Smyrna Real Estate and Community News

July 16, 2018

Mortgage Rates for July 2018

 

 

With the Fed having raised interest rates up 0.25 percent, many home shoppers, particularly first-time home buyers, might be nervous about the effect increasing rates are going to have on the mortgage rates they’re offered by lenders. There could be some impact on mortgage rates, though the relationship between the rate set by the Federal Reserve and the rates that mortgage shoppers get is hardly linear. There are other areas of finance, in fact, where homebuyers would do well to pay close attention, as the increased rates will most certainly have an impact on what they pay to borrow that money, perhaps more so than the increased rates will have on mortgages.

 

Credit Cards

 

Credit card interest rates will most certainly go up for the majority of consumers, and this can be a problem for home shoppers, particularly if they’ve run up high balances on their credit cards. To make sure you get the best possible mortgage rates, pay off your credit cards or, at least, stay current on them and don’t take out any more credit cards. Expect your minimum payments and interest charges to go up, however. Take this as encouragement to control spending, which is a good idea for anyone shopping for a new property.

 

Student Loans

 

Many first-time homebuyers have heavy student loan debt. If you’re struggling with this, you’re not alone. The best way to handle this debt is to concentrate your efforts on paying down any private loans you have and then shift your focus to your federal loans. Remember to stay current on all of these loans, as not making your payments will not be looked upon positively by mortgage lenders. Expect your interest rates to increase, whether you have private or government student loans.

 

Other Large Purchases

 

If you’re looking for funding to purchase a house, it’s best to put off any other large purchases you might have in mind. Purchasing an auto or another big-ticket item should be put off until you get the home you’re after and the funding to pay for it. While interest rates are going up, it’s still possible to get good rates on lending for a home, but you’ll reduce your chances of doing so if you take any other type of lending.

 

 

 

If you need further advice on securing funding for your home, be sure to talk to us. They know the housing market better than anyone and, while finding affordable funding is obviously a vital concern for anyone looking for a property in Smyrna, Realtors can also reduce your costs in the most direct way possible: by getting sellers to reduce their price!

 

Posted in Buying a Home
July 11, 2018

Low Cost Curb Appeal

 

 

Curb appeal is one of the big buzz terms in real estate, and for good reason. There are few things more vital to selling a home than making a good impression on prospective buyers when they pull up in front of the house for the first time. There are plenty of ways that you can improve the curb appeal of your home, and you don’t need to spend a lot of money to do it. Here are some ideas to help you boost the appeal of your home without breaking the bank.

 

Paint Your Front Door

 

If you have decent painting skills, painting your front door is a great way to make your home look more appealing. Look for a color that makes your door stand out from the rest of the porch, but don’t go with something that clashes too much. If you’re not great with color, just ask someone who is. While you’re painting the front door, if you have windows nearby it, consider painting the frames, as well. Not only does painting the door and windows give your home some visual pizazz, it also covers up wear and tear that can make the wrong impression on the buyers.

 

Add some Potted Plants or Flowers

 

During the summer, home improvement stores--and even grocery stores--tend to have a lot of potted plants available that you can put out on the porch for visual appeal. They’re usually quite inexpensive and, because they come already grown and in an appropriate container, there’s really nothing you need to do other than put them out on the porch and keep them watered. For very little money and work, you can make your home look much more inviting.

 

Check for Areas that Need to be Cleaned

 

Hosing off the exterior of the home is a fast and easy way to get rid of dirt and grime, but you can do better than that with just a bit of cleaner and some elbow grease. Make sure all the windows on the house are clean, of course, but look to the areas that people tend to miss. These include:

 

 

 

?       Porch lights, give the fixture a good scrubbing, but make sure to turn off the power first!

 

?       Window sills and frames often need a good cleaning

 

?       Supports, columns, and other structural features

 

?       Stairs and surfaces often benefit from a good scrubbing, as well

 

 

 

Clean porches are very inviting. Combine that with some good aesthetic improvements and your home will be much more appealing to potential buyers. If you need more advice about curb appeal, ask us!

 

Posted in Selling Your Home
July 3, 2018

Fireworks, Dogs, and Securing Your Pet

 

 

When July comes around, fireworks are sure to follow. For dogs, fireworks can be terrifying. If you’ve purchased a new house in Smyrna that doesn’t have fence around the perimeter of the yard, fireworks can be hazards for your dog, in that they might cause your dog to panic and run off. Here are some things you can do to prevent that from happening.

