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Creating a First Time Home Buyer Wish List

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.

How to Pick Paint Colors

Paint has remodeling power when you use it to emphasize a room’s best features or play down the flaws.

“Paint is a powerful tool that can enhance the architectural character and intent of space,” says Minneapolis architect Petra Schwartze of TEA2 Architects. “As you choose your paint, think about what the experience in the room should be.”

More Schwartze advice:

Always sample paint colors on a few walls. Don’t be shy about painting a few large swaths on walls and trim to consider the effect of natural and artificial lighting. Add samples to opposite sides of a room to judge the paint color from different angles.
Check the space with the samples in place and watch how the paint color changes at different times of the day.
Evaluate your reaction to the proposed colors: Does the space feel cozy or is the openness enhanced?
How to enlarge space with color

Painting walls white, cream, pastels, or cool colors (tinged with blue or green) creates the illusion of more space by reflecting light. Paint trim similar to walls (or use white on trim) to ensure a seamless appearance that visually expands space.

White or light colors lift a ceiling; darker shades can have a similar effect if you select a high-gloss paint sheen, which reflects light and enhances space.

Employ a monochromatic scheme to amplify the dimensions of a room. Select furnishings in one color and paint walls and trim to match. Lack of contrast makes a room seem more spacious.

Make walls appear taller by extending wall color onto the ceiling. Create a 6- to 12-inch-wide border of wall color on the entire ceiling perimeter, or wherever walls meet the ceiling.

Vertical and horizontal stripes of alternating color can make a room grand. While vertical stripes enhance room height by drawing the eye upward, horizontal stripes lure your gaze around the perimeter, making walls seem further away. Use similar light colors for low-contrast stripes, and your room will look even larger.

Creating intimacy

When a space feels cavernous, draw walls inward and make it cozy with warm colors (red-tinged) because darker hues absorb light. Similarly, a dark or warm color overhead (in a flat finish) helps make rooms with high or vaulted ceilings less voluminous.

Give peace a chance

The right paint choice can lend tranquility to a bathroom, master suite, or other quiet, personal space. A palette of soft, understated color or muted tones help you instill a calming atmosphere. Some good choices include pale lavenders, light grays or greens, and wispy blues.

Define your assets

Call out notable features in a room with paint. Dress crown mouldings and other trims in white to make them pop against walls with color. Make a fireplace or other feature a focal point by painting it a color that contrasts with walls.

“Using a higher sheen of paint on woodwork, such as baseboards and door or window casings,” says Schwartze, “creates a crisp edge and clear transition from the wall to the trim.”

Hide flaws

Not everything should stand out in a space. Using a low-contrast palette is a good way to hide unappealing elements or flaws. Conduit, radiators, and other components painted the same color as the wall will seem to disappear.

Selecting low-sheen or flat paint colors also helps hide flaws. Unless walls are smooth, avoid using high-gloss paint because it reflects light and calls attention to an uneven surface.

What’s the cost?

As a DIY job, painting a 12-by-12-ft. space costs about $150, including paint, primer, brushes, drop cloths, and other painting tools and supplies. A professionally painted room using high-quality, brand-name paint costs $200-$400.

Thank you Jan Soults Walker and HouseLogic for the article How to Pick Paint Colors.

If you have any additional questions, contact us at kevin@foryoureverymove.com or post on our Facebook page or twitter!

Rent or Buy in the Greater Athens Area

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!

Real Estate on the River – Country Financial and JWA Part 2

Brandon with Athens Team JWA is Back With Greg From Country Financial

Greg with Country Financial is back on the river with Brandon from Team JWA. This week, we’re talking about what you need to know in the greater Athens area about water and your home! What would you like to know more about, or anyone you’d like to see on the next video segment of Real Estate on the River? Let us know today!

Home Environmental Features in Athens Real Estate

Helping Your Home Be More Efficient in the Greater Athens Area

(Information  and graphic via Keller Williams)

When you’re ready to sell your home, it’s important to know what features home buyers are looking for. Whether their motivation is to save the planet or just to save money, buyers in today’s market are looking for energy efficiency in their homes.

What features do buyers say are most important to them?

Upgrading your home with environmentally friendly and energy-efficient features can attract more buyers to your home and increase your home’s value. Before investing in any upgrades, give our team a call or submit a request for contact and we will help you customize which upgrades are most appealing for your home to buyers in the greater Athens GA area.

Take Team JWA With You This Summer

Show your JWA gear on your travels away from Athens

What fun trips outside of the greater Athens area do you have planned for the Summer of 2018? Or are you planning on staying close the the classic city and enjoying some of the sites, tastes and events that Athens has to offer? We want to hear from you! Be sure to stop by and pick up your Team JWA logo merchandise like koozies, tumblers and more, before you start your big adventures. We would love for you to share your travels by showing your Jennifer Westmoreland and Associates gear wherever you go!

