Author Archives: Marie Dinsmore

What Exactly Do Real Estate Agents Do?

bigstock_Female_Real_Estate_Agent_Handi_6207483“You hire them to help you sell or buy a home, right?”

While defining the role of a real estate agent may seem somewhat cut and dry, the truth of the matter is that many people lack a true understanding of what agents actually do during the buying or selling process.

In short, yes, a real estate agent is someone who helps you either sell or purchase a property (which may or may not include an actual structure).  However, their actual job involves everything from property valuation and the use of successful marketing techniques to negotiation and home organization.

With this, a truly great agent is someone who not only knows the immediate area, but who keeps up with local and regional market activity, as well as industry news.  In addition, they continually research active, pending, and sold listings in an effort to understand pricing trends so that their clients are better equipped to remain competitive within the market.

Furthermore, while it’s one thing to simply list a home and hope it sells, successful agents are able to assist with everything from staging advice to making recommendations for professional cleaners, painters, and contractors.  Generally speaking, most house hunters are looking for certain things when they tour available properties, so real estate agents come armed with an understanding of buyer behavior and the types of home attributes that will garner positive attention.

Therefore, even if you’re not looking to buy or sell at the current moment, real estate agents are a fantastic resource when looking to understand current housing trends, what your home is worth, or what you can do to prepare for the market.

With that being said, if you have questions, don’t be afraid to make contact with an agent who can share a bit of their knowledge with you.  Yes, they assist with the buying or selling process, but more than anything, real estate agents comprise a wide network of individuals who have an abundance of professional connections to assist you with anything you may need.

To learn more about what an agent can do for you, please contact me.  I’d love to help you along the way.

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

Special Home Buying Considerations for Families with Children

norris-familyAs a single person, you can be free to be a bit creative when it comes to buying a home, especially since too much space can be a burden.  However, if you’re starting the buying process with a few kids in tow, you may find yourself in a situation that’s a bit more complex.

Children not only need a safe place to lay their heads at the end of the day, but space to play and express their individuality.

Therefore, to assess a home’s kid-friendly potential, home buyers with children or those planning to start a family should consider the following tips:

NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE IMPORTANCE OF SIZE.  For families, size is one of the most vital considerations since children need an abundance of space to run and play.  Until you have kids, you never fully appreciate how much room they are capable of consuming—along with the amount of constant destruction they can leave in their wake—so making sure you purchase a home with extra square footage is important.

PRACTICALITY.  When taking the size of a home into account, don’t forget to put a little thought into how it fits with your family’s lifestyle.

-Is there enough closet space for everyone’s things?

-Will your entire family be able to fit into the kitchen or dining room at meal times?

-Is the yard large enough to help your children burn off a bit of steam?

-Is there a mud room or laundry room for your children’s dirty clothes or muddy sports equipment?

-How many bathrooms will you need?

SAFETY.  There’s something to be said for feeling like you don’t have to worry about your children at all times.  When looking for a home, search for someplace that will give you the peace of mind of knowing that your kids are safe, both inside and outside the home.  Particular considerations may include the layout and fixtures, as well as the possibility of furniture placement.

If you’d like to be able to supervise them without having to move from room to room, you’ll probably want to make sure your new home has an open floor plan and if there’s a pool, you’ll probably want to make sure it’s surrounded by a fence.

With this, you may also want to check with your agent to see the location of the nearest hospital and to assess additional safety concerns such as local traffic levels, violent crime rates, and sources of pollution.  Additionally, Georgia contracts allow you to check for registered sex offenders, which can be done through the Georgia Bureau of Investigation website (www.gbi.georgia.gov).

LOCATION.  Even if you’ve already decided that the area is safe enough for your standards, location is still important because your children will need to attend the local schools.  Take notice of their distance from your potential home and pinpoint things like after-school child centers and local parks.

Additional considerations may involve the location of the nearest hospital for emergencies, as well as entertainment ventures such as nearby restaurants, stores, and movie theaters.

