Athens, GA Real Estate Value: 5 Points

The last 5 years have been a little crazy for real estate all over the country. And Athens, GA serves a prime example of what was good and what was bad.  I am sure you can remember what it was like 5 years ago.   Our economy was in full recession which was created by the mortgage crisis, and the real estate industry was suffering.  We experienced a record amount of foreclosures along with a sharp drop in real estate values across the country. What-is-my-home-worth-mascot I think it was late 2010 or early 2011 that we finally saw the bottom.  After that the only direction to go was up and boy have things gone up.  Here in Athens, we have seen many areas of the market make a full recovery.  Granted, not every area of town is all the way back but the recovery is evident.  So what areas have recovered the most?  If you go by the numbers the strongest real estate values are in three primary areas:  5 Points, Normaltown, and Oconee County.  Oconee is a large county and not every location is strong but in general the area is doing very well. I plan to discuss the values and current trends for each area or market in Athens over several blog posts.  But since our office is located in 5 Points it makes sense to start there.


5 Points is the general area that runs from UGA’s south campus and ends around Baxter street and the Alps road area.    It is an older area of town and is considered to be a very central location.  Subsequently, it has always been a desirable part of town.  You would have to go back a long ways to say otherwise.  In 2010, 5 Points values were much lower than today.  Nevertheless, when compared with other areas of town it was still one of the strongest.  But lately there has been a huge comeback and increase in values. 5 Points Clockeditededited  This is of course due to the location and traditional look of the area.  During the recession, values were topping out around $150 PSF, but when the recovery began 5 points was positioned to boom.  Have you ever heard to buy low and sell high?  Well 5 Points real estate serves as a great example, and many home buyers were able to take advantage of a depressed market from 2009 to 2012.  As of today, some values in 5 Points are over $200 PSF.  For instance, if a house is fully renovated or up to date it may easily achieve a value of $200 PSF or greater.  On the other hand, if a house is small or drastically out of date the value can be much less.  With respect to residential lots, the dirt in 5 points is worth more than any other dirt in town.  So what caused this value or boom?

Well there are many reasons.  First of all, 5 Points is right next to UGA, and the university is a desirable area of town where many people work.  Convenience could be considered another driving factor.  Over the last several years, we have seen more and more people want to live closer in to town.  Nowadays more people want to walk or bike to places and 5 Points can provide that option. In general, the overall driving force behind 5 Points is location which should be no surprise.  But every area has at least one drawback.  In 5 points, the drawback could be seen as the age or size of the homes.  Many people love older homes and their charm so to speak.  I am definitely one of those people.  I enjoy the unique characteristics of older homes and neighborhoods.  I enjoy the feel of a home that has been lived in or has a history.  Unfortunately, many older homes do not have much space.  Many of us have grown accustomed to large kitchens and open floor plans along with expansive closet space.  But older homes were just not designed in this manner and this can obviously be a drawback to many buyers.  Nevertheless, people are working hard to make houses up to date in 5 points.

You are probably aware that numerous renovations have taken place in 5 Points and more are underway.  Depending on your taste, you may or may not like this new trend.  In my opinion, some renovations look fantastic and others could have been done better.  I don’t want to get into a discussion about which renovations are good and which are not.  But the fact is that every home needs to be kept up or renovated from time to time.  Overall, this is a good thing for the 5 Points area.  It also proves the rule that people will sacrifice and work to be in a good location.  In summation, the 5 Points area has proven to be a desirable area in good times and bad.  It remains a great location to purchase a home or invest in real estate and should be for years to come.

If you have any questions or real estate needs, please don’t hesitate to contact me or visit my real estate brokerage firm, 5 Market Realty.

College Football Week 5:  Oh Heavens! That Was Bad

So far I have tried to cover 5 different topics every week on college football, but this week it’s all Georgia.

For Dawg fans last Saturday was utterly awful.  The weather was absolutely dreadful all day and the game didn’t help matters.  I foolishly operate a large tailgate for all the home games, and we hosted over a 100 people in the pouring rain last Saturday.  635794791651372227-ugarainparkingTo speak frankly, the tailgate was a huge pain in the A#$ last week.  It poured on our spot from setup at 7am to take down at 9pm.  Regardless, I saw a bunch of true, and dedicated Bulldogs come out to brave the weather and support the Dawgs.  But that was about the only good thing I saw all day.  Here are my thoughts on the whole debacle.

The Game Overall– I called for UGA to win this game in the preseason but then flip flopped last week.  Therefore, I was not surprised that Georgia loss but still disappointed.  What’s so frustrating is the way they lost which has become the rule and not the exception.  Georgia will lay an egg and get humiliated at least once a year.  You can set your damn watch by it.  Well here we are again.  100415 UGA vs Bama 26RHGeorgia has been humiliated which means it must be time for the leaves to change color.  Losing the game would not have bothered me that much if we made it competitive.  I guess I could say it was competitive for about a quarter and a half.  After that, the same ole shenanigans occurred.  Special team blunders always lead the charge in this department.  By halftime there was not much hope left for Dawg fans.  But there was at least some, and I was one of the few staying positive.  I tried to explain that it wasn’t over and all we needed was a stop and a score.  Well those hopes faded quickly when our back up QB started the 2nd half with pick six.  At that point, it was officially over.

