Saturday, May 31, 2008

America Supports You: Troop-Support Group Added to 'Top-Rated' Charities

After stringent review by one of the country's premier charity watchdogs, a Massachusetts-based troop-support group has been added to a list of top-rated charities.
The American Institute of Philanthropy has reviewed Homes for Our Troops' finances and included the group in their "Top-Rated Veterans & Military Charities" listing.

Homes for Our Troops is a supporter of America Supports You, a Defense Department program connecting citizens and companies with servicemembers and their families serving at home and abroad.

"Homes for Our Troops is proud to be included in [American Institute of Philanthropy's] list of top rated veterans and military charities," said Tom Benoit, vice president and chief financial officer of Homes for Our Troops. "Our dedicated staff has worked tirelessly to efficiently raise the funds needed to build homes across the country for severely injured veterans.

"The support we receive from our corporate partners and from individuals and companies across the country made it possible for Homes for Our Troops to spend only 7 percent on administration and fundraising in our fiscal year [ending] Sept. 30, 2007, and to complete 11 homes in 2007," he added. "Our goal is to complete 30 homes in 2008."

Founded in 2004, Homes for Our Troops is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing specially adapted homes to servicemembers severely injured while fighting in the global war on terrorism. The organization has provided 25 veterans and their families with homes suited to meet the each veteran's individual challenges. Over the next few years, Homes for Our Troops is committed to providing at least 100 additional homes for injured troops, organization officials said.

Only five of the 32 veterans charities listed in the American Institute of Philanthropy's most recent report are included in the top-rated category, according to institute officials.

The watchdog's review process focuses on the percent of costs spent on "program service costs" and the efficiency of organizations in raising funds.

Rather than just using figures reported by charities in financial disclosure forms, the institute adjusts for direct mail, telemarketing and solicitation costs that are sometimes allocated to program service costs. It also excludes the value of donated goods and services, which can be difficult to measure.

Because of their thorough review process, the institute was described as "the pit bull of watchdogs" by the New York Times. Newsweek said, "It's the toughest of the bunch. Because it disregards certain, potentially suspect, expenses and donations, it fails some nonprofits that the other raters approve."

Michelle Munda Leads Griffin Office

Michelle Munda continues as the Individual Agent Leader for
the Griffin/Spalding County office of Coldwell Banker Bullard Realty,
and she has repeated as the month’s No. 2 individual producer
companywide. The latest recognition was for April.

Alisia Fletcher was the Griffin office’s No. 2 producer during
the month, and Brandy Matthews was No. 3.

Munda, who earned her real estate training through MLS Sales
Associate Training and who joined Coldwell Banker Bullard in fall of
2001, is a resident of Griffin. Her business background includes 12
years in banking and investment.

In 2002, she was named the No. 3 producer in her office and
received a Certificate of Merit from her company for her production.
The next year year, she received membership in the Million Dollar
Club, was a member of Coldwell Banker’s International President’s
Circle, and was the No. 1 producer for her office. Then, in 2004, she
was selected to Coldwell Banker’s International President’s Elite,
was again the top producer in her office, and was once again a member
of the Million Dollar Club.

In 2005, Munda was honored as the Top Individual Agent Leader
companywide and for her office. Her other 2005 recognition included
selection to the Coldwell Banker International President’s Circle
and Million Dollar Club membership. In 2006, she was once again the
No. 1 producer for her office and was No. 3 companywide. Other honors
during the year included Million Dollar Club membership and
selection to the Coldwell Banker International President’s Circle.

Last year, her honors included No. 1 Individual Producer for
both the company and her office and membership in the Coldwell Banker
International President’s Elite and the Million Dollar Club.

New Residents Enjoy Windsong’s Somerset Community

Bill and Pat Burndrett have lived in their home at Somerset for less than a month, but already feel right at home in their new community. The Burndretts searched for the perfect home for about a year. Last summer they fell in love with Windsong’s Windsor floorplan at The Villas at Blackberry Run, but preferred a Cherokee County location. Fortunately, they found the Somerset community in Woodstock, which offered the even better Lexington floorplan and was in the right location.

“This was our first new home and we had heard that the stress of building a home can tear a couple apart, but we found it fun,” said Pat. “Everyone at Somerset has been wonderful from the staff to the fellow residents and we could not have asked for a better experience.”

Their Lexington floorplan features three bedrooms and three bathrooms. They have taken advantage of several upgrades: hardwood floors in the great room and foyer, GE Profile appliances in the kitchen, a stone fireplace and much more. The major selling point for the Burndretts was the casita featured in the Lexington floorplan. The casita, Spanish for “little house,” located across the breezeway from the main house boasts a large multi-function room, its own walk-in closet, bathroom and covered porch.

“We loved the idea of the casita because it gives us a great place for guests to stay,” said Pat. “When relatives come to visit us they get to stay in the casita which is like their own personal apartment.”

Additional perks for the Burndretts include the great location near shopping and recreation and the fact that the community is gated. The Burndretts also enjoy meeting their new neighbors and attending social events at Somerset’s private clubhouse.

Somerset features 59 detached ranch courtyard homes priced from the mid $300,000s. All of the homes at Somerset maximize the benefit of natural light in every corner. The homes offer three bedrooms and elegant details, such as private courtyards with garden retreats; rocking chair front porches; ten foot ceilings with crown molding; and large master suites with baths that have separate vanities, garden tubs, tile showers with seats and ceramic tile floors.

Every home that Windsong Properties builds meets EasyLiving Homes© standards – no-step access, wide doorways, lever handles, and other amenities that facilitate changing life situations. All of the homes at Somerset are qualified by Southface as EarthCraft Home© and Energy Star certified. This assures that the homes have a lower cost to operate, are healthier and more comfortable and reduce the impact on the environment.

Somerset is located just two and a half miles west of I-575. Take I-75 North to I-575 North to Exit 8. Travel west on TowneLake Parkway, staying straight on Eagle Drive. Turn left off Eagle Drive onto Putnam Ford Road. Somerset is half a mile on the left. For more information, call 770-516-3678.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Ramsey Leads Jonesboro Office in Individual Sales

Patricia Ramsey has been recognized as April Individual Agent Leader for the Jonesboro/Clayton County office of Coldwell Banker Bullard Realty, the third time in 2008 that she has received the monthly recognition.

Nancy Hollis was the No. 2 individual producer for the office during the month, while Patricia Winston was No. 3.

Ramsey, who has worked in real estate since late in 2003, got her training through the Georgia MLS Institute, and she studied job readiness at Clayton College and State University.

Ramsey is a member of the National, Georgia and Metro South Associations of Realtors, and she specializes in residential resales, new homes, relocation, foreclosures, military markets, luxury homes, first time home buyers, investors and refinancing. She earned a Bullard Certificate of Merit in 2005, and in 2006, she received membership in the Million Dollar Club and was selected to the Coldwell Banker International Sterling Society. Last year, she repeated as a Million Dollar Club member and was an International Diamond Society member.

An Atlanta native who has been a resident of Clayton County for 28 years, she is a member of Kelleytown Community Church. She is a supporter of the American Cancer Society and the Covenant House for Homeless Children, and she is a volunteer for Share Ministries, which is affiliated with Feed My People.

Coggin's Farm In Coweta County Has Success In Initial Sales Efforts

The first sales have already been recorded in Coggin’s Farm, Jeff Lindsey Communities’ new 90-home community on George Coggins Road in Coweta County.

Located between Newnan and Peachtree City just one mile from I-85, Coggin’s Farm is offering homes priced from $227,000 to $284,000.

At present, four homes are are completed, five new home sale contracts have been signed, and three homesite reservations have been made. Homesites, which include some lake lots, range from 1.6 acres up to almost three acres.

The homes in the community will contain from 2,700 to over 4,085 sq. ft. of space and include granite countertops, hardwoods in the foyer, dining room, kitchen and breakfast area, stainless steel appliances, and many other special features such as a jetted tub in the master bath and beautiful 42-in. raised panel glazed cabinets in the kitchen, all standard.

The exteriors will feature Craftsman and European architecture and will have side entry garages. Exterior materials include durable fiber cement siding, which utilized with brick, stone, board and batten, fiber cement shingles, cedar gable brackets and cedar
lookouts, all combining to showcase the quality, beauty and value of these homes.

Jeff Lindsey Communities is currently making available eight different home plans, some of which are new to the company, in Coggin’s Farm. These include three two-story designs, three ranch plans, and two masters on the main.

