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37 Things You Didn’t Know About Buying A House In Roswell, GA

There are several reasons why someone might want to buy a house in Roswell, GA. Firstly, Roswell is a growing city with a strong real estate market, making it a smart investment for those looking to purchase property. The city’s population has been steadily increasing in recent years, indicating a strong demand for housing. Additionally, Roswell has a diverse range of neighborhoods, each with its own unique character and charm, providing a range of options for prospective buyers. Whether you’re looking for a historic home in the heart of downtown or a newer build in a suburban development, here’s a list of 50 things you might not know about buying a house in Roswell.

1. The average home price in Roswell is $502,000, according to Redfin.

2. Roswell has a total area of 42.0 square miles.

3.. Roswell is located 22 miles north of Atlanta.

4. Roswell has a population of approximately 94,000 people.

5. As of April 2023, the median home price in Roswell, Georgia is approximately $490,000.

6. The city of Roswell is known for its historic downtown district, which features a variety of shops, restaurants, and entertainment options.

7. The Roswell Farmers and Artisans Market is a popular local attraction that takes place every Saturday from April through October.

8. Roswell has been recognized as one of the best places to live in Georgia, and was named one of the top 100 places to live in the US by Money magazine in 2019.

9. The city has a highly rated school system, with several elementary, middle, and high schools serving the area.

10. Due to its proximity to Atlanta, Roswell residents have access to a wide range of employment opportunities.

11. The Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area is located in Roswell.

12. Roswell was founded in 1839 and is the eighth largest city in Georgia.

13. The average commute time in Roswell is 29.2 minutes.

14. The Roswell Farmers and Artisans Market is held every Saturday from April to October.

15. The Roswell Roots Festival is held every February to celebrate Black history.

16. The Roswell Arts Festival is held every September.

17. The Roswell Memorial Day Ceremony is held every year to honor veterans.

18. The Roswell Cultural Arts Center hosts concerts, plays, and other events throughout the year.

19. The Roswell Park System includes 18 parks and facilities.

20. The Roswell Area Park includes a swimming pool, tennis courts, and a dog park, walking trails and multiple sports fields.

21. The Vickery Creek Trail is a popular hiking trail in Roswell.

22. The Big Creek Greenway is a popular trail for biking, walking, and running.

23. The Chattahoochee River provides opportunities for fishing, boating, and kayaking.

24. Roswell is home to several golf courses, including the Country Club of Roswell and Brookfield Golf Club.

25. The Roswell Ghost Tour takes visitors on a spooky journey through the city’s haunted sites.

26. The Roswell Beer Festival is held every March.

27. The Roswell Wine Festival is held every October.

28. The Roswell Restaurant Week is held every January.

29. The Roswell Farmers Market is open every Saturday from April to October.

30. The median home price in Roswell range from around $200,000 to over $2 million.

31. The most popular style of homes in Roswell are single-family homes, but there are also townhomes, condos, and luxury properties available.

32. Roswell is home to several historic homes and landmarks, including the Archibald Smith Plantation Home, which dates back to the 1830s.

33. The city has a strong economy, with several large employers in the area, including Kimberly-Clark and UPS.

34. The city has a well-developed infrastructure, including excellent transportation options and high-speed internet access.

35. Homeowners in Roswell are required to pay an annual stormwater fee to help maintain the city’s drainage system.

36. The cost of utilities in Roswell is relatively low compared to other cities in the Atlanta area.

37. Roswell has a diverse dining scene and over 100 restaurnats, with options ranging from casual cafes to upscale restaurants. The city is known for its Southern-style cuisine, but there are also international options available.

Roswell a great place to put down roots and build a life. If you’d like a tour of all that Roswell has to offer, please reach out to us!

Navigating the North Atlanta Real Estate Market: A Comprehensive Guide for First-Time Investors

In recent years, one term has dominated economic discussions: INFLATION. A recent survey revealed that 82% of respondents feel the impact of inflation on their household budgets. I want you to consider how investing in the North Atlanta real estate market can be a strategic response to inflationary pressures, especially for first-time investors.

The North Atlanta Real Estate Market in Numbers

Let’s start by looking at the average sales price increases over the past year in key North Atlanta cities:

Milton: From $1,001,114 in 2022 to $1,071,125 in 2023 (an increase of $70,011)
Alpharetta: From $590,609 to $643,293 (an increase of $52,684)
Roswell: From $554,821 to $598,375 (an increase of $43,554)
Woodstock: From $420,110 to $441,110 (an increase of $20,924)

This translates to an average annual increase of 7.3%.

