Fall Fix-Ups

Published: 9/30/2020

With the season change, many other things are adjusting along with the weather. For one, pumpkin spice everything is already everywheres, and you're likely getting ready to freshen up your closet and bring out those jeans and long-sleeves. But what around your home needs changing?

Despite the current Georgia heat, fall is a great time for fixing up a few things around your home. As the weather gets cooler, it's easier to get outside and not only enjoy the new temperatures, but actually enjoy the time you spend making adjustments to your home's exterior. The season is also a great time to get ready for winter because you don't want to be left out in the cold trying to fix your heater when it's only 32 degrees.

Here are a few fall fixes we recommend:

Seal it Up

Fall is a great time to seal up the home and make sure you aren't losing out on precious heat (or in Georgia's case, air conditioning). Take some time to seal up cracks around windows and doors in your home. To find the leaks, HouseLogic recommends using a lit candle or incense stick and walking around your home near the windows and doors - if the light starts to flicker or the smoke begins blowing, you know where you need to add caulking to your home.

Raise the Roof

We don't mean throw a party, but do consider showing some love to your roof this fall. This season is a great time to make repairs or even replace the roof if it's needed. DiTech says it's important to inspect your shingles for any damage, and look for any nails that have come loose that may signify a loose shingle. Roofers are also busiest during the winter months, so calling them out this fall will allow you to beat the rush.

Clean the Gutters

Since you're already up on the roof, you may as well take a moment to clean out the gutters. It's best to wait until all the leaves are off the trees if you can. HouseLogic says that moisture is one of the biggest problems in maintaining a home, and leaves the collect can also hold moisture which can eventually ruin your gutters and cause backups. Sweep them free of leaves and other debris, and make sure all of your downspouts are working properly.

Help the Heater

You may not need it now, but soon your heater will be doing the work of your AC, so it's best to give it a helping hand. Inspect your heating units and replace furnace filters; you may also want to clean your fireplace and chimney before you're able to cozy up next to the fire.

Enhance the Exterior 

The weather is getting nicer, so while you're out enjoying it, you can also get something done, and also increase your ROI if you're looking to sell next spring. Forbes recommends sprucing up the siding, both by pressure washing your home and re-painting the siding if it's needed. Also think about updating and cleaning the deck. Replace splintering or cracked boards, and give it a pressure wash treatment as well so you can fully enjoy those cool fall evenings to come.

Organize the Garage 

This project will get you outside, but more importantly, will help you get your cars inside this winter. It's easy for the garage to become piled with lawn equipment, bikes, and beach toys from the summer. As HouseLogic states, there are countless organizational tools and tricks that you can use to tidy up the garage. While you're there, move any snow equipment to the front where it's easily accessible and take stock of what you have. That way, when the first "snow" in Georgia hits and the kids are ready to play, you will be too! And you won't have to rush to the hardware store before they run out of sleds!a

Work Life Balance

Published: 8/31/2020


The real estate market doesn't take a holiday. Or a weekend. 

Between showing homes, sending out listings, and answering and responding to the endless calls and emails, it probably feels like you work non-stop. 

And for many real estate agents, that is true. A job that requires you to be on-call practically 24/7 makes it seem nearly impossible to obtain a work life balance. 

However, with a little intentionality and effort, it can be done. Don't believe us? Try a few of these tips and see if you find a few more minutes for yourself! 


It may seem obvious to prioritize your to-do list, but what about prioritizing the different aspects of your life? According to Sara Caputo, author of the "The Productivity Puzzle", it's important to identify a "core four" of priorities for your life. Perhaps this is your work, family, and health; or perhaps it's your family, spiritual wellbeing, and recreational time. Understand that these four won't be the same as everyone else's and they aren't supposed to be. A work-life balance should be based on your priorities and the things that are most important to you. Clarifying these aspects of your life will help you recognize where you are spending most of your time, and how you can re-allocate and re-dedicate some of that time to those factors that are most important. 


It's hard to start positive habits when everything around is cluttered chaos. Spend some time organizing your work space and eliminate distractions. This is particularly true if you are working from home. With so many of us now spending more hours inside with the pandemic, it can be easy to end up typing away on the couch in your pajamas. However, it's important to set aside a dedicated work space that allows you to focus - and walk away. If your work space and recreational space become one and the same, it will be difficult to unplug and take the time away from work that you desire. 

Caputo also says it's important to create multiple to-do lists. Create a list of must-do items for the day, one for the week, and a running list of things upcoming in the future. This will help you itemize tasks that need to get done and ensure that they do in fact get done, but in a timely fashion. It's important to not spend hours doing a task that can be done a week from now, ignoring those that are more time sensitive. You can also consider adding in your personal to-do's - like family time and workouts - into these lists. 


While technology is where we spend most of our work life and allows us to stay connected to our clients, it could also be a main point of stress in our lives. According to Harvard psychology professor Robert Brooks, notifications from your phone inject "an undercurrent of stress" into your life when they're popping up in your off time. That's why it's incredibly important to unplug, and allow yourself time away from your technology, and giving yourself an "off-call" moment. Set aside a designated time to walk away from work, and set your "do not disturb" setting on if needed. 

Caputo also suggests creating a "power hour" in your schedule once or twice a week. During this time, turn off your notifications and be unavailable to clients to allow yourself full concentration on your work. This allows you to think deeply about tasks that are more time-consuming and challenging. She also suggests setting timers during this time if you have multiple tasks to complete, as people often work more efficiently under pressure. 

Be Kind to Yourself 

Deciding today that you want a better work-life balance and trying to achieve it all by 5 p.m. tomorrow simply isn't realistic. Just as we often abandon our New Year's resolutions by February, we have to give ourselves time and be patient with ourselves when making a life change. Identify one or two areas in which you want to improve, be it more family time, or waking up earlier to allow more work time. Then, build these aspects in gradually. Realize and accept that major life changes can't happen overnight. However, with patience and time, you can obtain the work-life balance you desire.  

The Power of Attorney - A Legal Stand-In

Published: 8/2/2020

Heading on vacation during your closing? Have a medical procedure scheduled and know you won't make it in to sign? Work sending you out on a last-minute business trip?

If you're in any of these scenarios, you're probably worried about what you're going to do about signing at closing. 

We all have busy lives with work, family and travel - throw a home buying or selling process into that mix and it can get a little hectic! That's what the Power of Attorney, or POA, is for. 

A power of attorney is a document between two parties in which one party grants the other broad power to act on their behalf. This power can be for a number of things, including signing during a real estate closing. 

In a POA transaction, the person granting the power is called the principal, and the person receiving the power is called the agent or attorney in fact. The agent will act on behalf of the principal within the circumstances noted in the document. An attorney in fact does not have to be an attorney - it can simply be a relative, friend, or anyone the principal trusts to act on their behalf. 

Powers of attorney are a great option for buyers or sellers who can't be present at closing. An agent can be designated to arrive at the closing and sign on the principal's behalf. All they would need is their photo ID and a strong and steady hand - because they will be writing a lot! (Every signature from a power of attorney must be signed "Agent's name as attorney in fact for Principal's Name," so you may want to tell your agent to be ready!) 

But besides real estate closings, a POA can be beneficial in other legal situations, and there are several types of these documents: 

A general power of attorney is used to allow your agent to handle your affairs during a certain period of time, such as when you are traveling. 
Powers can include any or all of the following:
  •  Buy and sell property
  •  Buy, manage or sell real estate
  •  Handle banking transactions
  •  Enter safety deposit boxes
  •  File tax returns
  •  Tend to government benefits
  •  Enter into contracts
  •  Purchase life insurance
  •  Settle claims
  •  Exercise stock rights
Additional powers that can be added in the document include maintaining business affairs, making transfers to revocable living trusts, hiring professional assistants and making gifts. 


In a durable POA, the term of the power granted to the agent is specified. For instance, if the principal was to become mentally incapacitated or physically unable to communicate their wishes, this document would specify that the agent does or does not continue to have the right to act on the principal's behalf. 
All powers granted in a general power of attorney can be given in a durable one, but stipulations are included regarding the health of the principal. 


A special power of attorney grants limited or special power to the agent. This is typically done if one party cannot handle certain affairs because of prior commitments or health reasons. Common powers specified in a special power of attorney include buying or selling real estate, managing business interests, and handling bank transactions. 

Health Care

In a health care POA, the agent is given the power to make medical decisions for the principal if they are unconscious, mentally incompetent or physically unable to communicate. The document can go into effect immediately or when the principal is determined mentally incompetent, based on the principal's wishes. A health care POA does not constitute a living will; however, the State of Georgia allows the principal to state their wishes in a POA regarding medical treatment in conditions such as terminal illness and permanent unconsciousness. 

Trust Factor

With all POA's, trust plays an important role. Major powers can be given to an agent, so it is imperative to choose someone who will look out for the principal's best interests, respect their wishes, and not abuse their power. 

LegalZoom also notes that an agent should be organized and responsible and keep records of all transactions they have done on the principal's behalf.  Legally, an agent is not held responsible for anything done unknowingly, but can be held for any intentional misconduct. 

Overall, a power of attorney can be used for any number of legal or personal activities and may be perfect for a buyer or seller closing on a property. If you need a POA for a closing here at Perrie & Associates or for any other matter, just let us know and we'll be happy to help you draw up the appropriate document for your needs! 

Mid-Year Market Update - Positive Signs for Real Estate

Published: 5/31/2020

With all that 2020 has thrown at us, it is hard to believe that we are already nearly halfway through the year. As states begin to reopen in a corona-virus world, and people begin to feel somewhat safer to return to "normal," the housing market is changing too.

