Land & Property

Alpharetta Company Helps Homeowners Prepare for Landscape Lighting Consultations

Southern Landscape Light Systems shares tips for preparing for a design consultation for the installation of landscape lighting.

There are two basic categories in landscape design. These two categories are hardscape and softscape. Hardscape refers to design features that are solid and unchanging over time. Examples of hardscape are rocks, fences, walkways, benches, and playground equipment. Softscape refers to features that are fluid and that change as they mature. Turf, trees, shrubs, and flowers are examples of softscape. Architectural lighting would qualify as hardscape in situations where the lighting fixture itself makes a visible aesthetic or functional contribution to the landscape design. A lamppost illuminating a bench or an entire outdoor living space would be considered a hardscape.

landscape lighting alpharetta

The ideal landscape design is a blend of both hardscape and softscape. An outdoor lighting design endeavors to accentuate both hardscape and softscape design elements of a property. When planning landscape lighting installation, it is important to consider if the landscape is currently completed or if significant hardscape or softscape features will be installed in the future. Some landscape plans may take several years to bring to completion, depending on the maturation of the softscape or the availability of funds to move the elements of the project forward. If the lighting designer understands the evolution of the landscape installation, they can install portions of the lighting now instead of later. The outdoor lighting system can be modified to accommodate the additions, whether hardscape or softscape.

When considering an architectural outdoor lighting design consultation with Southern Landscape Lighting Systems of Alpharetta, it is helpful to create a checklist. Having thoughtfully addressed design considerations beforehand will help maximize the session.

Review the landscape master plan with the landscape lighting designer

Communicate to the outdoor lighting design specialist any anticipated hardscape and softscape features that will be changed or added in the future and the timeframe, if possible. If elements significant to the overall integrity of the landscape plan have not been installed, determine the implications for the architectural lighting design. Some clarifying questions can be answered. What phases of the outdoor lighting installation can move forward? How soon can the outdoor lighting installation begin? If the landscape is mature and relatively stable, most or all of the lighting system can be installed by the landscape lighting company.

Deciding to delay the installation may not be advisable since landscape lighting fulfills some practical functions. It creates safe spaces by illuminating walkways, driveways, steps, and yard hazards. Outdoor landscape lighting also provides illumination that deters intruders.

Some practical considerations

Make any changes in or additions to the landscape before the lighting design specialist arrives for the appointment. The final location of statuary or other yard ornaments, rocks, boulders, benches, and other movable hardscape features need to be established.  After consulting the design specialist, the location of certain hardscape features may be adjusted to improve the overall effect of the lighting solution. Any changes or additions not implemented prior to the design appointment should be brought to the attention of the lighting design specialist.

Determine the hardscape features to be accented and prioritize their importance. A fountain, koi pond, garden alcove, or bench would be examples of hardscape. The customer’s priorities play an important role in the overall lighting design.

Make any changes or additions or the softscape prior to the design consultation. Move or install bushes, shrubs, border grass, ground cover, potted plants, trees, gardens, and beds. If possible, prune and shape shrubs, bushes, and trees prior to the design meeting. The services of a lawn maintenance crew or professional arborist may need to be secured to provide these preparatory services.

The goal is to enable the lighting specialist to design around an existing, stable landscape with both hardscape and softscape features in place and functional. With preparations completed, the project is just three steps away from completion: Design, install, enjoy.

landscape lighting company

Southern Landscape Lighting Systems has been installing LED lighting solutions for homeowners in Alpharetta for many years. They are highly regarded for their ability to match the project vision with a solution that is both practical and enhances the aesthetic of a yard after dark. Their commitment to providing the best customer service and the highest quality professional installations ensures that they are one of the leading outdoor lighting installation specialists in Alpharetta and the greater Atlanta area. Their team designs and installs custom outdoor lighting to accentuate features around the home, landscaping, subdivision entrance, or business. They offer the highest quality products, professional design, installation, and continuing service support for their customers. They also provide nighttime demonstrations as well as daytime design consultations.

To contact the architectural outdoor landscape lighting specialists at Southern Landscape Lighting Systems of Alpharetta, call (770) 691-1221 or visit their website at https://southernlls.com/locations/alpharetta-georgia.

Marietta Landscape Lighting Company Provides Educational Resources for Customers

The Southern Landscape Lighting blog covers a variety of landscape lighting design, installation, and maintenance topics.

landscape lighting marietta

Southern Landscape Lighting Systems successfully lights up both homes and lives by providing professional landscape lighting in Marietta, GA. The company is an innovator in architectural landscape lighting design and an early adopter of advanced LED technology and landscape lighting installation. Co-owner and award-winning landscape lighting designer Lindsey Rodericks and designer David Rodericks listens to their clients and seeks to understand their needs and desires before moving forward with a design. Southern Landscape Lighting Systems illuminates homes and businesses in the Metro Atlanta area. It also shines educational light through its extensive blog, which is a beacon of practical landscape lighting information.

