Donna Yates, Move 2 North Georgia

Is the real estate market recovering? Here’s what’s happening nationally and in North Georgia’s local real estate market. Positive signs are being reported that the real estate pendulum is swinging upwards.

..”No one is anticipating that an upward path for housing will run in a straight-line trajectory. The economy is in an uneven recovery and we can expect some corresponding ups-and-downs in the housing market in the months ahead.

However, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) believes that on the whole, we can expect a slow and gradual recovery in housing starts, home sales and the overall housing market in 2012…” Read more: Source: Rismedia April 24, 2012

Have we hit bottom?  That’s the million dollar question, isn’t it! Who can say what’s really around the next turn but most leading indicators show that we may very well have. I’m, by no means an economist or fortune teller but I am a dedicated Realtor® who keeps informed of market conditions on a daily basis and I do know that we will shift into another business cycle and when we do, we will start the climb back up.  That shift may have already started.

Whether at the bottom or near bottom, now is the time to make some great investments and  get in position to ride the market back up.  I blogged in the beginning of the downturn (evident in 2007) that we were in a normal business cycle  (although, it didn’t feel all that normal and granted the ride down has been severe).  Now, I believe we are soon to make the shift into the next normal business cycle which is the ride back up.

Positive signs that real estate markets are improving – see housing market reports listed at the end of this post.

North Georgia Real Estate – Local  View
Blue Ridge, Ellijay, Blairsville, Hiawassee and surrounding towns

Total Active Homes – March Year over Year

MARCH    2011    2012



Inventory is  low so we anticipate builders to gear up.

Total Closed Sales – March Year over Year

MARCH     2011     2012















Sales down slightly overall.  The next few months will determine whether this is a trend or just a blip.  We saw a decline in sales in Fannin County compared to same time last year.  Gilmer and Union had increases and Towns is only off by one closed sale so overall, holding fairly steady.  There are 355 sales pending and 164 contingent sales. Some closings may not have been reported at the time this data was collected.

Average Sold Price: $124,57 (down from $138,938 in March 2011)
Foreclosures are down with 92 closed sales (down from 138 closed sales in March 2011)

For the most part, the local market is tracking as expected and the coming months will be important to watch to see what trends emerge.

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Source: Northeast Georgia Multiple Listing Service as reported on April 16, 2012 Counties include: Fannin, Gilmer, Towns, Union Georgia, Cherokee and Clay North Carolina and parts of Tennessee

Positive Housing Market Reports

Cape Coral Florida – Prices Up

Florida’s Market Shows Positive Trends

Las Vegas NV – Reports Improvements

Phoenix AZ – On the Mend

Atlanta GA – News not all bad just a slower recovery

For more information or assistance with selling or buying real estate in the North Georgia Mountains, please contact Donna today !

Donna Yates
Associate Broker, GRI
706-633-0644 Mobile

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 North Georgia Blue Ridge Mountains – Real Estate Market Report
March 2012

Real Estate Market Stats are a bit dry so I’ll just hit the highlights for Blue Ridge Georgia and surrounding counties as reported by the *Northeast Georgia Multiple Listing Service.  If you have questions about this information or want more detailed statistics for your respective area/neighborhood, please contact me.

March Closed Sales off a bit from March of last year, particularly in Fannin County. May not be significant unless we see the trend continue for additional months.

Total Sales January February March
2011 181 196 244
2012 232 200 227

Closed Sales by County

County January February March
2011 48 58 79
2012 42 53 42
2011 46 27 54
2012 54 53 58
2011 36 51 44
2012 44 35 45
2011 11 09 23
2012 21 15 22

**Active Foreclosures for sale = 538 (down from 772)

Total Sales January February March
2011 83 92 138
2012 110 83 92

Overall:  Inventory (# homes for sale) starting to get Low
Year          #Homes for Sale
2011          9418
2012         7743

(2007) 12,857

Land sales for larger parcels went up last month, so we are expecting that builders and developers will be back in the market sooner rather than later. 

 * All information deemed accurate but not guaranteed at the time this data was gathered.

** Stats include the Georgia counties listed above plus a few outlying counties in North Carolina and Tennessee (Clay, Cherokee NC and parts of Polk TN)

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Donna Yates
Associate Broker, GRI
706-633-0644 Mobile

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I received an email from Joe asking about brokerage relationships regarding client vs. customer.  Thank you Joe for asking and I’m happy to answer it because if you are not sure then there will be plenty of others who are not sure as well.

Joe asks:  I have been told that brokerage relationships are defined as either client or customer.  Is this true and what is the difference?

Joe, it is true and here’s how it works:

There are two broad categories of brokerage relationships which are: 1) broker-client relationship and 2) broker customer relationship.

Let’s start by explaining:

Broker-Client relationship (key word here is client)
This means the broker is representing a buyer or seller as a client.  Another words, the broker is acting as his or her legal agent in buying, selling or leasing real estate.  In Georgia, this type of relationship can only be formed by the broker and the buyer or seller entering into a signed written agreement. The agreement will explain things such as: how the broker will be paid, broker duties to the client and the type of other agency representation offered by the broker. A key component of this type of relationship is each party pledges their complete loyalty to each other and the agent will represent the client’s best interest within legal and ethical boundaries.

Broker – Customer relationship.  The broker in this case is not representing the buyer or seller in an agency capacity.  The broker may still work with the customer and provide ministerial services.  What are ministerial services? Services for a customer are limited and fairly generic such as:  Broker may identify properties for sale or lease, provide pre-printed real estate contract forms, prepare contracts within the legal instruction of the customer and assist in referring customer to lenders, inspectors, closing attorneys, appraisers, etc. but would not provide client level services such as negotiating on the client’s behalf, provide information that an agent may have about a property which would be advantageous  to the buyer in securing the best deal, offering guidance on making an offer price  and suggesting other negotiating strategies advantageous to the buyer client, etc.

