How to Find Out What is Your Home is Really Worth

home-valuesHome prices in your neighborhood have changed over the last few months. Is your home worth more than you think? Whether you are thinking of selling or refinancing, make sure you have trusted information about your current home price.

Find out what your home could sell for in today’s market! Check your home’s real value for free at and INSTANTLY receive a report that shows you the recently sold homes near you and how your home compares.

Get trusted advice about local market conditions from experts in the industry. Get in touch with your neighborhood experts at or 770-379-8040. Find out more about the #1 Team in Georgia for Berkshire Hathaway Homeservices at

Vinings Village Christmas Tree Lighting

CatMax_Photography_Vinings_Jubilee-96111Gather your family, friends and neighbors for an evening of holiday fun during the 45th Annual Vinings Jubilee Christmas Tree Lighting on Thursday, December 3rd from 6-8 pm in front of the Clock Tower for holiday music, delicious treats, Vinings Express train rides, face painting, balloon twisting, and Santa Claus!

The whole family can enjoy live holiday music from Whitefield Academy Jazz Band and Campbell Middle School Chorus, carolers, and delicious treats provided by the surrounding restaurants. Additional dance performances from The Studio Atlanta Dance and Lotus Performing Arts Studio. From seasonal face painting to holiday-themed balloon twisting, the event is sure to get the whole family in the spirit.

Santa will also make an appearance and is available for photos and gift requests. Last but not least, the Vinings Express Train is back again this year and making stops all around Vinings Jubilee. The 2015 Vinings Jubilee Christmas Tree Lighting is a can’t-miss tradition that is the perfect start to the holiday season!

The Annual Christmas Tree Lighting is a free community event sponsored by Paces Properties. for more info, visit

2015 Smyrna Holiday Celebration & Christmas Tree Lighting

ShowImageJoin Santa and all of your neighbors on Tuesday, November 29th on the Smyrna Village Green from 5:00 pm until 9:00 pm for “Coming Home for the Holidays.” Enjoy holiday festivities and musical performances at the Smyrna Community Center and see Santa light the big Christmas Tree on the Village Green at 7 pm. Bring the entire family for all of it and ring in the season downtown. This event marks the first official evening of holiday lights in our downtown.

Admission is free. Smyrna Community Center – 200 Village Green Circle, Smyrna, 30080. For more information, call Parks & Recreation at 770-431-2842. Rain date is Tuesday, Dec. 8.

Music/Singing Schedule is as follows:

Mistletoe Music Hall (inside Community Center)
5:45 –6:05 p.m. Russell Elementary School Lynn Boland, Director
6:05 – 6:20 p.m. Nickajack Elementary School Shannon Bassett, Director
6:25 – 6:45 p.m. Cumberland Christian Academy, Patriot Singers Debbie Holyfield, Director
7:00 p.m. Tree Lighting Ceremony on Village Green
7:10 – 7:30 p.m. Brown Elementary School Chorus Carla Jackson, Director
7:30 – 7:50 p.m. Whitfield Academy Chorus Brian Coski, Director

Holiday Hall (inside Community Center)
5:00 – 5:20 p.m. Norton Park Elementary School Chorus Jason Passmore, Director
5:25 – 5:45 p.m. Belmont Hills Elementary School Samuel Holmes, Director
5:50 – 6:10 p.m. King Springs Elementary School, Melody Makers Christa Joy Chase, Director
6:15 – 6:30 p.m. Smyrna First United Methodist Church Kim Duggins, Director
6:35 – 6:55 p.m. Teasley Elementary School Roxanne Smith, Director
7:00 p.m. Tree Lighting Ceremony on Village Green
7:10 – 7:30 p.m. Sanders Elementary School Chris Chance, Director
7:35 – 7:55 p.m. Argyle Elementary School Stanley Homer, Director

Ho! Ho! Hall (inside Community Center)
6:00 – 6:30 p.m. Osborne High School Orchestra Jane Cumminisky, Director
6:30 – 6:55 p.m. Whitfield Academy Orchestra DeAnna Baldwin, Director
7:00 p.m. Tree Lighting Ceremony on Village Green
7:10 – 8:00 p.m. Tara Winds Ensembles Dr. Andrea Strauss, Director

Outside Carol Sing
6:40 – 6:50 p.m. God’s Light Youth Ensemble Kim Duggins, Director Smyrna First United Methodist Church
Donner’s Deli (inside Community Center)
6:00 – 7:00 p.m. Helen Cunningham Piano Studio Helen Cunningham, Director

Tree Lighting Ceremony Visit With Santa – Ho! Ho! Hall
7:00 p.m. Santa arrives to light the great 7:30 – 9:00 p.m. Santa will be available for pictures.
Christmas tree on the Village Green. Sponsored by Smyrna Optimist Club.

Holiday Bazaar – Ho! Ho! Hall Donner’s Deli
5:00 – 9:00 p.m. Local arts and crafts items 6:00 – 8:45 p.m. Located downstairs – across from
for sale. Get an early start on Holiday Hall. The Smyrna Business
your Christmas shopping. Association will sell hot dogs, cold
beverages and desserts.

