Alright, Alright, Alright

Any semblance to a Buick-driving, no-shirt-wearing, Southern movie star in my latest real estate listing video is purely a coincidence.

This is a great house listed for just $225,900.

More on 22 Spoon Court:

A charming patio home with a number of recent updates, including a new roof (May, 2015), gutters (April), upstairs carpet and tile in the upstairs bathroom… an end unit and arguably the best lot in the neighborhood… private courtyard… part of River Ridge, a premier residential swim and tennis community… Master on the main… open, naturally-lit living and dining area… two upstairs bedrooms including one with a walk-in closet and additional storage… climate-controlled storage off second upstairs bedroom.

Coldwell Banker Hitting Home Runs With TV Ads

There were many reasons I elected to work under the Coldwell Banker umbrella. The training a sales associate receives is unmatched. The tools available to market homes are outstanding. And the people — my colleagues, my broker, etc. — are fantastic.

I didn’t choose Coldwell Banker because of its television advertising campaigns — that would be as smart as grossly over-pricing a split-level with foundation cracks located next to an airport runway. Still, I’m proud to be associated with a company that produces high-quality advertising and hits customers squarely in the heart.

The latest CB campaign is themed “Catch” (above) and it’s going to be perfect for ESPN’s Baseball Tonight this spring.

The “Catch” theme is almost as good as the “Home’s Best Friend” which ran earlier this year and really tugged at the heart strings. Enjoy

Even Our Competitors Have To Love This Commercial

There are a number of reasons I chose to cast my real estate lot with Coldwell Banker. Too many to list in just one blog.

I could talk for days about my broker and Coldwell Banker colleagues, the on-going training we receive and the code of ethics we all follow.

Then there is the Coldwell Banker brand. In terms of national brand recognition, Coldwell Baker ranks right up there with the big boys. It’s mentioned in the same brand-recognition breath as companies such as Nike.

Other brokerages may have commercials that air on national television. Quite honestly, I’m not sure, but I know that Coldwell Banker are the only national real estate commercials I remember seeing.

The latest Coldwell Banker ad is a gem. It also fits my philosophy when it comes to TV commercials: If you want a successful ad campaign, use dogs or babies or both.

CB’s commercial may not me the tear-jerker that Budweiser recently produced, but it makes me happy as a pet-lover. It also makes me proud to be affiliated with Coldwell Banker.

Here’s A Simple, Accurate Way To Look For Homes In Metro Atlanta

GetReal logo

Here’s a website you may just want to bookmark.

If you think that one day, whether it’s in the immediate or distant future, that you may want to purchase a home in Metro Atlanta, this is a good website to begin your search. If you know someone who is considering a move to the Atlanta area, this is an ideal site for them.

This home-search site could not be more simple to use, and more importantly: it’s accurate and up to date.

Full disclosure: I’m biased when it comes to this home-search tool.

My company, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, has provided all its agents with this tremendous tool. Much of the same information you can find on well-known home-search websites can be found here.

Go ahead, play around on the site and let me know what you think.

And if you are curious of what your home is worth, get a free market analysis by just clicking here.

Luxury Home

Legalized Gambling In Atlanta? Sort Of


From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

A plush, 24-hour gaming resort featuring up to 425 machines that pay out non-cash prizes may be coming soon to an underdeveloped area of South DeKalb.

It would be the closest thing to a casino in a state that bans most forms of gambling, according to joint reporting by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Channel 2 Action News.

Backers of the project, including a company with ties to the Tunica-Biloxi Indian Tribe, call it a “barcade” — a place for video games with prizes in the form of vouchers that can be redeemed toward steak dinners or on-site lodging. Envisioned as a sort of Dave & Busters for adults, games may include slots, video poker, a virtual reality roller coaster and golf and military simulators.

The site, called Panola Slope, would feature 2,700-square-foot rooms, butler services, three restaurants, an outdoor entertainment venue, meeting spaces and shopping.

The resort would be the first of its kind of Georgia. The DeKalb County Commission unanimously approved it in December. The next step is to get its license application approved by the Georgia Lottery Corporation, which will complete background checks on the site’s owners and operators, ensure taxes have been paid and verify the site will comply with state law before operations can begin, possibly as soon as Labor Day.

No other business has obtained permission for more than 14 machines in one location. Those games are located at a Chevron station in Stockbridge.

“The whole notion or comparison to a casino is primarily because we want it to be high energy,” said Vaughn Irons, the CEO of Atlanta-based APD Solutions, the project’s developer. “It is important that people understand that we’re not trying to do something new and different that isn’t already allowable. We’re not trying to skirt the law or get involved in some kind of subterfuge. We are very clearly staying within the lines of the law.”

The entertainment complex would be located along the four-lane Covington Highway near Lithonia, where a series of condominiums and shops were built several years ago but failed to attract buyers. Those residences would be transformed into 24 rental “villas” for guests of the Panola Slope resort, and the shopping area will house three restaurants and other retail.

Critics of the effort say Panola Slope is a short step removed from full-fledged gambling, and they question whether it will encourage economic growth or result in more crime and blight.

“This is a fairy-tale dream. … It sounds good, but let’s just be realistic here,” said Tre James, a resident who spoke at the DeKalb Commission’s Dec. 16 meeting. “If no one wants to pay $180,000 to live there, why would you pay $180 a night to go to a resort on Covington Highway? There’s nothing over there.”

