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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

GNFCC 06/28/11 Eggs & Enterprise - Jeff Mango, Verizon Wireless

Brandon Beach, GNFCC President & CEO, introduced Jeff Mango, President, Verizon Wireless Georgia/Alabama Region, as the featured speaker, at the Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce Eggs & Enterprise breakfast at the Metropolitan Club on Tuesday, June 28, 2011.  
Jeff Mango told us that Verizon Wireless has 5,000 employees in the state of Georgia with 3,000 of those employees in the North Fulton Area.   He discussed the changes in technology starting from 1973 with the first cell phone shaped like a brick that had huge batteries.   He told us that text messaging was first started in 1993, but did not catch on with the public until 2000 or 2001.   The Motorola Star Tact was the first modern cell phone invented in 1996 which cost $2000.   Average monthly cost of cell phone bills has lowered from around $200 in the 1990’s to around $50 today.   Another common device is the GPS whether on cell phones, in cars or on computers.   Social networking has changed everything.   In the year 2000, we had around 100 million people using cell phones while we have 255 million cell phone users in 2010.   There are about 2.4 million people in the wireless industry today.  The goal for wireless is to have everything we use work together so our systems are all connected.  
The Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors for 2011 are Lee Doernberg and Terry Kime for all their work with the GNFCC Johns Creek Alliance Networking.
Frazier and Deeter, L.L.C. certified public accountants and advisors, were the sponsors for this great event at the Metropolitan Club in Alpharetta.  

Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce
Eggs & Enterprise at the Metropolitan Club
Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce
Eggs & Enterprise at the Metropolitan Club,
Jeff Mango, Presidnet, Verizon Wireless GA.AL Region,
Jeff Mango,  Presidnet, Verizon Wireless GA.AL Region,
Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce
Eggs & Enterprise at the Metropolitan Club

The Importance of Enhanced Title Insurance and Surveys - Attorney Steve Golden

Sandy Henderson, Carol Skowronek, Lynn Odom, Nina French,
Laurie  Bos, Pam Santoro, John Butler & Steve Golden
Attorney Steve Golden, Campbell Brannon, L.L.C. at Harry Norman Realtors - North Fulton
Attorney Steve Golden, Campbell Brannon, L.L.C. at Harry Norman Realtors - North Fulton

Pam Santoro, John Butler, Steve Golden, Sandy Henderson,
Carol Skowronek, Lynn Odom ^& Nina French
Attorney Steve Golden, Campbell Brannon, L.L.C. at Harry Norman Realtors - North Fulton

Attorney Steve Golden, Campbell Brannon, L.L.C. at Harry Norman Realtors - North Fulton
Attorney Steve Golden from Campbell & Brannon, L.L.C. hosted the Lunch N Learn about the importance of enhanced title insurance and surveys on Wednesday, June 22nd,  2011 at Harry Norman Realtors North Fulton Office.
Title Insurance is very important providing both pre-policy and post-policy protection to the home owner covering against most forgeries, liens for unpaid materials and labor not authorized by the home owner as well as encroachment or boundary issues.   Enhanced coverage includes the right of access to your property by foot or by vehicle.  It helps with restrictive covenant violations prior to you owning the property.  Building permit violations, encroachments, easements, subdivision law violations, zoning law violations, water and mineral rights damage, additional insureds, and value-added protection are covered in the enhanced protection.
Both the enhanced title insurance and a survey are highly recommended by Steve Golden.  The top ten survey issues are:   encroachments, setbacks, sewer lines and drainage easements, names on the survey needing to match the buyer’s names, surveyor’s seal needs to be on the survey, date of the survey needs to be in the past 6 months from closing, flood zones, special considerations (stream buffer, pipeline easement, or other encumbrances), making sure the lot is what you think you are buying, road access, alley access and shared driveway issues.  
When purchasing a home, you should get a survey and the enhanced title insurance.   The cost at closing is minimal compared to the benefits later on while you own the property.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Thinking of Going on a Picnic?