Of course, the pandemic has greatly affected the housing buying market as states quarantined in April, and according to the National Association of Realtors' (NAR) Pending Home Sales Index, contract signings fell 21 percent in April. This will likely lead to a significant decrease to closed sales in May, said Lawrence Yun, NAR's Chief Economist.

However, experts are seeing some positive trends, and have a more positive outlook for the summer. Forbes reported that Realtor.com's weekly housing report has several highlights for the market including only a 20 percent decrease in new listings May 23, as opposed to a 28 percent decrease the week prior. Median listing prices have also "regained momentum" and growth is reaching pre-COVID levels.

In addition to these positive indicators, the number of mortgage applications have also increased, according to the NAR. This will likely come at no surprise given the shockingly low mortgage rates. Freddie Mac reported that the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage for the week of May 29 was 3.15% - the lowest in their records for 50 years. Rates for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage also fell, averaging 2.62% last week.

"These unprecedented rates have certainly made an impact, as purchase demand rebounded from a 35% year-over-year decline in mid-April to an 8 percent increase of last week - a remarkable turnaround given the sharp contraction in economic activity," Freddie Mac's chief economist Sam Khater told the NAR.

Finally, buyer activity is also giving hope for the a rebound in the market. Redfin data, reported by Forbes, shows that buyer demand is leading to more bidding wars where inventory is limited. According to the report, 41 percent of homes received multiple offers from late April to May, as opposed to just 15 percent of homes at the same time last year. "In the coming months, buying activity will rise as states reopen and more consumers feel comfortable about home buying in the midst of social distancing measures," Lawrence Yun said.

While this summer season may look different in terms of vacations and social gatherings, signs are pointing to a still bustling summer real estate market!

Mini Movers - Helping Children Face their Summer Move

Published: 5/3/2020

Summer vacation is looking a little different and many schools are bringing classes to a close; however, the summer season is still on the way. Despite the challenges faced by the corona virus, this time remains popular in the housing market, and many families are looking at packing up and moving to a new home.

While parents may be excited about the new possibilities a new house offers, some children may be feeling sad to leave their friends and comforts of home behind, especially while social distancing. It's important for parents to prepare their children for a change, and even real estate agents can help play a part in getting kids ready for the transition.

One of the most important things to remember when moving with kids is to communicate. Involving them in the process and keeping them updated will help them to better understand what is happening. Young children may not understand the reasons for moving such as a new job or a larger home; it's easy for them to focus on what all they will no longer have.

Instead, show them what all the new home has to offer, whether that be a bigger bedroom, a fun basement, a pool, or a big backyard. While touring homes in person may not always be an option right now, virtual tours are increasingly popular, and still a great way too allow children to visualize and get excited about their new home.

In addition to preparing them for their new house, do some research and explore your future neighborhood with your child. Explain the new options they will have at their new school, tell them about any sports teams or hobbies near your home that they can join, and show them other interesting and fun activities that you can explore on a map. With many schools turning to digital learning in the last few months, check out your school's website and social media pages to find videos of the school that you can share with your child.

It's of course important to prepare your children for their new future neighborhood, but don't forget to say goodbye to the old one. Consider throwing a "going-away party" for your home to look back on the memories you made there and commemorate your time. Letters are a great way for children to communicate with their friends in these times of social-distancing, as well. Before you leave, make sure to get contact information from friends so they can keep in touch.

On moving day, despite the chaos that is likely all around, do your best to remain positive and excited for your child. Pack a personal belongings bag for each family member, and allow your child to pick 2 to 3 of their favorite toys to keep with them for the first night in the new home. Think about other ways to make moving day exciting as well, such as camping out in the living room for the first night, or surprising them with a new toy or item in their bedroom.

As with many things, your attitude can make or break the transition of moving for your child. If you remain positive and approach the move as an exciting new adventure, your kid will do the same. It's okay to express the emotions you feel about leaving your old home, but always stay positive when preparing for the new neighborhood. An uplifting attitude can make all the difference, and soon your child will be playing with new friends and loving their new home in no time.

Helping your pet move

Published: 3/1/2020

There's a lot to think about when you're moving - packing everything up, adjusting your finances, signing and filing paperwork . . . the list goes on and on.
Though there's a lot happening, you know where you're headed and what's to come - but that may not be true for everyone in your household.

Your furry friends may get a clue that something's changing when all the boxes are piled up, but they have no idea what's in store when your moving.

For those who have one (or two, or three), pets are an important part of our lives. For many, a pet becomes part of the family. So when you're moving, it's important to think about how you can help this important family member. You may not be able to sit down and talk to them about what to expect, but there are a few things you can do to help make the transition a smooth one.

Packing Plan 

A house that's being prepped for a move can get hectic. Boxes are everywhere, and nothing is where it's supposed to be. To help your pet, and especially cats, with this transition, the ASPCA recommends bringing moving boxes in as early as you can so that you pet gets used to the change. Also try to keep your pet in a familiar room in the house that will be packed up last. This will ensure that your furry friends can stay in a comfortable space where they don't feel stressed.

Moving Day

Be sure that you have a plan for your pet on moving day. While boxes are being loaded and people are going in and out, keep your pet in a quiet room with the door closed. This will ensure the most calming environment possible, and will also assure that your pet will not escape. You can also think about dropping your pet off at "doggy day care" or boarding them with your veterinarian or a friend.
If you pet will need to travel in a carrier or crate to be transported to their new home, the New York Times recommends introducing the crate as early as possible. Leave the crate open in your home for a few days before moving day, and place food or treats near and in the crate to encourage your pet to test out their new space. You may want to consider even taking your pet on a short trip in the carrier if you anticipate a long travel time to your new home.

Settling In 

It's easy to want to relax right after the move is over and call it a day, but the first few hours in a new home are crucial for your pets. Remember, you may have seen this space before, but they haven't. There's a whole new world for your furry friend to explore, and it can be pretty overwhelming if you throw them in all at once.
It's important to set up a space that is just for your pet. Realtor.com recommends creating a "safe room" wth all of their favorite items, including food and water, where your pet can stay for the first few hours or days of the move. As you see them become more comfortable and return to their regular behavior, they can be set loose to explore more of their new domain. When creating this safe space, be sure that their favorite items haven't been washed - smells are crucial for pets and can create a sense of calm in unfamiliar territory. Also try to set up the ret of your home in a similar pattern as the old one, so your pets can easily adjust to their new space.

Moving with your pets can take some patience and a few extra steps, but with a little extra love, they'll be playing fetch and cuddling with you in their new home in no time!

Tax Time - Homestead Exemption

Published: 2/18/2020

Well, the forms are already filling your mailbox, so you know what it's time for - taxes.  

We know they may not be the love letters you were hoping for, but it's time to gather your documents and get it done. Did you buy a home in 2019? If so, fall head over heels for the homestead exemption!

Not sure or can't remember how to file for the exemption? We've got you covered with these quick facts about the homestead tax exemption! 

What is it? 

A homestead exemption is a one-time, tax exemption on your property taxes that can be filed the January after you have purchased a new home. It lasts until the ownership of your home changes.

How much is exempt?

The exemption is a reduction of the amount of taxes charged, and so will vary for each county and property. 

What do I need? 

To file for a homestead exemption, you must be a legal resident of the county and must own and occupy the home as of January 1 in the year you are seeking the exemption. There is no income or age limit to file an exemption. 

How do I apply? 

The deadline to file for most counties is April 1. An application will need to be filled out and can be found on the county's website: 

Happy filing! 

Decade Determination

Published: 12/30/2019

2020 not only brings a new year, but a new decade. There's of course no way to know exactly what the next decade will bring, but real estate experts have made their predictions for what the housing market could look like in this next year -

Mortgage Median

Mortgage rates are expected to stay at their low rate for most of 2020, according to Forbes and data from Freddie Mac. Current rates are at 3.75% and are expected to remain between 3.7% and 3.9%. Realtor.com's 2020 Housing Report supports this, predicting that the year will end with rates at 3.88%.
Ben Lane with HousingWire says this rate will make 2020 a popular year for refinancing.
In 2019, reports showed that it was the best year for refis since 2016, and Freddie Mac experts are predicting $834 billion in refinance originations in 2020.
The low rates will benefit home buyers as well, with Freddie Mac predicting $1.299 trillion in purchase originations to start the new decade. Sean Hundtofte, with chief economist with lender Better.com, told Forbes this will allow homebuyers to "be able to afford more house than they would have otherwise."

Price Point 

According to chief economist at Realtor.com Danielle Hale, price will be the major selling point for 2020.
"Many people would prefer to live in the San Fransiscos and other big cities, but for the right price they will make the decision to go to another city," she said.
Forbes says home prices are expected to rise because of inventory shortages and high demand. Experts are predicting prices to raise 5.6% by September of 2020, and the lower-end of price ranges will be hit hardest due to lack of new starter homes.
Ralph DeFranco, chief economist for Archer AMI told Forbes, "low interest rates and a shortage of starter homes will continue to push up prices. This is especially the case for lower price points, since builders have tended to focus on more expensive, higher-profit houses and less on replenishing low inventories of entry-level homes."