The Quarterback– This is a sore subject for me right now.  I will pull for whoever they play at QB, but I do not understand why Brice Ramsey played.  I know that Lambert did not look good in the first half.  635796170985223808-USATSI-8842346But he didn’t against Vanderbilt either and look what happened.  I am huge believer in picking your guy at quarterback and sticking with him.  Maybe I am wrong here, but how can you ask your offense to follow the quarterback if you show no confidence in him.  I felt that Lambert was pulled to early and that decision may affect the rest of Georgia’s season.  They went into the game without any controversy but left with uncertainty at the position.  That was not Lambert’s fault but the coaches.  It was the wrong call.

All is Not Lost– I said it before the season and again last week.  Losing this game does not have to be the end of Georgia’s season.  Georgia is still in control of their destiny in the SEC East.  Win out and you are in Atlanta.  This week will tell us a lot more about our team than last week.  How do they respond?  Are they still hungry?  Can they get up off the mat and hit back?  Well they better because Tennessee and Butch Jones are going to be ready in Knoxville.   This week’s game was circled as a lost by me since August.  Well I am going to flip flop again.  I think the Dawgs will rebound and get the win in Tennessee. Because if they don’t the season is over.

Recruiting is the Difference- If you want to know why Georgia lost this game, just look back to the Georgia recruiting classes since 2012.  Too many kids didn’t pan out and there weren’t enough big lineman taken on either side of the ball.  Hell, half of the 2013 class isn’t even on campus anymore.  There is a reason why Alabama is ranked #1 or #2 every year and it’s because of recruiting.  They rank 1st or 2nd every year there too.  They don’t have bad years at recruiting.  They bring in top notch kids every year.  And yes, Georgia does recruit well.  But not as good as Alabama.  For example, Georgia is almost always in the Top 10 nationally with recruiting.  Sounds pretty good right?   Well it’s not great when 4 to 5 teams in the SEC are usually ranked in front of them.  Georgia seems to be doing better in this area now, but they have to keep it up.  That means big time lineman year end and year out.  UGA has no problems attracting skill players but they absolutely have to get more depth and size on the ball.  Only time can fix it.

The Delusion Continues for Now- I was born on March 25th, 1981 in Valdosta, GA.  At that moment, Georgia was at the top of the college football world.  They beat Notre Dame in the Sugar Bowl almost 3 full months prior and won the national title.  In fact, it looked like UGA may stay there for a while since Herschel was only a freshman.  Well the Bulldogs did win a string of SEC Championships in the 80s, but they came up short in the national championship department.   It has been 34 long years since 1980 which is almost the entire span of my life.  Saturday night I referred to it as 34 years of delusion.  At that point, I was very frustrated, very wet, very mad, and slightly over served.  Georgia can still have a great year and maybe they will.  But if not, no biggie.  There is always next year.  Thankfully, I do not gather my self-esteem from Georgia’s championships.  Win or lose I am a Dawg fan, and I hope you will be too.  Our day will come and when it does we may just burn Atlanta down again.    To Hell with Rocky Top!  Go Dawgs!

College Football Week 4: Final Thoughts & A Look Ahead

Georgia- Saturday’s game was about what we expected.  Georgia came out a little flat, but overall they took care of business.  There is not much to say about the Southern game.  I was glad to see Nick Chubb(pictured) get his 12th 100 yard game, but I was a little concerned about the O-line’s slow start.  Chubb vs southernLet’s hope that will not be the case this Saturday.  Hard to write anything about UGA this week and not talk about Bama.  So what hell, I am going to go ahead and talk Bama.  This is a big one for both teams but for different reasons.  The game was always going to be a huge match up, but now it means different things for these teams.  Georgia needs a win because they need to validate their ranking.  So far, UGA hasn’t really played anyone, and the smart fans know it’s true.  In addition, Mark Richt has developed a reputation of losing big games.  One could argue if this is fair or not, but losing this game will not help that perception.  The UGA fan base needs this win too.  Last year fans suffered through 3 bad losses to South Carolina, Florida, and Tech.   Georgia needs a win on Saturday to prove to the fans that the program is progressing in the right direction.   For all of these reasons, Saturday is important for Georgia.  But it may be even more important for Alabama.

Ole Miss handed Alabama an early loss, and the natives are growing restless.  Some fools are even calling for a new head coach. You have to understand that Alabama fans tend have a short memory.  Most seem to have no recollection of 1994 to about 2006.  That and many other reasons are why Bama’s fan base is one of the most despised in all of football.  Don’t get me wrong there are plenty of lovely Bama fans.  But too many are just over the top, and Paul Finebaum has made a nice career for himself by introducing these rabid fans to America.  Fan base aside, Bama needs to win this game more than Georgia.ala_georgia  Alabama expects to win the SEC West and contend for a national championship every year.  If they lose this game those aspirations are likely done.  Granted, if any team can win it all with 2 losses it would be Alabama.   Nevertheless, winning the SEC West becomes very difficult with 2 losses, and LSU looming in the future.   So basically, Alabama has to win Saturday to stay relevant this year.  That is a scary thing if you are Georgia fan.  Before the season began, I called for UGA to win this game.  I am going to have to go back on that one.  I think the circumstances have changed and Alabama may pull this one out.   I really hope that I am wrong, and nothing would be please me greater than to be wrong.   However, if I am right, and the Bulldogs lose on Saturday don’t fret.  All is not lost.  Losing to Alabama will not matter if Georgia can take care of business the rest of the season.  Regardless, pull hard for the Dawgs on Saturday and let’s see if they can win a big game at home.  GO DAWGS!

