Monthly Archives: October 2015

Making Henry our Home


Henry County is a beautiful, economically thriving, community oriented place that is centered around its residents. It is less than 40 miles south of Atlanta and the Hartsfield-Jackson Airport, giving it a good foundation of public transportation availability, nice restaurants, inside and outside shopping malls, and plenty of entertainment venues. The homes here are beautiful and the community is close-knit, having fall festivals, Christmas light events, running events, festivals, parades, concerts, holiday services etc. hosted at the Atlanta Motor Speedway just out of the historical small city of Hampton and on the McDonough Square throughout the year. Henry County even contains Lake Spivey; a beautifully scenic lake community. Being apart of the old Confederacy, Georgia including Henry county has many historical sites including Nash Farm, the The original 1830’s Courthouse, 1920’s Welcome Center, renovated Old Jail, and many historic houses and properties that reflect our part in the Civil War.

Having a diverse culture and collection of people from all generations, Henry County has the genuine ability to make anyone feel welcome at any time. The different gatherings and attractions make it easy to get involved in the community and allow so many different ways to help those in need. There are always food drives going on, turkey donations, Christmas shoe boxes, feeding the homeless, celebrating Veterans, etc. that drive the community together and create something for everyone to do and enjoy.

Why am I telling you this? Because I want you to experience all that Henry County has to offer! Come join us in Making Henry our Home! If you already live here, appreciate it more and get more involved, if you do not live here, research our beloved county, and come visit or even better move here!

Leave a comment

Filed under Make Henry County, Ga your Home

Declutter for Christmas!


Christmas!?! Yes that is right! We are a little less than two months away! Now is the time to begin “decluttering” for it because we all know how fast the holiday season flies by. By the time everyone gets out of school, flies in or out of town to see family, all the things we “think” we are going to get to in the house drift to the back of our minds. So the end of October is the perfect time to prioritize what needs to be done before the crazy season hits! We all know that for some of us it is easy to plan and for others it is easy to do. All I can do here is help you plan and prioritize what may need to be done in your home for the Holidays. So here are a few steps to declutter and be ready to celebrate a beautiful holiday season with your family!

  1. Switch out decor from Fall to Winter!
  2. Get rid of any unwanted items to make room for the new if you celebrate gift swapping or giving. This might be things of your own, getting rid of unused toys, downgrading on all of the decor, etc.
  3. Create hiding holes! If you have kids or celebrate holidays at your house create hiding places for gift receivers so they cannot find what you are giving them.
  4. Clean out a closet for coats or set out a coat holder, this winter in Henry County is going to be a cold one!
  5. Make things childproof if you have company. Do not put ornaments on the bottom of your Christmas tree. Make sure any decor is not glass, candles are out of reach, and nothing breakable is in reaching distance from little arms.
  6. Deep clean! You know what this consists of.

Writing things down in a checklist form makes us more prone to doing it. Create your own personalized list and put it somewhere you see it each day to motivate yourself.

If you are in the middle of making The Move during these next two or three months do not worry! We are going to feature a Moving for the Holidays segment that will give you tips on how to “survive” during a stressful time such as The Move yet still enjoy your house as you are packing up to settle in somewhere new.

Leave a comment

Filed under Organize it!

What Do I Need in a Home?

Tough Decisions Ahead Road Sign

The hardest decisions we have to make are those that require our minds alone, no feedback, no one else’s opinions. Purchasing a home for you and your family is included in a difficult decision. Everyone wonders what will happen if you make a wrong decision. How will it impact your future? Your family? All of the home buying decisions are very, very, important, but  adding more stress to them only makes the decision making harder. Thought, time, research, and planning are the key. This is one of the reasons why having an Real Estate Agent is so important. They are there as an outside perspective, to oversee, to encourage, to research, to be there if you have questions. Real Estate Agents are your home buying and selling confidant and conscience in this respect.

So just like in Tuesday’s blog about selling the home we are going to answer some of the same questions but in reverse order.

First, take a look back at my post called “Preparing for The Move” on August 24th, 2015. Those questions all need to be considered with great thought.

Second, think about your lifestyle. What stage of life are you in? Are you moving by yourself, with kids, hoping to have roommates, or are you a newlywed, newly retired? The differences in who you will be living with changes so much about the floor plan, the room type needs, the style of the home, the yard, etc.

Let’s start with the simple questions:

How many bedrooms and baths?

How many levels do you want your home to have?

How much closet space do you need?

Are you a cook or chef; professionally or do you just enjoy it?

