Thinking of putting your home on the market?

50 Ways to make your home sell faster!

If you’re thinking of putting your home on the market in the new year, you’ll want to make sure that your home looks its best for prospective home buyers. Making sure that your home shows well not only attracts potential buyers but also keeps savvy real estate agents showing your home over and over again, giving you the best chance to get top dollar for the sale of your home. So, here are fifty great ways to make your home sparkle, shine and catch the attention of even the most finicky of home shoppers.

All over the house
1. Bring in the light – open the shutters and raise the shades.
2. Create a great mood. Turn on lights, day and night. Install higher wattage bulbs to show your home brightly.
3. Make rooms look larger by removing clutter.
4. If you have a fireplace highlight it in your decorating.
5. Keep your home dusted and vacuumed at all times.
6. If carpet can’t be cleaned, replace it.
7. Have a game plan to get the house quickly in order if necessary.
8. If possible, air out your home for one half-hour before showings. Bad odors are one of the biggest buyer turn-offs.
9. Lightly spray the house with air freshener so that it has a chance to diffuse before buyers arrive.
10. Put family photos in storage.
11. Improve traffic flow through every room by removing unnecessary furniture.
12. Create the feeling of a spacious entry area by using decorative accents and removing unnecessary furniture.
13. Putty over and paint any nail holes or other wall imperfections.
14. Paint all interior walls a neutral color to brighten the home and make it appear bigger.
15. Repair or replace and loose or damaged wallpaper.
16. Clean all light bulbs and light fixtures to brighten the home.
17. Wash all windows inside and out.
18. Use plants, for the homey feel in transitional parts of the house.
19. Make the most of your attic’s potential.
20. Remove or hide excess extension cords and exposed wires.
21. Open doors to areas you want potential buyers to see such as walk-in closets, pantries, attics, etc.
22. Remove all smoke and pet odors.
23. Remove all pets to a safe and secure place.
24. Repair or replace banisters and handrails.
Kitchen/Laundry Room
25. Microwave a small dish of vanilla twenty minutes before a showing and place it in an out-of-the-way place.
26. Highlight the eat-in area of your kitchen with a table set for dinner.
27. The kitchen and bathrooms should always be spotlessly clean.
28. Expand you counter space by removing small appliances.
29. Keep dirty close baskets and unfolded laundry stored out of sight.
30. Make sure detergents and laundry cleaners are stored way properly.
Bedrooms
31. Create a master suite effect in your decorating.
32. Depersonalize bedrooms and decorate in a neutral scheme.
33. Make sure that the beds are made and linens are clean.
34. Organize your closets, remove unnecessary items and put them in storage.
Bathrooms
35. Do not leave towels around and wipe down the sinks and shower areas after each use.
36. Re- caulk the tub if the caulk is not sparkling white.
37. Repair or replace broken tiles in the shower or tub areas
38. Replace shower curtains if necessary and keep them clean.
39. Keep toilet seats and lids down at all times.
Outside
40. Keep the yard mowed, trimmed and raked at all times.
41. Use flowering plants to dress up the yard, walkways and patios.
42. Remove all toys, bicycles, tools and unsightly patio furniture and trach from yard.
43. Porches, steps, verandas, balconies, patios and other extensions of the house should be kept uncluttered, swept and in good condition.
44. Paint all entrance doors.
45. Make sure the garage opens easily. Fix and paint garage doors if necessary.
46. Clean and shine all hardware and accessories, indoors and out (door knobs, knockers, lamps, mail box, address numbers, etc.).
47. Trees and shrubs should be trimmed and pruned.
48. Buy a new doormat.
49. Be sure the front doorbell is in good working order.
50. And, if you live on the lake at Lake Oconee, be sure to limb up the trees so everyone can enjoy that great view of the lake!

I hope this helps. Thanks for checking in. I hope you will again.

Have a great day.

For Lake Oconee real estate information call me at 770-826-4137 or access my Keller Williams website at
http://www.lakeoconeelarry.com.

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Thinking of building your Lake Oconee dream home?

20151021_142530-1-1The time may never be better!

