Category Archives: Living in Atlanta

Delightful Brookhaven Home For Sale-1839 Canmont Drive

This perfect home located in the trendy Brookhaven neighborhood is close to the popular shops and restaurants along Dresden Drive and within walking distance to the neighborhood park with tennis courts and playground. Canmont Drive is a great street surrounded by more expensive new construction and easy access to I-85 and Buckhead. The stately magnolia tree in the front yard provides charming curb appeal which is further accented by the stained front porch.  The interior is very open and bright with high end finishes found in more expensive homes.  The backyard is fully fenced and professionally landscaped with a stacked stone wall, plenty of grassy area for play, and a spacious deck to relax and entertain.  Offered for $519,000.  Please contact Dede DeYonker for more details or to view this home at dede@atlantafinehomes.com or 404-626-1874.

Time Flies…

This time of year I often feel like time is moving faster than I’m able to keep up with, somewhat like a gerbil racing in its wheel.  I also wonder if I’m accomplishing more at this faster pace or just spinning my own wheel.

As the new school year began 8 short months ago, I almost felt myself physically bracing for all the changes that lie ahead for my high school senior son and my college senior son, which inevitably will lead to an empty nest for my husband and I and our dear 12-year-old chocolate lab.  I considered recording all the “lasts” we would experience throughout the year to share on Facebook with catchy captions, but it somehow seemed too morbid so instead I just braced myself for the ride.

Here we are in the midst of our last high school baseball season after a 16-year run of watching both boys play.  How did we get here so fast?  When the last pitch is thrown, the last out is called, the last game is over and I watch my son walk off the baseball field for the last time, it will feel like it has been so much more than just a game, but instead a metaphor for the many seasons of raising children.

Throughout this 18-year time span so many decisions are made and lessons learned. Growing up can certainly be described as a team sport with fans, coaches, umpires, team mates, opposing teams, celebrations and defeats, knowing when to bunt or when to aim for the fence, while at times feeling alone at the plate.

As a mother, I’m grateful for a book club with other mothers, an insightful leader, and a wise author to guide us through this transition toward having adult children.  I highly recommend, Now That They Are Grown: Successfully Parenting Your Adult Children, by Ron Greer http://www.ronaldjgreer.com/now_that_they_are_grown As a mother in the group said, “We are the first generation to take on parenting with the intensity of a CEO only to work ourselves out of a job.”

As 2 graduations approach less than 2 months away, the tight grip I was trying to hold on to my children’s lives is slowly loosening as I tentatively yet faithfully try to change my focus to the journey that will unfold with many “firsts” instead of focusing on all the “lasts”.

Snowpocalypse 2014

Snow Jam 2014.  I love a good snow day and this one will certainly be remembered until the end of time.  Somewhat like where were you when JFK was shot, the Challenger exploded, the planes hit the World Trade Center?  Like all good Realtors on a Tuesday morning I was out looking at houses.  Very reluctantly, I headed to Tucker with a co worker to see his new listing as the first snow flakes fell in Buckhead.  I was feeling unsettled as my LaGrange Facebook friends were already reporting the freezing rain that was falling fast.  My dad had finished his morning walk at the LaGrange Mall to find ice had covered his car.  My son’s school had called an early dismissal.  I had made the executive decision to cancel my own caravan so the young family in the home would not be out in the snow that was being predicted to fall late morning. There were so many signs yet everyone was moving forward with their day in their normal Tuesday fashion.

Heading back to Buckhead down 285 it was becoming obvious this Tuesday was no longer business as usual.  After a very slow trek down the highway and growing very short on patience we decided to abort mission to return to the office and just get home. Having run most of the roads around Chastain Park, I thought I knew every hill within a 5-mile radius.  I did not know Powers Ferry was a roller coaster of winding hills.  Four miles seemed to last an eternity as we witnessed the calamity that was unfolding around us.  Almost 5 hours after beginning the 15-mile journey we arrived safely at my home to find my Michigander husband shoveling the driveway.  I guess you can take the Yankee out of the north, but you can’t take the north out of the Yankee.

I’m sure stories will be told for years to come.  Fingers will continue to be pointed looking for someone to blame, many will be thankful for new friends made in makeshift shelters and unexpected acts of kindness, children will forever remember the night they got to spend the night at school, and northerners will have fun laughing at our snowpocalypse caused by 2 inches of snow.

The snow is slowly melting and next Tuesday caravan will go on as usual with all good Realtors lunching in beautiful homes around Atlanta, and the south will rise again.

 

 

Why do people buy and sell homes?

So why do people buy and sell houses?

Bottom line it’s usually because of life circumstances.  My husband bought his first condo because I think he was ready to be an adult and was ready to ask me to marry him.  He probably thought owning a condo was a good step toward both of those ambitious goals.  Why did we buy our next home?  I was expecting our first child and the 17th floor of a Buckhead condo didn’t feel like the best place to start a family.   Our second home? Our 4 ½ year old son would soon be starting Kindergarten forcing us to consider important education decisions. We decided to move to a great public school district instead of paying private school tuition. Our next home?  We tore down our 1920’s bungalow to stay in a great neighborhood and increase our property value more than we could have with a renovation.  After that, with my husband and I both having careers in real estate, we got a little carried away and moved more times than I originally planned over the years.

