Monthly Archives: December 2013

New Construction Continues to Boom in Forsyth County

Don’t believe me?   Below are over 30 new construction opportunities in new construction 2Cumming alone.

Remember that when entering into any real estate transaction, even when purchasing a new home, you need a Buyer’s Agent.   The selling agent is obviously interested in getting you to pay top-dollar for their property; however, a buyer’s agent will help counteract this by taking note of other similar sales in the area and making sure you aren’t paying too much.  In essence, they are there to buffer you and negotiate on your behalf so that by the time you close, your house has not only been properly inspected, but has also been placed in perfect condition.

It’s important to have someone in your corner who will make sure that you are taken care of throughout the entire process.   The Dinsmore Team can help you find the right mortgage lender, closing attorney and help you find your perfect home.

Marie Dinsmore, Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist

The Dinsmore Real Estate Team  | | 770-712-7789


  • Ansley at Pilgrim Mill: from the mid $150’s – pool; tennis, cabana
  • Bridgetowne:  from the mid $170’s – model home available; four lighted tennis courts; Jr. Olympic swimming pool with separate kiddie area with water fountains; clubhouse with  full kitchen; basketball court; fitness center; large well-equipped playground
  • Brookhaven at Lanier Ridge:  from the $280’s – model home available; pool; clubhouse; gated; convenient location; active adult
  • Brookside: from the $200’s – model home available; swimming pool; tot lot; low Forsyth county taxes; excellent Forsyth county schools
  • Brookstone:  from the mid $150’s – pool; tennis
  • Edgebrook:  from the mid $300’s – model home available; great location & schools
  • Enclave at Avington:  from the $300’s – Lambert High; complete lawn care
  • Fieldstone Preserve:  from the $400’s – model home available, estate lots; lifestyle community
  • Gates at Castleberry:  from the $260’s – model home available; Forsyth County schools; just 2 miles to GA400; beautiful wooded homesites with hilltop views
  • Greystone Trace: from $179 – basements; great schools; small quaint community
  • Heathstone: from the $160’s – pool and cabana; private gated community; excellent Forsyth county schools; low Forsyth county taxes; easy access to GA400; close proximity to fine dining; shops and entertainment; minutes to Lake Lanier and downtown Cumming
  • Highlands at Sawnee Mountain: from the $250’s – pool; tennis; playground; cabana
  • Hopewell Manor: from the $190’s – model home available, close to GA Premium outlet and Lake Lanier; great prices
  • Hunters Walk: from the $240’s – model home available; pool; tennis; sidewalks
  • James Creek: from the $190’s – model home available; pool; water slide; tennis; clubhouse; playground; great schools
  • Lake Forest: from the $340’s – final opportunities
  • Liberty: from the $290’s – model home available; convenient to GA400
  • Longview: from the mid $150’s – minutes to Lake Lanier
  • Manor at Kingswood: from the $200’s – ranch plans available
  • Marseille: from the mid $300’s – model home available; pool; convenient location; cabana; great schools
  • Provence: from the high $300’s – model home available; great location
  • Saddlebrook: from the low $200’s – model home available; best-selling community in Forsyth County; final opportunities available; great amenities.
  • Shiloh Woods: from the high 100’s – pool; tennis; single family & townhome community; south Forsyth high school district
  • St. Michaels Bay: from the high $300’s – model home available, lake living
  • The Springs at Burnt Bridge: from the $150’s – model home available; playground; great schools; ranch plans
  • Stonehaven Pointe: from the $190’s – model home available, pool, water slide, tennis, sidewalks, clubhouse, playground
  • Telfair: from the $200’s – model home available; great price per sq. ft; amazing amenities; great location
  • Trammel Estates: from the $400’s – convenient location, great schools
  • The Villas at Castleberry Township: from the $190’s – model home available; low maintenance; active adult living; well-appointed ranch villas; attached and detached homes with basements available
  • Villages at Settingdown Creek: from the $160’s – pool; tennis
  • Wellstone: from the mid $200’s – model home available; pool; clubhouse; convenient location; active adult; hardwood floors; granite; stainless steel appliances; maintenance free; ranch plans
  • Westbrook: from the $300’s – model home available; beautiful community with fabulous amenities in the popular South Forsyth area; only two opportunities remain
  • Windermere: from the high $300’s – model home available; amenities galore; final new homes


