Making your backyard more inviting

One very important thing about owning a home is keeping the yards well maintained. It is a huge turn off to see a home with an unkept yard scattered with eye sores. So this week we wanted to give you all a few tips that would help you make your backyard more inviting to your guests, as well as yourself and your own family. 

The first thing you always need to be aware of is keeping your yard clean of all debris and trash. Removing old and broken garden statues, gnomes, fountains, etcetera is easy to do and doesn’t cost you a thing. Repairing ones you really want to keep is not a bad option either. Be sure to keep your patio areas clean, swept off, and keep the seating clean and well arranged. Tearing down old fences that block off unused portions of your yard is a great way to open up more room for children to play, as well as get rid of an eye sore.

Your yard also needs to be well taken care of. Keeping the grass cut and well fertilized is a great idea if you want a yard that people wouldn’t mind being invited to. You also want to make sure your hedges and bushes are cut and trimmed. Be sure to always have a freshly cut lawn, and why not keep it irrigated properly so it stays a nice shade of green.

Keeping it organized is a must. If you have a lot of yard equpitment (weed-eaters, push/riding lawn mowers, shovels, rakes, etc.) your yard would look much better if all those things were organized neatly in one specific, out of the way part of the yard. The same goes for the kids toys. We all know kids love to play and leave things scattered, but we can place them neatly in a certain area of the yard before our guests arrive for a nice evening with friends. This way they can enjoy your beautifully put together and well groomed yard, relax, and have a good time.

Hopefully this blog has helped you make your yard more inviting and has made you happier with it personally. Remember, at Slyman Real Estate GA, we care. Don’t forget to find us on Facebook and LinkedIn, and follow us on Twitter.

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Help with schools after purchasing a home in greater atlanta ga

When moving to a new state, city, town, or even just a new neighborhood you always want to know about the school your child would be in, right? You probably want to know things like where it’s located, where you need to go to register, what documents you need to take with you in order to register, and what the start/end times are. Other parents may want to know more like what are the bus routes, and pick-up times. Well, I’m going to walk you through how to find all that information for Atlanta.

First thing you need to do, is find out with what school zone you’ll be in… That’s an easy thing to find out with the use of an Atlanta Public Schools website. Just type in your new/prospective address and click “Find”.

Once you have figured out the school zone you’ll be in, you will need to find out what school in particular your child will be attending. To do this, give the APS Office of Student Placement a call at 404.802.2233. They will tell you what you need to know about what school your child will be a part of, and where you need to go to register.

The next step is to find out information on registration. Registration dates can be found here, and the list of items needed to register your child can be found here. A friendly, more useful version of this list can be found here. If you want to be really prepared, you can print and fill out this registration form.

All Atlanta Public Schools run on the same daily schedule according to whether it is a elementary, middle, or high school.  This schedule is provided here.

The next thing to shed some light on is the hassle of figuring out transportation for your child. This site makes it very easy for you to find bus routes and pick-up times. Hopefully your child can take the bus if you have to be at work early in the morning, but if not, at least now you know and can plan accordingly.

Here is something else that may help you and your child when changing to an Atlanta Public School… The 2010/11 Student Handbook

Slyman Real Estate GA hopes these links have helped you, and we hope to hear from you soon. Visit our friend Paige Slyman online or give him a call at 770.757.7671 for information on his current listings in the Greater Atlanta area. Be sure to Like/Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn for more great info on all kinds of things realty related.

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Let’s save some $ on taxes, shall we?

It’s tax time again and everyone has an added load of stress on their shoulders. With the economy the way it is today you need to be sure you’re doing what you can to stay above the sea of debt that drowns so many people every year. We’ve found 5 tips that can tremendously help out homeowners during tax season, and we’re nice enough to share. 🙂

1. Deduct mortgage interest on your tax return. For most homeowners, mortgage bills are almost entirely interest. That sounds terrible doesn’t it? Darn right it does! The good thing about that is ALL of that interest is tax-deductible, up to a total of $1 million ($500,000 if you are married filing separately) on loans taken out to buy, build or substantially improve a primary residence. It gets better! ANY type of home is eligible. This includes mobile homes, houses, condos and even houseboats. 

2. Deduct Moving Expenses. If you move more than 50 miles from your current resident for work, you may be eligible to deduct quite a lot of things from your taxes. There are 3 criteria you must meet in order to be eligible for this tax credit. The first is that you must have found a new job within a year of your move. The second is simple; your employer cannot have helped cover your move. The third is that your new job must be 50 miles further away from your previous home than your old job was. The final requirement is you must work full-time for at least 39 weeks during the 12 months directly after the move. If you are self-employed, the final requirement is slightly different, you must work full-time for 78 weeks over the next 24 months. If you meet the criteria, you can deduct quite a few things. You can deduct the cost of gas and oil, plus the standard mileage rate of 20 cents per mile (if you keep all of your receipts). The cost of packing and moving your items from your old home to your new home is also deductible. Also, if you put things into storage you can deduct the cost of said storage for the first 30 days after the move.  The last deductible thing is the expenses for lodging the day your furniture is removed from your old house. If your family does not travel together, you can deduct expenses for one trip per person.

