Home Upgrades That Nobody Actually Ever Uses… especially here in Northeast Georgia

The article talks about Whirl Pool tubs, home gyms, a built-in kitchen desk and wet bar.

whirlpool tub

I have been selling real estate here in Northeast Georgia for better than 16 years, and have seen many of these items described here.

This is my favorite… Most separate garden tubs and whirl pool baths rarely, if ever get used today – that is besides a tub for the young kids. Mine is a good example of that. I thought we would take baths all the time in our nice big tub, but I only took a bath maybe 3 times in over 12 years. Now my kids on the other hand used it regularly when they were babies So unless you are a bath-taker now, don’t think just because you put in a good tub or get a whirl pool that you will use it, because few adults ever do.

Here in NE Georgia, I have seen many of home gyms, but only a handful of the people I spoke with actually use them. Apparently they went through the guilt trip that everyone goes through, and thought if they built a home gym that they would actually use it. Few do! I have bought a lot of gym equipment from sellers when I sell their home.

Wet bars… I usually only see them in the high-end homes, which I have seen many, but like everything else people think they will use if they build it – few ever use it.


I have only seen one family that actually used a built-in kitchen desk for its purpose, but mostly it is used as a junk grabber.

A double-oven. Nice to look at, but I only knew of one person who said they used it, but never seen one being used. Unless you cook a lot and have a large family, this is overkill for a kitchen. With that said, a lot of buyers like seeing them in homes they are looking to buy. But don’t run out and upgrade to one just to sell, it is not worth the return you will get.

If you are considering upgrading anything in your home before selling, please feel free to consult me or another real estate professional for free advice.

I am here when you need me. Ken

Ken Ruddell, Broker ~ Home Zone Real Estate
706.878.6116 ~ KenRuddell@yahoo.com
Northeast Georgia Real Estate Sales
No Pressure; Just Service!

10 Indoor Home Improvements for Under $100 in Northeast Georgia

AARP has several excellent ideas to take care of some things that will help your home function more efficient, as well as make it look better. Click here or on the picture to read what those things are.      620-stained-glass-window-home-improvement.imgcache.rev1381246226230.web

Easy fixes are things we all need to look at and try to do ourselves, or get a handy family member to do them for us.

These are especially important when selling your home.

The one thing I find is how little attention people pay to the simplest things they could do to make their home more sell-able. For instance; I bring a buyer to a home and go to open the door and the door knobs are nasty and peeling… are you kidding me? Is this really the first experience you want a buyer to have when looking to purchase your home? And I have seen this in expensive and cheaper homes.

Another is your bathroom. You want to sell your home for the best price possible, but you want the buyer to purchase your home with $2 garbage water faucets and plastic toilet bowl handle-flusher… are you kidding me? Also, gold, brass and silver do not mix well. Pick a theme and stick with it.

These are just a few things that I point out when talking to my sellers about listing their homes. If you want me to help you sell your home here in Northeast Georgia, just call, text or email me and I would be glad to help.

Have a wonderful summer. Ken

Ken Ruddell, Broker ~ Home Zone Real Estate
706.878.6116 ~ KenRuddell@yahoo.com
“Habersham County Real Estate and all your
Northeast Georgia Real Estate Sales”
No Pressure; Just Service!

7 foolish mistakes that people make when house hunting, even here in Northeast Georgia Home Buying

One of the first things I tell my buyers are to get pre-approved by their bank or a a mortgage company. The main reason is to actually get pre-approved, or at least pre-qualified (I will explain the difference later in this post). Because when you find the perfect home and want to make an offer, you want to be in the strongest negotiating position possible. With a bank letter in hand, you accomplish that, because it tells the seller you are ready, willing and most importantly ABLE TO PURCHASE their home.


The difference between a Pre-approval letter and a Pre-qualification letter is huge, yet many buyers, sellers and even real estate agents don’t know the difference. Pre-approval is the best position to be in, as this letter basically states that you are actually approved for a loan, and the only thing you are waiting for is a home to buy. Pre-qualification or a pre-qual letter, basically means very little except that you actually talked and or met with a loan officer. Minimum information is taken and none of the information is actually investigated, like how long you were working, how much you make a year, and many other factors that play a huge role in getting APPROVED for a loan. With the pre-qual, they likely check your credit, maybe talk about your income and come up with a ball-park figure on what you MIGHT be able to get approved for. Of course to get the pre-approval letter, you have to work hard and be really serious about buying, because it will take some time and effort to make sure you are ready when the time comes.

If you need help in buying a home, or representation in selling a home, call or email me and let my experience work for you.

Ken Ruddell, Broker ~ Home Zone Real Estate
706.878.6116 ~ KenRuddell@yahoo.com
Northeast Georgia Real Estate Sales
No Pressure; Just Service!

Keep Cool without using the A/C… hardly, but you can try these ideas…

If you have central Air Conditioning or a window A/C, the ceiling fan can still help you a lot if used properly. If you don’t have A/C or just want to skip on the high electric bill, Yahoo put together a few really good ideas.


Ceiling Fans can be your best friend come summer, but make sure they are set to run in a counter-clockwise direction; this allows them to draw cooler air up from the floor. At night, try positioning a box fan in an open window to pull in the cooler air from the outdoors.

Click here to read the article in full.

Have a wonderful summer here in Northeast Georgia. And if you decide you want to buy a home or a piece of paradise, call, text or email me anytime 7 days a week.

Ken Ruddell, Broker ~ Home Zone Real Estate
706.878.6116 ~ KenRuddell@yahoo.com
Northeast Georgia Real Estate Sales


outer space abraham lincoln fireworks usa statue of liberty photomanipulation_www.artwallpaperhi.com_71


Fireworks and block parties were a normal thing growing up in Brooklyn. Occasionally I would have the opportunity to watch the amazing fireworks show put on every year near the Brooklyn Bridge on the East River, which is between Manhattan and Brooklyn. And when I worked on Wall St., I had the pleasure of watching the fireworks from one of the tallest buildings in the area.

Here in North Georgia, things are toned way down when it comes to fireworks, but Helen puts on a good show. My family and I have gone into Helen to watch the show, and on different occasions hiked to the top of Mt. Yonah and watched the fireworks. We were able to not only see the Helen fireworks, but fireworks from several surrounding counties. If you ever get a chance, I highly recommend the view, and as a bonus – if the weather is clear, you will see an amazing sunset as well. Just bring sandwiches, snacks and drinks and enjoy the show.

July 4th has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1941, but the tradition of Independence Day celebrations goes back to the 18th century and the American Revolution (1775-83). In June 1776, representatives of the 13 colonies then fighting in the revolutionary struggle weighed a resolution that would declare their independence from Great Britain. On July 2nd, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence, and two days later its delegates adopted the Declaration of Independence, a historic document drafted by Thomas Jefferson. From 1776 until the present day, July 4th has been celebrated as the birth of American independence, with typical festivities ranging from fireworks, parades and concerts to more casual family gatherings and barbecues.

