The 6 Best Home Decoration Tips to Use This Thanksgiving Season

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Between getting your home ready for your incoming guests, buying the turkey, and planning the perfect meal for your holiday feast, decorating your home for Thanksgiving is probably the furthest thing from you mind. In fact, if you’re like some of us, you may not even have all those Halloween items put away just yet.

If that’s the case, never fear. We’ve created a list of quick and easy decorating tips that are sure to get your home looking its festive best for the big day. Take a look below.

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Tip #1: Make the fireplace the focal point of your living room decorating by creating a harvest mantel. Place two fall-colored (think brown, yellow, or light orange) pillar candles and candlestick holders on the mantle. Use an assortment of small pie pumpkins and gourds to create a casual arrangement between the two candles and across the mantle.

Tip #2: Add a Fall wreath to your front door. A Fall wreath not only adds some color to your entranceway, it sets a warm welcoming Thanksgiving tone for guests to see as they arrive. Add an inexpensive holiday welcome mat to complete the look and help keep floors tidy and clean.

Tip #3: Go for an elegant and sophisticated look with white and gold. A white table-scape provides an elegant setting for a dinner party at any time of the year, but this year, holiday designers are bringing in the element of gold to create the perfect setting for your Thanksgiving meal.

Use a white table cloth with white dinner plates and napkins, then add spray-painted faux pumpkins and gourds in shades of gold as a centerpiece to help give your dinner table a decadent look.

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Tip #4: Dim the lights and let your candles shine! Before the invention of LED candles, homeowners had to worry about leaving lit candles unattended and the hazards that might occur. With the invention of the battery-powered candle, however, you can use as many as you want and place them anywhere you want in any room you want without ever having to worry. Candles not only create a warm ambiance, they can help set the mood for your Thanksgiving entertaining.

Tip #5: Add a layer of height to your table candle display. Tall candles on a dining room table can sometimes look out of place with your shorter tableware settings. Using shorter votive candles to help balance out the look helps make everything on the table look more even visually.

Tip #6: Don’t forget about the scents. It may be a bit of a joke that there is now pumpkin spice in just about everything, but it really is the scents of the holiday season that people often remember. They’ll smell all that delicious food cooking, of course, but you can still add extra touches with scented soaps in the bathroom (and don’t forget to set out the guest towels!) and holiday potpourri.

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Finally, regardless of how you choose to decorate your house this coming Thanksgiving, don’t forget to stop and take a small moment to enjoy it!

Peace and joy to you and yours this holiday season.

Happy Thanksgiving!

USDA Loans: What are They and How Do You Know if You Can Qualify for One?

You may tend to think of the USDA as the government agency that stamps its approval on the steaks you buy in the grocery store, but did you know that they also have a mortgage assistance program?

If you haven’t heard of it, it’s really not a big surprise. The U.S. Department of Agriculture mortgage program is not all that well known, but if you don’t mind living in some of the more rural areas of Georgia, the program can save you some really big money.

What is the USDA Loan Program?

The USDA loan program, which is actually called the USDA Rural Development Guaranteed Housing Loan Program, is a zero-down payment mortgage program that is available for eligible homebuyers in rural and suburban areas.

The idea behind the program is that by encouraging people to move to more rural and less populated areas it can “improve the economy and quality of life for those who live in rural America.”

The plan allows those who are eligible to purchase a home with no down payment and a low interest rate. Although many people have not heard of this program, it may surprise you to learn just how accessible this program really is.

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How Do You Qualify for a USDA Loan?

Your ability to qualify is based on several different factors. There is also an income limit you have to meet. This amount varies by location and it also depends on size of your household.

Other criteria you must meet includes:

  • You must plan to live in the property you purchase (known as owner-occupied).
  • You must be a U.S. citizen or have permanent residency.
  • Have the ability to maintain a monthly mortgage payment that is 29 percent or less of your monthly income.
  • Cannot have other monthly debt that exceeds 41 percent of your income, however, you may still be able to get approved if you have a credit score that is above 680.
  • You must be able to show that you have had dependable income for a minimum of at least 24 months.
  • An acceptable credit history. If you have a credit rating of at least 640, you can receive streamlined processing. If it is less than 640 this doesn’t automatically disqualify you. You may be able to qualify, but you will face more stringent underwriting, or if you do not have a credit score, you may also still be able to qualify by showing your rental and utility payment history.

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Where Can You Find Eligible Home Locations?