Millennial Movers 

A large portion of millennials will be turning 30 in 2020 - the prime age to buy a first home, according to Realtor.com, and the oldest millennial will be turning only 39. Therefore, this generation will dominate the market.
According to Hale, millennials will hold more than 50% of mortgages by mid-2020, and despite the belief that the generation doesn't want to settle down, many are at the age where they have started having families and are ready to establish roots.
However, these potential buyers will face many difficulties, as older generations are choosing to remain in place, keeping many homes off the market.
This is pushing millennials to "Hipsturbia," according to Forbes. These young homebuyers are looking to suburban markets outside of major cities that offer live-work-play neighborhoods and walkability to many amenities.

Look Locally 

While it's important to look at market predictions across a national level, Caroline Feeney with Forbes reminds agents to focus on the local picture. Geography, affordability, jobs, and others are all nuanced factors that play a role in a local market.
George Ratiu, chief economist for realtor.com, told Feeney that 2020 will bring a lot more "differentiation between various markets."
In Atlanta, forecasts show a split down the middle between the city and the surrounding metro area as millennials flock to "Hipsturbia." This split will see lots of activity and growth in lower price points, and "softer price points driven by weaker demand and the affordability ceiling at the higher end." According to Forbes, Atlanta is predicted to see home values in the bottom tier raising 10%, while raising just 2.1% in the top tier.

Again, you can never be certain of what the new year will bring - but we can be sure to see many changes in real estate in 2020 and the following decade. Be sure to keep your eyes on local markets and follow us here at Perrie & Associates as we share the latest news and trends! Here's to a wonderful new year of growth!

(New) Home for the Holidays

Published: 12/10/2019

We all know the holiday season is busy. Between office parties, school functions, and shopping for friends and family, it seems like there's always something to do. If you're moving during this time of the year . . . well, you're probably debating if this really is the "most wonderful time of the year."

But not to worry! In addition to having a new home for the holidays, there are a few things you can do to add some cheer and have a stress-free winter move!

Give the Gift of Movers (Or at least some help) 

Holidays are not only a busy time, but it's also a costly time of year. However, the experts at Realtor.com say: splurge on a moving company. While it will increase your moving expenses, it can save you the stress of making multiple trips - allowing you more time to focus on holidays festivities. Maybe cut back on gifts for others (or yourself), and give yourself the gift of time and extra help for a stress-free move.
If movers just aren't in the budget, think about having a "holiday helping party" and recruiting a few friends or family members to help. They can consider it their gift to you this year!


Winter isn't peak moving season, which has it's benefits; however, the holiday season is one the busiest travel times of the year. Consider this when planning your move.
According to Moving.com, one of the busiest shopping days (and therefore traffic days) is "Super Saturday," or the Saturday before Christmas. Weekends are also of course going to be traffic-filled as people make their way to the stores, and you can expect lots of travel on the week before Christmas. So, if you can, try to book a weekday move. This can reduce the amount of time it takes for you to move, as well as reduce road rage on top of moving stress.
In addition to booking a weekday move, Realtor.com says don't forget to ask for a holiday discount. Because it's not peak season, moving companies may be feeling the holiday spirit!


Speaking of the holiday spirit, moving is a great time to donate some of your unused or unwanted items. As you are packing, start trying to trim down on you possessions, and create separate boxes or bags for items you can donate. Goodwill, Habitat for Humanity, and the Salvation Army can be contacted to come collect your items. Pairing down your belongings will help eliminate a few boxes that you would otherwise have to move, and it's a wonderful thing to do at this time of year!

Family Matters

If you're moving with family and school-aged children, getting used to a new school and environment in the middle of the school year can be difficult. Help them during this time by preparing all of their education documents included transcripts, report cards, immunization records, and test reports. Contact your child's old school to ensure that documents will get transferred to the new school, and what, if anything, you need to bring to your child's new school. Also work with your child to get to know their new school as much as possible before the bell rings in January.
If you're normally the host of the holiday family gathering, consider taking a rain check for this year. Moving on it's own is stressful - let alone trying to move and set up and decorate a new home to be ready for guests. Ask if another family member can host this year, and next year you can show off your new home!

Trim the Tree

It's hard to feel the holiday spirit in an empty new house. But it's also hard to decorate a brand new home while you're also trying to unpack. You don't have to forgo decorations though, just pack accordingly! While you're boxing up your things, pack your holiday decorations last, and move them in first. Be sure they are labeled, and you can take them directly into the living room to give your new house that holiday feel. If you're someone who goes all-out with holiday decorations, maybe consider scaling it back a bit this year and just use some of your favorites.

Moving during the holidays can be daunting, but it will also be worth it. You will be celebrating a magical time of year in a new home, and you'll have a fabulous fresh start for the new year! 

Plenty to Be Thankful For

Published: 11/26/2019

For many, Thanksgiving is a time for family, friends, and good food. However, Thanksgiving is also a time of reflection as we take time to recognize all that we have and all that we are thankful for.

Though the holiday season can get busy quickly, the Perrie & Associates staff took time to pause and reflect on what we are thankful for -

Stephanie Chandler

I am thankful for the love and support of my family, and I'm thankful for the gift of another day. I'm also thankful that I am able to still fit into my clothes after the array of food and desserts that were brought into the office this year! :)

Stacie Upchurch 

I am thankful for my faith, for my family, for my husband, my health, for this great country that so many have fought for, for the beautiful home I live in, and most importantly - all of the love that fills it. I am also very grateful for being privileged enough to have spent that last year 8 plus years working at P&A and getting to spend every day doing what I love. My teammates that comprise my work family and the amazing clients we serve make my days so rewarding. Whenever I encounter a struggle or a challenging situation, all I have to do is look around me and I will always find the support I need to navigate the terrain. Happy Thanksgiving!

Sherynda Patrick 

I am thankful to be a mom to such a wonderful daughter, and I am thankful for my work family!

Cheryl Ethridge-Morton 

I'm grateful for family and friends (both two-legged and four-legged) and the love they share!

Emily Selby 

This year I am grateful for new opportunities and the support I have received from my family and friends. I am also thankful for my incredible fiance who inspires me and has shown me more love, encouragement, and support than I could imagine. I'm thankful for those who make me laugh each day and for a bright future ahead!

Stephanie Lee 

I am so very thankful for God's blessings! This has been a troublesome year for my family, yet we are safe and healthy. I am also thankful to continue my career here at Perrie & Associates with the ability to progress and learn new areas of law.

David Perrie 

I am thankful for the wonderful people who work at our firm and that are so passionate about the success we have enjoyed and making sure that our clients know how much we value their support. I am also thankful for my family and to live in this great country!

Jennifer Compton

This year I am especially thankful for the health of my family. I'm thankful that we live close enough that I'll be able to spend Thanksgiving with my parents, siblings, and their kids. All 32 of us in one space is . . . a lot - but I wouldn't change it for the world, and I'll be hugging each and every one of them and telling them I love them!

Christine Bersani 

This year I am thankful for my beautiful family, friends, Perrie & Associates, and not having to shovel snow anymore! I am already looking forward to an awesome 2020 and what it has in store! :)

Brett LeFevre 

I'm thankful for my co-workers and the opportunity to spend time with friends and family that I don't see very often throughout the year.

Spencer Knott 

I'm thankful for our firm's revised turkey policy. Gravy can easily be washed out of closing documents, and I still don't think a one-time incident should ruin it for everyone else!

Brad Raymer 

I am thankful for God, family, and freedom in this blessed country. I am also thankful for this wonderful group of people with whom I work.

Linda May 

Every day I open my eyes and thank God for my health, my family, my friends, and my job at Perrie. It gives me purpose and an opportunity to give back to my community as well as to my agent and lender friends. It also gives me the chance to work with some of the finest people in this business that have the skills and caring to go the extra mile to help people and show what they are made of. I am so proud of this firm I could pop! I love you guys!

Gayle Willingham 

I am thankful for my God, health, family and friends. This year has been a hard year with some health issues, and I am thankful that I am healthy again. We sometimes take our health for granted, but if we have our health, we can enjoy life with our family and friends. I am thankful to live in the USA and enjoy the life of the Brave and the Free. God bless each one of you this Thanksgiving Season!

Gabriela Pacheco 

I am thankful for the love and support of my friends this year. Friends are just the family you pick.

Dawn Hinton

I am thankful for the people in my life who encourage me to be a better person.

David Phillips 

I am thankful for my family, my friends, and my health. I hope that 2020 brings on a new year of positive vibes and amazing adventures!

All of us at Perrie & Associates are thankful for your loyalty and business, and we wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Haunting Home - Creating a Last-Minute Halloween House

Published: 10/27/2019

The spookiest night of the year is upon us! Time to dress up in your boo best, watch some scary movies, and - oh no, you forgot - pass out candy! Is your home not ready for the little ghouls and goblins coming to knock on your door tomorrow night? Don't want to be the boring house on the block that turns off their light to ward off trick-or-treaters?

Never fear! We've got a few quick DIY tips for you to make your house haunted for Hallow's Eve!

Light the Night 

Nothing sets the tone for being spooked like some eerie lighting. If you have spotlights in your home, run to the hardware store or craft store to pick up different colored bulbs. A green, orange, or purple light on your home can set the tone, and is a quick and easy way to say you're ready for the night. If you're not feeling bright colors, swap out your bulbs for black-lights for a frightening look at your front door.
For safety for your trick-or-treaters, be sure to have enough light at your front door and around any stairs or small steps that could be a tripping hazard.

Boo Balloons 

If you have a bit of extra time and are looking to get creative, check out these easy ghost balloons from the DIY Network. All you need is white balloons, a sharpie, gauze fabric or tissue paper, and some string to hang them! If you have kids, they will also enjoy getting in on the fun and making your house a home for these spooky specters.