2015 Lights of Life


The Lights of Life is an annual tradition that was started by Life University in 1989 as a gift to the local community. Talk of the Lights of LIFE spread quickly, given the location, quality and low cost. As the most affordable holiday light show in the Southeast, the Lights of LIFE holiday light display has become a yearly tradition. Now nearly half a million spectators from the surrounding region cruise through the spectacularly illuminated campus annually! New displays are added, and the entire arrangement is unique each year. The 65 foot tall rendition of Santa and his sleigh is the tallest display in the Southeast. The Lights of Life event runs every night from November 26th through December 31st.

The Lights of Life is held on the the campus of Life University (1269 Barclay Circle – off Hwy 41 just north of Dobbins AFB, Marietta) just north of Smyrna Vinings from 6pm to 10pm daily.

The cost to enter is:

  • $10 per car: Friday/Saturday/Sunday; November 26—29; & December 18—31  |  6:00-10:00 p.m.
  • $5 per car: Monday—Thursday  |  6:00-10:00 p.m. (except for above listed dates)
  • $20 per bus regardless of date

This is a zero-profit operation. Fees cover the cost of the electricity for the lights, as well as the costs associated with the ongoing operations.

The Lights of Life is a visual treat the whole family will enjoy, plus a few other attractions as well (weather permitting):

  • Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, pictures with Santa Claus ($12 per photo; $20 for two copies of the same photo)
  • Pony rides ($5 per rider)
  • Train rides ($3 per rider)
  • Petting zoo ($3 per person)
  • Concession stand offering seasonal drinks and snacks for purchase (Prices vary & no outside food or beverage is permitted)

For more information or questions about Lights of Life, please call (678) 331-4334 or visit

The Best Mobile App for House Hunters!

Many consumers will be getting new mobile devices this holiday season. This is a great time to update your device with the latest version of our BHHS Georgia Properties Mobile App. Our Mobile App provides all the listings from our 8 local MLS services and offers augmented reality. We have the fastest updates, the most filtering options plus Sold Properties and the ability to Search Properties by Drives Times. Get the mobile app today by texting DREAMHOME to 404.620.2300

How to Hire the Best Moving Company

Buying, renting, or selling a home can be a stressful process. Packing up your household is just one of the many tasks that can quickly become overwhelming when you move. Getting your belongings safely to their new home doesn’t have to be stressful. It just takes a little research to find a reliable and reputable company. Follow these great & informative tips from consumer reporter and guru Clark Howard on how to hire the best, most reputable and reliable moving company:

There’s Still Time to Get Up to a $500 Tax Credit!

UnknownHomeowners still have time this year to rack up a $200-$500 federal tax credit on new windows and doors and other home improvements, according to consumer website HouseLogic. The key is ensuring you install products that fit the Feds’ exacting standards.


Replace Your Front Door

Replacing your front door can pay for itself by increasing your home’s value, according to Remodeling magazine’s annual Cost vs. Value Report.

What’s more, if you choose an energy-efficient exterior door, you may qualify for a tax credit that can save you up to $500 as well as trim up to 10% off your energy bills. (With utility bills averaging $2,200 annually, that’s a savings of as much as $220.)

But how do you know which door is right for you? Make your decision by comparing the three main materials available for exterior doors: steel, fiberglass and wood. Read more at


Insulate Your Home

Whether it’s summer heat or winter cold, insulation makes your house a lot more livable. If you add insulation before the end of the year, you’ll be eligible to collect a $500 energy tax credit.

Tax credit limits and deadlines:

  • 10% of expenditures, up to $500 for the year, for all energy improvements combined. It’s a lifetime credit.
  • Insulation must have been installed by Dec. 31, 2013.
  • Save receipts and labels for Uncle Sam.

Adding insulation is a relatively affordable home improvement project, and the savings can be felt almost immediately. Some DIYers can even tackle the project themselves over a weekend. The Energy Star site is your safest bet for information on how to get the credit. Energy Star has been pretty flexible on what it allows for this credit. Products that reduce air leaks also qualify. Installation isn’t covered, though. Don’t rely solely on contractors who may not know the details or who promise their products will get the credit in order to make a sale. Read more:


Install a More Efficient Water Heater

Doing the dishes, taking a shower, or cleaning your clothes — you need hot water and lots of it. The government understood, and offers an energy tax credit for adding a more efficient hot water heater to your home.

Tax credit limits and deadlines:

  • You must have installed the water heater by Dec. 31, 2013.
  • 10% of expenditures, up to $300, for a non-solar water heater, including installation. (You can spend a lifetime total of 10% of expenditures up to $500 for all approved energy purchases combined. If you already claimed energy tax credits up to this limit, you’re done.)
  • Save receipts and labels for Uncle Sam.

