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Archive for March, 2011

Keep your Atlanta Home from looking Shabby, Old and Neglected

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

Plenty of houses are old but how can a Sellers make his/her/their home look rejuvenated and not old and tired? The difference can be what makes a house sit or sell. Here are some tips to homeowners, even if they are not putting their homes on the market:

  1. Green is good, but not if it is growing on the siding, bricks or roof. Many times, Sellers are focused on sprucing up the flowers and front landscaping, when what they should  be focusing on, is renting a pressure-washer and ridding themselves of that green, fuzzy stuff. 
  2. Ivy growing up a home’s exterior walls may give it a charming cottage effect, but it speeds decay and should be removed. English ivy damages mortar and screens. Once removed, it may still be difficult to rid a home of the tracks and roots left behind.
  3. Heavy, layered window treatments drag down a home into old-lady category. If a Seller can’t replace the window treatments, cut back on the layers of sheers or remove the valances.
  4. A split storm door (glass or a screen at the top and aluminum at the bottom) dates a home. Either remove or replace the door.
  5. Skinny moulding: nothing says the 1960’s like skimpy, skinny moulding. Replace it with larger, heavy crown and base mouldings.
  6. Wallpaper: take it down, take it down, take it down! Unless it is subtle, rarely will a Buyer like the wallpaper and it dates the home.
  7. Hollywood-style light strips in bathrooms: see #6 and take them down and replace them with more modern light fixtures.
  8. Replace skimpy street numbers and door hardware with bolder, heavier hardware with a brushed nickel or black wrought-iron, 3-dimensional look. Replace that worn -out mailbox, too.
  9. Worn carpet and flooring can make the whole house look tired. Consider replacing old carpet or laminate floors with tile, fresh carpet/pad or better yet, hardwood flooring, which can be sanded and rejuvenated often.
  10. Gray, splintering decks should be maintained every two years with a clear sealant, to prevent swelling and shrinking.
  11. Painted-over light switches are easy and inexpensive to change. Keep them bold, but plain.
  12. Peeling paint looks bad and can damage a home’s exterior quickly, especially if the painted surface is on the exterior of the home. Dirty or thinly painted interior walls can damage a Buyer’s impression, often leading to a reduced offer.

 

Atlanta’s New-Home Construction

Sunday, March 6th, 2011

Lately, I’ve noticed signs that Atlanta’s new-home construction is starting up again, and it seems to be starting in a big way. Hammers are pounding and saws are buzzing again, a sign that the home-building industry is slowly coming back to life.

In Georgia, we look to the West Coast and California for trends. How’s this one for a bell-ringer:

The Irvine Company, a Southern California development company, recently announced plans to built up to 2,600 homes in two new developments; workers have already begun to frame the new homes. This same company footed the bill 13+ months ago and financed its own foray into new construction. About 10,000 people showed up for the developments’ grand opening and the projects were sold-out in less than half the estimated build-time. By the end of 2010, more than 1,200 homes were sold.

300 Georgia companies are helping sponsor the 7th annual Construction Education Foundation of Georgia Career Expo (CEFGCE), March 17-18. It will showcase different career paths for architecture, construction, energy and facilitiies mangement to more than 6000 attendees.

I used to sell new-homes exclusively. Then 2007 hit and I reinvented myself. I don’t think that we’ll ever see the go-go days of new-home construction we saw in the early 2000’s, but I believe that we are about to see a resurgence in construction. Isn’t that a wonderful thing?