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10/27/2014 Winterize Your Home Now

Tips to Winterize Your Home

 

Preventive maintenance isn’t just for your vehicles. Although the Atlanta winter months are less extreme than other parts of the U.S., fall is a good time to make sure your home is operating efficiently.

 

Preventive measures to keep your home at its best this winter include:

 

  • Have your heating system serviced and inspected—especially if it’s two or more years since the date of the last check. You should also clean or replace the furnace air filter each month throughout the heating season. A clean filter will help the unit operate more efficiently, saving you money in the long run.
  • Monitor your home for excessive moisture in areas such as windows. Excessive condensation there can cause damage over time and may indicate you are losing warm air to the outside because of an improperly installed or sealed window.
  • Be sure the flue is open before building a fire in any fireplace. Once the fire is completely out, be sure to re-close the flue for energy savings.
  • Speaking of fireplaces, how long has it been since you’ve had the chimney inspected or cleaned?
  • Check the pressure and expiration date on all fire extinguishers. You should have at least one for each level of the house and another for the garage. Make sure others in your family are aware of all extinguisher locations.
  • With the time change in the upcoming weeks, be sure to replace batteries in all smoke detectors.
  • Check clothes dryer vents and hoses for lint build-up (which can cause a fire). Clean as needed with a brush and rod tool that’s available at your local hardware store.
  • If you do a lot of holiday decorating, inside or out, be careful not to over-tap a single outlet or circuit within your home. Use heavy duty extension cords and spread your electrical needs to a few different outlets.
  • In addition, the electrical cords for these infrequently used holiday items should be inspected for any wear, fraying, or loose/exposed wiring. If you see this or the cord feels warm to the touch, replace or discontinue using immediately.
  • Check for drafts throughout the house. As the weather first turns cool, this can be the best time to monitor if a door or other area is letting in colder, outside air.

 

To a warm, happy home this fall and winter season!

 


10/13/2014 Happy Fall Ya'll!

Happy Fall, Metro Atlanta!


My fellow metro Atlanta residents and homeowners, fall is finally here. No more extremely warm or humid days...at least for the next several months!  There's so much to do in Atlanta, Georgia, during these next several weeks--Apple Festivals, corn mazes, craft shows, pumpkin-picking, college and high school football games, community events, and much, much more!

So take advantage of this wonderful time and weather in metro Atlanta. Before you know it, we will be turning our thoughts to the holidays, staying warm, etc. Stay tuned here in the next couple weeks when we'll provide a list of some winterizing tips to keep you safe, your home more energy-efficient and prepared for whatever comes our way this winter.

9/12/2014 New Home for the Holidays!

Still Time to be in a New Home for the Holidays

Although we are still basking in decent, end of summer temperatures, it is only roughly two and a half months until the end of the year. If your goal in 2014 was to be in a new place or in your first home, time is running out. If you are determined to celebrate the holidays living at a new address, time is of the essence to begin your buying process. There's still time to close and move by the end of the year, but only if you act very soon.

Check out the real estate search feature on our site, get pre-approved by a reputable mortgage lender (we are happy to suggest our mortgage partner, Shelter Lending Services, see the link and contact information under our Services section), and make sure you have a full-time, experienced Realtor who knows the area, the market and how to negotiate on your behalf.

Getting started can be the hardest part about the home search process, but with the Atlanta real estate market quickly recovering and move-in ready homes going under contract so fast, you will be glad you did it this year, rather than waiting until next year.

To your new home search success!

 

8/25/2014 Happy Labor Day Weekend

Have a Safe and Happy Labor Day Weekend in Metro Atlanta

The last three-day weekend of the summer is almost here. We hope you take advantage of these end days of summer and have a wonderful time with friends and family. As always, metro Atlanta will have many activities and the Lake Lanier area will be quite crowded.

From everyone here at RE/MAX Greater Atlanta, we want to wish you a fun-filled weekend. If a home search is not in your plans for this weekend, we hope you will enjoy the laser light show at Stone Mountain, a picnic with your family, or an Atlanta Braves game. Stay cool and hydrated everyone, as it is expected to be a warm weekend.