Although most parts of the Atlanta area are excluded, there are certain areas in some of the more suburban parts of Metro Atlanta that qualify and rural areas are always considered eligible.

As an example, the western part of Paulding County is considered eligible and so are certain parts of Bartow and Polk County.

Are You Interested in Purchasing a Home Through The USDA Loan Program?

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While it is not impossible for you to find these types of properties on your own, the government doesn’t exactly make it easy for you to do. As a Realtor that is familiar with the Metro Atlanta area, however, I can help you to locate properties that will qualify for the USDA loan program and help make your search a whole lot easier.

Contact me at the information below and let me put my knowledge of the Metro Atlanta real estate market to work for you today.

Neighborhood Spotlight: The Battery Atlanta

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If you’re thinking of buying a home in the Metro Atlanta area, but want the convenience of city living with a more affordable price, you need look no further than The Battery Atlanta.

Conveniently situated near I-75 and I-285, The Battery Atlanta is actually in unincorporated Cumberland and part of Cobb County. While Suntrust Park has an Atlanta address, homes for sale in the area near the park generally have a Smyrna address.

That may sound a little confusing, so let me take a step back and rephrase that.

New Home to the Atlanta Braves and a Whole Lot More

The Battery Atlanta is actually a mixed-use development that consists of a variety of unique shops, restaurants, and entertainment facilities. It was built and opened in 2017. The development is part of The Battery’s main attraction, which is SunTrust Park, home to the Atlanta Braves of Major League Baseball.

While the neighborhoods surrounding the park aren’t officially considered part of the commercial development, the surrounding community has for the most part adopted The Battery Atlanta as their name in the same way that Atlantan’s who live in Little Five Points have claimed that area as their own.

With its close proximity to the interstate and downtown Atlanta, as well as the convenience for those who want to shop and work in Smyrna, Marietta and even Vinings, The Battery Atlanta has become more than just a place to see a ballgame. It has become one of the hottest communities around for people who want to enjoy luxury living without the upscale price.

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Market Trends for The Battery Atlanta

As of Sept. 13, 2018, the median sales price for homes in the area was hovering around $275,038, which is an increase from the $214,417 average median sales price from the previous same time period. Properties in The Battery Atlanta have been staying on the market for about 31 days or so, and it has been a seller’s market through the spring and summer months of 2018 with buyers paying what the seller is asking about 99 percent of the time.

Schools Located Near The Battery Atlanta

Elementary

• Argyle Elementary School – 2420 Spring Rd SE Smyrna, GA 30080 (Grades PK-5)
• Destiny Academy (Private) – 1775 Water Pl SE Atlanta, GA 30339 (Grades PK-K)
• Teasley Elementary School – 3640 Spring Hill Rd SE Smyrna, GA 30080 (PK-5)
• Smyrna Elementary School – 1099 Fleming St SE Smyrna, GA 30080 (Grades PK-5)

Middle Schools

• Campbell Middle School – 3295 Atlanta Rd SE Smyrna, GA 30080 (Grades 6-8)
• Marietta Sixth Grade Academy – 340 Aviation Rd SE Marietta, GA 30060 (Magnet 6)
• East Cobb Middle School – 380 Holt Rd NE Marietta, GA 30068 (Grades 6-8)

High Schools

• Campbell High School – 5265 Ward St SE Smyrna, GA 30080 (Magnet 9-12)
• Wheeler High School – 375 Holt Rd NE Marietta, GA 30068 (Magnet 9-12)

Shopping and Dining

When it comes to shopping and dining, The Battery Atlanta itself does not disappoint. Residents can shop at a variety of places in the multi-development itself.

For shopping, you can find affordable and trendy fashions at the DressUp boutique, decorate your home with whimsical home décor from Sugarboo Designs or get the latest in outerwear and sports gear at the Mizuno Experience Center.

Want to meet friends for dinner after work or grab a burger before enjoying a baseball game? The Battery Atlanta has a variety of culinary options to please everyone. Grab a burger at Wahlburgers, a glass of your favorite wine at Cru Food & Wine Bar, or Sunday brunch at Goldberg’s Bagel Company & Deli.

If you want to venture a little further from home, Cumberland Mall is literally across the street. Regular retail stores, such as Target and WalMart are within close driving distance as well, along with a variety of restaurants, home improvement stores, and other types of shopping places all along highway 41.

