thunsicker

A luxury residential real estate agent working with Bershire Hathaway Home Services. I specialize in the Vinings and Buckhead areas, and have thorough knowledge of metro Atlanta for all my relocation clients. Atlanta is a great place to call home.

Homepage: https://realviningsbuckhead.wordpress.com

Berkshire Hathaway’s January Market Report for Buckhead

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Berkshire Hathaway has released  its Buckhead real estate market update for January 2018   and it looks like 2018 was off to a slow start. However, I believe it is related to the weather we experienced here and not the demand.  I do see activity picking up in February and a sense of urgency with the threat of higher interest rates on the horizon.

We have basically 3 markets going on right now.  If a buyer is looking under $500,000 they can be prepared for a bidding war with multiple offers on properties that are priced right.  That’s particularly true in the under $350k price range.  Buyers that are looking from $500k-$1.5M can expect an even balance of buyers and sellers and should expect to pay comparable pricing to last year with little increase in pricing.  The buyers in the over $2M price range are in a buyers market and should expect to get deals.  There is about 4 years of inventory out there and plenty to pick from.  These buyers may have a high cash percentage as a down payment but due to the higher price points they are particularly sensitive to interest rate increases.

As always, your home is unique and as such requires an expert to help you price.  Hitting the range at the right price will help you sell in a reasonable amount of time.  I pride myself on my recommendations, not that all of my clients take them, but I’m confident in the analysis and getting your home sold rapidly if it is within the range.  We are ready to help you take the most advantage of this upcoming Spring market!

Please feel free to reach out with any questions!

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Whew, it’s been a busy week!

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I’d love to hear from you if you’d like to discuss a marketing plan for your home or if you have any questions about homes on the market.

Now excuse me while I finish up the paperwork on all of these properties!

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New Listing: 821 Lake Court Drive

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Don’t let the mid-century exterior of this sweet bungalow fool you- this place is SPACIOUS! Surrounded by mature trees in an established neighborhood, but fully renovated with thoughtful additions, this home offers an open floor plan and flexible space for a really comfortable family home.

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Hardwoods in the living room continue through the keeping room and dining area off the kitchen for a clean, cohesive look with few barriers to break up the space. Fresh neutral paint and lighting make this home completely move-in ready.

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Unlike many mid-century homes, dining and kitchen areas have been opened up so there is an easy flow for entertaining – no one is stuck in the kitchen when guests are here!

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Beautiful light granite, clean Shaker cabinetry, and stainless appliances keep the spacious kitchen light and bright while maximizing storage and counter space.

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The kitchen is open to the adjacent bonus room; perfect to keep an eye on the kids as a playroom.

The keeping room is a quiet spot for a reading nook just off the main living room.

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The spacious master suite is a really well-done addition to the home’s original footprint. Hardwoods, lots of windows, and a great lighting plan keep the space light, bright, and fresh.

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The master suite continues with it’s own private full bath with dual vanities and a generous walk-in closet.

Two more bedrooms with gleaming hardwoods, and two full bathrooms make for plenty of space for family and guests.

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With both outdoor and kitchen access, the bonus room has the potential to be anything you want it to be. Home office with a door for clients, playroom for the kids, even a home gym, this room is ready to go with lots of built in storage.

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The back yard is spacious with mature trees and lawn. Not only only did the homeowners add the master suite, but a great deck, fire pit area, and gazebo seating were added as well for great use of outdoor space.

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This home is a gem and I look forward to sharing it with its new owners. Call me with any questions or to set up an appointment to view. and take a look at the full listing on my website for all the details (and lots more photos!)

821 Lake Court SE Smyrna, GA 30082

Property overview: 3 bedroom/3 bathroom, Bungalow style, keeping room, large corner lot, deck, master suite addition. Square footage n/a.

Schools: King Springs/ Griffen/ Campbell

Listing price: $299,000

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Custom Home Tips and Ideas

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photo credit: Southern Living

We’re rounding up ideas for custom home (or renovations) “must-haves” by Atlanta homeowners!  As I have posted before I hear a lot of great ideas from friends, neighbors, and clients about what they have learned from their experience in building or renovating.

Some ideas come up during every discussion. Lots of deep drawers in the kitchen, for example, are easier to access and keep organized that traditional cabinets. So if I list a repeat here, it’s because it’s still a great idea that people keep talking about.

