Real Estate education for all phases of your career Pre-License Next in person class starts in August. Online-start any time & work at your own pace Post-License In Person: May 3-21 August 9-27 November 1-19 CE Courses Online classes are now available Ricki Free, Associate Broker School Administrator & Licensed Instructor Meredith Plummer Licensed Instructor Sue Slothower Licensed Instructor Visit us at: https://donaldfreerealestateschool.com/ Email: dfreereschool@gmail.com 3

Photo courtesy of Houston Lake Country Club 100 Champions Way, Perry, GA 31069 https://houstonlake.com/

inside in the know 6 By the Numbers 14 Staging Sells 18 New Construction 20 Not so fast on “Coming Soon” 28 Mortgage Minute 38 Why a Realtor? 42 Commercial Corner Lifestyle 8 Design Time 24 Spring Cleaning 36 BBQ Faves community 12 Vectr Center 26 Donation Locations 34 Perry Events 35 Community Events features 7 Introduction 13 & 39 CMD Homes 22 In Memoriam—Johnny Moore 32 Richardson Free Realty 33 P2 construction 44 Agent Directory 46 Never say Never

Houston County BY THE NUMBERS The Houston County real estate market is very strong. The following numbers represent residential properties sold in 2019, 2020 and the first two months of 2021. They are supplied by the Central Georgia MLS and summarized by CB Free Realty. $ 205,092 Average Sales Price in 2020 Compared to $191,135 in 2019 Bedrooms 2020 Avg Sales Prices 1-2 BR $102,417 3 BR $147,753 4 BR $238,856 5 BR 316,976 6 Plus BR $368,847 2019 Average Days on market 48 2021 30 Average Days on market 3411 3617 Listings Taken (94% Sold) 1.2% fewer homes listed in 2020 than in 2019 6 Listings Sold 95 more homes sold in 2020 than in 2019 Lower supply = higher demand Realtor® Appropriately priced homes sell for 99% of their asking price. Your can help you price your home according to latest comparable prices. Homes are moving fast! 2020 40 Average Days on market 99% Sale price to list price ration 2020

Welcome! CB Free LIVING Welcome to the first ever edition of Home Free! This magazine has been a vision of my wife’s (Ricki) for some time now. We knew that publishing a magazine would be no easy feat but when Ricki brought the idea to her team (Meredith Plummer and Sondra Wilson) she was met with surprising enthusiasm. Ricki had to ground their enthusiasm with the realization of how much work it really would take, but we truly do consider it a labor of love. CB Free Realty is a full-service Real Estate company and we pride ourselves on having ethical, knowledgeable agents and we wanted to give them a platform to educate and inform the public about all things Real Estate. This magazine is the voice of our company and our agents. The people and companies featured are not paid advertisers but people and companies we do business with in our trade. Scott Free, Owner, Broker CB Free Realty In my now 34 years of real estate, we have never had a seller’s market like this. Our inventory has never been this low, with properties going under contract the week they are listed and buyers paying over appraised value in cash. Builders are having a hard time pricing new builds due to the rising cost of materials. Yet, there seems like there is no end in sight, people need homes. So, this is exciting news for those selling and hopefully for our market overall once this phase passes. We hope this will increase or a least hold our comp prices stable for resale properties. After our last real estate recession, us veteran Realtors® look at good times a little differently; this ole farm boy is making hay while the sun is shining but saving for that inevitable rainy day. I want to take a minute to thank Ricki, Meredith and the whole CB Free Staff and Agents, and our graphic designer, Savanna Plummer for their help in putting this publication together. There have been a lot of extra hours and hard work to bring Ricki’s vision to life. During this process, we have found that many of them have hidden talents we didn’t even know about. Our hope for this magazine is that buyers and sellers will learn something about our market, the real estate buying and selling process and that we shed some light on who we are as REALTORS – there’s also some fluff. - Scott **The views expressed in this publication are solely those of the agents and employees of Coldwell Banker Free Realty and are not necessarily those of other Agents, Realtors®, Coldwell Banker and/or other Real Estate Companies. All rights reserved. Copies or reproduction of this publication in whole or in part is strictly prohibited without express written authorization by the publisher. 7 Publisher Ricki Free Scott Free editors Traci Atkinson Ricki Free Meredith Plummer Sondra Wilson writers Ricki Free Beverly Hardy Christi King Meredith Plummer graphic design Ricki Free Meredith Plummer Savanna Plummer PHOTOTGRAPHY Ricki Free Zenithland 3D Imagery Hunter Branham 1271 S Houston Lake Road Warner Robins, GA 31088 478-218-8052 1101 Washington Street Perry, GA 31069 478-987-0763 www.cbfreerealty.com information@cbfreerealty.com Published March 2021 by Coldwell Banker Free Realty

DesignTIME Trish Cossart is the Owner and Principal Designer of Cossart Design. With a versatile aesthetic, she draws on over 20 years of experience to help clients make the right selections for their homes. 8

Many people find that when it comes time to decorate a home or even update a room, they would love the opinion of a professional. For most, the idea of decorating is scary and daunting and they tend to second guess every decision. Our sales manager, Ricki Free, sat down with the professionals at Cossart Design in Downtown Perry, Georgia and asked them to walk us through what to expect when seeking the advice and services of a professional designer. Ricki: Trish, walk us through the process of getting started with a decorator. Especially for those of us that maybe don’t know what our “style” is or how to communicate that style to a decorator. find a style? Can you help a client Trish: I think for several of our clients, they do know what their style is, but you’re right - they may not know how to put it into words. That’s what we’re here for! At the very beginning of our process, we have each client complete our Cossart Design Personal Style Assessment to determine what they know they like vs. what they don’t like. Once we get an idea of a customer’s style, we can make some suggestions that they may not have considered. Sometimes we are able to pull in fun patterns and fabrics they may initially have felt uncomfortable with and show them how it can elevate their space. Sometimes, we as people, need a little push into what’s uncomfortable for something beautiful to be created. After each client completes their style assessment, we set up a time to meet in the space we’ll be working with. Every design project also includes a client visit to our retail space in which you will have a chance to touch and feel furniture choices before you buy. This way, there will be no surprises. We have a presentation process that allows you to buy-in with clear choices. Our team’s mission is simple: to help you create a beautiful home. Ricki: Sell us on the services of a decorator. Can someone hire you for just one room? Trish: Our team offers a variety of services based on the need of our clients. Whether you’re looking for custom upholstery, new window treatments, paint colors, full room plans, or new construction, we customize our scope of work to fit those exact needs. An in-depth look at our most popular services can be found on our website. We understand time is valuable. It is our job to take on the brunt over every fine detail and decision needed to complete the design process. However, yes, every project is different! Some clients prefer to focus a whole design around a family heirloom piece, others want to highlight their favorite upholstery, and sometimes we begin with a clean slate! Oftentimes, I choose an inspirational fabric and build my design around it. Ricki: In listing and selling homes, we know that kitchens and bathrooms are often what sells the home. What room would you say is the most important design feature of a home? 9 Your vision becomes the springboard for our creativity, and with a defined process, we make design enjoyable.

