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New Park & Amphitheater coming to Powder Springs

The City of Powder Springs is redeveloping a one acre location in its downtown to be a massive entertainment and tourist destination. The project will help to bring more businesses, people and opportunity to downtown Powder Springs and the city. The one acre space will include an amphitheater, splash pad and climbing structure and will cost $3.7 million to complete. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has interfered with its original opening which was  set to happen in May but it has since been rescheduled for September. It will now open during the “Bringing the Sea to Powder Springs” Seafood Festival September 11-13, 2020. There will be live music, events, craft vendors and more. The festival will be something for all ages to enjoy and a chance for everyone to enjoy the new space.

 

You can read more about it and its opening in the below article.

https://www.cobbinfocus.com/2020/05/05/new-park-to-bring-crowds-and-business-opportunities-to-downtown-powder-springs/

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Why Atlanta is one of the top markets for the iBuyer home sale model

By Martin Sinderman  – Contributing Writer

Jan 31, 2020, 6:50am EST

Atlanta is one of the top four markets for sellers utilizing the iBuyer model, which offers a guaranteed sale price in exchange for a “no-hassle,” rapid transaction.

Traditional agents say the rise of the iBuyer model, which is largely driven by investors, is causing an ongoing shift in the residential real estate market, whose effects remain to be seen.

Companies like Opendoor, Offerpad, Zillow and Redfin, which arrived on the scene around 2014, pay sellers cash for homes, based upon internal models, in transactions that frequently close in a matter of days. The iBuyer companies then fix up the purchased homes and resell them on the open market. They make money from service fees charged to sellers, plus the difference between what they paid for a house and what they sell it for.

In Atlanta, iBuyers accounted for 4.4% of the homes sold during the third quarter of 2019, ranking third among 18 U.S. markets where iBuyers were most active, after Raleigh (6.8%) and Phoenix (5.1%), according to a Redfin analysis of the public data on home purchases and sales made by Opendoor, Zillow, Offerpad, and RedfinNow.

The markets where iBuyers were doing the most business in Q3 2019 were those where the typical home was priced at or below the national median ($313,200 in October), Redin found. Focusing on this price segment allowed iBuyers to purchase more homes with the same amount of money, it said. And because affordable homes tend to sell more quickly than more expensive homes, iBuyers can move their housing inventory and buy additional homes more quickly, according to the analysis.

“iBuyers are concentrating their efforts in southern markets where both home sales and prices are poised for strong growth,” Daryl Fairweather, Redfin chief economist, said in the analysis results announcement. “We think that iBuyers are likely to accelerate home sales in these markets.”

Nearly 10% of Opendoor and Offerpad sales came from institutional investors in 2018, according to ATTOM Data Solutions. These institutional investors may be turning to iBuyers as a source of inventory as other sources of inventory such as foreclosures have largely dried up in recent years, the property data company said. Institutional investor purchases represented just 2.3% of all U.S. home sales as of Nov. 29, 2018, down from 2.9% in 2017 and down from a peak of 7.4% in 2012, according to the ATTOM analysis.

HIRING IN OPERATIONS MANAGEMENT

Opendoor launched in metro Atlanta in June 2017 and has already served over 7,500 buyers and sellers, said Jay Cherry, Opendoor Atlanta General Manager.

“Atlanta has the growth potential, economic fundamentals, demographics and housing stock that make it an extremely strong market for iBuying,” Cherry said.

“Atlanta is an attractive market for iBuyers because homes are relatively affordable, and many neighborhoods were developed over the past few decades,” he said. “The iBuyer business model relies on accurate home value estimates. A few percentage points off means the difference between making and losing money on a home. It’s much easier for an algorithm to assess a home in a neighborhood that has many homes of the same age and model, rather than an older home with distinct features.”

Atlanta homeowners have responded to the iBuyer concept, Cherry said. “What Opendoor, and iBuying as a category, are able to offer is a vastly more convenient experience that gives the customer control of their timeline, which is why it’s taken off in Atlanta,” he said.

Kelly Rosen, a Realtor with Solid Source Realty Inc., a residential real estate organization based in Roswell, said she runs into iBuyers quite frequently and that “iBuying has probably impacted sellers in a positive way.”

“Because inventory in our market is so tight, with not enough affordable houses out there, iBuyers serve a purpose — they allow people who want to downsize or upsize the ability to quickly sell their house without listing it, bypassing the market,” said Rosen.