Informed customers who come to understand the basic principles of lighting design and installation possess a greater appreciation of the aesthetic challenges that must be addressed and resolved to achieve a truly captivating design. Light and landscape must embrace in order to enchant in magnificent beauty.

The knowledge base on the Southern Landscape Lighting Systems website is one of the best in the industry. The articles are thoughtful and intentional in their content and broad in their scope, covering a wide range of landscape lighting design, installation, and maintenance issues. The topics and concepts are relevant, practical, and understandable for the non-technical mind.

Here is a bit of trivia that demonstrates the investment Southern Landscape Lighting Systems has in the education and enrichment of their clientele. Their blog contains over seventy articles, and the number is steadily growing. At nearly 40,000 words, it contains enough words to be a medium-sized book. It truly can be said that they have written a book on architectural outdoor landscape lighting, design, installation, and maintenance. It is content that is worth a read.

The articles are pinpoint focused on specific topics, issues, and questions that are top of mind for the property owner seeking landscape lighting consulting or architectural lighting installation. The knowledge base is extremely helpful for homeowners and commercial businesses that already have landscape lighting, whether Southern Landscape Lighting Systems did the installation or not.

The blog articles shed light on topics and categories such as:  

  • Design: Layout, product selection, placement, landscape, treescapes, decks, patios, pools, spas, walks, driveway, fountains, and other landscape and hardscape features
  • Thematic design considerations
  • Seasonal design options
  • Industry trends in new design techniques and new emerging technology
  • LED: Technology, function, hardware, capabilities, benefits, cost, energy efficiency
  • Timers and remote activation technology
  • How-to guides, tips, and helps
  • Maintenance, upkeep, and repairs
  • Security: Personal and property 
  • Safety along paths, walkways, stairs, etc. 
  • The aesthetic value of lighting a home or business
  • The importance of involving a landscape lighting professional in lighting layout and design

The following blog articles provide some of the most helpful and informative advice that will assist homeowners in choosing a landscape lighting specialist. 

Co-owner Lindsey Rodericks commented on the company’s commitment to customer focus, saying, “We know that we need to keep focusing on delivering an excellent customer experience every time. There are two main reasons that we do this. First, we really care about each of our clients, and we know how important their homes are to them, so we want to give them the best experience possible. And second, we know that people talk – word of mouth is one of the top ways that new clients hear about our services…”

Southern Landscape Lighting Systems in Marietta, GA is a landscape lighting company that specializes in outdoor led lighting installations. Each installation is carefully customized to the requirements of the customer, and excellent customer service is their top priority.

Their services include landscape lighting design, installation, and maintenance. For systems that they have installed, they provide lens cleaning, exposed wire re-burying, timer battery replacement, fixture adjustment and repositioning, halogen bulb replacement, foliage overgrowth pruning, socket growth, and free callouts for one year following service.

landscape lighting marietta
To contact the architectural outdoor landscape lighting specialists at Southern Landscape Lighting Systems of Marietta, call (678) 616-9166 or visit their website at https://southernlls.com/locations/marietta-georgia/.

Nine Tips for Winter Maintenance of Landscape Lighting Systems in Acworth, GA

Southern Landscape Lighting Systems helps homeowners keep their landscape lighting systems in top shape through the winter months.

Landscape lighting highlights a residence in its various parts such as a garden area, a water feature, a walkway, or a deck. A system artfully designed by a landscape lighting contractor unifies the entire property much as a painter blends thousands of strokes to create a painting. Each lighting fixture and its positioning is essential to the beauty of the whole.

landscape lighting company

Due to shorter days, the winter months are when a lighting system is used most frequently. With the vegetation absent from plants, it is much easier to spot system issues such as bulb outages, exposed wires, and misaligned fixtures. Southern Landscape Lighting Systems of Acworth, GA offers nine landscape lighting maintenance tips for this winter.

1. Be safe

Be sure to turn off the power to the lights before handling and cleaning any fixtures.

2. Stay safe and secure

When all lights are functioning and bright, walkways, stairs, paths, and outdoor living spaces are safer. A well-lit residence or business is a much less likely target for intruders. When performing winter maintenance, consider these more mundane but vital matters.  

3. Remove fallen leaves and other lawn debris

Fallen leaves and other lawn and garden debris can conceal fixtures and obstruct their light, creating safety and security hazards. Halogen bulbs can become so hot that they can scorch leaves and become a fire hazard.

4. Inspect the system for exposed cables and re-bury them

It is not uncommon for cables to work their way to the surface and become exposed, especially in high traffic areas, near lighting fixtures, or at sites where the weather has been particularly unkind. Making sure everything is back underground will reduce trip hazards around a property.

