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3 Reasons to Sell Your Home NOW!

So, you’ve been thinking about selling your home, but you’re not fully convinced you’ll be able to sell it in a timely manner? As the top real estate producers in Northeast Georgia, Nathan Fitts & Team have a solid pulse on the industry and the current real estate trends. Right now is the perfect time to sell your home and here’s why:

A Sellers’ Market

It’s true, we are in a sellers’ market. Inventory is low and people are anxious to secure their piece of paradise in the North Georgia Mountains. This is beneficial for you because you might not only be able to get your asking price, but your home may sell for above your listed price! Interest rates are still low and buyers want to capitalize before the rates begin to rise again.

Tax Reform

With the recent changes in the tax bill, you may not be able to deduct as much as you have been able to in the past. Previously, a homeowner could deduct both state and local property taxes from their federal return. Now, those deductions are capped at $10,000 and combined with income and sales tax. Not to mention the cap on new mortgage interest deductions will decrease to $750,000.

Consumer Confidence

We are currently experiencing record unemployment rates and surges in the stock market which all translate to an increase in consumer confidence. Many first-time home buyers, especially in the Millennial generation, are anxious to take a dive into the real estate market.

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Insider’s Tips To Rafting In North Georgia

 

There’s something about whitewater rafting—the thrill, the chill, the roar of the water around you and the rocks and earth beneath you. Whitewater rafting is a sport that makes the perceived weak strong; it requires courage; it requires a little soul-searching; it requires friends/family… and it requires strength. The end result— a smile on your face and a ride home or to your cabin in the mountains with a story and a feeling that can’t be replaced. Rumi once said, “When you do things from the soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.”

 

Traveling to the mountains of North Georgia and embarking the white waters that scour the mountains and valleys will bring about a bond with yourself: a sense of courageousness, self-worth, and sportsmanship, and a bond with your friends and family (or strangers, if you can’t fill your raft): a bond that comes from the screams, the thrills, the hard work as you plunge your oar into the water and thrust the raft through the rapids or off of rocks, the sweat of your labors, and sometimes the tears.

To the thrill seekers, the lovers of nature and joy, or just the everyday reader… have we peaked your interests?

 

Dive in. North Georgia is home to some of the best whitewater rafting in the country.

 

A short scenic drive from Blue Ridge is the beginning of the journey. The whitewater rafting sees its best through the Ocoee River, one of the only northward-flowing rivers in the United States. Access to the river is in Northernmost Georgia and Tennessee, which is, as Blue Ridge locals refer to as “a hop, skip, and jump away.” This short drive is gorgeous and green, the experience peaking with the sunshine and fresh air flowing through your car windows.

Find yourself at one of many whitewater hotspots: Rolling Thunder River Company, Ocoee Rafting Company, Carolina Ocoee, and the list goes on. Companies offer both half and full day trips, complete with the best gear, the best guides, and the best transportation. Ocoee has class III and IV rapids. The class IV rapids were the same rapids we saw in the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, only making the experience a little sweeter, as you can say you rafted Olympic waters.

 

We recommend calling ahead and making reservations. It’s that busy. And it’s that fun. If you find yourself in the mountains of North Georgia, whether you’re passing through or staying a while—take the plunge. You’ll leave a little happier, a little more confident, and a little closer to nature. Not only is the exhilarating rafting trip a blast, you get to use your sportsmanship and comradeship and you get to spend the day with your closest friends and family. Make the trip a full day’s experience. Go to brunch. Blast some oldies on the stereo while passing through the mountains on the way there and on your way back to your cabin. Have a great dinner at one of Blue Ridge’s finest eateries, try one of Blue Ridge’s specialty cocktails or local wines, and end the night with the sun setting behind the blue silhouette mountains and the crickets chirping.

Here are a few links to websites for more information:

https://www.rollingthunderriverco.com

http://www.ocoeerafting.com

https://www.carolinaocoee.com

The staff within each of these companies love their job. It’s a lifestyle. They love to share their passion for the river with you, to connect with them. Ask them about their stories, where they come from, what they enjoy—it might just surprise you to hear where people come to live, work, and play in our backyards.

