Posts Tagged ‘houses for sale’

Rent or Buy in the Greater Athens Area

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Is now the right time for you to buy a home?

 

(Information and photo via Keller Williams)

You have many options to consider and choices to make. Buying a home is a big responsibility, financially and emotionally, but, most people want to own a home. Homeownership often is referred to as “The American Dream.” Why is it so special? Among the reasons: Real estate often is an excellent investment, perhaps the number one source of wealth-building for families.

 

“…Owning a home also qualifies you for tax benefits that may assist you in dealing with your new financial responsibilities…”
Owning a home has many benefits. When you make a mortgage payment, you are building equity – and that’s an investment. Owning a home also qualifies you for tax benefits that may assist you in dealing with your new financial responsibilities – such as homeowners’ insurance, real estate taxes, and upkeep, which can be substantial. But given the freedom, stability, and security of owning your own home, they are definitely worth it! Owning your own home also can be a great source of pride and stability.

But homeownership may not be for everyone. It’s a big financial commitment – starting with the initial shock of your purchase (including a down payment and fees paid to a real estate agent, the lender and others) followed by years of monthly mortgage payments, real estate taxes, property insurance, and maintenance costs. When you decide to purchase a home, you accept responsibility for paying for these expenses. They are additional costs to your monthly mortgage payment and should be included in your budget estimates: Property Taxes and Special Assessments, Home/Hazard Insurance, Utilities, Maintenance, Home Owner Association (HOA) Fee if applicable.

One of the advantages of renting is being generally free of most maintenance responsibilities and the flexibility of moving almost as soon as you decide. But by renting, you lose the chance to build equity, take advantage of tax benefits, and protect yourself against rent increases. Also, you may not be free to decorate without permission and may be at the mercy of the landlord for your housing needs. Consider these 4 questions when making your choice:

  1. Do you want to spend several years in a house and in a neighborhood?
  2. Do you enjoy lawn and garden work?
  3. Might you need to move suddenly to care for family?
  4. Do you want to keep your assets accessible in the bank, or do you want to invest long-term in a home?

Interested in learning more about the home buying process? Submit a request for contact or give us a call today. We specialize in knowing all about the greater Athens area, and would love to be your local agent!

Creating a First Time Home Buyer Wish List

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6 Considerations Before You Begin Your First Time Home Buying Search

(Information and photo via Keller Williams)

You’ve started your search, but do you know in detail what type of home are you looking for? There are so many choices that it is important to have an idea of what you want and need before you begin looking. Consider making a checklist of amenities that are essential and those you would like to have in your new home.

The list of 6 considerations below may help you clarify your thinking on what is important to you when you are ready to purchase your first home:

  1. What neighborhood(s) would you like to live in?
  2. What price range do you have in mind?
  3. What type of home interests you? (One-story, two-story, split-entry, townhouse, condo, duplex)
  4. Are schools a factor? Do you need to be close to public transportation? Learn more about schools and local housing values!
  5. How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you need? How many do you want?
  6. What other interior and exterior features are important to you?

Please feel free to submit a request for contact, email or call me at any time to learn more about specific areas you are interested in learning more about. I am happy to help you in your research and can give you an up-to-date snapshot of the real estate market.

Five Ways to Update Your Space in Greater Athens

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Five Ways to Update Your Space in the New Year

(Information and photo via Keller Williams)

When the ball drops on New Year’s Eve, we tend to start thinking of all the ways we want to overhaul our lives, but what about our houses? Here are five pieces of inspiration for updating your space in the new year. This may also give you some ideas in a new home that you may be reviewing.

1. Go bold. Paint an accent wall or a piece of furniture an of-the-moment, intense hue – like bright blue, fuchsia, kelly green or purple.

2. Embrace nature. Lacking a green thumb? Try succulents, which are some of the easiest plants to keep alive. Planters in natural materials like concrete and wood extend the organic feel.

3. Play with patterns. Geometric patterns continue to dominate décor designs. Integrate them into your space in a low-stakes way through patterned throw pillows or removable wallpaper.

4. Head toward the fringes. Textile trends are leading toward the tactile, with fringe popping up on everything from bedding to curtains to ottomans.

5. Gild it. Metallic accents make a room pop, and today’s tones can be mixed and layered, so consider trying brass serving trays with polished nickel cabinet pulls.

Looking to buy, sell or invest in real estate? Let’s talk about it. Submit a request for contact or call me today to arrange a personalized consultation.

4 Reasons Why Bamboo Is Taking Home Decor by Storm

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Is bamboo a part of your home decor?

