How Do Insurance Companies See Swimming Pools?
You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community events. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!
What is the best neighborhood in Atlanta? If you ask this question you are bound to get a multitude of responses, but how do you choose the right neighborhood for YOU? A good real estate agent should be able to help narrow down the options, which is why it is important to choose a Realtor who specializes in the areas you are interested in. There are a few things to consider that can help you and your agent funnel down to a handful of select neighborhoods that will likely be a good fit.
If you are moving from another state, this is especially important. Many people believe that you need to rent for a year before purchasing in a new city. I disagree. I think you can find your ideal Atlanta neighborhood by answering a few questions and talking to an experienced Realtor.
Answering these 7 questions, with the help of your agent, should leave you with 3-5 neighborhoods that fit your lifestyle, budget, and risk tolerance.
A lot of people would say that schools are always important, regardless of wether you have children or not, because homes in good school districts tend to hold their value. While that is often true, there are a lot of fantastic neighborhoods in Atlanta that don't have highly rated schools. In fact, most of your better investments have poorly ranked schools because the neighborhood is still improving. However, if you have kids and/or you like to play it safe, you will want to choose a neighborhood that has good schools already such as Virginia Highland, Ansley Park, Candler Park, Sherwood Forrest or Inman Park. If you want to live in an area with fantastic schools, you'll want to live in the city of Decatur. Needing or wanting to live in an area with good schools can narrow your search considerably, so it is a great place to start.
While the focus of this post (and my expertise) is primarily to help narrow the "in town" neighborhoods of Atlanta or "inside the perimeter" as we say, I find that many people begin their home search in the city and ultimately purchase a home outside of Atlanta proper. If you already know you don't need a lot of walkability and you don't care if you live in the city, it's a good idea to look in the suburbs. You will get more for your money the further out you go. In fact, if you know you don't mind living in the suburbs, I wouldn't even bother looking in the city. Finding the right Atlanta suburb is a post (maybe 2) in itself. I will post about that later, but the short answer is that it is very school, crime, and commute driven-especially as you go outside of I-285 or "the perimeter". In the meantime, feel free to call or message me if you have questions about the suburbs.
If you want to live in an area where you can walk to coffee shops, bars, and restaurants, that is a great way to fine tune your home search. You'll want to live in neighborhoods such as Virginia Highland, Inman Park, Old Fourth Ward, Candler Park, Grant Park, Peoplestown, and parts of Buckhead. Atlanta is becoming much more walkable, but there are still many areas, even in the city, where you need a car to do everything. Lake Claire, Grove Park, Oakland City are a few examples of neighborhoods that are awesome but fairly car dependent. If walkability is important, what would you like to be able to walk to? Are you happy to walk to a coffee shop or do you want to be able to walk to work? Shopping? Deciding how walkable and bikeable you need your lifestyle to be can often narrow down your search tremendously. A good real estate broker with knowledge of the Atlanta, Intown market should be able to guide you towards the level of walkability you need in a neighborhood. If not, I find the the walk score to be a good resource.
This one is often overlooked, but it can greatly enhance your life to live near close friends and relatives. If you are moving from a different city, you may want to consider living in a neighborhood where you already know people. You will get settled in faster and quickly meet new friends. However, carefully consider if you have the same lifestyle as your friend. Buckhead is a great neighborhood, but you may find that the laid back, quirky ambiance of Candler Park is much more your style. Is Grandma going to help with the kids? If so, you'll want to be within 5-10 miles from her house. Atlanta has a lot of traffic (even on the weekends), so it's unlikely you will spend much time with people who live more than 10-12 miles away from you.
Speaking of traffic, you probably don't want to live more than 10-15 miles from work. Traffic can be brutal and certain areas should be eliminated from your search if they are too far from work. Atlanta is an eclectic, large city, so you can usually find a great neighborhood that is reasonably convenient to work. Don't bother looking in areas that create an excessive commute. Waze is an excellent resource for determining your commute during your actual commute time. You create a planned route, and it tells you what your commute will be if you leave your house at a specified time. Do you plan to take public transportation to work? If so, you'll want to live near a Marta station, if possible.
Many neighborhoods in Atlanta aren't very dense, so if you plan to purchase a condo, you will be limited to Midtown, Virginia Highland, Grant Park, Inman Park, Buckhead, Old Fourth Ward, Candler Park and just a couple of other neighborhoods. There are more neighborhoods with townhomes and single family detached homes, but of course they are more expensive. Midtown and Buckhead will offer the largest selection of condos to choose from.
This is obviously one of the quickest ways to narrow your search. Like most cities home prices are rising rapidly in Atlanta, so talk to your Realtor about neighborhoods that fit your budget and lifestyle.
While there are likely many other factors you'll want to consider while searching for your ideal Atlanta neighborhood, these questions will narrow your search down to just a few neighborhoods, in most cases. Moving to Atlanta from another city shouldn't be overwhelming. Most cities have similarities, and a great broker will be able to match you to your perfect neighborhood if you provide them the right information.
What is your favorite Atlanta neighborhood and why? Let me know in the comments. I'm sure others will find it helpful as well.
Air conditioners are very simple devices. They were actually invented to remove the humidity from rooms where paper was stored. It was only after they’d been in use in industry a while that anyone thought to use them for cooling.
There’s not much to these devices. Essentially you’ve got an outdoor condenser unit that works like a giant heat sink to carry heat collected from indoor air to the outside. Ultimately, the cooler that outside unit is, the more heat it can remove and the more efficiently the whole system works.