Tennessee– WOWSER!  Can you believe they lost that game?  What happened to brick by brick?  893110I mean come on man.  I didn’t get to watch all of this game Saturday because the wife and I had an unexpected opportunity to leave the kids and go out.  We went to NONA downtown, and I kept an eye on this game until the 4th quarter.  I really thought Tennessee was going to win, but when I came back to check on the score they had lost the lead.  In spite of that, they still had a shot to win with a field goal.  Hell, they even got two attempts at the field goal and still lost.  GEEZ!  I am no Tennessee fan, but I really can’t stand Florida.  So I was pulling for the Vols.  I could go on to discuss Butch Jones as their coach.  But I will hold off on any further Tennessee comments until next week.

Georgia Tech– They lost to Duke and it was great.  That makes two losses in a row for Coach Paul Johnson who had no problem hanging 60 plus points on lesser opponents earlier this year.  I am not a big fan of blowing out a team by 55 + points.   Georgia+Tech+v+Duke+XLkTi78gLUqlSome argue that it is the other team’s job to stop them from scoring.  That is true up to a point. For example, if a boxer knocks someone down three times in a round they call it a TKO.  When a team is winning by 45 Points it is essentially the TKO of football.  A class act would not keeping scoring.  You may have inferred that I do not care for Tech or Paul Johnson.  But I will be fair and admit that he is a good coach.  I will also admit that they lost to good teams.  But that is all I will do.  Boo Tech, Boo Paul Johnson, and Boo their offense.

Oregon– This past weekend was full of delights.  Tech and Auburn lost which is always fun for a Georgia fan, but no one saw Oregon losing so badly.  Utah, who is apparently pretty darn good, blew them away 60 to 20.  Living in the Southeast, I should not really care too much about Oregon.  As a child, I kind of liked them because they never played UGA and their mascot looked like Donald Duck, a childhood favorite.   Of course, Oregon would eventually establish themselves as a legitimate college football power.  I had no issue with Oregon initially, but now I can’t stand them.  I am just TOTALLY fed up with the damn uniforms(pictured). 630x420_OregonDucks They are AWFUL.  Oregon and Nike are responsible for all of these awful looking uniforms.  Remember that terrible Nike Pro-Combat get up that UGA wore against Boise State?  Worst Uniforms EVER!  Do you know who is to blame? Phil Knight, Nike, and Oregon are to blame.  So BOO Oregon.  In addition, my oldest son now wants to wear neon colored shoes and socks.  Therefore, not only do I have to see great uniforms ruined, but I have to argue with my son about sock color.  I long for the day when Oregon fades back into college football obscurity.  But I fear that day may never come.

So Called “Football Geniuses”- I must be in a bad mood because a lot of this post seems to be a gripe.  Oh well, I guess I will keep on griping.  Are you familiar with how often the term “genius” is thrown around today? It is so overused but especially when it comes to football.  Aren’t you sick and tired of hearing how some football coach is a “genius”?  I know I am. Allow me to clarify a few things.  Albert Einstein was a genius.  albert-einsteinStephen Hawking is a genius, but Gus Malzahn is NOT A GENIUS.  And guess what?  Neither are Steve Spurrier, Nick Saban, and Chip Kelly.  They are football coaches not geniuses.  Are they good football coaches? Yes, and I am sure they are very smart men.  But how in the world does winning some football games make one a genius?   Well guess what? These four so called geniuses have combined for 7 losses this year and it’s not even October.

College Football Week 3:  Final Thoughts

Georgia- What a difference a week makes.  After the Vandy game, most fans were way down on Greyson Lambert, and many were predicting that Brice Ramsey would end up being the starter.  I admit that I was discouraged as well last week, but Saturday night’s game just proves that the coaches know better than us.  There is no need to go through the stats, but in general Lambert was almost perfect and the whole offense looked outstanding.  When an offense performs that well it has to be attributed to the offensive line. lamber vs SC They played fantastic and are a real strength for the Dawgs.  That being said, I am worried because there is not much depth there.  If one or two of the lineman get hurt we may see a big drop off in the next man up.  Let’s hope I am wrong.  Nick Chubb quietly got his yards and 2 touchdowns.  He is in the Heisman trophy race, but he may not be the best player on the team.  That title may have to go to Sony Michel.  He is so versatile, and he creates a lot of problems for any opposing defense.  Georgia is very lucky to have two players of this caliber on the same side of the ball.  The defense looks very athletic and they play a lot kids throughout the game.  Not sure how good they are yet but the future looks bright.  All and all, it was a great night to be a Bulldawg.  But now let’s get over it and move on.  That South Carolina team is NOT good.  Therefore, Georgia doesn’t need to get too excited.  There is a lot of football left.  We will find out a lot more about this team over the next 3 weeks.  I wish I could get more excited about Saturday’s beat down.  But I just don’t know if the Gamecocks are even going to make a bowl game this year.  Regardless, it sure was fun.

