3 Ways To Stretch Your Moving Budget

Moving can take a hit on the budget, but there are ways to keep our costs down. Here are some of our top tips for keeping the seemingly endless costs under control:

  1. Plan ahead. It’s a simple fact of life: The more rushed you are, the more you will have to pay. If you have the luxury of planning out your move, you can choose the time of year and even day of week that you will move (weekends and summer are more expensive; weekdays and colder weather are slower times for moving companies).By planning, you can also build in time to shop around and compare prices on everything from grocery stores to rental moving trucks. Get at least three quotes on everything, and don’t assume that the lowest price is the biggest bargain. Examine line items to ensure you’re comparing apples to apples. Also, research online companies. A local company may offer you a “deal” on moving boxes with free delivery, but a quick online search might beat that price and only take a few days extra for delivery to you.  Some online companies include:
    Planning will also keep you from making costly mistakes, like forgetting to find a sitter for your pet or to give 30 days’ notice on your gym membership to avoid paying for an additional month. These small fees and expenses add up — and most can be avoided with proper notice.
  2. Negotiate or barter. Just because you are quoted one price, doesn’t mean that is the final price. Always, always, ALWAYS ask for a better deal, research online promotions, check for “deal” site specials like Groupon and LivingSocial. You won’t lose anything by asking, and you could just score a lower price. The same goes for your moving company, the furniture store, and your new gym. 30 seconds now can save you hundreds of dollars.Think about bartering for services, too. If you have mad graphic design skillz, maybe you can swap your talents for a break on your moving expenses. Swap personal training services for a haircut. Whatever your skills and talents, someone else wants them!
  3. Look for discounts. Many communities welcome newcomers with open arms — and plenty of discounts. Check in with the post office, your real estate or rental agent, the city’s newcomers club, or the Chamber of Commerce for a welcome packet. A typical haul might include coupons to local restaurants, a discount at the housewares store, and more. Ask for discounts when approaching membership-type organizations like gyms, kids’ programs, and the like. They may be dying for members and be willing to cut you a deal.

The key here is to ask. Ask to barter, ask for a discount, ask for a better price. You won’t always get one, but it’ll work enough to make it worth the effort.

Marna Friedman is your Dallas & Acworth Real Estate Agent.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. If you would like to receive updates, please sign up for our newsletter. Looking to sell your home in Acworth, or homes for sale in Acworth? Leave us your information and we will get right back to you.

Cut Your Utility Bills By Auditing Your Home

It happens every month. You pick up the mail and see an envelope from the utility company or that email. Oh, the agony! Should I open it now and ruin the day or just wait. An energy audit can make the pain of getting your utility bill go away or at least become a dull ache.

Unlike a tax audit, you can conduct an energy audit by yourself. Simply walking through your home and paying close attention to energy issues can really pay off. And if you are considering selling your home, being aware of any issues ahead of time can help to eliminate problems later on. Let’s take a look at some obvious problems that can save you a bundle.

Home Energy Audit

The number one energy waster is a leak. Much like a leak in the tire of a care, even one leak from the interior to exterior of the home can raise your utility bill by as much as 30 percent. The most common area you will find such leaks are windows and doors.

Windows and doors are undisputedly the area where most air leaks occurs. The first issues is whether air is actually leaking out through the framing of windows or the area around the bottom of the door. You can typically tell this by feeling for a notable temperature difference in these areas. If is significantly cooler, you have a leak.

As people in cold climates know, having sealed windows is simply not enough to control heating costs in the winter. Most windows on homes are designed for year around use, which makes them huge energy wasters in the winter. Going with energy-efficient windows can make a huge difference in keeping the heat in and the cold out.

If you’ve walked through your home and haven’t found any significant problems with your windows and doors, you may still have one. To really give your home an efficiency test, you can hire contractors to perform a pressurization test. The test essentially raises the pressure in your home and looks for leaks.

