5652376_0When the children get older, move off to college, find jobs of their own – you are in the right place to retire. With retiring comes downsizing. You soon realize you don’t need all of the space you once did when you had a house full of children.

Below are five smart moves to be aware of for downsizing:

  1. Stage Your House Before a Sale

Depending on when you last moved, your interiors may be looking outdated; low-cost upgrades can help. Add newer bedding and fluffy towels, for instance, and clear out the last decade or so’s accumulated clutter, For higher priced homes, a professional stager can add more contemporary furnishings.

  1. Look at Townhouses and Condos

Townhomes and condos can always be a better deal when downsizing. They also require less upkeep, which may be tempting after years of maintenance. The only thing to look at is the HOA fees, because some of them may be higher than usual in condos or townhome communities.

  1. Rightsize Your Mortgage

With money being in your pocket, downsizers are able to afford a higher down payment which puts you ahead in the buying bids as well as cutting your ongoing costs. With 30-year loans still below 4%, financial advisors say it’s fine to have some housing debt even in retirement.

  1. Be Willing to Take on Cosmetic Repairs

Typically when downsizing, most people want a smaller space but more amenities. Homebuyers will be able to find amazing opportunities on homes that need little repairs. By making just small cosmetic repairs on a great deal, almost all homebuyers will come out on top.

  1. Test-Drive a New Locale Before Buying

If you’re contemplating a big change—a move to the Sunbelt or a condo back in the city—don’t buy quite yet. “I recommend selling first and renting something for a while to make sure it’s really the square footage you need,” says Clarke.

For more information on all things real estate, visit www.atlantarealestateforum.com.

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 skyline-atlanta-skyview-june-2014-750xx2124-1195-41-0A new report was recently released by the economist that ranks the world’s most expensive cities in the world finds that Atlanta is among the least expensive.

The worldwide cost of living survey is conducted twice a year by the publications “Economist intelligence unit.” The survey compares more than 400 prices on 160 products and services that include: food, clothing. Household supplies, personal care items, home rents, transport, utility bills, private schools, domestic help and recreational cost.

The three most expensive cities in the United States to grace this list are New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago. Of 16 U.S. cities reviewed as part of the survey, Atlanta and Cleveland have been deemed the least expensive, the WSJ says. The cost of living in both cities is 31 percent less than New York, according to the survey.

With several new projects underway throughout metro Atlanta, stay tuned to hear all of the latest news and information about all things real estate. Visit www.atlantarealestateforum.com for more information and to find your perfect home.

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brexpo featured image copyThe first-ever Builder Remodeler Conference and Expo (BRExpo) will be held in Atlanta this year, and will feature sessions with today’s most influential voices in residential development. Intended to become an annual event that will address the needs of and inform those involved in the East Coast residential building industry, the three-day event will be held at the Cobb Galleria Centre from March 7 through 9.

The expo will feature a broad spectrum of top manufacturers and distributors in the industry and begins with a conference of speakers on the first day. This educational element is one-of-a-kind and is intended to help attendees gain knowledge to advance their company, shareholders, employees and clients. Conference guests will have multiple tracks (sessions) to choose from within five categories: kitchen and bath, building, remodeling, high performance design and business.

The tracks will begin at 8:30 a.m. and run throughout the day until 5:15 p.m. with a keynote luncheon in the afternoon. There are 17 professionals scheduled to make their own presentations, some presenting twice, and each attendee must choose which track to attend for each session period.

The latest products, services and technologies will be showcased on the expo floor throughout the following two days by architects, builders, contractors, designers, developers, engineers, green initiatives, landscape installers, remodelers and more.

BRExpo and conference registration is available here. There is an option to attend the conference/expo in its entirety, purchase tickets for individual tracks/sessions or to attend only the two-day expo. Pricing starts at $100.

For more information on BRExpo, visit www.builderremodelerexpo.com.

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Atlanta Real EstateOn today’s Around Atlanta edition of Atlanta Real Estate Forum Radio, hosts Todd Schnick and Bryan Nonni are joined by Daniel Easton, the marketing director at Atlantic Station. During the show, the trio discusses a myriad of interesting and fun activities going on at Atlantic Station. The group also briefly discusses the living environment and new things on the horizon for 2016.

Working as Marketing Director for Atlantic Station for four years, Easton initially came on board to create the concierge service that so wonderfully guides shoppers around the property. Prior to his current position, Easton worked for The Coca-Cola Company for 12 years and department store retail before that.

The Atlantic Station is the archetype for live, work, play in Atlanta. “We call ourselves a city within a city for quite a few reasons,” said Easton. Located on the other side of Midtown Atlanta, Atlantic Station considers itself to be a part of Midtown due to its frequent partnering with businesses in the Midtown alliance. Within Atlantic Station are more than 30 retailers, 17 restaurants and numerous businesses including a dry cleaner, physician and dental offices, Publix, Dillard’s, Regal 18 Cinema and much more.

To get to Atlantic Station, patrons will find a free shuttle that transports people from Marta stations to Atlantic Station. Additionally, on the property, visitors can enjoy two hours of free parking with more than 7,000 spaces below the streets of Atlantic Station. “You can do it all at Atlantic Station,” said Easton.

