Posts Tagged tina hunsicker

Sold: 3429 Habersham Road NW

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3429 Habersham Road NW  Atlanta, GA 30305

Overview: 7,814 sq. ft.; 6 bedroom; 6 bathroom; 3 car garage; .73 acre lot

Schools: Jackson – Atlanta; Sutton; North Atlanta

List Price: $1,895,000

This gorgeous Tuxedo Park home located on one of the most prestigious streets in Atlanta was a great find for one of my clients! This 6 bedroom, 6 bathroom home with luxury finishes is on a large lot with an indoor/outdoor flow perfect for entertaining.

I knew that they were in the market for a really exceptional property and when I discovered that that this home would be available for sale, I wanted to get them in to see it as soon as possible. We were thrilled to be able to see this one just before it hit the market and my client was quick enough to snag it right away.

This is a great example of why working with an experienced realtor can really make a difference;  you may be able to find your dream home even if it hasn’t hit the market yet!

As always, feel free to reach out to me to set up a time to talk about the kind of home you are looking for. The Atlanta market has really been heating up lately and I’d love to help you find exactly what you want in a home. And please let me know if you’re even thinking about buying or selling your Atlanta area home! While you hear me talking about Buckhead and Vinings real estate all the time, I have lots of experience throughout metro Atlanta including Smyrna, “Smynings”, Mableton, Sandy Springs,  Ansley Park, Midtown and now even Towne Lake!.

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SOLD: Tyler Perry’s Atlanta Estate

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photo credit: buzz.blog.ajc.com

Tyler Perry’s estate at 4110 Paces Ferry Road in Atlanta has sold!   This is great news after only being on the public market for a year.  It is by far the most expensive home sold in Atlanta in over a year.  In the past year, the second place went to 2000 Garraux Road which sold at $6M  in August of 2015 , also located by the rear gate of Tyler Perry’s estate.

The home sits majestically overlooking the Chattahoochee River on 17 acres and is 35,000 sq ft. including 7 bedrooms, 11.5 bathrooms, swimming pool, lighted tennis courts, beautifully landscaped grounds, and underground ballroom. You can see it and its parking garage from across the river  on Paces Ferry Drive in Vinings (across from Canoe Restaurant).

4110 Paces Ferry was quietly marketed at a higher price point prior to hitting the public market, but entered the Multiple Listing Service a year ago at $25 million.  It just closed a few days ago for $17.5 million.  Quite a deal for that volume of land in the most prestigious zip code in Atlanta – 30327!  The land alone sold for $9M back in 2005 when Perry bought it.  A two acre lot in this area is now selling for about $1.5M  and a one acre lot is selling for right around a million.  So this land alone could be broken up and sold for over $12M.

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View of the home from the back photo credit: buzz.blog.ajc.com

The publicity a home like this generates for a realtor is national and phenomenal and every real estate agent’s dream.  I was able to experience that when I listed Jane Fonda’s loft back in 2004.  From what I’ve heard, this sale was to an out of state buyer and I’m sure that type of publicity surrounding this listing is what helps in generating leads for buyers of this magnitude in Atlanta’s luxury real estate market.

As has been reported publicly, Tyler will be building his new home on 1,000 acres he purchased in Douglas County, Georgia, near where the Tyler Perry Studios campus is located. Congratulations to his agents Josh Reeves and Chase Mizell on a job well done.

 

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UPDATE: Time to register for Atlanta Summer Camps

I have some great updates for that  Atlanta summer camps post I did a couple of months ago!

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photo credit: Josh Powell Summer Camp

 

Much to the dismay of many families,  Josh Powell Camp announced that they had closed their doors last year.  Then today I read an article that they are open again!  It is available for boys and girls who are rising 1st, 2nd, and 3rd graders.  But since they were closed last year, this year only, they are taking rising 4th graders as well to allow children the full 3 year camp experience.  Chase went all 3 years and has aged out now,  but it truly is an camp experience he enjoyed.  It still has many openings and I think that is due to the belief that it closed down, but here is the weblink to hurry and register your child; they are frequently updating their Facebook page as well for more details.  They pick up at West Paces and Northside and drive the kids out to the country.  They get muddy and hot, but I know nature  boys and girls love it!

