Do’s and Dont’s of Staging Your Home

22_2868 Stone Column LaneOne of our main services we provide is professional staging.  According to a study by the Accredited Staging Professionals (ASP), 95%  of homes that have been professionally staged sell within 35 days or less and garner offers close to the asking price. When compared to an average of 140 days on the market for non-staged homes, the advantages of staging are clear. Staging enhances a home’s appeal to buyers, allowing them to more easily envision themselves living in the home. However, if your budget does not allow for a professional staging service, consider implementing the following tips from the experts:


  • Let the light in. Opening window shades and including several lamps will create bright and airy spaces that are attractive to buyers.
  • Eliminate clutter and superfluous furniture. Professional stagers often begin by removing up to a half of the furniture in a house in order to make rooms appear larger. By minimizing the number of personal items, such as photos, that are displayed, buyers will more easily be able to visualize themselves in the home.
  • Transform bedrooms and baths into relaxing retreats. A bedroom that is adorned with soothing colors, soft lighting, and luxurious bedding will appear irresistibly inviting to buyers.


  • Attempt to make rooms appear larger by simply pushing furniture against the walls. Instead, arrange furniture functionally so that buyers may easily see the flow of the room.


  • Go overboard with heavy fragrances. While it is important to free your home of pet or cooking odors, fragrances arising from heavily scented candles and other air fresheners are likely to be irritating to many buyers.
  • Neglect the front yard. First impressions are critical, and buyers will form their first impressions of your property based on the front yard and entryway. Spruce up the yard by trimming overgrown plants and adding some colorful flowers, and ensure that the entrance is inviting with a new welcome mat and a fresh coat of paint on the front door.
  • Hide excess belongings in closets in the process of de-cluttering. One of buyers’ top priorities is sufficient storage space. Assume, therefore, that they will peak into closets, cabinets, and drawers. Enable them to envision themselves living in your home by impressing them with uncluttered closets that display efficient storage systems.

01_Lot 18 Stonecrest

Categories: buford real estate, new homes in buford ga, new homes in gwinnett county, north metro atlanta real estate, real estate, selling a home | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Tips for Helping Kids Cope With the Stress of Moving

Family in a car made of cardboard box - express delivery concepts

To the dismay of children everywhere, August signals the dawn of a new school year. For families relocating to a new school district or state, back-to-school may be a particularly painful transition. While moving is one of the most stressful events of childhood, it may be a positive growth experience in the long-run, instilling in children qualities like adaptability, improved self-confidence, and empathy. Here are some tips to help ease the transition:

  1. Take time to talk. Did you ever have to move as a child? If so, be honest about any anxiety or loneliness you may have experienced and how you overcame it. Let your kids know that whatever changes the move may bring, you will always be there to listen.
  2. Maintain familiar rituals, like family dinners or bedtime routines. In the midst of change, kids in particular will find solace in consistency.
  3. Highlight the positive. Is there an interesting program at your child’s new school? A park in your neighborhood that kids would likely enjoy? Small details like these may help kids begin to focus on the exciting things your new home has to offer.
  4. Involve children in setting up the new house, especially when it comes to decorating their rooms. Giving kids a little bit of influence in a process over which they have been mostly powerless may help stir up some excitement about your new beginning.
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We have recently sold out of our entire standing inventory of homes in Sweet Apple, Hedgerows, Hidden Falls, and Morgan Commons- all in Buford, GA.  We are especially excited about the recent sales in Sweet Apple.  All of our finished homes have sold, and we now have 5 pre-sales under contract as well.  The Builder- Reliant Homes, has just released four new lots that they have begun building on.  We have already received a lot of interest in these upcoming homes, which are inside the sought after Buford City School District.

We honestly have more Buyers’ then we have homes that meet their needs.  With only a 1 months’ supply of homes available in Gwinnett County, we need more homes to sell!

