Perrie & Associates - Blog

Home-Inspired Gifts for Dad's Day


Published: 6/11/2019



Father's Day is almost here, and it's time to celebrate all the spectacular dad's who have filled our lives with love and great dad jokes.

Not sure what to get your pop's on his special day? Consider a few of these home-inspired recommendations to spruce up his man cave or make him feel even more relaxed in his big easy chair.




Tile Key Locator 

Is your dad always asking you where his keys, wallet, and phone are? Save his day with the Tile Mate! These handy devices can easily be attached to keys, cameras, wallets, or any other important item. They connect with your phone's GPS to locate the items whenever they've been misplaced. With the tap of a button, a friendly song will start playing to help you find your items. And if your dad has his keys but not his phone, they can help him find his device too! 




Amazon Echo Dot 

Is your dad in love with the Smart home idea? Or does he just love shouting down the hall to ask you to get something? This Father's Day, let Alexa do the leg work. All he has to do is say "Alexa, play Bruce Springsteen," and he's set to go! Pair this with a few smart plugs or lights and he'll never have to get up to hit the lights ever again.



Picture 1 of 8


Hopsy SUB Beer Tap 

For the beer-loving dad in your life, look no further than this at home tap system. Using it is easy - just plug and pour. All he needs is one power outlet, and your dad will be free to enjoy any of his favorite beers on tap. The company can ship the mini-kegs right to your door and offers beers from craft breweries as well as seasonal packs.







Waterpik Water Flosser Electric Dental Countertop Oral Irrigator For Teeth – Aquarius Professional, WP-662 BlackWaterPik Water Flosser 

For the father who is a neat freak, or is just passionate about dental hygiene, the WaterPik Water Flosser is the perfect gift. Combining fun tech gadgets and health, this water flosser has 10 pressure settings and timers to make sure dad is flossing for gum perfection. He'll thank you when he gets raving reviews at the dentist office!










Petcube Bites 

Have the dog and cat replaced you as the children of the house for your dad? Petcube Bites will allow him to check in on his new fur babies as much as he checked in on you as a teenager. This pet camera not only allows you to monitor your pets actions while you're out of the house, but you can also talk to them through the two way microphone and fling treats to always maintain their love and affection. With this device, dad can also take pictures or videos of the pets while he's away and show them off to all his friends.









Darth Vader Waffle Maker 

For the dad who's always got jokes, the Darth Vader Waffle Maker will have him saying, "Syrup, I AM your father."















DadBod Gift Set
Dollar Shave Club 

Most dad's don't always take the time to pay attention to their own grooming routine, so give your dad's a step up with the Dollar Shave Club package. Including shave butter, razors, post-shave gel, and more, this set will have dad feeling fancier than James Bond. You can also customize the packages to include oral care and other grooming products to help your pops glam up his routine and have him feeling fresh.








Best Dad Mug 

Is your dad Avenger's obsessed? If so, this mug is perfect (but only if he's seen Endgame). Besides, are you even a dad if you don't have a Dad Mug?











Whatever you get your father on father's day, wish him a happy one from Perrie & Associates!


Summer in the City - Atlanta Attraction for this Season


Published: 5/30/2019


Memorial Day is the un-official start of summer, and even if it isn't technically the summer season - this heat certainly is!

If you're looking you're looking to get outside, or just find something for the kids to do this season, we've got you covered. Here are some great Atlanta attractions we recommend visiting!

Adventurous Attractions  
If you're looking to get your adrenaline pumping this summer, there's plenty to do in metro Atlanta.
Six Flags Whitewater is a great way to cool off and have fun in the summer heat. Check out over 15 water slides, a giant wave pool, or just lounge around on the lazy river. The park is located conveniently in Marietta and will be open daily from 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. 
For even bigger thrills and spills, visit Six Flags Over Georgia. You can soar like a superhero with the Batman and Superman roller coasters, or experience the new Cyclone ride that's now a hybrid coaster of wood and steel.
In case of rain, there is plenty of indoor fun to be had at Andretti's Indoor Karting and Games, located in both Roswell and Marietta. With some of the state's fastest indoor carts, a 4,000 square foot laser tag arena, and 12 lanes of custom bowling, not to mention an entire arcade full of games, there is plenty to keep the kids (and parents) entertained on a rainy day while introducing a bit of friendly competition.

Museums 
Learning doesn't have to stop over the summer months!
Local history is on full display at the Atlanta History Center. With more than 30 acres of exhibits, gardens, and historic homes, the center boasts a large collection of Atlanta history, including uniforms and memorabilia from the 1996 Olympics. Plus, you can tour the historic Swan Home, which was featured in the Hunger Games: Catching Fire film.
To view history with a wider lens, check out Fernbank Museum of Natural History. Walk with the Giants of the Mesozoic to see Argentinosaurus, the largest known dinosaur to walk the Earth, then take a stroll through the trees with a new outdoor, interactive exhibit. A giant theater screens several films daily, and for an adult science night, Fernbank After Dark offers special cocktails and tapas for an after-hours evening of live music and science.
If you're more of a sports fan than a history buff, the College Football Hall of Fame is the place for you. The hall features several interactive exhibits with video and memorabilia from the best in college football, a Game Day theater, and an indoor playing field where you can run through an obstacle course, test your best quarter back arm, and kick field goals to truly get in the game.
For more historic museums and sites, check out this list of other locations in the area.

Outdoor fun 
There's plenty to do outdoors to have some fun - despite the heat!
The Silver Comet Trail, running through 13 miles in Cobb County, is the perfect way to get outdoors for a long walk or bike ride. Along the trail are several pocket parks as well as beautiful scenery, and there are four trail heads with ample parking.
Similarly, the Atlanta Beltline offers 22 miles of trail that surround the city's in-town neighborhoods. Enjoy the public art located along the route and stop at some of Atlanta's best restaurants right along the path. There's even a skate park in the historic fourth ward!
To get a little higher this summer, hike up Kennesaw Mountain to get a bird's eye view of Cobb County. While you're there, explore the museum about the Atlanta Campaign and Battle of Kennesaw, and don't miss the live artillery and infantry demonstrations just outside the visitor's center.
If you're looking for a more casual way to enjoy the outdoors, Centennial Olympic Park has a number of great features including a splash pad that kids can play in that also has a synchronized show at various points in the day. Around the area there are other great attractions including SkyView Atlanta and the World of Coke to extend your day of fun.

Neighborhood Festivals 
Summer weather means summer festivals, and the metro area has more than you can choose from.
The Chattahoochee Nature Center will have a Butterfly Festival the first weekend in June where dozens of butterflies and other pollinators will be released. The festival will also include food trucks, a butterfly encounter exhibit, a butterfly school for kids, and a plant sale.
If you're a culinary connoisseur, and food festivals are more your style, the Atlanta Summer Beer Fest will be held June 15 in Historic Fourth Ward Park and will feature more than 200 beers from local and national breweries.
For a cool hang, the 9th annual Atlanta Ice Cream Festival will take place in Piedmont Park on June 27. Vendors will offer ice cream, gelato, and other cool desserts, as well as fun games and activities for the kids including live demonstrations, an ice cream eating contest, and a Fight Cancer walk.
You can find more summer soirees in Atlanta here

Cheer on the Braves 
SunTrust Park and the Battery Atlanta are in their third season of hosting the Braves, and it's the perfect spot to celebrate America's greatest pastime this summer.
There are a number of new restaurants in the Battery Atlanta, as well as new shops to explore, and even an escape game!
In the stadium, take a tour through the Monuments Garden to see the evolution of the Braves and the Hank Aaron statue, or watch the game from one of three levels of the ChopHouse. Hope & Will's Sandlot continues to be the spot to be for kids at the ballpark with a rock wall, zip line, and arcade games right next to the field.
A slew of artists are performing at the Coca-Cloa Roxy, and you never know who will appear on stage at the Battery after a game! 

The Probate Process - Managing the Family Estate


Published: 5/16/2019



Dealing with the loss of a loved one is never easy. It's a difficult time in anyone's life, and when you add the process of managing their estate - it can feel like an impossible task.

However, the probate process does not have to cause more stress in an already emotional time. Perrie & Associates is a full service law firm that can help families with the process, and we've broken it down in just a few simple steps.

First of all, what does probate mean? 
Probate is the term for the legal process through which assets are distributed. It essentially means that a Judge gives legal permission for a person's estate to be passed along. 

Once the necessary information is gathered to prepare a Petition and the Petition is prepared and  filed, the process takes from 60 to 120 days, depending on how complex the situation is and how many Petitions are already in the Clerk’s office awaiting processing.

The Probate Process 

  1. Petition for Probate is Filed. Upon a person's death, a petition to probate is filed in the probate court in the county where the person lived. This petition is filed to either appoint the executor of the Will if one is present, or to appoint an Administrator of the estate if there is no Will. An Executor, sometimes called a personal representative, has the legal ability to gather and value all assets of the estate, pay bills and taxes, sell property, and distribute the assets of the estate to beneficiaries. An Executor is typically named or appointed by the maker of the Will, and listed directly in the Will itself.  If there is no Will, an interested party will file a Petition to be appointed Administrator, and will be approved and appointed by the Court. All heirs and beneficiaries will be notified that a petition has been made, either by the Petitioner or by the Court.

  2. Publication for Service/Notice. When a petition is filed with the court, notice of the petition will also be published in the newspaper where the deceased person lived or where real property was held. This is to make certain any and all heirs at law are notified to allow them to respond to the Petition to Probate as to their involvement and make a claim within a certain number of days (this number of days varies by state). This publication must run for four (4) consecutive weeks in the “Legal Organ” – that is the official newspaper for the county in which the probate is filed.

  3. The Oath of office must then be taken at the Clerk’s Office by the Executor, Administrator or Personal Representative, after which the Court will issue Letters Testamentary (where Wills are involved) or Letters of Administration in instances where there was no Will.
  4. Notify Creditors and Take Inventory. Once an Executor or Administrator has been appointed by the court and Letters Testamentary or of Administration have been issued, written notice to Debtors and Creditors is published. Debtors (people owing the estate money) and creditors (those owed money by the estate) will then have a specified time - again determined by state law - to make a claim against the estate. An inventory of the estate's value including property, bonds, business interests, and other assets is also prepared at this time by the Executor, Administrator or Personal Representative.

