extraordinary. This year Beacham and Company REALTORS® came in 1st in the t-shirt design contest!

For 80 years, Winship has been working to prevent and cure cancer with a culture that integrates discovery and innovation. Winship Cancer Institute also works hand in hand with Grady Memorial Hospital, Atlanta VA Medical Center and Aflac Cancer/ Blood Disorders Center at CHOA.

Limit property tax increases in six metro Atlanta cities!

City of Atlanta residents and five other Fulton County cities will have the opportunity to vote on referendums in the Nov. 6 election that would cap property tax increases for homeowners. This seemingly simple choice has a twist for City of Atlanta residents, however.

In five Fulton County cities – Alpharetta, Johns Creek, Milton, Mountain Park, and Roswell – voters will be asked, “”Do you approve a new homestead exemption from the City of (fill in name of any of the five cities) property taxes for city purposes in the amount of the difference between the current year assessed value of a home and its lowest base year value, provided that the lowest base year value will be adjusted yearly by the lesser of 3 percent or the inflation rate?”

The answer to that question – “yes” – seems easy enough. It’s when City of Atlanta residents’ property taxes are at stake that things get more complicated.

Due to the failure of the City of Atlanta’s legislative delegation to cooperate with the state legislature, a separate statewide ballot measure was passed by the legislature to protect City of Atlanta homeowners from exorbitant property tax assessment increases, the likes of which have been levied over the last two assessment years. Legislation authors, District 52 State Rep. Deb Silcox, R-Sandy Springs and District 54 State Rep. Beth Beskin, R-Atlanta, got the statewide ballot measure passed (House Bill 820) which calls for capping the city portion of homesteaded property tax bills at 2.6% but describes the city as “a municipal corporation that is located in more than one county, that levies a sales tax for the purposes of a metropolitan area system of public transportation, and that has within its boundaries an independent school system, located in more than one county, that taxes for public transportation and has an independent school district.”

Atlanta, which straddles Fulton and DeKalb counties, has a public school system that serves both, and has MARTA, is the only city in Georgia that fits the criteria of House Bill 820. The statewide nature of the ballot referendum means voters from Dalton to Valdosta and everywhere in-between will decide the fate of City of Atlanta taxpayers. If approved, the referendum would allow City of Atlanta taxpayers to choose their lowest base value year from 2016-2018 and have it adjusted upward for inflation. This would apply to all taxable years beginning January 1, 2019. Tax assessments for the 2018 tax year would not be affected.

Anyone who is interested in preserving the health of the housing market in these cities should be sure to vote “yes” for these measures on Tuesday, Nov. 6.

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Early Fall 2018 issue of The Beacham Insider

Atlanta $1-2 Million Market Surges While Overall Market Continues to be Static

Beacham Bucks the Trend with Record Summer Closings


Atlanta’s overall home sales continued to be flat this summer, while homes sales in the $1,000,000-$2,000,000 price range increased significantly.

Sales of all single-family detached homes remained unchanged this summer compared to a year ago. Sales of attached homes (condos and townhomes), which have buoyed the market for much of the year, declined just 1%. Attached homes have remained attractive to first-time home buyers and down-sizing Baby Boomers seeking lower prices, low maintenance and value.

Since last summer, closings for both attached and detached homes have remained in line with the previous year. The reason? A lack of move-in inventory (homes that are not in need of renovation) and an increase in mortgage rates.

Conversely, home buyers in the $1 million to $2 million range propelled sales to a new record this summer, including a 50% increase in June alone.

Even in the high-end market, buyers prized value and homes in tip-top condition and with functional floor plans. Those home buyers willing to renovate were scarce.

Housing affordability continued to be a hot topic in the news, and home prices rose at a robust pace this summer – 7% for single-family detached and a whopping 10% for condos and townhomes. However, historical data suggests the cost of buying a home may be LESS than it was a decade ago (see the page 1 sidebar). Some well-paid consumer advisors have warned potential home buyers to rent instead of buy, describing the market as “overinflated.” The increase in home prices is short-lived. In reality, the average home sales price increase in the Atlanta MLS is just 1.8% per year over for the past 11 years. Certainly not an “overinflated” market.

What does the future hold for Atlanta real estate? If affordable new home construction ramps up, the local real estate market would benefit because new construction keeps resale prices in check. New construction also provides the new home supply the area so desperately needs. All segments of the Atlanta real estate market would also benefit from more home buyers who are willing to renovate. Demand for housing continues to outpace supply by a wide margin, but demand is more heavily concentrated on “move-in ready” homes at the expense of great investment opportunities.