5. Replace bulb burnouts or LED lights that are burning dimly

Homeowners who have not converted to LED lights should consider making the switch this winter. When a halogen bulb burns out, more current flows to the other lights, which reduces their lifespan. LED bulbs require less maintenance and can last up to 75,000 hours.

6. Perform landscape maintenance

Cutting back foliage around fixtures will keep lights unobstructed until next spring. Homeowners can trim bushes, shrubs, and other plant foliage, and prune small, accessible low-hanging limbs. To stay safe, a property owner should not prune any foliage above their head since limbs could fall and cause injury.

7. Re-position shifted lights

Lights can shift due to high winds, heavy flooding, or impact. If vegetation conceals fixtures from view, lawn maintenance crews can unwittingly dislodge lights with a mower, weed eater, or high-velocity blower.

8. Adjust the timer

With the shortened winter days, the homeowner must ensure that the lighting system activates before dark. Working with the system timer can require a measure of the facility with technology that some homeowners may not possess. Landscape lighting experts, such as the team at Southern Landscape Lighting Systems of Acworth, can set the timer up properly.

9. Schedule an annual check-up for the system and for a review of the overall design

Winter is a good time to move things around, to address landscaping issues, to plan for future building projects, or to add hardscapes. Homeowners may want additional landscape lighting installation if their property has recently had a landscape redesign. On the other hand, a lighting system may need significant repairs that are beyond the scope of the homeowner’s abilities. Whether a property owner wants a new design, a simple landscape lighting addition, a conversion to LED from halogen lights, or a new architectural lighting installation, winter is a great time to discuss lighting system updates with one of the professionals from Southern Landscape Lighting Systems of Acworth.

 

Southern Landscape Lighting Systems of Acworth is well-known for its design and installation of quality outdoor lighting that is uniquely customized to the needs of clients. The landscape lighting company’s bespoke lighting installations are designed to accentuate the unique features of each client’s outdoor area while keeping a focus on the area’s security needs.

Southern Landscape Lighting Systems has a strong track record of offering professional design and installation solutions using only the highest quality products. The team’s commitment to customer service is exemplary, and they have distinguished themselves as a leading outdoor lighting company.

For more information, contact Southern Landscape Lighting Systems by phone at (678) 324-6842. Visit their website at https://southernlls.com/locations/acworth-georgia.

6 Questions for Homeowners Who Want to Sell Their House

Selling a home is rarely simple and stress-free. The decision to sell often requires much thought and consideration. When faced with the possibility of selling a house fast for cash, people would do well to consider the following questions:

sell my house fast

1. How much is the home worth?

It is always wise to see what other houses in similar condition and nearby are selling for. The location of the home, its condition, and the need to sell a home fast for cash may impact the price of the property. If the neighborhood is declining, it can negatively impact the value of the property. Needed repairs and renovations such as a new roof, a new HVAC system, new floor coverings, re-wiring, and plumbing can add up quickly.

2. Is there enough equity to sell the home?

Equity is the portion of the home that the owner actually owns. It generally takes about five years to gain enough equity to sell a house and have enough equity to cover realtor commissions, cover closing costs, buy another home, and pay for moving expenses. 911Houses.com pays cash for homes which means homeowners get their money quickly without having to make repairs, cover commissions, and continue to make mortgage payments if the house does not sell quickly.

3. How much will it cost to sell the home?

Some of the costs include seller concessions, closing costs, repair costs, and housing overlap costs if the seller is not able to line up the sale of their home with the purchase of the next. Plus, there is the cost of time and stress to the homeowner.

4. How long will it take to sell the home?

To determine if it is time to sell, consider the moving timeline. Will a delay impact job opportunities? Taking longer than expected to sell can have a huge negative financial impact.

5. Does the home require repairs?

The seller is required to disclose any known issues with the house to potential buyers. Expensive repairs like replacing a roof, or fixing a pool, for example, can be a deal-breaker for buyers looking for a move-in ready home.

6. How do I sell the home fast for the best price?

Selling a home in the traditional way is not a simple experience. It involves preparing the house for sale, working with an agent, making repairs and improvements, showing the home, and negotiating with potential buyers. However, commissions are steep, repairs are expensive, and delays are costly. When homeowners sell their home to 911Houses.com, they avoid these hurdles.

The traditional way of selling a house has drawbacks, especially for people who need to sell their house within a short timeframe. Dealing with repairs, realtors, and buyers could be too much of a hassle for the homeowner, and he or she could end up saddled with a home that really needs to be sold.