Real Estate as a Hedge Against Inflation
So, how does real estate investment counter inflation? Here are three key ways:

• Rising Rents, Fixed Mortgages: As inflation rises, so do rental prices, while your mortgage rate stays the same. This means your return on investment increases with every rent hike.
• Paying Less Over Time: Inflation devalues future dollars. Since your mortgage payments are fixed, you effectively pay back less over time in real terms.
• Property Value Growth: Inflation typically drives up property values, enhancing the worth of your investment without increasing your mortgage debt.

Beyond Inflation: The Four Pillars of Real Estate Investment
Besides being one of the best hedges against inflation, real estate offers 4 other key benefits. Leverage, passive income, appreciation and tax write-offs.

• Leverage: Use loans from banks or mortgage companies to amplify your investment power.
• Passive Income: Rental income helps pay off your mortgage, building equity in your property.
• Appreciation: Property values tend to increase over time, boosting the worth of your investment.
• Tax Advantages: Benefits like depreciation deductions can reduce your taxable income.

Understanding Return on Investment (ROI)

Consider you buy a property for $100,000 with a 20% down payment ($20,000). If the property appreciates by 5%:

Gain: 5% of $100,000 = $5,000
ROI: $5,000 is 25% of your $20,000 investment
In comparison, to match this in a mutual fund at 10% yield, you’d need a $250,000 investment.

Getting Started in Real Estate Investment
Hopefully I’ve convinced you to at least consider the idea of investing in real estate now. So where do you start? The first step is to define, with as much detail as you can, the criteria of the investment property. Consulting with a Realtor who has experience with investment property can help you gain clarity around what makes a good investment.

• Define Your Criteria: Detail the characteristics of your desired investment property – location, size, age, HOA presence, condition, and price range.
• Local Focus: Most investors focus within 20 miles of their residence. Narrow down your search to one or two areas.
• Market Research: Use online tools to track property prices and potential rental incomes. Visit neighborhoods at different times to get a feel for the area.
• Create Your Property ‘Avatar’: Develop a clear vision of your ideal investment property to streamline your search.
• Due Diligence: Once you have a property in mind, thoroughly check financial aspects like mortgage, insurance, and HOA rules. Consider getting contractor quotes for any potential upgrades or repairs.

Take the Leap

Armed with knowledge and the right strategy, 2024 can be your year to start investing in real estate. As Warren Buffett advises, be bold when others are cautious. Consulting with a knowledgeable Realtor and lender is an excellent first step.

Navigating the North Atlanta Real Estate Market: A Comprehensive Guide for First-Time Investors

Opportunities in Real Estate: Learning from the Past

Remember your friends who bought a house right at the beginning of Covid 19? At the time, we thought it was risky, as time went on we see what an amazing opportunity it was to purchase. Similarly, we may be looking back at those friends who purchase in the first few months of 2024 in the same light. There’s hesitancy with Buyers right now between interest rates, an election year and uncertainty in the real estate market.

Our data points to a rising market. The Federal Reserve has already indicated they will ease interest rates in 2024. Waiting for lower rates, like the majority of Buyers will do, means you’ll likely pay more. That’s because as mortgage rates drop, housing demand will surge, driving prices up. As mortgage rates drop, Buyers will come flocking back into the market, driving up competition. So as prices rise, and competition rises, we will be back to multiple offers and Sellers back in the driver seat. There is a window now with a more balanced market. Over the next few months, Buyers don’t necessarily have to make a rushed decision with little due diligence period and reduced negotiating leverage, giving Buyers more time to make an informed decision.

Home prices in our area rose over 6% from the start of 2023. Home prices are expected to continue to rise throughout 2024. Several factors are contributing to home price appreciation in our area. Despite the new home construction that is going on all around us, the new home inventory is still falling short of the housing stock we need. This problem goes back to the recession of 2009-2011, home building came to a screeching halt. For 3 years, we didn’t see any new building, and builders haven’t closed that gap. Adding to that were supply chain issues caused by Covid 19, to some degree builders are still dealing with short supply and labor. There’s still not enough being built at a fast enough pace to meet demand. Couple this with the homeowners who are not willing to part with their 3% mortgage rate, there are not enough homes on the market. Supply and demand dictates prices. More supply of Buyers, less supply of homes equals rising prices. Additionally, we continue to have a healthy supply of Buyers relocating to our area from out of state, attracted to the lifestyle and affordability compared to many other metro areas. Many out of state Buyers purchase in the late Spring and Summer (choosing to move in between school sessions). Waiting will place you in direct competition with these Buyers who often have company support and a tight timeline, making for tough competition. Often they are willing to pay asking price or above to secure their housing quickly and get settled in their new job and state.

