Keeping it Real Estate: Coffee with Dixon Raney

Atlanta-born agent, Dixon Raney, lets us in on his 7 year career in real estate. Currently residing in Inman Park, Dixon’s firsthand knowledge of Atlanta’s in-town neighborhoods combined with his understanding of today’s market makes him the obvious choice.

Before real estate, Dixon attended Auburn University where he earned a degree in Entrepreneurship and Small Business. After graduation he was on a mission to travel and experiencing new cultures. Starting in Louisiana and then onto Breckenridge and ending with 9 months in New Zealand. Once back in Atlanta, he felt it was time to put down some roots.

Uninspired by the job market, Dixon jumped at an opportunity to shadow his stepmom Becky Morris, one of Atlanta’s top agents. After a successful outing and coincidental connection with Becky’s clients, Dixon was hooked. Initially handling some administrative work and learning the innerworkings of the business, Dixon soon got his license and started working as a fulltime agent. Not long after he and Becky partnered up to form the Morris Raney Real Estate Team.

After stopping by a neighborhood coffee shop in Inman Park, Dixon took us on an exclusive tour of his newest listing!

 

What sets you apart from other agents? I always shoot my clients straight, even if it’s not in my immediate best interest. Many of my past clients still tease me today about the houses I talked them out of buying! I believe honesty and trust is critical for a good working relationship. Once our clients trust and understand that we’re 100% working in their best interest, they’re able to relax more, take the information at hand, and confidently work towards their goal.

What traits do you contribute to your success? Honestly never feeling successful and therefor always needing to improve, but I also attribute a lot to my amazing mentor Becky Morris! I was lucky to get the opportunity to work alongside Becky when I was just starting out. Seeing first-hand how a veteran went about the business was an invaluable experience, and has no doubt been my biggest asset over the last 7 years.

Craziest Real Estate Story? The first one that comes to mind is when my client’s car was stolen from the driveway of the house we were viewing! We were out scouting for new construction opportunities in a neighborhood of interest. It was broad daylight and there were people actively working on the exterior of this house. The builder invited inside for a look. We were in the house for no more than a minute, the front door was still cracked open, when we heard the screeching tires of his company car heading for open road. Gone in 60 seconds!

Do you have one sale in particular that was extra memorable? I am working on one right now that’s pretty exciting for a few reasons. It’s a stunning modern house in the heart of Old Fourth Ward and the design elements and finishes are really unique so it’s been a treat to market. Even better it’s only 2 minutes from my house, it’s always fun to work in your own backyard. Lastly, we are scheduled to close this Friday, and it will set the record for highest sales price in the neighborhood!!

What drew you to Atlanta?  I was born and raised in Dunwoody. After going to college at Auburn University I wanted to get out and travel. I proceeded to live in Louisiana, Colorado and finally New Zealand before returning to my home. I will always love to travel, but at the end of the day I like being near my family. I’m blessed to have a large family, most of whom live in Atlanta or nearby.

What neighborhood do you call home? Favorite neighborhood shops and restaurants? I’ve lived in Inman Park for the past 3 years, it also happens to be my favorite neighborhood so it’s worked out pretty well.  The walkability is incredible, aside from work, I can park my car on a Friday and not touch it until Monday morning. It’s got everything I want in a neighborhood: small town vibe, great walkability, infinite # of places to eat and drink, lots of old trees, trails and pocket parks.

Have you traveled anywhere fun recently? Do you have any fun travels on the horizon? My sister and I did an epic road trip through the American Southwest this summer. We spent 10 days hitting all the National Parks, hiking and camping along the way. The National Park system is one of our country’s greatest treasures and I can’t encourage people enough to go visit them. There is a special feeling you get when you’re out there that simply can’t be found at any other resort or manmade destination.  This planet is so big and beautiful and unfortunately, we are very disconnected from it as a culture. Get out there!

