staircase area

Magnolia Valley Plantation

What’s up in Magnolia Valley Plantation? This is a small neighborhood off of William Few in Evans GA. It’s zoned for Parkway Elementary School, and Greenbrier Middle and Highschool. There’s a grocery store no more than 15 minutes away in any direction, but Publix is the closest at less than a 5 minute drive. While MVP doesn’t have walking trails, there is a connected neighborhood being developed which will have walking trails, a fishing pond, and a even a dog park!

MVP has a Jr. Olympic pool with a kiddie area, in addition to a playground in the works. Neighbors enjoy getting together during holidays for a trunk or treat, Christmas caroling, Independence day, at Easter Egg hunts. They also have community yard sales several times per year. Neighbors also volunteer for HOA committee needs such as pool and activity planning.

Watch the short video below to get an idea of the real estate values in MVP.

Contact:

Jayson Stonehocker 706.726.088

Jacquelyn Stonehocker 520.891.7291


Dutch Creek Animal Farm


A few months ago I saw an ad for a new petting farm in Appling. It looked cute but I really didn’t not expect it to be so serene! A few days ago a friend invited us out so we we made the short drive to Appling, turned right off the main road onto a dirt road. We passed the first split, drove on a little further, then saw the beautiful stone gate on the left. The dirt road almost runs right into a pond and then you see the most picturesque farm scene. Wind around the large pond in view of the beautiful farm house and barn set upon a hill.

We spent two and half hours at the small farm. This kids were able to brush the horses, spend time loving on the cow, sitting with the goats, (attempting to ) pet the pigs, take a 20 minute tractor ride, pet the rabbits, and do a craft. Everything was at our own pace. We didn’t feel rushed to get to the next animal or give another child a turn at all. There are also picnic tables and a play house for the kids play in while you each your lunch.

If you want to visit Dutch Creek you’ll need to make an appointment ahead of time. They are open from 10-1 then take a break and open again in the afternoon. They only allow a certain number of visitors at any given time, and you’ll have to sign a waiver. Masks are at your discretion and there a multiple sanitizing stations around the property.


Mistletoe State Park

One of our favorite places to go lately has been Mistletoe State Park. It allows us get the kids out of the house, into nature, and still practice our “social distancing”. It has several hiking trails of varying difficulty, boat ramps, and camp grounds. The park rangers have a short tour they can take you on, as well as a small education center for field trips.

Most of the time we hike the white trail circled in yellow. It’s very easy, and we usually end up playing in the creek for a while with the dogs and kids, then return on the same path. Sometimes we go on a little further to the blue line and race up the side of of the “mountain”. We made it all the way around the white loop a few weeks ago and found it a really lovely way to show the kids a widely changing landscape in a short distance.

Just a few days ago we decided to venture further on the blue trail. Circled again in yellow is the trail we took. With 4 kids and 2 dogs it took us about 3 hours with stops to play in the water and walk across fallen logs. It was such a blast!

We stopped and played at the spot marked with a star for a bit. It has a small waterfall and a sandy area perfect for kids. The spot marked with a diamond is where there is a small “canyon” that the kids thought was really cool. You might think you are walking off the trail but just follow the blue diamonds and you’ll make your way around the loop.

I would say this was trail was easy but longish. I’m guessing we hiked about 6 miles. It wouldn’t be ideal for someone who gets winded easily, or struggles to walk on uneven terrain. One child was in sandals and hiked just fine. There are no porta potties on the trail and it’s pretty muddy in some areas. You have to go through the mud to stay on the trail in some areas during rainy months. Along the creek we went off the marked trail because, as you can see, the blue path can be quite a bit longer. Even though we were off the marked path, it was still a somewhat worn and was easy to see trail.

We made one mistake on this hike. In all the times we’ve been here we’ve never come back with a tick. That was not the case this time and I would definitely make sure you pack some good insect repellent and take care of your pets. Our dogs had their first ticks on this trip. We have never seen snakes on our adventures here, but I am sure they are there somewhere. Be sure to hike with snacks, and water, and take some time to just sit and enjoy the park! If you live in the Augusta Georgia area, this is a great staycation day.

Doesn’t this sound soothing?

Moving to the Augusta Georgia Area?

Augusta is the second biggest city in Georgia behind Atlanta and just 2 and half hours from it. It’s the home of the Augusta National Golf Club and The Master’s, which brings over 200,000 visitors each year! It’s also the home of Fort Gordon, the new location for the National Cyber Security Headquarters.

Our family moved to Augusta Georgia just over 4 years ago, after a unique situation allowed us to choose anywhere in the US to live. We wrote down our priorities and Augusta Georgia met nearly all of them. Excellent family town, job stability, great schools, and incredible cost of living. We were amazed at the size of home we could purchase in our price range, verses where we were already living.

An already strong economy has been made even stronger by an influx of jobs brought in by Cyber Command. Over 10,000 cyber security specialists, plus their families, the trickle down effect adding more demand for restaurants, shopping, and housing. Augusta also houses the states only “public health sciences graduate university”, making it another major employer of over 7,000 people. According to Wikipedia, along with University Hospital, the medical district employs over 25,000 people and has an economic impact of over $1.8 billion.

The schools in the area are fantastic, several incredible magnet schools in Richmond County are rated among the top in the state, and Columbia County schools always score high on the state standards tests.

The CSRA (Central Savannah Rapids Area) is family friendly with plenty of outdoor parks and activities to keep families active in whatever way they enjoy. North Georgia mountains, waterfalls, and the Atlantic Ocean are all just a few hours away. If you get adventurous North and South Carolina and Tennessee all broaden the possibilities. Flights to New York for last minute trips are cheap, and Disney is just a half day drive.