I also heard about a few more camps that I want to tell you about for those of you who haven’t finalized your summer camp plans yet. The original post  has  all the updated information is available in one place, but here are some new camp options I wanted to highlight:

  • Club SciKidz is a science and technology camp for boys and girls ages 4-15. They have locations throughout the metro Atlanta area. Currently registering for camps beginning June 6.
  • CampMODA: a Design Thinking Camp is being presented by the Museum of Design Atlanta at 4 locations: MODA’s Midtown campus, The Lovett School, GA Tech’s College of Architecture, and First Presbyterian Preschool on Peachtree. Programs are available for children ages 5-14 are are now registering for summer sessions. Check out Field Trips With Sue‘s write up for more details on the camp (and great ideas for kids activities in general).
  • GA Tech Lacrosse Camps focuses on older children looking to really polish their lacrosse skills but has both day and overnight camps for boys and girls ages 8-18

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Atlanta Birthday Parties for Kids

 

I’ve written about planning Chase’s birthday parties a few times over the years; it’s fun to stay on top of what’s available in Atlanta because not only do kids grow up fast, their interests and hobbies change as they get older. I’ve always tried to plan a theme or venue that really reflects who Chase is as a person so I’m always asking friends for recommendations or researching to see what’s new.

Last year, I wrote about Main Event on Cobb Parkway, a great indoor facility with games, laser tag, a rock climbing wall, and even a sports bar for adults. Main Event is still a favorite with Chase’s friends and I think it’s a good option to keep in mind for winter birthdays.

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photo credit: 365atlantafamily.com

Another place that seems to be popular no matter the age of your child is LEGOland Discovery Center  at Phipps Plaza. They have DUPLO for toddlers on up to rides for older children and all the LEGOs you could possible want to build with! They even have a LEGO box kids can jump into!

Zip lines, ropes courses, sky bridges for the gravity defying adventurer, Treetop Quest has 3 locations in Dunwoody, Buford, and a new location in Roswell. One of the cool things about this place is that the activities are self guided so once you are trained on the safety equipment, you can go through the course or zipline as many times as you want.

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photo credit: classic-paintball.com

Paintball is really popular with the older kids (and adults) and can be a really fun group activity. Most paintball facilities will reserve a field for groups of 10 or more on weekdays.

  • Dosser Works Paintball in Atlanta (near Turner Field) has a zombie themed course- perfect for kids who are in the “gory” Halloween costume stage. You can bring your own party food to their picnic area but they also offer concessions like hotdogs and snacks.
  • Classic Paintball in Lithia Springs has 5 fields and an urban course to choose from. They also have picnic areas and pavilions for your birthday party treats.
  •  Georgia Paintball has two fields in Acworth and Dallas Georgia. They have a castle, a western town (called Dodge City) and wooded courses and they offer packages and specials for groups at both locations.
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photo credit: boxycolonial.com

For the nature lover, Chattahoochee Nature Center in Roswell has birthday party plans that include hiking, animal interaction, and a nighttime planetarium theme. They tailor parties for different age groups and every party package includes a cookie cake. They host a lot of great programs and events including a butterfly festival and a summer camp so they’re a great local resource for nature-loving families.

Members at the Center for Puppetry Arts can book a birthday party with tickets to a show and a party room. You can add a build-you-own puppet workshop to the party package and each guest will have a puppet to take home with them.

I don’t have as much experience with planning parties for girls but my friends with daughters  tell me that their girls are really into their American Girl dolls so the American Girl Boutique & Bistro at North Pointe Mall in Alpharetta might be the perfect spot to celebrate. They even have a doll hair salon!

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photo credit: huffingtonpost.com

Or if your little lady (or gentleman) enjoys a lovely cup of tea and a tower of delicious scones and cakes in elegant surroundings, several of Atlanta’s top hotels offer afternoon high teas:

For the budding artist, the Vinings School of Art right here in Vinings offers several different art class packages for birthday parties. Your child can choose the project they create and instructors will guide the guests through

I also ran across a great list of birthday party ideas for children in Atlanta including Fernbank, the Georgia Aquarium, Young Chef’s Academy and more. Just click on the highlighted words to get taken to their sites.

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Berkshire Hathaway Chairman’s Circle 2015 Gold Agent

Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Georgia Properties is pleased  to announce that Tina Hunsicker has been named as one of the Berkshire Hathaway Chairman’s Circle Gold Agents as a result of nearly $13 million in real estate sales for 2015!

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Time to register for Atlanta-area Summer Camps!