Trish: While Kitchens and Baths may be the selling point for homes, families also spend most of their time together in the Great Room or another main living space. For design, that is a huge focus for the majority of our projects. This space should be welcoming and inviting for everyone, but also make a statement. The Great Room is the beating heart of any home. Ricki: Tell our readers about the current trends and what items are more timeless in decorating? Trish: Keeping up with current and new trends is at the forefront of our industry. Of course, open concepts paired with grey and neutrals continue to be strong for any aspect of design. However, green is becoming more popular in fabrics. We are now using and seeing more contemporary or transitional fabrics incorporated into most projects. Clean lines, Asian textures and patterns, and wallpaper are seen in both modern and traditional homes as well. Pulling together various patterns and textures to create one room design is becoming more common than not. These days, perfectly matched items throughout one space are becoming less common. A curated collection is becoming more accepted. It’s ok to mix metals and wood, various colorways, and pattern and textures. Geometric shapes, neutrals, subway tile, valances, and the navy color family continue to be timeless design concepts. “ 10 I think for several of our clients, they do know what their style is, but they may not know how to put it into words.” - Trish Cossart

“ Clean lines, Asian textures and patterns, and wallpaper are seen in both modern and traditional homes as well. Ricki: What are some easy or inexpensive items that can make a big difference in a room? Trish: Easy and affordable upgrades we see for the everyday home are changing to champagne brass or matte finishes for hardware styles and adding new lighting or rugs. Ricki: Thank you so much for talking with us today; how can people reach you to inquire about your services? Trish: They can call us at 478-224-1127, stop by our retail location at 924 Carroll Street, Perry, GA 31069 or find us online at www. cossartdesign.com. On Houzz, you can find us at www.houzz.com/pro/cossartdesign. We’re also on social media! Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest @CossartDesign. Phone: 478-224-1127 Retail Location: 924 Carroll Street, Perry, GA 31069 Online: www.cossartdesign.com. Pictured left to right: Samantha Kirk, Trish Cossart, Haley Bryant 11 “

Community Spotlight A vector is defined as an object that has both magnitude and direction. That certainly describes the Vectr Center in Warner Robins. Its mission is both grand and focused in helping veterans as they move forward after military life. The Georgia VECTR Center serves as a gateway for veterans’ re-entry into Georgia’s public postsecondary educational systems and workforce. The center was established by the state and is designed to serve veterans and their families through career counseling, educational coaching, workforce training, and more. The VECTR Center provides unique, accelerated programs in high demand and strategic industries tailored to abbreviate the process of receiving post-secondary certificates and degrees by recognizing the extensive training veterans receive during their military service. Through on-site partners (Georgia Department of Veterans Service, Georgia Department of Labor, Department of Veterans Affairs and United Way/Mission United) they provide a one-stop-shop for veterans seeking benefits, educational opportunities, employment services and links to community resources. 12 The Georgia VECTR Center is open to the public for education, employment, entrepreneurship and community support services. Patrons may schedule an appointment prior to visiting the Center by calling 478-2183900 or emailing info gavectr.org

NEW CONSTRUCTION No Need to Upgrade. Standard Unique Features CMD Communities is proud to build homes in Georgia, bringing new homeowners the quality and craftsmanship only CMD can deliver. Barrington Place Subdivision Located in Macon, Georgia Homes from the $260k+ Meadows Walk Subdivision Located in Byron, Georgia: Homes from the $260k+ Bridgewood Coves Subdivision Located in Macon, Georgia Homes from the $260k+ Call one of our experienced Agents about building timelines, specific pricing, floor plans, and more. Beverly Hardy Cell: 478-951-7140 beverlyhardy@cbfreerealty.com Coldwell Banker Free Realty 1271 South Houston Lake Rd Warner Robins, GA 31088 Phone: 478-218-8052 Christi King Cell: 478-662-4285 christihking@cbfreerealty.com

Staging -- Ricki Free & Meredith Plummer A seller should think of selling their home like Game Day. You don’t just decide to sell your home one day and slap it on the market. You prepare for it, plan for it and take the steps to make the sale a success. Home staging has evolved over the years from making sure the house looked “just so” and baking fresh cookies, to the modern recommendations of de-personalization and the added twist of adding in digital staging, when needed. The truths still hold that when it comes to setting the stage for a home to sell quickly, there are several key aspects to address: cleanliness, clutter, décor, furniture placement and photos. That is, in a nutshell, what staging is: getting the house ready for winning on game day! We asked three agents with extensive experience in this area to help us guide you through staging a home. Sells Juliana Horsting, Associate Broker/Realtor® has 21 years’ experience in Perry and the surrounding Middle Georgia area. She is a specialist in traditional home staging. She is also co-owner of Market on Camelia in Marshallville, which features home décor and more. Dawn Jerles, Associate Broker/Realtor® is the owner of Zenithland 3D Imagery and focuses heavily on producing quality photos, 3D tours and drone photography. Heather Drury, Realtor® has experience with traditional and digital staging. All three feel like a properly staged home is about appealing to a broad array of potential home buyers. Associate Broker / Realtor® CB Free Realty O: 478-987-0763 C: 478-955-0259 julianahorsting@hotmail.com 14 Juliana notes: “In my experience, one of the first 1 – 4 showings who look at a home will be your buyer. If your home doesn’t show well, you lose that sale. In my experience as a Realtor®, a staged home sells faster.” When we look at studies about buyer’s first impressions, we know that certain items (like location and square footage) are accepted by the potential buyer before they request a showing. In today’s digital world, even items such as curb appeal are noted by buyers ahead of time.

Once a showing has been scheduled, the seller must show a buyer why they should make an offer! In the chart to the right, you can see that once inside the home, the majority of the items that make up a buyer’s first impressions are in the seller’s control. Buyer’s First ImpressionS Getting a home ready to sell can seem like a daunting exercise, but 72% of a home’s first impressions are in the seller’s control! Sellers cannot control the floor plan or the rooms, but they only make up 27% of what appeals to buyers. Things such as cleanliness, clutter, and odors make up 36% of buyer’s first impressions, followed by Décor (21%) and Condition & Lighting (15%). All of these items are things that a seller has full control over, and most are not expensive. But where do you start? Getting a home ready to sell can seem like a daunting exercise, but although Juliana, Dawn and Heather have experience in different aspects of home staging, they all agree that the number one recommendation, is a clean house! Cleanliness Counts Sometimes sellers think that having a clean home simply tells the world that they are “clean people”, when in reality, having a clean home says a lot about the house itself, too. When buyers enter a home that is spic and span, they often feel like the home has been well cared for. A well cared for home will bring more value than one that has been left to show its wear and tear. When a buyer sees dust free ceiling fans and window blinds, they aren’t left wondering when the last time the A/C filter was changed. When buyers evaluate a home, they see things that will cost them time, work and money. If the home is well cared for, the buyer will get the impression tht the home was well maintained. They will believe that they have less to spend going into the transaction, so they can offer top dollar. Sellers need to do a thorough cleaning of the whole house, and sometimes having a professional do the cleaning can really help. As homeowners, we often get used to seeing smudges on walls, or a mildew caulk line in the bathroom. We become “nose blind” to our pet odors. Having a professional house cleaner do a deep clean will ensure that items we don’t even notice get addressed. 36% Biggest Impression Cleanliness, Clutter, & Odors 21% 15% 15% Rooms in the house have less impact than overall presentation 13% Floor plan is the least controllable, but also the least important when properly staged and presented. 15 Next biggest? Décor Finally: Condition & Lighting Impact of uncontrollable features when selling

