Welcome to the Atlanta Home Communities blog --
Lake Lanier Real Estate located in Buford, Georgia   

Join our blog discussions. Read news and information on real estate trends in national markets and happenings in our local Atlanta communities in the Buford, Lake Lanier, Braselton, and Flowery Branch, Georgia neighborhoods. Stay connected with us here and on social media for current resources and entertainment events in greater Atlanta, Georgia.  

Feb. 24, 2016

View the "The Greatest Show On Earth" this Weekend

The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus X-TREME is here in Gwinnett at the Infinite Energy Center and ends this weekend.  As you may already know, this is an event everyone must experience at least once in their lifetime!  Its been around for 140 years and still dazzles us today!  

If you have not seen the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus before, you are in for a treat.  You will be amazed by all the extraordinary tricks and stunts you will see.  Most of these circus spectacles are things that you’ve never seen before and that can’t be seen anywhere else but at The Greatest Show On Earth.  Its an exhilarating adventure with extraordinary circus artists and magnificent exotic animals! It’s a great family fun adventure and is great for all ages!  

There are multiple shows time today thru Sunday February 28, 2016.  It’s time to have XTREME fun with your family! Get your tickets today by clicking here.


Posted in Entertainment
Feb. 19, 2016

Is Atlanta Ready for the Millennial Invasion?

According to Realtor.com,  Atlanta is the number one destination for millennials in 2016.  Millennials are loosely defined as those group of individuals who reached adulthood around the turn of the 21st century (currently ages 18-34).  

Millennials seem to be drawn to the urban lifestyle, however, many of these millennials are not yet able to afford the world renowned urban metropolises such as Los Angeles or New York City.  Millennials are therefore turning to places that are more affordable, have plenty of jobs available, as well as a booming nightlife.

Source: Realtor.com

Posted in Buyers, Sellers
Feb. 17, 2016

Gwinnett Home Prices for January are In!

From January 2015 to January 2016, the median sales price of single family homes in Gwinnett increased from $182,000 to $192,625 which represents an increase of 5.8% while the average sales price from the same period increased from $218,817 to $223,572 representing only a 2.2% price increase.  This difference in price appreciation represents an increased demand for lower priced homes in Gwinnett for 2016.

Comparing January 2015 to January 2016, the number of homes listed for sale decreased by 11.9% while the number of homes sold increased by 13.2%.  This represents a stronger Seller's Market for 2016 over 2015.  The decline in the average number of days on the market for for sold properties (from 76 to 63) also reinforces a stronger Seller's Market for 2016.  With the limited supply of homes on the market,  along with a strong buyer demand, we can expect to see a continued rise in home prices in Gwinnett for 2016.  

Source For Home Sales Data: GAMLS  


Posted in Buyers, Sellers
Feb. 11, 2016

Is Your Home Ready To Sell?

Getting your home “ready to sell” can be a daunting task, especially if you are currently living in the home. However, there is one very important thing for sellers to understand when trying to sell a home: how you currently choose to live in the home, and how you stage the home for maximum reward are usually two entirely different things. When staging your property to sell, there are three main things you need to do to put the home in its most saleable condition.

  • De-personalize. You want the buyers to feel as if they could move right into your house without changing a thing. Any personal pictures or artifacts left out will make it more difficult for the buyer to begin envisioning themselves taking ownership of the house, because they are being constantly reminded of the current owners.
  • De-clutter. Remove any clutter left on kitchen countertops, tables, floors, bookshelves, etc. Clutter will cause your home to feel smaller than it really is. Clutter will also draw attention away from your properties unique features.
  • Neutralize. Why is it that if you walk into the model home of any large successful builder today, you will find almost all neutral colors? Because builders are professional home sellers! They know what causes homes to sell! It is common for sellers to think “I shouldn’t change the paint or flooring because the buyer will want to choose their own colors.” In reality though, buyers buy on emotion, not on logic. They will walk through your home and either have great or negative feelings. Yes, there are buyers out there that can see past paint colors, but the vast majority of buyers don’t have the same personal tastes as you do and they don’t have the vision to see beyond the colors. You will be turning away 80% of the market who only want homes that are ready to move in.