Perfect Pumpkins

Pumpkins are a Halloween staple and an easy and quick decoration that you can dress up or down. While the stores may be running out of their selection, that's okay! Any size or shape will do. Of course, you can carve your pumpkin into a nice, glowing jack-o-lantern, but if you don't have time, just draw a face with a sharpie or paint. If nothing else, a plain pumpkin on your doorstep is a nice nod to the fall season, and you can keep it out through Thanksgiving!

All Eyes on You 

Looking to go for a more chilling look for your front porch? Check out these eerie eyeballs from HouseLogic. Grab a few ping pong balls, some colored markers, and Christmas lights. Draw eye-balls on your ping-pong balls of all different colors and shapes. Then, just create a hole and attach them over the lights. If you don't have a string of lights no problem, just put a few eerie eyeballs in with the candy bowl for a fun fright!

Spooky Sountrack 

An easy and quick way to add ambiance to your home is with a Halloween playlist. Check out this one from Spotify or this Halloween Party playlist on Pandora. Or create your own playlist with all your frightening favorites like the Adam's Family and the Monster Mash!
Play your sountrack with a boombox or speaker by your door. No sound system? No problem! Putting your phone in plastic cup (like a Solo Cup) is a cheap yet effective amplifier!

With just a quick run to the store, you can easily pick up everything you need to make your home Halloween ready! But don't forget the candy!

Happy Haunting!

Say Cheese - The Importance of Professional Photography

Published: 9/29/2019

We've all been there.

You're shopping on Amazon when something suddenly catches your eye. You click on the new item. Read the description, maybe check out a few reviews, and suddenly - it's in your cart and being shipped to your house.

But what was it that caught your eye?

The price? Probably unlikely. The catchy product name? Perhaps. Most likely? It was the image. And we bet that if there were several pictures of that item you clicked, you looked through each one before you made your purchase.

Images sell. They draw us to a product. They help us put a face with the name of a person we may hire. They grab our attention to look at one advertisement above all the others crowding our screens.

When it comes to real estate, this fact is no different. When listing a home, photos are simply a must. You may think the photos are something you can handle, but you may want to reconsider.

iPhone cameras are constantly improving, but when it comes to selling a home, a quick shot from your device just isn't going to cut it. To really sell your home, it's important to invest in professional photography.

According to PRNewswire, a study done by VHT Studios, one of the nation's largest real estate photography businesses, showed that listing that featured professional photography sold 32% faster than those that didn't.

Not only that, but listing with more photos sell faster too, and according to a 2013 study by Redfin, homes featuring professional photography sold for more money as well.

So how do you tell the difference between what's amateur and what's professional?

For starters, quality equipment is essential. Your iPhone may be convenient, but a DSLR camera provides images that are colorful, crisp, and high quality, and there are also a variety of options with different lens sizes and lighting. This equipment doesn't come cheap, however, and it takes years of experience to learn the ins and outs of all the camera's capabilities.

According to Redfin's national photography manager Drew Larrigan, the equipment doesn't make the photograph. "The number one thing people get wrong with listing photography is having the mindset that anyone can do it and deliver a beautiful photo," he said. "There is a lot of behind-the-scenes work you don't see, capturing layers of [...] images to create one beautiful shot."

These layers Larrigan refers to are added and compiled in the editing stages to capture all the shadows and highlights in the room and create beautiful window views from the listing.

If you're wondering how you can tell the difference, check out these side-by-side comparisons. In the professionally shot images, the whites are whiter, the rooms look larger and more inviting, and the focus points of the home are clear.

Once you decide to hire a professional, there are a few things you can do to prepare the space. Clearing clutter from surfaces, cleaning windows, replacing lights, and removing personal items can all help to make your home stand out in photographs. Check here for other suggestions to make your home's photoshoot run smoothly.

Overall, the decision to hire professional real estate photographers can only improve your listing's chances. And, the investment in photography will return itself when your home sells quicker and for more money than any other home on the block! So tell your home to say cheese, and get it sold!

Owner's Title Insurance - An Easy Decision

Published: 9/3/2019

Countless decisions go into purchasing a home: location, architectural style, neighborhood, moving date - the list goes on and on. One decision owners face when buying real estate is whether to purchase owner's title insurance.

While many choices in the home-buying process require much consideration, a decision about owner's title insurance should be one of the easiest. After all, if you buy insurance for your car, why wouldn't you insure what will most likely be the biggest investment you'll ever make?

Technically speaking, owner's title insurance is optional. But again, when trying to decide if you should protect the most important purchasae in your life, the option is pretty clear.

Most people think of insurance as payment to protect from a future event - like when you buy car insurance to protect you from an accident that may happen in the future.

Title insurance is different. It protects your from future losses based on past events before you acquired the property. This can include a claim of easement, an encroachment or boundary line dispute, or a lien or claim that originated with a prior owner.

Now you may be asking, "shouldn't those issues be found before I buy my home?" The easy answer is yes - because otherwise you wouldn't be signing at our closing table! A title search will produce the liens and any prior issues associated with a property as well as utility easements; however, it won't reveal a person's claim of easement to walk across the property.

In addition, because Georgia law provides no judicial oversight of any foreclosure action, the title exam may not reveal if the foreclosed-upon prior owner has an objection to the foreclosure and intends to assert it as some point in the future. 

Chicago Title Insurance Company puts it best, saying  "title insurance is issued after a careful examination of copies of the public records. But even the most thorough search cannot absolutely assure that no title hazards are present, despite the knowledge and experience of professional title examiners. In addition to matters shown by public records, other title problems may exist that cannot be disclosed in a search."

Buyers may also be hesitant to purchase insurance because they think the home they are buying is in a safe, well-designed neighborhood and the "title should be fine." But just because there is an established HOA in a settled neighborhood doesn't mean that issues can't come up in the future.

What if the contractor built the home on the wrong footprint, and now the driveway extends 6 feet onto the adjacent lot? The HOA could have approved the build without thinking too much of it, but now the owner of the adjacent lot wants to build on his property, which is where your driveway sits!

The great thing about an owner's title insurance policy is that there is a one time premium. The premium is paid at the time of closing, and then that's it for as long as you own the property. 

No, owner's title insurance is not required, but for the lender, it is. And their insurance only protects the lender, and offers nothing to the homeowner. The lender purchases title insurance for every single property, and if they feel that it is so important to protect that property, why wouldn't you?

An owner's title insurance policy is one you hope to never need - but when you do, it is invaluable. We at Perrie & Associates have great relations with several title insurance companies, and strongly suggest owner's purchase a policy to protect their greatest investment!

Back to School!

Published: 7/31/2019

Today marks a new month, and for many counties in the state, including Cobb and Cherokee, a new season - the school season! 

The first day of school is officially here, and for many students, it may be their first day in an entirely new school. As many in the real estate industry know, the summer is the best time to move for families, and it has certainly been a busy season. If you have moved with your family, then it's likely your children may be starting a new school. While that can be an exciting transition, it can also be a challenge for some students to leave their old school behind and start with a blank slate at a new school.

If you are preparing your children for that transition, we have a few tips to make the school year go off without a hitch and have your kids jumping off the bus with a big smile!

Encourage Participation 

A great way to quickly get accustomed with a new school is to participate in extra curricular activities. Many sports teams will probably begin practicing a few weeks before school, or will at least have meetings early on to get established. Encourage your child to try something new at their school and participate!
In high school this may be a bit easier with a variety of sports and activities to choose from, but elementary students can get involved too with neighborhood and community sports.

Talk it Up 

While it's important to make sure your child is ready with supplies, it's also necessary to talk to them about their new school and ask them how they are feeling.
You don't have to have a formal sit-down with them, but ask them what they are excited about, what they are nervous about, and any questions they may have about their new school. After school has started, ask them about their day and what they're learning. Continue to check in with them so you can monitor how they're fitting in. 

Merge the Old and New 

Starting at a new school can certainly be exciting, but it can also be a challenge to let go of an old school and friends. That's why it's important to merge the old with the new.
Encourage your child to make new friends, but also be sure to keep in touch with old friends from your last neighborhood or school. Whether that is a play date on the weekends or becoming pen pals, it will make your child feel that they haven't left everything behind and they will always have friends wherever they go.
If you had specific first-day traditions in your old home, keep them going at your new one, and if you want, make a new tradition. It can be as simple as eating pancakes or taking a picture, but having keeping old traditions will allow your child to have something familiar on their first day.

Get involved 

Your child is the star of the show when it comes to starting at a new school, but you can definitely be a great supporting actor!
Talk with your child's teacher and the school's PTA to see how you can get involved with the school. Attend a PTA meeting to learn about what's happening at the school, or, if you're teacher needs volunteers, go and help out by reading to your child's class or chaperoning a field trip. When your child sees that you are participating in their new environment as well, they will be encouraged to participate themselves, and will also feel more at ease knowing you are there.

Stay Positive 

Throughout the transition of attending a new school, it is most important to stay positive. Drop them off for their first day with a smile, a warm hug, and encouragement, and follow up with the same when they get home. If you approach the new community with a positive attitude, your kids will follow suit!

Post-Closing Practices

Published: 7/10/2019

We know this busy season of real estate can be hectic, but it's never bad idea to take a moment to look back at some basics. 

We recently went back over the closing process, but what happens after the papers are signed and the keys have been exchanged? 

The work doesn't stop there, so here's a synopsis of what happens post-closing, including what we handle after you've signed, and what you should do too! 