Sure everyone is interested in interest rates and how the market is doing, but it’s the people that live in the homes and the circumstances at the time that prompt the move.  Having been blogging for a couple of years now, I’ve realized the posts I enjoy most are the ones that are from personal experience while still relating to great schools in the Atlanta area and all the things affecting families and children with their changing needs and interests.  For that reason, all my posts will now be original instead of stats or information that can be found on Google.

I have a wealth of information on all things relating to home buying and selling in and around the Atlanta area and would love to be considered your “go-to” for answers and advice.

Happy New Year and to a year full of many happy life circumstances.

Baseball Season in Atlanta

A recent girls night out was a much overdue outing among good friends that met over 10 years ago through baseball loving sons.  The bond established on the bleachers overlooking a baseball field certainly ranks up there with dorm room friends and office friends who you often spend more time with than your own family.

Looking back, did we all really enthusiastically leave Atlanta and head off to Humble, Texas for our 10 year old sons to compete in a PONY regional championship?  It wasn’t because any of us thought our child was the prodigy that was going to make it to “the bigs”, we just loved watching our boys play a game they loved, and quite simply we didn’t know any better. We were naïve enough to love the coaches, love the team as a whole, and love the adventure we were embarking on for one week of our eight week all star summer vacation.  While my husband could still give you a play by play of each game, I remember more of our off field experiences; happy hour at the Country Inn and Suites on rained-out afternoons, entertaining little brothers at the local arcade, being perturbed that the fields were not up to our Buckhead standards, and watching the 10 year olds feel like big guys sharing rooms with their teammates and keeping their parents at a safe distance to enjoy their freedom.

From 10 year old ball, the boys eventually went in different directions; a few played another year or 2, some throughout high school, and a couple keeping the dream alive into college.

As we most recently shared stories of impressive summer internships, older siblings with real jobs and impending marriages, I hope our children will come to know the joy they brought to us and hold those memories as dear as their parents will.

5025 Riverside Park Drive, an Outdoor Enthusiast’s Dream

Recently driving down Riverside Road along the Chattahoochee River in Roswell on a Saturday morning gave me that itch only runners know as they pass other runners out on the road. It’s such a picturesque hidden gem that feels more like a resort area than a suburban neighborhood within minutes of the major arteries leading into downtown Atlanta. The winding paths were being enjoyed by runners training for their next race, the weekend warrior looking to burn a few calories, bike riders, and happy tail-wagging pets. Just beyond the path, the Chattahoochee River was dotted with fly fishermen among the river rocks and rippling flowing water.

Located just steps from this outdoor enthusiast’s dream is the upscale gated community of Riverside Park. I’m delighted to be representing the seller on the sale of their home at 5025 Riverside Park Drive. The sophisticated finishes within artfully extend to the outdoors for full enjoyment while entertaining or just spending time with family.

Real Estate Recovery Runs

 

It’s September and I’m tired of the heat and tired of feeling scattered by the lack of structure that I enjoyed for most of the summer.  I’m reviewing my new year’s resolutions to see how they can be revived as we head into the final quarter of the year.  I’ve committed to a sales coaching course at my office, an accountability partner to share my progress with, and a new “To Do” list provided by my most efficient husband. It’s not digital or viral or accessed by computer or smart phone, but just a good ole sheet of paper with “TO DO” at the top, several lines for notes, and check boxes for me to fill in when complete.  Why does it feel so good to fill in that little box?

I’m looking forward to cooler weather and excited to line up a few half marathons for the fall, although my running life is also in need of a coach, accountability partner, and to do list.  Having run through many of Atlanta’s neighborhoods over the years, most of my runs lately have been around the grueling hills of Chastain Park.  I’ve decided my body will be found one day on East Conway Road either flattened by a carpooling mom, texting teen or big yellow school bus if I don’t find a new route.

Inspired by a mom from my children’s elementary school days, I’m exploring ideas to add a new dimension to my real estate business and my running.  When Lisa Weldon faced an empty nest last year, she put plans in motion to live out a dream of living in New York City.  I’m sure her month long stay as documented on her blog, http://blog.lisaweldon.com/  inspired many others to revisit their dreams.  While not as exciting as a month in New York or Paris (Lisa’s current location), I’ve decided to energize my running while learning new areas of the city. I can’t think of a better way to get an up close and personal take on areas in and around Atlanta that I can share with my clients, burn a few calories, and soak up some sanity along the way.

So what should this new adventure be called?  If it has a name I feel like it will be more important and I’ll be more committed.  My sister once thought if she had a laundry dress and artfully decorated her laundry room she’d  feel excited about doing laundry somewhat like going to a party.  The Running Realtor is an obvious choice but I’m not feeling it.  Home Runs, Real Estate Recovery Run, maybe an acronym?   Hmmm…hopefully something will come to me while I’m out on the road.