With a slew of championship golf courses, amenity laden gated communities and over 370 miles of shoreline, Lake Oconee has become one of the most sought after vacation, second home and retirement communities in the nation. Located just 85 miles east of downtown Atlanta and a mere 45 miles south of The University of Georgia in Athens, Lake Oconee is one of the most accessible get-a-way locales in the South. So, if you’ve been searching for that perfect family weekend retreat, now may be the time to explore your options for purchasing the lakefront property you’ve only been dreaming about. The holidays are the perfect time to visit, enjoy the area and take a look around.

Formed by the Georgia Power Company in 1978, Lake Oconee is Georgia’s second largest and offers unparalleled beauty, solitude and relaxation. With its proximity and easy access to Atlanta and other neighboring states, Georgia’s Lake Country is destined to attract continuing interest for years to come.

So why buy now? Here are a few reasons why.

  • While most of the country’s major markets have recovered from the recent recession, the second home and retirement markets have been slower to recover. Yet, as people are once again feeling more secure in their jobs, their incomes rising and retirement incomes stabilizing, that is all beginning to change.
  • Over the past few years, a slower and more normal pace of growth has brought prices down to a more affordable level. In 2008, at the height of the pre-recession boom (and amid much speculative buying), the average private lakefront home site at Lake Oconee sold for $629,000, whereas the average lot in 2015 has sold for $482,000, a reduction of nearly $150,000. Pricing for affordable home sites may be found in the high $100’s.
  • Moreover, lakefront property inventories have grown considerably over the past few years, giving buyers more choices than in the past. Predictably, this won’t last forever as the pace of sales has begun to accelerate as home site prices have declined.
  • And lastly, the Federal Reserve is poised to begin adjusting interest rates and consequently mortgage rates are sure to be on the rise once again.

All of this makes for a favorable environment for buyers wanting to purchase affordable lakefront property and build a Lake Oconee lifestyle that the entire family can enjoy for years to come. Come see us soon, we enjoy making new friends.

I hope this helps. Thanks for checking in. I hope you will again.

Have a great day.

For Lake Oconee real estate information call me at 770-826-4137 or access my Keller Williams website at www.lakeoconeelarry.com.

Lake Oconee for the Holidays?

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Enjoy the fall in Georgia’s Lake Country

With Halloween only a few days away, the year-end holiday season is fast approaching. While the Lake Oconee area is naturally known for its outdoor activities and attractions, the local inhabitants know that the area offers far more than just golf, fishing and quiet walks by the lake. As the weather turns cooler and the days grow shorter, the lake area remains alive with activity and awaits discovery by those willing to venture out.

So if you have been contemplating an autumn trek to Georgia’s Lake Country, don’t fret about what to do for entertainment while you’re here. The historic towns of Greensboro, Eatonton and Madison have plenty to offer.  Upon your arrival in the Lake Oconee area, you’ll discover many enjoyable things to see and do during your stay. Besides the many shops, restaurants and unique sites, this year’s line-up of programs and performances promises to capture your imagination.  Here’s a sampling of what you can expect during final months of the year.

  • Nov 6th – 8th – “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” presented by The Greene County Players. Festival Hall, downtown Greensboro. For ticket information call 762-243-8022 or go to their website at www.greenecountyplayers.com
  • November 13th – “BINGO”, a delightful musical comedy performed at The Plaza Arts Center in Eatonton, multiple dates. For more information contact the Plaza Arts Center at 706-923-1655 or go to their website at www.theplazaartscenter.com
  • November 25th – The annual Lighting of the Tree at The Ritz Carlton Lake Oconee– This is the kickoff to the holiday season as The Lodge is turned into a winter wonderland – ice skating and hot chocolate throughout the season
  • December 4th – The City of Greensboro’s Lighting of the Tree, Downtown Greensboro, 6:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M., vendor booths, caroling and the annual visit from Santa Claus
  • December 6th – Annual Holiday Performances by local church choirs at the Plaza Arts Center in Eatonton. Performances: four and six P.M.
  • December 10th – “A Holiday Spectacular” with The Atlanta Pops Orchestra featuring Broadway Star Doug LaBrecque. Festival Hall in Greensboro. Presented by the Oconee Performing Arts Society (OPAS). For tickets contact OPAS at 706-999-1519 or www.opas.org

The holidays are a magical time of the year at Lake Oconee and our surrounding vicinity. There’s no better place to celebrate the holidays, enjoy the warmth of family and company of great friends. We hope you will join us and we look forward to your visit.

I hope this helps. Thanks for checking in. I hope you will again.