 

Favorite restaurant in Atlanta right now? It’s impossible to choose just one restaurant, but I did recently re-discover The Optimist and can’t wait to go back. I’m of the opinion the atmosphere is as important as the food. Honorable mentions for One Eared Stag, MF Sushi, Kimball House, and Sun in My Belly.  RIP to Miso Izikaya – my old favorite restaurant.

 

If you weren’t in Real Estate what would be your other dream job? Something creative. Since I was little, I’ve always wanted to start a restaurant, and design the whole space/vibe/food etc. I’d also love to start a drone/video production company which would also check another dream job box of mine, syncing music and movies.

 

What’s an average weekend for you look like? Hobbies? My two biggest hobbies right now are running and yoga. If I manage to fit one of those in over the weekend, I consider it a win. Big farmers market fan, I try not to miss a weekend when it’s tomato season! Usually have some work to do, and then fill the rest of my time hanging with friends.

 

 

If you’re interested in working with Dixon, visit his agent page here.

 

Keeping it Real Estate: At Home With Susan

Susan Cross never imagined she would end up in real estate until she started a successful catering business in Buckhead; this launched her into real estate in 2002. In the years since, she has maintained a successful career and stayed among Atlanta’s top agents.

Let’s start from the beginning; Susan grew up in Columbus, Georgia as the youngest of three, with two older brothers whom she adores. She went off to Spartanburg, SC to attend Converse College and transferred after two years to the University of Georgia. Her father owned a local insurance firm in Columbus which inspired her first job as an underwriter at a major insurance company and then marketing for another insurance firm for an additional 10 years. Here she traveled extensively and saw the world firsthand.

Susan has three sons, Mitchell 25, Gus 22, Preston 20. After her first child she began working at home and got the taste of being out of corporate America. She started a catering business making casseroles for friends which spiraled into catering real estate caravan lunches.  Linda Stone, Susan’s pretend big sister, was a lifelong realtor who really pushed and supported her transition into real estate. Susan has lived in Sandy Springs, Chastain Park, Wildwood, Argonne Forrest and now resides in Peachtree Hills.

Cross discusses her goals this year, what sets her apart and why she brokers with Beacham.

What are your goals this year?

“I think it varies from year to year. This year, my goal was to branch outside of my comfort zone and sell more homes. In 2019, I’ve sold houses in Acworth, Canton and Powder Springs. All of these were in areas that were new to me, and I really enjoyed learning more about what they had to offer. Metro Atlanta has so many great areas and neighborhoods, and I really look forward to becoming more familiar with each of them. So far, my transactions are up this year!”

What sets you apart?

“Being an individual agent and not part of a team gives me the flexibility and time to spend with my clients and help them figure out exactly what they want and need. In addition, I feel strongly about showing my own listings no matter the price point. This helps insure that the showing agent and clients get a good synopsis of the home and neighborhood. The seller gets feedback on the showing from me immediately and that relieves common concerns.”

Why Broker with Beacham?

“I previously worked for another firm and left just before it was purchased. Glennis herself is a unique top producer and someone I’ve always admired professionally; she stays calm and pays attention to the details of every transaction. From the beginning, Beacham & Company has been the model of luxury real estate that other Atlanta agencies now try to emulate. Because Beacham has the smartest and most self-motivated agents who are totally entrenched in the community, it has always felt like home.”

 

What advice would you give a new agent?

“Lots of books! But in addition to all of the training, follow the strategies that have been proven successful; make phone calls, write notes and find someone who you look up to and can mentor you.”

What is the craziest real estate story you can share?

“I was helping a couple who were relocating to the area, who said they both worked as grief counselors. Later in the day they inform me that they were actually psychic mediums! The husband ended up letting me know he knew I was adopted! Which is actually correct! It was a very creepy experience.”

If you could live in any place other than Atlanta, where would it be?

“Cashiers, NC! I grew up going to summer camp there at Camp Merrie-Wood. It’s a place of unique beauty with an abundance of waterfalls and hiking trails; truly a special place for me. I get off the exit and all my stress washes away. I have my real estate license in NC and I’m actually the broker of our Beacham and Company REALTORS® office for North Carolina. I hope one day I can have a little place there!”

