Smyrna Real Estate and Community News

Oct. 11, 2017

Brightening Up Your House for the Autumn

 

Autumn brings with it a lot of wonderful things. Fall colors, pleasantly cool days, the fun of Halloween: there’s a lot to like. For some people, however, the lessening amounts of daylight can make things seem dismal and dark, particularly after those fall colors have long since fallen to the ground. If you’re not a fan of the shorter days, you can make autumn a lot more fun by brightening up your living space. Of course, it doesn’t hurt if your house is a light-filled, pleasant space when you’re showing it, either!

Simplify when You Do Your Fall Cleaning

Most people like to clean up their house before the weather gets too chilly to air it out. While you’re doing this, open up the spaces as much as you can. That means removing clutter and moving furniture around a bit to create a more open space. Making your space more open usually makes it feel brighter and can cheer up a room quite a bit.

Experiment with Light Temperature

Lightbulbs have more options than you might imagine. If your interior spaces seem dark and gloomy or, alternately, if your interior lighting seems too harsh, consider trying bulbs with a different color temperature.

The light from a lower color temperature bulb has a soft, almost yellowish quality to it. In fact, such bulbs are often termed “soft white” on their packaging. You can also look for a light temperature rating of between 2,700K and 4,000K if you want a softer, mellower light.

If you really want to brighten up a room, however, consider a “daylight” bulb. The light from these bulbs is far bluer than it is from a soft white bulb and, if you go up to the highest temperatures, around 6,500K, the effect can be quite dramatic. Colors really pop under cool lights and they’re great for reading and performing other light-intensive tasks.

Changing to brighter or dimmer bulbs is also an option. The point is that, if your house seems gloomy after the sun sets, consider experimenting with your lighting to make it look more inviting.

Repaint Before it Gets Cold

A fresh coat of paint makes any room look inviting. Sometimes, doing some end-of-the-year painting is the perfect way to get your house set up for the autumn and winter. If you happen to be showing your home, having weak points like past-its-prime paint fixed is always an advantage, too, so there are at least two good reasons to consider one last burst of home improvement activity before the end of the year.

 

If you want to know where to start with improvements, talk to us. They always know what homebuyers are looking for in Smyrna real estate.

Posted in Real Estate News
Oct. 5, 2017

Fall Checklist for Smyrna Real Estate

 

 

If you’re putting your house on the market this autumn, here are the major items in your home you should check before the weather turns colder. Some major problems with homes are easier to ignore during the warm parts of the year than they are during autumn and winter, so you might not even know you have issues until you look or, worse, until your home is inspected before a sale.

Plumbing

Have your plumbing double-checked for leaks. They can cause significant trouble in the winter. If you have a burst or badly-leaking pipe that floods out a room, you could be looking at a very expensive repair bill and, of course, your house isn’t going to be available for showings while you’re getting the repairs done.

Check for Drafts

There are quite a few different ways people do this, but be sure you check your doors and windows for drafts. If you find spots where the outside air is leaking in, get them fixed ASAP. If you find a spot that’s drafty but can’t figure out where the problem is, hold a candle near the suspect area and see when the flame flickers to locate the leak.

Winterize Your AC

Some AC units will need to be drained of water at the end of the cooling season. You should also visually inspect the unit to see if anything is obviously wrong. Ideally, have an HVAC professional come over and service the unit and get it ready for winter to ensure there aren’t any issues that might turn potential buyers away.

While the HVAC People Are There…

The same people who winterize your AC can inspect your furnace, in all likelihood, so have them take care of that, too. They’ll check for leaks, change filters if needed and can check your thermostat for issues, as well. If you’re showing your home during the winter, you’ll want to make sure it’s cozy inside.

Check Your Outdoor Lighting

It gets dark this time of year, so be sure any lighting you have on the exterior of the house is functioning correctly, and change any bulbs if they’re burnt out. Not only does this make the home look properly maintained, it makes it safer if people are coming to the house to view it after dark.

 

We can give you other ideas about how to get your house show ready!