  • Castille: from the $300’s – estate sized lots; private gated community; excellent schools
  • Champions Run: from the $240’s – model home available, new phase
  • Herring Township:  from the $160’s – model home available; pool; tennis; convenient location
  • Lakepoint at John’s Creek:  from the mid $200’s – townhomes; great schools
  • The Reserve at Settles Bridge:  from the high $300’s – Lambert High School; brand new community
  • Riverbrooke:  from the $300’s – model home available; pool; tennis
  • Waterbrooke:  from the $190’s – model home available

Homeowners, Don’t Forget to File for Your 2014 Homestead Exemption!

homesteadHomestead exemptions reduce property taxes for most homeowners by sheltering a certain amount of a home’s value from taxes.  You are entitled to a homestead exemption if you owned your home as of January 1st in a taxable year, you actually occupy the home, and it is your legal residence.  Homestead exemptions usually apply as long as the homeowner lives in the residence.

The deadline to file is April 1st for most Georgia Counties, but make sure to check with your local County Tax Commissioner’s office to file and save.

Here are links to several counties’ websites for more information on filing your Homestead Exemption:

Cherokee County:  678-493-6120

Clayton County:      770-477-3311

Cobb County:         770-528-8600

DeKalb County:      404-298-4000

Douglas County:    770-920-7272

Fayette County:     770-461-3652

Forsyth County:     770-781-2106

Fulton County:       404-612-6440

Gwinnett County:   770-822-8800

Henry County:        770-288-8180

Paulding County:   770-443-7606

Don’t forget to file and save!

Marie Dinsmore, Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist

The Dinsmore Real Estate Team  | | 770-712-7789

Featured Neighborhood: Westbrook

This month, we wanted to highlight another great swim/tennis community in a well-sought after Forsyth County area.   The homes of Westbrook are a fusion of the old and new, craftsman and traditional/classic architecture and estate-sized homes, with all the upgrades you would expect in a custom home.  The builders in this community are known for their quality:  Hedgewood Homes, O’Dwyer Homes and Peachtree Residential.


Covered porches, sundecks, spacious master suites, open floor plans, and gourmet kitchens are the norm in these luxurious homes.  In addition to the homes’ quality, the neighborhood enjoys fabulous amenities:  a clubhouse, community pool, lighted tennis courts, and outdoor basketball courts.  This community also features over seven acres of green space, walking trails, a fishing pond, parks, a playground, and a historic covered bridge!  With the charming streetscapes and so much to do right in the neighborhood, you immediately feel a part of the community.

Looking for more to do?  This vibrant neighborhood is located close to Exit 13 off GA400, so you’re only minutes away from great restaurants and shopping at The Collection, North Point Mall, North Georgia Premium Outlet Mall and Lake Lanier, but close enough to work anywhere in North metro-Atlanta.  The community is also positioned so your children will attend great schools:  Vickery Creek Elementary and Middle Schools, and West Forsyth High School.

If you would like more information regarding Westbrook or other extraordinary communities along the GA400 corridor, please contact me.

Marie Dinsmore, Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist

The Dinsmore Real Estate Team  | | 770-712-7789

Utility Savings For Seniors and Low-Income Earners

cold winterDo you know any seniors or low-income family that might need some additional help this winter paying their bills?   You might be able to help them by letting them know about the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).  LIHEAP helps keep families safe and healthy through initiatives that assist families with energy costs.

There are both Federal and State assistance programs.  Here are a few, but there are more listed at the site,  or you can call them directly (800-869- 1150).

