Tag Archives: Forsyth County Homes

Featured Neighborhood: Gables at Stoney Point in Cumming, GA

176202979404479_gablesmodela_copyLocated just above the affluent Johns Creek corporate corridor, The Gables at Stoney Point sits within driving distance of some of Forsyth County’s finest schools, medical facilities, and shopping ventures.  With convenient access to GA 400—and subsequently the bustling city of Atlanta—this established, private community of only 77 homes is surrounded by acres of forested space and quality craftsmanship.

Starting in the mid-high $500’s, this beautiful gated community comes complete with a private club that includes a two-story clubhouse and pool, as well as perfectly manicured cul-de-sac streets and professionally landscaped yards.

Outside, each home includes a wood deck or patio and premium wood entry doors, along with 30-year architectural shingles and a variety of high-end exterior materials—to include 3-sides brick, real stone, and shake & siding veneers.

Inside, each home has been designed with an open floor plan and comes standard with stunning hardwood floors, two 42-inch fireplaces, granite kitchen countertops, stainless steel Whirlpool appliances, and spacious walk-in closets.

SCHOOLS:  (Award-winning Forsyth County Schools)

S1907694181427359GablesSitePlan2outh Forsyth High School

Piney Grove Middle School

Shiloh Point Elementary

 

SHOPPING:

 

North Point Mall

Avalon

The Collection at Forsyth

North Georgia Premium Outlet Mall

Mall of Georgia

 

If you’re interested in learning more about this community or seeing what homes are still available, feel free to visit their website at www.SRHomes.com/Gables-At-Stoney-Point or contact me to set up a viewing.

 

Marie Dinsmore | The Dinsmore Team | www.DinsmoreTeam.com | 678-455-3048

The Myths and Realities of Home Appraisals

78377971Whether you’re planning on buying or selling a home, chances are good that you’ll come into contact with an appraiser at some point; however, while most of us have a basic understanding of what a home appraisal is, there are a lot of myths that surround the process that are worth understanding before making the decision to buy or sell.

MYTH: The appraised value of a property will vary depending upon whether the appraisal has been completed for the buyer or seller.

REALITY: Since the appraiser has no vested interest in the outcome of the appraisal, they should conduct their assessment with a sense of objectivity and no special regard for the party who initiated the process.

MYTH: A home’s market value should be in line with its replacement cost.

REALITY: While market value seems like it should be related to replacement cost, it’s important to understand the distinction between the two ideas since they are actually quite different.  For example, even though your home’s replacement cost may be set at $450,000, its market value may sit closer to $400,000.  In short, market value represents the amount of money a buyer would likely pay when not under pressure to buy or sell, while replacement cost represents the actual dollar amount required to reconstruct the property in-kind.

MYTH: Appraisers use a formula, which details the specific price per square foot, to settle upon the value of a home.

REALITY: When an appraisal is completed, all factors pertaining to the home’s value are taking into account, including its location, condition, size, proximity to local facilities, and recent sale prices of comparable properties.

MYTH: When the sale prices of homes in any given area are reported to be rising by a particular percentage, local homeowners can expect their individual properties to appreciate by the same percentage.

REALITY: While area can make a difference, value appreciation of specific properties is still determined on an individual basis, which takes into account factors such as data on comparable properties and other relevant considerations.

MYTH: When applying for purchase or refinancing loans, consumers pay for their appraisal, which means they “own” it upon completion.

REALITY: While a small portion of your loan may go towards paying for the appraisal, it is, in fact, legally owned by the lender.  Still, under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, consumers who submit a written request must be furnished with a copy of their appraisal report.

MYTH: An appraisal is the same as a home inspection.

REALITY: Yes, at first glance the two job descriptions may seem similar; however, their final functions remain quite different.  The purpose of an appraiser is to form an opinion of the value of a home—and to process the resulting report—while a home inspector determines the condition of the home and its major components before stating their findings.

In the end, if you’re looking to add value to your home for an expected appraisal or you would like to know more about the process, it’s important to speak with an experienced Realtor who can help you not only make the right decisions, but feel comfortable about the appraisal proceedings.

If you would like to know more, please feel free to contact me.  I’m always here.

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

Six Pricing Mistakes Sellers Should Avoid

house-for-sale1When attempting to sell your home, the goal is to garner as much money for your investment as possible; however, the catch-22 is that one of the key factors to actually encouraging interest on your property is to offer a fair price.  Therefore, if you are serious about finding the right buyer, establishing a solid pricing strategy is an absolute must.

With this in mind, it’s important to start by being aware of the six common pricing mistakes that all sellers should attempt to avoid.

1.) OVERPRICING FROM THE START: Sure, you obviously love your home and feel that it’s the best property on the block; however, while it may seem natural to start with a listing price that is relative to the value you see, making the mistake of overpricing your home at the outset could deter potential buyers—especially if recent sales and other neighborhood factors fail to justify your starting point.  In addition, since multiple price reductions tend to keep properties on the market for longer periods of time, you may be setting yourself up for avoidable frustration.

