Monthly Archives: January 2015

Improve Your Home for Less Than $100

traditional-home-officeWhen most people hear the words “home improvement” or “remodel,” they envision expensive updates and upgrades; however, when it comes to improving the look of your home, it’s important to remember that adding a bit of functionality or beauty doesn’t have to break the bank.
To help you along the way, I’ve created a list of home improvement projects that can be completed for less than $100.

IN NEED OF OFFICE SPACE? USE A CLOSET! – Simple and budget-friendly, this project is as simple as unhinging the closet door and nixing the hanging rods for shelves.  One deep shelf can be used for the actual desktop which 2 shallow shelves can be used for overhead storage.  Add a chair, some boxes for organization, and voila!—a new home office!

SPRING FOR MOUNTED LIGHTING UPGRADES – If you’re dealing with a small space, consider adding a few matching pendant lamps that can either be purchased new or through a furniture consignment or antique store.

4505426383_e53d4fece1DOORWAY DISPLAYS – If you’re looking to create something truly unique, install a shelf above the doorway and paint it to match the trim.  By using the space to display beautiful pieces of décor like pottery or framed antique photos, you’ll add another dimension to your room.

MAXIMIZE YOUR WINDOW SPACE – If you’re someone who loves the look and feel of large windows, install floor length hanging drapes at ceiling height to make smaller windows look longer.

UTILIZE STAINED GLASS – If you’re looking to add a bit of elegance to your bathroom, stained glass is always a popular and beautiful choice; however, it can be challenging to find pieces that will fit your window perfectly.  Therefore, in lieu of spending the money to have a section of stained glass made, try hanging one from chains in front of your existing window for the same effect.

original_Michelle-Hinckley-decorative-shelf-as-bedside-table-in-bedroom_h_lgWALL-MOUNT BEDSIDE TABLE – Another great space-saver is the wall-mount bedside table, which can be easily installed using wood corbels and your choice of material on top.  If you’re looking to get a bit creative, think about using something like a slate roof shingle or a section of antique wood.

ADD A CHAIR RAIL – If you’re looking to bring a bit of color into your bedroom or living room, consider adding a chair rail and painting the wall below a soothing color while adding a bolder hue up top.

Whether you’re looking to sell your home or are simply looking to find further ways to enjoy your space, I’d love to help you with additional tips and tricks to make your home spectacular.

Call or email me.  We’ll talk!

Marie Dinsmore | The Dinsmore Team | www.dinsmoreteam.com  | 770-712-7789

 

 

Marie Dinsmore Earns RE/MAX Platinum Club Award

1394632456When it comes to doing your job and doing it well, there’s nothing like the feeling of receiving an award which truly recognizes all of your hard work and dedication.  Therefore, as we gear up for the spring real estate season, it is with abounding joy that I announce my inclusion into the RE/MAX Platinum Club for Realtors©.

RE/MAX Club Awards are individual awards that are based on levels of annual commission from January 1st through December 31st and are distributed based upon single year commission reports.  As one of the highest designations within the company, the Platinum Club recognizes those agents who have earned anywhere from $250,000-$499,999 in gross commissions.

While I’ve taken great pride in winning the Million Dollar Club every year since 2003—meaning I have consistently sold more than $1 million dollars-worth of property—this designation, which I previously earned in 2005, truly pushes me to continue on my quest to raise the bar for the real estate industry, my clients, and the community.

At the end of the day, I offer my customers a level of experienced understanding and keen attention to detail that are truly second-to-none. If you are looking for the services of a seasoned agent, please do not hesitate to contact me.

I’m looking forward to making 2015 another successful year and I cannot wait to help make your dreams come true along the way.

Marie Dinsmore | The Dinsmore Team | www.dinsmoreteam.com | 770-712-7789

How Much Do You Know About the Radon Levels in Your Home?

georgiaradonmapDid you know that January is Radon Action Month?  No?  Well, are you even sure what radon is?  If you’re like a lot of people, you may have heard about the hazards of radon in passing; however, whether you’re a homeowner or a renter, it’s important to be aware of what it is and why it matters to your life.

Plain and simple, radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that is released by rock, soil, and water, which can build up to dangerous levels within any home.  In the past, many people believed that homes built upon slab foundations were immune to this odorless, invisible gas; however, it’s important to note that it can be found within old or new homes, well-sealed or drafty homes, and homes with or without basements.

Breathing radon can greatly increase your risk of lung cancer, which has actually made it the number one cause of lung cancer among people who do not smoke.  In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency estimates that radon causes more than 20,000 deaths from lung cancer in the U.S. each year.

With this, it’s important to note that not only has radon been found in every state, but its levels can vary greatly between homes within the same area.  In the United States, the average indoor radon level is about 1.3 pCi/L (picocuries per liter of air), while the average outdoor level is about 0.4 pCi/L.  According to the EPA, it is recommended that people consider fixing their homes if their radon levels sit between 2 pCi/L and 4 pCi/L.

If it is discovered that your home contains high levels of radon, it’s not only possible to fix the problem, but it can be done for about the same cost as other common home repairs.  While your personal situation will still depend upon how your home was built and how you use it, it’s important to note that testing for it is incredibly easy and incredibly worthwhile.