We take our job very seriously, and we are dedicated to exceeding your expectations when it comes to understanding today’s Real Estate market.  We represent all Sellers from Builders and Banks to Distressed Homeowner’s considering a short sale, and normal re-sale Sellers.  We even have a Property Management Specialist on our team who can assist you in finding a qualified tenant to lease your home.  We recently listed a home for lease and within a week we not only found a wonderful, qualified tenant for the home, but we had a signed, 2 year lease and deposit in hand.  Talk about a happy Homeowner!

Whether you decide to sell or lease your home, there are many options available, and we can assist you with ALL of your Real Estate needs.

As your local Buford Real Estate experts, we know this market like no one else.  If you’d like to put your trust in a Real Estate Team with a proven track record in your neighborhood, please give us a call for a free market analysis of your home.  (678)714-6384 or email us at

Categories: buford real estate, foreclosures, new homes in buford ga, new homes in gwinnett county, north metro atlanta real estate, real estate, selling a home, Short Sales | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Reynolds Plantation Announces New Owners!

The Receiver for Reynolds Plantation has made the formal announcement naming the company who has entered into an agreement to purchase The Ritz-Carlton Lodge, the golf courses, the clubhouses, the marinas, and about 5,000 acres of undeveloped property:  MetLife.

MetLife has been a global leader in real estate investments since 1878  as a mortgage lender, developer and owner.  MetLife Real Estate Investments maintains a portfolio of over $48 billion invested in real estate products including equities and commercial mortgages and is backed by the resources of MetLife, a leading provider of insurance and other financial services.  The transaction is due to close late this Summer.

When you enter the gates of Reynolds Plantation, a thriving community awaits members of all interests.  World-class amenities abound at Reynolds Plantation.  The Lake Club Wellness Center offers every social activity possible.   This member-only club offers an indoor and two outdoor pools, an award-winning tennis center, fitness center and more, along with a beautiful location overlooking Lake Oconee.  Six golf courses complement a range of outdoor activities along over 374 miles of shoreline.  There are also four marinas, five clubhouses, six world-class restaurants, 16 tennis courts, miles of walking trails and beautiful natural scenery.  All of these features combine to make Reynolds Plantation the perfect place for a second home or exceptional primary residence.

For more information on available homes in Reynolds Plantation, or Lake Oconee, call us at (678)714-6384.

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Good Foreclosures are going fast!

It is true that this is very much a Buyer’s market; but with the limited amount of inventory available, good-looking foreclosure properties, in desirable areas, sell very fast.

Take for example the home below, that went on the market on Saturday morning. This adorable 2 bedroom, 1.5 bath home in Buford was listed at $15,899 and need of some cosmetic work, but nothing too major.  One huge plus to this home is the Buford City School District that it’s in.  Ranked as one of the top schools in the state, the school system only added to the great value of this little home.

Our Clients, a young couple purchasing their first home, made an all cash offer on Monday morning for $3,000 over the list price.  Unfortunately, their offer was not accepted, and I was told there were at least 10 other offers in the mix.  We will continue looking, and I know they will find the perfect home.  At the very least after making this offer, they have learned that you have to be aggressive and quick with your offer on any great deal like this that comes along.

There are unbelievable deals like this coming on the market every day.  If you would like to be notified as soon as a good foreclosure deal goes on the market in a specific area, send us an email to and we would be happy to set up a custom foreclosure search for you.

Whether you’re an investor, a first time home buyer, looking to move up to a larger home, or seeking commercial space- there is every kind of foreclosure deal available right now.  We look forward to helping you find the best possible property for your needs.

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Spring has sprung!

Tomorrow is the first day of spring, and this year the housing market might not be as daunting for buyers and sellers, according to a new report.

The number of homes for sale has been steadily decreasing, helping list prices stabilize and giving both buyers and sellers a little more confidence in the market.  Overall, national inventories have dropped more than 20 percent since last year, according to a report, and houses are staying on the market for shorter periods.  List prices are looking up, too, rising almost 7 percent since last February.  This is great news for both buyers and sellers alike!