Last insider’s tip: ask your guide to let you ride the bull. Don’t take no for an answer. What is that, you ask? If your guide is cool enough, they’ll send you to the front of the raft and let you straddle the nose of it. You have a strap that’s the deciding factor whether you stay in the raft or take the plunge off the raft. Stay strong. 😉

 

Welcome to the North GA mountains folks…

 

Stay a while.

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Whose Market Is It?

Real estate is a cyclical business. For months, or even years, conditions may favor the buyer. Then, over time, the pendulum will swing the other way and circumstances will favor the seller. The market forces of supply and demand help determine whether it is a buyer’s or seller’s market. When the supply of homes is high, the sense of urgency for buyers lessens. Because there are more homes to choose from buyers can be more selective and may wield more power during the negotiations. In turn, sellers may need to lower their asking prices to attract consumer interest. Conversely, in a seller’s market, inventory is lower. Buyers have fewer options and the sense of immediacy is heightened. As a result, the number of bids on any given listing may increase, asking prices might rise, and buying terms may become more stringent. A second factor that influences the market is mortgage interest rates. High rates mean it costs buyers more money to borrow from a bank or lender. Higher rates can lessen consumer demand. On the other hand, when rates are lower and buyers feel they can get more for their money it can propel them into the real estate market. If you are considering buying a home it is critical that you determine whether it is a buyer’s or seller’s market. Equally important is to remember that real estate is local. Different factors could make it a seller’s market in one city and a buyer’s in another. To help you determine which conditions prevail examine how long listings are staying on the market, compare that rate to six months ago, and look at whether homes are selling above or below asking price.

Nathan Fitts & Team have an in-depth knowledge of the market in Blue Ridge and the surrounding communities in the North Georgia mountains. By working with Nathan you can rest assured that you will be getting the information to help you make the best informed choice – whether you are a buyer or seller.

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5 Tips On How To Sell Your Home Faster

Your home is the star! Make it shine!

In Hollywood they are called stylists. They are fashion professionals who help celebrities shine by outfitting them in the right clothes and accessories. In the world of home buying and selling, real estate professionals fill the same role, but in this case the “star” is your home.

Staging is an important part of the home sale process. Staging is presenting your home in its best and most appealing light to the majority of buyers. In the end, it may even lead to less time on the market and a better sales price.  Here are five things you can do to stage your home for sale.

1. De-clutter and de-personalize: Remove all clutter and reduce the number of personal pictures and mementos. You do not have to purge everything, but packing away items at a friend’s house or in storage might be a good idea.

2. Go for an updated look: If you have well-worn, wall-to-wall carpet, rip it up and replace it. If your kitchen cabinets are dated, spruce them up with new paint. Making your home look its best may take some money and some elbow grease.

3. Create a warm and cozy environment: You want your home to have a welcoming feel. Rearrange seating to create conversation areas. You want buyers to want to stay and relax.

4. Lighten up: Use table lamps to create a warm glow and mirrors to reflect the light around the room. Open up blinds and shades to let the sunshine in. A fresh coat of paint in an inviting, neutral tone will play up the sense of light and warmth.

5. Use accessories: Accent pillows, throw blankets, fresh cut flowers, bowls of polished fruit and artfully arranged books, can help you complete the sophisticated and inviting scene. Remember, you want buyers to imagine themselves living in this setting.

Nathan Fitts & Team are your greatest resource when it comes to preparing your home for sale. Work with them to create the home of your buyer’s dreams.

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The Swinging Bridge At Blue Ridge, GA-Must See!

The longest swinging bridge east of the Mississippi.