The team at 911Houses.com understands that some situations necessitate a quick, stress-free house sale, which is not feasible through the traditional method. 911Houses.com offers a home-selling process that is specifically tailored to homeowners who need to sell their home fast. Regardless of the condition of the property, the company purchases the house directly, allowing the homeowner to skip past months of real estate listings and risks. People move out on their terms and have up to ninety days to select the date they want to close and move.

By working with 911Houses.com, sellers avoid the stresses of repairs, commissions, paperwork, or closing. 911Houses.com changes the conversation from “I need to sell my home fast.” to “I can sell my house fast.”

sell my house fast

About 911Houses.com

911Houses.com is a Tampa real estate consultancy that buys unwanted houses as-is for cash and typically closes in less than seven days. With 911Houses.com, the client does not have to list the home for sale with a real estate broker, pay broker commissions, pay for expensive repairs, or worry that a buyer will back out of the contract due to financing or other unanticipated problems in the home selling process.

Florida General Contractor License Application Requirements

The Types and Requirements for a Florida General Contractor License

If you’re interested in becoming a general contractor in Florida, you need to be licensed to perform construction work legally. There are two primary licenses to choose from which will allow you to perform general contracting work either throughout the whole state of Florida or only in a specific local jurisdiction. In both cases, the licensing is done through the Florida Construction Industry Licensing Board (which operates under the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation.) These agencies have established the requirements for getting a general contractor’s license in Florida. 

general contractor in Florida

A contracting company will also need to register with the appropriate agency (after determining their business structure), in order to become licensed for tax numbers. 

It seems like there is a lot that needs to be done, but these are the most important steps:

Understand the Application Requirements for a Florida Contractors License

There are different license types and your choice will depend on which contractor license you are looking for but, in general, you will need to:

  • Be eighteen years or older
  • Have proof of your financial solvency, including a FICO credit score of over 660 (if it is lower, you can purchase a surety bond).
  • Scan and comply with electronic fingerprinting (there are a number of approved Livescan Device Vendors)
  • Pass your Florida State Construction Exam
  • Fill out your application
  • Pay all applicable fees (including application and licensing)
  • Provide proof of general liability insurance, and workers’ compensation insurance

Choose the Type of General Contractor License and Meet Additional Requirements

There are two types of general contractors’ licenses available in Florida:

A Certified License

This is valid throughout the state, so you are permitted to work anywhere in Florida.

A Registered License

This limits you to working within a local jurisdiction and you will also need to have been issued a certificate of competency by the jurisdiction. 

From there, you can then apply for a more specific contractor’s license. As a general contractor, the most important ones to consider are:

  • Building contractor – for commercial or residential buildings over three stories high, this license allows you to work on construction, repair, remodeling or improvements.
  • Residential contractor – for dwellings of between one and three families that are no more than two stories high, you can work on construction, repair, remodeling or improvements.
  • General contractor – there is no limit on the improvement of any structure or building type and you can carry out construction, repairs, alterations, remodeling, and improvements.

Applying for a Certified General Contractor License 

It is possible to apply for a general contractor certified license either as an individual contractor or as a qualified business. Applicants are first required to pass the state certification examination, and once that has been passed, the application for licensure can begin. 

Tasks include:

  • Downloading and completing the Florida State Construction Examination application.
  • If the exam is passed, downloading and completing the application packet (for either an individual or business).
  • Provide additional documentation including a FICO approved credit score, and proof of education and experience (applicants must have four years of experience or a combination of college and experience).
  • Undergoing a background check including fingerprinting.
  • Securing general liability and property damage insurance.
  • Securing workers’ compensation insurance (or being granted an exemption within 30 days of receiving a license).
contractors license in florida

Getting a general contractor’s license in Florida doesn’t need to be complicated or difficult. Partnering with Contractors Reporting Services in Tampa, FL, makes the process simple and smooth-sailing. With many years of experience in the industry, they’ll take care of the applications and paperwork so that your general contracting business gets up and running quickly. 

Rehab and Flip Connects Veterans with Rehab and Flip Properties in Tampa

Rehab and Flip Offers Great Investment Opportunities for Veterans

Rehab and Flip takes the hassle out of finding real estate investment properties. They make the process of finding and acquiring properties suitable for rehab and flip in Tampa simple and efficient for veterans. The real estate consultancy finds and acquires deeply discounted real estate and makes those Florida investment properties available to their network of investors for rehab and flip and other investment opportunities. For real estate investors searching for distressed properties to rehab and sell, the team at Rehab and Flip specializes in homes that the average investor might ignore or dismiss.

