March 2023

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May the road rise up to meet you, May the wind be always at your back, May the sun shine warm upon your face, and the rain fall soft upon your fields, and until we meet again, May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Spring has Sprung! Thank you to our readers and advertisers, what a joy it is to be part of your community. Love,

4 Our Town
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CONTENTS Note from the Publisher............................4 Talkin’ Sports with Justin A Sit Down Interview with Darren O’Day.......11 Cover Story: Welcome to North Cobb Christian School.....15 Community Spotlight GHSA State Swim & Dive Champions.............21 Travel Expert Exploring the Emerald Isle.............................24 Real Estate As the Weather Warms, Deb Ratchford Shares Things to Consider When Buying a Home.......30 6 24 Travel The Emerald Isle In This Issue MARCH 2023 Cover Story North Cobb Christian School 30 11 Talkin’ Sports A Day with O’Day 21 15 Community Spotlight GHSA State Swim & Dive Champions Real Estate Warm Weather Home-Buying Thoughts

Our Town is published and direct mailed monthly to prestigious homes in Cobb County. Opinions expressed by the editorial staff are their own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publisher. Our Town reserves the right to edit and or reject any editorial or advertising content. Our Town is not responsible for errors in advertising beyond the cost of the space or for the validity of claims made by advertisers. Entire contents copyright 2023 by Our Town. Reproduction in whole or in part is forbidden in any media without prior written permission from the publisher.

PUBLISHER/MANAGING EDITOR

Tara Hill Hanover

EDITOR/SPORTS CONTRIBUTOR

Justin Hanover

DIGITAL EDITOR

Kimberly Watkins-Swenk

GRAPHICS AND DESIGN

Jules Fandos

ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES

West Cobb

Sara Young sara@ourtownmonthly.com

Smyrna/Vinings/Galleria/Cumberland

Misty Flanders-White misty@ourtownmonthly.com

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

Heather Meliski

Deborah Ratchford

PO Box 813610

Smyrna, GA 30081-8610

(678)337-7844

info@ourtownmonthly.com www.ourtownmonthly.com

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Senior Living Communities

SAFE SOCIAL

STERLING ESTATES COMMUNITIES STRONGER THAN EVER

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“What I’ve learned is that all communities talk about wellness and socialization… but they don’t have the wellness center, greenspace, programming and staffing that Sterling Estates has. No one can match what Sterling provides for their residents. My parents are thriving at Sterling Estates… Bet yours will too” - Susan S.

Best of Cobb

2022-2019

Retirement, Assisted Living & Memory Care

Graphics and
Design
Account Executive
Feature
Writers Publishers/Editors
Demery & Lori McLinden Our Town is published and direct mailed monthly to prestigious homes in the West Cobb Area. Opinions expressed by the editorial staff are their own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publisher. Our Town reserves the right to edit and or reject any editorial or advertising content. Our Town is not responsible for errors in advertising beyond the cost of the space or for the validity of claims made by advertisers. Entire contents copyright 2018 by Our Town Reproduction in whole or in part is forbidden in any media without prior written permission from the publisher. Our Town Monthly 109 Anderson Street Suite 109 Marietta, GA 30060 678-337-7844 Fax: 678-337-7825 info@ourtownmonthly.com www.ourtownmonthly.com Monthly F AMILY L IFESTYLE N EWS M AGAZINE Our Town in this issue
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AGE IN PLACE

At Varenita, residents can “age in place” comfortably and securely. One of the main benefits of choosing Varenita of West Cobb is that residents can stay in the same community and, in many cases, the same “living area” even as their health care requirements change. This means that once you or your loved one moves into our beautiful community, it’s home. No matter how much needs to change over time.

ASSISTED LIVING

The perfect option for independent seniors who want support with daily tasks and personal care.

Varenita of West Cobb’s personalized assisted living care is designed for primarily independent seniors looking for a rich and rewarding lifestyle with an enhanced level of support. Guided by compassion and clinical expertise, our highly trained team members offer residents the gentle, individually focused support they need to flourish while retaining their independence.

