Category Archives: News

Fall Fixes NOT to Nix – Part 2

Conserving Energy

Fixing anything to do with climate control is like getting first pick of the best Fall Fix 2players – it’s money in the bank. Many homeowners attend to issues around heating as a means of saving money on energy bills – and rightfully so. In many areas, heat is typically one of the largest winter expenses. The trick is to minimize drafts and to utilize the heat as effectively as possible. Begin by checking attic insulation levels and fill gaps with insulation appropriate for your climate.

Next, windows and doors with cracked or broken glass or that are poorly sealed should be fixed. Additionally, if the seals at the bottom of exterior doors are not tight, consider replacing thresholds and/or door bottoms. Weather stripping is inexpensive and easy to install along the top and sides of doors. Interior doors may benefit from “draft dodgers” that stop air from cooler rooms from coming under the door, especially consider doors to basements and garages.

Get that furnace or heat pump serviced, clean or change any filters, and ensure that all thermostats are in working order. Consider installing a programmable thermostat to optimize your energy consumption. Additionally, heating hot water and keeping it warm is a big energy draw. Ensure that the hot water heater is working well and that it is insulated if it is located in a cold location.

Woodstoves and chimneys should be clean and ready for use – employ a chimney sweep to check and clean them. Creosote build-up or debris from animals can start a fire in the chimney or stovepipe, which could ignite the roof.

Drying clothes in a dryer also consumes a high level of energy. In cool and damp climates dryer vents tend to collect lint and may become clogged, making these machines much less efficient. Cleaning dryers thoroughly with a lint brush can also prevent fires from starting.

Marie Dinsmore, Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist

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

The Dinsmore Team To Perform At The Cumming Fair!

Wcannonwmarie3ell, maybe the photo is a little misleading… but I do hope that you’ll stop by and see me at the Cumming Fair on Monday, October 7th, from 4pm until 10pm.  While, I’ll only be appearing once, Re/Max All Properties will have a booth inside the two-story red barn on the first floor every day from 4-10pm, October 3rd through the 13th.

It’s going to be a lot of fun, and I’ll be giving away Lowes 10% off eCoupons, and a chance to win a 1-hour massage from Massage Envy.   If you’ve been stressed about listing your home, finding a new one, or just from day-to-day life, I’m sure you’d enjoy this chance to indulge in some pampering.

Monday, October 7th, will be Student Night – all under 18 will receive Free Admission and it’s only $15.00 for unlimited rides.  This year, the Fair will also feature “The Tiger Encounter”, showing at 6pm and 8pm.  Sounds like a great time to take your family out and enjoy the evening.

While you’re visiting, you might also want to sign up for our free, absolutely no-pressure, Neighborhood Watch program.   If you’ve ever been interested to know which houses in your community are being listed and what they’ve sold for, this is a great chance for you to find out in real time.  Once you sign up, you’ll simply receive an email letting you know about the properties in your neighborhood as they go through the listing process.   While you don’t have to make a special trip to the Fair to request this service, I sure hope that I will get the opportunity to meet with you in person.

Best wishes,

Marie Dinsmore, Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist

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

New FHA Program: Back To Work – Extenuating Circumstances

Good news for Georgia homeFHA buyers.   The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has introduced a new loan program designed to assist those who have undergone foreclosure, deed-in-lieu, taken a short sale or declared bankruptcy during the economic recession.  Normally people who opted for the solutions would have to wait years before being eligible for an FHA-insured mortgage loan.  The new program, Back to Work – Extenuating Circumstances, reduces the waiting period for most borrowers to just 12 months, and is offered to first-time and repeat home buyers.

Potential borrows must be able to demonstrate that they have had a significant reduction in income over a six month period, that they have fully recovered from the event, and completed Housing Counseling from a HUD-approved agency.  You will also need to establish a good credit standing for 12 months.

Not all lenders are participating in this program; they must be FHA-approved.   Because the FHA does provide the loan directly, you need to make sure that your lender is the program.  If you have questions, you can contact Pam Wright, with On Q Financial ( – 770-883-2015).

Marie Dinsmore, Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist

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

Fall Fixes NOT to Nix – Part 1

While spring may be the time for cleaning, fall is surely the time for fixing. Simple improvements can save money in utility bills as well fall footballas prevent costly repairs in the future. Like a well-played game of football, the homeowner needs a good playbook to get ahead in the game. The trick is, by the time it is October many areas might be into the first quarter — on the way to frigid temperatures – so prioritize and use this valuable time to the best advantage.

Play it Safe

A good bet is “Safety First.” Start simple: look at entrances and exits in and around the home and consider how they may be affected by the change in seasons. Look at safety issues around moisture, temperature and light. Are there areas that are particularly dark that need more lighting? Would motion-sensitive or timed lighting options be beneficial? Are there areas where debris collects and creates a safety hazard? Identify issues and resolve them now to minimize risk of injury later.

During fall and winter months pathways, entrances and exits can become compromised. Sometimes the paths or stairways might become slick with ice, snow, water, leaves or even moss or algae growth. Be sure to clear and clean these areas, making repairs to cracked or uneven walkways, securing loose boards, ensuring safe passage. Additionally, having a place for shoes and gear when people enter a home so entrances and exits remain clear can prevent unnecessary trips and falls. In cooler climates, this is a good time to create space in hall closets for bulkier coats and to put out the umbrella stand. Perhaps providing a basket for gloves and a tray for wet shoes and boots, along with an absorbent entry mat to ensure that surrounding floors don’t become wet and slick.

gutter cleanFall is an ideal time to clean gutters ensuring that water will not build up and overflow and either puddle or freeze. Additionally, while the ladder is out, look at the eaves and assess the roof. Look for signs that wildlife might have tried to gain access, and consider putting up hooks for holiday lights – after all, the ladder is out, and holiday lights will provide more light around the home in the dark months. Change any burnt out or flickering bulbs in outdoor areas, putting in energy-saving bulbs so that lights may be left on longer without regard to cost.

In areas prone to icing, ensure that supplies are stocked.  Consider storing sand, salt or kitty litter to help melt ice or gain traction. Any generators should be in good working order with fresh fuel that is properly stored.

Marie Dinsmore, Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist

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

It’s Harvest Time in North Georgia!

Fall is a Great Time for Families

Whether you’re ready for some serious baking or just a chance to get out of the house and have some fun, we are very fortunate to be living in North Georgia.  September and October are packed with Fall festivals, fabulous produce and picturesque scenery.

BurtsOne of the most well-known family destinations in the Fall is Burt’s Pumpkin Farm.  This is the place for making great memories with the young ones, and also offers great backdrops for photos.   At Burt’s you can select your perfect pumpkin, winter squash, gourds. fall decorations and an assortment of goodies to eat.

For older children, be sure to visit Uncle Shuck’s pumpkin patch haunted corn maze.

Ellijay’s 42nd Annual Apple Festival

There are many orchards and farms surrounding Ellijay where you can take the family and pick a peck of apples for just $10!  Apple season is August through October.  Be sure to visit each farm’s website to get detailed information.

The culmination of apple season is celebrated by Ellijay’s Fall Festival during two weekends in October (October 12th and 19th).  They have a parade and antique car show each year, as well as over 300 vendors offering hand-crafted items and demonstrations.

North Georgia FarmsApples

Burt’s Pumpkin Farm

Uncle Shuck’s

Georgia Apple Festival

Mercier Farms

Red Apple Barn

Reese Apple Orchards

Hillcrest Orchards

R&A Orchards

Marie Dinsmore, Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist

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

Community Resources


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.


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.