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10/5/2015 Is your landscape Fall ready?

Fall Landscaping Tips in Atlanta

Autumn is here and, thankfully, more moderate Georgia temperatures! While it’s a good time to enjoy the last bit of mild weather before winter arrives, it’s also an opportunity to get your front and backyard landscaping in order.

Fall is actually a great time for gardeners and landscapers to prepare trees, flowers, shrubs and other plants for the upcoming winter season. Smart gardeners use the time for just that purpose. Many plant varieties can be vulnerable to the cold chill of winter. That’s why it is important to take steps to protect them now to ensure a healthy spring and summer blooming season next year.

One of the most critical elements is simply to know what type of care each plant in your garden or yard will need as the cold season approaches. Look at the various trees and plants in your landscape and determine the care needed to prepare them for winter. The feeding, fertilization, watering and care each plant needs will vary, so it’s important to gather this information and give each plant what it needs. Some plants will need to be pruned, while others will need a healthy dose of fertilization to survive the winter. Still others might need to be covered if a cold frost is about to hit.

Turn to the trusty internet if you’re not sure or check with a local nursery. Other tips include:

  1. Give trees and shrubs a final deep watering in late autumn after all the leaves have fallen and before a heavy ground freeze.
  2. Speaking of leaves, don’t wait too long to rake and/or mulch leaves as it can damage your lawn. It’s a mistake to wait until all leaves have fallen. The raking process may need to be repeated two or three times during autumn.
  3. Spread a layer of mulch an inch or so thick around the base of plants to provide insulation for the winter.
  4. Although it seems like grass stops growing in the Fall, the roots are actually growing deeper to prepare for winter. Fertilizing and reseeding your lawn early in autumn gives the roots a boost before winter arrives. A second feeding in late October will keep it winterized and strong through the Atlanta winter weather.
  5. Autumn is also a great time of year to get shrubs and trees planted in the ground or to plant all your bulbs for next Spring, so start thinking ahead about how you want your garden to look next year.
  6. Repair or add bird feeders to your yard and fill these now so birds know where to look later for a winter food source. Check and refill these every couple weeks throughout the coming colder months.
  7. Drain and store outdoor hoses.
  8. Drain the gas from your mower after its last use for the year. This prevents the remaining fuel from getting gummy during the long off-season.
  9. Clean and properly store tools, toys and outdoor furniture to protect them from damage and the elements.

Taking some time in the autumn to properly care for plants, shrubs, trees and your lawn will reduce the amount of work needed when springtime rolls around.


9/25/2015 Great Fall Activities in Metro Atlanta

Great Fall Activities in Metro Atlanta

Fall officially arrived this week on Wednesday, September 23rd. Just where has the year gone? Fall is typically a time of great activity in metro Atlanta, with many pumpkin and apple festivals, changing leaves, Oktoberfest celebrations, craft shows and other events. Start planning your Fall weekends now with these helpful links to area events:

Or, head a bit farther away for the day or the weekend by checking out all that nearby Chattanooga has to offer. For a medium-sized city, there's a lot to do, including a children's museum, Ruby Falls, Rock City, an amazing aquarium, a large weekend farmer's market, and much more.

Happy Fall, everyone!

9/18/2015 Less Than 3 Months Left to Achieve Homeownership in 2015

Less Than 3 Months Left to Achieve Homeownership in 2015

At RE/MAX Greater Atlanta, we realize that you may still be basking in the kids being back in school, football season starting, and the recent hint of Fall weather cooling things off. However, if a move is something you need or want to do, time is quickly winding down to achieve this in 2015. After all, it takes time to find the perfect home, negotiate a contract, and prepare your loan for closing.

Buying a home in metro Atlanta is a better deal than renting in almost every zip code. The next few weeks are particularly key, as there is leftover summer listing inventory. Historically, far fewer listings are added the last few months of the calendar year. These sellers are, at least, more serious because people don't generally have homes listed over the holidays unless a move is a top priority. However, for the best inventory choices over the next four months or so, now is the time to get serious about your home search.

Earlier this week, the Fed opted to leave interest rates where they are, and this is another huge bonus for metro Atlanta home-buyers. Each month, as our economy and employment continue to improve, it becomes more likely that interest rates will be raised. Waiting until 2016 to purchase a home may end up costing you thousands more in the long run, and it may also mean a larger monthly mortgage payment.

Unsure of what you want in a home? We can help with that. Uncertain of how much home you can qualify for? We're happy to refer you to trusted mortgage partners. Whatever your Atlanta real estate questions, RE/MAX Greater Atlanta is here to help guide you through the process -- every step of the way! Conduct a search of available properties here on our website, or call us at 770-973-9700.

9/3/2015 Did You Know September is National Preparedness Month?

Did You Know September is National Preparedness Month?

How prepared are you in the event of a major emergency? Does everyone in your family know what to do in case of fire? Do you have a safe place to meet in the area if something happens that prevents everyone from returning to the house? What will you do in the event of a natural disaster?

