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Meet Kristy Baugh!

Broker, Mother, Wife, Teacher

Classy and sophisticated, Mrs. Kristy Baugh brings energy, dedication, and a passion for customer service to Nathan Fitts & Team. With an unbelievable work ethic, Kristy is up before the rooster crows and once her feet hit the ground running, she’s ready to take on all the various challenges of the day with grace, humor, and compassion.

Kristy began her career in the real estate industry back in the early 90’s alongside her husband, Charlie, when they formed Baugh Homebuilders. A passion was sparked in her and she began to make a name for herself as an agent with Hutson Realty. The couple’s passion for real estate brought their family of three through Cherokee, Cobb, Forsyth, & Paulding Counties, just to name a few, prior to their transition to the beautiful North Georgia Mountains.

With a desire to always learn, Mrs. Baugh earned her real estate broker’s license and for fifteen years, studied all aspects of real estate law, increasing her experience and perfecting her knowledge. Through the years, Kristy has seen a lot of changes in the industry, but it’s just a cycle. What’s most important is service to her customers, because even if sales go up or down, her care for clients is never-ending. Kristy loves that every day is different especially because each day holds the opportunity to help others accomplish their goals. Her favorite challenge is a client that everyone else has given up on. Kristy pulls up her boot straps and goes the extra mile to think outside of the box and make their dreams come to fruition.

Kristy’s husband, Charlie, of 27 years and their daughter, Kimberly, are both in the real estate industry as well. In fact, Kimberly serves as a licensed assistant and marketing coordinator for Nathan Fitts & Team. This isn’t the first time that Kristy and Kimberly worked together though. The family of 3 transformed their family farm into Wolf Creek Estates & Stables Wedding & Special Events Venue while Kimberly was in college. The family loved working together to make countless couples’ dreams come true; however, their passion for real estate ultimately led them to real estate full time, and the farm went back to just housing their four-legged family members – 9 Saddlebred horses, 2 dogs, & a cat… and it will soon be available for your consideration. Stay tuned to an MLS near you!

When Mrs. Baugh is not working, mucking stalls, landscaping, repairing farm tools, or cooking family meals, she serves her heart strings with the youth and children ministries at their church. It’s important to Kristy to be able to make a difference in the lives of children by leading by example and she accomplishes that mission in spades. While this honest, dependable go-getter never lets the grass grow under her feet, she delights in time spent with family & friends, fun in the sun, and exploring new places.

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We Moved Downtown!

Moving on up…to the East side

Whether we are located in the North, South, East, or West, Nathan Fitts & Team loves being a part of the Blue Ridge community! Our new office, located at 3354 East First Street in Downtown Blue Ridge, couldn’t be more perfect. What were the determining factors for our move? There were three big reasons:

1. Space – Because we are the top producing real estate team, we needed more space to accommodate our stellar team members and more importantly for our customers. An open concept work area complete with a large conference room allows for regular communication on available listings between the team and privacy for clients during their real estate transactions.

2. Visibility – Although our previous space was easily accessible from Hwy 515, we were tucked in the back of the plaza and it was challenging for people to find us. Our new location puts us right in the downtown proximity allowing us to be easily seen, easily accessed, and extremely well positioned to show you what an amazing community Blue Ridge is to live, work, and play.

3. Location – As they say, “location, location, location” and we couldn’t agree more. While we were fortunate to have several fast food restaurants close by previously, our new location allows us to be within walking distance to downtown shops and a variety of dine-in restaurants like Blue Smoke BBQ and Chester Brunnenmeyer’s Bar & Grill! The options are endless and we even have the opportunity to work off our meals on the short walk back to the office!

The inside offices are now complete, and you’ll see changes to our exterior soon. We have really enjoyed being a part of Re/Max Town & Country for the last four years, and our whole team is looking forward to a bright future assisting our customers with the care and attention they deserve. We receive new listings every day, so keep checking back with us or let us list your property today!