Alabama– Man I love watching these guys lose.  Ole Miss surprised many folks last weekend and pulled off the upset in Bryant Denny stadium.  I thought that Ole Miss had a chance, but I didn’t expect them to score so many points. ap_alabama_spring_football_72180864-e1432661495839 Ole Miss looked good, and they deserve a lot of credit for going to Bama and getting the win.  However, I think they are a little over rated now.  I watched most of that game and everything that could went Ole Miss’s way. In fact, they scored on one of the luckiest plays I ever seen in football. Reminiscent of Auburn’s past miracles against UGA and Bama 2 years ago.  Alabama had 5 turnovers and still had a chance to win the game late in the 4th.  Nothing went Bama’s way but they were still around in the end.  So everybody just calm down.  Bama isn’t this bad and Ole Miss isn’t this good.  Similar to UGA, we will know a lot more about Alabama in 2 weeks.  So stay tuned.  But I have to say, it sure is fun to watch Lane Kiffin and Nick Saban lose.  Hotty Toddy!

Auburn & LSU– This game was very similar to the Georgia game.  LSU looked very good, and Leonard Fournette is a real force. It was a great performance.  But how good is Auburn?hi-res-24e89b96987bf017c2d4c71417732a28_crop_north  I thought Auburn was overrated from the start of the season.  Granted, one loss to a good LSU team is not the end of the world, but I think more losses are coming Auburn’s way.  Regardless, in the SEC west, the path to the Georgia dome appears to go through Baton Rouge.

Who’s Actually Good? – I know it’s only week 3, but I have no idea who is actually good?  Ohio State is supposed to be a world beater but their schedule is so easy it’s hard to tell. I know TCU and Baylor are pretty good, but I am not ready to say they are great.  Besides, I still have a hard time accepting that these two teams are powers in college football.  Michigan State could be good.  They beat Oregon, but we won’t learn anything more about them until November when they play Ohio State.  I already said that I think Ole Miss is a little overhyped now.  Georgia, hasn’t played anyone.  I am not buying the Seminoles or Clemson yet. LSU looks good but if Fournette gets hurt they’re not.  Notre Dame? I don’t think so.

The Paul Finebaum Show– If you are not familiar with the “Paul Finebaum Show” you need to get familiar with it this week. This show is famous for the ridiculous fans that call in to voice their opinion.  maxresdefaultNot surprisingly, Auburn and Alabama lead the pack of crazy, rabid, and ridiculous callers.  With Bama and Auburn losing big games, this show is going to be comedy gold.  I suggest you tune in and laugh this week.

College Football Week 2: Final Thoughts

  • Georgia-Well they won but Saturday was scary at times.  It had all the makings for an upset in Nashville.  The Bulldogs missed field goals, were called for targeting, didn’t throw the ball well, and got awful calls from the officials.  But they won the game and that’s what matters.  And now UGA is ranked either #7 or #8 depending on the poll.  Really!  As a fan, I do not feel like they are a Top 10 team at the moment.  That being said, the next month will go a long way in determining how good Georgia is or how good they can be.  Their first big game is coming up this weekend against South Carolina.  The gamecocks haven’t looked very good to this point, and they just lost their starting quarterback.  Regardless, smart Georgia fans will not underestimate the Gamecocks as long as they are coached by Stevie.  You just have to believe that Spurrier will find a way to rally the team and play well against Georgia.  We have seen it too many times.  I can’t talk about the game without mentioning the quarterback situation.  Greyson Lambert did not have a good game.chubb vandyThe first half was atrocious, but he did a good job of recovering in the 2nd half.  There doesn’t seem to be a QB controversy according the coaches.  They seem set with Lambert, but I think the fans are getting worried and growing restless.  I hope Lambert plays better Saturday and looks a little more comfortable.  Despite what the coaches say, I think Lambert could get pulled if he plays like he did against Vandy.  So far the passing game has looked pretty bad. Right now Georgia looks thin at receiver and not very talented.  Let’s hope they change that perception soon.  Otherwise, Nick Chubb and company are going to have a hard time against better opponents.   The play calling has been very vanilla so far and I hope that will change moving forward.  On a positive note, Nick Chubb(pictured) is very good and quietly ran for 189 yards.
  • Auburn- I do not care for Auburn.  Needless to say, I enjoyed their game on Saturday.  Auburn’s quarterback is overrated plain and simple. MalzahnThey need to get back to running the ball, and if they do that they will get better.   But I still don’t think they can beat LSU or Alabama, and they could easily lose to Texas A&M & Georgia.  How full will the “Gus Bus” be if Auburn loses 4 or more games? On another note, enough with sweater vest Gus.
    Generally, orange sweater vests are not a good fashion choice.  Just saying.
  • SEC Overrated– I do think the conference is a little overrated.  Don’t get me wrong, I still think it is the best conference but just a little overrated.  Many teams looked bad this week.  Arkansas had the biggest humiliation by losing to Toledo.  Where the hell is Toledo anyway?  Ohio?  Auburn, Florida, and Missouri all squeaked by with wins against schools that collected paychecks after the game.  Tennessee was in control against Oklahoma but couldn’t hold on.  I guess they need a few more bricks up in Knoxville.  I have no issue admitting the SEC is a little overrated.  But what I can’t stand is the “ACC Guy”telling me the SEC is overrated. ACC football is like SEC Basketball.  Year and year out there are only 3 relevant teams.  4 in a good year.   So “ACC Guy” needs to shut up and enjoy the Wake Forest vs. Indiana game next week.  That one outta be a good one.
  • Targeting Rule– This is dumbest damn rule in football right now.  It is too subjective and the punishment is too severe.  Last week numerous players were ejected and many of the calls were questionable.  In fact, I have only seen a few calls that I thought correct when it comes to targeting.  In most cases, the defender is simply trying to do their job which is to tackle the man with the ball.  Sadly, I think this rule is here to stay.
  •  Signs at SEC Nation– Vandy what’s with all the Georgia insult signs?  SEC Nation was on site for the Georgia/Vanderbilt game last week.  And many of the Vandy fans were trying hard to insult Georgia.  Two of the signs stand out.  “The only Dawgs here are UGA girls” and “If you can read this sign you didn’t go to Georgia”  I am all for having a little fun at the opponent’s expense but base the insult in some form of reality.   There are many areas people can pick on Georgia, but they have lots of pretty girls. vandy And while UGA is not Vanderbilt, it is a fairly strong school.  Besides, Georgia already has enough rivals so they aren’t interested in hating Vanderbilt.   Overall, the best sign in Nashville last Saturday had to be “You guys are blocking the library”

