Atlanta Real Estate and Community News

Oct. 19, 2020

Halloween is different this year due to COVID. Robb Realty Group has compiled a  list of "safe" & fun activities around town to enjoy!

Halloween Events Around Town

Check event websites for details & updates

The Haunted Highway at North DeKalb Mall
Enjoy the spooktacular Haunted Highway from the safety of your own vehicle, take photos, get a gift bag, trick-or-treat and more at this unique experience. Through Oct. 31st.

Decatur Ghost Tours
Come meet some of Decatur’s ghosts on this historical, paranormal walking tour of downtown Decatur. Reservations required. Oct. 16-18, 22-25, 27-31.

Supernatural Science Fest at Fernbank Museum of Natural History
Celebrate Halloween ghostly figures, engaging activities exploring iconic scary characters, twilight tours, treats and more. Oct. 17, 24 and 31.

Boo at the Zoo at Zoo Atlanta
Wear your costume to sample treats throughout the Zoo, enjoy the whimsical Zoo Boo Town, and see more than 1,000 animals from around the world. Oct. 24-25 and 31.

Halloween Hikes at Chattahoochee Nature Center
Go on a hike to meet costumed nature characters and learn about their lives in the wild. Oct. 23-24 and 30.

Train or Treat at Southeastern Railway Museum 
Trick-or-treat at decorated stations around the museum, enjoy wagon rides, and eat fall-themed refreshments. Oct. 24.

Halloween at Halcyon
Enjoy trick-or-treating, crafts, entertainment, a costume parade, petting farm and more. Oct. 24.

Trick or Treat at Buford Village
Dress in costume to trick-or-treat with Buford Village merchants, take photos in the fall photo booth, meet Spiderman, get your face painted, make crafts and more. Oct. 24.

Goblins in the Garden at Atlanta Botanical Garden
Show off Halloween costumes for a day of treats and activities. Oct. 25.

Howl-o-ween at the Farm at The Art Barn
Come dressed in your Halloween costume to see the creature crew, make art, enjoy a picnic and more. Oct. 25.
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Halloween Spooktacular Drive-thru at Brook Run Park
Drive through a haunted display of spooky decoration, special effects and music for a fun Halloween experience. Oct. 29.

Halloween Magic Show at Roswell Cultural Arts Center
Magician Arthur Atsma captivates with sleight of hand magic, comedy and audience interaction. Oct. 31.

The Monster Mash at Center for Puppetry Arts
Come out in costume for a storytime with the Good Witch, a digital scavenger hunt, photos in Big Bird’s Halloween Nest, pumpkin puppets and more. Oct. 31.

Halloween on The Roof at Ponce City Market
Enjoy family-friendly fun with trick-or-treating, temporary tattoos, crafts, popcorn, treats and more. Oct. 31.

Lawrenceville Ghost Tours at Aurora Theatre
Listen to vivid stories of the strange and supernatural as guides lead groups on a 90-minute adventure around the square. Through Oct. 31.

Little 5 Points Halloween Festival and Parade
Enjoy 31 days of virutal FestEvils and FUNdraising. Through Oct. 31.

13 Stories Haunted House in Newnan
Brave your way through the different areas of this scary haunted house with “Extreme” haunts. Through Nov. 1.

HALLOWFEST at Six Flags
Enjoy family-friendly fall activities during the day, and at night, the amusement park transforms into a ghoulish place with ghosts and goblins and haunted attractions. Through Nov. 1.

Brick-or-Treat at LEGOLAND Discovery Center
Wear your Halloween costume to enjoy Monster Dance Parties, find spooky scenes in MINILAND, snap fun photos and more. Through Nov. 1.

Netherworld Haunted House in Stone Mountain
Take on “Halloween Nightmares,” based on classic harvest and horror themes, and find out if you can survive the “Cyborg Shock.” Through Nov. 1, 6-7 and 13-14.

Folklore Haunted House in Acworth
Folklore Haunted House has two haunted experiences, and you can test your skills at the Midway of Mayhem. Through Nov. 7.