 

Of all the neighborhoods you’ve live in Atlanta, which has been your favorite?

“Argonne Forest. The location is just unbeatable with close proximity to Shops of Buckhead, West Paces Ferry Shopping and top public/private schools. All of the neighborhood kids play outside because it’s not a cut through. The community itself is also very diverse with people of all ages.”

If someone is traveling to Columbus, GA, what would you say is the #1 thing to do?

“Eat a Scrambled Dog at Dinglewood Pharmacy !”

Favorite design trend?

“I’m fascinated that red brick and brown furniture are out of style.  I love seeing all of the creative ways homeowners change it in their homes. I also love lacquered walls and the fact wall paper is coming back in!”

 

 

 

Currently, what is your favorite Atlanta restaurant?

“Right now I would say Le Colonial! When I’m there it feels like I’m in a Hemingway novel! Not to mention, there is an awesome bar and the food is fantastic!”

Where did you get your cutie lab from?

“Atlanta Lab Rescue! When my last lab passed away a year ago, I went back there and adopted Charlie! They are amazing! Rescuing a dog is always a good idea, especially from such a well managed non-profit.”

 

If you’re interested in working with Susan, visit her agent page here!

What are Millennial Buyers Looking For?

Millennials are America’s largest group of home buyers who are changing the real estate market everywhere. According to reports, 37% of millennials (25 to 34) own homes; this is 8% lower than GenX and baby boomers at the same age. Why is this? Well, there are many possible causes, but let’s first start with where millennials prefer to live: cities. The cost of living in and even around cities has elevated to a far higher cost than past generations experienced. This is partly due to notorious regulation and market intervention that real-estate markets in big cities are known for, which decreases supply and increases the costs of renting and home-owning. See reports here

Millennials are also waiting much longer to get married and have children, therefore reducing their demand for a spacious home. Lastly, the student loan debt has increased substantially with college becoming more expensive than ever; almost half of the millennial buyers have debt. So, understandably, millennials aren’t buying many homes on the whole; prices are just too high, debt is too great, and cost-of-living is too demanding for many to be able to save up the money for a down payment feasibly. 

So what are they looking for?

The reasons for the millennial decrease in home-buying aside, for those millennials who are looking to buy, what exactly are they looking for? Communities with an emphasis on walkability are among their favorite places to reside. They are also looking to be close to public transportation, nightlife, and other amenities. Many are turning their noses up at the sprawling homes of their parents’ generation and instead seeking affordability and flexibility. Millennials are moving away from strip malls and highways and settling down in places with a mix of suburban and urban features, dubbed “surban”. Millennials seem to value an urban vibe to a greater extent than past generations, and devalue long commutes and periphery living.

 

Going Green

One way to attract millennial buyers is building and renovating homes to be energy efficient. Adding solar panels to the roof, energy-efficient lighting and skylights, and most other project concerning sustainability will increase the appeal to young buyers. Federal tax incentives are becoming more and more available for energy-efficient upgrades to existing homes, and financing for solar panels are currently available that will pay off in as little as seven years depending on the tax incentive programs of your state. These “go-green” initiatives appeal to millennial progressive mindset and adhere to their tastes. Millennials have shown that, as a generation, they care a lot about the environment, so an environmentally friendly space is a great way to make them feel good about the biggest purchase of their life.

 

Affordable Cities

Millennials love cities, this much is apparent. However, the living costs associated with city living have elevated to a frightening level in the modern-day. Why? It boils down to economics. Cities will always unavoidably have higher prices because of the increased demand to live there, and this, paired with market intervention such as rent-control and zoning regulations, is resulting in sky-high living prices. In extreme cases, the over-regulation and interference in housing and rental markets decrease or even stagnate the growth of new housing stock. Because of this, prices for the existing houses increase through supply and demand. Thus the best, and arguably the only way, is to get millennials in mass start to buy more homes going into the future is to decrease the cost of them. 