The community is convenient to grocery stores, restaurants and banking as close as three miles away.

More information about Coggin’s Farm, a quiet community located in the Northgate school district, can be obtained by calling Jim Chancellor at 770-253-3406 or by visiting
www.JeffLindseyCommunities.com. Coggin's Farm is being marketed exclusively by Steve Redding and Associates at Re/Max Advantage (770-898-1700).

Bowen Family Homes Announces Furnished Havilland Model Home Sale at McGinnis Reserve

Bowen Family Homes is pleased to announce the sale of a fully-decorated model home at McGinnis Reserve. This single-family home community is located in the city of Suwanee, the city ranked 10th on Money Magazine's 2007 Top 100 Places to Live, at 3603 Willow Glen Trail and is listed for only $499,900 including furnishings and window treatments.

The two-story Havilland model offers spacious living with 3,800 square feet of living space, including a family room, study and keeping room. The home features hardwood floors throughout, a fireplace in the family room and keeping room. The keeping room features built in bookshelves and a built in granite desk. There are two fireplaces on the first floor. The gourmet kitchen is an ideal area to entertain guests and includes granite countertops, a giant gourmet island, Whirlpool stainless steel appliances and a butler’s pantry. There are four bedrooms and an over-sized bonus room, and each of the three and one half bathrooms include tile flooring. This model home features a three-sides brick exterior with stacked stone accents, and a two-car garage.

“We are pleased to announce the sale of our Havilland model home at McGinnis Reserve and encourage interested new home buyers see first hand what this amazing community has to offer,” said David Bowen, one of the owners of Bowen Family Homes. ”The Havilland model is impeccably decorated and showcases the quality homes a buyers have come to expect in McGinnis Reserve.”

Homeowners will enjoy a 20-acre lake, neighborhood clubhouse, sparkling swimming pool with mushroom fountain, lighted tennis courts, a walking trial with direct access to the Suwanee Creek Greenway Trail System which connects to Suwanee Creek Park.

To see this amazing model home, travel I-285 to Peachtree Industrial North. Turn right onto McGinnis Ferry Road. McGinnis Reserve will be on the left before Satellite Boulevard. Or you may travel I-85 North to Old Peachtree Road and turn left onto Old Peachtree Road. Turn right onto Satellite Boulevard and left onto McGinnis Ferry Road. McGinnis Reserve will be on the right.

Children who live in McGinnis Reserve will attend Parsons Elementary, Richard Hull Middle and Peachtree Ridge High schools. For more information about McGinnis Reserve, call 1-877 MY BOWEN or visit www.bowenfamilyhomes.com.

Willis Joins McDonough's Coldwell Banker Bullard Realty

Sheri Willis joined Coldwell Banker Bullard Realty's McDonough/Henry County office in April as a sales associate.

New to the real estate industry, she said she is very excited about beginning her career. She also works with United Way in Butts, Clayton and Henry Counties as the associate director.

Willis is a native of Newnan and a graduate of Newnan High School. Following high school, she attended West Georgia Central Tech, where she earned an associates degree in marketing and management. She then pursued a career in the business community.

A member of the Henry County Rotary Club, she serves on the Henry Chamber of Commerce's - Education Committee and Ambassadors. She is also a member of the 2008 Leadership Henry Class.

Willis has been a resident of Henry County for five years. She has an 12 year old son, Sterling, and they enjoy many activities together, including sports fishing as well as spending time together with their Siamese kitties and Shih-Tzu hound.
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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Exceptional Quality and Convenient Location Make Mystic Ridge Stand Out

It’s all in the details at McNair-Hight’s intimate townhome community in Sandy Springs, Mystic Ridge. Despite only recently opening, this intimate community of 20 spacious townhomes is impressing homeowners with elegant features, quality construction and a prime location. The exquisite community features two-story townhomes with basements with an optional elevator, priced from $399,900.

“This townhome is my first purchased home in Atlanta, so I had a lot of detailed criteria that I was looking for in my new home,” said Bob Feher, a happy homeowner who purchased his new townhome at Mystic Ridge in March. “I knew I wanted something inside the Perimeter, and when I walked through a townhome at Mystic Ridge, the high level of quality was obvious compared to other homes that I looked at.”

Feher moved into his three bedroom/three and one-half bath townhome from an apartment in Dunwoody, and, because he lives alone, was able to use one of the bedrooms as an office. In addition, he has a media room, formal dining room, living room and eat-in breakfast area. To make dinner parties and entertaining guests a little more convenient, located in between the dining room and kitchen is a wet bar with sink. Wanting to turn his house into a home, Feher personalized his home by hiring a professional decorator from New York, who was able to accent all of the luxurious features in the home with elegant decor.

Like all homes at Mystic Ridge, Feher’s townhome came equipped with many standard features that are considered upgrades at other communities. The main floor boasts 10-foot ceilings and hardwood floors. The master bedroom has a large, walk-in, custom closet as well as a trey ceiling, and the master bath features vaulted ceilings and a double vanity. And the gourmet kitchen is a thing of beauty with granite countertops, a tile backsplash, Kenmore Pro-Series stainless steel appliances and an ample amount of counterspace. The stove has a six-top burner, and custom cabinets are the finishing touches of the elegant gourmet kitchen. With so many extraordinary features, it is no wonder that the kitchen is one of Feher’s favorite rooms in his new house.

“My kitchen is really something special,” said Feher. “The contrast between the stainless steel appliances and the stained cabinets and hardwood floors adds a level of elegance to the kitchen, making it a room that I can really show off. And, with my professional grade appliances, I feel like I am a gourmet chef.”

Helping these townhomes stand out among others in the area, every home at Mystic Ridge features a gas fireplace on the back deck, and a two-car garage.

“My other favorite thing about my new home is the back deck, which has a stacked stone gas fireplace and looks out over a heavily wooded area,” said Feher. “I have added comfortable outdoor furniture and, with the beautiful view and fireplace, this has become one of my favorite places to relax and unwind or entertain guests.”

Mystic Ridge is a gated community located in the very southern tip of Sandy Springs, just north of Buckhead. This location allows for extreme convenience to Atlanta’s most prestigious shopping and dining in and around the Buckhead area, including Phipps Plaza and Lenox Mall. For musical entertainment, Chastain Amphitheater, which hosts many big name artists throughout the year, is also just a short drive away. At Mystic Ridge homeowners can find it all: a beautiful, spacious, quality home with accessibility to Atlanta’s finest restaurants, shops and entertainment.

To visit Mystic Ridge, take I-285 to the Roswell Road exit. Turn off the exit heading south on Roswell Road. Travel about two miles inside the perimeter and Mystic Ridge will be on the right, just past Long Island Drive.

Exclusive sales and marketing is being provided by Morris and Raper. Interested new home buyers may contact the onsite agent, Paul Walker, at 404-250-3743 or visit the website www.mcnairhight.com for more information.

The Landings at Bethany Church

Homebuyers can benefit from the builder incentives of up to 10
percent offered by Castle Homes at The Landings at Bethany Church in
west Newton County. With homes starting in the high $200,000s before
the incentives, the community is located in west Newton County,
convenient to Conyers and Covington.

“These homes are exceptional values,” said Ken Harper, listing
agent with Coldwell Banker American Land Mart, exclusive brokers for
the community. “With half-acre to one-acre lots in a cul-de-sac
community, The Landings at Bethany Church has 13 floor plans and
plenty of ways for buyers to customize their homes. There's plenty of
green space to enhance the community.”

Home sites can accommodate basement or slab plans, from ranch and
two-story designs. Six of the plans offer master suites on the main
floor and most of the homes also have spacious basements. Some plans
have dual master suites.

“Hardwood floors, elaborate trim packages, designer features
offered as standards and the ability to customize plans to suite your
lifestyle make these homes appealing to a wide range of buyers,”
Harper said. “The elevations are traditional with three-sides brick
and stone/stucco accents.”

The Oak model has five bedrooms and four baths, plus a two-story
family room. Granite countertops, backsplash with stone and accent
pieces, and stainless steel appliances create a warm and inviting
gourmet kitchen. The owners' suite on the main floor has a sitting
room with a fireplace; there's also a private guest suite with a full
bath on the main level. It also has a bonus room that's suited for a
media room or a family retreat.

Wooded home sites have irrigation systems and the community is
flanked with green space and walking trails.