Our job

  • Disbursement - Many checks are often disbursed at the closing table, but any wires and checks not given out at closing will be distributed afterward. The closer will get the file back and review it to ensure all documents have been properly executed in compliance with the bank's requirements, and checks will be mailed out to the appropriate location and wires will be sent out by the closing attorney. 
  • Deeds and Recording - The warranty deed is signed at closing and shows that a clear title has passed from the seller to the buyer. A security deed is signed when a mortgage loan is taken out in Georgia, and shows the terms of the loan and places a lien on the property until the mortgage is paid. Both of these deeds must be recorded with the Clerk of Superior Court in the respective county where the property was sold to show the transfer of ownership.After closing, our post closer will review the deeds and check the legal descriptions for accuracy before sending them to the clerk's office with checks for recording fees. Once received, the clerk will stamp the original and record a copy of the documents in the public records/deed books. The stamped and recorded original is returned to our office. The buyer will receive a copy of the stamped warranty deed for their records, and a copy of the stamped security deed will be sent to the lender. 
  • Documentation - Part of the post-closing process is sending documents from closing to various parties involved in the closing. This can include homeowner's associations that need a copy of the warranty deed, to agents who need copies of the closing disclosure. We will ensure that all parties receive the necessary documents they need to record your closing. 

What you can do
  • Little Red Book - At closing, you will receive one of our famous red booklets, a staple of Perrie & Associates. This book is all of the documents you signed at closing, condensed down into 8.5 x 11. Keep this book! It is so important for you to keep your closing package in a safe place. It's great to have for your records in case anything may come up. If it does, you've got all your information and all the terms of your closing right there at your fingertips.
  • Check the mail - As we noted above, you will be receiving some documents or checks through the mail after closing. Don't forget to be on the lookout for this paperwork - and be sure to check your bank account if you will be receiving a wire.
  • Homestead Exemption - In the new year following your closing, it will be time to think about taxes. From January through April, home buyers who purchased a property in the last year can apply from a homestead tax exemption.
    A homestead exemption is a reduction on the homeowner's property taxes, and the amount of the deduction is determined from the assessed value of the home. To qualify, homeowners need to apply with their county tax office. Each county has a different deadline between January and April, so be sure to check with your tax office on when to apply. 
We pride ourselves in continuing to a source of support for everyone who has closed with us. We maintain secure, electronic copies of all documents related to every file we have closed to date. For any questions regarding post closing, please email postclosing@perrielaw.com, or ask for our post closing department. 

Market Check In

Published: 6/24/2019

We are halfway through 2019.

Yes, you read that sentence correctly. It's hard to believe, but this year is really already halfway over! With school getting out and summer starting, it's easy to forget how quickly time has flown by, but it is important to take a moment and check in with how you're doing so far this year.

So, we figured we would check in with the real estate market and see how things are going at the halfway point for 2019.

Mortgage Rates Raise Questions

After decreasing for months, the mortgage rate seemed to pause last week, leading some to believe that they may be leveling out.
According to The Washington Post, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rate was 3.82% last week. The 15-year fixed-rate average slipped to 3.26%, and the 5-year adjustable rate landed at 3.51%, down from 3.52% a week prior.
Rates have dropped throughout 2019, and according to Market Watch, have only reason 7 weeks this year. Currently, experts are torn on what will happen to the trend of mortgage rates.
Shashank Shekar, CEO of Arcus Lending, told the Washington Post he expects rates to continue to fall looking at inflation numbers and federal spending. Elizabeth Rose, a certified mortgage planning specialist at AmCap Home Loans, told the Post however that she expects rates to remain steady as trade talks continue and inflation numbers remain "tame."

Slow Sales 

Despite low mortgage rates, homes are selling slowly, and although there was a slight increase in home sales for May, the market is underperforming according to experts.
First American Chief Economist Mark Fleming told Housing Wire that we are in a "homebody era" and many homeowners feel "rate-locked into their homes."
"Looking ahead, more than half of all existing-homes are owned by baby boomers and the silent generation and they will eventually age out of homeownership," Fleming said. "But right now, housing supply remains tight - you can't but what's not (for) sale - and market potential is lower because of it."
According to the Wall Street Journal, existing home sales have fallen for 15 straight months; however, there is hope on the horizon according the NAR, as May ended with 1.92 million homes available, up from last year.
While some homeowners are starting to realize the selling potential, as one Realtor told the Journal, it's not the push that everyone was expecting or wanting this summer season.

Home Value Increase Slows 

While home values are up from where they were this time last year, it seems the increase is starting to slow down.
According to Yahoo Finance, 33 of the 35 top U.S. Markets slowed in May, with the exceptions of Indianapolis and Cincinnati. The average U.S. home value fell in May, which is the second monthly decline after 85 months of back-to-back increases. The average U.S. home value sat at $226,800 in May.
Although two months of decline after an 85 month growth period may seem alarming, Yahoo Finance says the decline is showing that home values are "flattening." Some experts say the slowdown is welcome, and returns a sense of "normalcy" to home values after an aggressive season for buyers. Regardless of feelings, market trends point to this "flattening" of home values to remain.

Realtor Opinion 

In May of this year, the National Association of Realtors released the Realtors Confidence Index, a report based on a monthly survey sent to over 50,000 real estate professionals.
The survey reported that properties were on the market for an average of 26 days, and first-time buyers accounted for 32% of sales. Of those who were surveyed, 82% said they saw home prices remain constant or increase during the month of May, and cash sales accounted for 19% of deals.
With regard to the top issues in the market, Realtors surveyed said low inventory and interest rates were the biggest factors affecting the market.
To see more from the survey, check out the report here.

Home-Inspired Gifts for Dad's Day

Published: 6/11/2019

Father's Day is almost here, and it's time to celebrate all the spectacular dad's who have filled our lives with love and great dad jokes.

Not sure what to get your pop's on his special day? Consider a few of these home-inspired recommendations to spruce up his man cave or make him feel even more relaxed in his big easy chair.

Tile Key Locator 

Is your dad always asking you where his keys, wallet, and phone are? Save his day with the Tile Mate! These handy devices can easily be attached to keys, cameras, wallets, or any other important item. They connect with your phone's GPS to locate the items whenever they've been misplaced. With the tap of a button, a friendly song will start playing to help you find your items. And if your dad has his keys but not his phone, they can help him find his device too! 

Amazon Echo Dot 

Is your dad in love with the Smart home idea? Or does he just love shouting down the hall to ask you to get something? This Father's Day, let Alexa do the leg work. All he has to do is say "Alexa, play Bruce Springsteen," and he's set to go! Pair this with a few smart plugs or lights and he'll never have to get up to hit the lights ever again.

Picture 1 of 8

Hopsy SUB Beer Tap 

For the beer-loving dad in your life, look no further than this at home tap system. Using it is easy - just plug and pour. All he needs is one power outlet, and your dad will be free to enjoy any of his favorite beers on tap. The company can ship the mini-kegs right to your door and offers beers from craft breweries as well as seasonal packs.

Waterpik Water Flosser Electric Dental Countertop Oral Irrigator For Teeth – Aquarius Professional, WP-662 BlackWaterPik Water Flosser 

For the father who is a neat freak, or is just passionate about dental hygiene, the WaterPik Water Flosser is the perfect gift. Combining fun tech gadgets and health, this water flosser has 10 pressure settings and timers to make sure dad is flossing for gum perfection. He'll thank you when he gets raving reviews at the dentist office!

Petcube Bites 

Have the dog and cat replaced you as the children of the house for your dad? Petcube Bites will allow him to check in on his new fur babies as much as he checked in on you as a teenager. This pet camera not only allows you to monitor your pets actions while you're out of the house, but you can also talk to them through the two way microphone and fling treats to always maintain their love and affection. With this device, dad can also take pictures or videos of the pets while he's away and show them off to all his friends.

Darth Vader Waffle Maker 

For the dad who's always got jokes, the Darth Vader Waffle Maker will have him saying, "Syrup, I AM your father."

DadBod Gift Set
Dollar Shave Club 

Most dad's don't always take the time to pay attention to their own grooming routine, so give your dad's a step up with the Dollar Shave Club package. Including shave butter, razors, post-shave gel, and more, this set will have dad feeling fancier than James Bond. You can also customize the packages to include oral care and other grooming products to help your pops glam up his routine and have him feeling fresh.

Best Dad Mug 

Is your dad Avenger's obsessed? If so, this mug is perfect (but only if he's seen Endgame). Besides, are you even a dad if you don't have a Dad Mug?

Whatever you get your father on father's day, wish him a happy one from Perrie & Associates!

Summer in the City - Atlanta Attraction for this Season

Published: 5/30/2019

Memorial Day is the un-official start of summer, and even if it isn't technically the summer season - this heat certainly is!

If you're looking you're looking to get outside, or just find something for the kids to do this season, we've got you covered. Here are some great Atlanta attractions we recommend visiting!

Adventurous Attractions  
If you're looking to get your adrenaline pumping this summer, there's plenty to do in metro Atlanta.
Six Flags Whitewater is a great way to cool off and have fun in the summer heat. Check out over 15 water slides, a giant wave pool, or just lounge around on the lazy river. The park is located conveniently in Marietta and will be open daily from 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. 
For even bigger thrills and spills, visit Six Flags Over Georgia. You can soar like a superhero with the Batman and Superman roller coasters, or experience the new Cyclone ride that's now a hybrid coaster of wood and steel.
In case of rain, there is plenty of indoor fun to be had at Andretti's Indoor Karting and Games, located in both Roswell and Marietta. With some of the state's fastest indoor carts, a 4,000 square foot laser tag arena, and 12 lanes of custom bowling, not to mention an entire arcade full of games, there is plenty to keep the kids (and parents) entertained on a rainy day while introducing a bit of friendly competition.

