Alpharetta Arts StreetFest--Saturday & Sunday, April 16-17, 2011 10am-6pm

The arts are alive this spring on the Northside with nearly 100 artists from throughout the U.S. showcased at the 7th Annual Alpharetta Arts Streetfest. Enjoy a spring weekend strolling through outdoor galleries filled with fine art in 14 medium expressions. Create children’s art and make your own Chia Pet; experience live jazz, roots rock and Celtic music, as well as cultural dancing; and more. Admission and parking are free, with parking at City Hall and Milton Center.

Race After the Taste--Mayor’s Challenge Road Race--Alpharetta, Georgia

Mayor’s Challenge Road Race
May 14, 2011
5K & 10K Races 7:15 AM
Fun Run/Walk 8:30 AM
Wills Park Swimming Pool
1810 Old Milton Parkway
Alpharetta, GA
Join the Alpharetta Rotary Club & the City of Alpharetta for a great race! This is a 5K/10K Peachtree Qualifier for the serious runner as well as a Fun Run/Walk for the whole family. A runner’s pancake breakfast provided at 7:30 AM! Race will be held rain or shine. Proceeds from the Mayor's Challenge support the Alpharetta Rotary. Registration begins March 2011.

Georgia Ensemble Theatre proudly presents Inherit the Wind

February 24 – March 13. Visit for show times and tickets.

Georgia Ensemble Theatre
Roswell Cultural Arts Center
950 Forrest St.
Roswell, GA 30075
(770) 641-1260

Inherit the Wind

Georgia Ensemble Theatre proudly presents one of the greatest epic plays of the 20th Century.
As relevant as today’s headlines, Inherit the Wind tells the story of Americans in conflict: what happens when our right to think for ourselves and exchange ideas is threatened? Do we celebrate our differences? Or do we push for conformity? Inherit the Wind digs into the heart and soul of America in a timely search for perspective and enduring hope.
John Ammerman and Eddie Levi Lee lead a remarkable cast of over 20 in the theatrical event of the season.

Dolphin exhibit at Georgia Aquarium opening in April

After nearly three years of planning and construction and one postponed opening, Georgia Aquarium's $110 million dolphin attraction will open April 2. The exhibit will include interactive displays about conservation efforts and a 25-foot-long underwater viewing window that guests will encounter on their way to the main draw: a theatrical show with live actors, Broadway-style theatrics and heavy production values.


VZW Amphitheatre at Encore Park OUR 1ST 2011 CONCERT ANNOUNCEMENT!!! dave-fm's Earth Day Birthday - Band of Horses with The Jayhawks Saturday, April 2! Tickets on-sale this Friday at 10AM. Tickets start at only $19.29.

edbd web header1 EDBD 2

dave fm’s Earth Day Birthday is back April 2, featuring 2011 Grammy-nominee Band of Horses, along with newly reunited The Jayhawks!
Join us at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre as we kick-off “Earth Month” with this incredible concert, and celebrate all of our environmental partners who are dedicated to making our community a better place to live.
Purchase your tickets through the dave-fm pre-sale starting this Wednesday at 10 a.m. Click to and use key word:  davefm
Ticket prices range from $19.29 to $39.00.  This is a limited-seating, pavilion-only show.
Click here to hear music and see videos from Band of Horses and The Jayhawks!
Click below to few pictures from last year’s Earth Day Birthday Day.

Read more: EDBD 2 – New Music, Entertainment, All Things Atlanta, 92.9 dave fm

T5 picks Alpharetta for $75M data center

Atlanta-based T5 Partners LLC has picked Alpharetta as then site of a $75 million data center.
The 103,000 square foot building, expected to open in November, will be among the five largest data centers in the region.
The data center, located on 12 acres, will include 54,000 square feet of "raised space" — the area where servers and other computer equipment is housed.
Data centers, which can be as large as shopping malls, are stacked floor-to-ceiling with computer servers and other hardware that power websites, crunch data and store information. Critical to modern business and holding terabytes of sensitive information, data centers are equipped with duplicate power and network systems to ensure against blackouts.
Demand for data centers is growing as technology allows businesses to focus on their core competencies. A greater focus on the bottom line also means companies are looking to cut operational costs by outsourcing data center work.
Atlanta is one of the fastest-growing markets in the U.S. for data center space, in terms of build-out and demand, New York-based Tier1 Research said in November. Several firms, including E*Trade, Google, Hewlett-Packard Co. and IBM Corp., have data center operations in the region.
Metro Atlanta — relatively free of natural disasters such as hurricanes and earthquakes — is an ideal location, since mission-critical data centers must be up and running 24/7. The region also has good fiber infrastructure and reliable and relatively inexpensive power. Atlanta’s major industry clusters — media, research and financial services — are also heavy data center users.
While demand for data centers in metro Atlanta was flat over the past two years, it is expected to increase about 30 percent next year.
T5's data center, which will have redundant power systems, could have a single large tenant, Partner Jason Chartrand said.
It will, however, built to accomodate as many as 10 tenants, occupying on average about 10,000 square feet each, he said.
While the tenants would be under the same roof, each business would have secure and separate data center space and dedicated infrastructure, including power and fiber.