If you’re renting, and you’re financially able to purchase, you should consider buying now. The sooner you purchase a home, the sooner you start building equity through mortgage paydown and price appreciation. Your costs are fixed, unlike rent that is likely to be increased each year. And when mortgage rates fall, you can consider refinancing. There’s peace of mind having predictability with your monthly housing costs. Inflation, interest rates or a change in your landlord’s situation will not impact your housing or payment situation once you’ve locked into a fixed rate loan in your own home. There are tax advantages you may be missing as a renter as well. Consult with your CPA for how these tax breaks would apply to you as some income limitation may apply, here are a few common ones.
 Mortgage Interest- you can deduct your mortgage interest.
 Real Estate Taxes – you can deduct state and local taxes in the year you pay them.
 Home Office Deduction – if you’re a small business owner who works from home and use part of your home exclusively for the primary place of business, you can deduct many home expenses.

Opportunities in Real Estate: Learning from the Past

“Behind the Curtin” Presents A Scullery Retrofit in Milton, Georgia Episode 9

“Behind the Curtin” provides an inside look at local homeowners’ beautifully-crafted houses, giving insight into what it takes to renovate, upgrade, and style the most coveted parts of their dream homes. In this video series, industry expert and business owner Joanne Curtin explores local homes while interviewing their owners who live well in their homes to better understand their thought processes when making important decisions. Join Joanne to get a look into the world of luxurious real estate one wonderful home at a time.

“Behind the Curtin” Episode 9 – A Scullery Retrofit in Milton, Georgia

WATCH THE FULL EPISODE HERE

In this episode of “Behind the Curtin”, we delve into the captivating world of scullery design and functionality, as Joanne Curtin sits down with homeowners, Jessica and John Lee. This entertaining interview promises to unravel the mystery of scullery design, where innovation meets aesthetics in the heart of the home.

Joanne: Jessica, John, thank you for talking to me today. Where did you live before you moved in to your current home?

Jessica: We lived inside the perimeter, in a small neighborhood. It was up and coming, and it was before we had kids. It was a wonderful neighborhood. But as our family grew, the small house and yard wasn’t enough space for us anymore.

Joanne: What was it about this house, in particular, that attracted you to it?

Jessica: We both came up with our own “non-negotiables” list. John wanted a flat yard. I wanted a front porch. We both wanted a daylight basement. And essentially, we both wanted a house that we could invest in for the long haul.

Joanne: What have you done to increase the value of your home?

Jessica: The home was in foreclosure when we purchased it. We immediately invested almost $100K because of all the deferred maintenance. We took the brick off the front of the house and replaced it with stone. We resurfaced the floors, painted our cabinets, and updated all the bathrooms. We also redesigned our “mud room”. The way our home is situated, people naturally come to our side door. So, we felt like this area off the kitchen needed to be more inviting and not just a spot where everyone dropped all of their belongings.

The main impetus for the kitchen project was how much updating the kitchen needed. We actually had duct tape holding some of it together! So, since we were doing the remodel, I wanted to make sure that we could essentially take this shell [of kitchen space] and make it very practical for our family. And out of that came the idea of a scullery, or working kitchen. We actually called it “the kids’ kitchen” because we wanted them to have a place to make their messes. The reality is it also offers us a lot more prep and storage space. So, it’s changed everything in our kitchen.

Joanne: Did you use a designer? And what was that like?

Jessica: We used a contractor who had an in-house designer. But essentially, we came up with the plan ourselves. We admit that we’re very particular and we took the reins on the design. Before we found our contractor, we had multiple people from different companies come out, but they couldn’t see our vision. They thought it wasn’t possible.

Joanne: Tell me a little bit more about the choices you made for your kitchen remodel.

Jessica: I think the trend is moving towards very simple design. People are moving away from knickknacks and appliances out on the counters. So, we extended the countertop up on the backsplash because we wanted the clean lines. And we moved the plugs and light switches from the walls to under the cabinets because we wanted that clean look. But of course, we still have appliances that we use. We still have to cook and live our daily lives. And so, we wanted to make sure we had a spot where we can still make messes and actually it [the scullery] provided a lot more storage space. The scullery has a sink so we didn’t have to put one in the center island. We house our microwave oven in there as well, in addition to a smaller “kids’ fridge”. It’s so much easier for the kids to prepare their own snacks now.

In the course of remodeling the kitchen, we played around with the design of the pantry, laundry room and side entrance. We didn’t need to dedicate a whole room for the laundry, since we have units on each level. This gave us the space needed to create our scullery. And it also gave us the chance to find a spot for everything. Even simply preparing our morning smoothies is easier because we don’t have to move all around a large kitchen. Everything is conveniently located in the scullery.

Joanne: What’s your favorite room in the house?

Jessica: I definitely think the scullery. I honestly love being in there. I didn’t cook much before but I love it now. And having the big island in the kitchen as a place for the kids to come and hang out with their friends is something I had always envisioned.