Joe, I hope this answers your question but if you or anyone else reading this needs more information, please be sure to call, text or email me.

Donna Yates
Associate Broker, GRI
706-633-0644 Mobile

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The North Georgia real estate market (speaking specifically to the Blue Ridge area) consisting of Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union and Towns counties has navigated rough and even unchartered waters for the last four years. Factors such as being primarily a secondary home market with a high percentage of vacation homes, uncertainty in the economy and a high unemployment rate compared to the state average contributed to holding down sales. All factors caused secondary homebuyers to take a much harder look before purchasing additional housing.

In contrast, exceptionally low interest rates, high inventory and in many cases, some very good deals (from foreclosures, short sales and even traditional sellers) have resulted in steady sales, even slightly positive movement upwards in prices. Nationally, sales increased from 4.860 million homes to a projected 5.369 million at the end of the first half of 2011. Overall prices declined about 1% but prices actually edged up in the South by about .6%. The counties mentioned above along with Dawson, White and Lumpkin counties actually did better than the national average with sales up 13.5% over last year. (Gilmer, Pickens and Fannin up about 7%). source Real Trends and Realist 2011

All areas of North Georgia are experiencing a lower percentage of sales coming from foreclosures, bank owned properties (REO) and short sales than a year ago. This is good news for the local markets since shadow inventory is trending down. Another trend in North Georgia for 2011 is a higher percentage of cash purchases with an all cash record high of 35% of all sales. A few reasons for this are: investors want quick deals, hedge against inflation and/or hedge against a housing shortage in the future since many builders stopped building and some of those builders have not yet returned to the market. We anticipate some pent up demand for new homes and existing homes in the future.

Most segments of the North Georgia markets show improved signs of life. Larger land parcels are faring somewhat better than “improved” lots but are still a small fraction of what land sale levels were in 2006 and 2007. Overall the North Georgia real estate market has had its share of struggles over the past four years but it by far has not had the catastrophic drops in values seen in Atlanta, Metro Atlanta and other parts of the country. Interest rates realistically can’t go much lower, so as employment and financial markets start to stabilize, North Georgia’s real estate market is poised for some serious, sustainable growth.

What better time for buyers who can buy to buy sooner rather than later? We still have a decent inventory of nice lake homes (some priced almost half what they were at the high); rustic cabins or even traditional classics and I can work with buyers to build their custom mountain home. With so many existing homes for sale at great prices and even room for further negotiation, buying a resale or new construction may be the best deal. We’ve seen a huge jump in buyer activity in the Blue Ridge area since Fall 2011 began so I can’t imagine a better time than now to buy when looking back over the past four years and looking forward to a stronger market. I believe we may have come through the worst of it.

The North Georgia market is a very opportunistic market for buyers and sellers. Let me help you find affordable land and cabin packages and super buys for lake, river and creek front homes. Visit:

When do you think you will be making your next real estate move?
Call, Text or email Donna Today ! 706-633-0644 direct
Donna Yates, Associate Broker, GRI – Coldwell Banker High Country Realty – Blue Ridge, GA

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Competition is killer when it comes to a private owner trying to sell a home in today’s market. The dynamics of most markets can be quite challenging, even for the most attractive home. It is, afterall, a buyer’s market. Between most Americans wanting or needing to cut back on spending and lots of homes to choose from, many buyers are demanding move-in ready homes, meaning no need for costly home improvement projects.

With so much inventory currently on the market and shadow inventory to come, buyers are not having any trouble finding the home that they like without having to compromise. There’s no motivation to a buyer to purchase a home by having to put a large down payment plus closing costs, secure a loan and then spend more moola to improve the property just purchased.  Read More

I have some great deals in real estate!  When are you planning to make your next real estate move?  Call or text Donna today at 706-633-0644.  Email

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Following is a list of sites that have been stocked with trout recently by The Chattahoochee National Fish Hatchery.  These sites were stocked the week of July 25 through July 29th, 2011.

Trout Fishing in North Georgia


Fannin County
Big Creek
Hemptown Creek
Hothouse Creek
Rock Creek
Toccoa River
Toccoa River Tailwaters (below Lake Blue Ridge)

Union County
Cooper Creek
Toccoa River


For more information, call the fish hatchery at 706-838-4723.  The Georgia Department of Natural Resources DNR will have more information on the sites stocked by the state.

Georgia Fishing Resources
Fly Fishing in Fannin County – The Trout Capital of Georgia
Fishing at Lake Blue Ridge  

Unicoi Outfitters
490 East Main Street, Blue Ridge – (706) 632-1880 

Noontootla Creek Farms
 3668 Newport Road, Blue Ridge – (706) 838-0585

I have some great deals in real estate! When are you planning to make your next real estate move?
Call or text Donna today at 706-633-0644.    Email

Visit: Move 2 North Georgia

The real estate market in the Blue Ridge area of the North Georgia Mountains  is primarily a second home market consisting mostly of log cabin style homes used for vacation and/or retirement homes. Most of these cabins are furnished with beautiful, rustic décor.

Many times, a seller will not want to move or store the cabin furniture when their cabin sells and will be open to letting many items go with the real property.

If a respective buyer requires a mortgage, it is recommended for buyers and sellers to negotiate personal property outside of escrow since the purchase price is for real property; otherwise the furnishings will need to be appraised and the purchase price increased if personal property is included in the sale and will affect lending requirements.

When are you planning to make your next real estate move?
Call or text Donna today at 706-633-0644.    Email

Visit: Move 2 North Georgia