Be sure to tag Jennifer Westmoreland and Associates so that we can be sure to see it and thank you for your share! Who will have the most interesting Summer trip or event, and who will travel the furthest? We hope you have a safe and happy traveling season!

ACCA Golf Tournament Presented by Team JWA Success

The weather was perfect, golf carts were full of participants, and the food was delicious!

Our inaugural 2018 Golf Tournament benefiting the Athens Community Council on Aging and presented by Team JWA was a big success! The event was led and coordinated by Rodney England, Kelli McCain and Team JWA’s Brandon McEachern and David Walton. Thank you for your support of this year’s event!

The tournament couldn’t have been a success without the many golfers that came out and played. Thank you as well! We also had lots of tournament sponsors (pictured below), which helped raise funds for the ACCA.

The golf tournament was part of the fundraising effort for the ACCA’s Retro Prom event, which took place this past weekend. With the help of special events like the golf tournament, the ACCA was able to raise a record $55,000 this year! At this Retro Prom event,Team JWA’s David was also named Retro Prom King 2018!

Take a look at pictures below from this year’s event, and be sure to share them with friends! Check back soon too for our next big event. We’d love to see you there.

7 May Home Care Hints in the Greater Athens area

7 Tasks for the month of May to help maintain your home

You can keep your home in top shape with simple tasks throughout the year (information via Keller Williams). This month, be sure to:

  1. 1. Check all decks, patios, porches, stairs and railings for loose members and deterioration.
  2. 2. Check plumbing shut-off valves. Ensure that they turn off and on freely.
  3. 3. Service your kitchen disposal by grinding several cups of ice cubes.
  4. 4. Check vents, louvers and chimneys for bird nests and squirrels.
  5. 5. Check your sprinkler system for leaky valves and exposed lines.
  6. 6. Inspect your home’s exterior siding for mildew. Scrub off as necessary.
  7. 7. Check your air conditioning unit and have it serviced before summer temperatures arrive.

    As always, I appreciate referrals from my friends and past clients. If you know of anyone who is looking to buy or sell real estate, please send them my way! Interested in buying or selling your next home? Submit a request for contact or just give us a call!

This Month in Real Estate May 2018

Interested in what’s going on in your Greater Athens area neighborhood too?

Your “This Month in Real Estate” update for May 2018 is here! Would you like more information on what’s going on with your home in the greater Athens area? Submit a request for contact, or give us a call today! Information via Keller Williams.

May 2018 Market Update
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Monthly VideoAccording to the National Association of REALTORS®, existing home sales inched up for the second consecutive month in March in spite of insufficient inventory in many parts of the country. The ongoing strain on available homes has kept housing growth at a slower pace than that of last year.
Interest Rates
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Interest RatesAccording to Freddie Mac, 30-year fixed rates rose from 4.45 percent to 4.47 percent. This rate remains well below the historical average of 8.90 percent.
Home Sales
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Home Sales Graph
The National Association of REALTORS® reported home sales at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of approximately 5.6 million homes during the month of March. This was an increase of 1.1 percent from February and a decrease of 1.2 percent from March of last year.
Home Prices
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Home Price Graph
The median home price increased to $250,400 in March, which was up 3.9 percent from February and up 5.8 percent from March of last year. The median home price has increased by approximately $13,800 in the past year alone.
Inventory
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Inventory Graph
There was a 3.6-month supply of housing inventory in March, which was an increase of 5.9 percent from February. The total number of available homes for sale has decreased by 5.3 percent compared to March of last year.
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Brought to you by KW Research. For additional graphs and details, please see the This Month in Real Estate PowerPoint Report.The opinions expressed in This Month in Real Estate are intended to supplement opinions on real estate expressed by local and national media, local real estate agents and other expert sources. You should not treat any opinion expressed on This Month in Real Estate as a specific inducement to make a particular investment or follow a particular strategy, but only as an expression of opinion. Keller Williams Realty, Inc., does not guarantee and is not responsible for the accuracy or completeness of information, and provides said information without warranties of any kind. All information presented herein is intended and should be used for educational purposes only. Nothing herein should be construed as investment advice. You should always conduct your own research and due diligence and obtain professional advice before making any investment decision. All investments involve some degree of risk. Keller Williams Realty, Inc., will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on information contained in This Month in Real Estate.

Real Estate on the River Athens – ACCA and JWA Part 2

Team JWA’s Brandon Talks with Kelli from the ACCA

Learn more about the Meals on Wheels for Pets program at the Athens Community Council on Aging in part two of Real Estate on the River ACCA. We’re happy to be a part of this program and more going on at the ACCA. Look for Jennifer Westmoreland & Associates as sponsors of the ACCA RetroProm 2018! coming up this Friday at The Foundry, featuring The Highballs!

 

Jennifer Westmoreland & Associates
Keller Williams Realty Greater Athens
706-389-9953 / 706-316-2900