What size laundry room do you need or want? On what floor would you prefer it?

Do you need office space, a “special room” such as a library, practice space for instruments, exercise room, etc.?

Do you need a shop or work space not attached to the house?

Do you want an enclosed garage or a car port? How many vehicles do you need space for?

How much property do you want? Do kids need room to play? Do you have pets that need room to run?

What is different about you that means you have different needs or wants that other people might not have?

Location is also a very large factor. Take a look at “Location, Location, Location” from September 8th, 2015 to get questions you need to think about in that area of buying a home.

Third, as you consider your wants and needs in a home, realize your Realtor will do their best in making sure you have the most off of your checklist, but sometimes, especially if you are geographically bound, not every need or want cane be met. So make sure you prioritize what is most important and stress those 3-5 things. Talk through all of them with your Realtor, with their research abilities and referrals, they can dig deeper to try and find your dream home.

Leave a comment

Filed under Buyers and 1st Time Buyers

Open House or For Sale Ready?

For Sale by Susan Carroll

For Sale by Susan Carroll with BHHS

This particular home was the property of Stanley and Kim, that was sold by Susan Carroll just a few months ago. They particularly viewed the declutter stage of their home as a nuisance and a very stressful process. While this may be the case, there are steps we can take to make the process easier and less stressful than this couple made it out to be. The biggest mistake that Stanley and Kim made is that they looked at their entire house in all of its chaos. That is what we want to do if we want to become stressed. To combat this stress, get out a wall calendar and begin planning what room will be tackled when. Create a plan and go day by day. The more little things you begin to do, the less big things you have left to do. Now is also a great time for you and your family to go through all of your belongings and decide what you are getting rid of and what is coming with you to your new home. This can allow you to slowly start packing as well.

Selling your home, whether you are having an open house or not, is a mind change. You are transitioning from having a home, to selling it, to buying a new one. So the first major transition is one of the mind and heart, transitioning them from your current home to being just a house. So, walk around your home as it currently is. Yes get up and walk around, reminisce all the memories that were made, all the laughter and tears that occurred there. We know your home has emotional and intrinsic value to you. Now your value has to shift to somewhere new. So from this day forward you need to say goodbye. If you sell this home like it is your own flesh the process will be so much harder to let it go. So this is no longer your home, this is the property you have up for sale. With this being said, the declutter process that is essential for open house and the selling process is going around and taking all personal items down and out. Whether that is family pictures, kid’s artwork on the fridge, memorabilia from graduations, weddings, anniversaries etc., anything that says anything about you, your personal beliefs, or political beliefs. This is because you need to allow potential buyers to be able to see themselves in the home as they are walking around, not you and your family in it.

Ask yourself: what stage of your life did you buy this house in? Have you outgrown it? What type of lifestyle does the house you are selling cater to? What kind of lifestyle does the neighborhood cater to? Identify who you are selling your house to and see what changes you need to make to update it to fit that generation or type of potential buyers.

The main thing about selling your house is transferring from “mine and ours” to “your and theirs.” The Buyers need room to “move in” mentally and emotionally before they do physically. Do not do as Stanley and Kim did and get overwhelmed. Set up a plan, get organized, and begin. The process goes a lot smoother if you have a checklist that you can see things getting done as you mark them off.

Leave a comment

Filed under Sellers, The Move

DIY Fall Wreath

diy fall wreath

Fall has arrived! If you haven’t already decorated for it, then you better hurry before all of your friends and family come over for Thanksgiving. We all know how fast the time flies by. There are so many creative home makers out there… and guess what?? Now you can be one of them!

The original article on this specific wreath was created by Kenarry Ideas for the Home-How to Make a Burlap Wreath with Accent Ribbon.

We all know that burlap is in style, but you can use any two of your favorite ribbons with any material for this fun decorative craft. This wreath is so easy to do, it takes no expertise in using any cloth or tools, so there is no reason to feel insecure in your creative capabilities, and a perfectionist can create it to be however they would like it to be. This is a fun, easy, and simple wreath that will be admired by all!

Leave a comment

Filed under DIY - or Do It Yourself for the Internet newbie

DIY- Do It Yourself


I am definitely not a crafty, creative person, but there are plenty of people who are that can teach us how to do things in and around our home that make us love it even more. While you are settling into your new home or having to make do in your current one for the time being, you need to make yourself fall in love with it and make it your own! What better way to do that than to get your hands dirty and use them to create things for your home, to bring pride and love into it? Again use our Pinterest page for new ideas and we will be featuring some of our favorites! Susan Carroll BHHS Georgia will have so many ideas for you, please try some and comment with your successes, failures, and insights on different DIY ideas! Just Pin it.

