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How to Choose a Neighborhood

Cotton States has been building homes and neighborhoods since 1972 and continues that tradition today. We have a variety of neighborhoods, floor plans and areas to choose from. From much sought after East Cobb, to the rolling hills of Cherokee County, Cotton States has the community you’re looking for. Here are some good tips by Liz Gray with HGTV, to get you started.

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If houses are like spouses, a neighborhood is like the extended family. But while you can have a good marriage and still dread holidays with the in-laws, you’ll never love a house if you don’t like your neighborhood.
How can you choose the right community? Become a neighborhood detective. Figure out what you’re looking for, do research and find a neighborhood that fits your description. You don’t even have to wear a trench coat — but it probably wouldn’t hurt.
Step 1: Profile Your Perfect Neighborhood
Before you start scrutinizing neighborhoods, turn the magnifying glass back on yourself.
Think about what you’re really looking for in a new neighborhood. Remember, you’ll probably have to make compromises, so put the “must-haves” at the top and the “would- like-to-haves” at the bottom. Not sure what fits your lifestyle? Here’s a list of 12 types of neighborhoods to get you started.
Here are some things to consider:
Do you have children or are you planning to have children anytime soon? Parents know that the first thing to do when looking at a neighborhood is to research the school system. Even if you’re single, living in an area with a much sought-after school system raises your property value. If you have kids, you’ll also want to live close to parks and community centers.
What type of home do you want? Are you interested in a single-family home or an apartment, townhouse or co-op? Read more about the different types of homes.
How far are you willing to commute? Do you plan to drive, walk or take mass transit to work? Do you have a car or would you be willing to get one?
Do you want to be in a historic neighborhood or a new development? Historic neighborhoods have tons of character, but often require lots of repair work and are governed by community associations with strict standards. Newer developments have more modern features, but are typically far from the city center. Read more about the different types of architecture styles.
What is your current community lacking? If you’re currently landlocked, but have always wanted to live on the waterfront, put that at the top of your list. If you’re a coffee junkie, having a Starbucks down the street may be a dream come true.
Do you want to be able to go places on foot? Would you like to be within walking distance of shops, restaurants and bars? Or would you be willing to drive to nearby businesses?
Think about what you don’t want in a neighborhood, too. If you can’t stand late-night noise, you’ll probably want to steer clear of the college area or an area with a lively bar scene.
Step 2: Zero In on the Area
If you’re moving within the same city, you may already know the various neighborhoods. Choose the ones that best match your list of wants. If you’re moving to a new city, you’ll have to do more research. Start by picking a part of town to search in. For instance, if your job is on the west side of town, start there. In a really large city, narrow it down to a few-block radius, say, SoHo in New York City. This will make your search more focused.
Step 3: Get the Suspects
With your area of the city in mind, start digging up information. Find interesting neighborhoods online, ask local real estate agents for recommendations and compile all the background information you can, including:
School information: Look into the local public and private elementary, junior and high schools, as well as daycare programs.
Crime statistics: Most real estate sites have statistics that tell you how the zip code’s crime rates measure up to the national average. If you want specifics, call the local police station.
Parks and recreation: How far is it to the closest park or recreation center?
Neighborhood associations: Does the community you’re looking at have one, and, if so, are there lawn or construction restrictions? Is there a yearly fee?