There are many different kinds of hot water heaters, so the Energy Star site is a good bet for info. It’s very specific on what is and is not credit-eligible. For instance, it must have a thermal efficiency of at least 90%. Read more at

Get That New Roof You’ve Been Needing
If you added a heat-efficient metal or asphalt roof to your house, you’ll be better equipped to fight August’s heat. And since the government extended the energy tax credit for existing homes, you may be able to claim the $500 energy tax credit by filing IRS Form 5695 with your return.Tax credit limits and deadlines:

  • 10% of expenditures, up to a lifetime $500, for all energy improvements combined.
  • A relevant roof must have been installed by Dec. 31, 2013.
  • Save receipts and labels.
  • For roofs, installation isn’t covered.

See Energy Star for guidelines on what exactly is covered. It’s your safest bet for information on how to get the credit. Be warned that not all roofs, not even all roofs with the Energy Star seal, will qualify. Only specially manufactured roofs, as listed on the Energy Star site, are eligible. Read more at


The 81st Annual North Georgia State Fair

The 81st Annual Superior Plumbing North Georgia State Fair will take place Thursday, Sept. 19 through Sunday, Sept. 29, at Jim R. Miller Park in Marietta. Attracting nearly 300,000 people from throughout metro Atlanta, North Georgia and surrounding states, the Superior Plumbing North Georgia State Fair is the largest fair in metro Atlanta and the second largest in Georgia. Once again, exciting concerts are scheduled for The Georgia Lottery Concert Series. Scheduled entertainers who will perform in the covered arena include:

  • Phillips, Craig and Dean on Friday, Sept. 20
  • Lauren Alaina on Saturday, Sept. 21
  • Lee Brice on Wednesday, Sept. 25
  • Loretta Lynn on Thursday, Sept. 26
  • Colt Ford on Friday, Sept. 27
  • Jerrod Niemann on Saturday, Sept. 28

All concerts begin at 8 p.m. and admission is free with your fair admission.

New for 2013 is the Georgia Mountain Lift, the longest lift in Georgia, spanning more than 2,000 feet. Patrons can ride from one end of the fairgrounds to the other as more than 130 cars take you above all the action of the fair and the James H. Drew Carnival Midway. New Live shows that are free with paid admission include Sea Lion Splash!, The Tiger Encounter with Teen Tiger Mom, Felicia Frisco and the Rowdy Rooster Puppet Show. All-time favorite shows and attractions returning again this year include Horses, Horses, Horses!, Brian Ruth “Master of the Chainsaw” and Wit Carson’s Petting Zoo.


Advance tickets can be purchased for $5.00 for adults, and $11.00 for a book of 21 ride tickets – nearly 50 percent off. There is a $1.00 fee for postage and handling. Advance tickets are on sale at Regular tickets can be purchased at the gate at $7.00 for adults, with children 10 and under free. Ride tickets are $1.25 each, $20.00 for 21 tickets, $50.00 for 55 tickets and 120 tickets for $100. Parking is $3.00. Discount tickets are available at all metro-Atlanta Walgreens stores through Sept. 20. Discount tickets are $3.50 for adult admission and $11 for 21 ride tickets. Specials during the fair include ‘Unlimited Ride Specials’ – $15 pay one price ride special on Monday, Sept. 23; $18 pay one price ride special on Thursday, Sept. 19 (opening day), Tuesday, Sept. 24 and Wednesday, Sept. 25; $25 pay one price ride special on Saturdays, Sept. 21 and 28 from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. (good till close). For more information, visit or

The Best Time of Year to Buy Household Items

Sale_092012_vr_tif_Homeownership can be costly when it comes to all of the furnishings, electronics, and tools it takes to run a household.  A great article recently posted by Realty Times reveals the best time of year to buy certain household items in order to score the biggest savings.

They looked at two studies, one by Decide Inc. and the Wall Street Journal, and the other by Other reports from AARP and LifeHacker offer month-by-month buying bargains for everything from appliances to power tools.

It seems there’s a deal every month on certain items. Here’s the rundown month by month:

January: Furniture, new flooring, and bedding and linens

February: Air conditioners and older model televisions that will soon be moving out for newer models

March: Gardening tools, china, and flatware

April: Vacuum cleaners

May: Barbecue equipment, patio furniture, and home office furniture

June: Tools

July: Kitchen appliances, such as refrigerators and ranges

August: Linens and storage containers

September: Grills and lawn mowers

October: Appliances and clearance patio furniture and outdoor items

November: Electronics, appliances, and tools

December: Televisions, electronics, and small appliances like toasters and blenders

Cobb County Offering Help With Home Repairs

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Cobb County is offering one-time Minor Home Repair Grants of up to $10,000 to low income homeowners for repairs that solve health and safety risks. Examples of the repairs are HVAC and furnace work, roofing, electrical and plumbing work, septic system repair and window and door replacements. Zero percent loans are also available for lead paint or asbestos abatement.

If you think you or someone you know might be eligible, please contact the Community Development Block Grant office at 770-528-1455. Program eligibility depends on many factors, including household income.