Smyrna Real Estate and Community News

Nov. 7, 2018

Energy Costs



Showing your property is always a bit stressful, but in the winter and autumn, there are additional concerns to take into account. Every time an interested buyer comes to see your house in Smyrna, you’ll loose heat as they come in and out and you’ll have to light up the entire house so people can see it at its best. If you have a lot of showings, that might increase your heating and light bill so here are some ways you can keep those costs down.




Reduce the Temperature a Bit




Room temperature is generally agreed upon to be around 72 degrees Fahrenheit, but you don’t have to keep the thermometer that high if you have people coming in and out for showings. Remember that most of them will have their jackets on or, at least, heavier clothing than they would during the summer. They’ll also be walking around the house, so the house is actually likely to feel a bit hot for them if you keep it at room temperature. Don’t be afraid to reduce the heat a bit. Over the course of your showings, it’ll save you some power if you do so.




Consider Changing the Lighting




If you have incandescent bulbs in all your fixtures and you’re running them all the time—remember that you’ll want to turn on your lights for daytime showings, as well as nighttime showings---it can have an impact on your power bill. Consider installing LED lighting where you can, but make sure you get at least a second option—preferably from your Realtor—about how well the LED shows off the space. Some LED lights are very harsh and will tend to emphasize the flaws in a room. Look for softer LED lights; there are plenty of them available on the market these days. In general, lower color temperatures will make rooms look warmer and more inviting.




Use Motion-Detecting Lights in the Yard




Make sure your property is safe for interested buyers. It gets dark early toward the end of the year, so be sure you have good outdoor lighting on your walkways and porch. Instead of leaving it on at all times, however, consider getting motion-detecting lights. That way, people visiting the property will always have plenty of light to lead their way, but you won’t raise your power bill keeping it on at all times.




We will be able to help you make showing your property as convenient as possible, so be sure to ask for their input.




Posted in Community News
Nov. 1, 2018

Smyrna November 2018 Events



The Atlanta Opera: West Side Story




November 3-11 8pm-10pm


Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre


2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway


Atlanta, 30339




The famous Arthur Laurents book comes to the stage this November, offering a story about the hardships of love and war in the city. Since 1957, this story has been produced as a film, a play and an opera. The Atlanta Opera’s production will run from November 3 through the 11. This event is likely to sell out quickly, but you can get more information about acquiring tickets by clicking here.




The Ultimate Sugar Show


November  8 11


Cobb Galleria Centre


Two Galleria Parkway


Atlanta 30339




Billed as the biggest baking and sweets show in Georgia, the Ultimate Sugar Show begins on the 8th of November and runs until the 11th, offering a variety of different events to attend and, of course, plenty of samples to try and sweet baked products to buy. There are also competitions scheduled, so be sure to check for more information if you happen to be something of a bakery artist yourself and want to get in on some friendly competition with fellow bakers. You can pick up tickets for the event—and check out the different options available for those tickets—by clicking here.




Pictures with Santa




November 10-11


William Root House Museum & Garden


80 N Marietta Parkway NW


Marietta, 30060




For those who just can’t wait for Christmas to kick off, head down to the Root House Museum where your kids—or you—can get pictures taken with Santa. The Root House photography event has a Victorian theme to it, so if you want pictures that look a bit different than the usual Santa pictures that start getting popular this time of year, this is a great option. You can get more information about the event by clicking here.




Holiday in the Park: Six Flags over Georgia




November 17 – January 6


245 Riverside Parkway, SW


Austell, 30168




You have plenty of time to catch this event, but there’s plenty to do at Holiday in the Park, so going more than once might be a nice holiday-season diversion for the whole family. This event sees Six Flags lit up in a glorious display that features more than one million LED lights, the perfect thing for the shorter days and and longer nights this time of year. You can get more information about the event by clicking here.




We are local experts so, if you’re in town looking for Smyrna real estate, be sure to ask us about events in and near Smyrna if you want to explore the community!


