Category Archives: News

Featured Neighborhood: Avalon in Alpharetta

0114AvalonEatStreet If you’re looking to live the high life without dealing with Atlanta’s gridlocked roads and expensive parking, then Avalon—Alpharetta’s newest mixed-use development—is sure to catch your eye.  Located on 86 acres of land at the intersection of GA 400 and Old Milton Parkway, this $600 million development is more than just the 101 single-family courtyard homes—it includes over 100 exclusive shops and restaurants.

A community designed around the old world charm of walkable cities, residents will be treated to a neighborhood filled with opportunities for alfresco dining, luxury shopping, and nightly entertainment, while also enjoying the privacy of personal courtyards and homes equipped with designer finishes.

3624385788Ranging in price from $600,000 to $2 million, these exquisite Monte Hewett homes come filled with an assortment of upscale touches, such as professional series appliances, open floor plans, oversized master’s suites, and stunning views.  Many of the homes come standard with three-car garages, while others boast custom libraries with grand 14-foot ceilings and multiple fireplaces.

RETAIL

Threads, Anthropologie, Arhaus, Athleta, Banana Republic, BCBG Max Azria, Boston Proper, C Wonder, Calypso, Columbia, Crate & Barrel, Dental Town, Destination Maternity, Dry Bar, Everything But Water, Exhale, Fab’rik, Fly Wheel, Francesca’s, Free People, Fuzzywigs Candy Factory, Gap, Gymboree, J. Crew, J. Jill, J. McLaughlin, Janie and Jack, Kendra Scott, Kinnucan’s Specialty Outfitter, L’Occitane, LensCrafters, Lou & Grey, Marmi Mitchell, Gold + Bob Williams, Note Worthy Paper, Orvis, Paper Source, PNC, Pooch ‘N’ Paws, Pottery Barn Kids, Regal Cinemas, Road Runner Sports, Sage, Soft Surroundings, Sunglass Hut, The Cosmetic Market, Tommy Bahama, Tumi, Van Michael Salon, Velina, Vineyard Vines, West Elm.

54296d710c9a2FOOD/DINING Whole Foods, Antico, Bantam + Biddy, Bantu, Bocado Burger, Caffe Gio, Cru, Goldberg’s Fine Goods, Kona Grill, Marlow’s Tavern, Oak Steakhouse, Pinkberry, Ted’s Montana Grill, The El Felix

SCHOOLS

Elementary – Manning Oaks

Middle – Hopewell

High – Alpharetta

If you have any questions or you would like the assistance of an experienced Realtor, please do not hesitate to contact me.

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

Prevent & Thaw Frozen Pipes This Winter

frozen-pipes-620x400Generally speaking, the winters here in Georgia remain somewhat mild in relation to other areas within the U.S.; however—as evidenced by the icy weather last January—even in the South, deep freezes do happen.

Sadly, not all houses are built the same, particularly those situated in warmer climates.  Here in Georgia, since freezing temperatures tend to be the exception rather than the rule, most homes are built with water pipes which are located in unprotected, uninsulated parts of the structure; however, aside from general construction differences, variation can even be found within the homeowners themselves, since people generally accustomed to warmer weather tend to be less aware of freezing problems.

Therefore, since frozen pipes can often be an extremely messy and expensive problem, it’s important to understand why it happens and how to make sure it doesn’t happen in your home.

WHY DO PIPES FREEZE?

For anyone who has ever put a can of soda in the freezer to watch what the expanding, frozen liquid does to the actual can, it’s helpful to think of the pipes in your home the same way.  Water expands as it freezes, which puts extreme pressure on whatever medium is holding it in—to include both metal and plastic piping.

Thus, the pipes that pose the greatest risk for homeowners are, as previously mentioned, ones that are exposed to severe cold without protection—i.e. outdoor hose bibs, swimming pool supply lines, water sprinkler lines, and unheated interior lines in areas such as basements, crawl spaces, attics, and garages, as well as pipes that run along exterior walls with little or no insulation.

HOW TO PREVENT FROZEN PIPES IN ADVANCE

Before the really cold weather sets in, consider following these recommendations:

1. Drain all water from swimming pool and water sprinkler lines following the manufacturer’s directions.  Also, avoid the use of antifreeze in these lines unless directed by a professional, since antifreeze is not only environmentally harmful, but particularly dangerous to humans, pets, wildlife, and landscaping.

2. Remove and drain all hoses that are used outside, and close the inside valves supplying your outdoor house bibs.  Open the outside house bib so the water can drain and allow it to remain open so any water remaining in the pipe can expand without causing it to break.

3. Take note of other sections in your home where water pipes may be located in unheated areas.  Whether the piping is for hot or cold water, insulate them for protection.

4. Consider using specific products for pipe insulation such as pipe sleeves or heat tape.  If you’re not looking to spend a lot of money, even newspaper wrappings can provide some degree of protection in exposed areas.