In the end, if the home buying process feels like a lot—especially if you’re trying to do it with four or five other people in mind—consider starting with a list of items that are essential for your family and go from there.

If you need help, don’t be afraid to hire the services of an experienced Realtor who can organize your wish list and help you search for the perfect home.

For assistance, please call me.  I’d love to help your family find the property of their dreams.

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

Before Buying a Lake House – What You Should Know

A-Room-With-A-View-CopyThere are a lot of benefits to purchasing a home in Forsyth County, especially if you’re someone who has worked hard to realize your dream of living on the lake.  Whether you’re looking for a weekend getaway, a retirement home, or a primary residence, buying a lake house can be an exciting process.  However, as with anything in life, it’s important to remember that living along a large body of water isn’t always going to be beautiful sunsets and serene mornings.  Homes near or on the lake have their own unique set of struggles, so it’s important to begin the process with your eyes wide open.

SELECT AN AGENT WITH EXPERIENCE

Lake homes aren’t like regular homes, so you don’t want to make the mistake of hiring a regular agent.  When it comes to waterfront properties, you’ll want to make sure that you’re working with someone who can explain the various aspects of owning a lake house and who has the right experience to back it up.

DON’T JUST LOOK AT THE HOME – CONSIDER THE WHOLE PROPERTY

Purchasing a waterfront home is about more than the home itself—it’s about the water that goes along with it.  Therefore, don’t make the mistake of falling in love with the house, only to discover that the water is murky, filled with invasive species, or regularly traversed by noisy powerboats.

It’s important to take some time to think about your reasons for wanting to live on the lake.  If it’s about swimming, fishing, or peaceful relaxation, make a point to check out the water quality and consider speaking with the neighbors to get a better idea of what area water traffic looks like.

LAKE ASSOCIATIONS

When it comes to waterfront properties, many lakes require homeowners to join the lake association that governs the water and the beaches, so it’s important to remember that your property’s shoreline may be the subject of various regulations.

For Lake Lanier, while it’s not mandatory to join the lake association, it’s worth noting that the water—including the shoreline—is governed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  For the most part, this shouldn’t be an issue, but they may be able to dictate what you can and cannot do with your property, especially if it jeopardizes the integrity of the shoreline.

Before you buy, it’s wise to find out what types of rules govern the property and to assess whether they are things you can live with.

PAY ATTENTION TO EXTRA EXPENSES

While lake homes frequently promise a great return on investment, keep in mind that they are often filled with extra expenses, such as increased property taxes and higher insurance premiums.  In addition, it’s important to be aware of the fact that most waterfront septic systems need to be routinely checked to ensure the lake isn’t being polluted.  While this may not seem like much, these checks can be expensive, especially if they require the replacement of an aging septic system.

CONCLUSION

Whether you’ve just started shopping or you’ve been searching for a waterfront property for several months, I have a solid knowledge base to work from and understand that shopping for a lake front home is very different from shopping for a land-locked home.

If you’d like to see what types of properties are available or would like some more information about what the market is like along Lake Lanier, I’d love to help.

Please call me.

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

Featured Neighborhood: Gables at Stoney Point in Cumming, GA

176202979404479_gablesmodela_copyLocated just above the affluent Johns Creek corporate corridor, The Gables at Stoney Point sits within driving distance of some of Forsyth County’s finest schools, medical facilities, and shopping ventures.  With convenient access to GA 400—and subsequently the bustling city of Atlanta—this established, private community of only 77 homes is surrounded by acres of forested space and quality craftsmanship.

Starting in the mid-high $500’s, this beautiful gated community comes complete with a private club that includes a two-story clubhouse and pool, as well as perfectly manicured cul-de-sac streets and professionally landscaped yards.

Outside, each home includes a wood deck or patio and premium wood entry doors, along with 30-year architectural shingles and a variety of high-end exterior materials—to include 3-sides brick, real stone, and shake & siding veneers.