College Football Week 1: What Did We Learn?

  • Georgia Football– Well we didn’t learn very much last week. Greyson Lambert looked fine and made some good throws, but Georgia fans can’t get too excited over a glorified scrimmage.  Heck, they didn’t even finish the game.  The offense didn’t show much, but what we did see was actually refreshing.  I have no problem running the ball 80% of the time if it is working. Malcolm-Mitchell-UL-Mon-945x774 In other news, Leonard Floyd is still good, Nick Chubb is still good, Sony Michel is still good, and Jordan Jenkins is still good.  Did I mention Lorenzo Carter?  Because he is still good too.  On the positive, it was great to see Malcolm Mitchell (pictured) and Keith Marshall appear to be 100% recovered from injuries.  In the end, Georgia fans may not learn much about the team until South Carolina.   Gotta beat Vanderbilt first though.
  • The Pac 12- Could the conference be overrated? I am guilty of loving the Pac 12 coming into the year.  So I may have to eat some crow.  So many teams just didn’t look good last week.  Arizona State got beat soundly and Arizona wasn’t impressive.  Stanford flat out lost and only managed 6 points. diddy-ucla On the bright side, UCLA looked really good, and P. Diddy didn’t attack anyone on the coaching staff.  A proud a day to be a Bruin indeed.  But the best part is that Roquan Smith was in Athens last Saturday and not at UCLA.
  • Ohio State- Well Dam%#t! They are still pretty good. I guess it really isn’t surprising of course, but they looked good.  And despite a stumble or two early they won by almost 20.  I just really don’t like Urban Meyer and maybe it was too much to hope for a VA Tech win.
  • Alabama– Well Dam%#t! They are still pretty good too. Derrick Henry is going to be yet another bell cow running back for Alabama.  I sure hope Georgia’s defense is deep enough to stop him in the 4th quarter.   Otherwise, you can expect Bama to run away from the Dawgs late come October.
  • Conclusions– The first week seldom tells us very much. Sometimes the teams that look good early are just fooling us.  For example, remember Texas A&M’s blow out of South Carolina last year?  By the way, what ever happened to Kenny Trill?  Oh yeah, Virginia Tech beat Ohio State last year.  Then Ohio State ran the table and Virginia Tech went on to lose 6 games.  So we all need to stay tuned because in reality we haven’t learned diddly squat.

Investment Real Estate 101

Investing in real estate is an absolute must for any person or family.  At the bare minimum, you need to own your home and not rent.  There are too many advantages to owning real estate, and if you don’t take advantage it can hurt you in the long run.  People invest in real estate for many reasons.  Most buyers purchase real estate to build equity and appreciation in their personal home. Others take it a step further and buy real estate solely as an investment and not for any personal use. 101 Real estate investment is often a good idea and a necessary part of a balanced portfolio, but new investors need education on real estate as an investment.  For example, how does one determine a good price or fair value?  There are many ways that investors determine a property’s investment value.  For example, gross rent multipliers, cap rates, and the internal rate of return.  These are all good barometers but require more explanation and may be a little advanced for “Investment 101”.   For now, I only want to discuss the basics to consider when getting starting in real estate investment.

When most people think of an investment they generally think of the stock market, a 401k, or an IRA.  All three can be good tools for investment, but what most people don’t realize is that real estate has been one of the best performing investments throughout history.  Real-Estate-InvestorsTo put it simply, it is a real asset and they aren’t making any more of it.  Meanwhile, the population continues to grow and people continue to live longer.  And all of those people need places to live and work.  There are many areas where you can invest when it comes to real estate.  For example, rental housing, commercial buildings, or land just to name a few.  But one of the best areas to get started is residential rental properties.  Athens, GA is a great college town with a major university.  Therefore, residential and multi-family rentals represent a large part of the investment opportunities in the area.  Having a large state university in Athens creates a strong rental market.  Because of UGA, there is a steady supply of people that need short term housing which makes Athens an ideal place to purchase investment property.  So what do you need to know when it comes to investing in rental properties?  There are numerous factors to consider when investing, but the three most important are location, price, and time frame.