We look forward to seeing you soon around the Lake Oconee area.  Have a great day.

For Lake Oconee real estate information call me at 770-826-4137 or access my Keller Williams website at www.lakeoconeelarry.com.

You’ve decided to look for a new home! Now what?

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Getting Qualified for Financing

Routinely my job as a Lake Oconee realtor is to assist home buyers in their search for the home of their dreams.  For some, it is a search for their first home. For others, it is a search for a private lakefront retreat or peaceful golf course cottage. In any case, each search starts out the same. There is a sense of excitement, a sense of anticipation and a sense of purpose. It’s an adventure that can lead to one of the most rewarding finds of your lifetime, a home that provides and reflects a lifestyle that can be enjoyed for years to come.

But without the proper planning and preparation your dreams of home ownership can slip away before they’re realized. The foundation for a successful search starts with an assessment of your financial viability for purchasing a home.

The first important decision that needs to be made concerns whether you will pay cash (if you are able) or finance all or part of the purchase price. If you’re deciding to finance, it is always best to get prequalified or preapproved prior to spending the day viewing a stream of houses. Your realtor will appreciate the forethought!

So, what’s the difference between Prequalification and Preapproval?

Prequalification is when a lender evaluates how much you can afford to borrow using the information you provide about your income and credit information. Usually, the lender will evaluate your credit score and your income information to make a determination of credit worthiness. In most cases, the process can be completed in just a matter of a few hours, or less.

Preapproval is a more involved process in which the lender actually verifies your income, employment, debt obligations and other financial information. Then all that is needed for final loan approval is an appraisal and title verification.

So, why do you need to get prequalified or preapproved?

The short answer is that the entire home buying experience will go much smoother and faster for all involved, if you’re qualified in advance. But to be more specific, once qualified…….

  • You will know how much money you will be able to borrow for the purchase. You can then decide how much (or little) of a down payment to make.
  • Not all loan products are the same. Knowing how much you can borrow may allow you the flexibility to shop for the loan package that best suits your financial needs.
  • You will know how much house you can afford. You can now avoid wasting time on homes outside your price range and more closely focus your search.
  • Sellers are more likely to accept an offer from a prequalified buyer. Today’s sellers are looking for assurances that the sale will be completed as specified and that the buyer has the means to close the transaction.
  • And lastly, when you do find the home you’ve been looking for, you will be able to act quickly and not risk another buyer making an offer while you take the time to seek financing.

Searching for a home can be fun and thrilling but if you take the time to prepare in advance, your search is bound to go more smoothly and productively.

I hope this helps. Thanks for checking in. I hope you will again.

We look forward to seeing you soon around the Lake Oconee area.  Have a great day.

For more Lake Oconee information call me at 770-826-4137 or access my Keller Williams website at www.lakeoconeelarry.com.

Life Just Keeps Getting Better at Reynolds Plantation

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Plantation Course Renovation

If you are an avid golfer or even follow golf closely, you know that Reynolds Plantation is one of the best golfing destinations in the country. Located just over an hour east of Atlanta and nestled along the shores of Lake Oconee, Reynolds offers six championship golf courses, each with a world-class design and a unique golfing challenge. Opened over 30 years ago and now owned and operated by MetLife Insurance Company, the relaxed lake community lifestyle at Reynolds Plantation is taking a big leap forward as golf courses, amenities and clubhouses are systematically receiving extreme makeovers.

The most recent golf course project, started in June of this year, involves the original Bob Cupp designed Plantation Course located in the heart of the development. Major improvements are underway! And, it is on The Plantation Golf Course that I built my home ten years ago. It is a setting that I dearly love. The golf course is an extension of my back yard but at present looks more like the surface of the moon. As the work continues, the greens await to be seeded, trees have been removed to make way for landscaping and a variety of earth moving equipment labor to improve the drainage. I now overlook a giant mud hole! Yet, I fret not. Because I know when the work is completed and spring arrives, I’ll have my golf course back, the vistas behind my house will be lovelier than ever and the golf course ripe for low scores. The temporary inconvenience will have been well worth the wait.

Reynolds Plantation keeps getting better with age and it offers the best in golf and the best in Lake Oconee living. If you haven’t visited us before or if you haven’t been here in a while, you need to make Georgia’s Lake Country a part of your fall travel schedule. There’s a lot going on in the Plantation as well as in the Reynolds companion neighborhoods of Great Waters and The Landing. You won’t run out of things to keep you occupied. There are more exciting amenities on the way.  The fall opening of the new National Clubhouse and improvements to the original Plantation Clubhouse promise to add even greater appeal to the neighborhood.

