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Monday, September 28, 2015

Top 5 Tips for Buying a House in Alpharetta

 homes for sale in alpharetta
Since buying a house is one of the most important decisions you are likely to make during your lifetime, the whole thing can both be exciting and challenging at the same time. So, how do you buy the perfect home without stressing yourself out? Here are some tips that can lead you in the right direction.

1.       Define your needs and wants. Make a list of what you need and want in a home and take it with you as you go searching for the right house. Reassess the items on your list after viewing a few homes and make the necessary adjustments.

2.       Check your budget. To get an idea on how much house you can afford, take a serious look at your monthly budget (excluding rent) and see how much you have left after paying the bills. This amount represents how much you can spend for the mortgage and other house-related expenses (insurance, taxes, repairs, etc.).

3.       Get to know the neighborhood. Do your own field work to make sure the neighborhood is everything you imagined it to be. Drive by the property or walk around the area at different times of the day to get an idea of what goes on there, and consider its proximity to schools, transport and amenities.

4.       Find a good real estate agent. Interview several real estate agents in your area before choosing one. Since you will be working closely with your chosen agent, go for one whom you feel you can trust and connect with on a more personal basis.

5.       Understand how the offer process works. When you finally find the house of your dreams, you need to know how the offer process works. To increase your chances of making a successful bid, you need to know how long the property has been on the market and how the owner’s asking price compare to other properties in the area. Don’t forget to factor in contingencies such as property inspections and financing in your offer to protect you against any untoward events.

You can find the perfect house that fits your budget by following these simple tips so keep these in mind as you go searching for the house of your dreams. Happy house-hunting! 

About me: I am a Mom and a Alpharetta, GA Realtor working with home buyers and home sellers in the Alpharetta, Cumming, Johns Creek, Milton, Mountain Park, Roswell, Duluth, Buford, Marietta, Canton and Woodstock areas. My Motto: No One Sells a Home Like a Mom. Search for Alpharetta, GA homes for sale at

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Paul Morris of the Atlanta Beltline at GNFCC Eggs and Enterprise Breakfast

Paul Morris, President and CEO of the Atlanta Beltline was the keynote speaker on Tuesday, September 22, 2015 at the Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce Eggs and Enterprise breakfast at the Country Club of the South.   The Atlanta Beltline has revitalized a portion of the city creating a wonderful area that attracts millennials and tourist.   
Paul Morris, President & CEO of the Atlanta Beltline at
GNFCC Eggs and Enterprise Breakfast at the Country Club of the South

Paul Morris, President & CEO of the Atlanta Beltline at 
GNFCC Eggs and Enterprise Breakfast at the Country Club of the South

Paul Morris, President & CEO of the Atlanta Beltline at 
GNFCC Eggs and Enterprise Breakfast at the Country Club of the South

If you'd like to explore the Atlanta Beltline, try one of the following tours:

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Beware the Neighbors from Hell: Bad Neighbors Can Devalue Your Home

No matter how great your property is, you cannot expect to sell at a good price if you are surrounded by bad neighbors. Unfortunately, everyone has them.

According to the Appraisal Institute, the largest professional association of real estate appraisers in the country, bad neighbors can significantly reduce the value of nearby properties by 5% to 10%. 

Since home values can be affected by external obsolescence (economic or locational factors outside the property), homeowners should always be aware of what’s going on in their neighborhood and be prepared to take the necessary steps to correct the problem before it gets out of hand.

So, what should you do when you are surrounded by troublesome neighbors? Here are some tips that you may want to consider.

·         Find strength in numbers. Speak with your other neighbors and approach the offending neighbor together. Make sure you get a consensus when identifying issues before making a move.

·         Review local laws. If you cannot convince other neighbors to complain against the offending neighbor, review your local laws and ordinances to see if they are committing any violations. If they are, report the issue to the code office.

·         Hire an attorney. If none of these options work, then you may want to consider hiring an attorney to solve the issue and avoid any potential loss in your home’s value.  

In the same manner, potential homebuyers should also be more vigilant when looking for their next home. They should visit the neighborhood at different times of the day to get a feel of what’s really going on in the area, and reduce the likelihood of living near a neighbor from hell.

About me

I am a Mom and a Alpharetta, GA Realtor working with home buyers and home sellers in the Alpharetta, Cumming, Johns Creek, Milton, Mountain Park, Roswell, Duluth, Buford, Marietta, Canton and Woodstock areas.

Image by artur84 at


Saturday, September 12, 2015

Home Improvement Projects: Which Brings the Most Value for Your Money?

Ask Pam Santoro: 

What are the best design choices to improve the value of my house?

Are you thinking about selling your home? If you are seriously toying about the idea of putting your property in the market, you may need to invest in it to attract the attention of potential buyers, make it sell faster, and make a good profit in the process. While there are a lot of things that you can do to accomplish this goal even if you are on a tight budget, investing a little more money on certain remodeling projects can make a huge difference. So, which home improvement projects should you focus on? Here’s what the experts recommend.
Do a kitchen upgrade. Experts agree that updating your kitchen can maximize the value of your home. So, upgrade your countertops (Tip: most home buyers love granite and/or stainless steel countertops), add a splash of color by changing the backsplash, replace old appliances with energy efficient appliances, and change cabinet doors and fixtures. To add that “wow” factor, you may want to consider adding an island (a definite must-have in most home buyer’s list) and creating a pantry.
Give the bathroom a modern look. Studies indicate that remodeling a bathroom and/or installing an additional bathroom significantly increases the value of any property. To get the most bang for your buck, consider installing a shower with body spray, a second sink, and a new tile floor. You should also consider installing stylish faucets, lighting fixtures, and cabinet hardware to complete the look.
Remember, you don’t have to do everything at once. You can tackle one project at a time since every small improvement counts.

Ask Pam Santoro: Do you have questions about how to buy/sell a home? Ask Pam Santoro, your friendly neighborhood Alpharetta real estate agent. Be sure to visit my blog and real estate website today! No one sells a home like a mom!

You may also like this blog post: Top 5 Tips for Selling a House

Image by dreamstudiographics at

Friday, September 4, 2015

Top 5 Tips for Selling a House

If you are thinking about selling your home, this may be the right time to put your property on the market. According to the National Association of Realtors, median sales prices of existing homes sold in April 2015 increased by 8.9% as compared to the previous year.
To further increase your chances of selling your home fast and help you get top dollar in the process, here are some tips you may want to consider.

1.       Price it right. If you want to attract a lot of potential buyers, try taking 15% to 20% off what your home is really worth. This does not only ensure that you will receive multiple bids – there is a great chance that interested buyers will bid up the price!

2.       Stage your home –inside and out. While you need to organize every room in your home, you may need to pay particular attention to the kitchen and the master bath. You also need to create a great curb appeal, and declutter and de-personalize your entire home before showing it to potential buyers.

3.       Be show-ready at all times. You’ll never know when a potential buyer will walk through your front door so you need to make sure your house is in great condition at all times. Keep in mind that first impression can determine whether your house will sell or not.  

4.       Do pre-inspection repairs. Since it costs less to do repairs before a home inspection, consider hiring your own home inspector to help you determine which needs to be fixed before you put your house in the market.

5.       Work with the right Realtor. Hire the wrong Realtor and you may not sell your home. For best results, choose an agent who is knowledgeable, has a great work ethic, vast network of contacts, and an engaging personality. Having a tech-savvy agent also helps. 

Consider these tips and you can be sure that your house will sell before you even know it! If you're looking to buy or sell a home in the Alpharetta, GA area, I'd be happy to assist you, be sure to check out listings in the Alpharetta, Johns Creek, Cumming areas.