Monday, November 28, 2011

Christmas Events in McDonough, Hampton, Locust Grove, Newnan, Senoia, Morrow, Jonesboro, Fayetteville, and Peachtree City!

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year! Now that's a Christmas song that is true to us! We love the holidays!

Here's a list of Christmas events in the south Metro Atlanta area (Clayton, Coweta, Fayette, Henry, etc.) where you can enjoy some holiday cheer....and spread some of your own too! If you'd like to add a house to your Christmas tour of things to do....give us a call! Happy Holidays!

Henry County

Saturday, December 3rd - Annual McDonough Christmas Tree Lighting and Parade
Tree Lighting at 5:30, Parade Starts at 6:00pm. Park as close to the square as you can get and watch the parade as it makes it's way around.

Saturday, December 3rd,  10th & 17th - 11:00am-3:00pm - McDonough Square
Santa makes a stop at the McDonough Square for photos and chance for kiddies to tell him what they want.

Thursday, December 1st - 7:00-9:00pm - Hampton ParadeJoin us again this year for the annual Christmas at Home December 1 from 7:00pm-9:00pm! This year the parade will begin at Hampton First Baptist Church! There will be live reindeer, snow flurries, holiday music and pictures with Santa!! Kelly Lewis Browning Photography will be taking pictures printed with a keepsake. This event is presented by the Hampton Business and Merchants Association. For more information please visit

Satruday, December 3rd - 9:00am-12:00 noon - Hampton, GA- Cookie Decorating with Mrs. Claus
Don't miss decorating cookies with Mrs. Claus on December 3 from 9:00am-noon! Children up to age 10 are invited to decorate cookies, which they will take home (unless they eat them first!) Pictures with Mrs. Claus are taken and printed for each child. This event is sponsored by the City of Hampton.

Saturday, December 10th - 4:00pm-8:00pm - Hampton, GA - Holiday Tour of Homes
Tour gaily decorated homes in Hampton during daylight or lighted in full splendor of the evening on December 10 from 4:00pm-8:00pm! This year includes directions to a neighbor specially decorated for the holidays, cost for the tour is only $10.00 per person! This is a Main Street Program event and will benefit the purchase of a historic plaque on the City owned building at 2 West Main Street.

Saturday, December 3rd - 10:00am - 2:00pm - Downtown Locust Grove - Annual Parade and Fun
The City of Locust Grove and the Locust Grove Better Hometown will sponsor their annual Christmas . . . in The Grove on December 3, 2011. This is a free event for children and adults and features a parade, stage entertainment, food, train rides, rock climbing wall, craft vendors and the arrival of Santa via the Locust Grove fire truck. Downtown merchants also participate through "open house" where you may visit their stores and shop for that special Christmas gift. Refreshments are provided in each establishment and merchants welcome your visit. The Downtown Development Authority will have a hotdog stand where you may purchase hot dogs and drinks. The festivities are from 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM.

Saturday, December 10th, 2pm - 6pm - A Heritage Christmas – at Heritage Park - McDonough, GA

Celebrate Henry County's Heritage and the beginning of the Christmas Season. The annual festival at Heritage Park begins at 2 p.m. and will feature caroling, crafts, hayrides, photos with Santa Claus and other beloved Christmas characters, local entertainment, cookie decorating and Elf School. Connecting Henry will be collecting new-unwrapped toys. Be sure to sign the patriotic banner and holiday cards for U.S. troops. The event concludes with the lighting of the Great Heritage Christmas Tree.

Fayette County

Saturday, December 3rd - Peachtree City's "HomeTown Holiday"
6:00 p.m. at The Fred: Musical Program includes holiday performances by Twilight Theater, Legacy Theater, and the Peachtree Wind Ensemble.

7:00 p.m. - Trail of Lights: Golf cart procession led by Santa to City Hall. The golf cart trail will be lit by luminaries.

7:30 p.m. - Tree Lighting at City Hall: Join Santa for the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony. This year, the City is able to offer 5"x7" photos with Santa for $1.00

Saturday, December 3rd - Fayetteville's Annual Christmas Tree Lighting and Parade
Parade at 4:30 - Park as close to the square as you can and watch the parade
Tree Lighting at 5:30ish
Carriage rides with Santa from 7:00-9:00
Free Hot Cocoa and Popcorn

Sunday, December 4th, 11th, and 18th - Complimentary Carriage Rides and Photos with Santa
Visit The Avenue Shopping Center (at the corner of Hwy 54 and 74 in Peachtree City) for carriage rides and photos with Santa from 1:00-5:00. The photos will take place at The Atlanta Bread Company within The Avenue complex.

