North Fulton, East Cobb – News to Use

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“Light the Night” at the Chattahoochee Nature Center



Join us Saturday, May 10 to help “Light the Night” at the
Chattahoochee Nature Center


“Light the Night” is the theme of this year’s Rockin’ at the River Gala for the Chattahoochee Nature Center on Saturday, May 10th. Enjoy Nature, Music, Food and Drink as you Dance under the stars and join movers and shakers across Metro Atlanta in celebrating the Chattahoochee Nature Center while supporting their mission. This gorgeous 127 acre river front setting sets the stage for the Patron and VIP Reception with music by Chris Otts at 6:30 pm in the plaza, complete with passed hors d’oeuvres and cocktails. The gala begins at 7:30 pm when guests arrive at Kingfisher Hall when Don McBroom will entertain guests during the gourmet buffet. An extensive Silent and short Live Auction will include a variety of unique experiences and items contributed by local companies. As the moon rises, guests will meander to the Ben Brady Lakeside Pavilion for dessert and dancing to music by the Stephen Lee Band. Individual Patron Tickets are $250 and general tickets are $125 per person, with sponsorships available also.

Please contact DeAnn Fordham, Development Director, at 770-992-2055, extension 226 for tickets and information, or visit us online at



NEW LISTING!! | Beautiful brick Chatham home on large private lot, with In-Law Suite

285 Saddle Horn FLYER

285 Saddle Horn FLYER 2

5 Tips for Navigating the Next Generation of Real Estate

Family-leaving-house-300x199Times have changed since the real estate boom of the 1980s. New technology, the flow of information, the global economy and a shift in societal structures have altered the real estate game forever. This isn’t our parents’ real estate market. And some of the strategies that were put to use in the ‘80s, if implemented today, would cause financial harm or result in missed opportunities — or both.

Here are five tips to consider as you explore buying or selling in this next generation of real estate.

1. We have evolved: Owning might not be for everyone

The typical home buyers of last generation got married in their early 20s, moved to a single-family home in the suburbs, got a 30-year fixed mortgage and planned to pay it off. Buying a home happened once, maybe twice in a lifetime.

It’s no longer standard practice to live in your hometown after high school or college. In fact, it’s more common for today’s professional to take a job in Denver, Dallas or even Dubai. Additionally, that stable long-term job, with access to a pension after retirement, has all but evaporated. Buyers change jobs more often than ever. The flexibility granted by renting has provided a different picture of today’s American Dream for many.

2. Technology speeds things up: But don’t rush a real estate purchase

Not unlike most industries, technology and the Internet have sped up the processes of looking for, transacting or selling a home. A great new listing could hit a buyer via a text from their agent, an email alert from the local MLS, a notification from Zillow on a mobile device and maybe even an old-fashioned phone call from the buyer’s agent. The actual real estate transaction process has been sped up as well. Clients can sign contracts or review property inspection reports and disclosures on a mobile device during their beach vacation. Even so, no matter how quickly we move or how much technology can make our world efficient today, buying or selling a home should never be rushed.

3. The real estate agent’s role has shifted: But a good agent still matters

Before the Internet and online listings, some people believed the real estate agent’s only value was to provide access to the listings. It’s always been a highly emotional and financial decision, and a good local agent likely did more than just open doors in the 1980s. Today, an additional part of the agent’s role is to make sense of the information. Data alone is meaningless without color. A good local agent, living and breathing their market, will add more value than ever. Finally, in many parts of the country, where attorneys are not involved in real estate transactions, the agent is the center of the transaction. Don’t settle. If you are not impressed with your agent, find another. The right agent can make all the difference.

4. It’s a seller-beware culture today: Do your homework

Search is in the DNA of millennial or Gen Y buyers today. They simply won’t take anyone’s word for anything. They will search, research and double-check everything. A smart seller today needs to be armed and get one step ahead of the buyer. Today’s buyers have much more at their disposal, and so it’s the seller who needs to beware. Not knowing what the buyers are seeing or staying one step ahead of them can affect your bottom line when going on the market today. Leverage today’s resources and technology and think like a buyer before going on the market. Once you go live, there’s no turning back. If you aren’t completely ready to sell, don’t list.