We invite you to come visit us at our new office. If you are traveling North on Hwy 515 towards Blue Ridge, make a right on East First Street (Bill Holt Chevrolet is on the corner). Travel 1.6 miles and our office will be on the right. If you are traveling west on Hwy 76 from the Hiawassee or Blairsville area, head towards Blue Ridge and make a left on the Old US76 Connector (near Checkers). Then take a right onto Old US76 (near Pizza Hut) and you’ll come right to us. See you soon!

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8 Things Every Retiree Should Have in a Home

You’ve worked hard your entire life, raised your family, and now it’s time for you to retire and enjoy the finer things in life. The North Georgia Mountains are an ideal location to find your retirement dream home and Nathan Fitts & Team are here to help! Let’s take a look at some features you should consider adding to your wish list when you begin house hunting:

1. Location, location, location!

The age-old adage is true, location is everything. The beauty of small town living is that you are close to delicious restaurants, grocery stores, retail shops, and medical services. Not only do you get to enjoy the quaintness of the mountains, but a quick run into town will provide you with city conveniences.

2. Can you hear me now?

When looking for a mountain home, you want to be sure that you will be able to receive cellular reception and high-speed internet. Wi-Fi is a definite necessity for our smart tv’s and smart homes offering conveniences and security features for this day and age. Many North Georgia communities are now part of the North Georgia Network which provides a state-of-the-art fiber-optic network offering high-speed broadband.

3. Let there be light!

Bring the outdoors in with large windows and tons of natural lighting. Not only will this lift your spirits, but you’ll be more active and able to get more tasks accomplished. Not to mention that as we age, it becomes more difficult to see so the lighter the better! Task lighting, dimmable switches, and ambient lighting are also considerations for lighting your new home.

4. No fuss, no stress!

Now that you’ve retired in style, who wants to spend all their time fussing with maintaining your home’s exterior and landscaping? Look for homes with vinyl or brick siding to ensure minimal upkeep. Consider a metal roof. Not only are they low maintenance, but you’ll love the sound of the rain coming down! Wooded lots are ideal options to keep your outdoor workload light. If you do have large grassy areas, consider removing it by paving, graveling or adding a deck to the space.

5. Just say no!

If you were to ask our knees and hips if they want to walk up and down stairs to get to and from the bedroom, they would give you a resounding no! Search for homes with master bedrooms on the main floor to keep those aches to a minimum. While single story living is most desirable, multi-levels work great as long as the master is on the main and your guest rooms are upstairs!

6. Walk on in!

As we mature, traditional tubs become cumbersome to step into and can be dangerous when getting out. Look for walk-in showers with no step or a small step to reduce the risks of slipping. Fortunately, walk-in showers are easier to clean and they look great too!

7. Take it for granite!

Yes, we really meant granite! Granite countertops are the ideal hard surface countertops. Easy to clean and maintain, these durable counters are resistant to heat, scratches, and stains. Not only do they increase the value of your home, but the earthy look and variety of color options will complement both the rustic and modern home styles.

8. Go, go energy!

Select energy efficient appliances not just because of the tax break, but because you will reduce your carbon footprint. Energy efficient appliances use less energy, cuts utility costs, and help to protect our environment.

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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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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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For Sale By Owner: Proceed with Caution

So you’re considering putting your real estate investment on the market, but what should you do first? You want the most for your investment. The listing process seems relatively easy; you call the agent, they run the numbers, and they get the paperwork ready. The photographer comes to your home, and, just like that, your home is on the market. All that commission for something so easy? I can do this myself. Mmmm… better think again. Selling by owner is risky – it may save you commission, but, in the long run, it could cost you even more!

 

Now we’re not saying you can’t do it, but let’s think this out. The agent’s first step is to run the numbers, so let’s start there – determining the correct listing price. How familiar are you with the activity in your area? Do you have the resources to pull active, contingent, pending, and sold real estate investments in your area to help make that decision? Research shows 18% of sellers found it difficult to find the right listing price, and that was just the start.

 

The next step for the realtor is preparing and gathering your paperwork. You will want to have many documents handy for interested parties. That includes pulling copies of your current deed, plat, septic permit, tax information, utility information, and what about those disclosures you’ve heard those realtors about? Potential buyers have done their homework, and they expect you to have done yours, too!

