Back with a Bang - Celebrating the Fourth in Atlanta


Published: 6/30/2021

 


The Fourth of July is back with a bang! Last year, celebrations were cut back due to COVID-19, but now we are able to come together more safely to celebrate our country' independence! 

So it's time to break out the barbecues, pool floaties, and corn hole games, grab some friends, and celebrate! Don't forget though that there's plenty of events just outside of your backyard all across the metro Atlanta area!

Wondering what to do on this 245th Independence Day? We've got you covered from big events in the city to local firework shows in your county! Check it out - 

Peachtree Road Race

The AJC Peachtree Road Race is an Atlanta tradition, and this year - it's back for it's 52nd race around Atlanta! This year, the race will take place on TWO days for extra safety, and extra fun! The road race starts at approximately 6:30 each morning, and you can line the streets to support these red, white, and blue runners. This event is a special favorite of our own Mr. David Perrie, who has participated in many Peachtree Road Races throughout the years! Find more information about start times and the course map here

Braves vs. Marlins 

Sticking with the sports theme, head down to Truist Park to watch the Braves play the Marlins Thursday through Sunday. Friday will feature Friday night Fireworks, and Sunday's game will feature a U.S. Air Force flyover and special Independence Day fireworks! You can find more information and tickets here

Festivals and Fireworks 

If you're looking for some more relaxed fun, there are plenty of festivals and firework shows around the metro. 

On Saturday, July 3, Marietta will host their annual Fourth in the Park festival from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. The celebrations will start with a parade with marching bands, beauty queens, and local businesses and organizations. Arts and crafts, food trucks, and live music will be available in the square until dark, when the evening will conclude in a fireworks show! 

Not too far away in Kennesaw, the Salute to America celebration will have two stages of live music, street activities, and food vendors on July 3. A children's parade will march through downtown at 3 p.m., and the evening will conclude with great local music and spectacular fireworks! 

In Powder Springs, the Fourth celebrations are kicking up a notch with a first-time carnival that will run from July 1-4. The carnival will have rides like a Ferris Wheel, Pirate Ship, and Merry-Go-Round, along with plenty of carnival games and concessions. On Sunday, July 4, the city will continue the party with their annual SpringsFest event! Bouncy houses, face painting, and game trucks will all be available, and the night will end with a fireworks show. 

If you're looking for Independence Day celebrations closer to you, check out this comprehensive list of firework shows and events all across the metro!


However you choose to celebrate the Fourth of July this year, we hope you have a safe, joyful, and patriotic weekend!


After the Autographs - What happens post-closing


Published: 5/31/2021

 



We know this busy season of real estate can be hectic, but it's never bad idea to take a moment to look back at some basics. 

Lots of closings will be happening during these summer months, but what happens after the papers are signed and the keys have been exchanged? 

The work doesn't stop there, so here's a synopsis of what happens post-closing, including what we handle after you've signed, and what you should do too! 

Our job

  • Disbursement - Many checks are often disbursed at the closing table, but any wires and checks not given out at closing will be distributed afterward. The closer will get the file back and review it to ensure all documents have been properly executed in compliance with the bank's requirements, and checks will be mailed out to the appropriate location and wires will be sent out by the closing attorney. 
  • Deeds and Recording - The warranty deed is signed at closing and shows that a clear title has passed from the seller to the buyer. A security deed is signed when a mortgage loan is taken out in Georgia, and shows the terms of the loan and places a lien on the property until the mortgage is paid. Both of these deeds must be recorded with the Clerk of Superior Court in the respective county where the property was sold to show the transfer of ownership.After closing, our post closer will review the deeds and check the legal descriptions for accuracy before sending them to the clerk's office with checks for recording fees. Once received, the clerk will stamp the original and record a copy of the documents in the public records/deed books. The stamped and recorded original is returned to our office. The buyer will receive a copy of the stamped warranty deed for their records, and a copy of the stamped security deed will be sent to the lender. 
  • Documentation - Part of the post-closing process is sending documents from closing to various parties involved in the closing. This can include homeowner's associations that need a copy of the warranty deed, to agents who need copies of the closing disclosure. We will ensure that all parties receive the necessary documents they need to record your closing. 

What you can do
  • Little Red Book - At closing, you will receive one of our famous red booklets, a staple of Perrie & Associates. This book is all of the documents you signed at closing, condensed down into 8.5 x 11. Keep this book! It is so important for you to keep your closing package in a safe place. It's great to have for your records in case anything may come up. If it does, you've got all your information and all the terms of your closing right there at your fingertips.
  • Check the mail - As we noted above, you will be receiving some documents or checks through the mail after closing. Don't forget to be on the lookout for this paperwork - and be sure to check your bank account if you will be receiving a wire.
  • Homestead Exemption - In the new year following your closing, it will be time to think about taxes. From January through April, home buyers who purchased a property in the last year can apply from a homestead tax exemption.
    A homestead exemption is a reduction on the homeowner's property taxes, and the amount of the deduction is determined from the assessed value of the home. To qualify, homeowners need to apply with their county tax office. Each county has a different deadline between January and April, so be sure to check with your tax office on when to apply. 


Earth Day and Beyond - How Your Home Can 'Go Green'


Published: 5/2/2021

 



April 22 was Earth Day and there were plenty of social media posts celebrating this amazing planet we call home. But maybe you saw a post and wondered, what can I do to be more green? 

We all know going green is good for the environment, and it's important to help conserve resources. 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!

Spring Home Maintenance


Published: 2/28/2021

 


Spring is in the air! We're already seeing warmer temps this week, and it may inspire you to get outside and enjoy the nice weather! It may also inspire a bit of spring cleaning, and we're not just talking about finally washing that pile that's been building in your laundry room! 

As the season transitions into warmer weather, it's a great time to check on a few important fixtures of your home. While these aren't always the most fun or even immediately noticed changes, your house will certainly thank you for running through this quick checklist! 

Air Filters 

Before you turn on your AC, we recommend changing out your air filters. Typically, these should be changed every 90 days. It's a quick and easy fix that ends up cleaning every room in the house! 
Not sure how to replace them? First, locate your air filters and determine their size. Replaceable filters are usually surrounded by a cardboard frame, while reusable filters are typically surrounded by plastic. These frames should include the dimensions, but if not, use a tape measure to determine the width and height of your air filter.
Next, hit up your local hardware store and grab some filters! Remember, if you have more than one unit, you will need to change both. We recommend grabbing a few spares as well, that way, it'll be easy to change the next time! Just be sure to store them away from the furnace.  
Finally, insert them correctly into the furnace. Most filters will have printed arrows that are inserted in the same direction of the airflow. It's important to install them correctly, otherwise you will make your HVAC unit work harder, so be sure to read directions carefully. 
If you'd like some step-by-step instructions, check out this helpful tutorial from the Home Depot

Gut the Gutters 

It probably comes as no surprise, but now is a great time to clean your gutters. April showers bring May flowers - but you definitely don't want those flowers growing in your gutters. However, though we know you've been told to clean your gutters, don't worry if you're not sure where to start. We're here to help! 
First, start by collecting the necessary tools including a safe and sturdy ladder, a few buckets to collect debris, gloves, and a garden hose. 
Start by cleaning your gutters near the downspout, and work your way back to the closed end of the gutter. The Home Depot recommends cleaning your gutters on a dry day. Trying to clean them after a fresh rain when the debris is wet will make it more difficult. Keep one bucket connected to your ladder, and dump the large clumps of sticks and leaves into the bucket. You may need a small trowel if you have some debris or dirt that is stuck inside the gutter. 
After cleaning the large debris, flush the remaining pieces with a drain hose. Once it's all cleared, flush water through the gutters again to ensure the water is flowing properly and isn't leaking. If you find any leaks, seal these with gutter sealant, and if there are any major damages to your gutters, consider replacing them. 

