The Advantage to Buying, Even in this Aggressive Market: One Buyer’s Scenario

I would like present a scenario I recently heard about for a 1st-time Homebuyer (aka a Renter). Fast-rising rents have many people seeking the protection that a consistent, fixed mortgage payment provides. Through this narrative I hope to demonstrate the advantage to buying a home, even in an unprecedented Seller’s Market like the one we are in now.

A Buyer is living in an apartment, paying $2,050 a month in rent. They are ready to buy a townhome. They have been fully approved by their lender for $325,000 but have decided to search under their maximum approved amount so they have some room to bid up, as is a common tactic in the current market. A desirable townhome was listed for sale for $250K; it is more spacious than the Buyer’s current apartment, and has many features the Buyer values. The Buyer put in an offer at $260K with an Escalation Clause, capping it at $2K higher than highest competing offer.

Putting an Escalation Clause in an offer may be one way to place your bid above others on a given home.

The Seller received multiple offers with the highest offer at $298K, $38K above the Buyer’s offer. The Seller’s Agent contacted the Buyer’s Agent and gave the Buyer the opportunity to invoke their Escalation Clause and win the contract. The Buyer’s new offer with Escalation Clause would be $300K

The Buyer rejected the opportunity, refusing to pay $50K over list price, which they considered an excessive amount for the home, even though the Buyer aspires to own a townhome just like this one. (List price is actually irrelevant — how was that price set? Was it set below market value, to bring in more prospective buyers? Over market value, by an aggressive and inexperienced Seller?)  Let’s examine the advantage of buying that home, even at what seems like an excessive price for that property. We will use a five-year period to examine the differences in Renting vs. Buying, as the Buyer wants to “wait it out”.

In this case, the Buyer’s monthly mortgage payment (PITI — Principal, Interest, Taxes, Insurance) and HOA (Homeowners Association) payment for the home would equal the same amount they were currently paying rent for their apartment: $2,050. One of the strongest advantages to buying is related to that monthly payment: With a mortgage, that number never changes. Rent payment will increase yearly, at an average of 5%. Realistically, due to the current increased demand of rental properties, rents are increasing quite a bit more than 5% per year. However, using the modest 5% increase in our model, a rent today at $2,050 will go up approximately $100 per month every year. After five years, that rent is $566 per month higher — $2,616, while a mortgage payment remains at $2,050.

We know that rent rates increase an average of 5% year over year. We also know that home values increase year over year, around the same rate. Following this estimate, the value of a $300,000 home after five years is $382,884.

Including the payments made on principal ($26,684), and market value increases (at a modest 5% Y-O-Y) the Buyer will have $109,568 in equity in their home after five years.

The Renter will not have gained any equity, but has likely been building the equity and wealth of their landlord. Over five years, the Renter will have paid $142,764 to their landlord. Total monthly mortgage payments and HOA equal $123,000. Even after accounting for $7,000 to cover closing costs, the Buyer still comes out thousands ahead of the Renter as far as monthly payments go.

There are definitely costs associated with homeownership that are not part of a renter’s budget: the initial downpayment, home repairs, HOA special assessments, taxes, and insurance. Home ownership can also take up more personal time than renting, as there is not landlord to manage repairs and maintenance.

Since they declined the opportunity to go Under Contract on the townhome, the Buyer is still searching the market. With multiple offers on almost every property and very few days on the market, it remains challenging to win a contract. However, interest rates have risen over 0.5% since they put their offer in and declined to invoke their Escalation Clause and win the contract (winning a contract is no easy feat).

Due to the increase in interest rates, the Buyer’s dollar will not go as far as it did in months before. For every 1% interest rates increase, buying power decreases by 10% of purchase price. A higher interest rate lowers the amount paid on the monthly principal included in that $2,050 purchase price. The Buyer cannot afford the same priced home that they could a few months before. The Buyer will also end up spending more money on interest over the life of the loan. Home prices are rising steadily month-over-month as well, so a townhome that sells for $300,000 this month may sell for $315,000 or more in just a couple of months.

No one wants to buy at the top of the market, and no one wants to pay top dollar. The Buyer’s reservations are understandable. However, our current market is the result of supply and demand. The increase in price appreciation is the direct result of low inventory and high demand. New home construction was low even before the pandemic began, and Millennials and Gen Zs are now in the active buyer group, increasing the number of buyers searching for homes. There are no signs of the market slowing down, and if readers are worried about a crash similar to 2008, this is not that market. That market held high inventory, high demand, and very low financial requirements to acquire a mortgage, with buyers even leaving the closing table with some extra cash, such as with an unsettling 125% loan. That scenario is not happening today, mainly due to more stringent regulations. 

Are home values too high? Are they inflated? Below is a chart that shows a house price index for the Atlanta/Sandy Springs/Alpharetta, Georgia area, from 1995-2022 [fred.stlouisfed.org]. Recessions are shaded in gray. Notice that during and after each recession, home prices continued in their trajectory upwards, except 2008 (The Great Recession), where conditions were very different from today. The housing market has adjusted — recovered — over the last decade, and home prices are back on a similar trajectory as they were before 2008. And apart from The Great Recession, most Buyers always paid “top dollar” for their homes because home values have consistently been on the rise.