Personalized Care for All Stages of Aging

TRANSITIONAL CARE

This specialized program is ideal for those living with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or early memory loss. Our industry-leading transitional care program is built around an inclusive “open campus” model. It is specifically designed for residents experiencing the early symptoms of memory loss or MCI but may not require the full attention or secure environment of a traditional memory program. Residents who are appropriate for transitional care continue to reside in the Assisted Living area of the community while receiving additional support with daily activities.

MEMORY CARE

An enriching and supportive program designed for those living with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementias.

Based on the latest research, Varenita’s memory care program offers a truly compassionate approach to care designed for those residents living with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementias. This living option combines an engaging, secure memory care neighborhood with a stimulating, person-centered lifestyle often missing from other cognitive care programs.

ON-SITE THERAPY SERVICES

Unlike many other senior living communities, Varenita offers comprehensive physical, occupational, and speech therapy services for all our residents without the hassel of having to leave the community.

FIVE-STAR RESTAURANT-STYLE DINING

Varenita offers residents and their families an impressive mix of delicious cuisine and rich dining experiences. Our accomplished chef and culinary team create an ever-changing menu of delicious entrees made with organic, locally sourced ingredients across three beautiful dining venues. These include vegetarian, gluten-free, and specially designed dishes for residents with specific dietary needs. In addition, we have a registered dietitian available to help with residents’ nutritional needs.

THE VALUE OF CONNECTION

At Varenita, we offer an impressive mix of activities, classes, and events that foster engagement, stimulate the mind, and provide a rewarding sense of purpose.

• Arts & Crafts

• Daily Gardening

• Group Outings

• Move & Dance

• Animal Activities

• Cooking Classes

• Music & Song

• Live Concerts

• Exercise Classes

• Family Events

• Guest Speakers

Varenita of West Cobb | 1979 Mars Hill Road, Acworth, GA 30101 | 470-750-3500
10 Our Town 770.805.9977 4500 W. Village Place Suite 1011 / Smyrna

A Sit-down with Darren O’Day

n this month’s Talkin’ Sports I had the honor and privilege of sitting down with former Atlanta Brave and current Cobb County resident, Darren O’Day. The 15year Major Leaguer veteran, who is a former All-Star and finished his career with a record of 42-21, just retired in January. O’Day climbed the sports’ highest mountain by reaching the World Series in 2010.

QA&

JH: You have played for six teams in 15 years in the Big Leagues, pitched in 644 games and made an All-Star game as well as played in a World Series. Do you ever look back and pinch yourself?

O’Day: Absolutely! I never fathomed I would be able to play in MLB let alone for as long as I did. I was lightly recruited out of high school, with only a few offers from some small schools. I chose to go to UF and walk on the team. I learned to pitch sidearm the summer after my freshman year in a men’s league in Jacksonville, FL. At the risk of being Rudy, I tried out again and the rest is history.

JH: Except for a year with the Yankees, you have been a Brave since 2019. I believe you even took less money recently to stay in Atlanta. What has this organization meant to you?

O’Day: Top to bottom, the Braves are a first class organization. The new stadium and the way the leadership runs the operation make it an easy place to love. There is a culture of family in the building and everyone seems to genuinely care about each other. It also helps that I grew up watching the Braves and Cubs predominantly because they were just about the only teams on my TV. Liz and I lived in Smyrna (2009-2011) when we were newlyweds so I was already familiar with the city when I got traded over in 2018. We liked it then, but playing here for the last few years caused us to fall in love with the city and decide to settle here.

JH: You’ve obviously traveled to many cities throughout the years and have now decided to live and send your children to school here in Cobb County. With all that you have seen and experienced what is it about our community that you love so much?

O’Day: We love Atlanta, living twenty minutes from a big city and all the entertainment it provides. Atlanta is so big and diverse that you can find anything you want here. We settled in East Cobb specifically for the schools and outdoor activities nearby. We spend a lot of time down by the river and exploring the parks of the area. I love to golf and cycle so this is a great area for me personally now that I will have more free time!

JH: As you look back over your illustrious career is there any memory that you can call your favorite?

