Atlanta Homes Guru Blog

Packing up and moving has always been remarkably stressful in and of itself. Moving during the coronavirus pandemic, when everyone across the nation is supposed to be staying put to lower their risk of illness? Well, that's a tricky undertaking, to say the least.

First, a note of caution: If you don't have to vacate your current home, consider staying right where you are. Aim to reschedule your move for when the spread of the coronavirus outbreak slows and the government lifts restrictions on movement.

"During this crisis, many customers are postponing their moves and some are just completely canceling them," says Lior Rachmany, CEO and founder of New York's Dumbo Moving and Storage. "However, we’re still receiving a great deal of new customers

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1. Do not have anything else financed. That debt will affect your Debt to Income Ratio and can prevent you from qualifying for a home. It will most certainly reduce the amount of money you can borrow for a home. 

2. Do not apply for credit anywhere until the home transaction is CLOSED. If you do, your credit score may go down short term & the Underwriter will ask you for a letter explaining why you applied for additional credit.


3. Any amount financed outside of a mortgage will decrease the amount of money you can borrow for a mortgage. EXAMPLES: No furniture, no cars, no boats, no debt consolidation loans, no additional credit cards or lines of credit. 

4. Do not put any "one time" or unusual deposits into your bank account except

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With over 90% of Americans now under a shelter-in-place order, many experts are warning that the American economy is heading toward a recession, if it’s not in one already. What does that mean to the residential real estate market?

What is a recession?

According to the National Bureau of Economic Research:

“A recession is a significant decline in economic activity spread across the economy, lasting more than a few months, normally visible in real GDP, real income, employment, industrial production, and wholesale-retail sales.”

COVID-19 hit the pause button on the American economy in the middle of March. Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, and Morgan Stanley are all calling for a deep dive in the economy in the second quarter of this year.

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A modern smart home is full of high-tech devices hackers would love to crack. Learn how to protect those devices here.

shutterstock_689548207 amazon alexaZAPP2PHOTO/SHUTTERSTOCK

How to Secure Your Alexa Device

Devices like the Amazon Echo are essentially little portals of convenience you can place around your home. They can play music, keep you informed on the latest news, and order you more laundry detergent when you're running low. Unfortunately, the microphone that allows an Alexa-enabled device to hear your questions and commands is also a potential security hazard.

One easy way to secure your Amazon Echo device is to turn off its microphone. That way the device is not constantly listening for its activation words, protecting your home from unwanted recordings. You'll

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In many ways, house hunting is a lot like dating. You’re looking for the perfect match. And while everyone has different tastes, you know the right one when you see it.

Another commonality? A single trait—whether in a house or a potential partner—can be a total turnoff. With people, it could be bad breath, a lack of ambition, or political differences. With homes, well, the list goes on and on—as you’ll hear from the following individuals who discovered instant dealbreakers during their house hunts. A fair warning: Some of these might make your skin crawl.

“On our house hunt, we visited a home and the seller was present and smoking a cigarette right in front of us. Big nope. I checked out and didn’t listen to anything that was said because

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1. "If you don't quit touching your brother I'll cut your fingers off and let the doctor sew them back on."

"My mom used to say stuff like this to get us kids to stop fighting with each other. It was always meant more funny than serious, but I don't think I would dare say this to my kids in public today." — Lizzie Vance, Seattle, Washington

2. "Put some beer in her bottle — it'll help her sleep."

"Not only did my grandmother used to say this but she actually did it to my mom. We have a picture of my mom with a beer-filled baby bottle when she was about 2. My grandma also gave her brandy when she was feeling sick, even as a toddler. Thankfully my mom did not carry on this advice to her kids." — Ellen Myers, Cincinnati, Ohio

3. "Don't

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How Colors Change the Perception of Interior Spaces, © ArchDaily

Humanity spends more and more time inside, whether at work or at home - with studies showing that we now spend 87% of our lives indoors. Pleasant environments positively influence the mood and well-being of its occupants, just as poorly lit, uncomfortable places can make lives miserable. That is why the craft of interior design is so important, even if it is often considered minor by some professionals. When designing an interior, the architect has the power to alter important variables, be it artificial lighting, natural light, proportions, or materials - with all such elements influencing the experience that occupants will have in a space.

© Katherine Lu. Casa Vida Dupla / Breathe Architecture

To provide the desired spatial experience,

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While there are virtual tours and streaming performances you can enjoy from the comfort of home, sometimes there’s no better relief than watching a cute animal at play. And aquariums and zoos are giving us that fix, by live-streaming their residents for the world to see.

While these facilities have temporarily closed their doors, they’re continuing to spread the happiness that animals can bring via cams. While these zoos and aquariums are setting up viewing sessions for our benefit, they’re also asking for donations to help give the animals the care that they need.

See below for the places where you can watch your favorite animals blissfully frolic, and be sure to show your support however you can.

Houston Zoo in

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  1.    What is your most memorable birthday?
  2.    What is the best concert you’ve ever attended?
  3.    What is your favorite memory we share together?
  4.    What are three adjectives you’d want someone to use to describe you?
  5.    Do you believe in luck or chance?
  6.    What was the best thing that happened to you today? This week? This month?
  7.    What was your favorite thing you ate today?
  8.    What is the first thing you notice about a person?
  9.    What was the craziest thing you’ve ever done for a significant other?
  10. What is the first thing you’d do if you won the lottery?
  11. What is something you like to do that other people consider weird?
  12. What decade would you have liked to have lived in and why?
  13. What is the best pizza topping
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If you’ve gotten the spring cleaning fever, put that newfound energy into good use with this ultimate eight step guide!

Now that spring is officially under way, it's time to open those windows, let fresh air in, and bring that dust rag out from hibernation. Because let's face it: even if wiping down baseboards or sweeping under furniture aren't the most exciting of chores, having a spotless home to kick off the season will make your heart sing louder than the robins outside.

So don't worry if you aren't quite sure where to start. With this eight-step guide below, your space will be sparkling in no time.

1. Look Under

Most of us freshen up our homes every week or so with a quick vacuum or sweep, but we often skip the heavy lifting that is

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