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Happy 2016, everyone! It’s hard to believe we’re already thinking about summer, but once again, it’s time to start registering your children for summer camp programs. I’ve done posts over the years with links to camps both in the Atlanta area and sleep-away camps that Chase has loved or friends have recommended. There are a lot of options, whether your child is involved in sports or the arts, and I’m also seeing more interesting programs like what Chase attended last summer for kids who are into science and technology.
There are plenty of options all over the state but I’m highlighting the ones that  are convenient to us in Vinings and Buckhead. Chase is attending sessions at the Westminster campus again this year where they have expanded their camp program to include not only a lot of sports and arts and science programs, but they also have Cubby Camp for children 3-4 years old.
Chase loves water sports so he will be attending Camp Seagull-Seafarer’s seamanship program in North Carolina this summer for 4 weeks.  He went to the 2 week Mariner program last summer and loved it. I’m really going to have withdrawal with my baby gone that long, but I really think it will be great for him to be in a cabin with 10 other boys for that long and allow him that kind of independence.  Wish me luck, I’ll have to pour myself into my work!  Another draw to Camp Seagull-Seafarer is that they are affiliated with the Coast Guard, so all of their boating activities are overseen by USCG licensed captains. Chase will also be able to earn 4 Boy Scout badges at Camp Seagull.
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Here is a list of links to Atlanta camps with details about ages and programs:
  • The Westminster School offers summer programs for every interest for ages 3-18. Registration begins January 11.
  • The Lovett School has a variety of camps for grades K-8 this summer starting in June with Camp Lovett and 2 July Jamboree sessions with traditional camp activities. Registration is currently open.
  • Pace Academy has Paceketeer Camp for ages 3.5-5 and Pace Camp for grades K-5. They offer both half and full day sessions. Registration opens January 15.
  • Georgia Tech’s CEISMC Summer Camps for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) concepts. Registration opens in mid-February.
  • Club Scientific, another science camp in Atlanta (They have LEGO robotics!!!). Early Registration has already started.
  • Alliance Theatre Drama Camps offers summer theatre camps for ages 3 and up. Registrations begins January 11.
  • Kids Tennis hasn’t listed their programs for 2016 yet, but offers tennis and golf camps. Check their Facebook page for updates.
  • St. Martin’s Episcopal Day School has a fun Jr. Mad Scientist camp as well as athletic and arts camps for ages 4- 8th grade. Registration begins February 1 and they have multiple camp dates throughout the summer.
  • Atlanta MJCCA offers over 100 summer camp programs and will be in 4 locations in 2016-Dunwoody, Emory, East Cobb, and North Fulton. Their returning camper registration begins January 10, first time campers, January 17.
  • Dwyers Adventure Camps is now accepting registration for children aged 5-12. They are offering a special for sign-ups before January 15 too!
  • NYO Sports offers a wide variety of sports camps as well as year-round sports programs; they are currently accepting registration.
  • Bitsy Grant Tennis and Golf Camp a tennis and golf camp located conveniently in Buckhead; registration begins in February.
  • Dan Perez Baseball Camp is a baseball camp for boys and girls 5-12 years old; accepting registration now.
  • Chastain Park Art Camp has a variety of art camps. Registrations is through Atlanta iParks or call the Art Center for details.
  • YMCA Buckhead, registration now open for children 5-18
  • Forefront Arts Theatre Camps offers 55 Summer Drama Camps in 14 locations around Atlanta; Camps available for children 3k -20. They are currently accepting applications.
  • Dunwoody Nature Center begins registration for members February 1; open registration begins February 15. They will be holding a Summer Camp Open House January 24.
  • Marist offers sports camps but the Boys Fun Camp, which is all boys and they get to play old-school games all day, comes highly recommended. Word is there is going to be a Girls Fun Camp this summer as well. Their site says they are still finalizing their schedule for 2016 so check back soon.
  • Emory University hosts a variety of sports camps throughout the summer as well as a LEGO-based Bricks for Kidz camp with a STEM focus.  They also have a program for the “Talented and Gifted” that your child will need to qualify for but its super pricey.  Chase qualified so I looked into it and its more than a sleep away camp.
  • High Meadow Summer Camp in Roswell is a traditional outdoor day camp; open registration for campers 3-14.
  • Children’s Museum Atlanta Imagine It! Camps offer adventure, science, drama, and creativity camps.
  • Chattahoochee Nature Center in Roswell host Camp Kingfisher, a nature camp for children 4-rising 9th graders. Their registration begins January 25.
  • Club SciKidz is a science and technology camp for boys and girls ages 4-15. They have locations throughout the metro Atlanta area. Currently registering for camps beginning June 6.
  • CampMODA: a Design Thinking Camp is being presented by the Museum of Design Atlanta at 4 locations: MODA’s Midtown campus, The Lovett School, GA Tech’s College of Architecture, and First Presbyterian Preschool on Peachtree. programs are available for children ages 5-14 are are now registering for summer sessions.
  • GA Tech Lacrosse Camps focuses on older children looking to polish their lacrosse skills but has both day and overnight camps for boys and girls ages 8-18.