John: Before we had the kitchen redone, I would always direct our guests to the basement. We would hang out down there or by the pool. But now the kitchen is a great spot for entertaining guests as well. But my favorite room was the screened in porch. Of course, now we hang out more in the kitchen and family room.

Joanne: What did you splurge on?

Jessica: Well, I feel like the scullery itself is a splurge. And we really do love our gold fixtures. But being practical, we repurposed our kitchen cabinets to fit in the scullery.

John: I definitely think moving the stove from the island to the other counter and adding a hood.

Joanne: What have you learned from this process?

Jessica: We worked with five or six different contractors on different projects since we bought this house. But I think, you always want to get to know your contractor. They should be honest, upfront, and responsive. The contractor we used for the project said in our first meeting that inevitably something would go wrong. But he assured us that when that happens, we would sit down together and work it out. I really appreciated that.

John: We also learned the importance of picking out your countertop, especially if you want a seamless countertop like we have on the center island. We actually shortened the size of the island to accommodate the countertop we picked out. Otherwise, they would have run a seam down the middle. And our contractor learned a lesson in that process as well. Different styles come in different sizes and your choices are limited if you have already built the island to certain dimensions. So, if you want more options, pick out your countertop before you design your island.

Joanne: Is there anything you would recommend not skimping on if someone is considering a remodel like this?

Jessica: We were both glad that we invested in new cabinets in the kitchen that have the soft close feature and go all the way to the ceiling. The countertops are quartz. And even though I initially wanted marble, we decided quartz was a better material for us.

John: So, this isn’t necessarily related to the kitchen, and Jessica really helped me understand this, but after you finish a project like this what you realize is that the stuff that is important to you – your family, your friends, how you live, how you entertain – makes it worth it. For example, putting a fireplace in the screen porch is nice, but what’s better are the memories you and your family make around it.

Jessica: This home is a gift. And we want to make it a blessing to others as well. Obviously, the remodel adds value to the home. But it also adds value for our family and friends. We can open up more of our home to them. We are people that serve and give back and share. So, that’s what it means to us.

“Behind the Curtin” Presents A Scullery Retrofit in Milton, Georgia Episode 9

“Behind the Curtin” Presents A New Construction Home in Roswell, Georgia Episode 8

“Behind the Curtin” provides an inside look at local homeowners’ beautifully-crafted houses, giving insight into what it takes to renovate, upgrade, and style the most coveted parts of their dream homes. In this video series, industry expert and business owner Joanne Curtin explores local homes while interviewing their owners who live well in their homes to better understand their thought processes when making important decisions. Join Joanne to get a look into the world of luxurious real estate one wonderful home at a time.

“Behind the Curtin” Episode 8 – A New Construction Home in Roswell, Georgia

WATCH THE FULL EPISODE HERE

Max Reiboldt and his wife, Kay, built a new home across the street from where they were living. This short journey resulted in a huge transformation of their living space.

Joanne: Max and Kay, it is a pleasure to talk to you. I am excited to hear about where you lived before you built this home.

Kay: We lived on Fowler, just literally diagonally across the street. We liked the neighborhood so much that when this property became available, we latched on to it quickly. We wanted to be on one level, and we didn’t want much yard. When the builder realized that two homes could not be built on this lot, Max said, “Why not purchase the entire property?” So, we ended up with a larger lot than we expected.

Joanne: What does your new home have that your previous one didn’t have?

Kay: The problem we had at Fowler is that you could not get into that house without stairs. We needed all of our living space on one level, but we have six grandkids, and we thought, we really would like to have space for them if they all want to come and stay. We also built over the three-car garage. We added that additional space in case we need live in help to stay with us. Caregivers, nursing homes, they are so expensive, we thought it would be better to have space for someone to live here and we can stay in our home which is our goal.

Joanne: What is your favorite room in the house?

Kay: I think the whole downstairs – the kitchen, dining room, hallway. In the morning I love to sit in the hallway with the big windows and plants.

Max: We have an outside covered porch patio and pool and that is a nice setting and pretty enjoyable when the weather isn’t too hot or too cold. I also think the high 25-foot ceiling with a balcony view upstairs is a unique feature in this very custom home.

Joanne: So, upstairs is really for visitors and grandkids?

Max: We entertain quite a good bit actually. And each bedroom has a theme. For example, I am President of the Board of Directors of a medical missions effort serving central America, primarily Guatemala. And we’ve gone there so many times, we have named one of our guest rooms “The Guatemala Room” because we modeled it after some of the places we stay when we are there.

Kay: We have a purple room for our granddaughters. We also have a living room [on the second level] for the grandkids that has an arts and craft area. The third floor was actually not planned for anything more than storage. But we made it in to a game room where we have a pool table and we also have some extra storage up there as well.