  • First Impressions Matter: You only get one chance to make a solid first impression, and those initial 10 seconds can make or break your sale. Look at your entryway. Is it clean and free of clutter?
  • Create Curb Appeal. Part of a buyer’s first impression will be judged by your landscaping and the outdoor maintenance of your property. Manicure the bushes, mow the lawn, and plant pretty flowers. Work to create an impressive exterior, one that will draw buyers in!
  • When in doubt, paint! There is nothing that can improve the value and salability of a home more than a fewcans of fresh paint. Be sure to stick with neutral colors to maximize value.
  • Clean everything! Cleanliness signals that a home has been well cared for. Get the carpet professionally cleaned as well. Leave the home smelling fresh and clean throughout!
  • Let the light in. Pull back curtains and install bright light bulbs. Bright rooms feel larger and are more inviting.
  • Pack up all non-essential items and move them to a non-conspicuous place in your home. Better yet, place these items in a storage unit so that buyers do not see them at all and do not ascertain your motivation to move from your home. Many storage facilities offer great incentives especially during the first month of occupancy.


  • Have I done everything that I can reasonably do to WOW buyers as they walk through the door?
  • Is the house neat and clean? Does the house smell good?
  • Do I have any deferred maintenance that should be taken care of or that could cause the home not to close due to a buyer inspection or appraisal?
  • Do I have anything that is a significant issue with regards to housekeeping or the yard?
  • If I have not completed any of the items above, am I comfortable getting less money for my home than I otherwise would have expected?


Posted in Sellers
Feb. 8, 2016

The Savannah Sipping Society is Coming To Buford!

The Savannah Sipping Society is a delightful, laugh-a-minute comedy, four unique Southern women, all needing to escape the sameness of their day-to-day routines, are drawn together by Fate – and an impromptu happy hour – and decide it’s high time to reclaim the enthusiasm for life they’ve lost through the years. Randa, a perfectionist and workaholic, is struggling to cope with a surprise career derailment that, unfortunately, reveals that she has no life and no idea how to get one. Dot, still reeling from her husband’s recent demise and the loss of their plans for an idyllic retirement, faces the unsettling prospect of starting a new life from scratch – and all alone. Earthy and boisterous, Marlafaye, a good ol’ Texas gal, has blasted into Savannah in the wake of losing her tom-cattin’ husband to a twenty-three-year-old dental hygienist. The strength of her desire to establish a new life is equaled only by her desire to wreak a righteous revenge on her ex. Also new to town, Jinx, a spunky ball of fire, offers her services as a much-needed life coach for these women. However, blinded by her determination and efforts to get their lives on track, she overlooks the fact that she’s the one most in need of sage advice. Over the course of six months, filled with laughter, hilarious misadventures and the occasional liquid refreshment, these middle-aged women successfully bond and find the confidence to jumpstart their new lives. Together, they discover lasting friendships and a renewed determination to live in the moment – and most importantly – realize it’s never too late to make old friends. 

The Savannah Sipping Societ will be performed on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays  from February 11th to February 28th, 2016 at the Buford Community Center’s Sylvia Beard Theatre. Tickets are $20 to $25 and can be purchased directly through the Buford Community Center website.

Posted in Entertainment
Feb. 4, 2016

Penske Truck Rental Announces Atlanta as the 2015 Top Moving Destination!

If you love living in the South, you are not alone! Penske Truck Rental recently announced the top ten moving destinations for 2015 and Atlanta finished first for the 6th year in a row!  According to Penske Truck Rental, "there have been two constants: our customers continue relocating en masse to the Sun Belt region of the United States and Atlanta winds up as the premier destination."

Penske Truck Rental 2015 Top Moving Destinations

  1. Atlanta (1)
  2. Phoenix (4)
  3. Tampa/Sarasota (2)
  4. Dallas/Fort Worth (3)
  5. Orlando (5)
  6. Denver (7)
  7. Houston (8)
  8. Seattle (6)
  9. Las Vegas (10)
  10. Chicago (9)

Previous year’s ranking in parentheses


Posted in Buyers
Feb. 3, 2016

Selling a Home - A Buyer's Perspective

To sell your home quickly and for top dollar, you have to think of yourself as a buyer. What did you do the last time you purchased a home? You probably established a location (or geographic area) that you were looking to purchase in. You probably had a budget based on the price you could afford or that you were willing to pay for a home. You probably had some required features (such as the number of bedrooms and baths) along with other desired features that you may have been more flexible on (such as a pool, a fenced in yard, or an extra bathroom). You probably looked at 8 – 20 homes, in which 3 or 4 of them stood out as great values. You then probably then made an offer on two or three of those homes to have one offer accepted.