Everyone should understand that location is important in real estate, but it is especially true when purchasing investment property.  The location of a property is directly correlated to its desirability and ultimately the rental income.   If a property is well located it will have less vacancy and more resilient rates.  For example, if you are buying a property to lease to college students make sure it is located in an area desirable to college students.  Conversely, if you want to rent to families than you may want to find a property in a good school district.  It is also important to understand that a well maintained property tends to attract better tenants than a poorly maintained one.  The next thing to consider is the price.  Price is important when it comes to buying anything, but an investor really needs to understand how the price of an investment property relates to cash flow.  Investors use many methods to value investment property.  An old rule of thumb is to take monthly rent and multiply it by 100 or 110 to determine a value.  It is a very basic formula and doesn’t work every time.  But it is a good place to start for a new investor.   Basically, you need to make sure that the investment is not going to lose money.  Be sure to take into account all the expenses along with the mortgage payment.  Many times new investors forget about maintenance or other costs outside of  property taxes and the mortgage.  Lastly, you should have a plan or time frame in mind for the investment.  For example, do you want to pay off the property?  Do you want to hold and sell later, or take advantage of depreciation and cash flow for a number of years?  There are numerous reasons people invest in real estate, but be sure you understand your goal and purpose of investing.

Yes, there are many factors to consider when investing in real estate, but it should not be viewed as a scary endeavor.  It seems most people don’t invest because they worry about an unexpected cost or the maintenance of a property.  This is somewhat understandable because maintenance can be a costly item from time to time.  Nevertheless, if a property is well located, and purchased right with a time frame in mind the advantages will greatly out weigh any risks.

If you have any questions or real estate needs, please don’t hesitate to contact me or visit my real estate brokerage firm, 5 Market Realty.

College Football: Who is Overrated?

It is finally here!  Tonight the college football season begins.  So last night I thought it would be a good idea to look at the Top 10 and see who might be overrated.  Every year there are 3 to 4 teams in the Top 10 that don’t belong and sometimes more.  When you think about it, all the pre-season polls are really a bit silly.  How can you project rankings when no one has played a game?  overrated In the end, no one cares that it is silly because it is a lot of fun and gives us all something to debate.  As always, these are just my opinions as a fan.  My primary job is real estate and not sports writing.  For the purposes of this blog we will use the Coaches Poll.

  • #1 Ohio State- I don’t really think they are overrated at all. What they did last year was amazing and showed the benefits of a conference championship game.  Are you listening Big 12?  In the end, I just don’t think they can do it 2 years in a row.  They will likely make the playoff, but someone will knock Ohio State off the throne this year.
  • #2 TCU- Overrated at #2. Gary Patterson has done a fantastic job coaching TCU and elevating the program. It really is impressive.  They are a good team but probably not #2.  They should end up in the Top 20 but not the Top 5.  I just don’t see it.
  • #3 Alabama- Overrated! That’s right you heard me.  I am not buying it this year.  They are always well coached and they don’t beat themselves.  Granted, I am a little partial to UGA, but SEC officials don’t like to penalize Bama for anything and that helps them year and year out.   But this year I think they lose 2 or even 3 games.  Don’t sleep on the Wisconsin game either folks.  Could be an early upset.
  • #4 Baylor- They may have this one about right. Baylor is well coached just like the rest of the Top 10, but their offense really separates them in my opinion.  Not calling for a national title, but I do think they will end up around the Top 5 in January.
  • #5 Oregon- They may have this one right too. Oregon is going to be good again, but the new transfer quarterback worries me because he has big shoes to fill. Only time will tell but the Pac 12 conference is really strong.  So it will be hard for them to get through the season without a loss.
  • #6 Michigan State- I really love their coach and admire their style of football. I also just like the color green.  I really hope they find a way to beat Ohio State but this year may not be the year.  I think they got it right and Michigan State is a top 10 team.
  • #7 Auburn- OVERRATED! Some people think their brand new quarterback is already a Heisman front runner.  Well I don’t.  I am not sold on Gus Malzahn either.  It took several miracles for Auburn to play in the title game against FSU and those don’t happen very often.  Frankly, he could easily be 0-4 against UGA and Alabama.  If they lose 4 games this year I wonder how full the “Gus Bus” will be come January?  First loss may come early by way of Louisville.
  • #8 Florida State- This one is close, but I am not sure they are a Top 10 team this year. Maybe they end up just outside the Top 10.  Everett Golson will have to stop throwing the ball to the other team if they are going to win a lot of games. Honestly, I just think another team will win the ACC this year.
  • #9 Georgia- Well everyone knows that I am a Georgia fan. Regardless, I think #9 is just about spot on.  Georgia will lose 2 games in the regular season this year.  They will fall out of the Top 10 early but fight their way back in by January.   Another close but no cigar year for the Dawgs.
  • #10 USC- Just not buying this team yet. All I hear is that USC’s first 22 can play with anybody.  Well that’s great but you need more than 22 to be real good.  Also the Pac-12 is real strong.  Watch out for Stanford and the entire state of Arizona.

So who is underrated?

  • Clemson- I like Clemson in the ACC, and I think they may finish in the Top 10.
  • LSU- I think LSU is going to win the SEC. I know, I know…they never have good quarterback play.  But that hasn’t stopped them from winning in the past.
  • Arizona and Arizona State- Can’t explain it. I guess I am just big on the state of Arizona this year.
  • Virginia Tech- I think they have a bounce back year and contend for the ACC title. Ohio State should be on the lookout early for this team.