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Entertainment

Although baseball is the obvious pinnacle of The Battery Atlanta, it’s not the only “game” (pun intended) in town.

Music lovers can enjoy live entertainment at the Coca-Cola Roxy Theatre, a 4000-capacity venue located right in the multi-development, or go see a show at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center, which is a mere seven minutes away.

Want to see a movie? There’s a nearby theater for that too – right up the street at the AMC Parkway Pointe 15 on Cobb Pkwy.

Are you looking for a home in Metro Atlanta?

kristen-reed-cartersville-realtorKristen Reed is a Realtor who really listens to your needs and genuinely wants to help you find the home that’s right for you and your family. She understands the Metro Atlanta real estate market and will work with you to ensure you get the best deal at the best price. Contact her today at the information listed below to get started and receive free access to new listings right as they come on the market.

Metro Atlanta Home Color Trends for 2019

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If you live in Metro Atlanta and are thinking of selling your house, one of the easiest and fastest ways to make it look great is to give it a fresh coat of paint. It’s even estimated that the sale price of a home can sometimes go up as much as 10 percent when a home has a good paint job.

The problem is that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and while you may love the chocolate latte brown walls of your living room, it may not appeal to everyone else, especially if that particular shade of color is no longer popular.

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Out with the Old and In with the New

 

Popular? Yes, that’s right.

You may not know it, but there are trends in paint colors that are sort of like the color trends you see in clothing. For instance, the big color in fashion last year was millennial pink, which was sort of a blush color. This fall, however, fashion designers are introducing shades of fuchsia or hot pink into the mix and millennial pink is on its way out of our closets.

While paint colors don’t move in and out with each of the new seasons (that would certainly take a lot of work!), they do evolve over time. If you’re not staying on top of what the more popular colors are when it comes time to give your walls a new coat of paint, you may find that your color choice comes across as old and outdated.

If you’ve decided it is time to paint and you’re thinking of selling your house soon or in the very near future, now is a good time to select new colors because most of the paint manufacturers just released their newest palette selections and have updated their predictions of which colors will be the most popular for the following year.

Here’s a glimpse at some of the most popular color trends that we can expect to start seeing in 2019.

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Warm Color Tones are In

Did you know that paint manufacturers are about 12 to 18 months ahead of the rest of us when it comes to forecasting what color choices are going to be popular? That means that the colors they are introducing to us right now and what home owners are buying right now are the colors that we’ll be seeing in more and more in Metro Atlanta homes as we go into the next year and beyond.

While shades of grey and off-white continue to be favorite wall colors, Sue Wadder, Sherwin Williams director of color marketing states that “the pendulum has swung and people are ready to see color again.

Although her company anticipates that a yellow-toned color will be the 2019 Color of the Year, other paint manufacturers such as Behr and PPG Paints predict muted blues and lush greens respectively.

Interestingly, we won’t necessarily see these colors on every wall. Instead, designers are using these colors for accent walls and for small powder rooms, and cabinetry. And – speaking of cabinetry, it looks like black cabinetry is making another try for a comeback. You should also expect to see some navy colored cabinetry appearing in some Metro Atlanta homes too.

Are You Thinking of Selling Your Metro Atlanta Home?

kristen-reed-cartersville-realtorKristen Reed is a Realtor who is familiar with the Metro Atlanta area. If you’re thinking of selling your home, give her a call at 770-480-7879. Kristen can show you what your home is actually worth and give you an idea about whether now is a good time for you to sell.

Should You Buy or Rent a Metro Atlanta Home?

Should you buy a home or is it better to rent? That may seem like a simple question to answer, but it’s really not.

Both buying and renting have their advantages and disadvantages. Let’s take a look.

Renting:

  • You don’t need as much money upfront. A landlord may ask for first and last month’s rent, but it is usually still significantly less than what you would need to make a down payment when buying a house.
  • You can’t personalize your living space or update it. While it is nice to have a landlord to call when you have a leaky faucet, you can’t install a new kitchen sink or paint the cabinets, even if they really need it.
  • Your rent can increase every time you renew your lease.
  • It’s not as difficult to move or relocate if you want to take a job in another city. When you move from a rental, the process is a whole lot less complicated.