Millennials have become quite enthusiastic over what they call “affordable cities” for this reason. They are exactly what they sound like: affordable, modern cities that give the feel of urbanity while maintaining a low living cost to the citizens. More and more young adults are moving out to and settling down in the Midwest. This trend should not be at all surprising, as some simple math can show anyone that the average millennial needs 28 years for a San Francisco down payment, compared to less than three in Kansas City. The conglomeration of universities, cheap real estate, and fresh development is creating pockets of youth in Midwestern places like Kansas City and reviving entire parts of the cities’ economies as well as increasing their populations. Des Moines is another city millennials love. Their population grew by 1.76% last year; mainly through the addition of new citizens fleeing the high living-costs of “superstar cities” such as Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York.

 

Yards & Dog Parks

One of the top things that millennials consider when buying a home is their pets! Here are the facts: Realtor.com states that a whopping 73% of millennials currently own a pet, and 89% of the millennials who bought a home in 2018 owned a pet. On top of this, 79% of pet-owning homebuyers who closed on a property in 2018 said they would pass up an otherwise perfect home if it did not meet the needs of their pets. Wow! Numbers like these are nearly infallible; it seems that millennials unquestionably adore their pets, especially dogs. The needs of their furry friends are near the top of the list of things affecting their home-purchasing decisions.

With marriage rates falling and people waiting until unprecedented ages to have children and start families, dogs and other pets are increasingly the only families that young adults live alongside; and they’re treated as such! Pet-centered amenities such as dog-parks, big back yards, and running trails are often just as important in a home purchase to a millennial as any other amenities. If you’re selling your home, or perhaps you’re a landlord and you’ve noticed a lack of pet-friendly amenities associated with your property. Take action and consider installing a fence, modern pet door, or a dog grooming station; also consider advertising any local pet-friendly locations such as restaurants or pet-supply stores. So, in sum, to successfully attract young adults to your property, don’t forget to cater to the needs of their faithful companions, or you may find yourself unpleasantly surprised! 

 

Best Fall Getaway Destinations in Georgia

Who doesn’t love a quick weekend getaway in the fall?! When September hits we can’t help but get a little excited for the upcoming season. Georgia offers a multitude of destinations; from the North Georgia mountains down to Savannah’s Tybee Island.

Cloudland Canyon State Park 

Situated in northwest Georgia on the western edge of Lookout Mountain you’ll find Cloudland Canyon State Park. The park’s most popular trail, the Cloudland Canyon Waterfalls Trail, drops from the canyon’s towering walls to its floor and hikes to two stunning waterfalls, Cherokee Falls and Hemlock Falls. If you’re looking for a quaint bed and breakfast check out Chanticleer Inn! If you’re wanting to be super close to the park these Airbnb’s have spectacular views: Vantage Point, Cabin on the Hill, Cloudland Cottage.

 

Barnsley Gardens Resort 

Sitting on 3,000 acres in Georgia just north of Atlanta offering a luxurious relaxation lifestyle. Offering a multitude of activities like golf, clay shooting, kayaking, swimming, horseback riding and biking. The accommodations are adorable with southern cottage exteriors. Also, Rome, GA is a quick 20 min drive featuring a picturesque downtown area with family owned restaurants.

Blue Ridge, Georgia

Only 90 miles north of Atlanta you’ll find peace and quiet with spectacular views. You can rent a cabin with a hot tub and enjoy fall in luxury. Plenty of yummy restaurants, quirky mountain shops, waterfall hikes, horseback riding and of course local wine/beer. You can check out all of the annual festivals here. Whether you’re looking for lake views, mountain seclusion, or something right downtown, you’ll find it in Blue Ridge!

Fall for Autumn at The Ritz Carlton, Lake Oconee

The crisp fall air is always better at the lake. The vibrant foliage contrasting against the lake is a beautiful scene that shouldn’t be missed! The Ritz offers a sprawling resort style backyard, hammocks nestled among the Georgia pines and fireside seating areas where you can enjoy spiced cider and s’mores. Also, the spa cannot be missed!