Tourist attractions: Get a guidebook or check out the convention and tourism bureau’s Web site to see all the city has to offer.
Step 4: Find the Clues
Once you’ve done the background research, visit neighborhoods that made the preliminary grade in person. There’s no better way to paint a real picture of life in the neighborhood. Use your senses to get a complete picture of the prospective community.
Sights:
Remember your first impression. What do you notice first about the neighborhood? Do the streets have curb appeal? Are the houses well-maintained? Do the shops and restaurants look hip and inviting? You’ll want to feel good about where you call home, and impress buyers when you’re ready to move on.
Visualize yourself in the neighborhood. Think of your daily routine. If you can’t live without a morning latte, is there a coffee shop nearby? Where will you walk your dog or go jogging? You’ll enjoy the neighborhood more if it’s easy to do what you like.
Observe the neighborhood at different times of the day. Driving through will help you get a snapshot of life in the community — good and bad. Do the roads turn into a parking lot after school or during rush hour? Are people using grills or decks in the evening? Are neighbors and kids socializing or do people keep to themselves? Are the streets well-lit at night? These visual clues can help you decide if you’ll fit in.
Make sure the local schools make the grade. Even if you don’t have kids, pay a visit to the nearby schools. High ratings are great, but seeing the buildings is much more telling. It will be easier to sell your house later if the schools are nice.
Look for warning signs. Be on the lookout for signs that the neighborhood is in trouble. Do you see abandoned buildings or vandalism? Are there a lot of “For Sale” signs or rentals? If the community goes downhill, so does your house’s value.
Sounds:
Stop and listen. Bird and nature sounds are generally pleasant, but what about noise from the highway, airport, hospital, train tracks or nearby clubs and bars? It’s not very relaxing to listen to trains screech by during your morning coffee — especially not every morning.
Talk to your future neighbors. Ask how they like the area, and get the dirt on anything they don’t like about the place. What do they want to change? What’s their favorite place to hang out? If they’re rude to you, they probably wouldn’t be good neighbors anyway.
Talk to more people. You’ll get the best information from regular people who aren’t trying to make a sale. (Read: not your real estate agent.) Hit up your waiter for information when you’re checking out the local food, or ask a gas station attendant to spill what they know about your chosen neighborhood.
Smells:
Specifically, are there any? You can’t experience unpleasant smells on the Internet and they’re not advertised in tourism brochures, but they can certainly affect your decision to live in an area. Take a big whiff of the air, and ask around if you smell any fishy (or just bad) odors.
Taste:
No, I’m not asking you to lick your prospective home’s mailbox. But ask yourself if the neighborhood matches your taste in a living environment — and if it meets your criteria. Just because it’s a nice neighborhood doesn’t mean it’s the one for you. If the neighborhood meets your list but still feels wrong, search out another area. Trust your gut feeling — after all, you’re the one who has to live there.
Step 5: Close the Case
You’ve chosen your neighborhood. Now for the hard part: finding a house you love. Luckily, you’ve narrowed it down to a few streets. Now, make sure to:
Find out how much house you can afford. The amount of money a lender offers you is often more than you can truly afford to pay. Use FrontDoor’s handy mortgage calculator to add all your current debts and see how much you can afford. You don’t want to be stuck eating ramen noodles for the next 15 to 30 years.
Compare your loan options. Ask yourself these basic questions to find out what mortgage is right for you. Decide between fixed and adjustable rate mortgages by using an online tool to see which loan term is best for you.
Draw up your vision of home. It worked for your neighborhood — now think about what you want in a home. Write your own vision of home and stick to it while you’re house hunting.