  5. Typically, Estate Tax ID Number is obtained from the IRS and an Estate Checking Account is set up at this time; however that varies depending on the situation and circumstances.
  6. Estate Expenses are Paid. These may include the final expenses of the decedent’s last illness, nursing home or hospice care, and disposition of remains (funeral or memorial services) as well as any claims from creditors that have been determined to legitimate. The executor will pay the taxes and other debts from the estate. In some cases, assets of the estate can be sold to pay for these expenses, and funeral expenses are also typically paid for using money from the estate.

  7. The Estate is Closed and Ownership is Transferred. After bills have been paid and the required time for collectors has passed, the executor of the estate will distribute the remaining assets of the estate as they are laid out in the will. If there is no will, distribution of these assets will be made to the heirs at law determined by the laws of Georgia. Any trusts that were required in the will are created at this time, and the ownership of any property or other assets is legally transferred to the beneficiaries at this time. A petition to discharge will be filed with the probate court, and the court will rule the estate may be closed.

The probate process does not need to be stressful, and it does help to have an expert by your side to navigate the legal process. At Perrie & Associates, we offer full legal services to help you through the probate process and help you manage your loved one's estate. 

If you aren't dealing with the probate process now, think ahead and call us to draft a Will, Georgia Advance Directive for Healthcare (formerly called a Living Will) and Durable Power of Attorney to help your family in the future. Our associates are here to help you with everything from preparation of these basic documents to insure your family is taken care of should something happen to you, to helping you navigate the probate and estates process.  Let us make a difficult time easier for you and your family.

Back to Basics - The Real Estate Closing


Published: 4/14/2019


The busy season of real estate is just right around the corner, so before it becomes hectic, let's get back to basics!

Presenting: The Real Estate Closing.

First, of all - what is a closing? Why do I have to have one? 

After all the searching, all the open houses, all the comparing and price negotiating and inspections - you have finally purchased or sold a home. 

While you have certainly gotten through the hardest part of the process, there is still one more step to take for Georgia residents: the closing. 

A real estate closing is the process of transferring the title of the home from the current owner to the new owner. Each state has different requirements for the transaction, and in the state of Georgia, an attorney is required to oversee the closing.

Okay, so what all happens? What do I have to do? 

The closing process can seem complicated, but it doesn't have to be! We've broken down the closing into 7 simple steps. 
  1. Give Us a Call - 
    To start the closing process, the buyer or seller's agent will send the contract that contains both parties' information as well as the property address and other information needed for closing to Perrie & Associates. The contract will be assigned to one of our five offices, and a closing coordinator will begin gathering information and contacting all parties involved to prepare the transaction to close. We also handle For Sale By Owner contracts where no agents are involved, and all new contracts can be sent to titleorders@perrielaw.com or faxed to 404-214-6686 or 404-214-6674.

  2. Building the Background-
    After receiving the contract, the pre-closer will order a title report. The title report is a document from the county that shows any liens on the property and is generated by the title examiner. The report is compiled from public records typically recorded in the local county record books. Documents contained in the report include unpaid tax bills, city and county tax bills, security deeds, neighborhood covenants, HOA documents, civil law suits or any other documents that can indicate a cloud or blemish on title that must be cleared up prior to closing. When an issue arises, it is referred to as a "cloud on title" and the property cannot be transferred to a new owner until those issues are resolved. The clouds on title are reported to us, and the pre-closer will address and clear those issues before continuing with the closing process.

  3. Information, Please - 
    Once the title is cleared, the closing coordinator will work with both parties to collect information such as social security numbers for the buyer and the seller, their current and future addresses, the amount of the buyer’s homeowner’s insurance, current property taxes, homeowner's association information and any other information required. The pre-closer will also work with the lender to prepare the settlement statement and other documents needed for closing.
    Next the file moves to the closer's desk, and the closer will also work with the lender to prepare the closing disclosure statement or the settlement statement, along with other documents needed for closing. The pre-closer will work with the lender to provide the commitment to issue title insurance and ensure proper fees and taxes are added into the lender's system in preparation for the upcoming closing.

  4. Save the Date - 
    When the buyer's lender reports that the loan has been approved, the closing can be scheduled. The lender and our office make every effort to work toward the closing date stipulate in the contract, but the buyer's lender has ultimate authority over when the loan is cleared to close. This process typically takes 30 days, so it is important that the purchase contract for a home be sent to the lender and closing attorney immediately after it is completed.

  5. Autograph, please - 
    This is it, you're finally here! Once you arrive for your closing, you will meet with one of our attorneys who will guide you through the closing package and documents that need to be signed. If you're the seller - you've got it easy. You may only have 8 to 10 documents to sign! For the buyer - get those autographs ready! 
    Some of the most important documents signed at closing are the warranty deed, which transfers the title from the previous owner to the new owner, security deed, which creates the lien on the property by the mortgage company and outlines the terms of the obligation, and the closing disclosure (or HUD for a cash sale). The CD or HUD will be given to both the buyer and seller and outlines the fees for both parties and how much each party will receive or owe after closing.

  6. Money, Money, Money - 
    After it's been signed and sealed (we'll get to delivered next), the seller will receive a check or wire for the proceeds of the sale, and then pass those keys across the table because the closing is finished! Now you have officially sold or purchased your home! 

  7. Record and Relax - 
    You've done the hard work and we've gotten your signature, so sit back and relax - we'll take care of the rest! Someone from our post-closing department will send the deeds to the county courthouse to be recorded, and once the warranty deed is returned, the stamped original will be returned to the buyer and the stamped security deed will be returned to the lender for their records.
The closing process should not be one to dread, but one to celebrate! It's a happy occasion for everyone involved, and Perrie & Associates is happy to help with this exciting process. We can't wait for to see everyone at the closing table as the busy season approaches! 

Self Spring Cleaning


Published: 3/26/2019


When you think of spring cleaning, your mind probably jumps to dusting, vacuuming, and getting rid of clutter. But why can't it mean spending some time on yourself?

Spring is a season for renewal and rejuvenation, and there's no reason it can't be a season of renewal for you! Use this time as an opportunity to check in with yourself, set new goals, and make new habits that will help you through spring and all the way through the summer months!

Need a bit of inspiration? We've got a few tips to get you started.

Clear Your Schedule 

While it's often hard to find a break in your busy schedule, try to set aside some time during this period to spend time on yourself. Whether it's an entire day, or just a few hours, schedule a break to relax and focus on what you want. Give yourself an opportunity to enjoy your hobbies - read a book, take a relaxing bath, work out, or binge that Netflix show that's been sitting in your watchlist.

Feeling stuck? Get outside! After all, it is spring time, and the weather and new blooms can be inspiring. Take a walk around your neighborhood, or just enjoy a drink on the back porch. Whatever you do, allow yourself to forget about work for a moment and just spend time rebuilding and rejuvenating yourself.

Spice Up Your Diet 

It's easy for your diet to get stuck in the same rut. You probably rotating through about 15 to 20 different recipes, and if you're always on the go, you may not even have much time to cook. Try to change that this season, and spice up your diet with some spring cuisine!

Just a few quick changes to your regular routine here and there can help you feel inspired and excited. There's plenty of options out there - check out some of these spring recipes form the Food Network.

Unplug and Unwind 

Spring blooms are hard to enjoy if you're constantly looking at your phone. This spring, make it a priority to unplug from technology. Of course it's not necessarily possible to unplug completely every day, but even if you switch your news feed with a book for a few minutes, that can make all the difference!

Think about setting a time limit on your phone that will shut off certain apps or limit the amount of time you spend on them. On some phones, including iPhones, this can be done from the "Screen Time" option in your settings. If your phone doesn't have that option, set a timer at a certain point in the day to put your phone down, and try to set your phone face down so you aren't distracted by notifications. Taking your eyes away from the blue light of your technology and toward the sunlight outside can be a great help to not only your physical health, but your mental and emotional health as well!

De-clutter and Cleanse 

So this one is a little more along the lines of traditional spring cleaning, but take time this season to get rid of things that you don't need. By simplifying your life, you can feel more relaxed and focus for the rest of the year. If you're not sure where to start, check out the KonMari method by Marie Kondo. (This is the one that all of your friends are talking about after watching "Tidying Up" on Netflix - and why their perfectly-folded shirt drawers keep popping up on your Instagram). The Japanese method focuses on organizing four parts of your life - clothes, books, papers and komono (miscellaneous). It also incorporates gratitude and reflection that helps you be more mindful and thoughtful as you move forward.

In addition to de-cluttering physical items, don't forget to declutter your phone! Unsubscribe to all those emails that you aren't reading and delete any apps that are distracting or in your way on your screen.

Set New Goals 

Finally, consider the spring time as a time to re-align or set new goals. If you made new year's resolutions, check in on those now and evaluate your progress. Are you making good strides to push yourself even further, or do you need to readjust your goals? Remember, this doesn't mean that you should have already met your objectives - it's only been 4 months! Be kind to yourself and just use this season as a time to check in and reevaluate and adjust.

If you didn't make resolutions, that's okay! Now that you've gotten started with the year, you may see more clearly where you are going and where you want to be. Take this time to put pen and paper to those ideas and set new goals. Just be intentional about your ambitions and make plans to make them happen!


As the weather warms up and new life starts to grow, take a cue from nature and allow a revival within yourself. If you're looking to spice up your life, find new inspiration, or set new goals - now is the time. For some more ideas on how you can spring clean your life, check out this list from A Kind Journey. Whatever you do, enjoy yourself and relish in this energizing new season!

Better Your Business Card


Published: 3/19/2019


3.5 x 2

In that small space, you're supposed to be able to convey everything. Who you are, what you do, and most importantly, why the person holding this piece of card stock should hang onto it and contact you in the future.

Business cards are a hallmark of the industry, and for many businesses, you've "made it" if you've got a company card. But in the technological world we still live in today, do business cards still have a chance?

That's up for debate, but according to Entrepreneur, the answer is still "yes" - at least for now.
Business cards provide a first impression for your business, and it's also a personal way to swap information, rather than just adding your name to someone's phone and getting lost in their contact list. Not only that, but it also shows that you are prepared. Whether at a networking event or a showing, being able to pull out a business card when a person asks for your info shows that you've put thought into your business and you care about what you do.

With that said, there are some business card basics that need to be followed in order for this old-school format to be successful.

Keep It Simple 

One of the cardinal rules of business cards is to keep it simple. You've got a small area of prime real estate, so don't fill it with information that is unnecessary. Here's what you absolutely MUST have.