 

Know the Symptoms

 

Your dog might be aware of fireworks going off in the area long before you are. Their hearing is much more sensitive than human hearing, so look for the following signs of anxiety before you let them out:

 

 

 

?       Salivation

 

?       Panting

 

?       Hiding or trying to hide

 

?       Clinginess

 

?       Urinating or defecating in the house

 

?       Shaking

 

?       Restlessness

 

?       Barking for no reason

 

 

 

These symptoms, in the context of the time of year when people are letting off fireworks, likely mean that your dog is hearing fireworks that you cannot. If you have to let your dog out, go out with them and keep an eye on them. Better yet, take them for a walk so that they can patrol their territory and verify that everything is alright.

 

Be Careful if You Go Out

 

If you go out on the Fourth of July, make sure your four-legged friends are secure at home. While fences will keep dogs safely within the bounds of your yard on most occasions, don’t underestimate how high a panicked dog can jump or climb. It’s best to leave your dogs in the house if you go out to celebrate this Fourth of July.

 

If Necessary, Take Your Dog on a Trip

 

If you have a dog that’s particularly scared by fireworks, it might be best to take them for a ride during the big fireworks shows. The noise of the car and the fun of taking a ride will generally distract them, and they’ll be much calmer and happier as a result.

 

 

 

If you’re an animal lover and need a home in Smyrna that’s pet friendly, be sure to let your Realtor know about that concern. They can help you find properties with the amenities you need to keep your pets happy and safe. We know when houses come on the market before anyone else does, in most cases, so they’ll certainly keep an eye out for you to see if something suitable for your and your furry friend’s needs becomes available.

 

Posted in Community News
June 29, 2018

Smyrna Events for July 2018

 

 

 

 

It’s the middle of summer and there’s plenty to do in Smyrna and the surrounding areas! Here are some events you might want to check out during the month of July.

 

Smyrna Food Truck Tuesdays

 

Every Tuesday 5pm-9pm

 

3018 Atlanta Road SE

 

Smyrna, GA 30080

 

 

 

Head to Taylor-Brawner Park and enjoy a great selection of cuisine from a variety of different food trucks. This event runs until September, and it’s one of the best places to meet your new neighbors if you’ve just moved into a new property in Smyrna. Parking can be difficult to find on particularly busy nights, so be sure to plan ahead or, better yet, bike to the event. There are options here for all palates and members of the family.

 

Fantastic Fourth Celebration

 

July 1-7

 

Stone Mountain Park

 

1000 Robert E. Lee Blvd

 

Stone Mountain, GA 30083

 

 

 

The Fourth of July falls mid-week this year, which might put a damper on the festivities for some people. Never fear, however, because there is a celebration that runs from July 1 through July 7, and it features a fireworks show that’s famously good. Head to Stone Mountain to check out that huge fireworks display, and much more, including a laser show. The park is open from 10:30am until 8pm, and the fireworks go off after sunset. Coming early is advised, as the park tends to fill up fast as the fireworks draw near and, once the park reaches capacity, it’s closed to newcomers. You can get more information on this show by clicking here.

 

Dinner and a Show: Steel Magnolias

 

July 7, 7pm-10pm

 

The Vineyard Cafe and Dinner Theatre

 

21 West Park Square

 

Marietta, GA 30060

 

 

 

Check out a performance of Harling’s popular play and enjoy a great dinner. The menu is decidedly southern, featuring collard greens, baked corn, chicken and sausage jambalaya, and much more. The event costs $42, which includes the dinner and the play. You can book your seat by clicking here. This event tends to fill up quickly, so be sure to get your tickets ASAP if you want to catch the performance.

 

Smyrna Summer Concert Series

 

July 14

 

7pm-10pm

 

The Village Green

 

200 Village Green Circle

 

Smyrna, GA 30080

 

 

 

The Throwback Experience has a repertoire that includes hits from the 60s through the 80s. Known for their high-energy delivery, The Throwback is sure to get the crowd moving. Attendees have the option of getting a table for $30 per concert, which is great for families that want to bring along kids or people who need a comfortable place to sit down during the show. If you’re more inclined to dance, however, there’s plenty of room to do so at the summer concerts, and there’s generally a great crowd, too! Click here for more information.

 

 

 

If you want more information about area events, be sure to ask us. They’re local experts and always know what’s going on in Smyrna and the surrounding areas.