Katy's Place - Pinewalk Subdivision
Alpharetta, GA
Thinking of going on a picnic and enjoying the summer?  Well, in Alpharetta, Pinewalk Residents need go no further than their own park:  Katy’s Place.   Katy’s Place is named for a little girl in our neighborhood who lost her battle with cancer over fifteen years ago.   She was just a toddler but brought a lot of joy to her family and everyone she met.   If you pack your picnic lunch you can put a blanket down, sit in the shelter under a roof, enjoy a wooden swing under the trees or just sit at the picnic table.   If you want to grill just start the charcoal or maybe put a few logs in the fire pit to toast marsh mellows.   After you eat your delicious meal of sweet tea, burgers or fried chicken, toasted marsh mellows, coleslaw, fresh water melon and a few cookies, you can just relax with a good book in the shade of Katy’s Place or possibly enjoy a good game of horse shoes.   Lots of people just bring a Frisbee down to throw.  If that doesn’t thrill you, you can play a game of tennis or just enjoy the neighborhood pool equipped with diving board.  As you can see by my pictures, It’s a great place  to picnic right around the block.
Fire Pit to Roast Marshmellows

Pinewalk Shelter & Picnic Area

Katy's Place - Pinewalk Subdivision
Alpharetta, GA

Ready for  a game of Horse Shoes?

Take a dip in the Pinewalk Pool after your picnic.
Enjoy a good tennis match on the Pinewalk courts.

Pinewalk Picnic Area & Shelters
Pinewalk Subdivision is a swim and tennis community with their own community park called Katy’s Place.   Sidewalks and street lights edge the manicured lawns leading residents to the Pinewalk Pool and Tennis Courts or to Ocee Park.  There is a fire pit and a horse shoe pit area behind the tennis courts near Katy’s Place.   Average price of these homes are from $200K to the low $300’s.  You'll find a 3 bedroom ranch on a slab to  a  4 bedroom home on a terrace level.  Subdivision homes have either brick front or stucco with wood/hardy plank on three sides.      Lot sizes are under 1/3 acre.   North Point Mall and the Alpharetta Greenway are a 10 to 15 minute drive.  Krogers, Publix and Starbucks are a five minute drive from the subdivision.   It also boasts wonderful North Fulton schools:   Ocee Elementary, Taylor Road Middle School, and Chattahoochee High School. The Pinewalk Penguins Swim Team hold swim meets on Thursday evenings starting in May plus ALTA  teams hold matches year round.   The active home owners association hosts many social events throughout the year.  Our next event is the annual Fourth of July Bike Parade led by the Alpharetta Fire Department. 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Every Woman Works Presents at ABWA Crabapple Chapter June, 2011


/Celia Dutcher, Sherrin Thonas, Tina Ojakian, Heather Herrig,
Twila Pryor (featured speaker from EWW),
Frances Browning, Connie Sinclair, & Sharon Steidle

It was such an honor to have Twila Pryor, Operations Manager for Every Woman Works, as our featured speaker, accompanied by EWW board member/volunteer director Connie Sinclair and our own Frances Browning. We learned more about this amazing organization and how we can support them moving forward. Possible areas for volunteering include one-on-one mentoring with alumnae, data entry for their new contact database, the clothes closet, and holiday giving. 

Highlights from Twila Pryor’s talk  at the ABWA Crabapple Chapter June 14th meeting  at Sugo's in Roswell, Georgia were as follows: 
Every Woman Works is a 7 year old organization started by Miss Tillie on February 4, 2004.  She had a corporate background with AT&T prior to creating Every Woman Works.   Every Woman Works gets their students from DFCS (Division of Family and Children Services), recovery centers like Mary Hall Freedom House, and from walk-ins.  Students can be homeless, part of the penal system, alcoholics, addicts with substance abuse or suffer from domestic violence.   These women really need something to hold on to.  Some of these women have lost their children.   Miss Tillie noticed that the women had a hard time after attending Mary Hall Freedom House and beating their addiction.    As Miss Tillie always said these women are like bumble bees, they believe they can do it so they do it.   Rather than give women a fish to eat, EWW teaches women how to fish.   She also uses Stephen Covey’s principles at EWW.   At week six, there is a mock interview with a corporate executive with feedback.   Kimberly Clark and Waffle House are just a few of the corporate sponsors at Every Woman Works.  EWW has an overall 90% success rate for women who go through the program to obtain and keep a job. 