O’Day: My greatest personal achievement was making the 2015 All Star team. For a player who didn’t have any fanfare throughout my career, it was surreal to be standing on the foul lines for the national anthem with all the very best players in the world. Playing in the 2010 World Series and a handful of league champion series is probably my favorite team memory. The season is so long and arduous that just making the playoffs is a tall task. So to be able to play in them so many times is a blessing. The 2020 season during

the shutdown was unique in that there no fans or family at the games. That part was a challenge, but it led to the team being very close because we were all we had to get through the unique challenges together. We were a very close group and I felt like we should have taken home the trophy.

JH: What is the greatest professional advice you have ever received and from whom?

O’Day: I’ve received a lot of great advice and help along the way. One thing that sticks out to me was a quote from former PGA golfer and now analyst Paul Azinger. He spoke to our team in Baltimore before the playoffs and was relaying some lessons learned from captaining the 2008 USA Ryder Cup squad. This is the most pressure packed and emotional event on the golf calendar and the golfers have to adjust playing for a team instead of themselves. He used various leadership techniques to get the best out of them, but he said something that stuck with me. He advised us to remember that pressure is a privilege. The pressure is only there because you are one of the best in the world at something that matters to a lot of people. So do your best to embrace all the things that come along with that pressure and relish it.

JH: You are a Florida Gator. Has it been tough watching the Dawgs win the Back-to-Back football National Championships?

O’Day: I don’t get too excited about college football which is an unpopular sentiment in these parts. Somebody has to win the title, and I’m glad it’s someone besides Alabama.

JH: Throughout your career you have been clean shaven and have also had the moustache and a beard at times. What is the look the newly retired Darren O’Day is going to settle in with?

O’Day: Not sure yet. I will continue to explore the space. I don’t have much of a palette to work with.

JH: What does the future hold? Can you see yourself staying in baseball in some way, whether coaching or in any other capacity?

O’Day: I’d love to coach, but the time investment is more than I’m willing to make at the pro level. I might dabble in some broadcasting, whether it be TV or radio. I will be doing all the hobbies I was never able to entertain while I was playing and spending more time with the family and friends.

Some rapid fire questions:

Best hitter you have ever faced: Mike Trout

Best pitcher you have ever seen: Jacob DeGrom

Best teammate: Too many to choose one

Favorite team growing up: Cubs

Pre-game go to music: Whatever is playing in the clubhouse

Favorite movie: I used to say Gladiator, but haven’t seen it in years

Favorite meal: Chicken fingers and honey mustard

JH: Thanks a ton for the time, Darren and good luck in your retirement and whatever comes next!

Talkin’ Sports Talkin’ Sports
I
Justin
Hanover is a sports reporter/analyst who has worked in the business since 1996. His stops have included ESPN, CNN, 790 The Zone, 680 The Fan and the Atlanta Falcons. He has also done play-by-play analysis and color commentary ranging from the high school level all the way through the professional level. Justin lives in Smyrna with his wife and three children.
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Prepared for Impact

Equipping students uncommonlywell for life beyond high school at North Cobb Christian School.

In middle school, Cole Carden was struggling. It’s not an uncommon story: boy gets to middle school, starts questioning authority, gets in a bit of trouble, and doesn’t find God very relevant. What was uncommon about Cole’s story is what happened next. Cole had started attending North Cobb Christian School (NCCS) in fifth grade, and he knew the middle school principal, Craig Konchak. In fact, they had butted heads. But rather than dole out detentions, Mr. Konchak issued an invitation.

“I was getting into a little bit of trouble after transitioning to a new school, and I was struggling with my faith. Mr. Konchak noticed that,” shares Cole. “He called me into his office once a month to have lunch with him. At first it was against my will, but he said, ‘You’re coming to lunch with me, and we’re going to talk.’ He showed me compassion and modeled what it looks like to live out your faith in an authentic way. He took time to invest in me, and to this day, that bond has greatly impacted my walk with God.”