From Atlanta, take I-20 East to exit 84. Turn right onto Salem Road.
Travel 6.9 miles; turn right at stop sign onto Hwy. 81. Go 2.2 miles,
immediately past Livingston Elementary School and turn right onto
Bethany Road. The Landings is on the right.

Or from McDonough and I-75, take Ga. 81 heading east, turn left onto
Bethany Road before Livingston Elementary and The Landings is on the
right.

The sales office is open Tuesday through Saturday from noon to 7
p.m. and Sunday 2 to 7 p.m.

The Landings at Bethany Church is being marketed by Coldwell Banker
American Land Mart Inc. Ken Harper is the listing agent and can be
reached at 770-845-8846. For more information, visit
www.castlehomesga.com.

Teresa Schaefer Joins PEC Development Group

PEC Development Group is pleased to announce that Teresa Schaefer has joined the company as Builder Programs Director. In this capacity, Schaefer serves as the liaison between PEC Development Group and the builders in their communities. As Builder Programs Director, Schaefer will be responsible for builder management, implementing and managing the architectural control process and new home community management. She will also manage the marketing and public relations activity for the company.

Paul Corley, Chief Executive Officer of PEC Development states, “Schaefer has extensive experience working with builder programs, including Phoenix Corporation and most recently with Jenny Pruitt New Homes Services. We welcome her to our team and look forward to the value she brings to PEC.”

“I’m excited to be part of a company with such an outstanding reputation and hope to make a positive impact immediately”, Schaefer said.

Creating communities and enriching lifestyles are the guiding principles on which PEC Development Group built its reputation as one of the leading real estate and property development companies in the Southeast. The developer is currently creating the following memorable communities: James Creek in Cumming, Ga., Park at Heritage Ridge in Newnan, Ga., Overlook at Battery Creek in Beaufort, S.C., Bryant Lake in LaGrange, Ga., Hampton Oaks in Fairburn, Ga., Riverbrooke in Canton, Ga. and Sandtown Park in Marietta, Ga.

Through every step in the planning and development process, PEC Development Group sets the highest priority on creating residential and mixed-use, master-planned communities that offer homebuyers a rewarding overall quality of life. This is achieved by providing residents with numerous social and recreational opportunities in an environment where the natural beauty and integrity of the land has been carefully preserved.

PEC Development Group creates master-planned communities with carefully crafted home sites and livable amenities to enhance the homeowner’s quality of life in Atlanta, Alabama, Florida and South Carolina. In addition to popular swim/tennis facilities and sports courts, PEC communities include dedicated public greenspaces, such as certified wildlife habitats and large parks with nature trails. This combination of carefully planned home sites, built amenities and natural common areas creates a hometown feeling for residents and establishes communities that families are proud to call home. For more information on PEC Development Group, visit www.PECdevelopment.net.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Bowen Family Homes Ranked 43 in Builder Magazine's Top 100 Builders

Continuing a tradition of excellence in the homebuilding industry, Bowen Family Homes was recently ranked the 43rd largest homebuilder by Builder Magazine for its top 100 List and the 78th largest builder on Professional Builder's Giant 400 List.

“Bowen Family Homes was again recognized by two reputable publications, Builder Magazine and Professional Builder Magazine,” said Tip Cape, one of the owners of Bowen Family Homes. “We are honored to be chosen amongst some of the best builders in Georgia and the nation. These rankings speak volumes about the sound work, quality craftsmanship and customer service set forth by Bowen Family Homes It shows that despite the tightening in the housing market, consumers are purchasing Bowen Family Homes.”

The ranking in Builder Magazine and Professional Builder Magazine were both based on homes closed in 2007. In Professional Builder Magazine Bowen Family Homes moved up from 83rd to 78th largest from the previous year while the ranking of 48th in Builder Magazine from the previous year moved up to 43rd. Bowen Family Homes builds in more than 20 communities throughout metro Atlanta, including Fulton, Cobb, Cherokee, Forsyth and Gwinnett Counties with homes priced from $120,000s to the $400,000s.

Since 1969 the Bowen name has stood for excellence in new home construction and community development. Recognized as the 25th largest privately owned builder in the country by Builder Magazine for 2005, Bowen Family Homes is a dynamic homebuilder with operations in Georgia, Florida and Texas. The Atlanta Business Chronicle ranked Bowen Family Homes 6th
among metro Atlanta builders in 2007 and 30th among Atlanta’s Top 100 Private Companies for 2006. Additionally, Bowen Family Homes was named the Georgia Family Business of the Year for medium sized companies by Georgia Trend and the Cox Family Enterprise Center at Kennesaw State University in 2006. These successes have been achieved by simply offering the best new home value in all price ranges. For more information about Bowen Family Homes, please call their Atlanta region headquarters at 678-325-4554 or 1-877- MY BOWEN or visit online at www.bowenfamilyhomes.com.

Kairos Development Corporation Partners with Outstanding Team of Professionals to Create Avignon at Vinings

Karios Development Corporation has partnered with the best in the building industry to develop Avignon at Vinings, a 170-home gated community of condominiums, townhomes and single-family homes. Harrison Design Associates, The Preston Partnership and B&C Studio have all teamed up with Kairos Development to create this one-of-a-kind community located in the heart of Vinings Village.

“We have brought together an exceptional team of professionals to develop Avignon at Vinings,” said Jack Williams Business Director of Kairos Development Corporation. “The combined knowledge and experience of these partners is making Avignon at Vinings one of the most sought-after communities in the metro-Atlanta area.”

Harrison Design Associates, established in 1991, specializes in the design of custom residential homes, as well as townhomes and specialized commercial projects. The award-winning firm brings high-quality design to the residential market by creating one-of-a-kind homes that will become timeless investments showcasing the individuality of each family who lives in the homes.

The Preston Partnership is a full service, multi-discipline firm with a focus on architecture and design, combined with an absolute commitment to service. Established in 2001, the firm’s multi-disciplinary approach includes architecture, structural engineering, MEP engineering, interior design and landscape architecture.

B & C Studio is a full-service landscape architecture, design and planning firm. Services include traditional landscape design, land planning, site design and layouts, design guidelines and construction documents.

Avignon at Vinings is reminiscent of a romantic village on a hillside with a grand Chateau as the focal point. The 170-home gated community will feature Single-family Villas, Village townhomes and Village condominiums starting from the high $300s to more than $1 million.
Avignon at Vinings will offer residents a gate house with 24-hour guard and 24-hour concierge. Lovely topography invites homeowners to relax and unwind at outdoor gathering spaces with scenic views of the City of Atlanta. The clubhouse at Avignon at Vinings will include a swimming pool, wine tasting room and caterer’s kitchen as well as a wellness center, which will include a spa and fitness facilities. For more information, visit www.AvignonatVinings.com or call 770-394-5400.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Dickens Among Leaders


No. 2 individual producer companywide during 2007 for
Coldwell Banker Bullard Realty was Steven Dickens (right) from the
Newnan/Coweta County office, who is shown with Steve Bullard, company
owner and president.

Michelle Munda from the Griffin/Spalding County
office was No.1, and Phil Wagner from the McDonough/Henry County
office was No. 3. The recognition came at the company’s annual
Awards Breakfast, held recently at Eagle’s Landing Country Club.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Rosebud Co. to Restore Historic Floors of Montpelier Mansion

Rosebud Co of Atlanta has been selected for the restoration of the aged pine floors of the mansion home of President James Madison and his wife Dolley on their Montpelier estate in the Virginia countryside.

Built in three stages, Montpelier was completed by the early 1800s and served as a focal point for James and Dolley Madison during his presidency and after his retirement. Madison, who was the fourth president of the United States, is known as the "Father of the Constitution", while his wife was the first to be called the First Lady.

The three-year restoration project will bring the home back to the look it had during the Madisons' residency. Restoration work on the floors will begin in late May and is scheduled for completion well before the reopening ceremonies in September of 2008.

The selection of Rosebud Co. for this project underscores the company's unique and unmatched ability to handle period restoration using Passive Refinishing. Developed exclusively by Rosebud Co., Passive Refinishing allows for the complete restoration of wood floors of historic properties without the loss of wood using traditional methods. Michael Purser, owner of Rosebud Co., said that Passive Refinishing is environmentally responsible and has been an invaluable option for the successful restoration of numerous historic properties. Included in this list are Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens of Akron, Oh.; The Henry Morrison Flagler Museum of Palm Beach, Fl.; The Patterson House, home of The Washington Club of Washington, D.C.; and Rhodes Hall of Atlanta.

