Give Back

I recently made a brief report from a Georgia Association of Realtors (GAR) Committee that I serve on. The report was made to fellow REALTORS in our area. At the end of the report I challenged everyone to give back to our profession. I serve on this state committee because it serves our profession. I feel an obligation and duty to give back to my profession like the people who’ve gone before. I can give with my time and my resources (aka money)!
Pressing on!
Dwayne

Sun Is Always Shining

The sun finally came out today! I must say it seems like forever since we’ve had a day full of sunshine. Our weather pattern has definitely be mostly cloudy. I was reminded though that the sun is even shining when the clouds here are dark. I guess it all begins with our attitude. Our perspective maybe cloudy, but if we will just remember the truth of the matter is that the sun shines above the darkest clouds.

Just saying….
Dwayne

Spring Curb Appeal Ideas!

Springtime Curb Appeal

Springtime can present many difficulties when it comes to curb appeal.
For many areas of the country, this time of year means brown lawns, leafless bushes and trees, and a depressing lack of color.
Yes, we have the hope of the color splashes and lush landscapes that go hand in hand with summer, but what can be done now?
Improving curb appeal has shown to increase not only your property’s value, but also the property values of your entire neighborhood.
Whether you are selling or staying put, here are five tips that can help you on your way to a beautiful home.

1. Sidewalks and Driveways:
This may be the first part of your property that your guests or prospective buyers step foot on. Literally.
An affordable, virtually maintenance free option for sprucing up your paths is concrete stain. It can cost around $30 a gallon and requires very little prep work. This is a do-it-yourself project.
Consider picking a color that is in the same color family as that of your home. A blue home could be happily complemented by a gray drive.
Another tip: Fix cracks and uneven sections. This project may require a bit more professional attention, but will give buyers the impression that your entire home, not just the entrance, has been maintained.

2. Accent Door:
It has been called the lipstick on the lady. It’s inviting and it draws visitors – or buyers – in to your home. A plain door tends to recede into the background.
Consider a contrasting color to the siding of your home. On the color wheel, green is opposite red and yellow is opposite blue. Don’t be afraid to be daring (think a fuchsia door on a cream colored home). Just a pint of paint can cover most doors, and if you don’t like the result – you can try another color!

3. Trimming Trees:
Stand in front of your home and take a close – and fresh – look at your trees and bushes. Are there branches that have become overgrown and now obstruct the view of the home?
You want your landscaping to complement your home, not hide it. Trees should frame paths and entries. To trim tree branches yourself you can buy a pole pruner or chain saw. Or you can hire a professional, who has experience in shaping trees.
Keep in mind, however, that spring is NOT the time to prune flowering trees or maples. These should be done in late Summer and early Fall.

4. Early Spring Planting:
The last frost date varies by area. It also varies from year to year in that area, but if you feel that your home will not see another frost, then you may be safe to plant a few hardy annuals to add some pops of color to your yard. Even if a frost catches you by surprise – you can cover the plants for the evening to save them from succumbing to the cold.
The plant must also have time to take good root before severe rains come.
Some plants that you can give you an early burst of color:
• Pansies: these bolts of color can even survive winter in some areas
• Calendula: these “pot marigolds” are a versatile plant
• Violets: heart shapes petals
• Other options: cornflower, foxglove, larkspur, sweet alyssum, dianthus, baby’s breath, bells of Ireland, blue sage, candytuft, celome, forget-me-nots, love-in-a-mist, snow-on-the-mountain, strawflower, and torenia

5. Outdoor Lighting:
Low voltage (12 volt) and solar lighting are great options for improving curb appeal.
There are hundreds of designs of solar lights. These small fixtures are generally set on stakes in the ground and can be used to accent paths or gardens. And they are a great do-it-yourself option.
Also, consider using uplighting on trees to create night-time focal points – great for buyers doing after work drive by inspections!

Dwayne Hicks, REALTOR
United Country West Georgia Realty
Carrollton, GA

www.dhicksonline.com

Fools Rush In

I was showing property yesterday and after looking at four properties, we kept going back to the one that my clients really want. The problem is that it might not be able to close before the tax credit deadline (under contract by April 30 and close by June 30, 2010). My client said, “I’d love to have that tax credit rebate, but I’d rather have the right house for my family, so I don’t intent to rush into this purchase.” I must say, I thought that to be a wise statement.

I’m a REALTOR and I’m in “sales” and the tax credit deadline is highly motivational to some, but as a buyers agent, I must look out for the best interests of my clients instead of putting a check mark by another sale. I do believe that some people with make a $100K or $200K mistake because they are motivated by a $8000/$6500 credit. Please don’t misunderstand – I make a living by selling homes. I just work and live near my clients and I don’t want them to look back and say that they made a mistake because they were pushed into a a quick decision on a house. I actually feel more pressure to show them all the options of homes available, so that their choice is easy and obvious – not rushed or hurried. I think that when we rush or hurry, we often make a mistake.

In the big scheme of things, buying a house is a major deal. I sure hope that all my clients can take advantage of this nice rebate check. Take your time choosing where you’ll live for the next 5, 10, 30 years!! It’s a big decision and probably should not be totally dependent on a tax credit!!

I’m just saying….

Press on!!

Dwayne Hicks

Realtor/ Associate Broker/Owner

United Country West Georgia Realty

Carrollton, GA

www.westgarealty.com

www.dhicksonline.com

I Love Sunday's!

I love Sunday! It’s a crazy day generally speaking. My family and I attend church at Southern Hills Christian Church on Hwy. 113 in Carrollton. I lead worship there a couple times each month. I thoroughly enjoy spending time with my church family. I also enjoy Sunday lunch – often at my in-laws home. I usually squeeze in a short nap before showing property in the afternoon. Sunday is pretty good day to show property because a lot of buyers are enjoying an off-day from work. All in all Sunday is one of my favorite day’s of the week!