Posts Tagged real vinings buckhead

Happy Thanksgiving!

We’re about to enter the whirlwind of the holiday season – in fact, it has already felt like Christmas time in Atlanta this week – Brrrrrr! I’m so glad that  Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the holiday season because it gives me a chance to pause and reflect on all of the things that I am deeply grateful for before all of the exciting business of the season begins. Here are a few of the things I’m thankful for:

IMG_0683Its Fall and we’re heading into Thanksgiving week, so I only thought it appropriate that I post what  I’m Thankful For:

1. Our health – after losing a few young friends this year to terrible diseases, I am ever so mindful that we need to be thankful for our health.

2. My son’s education – every time I am at my son’s school I am reminded how lucky and blessed I am that he is able to get the quality education that he receives and it reminds that I want to help those that aren’t as fortunate to allow their children to prosper.

3. Continued good business.  After so many terrible years in real estate, 2013 and 2014 have been a blessing and one I hope continues for not only my benefit but my clients who are able to make transitions in housing without a financial hardship.

4.  A supportive broker – this business can be tough and as an independent business person I’ve never realized the benefit of a great broker until this year.  For the first time since I’ve been in real estate I feel like I have a partner versus someone who just cares about taking a chunk of my money.  It is truly a win-win relationship.

5.  My friends, family, and neighbors – as a single mom I hear others talk about how hard it is when their husband works late hours or is on a business trip, but many of them don’t work.  I get by daily as the sole provider for my family with the help of my friends and neighbors. Even though I don’t have family nearby I have their support just a phone call away. I have friends and neighbors that are happy to swing by and pick up my child with just a text or phone call and a resilient son who doesn’t worry if Mom is later than planned, he knows she’s probably with a client.

6. My village – this is part of the friends and neighbors, but even more its familiarity and tradition.  I realize as the Holidays approach and my son is now 10 years old that the things we have done for years in Vinings such as the Halloween party, Vinings Tree Lighting etc are becoming part of his “story” and life and it brings him comfort and a sense of home.  Even though I am occasionally tempted by a great deal on a house somewhere else it comes down to whats best for my son and the comfort of the known outweighs the perks of another house or location.

7.  Flexible time – one of the reasons I went into real estate was to allow myself to have a “life”.  Little did I realize that life would require working every single day with no real time off EVER!  But the benefit of that is I can schedule around things at my son’s school and can participate in things that most Moms who don’t work can do and then I just end up on my computer til midnight making up for it, but I can do it all that way. Plus this career has allowed me to have flexibility and be the best Mom I can be for my sweet little boy.

8.  My dogs – as my parents lost their much-loved Boston Terrier  – Suzy this year I am reminded how much unconditional love comes from my 2 fellas.  The help me appreciate nature as they like to take walks and sniff everywhere they go.  My littlest one is truly my shadow and they are both at my feet while I work from home on many days.

9. Reliable service providers – this may not make sense to many, but I do feel blessed to have people who I can trust to help me with maintaining and enhancing my house.  My gardener, handyman, painters etc.  I own a rental property and have my house and without them I would be overwhelmed with tasks that could be difficult to manage.  I feel comfortable leaving them a key and I know the work will get done.  I haven’t always had this comfort, I am grateful to have it now.

10. Technology – again this may seem like an odd thing to be thankful for, but technology truly allows me to communicate with many more people than I could in years past.  Prior to the advent of everyone on email we’d have to spend hours a day calling people to arrange for appointments, follow up on showings etc.  Today things are pretty instantaneous and I can see when someone is entering a listing or text an agent to get feedback or email a client about a showing, allowing me to be much more productive than in years past.


And the most important of all, I am thankful for my son,  this coming week reminds me of my journey to Russia 9 years ago to bring him home.  Each day of the Thanksgiving week brings a different memory and I reflect on it each year.  My Mom travelled with me on both trips and she remembers each day as if it was yesterday as well.  We boarded the flight to Kemerovo on Sunday and arrived on Monday and by the following Saturday after Thanksgiving we were back in Atlanta with a new baby boy!  I know many agents remember that time as well as I think everyone in Buckhead and Vinings was following my journey.  We didn’t have WordPress back then, but I did an early version of a Blog on Google 360.  I’ll have to see if I can still find it, it was sporatic as it wasn’t always easy to find internet access back then in Siberia, but it still captured a lot of what was happening to us daily.  So reflect on what you’re Thankful for this Thanksgiving and I hope it will be a wonderful one for you and your family as well.