Wrap the Windows 

In the spring especially, it's nice to forget the AC and simply open up the windows and let the outdoors in. However, if you haven't check your window screens, you may be letting some unwanted pests in as well. 
Now is a great time to check your window screens for any holes or tears. According to the Home Depot, if your window screen is looking shiny, rather than dark and matte, that's a sign that it's time to be replaced. 
Thankfully, this task isn't too difficult, and can be done in just a couple of hours! If you find a hole or tear in the screen, remove the frame from the window and remove the damaged screen with a flathead screwdriver, being sure to remove the nails or screws securing the screen in place. Next, you can roll new screen over the window frame, cut to the right size, and secure with staples or a spline roller depending on your frame. 
Check out step-by-step instructions here

Of course, there are plenty of other opportunities for some spring maintenance in your home. Take advantage of this nice weather to get out and inspect your home so you're ready to enjoy the indoors and the outdoors with peace of mind this summer! 


Fall in Love with Homestead Exemption


Published: 1/31/2021

 


Well, the forms are already filling your mailbox, so you know what it's time for - taxes.  

We know they may not be the love letters you were hoping for, but it's time to gather your documents and get it done. Did you buy a home in 2020? If so, fall head over heels for 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! 


New Year, New Market - Predictions for Real Estate in 2021


Published: 1/2/2021

 

2020 was a year of unpredictability. However, despite the pandemic and resulting recession, more than 6 million homes were still sold, and home prices grew 5% according to Forbes

While the last year has taught us that's impossible to know what may come next, we've gathered experts' predictions for the 2021 real estate market. 


Seasonal Balance 

First, the realtor.com 2021 Housing Forecast predicts that there will be some sense of normalcy returned to the seasonality of real estate. In 2020, the Coronavirus pandemic threw the predictable real estate season out the window. Many stay-at-home orders were imposed right before the summer, the best time for the real estate market. Buyers returned to the market before sellers, and had a drastic impact on inventory, time on the market, and home prices. However, realtor.com predicts that things will begin to settle into the normal seasonal trends in 2021. 


Home Sales and Prices 

2020 changed the way many of us live and work. Because of this, people are continuing to look for different styles of living. Those who can now work remotely are looking to buy homes with more space, and with many millennials and Gen-Z entering the market,  there will be plenty of demand for housing. 

Deputy Chief Economist with CoreLogic, Selma Hepp, told Forbes: "...first-time home buyers will remain a strong force in the market as the largest cohorts of millennials are turning 30 - critical household formation years. But also, the oldest millennials are increasingly contributing to the trade-up market. As a result, 2021 home sales activity is expected to remain strong and outpace 2020 levels."

Danielle Hale, realtor.com chief economist, told Forbes that they expect a 7% growth in home sales, as well as a 5.7% growth to home prices on top of 2020's growth. "While we expect mortgage rates to tick up gradually, sales and price growth will be propelled by still strong demand, a recovering economy, and still low mortgage rates."


Inventory

Inventory has been the biggest struggle the market faced in 2020, as nearly 4 million new homes were never completed, according to realtor.com. Half a million fewer homes were for sale in the beginning of 2020 than the previous year. However, the inventory pace began to pick up toward the end of 2020, a trend that experts think will continue into 2021. 

"With home builder confidence near record highs, we expect continued gains for single-family home construction, albeit at a lower growth rate than in 2019," Robert Deitz, Senior VP and Chief Economist at the National Association of Homebuilders, told Forbes. "... buyer traffic will remain strong given favorable demographics, a shifting geography of housing demand to lower-density markets and historically low interest rates." 


The 2020 Effect 

Last year changed so much about our lives, including how business was conducted in the real estate market. 360 degree home tours, the decline of open houses, and even e-closings, dominated during a time when people were forced to stay home. 

According to Elana Knoller, Better.com's chief product officer, this use of technology will only increase in 2021. "Homeowners and the housing industry at-large will utilize technology even more next year to engage buyers and execute deals," she told Forbes. 

People have also learned a new way of life, which is affecting where and how they want to live. "Many buyers aren't waiting for a return to normal," said Baird & Warners President and CEO Steve Baird to Forbes. "Instead, they're anticipating a new normal in which they live, work, and entertain differently than even before and view housing through that lens." 


Again, if 2020 taught us anything, it's to expect the unexpected. So, buckle in and get ready for what is sure to be an interesting year for real estate!


Feeling Thankful


Published: 11/25/2020

 



    2020 has thrown so many curveballs it's hard to keep up. With the world where it is right now, it's sometimes hard to find the silver lining; however, in some ways, this year has shown us all that we truly have to be thankful for. 

    Each year the Perrie & Associates staff shares what we are thankful for this holiday season, and 2020 is no exception. In fact, we feel it's even more important to share with our clients what we are thankful for this year, and the hopes we have for the future. We are truly a family here at Perrie & Associates, and we want to share that feeling with all of you, in this especially trying year. Below are some of the many things we are thankful for: 


Brett Lefevre, Disburser 

I'm thankful for our management team who has guided us through the COVID pandemic and has caused our company to thrive during uncertain times. I'm also thankful to work with such wonderful people!


Emily Kobito, Social Media Manager 

This year I am thankful for the opportunity to marry my amazing husband this June. It may not have been what we expected, but it was still the perfect day, and I'm so thankful for my friends and family who have supported us. I'm thankful for the chance we had to buy our first home, and to my P&A fam who helped us close! I'm thankful for my health and the health of my family, and I'm thankful for the hope for the future!


Cheryl Ethridge-Morton, Paralegal 

I'm thankful to have been part of the P&A family for nearly 11 years now. 


Ree Simpson, Closing Coordinator 

There are many things I am thankful for - anywhere from when the creamer is just right in my coffee, to being alive. I am thankful for being part of a work family that cares about everyone’s mental health, and the community. I am thankful for joy, hope, and forgiveness. I am thankful for the good health and stable wellbeing of my friends and family. I am thankful for good music and tear jerking movies. I am thankful for belly laughs and inside jokes. Oh, and the hoodies that just feel like a constant warm hug - yeah, I am thankful for those too!