The average person may find rehabbing and flipping a house to be a very stressful experience. But, for men and women in uniform, it is a perfect fit for the skills and temperament they have developed. The hard work, dedication, organizational skills, and leadership experience acquired while serving as a member of the Armed Forces readily apply to this sector of the real estate industry. The degree of difficulty for a particular property is no deterrent. Veterans embrace a challenge without fear. Because of their skill set and experience, many veterans are well equipped to transform the most distressed properties in Tampa neighborhoods into valuable real estate. Consider these five reasons why veterans are prepared to succeed in the real estate investment industry.

real estate investment

1. Flipping a House Is Intense

Deployment in the military is about as intense as life gets. Strict goals and guidelines attached to a meaningful mission drive the soldier forward around the clock. After enduring that kind of experience, a nine-to-five desk job may well prove to be underwhelming and unfulfilling. Many veterans acknowledge that the transition from military service to civilian employment is difficult because the coworkers find them overly intense and super focused.

This intensity, focus, and attention to detail might be a liability in a typical work environment. However, these traits are a huge asset when it comes to flipping a house. Consistently focusing on budget and timelines without letting distractions get in the way is a sure path to house flipping success. Veterans know how to prioritize time and focus energy to accomplish any mission, particularly the mission of rehabbing and flipping a property.

2. Flipping a House Requires a Calm Attitude Under Pressure

A flooded basement or overflowing toilet unnerve most people. In contrast, veterans bring a level-headed and action-oriented attitude to unexpected challenges. By approaching setbacks as problems to be solved in order to fulfill the mission, veterans prevent emotional attachments and reactions from causing unnecessary delays or compromises.

Unexpected setbacks happen from time to time when doing a house flip, and they can cost the investor money, stress, and time. Being able to eliminate the stress reaction, veterans who flip houses lessen the amount of time and money they lose when the plan suffers a setback or is derailed.

3. Veterans Are Great Team Builders

Some house flippers hire contractors with whom they barely interact. The more successful flippers build strong relationships with the contractors they bring on board. These relationships create a team atmosphere among everyone who participated in the home. Veterans are skilled at building relationships and working together.

This team-building skill drives projects forward more smoothly. It also positions veterans to have continuous successes. Close-knit teams can be moved intact on to the next project. Contractors that have buy-in will prioritize the job over other opportunities. Veterans are able to build teams who feel respected and valued. This comradery spells success.

4. Veterans Hire Veterans

Veterans who own small businesses are much more likely to mentor, train, and hire other veterans. Having a mentor who understands the challenges of transitioning to civilian life can be crucial to post-military success. Veterans give back to their brothers and sisters in uniform by hiring them as contractors. The cycle of giving back has a definite financial and relational payback.

5. Veterans Often Qualify for Discounts or Fee Waivers

As an expression of gratitude for a veteran’s service, many businesses offer reduced rates, bonuses, or waived fees to veterans. From discounts at home supplies stores to special contractor rates to waived loan application fees, these breaks in costs can significantly increase the profitability of a real estate investing project.

How Rehab and Flip can connect Veterans with Distressed Properties in Tampa

The mission at Rehab and Flip is to serve investors from all walks of life, including veterans, as well as investors from all over the world looking to take advantage of the real estate investment opportunities that Florida and the greater Tampa Bay area offer.

The company’s new website features an informative blog along with active investment opportunities. Site visitors can locate important company information quickly and can also sign up for instant deal alerts for investment properties as new opportunities become available.

Chris Smith, the co-founder of Rehab and Flip, highlights the company’s unique value to real estate investors, such as veterans, saying, “We make the process easy and simple for rehab and flip investment opportunities in Florida. We find and acquire deeply discounted real estate and make those Florida investment properties available to our network of investors for rehab and flip opportunities. If you are a real estate investor or have a client looking for rental properties that offer a great return on investment or distressed properties to rehab and sell, the team at Rehab and Flip can get that done for you as they specialize in homes that the average investor might ignore.”

The Rehab and Flip portfolio of properties includes foreclosure properties for sale, investment homes for sale, bank owned foreclosures, REO properties, distressed property, and discounted multi-family properties. They strike the best deals for their clients and investors by utilizing their marketing, operations, and networking. They are actively marketing to property owners in foreclosure, those with distressed properties, people who just inherited a property, and other situations that require the property owner to sell fast and at a deep discount. Based on the investor’s criteria, Rehab and Flip will carry out a custom search designed for their investors.

Rehab and Flip is a preferred partner for investors from all over the world who are looking for investment opportunities in the Florida real estate market, including serving real estate investors from Canada, California, Arizona, New York, Texas, Illinois, Germany, the United Kingdom, and more. The Rehab and Flip team has been in the real estate industry for over ten years. They pride themselves on providing investment-grade residential real estate opportunities to investors. Rehab and Flip offers a wide variety of benefits for its investor clients. Rehab and Flip can close properties in less than a week, and the swift turnaround translates into a greater return on investment. Also, the company’s staff takes care of the title and escrow work. They can also help coordinate repairs and improvements for the investor as well.

real estate investment

Whether the client has real estate ambitions or wants to add properties to an ever-expanding portfolio, the Rehab and Flip team possesses the expertise and properties for those desire to invest in Florida real estate.