Posted in Community News
Oct. 31, 2018

Storage Space and Home Showings



Staging your Smyrna property in the most attractive way possible can go a long way toward persuading buyers to add your property to their short list of options when it comes time for them to make an offer. When you’re staging your home, you have to think beyond the living room, bed rooms, and the other major spaces.




Storage space is a huge concern for home shoppers. When people think about moving into a house, remember that they’re not just thinking about how to furnish it, how much light it has, and so forth. They’re also thinking about where they’re going to store all the things we all need to get by, from clothes to cars to cookware and everything in between.


Pay Attention to Closet Space


When you’re making your house look its best for buyers, remember that they’ll almost certainly look in every closet in the house, or try to, when they go through. That means you should:




       Make sure that anything private is hidden: jewelry, money, passports, etc.


       Make sure your storage space isn’t stuffed or cluttered




Think about what you’re looking for when you check a property for closet space. You’re looking to see that there’s plenty of room, that it’s in good repair, and that there is adequate storage located throughout the house. The general rule of thumb is to have your closets filled about half way. This keeps the property from seeming vacant, but also shows that there’s plenty of room in the closet. Whatever you leave in the closet, be sure it’s all organized and clean. Clutter is always bad when you’re showing a home.


Clean Up the Garage


Garages are very attractive to buyers and, if you have one, you’ll want to show it off. Be sure the floors are sealed, any cracks are repaired, and that there isn’t any clutter laying around. Make sure the lighting is good, as well, so that the space looks bigger when it’s lit up for people touring the property.




If you have hazardous materials in your garage, consider getting rid of them or storing them in a container so they’re out of sight. The idea is to make your garage look like an organized, clean space, not like an operating repair shop.




We can help you with other elements of staging your home so that, when people come to see it, they get the best possible impression.




Posted in Selling Your Home
Oct. 26, 2018

Protecting Your Identity while Mortgage Shopping



If you’ve started looking for real estate in Smyrna, you’ve probably started shopping for mortgages, as well. If that’s the case, you’ve almost certainly gotten advice on protecting your identity against identity thieves, as well, including taking measures such as subscribing to an identity protection service, making sure your credit hasn’t been used by someone else, and beyond.




Here are some things you should do to protect your identity that go a bit beyond simply subscribing to a service to do it for you.


Practice Good Password Hygiene


Whenever the phrase “identity theft” is uttered, it’s easy to start thinking about hackers working their way into your Wifi, spying on your phone conversations or emails, or other secret-agent type shenanigans. In reality, identity thieves usually don’t have to work that hard. Most people use predictable passwords, use them across more than one site, and seldom, if ever, change them,




If you’re trying to lock down your identity, change your passwords, all of them, before doing anything that costs money. You can use password managers like LastPass, KeePass, and other options to generate and store secure passwords. Chrome, the browser developed by Google, will also suggest and store secure passwords for you. Don’t try to use a memorable password; use a password manager to remember your passwords for you. This seems like simple advice, to be sure, but it’s worth following.


Check Your Credit Report


If you haven’t worked with a mortgage officer yet, check your credit report before you do anything else. If someone has already stolen your identity and used your identity to complete transactions or take out loans, you’ll likely see it on your credit report. You’ll have to repair any damage that’s been done before you can seriously start looking for lenders, so it makes sense to check your credit report as soon as possible.


Don’t Email Personal Information


If you can avoid it, don’t send any personal information--account numbers, social security numbers, etc.--over email. If you have to send such information to an office, using a fax is generally the safest way to do it. Mortgage officers and banks will always have a fax number you can use instead of email, and it’s often safer to take that route for sensitive information.




Shopping for a mortgage can be stressful, but getting all of these, and other good security practices, implemented, can help you avoid identity theft while you’re trying to get a loan, and after.