Popular with day-hikers, Benton MacKaye Trail thru-hikers, and Toccoa River paddlers, the Swinging Bridge makes for a unique outdoor adventure in Blue Ridge. At 270 feet, the bridge is the longest swinging bridge east of the Mississippi River. A joint project of the USDA Forest Service and the Appalachian Trail Club, the bridge was erected in 1977. The Swinging Bridge crosses the Toccoa River and is located on the Benton MacKaye Trail and the Duncan Ridge National Recreation Trail in Fannin County.

If you are driving to the bridge, the ride will take you through the enchanted Wilscot Valley, past the historic and still operational Skeenah Mill, with glimpses of the river as you travel. Once you reach the parking area there are trails on each side of the river providing a short, but lovely, walk to the bridge. On the south and north approaches to the Swinging Bridge the vertical blue blaze of the Duncan Ridge Trail and the white blaze of the Benton MacKaye are present.

No one knows Blue Ridge and its many, many natural attractions like Nathan Fitts. Looking to buy in the area? Give Nathan, the top Re/Max agent in Georgia, a call.

 

 

DIRECTIONS
From the intersection of Hwy 515 and Hwy 5 (McDonalds) in Blue Ridge, follow Hwy 515 East approximately 4 miles to the traffic light at Hwy 60. Turn right and go to the stop sign; then turn left on Hwy 60. Go 1.5 miles into Morganton, then turn right on Hwy 60 South toward Dahlonega for 11.3 miles passing Skeenah Mill. Another .7 miles on the right is FS 816, turn right there and follow ROUGH gravel road about 3 miles to the parking area. Short hike down to the Toccoa River & Swinging Bridge.

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The Appalachian Trail Begins Here-Blue Ridge, GA

On August 14, 1937 the Appalachian Trail was opened as a “continuous footpath” that spans about 2,180 miles from its southern terminus at Fannin County’s own Springer Mountain to Mt. Katahdin in Maine.

While close to 2,000 hikers a year attempt to walk the entire Trail, known as a thru-hike, only a small percentage succeed. The total number of hardy souls that have actually made the complete hike from start-to-finish in one attempt — which usually takes between five to seven months — is fewer than 10,000.

But for those of us who are far less ambitious, the Trail still beckons, offering the opportunity to find serenity and to escape the pressures of daily life in just an afternoon.

Appalachian Trail Fun Facts:
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Dinner With A View On Lake Blue Ridge At The Boat Dock Bar And Grill

Back and better than ever… Just when we thought the Lake Blue Ridge Marina couldn’t get any better, they kicked off the 2018 lake season with “The Boat Dock Bar and Grill,” the perfect place to relax and enjoy lunch or dinner with family and friends while enjoying the great outdoors and the beauty of Lake Blue Ridge! Locals and out-of-town guests, alike, The Boat Dock truly has something for everyone and is like no other restaurant in North Georgia. Their fun casual atmosphere is the perfect hangout day or night… and, really, what beats dinner with a view? With the best backdrop in town, you’ll delight in watching the magnificent sunsets over the mountains and Lake Blue Ridge from the patio, and you will even be serenaded by local musicians on the weekends! With 100 miles of shoreline, the 3,300 acre Lake Blue Ridge is known for its white bass and small mouth bass fishing… and now for “The Boat Dock Bar & Grill!”

For more information, check out their website: http://lakeblueridgemarina.com/boat-dock-bar-grill/

And while you’re spending your time on the lake, don’t forget your waterfront specialists, Nathan Fitts  & Team, who can help make your Blue Ridge home dreams a reality! (877)BUY-MTNS

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Fannin County Historical Museum

The Baugh House Museum

It’s funny how quickly a search for one thing can morph into the discovery of another. I was looking for information on the three Blue Ridge Hotels, all of which were constructed on the same site(between Coldwell Banker and the Methodist Church on West Main Street), and all of which burned to the ground. I decided a good starting point would be the Fannin County Historical Museum – also known as The Baugh House. As it turned out, the museum only had one picture of the last hotel, with no further information available. But since I was already there, I decided to take a tour of the museum. Good call.