Whole home systems:

Whole home water and air filtration systems can protect your home from environmental pollution and allergens. With Atlanta’s mild climate, seasonal allergies can be more like year-round allergies and an integrated air filtration system can go a long way in easing allergy symptoms. A water filtration system helps filter unwanted chemicals out of water used for drinking and bathing and can address issues with hard water.

Homeowners continue to love whole home central vac systems, especially with kitchen kick plate openings to make clean ups quick and easy.  Whole home automated generators are being talked about on almost every site I follow and the Nextdoor apps due to all of the storms recently its a key feature (and convenient) that everyone who doesn’t have one thinks about and those of us that have them thank our lucky stars every time the power goes out, which seems more and more often in Buckhead and Vinings with all of our large mature trees.

In the kitchen:

Appliances with professional features continue to be a popular choice. Homeowners love the quality and  functionality of smart refrigerators, convection or steam ovens, and powerful cook tops.  Back when Pirch was still in business I loved to see the demos of all of these fabulous new appliances and dream about upgrading my kitchen.  The expensive ones that I know I’ll never be able to justify are the built in Cappuccino makers and the wine dispensers that allow you have a fresh glass of wine and not have to finish the whole bottle.  The more attainable upgrades are the steam ovens.  Miele was my favorite, but my clients still prefer the Wolfe professional ranges it seems.  Steam has also been a hot (get it hot) topic with washers as well.  With messy boys the boy Mom’s I know are always looking for new and creative ways to remove stains.

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photo credit: Wolf

A pot filler was another great idea. Get one plumbed in at the stove during construction and you’ll never have to lug a huge pot of water from the sink to the stove again. Pasta night (or a shrimp boil) just got a lot easier!  I always crack up at this one as you still have to lug the pot to the sink to empty and wash it.  But from my clients I’ve heard they just like the look of them as well.

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photo credit: prucc.com

Separate drink stations or refrigerators have come up every time I’ve had this conversation for years. But a new twist on that idea is a  full refrigerator in the pantry, great not only for the kid’s drinks, but as extra space for parties and holiday meals.  Those of that have been using the “beer” fridges in the garage for years love the idea of having it built right in.

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photo credit: decorpad.com

Careful planning for electrical outlets and USB outlets is important as technology becomes more and more a part of our lives. Many of our homes revolve around the kitchen but thinking about placement of USB outlets in the home office is important too; no more crawling under the desk to find a plug for your devices when they are planned at desk level!

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photo credit: wirechiefelectric.com

Bed and Bath:

A new trend seems to be in planning ahead for one-floor living. Dual master suites, one on the main floor and the other upstairs  with family bedrooms allows for parents to be close to  children at night during younger years with a guest suit on the main floor, and then the option to move down to one floor living in the future. This also works well for families who have grandparents visiting frequently, giving them privacy and space without having to deal with stairs.

Several people also talk about dual laundry rooms if space permits. Depending on your needs, a main laundry room on the bedroom floor and a smaller stackable laundry unit on the main floor or in the master closet can be really practical.

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photo credit: decorpad.com

Although soaker tubs are still popular, people are putting a lot more thought into their showers. From multiple shower heads, steam showers, custom sound and lighting and amazing tile finishes, showers are getting the attention they deserve.

One great tip is a heated bench seat in the shower. Think about how great those heated floors are, but for your tush!  One person even mentioned a built in coffee mug or wine glass holder.  Talk about taking a long shower!

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photo credit: steamboatsmyhome.com

We’re always looking for ways to maximize our space and a lot of people are planning pocket doors into their homes during construction for that reason. Pocket doors are one of the single best space savers in a floor plan! Thinking through these subtle, harder to alter details during construction can really help with long term satisfaction. It just takes a little extra planning!

Indoor/ outdoor living:

Atlantans love their decks and porches! We like to practically live outdoors during nice weather but there are a couple of tips that can really extend the outdoor enjoyment. Screening in porches (or at least part of your porch) creates a bug-free outdoor space that’s great for dining, a kid’s hangout, or a spot for coffee in the morning. Adding  ceiling  fans or wall mounted oscillating fans to a porch keeps you cooler and keeps bugs away!

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photo credit: decorpad.com

 

 

Having either a mudroom or a bathroom that is accessible to the outdoors is a must-have for many moms. Having a place to clean up kids who are muddy from soccer practice, organize backpacks, or clean up dirty paws helps keep the rest of the house cleaner.  Speaking of muddy paws, a dog shower in the mud area or garage keeps Fido out of your tub or shower too.