Ghosts of Marietta in Marietta
Tour guides tell stories based on documented sightings, firsthand experiences and history. Fri.-Sun. through Dec. 27.
Posted in Community News
Oct. 5, 2020

Making the Mortgage Process Simple

Shopping for a mortgage lender is very important and having a mortgage specialists on standby who can hold your hand through the process and walk you through it step-by-step is invaluable. Going through the process with a mortgage specialist that listens to you and answers your questions makes the process of applying for a mortgage for the first time much easier. Click Here to Get the Robb Realty VIP Buyer's Booklet

Ask plenty of questions
If you’re meeting with a mortgage specialist and they start talking about something that you do not fully understand, don’t hesitate for an instant to stop them and ask what they mean or what that specific term means. That mortgage specialist will be able to explain it in simple terms for you. There is no such thing as a stupid question in situations like this and asking a “stupid” question will not affect your mortgage in any way. Good mortgage specialists understand that first time home buyers are going to come in the door without a lot of knowledge about mortgages, and they’re trained to explain everything clearly right off the bat. 

Don’t stress out about the amount of paperwork
Why do mortgage lenders need so much stuff, anyway? The simple answer is legal requirements. Lenders are legally required to document every element of their reasoning for why they chose to offer you a mortgage.

Gather basic documents before applying
The lender will provide you with a list of documents they want up front, so be prepared. Be sure to keep copies of all documents you provide them.

Documents you will need:

  • Clear proof of identity, such as a driver’s license or, even better, a passport.
  • Copies of your recent tax returns — the last three years are a good starting point.
  • Recent pay stubs from your employers, which proves your current employment and current rate of pay. Bring copies of the last three stubs.
  • Recent statements from your bank accounts, showing how much you have in those accounts. Bring copies of the last three statements.
  • Recent statements from your retirement accounts, showing how much you have saved for retirement. Bring copies of your last three statements.

Having those documents in hand right off the bat will keep them off of the to-do list that the mortgage specialist will give you after your initial meeting.

Be honest about your financial history
You may have a strong desire to avoid mentioning or even to cover up things in your recent financial or employment history that might mark you as a less-than-optimal candidate for a home loan. Here’s the truth: the lending institution is extremely likely to find those things out anyway and being upfront about them gives you an opportunity to put a positive face on them and tell your side of the story. This is particularly important if you are meeting with a financial institution that does manual underwriting, meaning that an actual person looks at your financial and professional situation to determine what mortgage offer you’re eligible for. 

Almost all of us have blemishes in our credit history and our employment history. Trying to hide them does you no favors because those blemishes will likely be discovered when they pull your credit report or look into your employment history. You are far better off being upfront about them.

Are you ready to list your home or start the pre-qualification process in buying a new home? The Robb Realty team of agents and preferred lenders are here to help. Robb Realty website

 

 

 

Sept. 21, 2020

Tips for Purchasing an Investment Property

Read our tips for real estate investors living in Johns Creek.Anyone living in Johns Creek who is thinking about taking on an investment property should be sure to account for ongoing expenses when calculating the costs of owning and maintaining the home. It is important to plan for the unexpected and also to take into account all known costs when making the decision to buy and how much to spend. You are more likely to get a good return on your investment if you set aside enough money to properly take care of your Johns Creek property.

Be smart in the type of mortgage and insurance that you decide on. If you can, put as much down as possible to reduce the amount of interest you need to pay. Choose a fixed rate mortgage if it is important that your payments do not change, and do your research to make sure you are properly protected by insurance. There are several types of insurance to consider, including building insurance, landlord insurance, and contents insurance. Sit down with a professional, talk about what type of use you expect to have at your property, and decide on the proper coverage.

Make a Budget for Your Property for Repairs and Insurance

Two other costs to keep in mind are maintenance and repair and property management fees. Depending on the condition of the property at the time of purchase, some matters may need to be attended to right away. Other things will pop up at unexpected times. Who knows when the furnace will stop working or the roof will need to be replaced. It could also be a good idea to put a little money into the house and make it nicer so that you could charge a higher rate and make the property more appealing. Lastly, some people living in Johns Creek may prefer to manage their property on their own, but that can be very stressful. A property manager can take care of communicating with tenants, staying on top of maintenance, and being there to take care of issues as they come up. This convenience, however, comes at an added cost and will need to be taken into consideration when calculating ongoing expenses.

For additional tips on buying your first rental property, click here. Our team has experience with investment properties and many of our agents own their income properties. Let us help you make the leap today!

Posted in Buying a Home
Sept. 1, 2020

Your Guide to Johns Creek Golf Courses

The city of Johns Creek is consistently recognized as one of the most affluent golf communities in the Metro Atlanta area because of its seven champion 18-hole golf courses. Offering over 50,000 yards of golf and recognized by both the U.S. Golf Association and Professional Golfers Association, these private and public courses offer year round golfing because of our mild climate.