Recently, the Atlantic Station hosted a showing of all six Star Wars movies ending with the newest movie premiering the night of the Dec. 17. Easily producing trillions in revenue, the Star Wars weekend was successful for both Atlantic Station and the local economy surrounding the area.

Anyone looking for some holiday fun can find a great time in the Central Park area of Atlantic Station. Although Santa Claus has gone back to the North Pole, visitors can see snow shows through New Year’s Eve. Watch snow fall in Central Park from Sunday to Thursday starting at 7 p.m. or Friday to Saturday on the hour between 6 and 9 p.m. Set to music, visitors will enjoy the beauty of snowfall without the freezing temperatures.

Another holiday activity at Atlantic Station is SKATE Atlantic Station. Running every night of the week until Valentine’s Day, SKATE is the largest outdoor skating rink in the city. Skating times vary depending on the day; Monday through Thursday, skate from 4 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, skate from 3 to 11 p.m. Sunday, skate from 3 to 9 p.m.

Restaurants in Atlantic Station are plentiful. One of the best in the area is The Pig and the Pearl. Owned by Todd Martin, also the owner and operator of The Shed in Glenwood, The Pig and the Pearl has been in Atlantic Station for just over a year, and it has quite a unique atmosphere. “It’s barbeque taken to the next level. They really wouldn’t even consider themselves a barbeque restaurant,” said Easton. Considered a Raw House and Smoke Bar, the Pig and the Pearl is its own unique genre of barbeque restaurant that smokes almost everything they serve.

Another great restaurant is Chick-a-Biddy, which offers a fast-casual dining experience at an affordable price. If you like chicken and waffles, this is the place to go. Additionally, Diner is another fantastic dining experience with a wide-ranging menu, while Meehan’s is a classic pub-style restaurant and Rosa Mexicana serves up modern and authentic Mexican cuisine.

With so much happening at Atlantic Station, 2016 should be a fantastic year with new retail options, restaurants and upcoming warm-weather events. For more information about holiday events, leasing opportunities, retail stores and much more, visit www.atlanticstation.com.

Be sure to follow Atlantic Station on social media:





Please download and subscribe to all of the Atlanta Real Estate Forum Radio podcasts on iTunes. If you like this week’s show, be sure to rate it. The “Around Atlanta” segment is designed to showcase the best of metro Atlanta – the communities, attractions and special events that make this city great. To submit your event, community or attraction to the Around Atlanta edition of Atlanta Real Estate Forum Radio, contact mRELEVANCE at 770-383-3360.

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Today’s All About Real Estate edition of Atlanta Real Estate Forum Radio features Chris Harris, president, CEO and founder of Lift It Moving and Storage. Lift It is not your typical moving and storage business. The use of technology and automated processes has allowed the business to move beyond the standard expectations and services of a moving and storage company.

Chris and his brother started their business when they attended college at the University of Georgia in Athens. Back then, it was known as The College Moving Company. Motivated by a passion for entrepreneurship, Chris put his love for being able to “do his own thing” into action and decided to pursue the moving company full time after a stint working in the sales industry. Within 36 months, this little moving company was worth more than 1.2 million dollars. Lift It Moving and Storage is now doing business in more than 32 states and is continuing to expand. Much of the success of the company can be attributed to a rebranding, which came into play as the founders transitioned from moving college students and began working with other types of customers. Chris wanted a name that sounded modern and sleek reflected the company’s desire to revolutionize the moving industry, which he thought was lacking the implementation of technology.

The Lift It company motto is, “Moving in the Modern World.” Putting that motto into action involved figuring out how to implement the many ideas that the team had on how to change the way people move. Chris explains, “It was a big challenge, we had all these big ideas and had to figure out how to implement them. For instance, a lot of people in the business are still using paper forms, but why not use tablets?” Chris also notes that they have technology now that allows them to see recorded live footage from job sites allowing them to log in from anywhere around the country to see what is happening. Customers also have access to this technology as well. The use of technology has allowed Lift It to remove 33 action steps per customer interaction for its sales staff further allowing Lift It to set itself apart from its competitors.

One of the innovations Chris and his team have implemented is a unique pricing generator. Chris explains how they discovered the need for this type of service, “What we found in our industry was you couldn’t even get a ballpark price for moving even if it was just perspective. So we took averages on thousands of moves, associated weighted values to each and generated rough estimates.” In addition to moving services, Lift It also provides storage options as well. Currently the company has a strategic network of people that it refers storage customers to, but the long-term goal for the company is to have its own storage facilities making it a one-stop shop.

The company also works to give back through donations to charities. The commercial arm of the company regularly does furniture installations where they take out existing furniture and replace it with new product. The old furniture is typically given to charities that provide furniture to various women’s shelters and children’s organizations. Lift It has also recently started a program called Lift Higher, which will make contributions to help students fund their way through college.

To learn more about Lift It, visit www.LiftItMovingCo.com. Also, check out their social media pages:



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Atlanta Real Estate Forum Radio’s “All About Real Estate” segment airs on Fridays and highlights the movers and shakers in the Atlanta real estate industry – the home builders, developers, Realtors and suppliers working to provide the American dream for Atlantans. For more information on how you can be featured as a guest, contact mRELEVANCE at 770-383-3360 or via the contact form on this site.

Please download and subscribe to all of the Atlanta Real Estate Forum Radio podcasts on iTunes. If you like this week’s show, be sure to rate it.

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