About Rehab and Flip

For more information about rehab and flip real estate investment opportunities in Florida, contact Rehab and Flip via email at investment@rehabandflip.com. The Tampa Bay area team can be reached by phone at (813) 476-3199, and the Panhandle area team can be reached by phone at (850) 807-4422.

Real Estate Trends in 2020

Projected Real Estate Trends for 2020 Analyzed by Contractor Licensing Experts

Realtor.com has recently published its housing market predictions for 2020. In the forecast, analysts looked at four areas: supply, demand, home sales, and the move to affordability.

general contractor licensing

1) Supply

Low affordability and higher interest rates caused growth in the housing inventory, while higher housing prices and higher interest rates raised barriers to entry. Houses sat on the market, and mortgage rates dropped. Borderline buyers entered the market. At the start of 2019, two out of three markets were seeing inventory growth. By the end of 2019, only one in ten markets were seeing inventory growth, placing housing into acute shortage mode. Acute shortage mode will drive prices up and create an opportunity for new home construction.

2) Demand

Several factors impact demand. A low-interest-rate environment, rising rents, and the growing millennial population broadened the potential home buyer pool and kept alive a robust demand in 2019. Buyer sentiment reached a high point in the summer months and energized sales growth in the fall. By the end of 2019, low affordability and economic uncertainty cooled buyer sentiment.

According to the article, “For the first time ever, Millennials’ share of mortgage originations will surpass 50 percent in the spring, outnumbering Gen X and Baby Boomers combined. The last generation to take more than half of all purchase originations was Gen X in 2013, just six years ago. Accordingly, other generations’ footprint will continue to contract, with Gen X and Baby Boomers taking 32 and 17 percent of mortgage originations respectively.”

3) Home sales

The decrease in sales is projected to be accompanied by flattening growth in price. With the supply of available homes continuing to be delicately balanced, and the entry-level demand expected to remain strong, prices are estimated to rise by 0.8% in 2020.

4) Move to affordability

Forecasters highlight a cultural feature of the Millennials that has impacted real estate development nationwide. Millennials are currently drawn to the city.

The article explains, “A dominant trait of this real estate cycle has been the renaissance of the urban downtowns. As younger generations returned to downtown cores, employers and developers responded by building offices, retail, and housing in high-density environments. However, as the costs of development and construction rose, so did housing prices, especially given the propensity for builders to bring mostly high-end, luxury products to market. Over the past decade, demand for downtown living trended on an upward curve, driven by a desire for proximity, and lifestyle amenities, especially on the part of Millennials.”

However, aging Millennials are maturing and starting families. They have shifted their priorities and are looking for more affordable housing outside the bustle of the city. On the other end of the spectrum, Baby Boomers are looking for lower taxes, a milder climate, and more affordable living in general.

What will 2020 be like for buyers?

Buying a home in 2020 will offer opportunities for some buyers. The supply of new homes will relieve some pressure on inventory, and prices will tend to move toward affordability. The inventory of new homes in 2019 remained focused on the high-end, but, as the luxury market cooled, builders signaled their intent to increase offerings in the mid-price segment. First-time buyers will continue to struggle with finding a home where they want it and at a price they can afford. They will still struggle to some extent, even with mortgage rates in an approachable range, since entry-level inventory is expected to remain somewhat tight. The widespread moderation in price will continue to offer opportunities in mid-sized markets in the Midwest and South.

What will 2020 be like for sellers?

Quoting from the article: “Sellers in 2020 will contend with flattening price growth and slowing activity, requiring more patience and a thoughtful approach to pricing. Sellers of homes priced for entry-level buyers can expect the market to remain competitive and prices to stay firm. At the upper end of the price range, however, properties will take longer to sell, and incentives will be needed to close deals. As the market moves toward a more balanced scenario, sellers who adjust to local market conditions can expect to benefit from continuing demand.”

How Will the 2020 Presidential Election the economy?

While some political elections can have an impact on the economy and housing markets, the outcome of elections is not linked directly to the performance of the markets. Expectations linked to a political party’s or an administration’s likely legislative or regulatory actions can influence confidence and decision-making.

The report provides the following forecast for key housing indicators:

  • Existing home sales will decline by 1.8%. 
  • Single-family home housing starts will increase by 6%. 
  • Home price growth will flatten, with a forecasted increase of 0.8%.
  • Inventory will remain constrained, especially at the entry-level price segment.
  • Mortgage rates are likely to bump up to 3.88 percent by the end of the year.
  • Tight inventory and rising mortgage rates will lead to dropping sales.
  • Buyers will continue to move to affordability, benefiting mid-sized markets.
general contractor license

To be ready for the opportunities in 2020, general contractors must prepare. With over fifty years of experience in Florida helping contractors of all types, Contractors Reporting Services guides contractors through the nuances and typical challenges associated with obtaining a contractor’s license as well as incorporation, renewals, annual reporting, credit reports, bonds, and more. Contractors Reporting Services comes alongside the contractor and handles all licensing needs.

