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Celebrate the Small Victories!

 

We celebrate the small victories in The Columbus GA area with the 2015 market Stats!  While the total number of properties sold had little change, our Days On Market (DOM) decreased by 20%!  What does that mean for real estate?  Homes are selling faster than past years. Properties which are well cared for, updated, market ready and priced correctly are selling quickly!  The average sold price even climbed a small amount.  Also, 46 homes sold over $500,000 last year which is very encouraging news for larger properties owners.

2015 was my best year in Real Estate.  I am looking forward to this positive trend in 2016!  Inventory is currently low in most areas of Columbus.  January and so far February have been exceptionally busy months.  Don’t wait until Spring to list!  Contact me if you would like to know your home’s value.  I would be glad to provide a current market analysis for you  and as always – with no strings attached!

 

 

 

Fall is here!

In the northern hemisphere where Columbus Georgia resides; the season of fall begins with the autumnal equinox, which falls on Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015. When you feel that first crisp breeze, you know it means the beginning of cooler temperatures and that school is back in session.

However, fall comes a little later in Columbus and the surrounding areas.  Growing up here, our first cool spell usually happened when the Greater Chattahoochee  Fair arrived in town which occurred somewhere around October 10th.  The Fair was the first time you could wear your sweaters (at night only) and not be hot.  It was an exciting time, and you always went more than once.  Some of us traveled home from college for an “Exchange Club foot long”.

imageFootball is a big event in the South and we can’t wait for SEC football!  As with many towns in this part of the country,  it is always very controversial in Columbus about who has the best team.  I love Friday nights when lights are on in our local stadiums for high school football.  I love to hear the bands practicing in the afternoons.  We are serious about our football!  A SEC college tailgate is an experience and needs to be on everyone’s bucket list.

Each and every season has its upside, but fall is my favorite!  Things seem to pick up a bit from the slower pace of summer and accelerate as we move through the holidays.  There are so many things to do during this season, especially in Uptown Columbus.  The Friday night concerts are fun and free!  There are so many events going on that it is hard to keep up. You can click on the link below for more information on Uptown Columbus and what is happening.

 

UptownFriday nights in Uptown Columbus

Uptown Columbus Events

Midtown Columbus Information

If you would like to see a property in either of these wonderful areas, please contact me!

Dog Days in Columbus, Georgia

Oh, what to do when it is 98 degrees and 100% humidity while anticipating football, school and cooler temperatures?  Vacations are over and any outside endeavors are almost unbearable for most of us fair weather people!  Why not venture down and take a dip in the Chattahoochee?  While pools and the lakes are not as refreshing as they were earlier in the year, the white water rapids keep the “Hooch” much cooler.

After watching all the paddle monkeys for nine months; we decided to overcome our phobias and finally get in the water!  We rented two kayaks and spent a few hours paddling around the river.  The water was surprisingly enjoyable and the paddling great exercise!  During “low flow”, you can meander around comfortably even when heading back upstream.

 

Sandy / rocky beaches are a great place to go ashore with your kayak and rest for a spell.  Here you can appreciate the quiet eddies to float in and cool off.  Interestingly enough are the many families, kayakers, and fishermen that enjoy the water and the calmness created at low flow.

 

 

 

Uptown Columbus has several places to rent water toys. Whitewater Express and Outside World Outfitters welcome you to rent kayaks, paddle boards or inner tubes to enjoy the river.  Lessons are available as well.  We even spotted Kayak Columbus, which will shuttle your kayak to the river and store it after.  How easy is that?

 

It is a pretty view looking up from the banks of the Chattahoochee River and certainly worth a try!

 

If you are interested to find out more about the Chattahoochee River flow schedule; below is a link which connects to Georgia Power’s website and shows when the water releases are scheduled.  After clicking on it, you will need to select the Morgan Falls pull down and use North Highlands to be accurate.  There is a delay of course from the time of the release until it the water arrives in the downtown area.

Georgia Power Water Release Information

How to sell you home in any market

 

Over the past ten years, I have sold five of our personal properties.  All sold quickly!  Four of these in less than a month.  What is the secret?  I know how to price, market, and most importantly how to get a home “show ready.”

So how do you do this if you struggle with clutter, love your things, or live in a house too small for you and your family?  I always advise clients to pretend they are going to have a party with very important guests.  It is amazing what you see when you walk through your house with this in mind.  You will start to notice areas of your home that may need help.