Click here to view the full story – presented by History.com

I am typically available to help my clients and customers on most holidays, so if you are in the area, feel free to give me a shout and see if I am around.

Have a wonderful and safe 4th of July.

Ken Ruddell, Broker
Home Zone Real Estate
7068786116 Text/Cell
1-800-884-5526 / Fax


Past President of the Habersham, White
& Stephens County Board of Realtors.

> I specialize in Northeast Georgia Real Estate <

Skip Plain Hardwood! These 4 Flooring Options Are Ruling 2015


If you are thinking about remodeling, the floors typically a large part of that. So I pulled this article from Yahoo because it had some creative ideas, and even if you don’t like what you see in the article, it may help in getting your creative juices flowing.

Click here to open the article on yahoo.com

My favorite is the Epoxy as seen in the pic. Mainly because it is indestructible, yet still can look classy. And of course you can match different area rugs to a solid color to create a wonderful contrast. Or you can use stencils to really create a unique floor.

Bamboo flooring was getting a lot of hype at one time, but I haven’t heard much about it. Which is quite surprising, considering how fast it can be grown.

If you would like help in finding a reliable builder or contractor, just give me a shout.

Ken Ruddell, Broker
Home Zone Real Estate
7068786116 Text/Cell
1-800-884-5526 / Fax


Past President of the Habersham, White
& Stephens County Board of Realtors.

> I specialize in Northeast Georgia Real Estate <

Deck Love: Top 5 Ways to Create a Cozy Porch


I found an old post on SouthernHospitalityBlog.com. And even though it is a 2010 post, the ideas are still good today.

The design the blogger used may not be for you, but if you read the post and use it as a tool to get your creative energy going, that is a good thing.

Think outside the box, be creative and enjoy your outdoor living space.

P.S. See the corners of the ceiling above the chairs? If you want to keep birds from making a nest up there, simply put a ting bell there. I have seen it done many times, and it works. Ask someone in the garden section of your local hardware store, or go to Lowe’s or Home Depot, they should be able to help you get creative with that.

Have a wonderful summer here in Northeast Georgia. And if you decide you want to buy a home or a piece of paradise, call, text or email me anytime 7 days a week.

Ken Ruddell, Broker ~ 706.878.6116 ~ KenRuddell@yahoo.com ~ Home Zone Real Estate

Pool Cleaning, Landscaping, Pest Control; do it yourself or hire someone… ?

The right choice can save you big.

For many, summer’s arrival signals the end of school, summer Fridays at the office, and, of course, a chance to kick back at the beach.

But for ambitious homeowners, it means just one thing: It’s time to tackle those outdoor home-improvement projects that have been waiting in the wings all winter.


Just one question remains: When should you save some green and tackle a project yourself—and when is it smarter (and safer) to call in the big guns?

To find out, we tapped contractor Danny Lipford, a nationally syndicated TV and radio host based in Mobile, Ala., and Rory McCreesh, a master builder and founder of Duce Construction in New York City, to offer their sage advice for getting the job done right.

Click here to read the entire article.

I hope these ideas are helpful to my friends and neighbors here in Northeast Georgia.

Call me anytime for a free consultation about buying or selling a home or a piece of land.

Ken Ruddell, Broker
Home Zone Real Estate
7068786116 Text/Cell
1-800-884-5526 / Fax


Past President of the Habersham, White
& Stephens County Board of Realtors.

> I specialize in Habersham and White County <

Computer Hijacking… it is a Real thing!

I was just reading an article on BusinessInsider.com about people getting their computers hijacked for RANSOME – yes it is a real thing. Here is a cut from the article:

“For example, a hacker might pose as your utility company in an email stating that they need you to fill out an attached form or else your power will be cut off. Or a hacker might even use social engineering to pose as someone in your contact list to get you to click on a link in an email.
Cyber criminals are even using social media sites and newsgroup postings to spread the malicious code. ”

The take away from this is; never open a file or click on a link from anyone unless you requested it… NEVER. No matter what it says. If you think it is important, call the person or company and make sure they actually sent it. I say it again, NEVER open an attachment OR click on a link in an email. In my signature I always include my website link, but you don’t have to click on it, just copy it and paste it in your web browser.

Safe surfing all.


Click on the picture to go to the website of Business Insider and read the whole article, or copy and paste the link below:


Ken Ruddell,

Home Zone Real Estate


13 Ways to Instantly Increase Your Home’s Curb Appeal

Although I do like a lot of these recommendations from Yahoo homes, I would keep one thing in mind… these improvements may help sell your home by getting more lookers, but it does not necessarily increase the value of your home. So be careful if you are on a budget.

yahoo front door - Ken Ruddell

By the way, now is a great time to get the outside looking good. The weather is favorable and the buying season is upon us.


If I can help or advise in anyway, please feel free to call on me.

Have a fantastic Summer. Ken

Ken Ruddell, Broker
Home Zone Real Estate
7068786116 Text/Cell
1-800-884-5526 / Fax


Past President of the Habersham, White
& Stephens County Board of Realtors.

> I specialize in Habersham and White County <

Memorial Day – Honors the Men and Women who died while serving in the United States Military.

May our Soldiers rest in Peace knowing they did not die in vain… but for the FREEDOM we celebrate today. GOD bless them all.

What is Memorial Day?  Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service.

Ken Ruddell, Broker
Home Zone Real Estate
7068786116 Text/Cell


Past President of the Habersham, White
& Stephens County Board of Realtors.

Why an agent might refuse to show a house (the low commission)

Click on the picture to get redirected to the LA Times to read full article.

Resigned house agent having problem with selling house

Resigned house agent having problem with selling house

I have been telling my seller clients this for over 10 years already. If an agent has 15 similar properties, and they do not want to show 15 properties, they narrow it down, by…. yup the highest commission that is offered. Think about it, why show houses with a lower commission when you could make more on another.

So this article is right on the money and unfortunately very true – most of the time.

The only time this would not be true is if their is an awesome unique piece of property that everyone wants to buy, then regardless of the commission, the buyers will force their agent to see it, unless the agent tells them it is under contract or unavailable.

I do not do this, I find the best properties that fit my buyers criteria. If they want to see 100 properties, we will see 100 properties.

Call me, I will treat you like you are family (the good side). Ken

Ken Ruddell, Broker
Home Zone Real Estate
7068786116 Text/Cell
1-800-884-5526 / Fax


Past President of the Habersham, White
& Stephens County Board of Realtors.

> I specialize in Habersham and White County <

JUST LISTED: 3BR 2BA Home in Cornelia, $104,500.00

Click on the Picture for Full Details and Location of the Home .

Ken Ruddell, Home Zone Real Estate 706-878-6116

3BR 2BA Home in Cornelia GA $104,500.00

Call or Text me anytime for more information and status of the home.