By: Liz Gray, HGTV

Top 25 High Schools in Georgia

Looking for a home in a top School District?  Atlanta Journal Constitution has just published the Top 25 Public High Schools in Georgia.   Cotton States Properties is proud to have subdivisions in some of Georgia’s best High School districts!

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Here’s a look at the top 25 public high schools in Georgia, according to U.S. News & World Report.

Criteria used to determine the rankings included how the school fared in comparison to others in its state, the academic performance of the school’s black, Hispanic and low-income students, its graduation rate and how students performed in Advanced Placement or the International Baccalaureate program.

The following is the top 25 list for Georgia. U.S. News & World Report reviewed 28,561 U.S. public high schools; 99 Georgia schools made its rankings.

 

1.Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science and Technology

970 Mcelvaney Ln

Lawrenceville

Gwinnett County

#27 Nationally Ranked

2. Columbus High School

1700 Cherokee Ave

Columbus, GA 31906

Muscogee County

#80 Nationally Ranked

3. DeKalb School of the Arts

1192 Clarendon Ave

Avondale Estates, GA 30002

Dekalb County

#102 Nationally Ranked

4. Savannah Arts Academy

500 Washington Ave

Savannah, GA 31405

Chatham County

#104 Nationally Ranked

5. Davidson Magnet School

615 12Th St

Augusta, GA 30901

Richmond County

#188 Nationally Ranked

6. Alpharetta High School

3595 Webb Bridge Rd

Alpharetta, GA 30005

Fulton County

#248 Nationally Ranked

7. Milton High School

13025 Birmingham Hwy

Alpharetta, GA 30004

Fulton County

#255 Nationally Ranked

8. North Gwinnett High School

20 Level Creek Rd

Suwanee, GA 30024

Gwinnett County

#286 Nationally Ranked

9. Chattahoochee High School

5230 Taylor Rd

Alpharetta, GA 30022

Fulton County

#300 Nationally Ranked

10. Walton High School

1590 Bill Murdock Rd

Marietta, GA 30062

Cobb County

#313 Nationally Ranked

MORE: read about graduation rates, camps and more

11. Northview High School

10625 Parsons Rd

Duluth, GA 30097

Fulton County

#328 Nationally Ranked

12. Johns Creek High School

5575 State Bridge Rd

Johns Creek, GA 30022

Fulton County

#374 Nationally Ranked

13. Decatur High School

310 North Mcdonough St

Decatur, GA 30030

Decatur City

#403 Nationally Ranked

14. Lassiter High School

2601 Shallowford Rd

Marietta, GA 30066

Cobb County

#428 Nationally Ranked

15. Roswell High School

11595 King Rd

Roswell, GA 30075

Fulton County

#446 Nationally Ranked

16. South Forsyth High School

585 Peachtree Parkway

Cumming, GA 30041

Forsyth County

#513 Nationally Ranked

17. Cambridge High School

2845 Bethany Bnd

Milton, GA 30004

Fulton County

#549 Nationally Ranked

18. Brookwood High School

1255 Dogwood Rd

Snellville, GA 30078

Gwinnett County

#555 Nationally Ranked

19. Pope High School

3001 Hembree Rd Ne

Marietta, GA 30062

Cobb County

#610 Nationally Ranked

20. North Oconee High School

1081 Rocky Branch Rd

Bogart, GA 30622

Oconee County

#644 Nationally Ranked

21. Chamblee Charter High School

3688 Chamblee Dunwoody Rd

Chamblee, GA 30341

Dekalb County

#685 Nationally Ranked

22. Lambert High School

805 Nichols Rd

Suwanee, GA 30024

Forsyth County

#691 Nationally Ranked

23. Harrison High School

4500 Due West Rd Nw

Kennesaw, GA 30152

Cobb County

#693 Nationally Ranked

24. West Forsyth High School

4155 Drew Rd

Cumming, GA 30040

Forsyth County

#709 Nationally Ranked

25. Oconee County High School

2721 Hog Mountain Rd

Watkinsville, GA 30677

Oconee County

#787 Nationally Ranked

 

http://www.ajc.com/news/news/local-education/these-are-georgias-top-25-public-schools-according/nq8DL/

East Cobb consistently a great place to live!

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East Cobb, well known for its beautiful neighborhoods, top performing public schools, low crime, abundant activities for families, and some of the lowest taxes in Atlanta, has long been one of the most sought-after communities in metro Atlanta. An affluent north Atlanta suburb located in unincorporated Cobb County, east of the city of Marietta, East Cobb has 169,000 residents, making it one of the largest suburbs in Metro Atlanta. Offering easier access to downtown Atlanta and the Airport than the neighboring cities of Roswell and Alpharetta, East Cobb is bordered by:

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Cherokee County and Hwy 92 to the north
Willeo Creek and Roswell in Fulton County to the north and east
the Chattahoochee River and Sandy Springs in Fulton County to the southeast
I-575, and the Marietta city limits to the west, and
Interstate 285 and I-75 to the south.Johnson Ferry Road is the major transportation artery between East Cobb and Sandy Springs. Its intersection with Roswell Road (Hwy 120 — the main artery between East Cobb and Roswell or Marietta) is one of the busiest is what many consider the heart of

Merchants Walk — Whole Foods

East Cobb. This area is called Merchant’s Walk, named after the shopping center near this intersection. The shopping center originally developed in the 1970′s has recently undergone a major redevelopment and includes a very nice mix of new boutique shops, restaurants, and a new Whole Foods fresh food market and gourmet emporium. To the east of the intersection is a popular shopping center called The Avenue shopping which contains many upscale shops like Williams Sonoma, Ann Taylor, and restaurants designed in a pleasant park-like atmosphere, complete with
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The Avenue — East Cobb

outdoor speakers playing soft music as shopper stroll among the stores. To the west of the intersection is the Indian Hills subdivision, which is built around an 18 hole golf course and is one of the first major residential developments in Cobb County.

Cotton States Properties offers 3 new home communities in East Cobb.  Those communities are Wesley Manor, Princeton Manor and our Newest addition, Highland Ridge Estates. Call Mark Judge with All Atlanta Realty for more information regarding  these quality crafted East Cobb homes at 770-403-5059.

 

Kennesaw: Voted One of the Top 10 Places to Live by Movato

 

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This Cobb County city is well known for its unique festivals and community events, like the Big Shanty Festival, filled with arts and crafts booths and delicious food.
According to our analysis, Kennesaw may want to add a few more things to its list of bragging rights, like a crime rate 48 percent lower than the rest of the state, and a quality life ranking of 18th overall. What’s so great about the quality of life here? Kennesaw residents enjoy a variety of amenities and a median household income of $61,355, one of the higher incomes in the state.

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Cotton States Properties is proud to present their thoughtfully planned community of Sutter’s Pond in Kennesaw:

Sutter’s Pond is a beautiful 66 lot conservation community located in West Cobb on the former farm of MLB “Hall of Fame” pitcher, Bruce Sutter. The 59 acres of land was developed with the idea of “bring families closer to nature.” With large open green spaces, meandering creeks, a 7 acre lake and groves of large hardwood trees, Sutter’s Pond truly is a special place with slightly curved streets, rolling hills and serene natural surroundings around every turn. With quality craftsmanship and superior design, Cottons States Properties can build your new dream home in this stunning community!

Cotton States Properties is Proud to Present Princeton Manor!

 

 

Princeton ManorCotton States Properties is proud to present their newest community, Princeton Manor. This beautiful enclave of only eight home sites is priced from the low $500′s and affords a prime location with easy access to Historic Marietta, Woodstock, Roswell, Alpharetta and Kennesaw. If shopping is a passion, you are surrounded by some of the best malls in the Atlanta area. Near Woodstock is The Outlet Shoppes at Atlanta and Towne Lake Center plus Village Shoppes of E. Cherokee. In the Marietta area, you will find Town Center at Cobb plus there is easy access to I-75 and I-575. Call Mark Judge at 770-403-5059 or e-mail Mark at markjjudge@aol.com for more information.

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3 House Plan Trends for 2016

Cotton States Properties is constantly changing, evolving and keeping up on the latest home design trends to please every taste. From traditional styles, to more contemporary, Cotton States can build a home you’ll be proud to call your own for many years. As we proudly state, we’ve been “Building Traditions Since 1972!”  Visit one of our many new home communities in Cobb County and Cherokee County and discover how Cotton States Builders combines quality craftsmanship with superior design!

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Everything old is new again, that is what they say. It looks like 2016 will be no exception where house plans are concerned. Here are a few design elements that will be popular in 2016.

1) Large Walk-in Showers will continue to be very popular. People love the ease of walking into a large shower. They also like the fact that on average showering uses 20 to 30 fewer gallons of water compared to taking a bath. Also our population is aging and lets face it, climbing in and out of a tub is a hassle. Lets not forget the little ones in our homes, about 40% of homes in the U.S. have dogs. Getting a dog into a tub-shower is no fun, but with a nice big walk-in shower everyone is relaxed and comfortable.