Cháteau Elan Winery & Resort

Whether it’s a getaway or staycation, Chateau Elan has it all. Described as European luxury meets southern hospitality, this is the most awarded winery and resort on the East coast. There is superb dining, golf, spa, tennis and of course, wine. To check out everything else it has to offer, click here.

 

Autumn in the Classic City Athens, GA

Fall in Athens is something that cannot be explained, only experienced. When there’s a game “Between the Hedges” the city sparks a certain magic; especially in the fall. This southern city is marinated in diverse culture with quirky downtown stores, art galleries and a paramount music/bar scene. The food scene is unparalleled with internationally acclaimed chefs and up-coming talents. If you’re going on a home game weekend book ASAP or stay a little outside the city for more availability. For non-home-game weekend check out these accommodations: Hotel Indigo, Graduate, Normaltown Airbnb.

 

Festival Season in Savannah, GA

You might think why go South for fall, but we say why go anywhere else!? Summer humidity has left this city and the crisp fall mornings have arrived. Walking down the cobblestone streets under the beautifully shaded trees with a morning coffee in hand is unbeatable. Oyster season is in full swing and being on the coast means you have direct access to the freshest ones! Savannah Food and Wine Festival, Jewish Food Festival and the SCAD Savannah Film Festival. Tybee Island is now less crowded and you can enjoy the views in peace, fish and take the perfect Christmas card photo! Places to stay: The Bohemian Hotel, Ballastone Luxury Inn, The Inn on West Liberty, 1869 Historic Home.

 

 

Keeping it Real Estate: At Home with Wendy

We sat down with Wendy Petersen to discuss how she got into real estate, where she loves to travel and why she chose Beacham.

Originally from Hawaii, she went on to attend The University of San Francisco. Wendy happened upon Atlanta totally by chance when she tagged along with a friend who was in route to a wedding. Twenty-five years later, Wendy still calls Atlanta home.

Wendy’s passion for real estate goes hand in hand with her extensive knowledge of negotiation, construction and remodeling. She worked as an associate at Carter for 10 years, a full-service commercial real estate firm where she cultivated her skills. Right before she was going to retire, a broker called her up and convinced her to transition to one of Atlanta’s top residential real estate companies. Here she earned Senior Marketing Consultant and Accredited Relocation Specialist designations and she achieved life member status of the Atlanta Board of Realtors Million Dollar Club.

Step inside Wendy’s beautiful home with us and catch a glimpse of her trendy style and home décor.

 

 

What attracted you to Beacham?

“The professionalism here is unmatched. The marketing is second to none with the marketing staff going above and beyond for each listing. I’ve always looked up to Glennis because of the high sense of integrity she holds. I just always felt good about coming here, and I haven’t been let down!”

What sets you apart from other real estate agents?

“What I find works best for me is accepting only a certain amount of clients per year so I can give them my full, undivided attention. Because selling/buying a home is such an emotional process I want to be there for each of my clients.”

If you could own a house on one street in Atlanta, which would it be?

“While there are so many beautiful streets, if I had to choose only one it would be Cherokee.”

 

 

What is your favorite restaurant in Atlanta?

“Atlanta has so many good restaurants! My favorite food is sushi, so I would have to say UMI.”

What home design trend are you into right now?

“I’m really loving the seamless glass doors. I’ve seen a few in design magazines, but the trend hasn’t officially started here in Atlanta yet.”

If you could live any other place, where would it be and why?

“Honestly I think I’d stay in Atlanta. It’s central to everything in the world, with the help of Hartsfield Jackson. But if I had to choose, I would pick California. The laid back attitude is relaxing and it’s kind of like coming home because I remember all of my college days.”

 

 

 

 

 

What is your absolute favorite concert you’ve ever attended?

“My all time favorite I’d have to say was when I was a guest at the Grammys! It was such an experience because it was full on red carpet vibes. It was 10 concerts in 1!”

What have been your favorite places you’ve traveled to?

