Sunday at Sips n Strokes

Leann is teaching the Retro Flowers today! Everything is having such a great time on this beautiful Sunday afternoon. Come check out the studio in Toco Hills, at the corner of North Druid Hills and Lavista Road, in the Publix shopping center. The August schedule is now on the Sips n Strokes website under Georgia>Toco Hills.

Click Here to see the August schedule or call 404.901.1099

Cary Daniel Blumenfeld

Harry Norman, Realtors

678.983.7987

Brookhaven Renovation Complete

We have finally completed the Brookhaven bathroom renovation. Along the journey, we encountered a number of problems, the most severe being the replacement of the existing air conditioning unit and furnace. After that was taken care of, we were able to shift our attention to the new windows.

Bathroom Before Renovation

Bathroom After Renovation

Kobee Steak absolutely loves the new shower!

Thenew windows have already made a huge difference regarding our utility costs. I can tell that less air is escaping and also coming in as a whole, not to mention they look fantastic.

Front Before New Windows

They did a great job custom building the picture window in front.

The contractors who installed the windows are from Window World based here in Atlanta. Check out www.windowworld.com for estimates.

Cary Daniel Blumenfeld

Harry Norman, Realtors

Atlanta, GA

678.983.7987

**Price Reduction** Vinings / Smyrna Townhome for Lease

$1,400

3 Bedrooms, 2 Full Baths and 1 half bath

1 Car garage

Sitting room and living room.

Open concept with laundry on the main floor.

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Cary Daniel Blumenfeld

Harry Norman, Realtors

678.983.7987

Sips n Strokes Toco Hills / Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Benefit

Come join us at TOCO HILLS Sips n Strokes next Thursday July 21!! We will be painting the Funky Owl and donating $10 from every person to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta!!

http://www.choa.org/Support-Ch​ildrens/Events/Sips-n-Strokes-​CMN

Cary Daniel Blumenfeld

Harry Norman, Realtors

Buckhead North Office

678.983.7987

 

 

Foreclosure rates are falling?? — Not really the case…

During the first half of the year, foreclosure filings have dramatically decreased compared to recent years. We have seen the bottom of the housing market finally! Well this is not actually the case. Due to the ever increasing amounts of “shadow inventory”, foreclosures that have not yet been processed and placed into the market, we are seeing massive drops in foreclosure reporting. According to James Saccacio CEO of RealtyTrac, “[That’s what is] pushing foreclosures further and further out — we estimate that as many as 1 million foreclosure actions that should have taken place in 2011 will now happen in 2012, or perhaps even later,” Saccacio said. As a result, it will only prolong the housing slump, he said. The effects of this delay is great, and we will continue to see the downward pressure on the prices of homes, as long as there are considerable amounts of foreclosures on the market.

To read the entire article click here or go here http://money.cnn.com/2011/07/14/real_estate/housing_market_foreclosures/index.htm?hpt=hp_t2

Cary Daniel Blumenfeld

Harry Norman, Realtors

Buckhead North Office

678.983.7987

Verde Tonight in Brookhaven

Nestled in the Heart of Brookhaven, Verde is my favorite “theme” taco restaurants in the city. I’m sure that everyone has their own special taco place, but Verde really does excel among many. The atmosphere is great because it sits on a corner of the very busy Village Place mix-use development. People swarm to Verde for their great food  and local atmosphere.verde_bg_front1

Four friends and restaurant veterans – Alex, Freddy, Hil and Pat – opened the doors at Verde to the Brookhaven neighborhood in the spring of 2009. Their vision for the new restaurant was simple enough: open a local spot that would be fun and relaxed, perfect for families, friends, date-nights or just a neighborly drink. Stop by pretty much any day of the week and you can see that vision brought to life with plenty of fresh food, cool drinks and relaxed conversation flowing.

Like any good local place, at Verde we want to make sure everyone who walks in feels a familiarity and a sense of ownership – like this is your neighborhood place. At Verde, you’re always welcome and always have a say in how things are run. Think of us as the neighbors that happen to be excellent social hosts, and our restaurant as our great big house where we have everyone over to eat and drink our latest concoctions.

So, whether you’re looking for a little privacy in a comfy booth or a big patio full of friends and sunshine, we’re your place in the neighborhood for fresh tastes, and local flavor.

Cary Blumenfeld

Harry Norman, Realtors

Is your credit score high enough?

By Melissa Ezarik • Bankrate.com

With historically low rates, many homeowners are watching closely for the right time to refinance their mortgages. Those with good credit may well recall being showered with praise by a mortgage broker during the initial purchase for that solid credit score.

Read more: Good credit score not good enough anymore http://www.bankrate.com/finance/real-estate/good-credit-score-not-good-enough-anymore-1.aspx#ixzz1QtvjfY00

6 House Repairs to Tackle Before They Become Major Issues

By Karen Haywood Queen • Bankrate.com
In this economy, you may be tempted to delay or even skip minor home maintenance repairs, cleaning jobs and inspections in your home. But don’t be penny-wise and dollar-foolish. That $200 or $300 you save today could result in expenditures of $3,000 or even tens of thousands next month or next year if hidden problems in your home go unnoticed and become worse.

Consider coughing up a little dough to take care of these small jobs before they morph into gigantic, expensive jobs later.

Annual HVAC inspection

Cost: $200-$300, depending on where you live.

How often: at least once a year.

When: spring or fall. Heating, ventilation and air conditioning, or HVAC, companies aren’t as busy, and you’re not in dire need of heat or air conditioning.