The structure was built in 1890 by James Walden Baugh for his new bride, Mary Geisler. Built with bricks made from Blue Ridge clay – four bricks thick – the structure was designed in the Federal vernacular. Two-stories, each floor has two main rooms with the kitchen heading eastward on the north end of the house. An L-shaped porch connects the kitchen and parlor. The Baugh’s had an extensive vegetable garden in the back yard and a cool root cellar to preserve the canned goods and produce.

In 1924, son James became quite ill. Mary’s brother, Dr. Geisler came rushing over and diagnosed acute appendicitis; summoning a fellow doctor from Ducktown, the two set about to perform an emergency appendectomy on the kitchen table. It was a success and after a long recuperation, James was as good as new. Daughter Eva Mae Baugh—who never married – was the last Baugh to live in the house.

Arrowheads in a Cherokee exhibit

 

Fast forward to 1987, the City of Blue Ridge, under Mayor Taylor Stanley, purchased the James Walden Baugh house. It took several years of volunteer labor and grants from Levi Strauss & Co. and the Department of Natural Resources. Volunteer labor was the backbone of the restoration, with much of the credit for the renewal going to Elizabeth Abernathy Simons and Lewis Simonds, who was the general overseer of the work.

 

There is no end to interesting artifacts in the museum – from period furniture pieces to exhibits of photos and books from the Mary P. Wellingham Industrial School for Girls. The school was in Blue Ridge, and was devoted to ensuring that graduates make suitable wives.(Not sure what that has to do with an industrial school…) There is a native Cherokee exhibit with a dizzying number of arrowheads in various shapes, sizes, and colors. A beautiful large loom, circa the 1930’s is on loan from the Fannin County Homemakers Council. There are several beautiful garments from the 1800’s through the Roaring 20’s.

Today, the museum is in the care of Kathy Baugh, who happily escorts you through the house and answers any questions you might have. Her love for the museum just exudes from Ms. Baugh. There was no question that we asked that she didn’t have the answer for. The museum contains original artifacts from the house, but it is also home to period pieces donated by long-time museum benefactor, Fedora Lewis Campbell.

The Baugh house is located at 411 First Street and is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Baugh House Master Bedroom
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Buyer Beware – 5 Reasons Home Inspections Matter

CAVEAT EMPTOR

Latin for “let the buyer beware,” caveat emptor is a contract doctrine that puts the burden on the buyer to make a reasonable examination of a property prior to purchase to uncover any defects that may affect reasonable enjoyment of property, and further puts the onus on the buyer to take responsibility for its condition once the property has closed. In any real estate transaction, it is a given that a seller knows more than a buyer about the condition of a property. Because of this, the Georgia Association of Realtors requires all sellers to complete a seller’s disclosure that should identify any defects in a property that are known to the seller. The good news is that the overwhelming majority of sellers are completely forthcoming in the disclosures concerning any known defects. The tricky part comes in when the seller may not be aware of any defects or the fact that a situation may even constitute a defect. After all, they may have lived in a property for years with no problems at all blissfully ignorant of the fact that something may be in flagrant violation of current building standards. That is why a prudent buyer should always request a complete home inspection from a reputable home inspector, one who has taken formal training and has received certification from ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors) or GAHI (Georgia Association of Home Inspectors, which incorporates all the ASHI standards).

A formal inspection should encompass the various home systems: HVAC, interior plumbing, electrical systems, as well as the roof, foundation, walls, ceilings, doors, floors, basement and other structural components. Think of it as similar to a complete physical check-up when you visit your personal physician. Once the inspection has been completed, the inspector should provide you with a complete report laying out in detail the condition of all the major components of the structure: what condition they are in, if any repairs are necessary and, if so, what they are. Better inspectors will give you a ‘triage’ list of the items, prioritizing those items that require the most urgent attention down to those that can reasonably wait until a later date to be ameliorated. A good inspector will also point out those items that were built or installed that exceed current building standards. Some buyers can be frightened off from a perfectly good home if all they get is the bad news, while the house may be overall in great condition it’s just that no one has taken the time to point that out to them. The cost of a good home inspection can vary depending on the inspector and the size and intricacy of a home’s components. An average is typically $350 – $400; but, again, the price is dependent on a multitude of factors.