Owning:

  • Mortgage companies require you to make a down payment when you want to buy a home and you generally have to pay some closing costs as well.
  • Repairs and maintenance of your home are your responsibility, but the upside is that you can make renovations and paint the walls of your home in any color you like.
  • The value of your home can rise or fall over time. When you do sell, your home could be worth more than what you gave for it or you could discover that you owe more on it than your house is worth.
  • You can build equity in your home. This means that you not only increase your personal wealth, you also may make a nice profit when you one day decide to sell your home.

Now that we’ve looked at the advantages and disadvantages of buying versus renting, how can you determine which is right for you?

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Should You Rent Your Home?

Owning a home can provide a sense of security, but home ownership isn’t for everyone. Renting may be a better fit for you if:

  • You don’t know how long you will live in the same place because of your job, family circumstances, or for some other reason. As an example, you are getting engaged or may have to move in with an aging parent who needs assistance.
  • You don’t have time or don’t want to be bothered with the maintenance and upkeep that is involved when you own your own house.
  • Your income is subject to change and it could make it more difficult to pay a mortgage payment.

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Should You Buy Your Home?

Buying a home is one of the best investments you will ever make. Prices are on the rise, however, so you could find that you are unable to purchase in the neighborhood you you want to live in if you wait to buy.  Owning may be a good fit for you if:

  • You don’t plan on moving anywhere in the next few years.
  • You have good credit and are eligible for a low interest rate mortgage.
  • You have money to put down and can afford a monthly mortgage payment.

Conclusion? When it comes to buying versus renting, the right option is always the one that best aligns with your personal and financial goals.

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Are You Ready to Buy a Home?

kristen-reed-cartersville-realtorThere has never been a better time to buy a home. If you’re thinking of purchasing a home, you need a real estate professional like Kristen Reed, who knows and understands the Metro Atlanta real estate market. Contact her today to have free access to hundreds of listings and let Kristen help you find the house that’s right for you.

 

What are Closing Costs When Buying and Selling a Home?

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When it comes to buying and selling a house, “closing costs” is one of those real estate terms that gets thrown about by real estate agents and lenders, but most buyers and sellers don’t really have a good idea of what these closing costs are or how (or if!) they will affect the sale price.

Let’s take a look at how closing costs work and what you need to know before you buy or sell your next home.

How Closing Costs Actually Work

First, in case you were wondering, a “closing” is a point in time when a buyer and seller meet for the purpose of transferring the title of the property from the seller to the buyer. The closing costs are the fees that are associated with the purchase of the property that are paid at the closing.

In most cases, the buyer typically pays the majority of the fees and the seller pays the real estate commission to the Realtor that negotiated the sale of the home.

This is one area of a real estate transaction that buyers and sellers can negotiate on, however, and it is not uncommon for a seller to agree to pay a portion of the closing costs in agreement for something else.

As an example, instead of paying for the installation of the new carpet before the buyer purchases the property, the seller may agree to pay a portion of the closing costs and the buyer will pay for their own new carpet after the transaction is completed.

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How Do Closing Costs Affect the Sale Price?

Closing costs affect the buyer and seller both, but in two different ways.

For the seller, it means that since they are paying a commission to a real estate agent, they will receive less cash than what they agreed to sell the house for.

While it doesn’t really affect the price of the house for the buyer, it is an extra amount of money that they will have to come up with at the closing. This is usually handled by simply rolling the amount of closing costs into the amount of the mortgage loan. The closing costs are then paid back over time as the buyer pays off their mortgage.

Some of the More Common Closing Costs

Attorney Fees: Once a house is under contract, there are a lot of people working behind the scenes to ensure that the sale of the property goes through. One of these people is the attorney and their staff. Since they are working on behalf of the buyer, their fees are normally part of the closing costs.

HOA fees: Some properties in subdivisions have a Homeowners Association with monthly dues. These dues must be paid and up-to-date at the time of the closing.

Real estate agent/Realtor commissions: This is usually one of the biggest closing costs that are paid. It is generally a percentage of the purchase price and is split between the buyer’s agent and the seller’s agent. This percent can vary but is typically between 6 to 7 percent for a residential home.

Recording fee: This fee covers the cost of transferring the title from the seller to the buyer. Once the transaction is complete the title is recorded at the courthouse in the county where the property is located.

Title insurance: A form of indemnity insurance that protects both the mortgage lender and the buyer from claims against the property. Note that this is not the same as the home insurance that protects your home from damages that could occur, such as fire or tornados.

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How Much are Closing Costs?

Closing costs are usually determined by using a percentage of the purchase price of the home that is being purchased.