As far as protecting yourself against inflation —  what better way to protect yourself than to lock in a mortgage payment and keep your largest monthly cost the same year after year, all the while growing your equity in an investment?  Consider spending $142,764 in rent over 5 years, resulting in $0 equity, or spending $123,000 over 5 years on mortgage payments, ending up with $109,568 in equity . . . It is a good time to buy a home.


I would like to extend sincere thanks to Marc Garfinkel, my colleague and my preferred lender, who works with Prosperity Home Mortgage, part of our Family of Services at Harry Norman, Realtors. Marc initially shared this scenario with me and then encouraged me when I decided to present it here. He enthusiastically assisted me as I worked to create all these charts and figures. I love working with Marc, and my Buyers always benefit from Marc’s down-to-earth approach. Marc provides numerous options to Buyers and he gives clarity to all of us in every situation: he strives to help prospective Buyers think outside the box. He makes himself available to clients after business hours; the demand for this is unavoidable in the climate of this challenging market. (Shout out to Marc for writing up a “Fully Underwritten Approval” letter for my clients’ offer on Thanksgiving Day — we won that contract!)


What’s Happening in Peachtree Corners — Town Center Spring/Summer Events

Peachtree Corners’ social center, the Town Green — located in the popular Town Center on Peachtree Parkway, offers a variety of events year-round. Below is a collection of planned Spring and Summer events. From movies to concerts to livestream sports broadcasts on the giant screen, to early-morning yoga and outdoor Crossfit, to the Annual PTC Festival, there is surely something for everyone to enjoy!

Upcoming Events at PTC Town Center

Summer Concert Series

  • Spin Doctors, May 28, 7:00 pm. Over 10 million albums sold and smash hits like ” Two Princes” & “Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong”, PTC Town Center kicks off the Summer Concert Series with the Spin Doctors — and Atlanta rock band Last Chance Riders will be opening act, taking the stage at 7pm.
  • Everclear, with opening act Hushmoney. July 30, 7:00 pm.  While it’s a virtual surety that no Everclear gig is complete without a rendition of “Santa Monica” and “Father of Mine,” lately the band has found that exploring the full range of past material—especially the “deep cuts”—not only gives fans a rare treat, but it also injects new life into the band’s live dynamic. And this year, the band’s calendar features a major milestone amid a career already filled with massive achievements, as 2022 marks Everclear’s 30th anniversary as a band. It’s as good a reason as any to kick things up a notch.
  • BrotherhoodJune 25, 7:00 pm., Doobie Brothers Tribute Band. Brotherhood is made of up of eight veteran musicians who were brought together by their love of Doobie Brothers’ music. They honor the original group, including two drummers and a percussionist, two guitars, bass, and keyboards, and all the vocal harmonies that made the Doobies incredible sound. 80’s Cover band juggernaut Guardians of the Jukebox will open the evening.
  • The Wildflowers, August 13, 8:00 pm. America’s #1 tribute to Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. Equipped with decades of experience and a passion for Tom Petty’s magic way with songs, The Wildflowers bring music lovers of all stripes what they adore: more Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers.
  • Stayin’ AliveAugust 27, 7:00 pm. This Bee Gees cover band offers their audience the sounds and sights of a full Bee Gees play list, singing blockbuster such as “Night Fvever”, “How Deep is Your Love”, and “Jive Talkin”. Stayin’ Alive is the quintessential tribute band to the Bee Gee’s capturing the excitement of live performance and the tender subtleties of the human voice. Atlanta’s The Mike Veal Band will open the evening.

Night Music Series — Live, Local Music!

  • The Tony Howard Show, May 14, 7:00 pm. Night Music will kick off the series with Atlanta party band The Tony Howard Show! This band will make you feel as if you’re at a Las Vegas show with its stage presence, back-up dancers and tight musical arrangements. Tony Howard began performing music at an early age and has grown to be one of the most professional and electrifying entertainers in the business.
  • Blair Crimmins and the Hookers, June 11, 7:00 pm. Blair Crimmins began his current music career in Atlanta, Georgia, with a determination to bring Ragtime and 1920’s style Dixieland Jazz to new audiences. While playing small rock clubs around the Southeast he developed a sound that is at once modern while being deeply rooted in the past. His debut 2010 release The Musical Stylings Of became a college radio sensation on WRAS Atlanta making him the most requested band on the air.
  • Sailing to Denver, July 9, 7:00 pm. Sailing to Denver is a Unique Americana / Roots – Rock band that has been recording since 2011.  This group of harmonious friends have spent the last few years developing an original sound and live show cultivated at local and regional festivals.  Along with original songs, the band is known to play B side covers that everyone forgot they loved. Kicking off the evening at 7pm is Trappers Cabin. Robin Hilton from NPR All Songs Considered said of Trappers Cabin’s music “Trappers Cabin, the musical project of Georgia’s Joel Nettesheim, makes some of the most interestingly odd and unclassifiable music around. Nettesheim blends art-rock, freak-folk, psychedelia, and space rock and throws in plenty of surprises. From song to song, the sound twists and turns, and the result is an eclectic mix of music tied together by its collective goofiness and beauty.”
  • The Artisanals, September 10, 7:00 pm. On the road is where The Artisanals feel most at home. Following the cues of the universe, the band is crisscrossing the country crashing on couches of friends and recent strangers, loading in and out of clubs and venues, and bringing their explosive live show to stages of all sizes. They are missionaries of rock n’ roll, performing gospel and turning on fans each night. This is the sound of the road; of heartache and good times; of an old classic and a new favorite. Atlanta based Rosey will kick off the evening. Rosey has opened her own professional recording studio, working with amazing artists of all genres, while also engineering and producing her own records. From her website, Rosey’s first single “… delivers a sweet & soothing message to everyone ready to re-emerge, see the stars, dance all night, fall in love and be reborn…at the party, come and get me, I’m…ready to play!”