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photo credit: Kate Marker Interiors

 

Garages should not be an afterthought! Measuring the depth of your parking spaces and the width of you door can save you so many headaches in the future. Believe me, you don’t want to find out you can’t fit your car into your garage space after construction is complete!

Planning electrical outlets and lighting in a garage are important too. We use our garages for so many things besides parking and having enough lighting is key. No one wants to search through ski equipment or lacrosse gear with a flashlight in one hand. And with electric cars becoming so popular, consider adding a high voltage outlet to charge your car.

And one last tip for your outdoor space: add faucets and hose bibs to every side of your home.  Keeping a long hose under control while you drag it around your house to hose off porches or walkways is a workout. Avoid that hassle by adding shorter  hoses (and their plumbing) to all sides of your home.

So, what would you add to this roundup? Any great tips or lessons learned during construction?  Check out the link from the previous list as well.

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New Listing: 5641 Roswell Road # 218

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Brighton Court is a gated condo complex just a stones throw inside I-285 and convenient to GA 400. With 3 dedicated parking spaces and an elevator, this unit is hassle-free and would make a great first home for someone looking for a little more space and privacy than apartment living without the maintenance of a single family home.

An end unit, this home has plenty of light and quiet, with high ceilings and hardwood floors and an open floor plan for the living spaces. The living room centers around a gas log fireplace and flows into the dining area and kitchen.

 

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A large living area includes living and dining areas and an open kitchen with breakfast bar. The kitchen has stone countertops and all appliances. An in-unit laundry room also includes washer and dryer.

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A split “roommate” floor plan gives you privacy and flexibility. Each bedroom is spacious, with walk-in closets and private bathrooms.

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There is plenty of storage, both within the unit and a large storage room on the property for seasonal storage or sports gear.

Not only is this home very commute-friendly, it is also located in a very walkable part of Atlanta, with a Starbucks and Target just across the street. The complex includes a fitness facility and pet walk areas.

This home is currently occupied with monthly income of $1400 until May 2018.  At $179,900 it makes for a great investment property or a home for your graduating college student to get started in Atlanta.

You can view the full listing  at my website; please call me with any questions or to set up a viewing for this great .

5641 Roswell Road #218 Atlanta GA 30342

Overview: 2 bedrooms; 2 bathrooms;  1,253 sq.ft.; 1 gas fireplace; 3 parking spaces; storage unit; elevator; laundry in unit; gated condominium community

Schools: Lake Forest

Listing price: $179,900

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New Listing: 1918 Sadler Dr SE

Welcome to 1918 Sadler Drive, a traditional brick and shingle home located in Stonecrest Manor. The community is in a great location, halfway between historic Vinings and Smyrna Market Village, convenient to the Silver Comet Trail and the new Suntrust Park.

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This home welcomes you into a spacious foyer with fresh, neutral paint and warm hardwood floors. The main floor has an open floor plan with a separate dining area with room for 12 at the table!

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Soaring double height ceilings in the family room is overlooked by a a warm chef’s kitchen. A gas log fireplace anchors the space and high windows keep it light and bright.

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Lighting, appliances, cabinetry, and millwork; this kitchen was finished to a very high standard while still having the feel of a family-friendly space. It also has plenty of storage and counter space and has double ovens- get ready to host Thanksgiving dinner! There is both seating at the granite island and a breakfast room for casual dining.

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Overlooking the family room, the loft off the master bedroom has a built-in office space tucked into the center hall. The gorgeous moldings continue upstairs as well.

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A spacious master suite with sitting area, trey ceilings, and hardwood floors are one of 5 bedrooms in this home.

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The master bath has a spa-like soaking tub, dual vanities and opens into a huge dressing room/walk-in closet!

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The finished full walk-out basement is currently a complete home gym but would also be a great media room, guest suite, or party room. It opens onto a lower patio and fully landscaped back yard.

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Off the living room, a large deck overlooks the lushly landscaped backyard, complete with a wonderful waterfall feature. Talk about a personal oasis!

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I look forward to showing you this great home! Take a look at my website for the complete listing details and call me to set up a viewing. This home is in one of Atlanta’s hottest real estate markets so it won’t last long!