Fixing any leaks you find will depend entirely upon the nature of the problem. Some fixes only require additional caulking or insulation while others are unique. Regardless, making your home more energy efficient will significantly cut your utility bill this year and for years to come.

And during the summer season, your air conditioning might be running non-stop. Have you changed the filters? Checked the freon level? It’s a good idea to have an A/C tune-up to make sure your system is running efficiently.

Check with your local electric company about a possible free audit.

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9 Ways To Create An Outdoor Living Room

If you love the outdoors, you really want to spend as much time as possible enjoying your “exterior home.” And this picture looks like many of the homes around West Cobb (at least it looks like mine). But, you don’t just want a couple folding chairs sitting on a cement slab. To get an idea how popular the outdoor living areas have become, watch any designer show and you’ll see plenty of competitions for the most decadent outdoor living spaces possible. However, you don’t have to be a millionaire to create an oasis in your backyard. Let’s look at ideas for affordable ways to turn your outdoor space into a real living room:

  1. Furniture. The most obvious, and easiest, ways to turn your exterior space into a living room is to use furniture. Choose pieces that are similar to what you would find indoors but that have weatherproof fabric and finishes. Comfortable sofas and chairs encourage people to sit and stay for a while, just like they do in your living room.
  2. Television. If your idea of entertainment is having a television in every room, who says you have to stop at the patio door? With the new weather resistant televisions, you can view your favorite shows under the stars.
  3. Fireplace. If you have been enjoying an old fire pit, you know how much ambiance flames add to an outdoor seating area. But wouldn’t a regular fireplace make that outdoors seem even more like your living room? Pull some comfy chairs up close, just like you do in your living room.
  4. Shade. Think about how you provide shade from the sun streaming into the house through your windows and replicate the feeling and the look. Hanging drapes, sheers, or blinds will give the area a cozy living room feeling. Of course, you’ll want to use weather resistant fabrics. This strategy can also be used to create “walls” around your seating areas, giving your outdoors a real indoors look and feel. Match the treatment you use to what you have inside the house and your living room will appear to move or float right outside.
  5. Natural Walls. You can also place plants, shrubs, and trees around in such a way as to form more “walls” in your outdoor living room. Talk to a landscape designer for ideas of what sort of greenery will do well in your area. Even though plants would seem to be an outdoor element, when placed just right, they become part of your structured living room.
  6. Floor Landscape pavers, stone or even decking can further define and separate your outdoor living room from the rest of the backyard. Create an interesting pattern to form your living room “floor” outside just as you would inside. Varying the direction or color of the materials can further enhance the floor and make it a unique design feature.
  7. Area Rug. It’s amazing how the addition of a rug can change the whole feeling; turning a patio into a living room in the blink of an eye. Your goal is to create a relaxing, welcoming outdoor living room, and rugs are the perfect way to soften the hard edges. Look for sturdy weatherproof rugs that have an plush indoor quality and look to get the ultimate in comfort.
  8. Music. When you entertain indoors, you usually play soft music to set the tone of the evening. You can continue this idea outdoors with a sound system designed for the outdoors. They even have speakers disguised as rocks. This feature has seen an incredible improvement since the days when a boombox would be hauled outside.
  9. Indoor Standard Design. Choosing a design that says “inside” instead of “outside” is part of the trick of turning your patio into a living room. Instead of the standard wicker or beach themes, choose something more traditional, heavier, more upholstered. Try ornate mirrors, tables, and other accessories that scream “parlor” to get a very cozy feel.

Why not treat your outdoor space just like an indoor space. With today’s weatherproof fabrics, furniture, and even entertainment systems, you may not have to move the party inside at all!

Are you looking at houses for sale in West Cobb? Let us help you find one with a yard big enough for this outdoor oasis.

Marna Friedman is your West Cobb Real Estate Agent.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. If you would like to receive updates, please sign up for our newsletter. Looking to sell your home in Acworth, or homes for sale in Acworth? Leave us your information and we will get right back to you.