“Since I’m from Hawaii I really love going home, so that would be my #1. Italy and South of France are spectacular for eating and shopping. Vietnam was an unbelievable experience, I enjoy immersing myself in new cultures. I do want to dive deeper into SouthEast Asia and Bhutan is on my list!”

 

If you’re interested in working with Wendy, click here! 

 

 

 

 

On Trend: Wood Accents Are The New Neutral

Transition Between Materials

Wood is an extremely distinguished element when added to an interior space. Bringing comfort, warmth and natural beauty inside is why people love it so much. Wood can be incorporated into just about any style including modern, rustic and vintage. Stacking up birchwood logs into a decorative fireplace or even a working fireplace during the non winter months is a great way to warm up any space. Adding reclaimed beams to high ceilings can make the space feel more intimate. Wooden light fixtures have become a major trend because they easily incorporate into most spaces, are sustainable and offers an organic look.  The highly flexible material pairs beautifully with everything from marble to concrete, to metal and glass.

Kitchen Inspo

Photo Courtesy of Hunker Home

Photo Courtesy of Lulu and Georgia

 

Photo Courtesy of Grand Tradition Homes

 

Living Spaces

Photo Courtesy of cocokelly

Photo Courtesy of Amber Interior Design

Photo Courtesy of: Beacham and Company

Photo Courtesy of McGee and Co.

Bathrooms

Photo Courtesy of Adore Magazine

Photo Courtesy of Dwell

Photo Courtesy of pinimg

Photo Courtesy of Home of Pondo

Beacham Officially Welcomes Steve Meister

Born in Canada and raised in distinct regions of the United States, including Michigan, New York, Massachusetts and California, Steve Meister has happily called Atlanta home for the past 33 years. He and his wife Nancy live in a circa 1928 home in Garden Hills, where they raised two sons. The historical Buckhead neighborhood continues to be the centerpiece for the family’s activities and charitable and social involvement in Atlanta.

Steve graduated with a degree in industrial design from Michigan State University and cut his teeth in complex corporate environments for Xerox and General Electric before migrating to product design-consulting firms. From there, he earned partner at one of the oldest product design consultancies in the Southeast.  In this role, Steve served as the key liaison between clients and internal development teams and created and negotiated contracts. Providing custom solutions and excellent service to his clients naturally translated to Steve’s real estate career.

He is a past President and board member of the Georgia chapter of the Product Development & Management Association (PDMA) and currently serves on the board of TEDxAtlanta, where he has co-produced their annual event which draws more than 700 attendees. Steve has also served as guest lecturer and design juror at Georgia Institute of Technology, Auburn University, Michigan State University and Rochester Institute of Technology.

Steve joined Beacham and Company, REALTORS to combine his passions for design, architecture, and home construction with creating amazing home investment experiences.  Whether someone is purchasing their first or fifth home, relocating to Atlanta or downsizing, the process can be complex and overwhelming. Steve intuitively applies his business experience, negotiating skills and design expertise in order to identify unique real estate solutions, whether its investment property or a dream home. Steve is the consummate professional, readily solving problems, delivering superior service and exceeding his clients’ expectations.

Keeping it Real Estate: At Home With Jennie

Atlanta born resident, Jennie Wilson, dishes on her past, life at home and why she loves real estate.

6 years ago Jennie joined the SkogstadSodemann Team and began building her network of referrals, vendors and now clients. This year Jennie ventured out on her own and is utilizing her sharp instincts to further elevate her already impressive real estate track record. Jennie’s decision to move back to Atlanta after attending college in D.C. was an easy one after meeting her husband, Jarad, sophomore year. Jennie obtained a law degree while Jarad was busy getting his PhD from Emory University; and soon there was another Wilson, Colin who is now 6. Her second, Emma, is 17 months.

Currently living in Brookhaven, she loves home decorating, finding the best deals in HomeGoods and shopping at Nordstrom + Poppy’s! She’s currently redesigning her kitchen and we got a sneak peek of her backsplash options!

We’ve asked Jennie to share her insights on real estate – living in Atlanta – and why she chose Beacham.

