Northeast Atlanta Real Estate and Community News

Aug. 14, 2020

Creating A Bug-Free Outdoor Space

Creating A Bug-free Outdoor Space

As we navigate our way through the summer and the challenges of recent months, many of us are likely spending more of this season at home. While relaxing outdoors is a great way to change up the routine, you might find that you are running into issues with pests. And the heat and nice weather only increases pesky bug activity. Here are 5 simple ways to help enjoy your outdoor space!

1. Get rid of any standing water.

Make sure you clean out gutters and downspouts regularly. While you may be aware that stagnant water attracts bugs, you may not realize gutters can trap water and become a mosquito breeding ground. Keep kiddie pools and watering cans empty when not in use.

2. Add plants that repel bugs.

Mint and citrus plants are great for battling bugs you may not want around. Here are some additional pest-repelling plants for keeping bugs at bay: basil, catnip, citronella, lemon thyme, lemongrass, lavender, marigold, rosemary. Some of the plants will require bruising the leaves to release the oils (cut a few stems and rub between fingers), so be sure to do your homework or consult with your local nursery to decide which options are best for you and your particular space.

3. Keep a tidy yard.

Bugs, especially ticks, love to hide in tall grass. Make sure you are mowing your lawn regularly and making sure plants aren’t crowding your home and giving bugs easy access inside.

4. Don’t mulch too much (or too close)!

Mulch generates heat as it decomposes, so it gives cockroaches and ants an ideal environment to nest and end up inside your home. Try to keep mulch areas a foot or so from your home’s foundation or consider inorganic mulch options.

5. Install patio fans.

An easy way to get rid of mosquitoes is to add a patio fan to your outdoor space. Not only are mosquitoes naturally weak fliers, the circulation can actually help make you less bite-worthy. Since they are attracted to sweat, lactic acid, and body heat, the fan helps keep you cool and deters the pests.

Posted in Tips & Trends
April 19, 2020

Shelf Styling 101



Shelf Styling 101


                    Our unit was styled using pieces entirely from our own decor, and utilizing our favorite classic novels!


With all the time at home, many are taking advantage of the opportunity to complete home and yard projects. If you are looking to do a little spring-sprucing up but can’t hit the stores, you can easily refresh your space by rearranging and repurposing items you already own. One of the easiest areas to refresh are shelves, but we often hear that it is challenging to know HOW to style them. Follow this simple guide to easily refresh the space, and bring sophistication to your shelving units!

1. Color

Decide on your color scheme and carry it throughout (i.e. neutrals, a particular color, etc.). It can be incorporated in the items you want to display themselves, in greenery, book covers, etc. 

2. Books

Start with books; this is the perfect opportunity to display favorite classics, photo albums, coffee table books, cookbooks if the shelves are in the kitchen, etc.! Place them horizontally and vertically. If you are worried about the colors not flowing with your scheme, simply turn them around so the binding is facing the back of the shelf, and the neutral color of the pages is front facing. You can also use the items below to help disguise the top cover of the books. 

3. Stylized items

Add items of interest that flow with the style of your home, such as rustic candles or lanterns in a farmhouse, coral for a coastal home, geometric metal shapes or artwork in a more modern space, etc. Vary the heights to add dimension and interest. This will also help prevent a rigid, sterile look. 

4. Personalize

Finish with pieces that will add warmth and personalization; picture frames, important framed items, heirloom pieces, and more.

Before                                                                                After


*Additional tips- Do not feel like you need to fill up the entire space. Too much can detract from the look, and feel crowded and out of balance. More minimal and clean styles are also more popular right now. If the shelves you are working with are enclosed (or for dishware), consider keeping the decor minimal, and adding visual interest with wallpaper or paint on the back of the cabinet!

Photo courtesy of

For those looking for additional assistance, the Hembree Team is currently offering virtual consultations for staging and design! Call today at 678-749-9887, or email us at


March 23, 2020

3 Reasons Why This is Not a Housing Crisis

3 Reasons Why This is Not a Housing Crisis



During these uncertain times, we want to be a resource for you by providing the most up-to-date information. Check out this excellent article by, which provides straight-forward facts and easy-to-interpret graphs, and may help in addressing some concerns or questions you might have! 