Joanne: What is your favorite source for décor?

Kay: Working with our very talented interior designer, Christie, who has worked for HGTV and Netflix, I will buy something that I love and she will find a way to make it work. I love unique pieces and bargains! So, she and I are always on the hunt for a good sale. Locally, I pick up things at antique stores and sometimes I will find pieces online at Wayfair or Serena and Lily. I have a good friend and along with Christie’s assistant, we are able to purchase larger items that I could not transport on my own.

Joanne: What is a splurge in your home that you feel you couldn’t live without?

Kay: I can you right off the bat! It’s the master bathroom tile we had imported from Mexico.

Joanne: And, in your opinion, what is something that you feel someone should never skimp on?

Kay: I think flooring is something you need to get right. And it needs to be the right color, especially when you have a big open space. It has to go with everything. You don’t need to buy the most expensive stuff in the world, but you need to think about upkeep. I also think good quality furniture that will last for a long time is worth the investment.

Joanne: What would you say you and Max learned through the process of building this home?

Kay: Along with our vacation homes, we learned that location is very important. Here we are centrally located for our grandkids. We also learned that some of our original ideas changed as we built the home. For example, we originally planned for a simple little garden. But because of the drainage issues we had on the lot, it was necessary to build the house longer and route the drain system properly to keep the lots from flooding in heavy rain. And with the addition of an elevator, we can have multiple floors that I still have access to, even though we originally planned for a ranch-style home.
But I have to say, being prepared for additional costs that will inevitably come up is important. And be sure to have an attorney look over contracts with builders and vendors so that your financial interests are protected.

“Behind the Curtin” Presents A New Construction Home in Roswell, Georgia Episode 8

“Behind the Curtin” Presents A Net Zero New Home in Roswell Georgia Episode 7

“Behind the Curtin” provides an inside look at local homeowners’ beautifully-crafted houses, giving insight into what it takes to renovate, upgrade, and style the most coveted parts of their dream homes. In this video series, industry expert and business owner Joanne Curtin explores local homes while interviewing their owners who live well in their homes to better understand their thought processes when making important decisions. Join Joanne to get a look into the world of luxurious real estate one wonderful home at a time.

“Behind the Curtin” Episode 7 – A Net Zero New Home in Roswell Georgia

WATCH THE FULL EPISODE HERE

Joanne Curtin, Wynn Tierney, net zero home consultant, and Steven Sanders-Myers, Brightwater net zero engineer, discuss the newest Brightwater Homes project, a neighborhood of new construction, net zero homes in Roswell.

Joanne: Thank you for sitting down with me. What made you choose to build in Roswell?

Steven: It was part of our overall 2025 plan, and the Barrington neighborhood was ready for new construction, so we got to work here.

Joanne: What is “Net Zero”?

Steven: Net zero energy is as much energy that is needed to operate the house. That energy is generated onsite with solar arrays and we are generating the same amount of energy that’s needed to run the house. So basically “net zero” means nothing on the meter. You produce as much as you need.

Joanne: What is the main benefit of a net zero home?

Steven: Livability is the biggest benefit. These homes are designed and built to be more energy efficient using better systems and better construction methods. The home is built as a more complete structure with an extremely efficient HVAC. It is better able to control the temperature and humidity coming in to the home. It exceeds all of the code minimums by a large margin. Your HVAC is your biggest energy user. So that’s something that we’re really keen on.

Joanne: So, what does this home have that we all need?

Steven: Cost efficiency is the reason many builders use when they build to code minimums. But in the long run, there are better ways to spend your dollars to build a product that is going to give you a much more comfortable home. Again, the elements that we use to create a better envelope for the house include the HVAC, insulation, and construction techniques save you money over time. The other things people can do in their current homes is add low flow toilets, upgrade to highly rated Energy Saver appliances and even replace their current lightbulbs with energy efficient bulbs.

Joanne: Talk to me a little bit about how you used a designer with this community.

Steven: We actually use energy modeling and an energy designer. We have our architecture team designing the floor plan and the exterior. Then we have a designer work on all the interior finishes. Our buyers will go through a detailed process to curate a specific package for them.

Joanne: What is your favorite room in these homes?

Wynn: I always like the kitchens and the sculleries. With the advent of everyone working from home, you’ve got more people in the kitchen at different times. Some people want an extra sink or dishwasher, some want a wine fridge or an appliance garage.

I also like our FROGS (finished room over garage). They can be more versatile than a finished basement, providing extra guest, work, or workout space.

Joanne: What are you hearing from buyers? What do they like?

Wynn: Our buyers love our new curated design process. We get to know the family and their likes and dislikes and what they need. We ask questions about the music they like, the food they eat, if they like to entertain, etc. We try to get a complete picture of their tastes without overwhelming them. We then create a unique curated package of design choices and materials that fit such as Modern or Timeless Elegance. It is more than a visit to a showroom with basic choices.