Spectacular Christmas Lights at the Gaddy Residence in Fayetteville
898 Sandy Creek Road, Fayetteville

Nightly from Thanksgiving until New Year's Day - Dark Until 10:30ish.....These are some of the best residential Christmas lights ever! We take our family every year (multiple times) to this sweet home where the owners go all out with Christmas lights and decor. You can drive through on their u-ahaped driveway to view the lights and decor. Turn your headlights off to make the lights even more spectacular. There's no admission, however, they do take donations for Toys for Tots and they are having their annual Toys for Tots drive  on Saturday, December 3rd. Bring a new, unwrapped toy, and donate it.

Sunday, December 4th, 4:00pm-8:00pm - Tyrone Christmas Tree Lighting and Photos with Santa
Shamrock Park on Senoia Road. Visit and take photos with Santa. Free Carriage rides by the lake. Cocoa and Cookies too!

Coweta County

Sunday, December 4th - 3:00pm - Newnan's Annual Christmas Parade

Park as close to the square as you can and enjoy the parade. It's always a treat!

Saturday, December 3rd - Senoia Christmas

4:00pm - Santa and Mrs. Claus are there to light the tree. There's pony rides, Santa's workshop, and a food court.
5:30pm - The parade starts....park as close to downtown as you can get and enjoy the parade.

Clayton County

December 2-18th - Festival of Trees and Lights -Clayton County International Park - Jonesboro, GA
Hundreds of families travel to the Clayton County International Park every holiday season, to see the Festival of Trees and Lights. The opening ceremony celebration on Dec. 2 will feature arts and crafts, face painting, live entertainment, hayrides, cake walks, gingerbread decorating, concessions and photos with Santa.

Saturday, December 10th - Visit with Father Christmas - Stately Oaks, Jonesboro, GA
Stately Oaks Plantation, 770.473.0197,
Children are invited to the Stately Oaks plantation, to visit with Father Christmas! There will be two separate tours, 9–10:15 a.m. and 10:30–11:45 a.m.

Friday, December 9th, 7:00pm - Yule Log Celebration - Morrow, GA

Reynolds Nature Preserve, 770.477.3766,
Mark your calendars for the Yule Log Celebration, a unique holiday event taking place at Reynolds Nature Preserve. The annual, outdoor event begins at 7 p.m. with music, fun and refreshments. Guests will walk a candlelit path into the woods for a bonfire, and a search for the fabled Yule Log. This is a free event, with shuttle service from Babb Middle School.

Miscellaneous Events

Gift of Lights at Atlanta Motor Speedway - Nightly - Friday, November 18 - Sunday, January 1, 2012 - Hampton, GA

What: A Drive-Through Display of more than 1 million Christmas lights and hundreds of light displays at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

When: Nov. 18 - Jan. 1, including Christmas Day!

Admission: $15 per vehicle; Admission for buses is $1 per person with a minimum of $20. Buses must be under an 11 foot clearance. Payment is cash only.

New Hope Baptist Chuch's Annual Living Christmas Tree (A Play with Singing and a "Living Christmas Tree") - Fayetteville, GA 

Click the above link for tickets to this annual tradition.  Dates are below:

Wednesday, December 07th, 7:00pm

Thursday, December 08th, 7:00pm

Friday, December 09th, 7:00pm

Saturday, December 10th, 3:00pm (Matinee)

Saturday, December 10th, 7:00pm

Sunday, December 11th, 3:00pm (Matinee)

Sunday, December 11th, 7:00pm

post signature 
post signature

Thursday, November 17, 2011

How Much Should You Put Down on a Home?

Like most questions, the answer is "it depends". Today, I thought I'd give you some things to consider.

Let's begin the discussion with loans that don't require Mortgage Insurance. The suggestion is to borrow as much as you can afford. As an example, borrowing $310,000, as opposed to $300,000, will increase your mortgage payment by about $51 at 4.5%. Recognize that by doing so, you will have $10,000 in the bank. It is my experience that it is easier to find $50 more every month than it is to save $10,000. Even if you had the discipline to set aside the $50 monthly, it would take you 200 months to re-accumulate the $10,000 in principal (longer with lost interest).

Understand too, that the interest paid on the extra money borrowed is tax-deductible. In a 25% tax bracket the $51 additional has a real cost of about $38!

Having the $10,000 liquid has other potential advantages as well:

1. If rates go up in the future, you could potentially make more interest than you are spending.

2. If you can avoid using credit cards for furniture, home improvements, etc., you can save a bundle on those non-tax deductible interest rate costs.

3. In a world where home values have declined, the more you borrow, the less you have at risk. You transfer the risk of the future value of the home to the lender.

Now, many borrowers today will need some sort of Mortgage Insurance, whether it's a Conventional Loan with less than 20% down or an FHA Mortgage. These borrowers should sit with their loan officer and run the numbers because the cost of the Mortgage Insurance can vary based on loan-to-value and other factors. Examine the costs and the relative benefits.

post signature
Blog article provided by KCM Group, Steve Harney

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Best Time to Buy a Home is Now!