Flicks on the Green

Sports on the Screen

  • Atlanta United v Nashville, May 22, 7:30 pm
  • Braves vs. Angels, July 23, 7:20 pm
  • Braves vs Astros, Aug 20, 7:20 pm
  • Day of Tailgating, September 17, Times/Games TBD

Yoga on the Green lead by Sun Dragon Yoga

  • Every Tuesday 8:00 a.m. May 3 through Sept. 27 Please bring water (no glass containers), a small towel or two, and a mat, Yoga attire. Please note the ground can be wet for these early morning classes so a towel under your mat can be helpful.

Crossfit @ the Green, lead by Terrance Fox with CrossFit PPG 

  • Every Thursday, 10:00 a.m. May 5 through Sept. 29. Regardless of your fitness level or age, this is a strength and conditioning program that relies on constantly varied, functional movements performed at high intensity which achieves a health and fitness level that will sustain ANY lifestyle. Please bring water (no glass containers), a small towel or two, and a mat, workout attire.

Memorial Day Ceremony

11 am, Town Center, Details TBA


KIDS’ Event

June 18 from 2pm to 5pm, Celebrate summer and being a kid on the Town Green. Admission to this event is FREE and includes interactive inflatables, rock climbing, face painting and more.  


Peachtree Corners Festival

July 1-3, Details TBA. Enjoy the annual weekend festival with art/crafts vendors, live music, fun food, and kids activities. Visit their website.


Bark in the Park

July 16, 11:00am – 2:00 pm., Details TBA


Light Up The Corners

August 13, 6:00 – 11:00 pm. Do NOT miss out on this festive annual 1k Twilight Trot and 4 Mile Glow Run with Pre- and Post-race activities! Visit their website for lots of wonderful event details and participation & sponsorship opportunities.


All events are tentative. Check city website a week prior to event for confirmation.


PTC Town Center

The 21-acre Town Center is the heartbeat of PTC community, with over 15 restaurants (Fire and Stone Italian Pizza Kitchen, Marlowe’s Tavern, Salata…), retail shops (Hollywood Feed, Boardroom Salon, Hand and Stone…), office space, and now, 75 new townhomes that overlook a 2+ acre Town Green park. The park is a central gathering place for many in our community, and hosts live outdoor concerts and seasonal events. The city’s landmark bridge located at the main entrance to the Town Center guides pedestrians over Peachtree Parkway and connects with the Corners Connector, the city’s pedestrian and bicycle trail system, and The Forum Shopping Center where many retail shops and more wonderful restaurants await.

PTC Town Green

The Town Green, designed as space for outdoor activities, includes so many wonderful features: an active water play space, open air pavilion, café tables, fire pit, 22′ digital display screen, open lawn, playable art, an exciting new expanded play space for kids, a fitness trail, and a 2,500 square-foot veterans’ monument featuring sculptures of military service people.

Some tips to keep in mind when attending PTC Town Green events

  • Items Allowed: Chairs & Blankets, Coolers Items
  • Not Allowed: Tents, Grills, Glass Bottles
  • All events are tentative ; Please check city website one week prior to event for confirmation.
  • Park and Walk — Parking is available at the Town Center parking deck, and additional parking is provided at 3720 Davinci Court. You’ll park there, cross PTC Circle, and access the Town Green via a pathway. Look for signage.

I hope all our locals will come out and enjoy the exciting and varied events and this beautiful space we have here at the Town Center in Peachtree Corners. I hope that we will have the chance to welcome lots of visitors, too! I’d love it if you would leave a comment to share your favorite summer outdoor community event!

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Great news for first-generation and first-time homebuyers

On October 28, the National Association of Realtors announced breaking news: Congressional leaders have released a long-awaited framework for President Biden’s “Build Back Better” program, which includes hard-fought NAR priorities like investments in affordable housing and down-payment assistance. A top-line price tag and an outline of new social programs directly affect the real estate industry. It includes $150 billion in affordable housing investments.

