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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Ribbon Cutting at the Black Walnut Cafe - July 25th

Kurt Schleinz, the General Manager of the Black Walnut Cafe, on 5805 Windward Parkway in Alpharetta presented Kathy Swahn, the Executive Director at the Drake House, with a check at the ribbon cutting on Monday, July 25th.   During their opening weekend, the Black Walnut Cafe held an event benefiting the Drake House.   

The Drake House helps women and children with short-term housing, education, mentoring and empowerment programs.   It provides support for homeless mothers and their children to work toward self-sufficiency.  The Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce Leadership North Fulton Program worked with the community to create the Drake House. It's wonderful to see how the business community works together to help families in need.  As you can see by Kathy's and Kurt's smiles, it was a great day for a ribbon cutting and for the Drake House.

If you are looking for a new restaurant, stop by the Black Walnut Cafe.

They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Don't forget happy hour too!

Beautiful atmosphere indoors and out.

And service with a smile.  

Friday, July 22, 2016

It’s All Greek to Me, Real Estate Terms as a Second Language

Speak Greek?

The Mysterious Real Estate Language

Selling or buying a home can be a mysterious journey for those not familiar with real estate terms. While many home buyers and sellers have a general understanding of how the process works, the language of real estate can actually cause more fear than the process itself. However, by learning a few of the common real estate terms you can feel more at ease when approaching selling or buying your next home.

Repeat After Me…Common Real Estate Terms

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Your House is Not Selling…Things Only Your Realtor Will Tell You

House Not Selling

Why is My House Not Selling?

So you have read all the posts online. You have your home offered at what you think is a fair market price. You have painted and spruced up your home’s curb appeal, yet still your house is not getting the attention or bids you had hoped for. It is not uncommon for some homes to stay a bit longer on the real estate market than others. Still there are frequent “Deal Breakers” that realtors often see that may be stopping your home from being on potential home buyers’ wish lists.

An Unclean Home 
Cluttered CounterA home does not have to be dirty to appear unclean. Frequently an "unclean" label is simply given in instances of clutter. While preparing to show your home invest in some storage bins for extra appliances and counter top items that are not frequently used. The same goes for a closet overflowing with clothes (they will look there), bulging book shelves and stashed items.  Place overflow bins in the garage or even better rent a storage space for a month or two. In any case do not leave bins sitting around to give the idea that there is little storage space.

Closet Space 
After you have done an organizational once over, consider hiring a one-time cleaning team to come in to detail clean your home or throw a house cleaning party. Have friends and family help give your home a good cleaning, making sure to get all the crevices and corners often overlooked, then serve pizza afterwards.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Black Walnut Cafe - Opens in Alpharetta

My husband and I had the privilege of previewing the breakfast menu at the new Black Walnut Cafe on 5805 Windward Parkway in Alpharetta.   The Croissant Sandwich and Petite Breakfast were delicious plus the service was fantastic.   From the outdoor cafe to the indoor dining and bar, the atmosphere has a new but comfortable feel.   It's hard to describe, but it's a great place to meet friends, family or business associates. They even have a great To Go Menu.

Kurt Schleinz, the General Manager, welcomed us to this beautiful restaurant.
Pam Santoro and Kurt Schleinz

If you are looking for a new favorite restaurant, check out .  They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner including wine and beer.   The coffee and desserts are yummy too.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Many Thanks to Alpharetta Fire Station #84

To me the Fourth of July is the best birthday party ever because it begins with parades and ends with fireworks.  Happy Birthday United States of America!    I have been going to parades and fireworks since I was a child in Pennsylvania.   For the past 21 years, our neighborhood has had a bike parade where the kids (and adults) decorate their bikes, scooters, wagons, pets and more.  Everyone walks or rides from one cul de sac down to the last cul de sac for frozen treats.   The first year we did not have a fire truck.   We've discovered over the years that the fire truck really adds a cool exciting presence to our parade. 

I want to thank Alpharetta Fire Station #84 especially Fire Apparatus Engineer Shawn Webster, Firefighter Shane Hall, and Firefighter Tim Hixson for leading our parade.   Also, I'd like to thank them for the wonderful service they provide our Alpharetta community.   The firefighters always give the kids a chance to check out the fire truck and talk to the firefighters both before and after the parade.   Just a spectacular morning of fun! 