Clutter & Décor We encourage sellers to try to de-personalize their home (within reason) and especially de-clutter. This doesn’t mean you have to remove every spec of yourselves from your home, but the goal is for the buyer to be able to picture themselves in the home and not be focused on looking at the seller’s family pictures and vintage teaspoon collection. When a seller is trying to pack up to move, there are sometimes boxes and piles around. Again, this is where having the home properly staged and ready to market before going live in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) can be beneficial. You want buyers to focus on the house, not your stuff. Agents know when buyers are close to making an offer when one of them says “Honey, I can see the couch right here and the TV on that wall!” At that point they are envisioning their life and their belongings in their (hopefully) new home. Ideal Furniture Placement Rearranging a room can have a huge effect on how a room feels. When rooms “feel good”, they feel like HOME. If you have large, overstuffed furniture, although it may be comfy, it can make a room feel smaller. Dainty, fragile furniture in a large room with high ceilings can make a home feel overwhelming or sparce. An agent familiar with staging may recommend storing overly large or unique furniture and switching it out with pieces that fit the scale of the room better. In addition, we often don’t use rooms in our homes for their intended purposes. If you are using your dining room as an office, an experienced stager may recommend that you move the desk and computer to a bedroom for the showing period so buyers can picture a dining room set up. What if you don’t have a dining room set? This is where some agents have recommended digital staging. In one home, there was an awkward area between rooms that every potential buyer said “what would you even put there?” With a little help from digital staging, the agent was able to digitally place a small side table and two occasional chairs to create a sitting area. Not long after the digitally staged photos went live, the sellers finally received an offer which led to a sale. Ready, set, photoshoot We live in a very instant gratification society. People want pictures and videos – now. Heather Drury, Realtor® notes: “Most home buyers begin their journey by searching online. Attractive, clear photos help them decide which properties to view and consider”. Heather is correct, we lay in our beds at night and surf websites looking for “the one”. Even with homes flying off the shelves, sellers need to appeal to the widest group of potential buyers. If buyers can only get in to see one or two houses that day, sellers want one to be theirs! Good photos, video tours and even digital staging can help for this. Juliana says that “I always hire a professional photographer for my listings and I believe that a new listing should never go “live” until the pictures are in”. Dawn Jerles, Associate Broker / Realtor® CB Free Realty O: 478-987-0763 C: 478-396-4697 dawnjerles@cbfreerealty.com Good drone photography can help a buyer understand the layout of a lot! Photo credit: Hunter Branham

Specialized photos & software can create interactive virtual property tours, like the dollhouse view offered by Zenithland 3D Photogrphy Buyers can click on any area of the home and the software will take them to that room! awkward angles and odd shadows.” Drone photos are especially helpful with large lots, those with water access or those with a unique lay of the land. A home gets the most attention at the very beginning, so it’s vital that the house is not only “show ready” in person for viewings, but “show ready” online for when it hits the market. Additionally, if a home is listed in the winter when the grass is brown and shrubs aren’t looking great, if it’s still listed when the grass greens up and the azaleas are showing off, new photos should be taken and added to the listing. Dawn Jerles personally invested in a Matterport Camera and does drone photos as well. Dawn understands that having good quality photos that present a true picture of the home are vital – she says “professionally edited photos present the home visually in a way that is pleasing to the viewer and a quality photographer can enhance a property WITHOUT misrepresenting it to the public.” Buyers want to have a familiar feeling when they view a home, not wonder if they are in the same house as the one online. She finds that “most residential properties have issues with natural light making cell phone photos seem dark. Many times, homeowners don’t have the skills or equipment to overcome One of the best exercises we can recommend to a seller when they are considering selling their home is to go to outside and walk to the end of the driveway and turn around and look at their home. Then begin to look at the home from a potential buyer’s eyes. Is the Christmas wreath still on the front door? Although the seller may use the garage to enter the home daily, potential buyers will use the front door. The front door is the buyer’s first impression, so it should be a good one. Make sure to clear away the cobwebs and clean the pollen from the front side panels. Once you step through the front door, do the same thing. How would a buyer – a stranger – see my house. Is it a house…. or a home? That’s the ultimate goal of staging. To present to the buyer a home they can see themselves making an offer on and making memories in. Heather Drury Realtor® CB Free Realty O: 478-218-8052 C: 478-918-4182 heatherdrury@cbfreerealty.com 17

NEW CONSTRUCTION IT’s A WHOLE NEW WORLD -- Beverly Hardy & Christi King In the Spring of 2020 when the news of the pandemic was breaking, we all wondered what the impact would be on real estate in general and specifically on new construction. Initially, we all were concerned about whether the market would slow down or perhaps even stop because of the “new normal”. The market certainly did not slow down, but rather it raced forward. The increased momentum forward brought on new challenges as there were labor slowdowns due to illness, challenged communication due to teleworking, and builders’ inability to get supplies from their vendors due to manufacturing & transportation slowdowns. New construction closing dates have had to be amended time and again which has led to tried patience levels on the part of Buyers, Realtors®, Lenders and Builders. New stipulations had to be added to contract language to cover the Covid-caused delays. Initial meetings for pre-solds had to include 18 “Patience is key when you’re building a new home in 2021. Things are changing daily.”

cautions about not depending on a close date….about not locking in rates too early….and about not scheduling moves and life changes around the initial contract close date. The shift began in Spring 2020 causing some major price increases to the builders for supplies which has had to be passed on to the contract pricing. Under normal conditions when building in neighborhoods, one would expect a gradual uptick in house prices which would be understood and adjusted for in appraisals. But this is not the case under the “new normal”. Under the “new normal”, the increased price of homes in subdivisions cannot be matched by current appraisal guidelines. Under the current guidelines, appraisers have to consider what “sold” in the last 6 months to 1 year depending on recent sales of the area. What sold in the last 6 months to 1 year cannot justify the cost of building in 2021. Appraisal guidelines do not take into consideration the cost to build scenario any more. That leads to a dilemma: How can a builder build a home for a buyer at today’s costs and be assured that it will appraise for the purchase price and how can the cost difference vs appraised value be accommodated? Not only that, but what price increases during the build will the builder incur and how will those increases be handled. The bottom line is that a builder cannot afford to build and then have to sell for less than it cost. Builders are having to make hard decisions like: Do I go ahead and build and not price nor place on market until prices stabilize? Do I stop building until prices stabilize? Do I hold firm on purchase price when appraised value doesn’t match and expect buyer(s) to pay the difference? Will prices stabilize? Yes, it’s a new and changing world in new construction under this “new normal”! No one has all the answers and everyone is facing the challenges the best way possible as we forge ahead. Beverly Hardy Cell: 478-951-7140 beverlyhardy@cbfreerealty.com Christi King Cell: 478-662-4285 christihking@cbfreerealty.com 19

Coming soon? Not so fast! By Ricki Free or maybe a divorce situation has made showings difficult, or if a seller has other significant concerns about privacy. But for the rest of the sellers, maximum exposure is the name of the game. Limited exposure to the market means limited buyers, which means limited or fewer offers. This is why FSBO (For Sale By Owners) are often not successful at getting top dollar for their property, they are fishing from a much smaller pond. Especially in a Seller’s Market, where agents list the property for sale on Friday and by Monday, they have multiple offers, if home is not exposed to the whole market you may be leaving some big fish in the pond. The other major concern for Coming soon listings can also be referred to as off-MLS listings, pocket listings or office exclusives. Just like with most things in life there are good and bad sides of a topic, but in the case of coming soon listings, for most Sellers, I believe it can be bad. Let’s first define what a “coming soon” listing is. It is a listing offered for sale initially to a “select” few. Let me also define MLS. MLS is the Multiple Listing Service. The MLS is only available to licensed agents and it is how we share information on properties for sale and for properties that have sold. In a nutshell, it’s our database. The MLS is the single most important tool to all agents who list and sell. The MLS is a cooperation agreement as well; all agents who are members agree to cooperate information and commissions. If I am selling my home why wouldn’t I want to be in the MLS where agents working with buyers are going every day to see what’s new on the market? There are few reasons why not - maybe I am a celebrity that doesn’t want a bunch of groupies traipsing through my property 20 coming soon listings is it can really mess up the comps (comparable properties) in a market. When we, as agents, and appraisers put a price or value on a property, we again go the MLS and see what other properties most like the property we going to list recently sold for. We can only use comps that have been exposed to the market, the whole market. Which means we can not use the coming soon sale in our valuation. Think about that - why would an appraiser not be able to use a “coming soon” listing that went under contract before it hit the open market? Because it is simply not comparable - if the listing was fully exposed, who knows what it could have sold for. There is only one person the coming soon listings benefits (with the exception of the above examples) and that’s the listing agent. Why not put the listing in the MLS to increase the number of buyers? By not putting the listing in the MLS and sharing the information the agent has an increased the chance of selling the listing themselves, which means they don’t have to cooperate the commission paid by the seller. Let me clear up commissions paid by the seller for those that don’t know. When an agent lists a property,