3. Request a property tax reassessment if your home’s market value has declined. If you bought your home within the last three or so years, it is likely that your current assessed property value is higher than the current market value of your home. This can make your taxes much higher than they should be. Fixing this isn’t much of a hassle and can be completed by going to your County Tax Assessor’s/Collector’s Office’s website. This link can walk you through it without you having to break your bank to have a consultant reassess your homes market value.

4. Damages to your home due to disasters is deductible. There are a lot of bad happenings in the world these days and bad things can happen to you and/or your home that you simply cannot avoid. These things can include the following: Car accidents in which you were ruled NOT at fault, storms and the aftermath (including hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding, etc.), fires (as long as the fire was not an act of arson), volcanic eruptions, vandalism, and even terroristic attacks on your home. In order to claim tax relief for any of these, you must provide proof of loss, prove that your property was damaged from such a disaster, and that you are the owner of the damaged assets. The IRS will need to know if you’ve filed an insurance claim, and whether you can expect your property to be fixed or not.

5. Deduct home improvements that increase your property value. Anything you do to improve your home, such as remodeling a bathroom or kitchen area or building/extending a deck is tax-deductible. One of the biggest parts of getting these expenses deducted is KEEPING YOUR RECEIPTS. If you expect the IRS to come check out your newly remodeled basement and give you credit for how it looks, you need to see a doctor. 🙂 However, if you change out a chandelier three times (and keep all of the receipts) because you keep finding new ones that you like more, you can only deduct the price of the one that currently hangs in your home.

We hope these tips shed some light on your ability to save some money this tax season. If you haven’t bought a home yet, but are still looking, be sure to give Paige Slyman at Slyman Real Estate GA a call at 770.757.7671

Happy house hunting! 🙂

P.S. Don’t forget to check out and Like/Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn

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10 Low Cost Home Improvements That Will Raise Your Property Value

One of the most important things of retaining and increasing your property value is curb appeal. Curb  appeal is how your house looks from the street, at first glance and during approach. The better your house looks from the road the more attention it will get from buyers and brokers like Slyman Real Estate broker Paige Slyman.

There are many things that you shouldn’t do if you want your house to look good. Here are 10 things that you should do.

1. Clean up the yard! It’s the first thing people see when they approach your home, whether you live inMarietta, GA or Knoxville, TN. Adding a little shrubbery and a few flowers can make a miraculous difference.

2. Clean up the gutters and fix or repair problem pieces. Having a nasty looking gutter never made anyone in the real estate business smile.

3. Doing what you can about standing water and any potholes in your driveway is a great way to bring up the curb appeal of your property.

4. Add a carport or garage. Adding a garage can be pricey, but adding a one vehicle carport can be very cost effective.

5. Paint the exterior of your home. Old flaky paint can make a house look dilapidated and neglected. No one wants to be shown a house such as the one depicted to the left.

6. Painting the sheds to compliment your home will increase the curb appeal. It’s much more appealing when it all matches.

7. Updating the kitchen of your home can make a big change in how people feel when touring your home. A new sink and faucet is a good start. Make sure the lighting is bright and inviting.

8. Another room that is always good to refresh is the bathroom. A newly replaced shower, or repairing the cracks in the existing one, will increase your chances to sell in todays market.

9. Freshly painted walls are always welcoming and are a sure fire way to increase your property value.

10. Replacing old windows with double and triple paned windows can increase the porperty value of your home drastically and will also reduce your power bill by keeping the outside air outside, and helping the inside air retain its temperature.

Some of these things may seem expensive, but when it comes down to it these are all things that will bring you much more in return and cost a lot less than adding a pool or building onto your home.

Be sure to check this blog and the Slyman Real Estate GA  Facebook page regularly for more good to know information. Don’t forget to Follow us on Twitter @PaigeSlyman. Also, if you have a moment and are interested, check out Slymans listings for awesome deals on beautiful places in the Greater Atlanta area, such as the one below.

                      

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What’s to come?

This blog is here primarily to share articles, happenings, pictures, videos, and other forms of information related to purchasing/selling/renovating homes in the Greater Atlanta area. First things first, Like us on Facebook and check out our main man Paige Slyman.

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