Leave a comment

Filed under The Move

Organize it!

Moving requires you to see every item that you own, this can bring back so many memories but also so much stress as well. The Move is the perfect time to weed out all unnecessary household items, to get rid of things and start fresh. You can do a number of things to get rid of these items by having a moving sale or donating everything to charities. There are many charities that will also come pick up anything from your home at your convenience. Here at The Move with Susan Carroll we want to give you as many tools as we can to help you simplify, declutter, or simply organize what you have. So many articles can help you organize whatever part of your home you need to organize so we want to guide you to our Pinterest page full of great ideas from people all over the world. Visit us on Susan Carroll BHHS Georgia, follow our boards, and repin our pins to save articles that will help you on your Moving Adventure!

Leave a comment

Filed under Organize it!

What is my Job in Helping my Realtor?

Guess what? Your job is the same as your Realtors.

Yes. I am telling you that you need to do your research too, even though you are paying your Realtor to do it, because at the end of the day the more you know about your home or about what you want in a home, the more you realtor knows about the same things.

So. YOU need the following as well as your Realtor:

  • Trust
  • Knowledge and Uniqueness
  • Clarity

Trustworthiness is a scary thing sometimes, especially when your potentially largest asset is on the line. But this is why you find a Realtor you can trust in. So you CAN trust them. Yes, you do your research, but do not overstep your bounds. Let them do the work and leave it in their hands once you know what you want in a home or in your area to sell your home.

Knowledge. Let me explain what I have said about you as a buyer or seller needing to do research and I will also tie that into the uniqueness category.

Buyers: Know what you want in a home! You do not need to know what paint colors you will want on the walls yet, but you need to know how many bedrooms, bathrooms, appliances, location, desired extra rooms, space, and desired local amenities you want for you and your family. If there are any unique features you have on your need list your realtor needs to know so they can research for that in your home or amenities. Your one unique need or desire can be the most difficult part for your Realtor to succeed in finding for you.

Sellers: Know what unique features your home has to offer in comparison to the homes in the local area. Know what your market area is selling for so you and your Realtor can decide on a reasonable price for your home. Know what unique and desirable amenities your community has for potential buyers moving to your area do not know about: any of these amenities could be a very large selling point to buyers and could be a very large marketing point for your Realtor to use.

Clarity has been scattered out throughout the last two points but I want to make sure that it is clear that you need to be clear. 🙂 Know your needs, wants, and timeline for selling or buying your home and express those to your Realtor.

Develop a relationship with your Realtor, one of trust, respect, and enjoyment. They are here to help you and long to make the selling and buying easier for you! Do not take advantage of them but appreciate them.

This blog post was co-authored by Christy Bonner.

Leave a comment

Filed under Buyers and 1st Time Buyers, Sellers, The Move

Interviewing Susan Carroll from the Move

Rainy-Morning-4f6b700317490_hiresOn this rainy Monday morning I understand how difficult it is to get started on the to-do list you have for the day, so let me help you prolong that productivity for about five more minutes by telling you about the interview I had with Susan.

Just to back up a bit though I will tell you about the glass pane that I am looking through for the perspective of the interview I conducted with Susan. I am Susan’s intern and am attending college, at which I am taking an entrepreneurship and small business class. I had to seek out and interview three entrepreneurs, for which I chose Susan! She is always such a delight to talk to, with such wisdom, clarity, stays focused and intentional in her conversations, and has such a great heart for others.  Conducting this interview with her truly made me appreciate her more as being her intern and warmed my heart for those that will choose her for their Move, whether buying or selling, because she truly longs to help and serve others.

So the interview, for simplicity and the sake of condensing an hour long interview I will number the questions I asked followed by her summed up responses. Here we go! Are you ready to get to know Susan Carroll a little bit better?

1. What were your first steps?

I wanted to understand more about Real Estate. I knew the experience I had in buying many houses but I did not truly know what working in Real Estate looked like. It was so different from anything I had ever done before and I had to start from scratch. My first steps were obtaining training and receiving my Real Estate License. This took me approximately six months to acquire the start-up knowledge I needed before receiving any clients. I learned really quickly that I needed an assistant to be able to accomplish all that I needed to do.

2. If you had it to do over, what would you do differently?

I would probably join a team because I could learn more constantly working beside others who know the business better. There are perks to me still working alone out of BHHS though.

