Small Homes Are In, but Big Homes not Gone

McMansions have fallen out of favor, according to a new study by the American Institute of Architects.

The survey of 500 architects showed that only 4 percent thought their clients wanted more space in their new homes, compared to 16 percent in 2008.

Home builders have already taken that information to heart with 59 percent of builders surveyed in May by the National Association of Home Builders saying they plan to build smaller homes in the coming year.

But don’t dismiss big houses. The builder association predicts that homes will stabilize at 2,500 square feet over the next five years, the average size of home in 2007 at the height of the housing boom.

Source: the Wall Street Journal, June Fletcher (06/29/2009)

Sam Thompson Mortgage Update: “Get Over it! Please”

I could hear the frustration in the agent’s voice when he left me the following  voice message this week:

 “Sam, it seems like every house that my customer is looking at in his price range needs some kind of work.  One has the electrical ripped out of the attic and the other needs a foundation repair of about $6,000.”

 “I need to talk to you and see how the FHA 203K loan works and what is involved,”  said Hicks Malonson, an associate broker with Harry Norman Realtors in Marietta. 

 I know that there are  those of you out there that have not been involved with a renovation loan before and  may  feel anxious and reluctant about getting involved with this unknown animal.  What the heck’s a K-loan (as we affectionately call them), anyway?

 So I am going to ask those of you who feel that way to confess, slow down for just a minute and let me give you some very important advice :   GET OVER IT! Quickly!  Please! 

Actually I was walking through the Fernbank Science Museum

a couple of Sundays ago and noticed all of the animals that are not with us any more.  A pitty, don’t you think?  Too bad there was no one around to advise them to change their habits before it was too late.  Or perhaps Charles Darwin was right.  Perhaps they evolved and adapted to the changing environment over time. 

In the same manner of thinking, how much longer will you survive in the current challenging real estate market we find ourselves in if you refuse to use some of the tools you need to succeed?

Nia Knowles with Solid Source Realty  is a renovation expert in marketing her community in the West End of Atlanta.  She knows that renovation lending is a little more complex than the average mortgage loan transaction and may take a little more time, but that it is really the only way to get the job done.   Unless your buyer is paying cash. 

Melissa Krudwig of Keller Williams in Marietta is participating in her first 203K loan transaction with a client that is a first-time homebuyer.   “I believe that the FHA 203K program is very important and is very critical in today’s market,” says Krudwig, who markets herself to her customers as the Bear of Real Estate.

“The Atlanta Real Estate inventory is flooded with incomplete and vandalized homes that will simply never pass the appraisal requirements for a traditional FHA Loan,” explains the Bear.  “Most of these properties are great properties at the bones of the homes but they need some additional help such as replacing a stolen HVAC system.  If it was not for this program, my buyers would not have the dream home that they so desired.”

Nationally, Wells Fargo, my lending partner, controls about 40 per cent of the FHA 203K renovation lending market.  The loan process itself takes a little longer, about 45 days.

So if you would like to learn to be a bear instead of a dinasour when it comes to selling properties that need a little work, please give me a call.  For he or she that hesistates may become extinct. If you think your office would like training in renovation lending, please ask your broker give me a call.

Until next week.

Best regards, Sam Thompson

Loan Officer and columnist


Phone: 770-301-0527



Benefit Concert at Paschals from 4pm-7pm

Todays the Day!

Buy Your tickets today online at

Come out and join us for an evening of inspiration and enlightenment as several of Atlanta’s most uplifting music, dance and spoken word artists come together in music, dance, word and song in support of Threshing Floor Academy.The concert will take place on Sunday, June 28, 2009 from 4pm-7pm at Paschal’s Restaurant located at 180-B Northside Drive, Atlanta, GA 30313. Funds raised from donations and ticket sales will go towards a building fund that will be used to purchase a building for the program to operate out of. Concert attendees can order food at an additional cost from Paschal’s legendary menu during the event. A silent auction featuring several luxurious items and services donated by local businesses will also take place during the event. Tickets are available at $15 for adults and $10 for children and can be purchased online on the “event” page of or by contacting Staria Quarshie at 770.702.3871. Receipt of purchase will be provided.

$15 Adults, $10 children (12 and under)


*Emceed by Min. DoQuoi T. Green
**Performace by Soul Vocalist Kyshona Armstrong
**Live Jazz by Eric Thomas of Elevate the Quest
***Music Performance by violinist Bryant Samples
******Spoken Word Performance by Def Jam Poet Jon Goode
********Performance by Lisa Chauntel
*****Performance by the Greg Hammontree Jazz Quartet
*******and many more!

