Smyrna Real Estate and Community News

July 29, 2019

Why Consulting a Realtor About the Price of Your Home Is Vital



When you’re selling your property in Smyrna, you’re selling more than a house. Likely, you have a lot of memories you associate with the property, and it can be bittersweet knowing the property will no longer be your own. In most cases, homeowners will have invested work in improving and maintaining their property, and this can make coming up with a fair sales price hard, as well. Unfortunately, these and other factors often cause homeowners to want a higher than realistic price for their real estate. It’s vital to have an impartial third party assess the real market value of your property.




Who Sets the Price?




In the end, it’s the buyer who decides how much they’re willing to pay for your property. This takes place after negotiating with your Realtor, who will try to get the best possible deal for you. Realtors have to work within the realistic pricing range of the Smyrna market, and that might mean that you have to compromise a bit on how much you’ll get for your property.




Nostalgia, for instance, has no sales value. Perhaps you have meaningful memories associated with the house, but a buyer won’t be concerned with that at all. While the actual work you put into your home is likely to increase the asking price, you also need to talk to your Realtor about the real value of those improvements. There are plenty of sites out there that offer inflated estimates for how much you can ask for an improved kitchen, better appliances, a fresh paint job and so forth.




Appraisers, with whom Realtors generally have good working relationships, can give you the best estimate on the market value of your property, but remember that they may differ in their assessments between one and the next, as well.




Pricing the House Right Makes Life Easier




If you ask too much for your property, it’s likely to languish on the market. This means that you’ll have to pay to maintain it and, of course, you can’t let anything go if buyers are visiting your property. Working with a skilled Realtor allows you to set a realistic price for your home, which will make it sell more quickly.




There are many for-sale-by-owner sites out there that make pricing and selling your home seem easy. In reality, selling property is a major financial transaction, and that transaction begins with setting a fair price on what’s being offered. Instead of making a guess, or taking a bad estimate from a website, let a Realtor help you decide upon a good price that will help you sell your home quickly.


Posted in Real Estate News
July 24, 2019

What Type of Internet Should You Get at Your New House?





Hooking up utilities is a mix of the good and the frustrating. On the good side, when you get to the point of hooking up the utilities at your new house in Smyrna, you’ll really have a sense that it’s become your property. On the other hand, Internet service, in particular, can be tricky, particularly if you work from home and need a very good connection. Here are some considerations to take into account about the various types of Internet services available, and how they rate compared to one another.








DSL stands for digital subscriber line. It’s been around for a long time now and is among the more reliable forms of broadband Internet. This type of Internet connection is usually provided by your phone company. Speeds can be very fast and pricing is competitive with these lines. You can oftentimes bundle phone, TV, and Internet service all in one with a DSL connection. This is among the most popular types of Internet connection for consumers and, because nearly all homes have landline hardware installed, there’s no installation of permanent equipment required in most cases.




Cable Internet




Cable Internet sometimes comes at higher speeds than whats available for DSL hookups, which gives it something of an advantage for home businesses. A drawback with these connections is that, in some cases, you might notice your Internet speeds slow down during times of the day when there a lot of other subscribers online. If you have a business, you can ask your provider if they can give you a dedicated connection, which might eliminate the slow downs. Cable Internet is also available in bundles with TV from many providers, but tends to be more expensive than DSL.




Satellite Internet




Satellite Internet is generally expensive and not as fast as cable or DSL. It can reach anywhere but, given that Smyrna has access to most other types of Internet, getting a different type of connection shouldn’t be a problem. Because the signal is carried by satellite, there’s always a delay compared to cable and DSL, which makes this one of the slower options for Internet service.








By far the fastest option, fiber-optic Internet is also usually a bit pricier than other options. However, if you need a fast and reliable business connection, it’s hard to do better than this option. The drawback here is availability, so if you need this type of connection, make sure it’s available at the property you want.




If you have questions about availability and other issues related to getting your Internet hooked up, be sure to ask your Realtor.