In Gwinnett County these statistics are especially true, where there have been 1,623 closings so far in 2012.  With interest rates at an all-time low and amazing deals everywhere you look, many buyers are taking advantage of this spring market.  We are also seeing more and more sellers listing their homes lately, even though they may be competing with foreclosure and short sales.  If a home looks good and is priced right, it will sell.

With spring finally here, we are confident the market will only continue to improve and prosper.  For all of your Real Estate needs-  buying, selling or renting- call The Hill Wood Home Team at (678)714-6384.

Categories: buying a new home, foreclosures, new homes in buford ga, new homes in gwinnett county, north metro atlanta real estate, real estate, selling a home, Short Sales | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Want to buy a home AND peace of mind?

Are you worried what the market will be like when you sell your home in the future?  If you buy a new home in Sweet Apple Place in Buford, GA, you won’t have to worry!  For a limited time, Reliant Homes is offering the Home Price Protection Equity Lock program included in all of their new homes.  Home Price Protection helps protect the value of the typical family’s largest asset: the equity in their home.  The transaction is structured as a contract, not an insurance policy, and provides 15 years of coverage.  EquityLock Solutions uses the House Price Index (HPI) provided by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (available at as a baseline to track changes in home values for claim calculations. The Home Price Protection pays the homeowner upon sale of the protected home if, at the time of the home sale, the HPI has gone down. The claim payment is made if the HPI falls, regardless of the price at which the home is sold and regardless of the appraised value of the home.

For example:

In 2008, Mr. Jones purchases a home for $300,000 and an EquityLock Home Price Protection plan.  The local index at the time is 100.  In 2011, Mr. Jones sells the home for $290,000 and the local index has fallen to 90.  EquityLock Financial pays Mr. Jones $30,000 at the time of sale (the local index fell 10%; therefore a payment of 10% of the original purchase price is paid).

In a market that is still somewhat uncertain, you will have peace of mind buying a home in Sweet Apple Place.  With excellent Buford City Schools and 4 sided brick homes from the low $200’s- you won’t find a better value anywhere in North Gwinnett.  For more information call (678)714-6384 or

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NOW is the time to buy!

Whether you are a native to Atlanta or you consider yourself one since you have lived here for so long, you know that it is one of the best places to live in the South.  We have incredible culture, exceptional food, outstanding entertainment, and amazing weather year round.  These are just some of the reasons why so many people from all over have converged to Atlanta over the last few decades.

In 2012, the main reason most people are moving to Atlanta and the surrounding areas, are the unbelievable home prices!  Where else can you buy a 2800 square foot 4 bedroom home on a full basement for $100,000?  You may think there is no way you would be able to buy a home due to your credit or not having a down payment- but that’s not true!  We work closely with a lender who can approve you for a loan with as low as a 580 credit score and he is also very knowledgeable on all available down payment assistance programs.

The Georgia Dream Home Ownership program will provide $5,000 in down payment assistance to buyers who meet their credit and income guidelines.  This money can be used towards the down payment, closing costs, pre-paids, or taken off the principal loan amount.

The fact is there has never been a better time to buy.  With interest rates around 3.5%, your estimated payment on that $100,000 home of your dreams is only $600 a month.  Are you paying more than that in rent right now?  Then call us!  We would love to help you reach the once thought unobtainable goal of home ownership. 




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Family Fun in Gwinnett!

It’s almost Spring, and if your family is looking for something fun to do in Gwinnett County, check out some of these upcoming events!

February 23-26– Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus will be at the Gwinnett Center.  The whole family will enjoy watching the attractions under the big top!

March 3– The Gwinnett Ballet Theatre presents ‘Cinderella’ at the Gwinnett Center.  Bring your little princess and watch her fall in love with this beautiful performance.