Posted in Real Estate News
Oct. 2, 2017

October Events in Smyrna

 

 

October is upon us and that means that there’s plenty to do in Smyrna and the surrounding areas. From kid-friendly fright fests to great parties for adults, there’s no shortage of autumn activities to get out and enjoy!

Six Flags Over Georgia Fright Fest: All October

If you’re exploring the area while you’re checking out Smyrna real estate—and you should—take a quick drive to Six Flags Over Georgia for their annual Fright Fest. During October, the amusement park takes on a seasonally-appropriate sinister feel, with fun and frightening activities, including haunted houses. There are specific “scare zones” set up around the park, so you can get away from it all if it gets too intense for you or your kids. You can pick up tickets by clicking here.

Little Five Points Halloween Parade and Festival, October 21

You’ll have to drive into Atlanta for this, but it’s one of the biggest Halloween parties in the nation so, if you want to get out and enjoy a parade, wild costumes and great nightlife, this is the place to be. They’re expecting more than 30,000 people to come out for this event, as they do every year. It’s a wild, good time and definitely worth the trip if you want a memorable Halloween experience! Click here for more information.

Smyrna Children’s Halloween Costume Parade, October 28

Head down to the Smyrna First Baptist Church at 1275 Church Street East at 8:30am to get your young one registered for the parade. The parade also kicks off the Fall Jonquil Festival, featured below. The parade includes a costume contest, with three different age groups. Children between newborn and 12 years of age can participate in the contest. You can get more information by clicking here.

Smyrna Fall Jonquil Festival: October 28-29

The Fall Jonquil Festival brings arts, crafts, food, entertainment and much more to the Smyrna Community Center at 2000 Village Green Circle SE. Festivities run for two days: 10am to 6pm on Saturday the 28 and from 12pm until 5pm on Sunday the 29. Admission is free. This event features activities and diversions for people of all ages, so bring the whole family. There’s a book sale, a jonquil bulb sale and much more, in addition to the aforementioned activities. You can get more information by clicking here.

 

If you’re looking for something else to do in the area, be sure to ask us. They’re always experts on the areas they serve.

Posted in Community News
Sept. 28, 2017

Tips for Millennial Homebuyers

If you’re between roughly 19 and 35 years of age, you’re in one of the most marketed-to demographics by real estate interests. Why? Because Millennials are nearly all out of high school and either in college or have just gotten out of college and are getting their lives underway. That means that they’re also considering buying homes, hence the marketing.

Here are some solid tips for Millennials who are hitting the housing market for the first time.

Shopping the Internet for Properties Without Help Is a Horrible Idea

Realtors exist for a reason. Buying a home is a complicated process full of specific legal requirements and more paperwork than most people probably imagine. It’s also a process that’s so inherently complex that it becomes all too easy to overlook some basic indications of a good or bad deal and to either end up losing out on what could have been a great buy or getting taken for a ride.

Millennials are sophisticated when it comes to technology and Realtors were among the first professionals to really take their businesses online in a big way. The Internet and all the wisdom it contains cannot replace the skills of a Realtor, however. When it’s time to get down to setting a final price, working out the details of the sale, getting inspections done and the rest of the work that goes along with buying a home, you’ll want a Realtor. If you go it alone, you’re probably going to lose out in one way or another because of that decision.

Rates Are Low: That’s Good for First-Time Buyers

Mortgage rates are very low right now, and that’s great news for first-time buyers. If you’re serious about getting property in Smyrna, get prequalified. We can help you take care of this if you don’t know where to start. Mortgage rates aren’t expected to go up considerably in the near future but it’s always best to assume that they will. Markets always go up and down and, when rates are low, it’s absolutely a good time for first-time buyers to seek lending.

Be Careful with Lenders

There has been plenty of coverage of disreputable lenders taking advantage of unknowing homebuyers. Make sure you go with an established, reputable lender who doesn’t try to push you to get more funding than you can afford.

 

If you feel you’re being pressured, look for a different lender. If you feel you just can’t get enough lending to get a good home, talk to us. As stated above, the Internet cannot make up for what a Realtor knows about Smyrna and you just might find that they know of something within your budget that’s perfect for you that you might have never found online!

