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Archive for March, 2009

Brookhaven’s Haven or Heaven?

Saturday, March 28th, 2009

 

Have you been to Haven? It is one of Brookhaven’s best restaurants and it’s located on Dresden Drive, east of Peachtree Road and inside Brookhaven Village. The food, drinks, and service are excellent . Rarely, can you go there and not see a friend or business associate. It’s the kind of neighborhood restaurant that a woman can go to by herself, sit at the bar, order dinner or drinks and not be hassled. Prices are moderate; downright cheap, if one orders small plates, rather than a full entree. Try it, you will be impressed!

Ashford Park, Drew Valley, Brookhaven and Sexton Woods are the best-kept secrets in Atlanta’s residential neighborhoods. These areas are inside the perimeter, close to I-85 and GA-400, MARTA, Lenox Square, Phipps Plaza and Pill Hill (hospitals). I love this area of Atlanta and I would be happy to tell you about it or show it to you.  Another plus, is that all of these neighborhoods are close to Haven!

Are you interested in living nearby in the Brookhaven, Ashford Park, Drew Valley, Sexton Woods neighborhoods? It’s a great area for a single or the entire family and there are still great investment “buys”, either as rentals or flippers. To see homes, go to the “Search For Homes” tab, at the top of this page, and enter your search criteria. You can also hit the Brookhaven or Ashford Park links on the “Search” page – we’ve done the work for you, using a broad search base. And, of course, you can always call or email me for help.

Chastain Park Horseradish Grill – one of Atlanta’s best!

Saturday, March 28th, 2009

One of Atlanta’s best restaurants is tucked away, almost hidden, in the Chastain Park area. Horseradish Grill (aka: HRG) is a neighborhood bar and grill with a southern accent.  Some of the featured menu items are Fried Green Tomatoes, Shrimp and Grits, Georgia Mountain Trout and Skillet Fried Chicken. For less-adventurous diners, cheeseburgers, turkey club sandwiches, filet mignon or vegetable plates are available. HRG also has liberal wine and dessert selections. On any given day at HRG, you’ll find business associates and friends congregating at this delightful neighborhood restaurant.

Are you interested in buying or selling a home in the Chastain Park neighborhood? It’s a great place for a family or investment home. Go to the “Search For Homes” tab, at the top of this page, and enter your search criteria. You can also hit the Chastain Park link, on the “Search” page – we’ve done the work for you, using a broad search base. And, of course, you can always call or email me for help. There are many lovely homes in the Chastain area and I would be happy to help you!

In-town Atlanta — Chastain Park — Summer Camp

Friday, March 27th, 2009

Looking for a summer camp for your child? Consider the Chastain Park summer camp program for horseback riding!

Chastain Park Horse Camp

Interested in buying or selling a home in the Chastain Park neighborhood? Please go to the “Search For Homes” tab, at the top of this page, and enter your search criteria. You can also hit the Chastain Park link, on the “Search” page – we’ve done the work for you, using a broad search base. And, of course, you can always call or email me for help. There are many lovely homes in the Chastain area and I would be happy to help you!

Chastain Park

Friday, March 27th, 2009

The outdoor concerts in Chastain Park are almost here!  It makes no difference where your seats are. The big questions are “Who is performing?” , “Are you bringing appetizers or desserts?” and ” Who’s bringing the wine and soft drinks?”.  No matter what your musical interests are, from The Atlanta Symphony to soul or  jazz to pop or country, you’ll love the concerts at Chastain Park Amphitheater. The good news is that the summer season at Chastain Park starts in early June!

Currently the largest public park in Atlanta, Chastain Park consists of 268 acres and is encircled by many beautiful neighborhoods; Belle Isle & Spruell, Blackland, Broadland, Hillside, Brookside Walk, Cherokee Park, Interlochen, Lake Forest, Long Island are just a few. Interested in buying or selling a home in the Chastain Park neighborhood? Call us -we can help. Experience True Experience!

WHO’S ON FIRST: Who and What is selling these days?

Friday, March 20th, 2009

  

I’ve sold new-homes in Atlanta for over 15 years, working exclusively for the last ten of those years for one home-builder.  Two years ago, however, I felt that something was happening in the building industry. Although I couldn’t put my finger on it, I knew something was ‘going down’. In retrospect, I felt the rumblings of what was coming in the housing industry. 
 
It’s been almost 2 years since I left that job.  Happily, since leaving the job that I loved for so many years, I’ve found new passion in my work: I am absolutely in love with what I do!
 
I’ve branched out in my work and, instead of one seller, I now represent both sellers and buyers, from individuals to builders to a bank that holds title to many of the area’s new-homes (foreclosures). I’m working harder than I’ve ever worked, but I believe that I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing: making a living and helping Atlanta’s home sellers and home buyers get through this difficult period of time.
 