Our Annual Bike Parade
 Fire Apparatus Engineer Shawn Webster, Firefighter Tim Hixon and Firefighter Shane Hall,
Alpharetta Fire Station #84 at the Annual Bike Parade
Fire Apparatus Engineer Shawn Webster and Pam Santoro

Rescheduled to August 9 Aging Parent Workshop - Celebration Village Senior Living Center

The Aging Parent Workshop was rescheduled from July 12th to August 9th.

You are all cordially invited to the Aging Parents Workshop on Tuesday, August 9th, 2016.

Refreshments are from 6:00PM to 6:30PM

Workshop starts at 6:30PM to 7:30PM.

Please join us at the Celebration Village Senior Living Showroom, Brookwood Marketplace Shopping Center, 2623 Peachtree Pky., Suite 300, Suwanee, GA   30024   (770-886-6565)

This event is hosted by the following:

Pam Santoro, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services of Georgia
Lisa McGrath, Island Financial LLC
Erica Ramsey, AAA, The Auto Club Group
Mary Becker, Best Deal Movers
MaryJo Bowser, Griswold Home Care

We are encountering more people coordinating the next steps for their parents and 

in-laws.  We'll discuss the documents needed for inevitable financial and health decisions, housing choices available, health and caring services available in the home, and insurance needs and savings.  

Please feel  free to join us at this free event.  

Learn how to "Empower Yourself and Your Aging Parents".

We Lost the House...What to Do When Your Dream House Falls Through

House with Yard

There Goes Our Dream Home!

Nothing is more heartbreaking than to find the perfect house and lose it in the bidding or contract negotiation process. Unfortunately this scenario happens more often than we like in home buying. Still, there are some helpful hints that can help you crawl out of the lost home dilemma and get you into your dream home.

Searching Home Loans OnlineGet a Pre-Approved Home Loan!
Homes with great features, pricing and location are usually not on the real estate market very long. Having your pre-approved home loan will not only solidify your budget but can be a great negotiating tool. Pre-approval signifies to home sellers that you are serious about purchasing and the sale may move quickly.

Be Realistic in Your Search
A house with excellent upgrades and features will cost more. If you have a "dream" home in mind, do your research. Know what your "must haves" are and what your budget can afford. You may find that shopping a bit further out in location can net you a home with more features and will still leave some money in your wallet. 

Do Your Research

Houses and ComputerWhenever possible know the home you are visiting before your step in the door. Ask your realtor for information on the homes you plan to tour and review the properties online beforehand. If a home has been on the market for a while it could alert you that the property has some potential issues (found in home inspections) OR that the owners may not be as committed to selling as you would hope.

*Keep in mind that your realtor may advise you to tour a home that is fresh on the market and has been newly not let research hold you back in these cases.

Do Not Try to Low Ball

Change stackedA great home loaded with features in a prime location will not last on the market long. Do not hinder yourself by trying to negotiate for a lower purchase price if the home is being offered for sale at a fair rate. Also, be prepared if you really want the house you may end up in a bidding war for it. Put your battle gear on.

Do Not Count Yourself Out
I once knew a family who had placed a bid for a house and they lost to another buyer. They were very sad but I told them to keep looking and not lose faith. In the end, the sellers' first buyers could not get loan approval and since the buyers I represented were next on the list AND already had a pre-approved home loan...they ended up with the house. 

The Word Home
Searching for the perfect home can be a bit daunting but enjoy the ride. When you are armed with a great budget, a pre-approved home loan and realistic expectations you may find your dream home literally falls right into your lap.

If you need help finding your dream home or making your house the perfect home for new buyers please visit my site at http://www.pamsantoro. com/

You can also contact me at 678-656-6627. As an experienced member of both the National and Georgia Board of Realtors, I can answer any questions you have about local market conditions, financing or selling your home for the best market value.

Remember, no one sells a home like a Mom!

Images courtesy of:Stuart, Renjith and Morguefile Photo