“Behind the Curtin” Presents Downsizing to a Townhome in Roswell, GA Episode 4
“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 4 – Downsizing to a Townhome in Roswell, Georgia
WATCH THE FULL EPISODE HERE
Lucy Hintz lives in Roswell, Georgia. She recently downsized to a townhome near Canton Street. She divides her time between her home in Roswell and her second home in the Bahamas.
Joanne: Where did you live before moving to Roswell? What made you choose a new townhome?
Lucy: I have lived in Roswell, in a single-family home. But I had always wanted to live in a walking, shopping, dining community. I’ve always wanted to live near downtown Roswell. Another thing is, my husband had cancer, so we knew that it was time for us to get out of the responsibility of the really big house. We were also looking for a turn key we could have without overwhelming issues.
Joanne: What specifically about this property did you like?
Lucy: When we moved in to this unit, our basement was not finished so we had an opportunity to create what we wanted. We have another full bedroom and bathroom down there. I have grandkids, so when they come there is lots of space. I also have a fabulous deck so the outdoor space is awesome too.
Joanne: What did you do to improve your property?
Lucy: We’ve done a lot of things. We changed the wood floors on the main level, which is a beautiful upgrade. My kitchen was solid white, and I’ve taken the island and painted it to a dramatic blue. We finished the basement in full and built a patio outside with stones and made it home. We also put in bookshelves on both sides of the fireplace with separate beer and wine coolers. And we added a built-in bar with quartz countertop.
Joanne: Did you work with a designer?
Lucy: No, this is all us. We had a lot of people that worked for us at our former home. And I purchased the art at local interior design stores.
Joanne: What is your favorite room in the house?
Lucy: It would be the deck. We open up the French doors on the main level, where we can have a breeze and enjoy bringing the outdoors in.
Joanne: What were some of your favorite places to buy home furnishings?
Lucy: We got rid of everything from the old house. All the furniture came from Arhaus. For the art, I went everywhere from Kudzu to 13 Hub. I used Carpet Depot for flooring.
Joanne: What’s one splurge in your home you could not live without?
Lucy: I splurged on this whole house. My bed and the bedding came from Arhaus and it was a big splurge. Arhaus had a wonderful sales representative. And I don’t know if a lot of people are like me, but I stick with people who are helpful and good at what they do.
Joanne: What have you learned from this process of moving from a big house?
Lucy: It’s not as difficult to let go of things as we think it is. And to use an estate sale group was key. And I’m not just tooting the horn for you, but finding a realtor that really understood what we were trying to do was so important. Previously we had trouble selling our home. Your team are the ones who really transformed it. It was a matter of 30 days and we had an offer on that house.
Living in a neighborhood means we all just look after each other. I think when you’re looking for a different place in life, it’s important that you are in a community that’s similar, that has a lot of the same interests that you.
Joanne: Is there anything you would do different that someone else could learn from?
Lucy: I guess I would say, I think it would have been better to finish the basement prior to moving in.
Joanne: Is there any advice on what you think should not be skimped on?
Lucy: I just think once you find your home, make it your home. Don’t wait because whatever you put off is something you’ll never get around to, something else will take priority.
The Most Popular and Favorite Features In New Home Building
New home construction has come a long way in recent years with a focus on space design, energy efficiency, and environmentally-friendly materials. Here are the latest features in new home construction:
Large Mud Rooms (aka Family Foyers) – Large mud rooms have extended their footprint in new homes. Previously, mud rooms were often limited to just a hallway with a built-in, but now they are taking on a larger role by accommodating seating, sometimes with a desk to pay bills, and drop zone for mail. Think about it as a room to hide all the mess when you or your children walk in the door – there’s a place to drop shoes, coats, backpacks, laptops, papers, mail and even to take a minute to sit and relax before entering the main house. All of this is usually hidden behind a sliding door to create separation and the ability to close off this area from guests seeing the mess.
Heated floors – Heated floors are especially popular in the primary bathroom. Making cold tile warm in the winter is a game changer! Heated floors operate on a timed thermostat so you can program the heat to match your schedule. Waking up and the bathroom is already toasted, no longer cringing when your bare feet hit the cold floor and scrambling to get your slippers on. Once you have them, you’ll never want to be without them.
A Hidden Room – Childhood dreams come true! Having a hidden room to relax and unwind or to safely retreat into if needed, these rooms are being added behind bookshelves just like in the movies! Often found in an office, a walk-in closet, or primary bedroom, hidden rooms can serve a variety of purposes like hiding a prized and valuable collection, a hidden entertainment area, or a reading and relaxing spot. Another example is the understairs space that often goes unused, which can be turned into a hidden fun playroom for kids. We’ve even seen a hidden hatch door in the floor that led to a wine room underground. The possibilities are endless.
Environmentally Friendly – Environmentally-friendly building has become a favorite for energy efficiency, with an attainable and clear ROI and because of increased environmental awareness. Homeowners want to be a better steward of the planet, and this not only saves homeowners money on energy bills, but it also helps to reduce the overall carbon footprint of the home. There are many ways builders are incorporating this into their plans, such as:
● Solar: Your builder can prepare the roof when built for solar panels. Installing mounts and preparing for wiring during construction will save you money for when you do install solar panels in the future.
● EV Ready: Your builder can ensure that your home has enough electrical service in your garage and install chargers during construction.
● Battery Ready: Equipping your home with solar batteries allows you to capture the energy produced with solar (instead of or in addition to sending it back to the grid) and then use it as you need it, either during a power outage or on cloudy days when solar may not be sufficient.