Georgia Football: 2015 Predictions & Prognostications

The days are getting shorter and the heat is showing some signs of fading. Therefore, the time has come to make bold predictions because college football will kickoff this week.  I like to do this every year just for fun, and recently with Georgia’s mediocrity it has been somewhat easy to predict their overall record but hard to pick the actual losses.  This year is unique because fans are clueless at quarterback and that doesn’t help when trying to predict outcomes.  Usually, I feel like Georgia is just about a given to go 9-3 with a bowl game.  I have thought about it for a while, and I almost went back to my rinse and repeat 9-3 prediction. But something is making me feel a little optimistic. 2015-uga-football-schedule In the end, there are a lot of teams in the SEC that are in the same situation at quarterback and that helps.  I also think there are a lot of overrated teams.  For example, the state of Mississippi should return to planet earth this year and Auburn is probably going to lose 3 games.  On the other hand, LSU may be resurgent along with Tennessee.  Arkansas will be Arkansas which is good but never great.  Florida will be getting their ducks in a row and Spurrier is going to be dangerous for any team contending in the SEC.   But Georgia is my team so here are my thoughts on Georgia’s season.

UGA vs LA Monroe Sept 5th– This should be an automatic win of course but it will be intriguing to watch because of the QB competition and Georgia’s new offensive coordinator.  I think Lambert and Ramsey will rotate a lot in this game and we may even see Bauta a little bit.  It would also be nice to see some receivers emerge.  Georgia Wins (1-0)

UGA vs Vanderbilt Sept 12th– Always a tough place to play for Georgia, but I think it will be different this year.  The Vanderbilt game is usually sandwiched between bigger opponents and this year it is not.  It represents the 1st SEC win and Georgia may still be looking for a true starter.   Vanderbilt’s new coach just doesn’t seem to have the same mojo as James Franklin.  UGA wins by three scores in Nashville (2-0).

UGA vs South Carolina Sept. 19thSpurrierSouth Carolina has won 4 out of the last 5, but one could also say that Georgia has won 8 of the last 13.  As Jeb says, “figures lie and liars figure.” Don’t get me wrong because this game scares the s#@t out of me.  They have a new defensive coordinator and a new quarterback.  That could be good or bad.  None of that will matter if UGA doesn’t have a definitive starting quarterback by the end of the Vanderbilt game.  Should be a classic but I like UGA at home and at night.  If I were coaching I would bust out the black jerseys every time they kickoff in Sanford after 5pm.  Dawgs win a good one.  (3-0)

UGA vs Southern University Sept. 26thNo reason to elaborate here.  Should be a great game to take little ones to see.  Dawgs Win (4-0)

UGA vs Alabama Oct. 3rdWell this is the game that people just won’t shut up about.  Honestly, I would take a loss to Alabama if I could ensure UGA would go undefeated in the east.  This one will be hyped up and the first real test for Alabama in 2015.  I feel like I need to go with my gut here, and my gut tells me Georgia wins.  Georgia has a few let down games every year but they also have a few games where they show up, and they are going to show for this one.  I think the coaching staff changes will benefit UGA in this game.  Dawgs win and there will be a record number of people arrested in downtown Athens over the weekend. (5-0)

UGA vs Tennessee Oct 10thWell here it is the first loss.  Just when Georgia starts to feel good about themselves they will get beat up in Knoxville.  May not be close either.  Tennessee is better but not the better team.  They will just get Georgia at the right time and at home.  Traditional let down game that UGA fans have seen many times in the tradition of Auburn 1997 and Tennessee 2004.  This one is going to sting.  Only way I see Georgia winning this game is if they were to lose two games prior and have their back against the wall.  (5-1)

UGA vs Missouri Oct. 17th– Scary game at home for Georgia.  This will be the Dawg’s last game before a much needed off weekend.  It appears Mizz fans want to be rivals with Georgia, and from articles I have read their fan base seems to have respect for Georgia’s program and overall way of doing things.  Let’s face it, Mizz fans are likely disgusted by some of the fans they meet in the SEC.  Georgia has some bad fans, but when you compare them to other fans in the SEC Georgia fans might have just a little bit more class.  But you are supposed to hate your rival in the SEC not respect them.  Good game here and Missouri could win but if UGA loses in Knoxville they will likely get it done against Missouri.  (6-1)

Off Weekend Oct. 24th I will personally win on this weekend.  No tailgate to organize, and I may even play a little golf.  But the best part is that Georgia won’t lose a game.

UGA vs Florida Oct. 31st– There are a lot of unknowns when looking at Florida this year.  I think they will have a decent season but probably end up around 8-4.  The best thing going for the Georgia coaching staff is the film they have from last year’s debacle.  Jeremy Pruitt is going to have a fit when he looks back over the off week.  As usual, Georgia keeps it close but in the end Georgia wins by a score.  (7-1)

UGA vs Kentucky Nov. 7thReally looking forward to the weather for this game.  The leaves will be colorful and it will be cool or even cold.  Really love Saturdays in Athens this time of year.  Just don’t see Georgia losing this one unless they get into injury trouble.  Georgia wins (8-1)

UGA vs Auburn Nov. 14th– Yet another match up on the plains.  By this time Georgia will be back in the Top 10 and in control of the east.  Tennessee or Missouri will have 2 losses so all Georgia will need is a win here to make it to the dome.  WELL S%#T!  Georgia loses this one.  Georgia will lose two games and one could easily see Georgia losing to Alabama, Tennessee, or Auburn.  But this is the way I think it will play out.  Let’s just hope that Tennessee has more than 2 loses because they would hold the tie breaker over UGA in this scenario.  (8-2)

UGA vs Georgia Southern Nov. 21st– Why does Georgia play Georgia Southern?  Georgia has nothing to gain but everything to lose.  The only argument for playing Georgia Southern is as preparation for GA Tech.   “Closer than the experts think”, as Corso likes to say.  Last home tailgate of the year which is always a fun one.  Dawgs win (9-2).