1918 Sadler Drive SE Smyrna GA 30080

Overview: 5 bedrooms; 5 bathrooms; 4,536 sq.ft.; 2 car garage; 1 fireplace; full finished basement; laundry room; deck; professional landscaping with waterfall

Schools: Nickajack/ Campbell/ Campbell

Listing price: $655,000 10/3/2017

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New Listing: 3775 Paces Lookout Circle SE

As I told you in my sneak preview  of this property last week, this home offers such a unique opportunity! Not only is this a rare single family home in the very sought after Paces View JW Collection Community in the heart of Vinings Village, but it’s also walkable to Vinings Jubilee AND it has Cobb county taxes. Talk about the best of all worlds!

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Originally a model for Paces View, this home as all of the upgraded finishes and amenities  for this community. From the soaring staircase that creates a stunning first impression to the gorgeous molding details, this is everything you’re looking for in a luxury home.

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The main level living spaces flow seamlessly with an open floor plan; 12 ft ceilings and lots of windows in the family room make for a bright space with tree-top views and the city skyline beyond.

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A sophisticated color scheme in the kitchen compliments the rest of the living areas but this kitchen isn’t just for show. An 8-burner gas range, double ovens, and gorgeous quartz surfaces will make the most serious home chef happy! And the generous custom cabinetry means there is plenty of storage space for the rest of your tools and appliances.

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The main floor master suite makes living easy with its own stackable washer and dryer, separate from the larger family laundry room. Hardwood floors, shutters, and moulding details continue through the bedroom and bath.

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A large glassed in shower and  soaker tub and his and hers vanity areas as well as two generous walk-in closets complete the suite.

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Don’t forget the elevator!  It serves all three levels so you’ll never have to make 3 trips up and down stairs after grocery shopping!

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A 3 car garage is accessed from the street behind the house; a deck off the main floor living area and master suite is a great place to have a cup of coffee and look at the city views.

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The Paces View community is gated with 24 hour security. There is  also a pool, clubhouse with fitness facilities and outdoor entertaining spaces for residents. Just off W. Paces Ferry Road, the home has easy access to everything, whether you’re commuting into Atlanta or heading out on the weekend for some of Vining’s great dining and entertainment.

 

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This like-new home has so many features that I can’t list them all here so please check out the full listing on my website and give me a call for a viewing. This very desirable property won’t last long!

3775 Paces Lookout Circle SE Atlanta GA 30339 

Overview: 4 bedrooms; 5 baths; 5,461 sq.ft.; elevator;  3 car garage; 2 gas fireplaces; 2 laundry rooms; deck;  gated swim community

Schools: Teasley/ Campbell/ Campbell

Listing price: $1,140,000

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The Great American Eclipse Coming to North Georgia!

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photo credit: eclipse.siu.edu

The first total solar eclipse to cross the entire United States in almost 100 years will be taking place Monday, August 21, 2017. And we here in Georgia get a prime spot to view the total eclipse as it crosses the northern part of the state.

The AJC reports: “According to NASA, the center-line path of totality — where the moon completely blocks the sun, the earth goes dark and the sun’s corona shimmers in the blackened sky — will stretch from Salem, Oregon, to Charleston, South Carolina, and will last up to 2 minutes and 41.6 seconds.

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Path of the Great American Eclipse via NASA

While folks in Atlanta will be able to see a short partial eclipse from spots in the city, many of us are planning to head north to see the full eclipse. Chase’s school will be doing field trips by grade level to spots in the path of the total eclipse to watch; and I plan on finding a good spot with some friends to watch.

365 Atlanta Family has a great list of north Georgia peaks and open spots where you can get the best unobstructed view of this phenomenon. They have included the times as the eclipse progresses across the state as well as links to state parks and resorts to help with planning. Rabun County is the most directly affected spot in Georgia and there are a lot of events planned in the days around the eclipse to commemorate it.

If you’re unable to make it out of the city (or have family members outside the eclipse path), don’t worry: NASA will be live-streaming the eclipse! They have set up a special website with lots of great info about the science as well as tips to get the most out of the experience.

It’s important  to remember to take precautions to protect your eyes when viewing the eclipse, even if you are planning to see the partial eclipse.  Protective glasses or indirect viewing methods will keep your eyes safe during this unique event.

Are any of you planning to travel to see the Great American Eclipse? Let us know where you’re headed or any tips for finding the best spot to view in the comments!