Learning doesn't have to stop over the summer months!
Local history is on full display at the Atlanta History Center. With more than 30 acres of exhibits, gardens, and historic homes, the center boasts a large collection of Atlanta history, including uniforms and memorabilia from the 1996 Olympics. Plus, you can tour the historic Swan Home, which was featured in the Hunger Games: Catching Fire film.
To view history with a wider lens, check out Fernbank Museum of Natural History. Walk with the Giants of the Mesozoic to see Argentinosaurus, the largest known dinosaur to walk the Earth, then take a stroll through the trees with a new outdoor, interactive exhibit. A giant theater screens several films daily, and for an adult science night, Fernbank After Dark offers special cocktails and tapas for an after-hours evening of live music and science.
If you're more of a sports fan than a history buff, the College Football Hall of Fame is the place for you. The hall features several interactive exhibits with video and memorabilia from the best in college football, a Game Day theater, and an indoor playing field where you can run through an obstacle course, test your best quarter back arm, and kick field goals to truly get in the game.
For more historic museums and sites, check out this list of other locations in the area.

Outdoor fun 
There's plenty to do outdoors to have some fun - despite the heat!
The Silver Comet Trail, running through 13 miles in Cobb County, is the perfect way to get outdoors for a long walk or bike ride. Along the trail are several pocket parks as well as beautiful scenery, and there are four trail heads with ample parking.
Similarly, the Atlanta Beltline offers 22 miles of trail that surround the city's in-town neighborhoods. Enjoy the public art located along the route and stop at some of Atlanta's best restaurants right along the path. There's even a skate park in the historic fourth ward!
To get a little higher this summer, hike up Kennesaw Mountain to get a bird's eye view of Cobb County. While you're there, explore the museum about the Atlanta Campaign and Battle of Kennesaw, and don't miss the live artillery and infantry demonstrations just outside the visitor's center.
If you're looking for a more casual way to enjoy the outdoors, Centennial Olympic Park has a number of great features including a splash pad that kids can play in that also has a synchronized show at various points in the day. Around the area there are other great attractions including SkyView Atlanta and the World of Coke to extend your day of fun.

Neighborhood Festivals 
Summer weather means summer festivals, and the metro area has more than you can choose from.
The Chattahoochee Nature Center will have a Butterfly Festival the first weekend in June where dozens of butterflies and other pollinators will be released. The festival will also include food trucks, a butterfly encounter exhibit, a butterfly school for kids, and a plant sale.
If you're a culinary connoisseur, and food festivals are more your style, the Atlanta Summer Beer Fest will be held June 15 in Historic Fourth Ward Park and will feature more than 200 beers from local and national breweries.
For a cool hang, the 9th annual Atlanta Ice Cream Festival will take place in Piedmont Park on June 27. Vendors will offer ice cream, gelato, and other cool desserts, as well as fun games and activities for the kids including live demonstrations, an ice cream eating contest, and a Fight Cancer walk.
You can find more summer soirees in Atlanta here

Cheer on the Braves 
SunTrust Park and the Battery Atlanta are in their third season of hosting the Braves, and it's the perfect spot to celebrate America's greatest pastime this summer.
There are a number of new restaurants in the Battery Atlanta, as well as new shops to explore, and even an escape game!
In the stadium, take a tour through the Monuments Garden to see the evolution of the Braves and the Hank Aaron statue, or watch the game from one of three levels of the ChopHouse. Hope & Will's Sandlot continues to be the spot to be for kids at the ballpark with a rock wall, zip line, and arcade games right next to the field.
A slew of artists are performing at the Coca-Cloa Roxy, and you never know who will appear on stage at the Battery after a game! 

The Probate Process - Managing the Family Estate

Published: 5/16/2019

Dealing with the loss of a loved one is never easy. It's a difficult time in anyone's life, and when you add the process of managing their estate - it can feel like an impossible task.

However, the probate process does not have to cause more stress in an already emotional time. Perrie & Associates is a full service law firm that can help families with the process, and we've broken it down in just a few simple steps.

First of all, what does probate mean? 
Probate is the term for the legal process through which assets are distributed. It essentially means that a Judge gives legal permission for a person's estate to be passed along. 

Once the necessary information is gathered to prepare a Petition and the Petition is prepared and  filed, the process takes from 60 to 120 days, depending on how complex the situation is and how many Petitions are already in the Clerk’s office awaiting processing.

The Probate Process 

  1. Petition for Probate is Filed. Upon a person's death, a petition to probate is filed in the probate court in the county where the person lived. This petition is filed to either appoint the executor of the Will if one is present, or to appoint an Administrator of the estate if there is no Will. An Executor, sometimes called a personal representative, has the legal ability to gather and value all assets of the estate, pay bills and taxes, sell property, and distribute the assets of the estate to beneficiaries. An Executor is typically named or appointed by the maker of the Will, and listed directly in the Will itself.  If there is no Will, an interested party will file a Petition to be appointed Administrator, and will be approved and appointed by the Court. All heirs and beneficiaries will be notified that a petition has been made, either by the Petitioner or by the Court.

  2. Publication for Service/Notice. When a petition is filed with the court, notice of the petition will also be published in the newspaper where the deceased person lived or where real property was held. This is to make certain any and all heirs at law are notified to allow them to respond to the Petition to Probate as to their involvement and make a claim within a certain number of days (this number of days varies by state). This publication must run for four (4) consecutive weeks in the “Legal Organ” – that is the official newspaper for the county in which the probate is filed.

  3. The Oath of office must then be taken at the Clerk’s Office by the Executor, Administrator or Personal Representative, after which the Court will issue Letters Testamentary (where Wills are involved) or Letters of Administration in instances where there was no Will.
  4. Notify Creditors and Take Inventory. Once an Executor or Administrator has been appointed by the court and Letters Testamentary or of Administration have been issued, written notice to Debtors and Creditors is published. Debtors (people owing the estate money) and creditors (those owed money by the estate) will then have a specified time - again determined by state law - to make a claim against the estate. An inventory of the estate's value including property, bonds, business interests, and other assets is also prepared at this time by the Executor, Administrator or Personal Representative.

  5. Typically, Estate Tax ID Number is obtained from the IRS and an Estate Checking Account is set up at this time; however that varies depending on the situation and circumstances.
  6. Estate Expenses are Paid. These may include the final expenses of the decedent’s last illness, nursing home or hospice care, and disposition of remains (funeral or memorial services) as well as any claims from creditors that have been determined to legitimate. The executor will pay the taxes and other debts from the estate. In some cases, assets of the estate can be sold to pay for these expenses, and funeral expenses are also typically paid for using money from the estate.

  7. The Estate is Closed and Ownership is Transferred. After bills have been paid and the required time for collectors has passed, the executor of the estate will distribute the remaining assets of the estate as they are laid out in the will. If there is no will, distribution of these assets will be made to the heirs at law determined by the laws of Georgia. Any trusts that were required in the will are created at this time, and the ownership of any property or other assets is legally transferred to the beneficiaries at this time. A petition to discharge will be filed with the probate court, and the court will rule the estate may be closed.

The probate process does not need to be stressful, and it does help to have an expert by your side to navigate the legal process. At Perrie & Associates, we offer full legal services to help you through the probate process and help you manage your loved one's estate. 

If you aren't dealing with the probate process now, think ahead and call us to draft a Will, Georgia Advance Directive for Healthcare (formerly called a Living Will) and Durable Power of Attorney to help your family in the future. Our associates are here to help you with everything from preparation of these basic documents to insure your family is taken care of should something happen to you, to helping you navigate the probate and estates process.  Let us make a difficult time easier for you and your family.

Back to Basics - The Real Estate Closing

Published: 4/14/2019

The busy season of real estate is just right around the corner, so before it becomes hectic, let's get back to basics!

Presenting: The Real Estate Closing.

First, of all - what is a closing? Why do I have to have one? 

After all the searching, all the open houses, all the comparing and price negotiating and inspections - you have finally purchased or sold a home. 

While you have certainly gotten through the hardest part of the process, there is still one more step to take for Georgia residents: the closing. 

A real estate closing is the process of transferring the title of the home from the current owner to the new owner. Each state has different requirements for the transaction, and in the state of Georgia, an attorney is required to oversee the closing.

Okay, so what all happens? What do I have to do? 

The closing process can seem complicated, but it doesn't have to be! We've broken down the closing into 7 simple steps. 
  1. Give Us a Call - 
    To start the closing process, the buyer or seller's agent will send the contract that contains both parties' information as well as the property address and other information needed for closing to Perrie & Associates. The contract will be assigned to one of our five offices, and a closing coordinator will begin gathering information and contacting all parties involved to prepare the transaction to close. We also handle For Sale By Owner contracts where no agents are involved, and all new contracts can be sent to titleorders@perrielaw.com or faxed to 404-214-6686 or 404-214-6674.

  2. Building the Background-
    After receiving the contract, the pre-closer will order a title report. The title report is a document from the county that shows any liens on the property and is generated by the title examiner. The report is compiled from public records typically recorded in the local county record books. Documents contained in the report include unpaid tax bills, city and county tax bills, security deeds, neighborhood covenants, HOA documents, civil law suits or any other documents that can indicate a cloud or blemish on title that must be cleared up prior to closing. When an issue arises, it is referred to as a "cloud on title" and the property cannot be transferred to a new owner until those issues are resolved. The clouds on title are reported to us, and the pre-closer will address and clear those issues before continuing with the closing process.