 

Posted in Community News
June 26, 2018

Keeping Your House Mold Free

 

 

 

If you’re selling property in Smyrna, the last thing you need is for a mold problem to present itself before the house goes on the market. Mold remediation can be a big, expensive project, so your best option is to prevent mold from developing in the first place. Here are some tips to do just that.

 

Moisture Is the Enemy

 

High-humidity areas are where you’re most likely to develop a mold problem. That means that bathrooms, kitchens, and basements deserve the lion’s share of your attention toward preventing a mold problem. Some problems can be prevented by maintenance, but others might require a professional to fix. Here are some ways you can prevent mold yourself, before you have to call in the pros to get rid of the problem.

 

Check for Leaks

 

You should regularly check for leaky pipes and drains. Remember that not all leaks are obvious, so look for water damage, in addition to looking for actively-leaking pipes. Check near the walls, where the pipes enter the room, and pay particular attention to faucets.

 

Dripping faucets have to be fixed immediately. Don’t let these go, as it’s likely that a dripping faucet is leaking in places where you cannot see, in addition to the visible problem. Be sure to check underneath sinks. Check cabinets for signs of water damage—swelling, staining—and check the underside of sinks to see if water is running down the bottom of the basin.

 

Vent Humidity When Possible

 

Opening windows is the best way to vent excess moisture out of the house. You can also use a dehumidifier, which will be particularly useful in areas such as basements, where generating airflow out of the house can be tough. If you’re not sure whether or not your indoor humidity is too high, you can pick up inexpensive, digital humidity monitors and station them in the house. Generally speaking, anything between 30 and 50 percent humidity is normal, but anything above that is getting a bit high and does merit a dehumidifier or an open window. In a pinch, a fan can help, as well.

 

Don’t Create New Problems

 

When you shower, wash dishes, or taken on other tasks that generate a lot of humidity, make sure you let the area dry out. Open up bathroom doors and windows and don’t leave damp towels lying around. Clean out your shower daily and make sure you wipe up any excess moisture.

 

These simple measures can go a long way toward preventing mold problems. If you have other questions, ask your Realtor.

 

Posted in Real Estate News
June 21, 2018

Make Your Summer Landscaping Easier

 

 

If you’re selling your property in Smyrna, you know that curb appeal is a big factor in whether potential buyers stop to see the house or not. Landscaping is a big part of curb appeal. Not everyone has the greenest of thumbs, so here are some tips for those who want to make their property shine, but who might not have the skills required to tend to the most demanding of plants.

 

 

 

For Those Who Don’t Garden at All

 

 

 

If you started sweating in fear as soon as “landscaping” was mentioned, be aware that you don’t have to plant flowers or other ornamental plants to increase the curb appeal of your home. Want to make it easier on yourself? Just make sure you keep the grass mowed and that you trim the trees and any other plants on the property. This is sort of the landscaping version of painting your interior walls white; it lets the buyer imagine what they’ll do with the property, and that has it’s advantages. However, for those who want to do something more complex, read on!

 

 

 

Know How it Grows

 

 

 

When you’re selecting plants for your yard, be sure you’re aware of how much you can expect them to grow during the warm months. For example, holly grows very quickly. If you plant it, or other fast-growing plants, anticipate that you’ll have to do a lot of trimming to keep everything neat. If you’re planning on vacating your property in Smyrna before it sells, avoid fast-growing plants. Ask your landscaper or gardening store for slow-growing, easy-to-maintain options.

 

 

 

Know the Watering Requirements

 

 

 

Survey your property before deciding what to plant, and keep an eye out for areas where the grass isn’t getting enough water. This is a good indication that any plant, even a hardy one, is going to be high-maintenance if you put it in this part of the yard. Dried out areas, especially if the grass dies off completely, will develop weeds, so replant grass and be sure to water these areas, but avoid using them as beds for high-maintenance plants.

 

 

 

Plant Perennials

 

 

 

Perennial plants come back on their own each year, and they’re the lowest of low-maintenance plants. Consider planting these instead of more high-maintenance plants. The side benefit is that, if someone looking at your property in Smyrna happens to be a gardener themselves, they’ll be aware that they won’t have to rush to improve the yard, and that it will look as beautiful the following spring as it does when they view it.

 

Posted in Real Estate News
June 18, 2018

Owning Pets in Smyrna

 

 

Looking for a home in Smyrna that’s friendly to your four-legged family members? Here are some things you need to know about owning a pet in Smyrna.