Tracy Arthur, Director of First Impressions

I’m very thankful for 3 things this year:  my family, my health (2.5 years cancer free!) and this job.  This was a big career change for me but the culture is so much better here at Perrie & Associates than my previous positions.  I actually feel like a person here and not just a number on payroll.  I’m so much happier here!


Stephanie Chandler, Title Curative Specialist 

I often use the phrase “Stop and smell the roses” but I rarely stop.  I’ve had my own struggles but I’ve also felt the pain and loss my loved ones have gone through this year. 2020 has taught me to just be; just love, to laugh more and that you don’t always have to have the answers.  Sometimes you have to just shrug it off and I’ve found that in just being it has brought me peace. I am thankful this year for the lessons, family, love, clarity and understanding and peace. Happy Thanksgiving! 

Chris Copeland, Disburser

I’m thankful for the health of myself and my loved ones, along with a job that I feel secure at!


Gayle Willingham, Firm Administrator 


This year has been quite a year for everyone and we can all see what is really important in life! I am thankful for my health. This has been a really hard year with a lot of sickness so I am grateful for everyday that I am safe and well. I am also thankful for my God and this wonderful country we call home. I am thankful for each family member and friend that I get to spend valuable time with during the quarantined time. Let us not forget that I am so very thankful for my job and being able to work every day with the wonderful staff at P&A and see the great clients that come in for closings. Life is good, so enjoy each and every minute!


Linda May, Attorney 

I am grateful for my family, friends and co-workers. I am grateful to be healthy. And I am grateful to work for a super law firm where caring about people comes from the top down. 


David Phillips, Post-Closer 


I am Thankful for My family as for this year we finally closed out the passing of my father.  He passed away in 2014, and we spread the ashes in the mountain this year  - all of my brothers were there to say a life lesson or a story about him. I am thankful for being a part of the P&A work family of Cumberland. I am thankful for my friends because they are always there for me, in happy times and in sad. I am truly thankful for my health and wellness. Finally, I am thankful 2020 is about to wrap up, and I hope that 2021 brings happiness and joy to everyone, as this year has been an uphill battle.



Hannah Chung, Closing Department


I’d like everyone at Perrie & Associates to know how grateful I am to be a part of the team.  2020 has been a rollercoaster for so many of us, and I for one will always be grateful that 2020 brought me into the P&A family!  I’ve learned so much from so many people at P&A and I can’t wait to see what 2021 brings.



David Perrie, Firm Owner & Attorney


I am thankful we found my prostate cancer when it was so early that it's already cured. I am thankful for my dedicated and loyal associates who have been “troopers” through this difficult year. I am thankful 2020 is near its end, and for beer.


To all of our loyal clients, friends, and family who have stuck by us in this difficult year, we are so thankful for you. We hope that you may enjoy a peaceful, safe, and joyous Thansgiving! 


Building Your Brand


Published: 11/1/2020

 


As the real estate season begins to slow a bit from the hot summer to a cool winter, it's time to take some of those side projects off the back burner and bring them to the forefront once more. 

For real estate agents, one of those projects should be brand building.

In the days of social media, everyone has a personal brand. The digital footprint you leave behind on a daily basis says a lot about you and your business or company. Real estate agents are quite often a one-man or one-woman show, so building your personal brand is important to stand out and draw business.

According to Monster, "whether you like to think about it or not, right now there are people thinking about your very own brand of whatever you are and do, and they're deciding if they want to make it one of their favorites."

Of course, you want to be the favorite real estate agent in town! So we've compiled a few tips to help you build your brand to new heights:


Know and Be Yourself

If you're going to spend your lifetime working in an industry, you may as well be yourself while you do it. You don't want to live pretending to be someone you're not, and your clients don't want that either.
According to Entrepreneur magazine, "building a personal brand is first and foremost developing an understanding of your true self, and then sharing that with the world."
Buying or selling a home is a major life decision that can have a lot of emotional aspects, so it's important that your clients have a person by their side that they know and trust.
Think about why you got into the real estate market. Did you have struggles of your own when you were a first time buyer? What do you enjoy about the home buying process and why is this industry important to you?
Identifying your passion for the industry will drive the direction of your personal brand, and telling your story will allow you to be an authentic agent that clients can identify with and will want to recommend.

Be Professional 

This tip sounds like common sense. Yes - you should always dress and act professionally, but what about the other aspects of your company?
Your website, business cards, photography, and even social media accounts should all have the air of professionalism.
If you can, hire a web designer to make a user-friendly and visually appealing website that draws customers. Or, use one of the many easy-to-use web platforms such as Wordpress or Squarespace to create your own.
Design and purchase business cards from a printing company rather than printing them on your own, and hire a professional photographer for head shots that can be used on your social media platforms and website.
All of this may seem obvious, but having a professional look across the board can really boost your personal brand.

Consistency is Key

Along the lines of professionalism is consistency.
With so many platforms to put your word out, it may seem a little overwhelming. On Instagram you could have one look, while your Facebook page could have another. To make things simple, and to not confused clients, it's important to be consistent across platforms.
From the name of the page to your logo or profile picture, having continuity will strengthen your brand and make it more recognizable.
For example, if Shelley Holmes is a real estate agent, her Facebook page could be simple "Shelley Holmes." To follow suit, her LinkedIn should also be Shelley Holmes, and her Instagram and twitter handle should be @shelleyholmes. The same could be done with "Shelley Holmes Realtor" or "Shelley Sells Homes," just as long as these page names and accounts are all consistent.
This consistency even applies to your email. If your social media accounts are titled "Shelley Holmes," but your email is holmesatlrealestate@email.com, then your clients may have a harder time contacting you, or remembering how to get in touch with you.

Know Your Industry

They say learning is a lifelong skill, and that skill should be applied to your personal brand. "No matter how well you know your industry or area of expertise, it would be wise to remember that things are changing at a faster rate than ever before, and you have to stay up-to-date with the latest changes and trends," says Entrepreneur Magazine. "If you're not growing, then you're stagnating, and that's the last thing you want to do as an entrepreneur."
There are a number of ways to continue learning in the industry - join a local Realtor organization and attend regular meetings to see what other professionals are discussing; network within your area and talk about trends you notice; monitor relevant publications and websites for new studies and reports. 
And finally, share your findings.
People want to know that you are both knowledgeable and passionate about your business. By sharing news about the industry, you show that you care enough about what you to do to continue learning and improve yourself. 

Stay the Course

With all of these suggestions, you can build your personal brand, but if you don't stay the course on your marketing strategy, it will all be for nothing. "The only way that you're going to be discovered and build that social currency is by doing it, day and day out," said Elite Daily co-founder Gerard Adams in an interview with Entrepreneur. 
It's a lot of hard work, but it's important to be persistent with your personal branding. A month of Facebook posts and Instagram photos isn't going to cut it. 
Building a brand takes time and it's important to develop a strategy and brand message early on so you don't lose your way. To keep yourself accountable and aid in your planning, consider a social media manager such as Hootsuite that allows you to schedule posts ahead of time. 