2.) LEAVING OUT POTENTIAL BUYERS IN ONLINE SEARCHES: When perusing through online listings, the first parameter that most buyers use to narrow their options is price.  For example, if a buyer’s target price range is $250,000 to $300,000, your home will never get seen if it’s listed at $305,000.  While that last $5000 may be important to you, it’s probably wise to settle upon $300,000 so changes are better that you’ll capture buyers in the ranges above and below your price.

Ultimately, what you decide upon is up to you and your agent, but if you’re already teetering on your price anyway, having a bit of flexibility might be worth considering.

3.) NOT TAKING RECENTLY SOLD PROPERTIES INTO ACCOUNT: While it may seem logical to base your starting price off of what other homes are listed for in your area, it’s important to understand that in order to generate buyer interest, you should consider final sale prices instead.  Having a solid understanding of the recent sales in your neighborhood will not only help you to see the bigger picture, but bring you some peace of mind as well.

4.) GETTING TOO CREATIVE WITH YOUR ASKING PRICE: When shopping retail, there’s a reason prices tend to include round, easy numbers—i.e. $15.99, $220.00, $6.50—instead of complex combinations like $15.26 or $219.82.  In order to generate interest, you’ll want to make things easy for potential buyers by selecting a price that’s memorable and inviting.  Listing your home for $512,477 instead of $512,000 may not only give potential buyers pause, but divert unnecessary attention from your property to you, the seller.

5.) NOT BEING OPEN TO NEGOTIATION: Plain and simple, negotiation is a two-way street, which means finding a bit of common ground is important.  The quickest way to kill a sale is to refuse to budge in regards to your asking price or the other conditions involved in the final agreement.  Instead of digging your heels in from the very beginning, ask yourself whether you’d rather wait a long time to get your full asking price, or whether you’d like to close as soon as possible.  By thinking in those terms, you’re more likely to see the benefit in making a few concessions.

6.) IGNORING YOUR AGENT’S INSIGHTS: The first step in selling your home for an acceptable price is to not only select an experienced agent, but to listen to their advice.  Helping you sell your home is about more than simply placing it online or putting signs in the yard—it’s about looking at your individual situation from all angles, to include your home’s features, the local market, recent sales, and more.  Therefore, if you want to make an informed decision, make a point to listen to the information being provided.

If you would like to know more or if you want to begin the selling process, please feel free to contact me.  I’d love to hear from you.

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

So, You’ve Bought an Imperfect House – Learn How to Deal With It

After months—and possibly even years—of planning, searching, and organizing, you’ve finally done it—you’ve signed the paperwork and left with the keys to your new home; however, unless your purchase is totally move-in ready, you’re just getting started.

renovation-businessIf you’ve decided to close on a house that could use a little bit of TLC, it’s important to understand the amount of money and effort it will take to make your home something you are truly happy with.  At the very least, a little paint will help spruce things up; however, in all reality, if there’s updating to be done, it may take more than a new color scheme.

Still, if this is your first house, it’s important to go into the process with realistic expectations about what kinds of time and money will be involved, as well as what you can reasonably expect for a final result.

To help you along the way, here are a few tips to make the process easier:

1.)  CAPITALIZE ON AN EMPTY HOUSE: While it may not be possible to delay your move-in date, if it’s even in the realm of possibilities, it presents a great opportunity to begin the transformation process without having to worry about getting your things covered with renovation dust.

2.) DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR HELP: In our individualistic culture, many of us feel that we have to deal with things on our own, but what’s the point of having friends and family if you can’t exercise a bit of reciprocity when you need a few extra hands?  When it’s time to paint, turn it into a fun party with food and drinks, and chances are good that no one will mind the work.

3.) RELY ON EXPERTISE: There are times when pride can be a good thing; however, if you’re not totally sure what you’re doing, it’s important to swallow it when you need to admit that you cannot get the job done without the advice of your local hardware pro.  Don’t be shy about asking questions—that’s what they’re there for!

4.) HAVE PATIENCE: Yes, renovating your home—especially when you’re attempting to do it on your own—takes work, but if you attempt to rush or try to go beyond your comfort level, you’re likely to make mistakes.  Don’t risk making bad decisions when a little patience would have saved you a botched design.

5.) ORGANIZATION, ORGANIZATION: When you’re attempting to leave your old home, move into your new one, and manage renovations, staying organized is clearly easier said than done, but it doesn’t mean it’s not extremely important.  To get started, make a point of keeping all of your receipts in one place, registering new appliances and electronics, and filing for rebates within the first five days of making a purchase.  It might be tempting to postpone these tasks in the chaos of getting settled, but all that will do is lose you money in the long run.

If you’re considering a move, I’d love to help you get things going.

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