  • Name/Company Name
  • Job Role 
  • At least one form of contact
Of course, these three things aren't ALL you're going to include on your card, but be choosy when you start adding additional information. If fitting your slogan in causes you to decrease your font size on your phone number or email, is it really that important?

Photo or No? 

One of the greatest debates in business card basics is whether to include a headshot. With such a small canvas, is it necessary to fill a good chunk of that space with your face? However, we all know that real estate is a business all about people, so isn't it important to connect a face with a name?

According to two agents on MarketLeader, the jury is still out on this one.

In a study conducted by attorney Eric Bryn, a photo didn't help with a consumer's engagement. In fact, it actually harms it. Of 1,000 business cards sent out to consumers without a headshot, there were 200 responses. Of the 1,000 sent with a headshot - there were none.

However, some agents still feel that it is an important element to include and can be incorporated properly and professionally. If you're worried about taking up space, don't forget - there's a back to the card as well.

Most importantly though, if you do decide to go with a headshot, be sure that it is a professional and recent photo.

Design and Quality 

Following right behind content is design.

According to Forbes, a business card should be designed like a website.  Colors and fonts should be simple, and there should be plenty of white space so you don't overwhelm your client. If you're able, take the branding from your website, and continue that branding onto your business card. Not only does this help by establishing you and your business, but it will also help you simplify your design.

In addition to design, consider quality. When printing business cards, high-quality card stock is a must. An expert with MarketWatch says most "cheap" business cards are printed on 100 lb. gloss cover that still feel professional and sturdy. To really step it up, consider upgrading or consider a somewhat textured card stock that will stand out to clients in a pile of cards.

Technology

It goes without saying that we use or phones and technology to do every bit of communicating, so include this information on your business card.

On your card, include information to your website, as well as your social media presence. If you're including your Twitter or Instagram, just include your account handle (the @myname portion, not the full link). But beware, if your last post on that Instagram was from 2016, then don't bother putting that handle on your business card.

With regard to your website, remember that any link you put on your business card isn't just a hyperlink that your clients can click and immediately see. This means that your link should be short and sweet, and shouldn't require clients to continuously go back and forth from their screen to your card in order to make sure those numbers and letters are all in the right order. You can also consider including a QR code on the back of your card either next to, or in place of, a headshot. Almost everyone's phones now can read a QR code through their camera, and it's a quick and easy way to get your client where they were going to head anyway - the internet.

Use Them Wisely 

Finally, and arguably most important - you have to use your business cards wisely. Although we depend on technology, that physical 3.5 x 2 piece of card stock can really leave an impression.

J. Maureen Henderson with Forbes said it's crucial to not lean on your business card as a crutch. Handing someone a card should never be your introduction. Rather, it should be a way to put a final punctuation mark on a great conversation. A business card should be a reminder of you and the connection you and your potential client made.

Additionally, as much as you hand out your own business cards - you should also be collecting them. Remember when you're out networking that you should also be gathering cards of those you had connections with and following up with them.


Regardless of the digital age, the "old-school" staple of business cards can be effective in helping you build your business. As Entrepreneur states, you never know when you could meet a potential client, so be sure to keep a quick and professional representation of your business at all times.


Homestead Exemptions - A Filing Guide


Published: 2/21/2019


It's that time of year when the forms start piling up and you keep trying to put off the inevitable - taxes. We know it's not always the most exciting, but it's time to gather your documents and get it done. But if you bought a home in 2018, don't forget about the homestead exemption! 

Not sure or can't remember how to file for the exemption? We've got you covered with these quick facts about the homestead tax exemption! 

What is it? 

A homestead exemption is a one-time, tax exemption on your property taxes that can be filed the January after you have purchased a new home. It lasts until the ownership of your home changes.

How much is exempt?

The exemption is a reduction of the amount of taxes charged, and so will vary for each county and property. 

What do I need? 

To file for a homestead exemption, you must be a legal resident of the county and must own and occupy the home as of January 1 in the year you are seeking the exemption. There is no income or age limit to file an exemption. 

How do I apply? 

The deadline to file for most counties is April 1. An application will need to be filled out and can be found on the county's website: 











Happy filing! 

The Big Game comes to the ATL


Published: 1/29/2019

Image result for football party

It's the week of Atlanta's biggest show since the Olympics, and now that the threat of snow and ice has passed, the city can get back to focusing on the important festivities for one of the world's biggest sporting events - the Super Bowl.

The L.A. Rams and the Patriots are lined up as the star players for Sunday night's game in Mercedes Benz stadium, and Georgians in and out of the perimeter are setting up to host the best Big Game parties. But the game isn't all that the city will be hosting this week. Some bowl game events have already started earlier this week, with media day starting on Monday, but there's still plenty planned that will keep Atlanta going all through the week. If you're wondering how you can join in on the festivities (or want to know so you can avoid the traffic), we're rounding up the week's events right here:

Thursday

The Georgia World Congress Center will be home to the NFL's Super Bowl Experience until February 2. The football-themed park will be an immersive and interactive experience where fans can take pictures with the Vince Lombardi Trophy, collect autographs, and check out a collection of the 52 Super Bowl Rings. A football "training" course with a 3-cone drill and 40 yard dash will also be available for all members of the family. Tickets for the event range from $20 to $40 and can be purchased here.

A three-night concert event will begin on Thursday night with the EA Sports Bowl featuring Ludacris and  Migos at State Farm arena for the Bud Light Super Bowl Music Fest. Post Malone and Aerosmith will headline Friday night, and Saturday night will feature superstars Bruno Mars and Cardi B.  You can check out their website for more information and to buy tickets.

Friday

At Centennial Olympic Park, the Super Bowl LIVE series presented by Verizon is a six-day fan festival with outdoor concerts, fireworks, and other activities. The line-up of performers includes Waka Flocka, Goodie Mob, Craig Campbell, and several other Georgia-based bands. For the full line-up and hours of the events for the rest of the week, check out AJC's wrap-up here.

One of the most anticipated events coming to Atlanta, Shaq's Fun House, will start at 9 p.m. Friday night and continue partying until the early hours of 2 a.m. the next day. Presented by basketball star Shaquille O'Neal, the experience held at the Battery Atlanta will feature carnival rides, performers from Cirque Du Soleil, an open bar, Waffle House food truck, and A-list celebrities. As if that wasn't enough, Migos, Diplo, Lil Jon, T-Pain, and others will join Shaq for performances. According to the basketball giant, he says "my Fun House blends super star talent with a unique over the top interactive carnival experience ... Shaq's Fun House is a completely different over the top experience you will not want to miss!" But hurry though, tickets (starting at $250) are selling out fast - you can buy them here.

Saturday

Sports Illustrated Saturday Night Lights event will be held at the Chick-Fil-A College Football Hall of Fame starting at 9 p.m. Saturday night. The concert and event will feature Lil Wayne and Snoop Dogg along with an all-inclusive bar. Tickets can be found at their website.

Maxim's Big Game Experience will feature Diplo, Future, and Jamie Foxx, as well as a special guest that will be announced at the show. Hosted at The Fairmont, the event will feature some of the best in food, drink, art, and fashion, but be prepared to pay - tickets start at $750.

For some cheaper Saturday fun, check out Three Piece Suit Football, a charity festival hosted every year in Historic Fourth Ward Park. The festival will feature men and women tackling each each other in, you guessed it, three-piece suits, but there will also be food trucks on hand, local Atlanta breweries, face painting for the kids, and a Frisbee dog halftime show. The event is free, and proceeds from food and drink sales benefit Pets for Vets and Battlefield to Ballfields. You can find more information here.

Gameday

To start gameday off right, check out the Big Game Brunch at Atlantic Station from 11 to 3. The event is all-inclusive and will feature food from Atlanta restaurants as well as bottomless mimosas, bloody marys, beer, and wine. Tickets are $65 and will jump to $75 the day of the event, and they can be purchased here.

Guy Fieri will also be taking Atlanta by storm with his Player's Tailgate event starting at 1:30 on Super Bowl Sunday. The event, though featuring a hefty price tag of $750 per ticket, will feature open premium bars and all-you-eat dining from gourmet chefs and restaurants. Held at Pemberton Place, the tailgate will be host to more than 30 NFL players, and proceeds from the event will benefit Operation BBQ Relief. If you're wanting to dine in style on gameday, you can buy your tickets here.

After you've partied it up in the ATL, don't forget to watch the reason why it all happened - Super Bowl LIII will air on CBS with kickoff starting at 6:30.

From free to fancy, Atlanta has something to offer for everyone for the big game this weekend. For more listings of events, check out Eater Atlanta's helpful price filtered list here, or check out CBS's list of celeb parties here.

Whether you cheer for the Rams, the Patriots, or just want to laugh at some commercials, we hope you enjoy everything that the city has to offer as we host the Big Game!

Build Your Business - Business Resolutions for 2019


Published: 1/8/2019



2019 is here and it's time to start making changes. You may be planning to work out more, eat healthier, or pick up more books rather than your phone, but what are your goals for your business?

In addition to setting goals and making resolutions for yourself, it's important to look ahead to the new year for your business. If you're stuck on some business resolutions, we've got a few ideas here to help you get started making 2019 the most successful year yet!


Utilize Technology 

It goes without saying that technology and social media are constantly shaping the way we live and work. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter can change the game when it comes to your marketing. There are of course strategies on how to best use these platforms to your advantage, but the bottom line comes to using them. If you aren't posting, you aren't reaching your audience, who in turn isn't reaching your business.
According to Property Me, videos are the way to go for real estate, and you don't have to reinvent the wheel every time you hit the record button. Use your client's most frequently asked question or an old blog post and turn it into a quick two-three minute engaging video. Studies show that these videos can create 4 times more listing inquiries. For more ideas on how to use video and social media for your business, check out Property Me's list here.

Keep Learning 

Embrace change. It's going to happen no matter what, so you may as well be on the upside of it. To remain relevant and effective in the industry, you have to stay current on its news. Of course, make plans to attend conferences and trade shows, but also remember to interact with your peers and colleagues. Listen to what they are talking about and what questions they are asking. See if you can do your own research and answer their questions. Staying up to date will not only help you maintain business, but it will also show your dedication and passion to your industry - one of the best selling points there is.