Ken Ruddell 706-878-6116

Home Zone Real Estate


Feeling Good About The Real Estate Market…

For the first time in years, I am getting a very positive feeling about the real estate market here in Northeast Georgia. I truly hope that is a good sign that new people are wanting to make this awesome area their new home of residence, or maybe even a place to have a second home.

I am available 7 days a week to help with any of your real estate needs.

Home Zone Real Estate Ken Ruddell Northeast Georgia Real Estate Habersham County Georgia Clarkesville homes for sale


Call, text or email Ken today.

Ken Ruddell, Broker
Home Zone Real Estate
7068786116 Text/Cell
1-800-884-5526 / Fax


Past President of the Habersham, White
& Stephens County Board of Realtors.

> I specialize in Habersham and White County <

Air Conditioning Maintenance Tips

Air Conditioning Maintenance Tips:

I created this list from my experience. Remember I am a real estate Broker, not an AC service guy or anything – so this is just a normal (maybe not so normal) guys opinion from past experiences.

It is definitley time to have the Air Conditioning checked. There are lots of companies out there. I personally like Roman Schreck (706) 968-8493. A real trustworthy guy that has always been straight with me.

Before we get into your A/C heatpump, I want to bring up A/C window units. Make sure you check them prior to installing them in your window. If they have BLACK stuff in the vents it could be MOLD, even black mold (the bad stuff). If it looks really bad, you are better off going to buy a new one, or you may be paying for doctor visits instead. I have recently read where you are supposed to clean these units before putting them away for the winter, but if you have one, that is harder than it seems. I recommend going to http://www.YouTube.com and search for A/C window unit cleaning, you will find help there.

Now to the tips.
1. Regularly clean your air filters, supply vents and return grills. Dust and dirt cause your heating equipment to work harder. That means higher energy bills.

2. You must check the ducts under the house. If you open a crawl space door and it is cool under there you may have a problem. But even if it isn’t cool under there go check the ducts for leaks. Crawl or walk along the whole duct system feeling for air streams (make sure the AC is on) and try and find holes. Even the smallest hole will cause a terrible loss of cool air and put warm air in its place. If you find holes use the proper sealant to fix that hole. This article says NOT to use duct tape especially in an attic because under extremem heat it melts. It seems like duct take would be ok in a crawl space or basement. But regardless of what you use to fix the hole – make sure you don’t have any squeezing or pinching of the duct.

3. Speaking of squeezing or pinching. This is a bad problem especially if a home has a second floor. I have seen where the second floor was never cool even with the air on high. Turns out the issue was when they ran the vents to the second floor they tried to squeeze them through holes that were smaller than the duct – that creating a pinch point where air was not flowing as it was supposed to. If those ducts are in the walls and not accessible, the only way you would know if you have a problem is by having the cool air coming out of the vents checked. I know home inspectors do this kind of thing, and of course AC companies must as well. So if you are having problems with the upstairs of your home not being cooled properly, you may want to have that checked out. If you have a basement and the vents are visible – make sure you check them carefully, look for leaks and pinches.

4. Make sure you have enough vents open in the house. AC units are made to push a certain amount of air and by closing vents the system will not work efficiently. Talk with your AC company for more information on this.

5. Make sure your outside unit is not too close to the house or overgrown with bushes or weeds. Your unit needs to breathe.

6. You should have your unit checked yearly to make sure your system is working properly and the freon levels are normal. Freon is the coolant used in the ac system.

7. Timing – when to have the AC checked? Don’t wait until the summer to have your system checked. The best time of year would be Early spring when you have the occasional warn day. This way you can pick a day according to your schedule and not the AC Professionals, because in the summer – if he is any good he will be booked solid.

8. If the AC company finds problems – make sure you ask for a quote in writing and do not committ to that company on the spot. Then get at least two more quotes. AND NEVER TELL THE OTHER COMPANIES WHAT QUOTES YOU HAVE ALREADY. You can – and I suggest you do – tell them you are getting multiple quotes.

9. And if you did not like the company who maintained your AC unit the previous year – don’t call them back. Ask your friends or a local Real Estate Agent for recommendations.

10. Lastly – if you have a home that does not keep the home cool because it is in the sun for a good part of the day; try covering the windows with either heavy curtains or insulation when the sun is on those windows. It works! And this tip goes for new homes as well as the older homes.

Education: Click here to learn about Heat Pumps. This is the main source of Heating & AC in Habersham County & Northeast Georgia. Especially in the low to medium priced NON-Custom homes.

Keep Kool and visit this site often. Have a great day. Ken

10 Tips for Saving Money in the Garden

Are you getting your garden ready for a good crop here in Habersham County this summer. Check out the video below with 10 Tips for Saving Money in the Garden.


Happy Gardening. Ken

Selling Your Home? Think CURB APPEAL – Easy Fixes

So you are selling your home. Too bad it is a terrible market to do so, but it has to be done. The first thing you should do even before you invite a real estate agent out to help price your home is to work on your curb appeal. Lets face it, if you are selling your home it is likely you don’t have money to pay for much if anything. Well here are some things you can do and will cost little to nothing to do them.

“Polished brass will pass upon more people than rough gold. ~Lord Chesterfield”

1> Make sure your mailbox looks as good as it can. Clean it, paint it or replace it based on if you have money or not. Make sure the numbers on the mailbox is clear and not weathered looking; that goes for the 911 sign with your number on it, as well as the number on your house itself. At least clean and get these things looking as good as possible.

2> Clean and or paint your front door. Make sure the door bell works. And make sure the door knobs aren’t nasty looking or broken. If you have to spend a few bucks here, it is worth it!

3> Keep your front porch or front of your home as clean and clutter free as possible. That means sweep your steps or walkway regularly. Remember people drive around looking at homes long before they call an agent to show them the home. Remember, first impressions are extremely important.

4> Clean your yard – not just the front, but all around your home. I am talking about getting everything that isn’t supposed to be there out of your yard, including dead wood, dog bones, old toys, nasty looking garden furniture etc… you get the idea.

5> Landscaping. That usually means money. But that is not the case here. If you have any woods around you property, you will likely have tree saplings in those woods, dig them up and plant them around your home (fresh bought wood chips or similar will make a world of difference – worth the money even if you don’t have it to spend). If you don’t have woods on your property, I am certain one of your friends will have. Also make sure you trim up what you do have, so if you have several small trees growing on top of each other, remove the weaker ones and make more room for the other to grow (spacing). If you have dead trees, get them down somehow and get them off the property, or cut them into firewood if you have a fireplace in the home you are selling.

curb appeal - the realty guy (Small)   Good

bad curb appeal - The Realty Guy (Small)   BAD

6> If you have a waterfront property, meaning if you have a river, lake or even a tiny little trickle of a creek, clean-up in and around the body of water. Make sure that a buyer can walk down to the water without walking through a brier patch or running into hanging limbs.