“These companies snap up the houses, and then relist and generally sell them pretty quickly, because they are typically the more affordable homes,” she notes.

Providing a vehicle by which a seller can unload a home quickly, and then be able to respond promptly to buying opportunities is good business for iBuyers in today’s market, according to Rosen. “Data shows that a seller, at least most of the time, winds up giving up some equity to these buyers,” she notes.

Convenience comes with a price, said Torrence Ford, broker/owner of Atlanta’s RE/MAX Premier Real Estate Brokerage.

“Statistics show that sellers get as much as 16 or 17% more on their houses in the open market” than they get from iBuyers, Ford said.

“Even though they [i.e., the iBuyers] will guarantee you an offer, their offer price is usually a number that, when they inspect your home, will get lowered by as much as $15,000,” Ford said. Customers dissatisfied with this can switch to a more traditional listing contract with one of the agents of the iBuyer, he notes. “So what the program is doing is almost a bait-and-switch to get sellers to give an iBuyer agent a listing.”

An iBuyer acquiring a house and turning into a seller “changes the entire process for homebuyers,” Rosen said.

“Normally, when you work with a buyer and a traditional seller, there is a negotiating process,” Rosen said. “But when you have a buyer that wants to buy a house from an iBuyer like OpenDoor or Zillow, for example, it becomes a pure numbers game.”

The rise of the iBuyer has caused some agents to put more emphasis on client education, services, and providing a personal touch.

“The iBuyers are telling the general public that they can save sellers a lot of time and stress that comes with putting a house on the open market,” said Ford, “but the truth of the matter is that they are going to take that house, buy it at a discount, do their own renovation and then resell it.”

With the rise of the iBuyer in today’s market, “We are in a little bit of a shift,” adds Rosen, “and time will tell if someone like me who prides themselves on relationships and providing superior services gets cut out because of iBuyers.”

Rosen said that as home resellers, iBuyers “often, when they put a house on the market, they will not negotiate at all — you either pay their price, or they will keep it on the market, depending on how long it has already been there.”

“Their agent’s attitude is typically ‘take it or leave it,’” according to Rosen. “They don’t understand the personal investment and emotions involved in the homebuying process, which makes our jobs [working with a buyer] much more difficult.”

Ford agrees, noting that once the homeowner understands the pluses and minuses of the iBuyer transaction, “then is where you show them that you understand that this has been their family home for 30 years — and how you can help them to renovate their home.”

Ford has worked with Potomac, Md.-based Curbio Inc., which has been active in Atlanta for about nine months. “They will partner with a seller and renovate to today’s standards for no money up front, and will get paid when the house sells,” Ford said. “Companies like that are one of the things that have enabled me to stay competitive with the iBuyer.”

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Silver Comet Trail to connect with The Atlanta Beltline!

Love using the Silver Comet Trail for walking, running or riding your bike? Ever gone down to the Atlanta Beltline to do the same thing but in “the city”? Well in the future you will be able to go from one trail to the other, thanks to a $6 million dollar donation from the James M. Cox Foundation. The two trails will be connected to make one large trail of 105.2 miles stretching from Annistion, AL to Smyrna, GA to Atlanta, GA.

Check out the awesome article the AJC did on it:

https://www.ajc.com/news/local-govt–politics/cox-gives-million-connect-silver-comet-atlanta/pKMbgS1tDhORwX182Mt3II/?ecmp=cobbco&utm_medium=social&utm_source=cobb_fb#

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The West End Mall is Getting a Major Facelift!

Plans are under way for a $350 million overhaul of the Mall West End and surrounding area. A team of developers that includes the Atlanta Beltline visionary Ryan Gravel, want to take the 12.5 acre property and turn in into a hot new eat, live, play work environment. There will be housing, retail, hotels and more! The development’s hope is to bring new life to the area and connect it to the Westside Trail.

Check out the full article here:

https://atlanta.curbed.com/2019/8/21/20827106/mall-west-end-development-ryan-gravel-atlanta-beltline

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Atlanta Rooftops: there’s still time!

There’s still plenty of time left in the summer season to take advantage of Atlanta’s awesome rooftop scene.  And since it’s later in the season, your chances of catching that perfect breeze versus a humid gust or an unexpected thunderstorm are great.  To help you along on your rooftop circuit – we’ve curated our own list of some of our faves.  If you happen to check them out – lets us know what you thought.