Stay in Touch 

It's no secret the real estate is a referral industry, so let others do the work for you! Whether it's a quarterly newsletter or a handwritten birthday card, find what works best for you. USA Today recommends trying to stay in touch with clients at least two to three times a year. Also consider creating a special online group for your clients where your customers can come to ask questions about your industry. Even though someone may not be selling their home every year, they will also have neighbors and friends that will need assistance, and if you stay top of mind, you will stay at the top of their recommendation list.


Make Plans 

Setting goals is easy - sticking to them is harder. According to Forbes, 80% of people have ditched their new year's resolution by February. There are ways to combat this though! Forbes says some ways to make your resolutions stick is to make a plan and develop a time frame. If you're looking to improve your work-life balance, set time limits on your phone, or take one day, sit down with your calendar and make dates to take time for yourself. It's also important to set reasonable time limits for your goals. You can't expect to grow your social media ten-fold in just a months, so be realistic with your expectations so you can see how you've improved.


Reflect 

While it's great to make resolutions in the new year, it's better if you schedule time to reflect on and re-assess your goals. Make a plan each month or each quarter to look back at your resolutions and check in to see how you are progressing. If you notice that you start slipping, make plans to improve. If you're flying past your goals, set new ones so that you can continue to improve and grow throughout the year.

Whatever goals you make for your business in 2019, you're bound to be successful because you're already thinking ahead! Happy planning!


New Year, New Market


Published: 12/27/2018




The new year is upon us and with it, we can always expect changes from our resolutions to the real estate market.

So what can Realtors expect in the new year? We've rounded up the highlights of the 2019 real estate predictions -


Mortgage Rates will Rise 

Mortgage rates will likely cause an issue for affordability in 2019. Although rates have been rising throughout the past two years, mortgage rates still remain lower than they were during the recession. According to Aaron Terrazas, director of economic research with Zillow, interest rates "will change in 2019, as the 30-year, fixed rate mortgage reaches 5.8 percent - territory not seen since the dark days of 2008, when rates were racing downward in response to the housing crisis. In 2019, rising rates will compound the effect of still-climbing home values, making homeownership even less affordable."

Millennials will Keep Buying 

Despite these rising mortgage rates, millennials will still be the largest generation of buyers, accounting for 45 percent of mortgages, according to Realtor.com. 37 percent of mortgages will be bought by Gen-Xers, compared to only 17 percent from Boomers. Although first-time home buyers will struggle, according to Forbes, a large portion of millennials will be turning 29 this year "Entering peak household formation and home-buying age, and contributing to the increase in first-time buyer demand." As for the future, millennials are predicted to make up "the largest share of home buyers" for the next decade as their housing needs develop and change.

Inventory Troubles to Ease 

Housing inventory has undoubtedly been an issue as it the lowest level in recorded history last winter. However, in October, the inventory levels finally rose to positive, and according to Realtor.com, inventory in most markets has been increasing slightly while the pace of sales have also slightly slowed. That being said, wide-spread inventory gain is not predicated for 2019, and the national inventory increase will remain low for the new year at less than 7 percent.

Home Sales Expected to Decline 

2017 saw the best home sales year in a decade, but have been on a decline since then. 2019 will be no different according to Realtor.com, which predicts a 2 percent decline. Ruben Gonzlez, chief economist at Keller Williams, says "we're expecting it to be another slightly slower year as buyers continue to wrangle with higher mortgage rates after contending with several years of rapid price growth."

Tax Plan Questions 

April of 2019 will bring about the first year of the income tax process with the new tax plan. According to Realtor.com, renters will see a benefit with lower rates and higher standard deductions, but for homeowners, it's questionable. Some will find lower tax bills from lower rates and higher standard deductions, but others may find limited itemized deductions and personal exemptions that will result in higher taxes.

For a pictorial representation of what 2019 may bring for the real estate industry, check out this infographic from Realtor.com.



No matter what happens, the new year will certainly bring changes. Don't forget to check our blog and follow us on social media for all the latest news in the real estate market!

Winter Wonderland - Christmas in Atlanta


Published: 12/12/2018



Sleigh bells ring, are you listening? In Atlanta ... there's no snow glistenin'..

But! There's plenty to do in and around Atlanta to celebrate the holidays! From Christmas lights to popup bars, and a new, Insta-worthy interactive museum, Atlanta has plenty to offer to spread some Christmas cheer!

Looking to get festive this season? We've rounded up some of the main attractions and high-lights:


Light the Night 

Atlanta may not be the City of Lights, but for the holidays, there's plenty of extra lights on display.
At Atlantic Station, you can enjoy 250,000 lights by walking around the eight blocks of the complex. In the center of it all is a 50 foot Christmas tree, and starting at 6 p.m. each night, there's a snowfall right there in Atlanta! In addition to the lights and snow, there is also an ice skating rink, a German Christmas market, and Santa may be stopping by as well.
Of course, the Atlanta Botanical Gardens boast an impressive light display this time of year as well. The Garden Nights, Holiday Lights event runs through January 6 and features a tunnel of lights, glowing orbs and a canopy of lights that dance to music, as well as hot chocolate and s'mores to keep you warm as you walk around the gardens.
The Holidays at the Park event in Six Flags is also going on now through January 6. Guests can enjoy more than 1 million LED lights with 16 different themes around the park as well as live performances, delicious holiday foods, and of course, the thrilling rides of the park.
In Marietta, Life College also hosts their Lights of Life, a drive-through light display with Santa, pony rides, and a petting zoo, and Lake Lanier also has a 7-mile drive-through light display along with carnival rides and a Snow Island.
For more lights in the Atlanta area, check out this list.

Miracle on Peachtree Street 

It may not be on 34th street, but there are some Miracles happening in Atlanta.
The Miracle pop-up bar is back again, with several locations throughout the city.
Miracle on Monroe, located at 931 Monroe Drive, is back for its third year. These pop-up bars look like the Grinch's storage room for all that he stole from the Who's down in Whoville.  From Christmas lights on the ceilings to over-sized packages and toys, there's plenty of festive to go around. Aside from the decorations, the menu is also ready for the holidays featuring cocktails like Run Run Rudolph, Jingle Bell Nog, and Christmapolitan. Miracle on Highland, located at 240 North Highland Avenue NE, features its own set of decorations.
Those OTP aren't left out of this new-festive tradition, however. Red Sky Tapas, located at 1255 Johnson Ferry Road in Marietta, is getting in on the action this year with bar based on the beloved movie, A Christmas Story. Not much has been released about the menu according to Eater Atlanta, but you can expect a holiday-themed menu of tapas and drinks such as cranberry mules and spiked eggnog.
The S.O.S. Tiki Bar in Decatur is also featuring a holiday bar with an island-flair. Mele Kalikimaka will return this year with retro-themed decorations and bar tenders with holiday Hawaiian shirts. Last year, the bar featured drinks like rum raisin and hot buttered rum, and the owner told Eater Atlanta that new, and more fun drinks are planned for this year.
With all these pop-up bars, it's hard to believe there are even more to visit, but you can check out the complete list here.

Fantastic Fantastical 

If your Instagram is filling up with people getting sucked into a black hole of peppermint or giant ornaments that seem to go on forever, look no further than Atlanta's newest attraction, Santa's Fantastical.
This is the first year the interactive museum has come to Atlanta and is located at 1155 Mt. Vernon Hwy in Atlanta. Santa's Fantastical is a walk-through immersive experience with 12 worlds that feature synchronized lights, interactive technology, and Instagram-worthy photo set ups like a Christmas house straight from the 50's and a future Christmas set in space.
The museum is great for all ages. There's slides for kids to play, visits with Santa, and live performances. In the Sketch-Tastic world, you can create your own character and then watch it come to life in Santa's workshop. Photos are encouraged, so if you're looking to win social media this holiday season, be sure to check it out.

However you spend your holiday season, spend it with friends and family and spread some holiday cheer!




Feeling Thankful


Published: 11/19/2018




For many, Thanksgiving is a time for family, friends, and good food. However, Thanksgiving is also a time of reflection as we take time to recognize all that we have and all that we are thankful for.

Though the holiday season can get busy quickly, the Perrie & Associates staff took time to pause and reflect on what we are thankful for -


Stephanie Chandler, Pre-Closer 

"I am thankful God wakes me up every day to find joy in the smallest of things. I'm also thankful for my husband of 23 years and the loving, beautiful family we have raised."


Gayle Willingham, Office Manager 

"I am very thankful for my children and grandchildren as they bring such happiness to my life! I enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday so much as we gather together and give God thanks for all he has given us over the past year. I am thankful for the privilege to live in America, the home of the brace and the free. We are so blessed to live in this country and have the opportunities to thrive. Last, I am thankful to work for such a great company that supplies us with a wonderful work environment!"

Jenna Caprington, Pre-Closer 

"I'm thankful for my ever-growing family, a job I enjoy, awesome coworkers (shout-out to Tammy Brett, and Helena) and all our great attorneys. I am also thankful for seasons that change, a warm, soft bed, cuddly puppies, good friends, and a great cup of coffee. Most of all, I'm thankful to God for Jesus and all my blessings!"

Miki Foster, Closer

"There is so much to be thankful for in my life. I am especially thankful for gaining a brand new family at Perrie & Associates (I couldn't be any happier!) and a brand new family at home with my fiance and his two beautiful daughters along with my two beautiful daughters. Thank you all for being so welcoming!"

Brandi Woody, Pre-Closer 

"I am so very thankful for my husband and my two wonderful children. I am also thankful and grateful to work for such a great company here at Perrie & Associates LLC. When work people feel like family it make it so much better!"

Kelsie Bates, Closing Coordinator 

"I am thankful to Perrie & Associates for allowing me to go to school and still allowing me to have benefits (and to my Aunt who got me this wonderful job!). I am thankful for the most supportive fiance in the world and the journeys we are about to embark on together. I am thankful for all of the wonderful memories I have with family and friends. I am thankful that I have so many people who love and support me and all that I do and dream to achieve. I am thankful for this gift of life and for all of the moments leading up to today and all that are to come."

Spencer Knott, Closing Attorney 

"I'm thankful to be back among friends and family in Georgia and for a job that allows me to do that!"

Emily Selby, Director of First Impressions

"This year I am thankful for the opportunities I have had to pursue a new path and for all my friends, family and coworkers who have supported and encouraged me. I am also thankful to my wonderful new fiance and all the love and support he shows me daily. Finally, I am thankful for the opportunity that his band, the Woodland High School Marching Band in Cartersville, has to march in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and for my chance to document their accomplishment as they represent the state of Georgia in this iconic Thanksgiving tradition! Be sure to look for them on TV this Thanksgiving Day!"

