Covington, GA Real Estate News

The Vampire Diaries, a new teen television series on The CW network based on author L.J. Smith's 1991 trilogy of books, will be filmed in downtown Covington, GA.  Covington will play the role of the small Virginia town of Mystic Falls. "When the writers came and visited Covington and saw the square, it was exactly what they had pictured for Mystic Falls," said Jessica Royal, a Bonanza Productions employee. Bonanza is producing the series in association with Warner Brothers. Covington was chosen because of the great incentives offered by Georgia and the film-friendly environment of Covington. Covington has a proven track record of hosting successful films and television productions.  Covington has been a very welcoming environment for production companies for many years. There will be at...
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By Bill Blair, Covington Georgia Realtor Covington Living Homes
(Coldwell Banker Realty)
Way!!   This morning, I saw the first flock of geese flying south over my house, foretelling a change of seasons for Covington.  Autumn is my favorite time of year, bringing clean, crisp air, beautiful colored leaves against the backdrop of white antebellum columns, SEC football, and vampires.  Vampires?!?!   Covington has again been chosen as the perfect site for the filming of a new television series, The Vampire Diaries.  When writers and location managers visited Covington and saw the historic square, it was exactly what they had in mind for the fictitious town of “Mystic Falls, Va,.”  setting fo the series.   The teen-oriented series will share similarities with the highly popular “Twilight” movie series about a high school student who becomes infatuated with a mysterious classmate...
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By Bill Blair, Covington Georgia Realtor Covington Living Homes
(Coldwell Banker Realty)
Here's my dinner for this evening... Grilled chicken breast slathered in my own secret recipe, home-made BBQ sauce Baked potato dripping rich butter and chives Sweet corn directly from my garden Topped off with a crisp tossed salad full of my juicy, red, home-grown tomatoes And garnished with herbs from my kitchen herb garden   Now, that's so good, it'll make you slap your Mama!  
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By Bill Blair, Covington Georgia Realtor Covington Living Homes
(Coldwell Banker Realty)
Here’s a summary of what’s happening in the Covington and Newton County real estate market as of the end of July, 2009:   Homes in Covington and Newton County newly listed on the Georgia Multiple Listing Service during July totaled 246, down 34.9% from the same period last year.  However, pending sales in July were up by 32.8% over a year ago.  The reason is three-fold… July is historically a good selling season as families try to get resettled before school reopens, home prices remain depressed as opposed to last year, and mortgage interest rates remain low.   The average sales price of a home in our area in July was $113,323, down 17.5% from July 2008.   There remains a 9.3 month supply of homes for sale in Covington and Newton County.  We’re getting better, but a 6 month or lower sup...
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By Bill Blair, Covington Georgia Realtor Covington Living Homes
(Coldwell Banker Realty)
This is not about Petula Clark’s great 1966 hit record, but rather an item on the 11Alive evening news broadcast last night which caught my attention…   A lady in Coweta County received a letter in the mail soliciting her participation as a “Mystery Shopper.”  All she had to do was cash the enclosed check and complete a paid shopping and evaluation assignment within a week of her acceptance.     Now, this ain’t rocket science, people.  I know a couple of real “mystery shoppers,” and it’s an easy, legal way to pick up some extra pocket change… especially if you love shopping.  But the rub for the lady in Coweta County was that her letter… and check… were totally bogus.  She realized that a few days later when the bank contacted her and wanted their money back.  Cashing a bogus check for ...
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By Bill Blair, Covington Georgia Realtor Covington Living Homes
(Coldwell Banker Realty)
  In today’s Covington real estate market, I’ve ceased being amazed at the attitude of the FDIC, some of our large banks, and alleged premiere mortgage companies.  They are continuing to do more to hamper a rapid recovery of our housing industry than they are to facilitate it.  And, they don’t really seem to care.   There are exceptions, naturally.  But, they are few.    Several of our “local” banks, strapped with significant numbers of foreclosures, are making genuine efforts to reduce their inventory and bring things back to a more normalized market.  They have assigned special management teams to work on getting the foreclosed homes off their books.  They’re advertising, offering special agent incentives, good interest rates and special financing packages to qualified buyers.  Most i...
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By Bill Blair, Covington Georgia Realtor Covington Living Homes
(Coldwell Banker Realty)
Think that cute little 3BR/2BA brick and siding foreclosure across town might be a good rental property? Itmay be… Home prices are at a real low. The supply seems almost unlimited. Interest rates are the lowestin years, and more and more people are looking for rentals every day. Even today – with the stock market down over 52% from its record high in October 2007 - a home is still asafe and highly leveraged asset with an ability to generate wealth which is second to none. But before youcash out your mutual funds or dig up that coffee can full of cash in the backyard to become a real estateinvestor, there are few things to consider. Compare the Numbers - When you buy investment real estate, you’re not just buying bricks and mortar,green shag carpet and pink bathroom tile at a great forec...