Here are a few tips and rules that I use with my homes:

1. Work on curb appeal, it is very important!  No one will want to see the inside of your home unless it appears attractive and cared for from the street.  Mow your yard weekly, trim bushes, edge the yard and plant flowers in the beds and planters.  Buy mature bedding plants in baskets or containers for instant pop instead of young plants in trays.  Add fresh pine straw – it spruces up a yard in a second!  A favorite motto of mine is “More people will ride by your home than will ever come inside.”  What impression does the outside of your property convey about what shape inside might be?

2. Pressure wash walkways, decks, patios, concrete around pools and driveways.

3. Throw out old door mats and replace with new.  Shine door knockers and hardware.  Refresh paint or varnish on the front door if faded.  Make sure your front door  works properly!  I would bet that 6 out of 10 doors that Realtors attempt to open, don’t do so correctly.  If the problem is a sticky lock,  WD-40 works wonders and/or have a new key cut that works.  It does not make a good first impression when we have to struggle with a key that won’t turn or a door that sticks!  Most homeowners don’t use their front doors so this often goes unnoticed.

4. Clean out the clutter!  Clean out the Clutter!  Clean out the clutter!  Box up extra knickknacks , family photos, and store in the attic, garage, or rent a storage unit.  Move extra furniture out now!  Today’s buyers love the clean lines of the “Pottery Barn” look.  Depersonalize  your home.  A buyer needs to envision a home as theirs.  Imagining their furniture and possessions in a house with rooms and walls full of family photos is hard to do and buyers do not need to be distracted.  A few photos are fine.  I never pack up all of ours when selling a home but remember “less is better.”

5. Clean ceiling fans and wash windows.

6. Take down outdated wallpaper and paint.  Bold colors are out of style; the new looks are neutrals such as beiges, whites, and greys. Paint is inexpensive and makes a huge difference.  New paint also helps with odors as well.

7. Replace tired houseplants with new. Fresh new plants add to a bathroom or living space.

8. Clean out closets, cabinets and drawers.  And yes buyers will open these, especially in the kitchen so these areas need to look organized.  Buyers don’t like homes that feel crowded or cramped. (See tip #4)

9. Keep your kitchen and bath counters clean and uncluttered.  Put up bottles, medicines, food items, etc.

10. Have your carpet professionally cleaned or replaced if needed.  Try to vacuum if possible before each showing.

11. Pet and cigarette odors – WOW, nothing turns off a buyer faster than these two!  We all have pets and we love them, but a smelly house does not show well.  The truth is we are accustomed to the smells in our homes but notice odors in other homes.  Have a friend with a good nose come over and see if they notice any unpleasant odors.  PS. Candles do not cover up odors, they just make buyers wonder what you are trying to hide.

12. Make sure all light bulbs are working in light fixtures and lamps.

13. Make any repairs that you know about in advance.  They will come up later in the home inspection!  Peeling paint, rotten wood, double insulated windows with broken seals etc. all need to be addressed before you offer your home for sale.  I always do this in advance and yes it does mean spending money that I don’t want to but it pays off in the end.

14. Pay special attention to bathrooms.  Clean grout in showers and around tubs.  Stained grout in showers or floors can make the whole room look dirty.  Clorox can work miracles but sometimes grout and caulk need extra help.  Grout pens are available at your local hardware or home store.  Old tubs can be re-glazed for about $250 and will look brand new.

15. Keep your home clean while on the market.  Make beds, pick up toys, laundry, etc.

16. Take down any light fixtures,  drapes, mirrors or other objects that you are taking with you.  Or prepare your mind and heart to part with them.  If you love them and it makes a room look good the buyers will love them too.  I can’t tell you how many times buyers and sellers lose sight of the objective (the house) and argue over decorative items.  You are selling your home – not your personal property.  Move it out!

Preparing and keeping your home ready to show can be tedious and sometimes not pleasant.  No one ever said that selling a home is fun but remember this will not last forever and the more you do – the faster it will sell!  A little effort goes a long way.  Houses that are exceptionally clean, staged well and priced right still move quickly in any market!

My Uptown Columbus morning stroll

My morning terrain has changed somewhat in the last year but it certainly is pretty and still close to water. 8 River Club deck view

I leave Eagle & Phenix early most mornings with my husband, Cham and Millie (14 year old Jack Russell) for “protection” of course.  Our route varies day to day but one of our favorite directions begins on the sidewalks of Bay.  Millie likes to look for the cats that live near the River Club.  We always  stop to look at the river to see whether it is high or low flow.  The  fishermen are out early, on the banks and in boats as well as the early morning runners.