Chris Copeland, Disburser 

"I am thankful for my family, at home and at work!"

Stephanie Lee, Closer

"I am so very blessed and have a ton to be thankful for! I am thankful for our freedom and to all of the people past and present who continue to make the ultimate sacrifice for our country. I am thankful for God's word that always reminds me of how lucky I am to have family and friends that I can depend on at all times. I am also so thankful to have been able to continue my career with David Perrie for over 10 years now!"

Linda May, Closing Attorney

"I am grateful for my family and my friends, including my work friends, my networking friends, my church friends and my client friends. I am grateful for my country, for the sacrifices those people who have gone before me have made so that I have had the opportunities that I have had. I am grateful that each day is a new beginning and that I Jesus to guide me!

Stacie Upchurch, Operations Manager

"As another year comes to a close, I am always happy to reflect on the countless blessings and the many things that make me so thankful. My husband, my family (including my P&A work family), and being fortunate enough to come to work every day and truly love what I do all top my list without fail! I think back to a time when everything I had was stripped away and smile when I think of how full my life and my heart are now and how much fun the journey has been. So much of what I have become and what I care about most surrounds where I spend every work day and for that, I am very fortunate! Happy Thanksgiving!"

David Perrie, Owner

"I am thankful that 25 years ago I decided to back to night law school at age 38 such that I didn't get to the end of my career and didn't complete my dreams and goals. It was a tough four years going to work all day and law school all night, but it has given me the greatest sense of accomplishment. I so encourage everyone to chase your dreams.
I am thankful for the incredibly talented and motivated people we have been able to attract and maintain at Perrie & Associates, LLC. I am thankful for our clients who give us meaningful work that supports us and helps people achieve the American Dream of home ownership! I am also thankful for my family and friends. I am thankful for my health and sense of humor, and to God who makes all things possible."

We at Perrie & Associates are also thankful for you, our wonderful clients! We are so grateful for your business and loyalty. Without you, we could not do what we love.
From our family to yours, have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Meet the P&A Team - Spencer Knott


Published: 11/14/2018


We would like to introduce our newest member of the Perrie & Associates family, Spencer Knott! Spencer is a realtor turned closing attorney who is returning home after working in Colorado. He has been with our office for over 6 weeks and has seamlessly established himself with the company both in the closing and marketing departments. We are happy to have him as addition to our team!

. . . 

Name: Spencer Knott
Role: Closing Attorney

Fun Facts: 


  • Loves Braves baseball
  • Saw the first homerun in Fulton County Stadium hit by Ron Gant
  • Attended Chipper Jones' and Bobby Cox's last game
  • Used to be a bartender, and can make a mean martini 
  • Served Bobby Cox and Don Sutton as a bartender 
  • Wife, Kedi is Tswana South African
  • Killed a cow for his wedding in the Tswana tradition


Spencer grew up in Kennesaw where he attended Harrison High School. He later went to Kennesaw State University where he received his Bachelor's in International Affairs. He attended Georgia State University for Law school and graduated in 2015. In 2011, Spencer met his wife Kedi, and they married in South Africa in 2017.

He first started working in the real estate industry as a Realtor in Denver, Colorado. There, he worked for three years establishing a successful business by building relationships and establishing his presence through social media. Spencer and his wife Kedi eventually became homesick for the Peach State, and returned to Atlanta in the fall of 2018.


What brought you to the real estate industry and why do you enjoy working in this field?

I came to Real Estate Law in a round-about way. I first got into real estate because of an old college roommate, who was absolutely killing it in the Denver market and asked me to come out and join his firm. I took the plunge, moved to Denver with my wife Kedi, and had a blast out West. I also learned a lot from my managing broker Rick Cavallaro on how to do things the right way and treat people right. He’s still one of my favorite bosses I’ve ever had. 
My favorite part of working in the Real Estate Industry is that success is primarily attained by creating and maintaining genuine relationships with people. I love meeting new people every day and hearing a piece of their story. When else would I get a chance to hear such a diverse and interested range of origins, views, and outlooks? It’s really fun!

Did you always know you wanted to be an attorney? What made you decide to go to law school?

No.  I was a mirror inspector and it was a job that I just couldn’t see myself doing anymore, so I decided to go to law school.

How do you like to spend the weekend?

I like to fish and hike, relax and read or watch football if it’s fall.

Where is your favorite place you have traveled?

I’m going to cheat and name two: Orvieto Italy and Pilanesberg, South Africa.
Orvieto is a beautiful town in Umbria Italy that is built on a mesa and is surrounded by this gorgeous valley where they make a delicious white wine. I proposed to my wife there in 2014 next to its stunning Duomo that somehow sneaks up on you on foot because of the narrow medieval streets that you have to traverse to get there. After I proposed we ate a fabulous meal and watched the sunset while listening alternately, to an opera practice and a lover’s quarrel in Italian coming from a near-by alley. It was perfect Italy.
Pilanesberg is where we took our honeymoon. We brought all of our guests that made it all the way to South Africa as well. Pilanesberg is an incredible wild animal game reserve in the northern part of South Africa. The whole park is in a giant extinct volcanic caldera. Even without the stunning natural landscape, which there is plenty of, the park is a wonderland of natural splendor. We were so pleased that our whole group was able to observe lions, hyenas, elephants, rhinos (black and white), cheetahs, hippos, and giraffes just to name a few. We even saw a pride of lions with a fresh wildebeest kill. Not only was the setting incredibly beautiful, but all of our friends from different periods in our lives that made it out developed a tight bond. We are all now planning our next adventure with the same crew.

What are some things still on your bucket list?

I want to travel somewhere where I can see the Northern Lights. I also want to travel to a really remote and chilly destination and stay in a cottage with no electricity for at least a month. I want to eat soup and take walks and smoke an old school tobacco pipe (I don’t smoke), and just completely disconnect.  I’m thinking something like the Orkney Islands.

Finally, how do you like working at Perrie & Associates so far?

It’s a great firm that has made me feel truly welcome and valued. I love our culture here and think that we actually follow through on the oft-said promise that “we are a family here”.


Halloween Haunts - Creating Your Neighborhood Haunted House


Published: 10/30/2018



The spookiest night of the year is upon us! Time to dress up in your boo best, watch some scary movies, and - oh no, you forgot - pass out candy! Is your home not ready for the little ghouls and goblins coming to knock on your door tomorrow night? Don't want to be the boring house on the block that turns off their light to ward off trick-or-treaters?

Never fear! We've got a few quick DIY tips for you to make your house haunted for Hallow's Eve!

Light the Night 

Nothing sets the tone for being spooked like some eerie lighting. If you have spotlights in your home, run to the hardware store or craft store to pick up different colored bulbs. A green, orange, or purple light on your home can set the tone, and is a quick and easy way to say you're ready for the night. If you're not feeling bright colors, swap out your bulbs for black-lights for a frightening look at your front door.
For safety for your trick-or-treaters, be sure to have enough light at your front door and around any stairs or small steps that could be a tripping hazard.

Boo Balloons 

If you have a bit of extra time and are looking to get creative, check out these easy ghost balloons from the DIY Network. All you need is white balloons, a sharpie, gauze fabric or tissue paper, and some string to hang them! If you have kids, they will also enjoy getting in on the fun and making your house a home for these spooky specters.

Perfect Pumpkins

Pumpkins are a Halloween staple and an easy and quick decoration that you can dress up or down. While the stores may be running out of their selection, that's okay! Any size or shape will do. Of course, you can carve your pumpkin into a nice, glowing jack-o-lantern, but if you don't have time, just draw a face with a sharpie or paint. If nothing else, a plain pumpkin on your doorstep is a nice nod to the fall season, and you can keep it out through Thanksgiving!

All Eyes on You 

Looking to go for a more chilling look for your front porch? Check out these eerie eyeballs from HouseLogic. Grab a few ping pong balls, some colored markers, and Christmas lights. Draw eye-balls on your ping-pong balls of all different colors and shapes. Then, just create a hole and attach them over the lights. If you don't have a string of lights no problem, just put a few eerie eyeballs in with the candy bowl for a fun fright!

Spooky Sountrack 

An easy and quick way to add ambiance to your home is with a Halloween playlist. Check out this one from Spotify or this Halloween Party playlist on Pandora. Or create your own playlist with all your frightening favorites like the Adam's Family and the Monster Mash!
Play your sountrack with a boombox or speaker by your door. No sound system? No problem! Putting your phone in plastic cup (like a Solo Cup) is a cheap yet effective amplifier!


With just a quick run to the store, you can easily pick up everything you need to make your home Halloween ready! But don't forget the candy!

Happy Haunting!


Explore Your Neighborhood: Fall Edition


Published: 9/26/2018


With the first day of fall last Saturday, the new season is officially here. Crisp weather is on it's way, and it's time to get out and enjoy all the autumn has to offer!

If you're looking for some ways to enjoy the new season, we have a few ideas to help you out!

Touchdown

Football season is finally here, and in the heart of SEC country and the home of the Atlanta Falcons, football fans are rejoicing.
Now is a great time to head over to the College Football Hall of Fame. The hall boasts memorabilia from all of your college football favorites, and the Chick-Fil-A fan experience gives you the chance to train like your favorite players!
After you've enjoyed some college football history, you can head over to the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium to watch the Atlanta Falcons play. The new stadium has great food, an awesome atmosphere, and a new retractable roof that is officially open for business. Check out the Falcon's schedule here.
If you aren't able to snag tickets to a game, check out a local high school football game on Friday night! It will bring back those wonderful high school memories and you can show your support to your local team!

Festivals and Fairs 

Step right up for the height of fair season! Fall is synonymous with county and state fairs, and there are plenty in the metro area!
The Georgia State Fair starts this Friday and will run through October 7 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Guests can enjoy pony rides, pig races, fair rides, a petting zoo and dozens of performers.
Down in Perry, the Georgia National Fair begins October 4 and will run through October 14. It's the biggest fair in the state and will include plenty of fair food, rides, livestock competitions, and performances.
For art and fresh apples, check out the Georgia Apple Festival in Ellijay for two weeks in October. There are also several local orchards in the area that you can visit for fresh fried apple pies, apple cider, and apple picking.
If you're looking for local neighborhood festivals, check out Atlanta.net's list here.