Ready to Launch

This spring, Cole will graduate from North Cobb Christian School and head to the United States Coast Guard Academy, where he has been recruited to swim for the school’s elite swimming and diving team. Cole says he feels very prepared for this next journey, largely because of the investment of the administrators and teachers at NCCS. “The school is very transparent. They don’t sugar coat discipline issues, and they don’t dodge social issues. Instead, they try to resonate with kids and show them how to address issues head-on,” explains Cole. “For example, Mr. Shaffer, my Bible teacher, leads us in debating real ethical issues you hear about in the news, but with the Bible as the authority.”

The Myth of the “Christian School Bubble”

Countering the thought that Christian schools are a “bubble” that keeps students from the real world, Cole says, “Our school is definitely not a bubble. Inside our school, we have all the same issues teenagers have at any school. I think the issues breed more in other schools where they can’t address them how we do, though. At NCCS, we can attack the issue and get to the root of the problem through the lens of God’s truth.”

Christina Surcey, a junior at NCCS who transferred from another school her sophomore year, agrees with Cole. “I wanted to come to NCCS because my previous school was becoming very unsafe with a lot of gun and bomb threats. Seven police officers had to show up one day. I felt instantly safer at NCCS because it’s fully gated, and there’s a guardhouse and a security team -- but it’s the teachers that really make this school feel safe,” shares Christina. “The teachers here are absolutely amazing. They’re challenging -- my classes are harder here -- but they really care and give students a safe space to process life.”

Standing for Truth in a Fallen World

Christina remembers coming to NCCS on the first day and being amazed that another student held the door for her, her teachers asked how she was doing, and everyone stood for the pledge to the flag. “When they said to stand for the pledge and everyone in the class did it without question, I felt such a flood of relief,” says Christina. “Here, there’s just a foundation of respect being built in us. There’s an emphasis on God that pervades everything. It’s awesome that we can talk about Jesus, worship during chapel, and all come together and pray. Coming from a public school, I am so grateful.”

Head of School Todd Clingman, who has led NCCS since 2007, says that the school’s mission is to help students navigate a world where truth is eroding. “Our children face so many attacks on their identity,” he says. “We aren’t only equipping students to get into college. We’re giving them a firm foundation in Christ, so they’re equipped to stand for truth in a fallen world.”

Cole Carden echoes this mission: “NCCS is not a bubble that keeps kids from the real world. It’s a training ground that equips kids for the real world. I know I’m ready.”

ncchristian.org | K3 - 12th grade Schedule a personal tour: 770.975.0252 or info@ncchristian.org
M. Jae Photography / Michelle Wild / mjaephotography.com NCCS senior Cole Carden NCCS junior Christina Surcey
16 Our Town www.myposhandpampered.com 770 742 5248 Open Phone camera, aim at the QR code, tap the banner. Special Occasions, Birthdays, Prom, Quinceañera, Wedding, Date Night, Charter, Corporate, Real Estate House Showing, Airport-Doctor's appointment Sprinter Limousine Service for: F loralCreationsFlorist , i n c FLORAL CREATIONS FLORIST, INC. 770.433.0621 Family Owned / Serving Smyrna, Surrounding Areas & Metro Atlanta Since 1980 floralcreationsflorist.com Dickson Shopping Center l 3308 South Cobb Drive, SE, Smyrna 30080 We are here for all your floral needs! Custom Prom Corsages & Bouts for 2023! ORDER EARLY! s co u t s h a b b a t Friday, March 10 at 7:15 pm Honoring Boy Scouts & Girl Scouts in our Community Flag Ceremony | Prayer Service | See the Torah Scout Shabbat Patches | All Scouts Welcome rsvp: scoutshabbat@mynertamid.org We s t C o bb ’ s Re fo r m Co ng re g at i o n www mynertamid.org ing our Community a Home 1349 Old Hwy 41, #220, Marietta, GA 30060 • 678-264-8575 10th Annual
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Community Spotlight

2023 GHSA State Swimming & Diving CHAMPIONS

For this month’s Community Spotlight we dive into the pool following the 2023 GHSA State Championship Swimming & Diving Meet and highlight our wonderful Cobb County swimmers. Our own Justin Hanover called the races for the NFHS Network and was blown away by what he saw.