Johns Creek has hosted many championships over the years, including the 1976 US Open Championship, the 1981, 2001 and 2011 PGA Championship, the 1990 US Women’s Open, the Champions Tour Nationwide Championship from 1991-1994 and the U.S. Amateur in 2014. These courses were designed by some of the sport’s best, which include Robert Trent Jones, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Rees Jones, Thomas Fazio, Joe Lee and Arthur Hills.

The popularity and prestige of these courses consistently produces nationally ranked top area junior golfers from men’s and women’s golf teams at each of the four area high schools in Johns Creek. With the help of the City of Johns Creek, we’ve brought you a breakdown of each golf course located within the city. Call us today for a private VIP home tour within and around these luxurious communities.

Atlanta Athletic Club (private)

Founded in 1898 in downtown Atlanta, the Atlanta Athletic Club moved to Johns Creek in 1967, and is the home club of golf legend Bobby Jones. It offers two 18-hole championship courses (Highlands, Riverside) designed by Robert Trent Jones and one nine-hole, par-3 course. The Atlanta Athletic Club hosted the 2011 PGA Championship.

Country Club of the South (private)

Founded in 1987, the Country Club of the South is a 900-acre, gated residential community with an 18-hole championship course originally designed by Jack Nicklaus. Its 18-hole championship course is 6,950 yards, par 72. Of all the Jack Nicklaus golf courses in Georgia, the Country Club of the South presents one of the most challenging layouts.

Rivermont Golf and Country Club (private)

Founded in 1973, the Rivermont Golf and Country Club's 18-hole course is 6,767 yards, par 72. Originally designed by Joe Lee, the course saw a $3.6 million renovation in 2007 by Michael Riley and offers a relaxed, family friendly retreat from the busyness of Atlanta.

River Pines Golf (public)

Founded in 1990, River Pines is nestled along the Chattahoochee River, and features one 18-hole championship course and one nine-hole, par 3 course. Designed by Denis Griffiths, the 18-hole course is 6,002 yards, par 70. Mike Perpich, a Golf Magazine "Top 100 Instructor," is based at River Pines.

St. Ives Country Club (private)

Founded in 1989 and completely renovated in 1999, St. Ives Country Club is a gated residential community with an 18-hole championship course. Designed by Thomas Fazio, ASGCA, the course is 6,932 yards, par 72.

Standard Club (private)

Founded in 1866, the Standard Club is the oldest golf club in Atlanta. It moved to its present location in Johns Creek in 1987. Its 18-hole championship course (7,075 yards, par 72) was originally designed by Arthur Hills and redesigned in 2005 by Michael Riley. In addition to the golf course, the Standard Club offers a 125,000 sq. foot clubhouse that features 4 indoor air-conditioned tennis courts, 8 outdoor clay courts, 4 outdoor hard courts, a state of the art fitness center, pool complex, racquetball and basketball courts.

Posted in Community News
Aug. 17, 2020

Staging Tips for Home Sellers

Read our staging tips for sellers living in Johns Creek.Anyone living in Johns Creek who plans to sell their home soon can do many things in advance to make sure their home sells quickly once it hits the market. A good place to start is to work on decluttering and depersonalizing the space. Buyers want to see a home with plenty of space, not crammed with junk in every closet, nook, and cranny. Rent a storage space if you need to or ask a friend to keep some things in their garage for a little while.

Sort your belongings. Moving is a great chance to thin out things that you do not need anymore. Have a garage sale or make a donation to a worthy cause. Also pack up things you would like to keep but can live without until you get to your new space. Buyers also want to be able to picture themselves living in the home. Therefore it is a good idea to take down family photos and pack up anything personal.

Declutter and Freshen Your Johns Creek Property Before Putting It on the Market

Once you have gotten some things out of your home, it is a great idea to freshen up paint both inside and out. This has many benefits. It makes everything look fresh and clean, free of nail holes, dirt, and smudges. It also gives you the chance to change up the color palette to neutral colors. This will allow the home to appeal to a wider variety of buyers. Freshening up the exterior paint and front door will give buyers a wow factor when they drive up. Go further and spruce up the yard of your Johns Creek property. Make sure your sidewalks and mailbox are in good shape. Get rid of weeds and make sure lawns and hedges are neatly trimmed.

The final step for those living in Johns Creek and hoping to sell their home quickly is to choose the right sale price. Pricing too high can scare buyers away before they even come to see the house and pricing too low can mean money left on the table. The best idea is to work closely with an experienced agent to decide on the right price.