the commission the seller agrees to pay is split between the listing broker (the Seller’s agent) and the Selling Broker (the Buyer’s agent). That is that cooperation agreement mentioned earlier. This profession was built Leveraging the available on agents “cooperating” together by sharing information, knowledge, and commissions for the benefit of the consumer. We help stabilize the market by bringing fair market values for sellers, future sellers and buyers alike. To further this discussion GAR (Georgia Association of REALTORS) creates the forms that most of the agents use in this market. One of the 2021 changes to the Exclusive Seller Brokerage Engagement Agreement (aka The Listing Agreement) was amended to clarify to agents about when they were able to advertise to the public: Listing Price and Listing Period. The price at which the Property shall be listed for sale is $______ (“List Price”). The term of this Agreement shall begin on the date of _______________ (“Starting Date”) and made available to the public on the date of _______________(“Marketing Commencement Date”) and shall continue through the date of _______________(“Ending Date”), as the same may be extended by written agreement of the parties or as provided for herein (hereinafter, “Listing Period”). GAR’s goal was to allow agents and sellers to come to an agreement on selling their home and sign the listing agreement (“Starting Date”) but not “Market the Listing” until the home was showing ready. This change allows the agent time to get their marketing together, while the sellers get their “honey do” list done. At the end of the day, coming soon listings do little to help the seller, the market, or future values. They can create a feeding frenzy that scares off or even eliminates potential buyers. I believe that a seller should think twice before allowing their agent to market their home before it is offered to the public. Their bottom line may depend on it. technology is so important for a seller. Getting a home marketed to as many buyers as possible should be the ultimate goal! 21

Johnny Moore In the early days of the pandemic last year, we lost someone important to us. And, though Covid-19 did not claim his life, it claimed our ability to say “goodbye”. We thought it only fitting to share with you in our first issue our feelings for our old buddy, Johnny. Johnny joined us back when we were still Richardson Realty. Through acquisitions, name changes, economic downturns and rebounds, Johnny was always there. Even when Johnny took a break from Real Estate to sell insurance, Johnny was never far from our thoughts and he was always there in spirit. When Johnny returned to Real Estate, the forms had changed, the technology had changed, but Johnny had not. He was still the same person who got up and went to the office every day whether he “needed to” or not. He learned the new forms, he learned (some) of the new technology, he traded his flip phone for a smart phone and he worked. He sat and made calls and worked his contacts like few other agents we have ever seen. He was always there in the office, if he wasn’t showing property or at a closing. Johnny hustled. When we had a company event, or something going on in the community, Johnny always called to see if we needed help setting up chairs or hauling supplies. He was always….there. We have created a little spot to remember Johnny near his favorite spot (the coffee station in the Perry office) and have named it Johnny’s corner. We had an artist try to capture the sparkle in his eye. We know things will not be the same without Johnny in our company and in our lives, but we will always remember him and his jovial, fun, hard-working nature. We are proud that he served others along side us. He was our agent, our colleague…and our friend. We miss you Johnny. 22

A stranger is just a friend I haven’t met yet -Will Rogers 23

SUPER EASY SPRING CLEANING TIPS For busy people S pring has sprung and for most of us, the urge is strong to clean up and shake off the winter blues. A great place to start is at home. A good spring cleaning around the house can mean a summer free of chores, leaving more time for having fun! When thinking of where to start cleaning, we recommend starting at the top and working your way down. As you clean dust off of ceiling fans and tops of cabinets, it falls toward the ground. Next move to countertops and furniture. Finally, you can tackle the floors. If you work from the top down, you aren’t stuck cleaning the same surfaces over and over. We’ve created a few handy checklists of items that are sometimes overlooked!

If you’re thinking about selling, real estate is all about location, location, location. Sellers can’t do diddly about their home’s location, but they can do something about their home’s cleanliness. Make sure you read the staging article to see just how much buyers value cleanliness. A clean home tells buyers that you have cared for your home which translates to less repairs and maintenance. They aren’t left to wonder when the last time the air filters were changed and how that may have affected the HVAC system. One of a REALTOR’s tricks of the trade is walk a seller to the end of their driveway and tell them wto turn around and imagine they are now a buyer. The same principle applies for non-sellers, what do my neighbors see when they come to borrow sugar? So, while standing at the end of your driveway what do you see? Friends and strangers see the dead boxwood in the front flower bed and the tree limb on your fence you have been meaning to drag off. As you walk up the drive and head to your front door – you see the mildew on the walkway to the front stoop, the cracked or chipped pot with the dead plant next to the front door with the Christmas wreath you have been meaning to remove. You get the drift. For most of us we never use our front door - we go into our homes through the garage, and if the garage is a hot mess, we instantly close the door to the garage so our neighbors don’t judge us. We are all guilty of hibernating inside when the weather is cold. We are not outside as often and these things become out of sight and out of mind. But in the south y’all, cleanliness is close to Godliness. Taking care of these chores now will allow plenty of time for summertime fun! To help get things going, we have created an outside and inside check list to use as a guide. There are also some service providers that our agents have had great experiences with. Happy Cleaning! 25 Health & Safety O Change batteries in smoke detectors O Clean lint from dryer and dryer exhaust ducts O Clean out your washer filter, if it has one O Check the fridge filter and replace, if needed O Discard any expired medication according to instructions provided O Check fire extinguishers O Check & clean a/c returns and change filters in a/c frequently to keep indoor air clean O Check grills and outdoor kitchens for rust, worn parts, insects, grease and other debris before use

Remember! A Helping Hand Cleaning Services 1st Class Cleaning Service 478-952-7075 G & F Cleaning 478-508-5772 Mc Ghee Cleaning Service 478-988-0306 Bella Window & Exterior Cleaning Services 478-320-2327 Pressure Washing WDA Pro Wash LLC 229-349-3810 Jody’s Pressure Washing 478-397-1275 Property Solutions 478-951-6891 Roofing Advanced Roofing of Central Georgia 478-922-8898 Cutting Edge Roofing & Renovation 478-978-ROOF Platinum Roofing 478-542-1012 Donation Abba House Who they help: Abused women & women with addictions Donations Accepted: Monetary Gently used clothes Furniture (no used mattresses) Household appliances Home décor / pictures 1347 Sam Nunn Blvd Perry, GA 31069 478-218-0043 26 Locations Perry Volunteer Outreach Who they help: Families south of Hwy 96 in Houston County Donations Accepted: Furniture Will accept mattresses if no odors or stains 801 Commerce St Perry, GA 31069 478-218-2274 Rainbow House Who they help: Abused children & families in need. Offer parenting classes, mandated reporter classes, etc. Donations Accepted: Monetary (During Covid) Cleaning supplies Baby items Children’s new or gently used clothes Call for information / Directions 478-218-0043 478-218-0043