“We have a tremendous amount of swimming talent in Cobb on both the men’s and women’s sides. I was constantly calling out the names of Lassiter and Walton and Harrison and Campbell and so on. This is a tremendous tribute to the amazing coaches we have in our neighborhood developing these High Schoolers and bringing Championships to us,” Justin said.

The Lassiter Lady Trojans won the overall State Championship for the fourth consecutive year and the Walton boys also took home the big trophy in the team competition. This was the first time the Raiders pulled off the feat since the back-to-back Championships in 2014 and 2015.

Congratulations to all of our outstanding athletes!

HILLGROVE HAWKS l 7A

Men’s 200 Free Relay placed 9th Cameron Warren, Nathan Rariden, Justin Knauf & Lathan Parks

Nathan Rariden placed 3rd in the 100 Free and 200 Free

Noah Smith 6A State Champion in the 50 Free and 100 Free

Julia Hodgson led the Lady Spartans in points, scoring 18, qualified for finals in all four of her events and placed 10th in the 100 back.

The Men’s Swim Team had their best finish at State in over 23 years! Luke Watkins led the team in scoring with 29 points, qualified for finals in all four of his events and placed 10th in the 200 IM and 7th in the 500 Free. Watkins broke two school records on the season: 200 free at 1:50.05 and 500 free at 4:39.02.

placed 4th

Elliot Elmore placed 3rd in 100 Breaststroke

Elizabeth Tilt 6A State Champion in the 100 Fly & 200 IM

Overall Men’s Team State Champions!

Men’s 200 Free Relay placed 3rd: William Iglar, Theo Thomas, Jesse Franks & Griffin Lovett

WHITEFIELD WOLFPACK l 1-3A

Overall Men’s Team finished Second in the State. Jackson Brooks: 500 Free State Champion!

Walton Raiders l 7A Campbell Spartans l 7A Harrison Hoyas l 7A Men’s 200 Medley Relay broke the Harrison High School Record and placed 6th at State Sam Voss, Isaiah Martin, Robby Young & Mitch McClain 7A Women’s 400 Free Relay placed 2nd Hannah Knight, Addie Rice, Kayla Wright & Isabella Klinefelter Isabella Klinefelter 7A State Champion in the 200 Free & 100 Fly Mitch McClain 7A Champion in 100 Free & Runner Up in the 200 Free ALLATOONA BUCCANEERS l 6A Men’s 200 Medley Relay Finished in Second Place: Noah Smith, Gus Bried, Bennett Baer & Landon Hanesworth LASSITER TROJANS l 6A Overall Women’s Team State Champions! State Champions in the Women’s 200 Medley Relay, the 200 Free Relay & the 400 Free Relay Lassiter High School Men
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The Emerald Isle

Ireland has been one of my top multigenerational vacation requests for this year and may be a great destination for your next vacation. Since this is the month that we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, I wanted to share my can’t-miss experiences for the Emerald Isle.

Ireland is comprised of two separate countries – The Republic of Ireland (commonly referred to as ‘Ireland’) is an independent country and Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom. The Republic of Ireland uses the Euro for their currency whereas Northern Ireland uses the pound sterling. It’s easy to move between the two countries but they are separate so make sure you have your passport on you if you are in the northern half of the country.

There is so much to see and do in Ireland and Northern Ireland. Here are some of my most requested experiences:

Cliffs of Moher – no trip to Ireland is complete without seeing this natural wonder and no photograph will do their beauty justice. Located in County Clare about 1.5 hours from Galway, this is Ireland’s most-visited natural attraction.

Ring of Kerry – this stretch on the Wild Atlantic Way should take you roughly 3 hours to drive but plan for longer because you will want to stop to see the breathtaking ocean and mountain views as well as visit some of the quaint villages along the way.

Blarney Castle and Blarney Stone – located just outside of Cork in County Cork at the Blarney Castle, legend has it that you must kiss the stone upside down while hanging over a drop off.

Visit a castle – there are so many castles to choose from but some of the more popular Irish castles are the Rock of Cashel in County Tipperary, Bunratty Castle in County Clare, and King John’s Castle in Limerick. Others include Ashford Castle, Cahir Castle, Dunguaire Castle, and Kilkenny Castle.