7> Gutters… if you have trees growing out of your gutters you need to do something about that right now. Clean all the dirt and leaves out of your gutters, then wash them with soap and water. If they are bent up, try and bend them into proper shape (do the best you can), or if they look bad replace them if you can afford it.

8> Of course if you have money, pressure wash your home, porches and decks.

9> If the siding is broke, replace it. If the home needs to be repainted, do it. 8 & 9 is totally dependent on having money to do it, so if you are in the majority, just ignore these two.

If you have any questions, please feel free to call or email me anytime. Have a wonderful Spring and Summer. Ken

Ken Ruddell, Broker

Home Zone Real Estate
7068786116 Text/Cell
1-800-884-5526 / Fax


Past President of the Habersham, White
& Stephens County Board of Realtors.

The History of CHRISTMAS

My Family and I wish everyone a Very Merry CHRISTMAS. May GOD bless you with Family, Love, Peace and Joy on this wonderful day.


Here is a great link to the History of CHRISTMAS.

Click on the link to view the answer to; “Where did the Christmas tree come from?

Ken Ruddell, Broker
Home Zone Real Estate
7068786116 Text/Cell
1-800-884-5526 / Fax


Past President of the Habersham, White
& Stephens County Board of Realtors.

Is 2014 a Good Time to Buy a Home? CBS News says YES.

The real estate in the video talks about how interest rates have gone up 1 percent in the past year, and is likely to increase another 1/2% in 2014. That is a significant trend, because if that becomes a steady indicator, rates will have doubled within the next couple years. So I would have to agree, if you can afford to buy a home, 2014 would be a good time to do it.


If you are interested in getting started on your search for a new home, click on the link below. Just remember to call me when you are ready to buy. I look forward to working with you. Ken

PROPERTY SEARCH - Ken Ruddell, The Realty Guy

Click on the GAMLS logo to go to the Property Search site on my website.

Ken Ruddell, Broker
Home Zone Real Estate
7068786116 Text/Cell

US home market: Few buyers and not enough sellers

The real estate market right now is like no other time in most of our lives. This article talks about too few sellers, and too few buyers that can afford to buy. (Click on the link above to read the US Home Market article)

What I personally think is that the sellers have their homes priced too high, as such buyers who have struggled through the depression and partially ruined their credit can not get a loan for the amount needed to buy a decent home.

Can you get a loan?

The reality is that the market is going to struggle until people can get their credit back. Many filed bankruptcy within the past 2-5 years, those folks have a ways to go before they will qualify for a loan in the range they need it to be in to get a home they want. Until then, the best bet is renting or finding a seller willing to owner finance. Unfortunately most sellers that are willing to owner finance want an unrealistic amount as a down payment, while the buyers are still looking for 100% financing.

The future is not bright for the near future unless you are one of the people that survived the depression with your credit intact or has access to an abundance of cash.

I would love to help you regardless of your financial status. Feel free to call or email me anytime for some guidance. In the meantime, just try and work on your credit score.

Have a wonderful Spring. Ken

Ken Ruddell {Broker\Owner} – Home Zone Real Estate

706-878-6116 Cell\Text – 800-971-6116 Toll Free


Watch out for “Refinancing Scams”

Always check with a local banker or a friend in real estate to make sure you know what you are doing. There are companies out there posing as agencies that say they can help you… be really careful! Read more about the scams by clicking on this safe link to the full Yahoo website.

Let me know if I can be of service. Thanks Ken Ruddell



Happy St. Patrick’s Day Everyone

Ever wonder why people wear GREEN today.

Click here to read all about that and avoiding getting pinched by a Leprechaun.

Neighbors Helping Neighbors – The Community Helping Place


The Community Helping Place is always in need of food donations as well as many other things.

I copied the paragraph below from their website:
“The Community Helping Place (CHP) is a 501(c)(3) located in Dahlonega, Georgia; dedicated to assisting those in need in Lumpkin County. Services include a food pantry, free clinic, emergency financial assistance (for rent, utilities, etc,), referral support services and family resource counselor. These services are made possible by the generous donations of individuals, businesses, churches, and civic groups. In addition we rely on approximately 180 volunteers who donate their time to help meet the needs of others in their community.”

So as you have read, they help out people in the community in a big way, and any contributions by you would be greatly appreciated. To donate anything, either go to their website or use the contact information below to do so.

Contact “The Community Helping Place”:
Phone: 706-867-9621 Fax: 706-867-6701
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 712, Dahlonega, GA 30533
Street Address: 2030 Highway 19 North, Dahlonega, GA 30533
(between Banister’s Funeral Home and Ace Hardware)

Neighbors Helping Neighbors – I love that!

Thank you. Ken Ruddell, The Realty Guy.
also a proud College Student at the University of North Georgia in Dahlonega.

Spring Forward – at 2am Set Your Clocks and Watches ahead 1 Hour

Spring Forward – at 2am Set Your Clocks and Watches ahead 1 Hour. It’s that time of teh year again – Daylight Savings Time.

Click here to read the why portion of the change. Also, did you know that not every State makes the Daylight Savings change.

Need a professional real estate agents opinion? Call or email me anytime, as I would be glad to help you.

Ken Ruddell, Broker
Home Zone Real Estate
7068786116 Text/Cell


Past President of the Habersham, White
& Stephens County Board of Realtors.

Are You Eligible for a VA Home Loan in 2013?

Getting a VA Loan is the way to go if you are eligible for one.

Click on this link to go to the information at the Military.com website.

Once you have the info you need, give me a call and we will find you a mortgage broker to get you started on the path to a new home. Ken

Ken Ruddell, Broker
Home Zone Real Estate
7068786116 Text/Cell

Past President of the Habersham, White &
Stephens County Board of Realtors

Simple ways to make your home energy efficient

By Danielle Blundell | Yahoo! Homes

Click here to read the Yahoo article.

Many of these things are not cheap, but if your plan is stay in your home, they are well worth the money. Ken


Ken Ruddell, Broker
Home Zone Real Estate
7068786116 Text/Cell
Past President Habersham, White &
Stephens County Board of Realtors

New Years Song “Auld Lang Syne”

New Year’s Eve is one of those love-it-or-hate-it holidays. But no matter how you feel about celebrating, odds are you’re going to hear “Auld Lang Syne” at least 500 times. There is no escape.

Click here to read the different versions of the song (poem) – when you get to the website scroll to the bottom) If you want to hear the music go to youtube.com and type in Auld Lang Syne -there are some beautiful versions.

