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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Top 10 Cool Things to do in Forsyth County-continued!

Last week I published my first two cool things-Lake Lanier and Afforable Housing (see the last post).  Now it's on to some more cool FoCo topics, places or legends...

3.  Picking Farms and Horse Farms

There is still quite a bit of open land in the county and there are some nearby fun picking farms in the northern section like Kinsey Family Farm on Jot-em-Down Road and Warbington Farm on Crowe Rd.
The Kinsey Family Farm is well known for it's sunflower field, Christmas tree farm, hayrides, fish feeding, pumpkin patch and apple cannons.Open in the fall-it will also host events as well-they will do marshmallow roasts as well! They do have spring and summer hours, check their website.

Warbington Farms is primarily a strawberry picking farm (get there now, they are ready!)corn, beans, squash, pumpkins, tomatoes and more with year round hours.  Check their website for hours and days they are open.

Roadside stands spring up all over the county this time of year to buy fresh produce and more.  Most horse farms are private, but if you take a ride up off 369 both ways you will see many horses and some cows grazing in the distance.

4.  Quirky Shops - Retail is not BORING in FoCo 

Ok, so you may not find those Louboutin pumps you have been looking for in the area (except for possibly a consignment store or Goodwill...) but there are some nifty places to buy lots of things and get your retail therapy going without heading to Buckhead:

My favorite kitty greeter at the Green Bean Exchange---------->

Cool Bees Art and Gifts is located on Highway 9 just north of Post Road and is a slice of hippie and art in the burbs!  Owner Terry Henner has opened this shop in a rennovated older home stocked to the brim with items from local artistans, jewelry, clothing, collectibles and Greatful Dead stickers...she also offers art classes and hopefully will have a live music venue there this summer.

Jul's Candles is located on James Burgess Road right across from the Sharon Elementary School  and is one of  the area's favorites for home made candles and scents (I love the 'black tie' scent), jewelry and they will even fill a container that you bring.

Market 334 is up on Dahlonega Highway right north of the courthouse and is also full of local artisans.

The Green Bean Antiques Exchange is a fun shop on Highway 20 if you dig antique malls-they are ful of vintage items, furniture, clothing, jewelry and more-it is a treasure hunt.  I especially love the hilarious taxidermy cat that welcomes you at the door...

For the latest in gifts and trendy jewelry, try 2 Posh Dames on Highway 306 right off exit 17. They carry Vietri, Rhonda Smith Designs, Hanky Panky, Caspari, Archipelago, Natural Life and more.  

Enjoy your retail therapy-and if that doesn't satisfy you, then there is also the outlet mall a few miles north on 400.....
More on my blog at

Thursday, April 12, 2012

10 Reasons Forsyth County is COOL!

The Reasons I love FoCo - the first 2 are here!

I love lists.  They are fun to read and I enjoy reading them because they are usually short and to the point.  With my ADD addled brain-it's one of the best ways for me to disseminate information and remember things.  So here is my list of the coolest reasons I love living in Forsyth County starting with numbers 1 & 2:

1.  First and foremost : LAKE LANIER!!!!!

     Who would not want a big, freshwater lake to sail, ski, fish, live on and still have great amenities close by for us city-type folk to enjoy?  The construction of Lake Sidney Lanier and Buford Dam was authorized by an act of Congress in 1946. Its original purposes were for power production, flood control, downstream navigation and fish and wildlife management. Buford Dam harnesses the waters of two rivers – the Chattahoochee and the Chestatee, which both start in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains.
Construction began in 1951 and was completed in 1956 at a total cost $45 million. Today, estimates of the economic impact of Lake Lanier exceed $5.5 billion annually, based on a study conducted by the Marine Trade Association of Metropolitan Atlanta in 2000.
More than $96 million in electricity has been produced by the powerhouse generators located at Buford Dam since 1957.
Lake Lanier, located in the Highlands Region of Georgia, features 68 park areas that include boat ramps, picnic settings, hiking trails and camping.
Fast Facts about Lake Lanier
At a glance, here are fast facts about Lake Sidney Lanier

  • 39,000 acres of water
  • 692 miles of shoreline
  • Created from the Chattahoochee and Chestatee Rivers by Buford Dam
  • Authorized by Congress in 1946
  • Construction began in 1951
  • Opened in 1956
  • 8 million annual visitors
  • 68 parks and recreation areas
  • 12 campgrounds with more than 1,200 campsites
  • 10 full-service marinas with restaurants, gas docks, pump-out stations and boat storage
  • Home to Lake Lanier Islands with two resort hotels, golf and a water park
  • Additional lakeside cabin camping, restaurants and boat launch areas
  • Most Corps of Engineers facilities at Lake Lanier are handicapped accessible. Information above from 
  •  Search for Lake Lanier Houses for Sale 
2.  Variety of HOUSING and LOW TAXES!