The PRICE Is the Same, But the COST Is Less

There is more and more research coming out showing that it makes great financial sense to purchase a home today . Whether it be rent vs. buy ratios, income-to-price ratios or income-to-mortgage payment ratios, purchasing a home right now is a bargain compared to historic norms. Now we want to look at the COST of a home today compared to pre-peak prices.

According to the most recent S&P Case Shiller price index, residential real estate values have returned to 2003 1Q PRICEs. That, in itself, says something. However, when you factor in mortgage rates, the case for buying a home today becomes even more compelling.

In 2003, 30 year mortgage rates stood at 5.88%. Today, they are 4%. How does that impact the actual COST of a home? On a home purchased for $250,000, here is the difference in monthly cost:

That means you save $285.30 a month, $3,423.60 a year and $102,708 over the life of a 30 year mortgage! You buy the home for the same PRICE but the COST is over $100,000 less.

Bottom Line

This is why so many financial advisors are saying that this may be one of the greatest times in history to purchase a home.

We agree, see our blog below about prices in the Clayton County, Henry County, and Fayette County.

If you think it's time for you to buy a home, give us a call.

post signature

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Real Estate in Numbers (3rd Qtr) - Henry County, Fayette County, Clayton County

Call us real estate geeks, but we love analyzing the numbers when it comes to real estate. Not only do we find it to be interesting and very telling, but it helps us stay current and informed as to what's going on in our local market. There's no way we could advise our clients if we didn't compile reports like this. Do most agents spend time doing their "homework"? Probably not. But we do! Take a peek at the info we've put together  -- it's pretty interesting!

A few things we want you to realize about the Clayton County, Henry County and Fayette County markets -

  • Prices have dropped approximately 9% in all three markets since this time last year.
  • Clayton County has seen a slight increase in the "average sales price" category when it comes to comparing 2nd quarter to 3rd quarter of this year. WHAT?!?! I know what you're thinking ... after months and months and months of watching the crazy drop in prices, I couldn't believe it either. In fact, I went back and ran the numbers again to make sure I wrote down the right statistic. Believe it folks! realize that the average sales price is still 8.60% lower than this time last year.
  • Henry County is hot when it comes to selling homes - 3rd Quarter 2010 there were 655 homes to sell and in 2011 that number came up to 833. There's always a catch though... the average price has dropped almost 10% since this time last year. Good for buyers, bad for sellers.
  • While Fayette County has experienced depreciation since 2010, they're certainly holding their own this year. Looks like the market may be stabilizing in Fayette (fingers crossed!) The average sales price has stayed pretty much the same throughout this year, no continued depreciation this year.
Have specific questions about your county, city, or subdivision? Feel free to email or call us! We'd love to help!

post signature

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Open House at Monarch Village This Sunday!!

Two Beautiful Homes in Monarch Village
Open this Sunday, November 13th, 2:00-5:00

Visit and have a Chance to Win $1000!!
(One visitor who visits a Metro Brokers open house on Sunday will win $1000)

214 Monarch Village Way

Don't miss this beautiful home! 4BR/3.5BA, island kitchen with granite countertops and stainless steel appliances, formal dining room, family room, master on main, full finished basement offering an office, theater room, and rec room with wet bar. Great deck for entertaining! It's worth seeing! We can't describe it all here!

253 Monarch Village Way


Looking for a Steal? This is it! 3BR/2.5BA with loft area, formal living room & dining rooms, big family room with built-in bookcases, large island kitchen with breakfast area and all appliances, nice master suite, 10' ceilings, hardwood floors, and privacy fenced backyard.

About Monarch Village: Monarch Village is an awesome master planned community in one of Henry County's most convenient locations! I-75, I-675, shopping, dining, and entertainment are all within minutes away! The community offers a clubhouse, lake, walking trails, tennis courts, playground, water park (yes, a water park, not just a pool), sidewalks, and streetlights. There's even an elementary school and day care center within the community. Come see for yourself!

Directions: I-75 South exit 228 or I-675 exit 1; Right on Hwy 138; Left on Speer Road; Left on Walt Stephens Road; Right into Monarch Village Subdivision; Continue Straight around the first roundabout to 214 Monarch Village Way on the Right; after visiting this fine home, continue straight to the 2nd roundabout; go 3/4 the way around and Right to continue on Monarch Village Way; 253 Monarch Village will be on Your Left.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Real Estate as a Long Term Investment.....It's a Good One!

Put Your Money in Real Estate! It's Our Personal Philosophy! We know it's a down market, but if you can stomach the last few years, and likely the next two to three years, Real Estate is a Solid Investment! It beats out the other options. See the graph below....need we say more?

post signature