I’m learning about areas of the city that I never knew, from  Brookhaven to Canton, Sandy Springs, Lawrenceville, Dunwoody,  Buckhead,  Vinings,  Woodstock,  Marietta, Snellville and back home again to Brookhaven. I’ve also added two great agents to my team, Joy Kirkland and Nora Jacobs, both of whom have helped me keep many of these areas straight! Joy lives in NW Atlanta and Nora is a 3rd-generation NE Atlantan. Both have experience in the housing industry and all three of us love what we do!
 
Even if you are not looking to sell or buy property, I hope you will continue reading my posts. Knowing what is going on in Atlanta’s housing industry is important and I would love to arm you with more information.

Unusual Atlanta Homes — Why Not?

Sunday, March 8th, 2009

There’s always someone who wants an unusual home but Atlanta’s homes never seem quite as quirky as the homes in California.

On the 50th anniversary of the first Barbie doll, Mattel, Inc. rented a home in Malibu, which is frequently rented for film and photgraphy shots. The project took six months of planning and several weeks to install. When Mattel is finished with the project, most of Barbie’s decor will be shipped to the Palms Casino in Las Vegas to furnish a special Barbie suite that will be available for bachelorette parties, birthdays or anyone who wants to live like Barbie.

 Mattell, Inc., the maker of the Barbie doll, commissioned interior designer Jonathan Adler to create the 3,500 square foot version of the Barbie Dream House. With Ardy Warhol artwork and a chandelier made up of 30 blonde wigs, the house has been designed to look like the plastic home millions of little girls grew up and played with.

Who’s up for Barbie’s Buckhead mansion, Dunwoody condo or Sandy Springs home? Read more at:    Barbie’s Dream House

 

Atlanta agents and their loan officers

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

Realtors recommend loan officers for a reason. It is not because the loan officer is “nice”; it is because they believe that that loan officer can “get you to the closing table”. 

Not staying in touch and un-returned telephone calls from loan officers and real estate agents are the biggest complaints in real estate transactions. So, what’s the big deal about a skipped or delayed telephone call? What difference does it make if he/she doesn’t stay in touch? And if a loan officer misses an occasional telephone call, does it make a difference if he promises you a better interest rate?

Right now, Atlanta home interest rates are the best they have been in decades. Of course, a low rate is important to a buyer, but the difference from lender to lender may only vary 1/8% – 1/4% of a point.  On a $250,000 loan, that is approximately $15-30 per month, or approximately $.75 per day! What if the lender cannot get you to the closing table? Consider this:

  1. Will the savings of $.75 per day be worth it to the buyers if they have to move into a hotel, store their furniture and start looking for another home to purchase? How much will these additional things cost?
  2. If the buyers have to start over again with another home and lender, will the interest rates will be as good at that time, as they are now?
  3. A delayed closing may cost a buyer additional interest and tax savings;
  4. What is the ‘cost’ of stress to all the parties when a buyer is late to closing or worse, does not close on the transaction?

Case in point: We were the listing broker for a home that was supposed to close almost three (3) months ago. No one in this scenario won and I blame “Vance” , their loan officer, for it. The closing date was extended six times, several days had two different closing times, often changed and reset by the loan officer. We were  not sure if this closing would happen at all. The loan officer, “Vance”, did not return calls from me  or the other Realtor (I was representing the Seller; the other Realtor was representing the Buyers, Vance’s client). Because of Vance’s  lack of professionalism, no one, not the Seller, the Buyers, the two agents representing the Seller and Buyer, the paralegal, the closing attorney or the underwriter, knew when the closing would take place. That is a minimum of eight people that “Vance”  directly affected by not returning our telephone calls! There was also the “missed opportunities”  for the attorney’s office, as other buyers may have wanted the Buyers’ closing time-slots (at one point, it was the end of the month and the end of the year: a key time for Atlanta home closings). The buyers had to be out of their rental apartment and the Sellers, initially, were unwilling to extend the closing date.  If “Vance” kept all the parties informed, perhaps the Buyers could have moved into their new home on time and the Seller would not have had to agree to extend the closing date several times. But “Vance” didn’t return his telephone calls or keep any one informed as to why the closing was delayed. No one knew where the other party stood or if we would even close on the transaction. The loan officer’s inability to close this loan on-time, also cost the buyer their Homestead Exemption for 2009 (to file this tax exemption, a buyer must own his primary residence, as of January 1; this exemption represents a tax savings to a buyer in the State of Georgia).  The final straw was when “Vance” told the two agents that the loan was cleared to close, but his mortgage company was not cleared by the state of Georgia to handle FHA loans! The buyer decided to switch loan officers and closed quickly.All this confusion for less than $1 per day.

If you are in need of a good loan officer, please call  or email us – we call help. Listen to the advice of a seasoned agent – it will get you to the closing table!