Georgia vs. Ole Miss: Can Georgia Win?

Yes, you read the title correctly.  I don’t know if the Dawgs can win this Saturday.  It pains me to say this for numerous reasons.  First of all, I am unabashed Georgia fan that will pull for Georgia no matter what.  Second, I hate admitting that Ole Miss’s roster appears to have more talent.  Third, I am not positive that Ole Miss’s best players were recruited honestly.  Lastly, there are a surprising number of Ole Miss people running around Athens, GA.  That’s right!  Athens is full of Ole Miss fans.  Even my oldest son, Walker, wears Ole Miss T-shirts, and claims that Ole Miss is his 2nd favorite team.  Honestly, it drives me absolutely crazy.  I guess we will see how much he really likes Ole Miss if they beat his beloved Dawgs this weekend.  If that happens, I bet he doesn’t handle it too well.  For example, I claimed to be a Yankees  growing up, and then they beat the Braves in the 1996 World Series, and I have hated the Yankees ever since.

So why does Athens have so many Ole Miss Fans?   Well I think there are several reasons.  The obvious reason is that some people in town went to Ole Miss.  I think Oxford is an attractive place for a lot of people that grew up in Athens.  ItOle Miss vs. TexasOle Miss vs. TexasOle Miss vs. Texas offers a great college experience, and they have never really been a rival to Georgia.  So you can grow up in Athens, and attend Mississippi without feeling guilty.  Additionally, Ole Miss has been easier to pull for over the years when compared to Alabama, Auburn, and LSU.  In the end, one of the biggest reasons may be that it is so hard to get in UGA these days.  Therefore, we are seeing more and more Georgia folks go out of state to other SEC schools.  All Ole Miss fans aside, I have been thinking about the game all week, and I am really glad it is not my job to game plan this one for Georgia.  I think Kirby has his hands full this week, but I have now decided there is hope and a chance for Georgia to pull this off.    And here’s how it can happen:

  • 11 AM Local Kick– Early kick offs almost always favor the visiting team. It is just hard to get motivated for a big game so early.  Most of Georgia’s upsets in the last 20 years were early kick offs.  For example, Tennessee in 2001 and Auburn in 2007.
  • Turnovers– Turnovers are always key, and with Ole Miss’s love for RPOs (Run Pass Option) you just know Chad Kelly is bound to throw a couple.
  • Sony Michel– I am convinced that we will see Michel have a big game. Likely catching some passes more than running the ball.  Someone has to step up and help McKenzie in the passing game. Michel could be another good option out of the back field.  Especially, with against an aggressive defense.
  • Fed Up Offensive Line – These boys have been called out and told that they aren’t playing well. It is just a matter time before they get mad and have a good game.  Tomorrow would be an ideal time for this to take place.
  • Georgia Plays 4 Quarters– If Georgia can keep it close they have a shot. With only three games played they have shown they are fighters. They have come back in every game so far, and that is good to see.  I think Georgia has got a shot if they can keep it a two score game heading into the 4th.

So there it is folks. My optimistic outlook on a game I predicted Georgia would lose.  But they play the games for a reason and that’s because the outcome is never certain.  So pull the Dawgs through wherever you are this weekend.  Go Dawgs! GATA

The Athens Condo Market: What You Need to Know

Most of you probably have an idea or at least a decent understanding of what constitutes a condominium, but just in case I will try to clarify it a little bit.  In general, a condominium is a unit or space that can be purchased inside a larger building.  When a person owns a condo they have exclusive ownership of a specific space or unit inside a building while also owning a small percentage or shared ownership in the rest of the building.  All the owners in a condominium share in the cost or upkeep of the entire building or complex. For example, condo owners pay HOA fees that cover building insurance, maintenance, and often the cost of amenities.  They can be attractive real estate because they are often more affordable than traditional homes, they offer low maintenance, and are often ideal second home purchases.  Nevertheless, many condo owners are suffering due to the recent recession.  In many areas condo values have dropped drastically, and while most real estate has appreciated in Athens not every condo development has recovered.  In fact, many areas are still close to the values of 2011. On the other hand, certain developments have seen values grow back quickly.   So why have some condos appreciated while others have not?  To understand why you have to go back to the recession.