Estrella

Miami meets Mexico with cocktails and small plates above the BeltLine
Upstairs at the Parisian-styled market Bazati, Estrella serves up a Latin-American vibe that’s part Miami nightlife and part Yucatan flavors Wednesday through Sunday. The brilliant white interior, with teal floral floor tiling and woven brown chairs, provides a high-energy brightness that complements the skyline sprouting from Atlanta’s tree canopy and pedestrians strolling the Eastside BeltLine trail below. But it’s easy to let your tastebuds escape ATL for a few moments via the tamarind margarita, pisco sour, Hemingway daiquiri, and Cuba Libre, along with tapas like jicama ceviche with pineapple vinaigrette, fancy venison, or tempura-fried oyster tacos.

The Garden at Community Smith

Small plates, plenty of space and flora, and a view of Midtown
Having existed under several other names over the past few years (most recently as Rooftop 866), The Garden is open from spring to fall, serving small plates from Community Smith’s main menu. The sprawling area, with its flora, fire pit, and fantastic Midtown sightseeing, is much like Drake in 2016 — it has a chill vibe and offers better than average Views.

Wetbar

All-weather rooftop bar with an infinity pool
The panoramic views of Downtown you can see from high above the W Atlanta Downtown hotel’s lobby is enough to draw crowds, but it’s the addition of amazing DJs, from locals like Ree de la Vega to Samantha Ronson, and the fact that WETBAR is ATL’s only all-weather rooftop bar with a zero-edge pool — which seems like it should be spilling out onto Ivan Allen Blvd — gives it the ultimate cool status, particularly if you’re around during summer months.

SkyLounge

Downtown’s best view, with live music on the weekends
As long as The Glenn Hotel’s centrally located roof exists, it’ll remain in the top tier of ATL’s most scenic building-top bars. It’s hard to get a better view of Downtown and beyond than what’s in your frame of vision on the 11th floor. The drink menu includes three wines by the glass (pinot grigio, chardonnay, and pinot noir) and cocktails like the margarita-esque Smoked Roca, with pineapple and a paprika salt rim. It’s also a great place to catch musical performances during their recurring SkyLounge Live weekend shows.

Whiskey Blue

Soak in the skyline in style atop Buckhead’s W Hotel. A glass elevator soars 125 feet to the newly renovated all-weather space with two patios and sweeping views of Atlanta’s skyline. A well-heeled crowd dresses to impress, backlit by Midtown lights, sitting in plush leather couches or vibrant blue sectionals, twinkling strings of light overhead. The bar is modern and sleek, edged in shiny gray subway tiles. A menu of both classic and house cocktails suits the spaces — a GG Manhattan in a leather chair or a Buckhead Spritz while strolling to see Chris Veal’s 66-foot mural. The menu is concise, with pleasers like crispy duck tacos and grass-fed beef sliders.

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Atlanta Home Sales Dipped in May

Re/Max Premier had the chance to speak to the AJC about the pace of sales in the metro Atlanta housing market last month.

Sales seemed to slow in the month of May, despite a spring surge in the number of homes listed for sale, according to the Atlanta Realtors Association.

The dip seemed to signal a decline in buyer interest, since it wasn’t for a lack of choices.

Be sure to check out the rest of the article in the AJC.

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Celebrate Dad! What to do on Father’s Day

Not sure what to do for Dad on Father’s Day? Are you stressed to make a plan for a special day?  Never fear! Atlanta Parent never fails us with their list of things to do on special occasions!  Check out this list below for some inspiration.  Good luck and Happy Father’s Day!

Dads Get in Free:

Zoo Atlanta

Dads get in free with the purchase of one regular-price adult or child admission. June 16.

Chattahoochee Nature Center

Head to the CNC on Father’s Day – dads and grandfathers get in free. Bring a picnic, enjoy on site programs, walk the Wildlife Walk and the trails. June 16.

College Football Hall of Fame

All dads receive free admission and free chair massages on the field; the first 100 dads will receive a Home Depot gift card. June 16.

Stone Mountain Park

In honor of Father’s Day, receive one free All-Attractions Pass for dad per family with the purchase of one All-Attractions Pass. June 16.

North Georgia Zoo

Dads get free admission with a paid children’s admission. June 14-16.

Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament

Enjoy dinner and jousting at Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament in Lawrenceville. Dads receive a free ticket with the purchase of a full-price ticket. June 3-16.

Festivals and Events:

Rock and Roll Playhouse Father’s Day Celebration

Celebrate Dad with the Music of the Grateful Dead for Kids. Games, rainbow streamers, a giant parachute, and call-and-response songs encourage a love of music and inspire creativity. June 16.

Family Food Fest Atlanta

Enjoy a multicultural Father’s Day food tasting celebration, competition for best dishes, tastings and cooking demonstrations. June 16.

Juneteenth at Atlanta History Center

Commemorate the end of slavery and explore themes of freedom and family history through activities, immersive museum theatre performances and crafts. June 15-16.

Juneteenth Atlanta Parade and Music Festival

This 3-day festival, commemorating the end of slavery and honoring African-American accomplishments, includes live performances, music, children’s activities, fireworks, celebration of fathers and many other events. Saturday’s Black History Parade is a highlight of the weekend. June 14-16.

Sandy Springs Lantern Parade

Bring a lantern and walk in the “Take it to the River” parade, with interactive heron, dragonfly and alligator lanterns and more. June 15.

Treat Dad to a Beer

Visit one of Atlanta’s many breweries, where Dad can sample a locally crafted pilsner, pale ale or lager. Our list of breweries  have family-friendly extras for parents and kids to enjoy.

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What to do on Mother’s Day

Atlanta Parent pulled together an awesome list of THINGS TO DO ON MOTHER’S DAY.

So if you are still trying to figure out your plan, or if you just remembered that this weekend was Mother’s Day, check out their list below for some inspiration!

Moms Get in Free: 

Zoo Atlanta

Visit on Mother’s Day and moms get in free with the purchase of one full price admission (adult or child).

MomVP at College Football Hall of Fame

Moms get free entry with the purchase of a regular-price ticket as well as mimosas, manicures and massages.

Chattahoochee Nature Center

Moms get in free on Mother’s Day. Bring a picnic, enjoy the daily programs or walk the trails.

Second Sundays

Families can enjoy free admission to the High Museum of Art and participate in activities including interactive storytimes, art making workshops, and a tour.

Atlantic Station Tiny House Festival

Tours of more than 20 tiny houses, shipping container and school bus homes, kids’ activities, food trucks and more. Moms get in free on Mother’s Day with the purchase of a regular-price ticket.

Celebrating Moms at North Georgia Zoo

Moms get in free with paid child’s admission on Mother’s Day. “Zoo Mom” tours to learn about being a mom in the animal kingdom.

Festivals and Events:

Flower and Butterfly Festival at The Rock Ranch

Hand-feed butterflies, enjoy the butterfly house and cut your own flowers this Saturday at Rock Ranch, just an hour south of Atlanta.

Chastain Park Arts Festival at Chastain Park

Arts and crafts vendors, children’s area, live music and food. May 11-12.

Cherokee County Indian Festival and Mother’s Day Pow Wow at Boling Park

Indian village and displays, traditional dance competition and drumming. Native Americans from around the country gather for this event. May 11-12.

Dunwoody Art Festival at Dunwoody Village Parkway

Live music, artists, children’s area, arts and crafts, rides, games and more. May 11-12.

Sweet Auburn Springfest at Sweet Auburn Historic District

Live entertainment, children’s area, international food court and more. May 11-12.

Georgia Renaissance Festival

Artist demonstrations, juggling, games, rides, festival foods and more. Through June 2.

Mother’s Day Brunches

Reservations are recommended or required for most restaurants. Call for availability.

Park Tavern

Dine on eggs Benedict, a biscuit bar, blackened salmon and more during a brunch buffet overlooking Piedmont Park. Mother’s Day Bubbles option includes all-you-can-sip champagne and mimosas. Reservation times between 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Reservations recommended. 500 10th St. NE, Atlanta. 404-249-0001. Adults, $34.95 ($44.95 with Bubbles option); children, $14.95; ages 6 and younger, free.

Swan Coach House

Dine in a converted carriage house while enjoying a special mom’s day three-course meal from 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Reservations required. Reservation times between 10:30-2 p.m. 3130 Slaton Dr. NW, Atlanta. 404-261-0636, Ext. 1. Adults, $50; ages 12 and younger, $25.