 

 

What sets you apart from other real estate agents?

“I think the fact I work so closely with my clients. I’m very personable and always make myself available to clients during this stressful period of transition. I don’t just close deals, I become friends with most of my ‘clients’ by the end! Never forget, it’s a relationship business.”

What is one piece of advice you would give to a brand-new agent?

“My best advice is work as an assistant for an experienced agent, even if it’s only for a little while. Real estate is comprised of so many moving parts and working for someone who is experienced and successful is invaluable training. Not only do you get hands-on practice, but you also get a glimpse of what you are getting in to; as it can be a lot of crazy!”

Why broker with Beacham?

“I feel like Beacham really strives to take care of their agents. The marketing department is always ready to help and answer any questions I have. They can come up with a personalized marketing plan for anything/everything I need. Photography is HUGE here. So many agents I talk to in the field are astounded we don’t have to pay for it! Because I’m such a personable person I love the vibe in the office and company in general. Beacham just feels like home!”

If you could live on one street in Atlanta, which one would it be?

“I would live on King Road, the houses are gorgeous, the lots are big, close to Chastain Park and it’s very quiet.”

What is something people don’t know about you?

“I really love 80’s hair bands like Def Leppard and Poison!”

What is your favorite season in ATL and why?

“FALL! All of my friends will tell you I am fall crazy. I just love everything about it. Fall clothes are my absolute favorite – jeans, boots and blazers – my uniform. The weather is perfect, not too hot but not too cold. I’m not sweating getting my kids out of the car nor am I freezing running them to get in it. Of course there’s football. I‘d be lying if I said I am a well-read football fan, but growing up in the South it’s hard not to feel the magic of the season here.”

 

If you could have a second home anywhere else in the world, where would it be and why?

“Oh goodness – This is going to sound like a crazy answer, but Georgetown in Washington D.C. My parents are from D.C. and I went to college there as well as grew up visiting. Georgetown is one of my all-time favorite places. The streets are cobblestone. The houses are just gorgeous. They look like townhouses and brownstones you would find in London or New York. You can step out your door and walk to shops, restaurants, even the Potomac river. My first year in college when I didn’t have a car, I would take a 30-minute bus ride down Wisconsin Avenue by myself and walk around all afternoon instead of err studying..”

If you’re interested in working with Jennie, contact her here! 

Rockefeller Foundation Chooses Atlanta in Opportunity Zone Initiative

Last week Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms publicly announced a new federal zone initiative for the City of Atlanta. It is said the city will receive $920,000 in grants to establish and fund a Chief Zone Officer and the placement of two AmeriCorps members to facilitate community involvement. Atlanta is the second city to be chosen in The Rockefeller Foundation’s Opportunity Zone Community Capacity Building Initiative, which launched back in May 2019. This initiative’s main goal help U.S. cities to attract responsible private investment in economically-distressed communities. This will also ensure new investment delivers sustainable benefits for those living in those Opportunity Zones.

Six cities are set to receive these funds and support over the next two years. “Opportunity Zones are an exciting new tool for building economic development in underserved communities. These grants will help guide us as we implement the program to maximize the benefits of job creation and neighborhood improvement in the most vulnerable areas of our city,” said Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. “I am grateful to the Rockefeller Foundation for this commitment that will help advance equity in our city, as we continue to build One Atlanta, and provide a level playing field for all.”

How It Works

Governors across all 50 states and territories designate low-income census tracts as “Opportunity Zones”. Investors then have the chance to take profits from current holdings and reinvest them in “Opportunity Funds,” which finance commercial and industrial real estate, housing, infrastructure, and current or start-up businesses located in the Opportunity Zones. After several years in the Fund, some of the tax on investors’ initial profits (capital gains) will be forgiven. And, the longer investors leave their money in the Fund, the more capital gains tax will be waived. If held for a decade, the added profit made from the Opportunity Fund investment will not be taxed at all.