Joanne: What are buyers splurging on? Are they being too frugal in some areas?

Wynn: We see buyers upgrading materials in the primary bathroom, such as tile, and we see higher end appliances in the kitchen.

Since we build these homes at such an elite level, there really isn’t a reason to scrimp on anything. If anything, people with basements sometimes choose not to finish every room right away.

Joanne: What have you learned from this process?

Steven: I have been researching net zero homes and techniques for a while but to actually see it in reality is great. There are so many extra things that are done beyond a standard new construction build. For example, window glazing that is required to meet Energy Star standards. Our technical team and energy advisors are here on site to make sure the homes are as efficient as possible. Our goal is the top HERS rating of zero (most efficient). HERS (Home Energy Rating System) is a national standard for demonstrating a home’s energy efficiency. The average home is between 100 and 130.

Also, there is a big debate about building a house too tight. This could lead to moisture build up and mold growth. That is why we install fresh air flow ventilation sized appropriately per cubic feet. Our homes are “healthy homes” for that reason.

Joanne: Is there anything else you’d like to see added to these homes?

Steven: There are strict guidelines from the city of Roswell about water flow calculations and so the footprint of the home, porches, and sidewalks limit the size of the backyard pools that can be installed. As a solution, some buyers are installing smaller splash pools.

Joanne: What is the next Brightwater project after this?

Wynn: “Aster” is coming soon. That is a 24 -home neighborhood off of Cox Road. And then we have the next phase of “Sweet Apple” off of Ebenezer Rd.

“Behind the Curtin” Presents A Net Zero New Home in Roswell Georgia Episode 7

New Construction Home Tours with Joanne Curtin

Join your host, Joanne Curtin, as she takes you on an exclusive tour of new construction homes and townhomes in Barrington Place, Ecco Park, and Millstone Park. Can you guess the price?

WATCH THE HOME TOURS HERE

House #1- Barrington Place home, built by Brightwater Homes, is in historic Roswell near The Mill Kitchen and Bar and is a net zero home (Net zero means the home generates the renewable power to match the needs of the home). Did you know that Roswell is a certified Green Community – platinum level?

Townhome #2 – Ecco Park is located in Alpharetta 30022. This townhome community is being developed and built by The Providence Group.

Townhome #3 – Millstone Park townhomes are located near Deerfield Parkway, Alpharetta. These three story townhomes are conveniently located near Exit 11 (GA-400) and close to shopping and restaurants.

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New Construction Home Tours with Joanne Curtin

“Behind the Curtin”Presents A Fixer Upper in a Golf Community in Milton, GA Episode 5

“Behind the Curtin” provides an inside look at local homeowners’ beautifully-crafted houses, giving insight into what it takes to renovate, upgrade, and style the most coveted parts of their dream homes. In this video series, industry expert and business owner Joanne Curtin explores local homes while interviewing their owners who live well in their homes to better understand their thought processes when making important decisions. Join Joanne to get a look into the world of luxurious real estate one wonderful home at a time.

“Behind the Curtin” Episode 5 – A Fixer Upper in A Golf Community in Milton, Georgia

WATCH THE FULL EPISODE HERE

Aleisha and Chris Porto live in Milton, Georgia with their two children. Recently, Aleisha and Chris renovated a home in the golf community of White Columns.

Joanne: So, where did you and Chris live before you moved to this house?

Aleisha: We lived a mile from downtown Roswell in a smaller home. It was a good first home.

Joanne: What made you want to move?

Aleisha: We had updated almost every single square foot of our old home. And we had people knocking at the door asking to buy our house. A young couple made an amazing offer on our house. And I really connected with her.

We needed a bigger house. We have two very active boys and we had no backyard. And so that was really what started it and then it slowly progressed from looking in Roswell to Milton. Our design studio is in Milton and a lot of our clients are in Milton, so I know the area well. And the more we looked, the more we loved these homes with larger lots.

Joanne: And what made you pick this house specifically?

Aleisha: Our realtor appeared genuinely taken aback when she discovered that we had different plans in mind. Initially, she was eager to showcase the stunning homes, particularly the new builds, such as those in Toll Brothers and Milton Overlook. But then we started contemplating the value we would receive for our investment. And we both have professional expertise in home design. My husband possesses excellent handyman skills, while I have a clear vision for what I want to achieve with our future home.

I expressed my desire to explore homes that required some fixing up but had already undergone updates. Our realtor proceeded to show us a few options, and one in particular caught our interest. However, after conducting an inspection, we realized that the required repairs would far outweigh any aesthetic improvements. The house’s structural elements needed attention, leading us to ultimately walk away from that opportunity.