Ray’s on the River

Enjoy Mother’s Day breakfast and dinner buffets from 9 a.m.- 8 p.m. Call for reserved seating. 6700 Powers Ferry Rd. NW, Sandy Springs. 770-955-1187. Adults, $55; ages 5-10, $27.50.

Sweet Auburn Barbecue

A full Sunday brunch is served from 11 a.m.-3 p.m., with menu items including waffles, BBQ, grits bowls and more. Moms will receive free peach cobbler with ice cream. 656 N. Highland Ave. NE, Atlanta. 678-515-3550. Order from regular brunch menu.

TWO Urban Licks

Complimentary photo booth, live music and brunch from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Mother’s Day dinner served from 6 p.m.-10 p.m. 820 Ralph McGill Blvd. Atlanta. 404-522-4622. Order from regular menus.

The Brasserie at PARISH

Mother’s Day brunch from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. and complimentary photo booth. Dinner from 5:30-9 p.m. N. Highland Ave., Atlanta. 404-681-4434. Order from regular menu.

The Shed at Glenwood

A special Mother’s Day brunch from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. features traditional favorites, shrimp and grits, and more. 475 Bill Kennedy Way SE., Atlanta. 404-835-4363. Adults, $35; children, $15.

STK Steakhouse

Enjoy live music and a special Mother’s Day brunch with classic menu items, raw bar and a dessert “playground.” from 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m. 1075 Peachtree St. NE., Atlanta. 404-793-0144. Adults, $79; children, $22.

Dantanna’s

Moms can enjoy a special brunch menu and bottomless mimosas in the Buckhead and Midtown locations.   3400 Around Lenox Rd. NE #304, Atlanta and 1 CNN Center #269, Atlanta. 404-705-8873. Order from regular brunch menu.

Hampton and Hudson

The May 12 brunch at Hampton and Hudson includes croque madame, English pea and smoked salmon omelette, and New York cheesecake. Moms will receive a half-price entree with purchase of a full-price entree. Reservations recommended.  299 N. Highland Ave., Atlanta.  404-948-2123. Order from regular brunch menu.

Local Three

The Mother’s Day brunch menu includes seasonal breakfast and lunch favorites. A photographer will be available for family photos. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. 3290 Northside Pkwy., Atlanta. 404-968-2700. Brunch: Adults, $39.93; ages 6-12, $19.93; ages 5 and younger, free.

Brezza Cucina

In honor of Mother’s Day, Chef Andrew Cacioppo will present a four-course, family-style brunch menu.  Reservations times between 11 a.m.-3 p.m.  675 Ponce de Leon Ave., Atlanta. 404-724-9700. Brunch: $45 per person.

Haven

Moms and their families can enjoy a special Mother’s Day prix-fixe menu. 10:30-2:30.  1441 Dresden Dr. NE, Suite 160, Brookhaven. 404-969-0700.  Brunch: $24 per person; additional menu items may be purchased separately.

Punch Bowl Social

A special brunch menu features dishes such as Sausage and Egg Panini, Cast Iron Chile Frittata and a “Momosa” bar with sparkling wine and juices.  Kids can enjoy free arcade games and a Kids Buffet. 875 Battery Ave. SE, Atlanta. 470-443-1443.  Order from regular brunch menu.

Valenza

Valenza will feature a special Mother’s Day prix-fixe menu. 10:30-2:30.  1441 Dresden Dr. NE, Suite 100, Brookhaven. 404-969-3233.  Brunch: $26 per person; additional menu items may be purchased separately.

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Serenbe: An Eco-Friendly Community Outside of Atlanta Celebrates Nature and Sustainability (Article: Dwell)

In the spirit of Earth Day, we thought we’d highlight a community right in our backyard that honors nature and personifies sustainability.

Serenbe was formed around the values of nature, passion, creativity, and community.
An article published in DWELL highlights the community and describes it as:

Consisting of four small villages, Serenbe is an eco-friendly community that sits just 45 minutes outside of Atlanta. Established in the mid-2000s by founder Steve Nygren and his family, it’s set amid acres of preserved forests, nature trails, and rolling meadows, and employs New Urbanism planning principles to create an innovative way of thinking about sustainability and community living. 

Check out the full article on DWELL and be sure to check out Serenbe.  Whether you are interested in purchasing your next home or just want an escape from the noise – all five of your senses are in for a treat!

Happy Earth Day!