 

Then comes the marketing. Photography first. “I have the new iPhone X. My photos are just as good, and who really needs professional photos? Oh wait, Uncle Bob’s co-worker does that in his spare time. We’ll use him. Well he’s busy this week. And looks like it will be next Thursday evening before he can get to us. Okay, two weeks and we’ll have our photos back to market our home. Oh wait. We didn’t included editing time, too. Vistaprint is running a promotion, so, once we get the photos, our flyers will be ready.” As you can imagine, the story goes on. The cost of marketing materials, online advertising, professional photography, and more really add up, and you still aren’t getting the exposure that you do with a true agent.

 

Finding the right listing price and marketing are not the only difficult tasks. Other difficulties include struggles preparing the home for sale (13%), understanding & performing paperwork (12%), and selling within the planned length of time & having time to devote to the sale (6%), according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).  Research shows  the average For Sale by Owner (FSBO) home sold for $185,000 compared to $240,000 for agent-assisted home sales. With over 50% of home buyers finding their home on the internet and 34% of buyers finding their home through a real estate agent, putting your home on the market FSBO may not be the best decision.

 

Don’t let it cost you. Nathan Fitts & Team has a team of professionals fully equipped to move your investment from “FOR SALE” to “SOLD.”

 

Nathan Fitts & Team of Remax Town & Country are leaders in Georgia’s Real Estate industry with proven results. This team will provide you with unmatched service and enhanced expertise in not only residential, new construction and building, but also in commercial, luxury homes & estates, and real estate development & acquisition.

This team of professionals has extensive knowledge and background of every aspect of the real estate industry, and, although the team is known as real estate specialists in North Georgia, it is comprised of agents able to serve you in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and Tennessee.

Nathan Fitts & Team offers the highest level of professionalism and customer service that you deserve as a valued client. The team’s success of repeat and referral business is true testimony to their genuine care for helping people experience their dream of “the mountain life.” You’ll find it easy to trust this team to put their wealth of knowledge, energy, and experience to work for you.

 

Allow Nathan Fitts & Team the opportunity to prepare a FREE comparative market analysis, and let’s get to work! Give us a call (877)BUY-MTNS or contact us via email nathan@nathanfitts.com

 

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15 Home Selling Myths You Need to Stop Believing

Many people in your life may think they’re an expert in real estate. Maybe they enjoy looking at listings online in your area, or maybe they’re obsessed with popular real estate realty television shows. Perhaps they sold a home several years ago and want to share their lessons learned with you.

What you learn from others about selling your home could be valuable information, but you may also be hearing popular myths that, if believed, could hurt your chances of selling your home for its highest potential price.

Here are 15 myths in Blue Ridge realty you should not believe:

 

1) You get to choose the selling price

Get this idea out of your head right now. Your real estate research and personal experience does not set the asking price for your home. Your experienced Blue Ridge real estate agent will determine the price of your home, which will be listed based on the current market, the home’s location, the amenities it offers, and its size.

2) Listing at a higher price means more money

This can actually be the opposite of the truth. When you overprice a home, you’re shrinking the pool of buyers who see your listing when they shop online, and you make buyer’s agents wary of working with you and your agent because they’ll know the asking price is too high compared to other sales in your area for similar properties.

3) You’ll keep more money if the agent has a lower commission

Again, this can often be the reverse of what actually happens. If your agent has a lower commission, he or she also has a smaller marketing budget and is reaching fewer buyers. Seller’s agents with commissions much lower than the standard rate (likely to lure in more home sellers) may also lack experience in how to negotiate the price of your home.

4) You’ll get better offers if the house stays on the market longer

The perfect window to sell your home is within the first 3-4 weeks. Homes that are on the market for too long may make others curious as to what was “wrong” with the house. People start to assume that there’s a specific reason others have stayed away. Marketing is strategic, and when done properly, will create buzz around your home within the ideal window.

5) If your house sells fast, it was priced too low

This is also a Blue Ridge real estate myth! For buyers who’ve been actively searching for homes in your area, a quick offer usually means that the buyer sees the competitive and attractive pricing that’s exactly in the right range for the size and location of your home, and they know other buyers will also be interested in the property.