Posted in Buying a Home
July 16, 2019

Mortgage Rates for July 2019



Last month mortgage rates continued to fall, with 30-year-fixed-rate loans falling below the four-percent mark. This marked the lowest rate since 2017. If you’re looking for a property in Smyrna and you’ve got good credit, 2019 is turning out to be very favorable for borrowers. If you’re looking to refinance, the low mortgage rates this year present a perfect opportunity to explore whether you’d be able to get a better rate that you have at present.




If you’re interested in shorter-term lending, there’s good news, as well. The rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages also went down during June, hitting 3.34 percent toward the end of the month from 3.38 percent at the beginning of the month.




Economic forecasts predict that mortgage rates should remain at low levels through the end of the year. At the moment, while the economy has been going well of late, there’s a perception that it’s likely to slow down. Economic experts are predicting that the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates by the end of 2019, which could provide even more favorable conditions for those seeking a mortgage.




Good for First-Time Buyers




Lower mortgage rates are always good news for first-time buyers, since they tend to get hit with higher rates than average. However, you’ll still want to work with a Realtor, even if you find yourself, as a first-time buyer, able to get a loan on very good terms. Realtors can be of enormous assistance with another major complicating factor for first-time buyers: price.




First-time buyers are generally looking at the less-expensive end of the market and, if you don’t have someone working with you, finding a house at the right price can be a tall order. Affordability is always a big concern for first-time buyers, but your Realtor can help you find a good price on property in several ways. Aside from their detailed knowledge of the inventory in the Smyrna housing market, Realtors are also expert negotiators and they use those skills to make sure you get the most for your money. In some cases, that might mean you can get the property you want by borrowing less, or that you can get a property you didn’t think was in your price range because the Realtor can work out a fair price with the buyers.




To figure out how much you can take, consider getting pre-qualified for a mortgage by a lender. This isn’t a commitment to giving you a loan, but it gives you and your Realtor a price range to work with, making it faster and easier to find a suitable property.


Posted in Community News
July 10, 2019

House Showing Preparation Tip: Clean Your Gutters



If you’re selling a property in Smyrna, there are always a lot of details to attend to. When you’re cleaning up your house, it’s easy to forget those out-of-the way parts of the property that, if not properly maintained, can make a terrible impression on buyers. Your gutters are one such part of your property.




Checking the Gutters




If you’re comfortable taking care of this work yourself, cleaning your gutters usually takes no more than an afternoon, but can avert a disastrous showing. The first thing you’ll want to do is flush the gutters.




Start by removing any large collections of debris that have accumulated in the gutter. In particular, check the areas around the downspouts, as these tend to collect a lot of twigs, leaves, and other debris. Once you have the larger material out of the gutter, use a hose to flush out the gutters. You can do this by adjusting the hose nozzle to a high pressure stream and inserting it in the bottom of the downspouts. This should loosen and eliminate any debris.




If needed, remove the downspout and clean it more thoroughly on the ground, then reattach it and flush the entire system once again.




In some cases, water will pool in the gutters, which means that they likely need to have the slope adjusted. Gutters usually slope ¼ inch for every ten feet of run. If you’re comfortable adjusting the gutters yourself, this is not too difficult a task, but have a professional or a friend with the requisite skills perform the adjustment to the system if you’re not confident.




Why Bother with This?




It’s almost inevitable that, during some showings, there will be rain. If a buyer walks up to your house and sees water pouring out of the gutter system, running down the side of the house and potentially damaging the paint, siding, and other features of the property, it’s going to make a terrible impression on them. It’s one of those flaws that imply that the entire property isn’t properly maintained, and that will make potential buyers walk away.


Just remember, making your property look its best is all about the details, and your gutter system is one of those details that need to be attended to before you start showing the home.


Posted in Selling Your Home
July 5, 2019

Is the Time Right for You to Buy Property in Smyrna?