What were the factors that affected the price you paid for the home?

  • Supply and demand of homes that met your required and desired features
  • Current economic and market conditions in the area
  • The asking and selling price of comparable homes on the market
  • The condition and features of the comparable homes in your price range
  • Your overall perception of the home compared to others you viewed

What were factors that had little or no influence on your offer price?

  • The amount the seller paid for the home
  • The seller’s expected net proceeds
  • The amount the seller had spent on improvements during home ownership

From a buyer’s perspective, buyers simply buy the best home, with the most desirable features for the best price. To sell your home and draw in offers, it has to stand out as one of the best two or three properties that the buyer has looked at within their given price range. Is your home a home they would want to buy?

Posted in Sellers
Feb. 1, 2016

Spring 2016 Metro Atlanta Home Price Update

Home valuation
As you may know , the Fed recently raised interest rates. Don’t worry. You won’t see the cost of mortgages going up much. It’s only a 0.25% rate hike.  However, as the Atlanta economy improves, interest rates will likely rise further making it more expensive to buy a home.  If you’re thinking of selling your home, this affects you now…
Your home will sell for its maximum price in 2016. The upcoming spring and summer selling season is going to be hot.  Not many homes are for sale in the Atlanta area right now  – inventory is very tight.  Home buyers will also begin to make motivated offers to get ahead of inevitable future interest rate hikes.  All this generates more demand for your home now.
As you know, home prices in many Atlanta neighborhoods went up considerably in 2015 and are at all time highs.  Prices in most areas of Atlanta are higher today than in 2007 when the real estate market collapsed.  There’s a very strong chance your home is one of them. We recommend you check the current market value of your home. We pay to get access to all the local MLS data and you can get it for free on our website.
Click Here to get an instant price update on your home.  (You will get access to real local MLS data - it’s free for you)
Enter your property address and you’ll get a recommended selling price range for your home based on the recent sales of your neighbors homes.
You may be very surprised at your price – it’s likely to have gone up!  Now this website tool is just an estimate. However, if you’re serious about selling your home, We can give you a very accurate asking price.
Call us at 678-546-7387 with details of your home so we can get started on your home analysis.
And of course if you’re not interested in selling your home, rest easy knowing we are in a healthy real estate market with appreciating prices.
If we can ever be of service to you buying or selling a home, We are here!
Posted in Buyers, Sellers
Jan. 13, 2016

BEWARE of this pair!

LAWRENCEVILLE, GA -- A Decatur man and his female sidekick have been posing as real estate agents and ripping off prospective home renters in Gwinnett County and elsewhere in metro Atlanta, police say.

Gwinnett authorities are looking for information about the pair, who, according to a police news release, have been finding vacant-home listings on the internet, then creating their own, fake listings advertising the homes at affordable prices.

The listings on Craigslist often attempt to suck potential victims in with promises of no credit checks.

Investigators detailed three scams the couple is suspected of in the news release.

In the first, a couple contacted the suspects regarding what was supposedly a rental home in Lawrenceville. The suspects showed the vacant home to the couple, then took $2,200 as a payment. The couple moved in, only to have an actual real estate agent show up a couple of days later with a prospective renter.

The victims’ phone calls to the female suspect went unanswered.

In the second case, a victim gave the female suspect $3,600, only to later see a news report of a similar scam and get suspicious. The victim researched the Lawrenceville rental home she had inspected and discovered the woman claiming to be an agent wasn’t associated with the actual real estate company.

And in the third, a victim sent the suspects $1,300 and had moved some belongings into yet another Lawrenceville home, only to return and find the locks had been changed by the actual agents.

Police believe the couple has pulled off similar scams in Cobb County, Fulton County and the city of Newnan.

The male suspect is Julius Ball, 30, of Decatur. He was arrested for a similar con job in Newnan, but was later released on bond.

The female suspect is more of a mystery.

She has used the aliases “Camilla Jones,” “Melissa Hyatt” and simply “Star.”