Funding for the following programs is included within the housing section:

  • Public Housing
  • Housing Trust Fund — Builds and preserves housing for extremely low-income households
  • HOME — Investments Partnership Program — allows state and local governments to use HOME funds for grants, direct loans, loan guarantees or other forms of credit enhancements, or rental assistance or security deposits.
  • Downpayment Assistance — Downpayment loans are forgiven over a certain period, such as five years. The money doesn’t have to be repaid as long as the borrower still owns and lives in the home at the end of the period.
  • Housing Vouchers
  • Minority Business Development Assistance

This bill will be particularly meaningful for lower-income households, millennials, and households of color. It ensures stable, affordable housing for millions of Americans and will enable Americans to improve and/or preserve over 1 million existing homes. Americans often have a distinct and very real fear when it comes to home ownership. This legislation can reach many in need. Industry professionals laud the inclusion of affordable housing provisions in the final bill.

The National Low Income Housing Coalition published an article which describes specifics of the legislation and urged support of the legislation. “We are one step closer to achieving historic housing investments and keeping the country’s lowest-income people affordably housed, but we’re not done yet. We’re urging all members of congress to enact this legislation as soon as possible” said NLIHC president and CEO Diane Yentel.

For more information on the Build Back Better legislation, you can visit WhiteHouse.gov.

Outdoor Dining in Peachtree Corners

Beautiful fall weather lends itself to outdoor living…and one of my favorite ways to enjoy our wonderful climate here in the south is open-air dining. When the al fresco-dining mood strikes, we are fortunate to be able to choose from a variety of dining styles locally, in city of Peachtree Corners. From open-air casual, to cozy courtyard, to an old-fashioned picnic, Peachtree Corners has every option!

Open Air Casual

You can’t go wrong when you head out for what I call open air casual. Loads of restaurants in PTC offer this type of dining…it’s informal, could be table service or could be walk-up. It’s fun and easy and laid back. Here are some suggestions for the easy-going outdoor meal:


Rooftop Dining

One restaurant (that I know of!) in Peachtree Corners offers rooftop dining: Taqueria Tsunami. This restaurant overlooks the bustling Town Center Green and must have a fabulous view! However, lately when I’ve been by, the rooftop dining appears to be closed. Hopefully they will re-open that area soon. But in the meantime, they do also offer open air dining along the main floor, outside, and that is a wonderful thing!


Covered Patio

Restaurants with covered patio dining offer a perfect solution for late fall — and into the winter months, when the winds pick up and the chill is all around! These restaurants generally illuminate their patios with twinkly lights in the evenings and have heaters which they willingly crank up for those of us who love to be “outdoors”!


Cozy Courtyard

For a more elegant experience, PTC is home to some wonderful romantic courtyard dining experiences. You may enjoy lingering at one of these restaurants for a special afternoon or evening meal.


Picnics

Don’t forget — picnics qualify as outdoor dining! Grab a blanket or tablecloth and some beverages…assemble your own meal, or pop in to TJ’s, Sprouts, Ingles, or Publix for some fabulous prepared options! Picturesque spots include Jones Bridge Park, Simpsonwood Park, and the Peachtree Corners Town Green.

Take advantage of our beautiful surroundings!

Spending time outdoors is good for our minds and bodies — we all know that. I’m sure outdoor dining counts! It is relaxing and enjoyable and you may just run into friends and neighbors while you are out. Results = good for the soul!

We each have preferences for restaurants, and certain occasions call for certain styles of dining. Peachtree Corners’ restaurants offer such a wide variety of ambiance, and new places are always opening . . . I’m sure I left out some terrific spots for open-air dining in Peachtree Corners . . . Where are your favorite places to dine outdoors? Please leave a comment below!

What’s Happening in Peachtree Corners — Town Center Fall Events

Peachtree Corners’ newest development, the Town Green — located in the popular Town Center, offers a variety of events during the fall season. From movies to concerts to livestream sports broadcasts on the giant screen, to early-morning yoga, there is surely something for everyone to enjoy!

Fall Events at PTC Town Center

Summer Concert Series

  • Tribute, Allman Brothers Tribute Band, with special guests Harvest Moon, Sept. 25, 7:00 pm

Night Music Series — Live, Local Music!

Flicks on the Green

  • Labyrinth, Oct. 2, 7:00 pm

Sports on the Screen

  • UGA v Auburn, Oct. 9, Time TBD
  • UGA v Kentucky, Oct. 16, Time TBD
  • Game TBD, Oct. 23, Time TBD Young Lions Obstacle Course, a youth event from 3pm-6pm
  • Georgia Tech vs. Virginia Tech, Oct. 30, Time TBD
  • Alabama vs. LSU, Nov. 6, Time TBD
  • UGA vs. Tennessee, Nov. 13, Time TBD
  • Georgia Tech vs. Notre Dame, Nov. 20, 2:30 PM
  • SEC Championship, Dec. 4, Time TBD
  • Army vs. Navy, Dec. 11, 3:00 PM

Yoga on the Green provided by Sun Dragon Yoga

  • Every Tuesday 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. through Sept. 28

Peachtree Corners Festival

Enjoy the annual weekend festival with art/crafts vendors, live music, fun food, and kids activities

  • Saturday, Sept. 18, 10:00am to 9:00pm
  • Saturday Night Concert:  7 pm
  • Sunday, Sept. 19:  12:00pm to 5:00pm

Veterans Day Ceremony

Veterans Day occurs on November 11 every year in the United States in honor of the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” of 1918 that signaled the end of World War I, known as Armistice Day. Veterans Day commemorates veterans of all wars. Please gather at the Veterans’ Memorial Plaza at the Town Center as the City of Peachtree Corners’ government honors those who have served our country in the military.