Hopefully, you haven’t forgotten what happened eight years ago.  The mortgage crisis devastated our national economy resulting with a sharp decline in real estate values.  We saw massive foreclosures across the country, and condos were a major part of the foreclosure market.   First, you have to understand that many condos are developed to be vacation or second homes.  For instance, many coastal areas are covered with condo developments that are owned by people that do not occupy the units full time.   And if someone owns two propertiessimi_valley_foreclosures-sign when money becomes tight, the second home is usually the first thing they can live without.  As a result, numerous condos went on the market in 2010 when most people could not afford to buy them or were scared to buy due to the recession.  Consequently, property values plummeted, and many homeowners had to let their condo go into foreclosure.  Banks across the county took massive losses on condos, and now many large banks will not finance a condo.  And that’s the problem many condo owners face today. The financing has become more difficult which shrinks the pool of buyers resulting in depressed values.  Here in Athens, we have some condos appreciating and others that are not.  So back to the question, Why?

 

The answer is simple, and it is almost always the same LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION.  You may think I am beating a dead horse, but it is the truth.  All properties are valued based on their location, but condo values are even more dependent on the location.  As an example, look at downtown Athens whereWelcome-to-Downtown-Athens many condos have appreciated over the last couple of years because downtown Athens is a prime location where many condo buyers are looking to purchase.  Meanwhile, the east side of town has an abundance of condos that are valued much less due to location and the overall supply.  For instance, on Barnett Shoals road there are four large condo developments:  The Woodlands, The Summit, Stones Creek, and Brookwood Mill.  All of these developments were originally targeted to investors or parents of UGA students.  They are well built, spacious, and fairly close to campus. However, the supply greatly exceeds the demand keeping the prices low around $100,000.  Conversely, condos at Lumpkin Square or East Cloverhurst are worth around $150,000 for a smaller and older two bedroom unit.  These condos are worth more because they are right next to campus and walkable to restaurants and Sanford Stadium.

lumpkin-square
Lumpkin Square Condos

So does this mean you should not buy a condo?  Heavens no!  Condos are still a very good purchase depending on the price, the location, and the purpose.  The values on the eastside of town offer a really low price point for investment.  In some cases, buyers can still purchase a three bedroom condo in the low $100s. And remember, a condo in an ideal location will always have value.  Additionally, we are starting to see condo financing improve, and I believe it will continue to get better over the next couple of years.  In closing, if you have a condo to sell or are looking to buy one don’t worry because either is very doable.  But I suggest you find someone in the area that really knows their stuff because you will need help to navigate the market and the current financing climate.

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Georgia Football Week One:  Time for Overreactions

If you follow this blog at all, you probably know that I started writing these football posts last year.  It is fun to do, and as long as I can find the time I will write at least one a week.  Hopefully, someone out there is reading.  I will of course continue to post real estate topics, but the football posts are just more fun.  Having said that, let’s get to it.  It is usually a given that the opening week of college football will be fun, but this year it was full of great games.  Granted, it started off pretty sloppy on Thursday with the Tennessee and South Carolina games.  But those went down to the wire, and while they were sloppy they were still fun.   Then came Saturday which was simply stupendous.  Of course, I was primarily focused on Georgia’s game against North Carolina.  Regardless, the day was filled with great match ups.  So let’s take a look back at the Georgia game, and then dissect some of the typical overreactions that occur during week one.