(Information and photo via Keller Williams)

Homeowners are often looking for home improvement options that strike the right balance between affordability, functionality, aesthetics and eco-friendliness. Bamboo has been marketed as something of a panacea—a kind of wonder wood that checks all the boxes. Designers, contractors and consumers have all taken note, as bamboo has made its way into homes as flooring, walls, window treatments, furniture and more. Here are the properties that are making this popular material a go-to green choice for interior design materials.

Affordability
Bamboo is a readily available wood…except for the fact that bamboo isn’t a wood at all, but a grass! Therein lies the secret to bamboo’s ascendant success as a housing material: It grows like a weed because it essentially is one. At a maximum of three feet per day, it is, in fact, the fastest growing plant on Earth.

Versatility
Just the one word “bamboo” doesn’t do justice to the range of looks the material offers. It can vary greatly in shades and textures, making it a versatile option for decorators and designers.

Durability
Whether natural or manmade, few materials can match bamboo’s physical properties pound for pound. Because bamboo grows in wet, tropical climates, it is well-suited to resisting rain and wind. In fact, this unassuming reed beats out hardwood, brick and concrete alike in terms of compressive strength, while rivaling steel in tensile strength.

Sustainability
As a growing number of homeowners look for eco-friendly materials in their decor, perhaps no single factor has contributed to bamboo’s modern vogue in interior design more than its sustainability. As it is a grass rather than a tree, it can grow to a harvestable size (often over 100 feet) in a matter of months. This is in stark contrast to the years of water, fertilizer and pesticide required by other timber woods.

Sit. Stay. Sell. The Power Of Pets In Real Estate

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Every pet deserves a home!

Did you know that, at Jennifer Westmoreland & Associates, we are happy to support our local Athens Area Humane Society with each closing? We were happy to donate a percentage of 2017 closings to the AAHS in support of their mission, and look forward to continuing the tradition! Do you have pets in your household? Below is an excerpt from a Keller Williams blog post. Visit their blog page for more information on helpful ways to help show a home with pets. (Information and photo via KW)

“There was a time when selling a home with a pet was a major issue for sellers and real estate agents. Great efforts went into masking odors, eliminating stains, putting up food/water bowls, closing doggy doors, removing litter pans, putting toys away and even finding a place for the pet to be during showings. Needless to say, it required a lot of extra work on top of the other tasks needed to get the home ready for showing.

In today’s market, most of this has changed, and pet-friendly homes are now considered by many to be a benefit.

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With 65 percent of households currently owning a pet, having a pet is no longer a “downside” when it comes to buyers and sellers. However, even though 79 million households have at least one pet, home owners still need to present a clean, pet-stain and odor-free home when listing it for sale.

More than just having pets, an estimated 83 percent of people actually consider the pet a member of the family. This is causing home owners and agents to see pet-friendly homes in a different light.

Agents understand that people are passionate about their pets. But more than understanding that passion is delivering service that meets the client’s specific needs…” (Continued at KW blog post).

3 Small Steps To Prepare Your Home For Rain

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(Information and photo via Keller Williams)

Complete these home maintenance steps before spring rains begin:

  1. Inspect the foundation for low areas and fill with compacted soil to help prevent foundation damage.
  2. Check the wood trim around windows, doors and railings and make repairs before wood rot occurs.
  3. Inspect the deck for discolorations and reseal before warping occurs.

Small tips can add value to your home. A few maintenance steps can help prevent long-term damage.

Thinking about buying or selling a home? Let us be your resource for local real estate information. Give us a call today, or submit a request for contact!

Sample Over 20 Athens Area Restarants at OCAF Stein and Stem

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What is your favorite Athens area restaurant?

The Oconee County Cultural Arts Foundation (OCAF)is hosting their annual Stein and Stem fundraiser event this Sunday, October 15th at OCAF on School Street in Watkinsville! This year the event will showcase local culinary talent, wineries, breweries, bottle shops, live music by the Original Screw Tops, an exciting silent auction and artist demonstrations. If you’re looking to sample food from a local area restaurant, this is the place to be on Sunday!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Food will be available from:

A Taste of India

Bone Island Grillhouse

Chops ‘n Hops

Copperwood Pizza

Craft Public House

DePalma’s Italian Café

Dicky’s BBQ

Edible Arrangements

Five Bar

Fox’s Pizza Den

Freddy’s

Fully Loaded Pizza

Mirko Pasta

Olive Basket

Opa Robby’s Market

Sweetie Pie by Savie

Takorea

 The Pine

The Traveling Hobo Cafe

Trumps Catering

Winghouse Grill

Zombie Donuts

Proceeds benefit the local art scene. Learn more about this event and OCAF at their website. The Greater Athens area is full of special events and entertainment. What are some of your favorites? An area with growing entertainment and restaurant options can often signal a hot real estate market. Submit a request for contact, or give us a call today to learn more!

