Category Archives: News

10 Tips for a Home That’s Safe and Sound

burglar4There is little that is more important than feeling secure in your own home. While we can only control a small bit of the world around us, here’s some basic information to keep a home safe.

The goal of securing your home is two-fold: protecting your possessions, but also protecting the people who live there. Security professionals advise “deter, detect and delay” tactics. These 10 tips cover a lot of ground, so keep them in mind and you will be well on the road to greater peace of mind.

1. Check your doors, windows and all locks: Deadbolts and secure, steel outer doors are important, as are secure windows that lock. A huge majority of burglaries are no-force entries, where culprits gain access to your home through an unlocked window or door, so check them frequently. Keep trees and shrubbery trimmed to prevent access to windows and decks on upper floors. If a door or window is in an out-of-the-way place that is easily accessible, consider securing it with bars or an outer security door. Simply placing a piece of wood in sliding glass doors or windows can prevent entry. Automatic garage door openers ensure that access to your garage is controlled. Studies show that the more difficult it is to enter the home, the greater the chances are that the burglar will move on.

2. Have adequate lighting: On the outside of your home, lighted entryways and flood lights with motion sensors ensure that everyone, including you and your neighbors can see who is entering your abode. However, care must be taken to replace burned out or disabled bulbs, and to place such that there is minimal annoyance to neighbors. Inside your home, ensure that there is adequate lighting so intruders are easily visible.

3. Create limited entries with a perimeter and gate: Gates and fences can provide a feeling of stable security or of paranoia, depending on how they are used. Tasteful fencing can create a feeling of “place” that provides a positive look and feel to your home, while also adding a deterrent and a delay to criminals. Limiting vehicular traffic to your property and creating barriers to individual entry make your valuables more difficult to remove, and cameras at these points of entry can more effectively capture any activity.

4. Be a friendly and observant neighbor: Neighborhoods with a “community watch” where each person is looking out for the next provide a sense of security. Generally people know each other and who lives where. This activity makes it easier to talk about crime and helps homeowners to solve problems. Let neighbors know that you are crime conscious, and encourage them to be so, too. Provide your neighbor with contact information if you are leaving on vacation so that they can be in touch should there be unusual or unexpected activity around your home.

5. Be discreet: While you do want neighbors to be informed to some degree, advertising more widely that you will be away from your home is less desirable. When seeking to find a house sitter or pet sitter, avoid advertising the dates of your travel. With an increase in social media and local email lists, people who are outside of your immediate circles could gain access to your plans and make use of that information.

6. Put on a good show: When you are going to be away from home for any period of time, one deterrent might be to make it look like someone is home. Often people who break in are simply looking to steal valuable items and prefer not to encounter people at all. Keep shades as they would normally be open or closed, and use timers to control lights and even music. Increasingly, “smart home” technology can enable homeowners to control the environment from a distance. Consider stopping deliveries or better yet, have someone stop by daily or stay in the home to pick up mail and newspapers, and to check on the house while you are gone.

7. Get a dog: In addition to companionship, a dog could be an excellent deterrent to a burglar. Barking serves as an alarm, helping to detect an intruder as well, but often seasoned criminals know how to deal with dogs by feeding them treats (sometimes laced with poison) or locking them in a room. Still, this added unknown might keep a less determined stranger away.

8. Get a security system: There are many types of systems with and without monitoring available. Some produce loud alarms that are designed to alert neighbors, others are silent and contact police. With the advent of inexpensive cameras, homeowners can set up video surveillance as well. While it is good to have a system in place and to post that a system is in use, beware of giving away too much information so that criminals don’t know which system they are dealing with. Typically these systems monitor entries, but many also include motion sensors. Using these systems requires some understanding on the part of the homeowners so that false alarms are not triggered. Also note, these systems require power to run, so during power outages unless there is a backup power source they will not be functional and other preventative steps will be required.

9. Get a safe: Using a home safe to secure valuables, guns and ammunition is an excellent idea. Consider using it to store important paperwork, like deeds, wills, other legal documents, social security cards, passports, as well as computer backups and photos. While safes are often quite heavy, ensure that they are bolted down so they might not be easily stolen in their entirety. Safes can also provide critical “delay time” – enabling police to arrive before the contents are looted.

10. Don’t leave your keys around: If a burglar sees a car in a garage or driveway and the keys are present, the temptation might be too much. In fact, you might be providing a vehicle to take more items than the burglar was intending to originally take! Keys to additional homes or properties are invitations, as well. Have a place for keys that is not well known or easily seen.

Having an eye for security can be like a game. The winning move is to create a home that provides you with a real feeling of security because you have addressed the issues. It isn’t paranoid to “think like a criminal” and imagine that your home is full of valuables. Take the time to follow these tips, and you can deter, detect, and delay crime in your home.

Marie Dinsmore, Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist

The Dinsmore Real Estate Team  |  www.dinsmoreteam.com

Marie@DinsmoreTeam.com | 770-712-7789

Join The Dinsmore Team as We Go Back To Woodstock

We’re going back to the ’60s! Join us for a great night of live music, food, and a silent auction, all to benefit Family Haven’s victims of domestic abuse and their families. So come on, pull out your platform shoes, bell bottoms, and psychedelic shirts to celebrate PEACE, LOVE, and FAMILY HAVEN!

Tickets are $25/person. Invite your friends, neighbors, and co-workers. We look forward to seeing you at Back to Woodstock!   For tickets, go to http://www.forsythcountyfamilyhaven.info/ or contact me directly.