During my search, I stumbled upon another house that piqued my curiosity. Since my husband, Chris, was out of town, I enlisted the help of my dad, who, like my husband, is quite skilled in handy work. Chris even asked my dad to assess certain aspects like plumbing, HVAC, and so on while he was there.

Upon entering the house, it was immediately apparent that it was in a state of disarray. Nevertheless, I made a conscious effort to overlook the mess and focus on the layout and potential. In fact, I walked straight through the house to the back deck, where I laid eyes on the backyard. It was exactly what we had envisioned when considering a location like Milton—a spacious yard perfect for entertaining, with ample grass space and even a pool. It checked all the boxes: a desirable neighborhood, a backyard that met our criteria, and a reputable school district, not to mention the ideal number of rooms.

Joanne: How did you improve the value of the house?

Aleisha: Firstly, we prioritized the essential tasks and checked them off the list. The HVAC system required replacement, and the pool pump needed fixing. We hired someone to repair the large fridge instead of replacing it, considering the cost. Additionally, we had to re-service and level the septic system. We removed some dangerous trees, including a beautiful one that was planted in the wrong spot and too close to the roof in front of the house.

We also had to inspect and replace some missing boards on the back deck, and fix the completely dilapidated under decking to ensure proper drainage during rainfall. This was crucial because the previous work was not done correctly, causing water damage.

To increase the property value, we added hardwood floors in the upstairs catwalk, the downstairs sitting room, and the main staircase. We also refinished all the floors and redid the entire stair system, including the spindles, bolsters, and handrails.

We made significant changes to the house, including replacing every light fixture and fan and updating all the lighting. We also repainted every surface inside and outside the house. In addition, we removed several outdated archways that didn’t make much sense in their placement. To create a more modern look, we opened up our columns and updated all of them. We also removed some of the dated wall niches and completed a lot of drywall work, as there were numerous holes in the walls. We also added new carpet.

When we first inspected the house, we were impressed with the state-of-the-art appliances. We were delighted to find that the original owners had installed high-quality Viking and Sub-Zero appliances, as well as a top-of-the-line whole-home humidifier system. The pool was also well-maintained, heated, and equipped with a saltwater system. However, the upkeep of the property had been neglected, so we had to restore and update it to bring it back to its former glory.

The kitchen had a fantastic layout, and the previous owners had expanded it, which was well-done. Overall, the floorplan of the house was great, but it required some much-needed TLC and updating to bring it up to standard. So, we gave it the love and care it deserved.

Joanne: What is your favorite room in the house?

Aleisha: The home has a slightly more open concept, typical of homes built in the early 2000s. As you enter, there is a formal sitting room or office and a dining room, but I appreciate that the living room is not immediately visible. The space is a little narrow, but the living room and kitchen merge into a large, open area, which is the main part of the house. I focused most of my design efforts on the kitchen, which I believe is the heart of the home. While the other rooms still needed attention, I knew that we had to renovate the kitchen while redoing the floors and painting everything. I’m thrilled with the outcome.

Joanne: What does your home offer that you feel you absolutely needed? You hinted at it earlier when you walked in and saw the mess and went straight to the backyard. What aspects of your home do you think other people might need that you have incorporated?

Aleisha: To be honest, what we have is a space that is both kid-friendly and perfect for entertaining, whether it’s adults or children. We can now host families with young kids and they have plenty to do while the adults enjoy the space as well. This was a big concern for us when we had young kids, wanting to have friends over with kids and not being able to keep an eye on them while still enjoying adult time. We wanted a space where we could all hang out and have fun while knowing the kids are safe, and that’s exactly what we have now.

Joanne: As a designer, you have a great advantage in terms of knowledge and expertise. Can you share some of your elements that you incorporated into your home?

Aleisha: To be honest, lighting played a crucial role in transforming our home. Whenever someone buys a new house or plans to update it, they often prioritize the furnishings and decor. However, creating a cohesive lighting plan that complements the overall design and style of the home is equally important. That’s why I spent a lot of time planning and selecting the right lighting fixtures for both the interior and exterior of our home. From the porch lanterns to the lighting in every room, I wanted to ensure that it all flowed together seamlessly.

Joanne: What is a splurge that you feel like you couldn’t live without in your house?

Aleisha: The splurge that I believe was totally worth it was the addition of the floor-to-ceiling limestone fireplace. While there were other options such as installing a mantel or creating a wall to add height, we decided to bring in a team of stonemasons to hand-cut each piece of limestone specifically for our fireplace. As a designer, I was able to guide the process and determine the placement of each piece. The result is a stunning 20-foot limestone fireplace that adds a touch of elegance to the space. Although we could have chosen a different route, I believe the investment was worth it in the end.