SPRING CLEANING TO-DO Indoors Outdoors O Ceiling Fans and Light Fixtures Remove all the globes to your light fixtures and put them in the dishwasher. Most dishwashers have a crystal or glass feature this will help with spotting. O Air Vents/Grates While you have the ladder out, go ahead and vacuum and wipe all the air vents/grates; Don’t forget to change your air filters while you’re at it. O Cabinets Kitchen and baths- there are some great cabinet cleaners on the marker but, would recommend a good cleaning with a vinegar and water mixture to remove the grim first. O Woodwork Interior doors and frames, crown molding, chair rail, wainscotting, and lastly baseboards. For those of you that have kids this is probably part of your weekly cleaning, but the wood work in your home does need an annual wiping off. O Vacuum Even most up rights have attachments for curtains and furniture. This may even be a good time to have your more frequented furniture professionally cleaned as well as your more traveled carpet and rugs cleaned. O Floors This is where you have to get down and dirty, literally hands and knees down. Vinegar and water again are a good start for baseboard and floors. If you want to go back with another cleaner after, all the cleaner. O Roof Inspection / Gutters and Downspouts It’s not a bad idea to hire a roofing company to give your roof, vents and boots a clean bill of health and while they’re there have them clean the gutters and downspouts. O Pressure Washing This job may seem easy enough but you can cause a lot of damage to your property if you’re not careful. Legitimate pressure washing companies know just how much pressure is enough. They can even do soft washes on roofs that won’t hurt the integrity of your shingles. O Windows Again, no small job, but what a difference it makes! Some words of advice, do not use soap. Soap and detergents are sticky that’s what helps get the dirt off - but it also sticks it right back on. A water and vinegar mixture works well. If you are able to get all the dirt and detergent off the glass you should not have to hand dry them. Windows should dry spot free or you can try a squeegee. O Sprinkler System It is very possible that during a freeze a sprinkler line or head broke or cracked. Run a test and get them fixed before you have super wet area or a super dry area. O Fences Fences make good neighbors – make sure your fence is clean, mended and nothing is encroaching on your neighbor’s property. Make necessary fence repairs and maintanace – your neighbors will thank you for it. 27

MORTGAGE Minute -- Meredith Plummer As Realtors®, we are accustomed to wearing many hats. From being a listing and selling agent, to a private investigator to a sometimes therapist, agents fill many roles. One of the most important roles we take on is that of an educator. Your Realtor® will help you learn about all sorts of aspects of home buying. Getting a home financed and to the closing table is one of those lessons! It’s our job to help make your home sale or purchase as smooth as possible and in order to do that, we need to start off on the right foot. Even before a buyer starts looking at homes to purchase, we recommend that they begin working with a lender. There are several different types of lenders that buyers can work with. Some people choose to go to their local bank or credit union while others choose to work with mortgage companies whose sole business is mortgages. Whoever you choose to work with, there is some basic information you need to understand. First and foremost, the relationship between you and your lender is an important one. It’s based on trust and finding a lender you can communicate well with is vital. Garrett Bennett, Branch Manager of Homestar here in Warner Robins says: “everything we buy, from underwear to a car typically takes one day. We pick it out, pay for it and leave immediately. However, a house takes about 30 days to buy. Buying a house can be a tedious, detail-oriented process. It can also be very stressful. Having a good relationship with your lender is very important. The buyer needs to trust their lender and know the lender has their best interest at heart.” We recommend that buyers work with a lender before house shopping for a few reasons. The first is that many online “mortgage calculators” aren’t giving consumers the whole picture. Do you know what to put in for taxes and insurance? Here in Middle Georgia, DID YOU KNOW? Pre-qualified vs. Pre-approved There is quite a difference between being pre-qualified with a lender and being pre-approved. If you are “pre-qualified”, the lender has done a preliminary look at your situation, but for the most part, their recommendation is based on the information that you provide. If you tell them you 28

the taxes on a property vary widely depending on location and that can make a big difference in the estimated house payment. Without a clear picture of what payments will be, most buyers don’t know what price range to search in. Also, if buyers think they are qualified for a $300,000 home and start looking at them, only to find out that they can only officially qualify for $225,000, they are seldom satisfied with the type of home they are “settling for”. By knowing the proper priced home to look for from the beginning, you can avoid some disappointment. Shannon Katz, a local loan consultant with Loan Depot says that “the first step when working with me is to ask general questions about the buyer and their situation and then recommend loan programs that are available and answer any questions they may have about the mortgage process. Once all of a buyer’s general questions are answered, and a loan type is selected, I can get more specific. At that point, I will discuss in detail the loan program itself, credit score requirements and down payment needed, if any.” Shannon notes “I think this is where having a local lender makes things easier because you can have someone that can meet in person, and answer your calls at night and on weekends.” Once buyers have a pre-qualification or preapproval in hand they can begin looking for homes based on the type of loan and amount of qualification. If you are looking for a USDA eligible loan, your agent can help make sure the homes you look for are in an area that qualifies for that type of loan. If you want to pay county only taxes to keep your payment down, again, your agent can help you search for homes that meet that criteria. Without knowing your loan type and purchase price, you can waste valuable time searching for the wrong house for you. Once you begin the home search process, Shannon says it is vital that buyers keep their mind on their credit. “Buyers should not change jobs, make large deposits or have their credit pulled during the loan process”. Buyers should not cosign for anyone else, open credit card accounts or buy anything over $5 without talking to your lender first! Maybe that is a bit of an exaggeration, but - not really. We have seen home loans denied because of a buyer have a 700 credit score, they go off of that. If you tell them that you earn $5000 a month, they plug that in. Lenders can give you an idea of the price of home you can be shopping for based on this information. “Pre-approved” is a different thing. If you are said to be pre-approved, the lender has actually run your credit, they have verified your income and expenses and done a much deeper dive into your finances. Sometimes buyers don’t realize what items can “count” toward official income and which cannot. It’s important to be upfront with your lender from the beginning so you don’t run into any surprises later! 29

purchasing a washer and dryer on credit or buying a new car. Garrett agrees, “buyers should also not open any new lines of credit or deposit cash into their bank accounts. You should write a check for any earnest money required. Trying to source cash can slow down the approval process”. If you wonder “should I do this?”, talk to your lender first. Once you find a home and are officially under contract, there will be flurry of activity and then a waiting period. One of the most important things a buyer can do is to get information that the lender requests submitted as quickly as possible. Buyers should be sure to send official documents. Shannon says “please send your whole bank statements and official pay stubs. Underwriters won’t accept screen shots or documents with black sharpie lined through parts”. During the underwriting process, the lender is making sure that loaning you the amount of money you have requested is a sound business decision. They will be evaluating you as a borrower and also make sure that the home is worth the amount of the loan. There will be an appraisal ordered and performed. Buyers should expect to pay Meet OUR LOAN Specialists Shannon Katz Loan Consultant NMLS# 1170312 108 Byrd Way, #200 Warner Robins, Georgia 31088 https://www.loanDepot.com/skatz (478) 419-7111 office (478) 244-5513 cell (833) 319-0566 fax skatz@loandepot.com 30

for the appraisal at the time it is ordered. This cost can vary depending on the home and/ or location. It can range from $350 - $600 or more. This is a discussion you should have with your lender at the beginning of the process so you are not surprised! The appraiser is a neutral third party that acts as the lender’s “boots on the ground” evaluating the home. They will make sure that the home is truly worth the amount the bank will be lending. They will also make sure that any repairs that could affect the value are requested and, if needed, they will go back out before closing to make sure those repairs were performed. As your home loan closing nears, you will get the “clear to close” meaning that all of the lender and appraisal requirements have been met! You are then one step closer to being a homeowner. There will be some disclosures sent to you to review and accept and you will be notified of the amount of any and all funds you need to pay in order to close. Buyers should be especially careful with wiring money for closing. There have been several cases of wire fraud involving real estate transactions, so take your closing attorney’s, lender’s and agent’s advice on this matter to heart. Always verify wiring instructions and be leary of any “changes” to the established procedure. There are newer laws in place to ensure that borrowers have time to review their closing documents thoroughly. This means that there are strict timelines for everyone to follow. You don’t want your closing delayed because you missed a phone call or an email! Throughout this process, you, your Realtor® and your lender will be in frequent communication to ensure that your transaction runs as smoothly as possible! At the closing (here in Georgia, attorneys perform closings), you will sign all of your documents and get the keys to your new home! Garrett Bennett Branch Manager NMLS #1510504 349 Margie Dr., Ste. 200A Warner Robins GA 31088 D: 478-747-4581 F: 800-282-4805 garrett.bennett@homestarfc.com NMLS #1510504 GA #60344 Branch NMLS #1271178 Copyright © 2018. Homestar Financial Corporation NMLS ID #70864. 332 Washington St. NW Gainesville, GA 30501. All Rights Reserved. Georgia Residential Mortgage Licensee #17368. 31