The Wild Atlantic Way – this stretch of road along the western coast measures 1,700 miles long and features over 1,000 attractions. The drive is broken into five sections and some of the most popular attractions in Ireland are located along the drive –the Dingle Peninsula, Ring of Kerry, Cliffs of Moher, Killarney National Park, Loop Head, The Burren, Killary Harbour, and more.

Aran Islands – comprised of three islands – Inishmore, Inishmaan, and Inisheer – this unique experience feels like taking a step back in time. Roughly 12,000 people live on the islands where Gaelic is spoken and the culture is quite different from the mainland. Make sure to visit Dun Aonghasa.

Dublin – eat and drink your way through the city and enjoy the local attractions by foot. Make sure you visit the Temple Bar District and Guinness Storehouse.

Giant’s Causeway – located in County Antrim in Northern Ireland, Giant’s Causeway is comprised of unique basalt columns formed by volcanic activity. On a clear day you can see Scotland in the distance. While you’re in the area make sure to check out Old Bushmills Distillery, the famous Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge, Dunluce Castle, and the seaside town of Portrush.

Belfast – the most popular attraction here is the Titanic Belfast. The shipyard where the infamous RMS Titanic was built has been transformed into a wonderful museum where you can see mementos and walk the decks of the ill-fated ship.

Have a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day! Slàinte!

24 Our Town
Heather Meliski is a travel agent specializing in the Caribbean, Hawaii, Mexico, Europe, Australia, the South Pacific, cruises, theme parks, and more. She lives in Smyrna with her husband two sons. Heather@yellowshoetravel.com FB @ heatheryellowshoetravel IG @yellowshoetravelheather

Home is where the heart is at Dogwood Forest Acworth Assisted Living & Memory Care and so is the CARE. We love our residents like family and you can visit our website and hear from family members why they love us, too.

WE OFFER:

• Short Term Stays

• Studio & 1BR Apartments

• On-site Rehab

• Robust Activities & Programs

• 3 Miles from Local Hospitals

• Pastoral Chaplain as we are a Faith-based Company For information, please contact Lori Ghassedi at:

Our Town 25
4461 South Main St. l Acworth, GA 30101
678-624-9274 | www.dogwoodforest.com

Our Main Street teens are back with this classic, timeless story loved by all! Follow the yellow brick road in this delightful stage adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s beloved tale, featuring the iconic musical score from the MGM film. Join young Dorothy Gale as she travels from Kansas over the rainbow to the magical Land of Oz!

THE

FRIDAY MARCH 24th/7:30PM

SATURDAY MARCH 25th/7PM

$22 -$25

The Return and it’s members are known for their utmost level of authenticity in their show. They’ve played thousands of shows all over the world, amazing fans at how much the Return sounds and looks just like the Beatles!

APRIL 15th/7PM $20 -$22

The Glowband’s 8 incredible performers bring us their featured show, Experience the Eagles, a non-stop tour of the Eagles’ top hits from the late 70’s through the 90’s!

SUMMER

OPENS MARCH 27th!

All details and registration are available online!

26 Our Town /Southern-Grace-Cleaning-LLC Kasi Freeman OWNER 404.808.0300 We offer luxury services, including laundry
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Our Town 27 QUALITY FLOORING A FAMILY BUSINESS SINCE 2008 Sourcing and installing Atlanta’s finest floors 678.615.1315 kmfloorsinc.com HARDWOOD l LUXURY VINYL PLANK CARPET l TILE l LAMINATE BATHROOM REMODEL financing available – 12 months no interest mention this ad and receive a free gift with purchase 404-301-9955 www.warriorwindowcleaning.com CALLTODAY FOR A FREE ESTIMATE! WINDOW CLEANING l GUTTER CLEANING l PRESSURE WASHING l OUTDOOR LIGHTING
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Our Town 29 #CN209995 CallBartlett.com 770-818-4339 Call Bartlett today! to have such amazing customers! We’re Lucky 770-971-1577 paintingplus.com Serving Homeowners in Marietta and North Metro Atlanta since 1998. One Call for Painting and All Exterior Renovations. House Painting, Exterior Renovations, Roofing, Siding, Gutters and More.