  3. Information, Please - 
    Once the title is cleared, the closing coordinator will work with both parties to collect information such as social security numbers for the buyer and the seller, their current and future addresses, the amount of the buyer’s homeowner’s insurance, current property taxes, homeowner's association information and any other information required. The pre-closer will also work with the lender to prepare the settlement statement and other documents needed for closing.
    Next the file moves to the closer's desk, and the closer will also work with the lender to prepare the closing disclosure statement or the settlement statement, along with other documents needed for closing. The pre-closer will work with the lender to provide the commitment to issue title insurance and ensure proper fees and taxes are added into the lender's system in preparation for the upcoming closing.

  4. Save the Date - 
    When the buyer's lender reports that the loan has been approved, the closing can be scheduled. The lender and our office make every effort to work toward the closing date stipulate in the contract, but the buyer's lender has ultimate authority over when the loan is cleared to close. This process typically takes 30 days, so it is important that the purchase contract for a home be sent to the lender and closing attorney immediately after it is completed.

  5. Autograph, please - 
    This is it, you're finally here! Once you arrive for your closing, you will meet with one of our attorneys who will guide you through the closing package and documents that need to be signed. If you're the seller - you've got it easy. You may only have 8 to 10 documents to sign! For the buyer - get those autographs ready! 
    Some of the most important documents signed at closing are the warranty deed, which transfers the title from the previous owner to the new owner, security deed, which creates the lien on the property by the mortgage company and outlines the terms of the obligation, and the closing disclosure (or HUD for a cash sale). The CD or HUD will be given to both the buyer and seller and outlines the fees for both parties and how much each party will receive or owe after closing.

  6. Money, Money, Money - 
    After it's been signed and sealed (we'll get to delivered next), the seller will receive a check or wire for the proceeds of the sale, and then pass those keys across the table because the closing is finished! Now you have officially sold or purchased your home! 

  7. Record and Relax - 
    You've done the hard work and we've gotten your signature, so sit back and relax - we'll take care of the rest! Someone from our post-closing department will send the deeds to the county courthouse to be recorded, and once the warranty deed is returned, the stamped original will be returned to the buyer and the stamped security deed will be returned to the lender for their records.
The closing process should not be one to dread, but one to celebrate! It's a happy occasion for everyone involved, and Perrie & Associates is happy to help with this exciting process. We can't wait for to see everyone at the closing table as the busy season approaches! 

Self Spring Cleaning

Published: 3/26/2019

When you think of spring cleaning, your mind probably jumps to dusting, vacuuming, and getting rid of clutter. But why can't it mean spending some time on yourself?

Spring is a season for renewal and rejuvenation, and there's no reason it can't be a season of renewal for you! Use this time as an opportunity to check in with yourself, set new goals, and make new habits that will help you through spring and all the way through the summer months!

Need a bit of inspiration? We've got a few tips to get you started.

Clear Your Schedule 

While it's often hard to find a break in your busy schedule, try to set aside some time during this period to spend time on yourself. Whether it's an entire day, or just a few hours, schedule a break to relax and focus on what you want. Give yourself an opportunity to enjoy your hobbies - read a book, take a relaxing bath, work out, or binge that Netflix show that's been sitting in your watchlist.

Feeling stuck? Get outside! After all, it is spring time, and the weather and new blooms can be inspiring. Take a walk around your neighborhood, or just enjoy a drink on the back porch. Whatever you do, allow yourself to forget about work for a moment and just spend time rebuilding and rejuvenating yourself.

Spice Up Your Diet 

It's easy for your diet to get stuck in the same rut. You probably rotating through about 15 to 20 different recipes, and if you're always on the go, you may not even have much time to cook. Try to change that this season, and spice up your diet with some spring cuisine!

Just a few quick changes to your regular routine here and there can help you feel inspired and excited. There's plenty of options out there - check out some of these spring recipes form the Food Network.

Unplug and Unwind 

Spring blooms are hard to enjoy if you're constantly looking at your phone. This spring, make it a priority to unplug from technology. Of course it's not necessarily possible to unplug completely every day, but even if you switch your news feed with a book for a few minutes, that can make all the difference!

Think about setting a time limit on your phone that will shut off certain apps or limit the amount of time you spend on them. On some phones, including iPhones, this can be done from the "Screen Time" option in your settings. If your phone doesn't have that option, set a timer at a certain point in the day to put your phone down, and try to set your phone face down so you aren't distracted by notifications. Taking your eyes away from the blue light of your technology and toward the sunlight outside can be a great help to not only your physical health, but your mental and emotional health as well!

De-clutter and Cleanse 

So this one is a little more along the lines of traditional spring cleaning, but take time this season to get rid of things that you don't need. By simplifying your life, you can feel more relaxed and focus for the rest of the year. If you're not sure where to start, check out the KonMari method by Marie Kondo. (This is the one that all of your friends are talking about after watching "Tidying Up" on Netflix - and why their perfectly-folded shirt drawers keep popping up on your Instagram). The Japanese method focuses on organizing four parts of your life - clothes, books, papers and komono (miscellaneous). It also incorporates gratitude and reflection that helps you be more mindful and thoughtful as you move forward.

In addition to de-cluttering physical items, don't forget to declutter your phone! Unsubscribe to all those emails that you aren't reading and delete any apps that are distracting or in your way on your screen.

Set New Goals 

Finally, consider the spring time as a time to re-align or set new goals. If you made new year's resolutions, check in on those now and evaluate your progress. Are you making good strides to push yourself even further, or do you need to readjust your goals? Remember, this doesn't mean that you should have already met your objectives - it's only been 4 months! Be kind to yourself and just use this season as a time to check in and reevaluate and adjust.

If you didn't make resolutions, that's okay! Now that you've gotten started with the year, you may see more clearly where you are going and where you want to be. Take this time to put pen and paper to those ideas and set new goals. Just be intentional about your ambitions and make plans to make them happen!

As the weather warms up and new life starts to grow, take a cue from nature and allow a revival within yourself. If you're looking to spice up your life, find new inspiration, or set new goals - now is the time. For some more ideas on how you can spring clean your life, check out this list from A Kind Journey. Whatever you do, enjoy yourself and relish in this energizing new season!

Better Your Business Card

Published: 3/19/2019

3.5 x 2

In that small space, you're supposed to be able to convey everything. Who you are, what you do, and most importantly, why the person holding this piece of card stock should hang onto it and contact you in the future.

Business cards are a hallmark of the industry, and for many businesses, you've "made it" if you've got a company card. But in the technological world we still live in today, do business cards still have a chance?

That's up for debate, but according to Entrepreneur, the answer is still "yes" - at least for now.
Business cards provide a first impression for your business, and it's also a personal way to swap information, rather than just adding your name to someone's phone and getting lost in their contact list. Not only that, but it also shows that you are prepared. Whether at a networking event or a showing, being able to pull out a business card when a person asks for your info shows that you've put thought into your business and you care about what you do.

With that said, there are some business card basics that need to be followed in order for this old-school format to be successful.

Keep It Simple 

One of the cardinal rules of business cards is to keep it simple. You've got a small area of prime real estate, so don't fill it with information that is unnecessary. Here's what you absolutely MUST have.

  • Name/Company Name
  • Job Role 
  • At least one form of contact
Of course, these three things aren't ALL you're going to include on your card, but be choosy when you start adding additional information. If fitting your slogan in causes you to decrease your font size on your phone number or email, is it really that important?

Photo or No? 

One of the greatest debates in business card basics is whether to include a headshot. With such a small canvas, is it necessary to fill a good chunk of that space with your face? However, we all know that real estate is a business all about people, so isn't it important to connect a face with a name?

According to two agents on MarketLeader, the jury is still out on this one.

In a study conducted by attorney Eric Bryn, a photo didn't help with a consumer's engagement. In fact, it actually harms it. Of 1,000 business cards sent out to consumers without a headshot, there were 200 responses. Of the 1,000 sent with a headshot - there were none.

However, some agents still feel that it is an important element to include and can be incorporated properly and professionally. If you're worried about taking up space, don't forget - there's a back to the card as well.

Most importantly though, if you do decide to go with a headshot, be sure that it is a professional and recent photo.

Design and Quality 

Following right behind content is design.

According to Forbes, a business card should be designed like a website.  Colors and fonts should be simple, and there should be plenty of white space so you don't overwhelm your client. If you're able, take the branding from your website, and continue that branding onto your business card. Not only does this help by establishing you and your business, but it will also help you simplify your design.

In addition to design, consider quality. When printing business cards, high-quality card stock is a must. An expert with MarketWatch says most "cheap" business cards are printed on 100 lb. gloss cover that still feel professional and sturdy. To really step it up, consider upgrading or consider a somewhat textured card stock that will stand out to clients in a pile of cards.


It goes without saying that we use or phones and technology to do every bit of communicating, so include this information on your business card.

On your card, include information to your website, as well as your social media presence. If you're including your Twitter or Instagram, just include your account handle (the @myname portion, not the full link). But beware, if your last post on that Instagram was from 2016, then don't bother putting that handle on your business card.