It takes planning, organization and commitment, but if you stay the course and build your brand, you will see the benefits in both your business and in your own confidence. 


Fall Fix-Ups


Published: 9/30/2020



With the season change, many other things are adjusting along with the weather. For one, pumpkin spice everything is already everywheres, 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!a


Work Life Balance


Published: 8/31/2020

 


The real estate market doesn't take a holiday. Or a weekend. 

Between showing homes, sending out listings, and answering and responding to the endless calls and emails, it probably feels like you work non-stop. 

And for many real estate agents, that is true. A job that requires you to be on-call practically 24/7 makes it seem nearly impossible to obtain a work life balance. 

However, with a little intentionality and effort, it can be done. Don't believe us? Try a few of these tips and see if you find a few more minutes for yourself! 

Prioritize 

It may seem obvious to prioritize your to-do list, but what about prioritizing the different aspects of your life? According to Sara Caputo, author of the "The Productivity Puzzle", it's important to identify a "core four" of priorities for your life. Perhaps this is your work, family, and health; or perhaps it's your family, spiritual wellbeing, and recreational time. Understand that these four won't be the same as everyone else's and they aren't supposed to be. A work-life balance should be based on your priorities and the things that are most important to you. Clarifying these aspects of your life will help you recognize where you are spending most of your time, and how you can re-allocate and re-dedicate some of that time to those factors that are most important. 

Organize 

It's hard to start positive habits when everything around is cluttered chaos. Spend some time organizing your work space and eliminate distractions. This is particularly true if you are working from home. With so many of us now spending more hours inside with the pandemic, it can be easy to end up typing away on the couch in your pajamas. However, it's important to set aside a dedicated work space that allows you to focus - and walk away. If your work space and recreational space become one and the same, it will be difficult to unplug and take the time away from work that you desire. 

Caputo also says it's important to create multiple to-do lists. Create a list of must-do items for the day, one for the week, and a running list of things upcoming in the future. This will help you itemize tasks that need to get done and ensure that they do in fact get done, but in a timely fashion. It's important to not spend hours doing a task that can be done a week from now, ignoring those that are more time sensitive. You can also consider adding in your personal to-do's - like family time and workouts - into these lists. 

Unplug 

While technology is where we spend most of our work life and allows us to stay connected to our clients, it could also be a main point of stress in our lives. According to Harvard psychology professor Robert Brooks, notifications from your phone inject "an undercurrent of stress" into your life when they're popping up in your off time. That's why it's incredibly important to unplug, and allow yourself time away from your technology, and giving yourself an "off-call" moment. Set aside a designated time to walk away from work, and set your "do not disturb" setting on if needed. 

Caputo also suggests creating a "power hour" in your schedule once or twice a week. During this time, turn off your notifications and be unavailable to clients to allow yourself full concentration on your work. This allows you to think deeply about tasks that are more time-consuming and challenging. She also suggests setting timers during this time if you have multiple tasks to complete, as people often work more efficiently under pressure. 

Be Kind to Yourself 

Deciding today that you want a better work-life balance and trying to achieve it all by 5 p.m. tomorrow simply isn't realistic. Just as we often abandon our New Year's resolutions by February, we have to give ourselves time and be patient with ourselves when making a life change. Identify one or two areas in which you want to improve, be it more family time, or waking up earlier to allow more work time. Then, build these aspects in gradually. Realize and accept that major life changes can't happen overnight. However, with patience and time, you can obtain the work-life balance you desire.  






The Power of Attorney - A Legal Stand-In


Published: 8/2/2020



Heading on vacation during your closing? Have a medical procedure scheduled and know you won't make it in to sign? Work sending you out on a last-minute business trip?

If you're in any of these scenarios, you're probably worried about what you're going to do about signing at closing. 


We all have busy lives with work, family and travel - throw a home buying or selling process into that mix and it can get a little hectic! That's what the Power of Attorney, or POA, is for. 

A power of attorney is a document between two parties in which one party grants the other broad power to act on their behalf. This power can be for a number of things, including signing during a real estate closing. 

In a POA transaction, the person granting the power is called the principal, and the person receiving the power is called the agent or attorney in fact. The agent will act on behalf of the principal within the circumstances noted in the document. An attorney in fact does not have to be an attorney - it can simply be a relative, friend, or anyone the principal trusts to act on their behalf. 

Powers of attorney are a great option for buyers or sellers who can't be present at closing. An agent can be designated to arrive at the closing and sign on the principal's behalf. All they would need is their photo ID and a strong and steady hand - because they will be writing a lot! (Every signature from a power of attorney must be signed "Agent's name as attorney in fact for Principal's Name," so you may want to tell your agent to be ready!) 

But besides real estate closings, a POA can be beneficial in other legal situations, and there are several types of these documents: 

General 
A general power of attorney is used to allow your agent to handle your affairs during a certain period of time, such as when you are traveling. 
Powers can include any or all of the following:
  •  Buy and sell property
  •  Buy, manage or sell real estate
  •  Handle banking transactions
  •  Enter safety deposit boxes
  •  File tax returns
  •  Tend to government benefits
  •  Enter into contracts
  •  Purchase life insurance
  •  Settle claims
  •  Exercise stock rights
Additional powers that can be added in the document include maintaining business affairs, making transfers to revocable living trusts, hiring professional assistants and making gifts. 

Durable

In a durable POA, the term of the power granted to the agent is specified. For instance, if the principal was to become mentally incapacitated or physically unable to communicate their wishes, this document would specify that the agent does or does not continue to have the right to act on the principal's behalf. 
All powers granted in a general power of attorney can be given in a durable one, but stipulations are included regarding the health of the principal. 

Special/Limited 

A special power of attorney grants limited or special power to the agent. This is typically done if one party cannot handle certain affairs because of prior commitments or health reasons. Common powers specified in a special power of attorney include buying or selling real estate, managing business interests, and handling bank transactions. 

Health Care

In a health care POA, the agent is given the power to make medical decisions for the principal if they are unconscious, mentally incompetent or physically unable to communicate. The document can go into effect immediately or when the principal is determined mentally incompetent, based on the principal's wishes. A health care POA does not constitute a living will; however, the State of Georgia allows the principal to state their wishes in a POA regarding medical treatment in conditions such as terminal illness and permanent unconsciousness. 

Trust Factor

With all POA's, trust plays an important role. Major powers can be given to an agent, so it is imperative to choose someone who will look out for the principal's best interests, respect their wishes, and not abuse their power. 

LegalZoom also notes that an agent should be organized and responsible and keep records of all transactions they have done on the principal's behalf.  Legally, an agent is not held responsible for anything done unknowingly, but can be held for any intentional misconduct. 