EWW is an eight week program which teaches women how to dress, use a computer, go through an interview, and write a resume.   This is similar to having and maintaining a job.  These women cannot skip classes or be late.  Punctuality is a must.  They have bankers who tell them how to pay their bills plus how to pay themselves.   They have an Hour of Power which is volunteer spiritual advisers who come and talk to the women each day.   The entire staff and students attend this Hour Power.   The curriculum has a daily theme:   Monday – Job Skills; Tuesday – Life Skills; Wednesday – Parenting Class & Career Development Skills; Thursday – Computer Skills; and Friday – Health & Wellness Skills.    EWW will teach their students how to show and prepare a meal for four for $10.   Also, they learn how to balance a checking account.   Miss Tillie even had a television program with 24 students being interviewed by Pastor Tracy Wells-White.  .   Next they are working on UHope to help men plus taking this local program nationally. 
 
Sherrin Thomas, Heather Herrig, Twila Pryor (EWW Speaker) & Frances Browning
Linda Topp (Secretary), Deanna Schuelke (Vice President), Heather Herrig (Current President)
Debbie Huckeba (Treasurer), & Pam Santoro (Future President)
ABWA Crabapple Officer Installation by Heather Herrig


 
Heather Herrig installs new member Sharon Steidle.
Tina Ojakian had Twila Pryor pull the winner to our fabulous fundraiser.
Tina Ojakian, Twila Pryor, & Frances Browning

Getting ready for our fundraiser drawing.
Tina Ojakian, Celia Dutcher, Sherrin Thomas & Heather Herrig

Tina Ojakian & Sherrin Thomas
Babs Robinson & Debbie Huckeba
Linda Topp, Celia Dutcher & Deanna Schuelke
Secret sister gifts were exchanged along with good news.   Over all it was a great event.

For more information on the ABWA Crabapple Chapter, please contact heather@everylastdetailevents.net or pam.santoro@harrynorman.com.

ABWA Crabapple Chapter Installs New Officers


Linda Topp, Deanna Schuelke, Heather Herrig, Debbie Huckeba, & Pam Santoro

On June 14th, the Crabapple Chapter of the American Business Women’s Associates met at Sugo’s Restaurant in Roswell, Georgia.  Heather Herrig, the current President and 2010 Woman of the Year,  held the officer installation for the 2011-2012 Executive Board (below). Heather thanked the new officers for their dedication to our chapter!   We’ll be working through officer transition in the next couple of months so that we can hit the ground running in August:
o   PRESIDENT: Pam Santoro, Harry Norman Realtors, 2011 Crabapple Chapter ABWA Woman of the Year
o   VICE PRESIDENT: Deanna Schuelke, Nationwide Insurance - Barry Stover Agency
o   TREASURER: Debbie Huckeba, Cobb Housing Authority
o   SECRETARY: Linda Topp, Nationwide Insurance - Barry Stover Agency


Linda Topp, Deanna Schuelke, Heather Herrig, Debbie Huckeba, & Pam Santoro
 We’ll be working through officer transition in the next couple of months so that we can hit the ground running in August:


Heather Herrig installed new ABWA member Sharon Steidle, Rodan & Fields Dermatology.  We are so glad to have you Sharon!
Heather Herrig & Sharon Steidle


For more information on the ABWA Crabapple Chapter, please contact heather@everylastdetailevents.net or pam.santoro@harrynorman.com

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Has Your Home Value Recovered?