Posted in Buying a Home
Sept. 20, 2017

There's Still Time to Upgrade Windows Before Winter

Have you been thinking about upgrading the windows on your Smyrna property? If you’re thinking about selling, it’s a great way to make your property more attractive. Even if you’re not ready to sell right away, it makes sense to improve your home in ways that are likely to increase its value.

Winter might be just around the corner, but there’s still plenty of beautiful Autumn weather between now and the coldest months of the year. If you want to potentially add to the value of your home and make it a nicer place to be when the weather turns cold, here are some things to consider about windows.

Energy-Efficient Windows Save Money

According to Houselogic, a homeowner can expect to save as much as fifteen percent on their yearly energy bills for a 2,600 square-foot house with energy-efficient windows versus what they’d pay with older, double-paned windows. While you will end up saving money on energy, in all likelihood, it’ll take a while to pay off, as energy-efficient windows can be quite expensive. The more energy-efficient the window, the higher the price, in the vast majority of cases.

So, while you probably will save money by installing energy efficient windows, remember it won’t be an instant payoff. It’ll take time for you to recoup your investment. If windows are too expensive, consider other improvements, such as new insulation or sealing up cracks in the house. There are plenty of options for saving money!

It’s Generally a Good Move for Sellers

If you are selling your house, window improvements are usually great for making your home more attractive. As was said, you can save on energy costs by getting better insulation, but insulation isn’t something that homebuyers really see beyond maybe taking a peak in the attic. The buyers do see windows, however, and good windows can take a house to an entirely new level aesthetics-wise.

Improving your windows really is one of the best improvements you can make to your house as far as getting a better selling price goes. Nonetheless, make sure you ask your Realtor if you’re about to sell, because they may notice other elements of the house that could be improved to much greater effect.

 

If you just want a less drafty and more comfortable house, however, new windows are hard to beat. Remember to look for the Energy Star certification, which guarantees that the product so labeled has been tested and shown to perform well.

Posted in Real Estate News
Sept. 14, 2017

Mortgage Rates for September 2017

Thinking of buying property in Smyrna? If so, it makes sense to pay close attention to what’s going on with mortgage rates. They’ve gone considerably up, and then back down, over the course of the past year. Right now, they’re going back to the levels they were at before the 2016 election; good news for those looking to borrow money for a home.

August 30-Year Rates Hit Lowest Point of the Year

Freddie Mac reports that, during August, 30-year mortgage rates hit their low for 2017. These popular mortgage loans dropped to 3.86 percent toward the end of last month, making it a very good time for those out looking to borrow. Freddie Mac reminds consumers, however, that there are up-front costs associated with getting a mortgage, so be sure to check with multiple lenders to see who’s willing to give you the best deal. Mortgage experts can help you with this.

What About Refinancing?

If you’re interested in refinancing your home, 15-year fixed rate mortgages, favorites of those who are refinancing, dropped to an average of 3.16 over the course of August, so keep an eye on those rates, as well.

For buyers, the low rates are good news all around. There are factors that might keep you from getting the best possible rates, and it’s good to know what plays into how much lending will actually cost you.

Up-Front Costs

We mentioned this above, but be sure to ask any lender you’re considering working with how much it’ll cost you up front when you get funding. Interest isn’t the only cost associated with borrowing money and it’s important to know exactly how much you’ll pay for your loan.

Credit History Issues

You have more control over credit issues than you do over other borrowing costs, such as up-front fees, so be sure you do everything you can to increase your credit score before you apply for a mortgage. The better your credit score the lower your rates are likely to be. People with excellent credit histories get a lot of advantages in terms of how hard lenders will work to get their business.

Adding More to Your Down Payment Is Always Better

The more you can add to your down payment on your property in Smyrna, the better off you’ll be as far as getting a mortgage goes. Some homebuyers make the mistake of not marshalling all their resources before they actually purchase a home and borrow more than they really need to. If you have a means of adding more money to your down payment, do so. It’s always worth it.

 

If you need additional information, contact us. They know all about mortgages, the current rates and other important information that can help you make smart decisions about borrowing!