Opportunity Zones are a bi-partisan policy innovation that have garnered a lot of attention. The program differs markedly from past tax incentive programs designed to improve low-income communities. It is market-driven, does not require impact reporting, and focuses on equity investments as opposed to traditional programs which focus on debt. And—because there is no cap to the number of Opportunity Funds that can be created nor limit to the total dollars that can be invested, Opportunity Zones have the potential to become the largest community development program in our nation’s history. Still, there’s much uncertainty about how much investment will flow into Opportunity Zones, what those investments will look like, and how they will impact people’s lives.

About the Rockefeller Foundation

The Rockefeller Foundation advances new frontiers of science, data, policy, and innovation to solve global challenges related to health, food, power, and economic mobility. As a science-driven philanthropy focused on building collaborative relationships with partners and grantees, The Rockefeller Foundation seeks to inspire and foster large-scale human impact that promotes the well-being of humanity throughout the world by identifying and accelerating breakthrough solutions, ideas and conversations. For more information, sign up for our newsletter at rockefellerfoundation.org and follow us on Twitter @RockefellerFdn.

Ready to List? 7 Tips to Get Your Home Ready

Are you thinking about putting your house on the market? It can feel quite daunting, so we put together a list of steps you can take to get your home ready and increase your chances of receiving an offer quicker. From decluttering to staging, here are the most important things you can do.

DECLUTTER

This could potentially be the most important step when preparing to list your home. Decluttering your home makes the home appear larger, simple as that. Isn’t that what we all want? Even a large open floor plan can look crammed with too much furniture or décor stuffed into an area. Clutter-free space gives the impression the home has been meticulously maintained which will appeal to buyers. One additional reason for decluttering is it helps buyers imagine themselves living in the space. Presenting the home as a neutral space allows them to visualize what their life would be like living there.

 

PAINTING

If your interior walls have bold or vibrant colors, consider painting them over with a neutral color. Some people cannot look past paint colors. For example, if a room is painted deep red or dark blue, some people may have difficulty imagining what the room would look like with a neutral color. Neutral colors can also open up a small space! Any smudges or peeling paint might make buyers think you haven’t taken good care of the property.

 

LANDSCAPE REVAMP

Curb appeal is the buyers first impression. An attractive and well maintained yard can add value to your home in an instant. Touching up the pine straw spaces and mulch enhances the contrast of the surrounding trees and plants making everything pop. If your grass is looking glum add some seed and set up a sprinkler; sod is a more expensive alternative. Shaping up shrubs, changing out dingy container plants on the porch and adding a pop of color with perennials can all enhance the overall look as well. Plus it makes the listing photos look even more appealing online.

STAGE THE HOME

Most sellers have mixed feelings about staging their home. They believe their home is beautiful the way it is, but that is because it is their own personal home. The National Association of Realtors says 83% of buyers’ agents said that a staged home makes it easier for their clients to visualize the potential of a property, while more than half of sellers agents believed that staging a home reduced the amount of time it stays on market. If you’re home has been sitting on the market for a while, reach out to a staging company, it might make the difference!

 

UPDATE APPLIANCES & HARDWARE

New appliances can turn your kitchen from drab to fab real quick. Gas stoves are preferred so if you currently have electric top look into some other options. Stainless steel is perceived as more luxurious and can impact the look and price of your home. Swapping out sink handles, door knobs and even switch plates throughout the home will give it a simple refresh.

 

DEEP CLEAN

Hiring a professional cleaner before any potential buyers walk through your door is a great idea. They can truly make an already clean house sparkle. If you do it yourself it can be a lot of work, but if you’re on a budget then check out this detailed room-by-room cleaning checklist.

 

RECONSIDER CARPET

Tearing out carpet and replacing with hardwoods can definitely increase the value of your home. Buyers usually always prefer hardwoods and in the case of wanting carpet it is always more appealing for the potential buyer to be able to choose their own and cover up the hardwood with their own style. Hardwoods are now seen as an ‘upgrade’ and with area carpets sometimes it’s harder for buyers to see past them, just like bold paint colors.