Once you receive the inspectors report, it is up to you to decide which items, if any, you want the seller to repair/replace, and which ones you can comfortably live with for the time being. Once you have made that decision, your agent will let the seller know what items you wish to have addressed. At this point, it is up to the sellers to decide what they are willing to fix and that can range from everything to nothing. Usually, what a seller is willing to have repaired is in direct proportion to the sale price agreed on for the house. If the seller has accepted what they consider to be a very low offer, they will more than likely be less willing to make repairs. If, however, they feel that a price that is fair to both buyer and seller has been arrived at, they will typically be more reasonable in accepting the responsibility for repairing items. Throughout this process your Realtor® can be an invaluable asset, not just in supplying you with a list of reputable, reliable inspectors, but also in helping you navigate the process of going back to the seller with your wish list of repairs and getting the most cooperation out of the seller throughout the process.

Let the buyer beware, but let the buyer not be scared.

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The Woodbridge Inn-Jasper, GA

 

 

The Woodbridge Inn – Enjoy fine dining and a stay at this charming Inn.

Looking for history, Southern charm, gourmet dining, and an enchanting Inn? Look no further than the Woodbridge Inn, located in Jasper, GA – the self-proclaimed “First Mountain Town.” Originally known as the Lenning Hotel, the Inn first started hosting guests, many of them Floridians trying to beat the summer heat, in 1880. In 1976, with its glory days well behind it, the Rueffert family bought the Inn and set about to revitalize the now crumbling structure. With the whole family helping out in whatever capacity needed – whether it was shucking oysters or pitching in with the dishwashing – the Inn was a labor of love for the Rueffert’s.

 

 

The history of the spot where the Inn is actually goes much further back. Like, a lot further back — to the Cherokee, whose reign began centuries, perhaps millennia, before the Lenning’s came along. This spot was a favorite worship site for the Cherokee, who held their prayer as the sun came up over Sharp Top Mountain. Much later on in the chronology, Andrew Jackson was commissioned to Florida to battle the Seminoles and his troops took Old Federal Road, on the west side of the Inn, as they made their way south to Florida. According to local lore, both Union and Confederate forces camped on the site…no doubt not at the same time.

City water tank is the beacon for the Inn

 

Hans Rueffert has lived at the Inn since he was four-years-old; 44 years now. Throughout those years, the Inn has grown in stature to once again become the go-to-spot, not just for Floridians, but also folks from all parts of the world when they visit the North Georgia Mountains. Hans’ menus feature a panoply of appetizers as well as a gourmet menu, famous for steaks and locally sourced produce, Hans has added a daily “Wellness Bowl” – with a delicious blend of greens, legumes, and fruit and other savory herbs –  that is both vegan and gluten-free. The Woodbridge Inn have been featured on The Food Network, CNN, Georgia Traveler, as well as publications like Southern Living, Atlanta Magazine, and the Atlanta   Journal-Constitution. It also garners great reviews from sites like TripAdvisor.com and Yelp.com.

 

The hotel at the Inn has 18 well-appointed rooms, with panoramic mountain views on one side,  and the beautifully landscaped grounds on the other. Close to the heart of downtown Jasper, you can take a leisurely stroll into town and shop in the local boutiques and galleries. You will notice the Woodbridge Inn water tower, like a beacon attracting regulars and neophytes alike; that tower is still in use for water supply by the City of Jasper. Only an hour-or-so from downtown Atlanta, the Inn is close enough for an enchanted evening of dining and enjoying the grounds of the Inn. Only 45-minutes from the upscale North Georgia mountain community of Blue Ridge also makes this the perfect dining destination. Out-of-towners can enjoy not just the fine cuisine but the  graceful Inn, as well.  The Woodbridge Inn is a true destination for everyone. Come and see for yourself!

For more information, visit their website at thewoodbridgeinn.com