Veterans Day 2020

All events are tentative. Check city website a week prior to event for confirmation.


PTC Town Center

The 21-acre Town Center is the new heartbeat of PTC community, with over 15 restaurants (Fire and Stone Italian Pizza Kitchen, Marlowe’s Tavern, Salata…), retail shops (Hollywood Feed, Boardroom Salon, Hand and Stone…), office space, and now, 75 new townhomes that overlook a 2+ acre Town Green park. The park is a central gathering place for many in our community, and hosts live outdoor concerts and seasonal events. The city’s landmark bridge located at the main entrance to the Town Center guides pedestrians over Peachtree Parkway and connects with the Corners Connector, the city’s pedestrian and bicycle trail system, and The Forum Shopping Center where many retail shops and more wonderful restaurants await.

PTC Town Green

The Town Green, designed as space for outdoor activities, includes so many wonderful features: an active water play space, open air pavilion, café tables, fire pit, 22′ digital display screen, open lawn, playable art, a fitness trail, and a 2,500 square-foot veterans’ monument featuring sculptures of military service people.

Photo credit: TSW Design

Some tips to keep in mind when attending PTC Town Green events

  • Items Allowed: Chairs & Blankets, Coolers Items
  • Not Allowed: Tents, Grills, Glass Bottles
  • All events are tentative ; Please check city website one week prior to event for confirmation.
  • Park and Walk — Parking is available at the Town Center parking deck, and additional parking is provided at 3720 Davinci Court. You’ll park there, cross PTC Circle, and access the Town Green via a pathway. Look for signage.

I hope all our locals will come out and enjoy the fall events and this beautiful space we have here at the Town Center in Peachtree Corners. I hope that we will have the chance to welcome lots of visitors, too! I’d love it if you would leave a comment to share your favorite fall outdoor community event!


Peachtree Station Market Update

Did you know that 97 people a day are moving to the Atlanta area? Not everyone chooses to live in the city. In fact, there is a solid demand for homes in the suburbs. Many buyers want space for activities such as working from home, schooling from home, and entertaining & gathering — both indoors and outdoors. Some simply want a bigger yard, with more private outdoor space for themselves and their families. Homes in Peachtree Station neighborhood meet all these criteria and and have even more to offer! We have an impressive seller’s real estate market in my neighborhood…Peachtree Station subdivision, in Peachtree Corners, Georgia.

Peachtree Station neighborhood homes are always in high demand, but inventory is currently low. This is creating attractive selling prices for homeowners. Here is a snapshot of the Peachtree Station real estate market:

The following charts present a more detailed look at recent market activity in Peachtree Station, including active listings, pending sales, and recent sales. There has been a lot of fascinating activity lately, to say the least!




If you live in Peachtree Station, I hope you have found something of interest in this Market Update. As you can see, there are very few homes on the market right now, and due to the nature of our subdivision, plus the highly-rated schools, wonderful local parks, and vibrant Town Center, Peachtree Corners neighborhoods are attracting buyers.

If you live in a different neighborhood and would like a Market Update for your own neighborhood, please comment below or send me an email elizabethkay.pinder@harrynorman.com — I’d be happy to create a complimentary Market Update for you!

As a Harry Norman Realtor®, my goal is to guide my clients seamlessly through the ever-evolving real estate landscape, as a trusted ally, creating a positive experience for everyone.

In my kitchen: A Summer Favorite — Cookies ‘n’ Cream Ice Cream

Refreshing and indulgent — just what Summer ordered!

If you haven’t made homemade ice cream before, I encourage you to try it! There is something quite special about making your own summer dessert, something industrious about getting out the ice cream machine, and something magical about lifting off the cover and seeing that your cream custard has transformed into a frozen treat!

The recipe I share below is fairly straightforward and has always produced great results.

This indulgent recipe has simple and rich ingredients.

Start with an egg custard cooked on the stove (it’s not as complicated as it sounds!).

Whole milk, sugar, egg yolks, and salt are cooked at a low simmer for 5 minutes, until thick.

After the custard has cooked, strain it to remove any solids from the eggs.

Yikes! Don’t skip this step!

Here you’ll mix in half-and-half, whipping cream, and vanilla, and chill for around an hour.

Chilling this mixture first helps the ice cream machine work better.

Next pour it into the canister, add ice & rock salt all around…and turn on the machine.

In less than an hour, you can have yummy, creamy deliciousness!

Isn’t it pretty? 🙂
This is about 20 Oreos, crushed.