Naturally, Web searches on the song pop like champagne corks on New Year’s Eve. Our guess is that folks simply want to know what the song actually means. After all, it’s not often that people belt out a tune that they don’t really understand. Well, wonder no more. Here’s the scoop on the song that is mandatory for one night every year.
Click here to read all about the song “Auld Lang Syne”…

Have a Healthy & Happy New Year everyone and may all your dreams come true in 2011. Your Freind & Realtor – Ken Ruddell

VA Loans – Active Military or Veterans – Buy a Home with NO Money down

Attention all present and past Military personell:

VA Loan Benefits can be used towards the purchase of a New Home or to Refinance

and is available to active duty Servicemembers as well as Veterans.

Mortgage rates have never been lower. Act now to:

Buy a Home with No Money Down
Refinance to Lower Monthly Payments
Pay off Higher-interest Balances
Lock in Historic Low Rates

Don’t let this opportunity pass you by.

If you need help finding a lender give me a call and I will be glad to assist you.

I am a Fellow Veteran and Real Estate Broker. Call me.
Ken Ruddell 706-878-6116 / 800-971-6116 Home Zone Real Estate

FYI:   www.Military.com has tons of great info for anyone

interested in the Military – Past & Present.

Having a Party? 10 Things Party Guests Won’t Tell You.

by Woman’s Day,The holidays are here, and chances are you have your fair share of parties to attend. You know the rules: Bring a bottle of wine and follow up with a thank-you note. But what if you’re the one throwing the bash? We talked to partygoers from around the country and found out what they have to say about hosting dos and don’ts. If you’re planning to open up your home this season, read on to learn everything your guests are too polite to tell you.

Great list of Mountain Bike Trails put out by “The Saint”




Click on the pic to read the TRADITIONAL meaning of EASTER

When I grew up as a kid it was like most others, candy, candy and more candy. Oh yeah EGG coloring. We weren’t regular Church goers, but when we did I loved it. Today I find myself much more Spiritual around Easter. I enjoy conversations about Jesus Christ and his sacrifices for us.

But I do still hold some traditions carried on from when I was a kid. Easter morning we color eggs – and now that the kids are teens they try and get really creative, so we get some kool looking eggs. And then of course egg salad for lunch using Hellmans Mayonaise (has to be Hellmans original. And it is the only time of year I eat Mayo). We talk about Jesus and God around the breakfast table, and whoever wants to go to Church can go with Great Granny.

So that is my little Easter story.

If you wish to read the TRADITIONAL meaning of EASTER – click on the picture above.

From my Family to you and yours; HAPPY EASTER and GOD bless you. Ken

City of Clarkesville History – Habersham County Georgia

City of Clarkesville History
Clarkesville, the county seat of Habersham County, received its charter in 1823. The city was named for General John C. Clarke, governor of Georgia in 1819 and 1821, or his father, General Elijah Clarke, a revolutionary war hero, according to various versions of the city’s history.

Clarkesville was a resort town for many years, catering to coastal residents trying to escape the heat and diseases of the low-lying areas. Delighting in the climate, some of the visitors bought land and built summer homes. Others found ample room in one of Clarkesville’s many hotels: The “Mountain View Hotel” (previous names: “Village Hotel” and “Habersham House”), “Alleghany House” (later called “The Inn”), “Spencer House,” “Free House,” “Erwins,” “Grove House” and “Fuller House.”

During the course of its history, many people have enjoyed their visit to Clarkesville. The names of some of the more famous visitors or residents include the following:

•Jarvis Van Buren, relative of President Martin Van Buren
•John MacPherson Berrien, later attorney general for President Andrew Jackson and a United States Senator
•Amos T. Akerman, attorney general for President Grant
•Robert Tyler Walker, grandson of President Tyler
•E. W. Eppes, grandson of President Thomas Jefferson
•Thomas M. Bradford, descendant of President James Madison
•Andrew Jackson (as a youth), his mother and aunt
How did travelers get to the city? The stagecoach from Athens to Clarkesville brought many. After 1873, trains became a popular method of transportation. Around 1910, a street car, running between the Clarkesville Train Depot and the Square, carried visitors to and from the center of town. About 1924, a paved road from Clarkesville to Cornelia (the first paved road north of Atlanta) further increased the ease of traveling to the city.

But long before Clarkesville became a tourist spot, Cherokee Indians inhabited the area. Around 1540 Spanish explorer De Soto passed through what would become the city of Clarkesville. It would be many years later, but still long before Clarkesville was created, that white settlers began living in the area.

By 1820 a post office, named “Habersham Court House,” began operation, with Walter Adair as the first Postmaster. After the charter was granted in 1823, the city was surveyed and laid out. Streets were named for presidents Washington, Jefferson, Madison and Monroe, and for Benjamin Franklin and generals Greene, Wayne and Marion of the American Revolution.

That same year, the first courthouse — a simple wooden structure — was erected. Then, in 1832, a brick building, located in the center of the Square in town, replaced the wooden one. It remained until 1898, when it was blown up with dynamite in a controversy between Toccoa (then part of Habersham County) and Clarkesville as to which should be the county seat. Both cities eventually got their wish: Clarkesville remained the county seat of Habersham, and in 1905, when Stephens County was formed, Toccoa became its county seat.

The next courthouse, although partially destroyed by fire endured until the construction of fourth (and current) one in 1964. The Hills of Habersham lists the date of the fire as December 28, 1923, but A North Georgia Journal of History gives the date as 1928.

The original hotels have been torn down, the street car line is gone and the Square looks a lot different than it did back in the 1800s and early- to mid-1900s. Today, very few people can leave their jobs to spend all summer here. Still, Clarkesville attracts new residents each year. In the early 1980s, Clarkesville was voted once the No. 1 retirement community in the United States and once the No. 2 retirement community.Information was taken from The Hills of Habersham, by Mary L. Church, and A North Georgia Journal of History, Volume I, by Olin Jackson. His information was a reprint of an article from “The Northeast Georgian.”)

City of Clarkesville History

Be well and keep in touch. Ken

Ken Ruddell is an active Real Estate Broker & Resident of Habersham County. Email me at Info@TheRealtyGuy.com or call me at 706-754-8589. Ken is on Twitter at @TheRealtyGuy and on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/KenRuddell

4 Steps to Take When Preparing to Buy a Home

4 Steps to Take When Preparing to Buy a Home:

Interest rates are at record lows, and many homeowners have priced their homes to sell. Many buyers who waited for rock-bottom prices know that now is the time to buy.

Click here to read the 4 Steps…

Call me when you are ready to buy (or sell) and I will work around you busy schedule to help you accomplish your real estate needs.


Ken Ruddell, Realtor-Broker
Home Zone Real Estate

New Year – New Home?

Happy New Year Everyone. This is a great day to start looking to find that new home or gem of a piece of land to enjoy.

My resolution is to help my customers & clients even more than before. To do my best to respond back to phone calls & emails as fast as lightning if possible.

Wishing you all Health, Happiness & Prosperity in 2012.