Georgia vs UNC– Well that sure was fun.  The “Smart Era” is officially under way, and I couldn’t be happier.  There were plenty of things in the game that I could harp on.  For example, special teams, offensive line, and the absence of a sack on the Tarheel QB.  But those are nowhere near as important as the positives.  First of all, let me get the “I Told You So” out of the way.  I said it two weeks ago, and thennick-chubb-ncaa-football-north-carolina-vs-georgia-850x560 restated it later that Nick Chubb would go for 150 + yards with 2 scores, Lambert would start, and that Eason would come in and play meaningful minutes.  I even predicted the score to be 34 to 31 which was wrong but close.  Ok, ok, enough bragging.  I am so very happy for Nick Chubb.  He played very well, and deserves to have a great year.  I just hope they improve in the passing game to help alleviate his load over the season.  Jim Chaney is the new offensive coordinator, and I was impressed that he found ways to get Isaiah McKenzie more involved, and I think he handled Eason’s time in the game well.  The defense did an excellent job too, and Georgia played a lot of guys on both sides of the ball.   Most importantly, Georgia did not fold when they went down by 10 points.  They played hard the whole game, and it was the other team that shot themselves in the foot…not Georgia.  That was refreshing to see. I hate to say it, but I am not sure that the old coaching staff would have won the game.  In the end, it was a great win for the new staff, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.  This team has a lot to improve on, and they are bound to lose some football games.

Tennessee Overrated? – Whew! These boys dodged a big bullet last week against Appalachian State.  However, let’s not overreact.  App. State is a good footballbutch-brick team, and it is just week one.   Tennessee was picked to win the SEC East which is almost a curse these days.  I still think they will be fine, but I do see three SEC losses in the future.  Butch Jones needs to add a few more of those so call “bricks” this year, but I am not sure that is going to happen.

Alabama & The Lane Kiffin Hashtag – Bama dominated USC last Saturday. It was an absolute boat race.  But why do people seem so surprised?  Did I miss something about USC?  Are they good again?  Because no one told me.  So here isKiffin another example of an overreaction.  Everybody is convinced that Bama is unbeatable.   Well, they are good, but they are going to lose to someone because they always do.   In other news, Lane Kiffin decided not to take the high road with the win over his old team.  Whipping their A-S-S wasn’t enough.  You may recall that Kiffin was fired at the airport in the middle of the night by USC.  Obviously, he isn’t over it.  Here is his hashtag on Twitter after the game.

Post-game w the game ball!!! #3:14AM-LAX(pic on right)

 

Texas Football is Back? –  Texas opened up with Notre Dame, and pulled off a great win.  They have a new freshman quarterback that looked good, and they also changed it up with a running quarterback.  Charlie Strong’s job may be more Charlie Strongsecure than we think.  On the other hand, maybe it is just week one, and there is a lot of football left to be played.  Besides, the best team in Texas might be Houston, and not TCU, Baylor, A &M, or Texas.  Regardless, college football in the state of Texas is better than it has been as a whole in a long, long time.

The SEC is Now Terrible? – Surely you jest?  sec-simpsons-charactersWell like it or not, the SEC had a pretty bad opening weekend.  In fact, one might say it was cartoonish or even comical.  For starters, Tennessee looked bad against App. State.  South Carolina and Vanderbilt made us endure an epic pillow fight.  And on Saturday, Miss State lost to South Alabama.  But that isn’t even the tip of the iceberg.  Florida struggled often against UMass, LSU lost to Wisconsin, Kentucky lost to Southern Miss, Arkansas barely pulled out a victory, and Missouri was embarrassed.  The only bright spots all week were Alabama, Georgia, and Texas A & M.  And now the rest of the country is salivating over the downfall of the SEC.   I say let them salivate, and let them believe the SEC is down.   First of all, several of these teams aren’t supposed to be good.   Let’s be honest with ourselves, and admit that Vandy, Kentucky, Missouri, South Carolina, Miss State, Ole Miss, and Arkansas aren’t exactly perineal powers.  Sure, these teams have had some good years, and a couple of them have been good recently.  But when people think of the SEC conference, they think of Alabama, Florida, Tennessee, Auburn, LSU, and Georgia.   Granted, Ole Miss is good right now, but the NCAA is swarming in Oxford so their days are likely numbered.  It is not realistic to think all the teams in the SEC will win.  There just isn’t enough talent to go around.  For example, if Tennessee gets better than another team has to get worse.  If Texas A & M becomes a power than another team in the SEC west is losing ground.  Mark Richt is coaching in Miami now because while he was at Georgia all the teams around him were improving and in many cases with recruits from the state of Georgia.  Long and short, the SEC isn’t as bad as it looked, but don’t expect to see Seven 10 win teams either.

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