Get outside 

Cool weather is on the horizon, which means those leaves should be turning gorgeous fall colors soon!
This is a great time of year to get outside to find fall color and enjoy the outdoors.
A hike up the the top of Fort Mountain or Mount Yonah will provide some spectacular fall views, or the trails around Red Top Mountain or Stone Mountain can be a nice quick get away out of the city.
There are also plenty of places in the city to enjoy fall foliage including Inman Park, Piedmont Park, the Atlanta History Center and the Beltline. For more fall getaways, check out this list of beautiful autumn locations in the metro area.

Haunted Happenings 

Halloween is quickly approaching, and there are plenty of spook-tacular events to give you a fright if you dare to enter.
Of course, one of the biggest Halloween attractions in Atlanta is Netherworld. A walk-through haunted house, Netherworld is known throughout the scare industry for it's high-quality special effects, impressive makeup, and talented (and frightening) actors. There are two houses for guests to enter, and this year's haunts will feature Primal Scream and Mr. Grendel's 3D Funhouse of Horrors.
For frights and heights, visit Six Flags Over Georgia for Fright Fest. Zombies and ghouls take over the park at night, and several haunted houses and scare zones are placed throughout the park. Rides will also be open during the fest that runs until October 31st.
If you're looking for some less frightening Halloween fun, Little Five Points hosts a Halloween festival and parade on the 21st, and Oakland Cemetery keeps its gates open after dark around Halloween.

So if it's fall fun or terrifying frights you're searching for this fall metro-Atlanta and the State of Georgia has you covered! Happy Fall, y'all!

Fall Fix-Ups


Published: 9/12/2018



While it may not seem like fall in Georgia just yet with this heat, a new season is on it's way. Before we know it the leaves will be on the ground, and (hopefully) we'll be waking up to cool crisp mornings.

With the season change, many other things are adjusting along with the weather. For one, pumpkin spice everything is already hitting the shelves, and you're likely getting ready to freshen up your closet and bring out those jeans and long-sleeves. But what around your home needs changing?

Despite the current Georgia heat, fall is a great time for fixing up a few things around your home. As the weather gets cooler, it's easier to get outside and not only enjoy the new temperatures, but actually enjoy the time you spend making adjustments to your home's exterior. The season is also a great time to get ready for winter because you don't want to be left out in the cold trying to fix your heater when it's only 32 degrees.

Here are a few fall fixes we recommend:

Seal it Up

Fall is a great time to seal up the home and make sure you aren't losing out on precious heat (or in Georgia's case, air conditioning). Take some time to seal up cracks around windows and doors in your home. To find the leaks, HouseLogic recommends using a lit candle or incense stick and walking around your home near the windows and doors - if the light starts to flicker or the smoke begins blowing, you know where you need to add caulking to your home.

Raise the Roof

We don't mean throw a party, but do consider showing some love to your roof this fall. This season is a great time to make repairs or even replace the roof if it's needed. DiTech says it's important to inspect your shingles for any damage, and look for any nails that have come loose that may signify a loose shingle. Roofers are also busiest during the winter months, so calling them out this fall will allow you to beat the rush.

Clean the Gutters

Since you're already up on the roof, you may as well take a moment to clean out the gutters. It's best to wait until all the leaves are off the trees if you can. HouseLogic says that moisture is one of the biggest problems in maintaining a home, and leaves the collect can also hold moisture which can eventually ruin your gutters and cause backups. Sweep them free of leaves and other debris, and make sure all of your downspouts are working properly.

Help the Heater

You may not need it now, but soon your heater will be doing the work of your AC, so it's best to give it a helping hand. Inspect your heating units and replace furnace filters; you may also want to clean your fireplace and chimney before you're able to cozy up next to the fire.

Enhance the Exterior 

The weather is getting nicer, so while you're out enjoying it, you can also get something done, and also increase your ROI if you're looking to sell next spring. Forbes recommends sprucing up the siding, both by pressure washing your home and re-painting the siding if it's needed. Also think about updating and cleaning the deck. Replace splintering or cracked boards, and give it a pressure wash treatment as well so you can fully enjoy those cool fall evenings to come.

Organize the Garage 

This project will get you outside, but more importantly, will help you get your cars inside this winter. It's easy for the garage to become piled with lawn equipment, bikes, and beach toys from the summer. As HouseLogic states, there are countless organizational tools and tricks that you can use to tidy up the garage. While you're there, move any snow equipment to the front where it's easily accessible and take stock of what you have. That way, when the first "snow" in Georgia hits and the kids are ready to play, you will be too! And you won't have to rush to the hardware store before they run out of sleds!



FMLS Showcase 2018


Published: 8/22/2018




We're only one day away from one of the biggest real estate events of the year - the 2018 FMLS Trade Show!

The Southeast Residential Real Estate Trade Show is tomorrow, August 23 from 9:30 to 4:30 at the Cobb Galleria, and we here at Perrie & Associates could not be more excited at this event!

The event brings together realtors, real estate professionals, and other affiliated industries for a day of networking and learning.

More than 3,000 industry professionals are expected to attend this year's event and over 140 industry vendors will be represented at the show. National and regional speakers will be in attendance to discuss timely issues facing the industry, making this a great opportunity for those working in real estate.

For this year's 18th annual show, technology use in the industry will be a primary focus.

More than 15 presenters will hit the stage covering various topics ranging from market stat apps to home staging, and with three theaters running simultaneously, there is always something to learn.

Mark Toro, founder and President of North American Properties, is this year's keynote speaker and will be discussing the "secret sauce" needed to create communities.

"From the repositioning of Atlanta Station and redevelopment of Colony Square to the development of Avalon and Revel, [Toro's] team of 'Experience Makers' redefines how community is created to respond to today's consumer. [Toro] will share what goes into assuring that NAP's properties lead the industry in value creation, both economic and social."

In addition, Mary Hess will demonstrate and discuss market stat tools and apps that can help you become the local housing expert, and Sean Moss will help agents solve their buyer's number one problem of a down payment.

The trade show will also be plugged into technology this year with the Socio App, that will send out networking and event announcements throughout the day.

With all of the educational, networking and business opportunities, it is clear to see why so many call the FMLS Showcase "Hands down - the best trade show value in the real estate market - anywhere!"

Tickets to the showcase are $10 if purchased by August 22, and $15 on the day of the show with proceeds benefiting Habitat for Humanity.

Perrie & Associates has truly enjoyed participating in this event over the years, and we are excited to see you on August 23! Be sure to stop by and see us! We will have great giveaways and prizes we know you will love!

For a complete list of presenters, a schedule of the day's seminars, and a map of the event and booths, visit FMLS Showcase Trade Show.

iBuyer Beware - The Costs of Selling to Startups


Published: 8/8/2018




With all the technology that's out there now, it seems like some jobs are becoming obsolete. Machines have replaced assembly line workers, and even self-checkout machines are taking over grocery stores. But will there be a technology to replace the Realtor?

Some services on the market now that claim to do so, letting sellers "skip" the negotiation process and the work with a real estate agent. These iBuyers, such as Knock, OpenDoor, and OfferPad aim to sell your home quickly and conveniently, often allowing homeowners to close on their home in a matter of days. But does speed and convenience beat out the quality of a trained Realtor? Many industry experts say no.

Most of the iBuyers operate in a similar fashion. A seller contacts the company about selling their home, and the investors use what's called an automated valuation model to determine an approximate value of the home. According to MetroBrokers, this model uses tax records and comps to determine the home's value. Many of the companies make the offer site-unseen, although Knock will make an in-home valuation if requested.

If the iBuyer's offer is accepted, an inspector is sent out to the home to note changes that they feel need to be made before the home is sold. The seller can choose to repair the problems on the list or deduct the costs out of the final price of the home. Once the repairs are addressed, the home is sold to the iBuyer and the seller can close.

For those looking to move quickly for a job or other house, an iBuyer may be the right fit. But as they say, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

As Forbes notes in their analysis of iBuyers, there isn't a person on the other side of the transaction, there's an investor - and investors like to make money. Although the iBuyers claim to skip the fees of going through a Realtor, they still charge a 6% commission, the same commission as most Georgia realtors. Additionally, they charge more fees to account for the risk they are taking in buying a home unseen, having costs potentially add up, or being unable to sell the property for a profit. Though Forbes states there isn't a lot of data on this, they estimate that the cost could be "up to more than 10% of the fair market value of a home.

One local Atlanta agent put the iBuyers to the test. In his article on Inman and also published on WFG National Title Insurance, Chad Schernikau used his own home in the Atlanta area to compare the offers from Knock, OfferPad, and Open Door.

The home, a 1950's renovated ranch style, was updated to add more than 1,500 square feet to the home along with a basement, and was valued at $495,000. Knock's final purchase price offer came in at $373,00 after Schernikau asked for an in-home valuation, and included approximately $22,000 in fees, leaving him with $351,000. OfferPad's purchase price offer came in at $265,000 with fees of more than $15,000. On OpenDoor, a different home was used because the company doesn't buy old homes, but the final difference between the company and a traditional realtor totaled a little more than $45,000.

Clearly, based on price alone, there is cause for concern to sell to these properties. But in addition to low valuations, as Schernikau mentions, these iBuyers lack the human component of real estate. An agent is better qualified to value your home with their knowledge of the local market and what buyers are looking for. They can also help you negotiate the cost of repairs and other fees associated with closing, rather than just paying what an appraiser asks out right. Not only that, but many agents we've spoken to said it's also difficult to get in touch with these companies, and they aren't always available like many Realtors.

For some sellers who are in a rush or need cash quickly, an iBuyer may be the right choice, but it's hard to deny the expertise and quality that a Realtor can provide. After all, both buying and selling a home can be an emotional and important step in life, and it's important to have someone physically by your side to help you through the process.

Mid-Year Contract Changes


Published: 7/31/2018


Beginning August 1, new changes to the GAR Purchase and Sale Agreement will go into effect.

Changes are as follows: 

On the Purchase and Sale Agreement (F20), changes were made to modify language on section B7 regarding the disbursement of earnest money reflecting changes stating that the disbursement of an earnest money check constitutes liquidated damages in the even that the transaction fails to close due to default by the Buyer. This means the Seller waives any right to assert a claim for a specific performance.