Overall, a power of attorney can be used for any number of legal or personal activities and may be perfect for a buyer or seller closing on a property. If you need a POA for a closing here at Perrie & Associates or for any other matter, just let us know and we'll be happy to help you draw up the appropriate document for your needs! 

Mid-Year Market Update - Positive Signs for Real Estate


Published: 5/31/2020



With all that 2020 has thrown at us, it is hard to believe that we are already nearly halfway through the year. As states begin to reopen in a corona-virus world, and people begin to feel somewhat safer to return to "normal," the housing market is changing too.

Of course, the pandemic has greatly affected the housing buying market as states quarantined in April, and according to the National Association of Realtors' (NAR) Pending Home Sales Index, contract signings fell 21 percent in April. This will likely lead to a significant decrease to closed sales in May, said Lawrence Yun, NAR's Chief Economist.

However, experts are seeing some positive trends, and have a more positive outlook for the summer. Forbes reported that Realtor.com's weekly housing report has several highlights for the market including only a 20 percent decrease in new listings May 23, as opposed to a 28 percent decrease the week prior. Median listing prices have also "regained momentum" and growth is reaching pre-COVID levels.

In addition to these positive indicators, the number of mortgage applications have also increased, according to the NAR. This will likely come at no surprise given the shockingly low mortgage rates. Freddie Mac reported that the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage for the week of May 29 was 3.15% - the lowest in their records for 50 years. Rates for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage also fell, averaging 2.62% last week.

"These unprecedented rates have certainly made an impact, as purchase demand rebounded from a 35% year-over-year decline in mid-April to an 8 percent increase of last week - a remarkable turnaround given the sharp contraction in economic activity," Freddie Mac's chief economist Sam Khater told the NAR.

Finally, buyer activity is also giving hope for the a rebound in the market. Redfin data, reported by Forbes, shows that buyer demand is leading to more bidding wars where inventory is limited. According to the report, 41 percent of homes received multiple offers from late April to May, as opposed to just 15 percent of homes at the same time last year. "In the coming months, buying activity will rise as states reopen and more consumers feel comfortable about home buying in the midst of social distancing measures," Lawrence Yun said.

While this summer season may look different in terms of vacations and social gatherings, signs are pointing to a still bustling summer real estate market!

Mini Movers - Helping Children Face their Summer Move


Published: 5/3/2020



Summer vacation is looking a little different and many schools are bringing classes to a close; however, the summer season is still on the way. Despite the challenges faced by the corona virus, this time remains popular in the housing market, and many families are looking at packing up and moving 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, especially while social distancing. 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. While touring homes in person may not always be an option right now, virtual tours are increasingly popular, and still a great way too allow children to visualize and get excited about their new home.

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. With many schools turning to digital learning in the last few months, check out your school's website and social media pages to find videos of the school that you can share with your child.

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" for your home to look back on the memories you made there and commemorate your time. Letters are a great way for children to communicate with their friends in these times of social-distancing, as well. Before you leave, make sure to get contact information from friends so they can keep in touch.

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.

Helping your pet move


Published: 3/1/2020



There's a lot to think about when you're moving - packing everything up, adjusting your finances, signing and filing paperwork . . . the list goes on and on.
Though there's a lot happening, you know where you're headed and what's to come - but that may not be true for everyone in your household.

Your furry friends may get a clue that something's changing when all the boxes are piled up, but they have no idea what's in store when your moving.

For those who have one (or two, or three), pets are an important part of our lives. For many, a pet becomes part of the family. So when you're moving, it's important to think about how you can help this important family member. You may not be able to sit down and talk to them about what to expect, but there are a few things you can do to help make the transition a smooth one.

Packing Plan 

A house that's being prepped for a move can get hectic. Boxes are everywhere, and nothing is where it's supposed to be. To help your pet, and especially cats, with this transition, the ASPCA recommends bringing moving boxes in as early as you can so that you pet gets used to the change. Also try to keep your pet in a familiar room in the house that will be packed up last. This will ensure that your furry friends can stay in a comfortable space where they don't feel stressed.

Moving Day

Be sure that you have a plan for your pet on moving day. While boxes are being loaded and people are going in and out, keep your pet in a quiet room with the door closed. This will ensure the most calming environment possible, and will also assure that your pet will not escape. You can also think about dropping your pet off at "doggy day care" or boarding them with your veterinarian or a friend.
If you pet will need to travel in a carrier or crate to be transported to their new home, the New York Times recommends introducing the crate as early as possible. Leave the crate open in your home for a few days before moving day, and place food or treats near and in the crate to encourage your pet to test out their new space. You may want to consider even taking your pet on a short trip in the carrier if you anticipate a long travel time to your new home.

Settling In 

It's easy to want to relax right after the move is over and call it a day, but the first few hours in a new home are crucial for your pets. Remember, you may have seen this space before, but they haven't. There's a whole new world for your furry friend to explore, and it can be pretty overwhelming if you throw them in all at once.
It's important to set up a space that is just for your pet. Realtor.com recommends creating a "safe room" wth all of their favorite items, including food and water, where your pet can stay for the first few hours or days of the move. As you see them become more comfortable and return to their regular behavior, they can be set loose to explore more of their new domain. When creating this safe space, be sure that their favorite items haven't been washed - smells are crucial for pets and can create a sense of calm in unfamiliar territory. Also try to set up the ret of your home in a similar pattern as the old one, so your pets can easily adjust to their new space.

Moving with your pets can take some patience and a few extra steps, but with a little extra love, they'll be playing fetch and cuddling with you in their new home in no time!

Tax Time - Homestead Exemption


Published: 2/18/2020



Well, the forms are already filling your mailbox, so you know what it's time for - taxes.  

We know they may not be the love letters you were hoping for, but it's time to gather your documents and get it done. Did you buy a home in 2019? If so, fall head over heels for 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! 

Decade Determination


Published: 12/30/2019



2020 not only brings a new year, but a new decade. There's of course no way to know exactly what the next decade will bring, but real estate experts have made their predictions for what the housing market could look like in this next year -

Mortgage Median

Mortgage rates are expected to stay at their low rate for most of 2020, according to Forbes and data from Freddie Mac. Current rates are at 3.75% and are expected to remain between 3.7% and 3.9%. Realtor.com's 2020 Housing Report supports this, predicting that the year will end with rates at 3.88%.
Ben Lane with HousingWire says this rate will make 2020 a popular year for refinancing.
In 2019, reports showed that it was the best year for refis since 2016, and Freddie Mac experts are predicting $834 billion in refinance originations in 2020.
The low rates will benefit home buyers as well, with Freddie Mac predicting $1.299 trillion in purchase originations to start the new decade. Sean Hundtofte, with chief economist with lender Better.com, told Forbes this will allow homebuyers to "be able to afford more house than they would have otherwise."