Posted in Real Estate News
Sept. 11, 2017

Helping Kids Adjust to a New School After Moving

If you’ve just moved into Smyrna and you have kids, they have a lot ahead of them as they enter a new school. It means new friends, new opportunities and a new environment, but it can also be very stressful. A new school also means new challenges, sometimes having a hard time getting to know people, and feeling a bit out of one’s element. Here are some things you can do to help your children adjust to their new school.

Get to Know the School Yourself

It’s no more difficult to get contact information, event information, and other information about your kid’s new school than going online and looking. Smyrna Elementary, for instance, has its own webpage, as does the entire Cobb County School District. Get information on your child’s school so you can better understand how the experience is for them. The websites linked have plenty of information on getting involved in your child’s school, as well, and that’s a great way to meet other parents, educators and administrative personnel.

Realize It’s Tough and that Your Kids Might Struggle

There is an entire social world among young people that adults are simply not a part of. These complicated social dynamics are particularly tricky when entering a new school. Think back to how hard it was for you—or imagine how hard it would have been—when you moved to a new school. Your children might be a bit withdrawn and generally down as they get used to their new school. It takes time to adjust, so help them when you can, but understand that it’s not easy to get one’s bearings in a new place, even when you’re young.

Emphasize the Positive but Don’t Minimize

If your kids have a hard time adjusting, don’t minimize it by suggesting that their problems are smaller than they seem. It’s not that way for them. It can be helpful to emphasize what’s great about moving to a new community, however. For example, if your child had conflicts with other students at their old school that caused them difficulty, they now have a chance to start with a clean slate. Even small-seeming things, like being labeled with a nickname your child may not have liked, all change when one goes to a new school.

 

Moving to a new community, even one as friendly as Smyrna, can be tough for adults, as well. Fortunately, there’s a lot to do for both children and adults in Smyrna so, if you’re feeling a bit disoriented yourself after moving into town, check out the City of Smyrna’s website. You may well be surprised at how much information you’ll find on it and at how much goes on around town! If you have specific needs related to school-age children, remember that we can help you find properties that suit them and help you get information about school districts and other concerns vital to parents.

Posted in Community News
Sept. 8, 2017

September Events in and Around Smyrna

September Events in and Around Smyrna

Autumn is just around the corner. With the temperatures cooling off a bit, it’s a great time to get out and about. Smyrna has plenty of things to do, as does the area around it. Anyone who owns real estate in Smyrna knows that their property lives up to the old saying about location, as Atlanta is just a short drive away, as well. 

Here are some things to check out in Smyrna and the surrounding area during September!

Smyrna Fresh Produce Market Wraps Up, Saturdays, 8am – 12pm, Smyrna Market Village, Smyrna

The Fresh Produce Market is one of the best things about Smyrna in summer: farm fresh vegetables; getting to shop outside and mingle; people generally love it. Unfortunately, the end of September means the end of the Market, so you’ll want to check it out fast if you haven’t yet or if you just want to stock up on some good food before the season’s over. Head out to the Market on Saturday mornings from 8am until 12pm to see what’s available. There’s plenty to see and do and you really can’t beat the selection of produce.

Cobb Restaurant Week, September 16-23, County-Wide

Cobb County has plenty of good restaurants and, during Cobb County Restaurant Week, participating restaurants will be offering three-course menus for between $15-$35 per person. That’s quite a deal, of course, and there will be multiple locations to visit, so you’re sure to find something to your liking. Given the prices, it makes sense to find at least a few places that are to your liking, in fact! You can get more information by clicking here.

Anime Weekend Atlanta, September 28, 10am, Cobb Galleria Center, Two Galleria Parkway, Atlanta

A lot of people who buy real estate in Smyrna move in during the summer, which means that September is the month when, if they have kids, those kids will be adjusting to a new school and a lot of other changes. If you or your kids are into Anime, check out Anime Weekend Atlanta. It’s a perfect place to meet other fans of Japanese animation and comics and it has a great costume contest. Click here for more information.