If you’re looking for real estate in Smyrna, you’re certainly not alone. Smyrna’s own benefits as a community and it’s proximity to Atlanta, as well as many other factors, make it very popular. Buying a home, however, is a big decision, and it’s always worth it to consider whether the time is right to move ahead on your purchase before you start looking for properties. Here are some things to consider doing before you make the decision to buy.




Get Prequalified for a Mortgage




Prequalification gives you an idea of how much a bank will lend you for a home. Most lenders provide this service. It’s a non-binding estimate, so it’s not the same as getting preapproved for a mortgage, but the purpose is different. Once you’re prequalified, you can start looking for homes that truly fit your budget.




Start Working with a Realtor Right Away




Don’t wait until you find a property you feel like bidding on before you find a Realtor. You can start working with a Realtor anytime, even before you’re ready to start hitting open houses and searching the Internet for properties. Realtors are tremendously helpful at the beginning of the home buying experience as they can tell you what to expect and what you’ll need to be prepared for.




Make Sure it’s the Right Time of Year for You




Summer is traditionally the busiest season for real estate in Smyrna, but not all home buyers will prefer the summer market. Remember that autumn and winter both have their advantages for buyers and, if you don’t have children who have to switch schools when they move, and if changing employment isn’t a concern for you, don’t feel rushed into buying during a particular time of year. You can, in fact, always talk to your Realtor about what’s advantageous about any given time of year.




Know what You Need




Know what kind of property you want. Do you need lots of space or not so much? Do you want a big yard or do you want something simple and easy to take care of? Do you want a home that you can live in for decades or something you can fix up and resell in a few years? Again, talking to your Realtor about all these concerns is the best way to determine if you’re ready to go ahead and buy. Your Realtor will also make sure you know about the houses that fit your needs, so you won’t miss out on what the Smyrna real estate market has to offer.




Posted in Buying a Home
July 1, 2019

Smyrna Events July 2019



The Fourth of July is the big event this month, but Smyrna has events going on throughout July, so if you’re visiting to look at a property in Smyrna, you’ll find plenty of diversions and reasons to explore the surrounding area. If you’re looking for other events or attractions, be sure to talk to your Realtor, as they have extensive local expertise.




Food Truck Tuesdays


July 9, 16, 23, and 30


5pm – 9pm


Taylor-Brawner Park


3180 Atlanta Rd


Smyrna, 30080




This event will be held every Tuesday afternoon and evening except July 2. The Food Truck event features numerous different vendors and Taylor-Brawner park provides a nice place to relax and, if you have kids, it’s a very friendly venue for them, as well. You can park at the Community Bank of the South on Atlanta road after 5pm. The city highly recommends walking due to the popularity of this event. You can get more information by clicking here.




Centennial Olympic Park Fourth of July Celebration


July 4




Centennial Olympic Park


265 Park Ave W NW






If you’re looking for a very big fireworks show this Fourth of July, head to Centennial Olympic park to see the biggest event in the Southeast. The event features live DJs and, if you want to grab something to eat before the festivities start, there will be food trucks available throughout the venue. Smyrna is just a short drive from Atlanta, so take advantage of that proximity if you want to see an unforgettable display of fireworks. You can get more information by clicking here.




Water Lantern Festival


July 7


5:30pm – 10pm


2245 Callaway Road


Marietta, 30008




If you want a more peaceful light show than firework displays offer, this Water Lantern Festival is a great choice. Located in nearby Marietta, the event features music and plenty of food to choose from, and the sight of the lanterns on the water is certainly a beautiful one to behold. You can find more information about the event by clicking here.




Southern-Fried Gaming Expo


July 12




Renaissance Atlanta Waverly Hotel and Cobb Galleria Center


2450 Galleria Parkway


Atlanta 30339




This three-day event is all a about gaming, from stand-up games and pinball machines to modern consoles. If you want a great, fun-filled diversion while you’re looking for property in Smyrna or happen to live in Smyrna already, you’ll find it a short drive from the city and well-worth the trip. You can get more information by clicking here.