What Others are Saying About the Housing Market

“We believe there is room for continued growth in the new home market in the coming years. Household formations have been increasing and in many regions the aging housing stock may not satisfy the lifestyles of today’s buyers. In addition, existing home values have increased, providing potential move-up and empty nester customers with more equity that they can put toward a new home purchase. We believe these two groups, along with the growing number of Millennials starting to buy homes, are all sources of potential new demand in the coming years.” – Robert I. Toll, Executive Chairman, Toll Brothers (largest luxury homebuilder in the U.S.), 8/21

“Homeownership has bottomed out, but is likely to go more or less sideways for the foreseeable future. Easing credit standards and a strong job market will support homeownership, but higher mortgage rates and the change in tax law weigh on it.” – Economist Mark Zandi of Moody’s Analytics, WSJ 7/27

“Since the word ‘bubble’ is on the minds of many consumers, it is worth laying out why today’s conditions are fundamentally different compared to a decade ago. Back then, lending standards were non-existent, with subprime loans everywhere. By contrast, the lending standards today are still stringent, as evidenced by the higher than normal credit scores of those who are able to obtain a mortgage. That is why mortgage default and foreclosure rates are at historic lows. On the supply side, there was overbuilding with 2.1 million housing starts during the bubble years. Today, we are just scratching 1.3 million. Though no one can know the future, the likelihood of a nationwide home price collapse is near nil for the foreseeable future.” – Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of REALTORS, Forbes 8/2


Another record selling summer season!

The number of $1 million-plus listing for sale that expired seemed to reach historic numbers this summer. At Beacham however, we’ve retained and sold more listings than at any time in our history despite a down overall market. Why? Many of the reasons for our success are contained in this newsletter, but there is much more to the story. If your home is off the market because it didn’t sell, contact us to find out why our listings are selling.




The early fall 2018 Beacham Insider also features:

  • Latest Changes to Your 2018 Property Tax Bills
  • Recent Updates from our Relocation Department
  • Beacham Gives Back Q3 Charity Initiatives
  • How Real Estate is Changing


Read full issue to see a more detailed summer housing market update.


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Beacham & Company, REALTORS is Atlanta’s top-selling luxury real estate office. The firm was founded in 2006 by Glennis Beacham, one of Atlanta’s most celebrated real estate agents. The firm has 100 agents who average $7 million in sales per agent, more than any other Atlanta real estate firm.

VIP ticket giveaway! Music Midtown 2018

We are giving away 2 FREE VIP TICKETS to Music Midtown!

Valued at nearly $1400!

In order to win these tickets go to beachamandcompany‘s Instagram page for the rules! Stay tuned, giveaway opens Thursday, August 23rd!

Included in the VIP tickets:

  • Dedicated Entrances
  • Unlimited access to the VIP Lounge featuring:
    • Complimentary Beer & Wine
    • Complimentary Food Concessions
  • Preferred Viewing Areas
  • Private Air Conditioned Restrooms
  • Plus, all of the incredible elements General Admission includes:
    • Over 30 performances on 4 stages
    • Food available for purchase including vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options
This festival will take place Saturday, September 15th and Sunday, September 16th at Piedmont Park. The festival hours are noon-11pm (Saturday and noon-10pm (Sunday)

‘Beacham Gives Back’ donates more than $21k to Shepherd Center

The agents and staff of Beacham & Company, REALTORS recently donated $21,047 to the Shepherd Center in Atlanta through it’s charitable giving initiative Beacham Gives Back. Pictured above is our fundraising captain, Kyle Baumann with Jon Roxland and Leslie Jackson. The donation, made August 14, 2018, is going towards a world-renowned rehabilitation hospital right here in Atlanta.

The Shepherd Center is a non-for-profit hospital specializing in medical treatment, research and rehabilitation for people with spinal cord injuries and other neuromuscular conditions. Founded in 1975, this center is ranked among the top 10 rehabilitation hospitals in the nation.   At the center patients receive more than just medical care, but an experience that brings healing and hope. Patients travel from across nation and the globe to the Shepherd Center because of the innovative brand of neuro-rehabilitation.

Beacham Gives Back was the brainchild of Beacham agent Rachel Farmer and is believed to be the first charitable giving program of its kind by an Atlanta real estate company. Beacham agents and staff select a new charity every quarter by vote of the office and the agent who nominated the winning charity serves as captain of fundraising. In all, Beacham Gives Back donations have reached nearly $100,000 in less than a year to several local charities. Since the firm was founded in 2006, Beacham & Company has given or committed more than $250,000 to Atlanta charities and non-profit institutions. Some past recipients include the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Childrens Healthcare of Atlanta, Forward Arts Foundation, and Emory Winship Cancer Institute.


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Beacham & Company, REALTORS is Atlanta’s top-selling luxury real estate office. The firm was founded by Glennis Beacham, one of Atlanta’s most celebrated real estate agents. The firm has 100 agents who average $7 million in sales per agent, more than any other Atlanta real estate firm.