Please bear with us as the Hank Miller Team builds an entirely new web site. This is a “ground up” complete revision and the amount of local housing information, data and forecasts far surpasses anything on line. The ability to search for homes will be completely revised and ridiculously easy to use. In short, we’ve spent months reviewing the best aspects of real estate sites and have a design team incorporating them into one, comprehensive location.

In the meantime, we remain fully engaged working with buyers and sellers, on social media and in the local and national real estate arena. Please don’t hesitate contact us at any time by phone at 678-428-8276 or directly emailing us at hank8276@gmail.com. Make it a point to visit our Facebook and other pages as well, they are very active sites.

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Home Price Trends in Roswell & Alpharetta

The Altos Research charts below are a focused look at median home prices in zip codes 30004, 30005 and 30075. These charts are broken out by price quartile from top to bottom.

Homes in Alpharetta zip code 30004 have shown a steady increase in median value since late 2011 across all value quartiles.

Homes in Alpharetta zip code 30005 have also shown an overall increase in median value since late 2011. This hasn’t been all that smooth, periods of decline were noted in early 2014 but the three year trend is positive for all quartiles.

Homes in Roswell zip code 30075 have also shown an overall increase in median value since late 2011. Since about mid 2014 the upper and lower priced quartiles have been stable while the second and third have experienced a decline.

These charts demonstrate the market strength of homes in zip codes 30004, 30009 and 30075. Every micro market ebbs and flows but over the last three years, all price quartiles in these zip codes have recorded positive growth of median values.






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Snapshots of Alpharetta – Avalon Whole Foods is Open!!!!


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Despite the continued construction still surrounding the mixed use community of Avalon, the Whole Foods grand opening was impressive. Although photos on this blog were taken on day 2, there was still a steady stream of traffic.  Despite the crowds –  register lines moved quickly, samples of food were plenty, and staff were extremely helpful to new shoppers trying to navigate the store layout.

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Colorful outdoor spaces were inviting and seemed to fit in with the “fall” theme in the air.

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Varieties of pumpkins, plantings and fall decorations surrounded the front door. I purchased a few of the more unusual looking heirloom variety along with some succulents.

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The looming storm clouds did not keep customers away – employees were very helpful getting bags to cars before the rain hit.  Needless to say, I sampled and purchased much more than anticipated – thoroughly enjoying my first trip to the new Whole Foods!

 Whole Foods Avalon

Avalon Single Family Homes for Sale

Avalon Townhomes|Condos for Sale

Alpharetta Homes for Sale


Roswell GA School Awarded National Blue Ribbon

Blessed Trinity Catholic High School Roswell GA-1

Blessed Trinity Catholic High School was recently awarded The National Blue Ribbon of Distinction, which identifies high achieving schools in the U.S.  Private schools are held to a higher standard than public to achieve this award, making this quite an honor for the school. Criteria to achieve the Blue Ribbon for a private school include that ACT/SAT school average be in the top 15% nationwide on both Math/Verbal sections with a 90% minimum participation rate. Graduation rate must also be 95% or higher.

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The Blessed Trinity campus is located in Roswell GA and is a college preparatory institution that  provides a Catholic se education for grades 9-12. The school balances spiritual life, academics, fine arts, and athletics in a nurturing environment.

Looking for a community that is walking distance to Blessed Trinity?


Looking for a home in Roswell?


Deficiency judgments

Lenders Still Chasing Deficiency Judgments

Deficiency judgmentsLike zombies, it appears that deficiency judgments keep coming back. In layman’s terms, banks that lost money on foreclosures or short sales are using debt collectors to collect the money owed by former owners. The difference between the original debt and the final liquidation amount is the deficiency and collectors are chasing this  by freezing their bank accounts, garnishing wages and seizing assets of former owners.

Using a legal tool known as a “deficiency judgment,” lenders can ensure that borrowers are haunted by these zombie-like debts for years, and sometimes decades, to come. Before the housing bubble, banks often refrained from seeking deficiency judgments, which were seen as costly and an invitation for bad publicity. Some of the biggest banks still feel that way.

But the housing crisis saddled lenders with more than $1 trillion of foreclosed loans, leading to unprecedented losses. Now, at least some large lenders want their money back, and they figure it’s the perfect time to pursue borrowers: many of those who went through foreclosure have gotten new jobs, paid off old debts and even, in some cases, bought new homes.