This Month in Real Estate October 2017

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Interested in our local Greater Athens area? Contact us today! Information via Keller Williams.

THIS MONTH IN REAL ESTATE
October 2017
HOME SALES
Home sales increased year-over-year.
5.35 MILLION
Seasonally adjusted annual rate of U.S. home sales
+0.2%since one year ago
-1.7%since last month
HOME PRICE
Home prices have continued to increase year-over-year.
$253,500
Average
U.S. home price.
+5.6%since one year ago
-1.8%since last month
MORTGAGE RATES
Mortage rates remain well below the historic average.
30 year fixed: 3.83%
15 year fixed: 3.13%
5/1-year arm: 3.17%
Historical Average: 8.90%
Source: Freddie Mac
THERE’S OPPORTUNITY IN EVERY MARKET!
Call today or submit a request for contact to find out what’s happening in our greater Athens area and how we can help!

Copyright 2017 Keller Williams® Realty, Inc. If you have a brokerage relationship with another agency, this is not intended as a solicitation. All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Equal Opportunity Housing Provider. Each office is independently owned and operated. 

Halloween Safety Tips in the Greater Athens Area

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Information and photo via Keller Williams

We all want to keep our little ghosts and ghouls safe this Halloween. Here are some simple reminders on how to protect your trick or treaters so everyone has a great time.

Costume Choices

  • When choosing or constructing your costumes make sure masks fit securely and provide adequate vision and ventilation. Children should also wear shoes that are well-fitting and sturdy.
  • Costumes should be made of flame resistant materials.
  • Accessories can be a real hazard. The best swords and knives are short, soft, and flexible.

Be Seen

  • Add reflective tape to the costume or bag your child is using to carry candy. Walk with a flashlight so everyone can see where they are going and in turn, others will see you.
  • Walk from house to house as a group, and make sure children are accompanied by an adult.
  • Stick to trick-or-treating in well-lit homes in familiar neighborhoods.
  • Look both ways when crossing the street. If there is a cross walk available, use it.
Home Safety

  • Keep candles and jack-o-lanterns away from landings and doorsteps at your home where costumes could brush against the flames.
  • Be sure the walkway to your house is clear and free of any tripping hazards.

Have a great Halloween and don’t eat too much candy!

5 DIY Improvements to Make Your Home Classier

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Updating your home to be more chic – without looking cheap – is completely doable on a budget.

If you’re looking to add more class to your home, taking on a DIY project can give your house that extra sense of style while saving you money. No need to cringe at those three little words: “do it yourself.” There really are fast, easy and affordable projects you can do on your own. Here are five relatively easy ways to enhance your home.

1. Replace Your Light Fixtures
Switching out an old or basic light fixture for a more elegant one is an easy way to shift the ambiance of a room. By adding a sophisticated light fixture, you can control the intensity of the light and character of your room. And you don’t need to pay a pretty penny for expensive new fixtures – you can buy used fixtures online.

2. Add Floating Shelves
Installing floating shelves in your home combines the functionality of extra storage space with a bit of style and personal flair. Floating shelves can be mounted on walls in many different patterns, and they come in various materials to give your rooms a unique touch. For a small room choose shallow shelves to display framed photos; for a larger room you can afford to use deeper shelves to hold vases, books and unique trinkets.

3. Paint an Accent Wall
Painting an accent wall can add a pop of color and showcase your personality. Usually a low-risk project, a homeowner of any skill level can tackle this project in a day. You just need some painter’s tape, a brush and the color that suits you! Just make sure the color you choose is complementary with the other colors in the room. Stay consistent between warm and cool tones.

4. Install Decorative Molding
Adding decorative molding around your home can add an extra touch of elegance. Install molding to the ceiling by capping walls, columns and cabinets, or add chair molding lower to the ground. With detailed molding you can add character to your rooms while also making them feel taller and more finished.

5. Build a Stone Fire Pit

Take your sophisticated style outside by building a stone fire pit in your backyard. Completed in only a few hours, take uniquely shaped rocks or large stones and put them together to create a functional and stylish fire pit. Before starting the project, be sure to check your local fire codes or homeowners association to ensure you are safe and allowed to start building.

Adding a touch of class to your home doesn’t have to break the bank! Just be sure to start with one project at a time, allowing yourself to complete one before starting the next. Otherwise, you’ll fall victim to chronic project incompleteness syndrome – not a good look!

Now that you know about these five inexpensive DIY projects, which will you try? Or let us know what your favorite home improvement project is on our Team JWA page!

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