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Coming Soon: 3775 Paces Lookout Circle, Atlanta 30339

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For those of you that obsess over getting into Paces View, I have a rare single family home in this gated community inside the perimeter, coming on the market later this week.  I will hold it open on Sunday July 23rd, 2017 from 2-4 if you’d like a look. The photographer will be shooting it on Thursday night and I should have it in the system soon after that, so this is your chance to beat the crowds!  The price will be $1,140,000 and the best part is has the master on the main, an elevator and 3 car garage!  Everything you all ask for. It is barely lived in and has hardwoods in all of the bedrooms, a nice light and bright kitchen with quartz.  12 ft ceilings in the family room and 10 foot everywhere else on the main with city views!  This is a former model home so it has all of the JW Collection upgrades.  Call me now (404-931-3944) and I’ll arrange to get you in later this week!

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How to Handle 2017 Property Tax Assessment “Sticker Shock” in Fulton and Cobb Counties – Deadline approaching!

We all know we’ve been living in a hot spot for real estate sales and values, but it seems like the Atlanta area tax assessors offices are finally starting to notice and the 2017 property tax assessments have been a shock for many residents.

I’ve had clients calling me with concerns about what this will mean for their tax bill this year and asking if it’s worth appealing. In short, the answer is often yes, but the procedure varies from county to county, and there are times when appealing may actually not be a great idea.  I can help you with that decision if you’d like and pull the comparable properties and assessments that the County is most likely looking at.

Key data:

  • The deadline to appeal in Cobb County is June 18. Thankfully, the procedure in Cobb County is also pretty simple; click here for the Cobb County Tax Assessors Office for the details of your property’s assessed Fair Market Value and to get started on an appeal. If you run into trouble, give me a call; I’d be happy to help with the first level of appeal or with the Board of Equalization.
  • Fulton County residents have 45 days from receipt of their assessments to appeal. Click here for the Fulton County Board of Assessors with links to property search and appeals. Fulton County government has also posted instructions here for how to appeal online.

If you find that your appeal is more complex than you are comfortable handling on your own, I recommend a couple of firms that have had a lot of success in handling appeals for my clients.

  • Walter Holtz at BOE Tax Appeals has been successful for my clients in the City of Atlanta
  • Campbell & Brannon specialize in real estate law and have been helpful with clients in both Fulton and Cobb. They sent out an email recently with some key points that I thought were good to know:
    • The county assigns a property a Fair Market Value (FMV) for taxation purposes
    • This assessment includes an estimate of taxes for 2017 based on the FMV 
    • No taxes are due at this time, 2017 tax bills will be sent out later this year
    • Assessments can be appealed with the county
    • The assessor mails the notice to the owner of record as of Jan. 1, 2017
    • A 2017 buyer will not receive the notice in their name as it was mailed to the seller

    All appeals must be filed within 45 days from the date of the tax notice

     

It’s important to note that an increased assessment of FMV is not necessarily going to reflect the same percentage increase in your tax bill. Municipalities, school boards and counties set their millage rate based on budget needs and the assessed property values so the estimated tax rate on the assessment may change. That’s why it’s a good idea to get as much information as  you can and be aware of your options in advance. A surprise tax hike is never fun, but preparation and information is key.  Cobb County has a timeline and explanation of its procedure here.

When is it not a great idea to appeal? If you don’t want a spotlight on your property value, don’t appeal. If you’ve made significant improvements that aren’t reflected in the assessment, don’t appeal. If comps are selling in your area for significantly higher than your assessment, don’t appeal. However, make sure that you have all of the data you need to make that decision, and I am happy to help, either with information or referrals to trusted experts in this field.

I personally went thru the process last year and have quite a few lessons learned.  For example: the Board of Equalizations in Cobb doesn’t equalize to different neighborhoods, only your street.  Living in Vinings, I felt that the comparable properties would be most streets in “Vinings Village”, not true.  My street has had a spike in high property sales, thus all of us on the street have received higher assessments as a result.  They will only equalize you to the lowest value on your street.  To fight a larger battle, it may require action of many members of a street to appeal jointly.  With senior exemption coming into play in Cobb,  many neighbors have less of a desire to fight the assessment as their tax is so low already.  Whereas in Fulton County, the increase applies to seniors as well and may be a good reason to fight the battle.  If you’ve just purchased your property and the next year it goes up, you may need to appeal.  If it’s what you paid, you may still have an argument if the others on the street are significantly lower.  Once you’ve won the battle, you will have that value for 3 years before they can raise it again.  I’ve tried to compile some helpful information here so be sure to click on the links in this article for a little more context and some basic tools for navigating your appeal.

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