On average, a homebuyer can expect to pay somewhere between about 2 to 5 percent in closing fees, so if you are purchasing a house that costs $150,000, you could pay between $3,000 and $7,500 in closing costs. You should expect to pay approximately $3,700 in closing fees, according to a recent Zillow survey.

Are You Ready to Buy or Sell a Home?

kristen-reed-cartersville-realtorIf you’re ready to buy or sell a home in the Metro Atlanta area, you need a real estate professional who knows the area and can help you get the best deal. Kristen Reed is an experienced Realtor who knows and understands the Metro Atlanta real estate market. Houses are selling fast, so don’t delay!

 

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What are the Best West Cobb Neighborhoods?

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Cobb County is the third largest county in Metro Atlanta and is considered the most financially stable county in the Metro Atlanta area.

It is really just one big county, but when it comes to talking about it in real estate terms, you will often hear the county referred to as East Cobb and West Cobb.

While you won’t really find an actual physical line dividing East Cobb and West, a lot of people consider the “Big Chicken” as the defining point that separates the two parts of the county.

Where to Live in West Cobb

In geographic terms, you can consider it to be just about anything that is west of I-75, but not all (more about that in a minute).

West Cobb – The Early Years

Prior to the late 1980s and early 1990s, West Cobb was for the most part a rural area and East Cobb had much of the growth due to its closer proximity to Atlanta. If you wanted the best schools, newest shopping malls and state-of-the-art theaters, you bought a home and lived in East Cobb.

Land was much more inexpensive in West Cobb back then.

Today, West Cobb has just about everything that East Cobb has to offer – only newer. This includes its shopping centers, businesses, restaurants, and movie theaters.

West Cobb Communities

Although it is sometimes subjective as to which communities are considered part of the West Cobb area (some people also include areas like Austell, Smyrna, and Mableton, but most consider those areas South Cobb), it is usually noted as being these four cities. Each has its own uniqueness and charm:

Acworth:

Who lives there? There is a mixture of both white and blue-collar workers with 18 percent of Acworth’s residents working in retail sales and 12 percent work in accommodation and food service industries.

Best known for. Acworth is home to not one, but two lakes. Lake Allatoona, which is the second largest lake in the Metro Atlanta area with over 12,000 acres of water and features 270 miles of shoreline and Lake Acworth, a 260 acre man-made lake with a public beach and park along its northern shores. Enjoy fishing, boating, and swimming.

Places to shop. If you’re looking for one-of-a-kind items, Acworth is the perfect place to find them. Its historic downtown has a variety of boutiques, jewelry and gift stores, art galleries, and antique shops.

Where to eat. There are around 94 restaurants, bars, and coffee shops in Acworth. Some of the more notable local dining establishments in the area include, Fish Thyme Restaurant, Henry’s Louisiana Grill, and Tapestry at The Old Mill.

Kennesaw:

Who lives there? There is a mixture of both white and blue-collar workers with 15 percent of Kennesaw’s residents working in management and 13 percent work in the sales industry.

Best known for. Kennesaw National Battlefield Park. The park, which is visited by thousands of hikers and walkers each week, has a 1-mile trail up the mountain, which rises 800 feet during your hike to the top.

Places to shop. With over 175 stores, Kennesaw’s Town Center at Cobb is considered one of Northwest Atlanta’s main shopping destinations.

Where to eat. There are around 150 restaurants, bars and coffee shops in Kennesaw. Residents can enjoy dining at restaurants, such as Capers Restaurant and Bar, Big Shanty Smokehouse, and The Rotisserie Shop.

Marietta:

Who lives there? There is a mixture of both white and blue-collar workers with 20 percent of Marietta’s residents working in the construction industry and 12 percent work in retail sales.

Best known for. The city is perhaps best known for its downtown area, which is commonly called Marietta Square, or the Square in Marietta. Residents enjoy shopping and dining at the local stores and eateries, which are conveniently located around the square.

Place to shop. In addition to the local businesses on the Square in Marietta, residents can enjoy shopping at The Avenue West Cobb. Setup like a mall, but with outdoor entrance access to stores, residents can enjoy shopping at stores like The Sunglass Hut, Barnes & Noble, and Jos A Banks.

Where to eat. There are around 367 restaurants, bars, and coffee shops in Marietta. Pizza, hamburgers, and even Cuban food. Marietta has something for everyone. Some of the more notable local dining establishments in the area include, The Red Eyed Mule, Marietta Pizza Co., and the Cuban Diner.