What an inspection might find:

The furnace blower is not working properly. Cost to repair or replace: $100-$150. Possible consequence of letting it go: a broken heat exchanger. Potential savings down the road: $300-$1,000 to replace the heat exchanger or $750-$3,500, depending on the energy efficiency, to replace indoor or outdoor furnace components.

The reversing switch in the heat pump is broken. Cost to repair or replace: $100-$300. Letting it go results in no heat from the heat pump, and the system switches to a more expensive auxiliary heat. Potential savings: lower heating bills.

Bottom line: “Things that happen often happen at the worst possible time in the worse possible conditions and you’re looking at the maximum rate,” says Terry Townsend of Townsend Engineering in Chattanooga, Tenn., and former president of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers. Remember, continual maintenance prolongs the life of the equipment. “You’re sitting there with an investment of thousands in your HVAC system and you’re investing a few hundred dollars in maintenance.”

Chimney inspection

Cost: $65 for an inspection; $150 for inspection and cleaning, including removal of creosote buildup, which may lead to a chimney fire.

How often: once a year.

When: before your first fire in winter.

What an inspection might find:

There’s no chimney cap. Cost to add: $150. If you let it go, rain water can get into your chimney, damage the chimney liner and damper, and even saturate mortar joints — causing mold. Potential savings: $2,000-$4,000 to replace the chimney liner.

Other problems may include: a cracked chimney crown, which can be repaired for $300-$500; chimney flashing that needs caulking, which can be done for $80-$100; and waterproofing the exterior brick, $350-$600. All these fixes will prevent rainwater from getting in and mold from forming.

Bottom line: “A simple chimney cleaning can prevent chimney fires and damage to your entire house,” says Ray Gessner, a licensed professional engineer and owner of A Step in Time Chimney Sweeps, with offices in the eastern U.S. “Water is the No. 1 problem with chimneys. With water damage, you might need to have your whole chimney rebuilt.”

Termite inspection

Cost: $75-$200 for an inspection; $200-$300 for a termite protection contract for qualifying homes with no current evidence of termites to cover treatment and repairs for any later infestation.

How often: once a year.

When: any time, although termites are more active in spring and early summer.

An inspection might find subterranean termites that come from the ground or flying termites. If left untreated, these bugs damage framing, trim, drywall, furniture, carpet, copper and other soft metals. Termites cause more than $5 billion in damages a year in the U.S., says Paul Curtis, director of quality assurance for Terminix in Memphis, Tenn. The average homeowner loss for termite damage is $3,000, but losses can be as high as $30,000 or even $80,000, Curtis says. Most homeowners insurance does not cover repair of termite damage.

Bottom line: “Termites eat the wood from the inside out,” Curtis says. “A typical homeowner would not be aware they are even in their home until months or years after they get in and start causing damage. A lot of people don’t realize that termites don’t just feed on the home. They’ll eat flooring, insulation, books — I’ve even seen them penetrate through swimming pool liners.”

Power washing and sealing wood deck

Cost: $100-$300 for a 200-square-foot deck, more for a larger deck.

How often: every one to three years, depending on the amount of traffic, moss and mold.

When: any time in sunny weather.

Power washing gets rid of stains, algae, mold, mildew and moss. Algae and mold can make your deck slippery and dangerous, says Justin Lee of JL Power Washing in Williamsburg, Va. Sealing your deck after it is cleaned helps prevent water damage. Wood soaks up rain like a sponge, expands and then shrinks, Lee says. Sealing makes the water bead up and roll off. And let’s not forget — your deck will look nicer, too.

If you let it go, your deck will warp, nails will pop out and the deck won’t last as long.

Potential savings: $4,000 to $20,000 or more to replace your deck, depending on size.

Bottom line: “A properly cleaned and sealed wood deck can last 20 to 30 years,” Lee says.

Dryer vent cleaning

Cost: $120-$200.

How often: every year.

When: a sunny day.

The purpose is to get rid of lint buildup. If your dryer is not on an exterior wall, it’s likely that the vent leading outside is clogged up, says Gessner of A Step in Time Chimney Sweeps.

If you ignore it, the result could be a disastrous fire. “Once the vent gets clogged, the dryer starts overheating and it can catch on fire,” Gessner says. “Dryer fires are very dangerous.”

Potential savings: your home, your furnishings, your belongings and your life.

Bottom line: “I had been airing a radio commercial talking about the importance of dryer vent cleaning for about a month when three people (in our area) died in a fire caused by a dryer vent fire,” Gessner says.

Carpet cleaning

Cost: about 50 cents per square foot for hot water extraction cleaning, or $500 for 1,000 square feet of cleaned carpet.

How often: every 12 months; more often for high-traffic areas and homes with small children, pets or smokers. Manufacturers’ warranties may require cleaning every 18 to 24 months. You can save money by focusing on regular cleanings for high-traffic areas and waiting up to two years for the entire carpet.

When: any time.

If the carpet looks dirty, you’ve waited too long because some soil can’t be removed with vacuuming. This soil will bind to your carpet and dull the texture, shortening the life of the carpet.

Your home also will be healthier with pollen, bacteria, insecticides and dirt removed, says Howard Partridge, founder and president of Clean as a Whistle, a cleaning company outside Houston.

Potential savings: extending the life of your carpet. Replacing 1,000 square feet of medium-grade carpet, including padding and installation, costs about $3,000.

Bottom line: “One of my neighbors had to replace his carpet in less than four years,” Partridge says. “And his carpet looked terrible the whole time. I’ve been able to keep my carpet for 12 years now.”

If you have any questions regarding any of these issues, or would like a recommendation for contractors, contact me directly at 678.983.7987

Cary Daniel Blumenfeld

Harry Norman, Realtors

Buckhead North Office