Read more: T5 picks Alpharetta for $75M data center | Atlanta Business Chronicle

15th Annual Showcase Home Tour presented by Roswell Woman's Club & Arie Kohn Architects, PC




March 10 - 27, 2011
Wednesday - Saturday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Sunday, 1 – 6 p.m.

10th Annual Chattahoochee Challenge 10K

10th Annual Chattahoochee Challenge 10K

All Proceeds benefit the Chattachoochee Nature Center, a community supported nonprofit organization.
One of the best Peachtree Qualifiers of the Season!Saturday, February 12th

10K Race 8:00 AM
1 Mile Fun Run at 7:30 AM
This official qualifier for the 2011 Peachtree Road Race along the Chattahoochee River is a fast paced benefit for the Nature Center. Register Online at or at any Big Peach Running Company Store. Call 770-992-2055 x226 for additional information. Register in advance for a discounted rate or on site for $32 for 10K and $15 for Fun Run. All participants receive a t-shirt and gift bag.
Saturday, February 12th

6 Reasons You Should Google Your Address (or Search it on Trulia!)

It seems almost negligent these days to go meet with a prospective employer, set your kid up on a sleep-over or even add an old friend on Facebook without first running the company's name, your kid's pal's parents or your old college chum through Google -- just to see. But it's nowhere near as common (yet) to Google or otherwise do an internet search for your home's address.

There are at least six compelling reasons it makes sense to do so, though -- especially if it's an address you're thinking of renting, buying or selling. Smart homeowners would do well to search for their addresses, too, and here's why:

#1. To See If Megan's Law Registrants Live Nearby
Safety first, folks. Megan's law requires law-enforcement authorities to make information available to the public regarding registered sex offenders in their neighborhoods. Nearly every state that has a Megan's law-type sex offender registry has an online version that serves up the names, addresses, sex-offense history, and even photos in many cases, of convicted sex offenders who are registered as living at a certain address. Googling your address and "Megan's law" -- or even your city or zip code and "Megan's law" -- will turn up a quick list of nearby registrants. Alarmism is not a good look -- ever, but many homebuyers with young children highly value this information, especially while they are still in their contingency or objection period, before their home purchase is finalized.
#2. To Find Crime Reports and Data for Your Home and Environs

Cities, counties and state law enforcement agencies all post crime data online, but a Google search for your address or city and "crime reports" is most likely to turn up your local police or sheriff's office's crime map. Or, you can check out the crime stats around a specific property on Trulia’s Map & Nearby tab on the detailed page for your home's address. In my town, for example, you can see a crime map of recent incident reports for the whole city, by zip code, by neighborhood or by address. You can zoom in and out, and the map is in color and letter-coded with little icons representing different types of crimes: red is for violent, blue is for drug crimes, green is for property crimes; and the most common specific offenses reported get their own two-letter code. Whether you own or rent your home, if you hear a siren and wonder what happened, Google might be a good place to look.

This is also a good strategy for home buyers to leverage. In fact, when new homeowners Robert Quigley and Jennifer Friberg started developing headaches and other strange physical symptoms after moving into their first home, a neighbor dropped the informational bomb that the home's previous resident had been cooking methamphetamine in the home. In a panicky effort to suss out the truth, they Googled their address and - yikes! - found it listed on the Drug Enforcement Administration's database of meth labs! If you're considering buying a home, or moving to a neighborhood with which you are not completely familiar, doing a quick address search on Trulia or Google holds the potential to reveal some disturbing or comforting crime activity information.