Posted in Real Estate News
Oct. 22, 2018

Keeping Autumn Leaves in Check



When you’re selling a house in Smyrna, you need to keep the yard tidy so buyers aren’t turned away by a neglected-looking property. This is part of what Realtors call “curb appeal” and it’s really the difference between whether someone looking for a property stops to take a look at your house or just drives right by.




Here are some tips for taking care of leaves that build up in your yard. Remember that raking or otherwise collecting leaves a couple of times per week is advisable if your house is on the market when the trees shed the greatest amount of leaves per day.


If You Really Don’t Want to Rake


Not everyone enjoys yard work and, let’s face it, that makes it a lot easier to procrastinate. If you really don’t like raking, consider using your lawnmower to pick up leaves. If you have a lawnmower with an attached bag for clippings, running over the leaves will chop them up and toss them in the bag, cutting down on a lot of labor. Remember that you’ll have to empty the bag quite a bit while you’re mowing.


Leaf Blowers for Bad Backs


If you have a bad back or another physical condition that makes raking difficult, consider using a leaf blower to tidy up. Hardware stores have plenty of models to choose from and many are very lightweight. Remember, however, that you’ll still have to get the leaves into a container of some sort, so plan on asking for help with this if necessary.


Get a Big Rake


If you’re going to handle your leaves in the traditional manner, meaning with a rake, get a big one. The small, metal rakes that were ubiquitous a decade a go have been largely replaced by very large, lightweight rakes that make short work of even big yards. Spending a few extra dollars on a bigger rake can cut down your yard cleanup time more than you might imagine.


Don’t Forget the Broom


Remember to sweep off the walkways and the entryways during the autumn, as debris can pile up fast. You’ll also want to keep an eye on the roof, as autumn leaves can build up on the roof in short order during this time of year.




If you want to have a professional landscaper get your yard ready for fall--and for showings--talk to us! They know local businesses that provide just about every conceivable service to homeowners, so consider them a resource in maintaining and improving your home and yard!


Posted in Community News
Oct. 18, 2018

Door Hardware Upgrades


If you have basic home improvement skills, you can probably change your door hardware--knob, deadbolt, etc.--on your own. Most of the people visiting your home probably won’t notice the front door hardware, unless it’s worn out, broken, or mismatched. If it is, it’s worth it to either fix it yourself, or have a professional do it.  Here are some basics about how to choose the right hardware for your door.


Security First


The most important function of your front door hardware is to control access to your home; to let only people with a key or code in. Deadbolts are graded 1, 2 or 3, with 3 being the lowest level of security and durability. Whatever kind of lock you choose, make sure it’s a level 2 or better.




You should have a deadbolt on every exterior door. If you only have a key-in-knob lock on one of your doors, it’s not secure.




Locks with keypads rather than keys are also available. Not having to worry about losing keys is certainly an advantage, and these types of locks are becoming more popular all the time. Door hardware that integrates with your smart home devices is also available. If you want to explore all your options, talking to a locksmith is a good place to start.


Good Aesthetics


There are many different options for door hardware on the market these days, and comparing all of them would take a great deal of time. A quick walk through the right aisle at any home improvement store will provide plenty of options, however; something to match most any door. If you’re replacing your hardware wholesale, keep the color of the door in mind when selecting a replacement. Some lock manufacturers provide guides for matching their lock finishes to specific door colors. If you happen to want to repaint the door, doing so when you’ve removed all the door hardware is the perfect time to do it.




Remember that your aesthetic options might be influenced by the door itself. A front door with a window, for instance, is usually outfitted with a double-cylinder lock, which prevents someone from unlocking the deadbolt from the outside if they don’t have a key.




If you’re performing improvements on your home, remember that first impressions count for a lot with buyers, so anything they see immediately upon arriving at the property should be in good repair. Crooked, improperly-closing, or obviously unsecure door hardware can make a bad impression, but fixing or even completely replacing door hardware is generally inexpensive and easy compared to many other home repairs. Talk to us about other ways to improve your Smyrna property before you put it on the market.