There is extensive information on the restoration of the Montpelier mansion at www.montpelier.org, and those interested will now be able to follow the progress of the restoration of the wood floors on the site. For additional information about Rosebud Co and Passive Refinishing, call Michael Purser at 404-370-0097 or visit www.rosebudfloors.com.

Bowen Family Homes Announces Dollars for Dreams Winners

Bowen Family Homes, a metro Atlanta homebuilding company that builds single-family homes and townhomes in the most sought-after metro Atlanta locations, concluded their “Dollars for Dreams Event” in April by giving away two $5,000 Pottery Barn gift cards. The lucky winners were Nancy Truong, a REALTOR® who registered at Thornhill Commons, and Scott Scrocca, a potential homebuyer who registered at the Bennington Square community. Contestants could register at any Bowen Family Homes community in Fulton, Gwinnett, Cobb, Cherokee and Forsyth counties to win the shopping spree.

The Dollars for Dreams Event began on April 17 and gave new homebuyers up to $50,000 to spend on their new home. Buyers could opt to use the money towards a Pottery Barn shopping spree, designer upgrades, down payment/closing costs, a free basement on available homesites or to lower monthly payments.

For nearly 40 years, Bowen Family Homes has helped home buyers in Atlanta turn their dreams into reality, and the homebuilder continues this legacy today by offering new homes for all stages of life, from first-time homebuyers to growing families to empty nesters, as well as through frequent incentives such as this month’s Pottery Barn gift cards.

In addition, Bowen Family Homes further personalizes the home-buying experience with the My Home Concierge service where buyers can register online and be matched with the best community that fits their lifestyle and budget. With 26 new home communities to choose from, Bowen Family Homes not only offers numerous home designs to choose from, but also an array of communities with sought-after amenities such as pools, tennis courts, walking trails, aquatic parks, mushroom play fountains, neighborhood parks and so much more. My Home Concierge allows future buyers to set up a VIP appointment and take a personal tour of homes and communities that meet their needs with Bowen Family Home representatives and earn additional online incentives.

Since 1969 the Bowen name has stood for excellence in new home construction and community development. Recognized as the 25th largest privately owned builder in the country by Builder Magazine for 2005, Bowen Family Homes is a dynamic homebuilder with operations in Georgia, Florida and Texas.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Home Builders Association of Georgia Launches Fight to ''Take Back'' Builders Insurance

(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Home Builders Association of Georgia (HBAG), comprised of more than 13,000 builders statewide, issued an urgent call today to members who are policyholders/owners of Builders Insurance to take back the company and restore it to a fiscally conservative company that serves its policyholders/owners.

Because repeated requests for accountability and transparency have been ignored, HBAG today urged members to support action to amend the Business Insurance Charter to return power to owners/policyholders. Additionally, HBAG urged members to call a special meeting to elect a new board of directors committed to reducing exorbitant director fees, distributing profits fairly and establishing sound corporate governance measures.

HBAG reported that over the last five years Builders Insurance, which provides workers compensation and other insurance to builders across the state, has paid excessive salaries, fees and indirect compensation to its directors, reported at more than $1.9 million in 2006 and 2007 alone. HBAG believes that additional unreported payments in 2007 are likely. This is out of line with market compensation for similarly sized companies and as a percentage of revenue far exceeded directors' compensation at large public companies like United Parcel Service and Delta Air Lines during that time.

Moreover, since 2000, premiums have skyrocketed while dividends to policyholders/owners have plummeted from 13.6 percent of premiums to 1.5 percent.

Charlie Eison, president of HBAG, said, At a time when our industry is fighting for survival in a tough economy, its outrageous that Builders Insurances board members have padded their pockets with exorbitant payments that rightfully belong to our members who are the policyholders and owners of this company. We need to take control and return Builders Insurance to its rightful mission of serving our members not creating a financial jackpot for directors.

Underscoring the need for accountability and transparency, HBAG reported that Builders Insurance has undertaken the following actions:

  • stopped reporting a large portion of directors compensation in 2007;
  • changed the bylaws to increase its control making it virtually impossible for owners/policyholders to remove a director or hold a special meeting;
  • attempted to throw out HBAG and replace it with a shell association with little or no accountability to policyholders;
  • Supported legislation without consent of the policyholders that would enable them to reorganize the company on terms financially favorable to the directors.

Ed Phillips, executive vice president of HBAG said, Builders Insurance is not being properly managed and has no accountability or transparency. Feedback from our members shows strong support for taking back the company and cleaning house to protect policyholders interests.

Since owners/policyholders share the liability of a captive mutual company, HBAG considers it paramount for owners/policyholders to control the companys management.

Below is the reported compensation for Builders Insurances directors for 2006 and 2007. HBAG believes there might be more than has been reported.

Name Directors Fees from 2006 to 2007 more than

DOUBLED

Total Reported

Compensation



2006 2007
2006

2007(a)

Troy E. Barber

$35,000
$85,000
$167,748

UNREPORTED(a)

John C. Bowles

$35,000
$80,000
$173,156

UNREPORTED(a)

Frederick E. Fisher

$0
$0
$95,087

UNREPORTED(a)

Guilford E. Hill

$35,000
$75,000
$127,220

UNREPORTED(a)

Gerald A. Kopp

$35,000
$80,000
$198,130

UNREPORTED(a)

Allen M. Richardson

$35,000
$90,000
$190,880

UNREPORTED(a)

Michael F. Ryan

$35,000
$75,000
$186,655

UNREPORTED(a)

William L. Schwanebeck, Jr.

$35,000
$75,000
$186,655

UNREPORTED(a)

TOTAL

$245,000
$560,000
$1,325,531

UNREPORTED(a)

(a) Other than directors fees and some minimal additional compensation, the total 2007 compensation is unknown because Builders Insurance has ceased to report it.

Builders Insurance was started by HBAG in the early 1990s to provide affordable workers compensation and other types of insurance exclusively to its builder members and local builders associations across the state. As such, Builders Insurance is owned by policyholders, similar to a co-op or credit union.

Atreus Homes & Communities Donates $500,000 to the Georgia Center for Child Advocacy

Georgia's children will be a little safer thanks to Jon Been, CEO of Atreus Homes & Communities, who has committed to a $500,000 donation to the Georgia Center for Child Advocacy . The Georgia Center is the leading organization committed to protecting, caring for and healing children who have been victims of child sexual abuse. For more than 20 years, nearly 9,000 children and families have benefited from The Center's services. The staff of social workers, therapists, and psychologists at The Center represents the most significant expertise available for interviewing and treating children who have been sexually abused.

“Thanks to the generosity of Atreus Homes & Communities, we will be able to make upgrades to our facility and enhance our overall services to children,” said Nancy Chandler, executive director of the Georgia Center for Child Advocacy. “With more than 20 percent of Georgia’s children suffering - mostly silently - from child sexual abuse, this donation will have an enormous impact on the number of children we're able to reach with hope and healing."

The Georgia Center for Child Advocacy, a nationally-certified child advocacy center, is committed to a healthy and safe community for children. The organization's mission is the protection, care and healing of children through the coordinated delivery of services. With two locations in DeKalb and Fulton counties, it provides evaluation and treatment to aide in each child's long-term recovery and offers a major statewide education program to prevent sexual abuse of children.

Atreus Homes & Communities, formerly HomeLife Communities, is a third-generation family-run homebuilder headquartered in Atlanta that is currently selling new homes in more than 80 neighborhoods nationwide. The company is heavily involved in charitable programs involving children and has built two new homes as part of ABC-TV’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition television program as well as its 2nd Duke Children’s Hospital Miracle House.

"I’ve always been focused on charity work that help children, because they’re the most defenseless of all of us," said Been. “It’s heartbreaking to think that there’s even a need for such a center, but sadly, there is. We need to do everything we can to make sure every child has the opportunity to grow up healthy, emotionally strong and motivated to contribute their best to society.”

The Georgia Center for Child Advocacy's statewide initiative is to train one million Georgia adults in the Stewards of Children curriculum, teaching them to prevent, recognize and respond to child sexual abuse, using more than 125 facilitators they have trained across the state. This training is geared toward educational institutions, youth-serving organizations, the faith community, parent groups and youth recreation.