As a little Thanksgiving bonus I thought I’d add that I’m grateful for this season of hospitality too, a time to reconnect with friends and family over a special holiday meal. Here’s a recipe for a traditional Southern party favorite, cheese straws. These are great for guests to nibble with a glass of wine and they would also be a great way to show your gratitude to your holiday hosts!


iStock Photo

Southern Cheese Straws
Makes about 4 dozen pieces
  • 1 2/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or more to taste
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 8 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 2 tablespoons water
1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
2. Sift together the flour, salt, dry mustard, and cayenne pepper. Put the butter and grated cheese in a mixing bowl, and mix for several minutes, until thoroughly blended. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the butter and cheese, and mix until completely incorporated. Add the water, and mix for one minute longer.
3. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface, and knead five or six times. Roll the dough out 1/4 inch thick, and cut into strips 1/4 inch wide and 4-6 inches in length. Place the strips on ungreased cookie sheets 1/2 inch apart, and bake in the preheated oven for 12-16 minutes, until golden brown and crisp. Cool completely, and store in airtight containers.

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2858 Orchard Knob SE

Built in 2007, this Vinings Village home is classic Vinings style. At 6,779 sq. ft., it offers 6 bedrooms, 6 full baths, 2 half baths and enough living space to meet all your needs. It has a charming front porch, 3 car garage, and exterior porches galore. The kitchen is complete with high-end, professional appliances and on the main level, you’ll be pleased with the study and formal living room or music room and a bedroom and full bath as well. The basement is finished with a second kitchen, another guest bedroom and a full bath. List price is $1,449,000, but they are looking for an offer!

You can view the full listing here on my site.

OrchardKnob1 OrchardKnob2 OrchardKnob3 OrchardKnob4 OrchardKnob5 OrchardKnob6 OrchardKnob7

This home is Cochise Club, swim team and tennis eligible. It is zoned for Teasley Elementary and Campbell Middle and High Schools. If you have any questions or would like to see this home, please let me know. I would love to show it to you!

Tina Hunsicker (404) 931-3944

Tina Hunsicker
(404) 931-3944

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SOLD: 1956 West Wesley

I’m so happy for my clients who are moving to 1956 West Wesley. We just closed last Friday!

As many of you know, Paces Neighborhood has large lots, estate style homes and is my dream location.  Earlier this year, I had moved another family to 3111 Ridgewood just around the corner.  Although different in style, both of these homes have over one acre lots, pools and fabulous kid friendly terrace levels.  We are going to plan something soon so both of these families can meet other friends in the neighborhood. Fortunately, they are both still close to Vinings and I still consider them neighbors!

1956 West Wesley

1956 West Wesley

3111 Ridgewood

3111 Ridgewood

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September Market Update – Vinings, Buckhead and Smyrna

Generally, Vinings is its own unique market. Our sales in September remained the same as a year ago and down 44% from last month, while inventories went up slightly. Days on Market went way down. I believe is because many buyers are patiently waiting for the right house to pop up, and when it does, they grab it. If you don’t get your buyer in the first couple of weeks, it may be on market a while as the inventory has remained somewhat stable or slightly higher in Vinings. We don’t seem to have the shortage of supply that Buckhead has, but our area is so much smaller that the right house at the right price can be hard to find.


September Market Update – Vinings

And on to the Buckhead market: We didn’t see a big change from September to October, but year to year the news is still good.  Days on Market is down 31% from last year and available listings are down 28%. Compared to the previous month, sales in September were down, but can be expected at this time of year.  We are seeing the return of the trade-up buyer. Confidence in their ability to sell their current home is again allowing buyers to take that step to a bigger home. This is a change in the “downsizing” trend we saw while the economy was down. There is still a 4 year Inventory over $2M, so that market is still slow, but the $1M-$2M market is better than it has been.

September Market Update – Buckhead

Even though my blog is titled Real Vinings Buckhead, I’ve decided to add information on Smyrna as well. I’ve sold so many homes there recently and currently have several available listings there. It’s always interesting to me how different all three of these markets are. Buckhead, by definition, is a much larger geographic area and has many more high priced homes. Because of this, its numbers are highly affected by the luxury homes market and the more “average” homes – which happen to range around $600,000 – still fly off the market. In Vinings (30339,) the homes average closer to the $500,000 range with two lots selling at that price in the past month as well. Existing inventory is primarily the original 1960’s homes (both original and remodeled) and newer construction that ranges well over $1M.

The Smyrna market, on the other hand, was much more affordable with the average over the past year being around $300,000.  This year we are seeing the higher priced homes in Smyrna coming back on the market and selling. Because of this, the affordably priced homes are eaten up and the higher priced homes are driving the price point up causing a drop in the volume of transactions. I’ve seen homes in the $500,000 range get snatched up over the past few months, where a year ago I could count on one hand the number of homes in Smyrna that sold over $500,000. I should add that these reports are for 30080 Smyrna, and not Mableton per se. The statistics back me up with the sales in Smyrna being down 14% year over year and down 26% month to month. As always, please contact me with any questions you have about buying or selling your home.

