Tag Archives: Cumming Homes

Real Estate and The Super Bowl

Did you know that the top 10 NFL teams that have gone to the Super Bowl five or more times come from cities with high median home prices?

Did you also know that the day after the Super Bowl is known as a great time to list your home?  Home inventory is still low in the North Metro Atlanta area (Suwanee, Cumming, Milton, Johns Creek, Roswell, Alpharetta and Lake Lanier), and getting a jump on the spring season could ensure that your listing gets more attention.

Super Bowl Appearances vs. Real Estate Prices

Marie Dinsmore, Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist

The Dinsmore Real Estate Team  |  www.dinsmoreteam.com

Marie@DinsmoreTeam.com | 770-712-7789

Hiring Help for Home Improvement Projects

home repairWhether you are in over your head or juggling too many tasks, hiring help can be a great idea. Projects can benefit from specialized expertise, more work can be accomplished at one time, and as a homeowner you can step back from the tasks at hand to get a wider perspective. The time and energy you save may more than offset the expense.

However, trouble ensues when the wrong help is hired. Establishing what you want to accomplish is essential, so size things up thoroughly. When looking at a specific project or problem, you might benefit from having a few people look at it and offer ideas of how they might approach a solution. Sometimes the first ideas are not the best, and as you look at issues, new priorities emerge. Are you looking for an interim fix that will carry you through until you can “do it right”? What is the scale of the project and is the cost/benefit in line with your budget and goals? Asking the right questions will help you gain insight into the true nature of what you are doing.

For example, let’s say that you have three projects at hand:

  1. You need cosmetic fixes to your guest bathroom.
  2. The deck that is central to your summer enjoyment is rotting and requiring a lot of time and attention so that it can be used safely.
  3. Your septic system is failing.

How do you begin to find help for these projects? You might begin by understanding the level of help that you need. Do you want to supervise or do only a portion of the work? Do you need a handyman or general laborer? What are the benefits of getting someone more skilled with the type of help you require? What is the scope of the project? Will there be permitting/inspections involved with the project? Who is going to manage the project?

A failing septic system becomes a health risk, and often requires sign-off by a licensed professional. Deck projects can fall into a grey area, but when incorrectly built could pose a major safety issue. When in doubt, inquire with your local building authority so that you are certain that you are following the correct course of action, and getting the permits and inspections that are required by law.

Get referrals: Rather than trust your job to luck, find out if friends or family have used a person or service that they would recommend. Many online resources exist to help see the consumer ratings for businesses, but this information could be less than reliable, so check it thoroughly. Look for workers or service providers that are licensed, bonded and insured as protection for both parties should an accident occur on site, or problems with the project later incur liability. Licensure ensures a level of knowledge in an area, and insurance and bonding ensures that there are financial resources available should you need to bring a lawsuit against the service provider that requires a monetary settlement or costly repairs. Yes, you might be paying more for a professional with these credentials, but in the long run, it is worth it when working on any project where money or safety is at stake.

Check those references! Yes, actually talk to people who have previously received services. Find out the details: Was the project finished in a timely manner, within budget, with quality work and materials? How was the communication? Were there surprises, and how were they handled? Was the area cleaned up to satisfaction? In the event that there was a problem after the work was complete, how was that handled? Check with the state department of licensing to see if there have been violations or lawsuits against an individual or company, and the Better Business Bureau can help determine if there have been complaints filed against the business. Look at samples of their work — and talk to those whose projects have been shown. If you find someone great, let them know you might have more work — and find out who they might recommend if they were not available!

Face Value: Meet with the handyman or service provider and get a feel for how things might go if you hired them. If it seems difficult to discuss the project or work prior to beginning, imagine how things might go if the work gets challenging. Even if others recommend this person or service, you are the one who will be dealing with them now, so size them up for yourself.

The Devil is in the Details: Get written estimates and contracts. Understand how payment is expected. Some short jobs are accomplished with no payment up front, other jobs require that materials are paid for as delivered, and some providers require some payment prior to the beginning of work. Arrangements that allow for payment once the job is completed, ensure that the customer has some feeling of control over the job being completed to their satisfaction. Be certain that estimates and guarantees are in writing so that there is clear communication about expectations.

Marie Dinsmore, Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist

The Dinsmore Real Estate Team  |  www.dinsmoreteam.com

Marie@DinsmoreTeam.com | 770-712-7789

Homeowners, Don’t Forget to File for Your 2014 Homestead Exemption!

homesteadHomestead exemptions reduce property taxes for most homeowners by sheltering a certain amount of a home’s value from taxes.  You are entitled to a homestead exemption if you owned your home as of January 1st in a taxable year, you actually occupy the home, and it is your legal residence.  Homestead exemptions usually apply as long as the homeowner lives in the residence.

The deadline to file is April 1st for most Georgia Counties, but make sure to check with your local County Tax Commissioner’s office to file and save.

Here are links to several counties’ websites for more information on filing your Homestead Exemption:

Cherokee County:  678-493-6120

Clayton County:      770-477-3311

Cobb County:         770-528-8600

DeKalb County:      404-298-4000

Douglas County:    770-920-7272

Fayette County:     770-461-3652

Forsyth County:     770-781-2106

Fulton County:       404-612-6440

Gwinnett County:   770-822-8800

Henry County:        770-288-8180

Paulding County:   770-443-7606

Don’t forget to file and save!

Marie Dinsmore, Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist

The Dinsmore Real Estate Team  |  www.dinsmoreteam.com

Marie@DinsmoreTeam.com | 770-712-7789

2014 Housing Market Forecast

Housing UpThere was a great article in the Washington Business Journal on the 2014 Housing Market that I thought I would share, quoting two notable Economists.

According to Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors, good things will continue to happen in the housing market in 2014.   Due to suppressed activity during the past four years, rising demand, and a steady decline in inventory, Mr. Yun expects home prices to increase in 2014 as well as 2015, nationally.   He predicts that the nation median existing home prices should increase by 6% in 2014.

“Real estate will be a hedge against inflation, with values rising 15 percent cumulatively over the next three years, also meaning there will be fewer upside-down home owners,” Yun said. “Today is a perfect opportunity for moderate-income renters to become successful home owners, but stringent mortgage credit conditions are holding them back.”

Mark Vitner, Managing Director and Senior Economist at Wells Fargo, predicts that distressed homes (short-sales and foreclosures) will still be around, but will be declining.  “Distressed homes right now are like an after-Christmas sale – most of the best stuff has been picked over, but make no mistake they’ll be with us for a while.”

Yun projects the market share of distressed sales will decline from about 25% in 2012 to 8% in 2014.

Marie Dinsmore, Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist

The Dinsmore Real Estate Team  |  www.dinsmoreteam.com

Marie@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