If you have questions about the process or you’re concerned about your home, I would love to put you in touch with a qualified inspector who can help keep you and your family safe.

Please do not hesitate to contact me.

Marie Dinsmore | The Dinsmore Team | www.dinsmoreteam.com | 770-712-7789

Featured Neighborhood: The Preserve at Wild Rose

5373327_0If you’re in the market for a beautiful craftsman-style home, The Preserve at Wild Rose in North Forsyth County is a brand new community that boasts 51 gorgeous, large wooded homesites that start in the high $200’s.

Built by Martin Associates Homebuilders & Fidelis Signature Homes, the neighborhood includes a large playground, kid-friendly swimming pool, and a neighborhood association, as well as close proximity to the North Georgia Premium Outlets in Dawsonville and Lake Sidney Lanier.

While open floor plans, gourmet kitchens with granite, and formal dining rooms come standard in each home, additional homesite features include options such as stainless steel appliances, coffered ceilings, larger closets, and upstairs lofts.  With this, for homebuyers who are looking for a property with a bit more storage, several homes also offer an unfinished basement option, as well as secondary bedrooms that can be converted into a playroom or study.

The-Shoal-Creek-home-planFor buyers with children, the local schools include Chestatee Elementary, North Forsyth Middle School, and North Forsyth High School, as well as Covenant Christian Academy, Horizon Christian Academy, Ivy League Montessori School, and McGinnis Woods Country Day School.

If you are interested in learning more or would like to tour the community, I would love to set up a time to show you the area and answer any questions you may have.  Please feel free to contact me or, if you would like to speak with one of The Preserve’s associates, contact Jennifer Baxter at 678-469-1413 or click here to visit their website.

Happy house hunting!

Marie Dinsmore | The Dinsmore Team | www.dinsmoreteam.com | 770-712-7789

Buying a Home? Set Yourself Up for Success

bigstock-African-American-family-celebr-14087630While some of us may be prone to spontaneous bouts of spending or find ourselves unable to stick to a strict budgeting system, when it comes to buying a home, it’s important to remember that such a large financial decision warrants more than a few helpings of discretion, sensibility, and budgeting.

With that being said, it’s important to stay on the right path, especially if financial discipline remains a challenge for you.  Therefore, the following tips will help you keep your eye on the prize.

KEEP SCORE: Plain and simple, the better your credit score, the better your mortgage terms will wind up being when it comes time to apply for a loan.  While improving a depressed score may take a good deal of work, a good credit rating can literally save you tens of thousands of dollars over the life of your loan.  Therefore, start by reviewing your credit a few months before you intend to place your loan application and if your score is in the 600s or lower, along with making consistent on-time payments, try to pay down your balances so they sit below 30% of your limit.

CONSIDER ALL COSTS: Sure, the cost of the home itself is a great starting point, but it’s important to factor in all of the other costs of homeownership, such as taxes and insurance, as well as other expenses such as utilities and homeowner association fees.  With that, don’t forget about the ever-necessary rainy day fund which will help you cope when various issues demand repair and go into the process with the understanding that the average homeowner spends 1-4% of a home’s value on property maintenance each year.

BE FLEXIBLE IN YOUR SEARCH: In our culture of instant gratification, it can be a little difficult to distinguish between wants and needs, but in order to make a sensible housing decision, making the distinction between the two is imperative.  When it comes to building your list of must-haves, include items that will directly affect your quality of life, such as the home’s location, its price, the number of bedrooms, and the its square footage.  While you may have your heart set on hardwoods and granite, it’s important to prepare yourself for life’s necessary concessions so that you can remain flexible and stay within your budget.

KEEP YOUR COOL: Purchasing new things is exhilarating for everyone; however, buying a home is not like getting excited over a new pair of shoes.  Using a bit of self-restrain will not only prevent you from overspending or choosing a home that doesn’t fully meet your needs, but it will protect you in markets where the homes are selling quickly.  Even if you have your heart set on someplace you thought would be perfect, be prepared to walk away if the home inspection reveals more defects than your able to deal with.  With this, maintain a sense of calm if you find yourself in the middle of a bidding war, as it can push you to spend more than is prudent.  At the end of the day, maintaining a sense of patience will help you remember that whether your offer is accepted or the home inspection goes off without a hitch, there are always other great homes available.

Marie Dinsmore | The Dinsmore Team | www.dinsmoreteam.com | 770-712-7789

Community Resources

WELCOME

2017 Welcome Services

The Dinsmore Team has created this handy guide for both Buyers and Sellers. The guide lists trusted service providers that we use personally and professionally. The providers listed service the Forsyth and North Fulton County areas.

2014 Complete Guide to Moving

This 20-Page Guide will be your comprehensive source for selling your home and planning your move. It includes tips for getting ready to sell, planning your move, packing and transitioning into your new home.

2014 Home Owners Tip Guide

This 20-Page Guide will help you develop an annual maintenance schedule for your home's systems and appliances to help you avoid bigger problems by taking care of them while they are small. It's also a great resource for trouble shooting malfunctions on your own, saving you time and money.


utilities

Looking for a fast way to connect all of your utility services online? Try Connect Utilities.

Please let us know if there are other resources you'd like to see.

Marie@DinsmoreTeam.com

770-712-7789