For those of you with Boy and Girl Scouts:

  • Camp Rainey Mountain in northeast Georgia is filling up fast so get registered soon! They offer over 70 merit badges, activities like hiking, whitewater, climbing, and an ATV program, and high adventure programs.
  • Scoutland on Lake Lanier offers camping for Cub Scouts and Webelos. Their locations allows them to focus on aquatic activities.

Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta has 4 summer camps:

  • Camp Meriwether in Luthersville, GA is best known for it’s equestrian programs. Check out their Open House January 24.
  •  Camp Misty Mountain in Amurchee, GA in north Georgia is a traditional north Georgia mountain camp with hiking, equestrian programs, canoeing. They will be holding and Open House, Troop, Family and community Fun Day May 22.
  • Camp Pine Acres is located on Lake Allatoona and is known for its water sports programs. Their Open House will be held February 21.
  • Camp Pine Valley south of Atlanta doesn’t offer overnight camps.
  •  Camp Timber Ridge  in Mableton, GA has STEM leadership programs, outdoor cooking, and more. They will be having an Open House January 31.

I’ll also link to a post I did a couple of years ago that has a great list I got from Camp Meri Mac.

Hope this list helps you with your summer planning!

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Atlanta Private Schools Open House Schedule 2015

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photo credit: prepfection.com

Every year, I have out of town clients that tell me which private school their child is planning to attend.  Most parents aren’t aware of the process, the schedule, and how competitive it is.  I have a post about “off cycle” admissions  but most private schools in Atlanta don’t accommodate off cycle admission, creating a challenge for executives who are relocated during the summer months.  Holy Innocents is the only one I know of that my clients have been able to get into off cycle.

Part of being a realtor is helping families with relocation and transition and a big part of that process is finding the right schools for your children. I’ve done a few posts with tips and information about the process of application for Atlanta private schools in order to help parents navigate the process and minimize disappointment when unexpected things pop up. For me, it’s not just about selling real estate, it’s about helping people create homes here in Vinings and Buckhead!

The “on cycle” process typically starts in October the year prior to the year you want your child to start,  usually with testing beginning in October.  Then in November the private school Open Houses start and the schools may schedule private tours of the schools as well.  By January, schools have booked the individual interviews and they stop accepting applications in January to early February.  Decisions are made and announced at the same time, usually the first Saturday in April.

There are wait lists and a lot of movement during those first two weeks after announcements, so don’t give up on your first choice too soon.  But it’s interesting because  schools are pretty good at knowing which students are the best fit for their curriculum and education styles so I’d prefer a school that wanted my child on their first list personally.  Trust the process and apply to at least three. Schools are looking for candidates that are going to succeed in their environment so it is not usually the parent’s choice at the end of the day, it’s up to the schools.

The psychologist that does your child’s testing is a good resource in directing you to the schools that would be the best fit, but if your heart wants one in particular, don’t give up, wait out the wait list.  I know people with siblings tend to just apply to the school they have a child in already and many regret it later when that child doesn’t get in, so expand your search and consider others; a school program that is a fit for one isn’t always a fit for another and you don’t want to be in a position of having to move to get in a good school district after the fact! Trust me- it happens more often than you can imagine!  So, to help you get rolling, here are this year’s Open House dates:

Woodward Academy offers group tours by reservation on select dates through February

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New Listing: 1908 New Haven Court SE

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1908 New Haven Court SE, Smyrna

If you’re looking for million dollar  finishes in your home, 1908 New Haven Court may be just the place for you. The vaulted ceiling and soaring windows in the great room, light-filled and elegant open floor plan, graciously sized bedrooms and living spaces create a stunning first impression but the beauty of this home is really in the details.

