Stop Paying Rent – (Your Landlord’s Mortgage)

October 5th, 2015

Stop Paying Your Landlord's Mortgage! | Simplifying The Market

Stop Paying Your Landlord’s Mortgage!

There are some people that have not purchased a home because they are uncomfortable taking on the obligation of a mortgage. Everyone should realize that, unless you are living with your parents rent free, you are paying a mortgage – either your mortgage or your landlord’s.


As The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University explains:

“Households must consume housing whether they own or rent. Not even accounting for more favorable tax treatment of owning, homeowners pay debt service to pay down their own principal while households that rent pay down the principal of a landlord plus a rate of return.  

That’s yet another reason owning often does—as Americans intuit—end up making more financial sense than renting.”

Christina Boyle, a Senior Vice President, Head of Single-Family Sales & Relationship Management at Freddie Mac, explains another benefit of securing a mortgage vs. paying rent:

“With a 30-year fixed rate mortgage, you’ll have the certainty & stability of knowing what your mortgage payment will be for the next 30 years – unlike rents which will continue to rise over the next three decades.”

As an owner, your mortgage payment is a form of ‘forced savings’ which allows you to have equity in your home that you can tap into later in life. As a renter, you guarantee the landlord is the person with that equity.

The graph below shows the widening gap in net worth between a homeowner and a renter:

Increasing Gap in Family Wealth | Simplifying The Market

Bottom Line

Whether you are looking for a primary residence for the first time or are considering a vacation home on the shore, owning might make more sense than renting since home values and interest rates are projected to climb.

Click here to view property grid.

Atlanta Historic Districts and Homes For Sale

September 1st, 2015

Atlanta may have been burned during the civil war, but many of the grand homes of the Reconstruction Era still stand today and many are for sale and available to purchase. If you are looking for a home with a story behind it, look to the Atlanta homes built prior to 1919. Many of these homes have original woodwork, multiple fireplaces, tall ceilings, casement windows, leaded and stained glass and incredible character lacking in the newer homes built today. Homes range from impeccable restorations to homes waiting for your touch to bring them back to life. Some of the prominent neighborhoods included here are Ansley Park, Druid Hills, Inman Park, Grant Park, Buckhead, Kirkwood, The West End, Historic College Park and Decatur’s Oakhurst and MAK Districts.

Atlanta has over 75 additional historic districts scattered around the many miles and beautiful rolling hills of north Georgia. Highlights include:

The West End Historic District is one one the earliest neighborhoods beginning in the 1830’s at the White Hall Inn.

Inman Park was the first suburb of Atlanta due to the streetcar built in the 1880’s.

Cabbagetown Historic District was built on and around the place where the Atlanta Rolling Mill was built in 1858 – to straighten railroad tracks damaged during the Civil War.

Grant Park may be the most interesting historic district in the Atlanta area. It encompasses Grant Park itself, started in 1882. It’s the fourth largest park in the city.

Ansley Park was created from 1904 to 1908 and stands today as one the finest neighborhoods in Atlanta. 

The Fox Theatre historic district is the closest historic area north of Downtown.

Midtown Historic District is a residential neighborhood east of the Midtown commercial district.

Druid Hills was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the landscape architect of Central Park, New York City.

Virginia Highland. This neighborhood is currently trying to establish their historic district. However, the homes of Atkins Park are already designated and the 1920’s commercial areas along Highland Avenue are some of the reasons this neighborhood has been voted Atlanta’s favorite neighborhood for several years.

The uber fabulous Tuxedo Park in Buckhead is registered on the National Register of Historic Places. Don’t miss some of the most beautiful and lavish homes anywhere in the Southeast.

To the north of Atlanta is Roswell, GA. This Atlanta suburb has some of Atlanta’s last remaining antebellum structures and is not to be missed if you are a history buff.

Neighborhoods worth a look if an Historic home is what you’re considering.

  • Acworth-Collins Ave
  • Adair Park
  • Agnes Scott College
  • Ansley Park
  • Atkins Park
  • Atlanta University Center
  • Baltimore Block
  • Berkeley Park
  • Brookhaven
  • Brookwood Hills
  • Cabbagetown
  • Candler Park
  • Clarkdale
  • College Park
  • Collier Heights
  • Covington (3 districts)
  • Conyers
  • Decatur (5 districts)
  • Douglasville
  • Druid Hills
  • East Point Industrial District
  • Emory Grove
  • Euclid Ave
  • Fairburn
  • Gainesville (5 districts)
  • Garden Hills
  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Grant Park
  • Hapeville
  • Howell Interlocking
  • Inman Park-Moreland
  • Jonesboro
  • Kennesaw (4 districts)
  • King Plow / Railroad
  • Kirkwood
  • Knight Park-Howell Station
  • Lakewood Heights
  • Marietta (4 districts)
  • Means St
  • Midtown
  • Mozley Park
  • Newnan (6 districts)
  • Oakland City
  • Peachtree Park
  • Pittsburgh
  • Reynoldstown
  • Roscoe-Dunaway Gardens
  • Southern Railway-North Avenue Yards
  • Sunset Avenue
  • Stately Oaks Plantation (Jonesboro)
  • Stone Mountain Village
  • University Park-Emory
  • Virginia-Highland
  • Washington Park
  • West End
  • Winnona Park
  • Whittier Mill Village


Give us a call if you’d like to learn more about historic homes or the tours offered throughout Atlanta.



$200k – $400k

$400k – $600k

$600k – $900k

$900k – $1.5M

$1.5M and up

Click here to view property grid.