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By Bill Blair, Covington Georgia Realtor Covington Living Homes
(Coldwell Banker Realty)
Or do you just feel like you’ve been raped… again?   Our U.S. House of Representatives and Senate reached a “closed door” agreement last night on a tentative $789 billion “stimulus” bill meant to send signals to the American consumer that our economic woes will soon improve and instill confidence in a brighter future.  So, what’s so stimulating in the agreement?   $90 billion in increased federal matching funds to states to help pay for Medicaid, along with an additional $54 billion that could be used to build and repair schools and colleges. $11.5 billion supporting the IDEA program for special education, along with an additional $10 billion to help low-income students. Funds to modernize the electrical grid, make federal buildings more energy efficient and to help low-income families ...
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By Bill Blair, Covington Georgia Realtor Covington Living Homes
(Coldwell Banker Realty)
I don't make New Years' resolutions. Never have. Never will. I believe they're only made to be broken. In fact, I don't know a single person who has ever kept a New Years' resolution! But, I did decide a couple of weeks ago that I would loose some weight. As long as my desire to loose weight was not a “resolution,” but just something that I thought I should do for my own health and comfort, I figured I was much more likely to be successful and not so prone to disappointment and abject guilt trips. And so I began. I adjusted the amount that I eat, and to some extent what I eat. I adjusted the amount that I drink, and to a great extent what I drink. I'm really doing great at my adjusted lifestyle, in the past three weeks, I've dropped 14.8 pounds. I feel better. My clothes fit better. I s...
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By Bill Blair, Covington Georgia Realtor Covington Living Homes
(Coldwell Banker Realty)
When I checked my email late last night, I had a message from U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson's (R-Ga.) office about a new bill he introduced called the Fix Housing First Homebuyer Tax Credit Act to expand the homebuyer tax credit passed by Congress last year. Considering the provisions of Senator Isakson's bill and his speech to colleagues on the Senate floor about the bill, I think someone has finally gotten this thing figured out! Senator Isakson has already met with President Obama's team, explaining the bill and urging their support, and told his Senate colleagues of his hope that they will... "embrace this concept of incentivizing the housing market so we can stabilize values, stop the continuing erosion of equity, and begin to reflate - not inflate but reflate - the housing market. W...
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By Bill Blair, Covington Georgia Realtor Covington Living Homes
(Coldwell Banker Realty)
I'm a Republican.  I've never been, nor will I ever be a Democrat.  To my daughters' chagrin, I'm much too conservative.  But - politics aside - what happened in this country yesterday with the inauguration of Barack Obama as 44th President of the United States cannot help but cause a sense of pride, inspiration, and hope for our nation. The special thing that happened yesterday was not that the first black president was inaugurated, not that his speech was great (or not), not that Michelle's outfit was lovely (or not), or that Aretha's hat was tacky (it was!).  The special thing that happened was that almost 2 million Americans on the mall in Washington endured hardship, celebrated together, and demonstrated by their "actions" that all people are created equal.  The special thing was t...
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By Bill Blair, Covington Georgia Realtor Covington Living Homes
(Coldwell Banker Realty)
You've probably heard the theory that everyone in the world is separated from everyone else by only six degrees.  That is to say, considering all the people you know and have come in contact with, all the people they know and have come in contact with, etc. to the sixth degree, you indirectly know or have come in contact with everyone living in the world today.  If you think about that theory, it can also explain the state of our economy here in Covington and, indeed, the world. I received a call this week from a friend who's an architect and residential builder.  He is helping Newton County officials put together an application to receive some of the federal "bail-out" funds to help our local housing industry.  He asked if I could get some statistics for him on our local housing market...
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By Bill Blair, Covington Georgia Realtor Covington Living Homes
(Coldwell Banker Realty)
Finally!  After prolonged, consistent "lobbying" efforts by a small group of parents and citizens concerned with the education of their children and grandchildren in Covington and Newton County, the county Board of Education is establishing two theme schools for next school year.  Finally, our school system is moving out of the educational Dark Ages. An elementary theme school will open next year at Fairview Elementary.  Clements Middle School is being turned into a theme school for middle school students.  Meetings are scheduled all during the month of January to provide more information to the public on the schools and their curriculums. According to "The Covington News," the elementary theme school programs will "...integrate research-centered/hands-on projects and critical thinking ...