With regard to your website, remember that any link you put on your business card isn't just a hyperlink that your clients can click and immediately see. This means that your link should be short and sweet, and shouldn't require clients to continuously go back and forth from their screen to your card in order to make sure those numbers and letters are all in the right order. You can also consider including a QR code on the back of your card either next to, or in place of, a headshot. Almost everyone's phones now can read a QR code through their camera, and it's a quick and easy way to get your client where they were going to head anyway - the internet.

Use Them Wisely 

Finally, and arguably most important - you have to use your business cards wisely. Although we depend on technology, that physical 3.5 x 2 piece of card stock can really leave an impression.

J. Maureen Henderson with Forbes said it's crucial to not lean on your business card as a crutch. Handing someone a card should never be your introduction. Rather, it should be a way to put a final punctuation mark on a great conversation. A business card should be a reminder of you and the connection you and your potential client made.

Additionally, as much as you hand out your own business cards - you should also be collecting them. Remember when you're out networking that you should also be gathering cards of those you had connections with and following up with them.

Regardless of the digital age, the "old-school" staple of business cards can be effective in helping you build your business. As Entrepreneur states, you never know when you could meet a potential client, so be sure to keep a quick and professional representation of your business at all times.

Homestead Exemptions - A Filing Guide

Published: 2/21/2019

It's that time of year when the forms start piling up and you keep trying to put off the inevitable - taxes. We know it's not always the most exciting, but it's time to gather your documents and get it done. But if you bought a home in 2018, don't forget about the homestead exemption! 

Not sure or can't remember how to file for the exemption? We've got you covered with these quick facts about the homestead tax exemption! 

What is it? 

A homestead exemption is a one-time, tax exemption on your property taxes that can be filed the January after you have purchased a new home. It lasts until the ownership of your home changes.

How much is exempt?

The exemption is a reduction of the amount of taxes charged, and so will vary for each county and property. 

What do I need? 

To file for a homestead exemption, you must be a legal resident of the county and must own and occupy the home as of January 1 in the year you are seeking the exemption. There is no income or age limit to file an exemption. 

How do I apply? 

The deadline to file for most counties is April 1. An application will need to be filled out and can be found on the county's website: 

Happy filing! 

The Big Game comes to the ATL

Published: 1/29/2019

Image result for football party

It's the week of Atlanta's biggest show since the Olympics, and now that the threat of snow and ice has passed, the city can get back to focusing on the important festivities for one of the world's biggest sporting events - the Super Bowl.

The L.A. Rams and the Patriots are lined up as the star players for Sunday night's game in Mercedes Benz stadium, and Georgians in and out of the perimeter are setting up to host the best Big Game parties. But the game isn't all that the city will be hosting this week. Some bowl game events have already started earlier this week, with media day starting on Monday, but there's still plenty planned that will keep Atlanta going all through the week. If you're wondering how you can join in on the festivities (or want to know so you can avoid the traffic), we're rounding up the week's events right here:


The Georgia World Congress Center will be home to the NFL's Super Bowl Experience until February 2. The football-themed park will be an immersive and interactive experience where fans can take pictures with the Vince Lombardi Trophy, collect autographs, and check out a collection of the 52 Super Bowl Rings. A football "training" course with a 3-cone drill and 40 yard dash will also be available for all members of the family. Tickets for the event range from $20 to $40 and can be purchased here.

A three-night concert event will begin on Thursday night with the EA Sports Bowl featuring Ludacris and  Migos at State Farm arena for the Bud Light Super Bowl Music Fest. Post Malone and Aerosmith will headline Friday night, and Saturday night will feature superstars Bruno Mars and Cardi B.  You can check out their website for more information and to buy tickets.


At Centennial Olympic Park, the Super Bowl LIVE series presented by Verizon is a six-day fan festival with outdoor concerts, fireworks, and other activities. The line-up of performers includes Waka Flocka, Goodie Mob, Craig Campbell, and several other Georgia-based bands. For the full line-up and hours of the events for the rest of the week, check out AJC's wrap-up here.

One of the most anticipated events coming to Atlanta, Shaq's Fun House, will start at 9 p.m. Friday night and continue partying until the early hours of 2 a.m. the next day. Presented by basketball star Shaquille O'Neal, the experience held at the Battery Atlanta will feature carnival rides, performers from Cirque Du Soleil, an open bar, Waffle House food truck, and A-list celebrities. As if that wasn't enough, Migos, Diplo, Lil Jon, T-Pain, and others will join Shaq for performances. According to the basketball giant, he says "my Fun House blends super star talent with a unique over the top interactive carnival experience ... Shaq's Fun House is a completely different over the top experience you will not want to miss!" But hurry though, tickets (starting at $250) are selling out fast - you can buy them here.


Sports Illustrated Saturday Night Lights event will be held at the Chick-Fil-A College Football Hall of Fame starting at 9 p.m. Saturday night. The concert and event will feature Lil Wayne and Snoop Dogg along with an all-inclusive bar. Tickets can be found at their website.

Maxim's Big Game Experience will feature Diplo, Future, and Jamie Foxx, as well as a special guest that will be announced at the show. Hosted at The Fairmont, the event will feature some of the best in food, drink, art, and fashion, but be prepared to pay - tickets start at $750.

For some cheaper Saturday fun, check out Three Piece Suit Football, a charity festival hosted every year in Historic Fourth Ward Park. The festival will feature men and women tackling each each other in, you guessed it, three-piece suits, but there will also be food trucks on hand, local Atlanta breweries, face painting for the kids, and a Frisbee dog halftime show. The event is free, and proceeds from food and drink sales benefit Pets for Vets and Battlefield to Ballfields. You can find more information here.


To start gameday off right, check out the Big Game Brunch at Atlantic Station from 11 to 3. The event is all-inclusive and will feature food from Atlanta restaurants as well as bottomless mimosas, bloody marys, beer, and wine. Tickets are $65 and will jump to $75 the day of the event, and they can be purchased here.

Guy Fieri will also be taking Atlanta by storm with his Player's Tailgate event starting at 1:30 on Super Bowl Sunday. The event, though featuring a hefty price tag of $750 per ticket, will feature open premium bars and all-you-eat dining from gourmet chefs and restaurants. Held at Pemberton Place, the tailgate will be host to more than 30 NFL players, and proceeds from the event will benefit Operation BBQ Relief. If you're wanting to dine in style on gameday, you can buy your tickets here.

After you've partied it up in the ATL, don't forget to watch the reason why it all happened - Super Bowl LIII will air on CBS with kickoff starting at 6:30.

From free to fancy, Atlanta has something to offer for everyone for the big game this weekend. For more listings of events, check out Eater Atlanta's helpful price filtered list here, or check out CBS's list of celeb parties here.

Whether you cheer for the Rams, the Patriots, or just want to laugh at some commercials, we hope you enjoy everything that the city has to offer as we host the Big Game!

Build Your Business - Business Resolutions for 2019

Published: 1/8/2019

2019 is here and it's time to start making changes. You may be planning to work out more, eat healthier, or pick up more books rather than your phone, but what are your goals for your business?

In addition to setting goals and making resolutions for yourself, it's important to look ahead to the new year for your business. If you're stuck on some business resolutions, we've got a few ideas here to help you get started making 2019 the most successful year yet!

Utilize Technology 

It goes without saying that technology and social media are constantly shaping the way we live and work. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter can change the game when it comes to your marketing. There are of course strategies on how to best use these platforms to your advantage, but the bottom line comes to using them. If you aren't posting, you aren't reaching your audience, who in turn isn't reaching your business.
According to Property Me, videos are the way to go for real estate, and you don't have to reinvent the wheel every time you hit the record button. Use your client's most frequently asked question or an old blog post and turn it into a quick two-three minute engaging video. Studies show that these videos can create 4 times more listing inquiries. For more ideas on how to use video and social media for your business, check out Property Me's list here.

Keep Learning 

Embrace change. It's going to happen no matter what, so you may as well be on the upside of it. To remain relevant and effective in the industry, you have to stay current on its news. Of course, make plans to attend conferences and trade shows, but also remember to interact with your peers and colleagues. Listen to what they are talking about and what questions they are asking. See if you can do your own research and answer their questions. Staying up to date will not only help you maintain business, but it will also show your dedication and passion to your industry - one of the best selling points there is.

Stay in Touch 

It's no secret the real estate is a referral industry, so let others do the work for you! Whether it's a quarterly newsletter or a handwritten birthday card, find what works best for you. USA Today recommends trying to stay in touch with clients at least two to three times a year. Also consider creating a special online group for your clients where your customers can come to ask questions about your industry. Even though someone may not be selling their home every year, they will also have neighbors and friends that will need assistance, and if you stay top of mind, you will stay at the top of their recommendation list.

Make Plans 

Setting goals is easy - sticking to them is harder. According to Forbes, 80% of people have ditched their new year's resolution by February. There are ways to combat this though! Forbes says some ways to make your resolutions stick is to make a plan and develop a time frame. If you're looking to improve your work-life balance, set time limits on your phone, or take one day, sit down with your calendar and make dates to take time for yourself. It's also important to set reasonable time limits for your goals. You can't expect to grow your social media ten-fold in just a months, so be realistic with your expectations so you can see how you've improved.


While it's great to make resolutions in the new year, it's better if you schedule time to reflect on and re-assess your goals. Make a plan each month or each quarter to look back at your resolutions and check in to see how you are progressing. If you notice that you start slipping, make plans to improve. If you're flying past your goals, set new ones so that you can continue to improve and grow throughout the year.

Whatever goals you make for your business in 2019, you're bound to be successful because you're already thinking ahead! Happy planning!