Category Archives: News

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

What is Feng Shui?

I always knew it had to do with balance and flow, but a specific definition is:

The Chinese art or practice of positioning objects, especially graves, buildings, and furniture, based on a belief in patterns of yin and yang and the flow of chi that have positive and negative effects.

If you hold stock in this Eastern thought you will Feng-Shui-Colorsnote that the front door of your home is probably the most important point.  This is where all energy enters your home, so maximizing the positive flow of energy is very important.  In Western terms, the front door is also an important part of the curb appeal of your home and one of the first impressions a potential buyer will receive.  So, why wouldn’t you want it to be one that states strength and positive energy?

There are numerous sites on the internet that tell you all about what to have and what not to have at the front door, in the entrance hall, or along the walls to portray good Feng Shui.  Cluttering up the entrance way, stoop or front porch with furniture, many potted plants and figurines is not good Feng Shui.  You want a clear entrance to your home with a strong and inviting appearance.  One potted plant in a container that is pretty and has a healthy plant is great!  A broken pot with a dead plant is not.

The same applies throughout your home.  Think about the flow.  Do you have to walk around things to get from one room to another?  Is the coffee table blocking the path into the kitchen or dining area, so you have to walk around it?  If a potential buyer is walking through your home, will they have to move about in a clumsy fashion to get from one room to another, or can they walk through, admiring the space and envisioning how they would decorate it?

Whether following Eastern or Western thought, your home will be more inviting if you have a positive flow of energy, and an unfettered pathway throughout.

Marie Dinsmore, Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist

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

Featured Neighborhood: Vickery in South Forsyth

Vickery Village2One of Forsyth County’s most favored communities is Vickery.   This neighborhood has it all!  It’s a place where you can live work, play, shop and dine, all within walking distance; featuring exquisite homes and excellent schools.

Located only minutes away from GA 400 and the Windward business district, the location is perfect for those working North of Atlanta who do not wish to pay the higher Fulton County taxes.   There are over 70 acres of green space surrounding the neighborhood with fishing ponds, gardens, parks and a playground.

Walk to Vickery Village, the center of the community, which features fabulous shops and restaurants, as well as the 50,000 square foot Forsyth County Family YMCA facility.   There’s more dining and shopping just a 5 minute drive away at The Collection which has a large assortment of shops, restaurants and a movie theater, and you can reach North Point Mall or the North Georgia Outlet Mall, 20 minutes away.

The homes and their surroundings create a European-style “Village” feel.   The fine quality craftsman construction and attention to detail are evident in each of the over 600 homes at Vickery.   Prices range from the $300s to over $1 Million, and are a mix of condominiums, townhomes and single family homes.   The first-class amenities include Vickery’s Clubhouse, a lap pool with cabana, lighted tennis courts, basketball courts, an outdoor fire pit, ponds, gardens, parks and biking/hiking trails.

With the home style choices, amenities, shopping and dining, this community offers something for everyone.

Please call me if you are interested in viewing this extraordinary community.

Marie Dinsmore, Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist

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

Can Landscaping Affect the Value of Your Home?

Having a manicured lawn and a few plants is no landscape2enough for most, and sometimes less can even be better.   An example would be a fish pond that you installed.   While you believe it’s a beautiful enhancement to your property, this feature might detract from the value of your home, as a perspective home buyer may not want to bother to maintain it and will be factoring in the costs involved to remove it while considering your home for purchase.

On the other hand, Alex X. Niemiera, Extension Horticulturist, Department of Horticulture, Virginia Tech authored an article on the subject of landscaping and the value of your home which was based on a survey of home and garden show attendees in seven states.  In “The Effect of Landscape Plants on Perceived Home Value”, the results of this survey indicated that “a home valued at $150,000 with no landscape (lawn only) could be worth $8,250 to $19,050 more with a sophisticated landscape with color and large plants. Interestingly, the multi-state study found that very minimal landscapes (simple design with small plants) detracted from the value of a landscape.”

landscapedThe point is to understand where to draw the line.   What makes for sophisticated landscaping and what makes for a minimal landscape?  In the above-mentioned article, a minimal landscape would probably be one that doesn’t have a variety of color and shapes, but maybe some low-lying simple plants.  A more sophisticated garden or landscape would probably be best achieved by investing in a professional landscape designer.  If the value is as much as the author of the study suggests, it would be money well spent.  However if you are a “do it yourself” sort of person, there are several good websites that provide landscaping tips and ideas.   Here are a few good sites.

Keep in mind though that hiring a professional, even just for a consultation to get ideas, could save you money in the long run.   They have the experience with the plants and shrubs that are right for your climate, soil and drainage, in addition to knowing how to lay out the landscape to your home’s advantage.  If you need a landscaping referral let me know; I’m here to help.

Marie Dinsmore, Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist

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