Language referencing the Seller's rejection of the disbursement of the earnest money check has also been removed, and the Rights of Buyer or Seller have been broken into two sections titled "Remedies of Seller" and "Remedies of Buyer".

These same changes were made to the Purchase and Sale Agreement forms for purchases on New Construction (F23), Lots (F27), Land (F34), and Leased Properties (F36).

In the event that a transaction falls through wherein the Seller is the defaulting party, a Buyer is now able to seek the specific performance of the contract or terminate the contract after notifying the seller and holder of the earnest money. If this is the case, all earnest money deposits and other payments made by the Buyer will be returned to the Buyer.

What it all means 

In the past, both the Buyer and Seller could pursue all lawful remedies including consequential damages, closing fees, and moving expenses. Now, the seller's sole remedy for a Buyer's breach in contract is to accept the earnest money, meaning that sellers will likely start asking for more earnest money as a result.
For the Buyer, their options for Seller's default are now to either sue for specific performance, or terminate the contract with the return of the earnest money.

For more information on the changes, you can read Georgia Association of Realtors General Counsel Seth Weissman's article here.

Back To School


Published: 7/25/2018




It's hard to believe, but the time for backpack shopping and catching the bus is upon us. That's right - schools all over the state of Georgia are about to start.

Many schools have their first day sometime during the first week in August, but some counties, including Cobb and Cherokee, start as early as August 1. Be prepared as school buses start hitting the road and be sure to watch out for students early in the morning in your neighborhood.

As many in the real estate industry know, the summer is the best time to move for families, and it has certainly been a busy season. If you have moved with your family, then it's likely your children may be starting a new school. While that can be an exciting transition, it can also be a challenge for some students to leave their old school behind and start with a blank slate at a new school.

If you are preparing your students for that transition, we have a few tips to make the first day of school go off with out a hitch and have your kids jumping off the bus with a big smile.

Open House/ Meet and Greet

One of the easiest and quickest ways to make your child feel at ease is to check out the open house or meet and greet that is held before school starts. Many counties will host such an event a day or two before school either in the morning or evening. This is a great opportunity for students and parents to meet their teacher for the year, learn where their classroom is, and get acquainted with their new school.
If you aren't able to attend the meet and greet, email your student's teacher and ask them questions about the year and their classroom, and also let them know that you are new to the area. Having a familiar face on the first day and letting them know the situation can really make a child feel more at ease in their new classroom.

Stock Supplies 

School supply shopping doesn't have to be a thing of dread. Let your child help and have fun with it! While you don't have to buy all new everything, maybe let them choose one accessory, like a book bag or pencil box, that they are excited about.
A few days before school, pack school supplies with your child. Show them everything that they have for the first day of school and let them know that they will be prepared!

Encourage Participation 

Another great way to quickly get accustomed with a new school is to participate in extra curricular activities. Many sports teams will probably begin practicing a few weeks before school, or will at least have meetings early on to get established. Encourage your child to try something new at their school and participate!
In high school this may be a bit easier with a variety of sports and activities to choose from, but elementary students can get involved too with neighborhood and community sports.

Get Some Sleep 

Summer is a time for hanging at the pool, playing outside, and sleeping! It's likely that kids aren't accustom to the early morning wake up call that is needed to get to school on time after two months away, but it is incredibly important to get enough sleep so they can be ready to learn.
A few weeks before school, start having them wake up earlier and earlier each day. It doesn't have to be a dramatic change, maybe just 15 minutes every other day. Those small increases can build up to the time they need to wake up for school, so that way on the first day, they will bounce out of bed ready to go!

Talk it Up 

While it's important to make sure your child is ready with supplies and sleep, it's also necessary to talk to them about their new school and ask them how they are feeling.
You don't have to have a formal sit-down with them, but start asking them what they are excited about, what they are nervous about, and any questions they may have about their new school. Understanding how your child is feeling about school will help you understand what they need and how you can help them be prepared.

Trial Run 

Taking a trial run of the first day goes hand-in-hand with attending open house, but there are other things to consider for the first day besides where your child's classroom is. If they will be riding the bus, walk with them to the bus stop and talk to them about how to be safe when waiting for and riding the bus.
If you will be driving them to school or picking them, make sure they know where to go and how to get to their classroom from the drop-off location. In addition, talk with your kids about what happens after they get home from school. Will a parent be home with them, or will they be with friends or siblings? Letting them know what to expect for all parts of the day can calm their nerves and help them get through the first day.

Merge the Old and New 

Starting at a new school can certainly be exciting, but it can also be a challenge to let go of an old school and friends. That's why it's important to merge the old with the new.
Encourage your child to make new friends, but also be sure to keep in touch with old friends from your last neighborhood or school. Whether that is a play date on the weekends or becoming pen pals, it will make your child feel that they haven't left everything behind and they will always have friends wherever they go.
If you had specific first-day traditions in your old home, keep them going at your new one, and if you want, make a new tradition. It can be as simple as eating pancakes or taking a picture, but having keeping old traditions will allow your child to have something familiar on their first day.

Get involved 

Your child is the star of the show when it comes to starting at a new school, but you can definitely be a great supporting actor!
Talk with your child's teacher and the school's PTA to see how you can get involved with the school. Attend a PTA meeting to learn about what's happening at the school, or, if you're teacher needs volunteers, go and help out by reading to your child's class or chaperoning a field trip. When your child sees that you are participating in their new environment as well, they will be encouraged to participate themselves, and will also feel more at ease knowing you are there.

Stay Positive 

Throughout the transition of attending a new school, it is most important to stay positive. Drop them off for their first day with a smile, a warm hug, and encouragement, and follow up with interest when they get home. If you approach the new community with a positive attitude, your kids will follow suit!




The Art of Networking


Published: 7/11/2018




In the real estate industry, it's all about networking. No matter where you go, there is someone to meet and connect with. One connection can lead to another, which could lead to a sale or future partner, and it just continues to trickle down from there. The more you network, the more you have the chance to receive referrals that can grow your business, which builds your name to be top-of-mind.

However, networking can be a daunting task. Whether you're in a room full of people or just at a small gathering, the pressure of feeling like you have to make lasting connections and sell your business can be overwhelming. But it doesn't have to be. Check out some of our easy tips to master the art of networking:

Be Yourself 

It sounds cliche and maybe a bit over stated, but one of the most important tips when making new connections is to be yourself. Don't feel like you have to be the most flashy or most knowledgeable in the room. Be confident in who you are, what you do, and what you know. It's the easiest way to make a genuine connection that you can later build to help your business.

Listen 

While it's important to talk to others while at a networking event, it's almost more important to listen. When you join in on a conversation, the experts at Forbes recommend taking a few minutes to simply listen to what the group is discussing. Don't immediately jump in to introduce yourself and talk up your business. When you do speak up, show you were listening by discussing your own opinions or bringing up another key aspect on the topic.

Bring a Friend 

If you're on a real estate team or have a good friend in the industry, see if they will come along. It's much easier to approach others when you aren't alone, and you can both talk each other up! It takes the pressure off having to talk about yourself, you'll feel more comfortable knowing at least one person at the event.

Keep it Casual 

According to the experts, the days of the hard sell are over. As Zillow notes, you wouldn't go to a party and begin frantically handing out business cards and asking if people are ready to sell their home. The same rules apply to networking.
Stick to simple conversation starters and ask about others' opinions on a new trend or what brought them to the event. Remember, it's likely that you all have the real estate industry in common, so you already have plenty to talk about right there! You don't have to complain about the state of the market, but engage others in ideas on business or even just personal experiences and anecdotes.

Social Media 

While not a networking tip for face-to-face interactions, social media can play a big role in your connectivity with potential clients and business partners. According to Entrpreneur, real estate professional can greatly benefit from using social platforms to share their knowledge with clients and promote properties and services. Similar to a conversation - be sure to be yourself and be authentic with your posts. Social media does not have to be a formal means of communication and you will best benefit by responding and interacting with clients and connections on various platforms.

Connect with Community 

In addition to connecting with other professionals, it's important to connect with those in the community you serve. Whether it's sponsoring a local sports team, participating in a neighborhood festival, or volunteering with area groups or organizations, you can meet people in your neighborhoods and build local connections that can help support and grow your business. Also, you will feel better knowing that you are doing good in your own community!


A Family Fun Summer


Published: 6/27/2018


June is almost over, signifying the unofficial halfway point of summer, and if you have kids at home, you're probably starting to hear every parent's summer nightmare - "Mom, dad, I'm bored!"

Any suggestion is met with a 'no' or a 'but I've already done that!', and the option for going to the pool has probably been exhausted. If you're facing this battle at this time during summer vacation, or if you're just looking to shake things up, never fear! We've rounded up some of the best summer activities and attractions in Atlanta for kids.


Marvelous Museums 

If you have a young scientist to entertain, there are several great science museums around the metro area.
Fernbank Museum of Natural History features dinosaurs, rocks, and fossils, not to mention an IMAX theater. Their WildWoods exhibit features fun walkways through the forest near the museum as well as a nature inspired playground. Inside, the NatureQuest area has climbing spots and animal encounters for the whole family to enjoy.
Tellus Science museum in Cartersville is another great place to take budding scientists with galleries on fossils, vehicles and airplanes, and a solar house. Their planetarium also features showings of each night's sky and a trip across the galaxy with the gang from Sesame Street.
For a more hands-on and interactive museum, check out the LegoLand Discovery Center that features worlds made entirely of Legos, rides, games, and a builder's academy for kids to test out their architecture skills.
The Children's Museum of Atlanta is another great museum full of interactive exhibits. There is a magical castle to play in, a rocket to launch, an art studio, and performances throughout the day.
If you're looking for more stellar performances, check out the Center for Puppetry Arts. The museum features puppets from around the world including some Muppets and Sesame Street favorites, and there are multiple performances that kids will love!


Animal Attractions 

It's hard not to love some cute critters, and Atlanta offers several opportunities for animal encounters.
Tried and true, Zoo Atlanta is a great place to spend the day with the kids. With playgrounds, a train ride, a carousel, and of course a zoo full of awesome animals, there's plenty to see. Be sure to check out the animal encounters and presentation schedule when you arrive to get even more up-close-and-personal with furry friends.
If you're kids are singing "Under the Sea" on repeat, maybe a trip to the Georgia Aquarium would be best for them this summer. With the new additions of puffins, the dolphin experience, and a virtual reality dive into a prehistoric ocean, the trip will still feel fresh a new even if you've been once before.
For a true experience with nature, head out to the Chattachoochee Nature Center, which boasts a wildlife center, daily animal presentations, and miles of walking trails for you to get out and enjoy the outdoors.