Powder Springs:

Who lives there? There is a mixture of both white and blue-collar workers with 10 percent of residents working in sales and 10 percent working in installation, maintenance, and repair occupations.

Best known for. A local farm was featured prominently in the second season of Stranger Things giving this quaint city of West Cobb a new claim to fame. It also is known for its seven springs, however, which is where the city gets its name.

Places to shop. The city is currently going through a bit of a facelift, so while there are some specialty shops and antique stores to visit, you’ll have to wait and see what the city has planned for its downtown area after the renovation project is completed. Meanwhile, there are plenty of brand name stores in the area for your everyday needs.

Where to eat. Home cooking and BBQ are what’s on the menu for places to eat in Powder Springs. Notable restaurants in the area include Johnny’s BBQ, Carzell’s Kitchen LLC, and BB’s Fish and Wings.

Why Live in West Cobb?

Thinking of moving to West Cobb? Here are some things I like to share with my clients.

  • There have been three new high schools built in West Cobb during the past seven years (Kennesaw Mountain, Hillgrove, and Allatoona).
  • When it comes to buying a home, many of my clients find that West Cobb is a much more affordable option, especially when they realize that they can’t find what they want in East Cobb.
  • With its close proximity to I-75 and ease of commute into Atlanta, the West Cobb Area has increasingly become a popular place to live.

kristen-reed-cartersville-realtorIf you’re looking to downsize into a smaller home or find you have outgrown your current home, I can assist you in locating the house that is right for you. House are selling quickly, so don’t miss out! Sign up today, so you’ll receive all of your free home listings as soon as they appear on the market.

 

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What is a Home Inspection and Why Do You Need One?

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When it comes to buying a house, homebuyers always want to make sure that they’re getting a good deal. While most people think that this simply means that a buyer is not overpaying for a house, it actually goes way beyond that.

You not only want to buy a house for the lowest price that you can, you also want to make sure that you’re not purchasing a property with hidden surprises, or rather, that your new home is not in need of some major repairs that you don’t know about.

That’s where a home inspection comes in and getting one done before you purchase a home can save you a lot of time, trouble, and money.

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Why are Home Inspections so Important?

A home inspection is a comprehensive examination of the condition of a home. It is usually performed right after a house goes under contract, but before the house is actually sold (I generally recommend getting a home inspection during the due diligence period right after the house goes under contract).

The purpose of a home inspection is to ensure that everything about the house is in good working order and that once the house is bought, the new home owner will not have to spend a lot of money fixing things before they can move in.

Without a home inspection, the buyer may purchase the property unaware that there is a major issue that could cost them a lot of money to fix, or even present a health or safety issue.

Although the home buyer is free to have anyone they want inspect their home, using a certified home inspector to perform the home inspection ensures that everything is thoroughly examined and looked at.

What Does a Home Inspector Do?

Before we discuss what a home inspector is and what they really do, let’s first talk about what they aren’t.

A home inspector is not the same thing as a building code inspector. A code inspector’s job is to determine whether certain elements of the property meet the current local or city code. A home inspector’s job, on the other hand, is to perform function and safety inspections that help to determine the condition of a piece of real estate.

The home inspector’s primary objective is to look for issues of concern that could cause safety or usability problems for the potential home owner. That being said, some inspectors will inform their client if they see that an area of the home doesn’t conform with the current local code.

As an example, kitchens in Cobb County, as well as the rest of Georgia should have ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protection. This protection cuts the power to the circuit if a current change is detected which could produce an electrical shock.

If the home inspector discovers that the kitchen does not have GFCI protection, they would then address this in their report that there is a potential safety issue.

In most areas, a home inspection costs between $300 to $600. This amount may vary depending on individual pricings, as well as the size and age of the house. You can typically find a home inspector by performing an Internet search or your real estate agent can provide you with a list of reputable home inspectors that you can contact.

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What Does a Home Inspector Actually Inspect?

A home inspector will inspect nearly every element that is in and around a home, as well as other structures that may be on the property.

This can include:

  • Heating and air condition
  • Plumbing
  • Electrical system
  • Roofing
  • Full exterior of the home
  • Structural elements
  • Full interior of the home

Once the inspection is finished, the home inspector takes the information collected during their inspection and creates a written report with their findings that is sent to the home buyer. The home buyer can then use this report to further negotiate on the selling price of the home.