We are a full service property management company with over 30 years experience in Houston Couny and surrounding areas. Our goal is to make the process of managing and renting convenient for owners and tenants. We pride ourselves on providing exceptional customer service while maintaining the integrity of the owner’s investment. Knowing that properties are managed by experienced professionals gives owners and tenants peace of mind. Services for Homeowners • Premium Online Marketing • Tenant Screening • Rent Collection • Repair & Maintenance Facilitation • Property Inspections Services for Tenants • 24 Hour Emergency Number • Online Account Access • Online Payments Available • Live Customer Service Help 1271 S Houston Lake Road, Warner Robins, GA 31088 478-988-8442 rentals@richardsonfreerentals.com www.richardsonfreerentals.com

NEW CONSTRUCTION Affordable Pricing High End Amenities Bel Air Subdivision » Starting in the $170’s » Granite Counter Tops » Stainless Steel Appliances » Luxury Vinyl Flooring » 2 Car Garage » Brick Front Deer Point Subdivision New for 2021 In Hawkinsville Bradford Park Subdivision » Starting in the $160’s » Granite Counter Tops » Stainless Steel Appliances » Luxury Vinyl Flooring » 1 car garage » Starting in the $170’s » Granite Counter Tops » Stainless Steel Appliances » Luxury Vinyl Flooring » 2 Car Garage » USDA Eligible Laura Branham Cell: 478-951-9617 laurabranham@cbfreerealty.com Tony Wagoner Cell: 404-234-5540 tonywagoner@cbfreerealty.com

April 10 - 11 Georgia National Fairgrounds • Arts & Crafts • Farmers Market • Youth Entertainment Stage • Kid’s Zone Other Events in Perry 2021 * Food Truck Fridays * Art in the Park * Freedom Fireworks * Perry Music Festival * Oktoberfest + Business Battlefield * International Festival May 14, June 11, July 9, August 13, September 10 May 1 July 4 September 18 October 23 October 28 November 6 + Perry Restaurant Week November 8 - 14 + = Perry Chamber Event * = City of Perry Event

How to Find Middle Georgia Events Robins Region Chamber Of Commerce City of Warner Robins City of Byron Macon-Bibb County Events Macon Chamber of Commerce Visit Macon Perry Chamber City of Perry https://chamber.robinsregion.com/events https://www.wrga.gov/425/Calendar-of-Events https://www.byronga.com/events.cfm?ID=1 https://www.maconbibb.us/pab-special-events/ https://www.maconchamber.com/ https://www.maconga.org/ https://www.perrygachamber.com/ https://perry-ga.gov/special-events-information Georgia National Fairgrounds & Agricenter https://www.gnfa.com/ City of Centerville Happenings March Centerville Market Day – March 20 Yoga in the Park – March 20 Popcorn in the Park – March 20 April Centerville Market Day – April 3, April 17 Spring Block Party – April 10 Yoga in the Park – April 17 Touch a Truck – April 17 May Food Truck Friday – May 7 Centerville Market Day – May 15 Yoga in the Park – May 15 Popcorn in the Park – May 15 June Food Truck Friday – June 4 Centerville Market Day – June 5, June 19 Yoga in the Park – June 19 July Independence Day Celebration – July 3 Centerville Market Day – July 17 Yoga in the Park – July 17 August Centerville Market Day – August 21 Yoga in the Park – August 21 September Food Truck Friday – September 3 Centerville Market Day – September 4, September 18 Yoga in the Park – September 18 Popcorn in the Park – September 18 35

Our BBQ FAVES Whether you are going out or eating in, spring brings to mind the unmistakable aroma of barbeque. Here are some of our favorite places and a few tried and true recipes that will have you enjoying every moment of BBQ season this year! Scott Boys Smokin’ BBQ If there is an event happening in Middle Georgia, you can be sure that the Scott Boys smokin’ BBQ truck will be there. From the Dogwood Festival to Food Truck Fridays, you can smell the smoke from a mile away when they are in attendance. When events shut down in middle Georgia, they started taking their treats to the streets, dropping in and setting up shop in various subdivisions. Talk about taking your product to the people! Specialties include BBQ pork sandwiches and Smoked hot wings. Follow them on Facebook to see their upcoming events. **You really must try their pulled pork loaded fries and buffalo chicken! 36

BBQ Monsters To Go David Braun has been cooking up BBQ for three decades. From backyard BBQ’s to competing in the Vienna Pig Jig, David know his Q. Now, he has opened a spot right in downtown Perry at the Village Shops where you can taste his talent! With fun specials like the “Zombie Platter” and “Monster Express”, you are sure to find something to whet your appetite. David also caters on-site events big and small. When the wind blows just right, all of Downtown can smell this great little BBQ joint from the guy that cooks like a MONSTER! 736 Carroll Street, Perry 478-954-1167 The Butcher Shop David and Amy Dean have created a fantastic shop for high quality meats, frozen foods and pre-made meals. Whether you are ready to put some steaks on the grill at home or have an event catered with their mouth–watering recipes, David and Amy have got you covered. 1057 Hwy 96 #100, Warner Robins, GA 31088 (478) 988-9262 Backyard Recipes Hearty Baked Beans 1 1/2 pounds ground beef 1 small onion, finely chopped 2 (16-oz cans) pork and beans 1/2 cup barbecue sauce 2 tbsp spicy brown mustard 1/2 cup ketchup 1 tablespoon soy sauce 4 tablespoons brown sugar 6 to 8 slices slices bacon 1 bell pepper finely chopped 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce Instructions: In 10-inch skillet, cook ground beef, bacon and onion until beef is browned on medium-high heat. Drain fat from mixture. In slow cooker, mix beef mixture and all remaining ingredients. Cover; cook on low heat for 3 hours. Mouthwatering BBQ Chicken Brine 1 gallon warm water ¾ cup kosher salt ⅔ cup sugar ¾ cup soy sauce ¼ cup olive oil Mix all ingredients in a container twice as big as you think you’ll need. Add all ingredients until mixed and sugar and salt are dissolved. Brine whole chickens 4 hours to overnight., and boneless, skinless breasts for about two hours. Remove from brine and pat dry before grilling! 37

Why a REALTOR? By Ricki Free “The term REALTOR® has one, and only one, meaning: REALTOR® is a federally registered collective membership mark which identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics. The single most important rule governing the MARK is that it may only be used to convey this meaning, and never used to convey another meaning.” This quote is straight off the NAR (National Association of REALTORS) website. In Georgia, when a salesperson makes the committment to become a REALTOR, they become members of their local Board of Realtors, GAR (Georgia Association of REALTORS) and NAR (National Association of Realtors). Just like the quote says we are sworn to uphold a strict code of ethics along with the “Golden Rule”. The 17 articles in the code of ethics are consumer and our fellow REALTORS centric. I think another misnomer is that we are in sales. We are, but we are actually in the service industry; we provide a service. We do however, have to sell people on the value of our services. My father-in-law Donnie Free, who is now retired from an over 40-year career in real estate, says all you have to offer a buyer or seller is your time and knowledge. There really is no truer 38 The word REALTOR is used incorrectly every day. Not all real estate sales people are REALTORS. When someone passes their real estate exam and become licensed by their state, they are considered a Real Estate Salesperson. Only when they join a Board of REALTORS, take their oath and pass Code of Ethics training, may they then call themselves a REALTOR. statement. REALTORS are knowledgeable on all aspects of buying and selling property. Most Realtors will “specialize”, for example home sales, commercial, land or property management in order to be experts in a particular type of real estate transaction (they are all different animals). That is not to say that an agent couldn’t specialize in more than one or all types of real estate transactions. As you read the other articles in this magazine, you can see we are a part of the whole process, that is our service. We are here to facilitate you throughout the entire real estate transaction. The decisions are yours, we just give you Advice and Counsel. If you know any REALTORS, you know it’s not their job-it’s their lifestyle. They are up early maybe not out of the house but certainly planning their day to service their clients and they are the last in their families to arrive home at night. They work when most are off work – after hours and weekends. Realtors are a close nit group, often misunderstood, competitors yet friends. If REALTORS cared about what they made per hour, there would be none. They love the job of helping people find their home and that of helping a seller sell and move on to their next chapter of life. They are the calm in the storm, when everyone else is emotionally tied to the transaction they are the voice of reason and resolve. I have some accomplishments in my life that I am very proud and grateful for and being able to use REALTOR behind my name is one them.