Posted in Real Estate News
Oct. 10, 2018

Mortgage Rates Indicate Buying Now Advisable





According to CoreLogic, mortgage rates could be headed up quite a bit from now through March 2019. If you’re in the market for Smyrna real estate, that means that buying now is highly advisable, according to many experts.


The Predictions


CoreLogic is predicting that mortgage rates could get as high as 9.7 percent by March of next year. That assumes that rates keep climbing as they’ve recently been. For those looking to purchase a home, higher rates mean that monthly payments will be higher, as well. Because of that, those looking for a home should consider acting sooner rather than later, before rates go up more.


Moving Quickly to Get Financing


Getting financing for a home can be a daunting task but, between working with a loan officer and a Realtor, you can get things taken care of surprisingly quickly.




The first thing most buyers do is get prequalified. This gives you a broad estimate as to how much the lenders would be able to give you toward your home. This isn’t a commitment on the part of the lender, however. This estimate helps you work with a Realtor, who can take that estimate and find properties that meet your budget and your criteria for a house. There are plenty of options in Smyrna, so don’t get discouraged if you’re prequalified for a bit less than you’d hoped.


Talk to Us Now


There’s no obligation, so you can contact us any time and let them know what you’re thinking about in terms of real estate in Smyrna and when you’d like to start looking for properties. The good thing about doing this first is that you can at least get some idea of what the market’s like. We are experts in negotiating prices, so you’ll get a more accurate idea of what’s available based on talking to them than you will from just looking at listings.




In the meantime, remember to keep your credit in good repair. With interest rates forecasted to rise, it’s a good time to limit debt and to cut back where you can. One of the benefits of looking for real estate is that it encourages you to keep your credit rating as high as possible so you can get the best interest rates when you do decide to borrow for a home.





Posted in Buying a Home
Oct. 1, 2018

Cobb County Events for October 2018



Six Flags Fright Fest


Every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday during October


273 Riverside Parkway, SW






Six Flags Fright Fest 2018 features a zombie take over of the park, several different haunted houses, and much more. The event runs throughout October, so you don’t have to take it all in at once. This year, there are seven new attractions to choose from. There’s a ticket giveaway you can sign up for here. If you want more information on the event in general, click here.




Owl-O-Ween Hot Air Balloon Festival


October 19




3200 George Busbee Parkway NW




This is the largest hot air balloon festival in Atlanta, and there’s a lot more going on at Owl-O-Ween, as well. Check out local merchants, food trucks, multiple stages, live music, an area just for kids and much more. The balloon glow is worth seeing, so be sure to show up on time to see the balloons light up, providing a perfect light show for an autumn evening. You can get more information about this event by clicking here.






Seeing Red Chili Cook-off


October 20th




1061 Concord Rd SE






Brought to you by Wade’s Fine Eatery and Good TIme Emporium and Reformation Brewery, this all-ages event is open to all competitors. In addition to the cook-off competition, there will be plenty of games, food vendors, live music and more, making this a great fall gathering for the entire family. Some of the proceeds from this event will go to the Smyrna Fire Department, so it’s for a good cause, as well. If you want to enter the competition or just get more information, you can reach the Seeing Red Chili Cook-off page by clicking here.






The City of Smyrna Fall Jonquil Festival


October 27 & 28


10am-6pm Saturday; Noon-5pm Sunday


Village Green






Smyrna’s big autumn party will feature live music, plenty of food, games, booths from local organizations at much more. The celebration is held at the Village Green in downtown Smyrna. There’s plenty to do and, if you have children, there’s an entire section of the festival dedicated to diversions for them. There’s even a parade for the kids at 9am on Sunday, so head down a bit earlier than the official event starts if your kids want to watch or participate in the parade. You can get more information by calling Tod Miller or Bill Watson at 770-423-1330 or by clicking here.