1. The Market Today Is Vastly Different from 2008

We all remember 2008. This is not 2008. Today’s market conditions are far from the time when housing was a key factor that triggered a recession. From easy-to-access mortgages to skyrocketing home price appreciation, a surplus of inventory, excessive equity-tapping, and more – we’re not where we were 12 years ago. None of those factors are in play today. Rest assured, housing is not a catalyst that could spiral us back to that time or place.

According to Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at, if there is a recession:

“It will be different than the Great Recession. Things unraveled pretty quickly, and then the recovery was pretty slow. I would expect this to be milder. There’s no dysfunction in the banking system, we don’t have many households who are overleveraged with their mortgage payments and are potentially in trouble.”

In addition, the Goldman Sachs GDP Forecast released this week indicates that although there is no growth anticipated immediately, gains are forecasted heading into the second half of this year and getting even stronger in early 2021.

Three Reasons Why This Is Not a Housing Crisis | Keeping Current Matters

Both of these expert sources indicate this is a momentary event in time, not a collapse of the financial industry. It is a drop that will rebound quickly, a stark difference to the crash of 2008 that failed to get back to a sense of normal for almost four years. Although it poses plenty of near-term financial challenges, a potential recession this year is not a repeat of the long-term housing market crash we remember all too well.

2. A Recession Does Not Equal a Housing Crisis

Next, take a look at the past five recessions in U.S. history. Home values actually appreciated in three of them. It is true that they sank by almost 20% during the last recession, but as we’ve identified above, 2008 presented different circumstances. In the four previous recessions, home values depreciated only once (by less than 2%). In the other three, residential real estate values increased by 3.5%, 6.1%, and 6.6% (see below):

Three Reasons Why This Is Not a Housing Crisis | Keeping Current Matters

3. We Can Be Confident About What We Know

Concerns about the global impact COVID-19 will have on the economy are real. And they’re scary, as the health and wellness of our friends, families, and loved ones are high on everyone’s emotional radar.

According to Bloomberg,

“Several economists made clear that the extent of the economic wreckage will depend on factors such as how long the virus lasts, whether governments will loosen fiscal policy enough and can markets avoid freezing up.”

That said, we can be confident that, while we don’t know the exact impact the virus will have on the housing market, we do know that housing isn’t the driver.

The reasons we move – marriage, children, job changes, retirement, etc. – are steadfast parts of life. As noted in a recent piece in the New York Times, “Everyone needs someplace to live.” That won’t change.


If you have questions about what this information means for your family’s home buying or selling plans, we would love to discuss your needs further; please do not hesitate to reach out!


Posted in Market Updates
Jan. 27, 2020

Is Home Buying One of Your 2020 Resolutions?

Is Home Buying one of your 2020 New Year’s Resolutions?

January is the month where many of us are working on implementing new resolutions, and adjusting lifestyles and habits! If one of your resolutions for 2020 is homeownership, consider these 5 tips in preparation!

1. “Declutter” your spending.

Resolutions often include decluttering our homes, but what about our finances? Simple savings, such as cutting down on monthly subscriptions, can add up! For example, go through your monthly/yearly subscriptions and cancel whatever you don’t use. Set aside that extra money with the rest of your savings (or to put towards debt in #3) so your down payment can continue to grow. 

2. Check your credit.

If you don’t know where your credit is at currently, now is the best time to check. Most credit sites will tell you what is impacting your credit, and you can use those tips to change your choices heading into the new year, allowing you to...

3. Build a better credit history.

Paying bills on time/paying off debts will help create a solid credit history. If you struggle remembering to pay on time, setting up auto. payments or using calendar alerts/apps. can be helpful ways to stay on track. If you are working to pay down debt, choose one frequent purchase and allocate those funds towards your debt (i.e. money from unused subscriptions (see #1), cut back on eating out, carpool to save gas funds, etc.)