5. Know all of the loan options available today: Choose carefully

Access to dozens of loan products didn’t exist just 15 years ago. Banks have developed new products to evolve with the times. The acceptance and use of some of those products, for some people, led to a steady stream of foreclosures years later. When I bought my first home in 2004, my father suggested I get a 30-year fixed mortgage. I thought he was crazy. I didn’t know what I’d be up to in five years, much less 30. A buyer today needs to spend some time researching loan options and consider them in the context of their personal situation. Work closely with a good local mortgage professional to help decide which type of loan makes sense for you – now and in the future.

It’s emotional — and that’s not likely to change

No matter the decade, the changes in consumer behaviors, or the type of home, real estate transactions will always be more personal than any other. Add to this the changes in technology and the access to information, and it’s easy to lose sight of what’s important. Unlike buying a new flat-screen TV or selling a used car online, buying or selling a home will always be an emotional purchase. A home is where people have made some of their most important memories, a place that has been constant through the ups and downs of life. While the world may be speeding up on what seems like a daily basis, it’s always a good idea to take it slow when buying or selling a home.

Author:Brendon DeSimone | Zillow


North Fulton Festivals This Weekend!

North Fulton’s spring outdoor festival season will be in high gear this weekend. Here’s our guide to this weekend’s best bets in North Fulton:


Sandy Springs beer festival


Kick back and sip on a unique selection of 100+ craft, and specialty beers at the 4th annual Heritage Sandy Springs Beer Fest! A true beer lover’s fest!

Saturday, April 26, 2014


$30 in Advance | $40 at the Door

Alpharetta art festival


Presenting the work of artists from throughout the U.S., the Alpharetta Arts Streetfest is a yearly celebration of the arts in the Alpharetta Historic

Sat & Sun, April 26 & 27, 2014 10am – 6pm 2 South Main Street, Alpharetta, Georgia 30009

We will close downtown streets and fill them with original high-quality art.  This colorful festival features live jazz and acoustical music, cultural arts performances, children’s activities and festival cuisine.

Taste of Marietta


Sunday, Apr 27 10:00a

Glover Park, Marietta  Square

21st Annual Taste of Marietta has over 80 restaurants that are located in Cobb County, GA. They sell samplings of their recipes for cash-no tickets required. Onsite jumpies, games, activities, sports celebrities, national sports teams and company sponsors’ booths. No arts and crafts or antiques or art displays allowed. 100,000 attendees expected.

Why Being Pre-Approved for a Loan Matters

Approved-098f7b-300x205So much has changed in the past few decades that the old ways of buying or selling a home simply won’t work today. For decades, buying a home was pretty much the same thing: You shopped around, made an offer and then went to the bank to get a loan. If you were denied or there were problems, you walked away.

Today, a buyer needs to speak to the bank and get approved prior to shopping and definitely before making an offer on a home. Not being pre-approved today won’t get you past the front door. Here’s why:

Markets move faster today

With online listings and so many real estate resources available to buyers and sellers, it’s easy to quickly get a property in front of the masses. Buyers aren’t waiting on a call or fax from their real estate agent like they did in the 1980s. Instead, motivated buyers get push notifications from Zillow or texts from their agents and see homes as soon as possible. It’s more efficient.

Transactions happen at the same speed. If you’re not approved for a mortgage when you make an offer, the seller risks waiting weeks to see if your loan will go through. That’s not good for them. Show that you’re pre-approved, and you’ve eliminated one huge hurdle for the seller.

Know what you can afford

People today are focused on their monthly payments more than the total purchase price. Why? Because, unlike the typical buyer a generation ago, many of today’s buyers don’t plan on staying in their homes for 30 years. Instead, they can commit to 7 to 10 years and are open to alternate mortgage options that could save them money on their monthly payments.