Your Realtor, Ken

Average Interest Rate on 30-year Mortgage Falls to Record 3.91 Percent

Associated Press: WASHINGTON (AP) — The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage fell to a record 3.91 percent this week, the third time this year that rates have hit new lows.

Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average on the 30-year home loan fell from 3.94 percent the previous week. The 3.91 percent rate is the lowest average for long-term fixed mortgages on records dating to the 1950s

The average on the 15-year fixed mortgage was unchanged this week at 3.21 percent. That’s also a record.

Low rates offer a historic opportunity for those who can afford to buy a home or refinance. But many Americans either can’t take advantage of the rates or have already done so.

Rates have been below 5 percent for all but two weeks in 2011. Even so, this year is shaping up to be one of the worst ever for home sales.

Rates could fall further still. Many economists think the yield on the 10-year Treasury note could creep lower in 2012. Long-term mortgage rates tend to track the 10-year Treasury yield.

Should the Federal Reserve launch a new program of bond purchases in the coming months to try to help the economy, it could further drive down mortgage rates.

Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, has said that despite the super-low loan rates, foreclosures and falling home values have created obstacles for would-be buyers.

But builders could see more interest from buyers in the coming months if mortgage rates stay low. The low rates contributed to a modest 2-point increase in builder sentiment in the latest National Association of Home Builders survey released this month, said Yelena Shulyatyeva, an analyst at BNP Paribas. Those rates, coupled with falling prices, could draw more people into the market, she said.

Sales of previously occupied homes are just slightly ahead of last year’s dismal sales figures. New-home sales appear headed for their worst year on records going back half a century.

Mortgage applications fell about 2.6 percent last week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Refinancing fell 1.6 percent. And loan applications to buy homes fell nearly 5 percent. Over the past four weeks, the level of mortgage applications has been relatively unchanged.

Some lenders have reported an increase in applications through the Obama administration’s refinancing program. That program was broadened in October to allow up to 1 million more homeowners lower their mortgage payments. But the MBA said such government-assisted loans account for just a small portion of refinancing.

High unemployment and scant wage gains have made it harder for many people to qualify for loans. Many Americans don’t want to sink money into a home that they fear could lose value over the next few years.

To calculate the average rates, Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the country Monday through Wednesday of each week. The average rates don’t include extra fees, known as points, which most borrowers must pay to get the lowest rates. One point equals 1 percent of the loan amount.

The average fee for the 30-year loan fell to 0.7 from 0.8; the average on the 15-year fixed mortgage was unchanged at 0.8.

For the five-year adjustable loan, the average rate fell to 2.85 percent from 2.86 percent. The average on the one-year adjustable loan declined to 2.77 percent from 2.81 percent.

The average fees on the five- and one-year adjustable-rate loans were unchanged at 0.6.

Contact me to take advantage of these incredible rates on some amazing home deals in Northeast Georgia.

You can count on me!

KEN RUDDELL, Broker/Owner
HUD Certified Broker

Home Zone Real Estate
706-754-8589 Direct
706-878-6116 Cell
7068786116 Text

Twitter: http://www.Twitter.com/TheRealtyGuy
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/kenruddell

Website: http://www.TheRealtyGuy.com
InfoBlog: http://www.TheRealtyGuy.net

Local Information: http://www.HabershamCounty.com

Mailing Address:
Post Office Box 2288
Clarkesville, GA 30523


I will explain the process of advertsing and what you will run across in your search for a home or tract of land.

In magazines some agents or companies advertise a portion or all of their listings in them depending on what size they want the ad to be and or just a cokkie cutter generic format. I am very ORIGINAL. Few if any of my ads are the same.

So you see a magazine and I only have 6 properties advertised on my page… you may be thinking is that all the properties he has listed. The answer is no. I advertise the properties likely to draw attention to my website where any buyer can view every listing by every company on the market. I try and make the ad and homes eye catching not just a boring format.

Here’s the thing. I can help you purchase any property for sale in the State of Georgia. So of course that means any magazine or website you are on and find a property for sale I can help you with it. That would mean getting all the facts about the property and then if necessary walking you through every step of the buying process.

If you call multiple agents it really causes confusion. With that said if you aren’t happy with your agent call someone else. The buying experience should be a magnificient one and not one of stress & frustration.

Call me today. I am here to help and will do my very best to work around your busy schedule.

Sincerely, Ken Ruddell.

BUYERS Tips – Habersham County, Georgia

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Paved, Gravel or Dirt Road?
In Habersham County and adjoining White County these are your choices as far as roads go…

Most would choose Paved roads but unfortunately a lot of our roads are unpaved. So if you find your dream home or land on an unpaved road you really need to know some basic questions to ask.

Is it a Private Road or County Road? That answer will determine who will be maintaining it.

If it is a Private Road then you must know exactly who will be maintaining it? Is there an association? Is there a yearly or monthly fee? Who do you pay? Is something written in the deed or is this just a handshake agreement?

These questions MUST be answered or you could find yourself in a stcky situation if your road needs new gravel or becomes inaccessible because of storms.

If you have any questions or uncertain about a property you are interested in call or email me and I will help you. KEN


It’s not just knowledge; it’s know how!

Ken Ruddell, e-PRO, ABR, ASR, GRI, WCR
Broker, Full-Service / Full-Time Realtor
Life Member Multi-Million Dollar Club
PHOENIX Club Member

706-754-8589 Direct
7068786116 Cell/Text
800-971-6116 Toll Free



Local Info: www.HabershamCounty.com

Home Zone Real Estate
Post Office Box 2288
Clarkesville, GA 30523

I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it. ~Thomas Jefferson

Searching for Houses For Sale in Habersham County? Why so many different places to search?

What are the differences between where you search for houses for sale? Below you will read the differences between Realtor.com, Zillow and my two MLS Search Sites.

There is one main thing to remember when searching on different websites. Most of the websites have a lot of the same houses for sale; but “ALL” of the houses for sale are taken from one of three MAIN Multiple Listing Services that serve Habersham, White, Rabun, Banks & Stephens Counties. We will go into those Services below. So wouldn’t it be easier just to look at the Multiple Listing Service websites directly than go to dozens of secondary websites to get the information? A secondary website would be places like Zillow, Trulia, Yahoo Real estate, Homefinder etc…

And another thing to keep in mind is that when a house sells it is NOT immediately updated on the secondary websites, they get updates periodically.

The three main websites that are mainly used in the counties I mentioned above are: Georgia Multiple Listing Service (GAMLS), First Multiple Listing Service (FMLS) and Habersham, White & Stephens County Multiple Listing Service (HWS). Out of those three only two of them are used to input listings. They are the HWS MLS & GAMLS. What I am saying is that if you search the database of these two MLS’s you do not need to search anywhere else for listed houses for sale.

Realtor.com is one of the most recognized websites but it is not focused on an individual area like the above mentioned MLS’s. It also has a lot of advertising which can make it annoying to navigate.