4. Avoid changing careers.

Alongside income, your employment history will be a major factor during your mortgage application evaluation. While a new job could be a good career move, consider your timing and plan accordingly as most evaluators are looking for a steady job history with little gaps in your employment over the last few years.  

5. Avoid large purchases.

Your debt-to-credit ratio has a major impact on your mortgage approval. If you buy a brand new car or fund a large vacation, that ratio could shift in the wrong direction. If you are starting the process of purchasing in 2020, be sure you aren’t making any large purchases in the coming months.

If you would like to further discuss personalized strategies to prepare for purchasing a home, give us a call! 

Posted in Tips & Trends
July 31, 2019

Energy Saving Tips


With the average American spending around $200 a month on energy, most are looking for a way to decrease those prices in any way they can. With these warm temperatures, and cooler months just around the corner, not using AC/heat is an unrealistic option; here are some simple changes you can make to help save money!


If you are on the hunt for a new home, think ahead and make energy efficiency a priority in your home search. Keep square footage to the minimum you think you will need - the more unnecessary space, the more space you'll be cooling (or heating this winter). Certain home features, like sun rooms and high ceilings, take longer to cool/heat, while other items like ceiling fans can be helpful in reducing costs, so discuss these features with your agent. 


While newer appliances are easily labeled with their estimated yearly cost by Energy Guide, older appliances aren't as easy to determine. Using the Department of Energy's online appliance energy calculator, you can decide if investing in newer appliances with a lower operating cost could save you money in the long run. 


Replacing appliances can be a large up-front cost, so if you're looking to start saving small amounts now, some of these quick fixes might be your best option:  

- Use cold water for laundry

- Utilize ceilings fans and change the direction depending on the season

- Switch to energy-efficient light bulbs

- Check your doors for sealing issues and replace weather stripping if necessary to prevent drafts

- Install a programmable smart thermostat  





Many local utility companies or home performance contractors provide free energy audits and can offer professional advice on ways to lower your energy use. And if you are having an HVAC professional service your equipment, have them ensure it is the appropriate size for your home. 


On the hunt for a new home, or need contacts for trustworthy professionals to inspect your appliances/equipment? Contact that Hembree Team today!


Posted in Tips & Trends
May 20, 2019

DIY Shiplap


DIY Shiplap on a Budget


Shiplap is filling homes across the country, and for good reason! Shiplap can give you a beautiful feature wall, and if done carefully, it doesn’t have to be expensive. Here is a guide for creating your own shiplap wall without breaking the bank.

What You’ll Need:

Nail Gun & Nails

Table Saw*- to cut the boards into planks

Compound Miter Saw*- to cut planks to length

Stud Finder

Underlayment Plywood (This is a popular option)

Construction Adhesive

1/8 Inch Tile Spacers

Spackling Paste

250 Grit Sandpaper


Chalk (not required)


*Home improvement stores can typically cut your boards into planks if you do not have these tools at home. Just make sure you take measurements before to ensure you will have enough to fit the wall you plan to shiplap.

Step 1: Wall Prep.

If the wall you are covering is already a bright color, you will want to apply a coat of the paint you will be using. After it has dried, use your stud finder to locate the studs in your wall. Quick tip- use chalk to make a line down the wall where the stud is located, so you know exactly where to place the nails each time.

Step 2: Plank Prep.

You will need to decide how wide you want your planks to be; traditional shiplap ranges between 5”- 8”, with 6” being a popular size. Be sure to cut the planks into a variety of sizes as you go so that you can achieve the staggered look. You will also need to be aware of electrical outlets as you work- you can remove the outlet cover and use it, with your chalk, as a sort of template to make the cut (cut within that traced line to avoid gaps between the outlet and the plank)

Step 3: Hang Your First Row

Apply the construction adhesive to the back of the wood. Lay the first plank flush with your crown molding; if your crown molding is not straight, you may have some additional cuts to make. Once in place, nail the plank twice (once towards the top and once directly underneath towards the bottom), along the stud that the board is covering. Continue piecing together (depending on how many pieces you choose to use on each row/the look you want).