After removing the paddle, fold in the crushed cookies. (Never works to add when the canister is spinning — the cookies just dissolve!) Then I pour the “soft-serve” into a shallow plastic container and freeze for 5-6 hours. You can also serve it just like this. It’s yummy either way.

Freeze 5-6 hours, or even better — overnight.
Enjoy!

Do you like to make homemade ice cream? What’s your favorite kind? I’d love to know — please leave a comment!

In my Kitchen: Homemade Moisturizer

I first learned about this wonderful cream, sometimes called Rosemary’s Perfect Cream, from my niece, 6 or 7 years ago. Originally created by Rosemary Gladstar, this recipe is floating around different sites on the Internet, and there is a wonderful how-to video on YouTube featuring Ms. Gladstar. The first time I made it I was astounded! I had made my own beautiful, rich, face cream, and it was a pretty easy process.

I Love This Moisturizer

It is luscious — lightweight, creamy, mild, non-irritating. . . You can customize this cream however you like. You decide which types oils to use (avocado, apricot kernel, coconut, almond oil), you decide if you would like to have a scent (lavender, rosewater, orange, almond) or none at all. And you decide how thick you want it to be. Use this as a face cream or a body lotion. In fact, you can make the recipe using only the “oils” ingredients, and make yourself a thick balm that is terrific for soothing rough, dry winter skin. Be creative with it — or follow the recipe exactly.

It’s Easy to Make

The recipe is divided into two ingredient types — waters and oils. Combine the waters in one container, and in another bowl, melt the oils and cool to room temp. Then put oils in a blender, turn the blender on medium and slowly drizzle in the waters. Once the waters are all poured in, you may want to turn off the motor a moment and use a small spatula to incorporate all the oils from the corners into the center. Turn the motor back on, and soon you will hear the motor slow down, as the cream begins to thicken. When it slows way down — Voilá — Parfait! You have Rosemary’s Perfect Cream:)

Storage

I prefer using jars that have easy-on, easy-off lids. I’ve found it’s easiest to use jars with a wide opening, that aren’t too deep. I’ve bought glass jars from The Container Store and plastic jars from Amazon. I also use a mason jar to store a larger batch and then decant it into smaller jars as needed. Some people recommend storing this cream in the fridge. I store it in my pantry when it’s in a mason jar, or on the kitchen counter and bathroom vanity in smaller jars. I have never had an issue with the cream going bad.

Benefits

Some of the benefits of making and using this moisturizer: it’s a wonderful, effective, and rich moisturizer; it’s made with natural ingredients you can easily ID and pronounce; it is customizable to your preferences; make it all organic if you choose; it’s easy to make a fresh batch; it is cost effective; it makes a wonderful and unique gift for teachers, co-workers, your favorite barista . . . everyone loves receiving and using Rosemary’s Perfect Cream!

I hope you will try making a batch yourself. Please let me know, in the comments section, when you make it, how you like it, or if you have questions about it! Happy blending:)

Rosemary’s Perfect Cream

Waters
2/3 cup distilled water (or rose water)
1/3 cup aloe vera gel
1 or 2 drops essential oil of your choice
Vitamins A and E as desired

Oils
3/4 cup apricot, almond, or grapeseed oil
1/3 cup coconut oil or cocoa butter
1/4 teaspoon lanolin
1/2 to 1 ounce grated beeswax

Combine the waters in a glass measuring cup. Set aside. In a double boiler over low heat, combine the oils. Heat them just enough to melt. Pour the oils into a blender and let them cool to room temperature. The mixture should become thick, creamy, semisolid, and cream-colored. This cooling process can be hastened in the refrigerator, but keep an eye on it so it doesn’t become too hard. When the mixture has cooled, turn on the blender at its highest speed. In a slow, thin drizzle, pour the water mixture into the center vortex of the whirling oil mixture. When most of the water mixture has been added to the oils, listen to the blender and watch the cream. When the blender coughs and chokes and the cream looks thick and white, like buttercream frosting, turn off the blender. You can slowly add more water, beating it in by hand with a spoon, but don’t overbeat. The cream will thicken as it sets. Pour into cream or lotion jars and store in a cool location.

This recipe is from Simply Live Well blog.

This is how I store the ingredients, in my pantry. The initial cost of ingredients is around $40 or $50, depending on your selection, but you don’t use much of most ingredients in one batch. Therefore, the actual cost per batch is ridiculously low.

What’s Happening in Peachtree Corners — Town Green Summer Events

Peachtree Corners’ newest development, the Town Green — located in the popular Town Center, offers a variety of events over the summer months. From movies to concerts to livestream sports broadcasts on the giant screen, to early-morning yoga, there is surely something for everyone to enjoy!