If you need more information on area events, remember that we are most certainly a local expert who can give you an idea of what to see near Smyrna!

 

Posted in Community News
Sept. 7, 2017

Add to a Property or Find a Bigger House?

 

Some people love working on their houses. Among those people, skill levels range from hobbyist to that of master carpenters. It’s possible to get too eager about altering your house, however, and to forget to consider whether it would actually be less expensive to get a larger house. There are plenty of factors that play into how much buying will cost versus what building will cost, but there are also some almost-always true aspects of both that can give you some guidance.

Adding Onto a House Is a Huge Project

If you’re not among that group of home improvement aficionados who have master-carpenter level skills, you are at serious risk of underestimating the complexity of putting an addition onto your house. Consider just some of the things it entails:

·         Getting plans created or reviewed by an architect

·         Getting permits

·         Getting materials

·         Losing use of part of your house during the project

·         Adding to your homeowner’s insurance

·         Potential problems and/or delays with construction

There are many other complications that can manifest during the process of putting an addition onto your house. Keep in mind that you might not even be able to get the permits, depending upon what you have in mind.

Don’t think of adding onto a house as a small project. It never is and it takes real skill to do it right and keep everything up to code. If you don’t have those skills, you’ll have to hire a pro to do the work. If you think you have those skills and that turns out to not be the case, you’ll have to hire a pro to fix what you did and then redo the work correctly.

Buying Bigger Is Often Better

If you kept your credit in good repair and have made regular payments on your mortgage, you might find that buying a larger property, even within Smyrna itself, is a good idea versus adding onto your existing home. While it might seem cheaper to add a room or two, the cost of such projects increase quickly. Most people will end up paying anywhere from $80-$200 per square foot just for the construction, and that’s not including the costs of any issues that might come up.

 

If you really do need more room, talk to us about properties in Smyrna that might be a space upgrade from what you have now. Smyrna has plenty of variety among the properties available. Before you take on the stress and expense of expanding the property you have, see what a Realtor can find for you.

Posted in Buying a Home
Sept. 1, 2017

Smyrna Event Calendar October 2017

 

October is upon us and that means that there’s plenty to do in Smyrna and the surrounding areas. From kid-friendly fright fests to great parties for adults, there’s no shortage of autumn activities to get out and enjoy!

Six Flags Over Georgia Fright Fest: All October

If you’re exploring the area while you’re checking out Smyrna real estate—and you should—take a quick drive to Six Flags Over Georgia for their annual Fright Fest. During October, the amusement park takes on a seasonally-appropriate sinister feel, with fun and frightening activities, including haunted houses. There are specific “scare zones” set up around the park, so you can get away from it all if it gets too intense for you or your kids. You can pick up tickets by clicking here.

Little Five Points Halloween Parade and Festival, October 21

You’ll have to drive into Atlanta for this, but it’s one of the biggest Halloween parties in the nation so, if you want to get out and enjoy a parade, wild costumes and great nightlife, this is the place to be. They’re expecting more than 30,000 people to come out for this event, as they do every year. It’s a wild, good time and definitely worth the trip if you want a memorable Halloween experience! Click here for more information.

Smyrna Children’s Halloween Costume Parade, October 28

Head down to the Smyrna First Baptist Church at 1275 Church Street East at 8:30am to get your young one registered for the parade. The parade also kicks off the Fall Jonquil Festival, featured below. The parade includes a costume contest, with three different age groups. Children between newborn and 12 years of age can participate in the contest. You can get more information by clicking here.

Smyrna Fall Jonquil Festival: October 28-29

The Fall Jonquil Festival brings arts, crafts, food, entertainment and much more to the Smyrna Community Center at 2000 Village Green Circle SE. Festivities run for two days: 10am to 6pm on Saturday the 28 and from 12pm until 5pm on Sunday the 29. Admission is free. This event features activities and diversions for people of all ages, so bring the whole family. There’s a book sale, a jonquil bulb sale and much more, in addition to the aforementioned activities. You can get more information by clicking here.

 

If you’re looking for something else to do in the area, be sure to ask your us! We are always experts on the areas they serve.

Posted in Community News