Step 4: Use Your Spacers

Before placing the second row, use your spacers to ensure there will be an equal gap between planks. Be sure to do this for each new row.

Step 4: Fill Nail Holes

Use your spackling paste to fill in the nail holes you’ve created. Once it has dried, sand down the hardened paste to create a flush surface with the wood.  

Step 5: Time For Paint

If your paint doesn’t have a primer included, be sure to prime the wall first and then apply your first coat. Use a second coat if needed!

Enjoy your gorgeous new focal point!



Photo Source: Studio McGee


Feb. 2, 2019

Kitchen Improvements Under $100

Kitchen Improvements Under $100


Kitchen updates are a sure way to increase value on a home, but they should be done carefully. Not looking to exceed a tight budget? You can make simple, cost effective changes that will still highlight your kitchen’s best features! Check out this list of improvements you can get started on for under $100.


Grease splatters across the wall? Spaghetti sauce still making its appearance in the strangest of places? Freshly painted rooms automatically appear more clean and updated. A gallon of paint averages about $25, leaving plenty in the budget for tape, rollers, etc.


A decorative light fixture doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg; you can find great options at your local hardware or antique store. Be sure to match your existing decor, but with an updated touch, such as this industrial look below. Even switching to LED bulbs can add a bright and clean feel to the space.


If the cabinetry is outdated or grimy, painting might be a good option. Some kits can be purchased for around $75-$85. With great care taken in the prep work and without rushing the process, this DIY can make your kitchen feel brand new. If you aren’t looking to tackle such a task and have the additional funds, a professional can paint/refinish the cabinets at nearly half the cost of replacement.


Replace outdated outlet wall plates for your light switches. Being one of the most used rooms in the home, outlet plates are often stained from the splatters and drips, but are a cheap fix to replace. They are often an overlooked item when the kitchen is remodeled- the yellow and gold undertones of former trends required the use of ivory/cream plates; if you are aiming for the light and bright trend, be sure to swap them out for white plates, otherwise they will appear drab and dirty.  


Replacing the hardware on your cabinets and drawers is one of the easiest yet effective ways to provide a drastic change to your kitchen. Not only can you get rid of outdated hardware, but you can add a completely new feel to the theme of your kitchen. Just be sure the hardware selected flows with the decor and feel of the room/home.


Have empty wall space? Search your local hardware or home goods store for floating shelves and cute baskets or storage containers you can use to fill the space. Not only can it add some character to your kitchen, it adds functionality and more storage options- a feature buyers love if you're thinking of listing your home.


Replace decor that weighs down a fresh look, such as rugs that are falling apart, hand towels that are stained, and wall hangings that are out of date. Add some plants and decorative pieces to add character.


Jan. 24, 2019

The Catch You Shouldn't Fall For

The Catch you Shouldn’t Fall For





With the growth of online tools, companies are quickly building “new” products to serve the real estate community. The ads play frequently - “no showings, no hassles” or “We’ll buy your home!”

So what are they actually selling? Ease. And it sounds pretty good.

Then what’s the catch? It is crucial to do your homework on these online quick-sale services, as they most likely are not the best option for your situation:

  1. The real estate industry is heavily regulated for licensed professionals to ensure the consumer is always getting the best representation with the highest level of integrity. Most online services don’t require the same regulation and licensing.


  1. Many sellers find themselves out tens-of-thousands in cost difference due to low ball offers and inaccurate valuations. And many consumers don’t even “qualify” for these programs after starting the process, and lose valuable time.


  1. The fees add up. Many of these online or instant offer programs still include a “commission”, and then add “service fees” and more. Some estimates show these figures coming in closer to 10% or more, vs. the average 6% for a typical agent (not to mention the amount lost on the low offers).


  1. Selling “ease”, “convenience”, or “speed”  as a promise is often a line to get the consumer to call. With important factors such as financing, inspections, etc. “bumps” may occur along the way; instead of pretending they don’t happen, an agent’s job is to walk you through them with knowledge and skill. These companies have no such responsibility.