#3. To Detect Scammers Trying to Rent or Sell Your House. In one of those if-only-they-would-use-their-powers-for-good-not-evil scenarios, Internet scammers have taken to ripping off home information and putting together fake listings offering other people's homes for rent or, often, lease-to-own. They often list the home on extremely cheap and easy terms, then ask the would-be-buyer or tenant to please wire or send the deposit money overseas, where the faux-seller can get it while they're traveling in -- you guessed it -- Nigeria. (And, BTW, I have friends from Nigeria who even distrust emails they get purporting to be from Nigeria!)

These scams come to light, most often, only after the homeowner or current resident notices all the bargain-hunting wanna-be tenants start peering in the windows and tramping through the backyard, checking the place out. If you are getting an inordinate amount of street or foot traffic to your home, or someone knocks on the door asking if they can see the place, you may want to Google your address. If you find a fraudulent listing, contact us, identify yourself as the home's rightful resident and ask us to take the scam posting down - stat!

# 4. To See What Your Neighbor's Place Sold for and Possibly Lower Your Property Taxes.   In real estate, the value of your home is largely driven by what similar, nearby homes have recently sold for ("comparable sales," or "comps" for short). That gives every homeowner a valid reason for wanting to know what the neighbor's place sold for (on top of your purely voyeuristic need to know). If you search your address, Trulia will first surface some sort of image of your home, a map, the basic property details from the public records (see No. 5, below), and recent sales data for your own home before listing out the comps -- homes with similar numbers of bedrooms, bathrooms and square feet as yours, near yours, and what they recently sold for. Googling your address, in this instance, does double duty -- letting you satisfy your cat-killing curiosity to know what your new neighbor paid for their place, and track the value of your own home at the same time!

And as an added bonus, if you see a pattern of homes selling for lower than your home's assessed value, you can use those comps to petition your County to lower your own property taxes!

Three birds, one stone - you get the picture.

#5. To See Your Home's Property Records. It's a story as old as homes -- well, at least as old as websites that display home records and listings. Your home's records online are populated from the public records about your home, which are either so old they don't include the upgrades and additions that have been done over time, or they're just flat out wrong for a number of reasons. My last home, while large, certainly did not have the 25 bedrooms one site listed it as having. On the other hand, it also was not a boarding house, which is what that site listed as the property's County-designated use. If you Google your address, or search for it on Trulia, and find that your home's description is riddled with errors, contact us or your County public record agency to correct them; this is particularly important if you're planning to sell your home anytime soon.

#6. To See Your Home's Google Street Views. When you're selling your home, it's especially critical to see everything that prospective home buyers will see. That means checking out how your home's listing looks on all the online real estate sites (yes, even on Trulia), checking out the flier - even stopping by to check out any staging your broker or agent did if you've already moved out. One thing even most savvy sellers don't check out is the way Google Maps Street Views depicts your home. If you're unfamiliar, Google actually hitches up cameras to cars and sends them up and down public streets worldwide, so that Google Maps users can go from an overhead view of a street via satellite to seeing panoramic pics from the street from curb level with one click.

Trust me, home buyers know this, and do this. They often use Street Views as a shortcut for seeing whether a home's photos are just fuzzy, or whether it's next door to the local hoarder's house. Here's the problem: Sometimes, the street views can be outdated. I did a major remodel on my home a few years ago, and the photo was clearly taken mid-construction: with dumpster in front, unpainted siding and all. If you're about to sell your home, and you notice that the street view is outdated, mention it to your agent, and ask them to make a note of that fact in the listing information.

Note: This post first appeared on on 12.13.2010.

February Video Newsletter

Harry Norman, RealtorsWhile the economy continues to rebound, interest rates remain low and it could be a great time to purchase your next home. This month, our videos cover tips from avoiding predatory lenders and foreclosure to understanding negotiating and mortgages. Every month our mailing offers top advice on the buying and selling process to keep you in the know, and up to date with industry trends, mortgage advice, information on home design and so much more. New video content is added monthly for our valued clients. 

The Selling Price

Trulia-- Rent vs. Buy

Trulia's Q1 2011 Rent vs. Buy Index provides guidance to help you make a smart decision on whether it is better to rent or buy in each of America's 50 largest cities by population. The Rent:Buy Ratio is calculated by using the median list price compared with the median rent on two-bedroom apartments, condos and townhomes listed on Click here for the full methodology.

Click on the tabs above the interactive map to see the differences between renting for a year and buying a similar property. To check out current rental listings and homes for sale, go to