Posted in Community News
June 30, 2019

Understanding Homeowners Insurance



Homeowners insurance can be a bit confusing for first-time buyers, but if you want a house in Smyrna, you’ll need to learn the basics. Fortunately, banks generally make getting insurance relatively easy for new homeowners, and there are plenty of insurance companies to choose from.




The Basics




Homeowners insurance does precisely what the name implies: it covers damage and liability costs for the property. Most policies cover both the exterior and interior of the home. The policy will most often include any liability that results from injuries sustained at the property or damage to property, as well. You’ll have to ask about your specific policy, however, because this may vary.




If you do file a claim on your homeowners insurance, it works, for the most part, like any other type of insurance. You’ll have a deductible, and this is the amount you’ll have to pay yourself before your insurance company will pay out any money on a claim. Hence, low deductibles are nice, but they do come at a higher price. You’ll also have a liability limit. This is the maximum amount the policy will pay. You’ll have the option to increase your limit, if you want more insurance on your home.




Whatever policy you choose, you will have to make a choice and get insurance before a bank will issue a mortgage. Fortunately, most banks make this easy and will help you find an appropriate policy.




Similar Products




Homeowners insurance is not the same as a home warranty, which some homeowners might also like to purchase for their home. Home warranties offer coverage for repairs and are usually time limited You don’t have to purchase a home warranty to get a mortgage; it’s entirely optional.




If you’re making a low down payment on your property, you might need to purchase mortgage insurance. This is a different product than homeowners insurance; it covers the extra risk the lender takes when issuing a mortgage to someone making a small down payment.




Talking to a Realtor or a mortgage officer is always a good idea if you have questions. Most of them will be more than happy to share what they know, and can refer you to another expert in the area if needed. Homeowners insurance payments are often added to the monthly mortgage payment, so you don’t have an extra bill coming in every month for the premium. Homeowners insurance is a requirement, so be sure to ask if you have any questions about obtaining it or how it works.


Posted in Buying a Home
June 28, 2019

Repainted? Here’s How to Clean Up the Mess



Repainting is a great way to make your Smyrna property look more attractive before you put it on the market. If you’re not a professional painter, however, you might find that the affair gets messier than you anticipated. Here’s how to remove paint from various interior surfaces.




Removing Paint from the Carpet




The edges of carpets are likely to get some paint splattered here and there. Fortunately, it’s not too hard to remove most latex or water-based paint.




If the paint is wet, blot it  up and don’t rub it around on the carpet. You can use a paper towel or a rag for this. The paint should come off after a bit of blotting




If the paint is dried or paint remains after blotting, hot water and dish detergent can soften it up so you can continue blotting it. Remember not to spread the paint across any more of the carpet than it already stained. What you can’t get up by blotting, try vacuuming after the paint dries again.




For oil paint, the process is more time involved. You’ll want to either use hot water or a steamer to soften up the paint. Once the paint is soft, you’ll have to manually comb or pick it off the carpet fibers. This will break up the stain eventually, but might take some time.




Getting Paint off of Wood




Getting paint off of wood is generally easy enough, but you have to be careful not to damage the surface. You can start by scraping the paint off manually. Use a utility knife or steel wool and go slowly and lightly, avoiding gouging or scratching the wood. Once you get the majority of the stain off, you can use rubbing alcohol to clean the rest up. If rubbing alcohol isn’t doing the job, you can use a product such as paint stripper or mineral spirits to remove the spot. Just make sure whatever you’re using won’t damage the finish on your floor.




Getting Paint off of Linoleum




Linoleum is easy to clean. You can use rubbing alcohol to soften the paint and clean it up with a damp rag. If any paint remains, repeat the process, but gently scrape at the paint to get it off the linoleum. You might want to reseal the linoleum after doing this.




Simple home improvement projects like painting can make your property look fresher, newer, and more inviting to buyers. Ask your Realtor about good shades of paint for your house if you’re not sure what to go with.