Joanne: Throughout this entire process, what have you learned as both the client and the designer?

Aleisha: Living outside of the house during the renovation process was a nice break, but as a designer and client, I always emphasize to my clients the importance of being present and checking in regularly. Even though we weren’t physically living in the home, I was here every day, working and overseeing the progress of the contractors. Contractors may not always understand your vision, so it’s important to communicate clearly and often. I found that constant communication with the contractors, general manager, and tradespeople was like holding hands and made a huge difference. I learned that things will inevitably change during the process, so it’s important to be adaptable and open to pivoting as needed.

Joanne: What would you do different?

Aleisha: I would have devoted more time to carefully selecting and vetting my contractors. Unfortunately, due to time constraints, we were unable to meet with potential contractors and had to start work immediately after closing on the house. Since it was a foreclosure, there was uncertainty as to whether we would even be able to secure the property. This put us under a lot of stress and we ended up hiring some contractors who did subpar work. At the time, we just wanted to move in and put these issues behind us, but in hindsight, I wish we had taken the time to properly vet our contractors before signing any contracts with them. We now have to go back and fix some of the shoddy paintwork and other problems that could have been avoided if we had more time to plan and select our contractors carefully.

Joanne: What would you like to do next?

Aleisha: I am considering investing a bit more into our backyard, which happens to be my favorite place. Although we have primarily focused on furnishing the interior with any extra funds we had, our outdoor furniture is currently outdated and mostly comprised of hand-me-downs. As we spend most of our time in the warmer months entertaining in the backyard with friends and neighbors, it would be lovely to spruce it up with beautiful outdoor furniture and custom grill for an outdoor kitchen. Making it a more inviting and enjoyable space to spend time in.

Joanne: What do you think are some things that you should not skimp on? If people are considering home renovation or buying a fixer upper? What should they not skimp on?

Aleisha: One valuable lesson I learned is to never skimp on the expertise of tradespeople involved in renovations or moving. It’s crucial to hire professionals you trust and who are knowledgeable in their field. Even when receiving quotes from painters, I inquire about the paint they plan to use because opting for cheap, generic options may end up costing more in the long run. I always recommend high-quality paint brands like Benjamin Moore or Farrow & Ball to my clients, as store-matched colors are not the same as the original quality. Cheaper quotes from contractors may be due to the use of low-quality paint, which can lead to poor results and may not last as long. This is especially important for families with children who require durable and easy-to-clean paint that won’t yellow over time.

Joanne: Speaking of materials, you mentioned using limestone for the fireplace, and I’m curious about the materials you used for your staircase and flooring. Did you replace any materials, and if so, what did you choose as replacements?

Aleisha: We removed the leopard carpet in the basement staircase and added real hardwood floors that match the existing red oak floors. We also added iron spindles to the staircase and continued the red oak upstairs in the two rooms where we removed the carpet. Initially, I wanted to bleach the floors for a more modern look, but I decided against it and went with a 50/50 blend of a darker stain with a matte finish, which is better for kids and dogs. We also used marble in the kitchen but opted for a granite that looks like soapstone on the island for durability. For the fireplace, we used limestone and had a cabinet maker custom create new doors, a vent hood, a kitchen table, and a mantel to match my desired style.

“Behind the Curtin”Presents A Fixer Upper in a Golf Community in Milton, GA Episode 5

Tom Curtin Talks with Ben and Candice Thornton About First Time Homebuyers


Tom Curtin, CEO of the Curtin Team, and Ben and Candice Thorton from Capital Mortgage Solutions, LLC, actively discuss cooperative buying and aiding first-time homebuyers. They dispel myths regarding down payments and explore alternative financing methods. It is revealed that a primary residence can be purchased with as little as a 5% down payment, and some loan programs mandate even less. Furthermore, they delve into the possibility of gift funds, which parents, friends, or close family members can offer. Conventional guidelines dictate that gift funds must originate from a direct family member or fiancé. 401k loans are also an option for individuals who lack a family member or employer to help with the down payment. Borrowing from a 401k to make a down payment on a home has no impact on the debt-to-income ratio.

Check out our previous blog post about the real cost of waiting to buy –
https://www.curtinteam.com/the-real-cost-of-waiting/

Tom Curtin Talks with Ben and Candice Thornton About First Time Homebuyers

Tom and Joanne Curtin Discuss the History of the Curtin Team

Tom and Joanne Curtin discuss the history of the Curtin Team and how the lessons they learned have propelled them forward to build a successful real estate business in Roswell, Georgia. They discuss their success in real estate investments and outline steps they took to get there. They talk about how they committed fully to the decision to invest in real estate and emphasize taking action instead of waiting for the “perfect” opportunity.

Tom and Joanne Curtin Discuss the History of the Curtin Team