Price Point 

According to chief economist at Realtor.com Danielle Hale, price will be the major selling point for 2020.
"Many people would prefer to live in the San Fransiscos and other big cities, but for the right price they will make the decision to go to another city," she said.
Forbes says home prices are expected to rise because of inventory shortages and high demand. Experts are predicting prices to raise 5.6% by September of 2020, and the lower-end of price ranges will be hit hardest due to lack of new starter homes.
Ralph DeFranco, chief economist for Archer AMI told Forbes, "low interest rates and a shortage of starter homes will continue to push up prices. This is especially the case for lower price points, since builders have tended to focus on more expensive, higher-profit houses and less on replenishing low inventories of entry-level homes."

Millennial Movers 

A large portion of millennials will be turning 30 in 2020 - the prime age to buy a first home, according to Realtor.com, and the oldest millennial will be turning only 39. Therefore, this generation will dominate the market.
According to Hale, millennials will hold more than 50% of mortgages by mid-2020, and despite the belief that the generation doesn't want to settle down, many are at the age where they have started having families and are ready to establish roots.
However, these potential buyers will face many difficulties, as older generations are choosing to remain in place, keeping many homes off the market.
This is pushing millennials to "Hipsturbia," according to Forbes. These young homebuyers are looking to suburban markets outside of major cities that offer live-work-play neighborhoods and walkability to many amenities.

Look Locally 

While it's important to look at market predictions across a national level, Caroline Feeney with Forbes reminds agents to focus on the local picture. Geography, affordability, jobs, and others are all nuanced factors that play a role in a local market.
George Ratiu, chief economist for realtor.com, told Feeney that 2020 will bring a lot more "differentiation between various markets."
In Atlanta, forecasts show a split down the middle between the city and the surrounding metro area as millennials flock to "Hipsturbia." This split will see lots of activity and growth in lower price points, and "softer price points driven by weaker demand and the affordability ceiling at the higher end." According to Forbes, Atlanta is predicted to see home values in the bottom tier raising 10%, while raising just 2.1% in the top tier.

Again, you can never be certain of what the new year will bring - but we can be sure to see many changes in real estate in 2020 and the following decade. Be sure to keep your eyes on local markets and follow us here at Perrie & Associates as we share the latest news and trends! Here's to a wonderful new year of growth!

(New) Home for the Holidays


Published: 12/10/2019




We all know the holiday season is busy. Between office parties, school functions, and shopping for friends and family, it seems like there's always something to do. If you're moving during this time of the year . . . well, you're probably debating if this really is the "most wonderful time of the year."

But not to worry! In addition to having a new home for the holidays, there are a few things you can do to add some cheer and have a stress-free winter move!

Give the Gift of Movers (Or at least some help) 

Holidays are not only a busy time, but it's also a costly time of year. However, the experts at Realtor.com say: splurge on a moving company. While it will increase your moving expenses, it can save you the stress of making multiple trips - allowing you more time to focus on holidays festivities. Maybe cut back on gifts for others (or yourself), and give yourself the gift of time and extra help for a stress-free move.
If movers just aren't in the budget, think about having a "holiday helping party" and recruiting a few friends or family members to help. They can consider it their gift to you this year!

Timing

Winter isn't peak moving season, which has it's benefits; however, the holiday season is one the busiest travel times of the year. Consider this when planning your move.
According to Moving.com, one of the busiest shopping days (and therefore traffic days) is "Super Saturday," or the Saturday before Christmas. Weekends are also of course going to be traffic-filled as people make their way to the stores, and you can expect lots of travel on the week before Christmas. So, if you can, try to book a weekday move. This can reduce the amount of time it takes for you to move, as well as reduce road rage on top of moving stress.
In addition to booking a weekday move, Realtor.com says don't forget to ask for a holiday discount. Because it's not peak season, moving companies may be feeling the holiday spirit!

Donate

Speaking of the holiday spirit, moving is a great time to donate some of your unused or unwanted items. As you are packing, start trying to trim down on you possessions, and create separate boxes or bags for items you can donate. Goodwill, Habitat for Humanity, and the Salvation Army can be contacted to come collect your items. Pairing down your belongings will help eliminate a few boxes that you would otherwise have to move, and it's a wonderful thing to do at this time of year!

Family Matters

If you're moving with family and school-aged children, getting used to a new school and environment in the middle of the school year can be difficult. Help them during this time by preparing all of their education documents included transcripts, report cards, immunization records, and test reports. Contact your child's old school to ensure that documents will get transferred to the new school, and what, if anything, you need to bring to your child's new school. Also work with your child to get to know their new school as much as possible before the bell rings in January.
If you're normally the host of the holiday family gathering, consider taking a rain check for this year. Moving on it's own is stressful - let alone trying to move and set up and decorate a new home to be ready for guests. Ask if another family member can host this year, and next year you can show off your new home!

Trim the Tree

It's hard to feel the holiday spirit in an empty new house. But it's also hard to decorate a brand new home while you're also trying to unpack. You don't have to forgo decorations though, just pack accordingly! While you're boxing up your things, pack your holiday decorations last, and move them in first. Be sure they are labeled, and you can take them directly into the living room to give your new house that holiday feel. If you're someone who goes all-out with holiday decorations, maybe consider scaling it back a bit this year and just use some of your favorites.

Moving during the holidays can be daunting, but it will also be worth it. You will be celebrating a magical time of year in a new home, and you'll have a fabulous fresh start for the new year! 


Plenty to Be Thankful For


Published: 11/26/2019



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

I am thankful for the love and support of my family, and I'm thankful for the gift of another day. I'm also thankful that I am able to still fit into my clothes after the array of food and desserts that were brought into the office this year! :)

Stacie Upchurch 

I am thankful for my faith, for my family, for my husband, my health, for this great country that so many have fought for, for the beautiful home I live in, and most importantly - all of the love that fills it. I am also very grateful for being privileged enough to have spent that last year 8 plus years working at P&A and getting to spend every day doing what I love. My teammates that comprise my work family and the amazing clients we serve make my days so rewarding. Whenever I encounter a struggle or a challenging situation, all I have to do is look around me and I will always find the support I need to navigate the terrain. Happy Thanksgiving!

Sherynda Patrick 

I am thankful to be a mom to such a wonderful daughter, and I am thankful for my work family!

Cheryl Ethridge-Morton 

I'm grateful for family and friends (both two-legged and four-legged) and the love they share!

Emily Selby 

This year I am grateful for new opportunities and the support I have received from my family and friends. I am also thankful for my incredible fiance who inspires me and has shown me more love, encouragement, and support than I could imagine. I'm thankful for those who make me laugh each day and for a bright future ahead!

Stephanie Lee 

I am so very thankful for God's blessings! This has been a troublesome year for my family, yet we are safe and healthy. I am also thankful to continue my career here at Perrie & Associates with the ability to progress and learn new areas of law.

David Perrie 

I am thankful for the wonderful people who work at our firm and that are so passionate about the success we have enjoyed and making sure that our clients know how much we value their support. I am also thankful for my family and to live in this great country!