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2) Open floor plans with the kitchen, dining and living areas melting into one space. Lets face it, todays active lifestyles do not fit well into a rigid structure of formal spaces in a home. People want to be connected, they do not want to be locked in the kitchen away from the action. Open floor plans combined with large windows and retreating glass walls bring the outside in and keep everyone connected.

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3) Living larger but with a smaller foot print. You do not need a huge house to feel like you have all the room you need. A well designed house plan will create the feeling of expansiveness without the expense of building a large home. There are many tricks to do this. The flow of the home, expansive windows, open floor plans, combined spaces all contribute to a much larger feel. When you bring the outdoors inside with the use of pocketing sliding glass doors you can make the home feel very large.

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http://saterdesign.com/3-house-plan-trends-2016/

 

 

 

Good News Alert – Enjoy Outdoor Living at Sutters Pond

Spring is in the air and nothing better than sitting outside and enjoying the outdoor living area of your new home Many people want a new home, but the communities leave them feeling cold.  One after another cookie cutter houses with no sense of community.  Nature has been taken over by concrete and parking areas but what if you could come home to Sutter’s Pond?

Sutter’s Pond is a special place with homes backing up to Greenspace offering a world of privacy,  streets designed with slight curves thru the rolling hills and the roads seem to fade away leaving only the natural surroundings and the perfect setting for an afternoon stroll, a pool and amenity area for when you feel like cooling off and enjoying relaxation time with the family.  

You can fish to your heart’s delight in our 7 acre lake or just have a picnic under the groves of hardwood trees.  Sutter’s Pond is a world of large open green spaces, meandering creeks, lakes and new homes that encourage you to sit on the front porch and be neighborly.

Currently there are eight new homes in various stages now under construction and 7 will be ready in 30 days!    If you are thinking and dreaming of a new home than Sutter’s Pond has a beautiful new home just for you!  If you are looking for a home in a cul-de-sac, you may be interested to know that Sutter’s Pond has seven cul-de-sacs.

For a limited time, hurry in to take advantage of fantastic incentives on standing homes.  That’s right! *The current list price of standing homes includes  $16,000 to $34,000 in incentives.   (Incentive varies per standing home and is included in current price. – See on site agent for full detailsPlan to make your move and get ahead of the spring rush.

Sutter’s Pond is ideally located with excellent access to I-75, I-575,  I-285, Kennesaw, Historic Marietta, Historic Woodstock, Roswell, Buckhead and downtown Atlanta.  If you love the mountains and history then both can be found minutes from Sutter’s Pond.  The site of two famous Civil War battles, Kennesaw is home to Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield.  If you enjoy shopping then there are malls and restaurants galore including The Outlet Shoppes at Atlanta, Town Center at Cobb, The Avenue of West Cobb to name a few and don’t forget you are just down the road from Buckhead with world-inspired shopping and dining.    Kennesaw is also home Kennesaw State University.  McCollum Airport is a nearby private aviation airport.

The weather is getting nicer every day but the nights will be cool for a while, why not enjoy your own outdoor fireplace on a screened porch during the cool nights.  Our featured home, The Chestatee plan has a fabulous stone fireplace that will be the focal point for many gatherings.

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 Homesite 39-5 Bedroom/4.5 Bath – Fabulous Chestatee Plan  Features The Master Plus An Additional Bedroom On The Main, Large Family Room, Open Floor Plan, Basement, 3 Car Garage, Large Screened Porch With Stone Fireplace [seen above] , Upgraded Cabinets, Media Room, And Upgrades Galore! The Lot To The Left Is GreenSpace Offering Loads Or Privacy! This Home Is A Must See Can Close In 30 Days! 1438 Sutters Pond Drive NW $509,900

Click here to see more available homes

Sutter’s Pond offers a unique opportunity to be in the Harrison School District. Schools include Bullard Elementary, McClure Middle and Harrison High School, a 2008 School of Excellence.
Homes start from the $400’s

Visit the community:  From I-75 North, take Exit

Stop by soon to see our newly constructed homes, visit our website or call Tamara Stout at (678) 360-2720 or send an email at tstout@youneedresults.com  to get on our priority list!