Using Checklists, Budgets & Timelines To Save Money Moving

Moving seems relatively simple. You pack your stuff from House A and get it to House B, where it’s unpacked and your life goes on. Selling and buying a home has its own library of checklists, and moving is a major aspect of that process.

Unfortunately, it rarely goes as smoothly as all that! What about your pets? Are you going to carry them with you on the plane, or send them separately? And your utilities — when will those be turned off and turned on again? Oh, and your car! Will you sell and buy on the other end, or ship it, or drive it yourself? And if you decide to ship it, where are you going to stay when you arrive a week before the moving van with all your possessions?

Moving is, in actuality, one of the largest projects you may ever undertake. There are numerous moving pieces and unknowns that can throw a wrench into the works, laying your careful plans to waste. But you can minimize the unknowns by planning ahead. And the tools to help you are checklists, budgets, and timelines.

Checklists. Create extensive lists of what needs to be done around the old house, as well as what you’d like to do in your new locale. Do you need to paint at either end? Will you redo floors, install carpeting, or buy a new washer or dryer? What furniture is going with you, what are you hoping to sell, and what will you donate — and will it all fit in the home on the other end? Have you requested doctors’ and school records to be transferred? There are so many little chores and pieces of information to keep track of. Don’t rely on your memory; write it all down in a notebook or in an online organizer, and keep it with you. Breaking things into monthly and then weekly, and ultimately daily checklists as your move nears will help you stay on top of it all.

Budgets. Moving is expensive. But making and keeping a budget will keep a cap on the outflow of cash. Keep track of what you’ve allotted for the move itself, as well as what you anticipate you’ll need to spend to get up and running in the new home. Even if you’re only moving a few blocks, you may have to pay for meals out while you’re waiting for your kitchen to be unpacked, replacements for items you didn’t want to pack, like condiments, toiletries, and the like. Make sure to set aside at least a few hundred dollars for the unanticipated — pizza for the friends who help you pack, a gallon of paint to touch up the walls that look a little dingy, cleaning supplies for the new place, deposits for utilities… the lists go on!

Timelines. Timelines can be a big issue to for moving. When you rent a truck, the hours start from when you pick it up to when you drive it back through the gates. So though you think six hours may be plenty of time to get it all done, but all it takes is for your movers to be an hour late and everything can be thrown out of whack which could cost you a lot more money for late fees. You also may face some gaps as mentioned above; if your new home isn’t ready to occupy and your worldly possessions arrive too early or a week late, what are you going to do? Careful planning can keep these gaps to a minimum.

Neighborly Tip

Check out the neighborhood Facebook groups and see if anyone has moving supplies they are getting rid of, and then remember to do them same when you are finished with them. This can be a great way to get to know new neighbors.

Remember that even the best-laid plans can be disrupted, and keep your flexibility in your hip pocket. Things can, and will, go wrong. But by having a plan to fall back on, you’ll be able to recover quickly.

Are you considering selling your home in West Cobb? We offer a free market valuation here. And if you would like to be updated monthly with real estate market trends, please complete the form below:

Sales Tax Holiday Weekend

Don’t forget that this coming weekend is Georgia Sales Tax Holiday Weekend, and school starts on Monday, August 4th. So gather the school supply lists, see what you need and make a list. Some things to consider:

  1. Clothing.  Check clothing to see what fits and what needs to be replaced. If you have things you don’t need any more, consider selling them online, at a thrift store or donating them to charity. Just remember to discard things you don’t need to lessen clutter and free up space in your home.
  2. School Supplies. Several stores are offering specials on back to school supplies. So check the sales flyers (if you didn’t get the paper on Sunday, you can always check online at the store’s website). Also compare what you need on your school supply list to the specials being offered. If the deals are great, consider buying some extra for later in the year or to donate to charity.
  3. Holiday Gifts. It might seem early, but check your holiday gift list and see what you might be able to save on during the sales tax holiday along with specials being offered.
  4. Coupons. You can save even more with coupons, so check to see if anything you are shopping for might have a coupon available as well.