You’re going to love it here!

Have questions? Looking for a group? Give me a call or leave a comment! I’d be glad to help you get acquainted with the area. 706-251-7315


Augusta and Evans Market Conditions- February 2020

Click the link above to download current market conditions for Evans and Augusta. Here’s a short summary:

Evans Augusta
Median Value $261 K$136 K
Estimated 12 month change +3.6%+5.1%
% Own 82%53%
% Rent 18%47%
Don’t see the stats your looking for? Send me a message and let me know what you’re your seeking. jacquelyn.stonehocker@kw.com

Tips For Moving With Pets

Moving with pets can be super stressful, not just for the human but also the fur baby. With a little planning ahead the experience doesn’t have to be horrible!

We had our first dog Buster, and Australian Shephard, for 13 years. My husband was in the Air Force, and that meant a lot of moves, and trips home. We always took Buster dog with us, and we rarely had any problems. He was such a good and obedient dog. In 13 years and with dozens of trips, he only got sick in the car 1 time. It happened to be the same time our toddler got sick. We were an hour down the road from visiting family. Buster vomited and had diarrhea at the same time our toddler had a blow out. Needless to say it was a horrid experience, but we really do laugh about it now.

My moms dogs always had travel anxiety though, shedding half their coat on a trip. Their vet came them an anti-anxiety to use on trips and it really helped immensely.

Our pet friendly rooms have always been surprisingly clean and not stinky, and the hotels were always very accommodating. We even lived in a hotel for 2 months one summer with Buster Dog.

We’d love to hear about your pet traveling experiences! Did you have an extraordinarily wonderful or horrible pet event?


Augusta and Evans Market Conditions- January 2020

Click the link above to download current market conditions for Evans and Augusta. Here’s a short summary:

Evans Augusta
Median Value $261 K$136 K
Estimated 12 month change +3.6%+5.1%
% Own 82%53%
% Rent 18%47%
Don’t see the stats your looking for? Send me a message and let me know what you’re your seeking. jacquelyn.stonehocker@kw.com

How to choose the best real estate agent for YOU

“Not EVERY AGENT is for EVERY CLIENT.”

You’ve probably seen an add on your social media feed for a house and clicked on it to look just for fun. You’ve done a search in the “home search engine that shall not be named” (Hint: It’s probably starts with a Z* or a T*) and had the option to contact an agent. Maybe you were driving by a house and called the number on the sign. Hopefully it was the Agents number instead of the brokerage number.

You probably know that at least 80% of a real estate agents business comes from referrals, and you probably know at least 2 agents. So how do you decide which agent to go with? Here are four tips.

  • Interview a few of the agents you know.
  • Ask your close friends who’ve they’ve worked with.
  • Go with your gut.
  • Be sure to look at your contract paying close attention to the expiration dates, and commission.
  1. Interview a few of the agents you know, and ask them what their process is like. If they are doing their job right they will ask you to sign a representation agreement during the interview. Let them know you still have one agent to interview, what day you’ll be deciding, and expect a follow up call. Don’t make any decisions before you’ve asked around about that agent.
  2. Ask your close friends who’ve they’ve worked with and what that was like. When I was a massage therapist I had the saying “Not every therapist is fore every BODY”. It’s the same with real estate. Not every agent is for every client. Here are some questions to ask.
    • Did the agent push for a great price? You want a negotiator in your corner!
    • Were they quick to return messages and generally available? Agents can’t always answer the call right away, but if they return your messages within 12-18 hours they’re doing a pretty good job. Unless they’ve warned you ahead of time, or have a family emergency it shouldn’t take more than 24 hours to return messages.
    • Were they respectful of their clients time? I once heard about an agent that that was calling and pushing for closing paperwork to get signed, while a loved one was literally breathing their last breaths. Yes, the agent knew this was happening. You want someone who will get the job done, but also know when to back up a little bit.
    • Did they maintain the clients privacy? You want an agent whose going to keep the private details of why your moving and what your earning just that… private. In fact it is the agents fiduciary duty to do so, and anything different can result in disciplinary action.
    • How busy are they? If your agent is closing more than 35 homes a year, they probably need an assistant, and if they have one then you’ve probably found a pretty great realtor. There are a lot of details to manage in the home buying process. While 35 homes a year only averages out to about three homes a month, it’s more work than it sounds like, and comes with some sacrifices if not managed well. Remember, homes take an average of 30 to 60 days to close, so the agent might be working 4-6 closings at one time, and showing homes for several more. If they don’t have an assistant you may want to choose an another agent with an assistant, or one closing around 2 homes a month on average.
    • Did the client feel like a number, or an important client? You want an agent that’s going to get to know you, get to know your needs, and get to know your plans for the future. The last thing you want is an agent that’s pushing numbers, rather than taking care of individuals and families.
  3. Go with your gut. While one agent may be mentioned several times in your conversations with friends, your gut might not feel right about that person after your interviews. Go with the person that feels right, not just the one that looks right on paper. Some times it comes down to chemistry. You’ll be talking to and working with this person A LOT over the next few months and you want to be sure you will mesh well.
  4. Be sure to look at your contract paying close attention to the expiration dates, and commission percentages. When selling a home, the commission is negotiable to a certain extent. Price fixing is illegal and while a majority of brokerages have a set commission fee, you are welcome to shop around. Watch for unusually high, or unusually low commissions. Keep in mind that a lower commission fee may not necessarily be better, and I’ll talk about why in another blog post.

Ready to start looking for a home? Try searching here

Note: Home search engines like the ones mentioned at the beginning of this post, benefit from the work of real-estate agents listings, then charges agents huge amount of money to buy your lead back.