  1. These companies and investors represent themselves and use your money to do so. An agent is paid to represent YOU. This filters into every area of the transaction, including customer service. Often the “agent” from the company you are working with is not seen until closing.

A Realtor is there to make you the most money, work to make the process as smooth as possible, to listen to your concerns and plan accordingly, and to explain each step so that you can act as an informed buyer or seller.


You can read more from Forbes here, or Inman here.



Posted in Market Updates
Dec. 20, 2018

Simple Tips to Beautify Your Home

Simple Tips To Beautify Your Home

It’s that time of year again! Our homes are most likely sparkling with shiny Christmas decor, and alight with the cozy glow of twinkling lights. But it is also that time when many of us start wondering when the last time we freshened up the decor was, or if our home is ready to host all the family coming in town. And let’s not even talk about the moment the Christmas decor comes down and we suddenly notice issues that weren’t so obvious before. Read on for some simple and cost effective techniques that can help you showcase the best features of every room in your house:


You can never go wrong with a neutral scheme, but if you’re feeling like your room is a little drab, don’t be afraid to add a bold color (did anyone see Pantone’s 2019 color of the year?!). You can use furniture or accent pieces to bring a touch of color to neutral spaces. However, color doesn’t have to mean clutter- keep the rest of the room simple and add the dramatic touch with just a few elements. This is the same for Christmas decor- tired of the same red and green? Switch to a bolder yet still elegant color, such as the pink or rose gold theme trending on Pinterest.


Bringing in some mirrors can add the appearance of light and room to your space as the reflected light helps the room feel larger and more open. Add a few accent mirrors, preferably right across the room from a window, to brighten up your space and keep it from feeling too tight and small. And mirrors are the perfect place to drape a garland, or hang a wreath.


We get it, totally redecorating can be expensive-  but there is so much you can do by just getting creative with accessories. Get some unique decorative pieces by heading down to a local antique store. You can also hop into Hobby Lobby or TJ Maxx to find decorative pieces that are incredibly affordable. And after Christmas sales are a great time to strategize for next year’s decor theme!


Nothing gives a space some life like vibrant, fresh plants! And you don’t have to have a green thumb; there are many plants with lush green leaves that lend the feel you are looking for without being difficult to care for. You’d be surprised by how “finished” they make a room look- don’t let your Christmas tree be the only touch of plant life you have in your home during the year!


Don’t block out your windows with heavy drapes, or hide them behind furniture. If you need dark or heavy curtains (such as in a bedroom) you can find fun or elegant tieback/holdback options to easily keep them pulled back during the day. Decorate your room in a way that compliments the windows and brings the natural light in.


Use fur throws or pillows, select patterned fabrics, etc. Don’t be afraid to add unique textures throughout the home to add visual interest and to provide a cozy elegance to the space. Just be careful to not go overboard- just a few textures that compliment each other cleverly placed around your room.



This is a tip you’ll hear often- nothing brings out the best in a space more than getting rid of clutter and junk. If you have a hard time walking around your room or finding things, it may be time for a garage sale or a run to a local charity donation center. Even Christmas decor can get a little overwhelming if not carefully and elegantly planned/executed.

July 31, 2017

Curious About Local Real Estate?

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Curious about local real estate? So are we! Every month we review trends in our real estate market and consider the number of homes on the market in each price tier, the amount of time particular homes have been listed for sale, specific neighborhood trends, the median price and square footage of each home sold and so much more. We’d love to invite you to do the same!

Get Local Market Reports Sent Directly to You

You can sign up here to receive your own market report, delivered as often as you like! It contains current information on pending, active and just sold properties so you can see actual homes in your neighborhood. You can review your area on a larger scale, as well, by refining your search to include properties across the city or county. As you notice price and size trends, please contact us for clarification or to have any questions answered.

We can definitely fill you in on details that are not listed on the report and help you determine the best home for you. If you are wondering if now is the time to sell, please try out our INSTANT home value tool. You’ll get an estimate on the value of your property in today’s market. Either way, we hope to hear from you soon as you get to know our neighborhoods and local real estate market better.

Posted in Market Updates