STEPS TO TAKE DURING COLD WEATHER

1. If your water supply lines are in the garage, keep the garage door closed to protect your pipes from the elements.

2. When the temperatures take a drastic dip (particularly 20° F or lower), let the faucet drip with cold water.  Running water, even if it’s only a trickle, can help stop the pipes from freezing.

3. If you plan on traveling or being away from your home for an extended period of time, make a point to leave the heat on (set to no lower than 55° F).

TO THAW ALREADY FROZEN PIPES

If you attempt to turn on the faucet and only a trickle comes out—or nothing at all—it’s safe to say that the pipe is probably frozen.  To remedy the situation, consider the following:

1. Keep the faucet open as you begin treating the pipe.  Once things begin to thaw, continued running water will help the ice melt faster.

2. Apply heat directly to the pipe through the use of an electronic heating pad, hair dryer, or portable space heater.  Towels soaked in hot water can also be used to wrap around the pipes; however, avoid using any methods that involve an open flame.

3. Check all additional water sources in the home to see if there are other frozen pipes.  If there appears to be a frozen area that you either cannot access or cannot thaw, call a licensed plumber for assistance.

PROTECTION FOR THE FUTURE

Sure, deep freezes are rare here in Georgia, but that doesn’t mean they don’t occur.  Plain and simple, it only takes one really cold day for a burst pipe to create a horribly expensive mess, so it’s wise to consider not only adding insulation to attics, basements, and crawl spaces, but to maintain higher temperatures in these areas.  Furthermore, if you’re planning a remodel, speak with the contractor about the possibility of relocating certain exposed pipes.

Protecting your home is important, especially if you’re attempting to sell it and it’s sitting vacant.  Don’t let that possible sale turn into a nightmare of water damage and foundation work.

If you have any questions or would like the referral of an experienced, reputable plumber, please feel free to contact me.

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

Marseille Final Lots Available – Cumming, GA

112512-HF-cover_4If you’ve had your eye on the Marseille neighborhood in Cumming, GA, but have found yourself putting off serious consideration, the time has come to start making some decisions!  Earlier this month, Edward Andrews Homes announced the marketing of the remaining ten homes within the Marseille community, and with an abundance of high-end appliances and luxurious materials, each one is a steal at just $399 to $480K.

Most of the original homes within this neighborhood closed within in the mid to high $500’s, so you don’t want to let this pricing pass you by.  Below is a list of the remaining homesites for your consideration.

HOMESITE 1– This Camellia floor plan includes a basement, as well as a keeping room, Jack & Jill secondary bath, a closed-in media room, and a FANTASTIC backyard!  With an elegantly upgraded interior and a craftsman fill, this home is one of the best values in the community.  For a limited time, buyers will still have the option to change the flooring, tile, or paint colors—$459,000.

Marseille-forsyth-georgia-camellia-master-bathroom-1024x682HOMESITE 29- Located within the second phase, this wooded homesite is still in the pre-planning stage but will be built with an Orchid layout that includes a basement, a keeping room, and a closed media room.  Additionally, since EA Homes values a customized experience, buyers will still be able to pick their colors for a limited time—$454,900.

HOMESITE 49- If you’re looking for a home that includes a useable backyard, as well as a beautiful front porch and basement, then this is the homesite for you.  This particular house was designed with the Camellia layout and also boasts a keeping room, a closed-in media room, a truly amazing master closet, and an abundance of beautiful upgrades—$469,900.

HOMESITE 50- If you want a home with curb appeal, this house comes equipped with a large front and side yard, as well as a basement.  While still in the pre-planning stages, this home also features a Burton floor plan, which is one of Marseille’s most desirable options, and for a limited time, is open for buyers who would like to select their upgrades—$474,900.

HOMESITE 59- Featuring a stunning stone covered entryway and custom hanging light fixture, this Orchid basement plan includes a keeping and media room, as well as an upgraded professional landscaping package which lends itself to a truly serene home—$449,900.

Marseille-forsyth-georgia-camellia-kitchen-dark-cabinets-1024x682HOMESITE 62- If you’re looking for a home with a master on the main floor, this is the last remaining home featuring this option in the division.  Featuring a Woodruff layout which includes a large basement, beautiful open floor plan, five bedrooms, and a closed-in media room, this gem of a house is located on a premium lot with an abundance of privacy and a rolling creek—$479,900.

HOMESITE 67- If you want a home which you can fully customize to meet your needs, this Camellia basement layout is still in the pre-planning stages and is available for buyers looking to select their own colors, upgrades, and other options—$474,900.

HOMESITE 100- As the last slab homesite within the community, this lot will feature an Orchid layout, which includes an amazing backyard, as well as a keeping room and close-in media space.  If you’re looking for value, then this is the home for you—$399,900.