NEW CONSTRUCTION No Need to Upgrade. Standard Unique Features CMD Communities is proud to build homes in Georgia, bringing new homeowners the quality and craftsmanship only CMD can deliver. Wooden Nickel Subdivision Located in Perry, Georgia Homes from the $350k+ Bryson Crossing Subdivision Located in Bonaire, Georgia: Homes from the $300k+ Call one of our experienced Agents about building timelines, specific pricing, floor plans, and more. Beverly Hardy Cell: 478-951-7140 beverlyhardy@cbfreerealty.com Coldwell Banker Free Realty 1271 South Houston Lake Rd Warner Robins, GA 31088 Phone: 478-218-8052 Christi King Cell: 478-662-4285 christihking@cbfreerealty.com

DAYTRIPPING In Middle Georgia Andersonville National Historic Site Andersonville National Historic Site and National Cemetery preserves an important part of history tucked into the area between Montezuma and Americus. Andersonville was the site of a prisoner of war camp during the last 14 months of the Civil War for Northern troops who were captured here in Georgia. The harsh conditions and living quarters are displayed so visitors can get a true sense of what being a POW in the Civil War was like. The site has the original gate to the camp, monuments from many states and a wonderful museum, a gift shop, and there are also picnic areas to enjoy. The cemetery has displays showing the historical events and their significance throughout. The cemetery continues to hold services for veterans who are eligible for burial at a National Cemetery. The cemetery is especially moving around Memorial Day & Veteran’s Day when flags mark each grave. https://www.nps.gov/ande/index.html 40 Amerson River Park Amerson River Park contains 180 acres of forests, meadows, and wetlands surrounded by a river oxbow. However, Amerson River Park is more than just a beautiful place to admire nature. The Park’s natural beauty is complimented by a state-of-the-art playground, a canoe launch and takeout, miles of trail, and pavilions overlooking the river. It’s great for tubing, hiking, picnicking and so much more. https://www.newtownmacon.com/parks-on-thetrail/#A with the Wagoner Family Fun on the river

Quick trips close to home They say that the most important feature of a property is location, location, location. Here in Middle Georgia, we are blessed with a great location. We are close to the mountains, the big city, the east cost and the gulf coast. Within a half days’ drive, we can travel to many different “destinations”. But there are actually some really great spots even closer to home that most people don’t realize are here or we take for granted that we can go “anytime”! Here are some quick trips under 90 minutes from the Warner Robins area that are worth the drive Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary 712 L G Griffin Rd, Locust Grove, GA 302448 (770) 957-0888 Noah’s Ark is a 250-acre animal rehabilitation center with habitats for more than 1,200 animals. Habitats are open to the public and house tigers, wolves, bears, lions, a leopard, monkeys and more. The Rock Ranch 5020 Barnesville Hwy The Rock, GA 30285 (706) 647-6374 The Rock Ranch - a 1,500-acre agritourism destination is great for family fun, field trips, corporate events, or primitive camping. The working cattle ranch, founded by the late S. Truett Cathy, is dedicated to Growing Healthy Families, and boasts more than 35 spectacular attractions! Albany, GA Various Locations The city of Albany, GA is only 95 miles from Warner Robins and has so much to offer. From the Parks at Chehaw, to the Flint Riverquarium, there is something for every type of traveler. The Albany Civil Rights Institute and the Albany Museum of Art also offer great learning experiences. One of our favorite spots is the Art Park on Pine. It’s a community center purposed with hosting events that highlight local artists. You can observe, create and/or perform all forms of art in what was an old section of buildings that otherwise would be underutilized. Artists are always working on new projects on the walls inside. It’s a free spot worth a stop! https://visitalbanyga.com/ Senoia (Walking Dead Tour) Main Street, Senoia, GA 30276 (770) 599-0091 The Georgia Tour Company was founded by locals to share with the world a backstage, behind the scenes look at film and television productions shot right here in Georgia. In the last ten years, Senoia has become a travel destination as fans journey to where some of their favorite movies and television show, the Walking Dead, have been shot. While visiting Senoia, be sure to visit the quaint shops, eat at one of the many delicious restaurants and stay overnight to enjoy the total experience of “Southern Hospitality”. Tubman Museum 310 Cherry Street, Macon, GA 31201 (478) 743-8544 The Tubman Museum is the Southeast’s largest museum dedicated to the Art, History and Culture of African Americans. Take a journey from Africa to America! Begin your adventure with local Artist, Wilfred Stroud’s nine panel mural that chronicles the struggles and triumphs of the African American Experience. 41

The lowdown on Land & Commercial Real Estate Scott Free Broker / Owner CB Free Realty O: 478-218-2600 C: 478-951-3333 scottfree@cbfreerealty.com Many aspects of real estate are different, but none more so than the world of commercial real estate. Commercial Realtors® have a different tool box than residential agents. They work hand in hand with city, county and state governments, planning and zoning, and they must have extensive knowledge of right of ways, easements, drainage, annexation and more. We met with two of our Realtors® that have extensive experience in commercial real estate and land sales to discuss what’s happening in our local market, as well as what to look for when choosing a Realtor® to help you with large tracts commercial properties. Scott free is the owner and qualifying broker of CB Free Realty and has been in the real estate business for over 34 years. Scott’s main focus is commercial sales and development. Joe meadows is an Associate Broker with CB Free Realty and has been in real estate for over 15 years. Joe deals primarily in land and large parcels as well as commercial properties. Gentlemen, how’s the commercial real estate business these days? Joe: Wide open! Sales are strong in the land arena right now, in particular. Timber and recreational tracts are moving quite well at the moment. Warehouse space, as well is in high demand. 42 Scott: We actually have a couple of different areas we deal in. Typical commercial properties like retail, some restaurants, fast food - those are doing well. Hospitality - like hotel and motels and higher end restraunts are having a harder time. Office space is slow. Has the covid-19 pandemic and having more folks work from home changed the type of properties that businesses are looking for? Scott: That is the reason for the slow down in hospitality and office space. Joe: I agree. With more folks working from home and that becoming more acceptable, the need for traditional office space has gone down. And with folks not able to travel like they were, the hotel and motel industry has taken a hit, too.