Marie Dinsmore, Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist

The Dinsmore Real Estate Team  |  www.dinsmoreteam.com

Marie@DinsmoreTeam.com | 770-712-7789

3-24-2014 12-03-21 PM

Update: Traditions Community In South Forsyth

We are still receiving requests for more information on the master planned community, Traditions, and wanted to share this update with you.   FrontDoor Communities, the developer, was a finalist in the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Residential Deal of the Year.

For its work on the Traditions community in south Forsyth County Georgia, FrontDoor Communities earned recognition as a Residential Deal of the Year finalist in Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 2013 Best in Atlanta Real Estate Awards.

FrontDoor Communities will be delivering homes in Traditions in 2014 priced from $300,000 to $500,000.  The $178 million dollar community will encompass 420 homes on 158 acres in South Forsyth.

Marie Dinsmore, Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist

The Dinsmore Real Estate Team  |  www.dinsmoreteam.com

Marie@DinsmoreTeam.com | 770-712-7789

Traditions - Phase 1

 

Why Realtor Certifications Matter – CLHMS

CLHMSI am frequently asked what the CLHMS designation in my title stands for.  It is one of several professional designations I hold, and for which I am very proud.  CLHMS stands for Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist.

This designation is acquired through the top luxury home marketing organization in the country, The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing.  It begins with intensive training from the Institute, and once the training is successfully completed, an Agent can then be considered a Member of the Institute.  Members of the Institute receive an amazing array of tools and benefits to use in successfully marketing upper-tier properties.

In order to obtain the designation of CLHMS, one needs to have a certain number of verified sales in the top 10% of their local real estate market.   This designation cannot be simply acquired by doing requisite course work; it must be earned and proven

CLHMS designees have the experience and resources that matter to their clients.  One of the many resources that I have in my arsenal is access to the Online Wealth Lookup (OWL) tool.    This powerful tool assists Agents in qualifying prospects, protecting clients’ best interests and gain leverage in negotiations.

Below is a real-life example which demonstrates the benefit of having this tool  (names have been changed to protect the innocent):

Wayne the buyer is looking at my seller’s listing and another one down the street.  He is playing both properties against each other with a buyer’s agent, John.  I start to feel in my gut that this person is not for real.  I ask John if he has checked him out and he said he “seems” real.  They make an offer on the other listing down the street, get close to mutual acceptance, but don’t quite make it with the competing listing.

Wayne then calls me and asks to see my listing on a Sunday.  I accommodate him and he says John is busy and cannot be there with us.  I show him my listing.  Wayne tells me that he owns an Audi dealership, is wearing an Audi Hat, name drops like crazy and is talking a good game.  After the showing, I agree to tell John how much he loved the house and to write the deal.  We then part ways.

Then that feeling of doubt really started in on me.  I felt he was talking too much and there was something up.   I went into OWL and tried every variation of his name.  He does not show up anywhere as having any net worth.  Having used OWL before, I know some type of net worth would have to show up.  So, I call John and tell him that he could not present an offer to my listing like he did down the street without proof of funds.  The sellers were so heartbroken; they negotiated for days and never knew the party making the offer was not legit.  

Meanwhile, the agent down the street is also upset as her sellers were so excited to get their house sold.  She feels the same apprehension, so she calls the police department.  Low and behold, Wayne is wanted. 

Wayne had not been clued in, and so when he goes into John’s office to write up my listing and “talk” about the deal, the police are waiting for him.    Turns out he has 5 outstanding warrants for fraud, theft, breaking and entering and is not be trusted or left alone with anyone, and he is driving a stolen car.  The police haul Wayne the phony buyer away from the office conference room in hand cuffs.

I used OWL to verify my gut.  It worked, and my seller thanked me after it was over for checking him out and saving him the aggravation that the folks down the street went through.

When you are ready to make a move please give me a call.  I have the training, skills, tools and resources to ensure you achieve your objectives.  It would be my honor to assist you.

Marie Dinsmore, Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist

The Dinsmore Real Estate Team  |  www.dinsmoreteam.com

Marie@DinsmoreTeam.com | 770-712-7789

Featured Neighborhood: The Highlands at Sawnee Mountain

This month’shighlands1 featured division is a beautiful, serene community located just outside the city limits of Cumming, GA.  Filled with the restorative calm of country living, The Dinsmore Team is thrilled to introduce this neighborhood, which provides a respite from the stress of everyday life.

Nestled in the foothills of Sawnee Mountain in Forsyth County , this Waterford Homes swim and tennis community comes complete with an oversized refreshing swimming pool, state-of-the-art tennis courts, and easy access to Sawnee Mountain Park, which boasts 44 acres of walking/jogging trails that include several playgrounds, multi-sport fields, and picnic pavilions.

With seven different housing plans available, the homes within the Highlands community are not only built using top-quality materials, but are designed with an open concept that allows an abundance of natural light into each room.  In addition, fine craftsmanship can be seen throughout, as each floor plan comes with marble countertops, a 42-inch fireplace, gleaming hardwood floors, and elegant brushed chrome hardware.

highlands2

Located approximately six miles from exit 13 on GA400 North, families interested in this neighborhood have a wide array of wonderful schools to choose from, including Sawnee Elementary School and Forsyth Central High School, while private schools, such as Pinecrest Academy and Riverside Military Academy, are also within reach.

Known for its ability to transport residents from the bustle of a hectic work week to the serene tranquility of nature, The Highlands still provides excellent shopping and dining within a 10 to 15-minute drive, while the glamour of Atlanta is only 30 minutes away.

If you would like to learn more about what this upscale community has to offer, please contact me.  I would love to hear from you!

Marie Dinsmore, Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist

The Dinsmore Real Estate Team  |  www.dinsmoreteam.com

Marie@DinsmoreTeam.com | 770-712-7789770-712-7789

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

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