Jennifer Compton

This year I am especially thankful for the health of my family. I'm thankful that we live close enough that I'll be able to spend Thanksgiving with my parents, siblings, and their kids. All 32 of us in one space is . . . a lot - but I wouldn't change it for the world, and I'll be hugging each and every one of them and telling them I love them!

Christine Bersani 

This year I am thankful for my beautiful family, friends, Perrie & Associates, and not having to shovel snow anymore! I am already looking forward to an awesome 2020 and what it has in store! :)

Brett LeFevre 

I'm thankful for my co-workers and the opportunity to spend time with friends and family that I don't see very often throughout the year.

Spencer Knott 

I'm thankful for our firm's revised turkey policy. Gravy can easily be washed out of closing documents, and I still don't think a one-time incident should ruin it for everyone else!

Brad Raymer 

I am thankful for God, family, and freedom in this blessed country. I am also thankful for this wonderful group of people with whom I work.

Linda May 

Every day I open my eyes and thank God for my health, my family, my friends, and my job at Perrie. It gives me purpose and an opportunity to give back to my community as well as to my agent and lender friends. It also gives me the chance to work with some of the finest people in this business that have the skills and caring to go the extra mile to help people and show what they are made of. I am so proud of this firm I could pop! I love you guys!

Gayle Willingham 

I am thankful for my God, health, family and friends. This year has been a hard year with some health issues, and I am thankful that I am healthy again. We sometimes take our health for granted, but if we have our health, we can enjoy life with our family and friends. I am thankful to live in the USA and enjoy the life of the Brave and the Free. God bless each one of you this Thanksgiving Season!

Gabriela Pacheco 

I am thankful for the love and support of my friends this year. Friends are just the family you pick.

Dawn Hinton

I am thankful for the people in my life who encourage me to be a better person.

David Phillips 

I am thankful for my family, my friends, and my health. I hope that 2020 brings on a new year of positive vibes and amazing adventures!

All of us at Perrie & Associates are thankful for your loyalty and business, and we wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Haunting Home - Creating a Last-Minute Halloween House


Published: 10/27/2019


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!


Say Cheese - The Importance of Professional Photography


Published: 9/29/2019



We've all been there.

You're shopping on Amazon when something suddenly catches your eye. You click on the new item. Read the description, maybe check out a few reviews, and suddenly - it's in your cart and being shipped to your house.

But what was it that caught your eye?

The price? Probably unlikely. The catchy product name? Perhaps. Most likely? It was the image. And we bet that if there were several pictures of that item you clicked, you looked through each one before you made your purchase.

Images sell. They draw us to a product. They help us put a face with the name of a person we may hire. They grab our attention to look at one advertisement above all the others crowding our screens.

When it comes to real estate, this fact is no different. When listing a home, photos are simply a must. You may think the photos are something you can handle, but you may want to reconsider.

iPhone cameras are constantly improving, but when it comes to selling a home, a quick shot from your device just isn't going to cut it. To really sell your home, it's important to invest in professional photography.

According to PRNewswire, a study done by VHT Studios, one of the nation's largest real estate photography businesses, showed that listing that featured professional photography sold 32% faster than those that didn't.

Not only that, but listing with more photos sell faster too, and according to a 2013 study by Redfin, homes featuring professional photography sold for more money as well.

So how do you tell the difference between what's amateur and what's professional?

For starters, quality equipment is essential. Your iPhone may be convenient, but a DSLR camera provides images that are colorful, crisp, and high quality, and there are also a variety of options with different lens sizes and lighting. This equipment doesn't come cheap, however, and it takes years of experience to learn the ins and outs of all the camera's capabilities.

According to Redfin's national photography manager Drew Larrigan, the equipment doesn't make the photograph. "The number one thing people get wrong with listing photography is having the mindset that anyone can do it and deliver a beautiful photo," he said. "There is a lot of behind-the-scenes work you don't see, capturing layers of [...] images to create one beautiful shot."

These layers Larrigan refers to are added and compiled in the editing stages to capture all the shadows and highlights in the room and create beautiful window views from the listing.

If you're wondering how you can tell the difference, check out these side-by-side comparisons. In the professionally shot images, the whites are whiter, the rooms look larger and more inviting, and the focus points of the home are clear.

Once you decide to hire a professional, there are a few things you can do to prepare the space. Clearing clutter from surfaces, cleaning windows, replacing lights, and removing personal items can all help to make your home stand out in photographs. Check here for other suggestions to make your home's photoshoot run smoothly.

Overall, the decision to hire professional real estate photographers can only improve your listing's chances. And, the investment in photography will return itself when your home sells quicker and for more money than any other home on the block! So tell your home to say cheese, and get it sold!

Owner's Title Insurance - An Easy Decision


Published: 9/3/2019



Countless decisions go into purchasing a home: location, architectural style, neighborhood, moving date - the list goes on and on. One decision owners face when buying real estate is whether to purchase owner's title insurance.

While many choices in the home-buying process require much consideration, a decision about owner's title insurance should be one of the easiest. After all, if you buy insurance for your car, why wouldn't you insure what will most likely be the biggest investment you'll ever make?

Technically speaking, owner's title insurance is optional. But again, when trying to decide if you should protect the most important purchasae in your life, the option is pretty clear.

Most people think of insurance as payment to protect from a future event - like when you buy car insurance to protect you from an accident that may happen in the future.

Title insurance is different. It protects your from future losses based on past events before you acquired the property. This can include a claim of easement, an encroachment or boundary line dispute, or a lien or claim that originated with a prior owner.

Now you may be asking, "shouldn't those issues be found before I buy my home?" The easy answer is yes - because otherwise you wouldn't be signing at our closing table! A title search will produce the liens and any prior issues associated with a property as well as utility easements; however, it won't reveal a person's claim of easement to walk across the property.

In addition, because Georgia law provides no judicial oversight of any foreclosure action, the title exam may not reveal if the foreclosed-upon prior owner has an objection to the foreclosure and intends to assert it as some point in the future. 

Chicago Title Insurance Company puts it best, saying  "title insurance is issued after a careful examination of copies of the public records. But even the most thorough search cannot absolutely assure that no title hazards are present, despite the knowledge and experience of professional title examiners. In addition to matters shown by public records, other title problems may exist that cannot be disclosed in a search."

Buyers may also be hesitant to purchase insurance because they think the home they are buying is in a safe, well-designed neighborhood and the "title should be fine." But just because there is an established HOA in a settled neighborhood doesn't mean that issues can't come up in the future.

What if the contractor built the home on the wrong footprint, and now the driveway extends 6 feet onto the adjacent lot? The HOA could have approved the build without thinking too much of it, but now the owner of the adjacent lot wants to build on his property, which is where your driveway sits!

The great thing about an owner's title insurance policy is that there is a one time premium. The premium is paid at the time of closing, and then that's it for as long as you own the property. 

No, owner's title insurance is not required, but for the lender, it is. And their insurance only protects the lender, and offers nothing to the homeowner. The lender purchases title insurance for every single property, and if they feel that it is so important to protect that property, why wouldn't you?