Child sexual abuse data shows grim statistics. One in four girls and one in six boys are sexually abused before the age of 18. An estimated 39 million survivors of childhood abuse exist in America today. To learn more about the Georgia Center for Child Advocacy, please visit www.georgiacenterforchildren.org.
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Thursday, May 22, 2008

MontClair Community

With homes averaging from 3,000 to 3,700 sq. ft., the spacious homes in MontClair built by Castle Homes offers traditional styling in a quiet wooded setting. The three- and four-side brick homes feature two- and three-car garages, lawn irrigation systems and large lots that start at one-half acre and go to more than two acres.

The builder is offering incentives of more than 10 percent on selected homes in the community, said Ken Harper, listing agent with Coldwell Banker American Land Mart, the exclusive broker for the community. In these difficult economic times, Castle Homes is committed to delivering the best quality and value for the price in Rockdale County. You've just got to visit the neighborhood and our furnished model to see all the extras that are standard in these elegant and affordable homes.

The Cedar plan decorated model showcases the style of the community with warm earth tones and a traditional elegance. It has five bedrooms and four-and-a-half baths. With an oversized front porch, the two-story home also has a three-car side-entry garage. The gourmet kitchen with stainless appliances opens into the two-story family room. Dual staircases lead to the spacious second-floor hallway.

Buyers can choose from 13 floor plans, from ranch and two-story designs. Six of the plans offer master suites on the main floor, and most of the homes also have spacious basements.

Hardwood floors, elaborate trim packages, designer features offered as standards and the ability to customize plans to suite your lifestyle make these homes appealing. There are homes to satisfy every lifestyle need. Some plans offer dual master suites.

The style of the cul-de-sac community is traditional with wooded lots and quiet streets, Harper said. The location is convenient to I-285 and just minutes outside of DeKalb County. It's also less than five minutes from Conyers.

The sales office is open Tuesday through Saturday from noon to 7 p.m. and Sunday 2 to 7 p.m.
To visit MontClair, take I-20 east to exit 82/Ga. 138 and turn right headed south. After one mile, follow Ga. 138 to the right for 6.3 miles. Turn left onto Tucker Mill Road and MontClair is one mile ahead on the right.

MontClair is being marketed by Coldwell Banker American Land Mart Inc. Ken Harper is the listing agent and can be reached at 770-845-8846. For more information, visit www.castlehomesga.com.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Irwin Named Broker For Eagle's Landing Sales Center

Stacey Irwin has been named Broker of the Eagle’s Landing Sales
Center, which represents the exclusive homes in the only private golf
community on the South Side of the Metro Atlanta area.

Licensed in real estate for 24 years and a top producer for the last
15, she owned and operated her own real estate company for 13 years,
which gives her the overall knowledge of all aspects of real estate
business, management and sales.

Irwin has earned her GRI (Graduate Realtor Institute), CRS (Certified
Residential Specialist) and CRB (Certified Residential Broker)
designations within the real estate industry and has a B.A. degree in
business from Georgia State University. Continuing to focus on
education and personal growth, she said her mission is to integrate
marketing, customer service and professional knowledge, resulting in
a total sales satisfaction experience.

Eagle’s Landing is located at the intersection of I-75 and Eagle’s
Landing Parkway (Exit 224) in Stockbridge. One of the largest and
most successful private country club developments in the Metro
Atlanta area, Eagle’s Landing brings a distinctive blend of
championship golf, master planned amenities, elegant homes, and
supporting commercial, industrial and professional facilities to a
location just one minute off an interstate highway.

The 3,000-acre Killearn development has a variety of home sizes and
styles in several distinct neighborhoods, including the gated
neighborhood of exclusive homes represented by the Eagle’s Landing
Sales Center.

Pottery Barn Inspired Model Home at Kensington Creek Manor Showcases an Array of Items for New Home Buyers


– Bowen Family Homes and Pottery Barn recently partnered to provide new home buyers with an array of ideas to decorate their home. Located in Kensington Creek Manor in Lawrenceville, the Pottery Barn inspired Dorchester model showcases a variety of furniture and accessories which are available at the popular home furnishings store. This single-family home community offers interested homebuyers the choice of 12 different floor plans, both ranch and two-story, ranging from three to four bedrooms. The 2,452 square foot Dorchester home was fully decorated by Jason Craigo of Pottery Barn with the helpful insight of onsite agent Patty Shipley.

With homes priced from the $170,000s, Kensington Creek Manor is ideal for new home buyers, many of which may not always have the furniture and accessories they desire to fill their home. Prior to decorating The Dorchester, Craigo met with Shipley several times to find out exactly what interested home buyers were looking for to complete their new home.

“It was important to me that I understand what the people who are looking at the homes at Kensington Creek Manor are interested in, and what they feel they need to truly create their new ‘home’,” said Craigo. “Many new home buyers – myself included – don’t always have all the furniture needed to fill up their new home. Patty was very helpful in telling me exactly what it was that her buyers most desired for their home.”

Each room within the two-story Dorchester home features items from Pottery Barn which can be purchased for approximately $5,000. When deciding what furniture and accessories to feature in the home, Craigo said he chose items that were hot sellers at Pottery Barn, such as the Chesapeake dining table located on the patio in the backyard.

Said Craigo, “While I did choose many of Pottery Barn’s most popular items, I also wanted to stay right around $5,000 per room. That way, if a buyer decided he wanted everything he saw in the living room, he could go to Pottery Barn and have it all for approximately $5,000. I think it works out well for both companies – obviously Pottery Barn would love for buyers to purchase their new home furnishings from us, and Bowen Family Homes is a reputable company that is sincerely trying to help new buyers realize the full potential of their home, and assure them it isn’t necessarily going to cost them an arm and a leg to do so.”

In addition to the multitude of ideas buyers at this Lawrenceville community may receive, homeowners also enjoy a fabulous array of amenities that are perfect for gatherings with family and neighbors, including a swimming pool, mushroom fountain, tennis courts, playground and a picnic pavilion with grill.

With the Mall of Georgia less than five miles away, residents of Kensington Creek Manor benefit from close proximity to some of the finest dining and shopping in Gwinnett County. In addition, Discover Mills and the Gwinnett Arena are also convenient to the Lawrenceville community. For spectacular outdoor activities, Lake Lanier is less than 10 miles from the community.

Kensington Creek Manor is located in a popular section of Lawrenceville, with convenient access to the shopping and dining at The Mall of Georgia and major commuter routes, including Highway 316 and I-85. To visit, take I-85 North to Exit 115 (Georgia 20), and turn right towards Lawrenceville.

Travel approximately 4.5 miles, and turn left on Georgia 124, Braselton Highway. Turn right on Old Fountain Road, and the community will be on the right.

Fulton Is Company, PTC Office Agent Leader For Bullard

Minka Fulton is the March Individual Agent Leader both companywide and for the Peachtree City/Fayette County office of Coldwell Banker Bullard Realty.

Frances Hess was the month's No. 2 producer for the Peachtree City office, and Donna Lasseter was No. 3.

Michelle Munda of the Griffin/Spalding County office was the company's No. 2 individual producer, and Tammi Lamb of the McDonough/Henry County office was No. 3.

Fulton, who has been in real estate for 12 years, joined the Bullard organization as a result of its recent merger with Coldwell Banker Fulton Realty Associates.

A member of the Fayette County Board of Realtors, Fulton holds the GRI and E-Pro designations and is a Certified Previews Property Specialist. A member of the Million Collar Club since 1996, she has attended several Coldwell Banker conventions and earned a Bullard Certificate of Merit for 2007.

Fulton has a B.B.A. in marketing and is a member of Christ Our Shepherd Lutheran Church and the Rotary Club of Peachtree City.

She and her husband Mike, who live in Fayette County, have one daughter, Lauren, 6.

Jakicic Named Coweta Office Agent Leader

Cynthia Jakicic was announced as March Individual Agent Leader for the Newnan/Coweta County office of Coldwell Banker Bullard Realty.

Shannon Scott the No. 2 producers for the office during the month, and Stacy Dunlap and Brittany Rainwater were No. 3.

Jakicic, who got her training through Coldwell Banker Fast Start, is a Certified Relocation Specialist, and she is a member of the Newnan/Coweta Board of Realtors, where she has earned Million Dollar Club membership, and the Georgia and National Associations of Realtors. She was named to the Bullard Bronze Society for her production in 2004 and 2005 and was awarded a company Certificate of Merit in 2006 and 2007.

A native of Coweta Couunty and a graduate of East Coweta High School, she resides in Coweta County with her husband Gary, daughters Madison and Samantha, and son Brandon.
She is a member of Community Christian Church, serving as leader of the TLC church group.