Lastly, here is some helpful information on Sales Tax Holiday from http://singleparents.about.com/.

12 Ways To Turn Your Outdoor Kitchen Into A Masterpiece

The summer may be half over, but outdoor kitchens in Acworth can be used year-round. Neighborhoods like Bentwater and Seven Hills offer spacious yards along with the mild temperatures providing a great opportunity to extend your living space outdoors. Outdoor kitchens are the new must-have in outdoor decor but what makes it go right up and over-the-top? A little charcoal grill sitting on a slab of cement just doesn’t do it anymore. Picture your dream kitchen in your house and use your imagination to figuratively tear down the walls. Let’s take a look at what you might create:

  1. Man-Size Grill. Show a man a barbecue grill catalog and you might as well quit talking because he probably won’t hear much else that you have to say. There is something ingrained in a man who grills that makes them want the biggest, most fantastic “make-your-neighbor-jealous” grill known to man. Shop around for the best features and match them to the best price. There are a wide range of options, so keep shopping until you find the one that’s right for you.
  2. Pizza Oven. Custom built pizza ovens are becoming more and more available to the cook-out aficionados. Many of these are gorgeous, some coming direct from Italy. They make such amazing creations that you can expect all your neighbors will be hanging over the backyard fence, begging for an invitation. Throw away that pizza delivery number, or at least file it in a drawer.
  3. Refrigerator Pub.  A fridge is an essential component to an outdoor kitchen. So how do you make this an over-the-top item in an outdoor kitchen? By adding a beer tap and turning a simple refrigerator into a pub. Also, outfit the entire refrigerator with dispensers for a variety of beverages and snacks.
  4. Fireplace. Nothing adds ambiance to an evening in your backyard like an outdoor fireplace. You, your family, and your guests are bound to enjoy time spent in a comfortable chair by the fire staying cozy and warm. Specially designed gas fireplaces make enjoying the flames safe and efficient, too.
  5. Dining Space. What is an outdoor kitchen without an outdoor dining room? Hang a chandelier that is filled with real candles and some comfortable dining chairs that encourage people to linger. Enjoy everything that a summer evening has to offer in the comfort of a specially designed outdoor dining area.
  6. Sink. If you are going to the trouble of designing an outdoor kitchen, make sure you incorporate an outdoor sink. Just about any sturdy sink will do, just make sure it’s a big sink. Most people who grill know the value of a large deep sink to soak grilling equipment, racks, and all the works.
  7. Roasting Spit. This cooking set up is a favorite for many families who love to entertain in a big way. Think Hawaiian luau with a pig roasting slowly over a fire. Many festivals feature roasting spits, so why not treat your own backyard like a festival? But remember; when the aromas waft through the neighborhood, you’ll have perhaps more guests than you intended.
  8. Premium Finishes. A plain slab of cement under your feet does not make an oasis. Now with gorgeous stone and granite so readily available, you can lavishly finish all your backyard surfaces. And don’t just limit these finishes to the floor. Counters, fireplace hearths, and even tables and benches are the perfect places to make a statement with fancy finishes.
  9. Wine Bar. When you see modern kitchen designs today in glossy magazines, you most likely see a wine bar included. You can do the very same thing in an outdoor kitchen, with a few adjustments for the weather, of course. When the conversation is flowing, you don’t want to stop it with a trip inside for another bottle of wine. Keep it handy right there in your backyard kitchen.
  10. Built-in Wok. If you like to stir-fry in a wok, you know how much heat and steam, and sometimes smoke, they can cause. Moving this method of cooking outside is a great way to really enjoy your wok cooked meals without steaming up the indoors. And there’s nothing like serving up perfectly seasoned veggies and seafood under the stars.
  11. Herb Garden. Every gourmet cook knows an herb garden in close proximity to their outdoor kitchen is a must. Being able to wash and chop fresh herbs within seconds of picking would be a dream come true. Pick a good spot according to the herb’s growing needs. If you don’t have a garden spot in the ground, plant interesting containers. This is a good food item as well as a beautiful decoration.
  12. Smoker. Not just for southern barbecues anymore, a smoker, either built-in or portable, is another fabulous over-the-top feature in an outdoor kitchen. You’ll find plenty of recipes to smoke your own foods in the comfort of your own backyard.

