Tag Archives: Dinsmore Team

Home Price Increases Continue in Atlanta

Below is a great article from the Atlanta Business Chronicle that I thought I would share.    Please see the original article here.


Jan 7, 2014, 10:23am ESTMetro Atlanta home prices spiked 15.7 percent year-over-year in November, according to the latest date from CoreLogic.

Jacques Couret
Senior Online Editor and Social Engagement Manager- Atlanta Business Chronicle

Metro Atlanta home prices spiked 15.7 percent year-over-year in November, according to the latest date from CoreLogic.

The real estate data firm’s monthly home price index also showed house prices appreciated 13.3 percent in Georgia — fifth highest in the nation.

Nationally, November home prices rose 11.8 percent compared to November 2012 and were up 0.1 percent over October 2013.

“The housing market paused as expected in November for the holiday season with very low month-over-month appreciation,” said Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic, in a statement. “Our pending home price index projects that home prices will grow by 11.5 percent for the full year 2013. That will make 2013 the best year for home-price appreciation since 2005.”

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

New Construction Continues to Boom in Forsyth County

Don’t believe me?   Below are over 30 new construction opportunities in new construction 2Cumming alone.

Remember that when entering into any real estate transaction, even when purchasing a new home, you need a Buyer’s Agent.   The selling agent is obviously interested in getting you to pay top-dollar for their property; however, a buyer’s agent will help counteract this by taking note of other similar sales in the area and making sure you aren’t paying too much.  In essence, they are there to buffer you and negotiate on your behalf so that by the time you close, your house has not only been properly inspected, but has also been placed in perfect condition.

It’s important to have someone in your corner who will make sure that you are taken care of throughout the entire process.   The Dinsmore Team can help you find the right mortgage lender, closing attorney and help you find your perfect home.

Marie Dinsmore, Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist

The Dinsmore Real Estate Team  |  www.dinsmoreteam.com

Marie@DinsmoreTeam.com | 770-712-7789


  • Ansley at Pilgrim Mill: from the mid $150’s – pool; tennis, cabana
  • Bridgetowne:  from the mid $170’s – model home available; four lighted tennis courts; Jr. Olympic swimming pool with separate kiddie area with water fountains; clubhouse with  full kitchen; basketball court; fitness center; large well-equipped playground
  • Brookhaven at Lanier Ridge:  from the $280’s – model home available; pool; clubhouse; gated; convenient location; active adult
  • Brookside: from the $200’s – model home available; swimming pool; tot lot; low Forsyth county taxes; excellent Forsyth county schools
  • Brookstone:  from the mid $150’s – pool; tennis
  • Edgebrook:  from the mid $300’s – model home available; great location & schools
  • Enclave at Avington:  from the $300’s – Lambert High; complete lawn care
  • Fieldstone Preserve:  from the $400’s – model home available, estate lots; lifestyle community
  • Gates at Castleberry:  from the $260’s – model home available; Forsyth County schools; just 2 miles to GA400; beautiful wooded homesites with hilltop views
  • Greystone Trace: from $179 – basements; great schools; small quaint community
  • Heathstone: from the $160’s – pool and cabana; private gated community; excellent Forsyth county schools; low Forsyth county taxes; easy access to GA400; close proximity to fine dining; shops and entertainment; minutes to Lake Lanier and downtown Cumming
  • Highlands at Sawnee Mountain: from the $250’s – pool; tennis; playground; cabana
  • Hopewell Manor: from the $190’s – model home available, close to GA Premium outlet and Lake Lanier; great prices
  • Hunters Walk: from the $240’s – model home available; pool; tennis; sidewalks
  • James Creek: from the $190’s – model home available; pool; water slide; tennis; clubhouse; playground; great schools
  • Lake Forest: from the $340’s – final opportunities
  • Liberty: from the $290’s – model home available; convenient to GA400
  • Longview: from the mid $150’s – minutes to Lake Lanier
  • Manor at Kingswood: from the $200’s – ranch plans available
  • Marseille: from the mid $300’s – model home available; pool; convenient location; cabana; great schools
  • Provence: from the high $300’s – model home available; great location
  • Saddlebrook: from the low $200’s – model home available; best-selling community in Forsyth County; final opportunities available; great amenities.
  • Shiloh Woods: from the high 100’s – pool; tennis; single family & townhome community; south Forsyth high school district
  • St. Michaels Bay: from the high $300’s – model home available, lake living
  • The Springs at Burnt Bridge: from the $150’s – model home available; playground; great schools; ranch plans
  • Stonehaven Pointe: from the $190’s – model home available, pool, water slide, tennis, sidewalks, clubhouse, playground
  • Telfair: from the $200’s – model home available; great price per sq. ft; amazing amenities; great location
  • Trammel Estates: from the $400’s – convenient location, great schools
  • The Villas at Castleberry Township: from the $190’s – model home available; low maintenance; active adult living; well-appointed ranch villas; attached and detached homes with basements available
  • Villages at Settingdown Creek: from the $160’s – pool; tennis
  • Wellstone: from the mid $200’s – model home available; pool; clubhouse; convenient location; active adult; hardwood floors; granite; stainless steel appliances; maintenance free; ranch plans
  • Westbrook: from the $300’s – model home available; beautiful community with fabulous amenities in the popular South Forsyth area; only two opportunities remain
  • Windermere: from the high $300’s – model home available; amenities galore; final new homes


