Tag Archives: Buying

Featured Neighborhood: Fieldstone Preserve by Lennar Homes

Magnolia-C-elevLocated in Cumming, just minutes from GA 400 and GA 20, Fieldstone Preserve is positioned within a scenic wooded setting that is perfect for families who desire a fun-filled lifestyle.  With expansive homes starting in the low $400s, this upscale community offers both resort-style amenities—to include a clubhouse and fitness center, as well as five swimming pools, 12 tennis courts, a beach volleyball court, basketball court, walking trails, and a private lake—as well as gracious executive homes ranging from 2,886 to 4,353 square feet.

Built by Lennar, one of the nation’s largest homebuilders, this beautiful community boasts homes that are bedecked with classic exterior features such as traditional brick and three-car garages, as well as poured, reinforced concrete foundations, rear patios or decks, and professionally landscaped yards.

Inside, all homes come standard with crown molding, gourmet kitchens with stainless steel appliances and granite countertops, recessed lighting, spacious walk-in closets, and energy efficient construction.  In addition, buyers will be pleased to discover elegant two-story foyers, hardwood flooring, brushed nickel fixtures, and cultured marble vanities in all full secondary baths.

For families with school-aged children, Fieldstone Preserve is located within Forsyth County, which features some of the best schools in Georgia.  The closest schools include the award-winning West Forsyth High School, as well as Vickery Middle School, and Kelly Mill Elementary.

While perfect for buyers looking to live away from the bustle of Atlanta and everyday life, Fieldstone Preserve is still conveniently located within a few miles of a host of restaurants, shops, and recreational activities, to include The Collection at Forsyth, Northpoint Mall, Vickery Village, and gorgeous Lake Sydney Lanier.

If you’d like to know more or are interested in scheduling a viewing, please do not hesitate to contact me.  I’d love to show you the neighborhood and hopefully help you discover the home of your 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

Appraisers vs. Online Automated Valuation: Know the Difference

AVM-copyBig news came down the wire last week when it was announced that Zillow had acquired Trulia for $3.5 billion in stock options.  While a lot of people may not see how this merger will directly impact their life, for home buyers or sellers, it’s always a good idea to understand the difference between “zestimates”—home value estimates taken from Zillow—or Automated Valuation Models (AVM) and real people.

When it comes to AVM’s, they tend to work best on “cookie cutter” homes where most of the properties look relatively similar to one another.  Therefore, it should come as no surprise that very few lenders rely solely on AVM’s for loan decisions since they can’t always accurately value unique properties such as those sitting on Lake Lanier, various upscale golf courses, and homes with a great deal of acreage.

Therefore, the following is a list of things that an automated or non-appraiser valuation (such as the kind you would find on Zillow) won’t tell you.  Before you consider purchasing a home based on these types of online valuations, it’s important to understand the difference.

1.)    IS THE PHYSICAL HOUSE STILL STANDING WITH ACCURATE SQUARE FOOTAGE?  Sites like Zillow obtain their information from courthouse and property data regarding location and square footage, which means it’s not based on an actual appraiser’s home measurement.  If you’re considering a house, you’ll obviously want to know for sure that it has things like four walls and a roof; therefore, it’s not always smart to assume that a computer is the best source for up-to-date data.

2.)    ARE THERE UNIQUE FEATURES WHICH MIGHT ADD OR DETRACT FROM THE PROPERTY VALUE?  Sure, the computer might value a property at $300,000; however, that number might be subject to extenuating circumstances such as the train tracks just down the road or the desirable parks right outside the neighborhood.

3.)    WHAT VARIABLES IMPACT COMPARABLE SALES?  While a computer might compare your property to similar, recently sold property a ¼ mile away, it doesn’t mean all of the other variables are in line.  The properties might be in a different school district, sit on different roads, be flood-prone, or have been sold under duress.

4.)    ARE THERE MARKET FLUCTUATIONS?  Since automated online systems utilize data from recent, nearby sales, they may not account for neighborhoods that are beginning to experience upturns or downturns.

5.)    IS YOUR APPRAISER QUALIFIED?  When you work with an appraiser, you’re generally aware of the person’s qualifications and whether they will complete your project with professionalism, solid ethics, and judgment; however, when it comes to free online services, you have no idea who is behind the values and either way, they will never compare to the work of a physical, on-site appraiser.

Marie Dinsmore, Certified Luxury Home Specialist | The Dinsmore Team | www.dinsmoreteam.com | 770-712-7789

Home Buyers: Avoid Counterfeit HVAC Refrigerants

297354Sadly enough, for every high-priced or in-demand product, there is often a market of counterfeit options that leave unsuspecting customers feeling angry and cheated.  While fake purses and watches tend to be a common—and even accepted—part of our society, additional counterfeit products are showing up on the market that fail to be harmless knock-offs.

Over the last few years, we’ve seen the cost of R-22 Freon skyrocket, which has left in its wake a trail of counterfeit and alternative refrigerants capable of damaging your HVAC system.  Therefore, if you find yourself in a position where you’re in need of refrigerant replacement, it’s important to understand the difference.

GENUINE REFRIGERANTS: These have not only been laboratory tested, but they are also approved by the EPA and HVAC manufacturers for use in their equipment.

ALTERNATIVE REFRIGERANTS: While these are approved by the EPA, they are not approved by the manufacturers for use in their equipment.  Although using these refrigerants is completely legal, it can void your manufacturer’s warranty.

COUNTERFEIT REFRIGERANTS: These are 100% illegal to use or sell, which obviously means they have not been approved by either the EPA or equipment manufacturers.  Generally comprised of some form of genuine refrigerant and a concoction of additives, these “cocktails” can be toxic and/or explosive, and generally require specialized hazmat methods for cleanup.

With this in mind, it’s important for home buyers to consider having all HVAC systems checked by a trusted HVAC specialist instead of a standard home inspector.  While general inspections are obviously necessary before purchasing a home, HVAC experts can spot alternative or counterfeit refrigerants, in addition to other potential issues which may require correction before closing.

If you need assistance and would like the referral of a great company, please contact me for more information.

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