For more information about obtaining a Florida contractor’s license, contact Contractors Reporting Services at (813) 932-5244 or email the team at info@activatemylicense.com. Visit them on the web at https://activatemylicense.com.

Outdoor Lighting Tips For Winter Shared by Landscape Lighting Experts

How to Winterize Your Outdoor Lighting in Alpharetta

Preparing for the cold months ahead means doing maintenance to your outdoor landscape lighting now to ensure that it can withstand the winter. With these five tips from leading landscape lighting company, Southern Landscape Lighting Systems, your property will stay looking elegant and your lighting will remain in top condition, even after the trees lose their leaves.

outdoor lighting in alpharetta

1. Exposed Wires are a Hazard During the Winter Months

Before the ground freezes, it’s important to inspect any wires that have resurfaced and reburied them. If you can see copper or damaged wire, it’s an indication that repairs need to be made. When this happens it’s advisable to ask a professional landscape lighting company to check the wires and make the necessary repairs.

2. Keep the Lenses Clean and Re-Check After Storms

This step is important, particularly if you have LED lighting. Dirt and debris tend to accumulate during the course of the year, which will dim or even completely block the fixture’s light. In the winter months, with longer nights, you’ll want your outdoor lighting installation to be functioning optimally. Ground fixtures tend to have the most build-up and can be cleaned with a non-abrasive cloth or using the professional post-sales services of an outdoor lighting company.

Remember to check LED fixtures after a snowstorm as you may need to clear accumulated snow as they produce less heat and may not melt the snow. 

3. Prepare the Bulbs to Shine Brightly All Winter

As the cold nights set in, you’re less likely to spend time in your garden after dark, so it’s good to do a check of all the bulbs to see that they’re working and shining brightly. Your landscape lighting system will stay on for more hours every night in winter due to the longer nights, so it’s a good preventative measure to check that the system is running optimally.

4. Adjust Fixtures that have Moved Out of Alignment

Because your landscape lighting system is exposed to the elements, it could be damaged during a landscaping project or blown over by wind (particularly downlights in trees), so it’s worth taking a walk around your property to correct the alignment of any fixtures that are no longer shining in the right direction. If you are preparing your garden for winter using a landscaping company, make sure you let them know where the fixtures are located so that they do not accidentally damage them. 

outdoor lighting company

Southern Landscape Lighting Systems in Alpharetta, GA, is a trusted supplier and installer of high-quality landscape lighting. Using only the best fixtures, their professional team offers excellent service both pre and post-sale. For systems that they have installed, they offer lens cleaning, exposed wire re-burying, the replacement of time batteries, fixture re-alignment, halogen bulb replacement, foliage pruning, socket greasing, and free service calls for one year after installation. 

They can also assist with systems installed by another company with an initial appointment to assess the integrity of the system and address what needs to be repaired or upgraded. If you need some help winterizing your landscape lighting installation, give them a call today!

Landscape Lighting Experts Shares Installation Guide For Spotlight Selections

A Guide to Selecting Spotlights for Your Landscape Lighting Installation

There are many different types of lighting – from floodlights to spotlights, path lights, and area lights. Southern Landscape Lighting Systems shares their tips on selecting spotlights for a landscape lighting installation as they play an integral role in transforming the exterior of a house and property.

Spotlights have their origins in theatre and show business and were used to light up the main actors on the stage. Today, in landscape lighting designs, they perform a similar function drawing emphasis on a landscape or architectural feature. Different from floodlights that give light to a wide area, spotlights have a much narrower focus with a beam that highlights one feature at a time.

Outdoor lighting isn’t designed to flood the exterior of your home with light. Rather, it is the interplay of light and shadow that adds depth to a garden landscape after dark. The selective application of spotlights creates visual accents on a home’s walls or sidings.

landscape lighting installation

There are different ways to add spotlights to your property, such as:

Exterior Walls

The spacing and positioning of spotlights that shine on a wall is key to creating a visually appealing exterior. Where the siding or wall is plain without windows, spotlights should be positioned so that the beams overlap about halfway up the wall. 

Columns

If your home has columns, these provide an ideal architectural feature for spotlighting. With columns there is usually a white section between the columns under the eaves; this is where the beam from each column should meet the next (halfway along). Using this design, a popular choice of spotlight is a well-type flush set fixture which presents the column in its best light with the illumination starting at the bottom of the column. 