  • Castille: from the $300’s – estate sized lots; private gated community; excellent schools
  • Champions Run: from the $240’s – model home available, new phase
  • Herring Township:  from the $160’s – model home available; pool; tennis; convenient location
  • Lakepoint at John’s Creek:  from the mid $200’s – townhomes; great schools
  • The Reserve at Settles Bridge:  from the high $300’s – Lambert High School; brand new community
  • Riverbrooke:  from the $300’s – model home available; pool; tennis
  • Waterbrooke:  from the $190’s – model home available

Featured Neighborhood: Westbrook

This month, we wanted to highlight another great swim/tennis community in a well-sought after Forsyth County area.   The homes of Westbrook are a fusion of the old and new, craftsman and traditional/classic architecture and estate-sized homes, with all the upgrades you would expect in a custom home.  The builders in this community are known for their quality:  Hedgewood Homes, O’Dwyer Homes and Peachtree Residential.


Covered porches, sundecks, spacious master suites, open floor plans, and gourmet kitchens are the norm in these luxurious homes.  In addition to the homes’ quality, the neighborhood enjoys fabulous amenities:  a clubhouse, community pool, lighted tennis courts, and outdoor basketball courts.  This community also features over seven acres of green space, walking trails, a fishing pond, parks, a playground, and a historic covered bridge!  With the charming streetscapes and so much to do right in the neighborhood, you immediately feel a part of the community.

Looking for more to do?  This vibrant neighborhood is located close to Exit 13 off GA400, so you’re only minutes away from great restaurants and shopping at The Collection, North Point Mall, North Georgia Premium Outlet Mall and Lake Lanier, but close enough to work anywhere in North metro-Atlanta.  The community is also positioned so your children will attend great schools:  Vickery Creek Elementary and Middle Schools, and West Forsyth High School.

If you would like more information regarding Westbrook or other extraordinary communities along the GA400 corridor, please contact me.

Marie Dinsmore, Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist

The Dinsmore Real Estate Team  |  www.dinsmoreteam.com

Marie@DinsmoreTeam.com | 770-712-7789

Utility Savings For Seniors and Low-Income Earners

cold winterDo you know any seniors or low-income family that might need some additional help this winter paying their bills?   You might be able to help them by letting them know about the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).  LIHEAP helps keep families safe and healthy through initiatives that assist families with energy costs.

There are both Federal and State assistance programs.  Here are a few, but there are more listed at the site,  or you can call them directly (800-869- 1150).   http://dfcs.dhs.georgia.gov/energy-assistance)

  • SCANA:  The regulated natural gas provider program, provided by SCANA Energy and partially funded by the state’s universal service fund, provides natural gas service to low income households and to consumers who are unable to obtain or maintain natural gas service from another marketer.  Households meeting the low-income requirements established by the Georgia Department of Human Resources qualify for a reduced security deposit, special rates and a lower customer service fee. To sign up, customers need to contact the community action agency serving their county.  Those not meeting low-income requirements may still qualify for service with the Regulated Provider. Call 1-866-245-7742 for complete details.  www.scanaenergyregulated.com/en/rates/
  • Atlanta Gas Light: Senior citizens who are 65 years of age or older and have a total annual combined household income of $14,355 or less are eligible for up to a $14 monthly discount on their Atlanta Gas Light Company base charge. Natural gas service must also be in the customer’s name to be eligible. For questions, call Metro Atlanta at 770-994-1946 or outside Metro Atlanta at 1-800-427-5463.  www.aglc.com/Home/EnergyAssistance.aspx
  • Gas South: Gas South offers its customers, aged 65 and older, various senior rates which provide a discount on natural gas consumption charges. Senior customers may also be eligible for discounted customer services charges and up to a $14.00 monthly discount on Atlanta Gas Light base charges.
    1-877-332-5442  www.gas-south.com/residential/rate-plans.aspx
  • Georgia Natural Gas: Customers who are 65 years of age or older with an annual combined gross income per household of $14,355 or less are eligible for a $14.00 monthly discount on their base charge.  770-850-6200 or 1-877-850-6200     www.georgianaturalgas.com/residential/seniors.html
  • Georgia Power: The monthly base charge ($10.50 for gas and $14.00 for electric) is waived for customers who are at least 65 years old and the total household income is not more than $22,340 annually.  Call 1-888-660-5890 (option #8)
  • The Heating Energy Assistance Team (HEAT): The HEAT program is administered by the Georgia Department of Human Resources statewide through Community Action Agencies. Private citizens and the natural gas industry provide funding.  Call 678-406-0212   www.heatga.org/
  • Project SHARE: A statewide program funded by electric utility customers who donate through their monthly electric bills. The program is administered by The Salvation Army.    Call 404-873-3101 (metro Atlanta) or 1-800-257-4273.  Find your local Salvation Army

Wishing you and your family a safe holiday season!

Marie Dinsmore, Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist

The Dinsmore Real Estate Team  |  www.dinsmoreteam.com

Marie@DinsmoreTeam.com | 770-712-7789