6) You should overprice because the buyer will want to negotiate anyway

First, see #2 in this list. Then you need to realize that in actuality, Blue Ridge home buyers are more likely to pass over your house altogether than try to negotiate the price down. On top of that, if a buyer or agent is using an online tool to search for homes and your price is out of the search range, you’re losing all of that potential interest.

7) Real estate agents don’t purposely overprice properties

If you get multiple opinions on how to price your property (which you should do), you shouldn’t choose the agent who named the highest listing price just because it was the highest. If a seller’s agent is pricing the home significantly higher than what you’ve heard from other agents or seen in your own research, he or she is likely just trying to get your interest and is likely a less experienced and less qualified agent.

8) You can depend on home valuations you find online

Looking online for home pricing estimates is a good starting point, but it should absolutely not be your only source (or considered to be reliable). Online pricing estimates can give you the wrong impression about proper price range for your home, and having the wrong expectations can set you up for a disappointing listing.

9) Selling a home “For Sale By Owner” saves money

Having a professional real estate agent working on the marketing plan — and vetting buyers — for your home is not a simple feat. Aside from being a much more time-consuming and challenging that you previously though it to be, statistics show that people who choose for sale by owner wind up selling their home for 15-20% less than what it would have sold for under an agent.

10) A home doesn’t need to be prepped or changed before it’s shown

Your biggest goal, along with your Blue Ridge real estate agent, is to make a buyer feel emotionally connected to your house. In order to do that, buyers should be able to imagine themselves in your home, and that requires some cleaning, organizing, light staging, and preparation.

11) Open houses sell houses

You might be surprised to learn that open houses very rarely sell the home. Rather, it’s much better to work with a trusted Blue Ridge real estate agent to develop a specific marketing plan that will reach potential buyers however they want to shop for homes.

12) My home is beautiful and has a great location, so it will sell itself

Myth! Just because your home is an attractive size and located in a sought-after part of town, the sale will still take effort and strategic marketing plan. Don’t assume that your home isn’t in need of a proper sale plan crafted by an Blue Ridge real estate agent.

13) You should wait until summer to sell your home

The summer months are more popular nationwide, but in Blue Ridge, the best time to sell your home is whenever it’s best for you — year round. Don’t hold back or put off the start of your home selling journey because of this myth.

14) Marketing your home nationally will earn you more money

Advertising nationally or in digital media markets targeted to out-of-state audiences will limit the amount of exposure your home receives within your pool of potential buyers. Rebranding your property just to raise the asking price will not help your home sell any faster and can actually hurt a local sale.

15) Home improvements pay for themselves

This is just not true. Yes, improvements made will help your home become more attractive to buyers, but just because you spent $10,000 on an improvement project does not mean the asking price automatically gets to go up by $10,000.

 

When it comes to learning how to best sell your home, and who is looking to buy a home in Blue Ridge, do your research and work with an expert in the field (so you don’t lose money by listening to these popular myths)!

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Hiring a Real Estate Agent? Don’t Make These 7 Home Seller Mistakes

Hiring a Real Estate Agent? Don’t Make These 7 Home Seller Mistakes

There are many reasons why you might want to sell your home in Blue Ridge, and one of the absolute best decisions you can make when doing so is to hire a real estate agent. And we’re not talking about just any real estate agent, but a home seller agent who will be your ally, partner, and all-around guru for the entirety of the home selling process! Choosing the agent that’s the right fit for you is important, and you’ll want to stay away from making these 7 popular mistakes:

7) Don’t choose an agent because they have the longest resume

When you’re looking at profiles of real estate agents, one of the factors that may stand out to you is the total number of homes that person has sold. Yes, you absolutely want a person who has sold a large number of homes, but the person with the largest number isn’t always the best home seller agent.

Selling more homes means that those homes have also sold more quickly, which could mean the person was pricing homes too low or poorly negotiating with buyers’ agents. Rather, you’ll want to look at the sales-to-listing rate: the number of homes sold compared to the total number of homes listed. Someone who sold 95% of their listed homes is a much more qualified and valuable agent than someone who sold 60% of their listed homes, even if the person who sold 60% totaled in more home sales overall. At Nathan Fitts & Team we focus on getting our buyers the best return on investment possible rather than just selling their home in Blue Ridge quickly.