8/11/2014 Home Energy Conservation!

Home Energy Conservation is Possible, Even in the Summer

We are in the heart of summer and everyone's air conditioning is getting a strong workout. Do you cringe when the power bill comes in the mail? Here are a few tips that might help reduce the electric bill a bit in Hotlanta.

1. Programmable thermostat -- If you don't already have one of these or have one, but haven't learned to program it, this single tip can add up to real savings. Set it for a higher temperature during the day (3-5 degrees), then gradually have the temperature taper down to your preferred ideal in the hour or so before you normally arrive home. If you go away on vacation, program it again so it comes on much less.

2. Water heater temperature -- Reduce your water heater temperature setting from 140 to 120 degrees. Water will still be hot enough for showers, dishwashers, etc. They also sell timers for water heaters that can net additional savings.

3. Block sunlight -- Especially helpful when you're not at home, be sure to use those blinds and drapes to block out bright sunlight that can heat up a room.

4. Air vents -- Close those air vents in rooms that don't get used. If, for instance, you have a guest bedroom or rarely use the formal dining room, close those vents so you're not cooling rooms you don't need.

5. Take advantage of cool nights -- We sometimes have cool nights in metro Atlanta. Turn the A/C off and open all the windows. By morning, you may be pleasantly surprised when you check your thermostat. It may have dropped 5-10 degrees in your home. Just be sure to close all the windows and doors before you head out for the day (and before the temperature starts heating up outside).

6. Check the settings for both your refrigerator and freezer. These should not be on the highest number setting. Most manufacturers usually place a mark on the middle number to indicate that's the normal setting. However, if you're finding even the ice cream is a block when you get it out of the freezer, experiment by turning the settings down a half to a full number. It's possible you won't even see a difference...except in your power bill of course! Refrigerators and freezers are the most expensive appliance to run in your home so even a slight redo on the coldness setting will make a difference.

Here's to saving on energy bills, not just this summer, but year round!

7/22/2014 Getting It Sold With Summer Curb Appeal!

Getting it Sold with Summer Curb Appeal


Summer is one of the most active times in the Atlanta real estate market. You can make your home stand out amongst the others listed in your price point by making sure your home has summer curb appeal.

Let's face it, you need your home to make a good impression so those potential buyers will want to get out of the car and take a look inside. Doing a handful of tasks and low cost additions to improve your home's appeal can make a huge difference.

1. Go down to the street and take a critical look at your property from the perspective of a passer by. Does anything look dated, faded, cluttered, or out of place?
2. Your mailbox area is a great place to plant a few containers of budding annuals like petunias, and the cost is $15 or less.  Also, is your mailbox in good shape? Are the street numbers easy to read? Does the box need to be replaced (which is less than $10) or painted?
3. Power wash the walkway areas and front porch. If there are spots in the driveway, these may need to be addressed as well. It's inexpensive to rent a power washer for the day, or see if you can borrow one from a friend.
4. Remove clutter. Don't leave yard tools, the lawnmower, bikes, or kids toys strewn about.
5. Mow and weed regularly for a fresh and cared-for look.
6. Add color with flowers in other areas, like flower boxes or container gardens that you can put on the steps or near the front door. Make sure your front door area is easy to access and welcoming. A fresh paint job and a new colorful welcome mat can help tremendously.
7. Keep the yard and plants watered. You want everything to look green and fresh, not wilted, tired, or turning brown.
8. Add mulch to flower beds and shrub areas. At just a few dollars a bag, the investment will be well worth it.

If you're getting ready to list your house and you're not sure if your home has enough summer curb appeal, ask your Realtor for insight.

6/16/2014 June is National Homeownership Month!

June is National Homeownership Month!

In celebration of this being National Homeownership Month, take a moment to reflect on your current living arrangement. If you are a homeowner, congratulate yourself on attaining what many feel is one of the American dreams. It's easy, in our busy lives, to start taking such an achievement for granted, but you have made an investment in your future and should be proud of yourself.

