Tag Archives: Milton Homes

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.

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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.

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

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

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.

westbrook3

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

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