6) Don’t stop after you’ve met with only one agent

Hearing an agent’s marketing plan for your home is essential, but you won’t be able to gauge which plan best fits your home and your potential buyers until you hear multiple marketing strategies.

The same idea goes for pricing. You might really like a listing price that’s quoted by one agent, but you always want a second opinion. Listing a price that’s too high will prolong your sale and minimize your buyer pool, but a price that’s too low can also be a risk to you financially. It’s in your best interest to meet with more than one real estate agency to get a better idea of how your home will sell overall. When meeting with an agent ask them to prepare a Comparable Market Analysis, also known as a CMA, to gauge your home’s value against other recently sold properties. At Nathan Fitts & Team, we perform FREE home valuation estimates in Blue Ridge and the North Georgia mountains. Click here to get your FREE CMA!

5) Don’t choose an agent based on their commission rate

If you’re picking an agent because of their lower commission rate, it’s likely the rate was lowed specifically for that reason: to get your attention. There are a few reasons why that should be a “red flag” for you. If that agent has a commission rate that stands out from most other agents in the area (on the lower side), that agent had likely not been getting many clients, which speaks to their ability as a home seller agent.

Keep in mind that a real estate agent with a lower commission rate is also more limited in their marketing resources, which means your home listing will reach fewer potential buyers. Not to mention, if the home seller agent is willing to drop his or her commission, you should be hesitant to trust that person when it comes to negotiating offers for the price of your home.

We’re not saying to choose an agent with a higher commission rate either, but understand what the going standard rate in your market is, and look for someone whose rate is comparable to the standard. This is why we have established our commission guidelines to determine residential, commercial, and vacant property commissions.

4) Don’t choose a real estate agent who wants to sell your home for the highest price

The most important time for any new house on the market is that first 3-4 week window. If the price of your home is too high, your home will be off the radar for buyers who would have been a great fit for the property. Your seller’s agent needs to be able to execute a pricing, marketing, and negotiation plan that can attract buyers whose expectations are met. Creating that competition and eagerness to make an offer can then drive up the final sale price.

3) Don’t choose a real estate agent solely because they’re a family friend

This should be sort of a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised by the amount of people who get pressured by a friend or family member to hire someone that they know. Don’t be afraid to say no, and don’t be worried about hurting someone’s feelings when you hire another other real estate agent. Of course, if the friend or family member has an excellent reputation and is a top candidate all-around, then that’s an entirely different situation. But don’t feel any kind of obligation to work with a friend of a friend, or a second cousin, just because that person needs more clients.

Your home and your sale experience always come first, and you deserve a qualified real estate agent who will ultimately do the best job. And if you do feel that a friend or family member is the best person for the job, be sure that you’ll both be able to separate business matters from personal ones.

2) Don’t choose an agent if they aren’t working in real estate full-time

Part-time agents means part-time availability, part-time open house schedules and part-time communication with other agents, potential buyers, and you! Don’t hire an agent until you’re sure that their schedule will best serve your needs (and the needs of buyers’ agents).

1) Don’t hire an agent without asking for references or checking reviews

You’re likely someone who is Internet-savvy when it comes to researching the best restaurants, vendors, and physicians in your area. You know how to research tech gadgets and appliances before purchasing them too. You need to have the same digital reference checking process when it comes to your real estate agent.

Checking the reviews on the agency and the home seller agent him or herself is a must. It also doesn’t hurt to check their social media profiles and to look for the marketing strategies they used when selling other homes similar to yours. The Nathan Fitts & Team Zillow reviews speak for themselves…to learn more click here: Nathan Fitts & Team Reviews

Most importantly, never be afraid to ask for a list of references. A home seller agent should never be wary of passing a list of references over to you.

Putting in time and effort to do the proper research before selecting your real estate agent is essential to having a successful and stress-free home sale experience. Remember to avoid these common mistakes, and you’ll be on your way to finding the perfect agent (and buyer)!

We've moved! Our new location is 3354 E 1st Street - Blue Ridge GA, 30513
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