September Market Update – Smyrna

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Feature for Sellers: Prudential monthly real estate updates

Knowing what is going on in the real estate market is just as important when selling your home as it is when you are buying. One of the great features that has come with joining Prudential is a monthly market update that is quick and concise. Below, I’ve included links to the Buckhead and Vinings September updates.

What you’ll notice in the Buckhead data is the dramatic fall off of sales in August.  Normally, I would think this drop is related to back to school, but this year the decrease was more dramatic than in years past.

September Market Update - Buckhead

Vinings was more stable from July to August. I believe the uptick in sales prices is related to the Jumbo rates being lower than conventional financing right now. In both markets you’ll see that inventory is down dramatically.

September Market Update - Vinings

If you are interested, I’m happy to pull YTD data for you as well. As always, if you’re thinking about selling, give me a call so I can help you analyze the value of your home.

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Book reviews: get your summer reading list ready!

I so appreciate my cousin, Jennifer Clark Nodland from Bismarck, ND, for her many book reviews she has done over the years. She’s an avid reader and I appreciate her insight!  She’s sharing a few book reviews here on Real Vinings | Buckhead so that my (busy) readers can get a quick idea of what to add (or avoid adding) to your reading list.

Tina Fey BossypantsBossypants by Tina Fey (2011)

Fun, quick, light read. Fey does a pretty good job making me think she’s just “one of us.” She’s just a few years younger than me and put a smile on my face when she revisited her youth and poked fun of what we thought was soooo cool in the 80s.

Vince Flynn Term LimitsTerm Limits by Vince Flynn (1997)

Mixed feeling about this political thriller. This author’s first work suffers from some clumsy writing, but I bet his newer works are cleaner. My real problem with the novel is the foundation of the plot (killing sitting members of Congress because you don’t like them) and the resolution (can’t disclose without a spoiler alert). Anyone else read Flynn’s stuff? Thoughts?

The Forgotten Waltz by Anne Enright (2011)

The Forgotten WaltzCould. Not. Finish. This. Book. Although this book got good reviews (and the author is a Booker recipient), I found it difficult to read. Hopping back and forth in time – and the main character seemed self-absorbed and cold. If “chick lit” is just code for stories of infidelity and dysfunction, count me out.

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Sweet Treats in Vinings

I want to keep people updated on all things Vinings….including places I have tried to avoid…. There are three sweet treat places in Vinings that we have intentionally passed by for caloric and financial reasons.  Its at least $8 for my son and I to stop by at any of these places it seems.

ColdStone Creamery


CamiCakes Cupcakes

Cami Cakes is the newest sweet treat shop in Vinings, and they have wonderful combinations of flavors in their cupcakes.

Cami Cakes is the newest sweet treat shop in Vinings, and they have wonderful combinations of flavors in their cupcakes.

The newest entrant is the CamiCakes Cupcakes at 4338 Paces Ferry Road.  (There was a cupcake place there before but I went once and the cupcakes were too small for the price.)

CamiCakes are large cupcakes and approximately $2.65 each…. and I’ve become addicted.

I have told many friends how deadly the salted caramel chocolates at Costco are and now I’ve discovered this CamiCakes Salted Caramel Cupcake.  They have many great combinations, the Pineapple Coconut is another one that I’m thinking about right now.

I have always loved Piece of Cake in Buckhead and have frequented there throughout the years when the occasion arises.  I still think Piece of Cake has the freshest cakes as they bake them right there and the smell is to die for!  But due to convenience CamiCakes may be stealing me away.

As of September 1, there’s a Piece of Cake store in Vinings!

Yoforia in Vinings is a healthy alternative to some of the other sweet treat places

Yoforia in Vinings is a healthy alternative to some of the other sweet treat places nearby.

I know Yoforia is the healthiest alternative, but I really don’t crave anything there and the three children I’ve polled don’t like it either.  They usually prefer the Coldstone Creamery ice cream or Cami Cakes as well.  But if you’re trying to eat healthy and still want a treat – Yoforia is probably the answer.

Most everyone loves a big bowl of ice cream on a hot day, especially the kids!

Most everyone loves a big bowl of ice cream on a hot day, especially the kids!

Now onto the ice cream, Coldstone Creamery has been here for awhile and most people know about it, but if you’re shopping in the Vinings Village or need a place to take the kids on a hot summer day, nothing is better than a refreshing scoop of your favorite flavors.

All of these sweet treat places are walkable in Vinings Village and I know many make the drive to Menchie’s (in Paces Ferry Plaza by Houston’s) for their yogurt as well.

Camicakes Cupcakes on Urbanspoon

Camicakes Cupcakes on Urbanspoon

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