If you are hoping to buy your first home or a different home this year, June is an excellent time to be assessing the Atlanta real estate market and conducting research about neighborhood price ranges and where you desire to live. Summer is a very active time to buy or sell real estate. Thanks to the Internet, there are now so many ways to begin your home search from the comfort of your home. We even offer a home search feature on our site here. Think about and research other factors as well--how does the school district compare to others in the area, what is the crime rate, how long would your morning commute be to your job, are property values going up, down or remaining steady in that neighborhood.

The Internet can be a great source for gathering information beyond just homes currently listed for sale. Or you can enlist the help of a qualified real estate agent to find a home containing your wish list--all while meeting those often important requirements of school ratings, crime rates, property values, etc. A Realtor will know this information or have ways to quickly access this information.

To your home-hunting success this summer!

6/9/2014 Summer Selling Season

Taking Advantage of the Summer Selling Season

While several of our local schools let out for the summer a bit later than usual (thanks to a few bad winter storms), summer is now in full bloom. Summer vacations are being taken, swimming pools are being filled for use over the summer and parents are often having to adjust schedules with the kids being at home.

Summer is also a prime time for switching residences. The National Association of Realtors polled agents and they felt 50 percent of all home sales happen in the summer. If you're a home seller in Atlanta, the timing could not be better. Home inventories in nearly every price point are too low, it's a seller's market and we're in prime home-selling season.

It's time to assess what might need to be improved on your property (fresh paint, landscaping, paring down the amount of furniture, etc.) and contact a real estate professional to get a fair and accurate value of your home's worth. It's always best to interview more than one agent and be sure you are working with a full-time agent from a company with a good reputation. Picking the right agent who has a solid track record and a marketing plan for your property will go a long way in getting your home sold quickly.

To your summer sales success!

5/9/2014 A Tribute To Our Moms

Moms Are What Makes a Place Feel More Like Home

With Mother's Day coming up this weekend, we wanted to take a moment here at RE/MAX Greater Atlanta to pay special tribute to mothers everywhere. Moms are, more often than not, the glue that holds the family together. She's organized, she's a multi-tasker and she's got an incredible memory!

Mothers are what makes a place feel more like a home, with all those homey added touches like family photos, curtains, and decorating. Every mother must wear many, many hats to get her family through the average week.

So this year, make sure mothers of all ages feel special and appreciated; it doesn't even have to be your mother or the mother of your children. If you know someone who is an incredible mom, let them know. And from all of us here at RE/MAX Greater Atlanta, have a very happy Mother's Day!

5/2/2014 Kentucky Derby vs. Home Buying

How the Kentucky Derby Applies to Home Buying

Finding that perfect home in today's competitive real estate market can be a bit like the running of the Kentucky Derby this past weekend--one must be fast, sure and ready to take advantage of the slightest opportunity. Called the fastest two minutes in sports, this famous horse race is bound by tradition and much fanfare. In searching for your next place to call home, we suggest you take a bit more time to find your match!

Such an important race requires a good deal of advance preparation--for the horse, the jockey, even the track itself. Buying a home also requires preparation--saving for a down payment, checking and maintaining a good credit rating, getting pre-approved for a mortgage so you know how much home you can buy, thinking about your must-have home features, deciding on the ideal area.

Throughout preparation for the Kentucky Derby, owners of these multi-million dollar horses rely on trainers to get the most out of their investments. In buying real estate, your most valuable asset will be an experienced, knowledgeable real estate agent to guide you through new properties coming on the market, the contract negotiation process, doing your due diligence on the perspective property, etc. And if you are a first-time home buyer, it is especially recommended to have someone to guide you through the complicated buying process. A buyer's agent will always be in your corner, looking out for your best interests throughout the process.

If we can be of assistance to you in any way, please contact our RE/MAX Greater Atlanta office at 770-973-9700. 

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