It is quiet in “Up Town” in the mornings.  Buildings start to illumintate with the early morning workers.  A few cars pass by but mostly it is just the birds and occasional cars that we hear.

ziplind 5

Zip Line

At some point  during this walk we pass the Zip Line and wander up to the Historic District and take in the charming homes, parks and gardens. We love the sidewalks of Front and Broadway with clapboard homes and charming porches.  Blooming flower beds and ferns on the porchs adorn the homes here making them very inviting.

Walk

Then on to business district of Broadway where the coffee shops are opening and CSU students are milling about, walking dogs or on their way to class or breakfast?  We see many familar faces each morning and love the friendliness as we great one another.

Dru 2 Pics from Uptown - East

Uptown – East

 

Back to the corner of 11th & Bay and through the short cut between the Synovus building and garage.

walk (1)

eagle & phenix_1

Eagle and Phenix

 And there it is – home sweet home!  Many days I am still amazed that we live in a mill!  The W.C. Bradley Co. has done a wonderful job restoring and converting this building which was built Circa 1850.  An Open house is planned for May 30th and I will be there to help the great W.C. Bradley agents, Leah & Kathleen.  We are expecting a crowd so if you are interested in more information, you can visit the Facebook page Eagle and Phenix Open House or call me and I would be glad to answer any questions you might have about this Uptown Columbus Georgia development.

A Sunday at Piedmont Lake

I recently wrote about this wonderful community but after spending the day there recently – I feel compelled to share more!

If you are coming from I-185, you will enjoy the pretty scenery on Hopewell Church Road. Farms, pastures, and a few small neighborhoods are along the short 2 mile trip to the main gate of Piedmont Lake. Piedmont is one of the few gated communities in our area, and the gates are closed 24/7! So don’t show up unexpectedly or you won’t get in.

 

Driving down Piedmont Lake Parkway, bordered by rolling pastures, a large home complete with guest house, and a private horse barn and fields. These pastures are a wonderful place to see deer crossing and playing in the fields. We watched a big group of “babies” romping through the fields from a friend’s back porch.

It is 5.2 miles around the main road of Piedmont and a great walk, jog or bike ride. On the east side of the lake are a new pool, clay tennis courts, a boat ramp and playground. A community party was enjoyed by residents just the other night at the recently spruced up pavilion by the tennis courts.

And how exciting a place to live with the recent news of Callaway Gardens new director. I hear wonderful things are in the works for Callaway! Piedmont Lake, Pine Mountain, Ga and Callaway Gardens are truly a special place! Call me for a private tour!

 

Piedmont Lake, Harris County Real Estate

 

 

 

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Did you know that this quiet 150 home plus gated community was tucked away only 20 minutes from Columbus? 10 minutes from Callaway Gardens? 20 minutes from Lagrange? 1 hour and 5 minutes from the Atlanta airport?

Piedmont’s main attraction is the 210 + acre stocked lake that local fisherman will tell you has some great fishing.

This “no wake” lake is Piedmont’s jewel and enjoyed by residents who fish or just enjoy a slow boat ride on the water.

DJI00004-cwSituated on one side of the lake is a new community pool,  tennis courts, a playground and boat ramp available to residents and their guests only. The pool setting is quite picturesque and enjoyable with a delightful breeze from the lake.

The houses in Piedmont are pretty and are nestled on wooded lots on the rolling terrain that is typical of the Pine Mountain area.  Here are a few pictures of two homes in the neighborhood.  The pink brick home is for sale and listed under my properties.

house 006 copy474 Peidmont front

 

 

 

 

 

 

Piedmont Lake is an active neighborhood with many community gatherings each year.  There are a few tennis, bridge, and golf groups who get together weekly as well as a few “poker” groups who meet once a month.  Neighbors are friendly and often socialize.  You can be as involved as you want too!

Don’t want to cook?  Pine Mountain has many restaurants to choose from including Callaway Gardens.

Up the road in Lagrange is the Cart Barn Grill, which is quite good despite its humble appearance.  C’sons is an upscale but casual restaurant and bar with an “Atlanta like atmosphere” on a smaller scale.

Of course, we all know about Hunter’s Pub that is only 5 minutes from Piedmont Lake and is a Harris County legend!  It is frequented by Columbus locals as well and has an excellent steak.  My favorite is the cheeseburger with sweet potato fries. For desert, the peanut butter pie is to die for!  All of these restaurants are well worth the drive!

Piedmont Lake has a handful of homes for sale now, a few lots and a nice pasture with a horse barn.  I have a few listed under my properties and would be glad to give you a tour of this unique development.  Having lived there for five years – I know what a special place it is and would love to discuss this wonderful development.  Maybe a boat ride as well!