When you search directly from my real estate site you get the listings you want to see. You don’t get Realtor.com pushing properties not even relevant to your search put at the top of the list. You actually get what you ask for and that is houses for sale. There are two main Multiple Listing Services; these are referred to as MLS’s.

HWSMLS and GeorgiaMLS – click on the links to do your home or land search in Northeast Georgia – specifically Habersham County & White County.

I appreciate you taking the time to read this information. I hope it was helpful.

I am available at your convenience 7 days a week. Ken

Ken Ruddell, Broker
Home Zone Real Estate
706-754-8589 or cell/text 7068786116

Habersham County Georgia Home Schooling

Habersham County Georgia Home Schooling. This is something my family and I decided to do with our kids but it is not for everyone. Here are a few tips on home schooling in general.

First of all your child needs to have some kind of self motivation in him/her. I know from first hand experience that you cannot spend every minute of the day holding your childs hand – that is very unrealistic. And “bundling” your kids to home school is very risky, you have to keep in mind what works for one child may not work for another. In my family situation, our children came to us and directly asked my wife and I if we would home school them. We did not make any immediate decision. We took time to think this through. Ultimately we decided it was best for all our children to do this.

HAPPY 4th of July / Independence Day to everyone!

I hope everyone has a great weekend and you get a chance to enjoy one of the many local events going on. Demorest & Helen will have fireworks. I will be around all weekend, so if you need some assistance with any real estate just give me a call on my cell 706-878-6116.

Here is the story of the 4th of July…
Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of July, is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain. Independence Day is commonly associated with fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts, baseball games, family reunions, political speeches and ceremonies, and various other public and private events celebrating the history, government, and traditions of the United States. Independence Day is the national day of the United States. Click here to read a lot more about this special day in our history.

Ken Ruddell, Broker
Home Zone Real Estate
TheRealtyGuy@yahoo.com (email to my phone)
TheRealtyGuy@windstream.net (email to Home Office)

7068786116 Cell/Text (call me or text me on my cell)


6/29/11 is the day a lot of people in this county have been waiting for. The SUPER WALMART GRAND OPENING IN CORNELIA GA. It should grab a lot of traffic off of Hwy 441/365 and in turn bring more business to our county.

I know this has already given the residents of Habersham County the opportunity to get work – which is so important right now. We wish all the new employees the best of luck and thank Walmart for providing more jobs to our residents.

P.S. If any of the new employees need a house – just call me I am here 7 days a week to assist you.
Ken Ruddell – 706-754-8589 or cell/text 7068786116

Why It’s Time To Buy

Finally a smart article on why it is a good time to buy a home or any real estate for that matter.

Why It’s Time To Buy – via Yahoo Finance (Wall Street Journal Ruth Simon and Jessica Silver-Greenberg, On Saturday June 4, 2011, 2:47 am EDT)

Back in June 2006, when the housing market peaked, the prospect of a five-year national housing bust seemed unimaginable to most people. And yet here we are, with the latest Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller index showing that prices hit new bear-market lows, falling back to 2002 levels nationally and to 1990s levels in some battered regions.

Despite all the gloom, however, there are growing indications that it is a good time to buy. Mortgage rates, which fell to 4.55% for the week ending June 2, according to Freddie Mac, are near 50-year lows. Homes have become more affordable than they have been in years: According to Moody’s Analytics, the ratio of home prices to income is now 20.9% lower than the 15-year average through 2010, and 12.5% lower than the 1989-2004 average. A historic glut of homes, meanwhile, has created a buyer’s market: There were about 15 million vacant homes in the U.S. last year, according to John Burns Real Estate ConsultingInc.—some 3.1 million more than normal.

Such conditions might not last long. Moody’s Analytics predicts that the number of distressed sales will begin to fall in 2013, and that prices will begin to edge upward then. Home building is at a virtual standstill, so the supply overhang isn’t likely to get much worse. Meanwhile, demographic indicators such as “household formation”—the number of new households each year—are on the rise, and promise to take a bite out of the glut in coming years.

The upshot: “While we might not see rapid growth in the next couple of years, there are a tremendous number of positive signs that could lead to a rebound,” says Anthony Sanders, a real-estate finance professor at George Mason University.

Click here to read the rest of the article…

This article is right on the money. And I am here to help you whenever you are ready to start your search.

Have a great day. Ken

Ken Ruddell is an active Real Estate Broker & Resident of Habersham County. Email me at Info@TheRealtyGuy.com or call me at 706-754-8589. Ken is on Twitter at @TheRealtyGuy and on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/KenRuddell

TAKE THE POLL: Is this a good time to buy a house in Habersham County?

If you voted that it is a good time to buy. Call me today and lets get busy.

If you voted that you are waiting for prices to drop more you are taking a huge risk. Because not only are you hoping the prices drop you must also be hoping that interest rates stay at least where they are now. I can only say that these are two HUGE risks.

If you voted none of the above that you are renting. I can understand that. Some people don’t like the responsibility of owning their own home. Others may have credit issues. If you are the one with credit issues call me today and lets get you on the right track of fixing your credit.

Thanks for taking the time to take the POLL.

Have a great day. Ken

Ken Ruddell, Broker
Home Zone Real Estate
Clarkesville, Georgia

Habersham County Veterans Wall of Honor

Habersham County Veterans Wall of Honor LIST OF NAMES

In these days of uncertain times with war and conflicts raging, we as Americans should be thankful and proud to live in this great, free nation. Freedom is never free. Our freedom is protected daily by our brave men and women in the armed forces, just as those soldiers before them. Thousands of men and women have sacrificed their lives for our nation and our freedom during times of war and of peace.

In December 2001, the Habersham County Commissioners passed a resolution and the Habersham County Wall of Honor, Inc. was formed. A committee made up of veterans and patriots began working diligently. The late Ken Palmer was the initiator and organizer of this committee. He compiled over 5,000 names of Habersham County Veterans before his death.

Habersham Veterans Wall Of Honor website.

The Habersham County Wall of Honor will be for all veterans of Habersham County; all current residents, native residents and residents at their time of service will be included. The names will include all veterans serving during war and peacetime for all wars and conflicts from The Revolutionary War to the present.

Ethicon, a Johnson&Johnson Company, has graciously donated a tract of land adjoining the Habersham County Chamber of Commerce. We are grateful for their kind contribution to the veterans of the county. The total cost of the Wall of Honor is estimated to be around $200,000. This estimate includes land preparation, erection of the Wall of Honor, and beautification landscaping. The committee has also received over $20,000 in monetary contributions. The Wall of Honor is a non-profit organization and all donations are tax deductible.

Those wishing to make a donation or those wishing to submit a name for the Habersham County Wall of Honor, please write to us at P.O. Box 298, Demorest, GA 30535.