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By Bill Blair, Covington Georgia Realtor Covington Living Homes
(Coldwell Banker Realty)
With the current state of the economy in the U.S., fueled for the past several years by the housing market, it's probably no big surprise that 2008 was not a stellar year in real estate in Covington and Newton County. Here's how the year ended in Newton County, according to statistics drawn from the Georgia Multiple Listing Service (GAMLS). A total of 1355 single family homes sold in Newton County during 2008, a decrease of almost 400 from those sold in 2007.  Total Sales volume in December 2008 was almost $8 million less than in January.  And the average sales price during that period dropped by over $43,000 per home, on average. New homes were hardest hit with only 328 new homes selling during 2008.  It took an average of 6.5 months to sell each of those new homes, and there's still a...
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By Bill Blair, Covington Georgia Realtor Covington Living Homes
(Coldwell Banker Realty)
I grew up in the South eating home-cooked Southern food.  My Mom was a great cook, as is my wife.  But Mom always cooked in ways that we've come to realize weren't so good for you.  Her biscuits were made with lard.  Chicken, or pork chops or steak was fried.  Most veggies were cooked with fat back.  And the cornbread was always slathered with butter.  The result... yummy food, bouts with being overweight, and cholesterol pills. Now, I'm not sure they cook like Mom did, but you can still get that great Southern home-style food at Smiley's in Porterdale. No white tablecloths, just wooden tables and straight-backed chairs.  But the staff is friendly, the service is great, and the food will make you slap yo' mama! Everything is served buffet-style after the waitress brings your sweet tea. ...
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By Bill Blair, Covington Georgia Realtor Covington Living Homes
(Coldwell Banker Realty)
I'm fortunate enough to have a friend who is also a fine poet.  He writes verse all during the year.  But every year around this season, there's always something special.  His latest is "A Christmas Hope."  This was published in our church program this past Sunday, but deserves to be read by more than just our Presbyterian friends.  It evokes vivid images of Christmas past, and inspires belief in the future.  It's what this special season is all about.  I think you'll enjoy it.  It's printed here with permission. A Christmas Hope by Reed Blakeney It's strange to see you now, old friendI hardly knew your faceThere was a time when we would spendLong hours at your place Do you remember Christmas EveIn nineteen fourty-four?That's when old Jessie had to leaveAnd go away to war But you and I ...
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By Bill Blair, Covington Georgia Realtor Covington Living Homes
(Coldwell Banker Realty)
Covington and the surrounding area have long been known by the nickname "Hollywood of the South."  Film-makers, producers and directors all seem drawn to the locale by the character and charm of its Southern-style buildings and homes. When the film credits roll, "Filmed on location in Covington, Georgia" shows up on productions such as "In the Heat of the Night, The Dukes of Hazard, My Cousin Vinnie, and Six Pack," among others.  Now Covington - more specifically Covington's Traditional Neighborhood Development, Clark's Grove - is the backdrop for yet another video. Taylor Braun, the young, upcoming Nashville star, filmed her latest music video in Clark's Grove this past August.  It was just released, and is making its way on country music television.  Also featured prominently in the v...
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By Bill Blair, Covington Georgia Realtor Covington Living Homes
(Coldwell Banker Realty)
Here's a follow-up to our November Market Watch... The Associated Press reports today tha, as a part of our economy bailout, the Treasury department is considering steps to lower the mortgage interest rate in an effort to stabilize the housing market.  Under consideration is a proposal to lower the rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage backed by Fannie, Freddie or the FHA to 4.5 percent.  Keep your fingers crossed, buyers! But in some less-than-good news, Okland, Calif.-based Foresight Analytics research company reports that the greater metro-Atlanta area is a national leader in deliquent construction and land loans.  Out of 100 metro areas, only five others have higher deliquent rates than we do. In the third quarter, Atlanta's deliquency rate was 15.2 percent.  During late 2005 to early 20...
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By Bill Blair, Covington Georgia Realtor Covington Living Homes
(Coldwell Banker Realty)
Whether you're in the market to sell your home or buy a new one; whether you're a real estate investor or just have a single property; whether you watch the world market or just your local neighborhood, there are some interesting real estate statistics for the Covington and Conyers real estate markets for November. Foreclosures continue to dominate the local real estate scene.  There were 54 new foreclosures in Newton County during November, and 39 in Rockdale County.  This brings the totals for 2008 to 687 foreclosures in Newton and 378 in Rockdale.  That's only 26% more for Rockdale over the 2007 figure, but a whopping 60% increase in foreclosures in Newton County over the previous year. Is anything selling?  Yes.  665 single family homes sold in Newton County during November.  The pr...
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