If you want to learn more about any of these homes or would like to schedule a viewing, I’d love to assist you with the process.  When it comes to new subdivisions, while it’s always possible to work directly with the builder’s agents, it’s always a wise idea to work with an experienced Realtor who can make sure your interests and needs are being protected.

Please feel free to contact me for more information.

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

Traditions in Cumming, GA: Phase I Now Open

130909_ProjectSitePlan_FromHook_Updates-01 Ground was broken on this desirable neighborhood in 2013; however, Traditions in Forsyth County has announced their initial release. With pricing ranging from about $433-$537 thousand, this beautiful, tree-lined development is located within close proximity to some of the top-rated schools in the state, as well as a wide variety of shopping and dining options.

With 12 available homesites—four of which have basements—and four available homes, this first phase sits within close proximity to the community amenities, as well as Fowler Park and the Big Creek Greenway.

AMENITIES

siteplanFront Door Communities, which is an award-winning, full-service firm with extensive experience developing neighborhoods and building homes, has made it their goal to create an amazing community that truly honors the needs of its residents.  From over a dozen neighborhood parks with a competition pool and children’s splash area, to a lake with walking trails and four lighted tennis courts, the amenities at Traditions are second-to-none.

HOMES
The homes, which feature a blend of classic materials—brick, stone, shake, board and batten, and siding—come standard with architectural shingles and stone front porches, and boast professional landscaping and carriage-style garage doors.

130917_Traditions_Rendering-01Inside, gleaming hardwoods line the foyer, kitchen, breakfast and powder rooms (living room and dining room included in larger models), while granite countertops come standard in all homes.  Each kitchen boasts an oversized kitchen island, as well as Whirlpool stainless steel appliances, and each bath comes complete with cultured marble countertops, with a Barclay free-standing soaking tub in the master.

ENERGY EFFICIENCY & SAFETY

For their residents who are interested in making sure their homes are saving them money on heating and air costs, each home in the community has been built with an array of eco-sensitive and energy-efficient options such as LP TechShield radiant barrier roof sheathing, Low-E, double-pane vinyl windows, and ENERGY STAR appliances.  From there, homeowner safety is also of the utmost importance, leading to pre-wired security systems with two keypads and motion sensors on all doors and windows, as well as carbon monoxide detectors and decorative exterior door hardware with dead bolt lock.

CONCLUSION

If you’re interested in learning more about this luxurious community (www.traditionsatl.com), it’s important to remember that utilizing the services of an experienced buyer’s agent is a prudent move when purchasing a new construction.  The community will have their own agents; however, by having a Realtor working in your corner, you can rest assured that your best interests will be protected throughout the buying process.

If you have questions, I’d love to be of service to you.  For more information, please feel free to contact me at your earliest convenience.

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

So, What Exactly is the Fair Housing Act?

My-interracial-nuclear-familyWhen it comes to real estate and most forms of housing, the Fair Housing Act creates a blanket of sorts that envelops those looking to purchase or rent a residence.  In essence, while there are still stipulations, race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or disability cannot be a deciding factor in things such as refusing to rent or sell housing, set different terms or conditions, or deny a dwelling.

Dating back to the 1960’s, the large political movements pushing to outlaw discrimination also set their sights on a broad range of housing transactions—to include mortgage lending, advertising, zoning, and homeowner’s insurance.  Termed fair or open housing, President Lyndon B. Johnson urged congress to finally pass the federal Fair Housing Act, which sought to create a cohesive housing market in which a person’s look, culture, or background would not limit their access to property.

WHAT IS PROHIBITED?

In the sale and rental of housing, no one may take any of the following actions based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or disability:

  • Refuse to rent or sell housing
  • Refuse to negotiate for housing
  • Make housing unavailable
  • Deny a dwelling
  • Set different terms, conditions, or privileges for sale or rental of a dwelling
  • Provide different housing services or facilities
  • Falsely deny that housing is available for inspection, sale, or rental
  • For profit, persuade owners to sell or rent (blockbusting)
  • Deny anyone access to or membership in a facility or service (such as a multiple
  • listing service) related to the sale or rental of housing

In mortgage lending, no one may take any of the following actions on the basis of:

  • race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or disability
  • Refuse to make a mortgage loan;
  • Refuse to provide information regarding loans;
  • Impose different terms or conditions on a loan, such as different interest rates, points, or fees;
  • Discriminate in appraising property;
  • Refuse to purchase a loan; or
  • Set different terms or conditions for purchasing a loan

Individuals who feel that they have been discriminated against in the housing process can lodge a complaint with HUD’s Office of Fair Housing & Equal Opportunity (FHEO), where the issue in question will be forwarded to the state; however, it’s important to note that local agencies will be investigating the case instead of FHEO.

If you have any questions, I would love to be of service.  Please do not hesitate to contact me for assistance.

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

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