Career Nights Planned at Coldwell Banker Bullard McDonough Office

The McDonough/Henry County office of Coldwell Banker Bullard Realty has scheduled Career Nights one Thursday night each month through November for persons interested in careers in real estate.

The Career Nights will be held on June 5, July 10, August 7, September 11, October 9, and November 6 from 6-8 p.m. at the company’s McDonough/Henry County office, located at 4295 Jodeco Rd., McDonough. Refreshments will be served.

Barry Buttram, managing broker of the office, urged those interested in exploring the real estate industry as a career option to attend one of the sessions. He said reservations should be made early, as seating is limited. Reservations can be arranged by calling Bunny Hopson or Anne Patrick at 770-914-9250.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Reserve at Dog River Opens in Douglasville

The Reserve at Dog River is a unique 29 home community in Douglasville offering large custom-built homes on five acre or larger home sites. Located less than 20 miles from Atlanta, homes in The Reserve at Dog River are convenient to the shops and restaurants of the city, while still offering residents a resort-like atmosphere. Homeowners enjoy the peace and quiet of being located on Dog River. Homes are priced from $600,000 to $1,500,000 and are built by Clear Creek Communities.

The homes at The Reserve at Dog River are all unique and offer a variety of choices in floor plans and added features, enabling homeowners to customize their dream home. Homes are a minimum of 4,000 square feet and include features such as open floor plans, high ceilings, two story foyers, curved staircases, upgraded kitchens with large pantries and center work islands, as well as unique trim packages and finishes. There is also plenty of space in these luxury homes with an array of private studies, keeping rooms, basements, additional bedrooms, and media rooms being frequent. Home styles range from three story brick traditional to spacious ranches. Several homes are built along the creek and a beautiful decorated model home is available to give perspective home buyers ideas.

In addition to the endless attributes of the lavish homes themselves, the neighborhood also has several perks including secluded walking trails and magnificent views. The Reserve backs up to the 800 acre Dog River Park which offers fishing, biking and equestrian trails.

The Reserve at Dog River is located just off I-20W. Take I-20 West from Atlanta to Chapel Hill Road (exit 36), go south to Hwy 166, west (right) on Hwy 166 and travel approximately 6 miles to Phillips Mill Rd., turn right on Phillips Mill Rd, and then turn right on Rand Drive.

Exclusive sales and marketing is being provided by Morris & Raper. Interested homebuyers should contact Linda House by phone at 404-392-2921 or visit www.TheReserveatDogRiver.com.

Caroline Simmel Joins PEC Development Group

– PEC Development Group is pleased to announce that Caroline Simmel has joined the company as a special consultant to manage lot sales for the developer’s project, Estates at Fernwood Creek, in Cherokee County. Simmel joins Teresa Schaefer on the Builder and Developer Services team at the community forming a unique platform designed to efficiently manage the builder program. In this capacity, Simmel will work to create and execute the builder program on behalf of PEC Development Group and the builders in their communities.

Simmel’s diverse background in advertising, marketing and sales offers a unique approach to project planning, land acquisition and disposition, as well as new business development with the commercial and residential real estate markets. Simmel was previously in a similar position with Jenny Pruitt New Homes Services.

Paul Corley, Chief Executive Officer of PEC Development states, “Caroline brings a unique perspective on development to PEC. Her depth of industry knowledge allows her to think about projects from a variety of angles and come up with creative solutions for builders, as well as land.”

Creating communities and enriching lifestyles are the guiding principles on which PEC Development Group built its reputation as one of the leading real estate and property development companies in the Southeast. The developer is currently creating the following memorable communities: James Creek in Cumming, Ga., The Park at Heritage Ridge in Newnan, Ga., Overlook at Battery Creek in Beaufort, S.C., Bryant Lake in LaGrange, Ga., Hampton Oaks in Fairburn, Ga., Estates at Fernwood Creek in Woodstock, Ga., Riverbrooke in Canton, Ga. and Sandtown Park in Marietta, Ga.

Through every step in the planning and development process, PEC Development Group sets the highest priority on creating residential and mixed-use, master-planned communities that offer homebuyers a rewarding overall quality of life. This is achieved by providing residents with numerous social and recreational opportunities in an environment where the natural beauty and integrity of the land has been carefully preserved.

PEC Development Group creates master-planned communities with carefully crafted home sites and livable amenities to enhance the homeowner’s quality of life in Atlanta, Alabama, Florida and South Carolina. In addition to popular swim/tennis facilities and sports courts, PEC communities include dedicated public green spaces, such as certified wildlife habitats and large parks with nature trails. This combination of carefully planned home sites, built amenities and natural common areas creates a hometown feeling for residents and establishes communities that families are proud to call home. For more information on PEC Development Group, visit www.PECdevelopment.net.

Bowen Family Homes Raises Money for Relay for Life

Bowen Family Homes has shown its support for the American Cancer Society Relay for Life by raising over $3,500 for their team. To motivate the entire company to donate to the Bowen team, six of Bowen’s volunteers, including owner Tip Cape, had jars on display in the office, in which employees would add money. At the end of the fundraiser, whichever volunteer’s jar had the most money in it got a cream pie in the face.

This year the six volunteers on the chopping block were Randall Moore, Steve Palmer, Josh Bowie, Jeremy Patterson, Chris Hill and Tim Cape. However, at the last minute, Reiner Reitig sacrificed himself for Steve Palmer and took his place in the competition. When it came time to analyze the results, the company added funds to the jars with less, making the in-office rivalry a six-way tie and all six got a pie in the face.

In addition to the Pie in the Face Fundraiser, Bowen Family Homes collected money for their Relay for Life team by offering employees the opportunity to wear jeans to work everyday for an entire week for a $5 flat fee.

Through the combined efforts of the casual work week and the Pie in the Face Fundraiser, Bowen was able to raise $1,800 for their Relay for Life team. The team also received over $1,700 in additional donations, bringing the total to more than $3,500. The Gwinnett Relay for Life event was held May 9 to 10, 2008.

The Bowen Family Homes Relay Team consisted of 13 Bowen Family Homes employees and family members, Casey Bruce, Marie DeLeon, Lauren Evans, Stephanie Jodecke, Bonnie Marshall, Marie McIlrath, Jamie Muffuletto, Jeremy Patterson, Misty Patterson, Angie Shipley, Krysten Shipley, Randy Wade and Tamra Wade, each of whom committed to raising monies for Relay.

They not only raised money--Bowen Family Homes employees gave out decks of cards to Relay For Life participants to pass time at their campsites as they waited for the runners. In addition to the cards, as the race came to an end, they also gave out matches to help light the luminaries lining the track.

For many people who attend Relay For Life, one of the most moving parts of the event is the Ceremony of Hope. As the light dims over campsites and team members complete laps, the night is brightened by the glow of lighted bags called luminaria, each of which has a special meaning. Some luminaria celebrate the survivorship of people who have battled cancer and lived to tell the tale. Many commemorate the lives of those who have been lost to this disease. All represent a person who has been profoundly affected by cancer and the family and friends who continue to be touched by that experience.

Since 1969 the Bowen name has stood for excellence in new home construction and community development. Recognized as the 25th largest privately owned builder in the country by Builder Magazine for 2005, Bowen Family Homes is a dynamic homebuilder with operations in Georgia, Florida and Texas. The Atlanta Business Chronicle ranked Bowen Family Homes 6th among metro Atlanta builders in 2006 and 30th among Atlanta’s Top 100 Private Companies for 2006. Additionally, Bowen Family Homes was named the Georgia Family Business of the Year for medium sized companies by Georgia Trend and the Cox Family Enterprise Center at Kennesaw State University in 2006. Bowen Family Homes was ranked 83rd on the 2007 Professional Builder Giant 400 largest homebuilders in the United States list. These successes have been achieved by simply offering the best new home value in all price ranges. For more information about Bowen Family Homes, please call their Atlanta region headquarters at 678-325-4554 or 1-877- MY BOWEN or visit online at www.bowenfamilyhomes.com.

Only a Few Homes Remain at McCar Homes’ Carrington in Cobb County

Only a Few Homes Remain at McCar Homes’ Carrington in Cobb County
Just eight homes remain along the historic Silver Comet Trail

– McCar Homes’ Carrington community is 70 percent full and only eight homes remain along the historic Silver Comet Trail. Carrington is a luxury townhome community located in sought-after Cobb County and offers homeowners the opportunity to live in a historic setting with all the modern luxuries of today.