 

 The above information is believed accurate but not warranted. Price, plans,specifications are subject to change without notice. *Pricing incentives of $16,000 to $34,000 have already been applied to the current price and vary per standing home.   The incentive will not be added to the price.  See onsite agent for full details.

 

 

 

 

Wesley Manor Starts 4 New Homes Priced from the $600’s

Cotton States Properties is delighted to announce that they are starting 4 new homes that will be priced from the $600’s.  This fabulous new community has only 11 opportunities to own so make your plans to secure your new home today.

These exclusive new homes will be built with top of the line products such as Trane heat & air systems, security system pre-wired(ground level), Cat 5 phone outlets (6), RJ6 Cable Outlets (7), House. Wrap Correct House Wrap, Ceiling insulation R-30 and Attic Insulation R-38 plus more.  Your exterior finish will feature three side brick and landscaping (see agent for details). You will come home to exquisite interior design and detailing including crown molding, chair rail and fireplaces.  Click here to see all features

Wesley Manor will highlight “sought after” 4 and 5 bedroom  plans such as the Autumn Ridge, Hembree B, Lakeview, Lindsay II and the Mabry.

The Autumn Ridge – 4 Bedroom / 3.5 Bath – Enter this home from a covered porch and step into the entry with formal dining room and powder room to the left.  Walk into the family area with large kitchen with island overlooking sunny breakfast area.  Good sized family room with 2 sided fireplace and screened porch.  Master Suite on main featuring fireplace and large walk-in closet. Master bath has double vanities, shower and garden tub.  Laundry off of garage.  Upstairs you will find a guest suite with sitting area, walk -in closet and private bath.  Two more secondary bedrooms share a Jack & Jill bath.  Large loft area upstairs or the option of a 5th bedroom. 3 Car Garage – Square feet 3494 – Check back  for pricing.

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The Lakeview – 5 Bedroom / 4 Bath – Spectacular new plan with covered porch leading into a 2 story foyer with formal dining room to the left and a study to the right of the entrances.  In the rear of the home, entertaining will be delightful with kitchen with island overlooking living room area, breakfast area, deck and 2 story family room.   Guests will have a great place to stay in your main level guest room with hall bath. Upstairs, welcome home to your owners retreat that spans half of the upstairs space.  You will enjoy double doors opening into your private sitting area and you can relax and retreat in your spa-like bathroom with double vanities, shower and garden tub.  Huge walk-in closet with dressing room and fold down ironing board.  Three more bedrooms, one with private bath and the others share a Jack & Jill bath with private sink area. There are many options available in this home so check with your onsite sales consultant.  3 car garage – Square feet 4,190 – Check back for pricing.

Wesley Manor is ideally located between Roswell and Woodstock, with easy access to local roads such as Hwy 92 and Hwy 120.  Close to I-575, I-75 and Georgia 400.  You will find bountiful shopping at Town Center at Cobb or The Outlet Shoppes at Atlanta or Towne Lake Center.  There are many lakes and parks in the area including Sweat Mountain Park (with  a great Dog Park) and Dupree Park just a few miles away.

Directions: Take I-75 to exit 267A then take a right onto Sandy Plains Road and  Wesley Manor Entrance will be on your left  just past Wesley Chapel Rd or take Highway 92/Woodstock and take a left onto Sandy Plains Road and Wesley Chapel will be on your right just before Wesley Chapel Road.

Homes start from the $600’s

Need more info? Call Mark Judge at (770) 403-5059  or email markjjudge@aol.com

Check back with us often for updates or Visit Our Website