PTC Town Center

The 21-acre Town Center is the new heartbeat of PTC community, with over 15 restaurants (Fire and Stone Italian Pizza Kitchen, Marlowe’s Tavern, Salata…), retail shops (Hollywood Feed, Boardroom Salon, Hand and Stone…), office space, and now, 75 new townhomes that overlook a 2+ acre Town Green park. The park is a central gathering place for many in our community, and hosts live outdoor concerts and seasonal events. The city’s landmark bridge located at the main entrance to the Town Center guides pedestrians over Peachtree Parkway and connects with the Corners Connector, the city’s pedestrian and bicycle trail system, and The Forum Shopping Center where many retail shops and more wonderful restaurants await.

PTC Town Green

The Town Green, designed as space for outdoor activities, includes so many wonderful features: an active water play space, open air pavilion, café tables, fire pit, 22′ digital display screen, open lawn, playable art, a fitness trail, and a 2,500 square-foot veterans’ monument featuring sculptures of military service people.


Town Green Summer Events

Summer Concert SeriesReservations Required

Night Music Series — Live, Local Music!

Flicks on the Green

  • Hook, Jul 3, 7:00 pm
  • Thor, Aug 7, 7:00 pm
  • Cars, Sept 4, 7:00 pm
  • Labyrinth, Oct 2, 7:00 pm

Sports on the Screen

  • Braves v Cardinals, Jun 19, 7:15 pm
  • Atl. United v New England, Jul 17, 5:00 pm
  • Atl. United v Columbus, Jul 24, 3:30 pm

Yoga on the Green provided by Sun Dragon Yoga

  • Every Tuesday 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. through Sep 28

All events are tentative. Check city website a week prior to event for confirmation.


Summer Concert Series

The third annual Summer Concert Series features bands from across the nation at the Town Green in the Town Center at 7:00 PM. Admission is FREE (with reservations, see below) to enjoy live music with bands from all over the country. Concerts are the last Saturday of the month, through September. Fans can bring food or visit one of the many restaurants located within the Town Center for carryout. 

June’s concert will feature the ultimate Eagles tribute, On the Border. Treating fans to an authentic concert experience while journeying through The Eagles songbook, the band covers favorites such as “Desperado” and “Lyin’ Eyes” as well as rockin’ hits such as “Life in the Fast Lane” and “Heartache Tonight” with such accuracy, that listeners may permanently confuse “On the Border” with the real Eagles!

Opening for On the Border will be Atlanta’s own Carly Burruss. Carly’s whimsical, tongue-in-cheek disposition combined with her lilting sound make her the country music singer/songwriter who stands out from the rest.

Concert Tickets: To ensure everyone’s safety Summer Concert Series will require tickets this year. Visit the Town Center Events page here for a link to reserve tickets. Tickets will be available about a week before each of the concerts and there is a 6-ticket limit per household. You will be given wristbands the day of the concert, according to the number of tickets you have reserved, when you show your tickets. Participants will be able to get their wristbands and set up their spot after 2:00 PM on the day of the show. All areas will be first come first serve on the day of the event. Attendees may set up lawn chairs throughout the event area.

All tickets must be redeemed by 7:30 PM. Any tickets that have not been redeemed by that time will become available to those waiting on a first come first serve basis.

Guests are asked to social distance and wear masks as often as possible while attending the event. Space is very limited and expected to fill up quickly. Once all reservations are filled, the event will be at capacity and no additional guests can be accommodated.


Night Music Series

No reservations are required to attend this music series, which features live local bands. June’s Night Music concert features The Sawgrass Blues Band. As described on their website, they are “homegrown, Roswellian, blues-loving machines, specially selected for smoothness and taste. Acoustic, eclectic, bluesy, electric, — toe-tapping, foot-stomping rock, rhythm, & blues!”


Flicks on the Green

Join your PTC neighbors on the Town Green for Flicks on the Green a FREE movie series featuring iconic movies on their anniversary, on the 22′ digital display! Mark your calendar for the first Saturday of each month through October 2. Movies will be begin at 7pm; bring a blanket and stretch out on the lawn and experience movies under the stars. Bring a picnic or grab food from your favorite Town Green restaurants.

Sports on the Screen

Come tailgate with fellow fans on the Town Green in July! A Braves baseball game and two Atlanta United soccer games will be live cast on the big screen (22′ digital display) at the Town Green. Sports fans are encouraged to bring their own coolers or purchase food and drink from one of the many restaurants in the Town Center. 

*Times and games could change last minute due to network availability


Yoga on the Green

Stretch and strengthen wit your neighbors at Yoga on the Green every Tuesday at 8:30 am, April 27 through September 28. Everyone from beginners to experienced yogis are welcome to this FREE class taught by David Penn from Sun Dragon Yoga.

What to Bring — Water (no glass containers), a small towel or two, and a mat if you have one. Please note the ground can be wet for these early morning classes so a towel under your mat can be helpful.

What to Wear — Wear comfortable clothes that allow a range of motion. Consider a close-fitting shirt, or a shirt that can be tucked in.  Come in whatever shoes you would like, as practice will be done barefoot.


EV charging is available at the Town Center

  • 4 Electrify America DCFC Stations 150kw – 350kw (parking deck, lower level)
  • 12 Tesla DCFC stations 350kw (parking deck, lower level)
  • 6 Level 2 charging stations (parking deck, two on each level)
  • To access charging, when entering Town Center from Hwy 141, head straight through the traffic circle and turn right, in front of Cinebistro. You’ll find chargers on the lower level there, and more on every level.