Silent Auction Items…
*4 hrs of recording studio time compliments of The Outfit Studio
**Nanny Service compliments of Nanny Poppinz of Atlanta-Buckhead, Sandy Springs and Vinings Georgia
***Private 3 Course Dinner for Two prepared in the comfort of your home by Chef Kerel Fryer of Aroma Personal Chef Service, LLC
****Carriage ride for 2 compliments of Capital City Carriage
***** Photo Shoot compliments of Funky Urban Chick Photography
******$50 Gift Certificate for dinner or lunch at Paschal’s at Castleberry Hill
*****Artwork by some of Atlanta’s most talented Artists
******and much more!

Go Green Expo, Sunday June 28th attend today and save

A message from the Black Vegetarian Society of GA :

 Go Green Expo this weekend!
We would like to extend an invitation to you to join us on our last day  –
Sunday, June 28th with 50% off admission.  
Feel free to forward this email to interested parties. Online registration is closed, so please have them mention code “Sunday Guest” at the registration / entrance desk to receive the discounted admission price.
Go Green Expo, Atlanta’s largest eco-friendly event features over 250 exhibits, showcasing the latest in green products and services.  
Test drive hybrid cars, sample organic foods, listen to live acoustic performances from local bands, review the latest green home & building supplies, climb a rock wall, take a free yoga class, purchase the latest in eco-fashion and so much more! Learn from free panel discussion on Green Building, Green Jobs and Sustainable Farming. Meet NFL Atlanta Falcons‘ player Ovie Mughelli who will be speaking on inspiring kids to go green at 1:30 pm.   
For details visit:

Trees Atlanta Announces Selection of First Artist for Atlanta BeltLine Arboretum

Local Artist, David Landis, to Create Sculpture for West End Community

 Atlanta, Georgia, June 22, 2009:  Trees Atlanta announced the selection of Mr. David Landis today as the first artist for the Atlanta BeltLine Arboretum. The Atlanta BeltLine Arboretum is a proposed “outdoor living tree museum” around the Atlanta BeltLine, a 22-mile loop of greenspace, trails, transit, and new development along historic rail segments that encircle Atlanta’s urban core.

The Atlanta BeltLine Arboretum will provide an opportunity for citizens of and visitors to Atlanta alike to learn about tree identification and the benefits of trees and to simply enjoy nature.

 Mr. Landis was selected from a field of twenty artists to create a sculpture representing the first of fourteen tree and plant collections, or Natural Neighborhoods, along the Atlanta BeltLine Arboretum.  The collection is named “Warehouse Row” Natural Neighborhood and its theme is designed to be a landscape in motion. Landis’ sculpture will be installed at Rose Circle Park in the West End Community of Atlanta, located at 765 Peeples Street, NW, Atlanta, GA 30610.  The project is funded by a grant to Trees Atlanta from the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation and expected to be installed by February 2010.

 “I have to say that I was very excited about getting the project,” said Landis.  “I truly believe in the missions of Trees Atlanta and the BeltLine.   This city would not be what it is without its tree canopy, and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to help honor the cause.  It is my aim to create a sculptural experience that will complement beautiful Rose Circle Park, and offer a place for reflection, interaction, and education…an art work that will not only be a rewarding experience to the one time visitor but also will remain vital and interesting to the community, provoking new meditations with each encounter,” concluded Landis.

Landis received his undergraduate degree at the University of Georgia and a Masters of Fine Art in Sculpture from Georgia State University.  He has taught a variety of art forms at Georgia State University and the Spruill Center for the Arts.  His work is on display in Minneapolis, MN; Albany, GA; Toulouse, France; and throughout Metro Atlanta.  One of his most recognizable pieces locally is the Butterfly Pavilion at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. 

 Trees Atlanta, Atlanta BeltLine Partnership, Atlanta BeltLine, Inc., West End Neighbors and others will celebrate Landis’ selection at a community reception on Thursday, July 9th at 7:00 p.m. at the Hammond House, 503 Peeples Street, NW, Atlanta, GA 30310.  The event is free and open to the public.  Landis intends to gather memories about trees and the West End community to inspire his sculpture design. City Council Representative, Cleta Winslow, is expected to attend the event and has been a strong supporter of the project.



For more information about the Atlanta BeltLine Arboretum and its design, please contact Greg Levine at or visit  


About Trees Atlanta


Trees Atlanta is a nationally recognized citizens group that protects and improves Atlanta’s urban forest by planting, conserving and educating.  Since 1985, Trees Atlanta has planted and distributed more than 75,000 trees and engaged a volunteer corps of 3,500 citizens.  For more information about Trees Atlanta or the Trees Atlanta Kendeda Center, visit or contact 404-522-4097.