Inside, each home has been designed with an open floor plan and comes standard with stunning hardwood floors, two 42-inch fireplaces, granite kitchen countertops, stainless steel Whirlpool appliances, and spacious walk-in closets.

SCHOOLS:  (Award-winning Forsyth County Schools)

S1907694181427359GablesSitePlan2outh Forsyth High School

Piney Grove Middle School

Shiloh Point Elementary

 

SHOPPING:

 

North Point Mall

Avalon

The Collection at Forsyth

North Georgia Premium Outlet Mall

Mall of Georgia

 

If you’re interested in learning more about this community or seeing what homes are still available, feel free to visit their website at www.SRHomes.com/Gables-At-Stoney-Point or contact me to set up a viewing.

 

Marie Dinsmore | The Dinsmore Team | www.DinsmoreTeam.com | 678-455-3048

5 Important Considerations for First-Time Home Buyers

ffdaWhen it comes to finding the perfect home to rent, your job is much easier because the goal is to find a home that “meets my needs right now” instead of “meets my needs for the next 20 years.”  Plain and simple, making the decision to purchase a property is a much bigger commitment than renting, both in terms of finances and length of time that you’ll wind up staying in one place.

With that being said, due to the amount you’ll have to invest in your final decision, it’s important to do a bit of upfront homework so you don’t wind up in a bind down the road.

Therefore, if you’re getting ready to buy your first place, there are five things that should be considered in advance.

1.) ADDITIONS TO YOUR LIFE – While it’s important to shop for a space that meets your current space needs, it’s always wise to assume that you might need to make adjustments at a later date should your family expand.  Even if kids aren’t in the picture, you never know what other types of changes life may throw at you—such as having a parent move in—so it’s wise to think about your need for extra bedrooms, bathrooms, and overall square footage.

2.) KNOW THE HOME’S CONDITION – Sure, you may not be able to afford a lot of upgrades at first; however, the basics should still be in working order.  Before making the final decision to purchase, you’ll want to have the property thoroughly inspected so you don’t find yourself stuck with a complete money pit.  Speak with your real estate agent about this process and feel free to ask for the names of reputable inspectors.

3.) BE CAREFUL OF EXPECTING PERFECTION – Much like a first job, first homes tend to represent a stepping stone to something better, so finding the right place is often a matter of balancing your wants and needs with what you can reasonably afford.  Make a list of “must-haves,” “nice-haves,” and “not necessary to-haves,” and focus on the areas where you don’t mind compromising.  Are you willing to sacrifice a three-car garage for a larger kitchen?  Is the larger home worth it if it’s in a less desirable neighborhood?  Only you can measure the importance of the amenities you’re looking for.

4.) REMEMBER TO ACCOUNT FOR ALL OF THE COSTS OF OWNERSHIP – When you’re renting, things like regular maintenance and repairs are the responsibility of your landlord; however, one of the key aspects of homeownership is that the property becomes yours and yours alone.  Therefore, don’t forget to account for the fact that your budget will need to include those extra living costs such as utilities, trash pick-up, sewage fees, HOA dues, and other routine maintenance costs.  When approving your home loan, your lending will not factor in these extra costs, so it’s important to calculate them in advance.  If you’re unsure of how to do this, speak with your real estate agent to determine the appropriate price range for you.

5.) ALL THINGS HAVE A LIFESPAN – Manmade things break and deteriorate, so it’s important to not only identify a potential home’s flaws before you buy, but to have an understanding of its components.  When will the roof need to be replaced?  How old is the furnace?  What kind of shape are the appliances and carpet in?  Sure, everything may be in working order now, but all homes will need these types of repairs or replacements eventually, so it’s wise to research the expected lifespan of the larger-ticket items in your potential home.

When you’re ready to get the process started, please contact me.  I’d love to help you along the way.

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

2014 RE/MAX All Properties Top Sales Associate of the Year

Community Resources

WELCOME

2019 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

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Marie@DinsmoreTeam.com

770-712-7789