For More Information, Contact:
John Barnette at 706-778-2136 or 706-754-3086
Jack Broome at 706-754-9282
Barry Church at 706-776-8105
Larry Whitfield at 706-778-7123 or 706-778-9755
Mike Ivie 706-776-3748

You can donate money by going to the website and clicking on the DONATE button.

Thank you for your support.

Ken Ruddell – Aviation Electronics Technician 2nd Class (AT2), US Navy 1993-1999 My last assignment was with VP-16 NAS Jacksonville. Our squadron was based and deployed out of Jacksonville FL.

Habersham County Video Slide of the Parks & Recreation

I got this off a Habersham County website. Short & sweet.

Click here for a Habersham County Video Slide of the Parks & Recreation

Check out www.HabershamCounty.com for all kinds of local information.

Take care. Ken

May 21st 2011 is the 49th Annual Mt. Laurel Festival

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May 21st 2011 is the 49th Annual Mt. Laurel Festival. Listed on Top 20 Events in Southeast for Spring. The Mountain Laurel Festival is the oldest festival of its type in North Georgia. It has been the hallmark of springtime activities in Habersham County since its inception in 1963. The festival is a time to celebrate Clarkesville’s heritage and to extend its long tradition of hospitality.

Well wishes & thanks for stopping by. Ken

Tomorrow Friday MAY 20th is the last day of School in Habersham County

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Friday MAY 20th 2011 is the last day of School in Habersham County. Congrats to all of the 2011 Graduating Class. But of course we all know school really ended last week. I hope you all have a great summer vacation.

Click here for the Habersham County Schools website.

The first day of the new school year has not been determined at the time of this post. So keep an eye on the Habersham County Schools website for more information.

Town of Mt. Airy History – Habersham County Georgia

Town of Mt. Airy History – Habersham County Georgia
The Town of Mt. Airy, incorporated on March 3, 1874, was founded and developed by Colonel M.C. Wilcox, a railroad promoter who moved here from Knoxville, Tenn. Although it is possible that it was named for Mount Airy in North Carolina, which was settled around 1850, the name is a description of the area’s healthy climate.

Known for years as an exclusive resort town, summer homes, tourist cottages, and hotels were built during the late 1800s and early 1900s to provide lodging for visitors. Two of the hotels that served tourists were the Mt. Airy Hotel, built by Colonel Wilcox in 1886, and the Monterey Hotel, built by the Gresham brothers of Virginia in 1902. The three-story, 150-room, 50-bath Monterey Hotel was destroyed by fire, rebuilt in 1907, then destroyed by fire again several years later. The City Hall and post office are now located on the site where the hotel stood.

The town also boasted thriving businesses. Besides the general mercantile stores, Parker’s Soda and Sundry, and the Bank of Mt. Airy, commercial peach orchards were introduced by Colonel John P. Fort. Colonel Fort, who moved to Mt. Airy from Macon, Ga., in 1885, also cultivated apples. In 1905, he won recognition for the area’s orchards when he took First Prize for his fruit in the Washington State Fair. (Fort also bought “Forest Lodge,” a sanitarium run by Dr. Sidney J. Lanier [cousin of the famous poet], and converted it into a residence called “Mountain Hall.”)

1877 saw the establishment of a Swiss colony under the leadership of Mr. J. Staub, and 1878, the first school. At least one of the schools, the Sibley Institute, taught children from all over the country.

Due to the decrease in train travel and the burning of the Monterey Hotel, tourism began to decline in the 1920s. Today the echoes of its past may be found in the residences and other buildings that remain from its heyday as an exclusive resort town.

Information taken from “Town of Mount Airy Comprehensive Plan 1992-2015”; Georgia Place Names by Kenneth Krakow; and Once Upon A Time: Schools of Habersham County Georgia by Betty Sisk and Ellene Gowder.

Be well and keep in touch. Ken

Ken Ruddell is an active Real Estate Broker & Resident of Habersham County. Email me at Info@TheRealtyGuy.com or call me at 706-754-8589.
Ken is on Twitter at @TheRealtyGuy and on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/KenRuddell

City of Demorest History – Habersham County Georgia

City of Demorest History – Habersham County Georgia
Who wouldn’t like to have a perfect place to live? A site whose climate, location and morals are completely agreeable to its residents? A group of people who came from Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Ohio, and Indiana perhaps had such a vision of Utopia in mind when, in 1889, they moved to the area now known as Demorest.

Looking beyond the sawmill camp that operated there, the small band envisioned a city that would serve as a beauty spot, health resort and center for industry and education. Morals would be strictly regulated: Any resident who permitted drinking, gambling or prostitution would forfeit his property.

To make their dream a reality, the men — one of whom was W. Jennings Demorest, a prominent prohibition speaker and leader who died in New York in 1895 — formed the Demorest Home, Mining and Improvement Company. John A. Reynolds surveyed the area and drew the plat for the proposed town. Incorporated on November 13, 1889, it was named in honor of Mr. Demorest, and construction began!

At first, the company built only a few homes and the influence of the settlers may still be seen in the surviving New England-style homes they constructed.. However, with the promise of water power and building lots, industries began to locate here. One of the first was the Norton and Cooper hoop factory. In short order a novelty shop, knitting company, bath tub works, foundry and machine works, saddle-tree factory, wagon factory, and others began operation. The Demorest Bath Tub Works manufactured the Goodrich self-heating, folding bathtub. That would be a sight to see today! Grocery and dry goods stores also opened for business.

The town was becoming a center for industry, but what about education? In 1897 the J.S. Green Collegiate Institute was founded, later (in 1903) to be renamed Piedmont College. An elementary school served the children for many years from its location in the middle of the city. And religious education could be had in any one of the several churches established in the late 1890’s or early 1900s.

Has time affected the city? Yes. Eventually all of the initial factories went out of business due to bankruptcy, replacement by newer technologies or for other reasons. The last of the originals, the Flor Saddle Tree Factory, shut down in the middle to late 1990s. The elementary school closed, and a new one opened on the outskirts of the town.

Despite the passing of years and the changes that occurred, Demorest still thrives. Its location (on Highway 441 between Cornelia and Clarkesville), its natural beauty, Demorest Springs Park and the four-year accredited Piedmont College are among the factors that have contributed to its economic health and growth.

Information taken from a brochure printed by the City of Demorest; Georgia Place Names by Kenneth Krakow; and The Hills of Habersham by Mary L. Church.)>

City of Demorest History – Habersham County Georgia

Be well and keep in touch. Ken

Ken Ruddell is an active Real Estate Broker & Resident of Habersham County. Email me at Info@TheRealtyGuy.com or call me at 706-754-8589.
Ken is on Twitter at @TheRealtyGuy and on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/KenRuddell

Habersham County Unemployment Rates

POSTED ON 5.9.11: Habersham County is just below the Georgia average of 10% in March 2011 at 9.9%. And Habersham County is down from 10.7% in January 2011 to 9.9 in March 2011.


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