For instance, they could ask the seller to make necessary repairs, lower the purchase price, or (if the problem is serious) use the issues as a reason to terminate the contract between the buyer and home seller.

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Are You Thinking of Buying a New Home?

kristen-reed-cartersville-realtorKristen Reed is an experienced Realtor who is familiar with the housing market in the Metro Atlanta area. Houses are selling fast right now and most listings go under contract quickly once they are on the market. Don’t miss out! Take a moment and sign up today to start receiving your free home listings.

 

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City Spotlight: Acworth, GA

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Welcome to Your New Home in Acworth, GA

  • Acworth is part of the Atlanta metropolitan area and is located in Cobb County.
  • As of 2016, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that Acworth had a population of approximately 22,418 residents.
  • Acworth is located in the foothills of the North Georgia mountains.

Who lives in Acworth?

Acworth has a mixture of both white and blue-collar workers. Interestingly, 18 percent of Acworth’s residents work in retail sales and 12 percent work in accommodation and food services. According to City-Data, other types of industry jobs held by residents in Acworth include:

  • Manufacturing (10%)
  • Construction (9%)
  • Other services, except public administration (7%)
  • Professional, scientific, and technical services (7%)
  • Transportation and warehousing (7%)

Getting Around in Acworth

Acworth is considered a car dependent city, since almost all of the errands that you may need to make will require you to use a vehicle.
The average Walk Score for Acworth is a 23. Residents in Acworth can walk to an average of 0.5 restaurants, bars and coffee shops in 5 minutes.

Dining and Shopping

There are around 94 restaurants, bars, and coffee shops in Acworth. Some of the more notable local dining establishments in the area include:
Fish Thyme Restaurant — 3979 S. Main Street. If you’re looking for a fine dining experience, but don’t want to make the long drive to Atlanta, Fish Thyme is the place to go. As the name suggests, Fish Thyme offers a variety of fish and seafood items with everything from Parmesan and Potato Encrusted Flounder to Blackened Texas Redfish. If fish and seafood aren’t really you’re thing, no need to worry. The restaurant also has items for land lovers, including Baby Back Ribs and a Grilled Double Chop.

Henry’s Louisiana Grill — 4835 N Main Street. From crawfish to jambalaya, Henry’s Louisiana Grill serves a wide selection of Louisiana favorites, including Chef Henry’s Sea Scallops that were featured on ABC Nightline and Henry’s Hush Puppies as seen on Food Network. All dishes can be served extra spicy and they have some healthy dinner options that you can select from as well.

Tapestry at The Old Mill — 4271 Southside Drive. As the name suggests, Tapestry at The Old Mill is situated in an old converted mill that sits in historic downtown Acworth. Formerly known as Gabriel’s at The Old Mill, this restaurant has reinvented itself and now offers a variety of American cuisine sourced from local farms. Try the Tequila Lime Chicken Soup and a House Salad, or a Forest Mushroom & Swiss Burger served with cole slaw or hand cut fries.

Acworth School System:

Acworth has 9 elementary and middle schools, 5 high schools, and 0 colleges.

Elementary/Middle Schools

  • Durham Middle School – 2891 Mars Hill Rd NW (Grades 6-8)
  • Pitner Elementary School – 4575 Wade Green Rd NW (Grade PK-5)
  • Barber Middle School – 4222 Cantrell Rd NW (Grades 6-5)
  • Acworth Intermediate School – 4220 Cantrell Rd NW (Grades 2-5)
  • Ford Elementary School – 1345 Mars Hill Rd NW (Grades PK-5)
  • Baker Elementary School – 2361 Baker Rd NW (Grades PK-5)
  • Oak Grove Elementary School – 6118 Woodstock Rd (Grades PK-5)
  • Frey Elementary School – 2865 Mars Hill Rd NW (Grades PK-5)
  • McCall Primary School – 4496 Dixie Ave (Grades PK-1)

High Schools

  • Allatoona High School – 3300 Dallas Acworth Hwy NW (Grades 9-12)
  • Cornerstone Preparatory Academy (Private) – 4310 Moon Station LN (Grades KG-12)
  • Furtah Preparatory School (Private) – 5496 Hwy 92 (Grades KG-12)
  • Harvest Baptist School (Private) – 198 Shaw Dr (Grades PK-12)
  • Brookwood Christian Language School (Private) – 4728 Wood St (Grades 3-12)

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3 Reasons to Live in Acworth, Georgia

There are a lot of great reasons to live in Acworth. Here’s a list of my top three favorites that I like to share with my clients.

