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Chicken Salad Chick comes to Vining Station!

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Speaking of Grand Openings- Chicken Salad Chick is opening its newest Atlanta location in Vinings Station, Wednesday, March 7. If you haven’t heard of Chicken Salad Chicks, they’re an Auburn, Alabama based fast-casual restaurant owned by Stacy Brown with great Southern classics like chicken salad and pimento cheese.

Southern Living raves about their grape chicken salad recipe and for a good reason- it’s addictive!  Here is their Vinings store page with all the details of their location and menu. I’ll do a Facebook live video tomorrow to share my experience with you all. You can “like” or follow my Real Vinings|Buckhead page for more of what makes my town a great place to call home.

As always, if I can show you around and help you find a home here, I’d be more than happy to chat or meet with you. Let me know how I can help!

Tina Hunsicker

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Interest rates rise: what does it mean for you?

Rates are going up and now is a better time to buy than any other time this year. Here’s what the anticipated interest rate increases mean in terms of monthly mortgage payments.

We don’t expect any softening in values, so the rate increase means you’ll be able to buy less house.  I’m up to date on what you can get at many price points and can help you buy quickly.

 

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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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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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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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New Listing: 1268 Timberland Dr SE, Marietta

Surrounded by large private estates, exclusive neighborhoods, and the Chattahoochee National Forest, this rare listing includes just under 3 acres of pristine, private land with incredible potential.

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Located in an enclave of large estate properties in unincorporated Cobb County, you’ll have easy access to the new Braves Stadium and low Cobb County taxes whether you choose to create your own large estate (the property is zoned to allow horses) or subdivide the lot for up to 3 homes.

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The beautiful Rivers Call neighborhood is a stone’s throw away, as is the Windy Ridge Office Park, so the property offers unparalleled privacy with easy access to work, entertainment, and shopping.

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This rare piece of land is actually two subdivision lots with additional land purchased later covered with mature trees and a beautiful and private natural setting.

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Bring your builders!  There are a house and stables on the site but the property is being sold for land value. Please take a look at the details on my website and give me a call to set up a viewing!

1268 Timberland Drive SE, Marietta, GA 30067

Overview  Lot/Land; 2.96 acres; 4 br house on lot; stables; zoned for horses; sub-dividable for up to 3 homes

 

Schools: Brumby/ East Cobb/Wheeler

List price: $675,000

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2016 Berkshire Hathaway Chairman’s Circle Gold Award

Every year in this business you wonder if you can do it again.  But just going through a refinance on my own home I had a look back at my past year’s business  and it has been pretty consistent. I’m  pleased to have been awarded the BHHS Chairman’s Circle Gold Award again for 2016!  This is my 3rd year with Berkshire Hathaway Home Services and the the 3rd year I’ve made this award.  The next level is quite a bit higher, but who knows, maybe 2017 is the year!

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Hard work, experience, and a great team have been keys to my success.  I also could not have done it without my amazing clients. I’m dedicated to helping my clients achieve the home of their dreams and if I can answer any questions about my experience or what I can bring to your home search, please give me a call!

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Timeless Southern Porches

 

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There are few things that say “Southern charm” like a comfortable, shady porch. There is something really special about enjoying an iced tea or a glass of wine, having a relaxed weekend meal, or relaxing with a book outdoors on the porch. They say “welcome to my home” and create a timeless first impression.

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A twilight welcome at 2741 Vinings Orchard Circle

Although our summers can be hot, living in Atlanta means we get at least three seasons of use out of our porches.

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photo credit: sunbrella.com

As a realtor, I’m seeing the screened in porch as a big draw for potential buyers as well. Not only does a porch keep some of the harsh sunlight and heat out of your home, but a screened porch adds a lot of usable indoor/outdoor living space for a fraction of the cost of a home addition.

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photo credit: Ontheporch.com

Southern porches can be as simple as a covered patio on the front of the house to a screened room with luxurious furnishings and a fireplace, surround sound, and entertainment center.

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Fantastic vaulted porch with fireplace at 2727 Lansdowne Lane

Furnishings are usually casual with comfort in mind. Rocking chairs are always welcome and it’s hard to go wrong with a porch swing.

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Senoia, Ga Idea House front porch swing// photo credit: southernliving.com

 

Adding a ceiling fan can really enhance the comfort level and screening in a porch keeps out pests and makes outdoor dining a breeze. What could be better than summer entertaining with an outdoor kitchen and dining area on a porch?

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My listing at 2741 Vinings Orchard Circle has incredible porches on every level of the home

There is a style of porch for every architectural style too, from rustic to neoclassical, low country to modern. Even pool houses and walk-out basement entrances are getting the screened porch treatment.

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photo credit: styleblueprint.com

Adding shutters is a classic touch that also creates more privacy on a porch (and is a great place for kids to camp out during sleepovers).

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photo credit: styleblueprint.com

Architectural and style trends may come and go, but a classic southern element like a great porch is timeless.

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New Listing: 1362 Battleview Drive

Private and serene on a wonderful family-friendly cul-de-sac, this mostly new construction in the desirable Morris Brandon school district is a bargain at under a million. 5691267-01-alt

With a tidewater feel to the home’s design and an interior flooded with natural light gives this home the feel of a coastal getaway while still within the city. The “beach house” feel continues in the interior where lighting, large windows and french doors, and an open living floor plan were designed to create a comfortable, breezy space.

5691267-05-alt-1The kitchen features gorgeous marble countertops, a large island with seating, and a great stainless appliance package. Once again, windows flood the room with natural light.

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Living, dining and kitchen spaces flow together with a neutral color palette and  large windows. Dark hardwoods anchor the rooms and continue throughout the home’s two levels.  5691267-15-alt

The master bath is a dreamy white-on-white design. With  marble counters, a walk in shower and a beautiful soaking tub, it has the feel of a luxury spa.

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The new spacious and airy master bedroom suite is on the main level of the home; it features french doors and oval window details to keep the room light and airy. There is also a large bedroom suite on the second floor that could also be used as a master suite.

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No flood insurance is required because the home’s elevation was raised to meet regulations. This leaves the entire lower level open for garage parking for 4 + vehicles.

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A spacious deck off the main level steps down to an even larger patio for ample outdoor entertaining space.

Swim and tennis memberships are available at the Hanover West club visible just across the creek at the rear of the property.

You can check out the full listing on my website for more details and photos; please reach out with any questions or to set up a time to view this unique property.

1362 Battleview Drive NW Atlanta, GA 30327

Overview: 5 bedrooms; 3 bathrooms; 4+ car garage; Hanover West pool/swim membership available; adjoining lot available

Schools: Brandon / Sutton / North Atlanta

Listing Price: $974.900

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