They say that “commercial real estate is a different animal”, how so? Scott: There is so much that goes into putting a commercial deal together that really can’t be “taught” in traditional classes. It just takes experience. You have to understand zoning, drainage requirements, all sorts of things. It is skill set, what type of qualifications should a seller or buyer look for in a commercial agent? Joe: Experience. It really counts. I grew up farming and understand land. I think getting into commercial and land sales can be hard for someone without already having a background in land in order to know what folks are looking for. That stuff is hard to teach. Not saying it can’t be done, but it’s hard to start from the very beginning. quite literally a different vocabulary. People may not know that some commercial deals can take a long time to pull together, we are talking up to a year or more. And the agent is working that deal the whole time. Often, I have to go before city councils on behalf of the client to ask for new zoning or sewer access. You can’t fake it ‘til you make it in commercial sales. Joe: (laughing), Yes, that’s right. You better know your stuff. When a developer or high end buyer calls and starts asking specific questions, you better know the answer or they will move on to another agent real quick. With commercial deals requiring a different 43 Scott: That’s Right, Joe, I think folks need to look for someone who can walk the walk when it comes time to put pen to paper. Having access to commercial websites and listing sites is super important, especially for sellers. Getting a property marketed properly is a different ball game for commercial and large land tracts. You can’t just put it in the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) and install a sign out front. Having good contacts at the cities, counties and development authorities also really helps lend credibility to an agent. Joe Medows Associate Broker CB Free Realty O: 478-218-8052 C: 478-697-3448 joemedowsjr@cbfreerealty.com

who’s who at CB Free realty Hannah Branham 478-297-5325 hannahbranham@cbfreerealty.com Hunter Branham 478-365-6393 hunterbranham@cbfreerealty.com Laura Branham 478-951-9617 laurabranham@cbfreerealty.com Judy Chappell-Wellman 478-808-1170 judychappell@cbfreerealty.com Dee Clements 478-235-8681 deeclements@cbfreerealty.com Elizabeth Drew 478-397-4421 elizabethdrew@cbfreerealty.com Heather Drury 478-918-4182 heatherdrury@cbfreerealty.com Julie Evans 478-808-2751 julieevans@cbfreerealty.com Scott Free 478-951-3333 scottfree@cbfreerealty.com Ashley Gates 478-508-4100 ashleyhuffgates@cbfreerealty.com Beverly Hardy 478-951-7140 beverlyhardy@cbfreerealty.com Lisa Hardy 478-213-1190 lisahardy@cbfreerealty.com Debbie Hart 478-952-9080 debbiehart@cbfreerealty.com Jerry Haywood 478-334-0577 jerryhaywood@cbfreerealty.com Marissa Haywood 478-284-4965 marissahaywood@cbfreerealty.com Dylon Hibbard 334-669-7018 dylonhibbard@cbfreerealty.com Juliana Horsting 478-955-0259 julianahorsting@hotmail.com

Dawn Jerles Peyton Palmer 478-396-4697 dawnjerles@cbfreerealty.com Christi King 478-662-4285 christihking@cbfreerealty.com Blake Lewis 912-614-9411 blakelewis@cbfreerealty.com Derrell Long 478-918-5678 derrelllong@cbfreerealty.com Saundra Malloy 478-973-1773 saundramalloy@cbfreerealty.com Shawn Masters 478-217-0505 shawnmasters@cbfreerealty.com Sheridan McIver 478-918-5029 sheridanmciver@cbfreerealty.com Joe Meadows 478-697-3448 joemeadowsjr@cbfreerealty.com Tacoria Odom 912-222-9117 tacoriaodom@cbfreerealty.com Sharmane Clay 229-269-9663 sharmaneclay@cbfreerealty.com Jennifer Parfitt 478-308-1293 jenniferparfitt@cbfreerealty.com 478-997-0910 peytonpalmer@cbfreerealty.com Alan “Al” Pekny 478-258-8465 alpekny@cbfreerealty.com Julie Pekny 478-258-8334 juliepekny@cbfreerealty.com Titi Pierce 478-213-9237 titipierce@cbfreerealty.com Kasey Smith 478-832-8425 kaseysmith@cbfreerealty.com Rene Valdes 631-987-0312 renevaldes@cbfreerealty.com Sandra Wall 478-952-3515 sandrawall@cbfreerealty.com Tony Wagoner 404-234-5540 tonywagoner@cbfreerealty.com Carrie Margaret Wynne 478-230-8781 carriemargaretwynne@cbfreerealty.com Vicki Wall 678-227-0166 vickiwall@cbfreerealty.com

Never say NEVER . When I was a child, I first wanted to be a teacher. That idea wasn’t really encouraged at home because teachers have to work really hard, for not a lot of pay and deal with a lot of “stuff”. My dad used more creative words. My parents didn’t think teaching was the career for me, so I went in another direction. In high school, I discovered that I really liked writing. I’d write silly poems and fun stories, because I loved the creative part of my brain that writing tickled. I helped edit the school newspaper, was editor of the literary magazine and found something I loved to do. I distinctly remember fussing at my whole class (who were being typical, uncooperative teenagers) that “this might just be a class to you, but this is what I want to do for a living”. They were unimpressed. And as life would have it, life happened. I had some medical issues that encouraged me to get married and start having babies early, which meant I completed one whole semester of community college. My dreams of writing for a newspaper and “getting the scoop” seemed unreachable. But I knew I wanted children, so we put other ambitions on hold. We became a military family and hit the road! I am blessed with three great (now grown) children who make me proud (almost) every day. They are my greatest accomplishment! In our travels, my young family and I stopped here in 1998 to visit my Uncle in Perry / Warner Robins on a cross country trek from south Florida to Alaska (13 days!) with two toddlers in tow. We ventured down Russell Parkway toward the base TLF (hotel) and I looked around. It was a typical Georgia July with the temperature hovering at about 147 degrees and the humidity just shy of “underwater”. Everything seemed, well, brown. As we drove past the typical businesses that were just outside every military gate, I thought to myself: “well, I know what place is never gonna’ be on our dream sheet”. And as life would have it, life happened. We were stationed in Alaska, Wyoming and Hawaii and during that time, my grandfather and then my mom and dad relocated from Florida to Middle Georgia. When an out of nowhere divorce happened 46 while in Hawaii, I suddenly, for the first time in my adult life, had a choice in where I would go. But “home” was not home anymore. I remembered what I had seen of Middle Georgia many years earlier and promptly moved to Texas. It wasn’t a mistake, necessarily, but more of a learning experience. It was not the first I’d made, nor the last, and my year there gave me some great friends and memories, but it still never felt like “home”. And so, over 13 years after I swore I’d never live in Georgia, I packed my kids up and we came to Perry. And as life would have it, life happened. I made friends, I settled in, found a job meant for me and fell in love with this area. Who knew that I could love a place (and it’s people) so much? Perry is home now! I have been here in Middle Georgia for almost 10 years and I can’t imagine living anywhere else. Well, except in July. And August. Those months, I dream of visiting Hawaii again! And now, look what I get to do “for a living”! I started here at CB Free as the receptionist and have grown so much! I have become a licensed instructor and actually get to teach real estate classes. Do I have 25 littles to look after? No, I have 45 biggies I get to help on the daily (and no—or very little nose wiping). I have been lucky enough to find bosses who let my inner kindergarten teacher shine. I currently have a makeshift tiki bar in my office! (Who gets to do that?) And here I am, publishing an amazing magazine, with people I love and admire. I encourage you to never say “never”. Find good people, (they make all the difference) share your strengths and don’t give up. But also, don’t be so quick to judge. I never thought I’d be a teacher, a writer and live in and love Perry, Georgia. But here I am, literally living my dreams. -- Meredith Meredith Plummer Marketing Director marketing@cbfreerealty.com

WHY Our Agents are the difference! We are always looking to grow our Coldwell Banker Free Family! If you are looking to join a hard working, ethical, professional and knowledgable group of agents, who work together as a family, give us a call. We’d love to share what Coldwell Banker Free Realty has to offer! Call Scott or Ricki for a confidential interview! Scott: 478-951-3333 Ricki: 478-955-5986

1 Publizr


  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. 8
  9. 9
  10. 10
  11. 11
  12. 12
  13. 13
  14. 14
  15. 15
  16. 16
  17. 17
  18. 18
  19. 19
  20. 20
  21. 21
  22. 22
  23. 23
  24. 24
  25. 25
  26. 26
  27. 27
  28. 28
  29. 29
  30. 30
  31. 31
  32. 32
  33. 33
  34. 34
  35. 35
  36. 36
  37. 37
  38. 38
  39. 39
  40. 40
  41. 41
  42. 42
  43. 43
  44. 44
  45. 45
  46. 46
  47. 47
  48. 48

You need flash player to view this online publication