There are plenty of ways to help your air conditioner work more efficiently short of replacing the whole system. That will increase your efficiency, but you’re going to put a lot of money into a system upgrade that may not be needed just yet.
Before you do anything rash, give these a try:
Dirty air filters are a huge drag on efficiency. After all, the more air that can be pulled into the system at once, the faster the air in your house will cool and the less time your A/C will spend running. You’ll know your paper air filters are dirty when they change color from white to gray or brown. That’s dust and other tiny particles clogging the pores.
Another way to tackle this would be to buy an electrostatic filter. These are reusable and washable, saving lots of money on filters, as well as energy (if you keep them pretty clean).
That outside unit is too often neglected to the point that it can affect your energy efficiency. The fins get clogged with dirt, vegetation grows around the bottom of the unit and things like blowing leaves or plastic bags get caught in and around the unit.
Throw away any trash that’s clinging to the condenser, even if it’s inside. Just make sure the unit’s off before you stick your arm in. Next, remove vegetation that’s threatening to grow into the unit, treat it with weed killer if it’s particularly aggressive. Last, get your garden hose and spray the whole condenser down using minimal pressure. Crank up the water pressure and go over it again, slowly, working from the top to the bottom. Work in sections, moving to the next one when the water coming off the condenser runs clear. You may be surprised how much dirt was hiding in those fins.
Plant a tree or install a solar shade over your A/C condenser to help keep it cool on those hot summer days. The less heat already being carried by the system, the easier to expel heat from your home. Blocking direct sunlight can make a huge difference, just be sure to allow at least two feet around the unit on all sides so your condenser has plenty of air circulating around it.
U.S. Department of Energy, using properly sized ceiling fans in conjunction with your air conditioner can make 78 degrees feel just as cool as 74 degrees. Those four degrees can add up to serious cash, too. The reason this works is that ceiling fans cool people using a wind chill effect. It doesn’t change the actual temperature in the room, but it does change how it feels to you.According to the
Low-E film into the equation. When used together, heavy drapes and Low-E film will make a noticeable impact on your indoor temperatures.If your house has any windows that get particularly hot during the summer, you need to insulate them right away. The easiest way to do this is with heavy drapes, and the heavier the better. Make sure those curtains are closed during the hottest part of the day to prevent heat radiating into the rest of the house. To further help those windows stay cool, you can add
I hope that information helps! If you are looking for a fantastic HVAC repairperson in Atlanta, my preferred vendor is HR Solutions 404-862-4614. He is local and knows HVAC systems inside and out.
If you are considering buying a home, you may be overwhelmed with many things. Before you start thinking about neighborhoods or how much you want a walk in closet, make sure you don't ruin your chances of buying by doing any of these things.
After you close, you are free to buy a new car or even change jobs, but doing any of these things prior to closing can prevent you from being able to get the home you want. Remember that the lender is required monitor these activities all the way up to closing, so when in doubt just wait.
You will love these and they are so easy to make! Give them a try and let me know what you think!
I hope all of you are looking forward to the holidays! Our office is still very busy despite the cold weather, and I am more confident than ever that the market is leveling out to provide good opportunities for buyers and sellers! I wanted to post one of the recipes I make every Thanksgiving. It's a good one for those of us that need a break from the casseroles. I hope you enjoy! If you make it, please post a comment and let me know what you think!
The nature of real estate is that it will always change, but there is a continuous upward trend in prices. Even those that purchased during the bubble in 2005 and 2006 have seen their home's value increase in the past few years. In the graph below (S&P/Case Shiller) you can see that over the past 26 years there have been ups and downs but the overall trend is up. That would indicate that buying with longevity in mind is the key to successful real estate purchases. As long as you could stay in your home for 10 years than you could weather almost any storm.
Some of you may have noticed that homes don't seem to be selling quite as quickly as they were a few months ago. If you keep up with the Atlanta market closely, you may have seen a few more price reductions than before. Is the Atlanta market in for a shift?
Yes and no.
When you compare days on the market, we are actually 3 days shorter than this time last year (FMLS InfoSparks Stats). That would indicate that we are actually shifting in a positive direction. Shorter days on the market means that homes are selling in less time than they did last year. We also had a little more supply than we did this time last year. We had 3.2 months supply in September 2017 and 3 months supply in September 2018 (FMLS InfoSparks Stats). Median price is up over 20k since this time last year. The numbers can vary depending on the neighborhood and housing type (condo vs. house), so the stats don't always reflect what is happening in your area. There are definitely more price reductions and less tolerance for poorly presented homes. Could it be that the market is just correcting itself from the extreme seller's market we have been in the past couple of years?
At some point home prices begin to surpass what the average person earns. At that point, people either continue renting, or purchase in an area that is less expensive. We have seen many neighborhoods experience tremendous growth because buyers have been priced out of other areas. This can only go on for so long before people decide that they don't like their options and opt to hold off on purchasing. Once that happens, inventory increases, and we start to see a shift towards a buyer's market.
While I don't think we are in a buyer's market, I do think that there has been a shift. We are entering a balanced market. Buyers can look for homes, consider their offer, and even get a little more help from the seller in the form of closing costs, repairs, and price flexibility.
What does this mean for sellers? Sellers simply need to put their best foot forward when listing their home and price it realistically. It does not mean that they will lose money when they sell. In many cases, buyers were backing out after hastily submitting an offer. When offers fall through, that can be frustrating and sometimes costly for sellers. Ultimately, the slight shift we are seeing is better for buyers and sellers. Sellers know that a buyer has had time to do their initial due diligence before putting in an offer, and the buyer feels like they got a fair deal.