Parks 

You won't mind the heat if you're having fun, and Atlanta offers several parks to play in and enjoy.
Of course, you won't find more thrills and spills than at Six Flags over Georgia. The new Twisted Cyclone, a wooden and steel roller coaster, is now open, and there are plenty of rides and games for all members of the family. To beat the heat and still get your adrenaline pumping, check out Six Flags White Water.
If you're looking for a more casual way to enjoy the outdoors, Centennial Olympic Park has a number of great features including a splash pad that kids can play in that also has a synchronized show at various points in the day. Around the area there are other great attractions including SkyView Atlanta and the World of Coke to extend your day of fun.
Historic Fourth Ward Park has lots of green space and another splash pad and is located just off the Beltline. For more playgrounds in the metro area, check out Atlanta.net's list of the top 21 playgrounds here.
Further from the city is Stone Mountain. You can hike up the mountain to some spectacular views if you want the kids to burn off some energy, or there is a tram that can take you up the mountain with a little less effort. The park also boasts a ropes course for kids, petting zoo, putt putt golf, and a number of shows throughout the day, including the Lasershow Spectacular.

Whether you spend the day learning something new or enjoying the outdoors, there is something for every kid in the Atlanta area. It's not too hard to find somewhere to shake up the summer routine, and soon those complaints of "I'm bored" will be replaced with "best summer ever!"


Going Green in your Home


Published: 6/13/2018



We all know going green is good for the environment, and it's important to help conserve resources to help out planet Earth. You've heard of reduce, reuse, recycle, and you know you should use paper instead of plastic, and turn the water off while you're brushing your teeth. But what can your home be doing to be more green?

If you have the capability to install solar panels on your roof and live "off-the-grid," that's great, but it's probably not an option for everyone. However, there are still a few small changes you can make to ensure that your house is the most environmentally friendly it can be.


Quick Fixes

To start saving on your energy bill, consider switching your light bulbs to be more energy efficient. There are a wide variety of energy saving bulbs available, but you should concentrate on finding bulbs that are either LED, halogen incandescent, or compact fluorescent lamps. These bulbs save between 20 to 80 percent more energy and last longer, and because energy is created through the burning of fossil fuels, you can help reduce your carbon footprint. You'll also see a little extra cash back in your pocket from saving on your power bill, and installing dimmer switches in the main rooms of your home can also help reduce your consumption of electricity.
If you're unable to make the switch on your light bulbs, just focus on flipping the switch more often. Be sure lights are turned off in rooms you aren't in and unplug and shutdown any electronics or devices while they aren't being used.

For water reducing tricks, This Old House recommends starting in your bathroom with a quick test of your shower. Place a 1 gallon bucket under the running water and see how long it takes to fill. If it's less than 20 seconds, your shower head is releasing too much water. Replace it with one that sprays 1.5 gallons per minute, and you could save nearly 14,000 gallons of water per year, plus save a little on your utility bills.
Check for leaks coming from your toilet using a dyeing trick. Pour food coloring into the bowl, and see if any of the color has seeped after two hours. If it has, your tank's flapper is leaking, which can waste up to a gallon a minute, or more than 43,0000 gallons a month. You can buy a replacement flapper assembly at most hardware stores and take care of that pesky leak in no time.


Appliances

According to HomeAdvisor, appliances can be the biggest source of energy consumption in the home, particularly the refrigerator. If you're looking at replacing appliances, be sure to consider Energy Star appliances which are designed to meet the energy savings standards from the EPA and Department of Energy.
Don't worry though if you aren't able to replace your fridge just yet, there are still ways you can cut down on it's energy consumption and save a few dollars. Take the temperature of your refrigerator by placing an appliance thermostat in a glass of water in the center of your fridge and freezer and leave overnight. The fridge should be between 37 and 40 degrees F, with the freezer staying between 0 and 5 degrees. If your thermometer says it's any cooler, bump up the settings to save on energy.

Your dishwasher can also be an energy and water thief as well. Again, if you're making the appliance switch, Energy Star is the way to go;  if not, just be sure to run the dishwasher when it's completely full so you are wasting unnecessary water or energy.
Also, switching to a front loading washing machine from a top-loading can help save water, as top load machines use double the amount of water.

Major Renovations

If you're in the middle of renovations or looking to redecorate, there are some big ways you can go green in the design process.
Flooring is certainly not a green product in many homes. According to HomeAdvisor, carpet padding is made from petroleum, which is non renewable and requires lots of energy, and most old carpet ends up in landfills rather than being recycled. Eco-friendly flooring includes bamboo, cork, stone, tile, or linoleum, and if you have to go with carpet, look for the Green Label or Green Label Plus seal.
Outside, plant trees strategically on the south and west sides of the home to provide more shade, particularly on the HVAC unit. This can save up to $250 a year!

For more tips on how to go green in your home, check out Good Housekeeping's tricks here and find new ways to reduce your carbon footprint every day!



Super Smart Home


Published: 5/23/2018



You know about Amazon Echo, the Roomba, and you may have even heard of the Nest - but did you know there's a robot to mow your lawn and a way to measure the amount of energy you use in your home?

There's seemingly endless opportunities today to make your house a smart home, and there's technology available for practically every room in the house. In fact, Amazon recently announced their plans to create an entire smart community in Cumming with homes that allow owners to be completely hands-free and live more conveniently.

Using smart-home products allows homeowners to not only use their utilities more easily and comfortably, but they can also be major money savers. Most smart technology aims at being more efficient at managing a home's utilities, optimizing their use. Home automation can also improve the safety of a home with improved video surveillance,

As these smart-home products become more commonplace, their costs have come down to be more convenient and available to everyone. If you're thinking about making your home more connected, here are a few products to consider.


Lighting 

To set the connected mood throughout your house, consider smart lighting, starting with the Phillips Hue light bulbs. These LED bulbs save money and energy and can easily be dimmed or brightened using the Phillips app for iPhone or Android. The app also has pre-programmed settings to create an "energized" or "calm" room, and colors can also be set to create a fun atmosphere.
You can also easily install smart plugs that communicate with your Amazon Alexa or other home hub controller, allowing you to turn a light on or off simply by touching a button on an app or using verbal commands.

Security and Surveillance 

There are a number of smart security and surveillance systems available that connect with home controllers. PC Mag recommends the Smart Lock Pro from August Home, a door locking system that includes WiFi connectivity, a door sensor that alerts you if the door is open or left ajar, and even a timer that allows you to set a time for the door to be automatically locked or unlocked.
For video surveillance, the Arlo Pro 2 is an outdoor surveillance system that has excellent video quality and is compatible with other smart home products. The weatherproof camera has a 130 degree view and can be accessed through an app or online browser. You can also use geofencing to set a perimeter around your home that will be armed when you are away, and disarmed when you are home.
PC Mag's list of the Best Smart Home Products of 2018 recommends several other safety and surveillance alternatives, which you can check out here.

Thermostats 

The Nest Learning Thermostat is no stranger to popularity, but for good reason. In the first week of use, it learns your heating and cooling habits, then sets a schedule for your home based on your preferences. The Nest can also detect your presence and will go into ECO (energy conservation) mode when it thinks you are not home, saving you money on your heating and air conditioning bill.
The Ecobee is also another option for controlling the temperature in your home. It includes WiFi connectivity and room control sensors to ensure that the temperature is consistent throughout the room where it is placed. Comfort Settings can also be set on the device to set temperatures for when you are sleeping, at home, or on vacation.

In addition to the utilities in your home, there are also a number of other smart gadgets to help with some of the smaller things in life, such as your sprinkler system, or a control panel to help you manage all of your new smart home devices.

Whether you go big and decide to automate your entire home, or start small with just a few smart plugs, you can expect to see these products gain popularity in homes as they make our lives more convenient and connected.

Mini Movers - How to Help Your Child Prepare for a Move


Published: 5/9/2018



As the start of summer and the end of school looms near, many families are preparing to pack up and move to a new home. While parents may be excited about the new possibilities a new house offers, some children may be feeling sad to leave their friends and comforts of home behind. It's important for parents to prepare their children for a change, and even real estate agents can help play a part in getting kids ready for the transition.

One of the most important things to remember when moving with kids is to communicate. Involving them in the process and keeping them updated will help them to better understand what is happening. Young children may not understand the reasons for moving such as a new job or a larger home; it's easy for them to focus on what all they will no longer have.

Instead, show them what all the new home has to offer, whether that be a bigger bedroom, a fun basement, a pool, or a big backyard. If you can, try to take them to the new home before they move and walk through a normal day in your new home. If you're unable to tour the home, have your real estate agent send over pictures of the new home and consider making a model with your child of their new bedroom.

In addition to preparing them for their new house, do some research and explore your future neighborhood with your child. Explain the new options they will have at their new school, tell them about any sports teams or hobbies near your home that they can join, and show them other interesting and fun activities that you can explore on a map. Consider asking your real estate agent to help connect your child with other kids in the neighborhood or with a local coach or leader. They can begin a fun pen-pal relationship that can help ease the transition.

It's of course important to prepare your children for their new future neighborhood, but don't forget to say goodbye to the old one. Consider throwing a going-away party where your child and their friends can exchange new addresses and create lasting memories in their old home before saying goodbye. Leslie Levine recommended to HGTV passing out goody-bags with self-addressed and stamped envelopes to your child's friends making it easier for them to receive mail and keep in touch. If you don't have time for a party, make sure to get contact information from friends and keep photos of your old home for your child so they can look back on the memories they made there.

On moving day, despite the chaos that is likely all around, do your best to remain positive and excited for your child. Pack a personal belongings bag for each family member, and allow your child to pick 2 to 3 of their favorite toys to keep with them for the first night in the new home. Think about other ways to make moving day exciting as well, such as camping out in the living room for the first night, or surprising them with a new toy or item in their bedroom.

As with many things, your attitude can make or break the transition of moving for your child. If you remain positive and approach the move as an exciting new adventure, your kid will do the same. It's okay to express the emotions you feel about leaving your old home, but always stay positive when preparing for the new neighborhood. An uplifting attitude can make all the difference, and soon your child will be playing with new friends and loving their new home in no time.