Warmer Weather is Here! - Let’s buy a home!

These are Great things that you must think about!

The beginning of the new year is a great time to make goals and decide what you want to do and see this year. For many people, this includes thinking about where you want to live. Do you want to change from renting to owning?

Are you thinking of taking a new job and need a closer place to live? Does you family need more space? Before you start looking for a new home, it’s important to come up with a list of musthaves and wants. Your list will help you narrow down your choices and really concentrate on what will make a house your home. Here are some sample list items you should think of!

Do you need space for hosting parties?

If you enjoy hosting get togethers with friends or hosting family holidays, you’ll have to think about spaces in your home where people can sit and talk. Perhaps this means having an open concept floor plan, where the kitchen opens into the living room. Maybe this means having a separate dining room for formal dinners.

How many bedrooms do you need?

Are you looking for a Master on the Main?

The number of bedrooms in a home may be incredibly important to you. Maybe you have a family and need space for every member, or maybe you need a home office. Many people also enjoy having a guest room for friends or family members to stay in when they visit. It’s important to figure out the minimum number of bedrooms you are comfortable with, as this will help you cross out many homes.

Do you want a backyard?

Backyards are great if you want a place for dogs to run around in the backyard, to host barbeques, or to have space for the family to be outdoors. Having a backyard also means that there is a fair bit of yard work to maintain, and you might not want the extra tasks of yard maintenance. Some people enjoy the low outdoor responsibilities of a townhome or a condo.

Where is the best place for you to live?

Location, Location, Location!

Location is always a big aspect of a home to consider. This is because location may affect every part of your life. It may affect the school district you’re in, your average commute to your job, and what amenities are nearby. For some people, living near nature trails is more important than living near shopping. For others, a short commute is more important than the school district. Lastly, location will ultimately have an affect on your home’s price and even the resale value of the property in the future, so it’s important to take a hard look at your priorities and figure out what is most important to you.

Are You Comfortable with Renovations?

Some homes are listed with fully updated features and are very modern. Other homes feature old carpets and older appliances in kitchens and the bathrooms. These features will affect the price of your home, with upgraded homes having a higher initial cost. Buying a home that needs a few renovations, however, is a great choice for homebuyers with lower budgets that don’t mind future updates to the home.

Don’t forget to make

a list of what’s

important. Creating a list of needs for your home is incredibly important, and if you’re considering buying a home this year consider contacting your local real estate agent for their expert and insider view on the real estate market. They can help match your budget to your expectations, navigate the home buying process, and even help you sell the home you’re currently in.

Great advice when Selling in Today’s Housing Market

The first step for a successful sale is to find a reputable listing agent who knows the area and comes highly recommended, lots of experience is important too. A good agent will work closely with you to price your home competitively based on many local factors while fielding questions and professionally negotiate offers from prospective buyers.

Let’s make it a Great Year!

30 Our Town
Deborah Ratchford Keller Williams Realty Cityside 678-570-4779 / Debratchford@kw.com
Deborah M Ratchford Keller Williams Cityside 3350 Atlanta Road Smyrna, GA 30080 C: 678-570-4779 O: 770-874-6205 Call the agent that knows the market and how to get over the asking price. Results Driven!!! Call today for your FREE market analysis! barry.butler@rate.com / O 404.474.3974 C 770.365.7179 125 Townpark Drive Suite 300, Office 23 / Kennesaw, GA. 30144 Barry Butler Branch Manager/VP of Mortgage Lending NMLS ID: 658820 All information is believed to be accurate, but not warranted. Each Keller Williams Realty Office is individually owned and operated. Call about this New Guaranteed Rate Mortgage Buy Down Program that saves up to 2% on your interest rate. Deb is Results Driven! www.guaranteedrate.com/barrybutler WHAT? itAgain! DebDid UNDER CONTRACT IN JUST 4 DAYS! COMING SOON IN SMYRNA!
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