Beltline Area Inman Park Listings

October 28th, 2014

What makes Atlanta’s intown neighborhood of Inman Park unique? To begin with its Atlanta’s oldest suburb. It was developed in the 1880’s by Joel Hurt a civil engineer and real-estate developer whose intent was to create a rural oasis connected to the city by the first of Atlanta’s electric streetcar lines and laid out based on his insistence it have larger lots with curving streets and several parks. The East Atlanta Land Company acquired and developed more than 130 acres east of the city and Hurt named the new suburb for his friend and business associate, Samuel M. Inman.

The Atlanta Constitution in 1896 grandly described Inman Park:

“High up above the city, where the purest breezes and the brightest sunshine drove away the germs of disease, and where nature had lavished her best gifts, the gentlemen who conceived the though of Inman Park found the locality above all others which they desired. It was to be a place of homes, of pretty homes, green lawns, and desirable inhabitants. And all save those who would make desirable residents have been excluded…” “It’s the prettiest, highest, healthiest and most desirable locality I ever saw. Everybody is friendly and neighborly. There are no negroes and not a single objectionable inhabitant. And as far as accessibility it ranks second to no residence portion of the city. We have three car lines and frequent schedules,

Today, modern Inman Park is among the closest intown neighborhoods to downtown Atlanta. The Atlanta Beltline runs right through this neighborhood providing direct or close by access for most of this neighborhood’s homes. Many older victorian and turn of the century bungelows make up the diverse housing stock. Many newer homes are peppered throughout the surrounding area and a range of affordable condominiums are also available in Inman Park as well as in the bordering neighborhoods. Also during the last full weekend in April each year, Inman Park proudly presents a neighborhood festival widely regarded as Atlanta’s most spirited and eclectic. The 2015 Spring Festival will be the 44th for Inman Park and includes a Tour Of Homes. The House Tour Preview will be Friday, April 24 (Noon – 4:00pm), and  the Festival on April 25 and 26, 2015 (Noon – 6:00pm). If access to shopping and restaurants via walking and biking are import to your lifestyle, then Inman Park is a neighborhood you’ll want to explore. Below is a complete listing of homes and condos currently available for sale in Inman Park.

Click here to view property grid. Click here to view property list.


Common Atlanta landscaping issues

October 8th, 2014
There’s one in every Atlanta neighborhood – the house with the bright green grass, perfectly trimmed shrubs and flowers in full bloom. As you look at your own lawn, plagued with weeds and sparse patches, you wonder how your neighbor is able to achieve such a beautiful outdoor space. The secret isn’t in how much time or money can be invested, but rather taking the right steps at the right time to eliminate lawn and garden problems.
Here are some common Atlanta area landscaping issues and the easy steps any homeowner can take to correct them:
Sparse, brown lawn
If your lawn is looking sparse and brown, the likely culprit is thatch. Thatch is the layer of dead grass, leaves and stems that block water and nutrients from reaching the roots. To revive your grass, you need to remove this layer and prime your lawn for strong regrowth.
A dethatcher, also known as a power rake, is the easiest way to get rid of the layer of thatch. Then you’ll want to use an aerator to poke small holes in the dirt so that nutrients, air and moisture can get to the roots. These two pieces of equipment are critical for repairing sparse, brown lawn, but purchasing them outright is costly. Consider renting them from your local rental store.
No single method will eliminate all weeds, so the best action really depends on what types of weeds you have. Here are some tips on the most common:
* Dandelion – It’s imperative to dig out dandelions before they go to seed. You can also spot treat dandelions with a broadleaf weed killer. If you do this, make sure your product does not kill grass.
* White clover – This weed can spread quickly on undernourished lawn.  Combat by watering regularly and applying nitrogen fertilizer. You can also use a broadleaf weed killer for spot treatments.
* Crab grass – If it’s early in the season, consider applying a pre-emergence crabgrass herbicide. Because crabgrass thrives on shorter lawns, set your mower to a higher setting, about 2.5 to 3 inches.
Overgrown hedges, shrubs and trees
Simple%20solutions%20to%20common%20landscaping%20issuesMeticulously trimmed hedges and trees make a yard look perfectly manicured. The tools of the trade will make the job a breeze, but you don’t need to purchase a tree trimmer or chainsaw. You can easily rent those at your local rental store for a fraction of the cost of buying them.
The most important consideration when operating a chain saw or trimmer is safety. When you rent, you get personalized training on the equipment. Tell the rental professional what you want to accomplish and they will help you find the equipment you need to get the job done, while providing you with tips on how to use the equipment and safety.
When you’re done trimming and clearing out your area, renting a chipper can make cleanup quick and easy.
Wilting, dead plants
No matter where you live, if your outdoor plants start to wilt or turn brown, it’s likely that they need water. Sounds simple enough, but it’s also easy for plant novices to overwater – which can kill your plants and flowers just as easily as under watering them.
Start by always watering during the early morning or late evening hours. Watering during peak sun hours will cause most of the water to evaporate and little will reach the plants’ roots. Research the recommended watering schedule for your lawn and plants so that you can create a weekly watering schedule. Some plants may only need watering once a week, while others may need it daily. You can also ask your local nursery for planting and watering recommendations in your area.
Striped lawn
Nothing is more frustrating than the homeowner who spends lots of time on yard work only to wake up one day to a striped lawn. If you have healthy lines of green grass that alternate with yellow or brown stripes, likely the cause is uneven fertilizer application.
The trick to fertilizing evenly with a drop spreader is overlapping wheel tracks by an inch or two. This will help ensure no area gets missed and any potential for stripes is eliminated.