In the last 15 years we have seen FoCo grow exponentially from an agricultural county to a vibrant part of the suburban metro Atlanta housing landscape with a variety of housing prices from affordable to high end, golf, equestrian, lake, suburban and work/live communities.  This has also brought an influx of wealth to the county creating brand new high performing schools and local branches of some of Georgia's best colleges including Lanier Tech, North Georgia College and more.

Property taxes here are typically lower than most of the other metro Atlanta counties since the county does not have to support big local government and facilities like some others in the state.  This was one of the largest reasons many people have chosen Forsyth County to buy houses in.

Coming up next - the next 2 COOL Places in Forsyth County!

Friday, March 30, 2012

FoCo Foreclosure Trends-Are we out of the woods yet??

Seems everyone is talking about how good the market is for buyers right now, but how good is the market for sellers??

                                                 Trammel Road Mansion off Hwy 20

Inventory in the Atlanta Metro is at an all time low of 42K houses on the market today from an all time high back in 2006 of over 100K homes on the market.
  • Sellers are experiencing multiple offers on well priced homes in great condition.
  • Financing rules are starting to get a teeny bit more flexible.
  • New Construction starts are really on the upswing.
  • Average days on market is decreasing
  • Job Growth is climbing
So what about the distressed homes we see and hear about all the time?  In the metro area, 4th quarter distressed sales climbed 8.4% higher than the same quarter in 2010.  Was that the top of the foreclosure market here in Atlanta....yet???

For 2011, Forsyth County had close to 600 properties close as foreclosures/lender owned with the highest being that famous mansion on Trammel Rd. for $9.5 million to an unfinished home on Freeman Rd. for $12,500.  Average days on market for these homes was 72 and average sales price was $194,109.

Currently there are 105 active foreclosure/lender owned homes on the market out of a total of 1276 overall homes on the market in FoCo. 

The above RealtyTrac chart shows that 1 out of every 297 housing units in FoCo is distressed. RealtyTrac is also showing a downward trend in current foreclosure listings in the country overall 

The chart below for Forsyth County indicates that when the inventory of foreclosures tightens in an area the prices start trending upward as they have in FoCo since the beginning of 2012.  From RealtyTrac.

So, Mr. & Mrs. Seller in Forsyth County:  Average sales prices are trending up, both for distressed and non-distressed properties according to the graph above.  Inventory is low.  If you are priced correctly and your home is in great condition, you could be moving sooner rather than later!
Give us a call or text to 404-580-9969 or visit our website at

Friday, March 23, 2012

The TOP 10 THINGS you should NEVER do by YOURSELF!

Something funny for your Friday...

10.  Heart Transplant
9.  Build your own swimming pool
8.  Defend yourself in court
7.  Asbestos removal
6.  Hair Plugs
5.  Clean your own septic tank
4.  Root canal
3.  Lasik surgery
2.  Cremation
The #1 thing you should NEVER do yourself:
1.  Buy or Sell your home without  ME!!!!!!!!!!!!

So WHAT can YOU add to this list????

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

North Atlanta Lifestyle: Cumming Flea & Antique Market This Weekend

North Atlanta Lifestyle: Cumming Flea & Antique Market This Weekend

Cumming Flea & Antique Market This Weekend

Lakewood 400 Antiques Market This Weekend 3/16/2012
Looking for a cigar store Indian for your basement bar?  How about some antique guns for that military display in your study, or better yet, vintage buttons and fabric for any kind of art project??!!  You can find all that and more at the Lakewood 400 Antiques and Flea Market on Highway 9 in Cumming.

A monthly antiques and flea market typically held the third weekend of the month, the market has been a fixture in the North Atlanta area after moving from its original location at the Lakewood Fairgrounds in downtown Atlanta.  While not as big but growing, this market offers many different items from fine antiques to furniture to flea market finds in a compact, easy to navigate indoor and outdoor facility near Highway 141 in South Forsyth County.  Open this weekend from 9-6 Friday and Saturday and 10-5 on Sunday.  Admission is $3 and good for the whole weekend! You can find a discount entry coupon on their site.

I shop Lakewood for vintage jewelry, transferware, older wicker, art, designer fabrics and accessories for my home and unique planters and plants--the dealers are friendly and accommodating and the prices are generally good.


 Lots of fun dealers, artwork and contemporary pieces too.  They have a good little home style sandwich vendor with great burgers, BLT's and other choices that are yummy.

See you there--I never miss it!

Mary Anne Payne, ePro, Associate Broker

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Forsyth seen as 'Camera Ready'

Movies are being filmed in our area and on a pretty regular basis now.  We even have local residents who have appeared in some of these movies as extras and from one comment of a friend of mine-it was a BLAST--long day, not much money, but they ended up in the national trailer for 'Hall Pass'!  In the article below is more information of what has been filmed around our area:

Forsyth seen as 'camera ready'