The national numbers aren't good, but in some places, the news is better.  SMARTMONEY article from June 20, 2011 on the national housing market featuring two college towns that have recovered:  Cambridge, Massachusetts, and sprawling Denton, Texas.   These towns never experienced the huge price runups that Florida, Nevada or California did in the first place.  Zillow estimates Denton is down 7.4% from their peak while Cambridge is down 8.6% from their peak.
According to the article, the three most important things to consider when buying a house are:   Jobs. Jobs. Jobs.

Read the full article on the housing recovery including Jacksonville, Durham, and Fayetteville in North Carolina: http://www.smartmoney.com/spend/real-estate/has-your-home-value-recovered-1308588485550/

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Foreclosures slow in metro Atlanta, but no end in sight - AJC

Metro Atlanta foreclosure notices dropped 8 percent compared with the first half of last year, and fewer people are late on first-mortgage payments. 

June's foreclosure notices bring 2011's six-month total to 56,429, which is lower than the 61,524 the region showed at this time last year.

To read the entire article from the Atlanta Journal Constitution, click here:  .http://www.ajc.com/business/foreclosures-slow-in-metro-975711.html

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

L.A. Mansion for U.K. Heiress

Candy Spelling, widow of legendary TV producer to sell priciest house in nation to daughter of Formula One tycoon, Bernie Ecclestone.  The 57,000-square foot Los Angeles mansion built by the late TV producer Aaron Spelling is slated for sale to  22-year-old heiress, Petra Ecclestone. The home sits on five acres of property in Holmby Hills has a bowling alley, beauty salon, several gift-wrapping rooms and parking for 100 cars.   

Mr. Spelling produced such TV shows as "Mod Squad," "Charlie's Angels," "Dynasty," "Starsky and Hutch," "Beverly Hills, 90210," and "Melrose Place."

Read the entire Wall Street Journal article:  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303714704576384013798228854.html?mod=WSJ_RealEstate_LEADTopNews

Liz Currin, PhD, at Crabapple Chapter ABWA May Meeting

Our May American Business Women's Association featured speaker was Liz Currin, PhD, from Atlanta Area Psychological Associates PC.  Liz loves to work on couples relationships including infidelity.  She has written a book entitled:  Essential Guide to Survive Infidelity published by Penguin Press.    Liz  concentrated on Relationships and Happiness.   What is it about relationships that is most compelling?   Before people married for economic reasons including finances and land, now people marry for love.   Today’s entertainment has Temptation Island, EHarmony, Match.com, or Facebook while the original TV programs were the Dating Game or the Newly Wed Game.  

Why do we work so hard on relationships?  The four letter word Love is also considered a relationship.   Remember to take your time, self disclose to your partner and disclosure from your partner to you is a lifetime experiment.   Addictions, abuse and credit card debt are hard on relationships.   There are character clues in setting life goals being monetary satisfaction or intrinsic satisfaction.   When something happens, you can give up, blame someone else, or regroup and pursue your goals.   The moral implications in relationships are do you treat a waitress as an object.  Do you have awareness of them as a person not just a body performing a job?  How does your future spouse treat his or her siblings and parents?   Are they before you?   Can you handle that for the long term?  Do they treat employees well?

What does your spouse or partner do with time and money?   Look at discrepancies, friendships, reciprocity, mutual events sought in friendship, and differences of opinion.  Visit your future spouse’s childhood home, family and siblings.   Find out the secrets before you marry someone.   Trust should be open.   During courtship, both parties are on their best behavior.  Stress can be in laws, death in the family,  and financial reversal.  Sometimes positive events like retiring can be stressful along with winning the lottery, a job promotion, or returning to school.  
Liz Currin, PhD, Suxette Cohen, & Heather Herrig
ABWA Crabapple Chapter May Meeting

Discuss your expectations openly.   Focus on forever.   Couples need to be oriented on what to expect in a marriage.   As we know, happily ever after is only a fairy tale.  Other important items are:  Cheating.   Money or sex which is harder to talk about?   Saver versus spender.   