 

Posted in Selling Your Home
Aug. 3, 2020

How to Find a Home With the Right Workspace

If there’s one home feature that’s increasingly in demand, it’s the home office. High-end buyers are prioritizing an adequate space where they can work remotely, however, what that entails exactly can vary quite a bit. Everyone has different requirements and work habits, so it’s important to find a home with an office that suits your specific needs. Here are a few different types of workspaces that you’re likely to find in luxury homes.

Traditional Study
A study likely conjures up images of a wood-paneled room with built-in bookshelves, a large desk and maybe even a fireplace. While it might not have this exact aesthetic all the time, a traditional study will always be appealing to luxury homeowners who want a secluded area where they can get work done without being distracted. Check out these traditional study design ideas from Houzz here.

Work Station
You might not necessarily need your own designated room to use as an office. For example, in a home with an open layout, it’s quite common to find a work station that’s designed within a multi-purpose area. All it really takes is a quiet alcove in the living room with enough space for an adequate desk, but this can be a challenge for those who have little ones running around the house. Nonetheless, if you’re the type who prefers to have some activity around them while working, this can be an excellent option. Freshome has some beautiful workstation designs here.

Separate Studio
Some people just need to get out of the house in order to feel like they’re going to work. If this sounds like you, then you’ll want to look for a home with a separate structure that you can use as your office or studio. Whether it’s a guesthouse, annex or in-law suite above the garage, you’ll have a work area with enough space for everything you’ll need throughout the day, such as a comfortable sitting area, kitchenette and en suite bathroom. Check out these creative corner studio ideas from Decoist.

Posted in Buying a Home
July 17, 2020

The Best Indoor Trees to Bring Into Your Home

If you’re looking to liven up your interiors, decorating with plants is a foolproof way to add energy to your home. Of course, for those who like to do things big, you can take that a step further with an indoor tree that’s sure to provide a focal point in any room. Following are a few types of trees that you can grow inside while adding instant appeal to your living space.

Weeping Fig

The weeping fig is an ideal choice for those who are concerned with air quality. After all, it was cited as one of the best air-filtering plants in NASA’s Clean Air Study. When grown inside, they typically don’t get any taller than six feet and require minimal direct sunlight, although plenty of indirect light is vital to keeping them healthy. 

Yucca

Native throughout the US and Caribbean, yucca is a popular indoor tree thanks to its low-maintenance characteristics and beautiful appearance. This hearty plant can do well with direct or indirect sunlight and requires relatively little water to survive. In fact, the biggest threat to your yucca is over-watering it, so when in doubt just let it be and allow this gorgeous specimen to do its thing. 

Banana Palm

Looking to infuse your interiors with a touch of the tropics? The large, glossy leaves of a banana palm are perfect for doing just that, though they are not always the easiest trees to maintain indoors. For starters, you’ll need to find a suitable spot to put it, as they require at least six hours of direct sunlight each day, as well as regular watering. However, if you’re willing to put in the effort, you’ll be rewarded with a stunning display of nature at its finest. 

Olive Tree

If you’re looking to complement your living space with something that’s both elegant and sophisticated, look no further than an olive tree. Choose somewhere that receives plenty of direct sunlight each day and you can make your home reminiscent of a Tuscan getaway with this iconic plant. However, unless you have truly soaring ceilings, you’ll probably want to get a dwarf variety in order to fit it in your home. 

Our favorite place to purchase plants is Pike Nurseries in Johns Creek and Woody's Nursery in Duluth. Check them out for your green thumb needs!

Posted in Community News
July 3, 2020

Splash Pads Offer Safe, Summer Fun

Mid-summer heat is in full swing and an inexpensive option to keep your kids cool and entertained is visiting one of our many area splash pads in and around Johns Creek. Many of them are free or very low cost and provide at least an hour of two of entertainment for your kids who are in the midst of summer boredom. Here are our favorite water parks and splash pads to stay cool in and around Johns Creek this summer.

Duluth Town Green Fountain

Located in the middle of Duluth’s Town Green, this kid friendly fountain sprays water two stories tall in the air and lights up in different colors at night time. Trees provide plenty of shade to enjoy an adult beverage from Truck and Tap and plenty of green space provides room to kick a ball or throw a frisbee. Taylor Park is also located a short walk up the hill by city hall and offers a railroad themed playground if your kids get tired of the fountain.  Cost: Free.