Second Story

Outdoor architectural lighting aims to reveal the shape of the most important structures on the property so they can be seen even on a dark night. This requires that the upper story of a building is also illuminated along with the lower story. This represents a challenge for the landscape lighting company during the installation process as the spotlights will need to be mounted either under the eaves or in gutters. An alternative to this is to use narrow beam spotlights that are positioned from the ground and aimed to shine at the underside of the upper eaves while avoiding shining the lights into second-story windows.

Trees

Whether during the day or at night, trees are an integral part of your property’s landscape and are impressive features in their own right. When it comes to shining a spotlight on them, you will need to consider their size and shape to determine the best way to showcase them.

Tall, Expansive Trees

Large, wide trees will need more than one spotlight. An effective strategy is to use at least two 60-degree beams to illuminate the trunk and the outer edge of the canopy. The number of fixtures you use will depend on the size of the tree and the extent to which you want it to be a focal point in the design of your landscape.

Large, Narrow Trees

These trees will usually only need a single spotlight (although two will give better coverage) positioned at the base with a beam that is wide enough to light up the tree’s canopy.

Small to Medium-Sized Trees

Young or ornamental trees will need one spotlight. A 24-degree spotlight will work well for a short, narrow tree, while a short, wise tree can benefit from two 60-degree spotlights.

landscape company marietta

Southern Landscape Lighting Systems in Marietta, GA, offers engaging landscape lighting installations for their clients. With many years of experience in the industry, they consistently offer the best quality LED lighting and excellent customer service to the clients.

Landscape Lighting Experts Shares Winter Season Landscape Lighting Techniques

Five Simple Landscape Lighting Techniques for Your Home this Winter

With winter upon us, trees have lost their leaves, and your garden might be looking a bit bare. But, after dark, this provides the perfect opportunity to transform your property into a winter wonderland. With a professional outdoor landscape lighting installation you can add a sense of drama and beauty to your home’s exterior. 

landscape lighting experts

Southern Landscape Lighting Systems shares their top five landscape lighting techniques for the winter season:

Add Contrast with Uplighting Your Garden’s Landscape Design

Uplighting, rather than using floodlights, offers great contrast where up lights are placed closer to the building resulting in a bolder, more dramatic effect. Different from the typical wall-washing light from floodlights, it’s much easier to draw attention to the focal points of a landscape. This might range from architectural features of the home itself to areas of interest in the garden such as trees, fountains, structures or statues. For uplighting, spotlights and well lights are the most popular fixtures.

Create an Illuminated Backdrop with Silhouetting Landscape Lighting Effect

Silhouetting is where a fixture is placed behind the featured design and aimed against a wall to create a backlit feature. This is an excellent option for winter when trees lose their leaves, offering the opportunity to create interesting outlines using the bare trees. This technique is known for its ability to create intrigue through the interesting outlines and profiles of features that it creates. For silhouetting, spotlights and well lights work best to create the shadowed shapes that contrast with the light behind.

Choose a Softer Juxtaposition of Light and Dark with the Shadowing Lighting Technique

This technique is similar to silhouetting, where the lighting fixture is placed at the base of the fixture and aimed at an adjacent wall. But the style of the lighting is much gentler with the goal being to create a softer shadow. The technique works well all year round and is often used to highlight a tree with delicate, open foliage. It’s effective in winter where the shadows created by trees that don’t have leaves tend to be harsh and scary-looking rather than welcoming. 

Whether in winter or summer, shadowing works to create drama and depth to a home’s facade, although the overall effect is more subtle. Shadowing can be added to your garden by a landscape lighting company using a combination of floodlights, well lights, and spotlights.

Recreate the Feeling of a Moonlit Night with Moonlighting

The moonlighting technique is created by placing a downlight fixture as high up inside a tree as possible. It should have a full glare guard and be angled down. By doing this the light mimics the look of moonlight shining down through the branches. The light causes shadow patterns to appear on the ground that looks both beautiful and very natural. It is a good option in winter as the lighting is more subtle, with less glare, which is necessary when the trees are bare, and many of the vibrant features of a garden in summer are not present. Moonlighting is done with downlights and works best with trees that have open branches.

Add Light to Your Garden with Downlighting

The downlighting technique works in a similar way to moonlighting, but the effect that it creates is far brighter. To create the downlighting effect, fixtures are placed high up in features such as trees, eaves, trellises, or walls to pointed downwards, casting a pool of light over a large area. The amount of light that you want each fixture to provide can be adjusted by placing the light higher (for more illumination) or lower (to light a path or a smaller area of the yard).

Landscape Lighting Company

Southern Landscape Lighting Systems provides outdoor lighting solutions to residents throughout Atlanta. Their friendly, professional services set them apart, ensuring that their clients have a seamless, excellent experience every time.

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