No one wants to believe these things could happen to them, but being prepared will go a long way in times of chaos or emergency. And since September is National Preparedness Month, what better time to create, review or update your family’s emergency plan?

Here are some basic steps to guide you in getting prepared:

  1. Get informed about the many different types of emergencies that could happen and the correct ways to respond. The Internet is a great information source for this.
  2. Create a family emergency plan—phone numbers, places to meet outside your home and even your neighborhood in the event of an emergency.
  3. Put together an emergency supply kit—basic medical supplies, bottled water, nonperishable items like granola bars, nuts, meal replacement bars.
  4. Have several ways to keep informed—a radio (with extra batteries), online sources, phone applications, etc.

Here are a handful of free mobile apps to assist you in being prepared. Many more probably exist at iTunes. Be sure every single family member has these on their phones as well as key family and friend phone numbers:

  1. The Weather Channel
  2. Ready Georgia (similar to the FEMA app, but focused on Georgia)
  3. Disaster Check-In - allows users to check in and notify family/friends of their status in a current emergency situation
  4. FEMA
  5. Red Cross Apps - can assist with everything from basic first aid information to responding to natural disasters.

If you find another app that would be extremely helpful, let us know at RE/MAX Greater Atlanta and we’ll be glad to add it to this list.

By doing a little planning right now, you can be ready to tackle any emergency that comes your way. Be safe, everyone! Feel free to share this blog post on your social media or with key people you believe it might help. We want metro Atlanta residents and people everywhere to be prepared!

8/21/2015 Moving Day Tips

Moving Day Tips

Moving is definitely a stressful experience. At RE/MAX Greater Atlanta, we have helped thousands of families change addresses, and we would like to offer some tips to make the process go more smoothly.


  1. Stay as organized as possible. This will help reduce stress levels significantly. Put packing supplies in the same area, have plenty of supplies on hand so you don’t have to run out in the middle of moving for more tape, boxes, etc.


  1. Specially mark a few essential boxes and be sure these end up in your vehicle instead of the moving truck. These boxes should contain key items that will immediately be needed to make the first couple days bearable during the unpacking process—toilet paper, hand soap, shower curtain, towels, bed sheets, aspirin, a couple changes of clothes for each family member, a few cleaning supplies, non-perishable snacks, coffee pot, mugs, a few utensils, paper plates, any medications needed, etc.


  1. Schedule donation pickups several weeks in advance as donation companies often have limited staffing and a lengthy lead time.


  1. Mark every box. Taking a few seconds to be specific now could save you a lot of headaches later. Instead of simply saying Kitchen, add something like Kitchen—pots and pans or Kitchen—pantry items. That way, when you are trying to find something, you won’t have to open 15 boxes marked Kitchen just to find the silverware.


  1. Be conscious of each box’s weight. Avoid the temptation to find huge boxes to stuff to capacity that then take two people to lift. For heavier items like books, be sure to find small boxes such as those found at liquor stores. These will sometimes have a reinforced bottom and are a manageable size, even when full of books. Better to have 20 small boxes of books than 5 boxes no one can move.


  1. Buy, borrow or rent a dolly. These are relatively inexpensive and will be worth it in terms of moving faster and with fewer sore muscles afterward.


  1. Time management—it’s essential for reducing your stress as moving day draws near. Don’t get caught up in going through items, reorganizing them, etc. Allow time for packing each day for the weeks prior to your move. Take time to rid out before the moving process begins, especially in areas such as clothing, children’s toys, furniture and kitchen items. Otherwise, you’re more likely to make rash decisions as patience wears thin and your moving deadline nears. You don’t want to be the family with a mountain of items at the curb for trash pickup on the day you move. Have a moving sale or donate items to a local charity.


  1. Pay special attention to pets. This will be a very confusing and stressful time for them. Try to crate them or keep them in an area away from all the action. If necessary, board them for a day or two. The last thing you need to happen is a pet to escape out a frequently open front door on moving day.

And finally, don’t lose sight of the end goal here. You’re moving to a new place! Possibilities for new friendships and memories are endless. By being less stressed during your move, you will be more open to these new experiences

7/28/2015 Preparing Your Home During Vacations

Preparing Your Home for an Absence During Vacations


Summer is definitely here and it’s a very popular time to take the family on vacation. While you’re taking care of all those last minute trip details, don’t forget about your home. It needs to be prepped for your absence as well.

If you and your family plan to be gone more than a few days, let a trusted neighbor know of your out of town plans. Give this person your exact dates as well as any necessary contact information—your cell number, destination, etc. Leave a key to your front door with a neighbor in case there’s a need to get in for a water leak, foul odor, plant watering, etc. Have this person check the exterior of your home daily for any signs of forced entry through a window or door.

Purchase a few inexpensive timers for various lights inside and outside your home. Setting one for a television or a radio is also a good idea. Lock your garage doors, all windows and all doors. Unplug automatic garage door openers. If your neighborhood does not have a restriction on vehicles parked in the driveway, try to leave a car parked there. Barring that, ask a neighbor to park there on occasion to give the home a lived-in appearance.