 

Local Ordinances

 

Smyrna is generally a pet-friendly town, but you’ll also have to make sure your pet is friendly to the town and your neighbors.

 

In Smyrna, nuisance pets are defined under Cobb County Ordinance Section 10-9, and you’ll want to make sure that your furry friend doesn’t engage in any of the following:

 

        Howling or barking for more than fifteen minutes

 

        Chasing cars or other vehicles or, of course, people

 

        Leaving messes in public areas

 

        Damaging property

 

        Seriously annoying your neighbors

 

Of course, most of those criteria depend upon how the pet is treated by its owner, so be sure your home in Smyrna is a pet-friendly place. Your Realtor can help you to find the right property for your pet, so be sure to address the following concerns when you talk to them.

 

Lots of Room

 

Fenced-in yards are best for pets. Pets that have plenty of room to play are far less likely to bark at neighbors and passing cars and, of course, they’re not going to be able to get out and chase vehicles and people, which will keep them, and you, from running afoul of the law. Your Realtor can certainly help you find properties with pet-friendly yards; all you have to do is ask!

 

Plenty of Walks

 

Be sure to take your pet out for adventures outside of your own home in Smyrna. Smyrna has plenty of parks and other locations where you can take your dog out for a walk. Just be sure to keep them on a leash and to bring along supplies like water and treats, particularly in the summer. Never leave a pet unattended in a vehicle. This is one of the most dangerous things you can do. If the temperature is above sixty degrees—and it most certainly is in Georgia in the summer—the interior of your car can get above 100 degrees in minutes, even with a cracked window, and this can be fatal for your pets.

 

Obedience Training

 

Obedience training is great for pets and their human friends, so sign up for a class and get your pet trained. It’s one of the best things you can do to keep your pet safe!

 

Microchip

 

When you go to the vet, get your pet implanted with a microchip so that, if they do stray from your house in Smyrna, you can be reunited with your best friend. This is a low-cost procedure that’s well worth it.

 

Talk to us about pet-friendly properties if you have more questions.

 

Posted in Community News
June 13, 2018

Are Lockboxes Safe?

 

 

Putting your house up for sale in Smyrna? If so, your Realtor  very well may want to put a lockbox on the house for ease of entry when showing the property. If you’re worried whether or not this is safe, good for you! It’s important to keep your home secure. Lockboxes are quite secure, and there are advantages to letting your Realtor use one to store your keys.

 

Safety First

 

Let’s address the safety issues first. Lockboxes are very sturdy devices that are tamper and damage resistant. Most of them use an electronic entry system to allow access to the keys to your home. These electronic systems are only accessible to members of your local MLS, so no one but a Realtor is going to be able to open that box to get at the keys.

 

Because these are controlled electronically, the device also tracks who uses the lockbox and when. Each Realtor has their own ID, and Realtors aren’t allowed to share them so it’s always possible to determine who accessed the lockbox. The security in this regard is excellent.

 

Now that the security is out of the way, let’s consider why a Realtor is likely to use a lockbox to store keys.

 

Showing Homes When It’s Best for Buyers

 

People looking for a house in Smyrna are not likely to put up with delays, which is the most significant reason that Realtors use lockboxes. With a lockbox, a Realtor can show the home whether or not the owner is present, and that means that, if someone happens to see the listing and wants to view the home right away—that kind of enthusiasm is not something you want to miss out on—the Realtor can open the home and let them take a look.

 

You do, of course, have the option of insisting that you’re there when the home is shown, but this isn’t always the best option. In some cases, it can make buyers feel like they’re intruding, and what you want is for the buyer to feel like the house you’re selling could be theirs. Between being able to show the home quickly and conveniently and the security lockboxes provide, there’s really no downside to using them.

 

If you have any other questions about security and showing homes, don’t hesitate to ask your Realtor. Realtors are customer service experts and, if they’re selling your house in Smyrna, you’re their customer, and they’re always available to address any questions you might have!

 

Posted in Real Estate News
June 5, 2018

Mortgage Rates for June 2018

 

 

Mortgage rates have been going up this year, though they remain at historic lows. If you’re considering purchasing real estate in Smyrna this year, there are plenty of ways you can make sure that you’re getting the best possible rates. Keep in mind that, of all the factors that go into a home purchase, your Realtor is the most important factor in getting a good deal.