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The home has been completely remodeled this year with all new bathrooms, a family-friendly eat-in kitchen, new cabinetry and appliances, new hardwood floors, new roof and windows. The home has gorgeous hardwood floors throughout the living spaces and bedrooms, no carpet anywhere. With fresh paint and designer wall coverings thru-out, all new light fixtures and built ins in study, you’ll a find a beautifully appointed home that is absolutely move-in ready.

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Trim has been added everywhere with coffered ceiling, wainscoting, built ins in the study, and all new light fixtures. The elegant master bedroom on the main floor has beautiful woodwork highlighting the high ceilings; the master bath has heated Carrara marble floors a claw-foot soaker tub and separate glass spa shower.

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The main living area flows out to a private landscaped backyard with a deck and pool, perfect for entertaining or just hanging out.

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This home really has too many upgrades to list- you really need to see it to appreciate what a great opportunity this is! Check out the full listing here; please contact me if you have any questions about this beautiful home or to set up a time to view it.

Overview: 3,475 sq. ft., 5 bedrooms/3.5 bathrooms, 2 car garage, pool

Schools: Teasley/ Campbell/ Campbell

Listing price: $525,000

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Party at the Pirch

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The grand entrance

A couple of weeks ago I hosted an event for my clients.  It was SO much fun that I need to keep telling the world about my new favorite place,  Pirch.
Back when the real estate market was crazy in 2005-2007 I sold more new construction than resales.  Then the market tanked and business became re-sales and buyer representations.  Recently the market for new construction has opened up again and I’m currently working with two clients who are building new homes and three clients who are doing major remodels.  That passion and joy that that business brings me is embodied in the Pirch experience.
Just step inside their doors at Lenox Marketplace Showroom at 3535 Peachtree Road NE (across from Phipps Plaza) and you’ve opened up a world to dream about what your home could be.  The service is incomparable and they’ll even serve you a drink from the Cafe while you browse.  They have in house consultants and rooms where you can design and dream.
Pirch chef hard at work in this showcase kitchen

Pirch chef hard at work in this showcase kitchen

I had attended a function with my office there a few months back and one of the outside sales reps had suggested that I hold an event for my clients.  The challenge came in conveying the experience and how much fun it is to them via an invitation.  Those that have a passion for cooking understood, along with my “foodie” friends but every single person left wanting to come back, just like I did.
We learned all about salt block cooking

We learned all about salt block cooking

Delicious dumplings

Delicious dumplings

The cooking demo area with friendly, helpful staff

The cooking demo area with friendly, helpful staff

Guests were treated to tours and a cooking demo by their in house chefs who come from some very upscale  restaurants and are showing their skills in this beautiful show kitchen without having to deal with the brutal hours of the restaurant world.  They taught us how to prepare fish, cook on a salt block and served us very yummy food and treats.
Cocktails ready to go!

Cocktails ready to go!

Cheers!

Cheers!

 Guests were treated to go home with a salt block and a cookbook along with a goodie bag with items from my partners that helped me host the event.  Besides Pirch, I had Dan Asbury with Suntrust Mortgage provide the drinks, Caleb Rhodes with Green Friendly Homes who showcased some fabulous homes he had built and provided measuring tapes to all, Traci Rhoads with Traci Rhoads Interiors, who gave tips on decorating, showcased some of her fabulous work, and slipped a wonderful linen candle into the goodie bags, and then one of my closing attorneys, Anthony Bagiatis with McLain and Merritt came up with a creative idea to give everyone a jar of specialty pork/chicken rub that he assures us is fantastic, can’t wait to try it along with my salt block.  Traci Rhoads said that it was such a great event that she’d have her wedding there one day!  We all cracked up, but it’s really a testament to what a first class event it was.
Goodie bags ready for guests

Goodie bags ready for guests

Since the event, I had a client that needed to look at appliances for a prospective build go over to check Pirch out.  He called me the next day to tell me they served him lobster and turned on the TV to his football game! He ended up spending three hours there!  Trust me and head over to Pirch to dream, you won’t go home hungry.  Even my son enjoys coming along to have the barista’s serve him hot chocolate!  I encourage you to check out one of their upcoming events, you won’t be disappointed.

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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!

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iStock Photo

Southern Cheese Straws
Makes about 4 dozen pieces
Ingredients
  • 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
Instructions
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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