Place valuables in your home in a locked safe or safety deposit box. Back up computers of essential data, turn off and unplug. Make a quick run through the house and double-check that everything is turned off—faucets, irons, stoves, etc. Unplug non-essential appliances like televisions, clock radios and other electronics. Set your thermostat so the air conditioning will not run as much. During your final walk-through, give all plants a healthy dose of water.

If you plan to be gone for an extended period of time in the summer, say more than 10 days, arrange to have someone cut the grass. This often gets overlooked by people when they go out of town, but you want your home to appear well-kept, even during your absence. Newspaper and mail delivery stoppage are two other areas people often forget about.

Arrange for the proper pet care, whether it’s boarding the animals, having a pet or house sitter or ultimately taking them with you. Make your neighbor aware of these plans so he or she doesn’t panic that the family dog is missing.

And finally, don’t forget to go over any security system issues with the neighbor entrusted with a key to your home. Otherwise, an unpleasant situation could arise with your alarm going off nonstop or, worse, your neighbor getting arrested by the local authorities. Once you’ve taken care of these essentials and safely arrived at your vacation destination, sit back and enjoy. You’ve earned it!


7/16/2015 Mistakes of First Time Home Buyers

Mistakes of First Time Home Buyers

Buying your first home can be an exciting experience, but it can also be daunting. While a few mistakes may be inevitable, you should not go into the situation blind. Most of the obvious money mistakes can be avoided if you know how to spot them from the start.

By educating yourself before you even start looking at homes, will put you in a better position not to make as many mistakes.

One of the common financial mistakes that first time home buyers make when purchasing a home is focusing too much on how to get the best interest rate on a mortgage. While this is important, the rate will mean little if you cannot afford the home a year later. The mortgage that you qualify for is not necessarily the amount you can actually afford. Take some time to determine how much you can afford by working with a financial planner or consultant.

Many home buyers get too emotional or are critical of a home, allowing this to cloud their judgement. Always look at the bones of a home and remember that minor details can always be changed.

Getting a home inspection could save you a lot of money down the road, so do not be detoured by the price. Home inspections can shine a light on potential issues with the home.

7/2/2015 Have an Amazing July 4th Weekend, Metro Atlanta!

Have an Amazing July 4th Weekend, Metro Atlanta!

We just wanted to take a break from updating you on the metro Atlanta real estate market to wish everyone a happy July 4th. We sell houses, but it's family fun times like this that really make a place a home.

Not sure what to do this weekend? There are some great sites out there to search for activities, such as

And since so many homes include pets, please take special care this weekend with pets. They really dislike the loud noises of fireworks and some will run away if given the opportunity. In fact, one of the busiest days for animal shelters for the entire year is July 5th. So keep them safely inside, reassure them and maybe even provide an extra treat or two!

Last but not least, please take a moment to reflect on the reason for this holiday weekend. Countless men and women have fought to keep this great nation free. Thanks to all who have made our freedom possible!

6/22/2015 RE/MAX vs. the Industry

RE/MAX vs. the Industry

One chart really can sum up a whole lot. And this chart does! RE/MAX is the only major franchise organization with agents selling into the double digits for annual transactions! RE/MAX could come close to or surpass the 1 million annual transaction mark in 2015.


With stats like this and the most recognized logo in real estate, is it any wonder why our broker/owners, Ben Christopher and Denny Jones have stayed with the RE/MAX organization for decades!


Call our RE/MAX Greater Atlanta office today at 770-973-9700 if we can assist you or answer your questions about metro Atlanta real estate.


6/5/2015 Atlanta Real Estate Spring Market Update

Spring Atlanta Real Estate Market Update

The April numbers are in and the Atlanta real estate market continues to look up. Nationally, the same is true, according to the latest RE/MAX National Housing Report. The national snapshot continues to match most of the Atlanta real estate market conditions, including issues about listing inventory. Across the major metropolitan markets, home inventory continues to be low, with 3.6 months' supply (and 6 months' inventory is considered to be a market equally balanced between buyers and sellers). In April alone, listing inventory was down more than 11 percent, in a year-over-year comparison with April 2014.

The April median sales price has broken the $200K barrier at $203,500 (compared to the April 2014 median price of $189,956). In addition, April transactions, nationally, were up 6.5 percent, year-over-year. What a difference a year makes!

According to RE/MAX CEO, Chairman and Co-Founder Dave Liniger, “The spring selling season has gotten off to a very strong start. We saw a significant jump in sales in March, and now April has pushed even higher. With an improving economy and continuing low interest rates, potential buyers are motivated to enter the market. These conditions, along with rising prices are also encouraging sellers.”

So take a look around our website today. Conduct a property search. Contact us for a trusted mortgage lender referral. Ask a trusted member of our RE/MAX Greater Atlanta team to create a comparative market analysis on your property. And as always, we are here to answer your questions. Call us at 770-973-9700.


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