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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.


5/8/2015 Mother's Day in Metro Atlanta

Mother's Day in Metro Atlanta

From everyone here at RE/MAX Greater Atlanta, we wanted to take a moment to wish moms everywhere a happy and fun Mother's Day this weekend. You deserve the best day possible!

Everyone knows mothers are the glue of the family and the household, so be sure to call or see your mother this weekend. And check out our Facebook Page at where we've included a link to an article about local Atlanta attractions that are generously offering free admission to moms this Sunday.

Happy Mother's Day, everyone!

4/24/2015 Shortage of Homes for Sale in Atlanta Market?

Are You Aware of the Shortage of Homes for Sale in the Atlanta Real Estate Market?

For so long, you only heard bad news about the real estate market, home values, foreclosures, etc. You probably got to the point where you tuned out the repetitive message. If this sounds like you, it may be time to "tune" in again! This is especially true if you need to sell your home. Whether you are upsizing, downsizing or just relocating for an easier work commute, now may be the time to have a market analysis done on your house.

The National Association of Realtors just released numbers that said home values in the South went up 9.6 percent, year-over-year. That's a significant jump. Fewer than half the homes that were underwater still remain so today. Our agents at RE/MAX Greater Atlanta can tell you, firsthand, that there's a shortage of homes for sale on the market in nearly all price points and zip codes.

This has been the case for several months but, with the busy spring and summer markets upon us, this shortage is being felt even more deeply. It's a classic seller's market right now and this may be your time to benefit from that. Call a professional, full-time Realtor today to have a market analysis done on your property.

4/7/2015 Simple Ways to Go Green at Home

When it comes to electricity, the savings in energy are enormous. Anything that has an LED light that glows even after you turn it off continues to draw power (that you pay for). Your TV, cell phone charger, and printer are likely culprits. Unplug these electronics from wall sockets and plug them into power strips instead. When you leave a room, flip the strip switch to cut the flow of electricity. By unplugging your electronics, you could save up to $200* each year.

It is easier to save energy when you know exactly how much and where you are using it. Investing in a home audit will pay off enormously. After your energy audit, you will receive a list of things you can do to limit consumption. On average, this will show how to save up to 30 percent* on utility bills. You can find an auditor through your utility company at low or no cost or click here.

When it is time to replace a household appliance, consider a product with an Energy Star label. Sponsored by the EPA and the Department of Energy, the Energy Star program rates products from light bulbs to kitchen appliances. This label guarantees that products are energy-efficient. Energy Star products use about 30 percent* less energy than the average comparable product -- an annual savings of about $570*. Purchasing Energy Star products may qualify you for a tax credit. For more information click here.

*These numbers are projected savings each year. Numbers are not guaranteed.

4/7/2015 Does The Condo Life Suit You?

Buying a condo instead of a single-family home offers first-time buyers, urbanites and empty nesters many advantages, including less maintenance, access to more amenities and sometimes a lower price tag. Not all condo associations or boards are created equal, so you should definitely research the property. Here are a few things you should consider when buying a condo or a townhome.

Find out how the homeowners association makes decisions about finances, use of common property and enforcement of bylaws. It's also a good idea to learn whether the property is managed by the homeowners or by a third-party management company. Be sure to review what is included in the homeowners association fees, and ask if there have been any special assessments, which could signal construction issues or poor financial management.

Determine if there are any rules that may be difficult to comply with. Common bylaws include pets, noise, parking, use of amenities and maximum occupants of the unit space. Just like a house, you should have the unit inspected before purchasing and assess the overall building.

The property management company should be able to provide a technical audit that details current conditions and anticipated repairs.

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