Some tips to keep in mind when attending PTC Town Green events

  • Items Allowed: Chairs & Blankets, Coolers 
  • Items Not Allowed: Tents, Grills, Glass Bottles
  • All events are tentative; Please check city website one week prior to event for confirmation.
  • Park and Walk — Parking is available at the Town Center parking deck, and additional parking is provided at 3720 Davinci Court. You’ll park there, cross PTC Circle, and access the Town Green via a pathway. Look for signage.

I hope all our locals will come out this summer and enjoy this beautiful space we have here at the Town Center in Peachtree Corners. I hope that we will have the chance to welcome lots of visitors, too! I’d love it if you would leave a comment to share your favorite summer outdoor community event!

Limewash Fireplace Transformation

My family bought our 1980s Williamsburg-style home, in Peachtree Corners, GA, in 2006. The home is tucked near a nice little cul-de-sac, deep in a subdivision full of 1980s Williamsburg-style homes. The homes are not too varied, interesting, or exciting, but do we love our home, our yard, and our neighborhood. The previous owners, who were the original owners, had made some quality upgrades to the house over the years. We have enjoyed continuing with numerous renovations ourselves.


One update we made a few years ago was kind of a big leap for me. It wasn’t a huge project, but was definitely a commitment. We limewashed the brick fireplace surround. When it comes to painting brick, there’s no going back…you can’t really “unpaint” brick. I’ve always felt that brick and wood are some kind of Sacred — you just can’t paint them on a whim! I realize many people feel this way. …but many don’t!

To my eye, the brick in our family room was a drab color, and while the surrounding oak bookcases were a great quality and of nice workmanship, I was tired of the heavy, honey-colored oak. That whole end of the room was dark.

This is from 2016, before we limewashed fireplace surround and painted the woodwork. Even with the inset lighting, that end of the room was dark and kind of blah. The wood and brick colors blended too much.

I looked into adding a fresh, current tile over the brick to update it, but after looking at pricing and logistics, we decided to try the limewash (since it’s inexpensive), and if we hated that, we could reconsider the work and expense of adding tile.

I was inspired by a few photos I found after Googling “painted brick fireplace” and settled on the limewash effect. We went with Romabio Avorio White Limewash Interior/Exterior Paint, which was in stock at Home Depot. I liked the limewash because it wasn’t going to completely cover the tones of the brick. Limewash paint gives a unique “whitewash” effect. The product we chose is a one-coat process, no priming required. That’s what sealed the whole deal for me.  According to the Romabio website this product is toxin free and environmentally friendly. Romabio Limewash is mineral-based and is derived from sustainable materials. . . . Bonus! And we were thrilled with the results!

The limewash process gives an old-world, antiqued/weathered look. Some of the brick color remains exposed, which results in a warmth you just wouldn’t have with a painted brick.

Here is a terrific sampling of the Romabio Limewash colors, found at brick&batten.com.

We decided to keep the oak mantle in place, as is, as it compliments our oak floors, and has a nice, neutral style.  So after taping off the edges by the mantle, bookcases, floor, and ceiling, we were ready to experiment.

The application was very easy. We went with the recommended 50% dilution (see chart below; the .67-gallon can was plenty for our fireplace surround). Before applying the limewash, we misted a 3’x3′ area of the brick with a spraybottle of water. Once the brick was damp, we used a paintbrush to apply the wash. It soaks right in!

Keep your brick damp with water as you apply the limewash.

We adjusted the look by applying plenty of the product and then washing off in random areas, so the brick color would peek through. We were able to balance out the intensity with some vigorous buffing, and there was lots of stepping back to observe, adding or removing the wash, and more observing after that!


This was at the end of the first day. We did remove a little more the next day, as it was a little more opaque than we wanted.

Removal is possible for up to two days after the initial application — very forgiving. This product can be re-applied to add color depth, even past the two-day removal limit. Since the finish is flat, touchups are undetectable. Nota Bene: the product dries more opaque and it looks “thicker” or “darker” when dry than when it’s wet. We ended up removing quite a bit over the next couple of hours, adjusting the amount of brick color and the “location” or “pattern” of the red that showed through.

Romabio Classico Limewash dilution recommendations


1L/1QT.2.5L/0.67GAL15L/4GAL
50%500ml1.25L7.5L
70%700ml1.75L10.5L

After the wonderful transformation with the limewashed  masonry, we decided to go ahead and have the woodwork painted to coordinate with the wall color, Silver Strand (7057, Sherwin Williams). The paint colors we used are: bookcases “Attitude Gray” (7060); wainscoting “Unusual Gray” (7059); all Sherwin Williams colors. 

‘White Rose Trio’ over mantle, by Tatyana Klevenskiy

This update truly brightened this part of my home. Adding the limewash to the fireplace surround and then painting the woodwork gave everything a fresher, cleaner, more updated feel. I just love it!