We look forward to seeing you soon.

Thanks for checking in. I hope you will again. Have a great day.

For more Lake Oconee information call me at 770-826-4137 or access my Keller Williams website at http://www.lakeoconeelarry.com.

Back to School at Lake Oconee

LAKE OCONEE ACADEMY

It was about this time of year two years ago that I wrote a blog extolling the virtues of our Greene County Charter School, Lake Oconee Academy. In the interim period, the school has continued to grow beyond all expectations and has become universally recognized as one of the best schools in the State of Georgia.

Started in 2007, this publicly charted school offers a wonderful educational opportunity for the students of Greene County. Currently serving grades Pre-K4 through ten (and soon K through 12), Lake Oconee Academy is a college preparatory school that promotes an atmosphere of high expectation and high achievement. Located in southern Greene County, a short distance from Lake Oconee, the academy currently consists of over 30 classrooms, a media center, special purpose rooms (arts, science labs, music and language) as well as administrative offices and a parent’s room. Each classroom is equipped with state-of-the art technology consisting of Smart Boards for interactive instruction, in-room computer accessibility and wireless access, providing each student with an exceptional learning environment.

Additionally, the school will be continuing to feature honor classes and advanced placement courses so that each student will have access to a quality public education and fulfill the county’s vision of starting a rural public charter school that competes academically on a state and national level.  They’re off to a great start.

For more information, go to LOA’s website at http://www.lakeoconeeacademy.org or stop by the next time you’re in the area. Dr. Otho Tucker, the school’s CEO, will be happy to show you around.

Thanks for checking in. I hope you will again. Have a great day.

For more Lake Oconee information call me at 770-826-4137 or access my real estate website at www.lakeoconeelarry.com.

Back to School Time at Lake Oconee

LAKE OCONEE ACADEMY

With another school year set to begin in Georgia’s Lake Country, I’m reminded of how much the founding of Lake Oconee Academy has meant to the area. Started in 2007, this publicly charted school offers a wonderful educational opportunity for the students of Greene County.

Currently serving grades Pre-K4 through Seventh, Lake Oconee Academy is a college preparatory school that promotes an atmosphere of high expectation and high achievement. Located in southern Greene County, a short distance from Lake Oconee, the academy currently consists of 26 classrooms, a media center, special purpose rooms (arts, science labs, music and language) as well as administrative offices and a parent’s room. Each classroom is equipped with state-of-the art technology consisting of Smart Boards for interactive instruction, in-room computer accessibility and wireless access, providing each student with an exceptional learning environment.

Over the next several years, as the institution expands to include high school grades, LOA will continue to feature honor classes and advanced placement courses so that each student will have access to a quality public education and fulfill the county’s vision of starting a rural public charter school that will compete academically on a state and national level.  They’re off to a great start.

For more information, go to LOA’s website at http://www.lakeoconeeacademy.org or stop by the next time you’re in the area. Dr. Otho Tucker, the school’s CEO, will be happy to show you around.

Thanks for checking in. I hope you will again. Have a great day.

For more Lake Oconee information call me at 770-826-4137 or access my Keller Williams website at www.larry-bowers.com.

Looking to Play Golf at Lake Oconee?

GOLF DIGEST NAMES OCONEE COURSE AMONG TOP 50 FOR WOMEN

Georgia’s Lake Country is home to some of the best golf courses in the nation. With Lake Oconee and Georgia’s gently rolling hills as a backdrop, the area boasts championship designs from such noted golf architects as Jack Nicklaus, Tom Weiskopf and Jim Engh, among others.

As a testimony to the quality of courses in the area, Golf Digest magazine recently cited the highly acclaimed Oconee course at Reynolds Plantation as one of America’s “Top 50 Courses for Women.” A Rees Jones design that opened in 2002, Golf Digest ranked the Oconee at No. 15 on their list of world-class golf courses.

The Oconee course, named after the lake that serves as the center-piece of Reynolds Plantation, is a true risk/reward layout. The course often presents the option of hitting shots over inlets of Lake Oconee and over tree-lined doglegs. Lake Oconee comes into play on five holes, while four others offer inspiring lake views. Interior creeks and ponds, as well as extensive bunkering, ensure a tough but fair challenge for every level of player.