Go for a swim. Situated in Cauble Park, Acworth Beach opens at the end of April each year and remains open until Labor Day weekend. The 25-acre park also has a boardwalk, two playgrounds, and an open play area. There is also a lakeside gazebo, beach house, and four pavilions available to rent for special occasions.

Fore! If you like to golf, you’ll love Cobblestone Golf Course. Considered one of the most popular public golf courses in North Atlanta, Cobblestone has won a variety of awards over the years, including a Four-Star rating by Golf Digest and made a spot on the “Top 100 Courses You Can play” by Golf Magazine for 2011, 2012, and 2013.

Visit the park. Whether you want to walk, takes your kids to a playground, or simply enjoy communing with nature in an open green space, Logan Farm Park is the place to do it. The 120-acre park, which is located in the center of the city of Acworth has a 1/3-mile walking trail that was recently expanded to include some multiple-use pathways that go around a multi-purpose recreation field. The park also has restroom access and a group pavilion.

Take a walk back in history. If you enjoy learning about the past, Acworth’s self-guided Historic Walking Tour is a great way to do it. The walking tour starts at the Liberty Hill Cemetery and winds through town to the historic Acworth Antiques and Awtrey Corner situated on the corner of Cherokee, Northside, and Southside Streets. If you would rather take a guided tour, wait for Fall and check out the Acworth Ghost Tour held on Friday and Saturday evening (weather permitting) in the month of October.

Are You Thinking of moving to Acworth?

kristen-reed-cartersville-realtorWhether you’re just starting out and want to buy your first home or you found that you have outgrown your old house and need something that is a little bigger, Kristen Reed can help. She is an experienced Realtor that is familiar with the housing market in Acworth. She states that houses are selling fast in the Acworth area, so make sure you take a moment and sign up today to start receiving your free home listings.

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How to Choose a Realtor

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kristen-reed-cartersville-realtorFrom yard signs to Facebook ads and even direct-mail postcards, real estate agents promote themselves in a variety of ways. You would think with all that advertising it would be a fairly straightforward process when it comes to finding the right agent, but the reality is that it can sometimes be difficult to choose the real estate agent that’s the right fit for you.

You might even say that it is a bit of a balancing act. You want to choose a real estate agent you like, but you also know that it is important to find someone who will look out for your best interests and negotiate on your behalf.

If you’re thinking of buying or sell a home and don’t yet have an agent, here’s some tips that can help make sure you choose the right one.

Seven Tips to Help You

Tip #1: Ask your friends and family for a referral. Most people are more than happy to tell you who they used to buy or sell their home, and if they had a bad experience, they’ll be sure to tell you about that too.

Tip #2: Look for a real estate agent who is familiar with the area. Whether you want to buy a home in Kennesaw or sell your home in Marietta, when you choose a Realtor who knows the area, you know that they can help you get the very best deal because they know the local market.

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Tip #3: Find a real estate agent who will listen to your wants and needs. A lot of buyers don’t really know what type of house they want when they first start looking. A good agent will listen to what you are saying and help you narrow down your search to the houses that best meet your criteria.

Tip #4: Seek a Realtor who really cares about what they do. There’s a big difference between a real estate agent who just wants to sell you a house and a real estate agent who cares about you and genuinely wants to help you find the perfect home.

Tip #5: Avoid the agent who offers the lowest commission. It may seem counterintuitive to not choose a real estate agent who appears to be saving you money, but there is usually a reason they are offering to work for less. You may discover that while they offer a low commission, you have to pay extra for your listing to appear on MLS or that you are expected to show your home all by yourself.

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Tip #6: Remember the old song “You Better Shop Around?” Well, Mama was right. Your agent may be in your life for a good six months or more, so before you choose a real estate agent to list your home, you should always interview a few agents to find out which one is the best fit for you.

Tip #7: Stay away from agents who attempt to “buy a listing.” For example – an agent may try to set an unrealistic high selling price on your Cartersville home as a way to lure you into giving them your business. Your house will then sit for a period of time before the suggestion is finally made that you need to lower your sale price.

Are You Ready to Choose a Realtor?

If you’re interested in buying or selling a home, I’d love to talk to you. Contact me today and let’s talk about your real estate needs! I’m always ready to help you buy or sale your home.