Pam Santoro & Sherrin Thomas
ABWA Crabapple Chapter May Meeting
Liz Currin, PhD, Sherin Thomas, & Rachel Hillhouse (left)
Celia Dutcher, Babs Robinson,  & Suzette Cohen (right)
ABWA Crabapple Chapter May Meeting

Trustdale at Harry Norman Realtors North Fulton Office

Dale Cardwell of TrustDale.Com
at Harry Norman Realtors North Fulton Office
Dale Cardwell of TrustDale.Com
at Harry Norman Realtors North Fulton Office
Dale Cardwell  of TrustDale.Com spoke on June 7th at the Harry Norman Realtors North Fulton office sales meeting.   Dale, a consumer investigator,  determines through a seven step process which of Atlanta businesses  that provide home and consumer services  are most highly educated about their product and provide the very best service at a fair price.  According to Dale Cardwell, “Harry Norman, REALTORS® delivers the best price, quality, and luxury service you deserve!”

Friday, June 10, 2011

Atlanta Home Sales Report for 2010 from AJC

Last Sunday's Atlanta Journal Constitution detailed the 2010 report on home sales price changes per zip code and county in Atlanta:    For more info:  http://projects.ajchomefinder.com/atlanta-home-sales-report/
This article will let you see the median price per county plus units sold compared to 2009.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Do you know how to get your house ready for market?

Preparing a house for sale is not complicated.   Most of the time it requires elbow grease, packing items away that are really not used and still needed, donating items to charities, and staging the house so it looks new.   From the moment potential buyers drive up to a property, they have a feel for your home.   Is there pine straw in all the flower beds?  Are the shrubs trimmed?   Does the front door need a new coat of paint?  Do the gutters need cleaned?  Are there flowers on the front porch welcoming you in?   Little touches can really be the difference in how someone feels about your property.

Getting the inside ready is another story because the magnets on the refrigerator were made by your grandchildren.   No one wants you to permanently get rid of the magnets, photos, or artwork.  Just pack them away for your new home.   Buyers want to imagine themselves living in the house not you living in it.   Once you decide to put your home on the market, remember it is now a commodity just wood, bricks and mortar.  At this point, take a field trip to a model home in a new construction neighborhood to see a good example of what your staged home should look like.  
When you finally get to work, start with one room at a time.   Look at the closets, remove the clothes that are out of season, make sure the closet is not over stuffed with items, organize the shoes in a neat manner.  When walking in a room, make sure the pathways are clear.   You should not be storing items on the floor.   Everything should have a place.   Do the walls need a new coat of paint?   Remember neutral walls will help the buyer picture their furniture in the house.   If you have children, pack up excess toys and then rotate them every other week so the children aren’t bored and you have less to pick up.  
When staging a home for sale, take away all the nick knacks and family pictures.   Less is more.   Your house should not be filled with silk flowers or overflowing with ferns.   Even expensive collections are distracting to buyers if they monopolize the room or area.   You want a prospective buyer to picture this as their new home and to remember the special features and details of your property.   When moving to Atlanta sixteen years ago, my Realtor asked me how I liked the wonderful master bath with the jetted tub and beautiful imported tile.   I looked at him and questioned him about the master bath because all I could remember were the candles surrounding the tub and on the double vanities.   I read a lot of mysteries and that master bath was staged for a suspense thriller.  
Buyers will look in your closets and under your sinks.   If you have a spare work room in the basement or an area of the garage,   pack your excess there in neat labeled boxes.   This will just appear that you are preparing for the move not that the house is busting at the seams with all of your stuff.   Remember to pack excess linens and then neatly fold all the towels and sheets in your linen closet.  
This process is going to make your house appear larger and more like a model home.   The next step is to make sure everything is clean and dusted.   Even removing the screens on nice clean windows, give a better appearance both in and out of the house.  You can hire a stager to help you through this process if it seems overwhelming.     Also, a good Realtor will be able to walk through your house and give you pointers on any other items that may need to done.     For more information on the home selling process, feel free to visit my website:  http://www.pam.santoro.harrynorman.com/.