 

A New School Year Begins

The beginning of a new school year always brings mixed emotions. When my children were younger the summer seemed to go on for an eternity, but now that they are older and much more self-sufficient I wish the lazy days of summer could stretch out just a little longer. Since my younger son recently passed the driving milestone of life I will no longer be driving a child to school. As excited as he is to be driving his own wheels onto campus feeling quite full of his upper classman status, me and the family dog will be missing our morning drive onto campus feeling the excitement as another day unfolds. While I’ll miss the occasional conversation and small insight into my son’s day, Georgia, our chocolate lab, will miss the breeze in her face, the other SUV’s with happy dogs passing by, the quirky crossing guard/wrestling coach that would bark as we passed, jumping in the front seat as my son got out, and happily returning home for her morning nap.

My older son is still somewhat scarred from his first day of Kindergarten when I showed up to ride home with him on the school bus. You would have thought I was insisting on accompanying him on his first date. While he’s always eager for a new experience and leaps in head first with no hesitation, I’ve spent his entire life attempting to direct his enthusiasm toward safe and law abiding endeavors.

My younger son is much more content to go with the flow and was in no hurry to go to school or experience anything outside of a very small radius of his mother. After crying every morning for his first 2 weeks of first grade and begging me to get a job at the school, he eventually settled in.

As I recently shopped with my college aged son at Target for his back to school essentials, my heart was warmed by a younger boy proudly bragging to his mother about all of the hidden pockets, clips, and zippers on his Mario Brothers book bag. Instead we were buying shampoo, deodorant, and a toilet scrubbing brush with a lesson on toilet cleaning and the importance of keeping clean surroundings for a clean mind and sense of well-being. Where are the Mario Brothers or Power Rangers toilet scrubbers? Surely that would elicit some excitement for college aged boys facing toilet cleaning for the first time.

This week my high school junior son left his bed before noon for the first time all summer to rush off to get his books and my college junior son headed off to college this morning comparing his excitement level to that of Christmas day, so I will try to muster my excitement to trade in the less structured days of summer for the daily grind and find the joy in all that a new school year brings. Maybe Georgia and I will just take a morning ride the first couple of weeks for old times’ sake.

Atlanta Back to School Tax Holiday August 10-11

It’s back! For the first time since 2009, Georgia shoppers will be able to take advantage of the state’s tax free holiday on back-to-school items.  Friday, August 10th and Saturday, August 11th, Georgia will suspend all sales tax on general school supplies, clothing, computers and computer accessories.

Retail analysts predict an increase in back-to-school spending this year.  According the National Retail Federation, the back-to-school shopping period is bigger than the traditional Black Friday Christmas shopping period.  Georgia businesses say they are ready for the customers, and many Metro Atlanta parents are waiting until the tax holiday to pick up needed back-to-school items.

Sabrina Hambrick of DeKalb County is among many Metro Atlanta parents waiting to take advantage of the tax holiday. Hambrick says, “It will definitely be beneficial for me to wait until the tax holiday to purchase needed clothing items for my son in elementary school.”

Metro Atlanta Mall manager Karl Woodard of Discover Mills in Duluth told the  Atlanta Journal-Constitution, he expects more people to take advantage of sales. Woodard said, “It usually has a pretty big impact.”

The National Retail Federation predicts while parents with school-aged children will not only spend more this year than last, but they will also spend smarter.   According to NRF’s 2012 Back-to-School spending survey conducted by BIGinsight, the average person with children in grades K-12 will spend nearly $690.00 on their children, up from more than $600.00 spent last year.  But the survey also reveals that as parents look to replenish and restock, they are also looking for real bargains and sales. Many retailers say they will be more aggressive with both their in-store and online promotions.  Early predictions include clothing and some electronics as high purchase items.

The tax free holiday of back-to-school purchases starts at 12:01 a.m. on August 10, 2012 and ends at midnight on August 11, 2012.  According to the Georgia Department of Revenue’s Tax Sale Holiday site, tax exempt items include: clothing and footwear that cost less than $100 per item, general school supplies that cost $20 or less per item, and a single purchase of a computer or computer-related accessories that cost $1,000 or less.

Former Georgia Governor Roy Barnes started Georgia’s tax holiday in 2002.  But state leaders ended the tax holiday during the last recession. This year Governor Nathan Deal reinstated the tax holiday because lawmakers said Georgia businesses were losing back-to-school sales to neighboring states with tax holidays.

Untie Atlanta Transportation Referendum Vote Needed July 31st

Renay Blumenthal from the Metro Atlanta Chamber gave a very informative presentation at our sales meeting this morning about the upcoming vote needed on July 31st to pass the Transportation Referendum. She brought up many valid points why this vote is so important to the future of Atlanta. When our city is competing with other metropolitan cities for companies looking to relocate, other cities are often able to use not only our bad traffic, but our lack of a plan to deal with it in the future, as a competitive selling point for their own cities. She mentioned that we recently lost a Fortune 500 company to Richmond, Virignia because of our lack of a plan to deal with increasing traffic problems. Another goal of the Referendum is to connect the city and surrounding areas better through all modes of transportation: bus, rail, auto, biking, and walking. There is an interactive project map found on their website, Untie Atlanta where you can see all of the plans and the schedule of when each is scheduled to be implemented. You can also vote early if you are not going to be in town on July 31st.