If cooking in the great outdoors is something you really enjoy, why not give your backyard a fancy facelift. With even one of these additions, you can be the gourmet chef that you’ve always wanted, right in your own backyard.

Are you interested in the complete series of articles on creating an outdoor oasis? And if you would like to receive our other real estate news and market trends in West Cobb, please complete the form below:

10 Tips On Selling Your House

Maybe you’ve read lots of advice on selling your house. But do you know the biggest mistake many people make when selling a house? Not understanding real estate value.

You see, it doesn’t matter what you think your home is worth. It doesn’t matter what you did to make in nicer for your family. The value of your home is determined by buyers. What you enjoyed about your house may be irrelevant when it’s time to sell. Even though several Acworth homes for sale are selling quickly, it doesn’t mean your home will. Homes for sale in Bentwater and Seven Hills neighborhoods may sell quickly, but sometimes they don’t. Think in terms of what buyers want, and use some of the following advice on selling a house.

  1. Know the market. What other similar houses have sold for? Have those examples ready to show potential buyers.
  2. Decide on a minimum price. The price below which you just won’t move. Don’t tell your agent what this minimum is, but negotiate with any buyers who make an offer near or above it.
  3. Concentrate on the visible things first. A new mailbox is often a good idea. When buyers fall in love with the house before they even enter it, they forgive a lot of problems.
  4. Clean the neighborhood. If a neighbor’s yard is a mess, give their kids $10 to pick up the yard. Spend $20 to put flowers in any common-areas, and buyers will have a better first impression of the neighborhood.
  5. If you or your agent aren’t getting many calls, try something new. Is more advertising necessary? Is the price too high? If price is the problem, drop it fast. That perfect buyer might pass on by while the the home is still over-priced.
  6. Listen to prospects. They’ll be more objective than you. If you hear several times that the kitchen is dark, get out the white paint.
  7. Find the average sales time for your area. If your house is taking longer than average to sell, there’s a problem, and usually it’s the price. Review the other properties for sale in your neighborhood, like Seven Hills and Bentwater, and determine a realistic price at the beginning.
  8. Confirm your agent’s marketing plan before you sign a listing agreement. Write down what they say, and hold them to their promises.
  9. Get an estimate for repairs. The sellers may want a $7,000 allowance for a new roof – until you show them your $4,000 estimate.
  10. Complete improvements that can result in a sale. If $300 to seal the driveway is likely to add $600 to the sales price of the home, do it. Always consider first those things that are most visible.

There are dozens of things you can do to sell your house faster, and get a better price. Start with the ones that will get the most “bang for your buck.” Also, read and USE good advice on selling a house. As a professional organizer and home stager, we work with you to prepare your home and present the best features.

7 Ways To Add Beautiful Water Features To Your Backyard Oasis

Not everyone wants a swimming pool in their backyard, but most everyone enjoys a water feature. As you are looking at homes for sale in Acworth or Dallas, look at the number of communities in our area that offer swimming as one of their amenities.

And as I drive by Lake Allatoona, I find just looking at the landscape makes me happy, and if you are looking for a home on the lake, you can search here. Water is relaxing and such a desirable part of an overall backyard oasis, but waterfront real estate is hard to find. And, aside from a pool, what are the ways to enjoy the soothing sounds of water without a swimming pool? Let’s take a look at several ways to add water to your own oasis:

  1. Koi Pond. This centuries old water feature may seem exotic, but is becoming more and more available to the homeowner. The new trend of koi ponds currently feature things like an amazing vanishing edge that makes the pond look like it’s suspended in mid-air. The koi can be trained to eat out of your hand and make incredible pets; some living for as much as 70 years. In fact, the oldest living koi is said to have lived to the ripe old age of 276.
  2. Man-Made River. Take a look at some of the beautiful rivers that landscape contractors can design in your backyard. The sight and sound of the babbling brook is so relaxing after a long day at work. An added bonus is that the noise produced from the running water can help cover noisy traffic and neighbors.
  3. Waterfall. Similar to a river, a waterfall’s sounds can be melodic to a tired, overworked ear. Combine a river with a waterfall and you’ll create a backyard oasis that is sure to lull you and your guests into a very peaceful evening. Underground components are built into the structure to make it easy to enjoy. The water recirculates and is filtered so you don’t have to fret about it too much. Just routine maintenance will keep it flowing.
  4. Fountains. Here’s where you can go crazy. This water feature encompasses so many options. Traditional sculptural fountains, modern orbs and classical niche fountains built into the wall are just a few to consider. The options are only limited by your design tastes. You can display a large fountain as a centerpiece to your garden or tuck a smaller one away in an undiscovered corner.
  5. Bubbling Water Pots. A modern twist on water features, these stone orbs usually have one or two small spigots at the top. The water bubbles or gurgles out the spigot and cascades down the surface of the orb, is captured in a pool at the bottom and recirculated. The soft shimmering appearance is different from the splashing effect of a fountain.
  6. Stairway Fountain. Sloped lots naturally lend themselves to the use of a stairway fountain. These Zen-like water features involve steps with a wide tread; the water slowly moves down the side of the staircase, dropping from step to step. This can be purchased as a unit or built in out of cement, stones, rocks, or metal.
  7. Niche Pond. Smaller backyards or garden areas often don’t have room for a full-scaled water feature or pond. Instead, choose a niche pond. This little mini can be tucked into a corner, built into a wall, or even inserted into an attractive container. They are meant to surprise and amuse, and to sooth with their little water sounds.

You don’t have to install a big swimming pool or even a big pond in your backyard to enjoy the sounds and sights of water. Water cascading, bubbling, or sliding down a hill will give you a pleasant oasis feeling.

Looking at homes for sale in Bentwater or Seven Hills, or other homes for sale in Acworth and Dallas? Consider a water feature in your backyard and leave the pool maintenance to the HOA.

Marna Friedman is your Dallas & Acworth Real Estate Agent.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. If you would like to receive updates, please sign up for our newsletter. Looking to sell your home in Acworth, or homes for sale in Acworth? Leave us your information and we will get right back to you.

Descriptive Real Estate Terms for Ads

If you are buying or selling a home, the chances are good you struggle with the meaning of descriptive real estate terms. Here are explanations and definitions for more terms.

Shed Dormers[glossary_dictionary term=”Shed Dormers”]

These are often seen in Dutch colonial style houses and are flat roofed dormers. Sometimes these dormers are single windows, but often they are two or three windows side by side with one flat roof.

Blind Dormer Window[glossary_dictionary term=”Blind Dormer Window”]

Sometimes builders construct fake dormer windows to add architectural interest to new houses. They are at attic level but can’t be seen from the attic because the roof of the house covers access to them.

Oversized Garage[glossary_dictionary term=”Oversized Garage”]

Listings often say how many cars a garage will hold. Then they add the word “oversized” as in “oversize 2-car garage.” What is usually meant is that there is room for storage, or a work bench in addition to space for the cars. Occasionally it simply means you can open a car door wide enough to actually get out with both cars in the garage!

Gourmet Kitchen[glossary_dictionary term=”Gourmet Kitchen”]

This phrase is intended to convey the idea that a very good cook can happily work here. That may or may not be the case, but it does usually mean that the kitchen is fairly large and attractive.

Great Room[glossary_dictionary term=”Great Room”]

I’ve seen this used in two distinctly different ways. The first is to describe a living room, dining room, and kitchen in a very open floor plan. The area typically has a high ceiling. The second way I’ve seen it used is when what we’d normally call a family room has a high, often coffered, ceiling, a fireplace with a dramatically massive mantle, and perhaps an upstairs balcony overlooking it. I think this may stem from the idea of a “great hall” in old English houses.