Posted in Selling Your Home
June 27, 2019

Removing Oil Stains from Your Driveway



Cars are messy affairs. Automobiles tend to leak fluids, oil in particular, and, over time, this can create unsightly stains on your driveway and, perhaps worse, on your garage floor. If you want to get rid of those stains, the easiest way is to hire a professional but, if you want to go it on your own, you certainly have options.




Step One: Assess the Problem




If the oil is fresh, meaning it’s still wet, cat litter is a handy and inexpensive way to soak up the spill. If you don’t have cat litter handy, baking soda also works well for absorbing oil. Soak up the oil and dispose of it property; petroleum products should not be thrown into the regular trash.




If the stain is already dry, there’s more elbow grease involved. If the wet oil you soaked up left a stain,, this same process will work to get the stain out.




Whatever cleaning agent you decide to use to get the stain out, you’ll want a brush with stiff wire bristles to scrub the stain, and a hose or bucket of water to wash away what comes up.




Cola believe it or not, is very good at removing oils stains, but you’ll need some helper cleaners, too, and not all of them are things you want to touch or breathe directly. Get some gloves and some goggles and the following supplies.




  • A six-pack of cola
  • Bleach
  • Laundry detergent




Dump the cola on the stain to start. Scrub the stain after doing so, then let it sit for a half and hour. To finish off the stain, use a mixture of ¼ cup each bleach and laundry detergent in a gallon of water. You might have to do a bit more scrubbing to get the stain completely out but, if you’re lucky, you should be able to dump the bleach and laundry detergent mix on the stain and hose it right off.




Alternately, if you have a can of WD-40, try spraying that on the stain. Let it sit for a few minutes and use water to wash the stain away.




Remember that each of these methods use chemicals that are potentially hazardous and, in the case of WD-40, flammable. Use appropriate caution and, if you’re cleaning up a concrete garage floor, make sure you open up the space so there’s adequate ventilation.




Cleaning up your property can make it much more attractive to buyers. If you’re wondering if your Smyrna property has problem spots, just ask your Realtor and they’ll point out what might benefit from a bit of TLC.




Posted in Selling Your Home
June 7, 2019

Experts Anticipate Low Mortgage Rates for June




Everyone in need of lending for a home benefits from low mortgage rates. If you’ve got great credit and are looking for a property, you can shop for the very best rates from lenders. If you’re a first-time buyer, you can get a better deal on your first mortgage, making it easier for you to make the move from renter to buyer.




What the Experts Are Saying




Freddie Mac noted that mortgage rates are at a 14-month low right now and, for FHA, USDA, VA, and Conventional mortgages, their rate predictions have gone down by almost a full point. Because of this, mortgages in the 4-5 percent range are readily available. Between the summer being the busiest real estate season and the low rates, this means it’s a very good time to be looking for property in Smyrna.




If you’ve been following rates and rate predictions over the years, you’ll notice that this is a much sunnier scenario than experts were predicting earlier in the year, when rates were forecasted to climb throughout 2019. Nothing is ever set in stone, of course, and that’s good news for those who might have felt that rates would be too high for them to get into their first home, or to purchase a new property.




Mortgage Rates Since 2018




Financial reporting had predicted that rates would climb up to around five percent by the end of 2019. Over the course of the year, however, those predictions have gotten better all around, and most venues are predicting that rates will remain below 4.5 percent until the end of 2019. While rates are expected to increase a bit over the rest of the year, June is forecasted to be much lower than predicted, and the increase over 2019 to be less severe than initially thought.




Getting a Mortgage




If you qualify for a VA loan or another government program, that might be your best bet for getting into a new property. If you’re not eligible, however, remember you can still take the time to shop around and figure out who’s going to give you the best rate on your property loan. Most lenders will prequalify you for a mortgage, which is non-binding, but which gives you an idea of how much you can expect to have available to you from lenders. This is a good first step when working with a Realtor, as it allows you to set a price range, making it easier to narrow down your options to the best Smyrna properties out there.


Posted in Buying a Home