If you’re interested in more local events, ask us. We are the Smyrna experts.


Posted in Community News
Sept. 28, 2018

How Home Inspections Protect You



Choosing a home in Smyrna is a big decision and, like all big decisions, it’s only wisely undertaken with the best possible information. Home inspections provide you, the homebuyer, with that information. These will be arranged for by your Realtor when necessary. They protect your interests in many different ways, but here are some of the most significant.




The Roof


Roof problems can turn into repairs that cost thousands and thousands of dollars, so you want to make sure the roof on the home you’re purchasing is in acceptable shape before you sign any papers. Inspectors will look for signs of damage and leakage that can result in expensive repairs, and will make sure that equipment associated with the roof—such as the gutters—is functioning as intended.




Building Integrity


Believe it or not, you could miss major problems with the very structure of a property during a walk through. Home inspectors are trained to see problems before they fully manifest and they can save you a lot of money by doing so. Is a door frame starting to sag? Are there problems with the foundation of the home? An inspector will find out and let you know before you commit to buy.






Plumbing problems can not only involve expensive repairs to the plumbing itself, but might also result in your property being destroyed by leaks and floods. Inspectors take a close look at the plumbing system and look for signs that it’s failing, such as water-stained walls and ceilings and other issues.






Electrical problems can cost you the entire house if they’re not remedied, so inspectors check out a property’s electrical system from the mains to the outlets to the wall switches and beyond. This is a vital part of the inspection, as a home with wiring that’s not up to code is downright dangerous. Your inspector will make sure you can have every confidence in the electrical system, and that you know otherwise if that’s the case.




Your Realtor can give you more information on home inspections. Your Realtor won’t take anything for granted, so expect them to be very particular about getting all the right inspection information for any home you're interested in. This is just one way that a Realtor protects your interests and makes sure that your home in Smyrna is truly a joy to own and to live in.






Posted in Real Estate News
Sept. 24, 2018

Removing Trip Hazards Before Home Showings




When you’re showing a home, it’s important that it be as inviting as possible to the potential buyers who come buy to have a look. One of the most important parts of making your home inviting is making it easy for everyone to make their way through the property, so your Realtor can show off it’s best features. To that end, you’ll want to eliminate anything that poses a risk of hindering, or even tripping someone who comes by for a showing, and here are some tips for doing just that.


1. Start with the Obvious


Make sure hallways and the main floorspace in each of your rooms is cleaned and clear of clutter. Aside from the trip hazard presented by cluttered floors, they also seriously detract from the look of the home. Prospective buyers may well pass on a good property if it’s cluttered and messy when they come to visit.


2. Sweep Up Debris


It’s heading toward autumn, and that means that people viewing your home are likely to track in leaves and other debris from the ground outside. Clean this up immediately after each showing. Not only does it look messy, it can also stain your carpets and scratch up your floors if it’s let go, and that might mean an emergency cleaning or repair before your next showing.


3. Check the Porch


Autumn, between Halloween, Thanksgiving, and the many other holidays around this time of year, tends to mean people decorate their porches and other exterior spaces a lot. Be sure your decorations don’t clutter up the porch. This will not only make it harder for people to get around, it’ll also detract from the curb appeal of your home, which means fewer people will be motivated to stop and take a look at the house.


4. Remember that People Have Varying Levels of Mobility


Remember that some of your potential buyers may use a cane, crutches, a wheelchair, or another assistive device for mobility, and that they’ll need more room to get around the house because of that. Avoid arranging furniture in ways that narrow walkways and check to make sure that throw rugs, the areas where different floor surfaces meet, and any stairs you have are all safe for everyone to traverse. Opening up the space also makes the home more attractive, in most cases, so taking care in this way has aesthetic benefits in addition to its practical benefits.


Your Realtor can give you more advice on preparing your home for a showing.




Posted in Real Estate News