Investigators are seeking additional victims, as well as anyone who may have information about the two suspects’ whereabouts. They are encouraged to contact the Gwinnett County Police electronic and financial crimes unit at (770) 513-5300.

Posted in Renters
Dec. 31, 2015

New Year's Resolutions

Just 8% of people achieve their New Year's Resolutions. Here's how they do it...


Let me guess: You want to lose weight in 2016, or maybe just eat healthier. Perhaps you want to spend less money or spend more time with your friends and family.


I know I do.


Self-improvement, or at least the desire for it, is a shared American hobby. It’s why so many of us—some estimates say more than 40% of Americans—make New Year’s resolutions. (For comparison, about one-third of Americans watch the Super Bowl.)


But for all the good intentions, only a tiny fraction of us keep our resolutions; University of Scranton research suggests that just 8% of people achieve their New Year’s goals.


Why do so many people fail at goal-setting, and what are the secrets behind those who succeed? The explosion of studies into how the brain works has more experts attempting to explain the science behind why we make resolutions—and more relevantly, how we can keep them.


Keep it Simple


Many people use the New Year as an opportunity to make large bucket lists or attempt extreme makeovers, whether personal or professional.


That’s a nice aspiration, experts say—but the average person has so many competing priorities that this type of approach is doomed to failure. Essentially, shooting for the moon can be so psychologically daunting, you end up failing to launch in the first place.


So “this year, I’m keeping my resolution list short,” says Chris Berdik, a science journalist and the author of “Mind Over Mind. “I think my earlier laundry lists made it easier to abandon.”


And it’s more sensible to set “small, attainable goals throughout the year, rather than a singular, overwhelming goal,”according to psychologist Lynn Bufka. “Remember, it is not the extent of the change that matters, but rather the act of recognizing that lifestyle change is important and working toward it, one step at a time,” Bufka adds.


Make it Tangible


Setting ambitious resolutions can be fun and inspiring, but the difficulty in achieving them means that your elation can quickly give way to frustration. That’s why goals should be bounded by rational, achievable metrics.


“A resolution to lose some weight is not that easy to follow,” notes Roy Baumeister, a social psychologist.


“It is much easier to follow a plan that says no potato chips, fries, or ice cream for six weeks.”


And be specific. Don’t say you’re “going to start going to the gym” in 2013—set a clear ambition, like attending a weekly spin class or lifting weights every Tuesday or Thursday.


“We say if you can’t measure it, it’s not a very good resolution because vague goals beget vague resolutions,” says John Norcross of the University of Scranton.


Make it Obvious


Experts recommend charting your goals in some fashion, although there’s no universal strategy for success. For some, making a clear to-do list is enough of a reminder; others rely on “vision boards” or personal diaries.

An emerging tactic: share your goals with your friends and family. It’s another way to build accountability, especially in the Facebook era.


For example, after a woman named Anna Newell Jones ran more than $23,600 into debt, she made a New Year’s resolution to work her way out of it–and publicly. As part of that effort, Newell Jones launched a blog,And Then We Saved, to chronicle her attempt to go from shopaholic to spendthrift; in less than a year and a half, she’d paid off her debt.


Sharing the resolutions is a good way to hold yourself to them.


Keep Believing You Can Do It


To be clear: Simply setting a goal does raise your chances of achieving that goal, significantly.


But within weeks or months, people begin abandoning their resolutions as they hit bumps in the road that throw them off their stride.


More often than not, people who fail to keep their resolutions blame their own lack of willpower. In surveys, these would-be resolvers repeatedly say that if only they had more self-determination, they would’ve overcome any hurdles and achieved their goals.


But writing at the Los Angeles Times, Berdik points to an emerging body of research that willpower is malleable. In one study led by a Stanford University psychologist, scientists gauged whether test subjects believed they could exhaust their willpower, and sought to convince them otherwise. The researchers found that people “performed better or worse [on tests] depending on their belief in the durability of willpower.”


You have as much willpower as you think you have, essentially. Which means that on some level, your journey toward self-improvement will be a self-fulfilling prophecy.


Best wishes for a happy, healthy New Year. Here’s hoping that 2016 will be a joyful one for the world, and a year where all of us get one step closer to the people that we want to be.


Posted in Entertainment