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$17.5 million Lake Lanier home to be auctioned

$17.5 million Lake Lanier home to be auctioned

GAINESVILLE, Ga. -- It's a dream home: a $17.5 million house built 10 years ago in Gainesville along the shore of Lake Lanier. 

On Monday, the house goes to online auction. The bidding starts at $1.5 million. On Thursday night, homeowner George Donovan -- who has never lived in the house -- gave 11Alive a tour. 

Donovan says his family has changed and his children live elsewhere, so he doesn't need a palatial custom estate.

For two years Donovan tried to sell the home and couldn't, so now it's the gavel of the online auction. Seema Jain, of Sugarloaf Realty Partners, is handling the sale of this estate.

Here is the tale of the tape:

Six bedrooms, eight bathrooms, guest house, tennis court, 13.5 acres, 24,000 square feet, two docks, four-car garage with apartment, home theatre, steel structure, all stone and brick masonry.

"Driving Miss Daisy" home on the market for $1.95 million

"Driving Miss Daisy" home on the market for $1.95 million

ATLANTA -- Twenty-three years ago, this month, Atlanta was the focus of the Academy Awards when "Driving Miss Daisy" won "Best Picture.

The film was written by Pulitzer prize winning Atlanta playwright Alfred Uhry who grew up in the Druid Hills area.

The story deals with the relationship between an elderly Jewish woman and her African-American chauffeur after World War II.

And as of today, the home from the movie, which forever linked Atlanta to Hollywood is, now, up for sale and it's going to the highest bidder.

To some, the home is as defining as Jessica Tandy & Morgan Freeman and as unforgettable as Alfred Uhry's words.

It's located at 922 Lullwater Road in the Druid Hills neighborhood.

Jeff Hullinger asked, the listing agent for Coldwell Banker Doris Robinson, "How did this home get selected for the movie?"

Hall Book Exchange Hosts Local Authors Jeff Plucker and Lisa Kelley

Hall Book Exchange Hosts Local Authors Jeff Plucker and Lisa Kelley

This Saturday, August 13th, the Hall Book Exchange located at 1854 Thompson Bridge Road in Gainesville will host local authors Jeff Plucker and Lisa Kelley for a book signing.

Jeff is the author of The Sport of Selling: Highlight Reel, an easy-to-read book that turns simple knowledge you may have gained while playing or watching sports into concrete steps you can take to improve your sales techniques. Whether you are an entrepreneur trying to grow and promote your own business, a sales rep who makes a living from commissioned sales, or the CEO of a large company, Jeff’s book has something for everyone.  From 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on the 13th, Jeff will be signing copies of his book along with answering questions and discussing the many ways in which he has learned to use sports approaches to help him sell.

Metro Atlanta foreclosure rate 16th highest in nation

Metro Atlanta foreclosure rate 16th highest in nation

ATLANTA -- Metro Atlanta's foreclosure rate slowed by the middle of 2011, but remains among the metros with the highest rates.

Atlanta had 44,1560 foreclosure filings from January through June, down about 16 percent from the first half of 2010. This gave Atlanta the 16th highest rate of foreclosures, according to RealtyTrac, which publishes the largest list of foreclosures in the country.

The company defines a foreclosure as default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions. 

Real Estate has a Long Road to Recovery


The next years of real estate are not going to be positive for homeowners. In fact, it’s estimated that in 2012 over 60% of all home sales will be foreclosures or short sales. This means that the banks will control the pricing of more than half the real estate market and we can expect continued declining values. This idea may not sit well with many after the mortgage meltdown and moral hazard issues we had over the past five years.

Further, we at Sellect Realty believe that it will be another five to seven years before we see home values near their previous peaks and then we expect a plateau for several years to follow before growth. Currently our market is still declining. Despite month-over-month gains we have had another drastic decline in home values over the past 12 months. According to the recent statistics released by Realtor.com the average listing price decreased by 11.42% from June 2010 to $250,933.  

Things to Avoid When Holding an Open House

This weekend was national open house weekend. I had the opportunity to see an open house go wrong in a million dollar neighborhood, so I'm going to share some pointers to help your open house go smoothly.

1. Ensure that there are no malfunctions with the home. A defective air conditioner ruins the experience for everyone including the agent. You do not want the agent to be in a bad mood!

2. Have an agent who will not push prizes, giveaways, or follow prospective buyers as they look at the house. The idea is to make everyone comfortable and the way to do that is by making all information readilly available and be available to answer questions.

3. Have drinks and/or snacks on hand, especially on a hot afternoon. At a minimum, bottles icewater and soda is a must.

Be Aware: New State Tax Law Went into effect Jan. 1

Be Aware: New State Tax Law Went into effect Jan. 1

Hall County, GA--  (submitted by Hall County)

Under Georgia tax law applied in Jan. 2010, property owners may apply for a tax exemption year round (except for the Conservation Use exemption), but only exemptions filed by April 1 will apply to the current year tax statement. There are more new changes effective Jan. 1, 2011 as a result of S.B. 346.

• Property owners have 45 days to file an assessment appeal rather than 30 days.

• Property purchased in 2010 for less value than the county assessment of record will be taxed for 2011 at that lower value; but if the purchase price is higher, the county cannot raise the taxable value. So if you bought a $400,000 house in foreclosure for only $150,000, the county can only tax you for $150,000.

• The county is required to send every taxpayer an assessment notice each year, whether there has been a change in the value or not. The notices go out at the beginning of the summer.