It’s helpful to know exactly what a $425,000 mortgage will cost vs. a $500,000 mortgage on a monthly basis. Also, in some parts of the country, there are options for FHA loans with as little as 3 percent down. Knowing all your options before you start shopping allows you to shop and buy smarter. There’s no sense looking at homes in the $400,000 range if you can afford more, and vice versa.

Competing with pre-approved buyers

Few buyers today get into the real estate market without forging a relationship with a local mortgage professional. It’s simply smarter to have your ducks in a row. In a competitive market, you may face multiple offers on one property. If you don’t have a pre-approval letter to go with your offer, you have zero chance of getting your offer accepted. Not being pre-approved means you aren’t a serious buyer in the eyes of the seller.

Getting pre-approved means organizing all your documents, documenting your income, debt and credit, and understanding all the loan options available to you. There should never be a cost to be pre-approved for a loan. And you aren’t committed to a mortgage when going through the pre-approval. Got a signed contract from a seller? Then you’re ready to lock in a rate and choose the mortgage that’s best for you.

Brendon DeSimone | Zillow


Free Entrance Days in the National Parks!

America’s Best Idea – the national parks – is even better when it’s free!ARCH_c-JacobWFrank_454px_3

Mark your calendar for these entrance fee-free* dates in 2014:

  • January 20
    Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • February 15-17
    Presidents Day weekend
  • April 19-20
    Opening weekend of National Park Week
  • August 25
    National Park Service Birthday
  • September 27
    National Public Lands Day
  • November 11
    Veterans Day

Only 133 of our country’s 401 national parks usually charge an entrance fee. So start Planning Your Visit!
If you’re planning a trip that includes multiple national parks, you might consider the $80 annual pass that provides entrance to all national parks, national wildlife refuges, national forests, and many other Federal lands-more than 2,000 in all. The America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass is offered free to all active duty military members and their dependents. Information on these and other pass options is available online.

*Fee waiver includes: entrance fees, commercial tour fees, and transportation entrance fees. Other fees such as reservation, camping, tours, concession and fees collected by third parties are not included unless stated otherwise.

Home Prices Will Continue to Rise, Report Says

home_prices_increase-300x195Most homeowners across the nation have been enjoying an upswing in their home values, and home-sale prices are expected to continue rising for at least the next several months, according to CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index Report.

The report, which analyzed data through February, showed home prices—including distressed sales—were an average of 12.2% higher compared to the same time last year. Home prices showed the highest annual appreciation gains in these five states:

  • California – 19.8%
  • Nevada – 18.5%
  • Georgia – 14.2%
  • Oregon – 13.8%
  • Michigan – 13.5%

The report predicted home prices, when including distressed properties, would see a rise of 10.5% from March 2013 to March 2014. When excluding distressed properties, prices are expected to rise 9.3%.

CoreLogic expects home prices will continue to rise over the next several months, leveling off by year’s end.

Home prices have increased year-over-year for 24 consecutive months, although through February they were still 16.9% below the peak levels reached in April 2006, according to CoreLogic.®’s National Housing Trend Report for February 2014 showed home sellers’ growing confidence in the market as the number of homes for sale increased.

“The number of properties for sale in February rose 10.1% above February 2013 levels, to 1,744,032 units,” the® report said. “The median list price at $199,000 increased 7.6% compared to the same month last year, and the median age of inventory increased 6.5% above year-ago figures, to 114 days.”

The top five areas showing the highest number of active listings in the® report were:

  • Chicago
  • Dallas
  • Detroit
  • Los Angeles-Long Beach
  • Atlanta

“Although prices should remain strong in the near term due to a short supply of homes on the market, price increases should moderate over the next year as home equity releases pent-up supply,” Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic, said in a statement.

Homeowners who struggled to build equity in their homes during the recession may be able to breathe a sigh of relief now as the market continues to stabilize and buyers and sellers gain confidence.

Homeowners looking to sell their homes have adequate time to prepare their home, find a REALTOR®, and start the selling process, based on based on CoreLogic’s report, which  expects month-to-month price growth nationwide until at least the end of the year.

By: Angela Colley |