It’s incredibly hard to feel any compassion for these lenders, but it’s just as equally hard to feel anything for most owners. While a small number were genuinely hurt, the majority were owners that played fast and loose with their homes and credit. The actions of the back to those legitimate hardship cases was nothing short of reprehensible, and nothing has changed. They were bailed out by taxpayers, continue to enjoy record profits and continue to operate with little regard for true hardship cases.

And what about “strategic defaulters”, those that could pay their mortgage but simply elected not to? Using the “businesses routinely walk away from non performing assets, why can’t I?” logic, these moves are justified in heir minds.

Andrew Wilson, a spokesman for Fannie Mae, said the finance giant is focusing on “strategic defaulters:” those who could have paid their mortgages but did not. Fannie Mae analyzes borrowers’ ability to repay based on their open credit lines, assets, income, expenses, credit history, mortgages and properties, according to the 2013 IG report. “Fannie Mae and the taxpayers suffered a loss. We’re focusing on people who had the ability to make a payment but decided not to do so,” said Wilson. Freddie Mac spokesman Brad German said the decision to pursue deficiency judgments for any particular loan is made on a “case-by-case basis.” But homeowner-defense lawyers point out that separating strategic defaulters from those who were in real distress can be tricky. If a distressed borrower suddenly manages to improve their financial position – by, for example, getting a better-paying job – they can be classified as a strategic defaulter.

Dyck O’Neal works with most national lenders and servicing companies to collect on charged-off residential real estate. It purchases foreclosure debts outright, often for pennies on the dollar, and also performs collections on a contingency basis on behalf of entities like Fannie Mae. “The debt collectors tend to be much more aggressive than the lenders had been,” the National Consumer Law Center’s Walsh said. A big reason for the new surge in deficiency claims, attorneys say, is that states like Florida have recently enacted laws limiting the time financial institutions have to sue for the debt after a foreclosure. In Florida, for example, financial institutions now only have a year after a foreclosure sale to sue — down from five.

In Georgia, lenders considering chasing deficiency judgments have to be fast. In a recent opinion, the Georgia Court of Appeals reaffirmed that creditors who wish to seek deficiency judgments following a non-judicial foreclosure must seek to have the sale confirmed within 30 days of the sale. Many creditors elect not to pursue deficiency judgments in Georgia because collecting sufficient admissible evidence to prove that the property sold at true market value within this short time period often is challenging. While infrequent, some lenders do what is required and judgments are recorded.

While many call the lenders “unfair” for pursing judgments, many also wonder about the morality of many that cut and run on their obligations. The small portion of legitimate hardship owners are paying that price as are tax payers and even home buyers – in the form of increased red tape and higher fees. The ones least impacted, the banks of course. Read the full Reuters article here.

Alligators and Real Estate Investing

We’ve beaten to death the idea that real estate investing is best left to the pros. Time and time again we’ve listed, bought and appraised homes that are lost by rookie “investors”. Usually this is due to the “investor” watching an infomercial or one of the many HGTV shows that completely misrepresent the downside to gambling on “flipping” property. Lucky for most amateurs, they never make it to actually purchasing a home for any number of reasons. For those that do, even if they get to the point of completion on the project, few will enjoy any real success with it as a rental or a flip. And “real” success, means a tangible after expense, after tax profit.

A financial columnist with real estate experience wrote a short article for the NY Times that’s worth reading. Key point:

The few, very successful real estate investors I know share three things that make them exceptions. First, they’ve developed the unique skill of identifying undervalued properties. It requires many years of painful trial and error. A three-day course on “How to Become a Successful Real Estate Investor” won’t cut it.


Second, they’ve invested the time to understand the category. Their experience includes connecting and often working with other established real estate investors. And again, the time required to develop that knowledge and translate it into positive returns is measured in terms of years, not days or months.


Finally, they have relationships. With stocks, bonds and other investments, it’s mainly a matter of hitting the buy button. With real estate, it can come down to connections. Who you know matters a lot in real estate, and it can be the difference between getting the deal or leaving empty-handed.

Of course there are exceptions, but given the multiple layers that have to be conquered to be a successful real estate investor, those that make a worthwhile profit know that much of it depends on factors they have little control over – in a sense, luck. Over the last year we’ve seen institutional investors begin to float packages of investment homes, this is picking up as we enter late 14′ – early ’15. We expect there to be a increase of offerings, to the point that when the major players begin dumping, most will follow so as not to be the last to the dance. This flood of inventory will result in two things; an increased supply that will likely send prices down and novice investors jumping in to “get rich in real estate”.

Someone long ago coined the phrase that real estate is an alligator; you have to keep it well fed and even then, don’t be surprised when – not if – it takes a bite out of you. Read the NY Times article here.