If you can get the verbiage down, you’ll be way ahead in the real estate game. Look for future articles on this subject or visit our site to read more terms.

Marna Friedman is your Dallas & Acworth Real Estate Agent.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. If you would like to receive updates, please sign up for our newsletter. Looking to sell your home in Acworth, or homes for sale in Acworth? Leave us your information and we will get right back to you.

6 Ways To Enhance Your Backyard Oasis With A Fire Feature

It used to be that almost every home had a simple fire pit built in the backyard. It was never anything that fancy, usually a circle of bricks or stones where a small campfire could be built. You could pull up a chair, roast a marshmallow, and maybe even tell a few ghost stories. Today, it may not be feasible to dig a hole in your backyard and build a campfire. You may have to get a bit more creative to relive those warm memories. Let’s look at a few interesting new ways to add a fire feature to your yard:

  1. Wood Fire Pit. If possible, the old fashioned campfire pit may be just the thing for you. They add a nostalgic or retro look for your backyard area. Of course, you’ll want to upgrade it for your home, including new building materials and safety features, including stand-alone pits with screened domes. There are tons of DIY articles and videos online that can help you learn more. Before you begin, be sure to check if your municipality or homeowner’s association allows an open fire.
  2. Lava-Ceremic-Glass. In lieu of wood logs, you can now find fire pits that have lava stones, ceramic beads and even glass chips in the center. This popular look is very modern and growing in popularity. The glass even comes in a variety of colors to complement the rest of your outdoor decor. You can choose a fire feature in any number of vessels, from bowls and troughs to torches and tables. Because of the alternative ‘fire’ methods, the vessels are limitless.
  3. Flame Pots. These pots or bowls are a popular choice for lining a walkway or creating a romantic vibe next to the pool. As the sun sets, light the little flames and set the scene for the rest of the evening. Just a few pots strategically placed around your backyard oasis can change the mood dramatically. These pots come in a very large variety of sizes and shapes. They typically use a gel or liquid fuel made specifically to not smoke or smudge. You’ll find some that just look like rocks on fire and others that are very shiny and modern. Choose whatever suits your decor.
  4. Tiki Torches. This is another backyard feature that has been rediscovered and redesigned over the years. The classic tiki at the Hawaiian luau is one type, yes, but there are many others to choose from now. You’ll find this island favorite has gone through a transformation recently and you can now find sleek metal torches in a variety of styles. A convenience factor has been added too. Some styles can be built-in with an underground gas supply, with timers and remotes, as well. Of course, the old style may suit your decor and by all means use them if you wish.
  5. Free-Standing Fireplace. If your backyard oasis has more of a traditional design, a popular trend is to build a traditional, free-standing fireplace, surrounded by comfortable furniture and creating an outdoor living room. In fact, magazines frequently feature gorgeous outdoor rooms complete with a chandelier and a stone fireplace. The fireplace could be an old pueblo beehive, a stone Tuscan beauty, or a magnificent marble creation.
  6. Coffee Table Fire. There are even some very unique fire features that include coffee tables with miniature fire pits in the center, in a variety of shapes and styles. You’ll find square coffee tables with a square center fire pit, rectangular tables with long troughs of flames for a very modern design, and even fire “on” water right in the center of the table.

The old dirt fire pit in the back yard, lined with stones dragged up from the river, is definitely one possibility. But, there are so many more to consider now. The unique combination of materials that you can surround a flame with are almost limitless.

Looking at homes for sale in Acworth? If you are, and an outdoor oasis is on your “must have” list, then consider the above options as you look at homes. And when you settle into your new home, enjoy your outdoor oasis.

Marna Friedman is your Dallas & Acworth Real Estate Agent.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. If you would like to receive updates, please sign up for our newsletter. Looking to sell your home in Acworth, or homes for sale in Acworth? Leave us your information and we will get right back to you.