  • SCANA:  The regulated natural gas provider program, provided by SCANA Energy and partially funded by the state’s universal service fund, provides natural gas service to low income households and to consumers who are unable to obtain or maintain natural gas service from another marketer.  Households meeting the low-income requirements established by the Georgia Department of Human Resources qualify for a reduced security deposit, special rates and a lower customer service fee. To sign up, customers need to contact the community action agency serving their county.  Those not meeting low-income requirements may still qualify for service with the Regulated Provider. Call 1-866-245-7742 for complete details.
  • Atlanta Gas Light: Senior citizens who are 65 years of age or older and have a total annual combined household income of $14,355 or less are eligible for up to a $14 monthly discount on their Atlanta Gas Light Company base charge. Natural gas service must also be in the customer’s name to be eligible. For questions, call Metro Atlanta at 770-994-1946 or outside Metro Atlanta at 1-800-427-5463.
  • Gas South: Gas South offers its customers, aged 65 and older, various senior rates which provide a discount on natural gas consumption charges. Senior customers may also be eligible for discounted customer services charges and up to a $14.00 monthly discount on Atlanta Gas Light base charges.
  • Georgia Natural Gas: Customers who are 65 years of age or older with an annual combined gross income per household of $14,355 or less are eligible for a $14.00 monthly discount on their base charge.  770-850-6200 or 1-877-850-6200
  • Georgia Power: The monthly base charge ($10.50 for gas and $14.00 for electric) is waived for customers who are at least 65 years old and the total household income is not more than $22,340 annually.  Call 1-888-660-5890 (option #8)
  • The Heating Energy Assistance Team (HEAT): The HEAT program is administered by the Georgia Department of Human Resources statewide through Community Action Agencies. Private citizens and the natural gas industry provide funding.  Call 678-406-0212
  • Project SHARE: A statewide program funded by electric utility customers who donate through their monthly electric bills. The program is administered by The Salvation Army.    Call 404-873-3101 (metro Atlanta) or 1-800-257-4273.  Find your local Salvation Army

Wishing you and your family a safe holiday season!

Marie Dinsmore, Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist

The Dinsmore Real Estate Team  | | 770-712-7789

5 Tips for Preparing to Purchase a Home

Whether you are looking toHispanic couple outside home purchase a home for the first time, or you have owned a home in the past, the lending environment has changed and perspective buyers really do need to prepare in advance of their search.   Here are some tips that will make the purchase process a whole lot easier:

1. Make sure you know what’s on your credit report.   Pam Wright, with OnQ Finance wrote a great article on how to check your credit.   You need to get your report early in the process so you can make sure that it is accurate and clear any negative or erroneous information.    It’s free to get your credit report; there’s no need to sign up for services that want to charge you.

2. Get rid of as much debt as possible.   Lenders want to make sure that you are not overextended, and that you pay your debts on time.   The better your payment record, the higher your credit score.  You also need to make sure that once you do start the mortgage process, that you do not take on any new debt.   Here’s another great article from Pam, explaining what not to do.

3. Have cash available for the purchase.    While you may be financing the bulk of your home, you will still need cash for such things as earnest money, inspection/appraisals, HOA fees, utility deposits, moving expenses, etc.   These will be in addition to the down payment.   Your down payment amount can vary, but it would be wise to have at least 20% available for a down payment.

4. Have an idea of where you’d like to live –  This is obviously the more fun part of preparing for a purchase.   If you are looking to purchase in a particular subdivision, I can send you free, no-bother, updates on homes being listed in that neighborhood.    Just click here to sign up, and don’t forget to add the Subdivision name in the Comments section (Georgia subdivisions only please).   You will then receive automatic updates anytime any home is listed, sold, or there is a price change.  If you are looking for new construction in a particular area, let me know as there are new subdivisions coming in the North Metro-Atlanta area.

5. Get pre-approved. There was a time when you went house hunting, put in a bid, and then you went looking for a mortgage.   Those days are gone.   In today’s market, you need to be able to show up front that you can qualify for a home in the price range for which you are looking with a Pre-Approval.   This will also you save you time and frustration when your realtor is trying to find homes for you that will fit your needs and budget.

The purchase of a home is probably one of the biggest investments you will make in life.   Being properly prepared will help make the process go more smoothly and reduce any negative surprises.

Please contact me if you are considering buying or selling.

Marie Dinsmore, Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist

The Dinsmore Real Estate Team  | | 770-712-7789