UGA vs GA Tech Nov. 28thNerdsLast year’s game was AWFUL!  However, Mark Richt doesn’t lose to Tech very often and last year was more of a Georgia loss than a Tech win.  So let me make a few predictions about this year’s game at Billy Grant.

  • There will be way more red & black in the stadium than Tech’s piss yellow
  • It will be the only sell out at Billy Grant all year.
  • TECH’s A-S-S will be whipped after 4 quarters of football.
  • Georgia Wins (10-2) 

Not sure if 10 and 2 gets Georgia to the dome or not.  But it should give them a chance.  However, if UGA doesn’t at least get back to the SEC championship the locals are going to get restless.  At least I will.  At the end of the day, it is next to impossible to predict how things are going to hash out over the season.  I have to admit this is a pretty optimistic prediction.  Last year I predicted 10-2 as well because I just didn’t see UGA losing to Tech, and without a stupid pooch kick I may have been correct.   Right or wrong, close or not, it is a lot of fun to talk about.  Go Dawgs!


Georgia Football: Who is Going to Play Quarterback?

I have started to get really excited about the football season, and today we are only 12 days away from kickoff in Sanford stadium.  It is always fun to take the number of days from kickoff and match it up with a past or current UGA player.  For most Georgia fans you cannot think of the number “12” at Georgia without thinking of John Lastinger.  In case you didn’t know, John Lastinger, played quarterback right after Buck Belue.  Georgia had some great teams and big wins in the 80s but the 1984 Cotton Bowl really stands out for me.   Texas was ranked #1 and Georgia was a really good team but no one thought they would go into Texas and upset the Longhorns without Herschel Walker.

College Football: Cotton Bowl: University of Georgia QB John Lastinger (12) in action during winning touchdown drive vs University of Texas. Georgia defeated Texas 10-9. Dallas, TX 1/2/1984 CREDIT: John Iacono (Photo by John Iacono/Sports Illustrated/Getty Images) (Set Number: X29480 TK1 )
Cotton Bowl: University of Georgia QB John Lastinger

Well thanks to great defense and a muffed punt Georgia did just that.  With little time on the clock John Lastinger ran the ball in the end zone to give Georgia the lead.  It may be the best end to a career that any Georgia player has ever experienced.  And therefore it will always be 10 to 9 in Texas for UGA fans.  Alright enough about the past, we are 12 days away and there doesn’t seem to be a clear choice as the starting quarterback.  Is this good or bad?

During the Mark Richt era Georgia fans have been pretty spoiled when it comes to quarterbacks.  The era started with David Greene who was followed by DJ Shockley.  Afterwards fans got to see Matt Stafford and Aaron Murray both hold down the position for almost 8 years combined.   So for the first time in a long while Georgia has some uncertainty at quarterback.  Brice Ramsey, Faton Bauta, and Greyson Lambert are all competing right now to win the job.  Ramsey and Bauta have been in the program for a while and deserve a shot of course but the arrival of Lambert sort of tells me the job must be wide open.  Please understand that I do not go to practice and my job is not to report on UGA football.  So anything I am saying here is only speculation and a personal opinion.  I have no sources and no one on the inside giving me information.  But I think Georgia is going to start the year with a two quarterback rotation.  Mark Richt has done this before with David Greene and DJ Shockley in 2002.  I wasn’t a real big fan of it then for many reasons, and I still remember the interception that DJ Shockley threw in GA/FL game that year.  Most fans remember Terrance Edwards dropping the ball but I remember that interception as the game changer.  Despite the quarterback rotation, Georgia had a special year in 2002 but I wonder how special it could have been if UGA was undefeated.  Shockley is one of my favorite players, but I just feel that David Greene was the leader of the team in 2002 and he should have played every snap.  The same can be said for Shockley in 2005.  Maybe I am wrong but I think Ramsey and Lambert are going to share playing time when the season starts.  Competition is always good and the coaches know better than me who needs to be on the field. But a team needs the quarterback to be a leader and the quarterback needs to have confidence.  I just think it is hard to have both things happen if you rotate two quarterbacks.

Have you ever noticed that some fans seem to always think the best quarterback is the back up?  I sure have noticed it and I think those people are idiots.  I have been hearing fans call for the back up since the 80s.  The end of the Dooley era and Ray Goff’s early days were wrought with QB controversy and the results speak for themselves.  Hopefully, I am wrong and there will be a clear #1 quarterback in 12 days that will become a leader.  At the end of the day, Mark Richt knows what he is doing when it comes to coaching quarterbacks.  But Georgia better have the position figured out by the time South Carolina comes to Athens or it could be a long night.  The last thing I want to hear Saturday night against South Carolina are Georgia fans calling for another guy to come in and play quarterback.  I do not know who the quarterback will be but he will have my full support and I will pull hard for him even when the chips are down.  I just wish other fans would do the same.