March 28– April 1- Disney on Ice’s Treasure Trove will be at the Gwinnett Center.  Kids of all ages will love this show featuring all their favorite Disney characters on ice!

April 7– City of Auburn’s 8th Annual Springfest will take place!  Welcome in the Spring with Easter eggs, bunnies and of course lots of candy!

April 27– A Prom Dance for Adults will be put on by the Aurora Theater!  Experience prom all over again and dance the night away at 550 Trackside in Lawrenceville.

May 5-6– Come to Barefoot in the Park festival in Downtown Duluth and enjoy arts, tasty food, performances, and activities for children of all ages!

May 19– Celebrate “Live your Life in Art” at Suwanee Arts in the Park festival at Town Center Park.  The whole family will love this annual event.

These are just a few of the great reasons why so many families choose to live in beautiful Gwinnett County.  To make your home in Gwinnett, visit our website at to see available homes in this awesome county.

Categories: buying a new home, new homes in buford ga, new homes in gwinnett county, north metro atlanta real estate, real estate | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Preparing your home to sell!

Spring is almost here, and many people will soon be considering putting their home on the market.  If a home is priced right and shows well, it WILL sell.  Here are a few tips to help get your home ready to sell quickly and for the highest possible price:

De- personalize your home.  As much as we like having pictures of our loved ones all over the house, it’s a good idea to pack these up when listing your home for sale.  Potential home buyers want to be able to envision your home as their own, and that’s hard to do when you have personal photos out everywhere.

De- clutter your home!  It’s truly amazing how much junk we collect every day.  If you haven’t used it in a year, you probably don’t need it.  You may consider donating certain items, and throwing away others.  Make sure to remove all books from bookcases, and pack up those knickknacks.  Clean off all bathroom and kitchen counters, and put essential items used daily in a small box that can be stored out of sight.

Rearrange bedroom closets and kitchen cabinets.  We all know buyers like to look inside closets and cabinets.  If they see everything organized, they may assume you probably take good care of the rest of the house as well.  Make sure to alphabetize the spice jars, neatly stack your dishes, turn coffee cup handles facing the same way, hang shirts together, buttoned and facing the same direction, and line all of your shoes up neatly.

Rent a storage unit.  Almost every home shows better with less furniture.  Make sure to remove any furniture that blocks walkways and put them in storage.  Since your bookcases are now empty, store them as well.  Remove any extra leaves from your dining room table to make the room appear larger.  Make sure you leave just enough furniture in each room to showcase the room’s purpose.

Remove or replace your favorite items.  If you have window coverings your sister made, or an antique chandelier of your Grandmothers, replace them.  If a buyer never sees them, they won’t want them.

Make minor repairs.  The point is to make your home look as new as possible.  Replace any cracked tiles, patch holes in walls, and fix leaky faucets.  Consider painting your home a neutral color and replacing any worn bedspreads with new ones.  Also, don’t forget to replace all burned out light bulbs.

Make your house sparkle!  A clean house is a happy house, so make sure everything shines!  Wash windows inside and out, pressure wash the exterior of your house, clean out cobwebs, re-caulk tubs, showers and sinks, polish chrome faucets and mirrors, clean out the refrigerator, vacuum daily, dust furniture, ceiling fans, and vents, and replace any worn our rugs.  Also make sure bathrooms look extra nice with fresh towels, and sparkling clean showers and toilets.  Potential buyers also notice how your home smells as soon as they walk in, so make sure to have some plug-ins with neutral fragrances around the house.

Check your curb appeal.  If a potential buyer pulls up, and doesn’t want to get out of the car because of the exterior of your home, you’ll never get her inside.  Make sure to mow the lawn, keep the sidewalks cleared, trim your bushes, put out fresh mulch in your garden beds, and plant some pretty seasonal flowers.  Also, be sure your house number can be clearly read.

Now that you have some great ideas to get you started on prepping your home, give us a call at (678)714-6384 for your free Comparative Market Analysis to find out how much your home is worth.

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