An owner's title insurance policy is one you hope to never need - but when you do, it is invaluable. We at Perrie & Associates have great relations with several title insurance companies, and strongly suggest owner's purchase a policy to protect their greatest investment!

Back to School!


Published: 7/31/2019

Today marks a new month, and for many counties in the state, including Cobb and Cherokee, a new season - the school season! 

The first day of school is officially here, and for many students, it may be their first day in an entirely new school. 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 children for that transition, we have a few tips to make the school year go off without a hitch and have your kids jumping off the bus with a big smile!

Encourage Participation 

A 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.

Talk it Up 

While it's important to make sure your child is ready with supplies, 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 ask them what they are excited about, what they are nervous about, and any questions they may have about their new school. After school has started, ask them about their day and what they're learning. Continue to check in with them so you can monitor how they're fitting in. 

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 the same when they get home. If you approach the new community with a positive attitude, your kids will follow suit!


Post-Closing Practices


Published: 7/10/2019



We know this busy season of real estate can be hectic, but it's never bad idea to take a moment to look back at some basics. 

We recently went back over the closing process, but what happens after the papers are signed and the keys have been exchanged? 

The work doesn't stop there, so here's a synopsis of what happens post-closing, including what we handle after you've signed, and what you should do too! 

Our job

  • Disbursement - Many checks are often disbursed at the closing table, but any wires and checks not given out at closing will be distributed afterward. The closer will get the file back and review it to ensure all documents have been properly executed in compliance with the bank's requirements, and checks will be mailed out to the appropriate location and wires will be sent out by the closing attorney. 
  • Deeds and Recording - The warranty deed is signed at closing and shows that a clear title has passed from the seller to the buyer. A security deed is signed when a mortgage loan is taken out in Georgia, and shows the terms of the loan and places a lien on the property until the mortgage is paid. Both of these deeds must be recorded with the Clerk of Superior Court in the respective county where the property was sold to show the transfer of ownership.After closing, our post closer will review the deeds and check the legal descriptions for accuracy before sending them to the clerk's office with checks for recording fees. Once received, the clerk will stamp the original and record a copy of the documents in the public records/deed books. The stamped and recorded original is returned to our office. The buyer will receive a copy of the stamped warranty deed for their records, and a copy of the stamped security deed will be sent to the lender. 
  • Documentation - Part of the post-closing process is sending documents from closing to various parties involved in the closing. This can include homeowner's associations that need a copy of the warranty deed, to agents who need copies of the closing disclosure. We will ensure that all parties receive the necessary documents they need to record your closing. 

What you can do
  • Little Red Book - At closing, you will receive one of our famous red booklets, a staple of Perrie & Associates. This book is all of the documents you signed at closing, condensed down into 8.5 x 11. Keep this book! It is so important for you to keep your closing package in a safe place. It's great to have for your records in case anything may come up. If it does, you've got all your information and all the terms of your closing right there at your fingertips.
  • Check the mail - As we noted above, you will be receiving some documents or checks through the mail after closing. Don't forget to be on the lookout for this paperwork - and be sure to check your bank account if you will be receiving a wire.
  • Homestead Exemption - In the new year following your closing, it will be time to think about taxes. From January through April, home buyers who purchased a property in the last year can apply from a homestead tax exemption.
    A homestead exemption is a reduction on the homeowner's property taxes, and the amount of the deduction is determined from the assessed value of the home. To qualify, homeowners need to apply with their county tax office. Each county has a different deadline between January and April, so be sure to check with your tax office on when to apply. 
We pride ourselves in continuing to a source of support for everyone who has closed with us. We maintain secure, electronic copies of all documents related to every file we have closed to date. For any questions regarding post closing, please email postclosing@perrielaw.com, or ask for our post closing department. 

Market Check In


Published: 6/24/2019



We are halfway through 2019.

Yes, you read that sentence correctly. It's hard to believe, but this year is really already halfway over! With school getting out and summer starting, it's easy to forget how quickly time has flown by, but it is important to take a moment and check in with how you're doing so far this year.

So, we figured we would check in with the real estate market and see how things are going at the halfway point for 2019.

Mortgage Rates Raise Questions

After decreasing for months, the mortgage rate seemed to pause last week, leading some to believe that they may be leveling out.
According to The Washington Post, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rate was 3.82% last week. The 15-year fixed-rate average slipped to 3.26%, and the 5-year adjustable rate landed at 3.51%, down from 3.52% a week prior.
Rates have dropped throughout 2019, and according to Market Watch, have only reason 7 weeks this year. Currently, experts are torn on what will happen to the trend of mortgage rates.
Shashank Shekar, CEO of Arcus Lending, told the Washington Post he expects rates to continue to fall looking at inflation numbers and federal spending. Elizabeth Rose, a certified mortgage planning specialist at AmCap Home Loans, told the Post however that she expects rates to remain steady as trade talks continue and inflation numbers remain "tame."

Slow Sales 

Despite low mortgage rates, homes are selling slowly, and although there was a slight increase in home sales for May, the market is underperforming according to experts.
First American Chief Economist Mark Fleming told Housing Wire that we are in a "homebody era" and many homeowners feel "rate-locked into their homes."
"Looking ahead, more than half of all existing-homes are owned by baby boomers and the silent generation and they will eventually age out of homeownership," Fleming said. "But right now, housing supply remains tight - you can't but what's not (for) sale - and market potential is lower because of it."
According to the Wall Street Journal, existing home sales have fallen for 15 straight months; however, there is hope on the horizon according the NAR, as May ended with 1.92 million homes available, up from last year.
While some homeowners are starting to realize the selling potential, as one Realtor told the Journal, it's not the push that everyone was expecting or wanting this summer season.

Home Value Increase Slows 

While home values are up from where they were this time last year, it seems the increase is starting to slow down.
According to Yahoo Finance, 33 of the 35 top U.S. Markets slowed in May, with the exceptions of Indianapolis and Cincinnati. The average U.S. home value fell in May, which is the second monthly decline after 85 months of back-to-back increases. The average U.S. home value sat at $226,800 in May.
Although two months of decline after an 85 month growth period may seem alarming, Yahoo Finance says the decline is showing that home values are "flattening." Some experts say the slowdown is welcome, and returns a sense of "normalcy" to home values after an aggressive season for buyers. Regardless of feelings, market trends point to this "flattening" of home values to remain.

Realtor Opinion 

In May of this year, the National Association of Realtors released the Realtors Confidence Index, a report based on a monthly survey sent to over 50,000 real estate professionals.
The survey reported that properties were on the market for an average of 26 days, and first-time buyers accounted for 32% of sales. Of those who were surveyed, 82% said they saw home prices remain constant or increase during the month of May, and cash sales accounted for 19% of deals.
With regard to the top issues in the market, Realtors surveyed said low inventory and interest rates were the biggest factors affecting the market.
To see more from the survey, check out the report here.

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!