Townhomes at Carrington are priced from the $140,000s to $160,000s, and are available in three bedroom plans with two and a half bathrooms at approximately 1,588 square feet. Homes along the Silver Comet Trail feature great views of trees and portions of the trails. The interiors include state-of-the-art features such as upgraded appliance packages, designer lighting fixtures, a variety of flooring including hardwoods and countertop and cabinet choices.

Living within walking distance of one of the state’s most popular trails allows residents to exercise the natural beauty of the Silver Comet’s hike and bike trails. Carrington’s homeowners will also enjoy the community swimming pool and cabana modeled after the original Silver Comet Trail train station. Residents will enjoy close proximity to some of the best shopping areas in Cobb County including The Avenues at West Cobb and Arbor Place Mall.

Children at Carrington attend Powder Springs Elementary, Copper Middle and McEachern High schools.

To visit Carrington, take I-75 North to Barrett Parkway and turn left. Proceed 12 miles and turn right on Powder Springs Road. Travel to C.H. James Parkway and turn left. Continue to Florence Road and turn left. Community will be on the right. For more information on Carrington, call (770) 439-7038.

Dan and Elaine McSwain founded McCar Homes more than 50 years ago with a mission to build homes for buyers who desire the best homes in sought-after locations. Today, the company has grown from a hometown builder into one of the nation’s top builders. McCar Homes has earned numerous national and regional awards. With an experienced team of professionals, McCar Homes sets a new standard for exceptional quality, innovative home design, outstanding amenities and customer satisfaction building new home communities across the Southeastern United States including Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida. For more information, visit www.mccarhomes.com.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Housing Market


We all know that the credit crunch is for real and is creating turmoil in the housing industry. It has unsettled the confidence of investors on Wall Street and consumers on Main Street. Market analysts and the media have piled on, sounding a death knell for the housing industry: We have heard the claims that there is no mortgage money, foreclosure rates are skyrocketing nationwide and home values are in a free-fall with no bottom in sight. But is it really true?

Conforming Markets Operating Normally

First, regarding the credit crunch, there is no question that a major shakeout is occurring in the subprime market, creating turbulence in the broader financial markets.

But what the media is not reporting is that there is no credit crunch for qualified buyers taking out conventional loans for under $417,000. And this is where the bulk of all home loans are made. The reason why this market continues to operate normally is because loans up to this amount can be purchased by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, having the implicit guarantee of the federal government.

While underwriting standards may have tightened for all loans, credit-worthy home buyers should have no problems finding conventional, conforming mortgages at very attractive rates. In fact, today’s mortgage rates remain near historic lows, in the range of 6 percent for fixed-rate, 30-year loans.

Nonetheless, getting the word out that mortgage money is available at very attractive rates for credit-worthy borrowers is vital to boosting consumer confidence and traffic of prospective customers.

Foreclosures are High but Limited in Scope

There is no question this is a serious problem. But again, a close examination of the facts shows that for a vast majority of the country, there is no foreclosure crisis.

While foreclosure rates have increased this year, almost all American home owners are making their mortgage payments on time.

Most foreclosures are concentrated in the once super-heated markets in four states: California, Florida, Arizona and Nevada. The Midwest is also experiencing problems as a result of continuing job losses in the manufacturing sector.

Breaking down prime and subprime loans, nearly 97 percent of prime borrowers – the bulk of the mortgage market – are up-to-date on their payments. The problem is in the subprime market, where about 17 percent of borrowers are behind on their mortgage payments.

But it’s also important to remember that 37 percent of all single-family homes are owned debt-free – without any mortgage – and that home owners nationwide have built up $11 trillion in equity that provides a good cushion against any decline in values.

It’s also important to note that a high percentage of foreclosed loans to date – particularly in California, Arizona, Nevada and Florida – have been among speculators or investors who were looking for quick profits and just walked away from their investments when the housing market cooled.

The Myth of Declining Home Values

Lets explore some of the facts surrounding the claim that home values around the country are in a free-fall.

Except for about 30 or so high-flying metro markets where home values doubled in four or five years, the correction in the home values has been relatively modest. Different economic and job-market conditions directly affect demand for new and existing homes in every market.

Treasury Secretary Paulson made the same point in a March 26 address to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce: “We do not have a national housing market,” he said, adding that housing markets are unique and those experiencing the biggest price corrections are in areas that had the greatest overbuilding.

Part of this problem is due to an influx of speculators in some large markets who helped drive prices up to unsustainable levels.

For example, nearly all the markets that posted the largest average decline in home prices during the past year – Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Phoenix, San Diego and Tampa – have appreciated in value by more than 77 percent since January 2000, according to the latest S&P/Case-Shiller home price statistics. Two of these markets – Miami and Los Angeles – were up by more than 100 percent over this period.

It makes sense that the most super-heated housing markets in California, Nevada, Arizona and Florida are now experiencing the most serious market corrections. For the rest of the country, however, the price adjustments have been relatively modest.

The fact is, now is an exceptionally good time to shop for a new home. Buyers with good credit, a job and steady income will find there is plenty of mortgage credit to be had at good rates. With home builders appropriately cutting back on new supply to meet current market conditions, they are also offering great incentives to boost sales.

This is a boon to home buyers. But six months or a year from now, as the supply-demand equation rebalances, builders may stop offering these incentives.

The Home Builders Association of Midwest Georgia serves over 700 businesses in the building industry in Fayette, Coweta, Spalding, Meriwether, Heard, Pike, Upson, Lamar, Butts and Jasper Counties. For information about the association, call Executive Officer Sandy Boda at 770-716-7109.

By Sandy Boda

Friday, May 16, 2008

Real Estate Firm's Leader In ‘Power Book 2008’


Steve C. Bullard, owner and president of the Coldwell Banker
Bullard Realty organization, was recently included in the Residential
Real Estate section of “The Power Book 2008”, a recently-
distributed publication of the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

Called “A Guide to Atlanta’s Top Industry Leaders”, the
publication is described as a map to the top 50 leaders in each of
six industries: commercial real estate, residential real estate,
banking and finance, health care, hospitality, and law and accounting.

The publication noted that Bullard, who has a bachelor’s
degree from Georgia State University, is former president of the
Metro South Association of Realtors and currently serves as director and is on the executive committee of the Georgia Metro Listing Service. He is also president of Bullard Property Management and The Brokerage Inc.

The publication reported that Bullard considers his most
notable accomplishment is observing the growth of his company from 50
associates to more than 350 associates.

The Bullard organization was founded in 1956 by the late Cliff
Bullard and worked out a franchise agreement with Coldwell Banker
Real Estate Corporation in early 1998. It is the largest Coldwell
Banker franchise in Georgia. Steve Bullard has been with the company
for more than 35 years.

The oldest and largest real estate company headquartered in
the Metro South area of Atlanta, Coldwell Banker Bullard has its
headquarters in Jonesboro. The organization now has other offices in
Griffin, McDonough, Jackson, Peachtree City, Newnan, and Conyers, and
the separate but affiliated company, Coldwell Banker American Land
Mart in Conyers.

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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Brock Built Builds a Better Community

Atlanta’s largest intown homebuilder, Brock Built, is partnering with WSB-TV Channel 2 in the “Going Green 2008” campaign, an important program addressing an issue that is changing the quality of life of every citizen in Georgia. As part of that effort, Brock Built has started construction on an environmentally-friendly demonstration home in its Atlanta West Highlands Community. When complete, the home will be open for tours and auctioned to the highest bidder with all proceeds going to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

Groundbreaking for The Green House began in March and work is progressing quickly. When complete, the home will showcase environmentally friendly and sustainable design features attainable for the typical Atlanta family. Contributions are being solicited for funds, services, building materials, fixtures, appliances and everything else necessary to build the home. All participating vendors are required to demonstrate that their contribution will promote EarthCraft standards.

The EarthCraft program is a voluntary green building program which serves as a blueprint for healthy, comfortable homes that reduce utility bills and protect the environment. EarthCraft homes are thoroughly inspected and tested (for factors such as air leakage and carbon monoxide safety) before the homeowner moves in. They are proven to help save energy and water and conserve natural resources. They are more affordable because they help homeowners lower energy costs by up to 30%, lower maintenance and repair costs, and even lower doctor’s bills for health problems related to poor indoor air quality.