 

What’s Driving Up Rates?

 

Mortgage rates are affected by numerous different variables in the broader economy, which can sometimes make the movement of mortgage rates a bit hard to understand. During the first and second quarters of 2018, inflation, federal monetary policy and numerous other factors were driving rates higher than they’ve been in quite a while. Nonetheless, they’re still well below 5 percent.

 

Don’t Get Cold Feet

 

Remember that a mortgage is not permanent. Homeowners do have options for renegotiating mortgages, so keep in mind that your mortgage is a living loan that can be altered and changed as your circumstances and the market change over time. Your Realtor can explain how this works to you, and can certainly give recommendations on quality mortgage lenders in the Smyrna area.

 

Keep that Credit Healthy!

 

When you see mortgage rates in the news, keep in mind that not everyone will qualify for the best rates. You can have a profound impact on what kind of rates are available to you by being smart with your credit. Limit spending, keep up to date on your bills, and make sure that you don’t take out other forms of lending while you’re looking for real estate in Smyrna. One good tip to keep in mind that can really save your credit is to make sure you don’t apply for any credit cards. When you’re at a discount store and they ask if you want to apply for that store’s credit card, the best answer is always “no” when you’re shopping for property.

 

Let a Realtor Do the Negotiating

 

Realtors are expert negotiators, and they can ensure that you get the best possible price on a property. The sales price they negotiate is, by far, the most important factor in how affordable a home purchase will be. When you start looking for real estate in Smyrna, contact a Realtor right away. Not only can they negotiate the best price, they can also make sure you’re informed when new properties come on the market, giving you an edge that far outpaces the influence of the mortgage rates at any given time!

 

Posted in Community News
June 1, 2018

Smyrna Events for June 2018

 

 

Smyrna Events for June 2018

 

Summer is upon us and there’s plenty to do in and around Smyrna. If you’re shopping for a house in Smyrna and you’re from out of town, you’ll likely be surprised at all there is to do in Smyrna itself and in the greater Atlanta area. Here are some events to check out this month!

 

Dixie Highway 90-Mile Yard Sale

 

June 1-3

 

Various Locations

 

If you’re looking for an excuse to get out and about, you’ll find few better than this. The Dixie Highway 90-Mile Sale is a collection of yard sales that includes thirteen different communities, from Marietta to Ringgold. The route traverses U.S. Highway 41, and the event spans three full days. You can learn more about the event by calling (770) 387-1357, or you can visit the event’s Facebook page by clicking here.

 

 

 

Smyrna Food Truck Tuesdays

 

June 5, 12, 19, 26

 

5-9pm

 

Taylor Brawner Park

 

3180 Atlanta Rd SE

 

Smyrna, 30080

 

 

 

This event runs throughout the summer and it’s become a big attraction for residents of Smyrna and the entire area. There’s more than food to enjoy at this event—though that’s the big draw, of course—including music and other entertainment. If you can’t find parking at the event, you can head to the Community Bank of the South on Atlanta Road and park there. If you’ve recently purchased a home in Smyrna, this is one of the best places to meet your new neighbors. For more information, including the vendor selection for any given week, click here! Tip: Parking can be tight, so walk or bike to the event if you want to avoid having to find a parking spot.

 

Tarzan

 

The Atlanta Lyric Theater

 

June 8-24

 

Jeannie T. Anderson Theatre

 

Cobb County Civic Center Complex

 

Marietta, 30060

 

This is a musical production of the well-known tale of Tarzan of the Apes, with music by Phil Collins. It’s based on the Disney animated version, features great music and a stunning stage presentation. You can get more information about the event by calling (404) 377-9948 or by sending an email to info@atlantalyrictheatre.com. For venue information, tickets, and available dates, click here.

 

 

 

Smyrna Summer Concert Series

 

June 9

 

7-10pm

 

The Village Green

 

200 Village Green Circle

 

Smyrna, 30080

 

 

 

This month’s concert will feature local musician Alex Guthrie, an eclectic musician whose influences include blues, rock, folk, and more. Be sure to reserve your table quickly, as the Smyrna Summer Concert Series is one of the most popular local events, with plenty to do for the entire family. For more information, click here.

 

 

 

Smyrna offers plenty of options for entertainment over the summer. If you want more information on local events, be sure to ask your Realtor. They’re local experts and always know what’s going on!

 

Posted in Community News