3. What part does creativity play in your business?

The need for creativity is never ending. I constantly have to step back and look at the big picture.

I try to work 20% on the business and 80% in the business.

Working “on” the business is considered to be the time you are putting systems in place to maintain and run the business.

Working “in” the business is considered to be the time you spend working one on one with my clients.

4. What are your intangible rewards?

Intangible rewards include helping people because I have had a lot of experience in how difficult moving is and I want to build relationships to help others with the process. I know how difficult and frustrating it is to not understand the process of buying or selling a home and want to make sure others have a better experience than I did.

5. What is your best marketing technique? What portion of your time do you spend on advertising?

Every day, I try to reach out to at least five current and two future clients. I also try to have face-to-face meetings with two or three clients every week. I think I am my best marketing technique as I present myself to my potential clients.

6. What makes your business unique?

I believe that my level of service and care is unique. This is a priority because of my experience with moving. Having Berkshire Hathaway Home Services behind me creates a corporate level of opportunity behind my individual business as they provide my CRM, webpage, email, initial business cards, mass printing, public signs, and feed my business to many international marketing sites. They allow me to do so much more than standing completely alone in the business.

7. How do you use social media?

I do not use it very well yet, but I am getting better. I know that staying on people’s minds is the goal by being consistent with posts. Social media is a passive market procedure but it is essential to advertising my business.

8. Did you write a Business Plan? Do you wish you had?

I wrote a business plan initially but it was written before I had clients so I was still very new to the business and did not know everything that the business entailed. A Real Estate Business Plan is very different from other types of business plans. I need to update it with my new knowledge and experience.

9. Would you enter Real Estate all over again?

Yes. “Although I feel I am still new to the game, I like it.”

I hope you enjoyed reading the interview I had with Susan as much as I did conducting the interview! Come back and read our blog tomorrow at 2 for our weekly post!

Leave a comment

Filed under The Move

How Do I Find a Realtor that Best Suits my Needs?

In order to have the best experience when selling or buying a home, a Realtor is needed. A realtor can work so many wonders, help in so many ways, provide so much comfort, relieve so much stress. The only “problem” is finding the right one for you and your home, whether you are buying or selling it.

There are many things you need from your realtor including:

  • Trust
  • Knowledge
  • Uniqueness
  • Clarity

You are deciding to trust one person or team with your potentially largest asset financially and most prized possession- a roof over your family’s head. You need to be able to trust in every step of the way.

You need your Realtor to have knowledge whether you are buying or selling your home.

For Buyers: You need your Realtor to know exactly what you want in a home, in location, and in timing. They need to know the area you are wanting to purchase a home in, to know the current market values, the market trend for the area is, and any special circumstances affecting the area that could potentially increase or decrease the value of your future home.

For Sellers: You need your Realtor to know your home in order to be able to market it efficiently. They need to know the area your home is located to be able to sell it in a timely manner to a buyer. Marketing is key for your Realtor when selling a home, they need to know the in and outs of your local community to sell its key features, to know the current market values, what the market trend for the area is to correctly help you price your home, and any special circumstances affecting the area that increases or decreases the value of your home to potential buyers.

Uniqueness is such a essential characteristic of a good Realtor. If a realtor has a unique advertising front in their technique it can make the timing of you selling or buying a house be much quicker than if they are doing simple and average methods. If the Realtor is working as an individual Realtor under a large Home Services Business, the tools they are given can potentially help the selling or purchasing a home tremendously if the Realtor knows how to take advantage of them.

Last but not least in the list, Clarity. As a buyer and seller you need to fully know and comprehend the steps you and your Realtor need to take to buy your new home or sell your old home. If your Realtor is vague in the steps that need to be taken, then that is not a good sign, they need to be able to tell what you need to do when to prepare your home or to view your potentially new home. There are too many legal steps and paperwork that needs to be completed for your Realtor to not have a complete and clear concept of what needs to occur when. If you are already working with a Realtor and your mind is fuzzy on what is happening in this fast, whirlwind of events, ask to meet and discuss everything that has already happened and what your next steps are. I am sure they will be more than happy to clarify with you the productivity they have made on helping you buy or sell your home already and what they plan on accomplishing next.

What do you need to do for your Realtor? Come back and Read our next Tuesday’s Post! October 6, 2015.

This blog post was co-authored by Christy Bonner.

1 Comment

Filed under Buyers and 1st Time Buyers, Sellers, The Move