Suwanee Town Center Big Splash Interactive Fountain

One of Gwinnett's largest interactive fountains, Suwanee's Big Splash features 43 jets and uses up to 1,400 gallons of water per minute. Suwanee has a large green space for kicking a ball and bringing a picnic lunch. If you don’t want to bring your own lunch, pick up food to-go from Brown Bag Deli or stop by Rita’s across the street and grab an Italian ice before you leave! Cost: Free

E.E. Robinson Park Interactive Fountain in Sugar Hill

The interactive fountain at E.E. Robinson Park in Sugar Hill offers a large fountain space specifically geared toward toddlers. It’s located next to a large playground, covered pavilion and walking trails. Make sure you use the Peachtree Industrial Boulevard entrance of the park located at 650 Peachtree Industrial Boulevard Sugar Hill for easy access to the fountain. Cost: Free

Spray Station at East Roswell Park

East Roswell Park’s premier sprayground offers many varieties of spray features as well as concession stands including popsicles, chips and hot dogs. A covered pavilion offers shade for cooling off. The cost is $2 per child for children over 1 year of age. Adults are free when accompanying a child. East Roswell Park is located at 9000 Fouts Road in Roswell.

Cumming Aquatic Center

For all day fun lasting longer than a splash pad visit, check out the Cumming Aquatic Center. It features a lazy river, play structure and two water slides. Cabanas are available to rent and family discounts are also offered. Adults are $7 each, ages 2-17 are $6 each and ages 2 and younger are free. The Aquatic Center is located at 210 Aquatic Circle in Cumming.

Posted in Real Estate News
June 17, 2020

How to Create a Mediation Space at Home

Luxury homeowners have increasingly embraced wellness in their living spaces. While some features will require working with a professional to install, such as a water purifier or a steam room, there are also DIY projects that you can tackle to promote healthy living around the house. One way to do so is to create a meditation room where you can escape for a few peaceful moments each day.

Meditation is believed to have far-ranging benefits, from reducing stress to boosting cognitive function. If this sounds like something you could benefit from in your life, here are a few tips for designing a meditation area at home. 

Pick the Right Location


It all starts with finding the ideal space. This should be somewhere you’ll be free from any distractions, meaning you probably don’t want to set up your meditation area near a part of the home that gets a lot of traffic. All it really takes is a small room or quiet alcove, however, if you have a tranquil view to help you settle into a relaxing mindset, that’s certainly a bonus. During the warmer months, you can even design your meditation space outside. 

Create a Zen-Like Atmosphere


Focus on the energy of the room. Meditation studios tend to be designed with a minimalist aesthetic. One reason for this is that removing clutter and chaos from your surroundings can help to promote mental clarity. A simple cushion or mat where you can sit comfortably is all you’ll really need, but a few plants and objects can contribute to the ambience and allow you to disconnect from your daily stress. Check out TJ Maxx in Johns Creek for a large variety of cushions and mats to customize your space. 

Tap the Senses


Another way to make this a tranquil space is to tap into your senses with warm lighting, relaxing aromas and peaceful sounds. Candles or an essential oil diffuser can fill the room with your favorite scent to help you focus on breathing and reflection. If you want some gentle background noise, a small water feature and meditative music are excellent ways to set the mood. Amazon has some great options for yoga and meditation candles here.

And remember, this is a place to unplug, so ideally, there won’t be any screens nearby. 

Posted in Selling Your Home
June 1, 2020

Summer Is Coming! Get Your Deck Ready

Exposure to varying weather conditions can cause a wood deck to look gray and worn. Fortunately, wood is resilient.

Get Rid of Loose Debris
Start by sweeping the deck to remove dirt, leaves, twigs, acorns and any other debris. Then use a power washer to get rid of any tough stains. If you don't have a pressure washer, you can rent a pressure washer inexpensively at Lowes or Home Depot.

Clean the Wood
If your deck has visible stains, a deck cleaning solution can eliminate them and help restore the wood. Use a mop or push broom to spread the cleaning solution evenly across the deck. Rinse, then let the deck dry thoroughly.

Re-Stain the Wood
Give it a fresh coat of stain to protect the wood from moisture. Spread the stain evenly and let it dry. Apply another coat of stain if necessary.

Get Your Deck in Shape for Summer
Exposure to rain, snow and ice can leave a deck looking worse for wear, but restoring it is easier than you may think. Take some time now to tackle that project. Check out your local hardware stores like Ace Hardware and Howard Brothers for a wide selection of wood stains.

Posted in Selling Your Home