“Brock Built has always considered the environment when planning our communities,” said Steve Brock, owner and CEO of Brock Built, LLC. “Large green spaces, walking paths, and close proximity to mass transit are just a few of the EarthCraft House standards we’ve incorporated into our community plans for years. The Green House will offer all of these benefits and countless others. Plus, we’re excited that we can further help the community by giving all of the proceeds from the sale of the home Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.”

Construction on The Green House is expected to be complete in August, when the public will be invited to tour the home. WSB –TV will film the entire building process and will run a special one-hour prime time program in September telling the story of the innovative partnership behind the home’s creation, as well as the remarkable transformation of the larger West Highlands community. The program will also help consumers understand what they can do in their own homes to go green.

The Green House will be auctioned off to the highest bidder in October 2008. All proceeds from the sale will be given to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, a not-for-profit organization that provides care, research, teaching, wellness and charity care for the children of Atlanta.

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, one of the leading pediatric healthcare systems in the country,is a not-for-profit organization that benefits from the generous philanthropic and volunteer support of our community. Operating three hospitals with more than half a million patient visits annually, Children’s is recognized for excellence in cancer, cardiac, neonatal, orthopaedic and transplant services, as well as many other pediatric specialties. To learn more about Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, visit our Web site at www.choa.org or call 404-250-KIDS.

Brock Built has been making an impact on the Atlanta residential real estate community for more than two decades. Steve Brock, founder, established Brock Built with a mission to build superior homes at an exceptional value for his customers, while improving on the surrounding community at large. With a focus on the Westside of Atlanta, Brock Built’s goal is not to change existing communities but to recreate them into more livable environments, where current residents and new homeowners can feel at home. By building new homes and bringing new neighbors in to underdeveloped parts of the city, economic development is promoted and these neighborhoods become vital parts of the city. To date, Steve Brock has built more than 1,000 homes in Atlanta. Brock Built neighborhoods offer the convenience and amenities of city living with the charm of a bygone era within the peaceful surrounds of the suburbs where generation after generation can call home. For more information on Brock Built’s communities or The Green House, visit www.brockbuilt.com or call 404-351-7555.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Start-Up Company Gives Realtors Important New Tool

BUSINESS WIRE--Potential homebuyers wanting to know more about the home behind the For Sale sign in the yard used to have to call the Realtor or hope there was an information sheet on the premises. No more.

A Tennessee start-up company now allows Realtors to post text messages and even photos of the home straight to the potential buyers cell phone.

You drive by the house, and you want to know more before you even consider calling the real estate company. With RTextUSA, you can dial up basic information and even photos right from your car, said Phillip Poynor, founder and CEO. The real estate community has enthusiastically embraced our product as an important new tool in communicating with prospective buyers.

The company, based in suburban Nashville, has spent the last 12 months perfecting the technology of the product, and reaching out to area Realtors. RTextUSA launched on March 20, 2008, to wide acclaim and is now targeting markets across the Southeast.

We have selected a good price point that enables Realtors to add this feature to their listings without adding a lot to their marketing budgets, said Poynor.

RTextUSA offers a free 30-day trial period, which allows brokers and agents to assign up to 100 transferrable property codes to numerous property listings.

Nashville Realtor Karen Hoff of Historic & Distinctive Homes and Sales Manager Charles Hughes of Celebration Homes in Franklin, Tenn., have been beta testers over the past four weeks.

This is a very logical application of text-messaging technology, Hoff said. Its really appealing to the 20-something generation, and thats a good part of my business. But even older folks are texting these days, and I think a lot of people will be using this service it should do very well.

Hughes agreed, saying the service will be appealing to both homebuyers and real estate agents. This is an easy way to generate new business, Hughes said. RText offers a less invasive means for buyers to access property information.

Also testing for RText were Shelbyville, Tenn., Realtors Josh Simmons and Dorothy Parker.

We received a lead on one of our listings after only two days using RText, said Simmons of Keller Williams Realty. Weve already taken down our brochure boxes.

Its very easy to use, added Parker of Exit Celebration Realty & Auction.

Co-founders Poynor, 29, Josh Carney, 29 and Bradley Barrett Jr., 26, have drawn upon their own work experiences in the real estate industry to ensure that the product meets the current needs of Realtors.

For more information about RText, visit its Web site at www.RTextUSA.com or call (866) 579-8398.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Lowe Tops Company, Fayette in Individual Sales in April

Deborah Lowe was the April Individual Agent Leader both companywide and for the Peachtree City/Fayette County office of Coldwell Banker Bullard Realty.

No. 2 individual producer for the company during the month was Michelle Munda of the Griffin/Spalding County office, and Diane Maney of the Peachtree City/Fayette County office was No. 3.

Maney was no. 2 producer for the Peachtree City office, and Donna Lasseter was No. 3.

Lowe, who has been in real estate for 25 years, joined the Bullard organization as a result of its merger with Coldwell Banker Fulton Realty Associates several months ago. In 2007, she was the No. 3 producer among the former Fulton agents now with Bullard, and she qualified for the Bollard Bronze Society.

A Million Dollar Club member from 1987 through 2007, she holds the ABR, GRI, ePro, SRES and ASR designations.

Lowe is a Tyrone resident and is a member of the Community Emergency Response Team and the executive committee of the Fayette County Board of Realtors. She is a former Rotarian.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Isakson Receives 2008 Joseph D. Greene Community Service Award

E. Andrew (Andy) Isakson, founder of Isakson-Barnhart Properties, Inc., and Managing Partner of Isakson-Barnhart Co., LLC, developer of Peachtree Hills Place, was named one of the 2008 recipients of the Joseph D. Greene Community Service Award by the Healthcare Georgia Foundation for his long-standing work with HealthMPowers, an Atlanta-based non-profit organization that provides comprehensive health programming to schools throughout Georgia.

The award was presented yesterday during the Healthcare Georgia Foundation's Connections 2008: Strengthening the Health of Georgia Through the Nonprofit Community conference. The award honors Isakson's dedication and commitment to advancing the health of all Georgians and expanding access to affordable, quality healthcare for underserved individuals and communities.
Isakson, who is very active and engaged in community organizations contributes time, ideas, expertise and financial resources to numerous organizations. He is the co-founder and chairman of the Board of Directors for HealthMPowers, which now serves more than 36,000 students in the state of Georgia annually. HealthMPowers provides students, teachers and families with health information, skills, resources and motivation to take responsibility for their own health and serve as role models.

He is also a member of the Board of Trustees for the Chattahoochee Nature Center and served as chairman of Emory University’s Center for Health in Aging Advisory Board.

“Andy is a quiet leader who has shown his dedication to the children and citizens of this state through his unselfish gifts of time, dedication and resources,” said Christ Kay, executive director of HealthMPowers, who nominated Isakson for the award. “His commitment to improving the quality of life across all age spans in Georgia is to be commended. HealthMPowers would certainly not be where it is today, serving more than 70 schools, without his enthusiastic and active support.”

Award recipients must have volunteered or be volunteering their time for a health-related, nonprofit organization. They also must demonstrate a strong sense of passion in their commitment to improving the lives of others and have made a substantial commitment and impact to improve the quality of health in a community in Georgia. Additional requirements include contribution of time to the community and ability to serve as a role model and inspiration to others.

Isakson's career includes more than 33 years experience in commercial and residential real estate in Atlanta and throughout the Southeast. Following his mother’s death seven years ago, Isakson took a leadership role in the development of senior residential communities in Georgia. Her struggles with Alzheimer’s inspired him to develop continuing care retirement communities.

Isakson Barnhart is Georgia’s developer of nationally recognized, award-winning residential communities for those age 55 and over. The company’s vision to provide amenity-rich, independent living for discerning adults was born out of the personal experiences of the family of Ed and Julia Isakson after their difficult search for a community that would provide an active lifestyle combined with on-site health care. This mission manifested itself in Park Springs, the company’s flagship property in Stone Mountain. Park Springs was nationally recognized by the 50+ Housing Council of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) as the recipient of the 2005 Platinum Award for best large CCRC as well as the Gold Award for interior design. Now, Isakson Barnhart introduces another award-winning residential community in Peachtree Hills Place, named the best “On the Boards” large CCRC by the same group in 2006. Isakson Barnhart has carefully selected Life Care Services, LLC, the leading management company of senior communities in the nation, to partner in the planning and management of Peachtree Hills Place and Park Springs. For more information, visit www.peachtreehillsplace.com or call 404-467-4900.
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