● Geothermal Systems: According to the US Department of Energy, a Geothermal heat pump can mean a 25%-50% reduction in energy consumed compared to a traditional system that uses air. In addition to the electricity savings, geothermal systems are eco-friendly because they don’t burn gas during operation. And because there’s no combustion, there’s no admission of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide or other greenhouse gasses. Because these systems are much quieter to operate, it also saves on noise pollution. If the builder is already digging for a septic for your home, ask about the possibility of adding geothermal during the dig.
There has been a significant shift towards the use of environmentally-friendly building materials. This includes the use of recycled materials, low-VOC (volatile organic compound) paints and finishes. Eco-friendly building materials cut down on greenhouse gas emissions, and conserve natural resources; all while improving water and air quality. Examples are Low-Formaldehyde Insulation, Low-VOC Drywall Adhesives, Low-VOC Paints and Carpets, ENERGY STAR® Low-E Windows, low-flow plumbing fixtures, dual flush toilets and LED lighting packages.
Hidden Outlets – These can be an afterthought, but with planning ahead and smart design, your outlets don’t have to take away from your beautiful kitchen backsplash. Electrical outlets can be placed under the cabinets so they remain hidden from view and still easy to access. There are also countertop pop-up outlets that only appear when needed or removable tile plates that can keep the outlet masked when not in use. With the amount of device charging we need now, consider a charging station drawer. This drawer will have a power strip at the back of it and you can keep unsightly wires and devices out of view while charging. Perfect in the kitchen, bathroom and built-in desk drawers.
Large Kitchen Island – Kitchens are the heart and center of the home. Large kitchen islands serve a multitude of roles, from prep station to homework spot to eating area. Large kitchen islands have an aesthetic impact on the room as well. Popular design trends include the waterfall edge where the countertop continues down the side of the island all the way to the floor or the simpler English cottage style with tongue and groove paneling. Large dramatic hanging light pendants and gorgeous sink hardware help showcase the island as a centerpiece of the kitchen.
Floating vanities – Floating vanities add a contemporary feel and modern look. These shorter base cabinets appear to “float” on the wall instead of sitting directly on the floor. They can make small spaces look larger and open up the room. The downside is less storage space. To add to the floating visual, under-cabinet lighting is a popular added feature, this lighting below the floating cabinetry also adds to the “floating” appearance of the vanity.
Dog Wash Station – Dog owners are spending more and more on their dogs every year. A recent survey cited that one of the main reasons Millennials purchased a home was because of their dogs. So, it’s no surprise that new features specifically for dogs are becoming standard. We’re even seeing dog watering stations with a faucet to refill the water bowl.
Locating a dog bath in a mud room, laundry room ,or garage is a practical solution, especially if your space has exterior access. Putting everything you need right by an exterior entrance; your home will remain better protected from tracked-in dirt. Ideally your wash station has a faucet with a handheld sprayer attachment and drain area. Plus, it’s more versatile than you might think. You can use it not only for your furry friends, it’s also great for washing off muddy kids or dirty shoes.
Built-In Speakers Inside & Out – Bring on the tunes! If you already know where you want to put the sound system and entertainment center, talk to your builder about installing built-in speakers in those rooms. You’ll save yourself valuable floor or wall space and have the luxury of having your house literally filled with music.
Whether you’re building a new home or remodeling an existing one, these trends are worth considering to stay ahead of the curve and to optimize your space in a modern, fashionable way.
Protect Your Investment with a 1031 Exchange
Raise your hand if you know what a 1031 Exchange is.
If you’re a real estate investor, we’re betting YOU’RE raising your hands. Both of them.
We always say that there’s no greater investment than real estate. That’s true whether you’re buying a home in which you can live or whether you’re buying homes to hold as actual investments, not unlike buying stocks or bonds.
Investors—just like The Curtin Team—know that homes are great sources of equity, not to mention boons for their tax returns, paths to greater cash flow, better diversification of their portfolios, and great ways to counter the effects of inflation.
Real estate is a GREAT investment.
But what happens when it’s time to sell an investment property?
That’s a tricky question and if you don’t have a REALTOR who’s well-versed in how to handle these transactions, you could be left holding the bag (which could be woefully free of money).
When you have a REALTOR who understands real estate investment, however, and the intricacies of a 1031 exchange, you’ll be sitting pretty when all is said and done.
With a 1031 exchange, an investor can sell a property, reinvest the proceeds, and defer ALL capital gains taxes. That’s right, ALL. To give an example, if you sold a property and had $200,000 in capital gains, you’d be subject to taxes of around $70,000, meaning you’d only have about $130,000 left to invest in a new property. After making a down payment and assuming an LTV (loan-to-value) ratio of 75%, that means you’d be able to buy a new property worth about $520,000.
But with a 1031 exchange, you’d be able to use the entire $200,000. If you had the same down payment and LTV as we cited in the previous example, you could buy a property worth about $800,000.
If you think the 1031 exchange sounds like a great idea, you’re right.
But it’s crucial—CRUCIAL—that your REALTOR understands the rules and regulations related to these exchanges. If they don’t, you could find yourself in financial hot water, and nobody wants that. There are dates and deadlines to which investors must adhere, or they’re forced to pay penalties.
The Curtin Team is well-versed in 1031 exchanges and understands their ins and outs; we know that when your investments are on the line, there’s no room for error, no time for dilly-dally. We make sure that your investments—your hard-earned money—are protected.
If you’re interested in investing in real estate and have questions, or if you’re thinking of selling an investment property, talk to us. We’re experienced with investors and will make sure your dollars are working as hard as they can for you, and that they’re kept safe.