The course is currently undergoing a multifaceted renovation and is scheduled to reopen in the fall of this year. The project includes converting the greens from Bentgrass to Champion Bermudagrass, refurbishing irrigation and drainage systems, strategic tree maintenance and expanding the practice facilities.

Fall is a great time of year to explore the lake area so make your plans now. The nearby Ritz Carlton Lodge is waiting your arrival. And by the way, gentlemen golfers are just as welcome as the ladies!

Thanks for checking in. I hope you will again. Have a great day.

For more Lake Oconee information call me at 770-826-4137 or access my Keller Williams website at www.larry-bowers.com .

Thinking of Remodeling Your Home or Lake House?

SOME TIMELESS HINTS FOR YOUR KITCHEN REMODEL

We have some beautiful homes here at Lake Oconee but over time even the nicest homes need some additional sparkle. So if you’re looking to freshen up your home’s look or function without packing and moving, then you may want to consider a remodel.  A freshly finished basement, a new bedroom addition or even a bathroom remodel can add significant value and livability to the space you already love.

But the heart of every house is the kitchen and updating a kitchen can give your home a dramatic new look and provide significant return on investment when it’s time to sell. However, with all of the color, style and material choices available, making a wrong choice can be costly. The average kitchen remodel now costs more than $50,000 so it’s important to make choices that won’t quickly become outdated. You’ll want a kitchen décor that will last, so consider these kitchen features that have remained popular across the years.

 

  1. White Color Theme – White is the most marketable color. White reflects light and makes a room feel larger. White is associated with happiness and you can easily find white appliances at nearly every price point…..great for the budget.
  2. Hardwood Floors – Hardwood floors are tough, durable and easy to maintain. They provide a warm feel and add personality to almost any room and can be an eco-friendly material.
  3. Shaker Style Cabinets – The Shaker style has clean simple lines that have been in style for decades. Additionally, the simplicity of design allows the style to fit in with changing themes over time.
  4. Stone Countertops – Granite countertops are durable, efficient and offer many different color and design choices but you can’t go wrong with Carrara marble as a classic selection. Carrara looks terrific in a white kitchen and is less expensive than some other high-end options.
  5. Subway Tile Backsplash – Cermaic tile works great as a backsplash and is a guard against moisture. It’s easy to clean and lasts forever.
  6. Ergonomic Design – Ergonomics simply means convenience – a key consideration when remodeling a kitchen is functionality.  It is important to consider different countertop heights for varying uses. Pull out shelves can help you avoid excessive bending and reaching, and if able, wider aisle spaces will accommodate better traffic flow.

That’s a lot to think about but I hope it helps!

Thanks for checking in. I hope you will again. Have a great day.

For more Lake Oconee information call me at 770-826-4137 or access my Keller Williams website at

www.larry-bowers.com .

 

 

Eating and Living Well at Lake Oconee!

THE GEORGIA FARMERS MARKET AT HARMONY CROSSING

One of the really enjoyable things about living in the Lake Oconee area is the ability to buy locally grown fruits and vegetables. The availability of fresh corn, green beans, strawberries and delicious tomatoes, makes summertime eating at the Lake a special time of year. This year is no exception.

And a great place to find the best of what the Lake Country has to offer is The Georgia Farmers Market at Harmony Crossing in Eatonton. Started seven years ago, the market has grown and expanded each year and offers local farmers a venue to show off their specialties and showcase their products. In addition to the wonderful fresh fruits and vegetables, you’ll also find delicious baked items such as cakes, pies and breads, fresh honey, assorted jams and jellies and even some handcrafted furniture items. The market has something to suit just about everyone’s taste and is the perfect place to find those famous Georgia peaches and watermelons for your next family picnic.

The market is open each Saturday morning until noon and typically attracts up to 800 visitors and more on holiday weekends. Located on the front lawn of The Village of Harmony Crossing, you can also enjoy the many shops and restaurants located within The Village.

So, the next time you’re in the Lake Oconee area stop by and enjoy a good time. I’m sure you’ll meet some new friends.

Thanks for checking in. I hope you will again. Have a great day.

For more Lake Oconee information call me at 770-826-4137 or access my Keller Williams website at www.larry-bowers.com .