Efforts to expand gaming in Georgia — at Underground Atlanta and on the property of fiber-optics manufacturer OFS near I-85 — have failed. Those projects stalled while awaiting approvals that never came from the Georgia Lottery’s board of directors to offer virtual lottery terminals, but Panola Slope would use cash-operated gaming machines that are already regulated and taxed.

But Irons and Red Alligator, the tribal company that bought the 10-acre Panola Slope property for $6 million in March, believe the project will be a success. Irons said the area isn’t as downtrodden as many believe . With a median household income of $74,000, residents have disposable income to spend.

Though cash payouts from these types of games are illegal in Georgia, visitors will come to the resort for a good time, said Marshall Sampson, the CEO of Red Alligator and vice chairman of the tribal council of the Tunica-Biloxi Indian Tribe, which owns the Paragon Casino Resort in Marksville, La.

“Wait till you see the good food, wait till you see the good entertainment, and you will not think you’re in Covington Highway,” Sampson told Channel 2. “It would not be an Indian casino. That cannot happen. So rest assured, the people of Georgia.”

The games would be operated under the rules of the Georgia Lottery and state law, which allow vouchers redeemable on-site. A portion of the proceeds help support the HOPE Scholarship and pre-K programs funded by the Georgia Lottery.

Georgia is one of 10 states without a commercial or tribal casino, according to the American Gaming Association.

Panola Slope is trying to look like a casino without being legalized and regulated like one, said Keith Whyte, executive director of the National Council on Problem Gambling. Whyte said he’s concerned that Georgians could develop gambling problems without having access to prevention and treatment programs.

“The closer you can make your offering to something that feels like gambling, the more attractive and profitable it’s going to be, but of course the more potential you have for addiction. So there’s a trade-off there,” he said.

Doreen Carter, the president of the Greater Lithonia Chamber of Commerce, said Panola Slope is not a typical economic development idea, but it’s worth a try. The resort’s developers estimate they will create 151 jobs with an average income of $51,000.

“We’re not naive. We know this is a unique project,” Carter said. “We know gambling is illegal in Georgia, but there are people who go to other places and play these games. … If it’s done right and they create something positive, it could be good for the community.”

While Panola Slope is planned as an extension of the Georgia Lottery, DeKalb Police Lt. Curtis Williams fears it could lead to illegal activity. Williams wrote in an email forwarded to the DeKalb Commission that a number of convenience stores are illegally paying cash rewards from their cash-operated amusement machines.

“Although the applicant states that there would not be any cash payouts, there is a high probability that the establishment will begin making cash payouts once they realize how lucrative that would be,” Williams wrote.

Georgia law usually caps the number of coin-operated machines in a location at nine, but a local government can approve more,

Irons hasn’t yet sought a location license from the Georgia Lottery as he’s negotiating with gaming machine owners. The license can take a month or more to be approved.

The Georgia Lottery isn’t currently involved with the proposed resort in DeKalb or any resort in the state, said spokeswoman Kimberly Starks. The Georgia Lottery licenses gaming machines and locations but doesn’t operate them.

Village Of Belmont Construction Update: January 29, 2015

2015-01-29 13.57.46-1

The Atlanta Braves aren’t the only folks moving to Smyrna.

Construction is well underway at Belmont — near Atlanta Road and Windy Hill Road — and this area in changing daily.

I’ll write more about what type of homes, cottages and townhomes that are being constructed in a future blog, but this location is going to be great for almost any home-buyer. This community is being built literally steps away from the Smyrna Elementary School campus and it’s only a football field or so away from Campbell Middle School. And from the intersection of Atlanta Road and Windy Hill Road — you are a short drive away from I-285 and I-75. It’s 12 miles from here to the heart of Midtown.

The homes are being built by David Weekley Homes and this is what is says on the builder’s website:

“Located in Smyrna, GA, David Weekley Homes will soon begin building new homes in Village of Belmont! Choose from several unique floor plans with stunning architectural elements and incredible interiors in this charming community. Here, you’ll also enjoy:

  • Private, gated community
  • Students attend Cobb County schools, with new, onsite Smyrna Elementary School
  • Swimming pool, cabana and central park
  • Walking distance to great shopping and dining
  • Nearby Market Village, Tolleson Park and Smyrna Community Center”

This photo is taken from the southeast corner of the property:
2015-01-29 13.58.24

You can see Smyrna Elementary School in the background of this photo:

2015-01-29 14.04.27

What If You Had An Option To “Try-Out” A House?

House 8

Do any of the following describe you or someone you know?

  • You’d like to purchase a home, but you don’t have enough cash for a down payment.
  • You’re new to the Atlanta area and you’d like to kick the tires on a neighborhood you have your eyes on before you actually buy a home.
  • You’re last house foreclosed or short-sold.
  • You want to rent a nice single-family home, but are discouraged because so few houses are available for lease.

There’s a new program to Georgia that many Coldwell Banker customers are using to get into their dream home without a down payment or even a mortgage. This program allows you to lease the house for as long as you would like, but with an option to purchase it at any time — whether it’s after just two months or two years or even longer.

There’s no obligation to ever purchase the home. After renting it for one year, you can just walk away, no strings attached.

House 1

Obviously, there are many more details, but there are no “catches.” We’ve had numerous customers enjoy successful transactions using this program.

Call me at 404.295.8703 or email me at and I’ll be glad to tell you all about it.