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School Ratings & Reviews on TheKeenTeam.com

It's not easy to find objective ratings and reviews for public schools. While there are several independent websites that rate schools, they're often contradictory and difficult to decipher. So to get the full story, you spend time scouring multiple school review sites to determine a consensus of the ratings they provide for each school. 

On each of our Atlanta School Guides we've done the legwork for you.  And we provide a simple, yet effective, thumbs up/thumbs down rating system designed to give you an "at a glance" review of the school serving a given neighborhood or community.  

Keen Team "Thumbs Up" Rating

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Atlanta Neighborhoods Map

Map of "Intown" Atlanta Neighborhoods

Location. Location. Location.

Where exactly is "Intown" Atlanta anyway? Loosely defined: it's "Inside the Perimeter" - meaning the geographic area inside of the circular, eight- to 12-lane, 60-mile stretch of I-285 that completely surrounds Atlanta and its nearby neighborhoods and towns. More specifically, "Intown Atlanta" refers to the cluster of 37 neighborhoods close to the city center.  And here at The Keen Team, we recently launched a new interactive Intown Atlanta Neighborhood Map Search.  Click the image below to get started.

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The Atlanta Beltline: One of the Most Impressive Urban Revitalization Projects in the World

We know that Atlanta is unique – and not just because of Coca-Cola, CNN and the CDC. Atlanta stands out among major U.S. cities because of what it doesn't possess: a navigable waterway.

Why does that matter? Read on.

Many major U.S. cities are built on navigable waterways. Minneapolis, St. Louis, Memphis and New Orleans are located on the historic Mississippi River. Cincinnati and Pittsburgh are located along the Ohio River. New York, Boston, Miami, Los Angeles, San Diego and Seattle are coastal cities.

Atlanta is one of the few major U.S. cities that isn’t built on a major river or near a large body of water. (The Chattahoochee isn't navigable for major shipping or transport.)

Many major cities in the United States grew along rivers banks and ocean...

Top 9 Pedestrian-Friendly and Bike-Friendly Atlanta Neighborhoods

The neighborhoods in central and surrounding Atlanta offer a unique compilation of small-town charm with city-center access. Atlanta is a vibrant city with fun activities, art exhibits, and great local businesses.

If you love living in a close-knit neighborhood, and enjoy the ability to walk or bike to anything in the city, check out these top nine pedestrian and bike friendly Atlanta neighborhoods.


1) Midtown

Midtown, Atlanta is an epicenter of family fun, shopping, dining, and local events. It is known mostly for being the “heart of the arts” for the Southeast. With 25 different arts and cultural venues and 22 entertainment...

Ponce City Market’s Role in the Revitalization of Old Fourth Ward

Atlanta’s history is rich with stories of triumph, failure … and new beginnings.

Ponce City Market, a building that’s playing a vital role in transforming Old Fourth Ward and the surrounding neighborhoods of Midtown and Virginia Highlands, is a perfect example.

This once-abandoned building is a key player in the redevelopment of one of Atlanta’s oldest neighborhoods.

In this article, we’ll discuss the...

An in-depth look at Kirkwood, Atlanta.

The Kirkwood neighborhood of Atlanta is a historic community of more than 3,000 households on the east side of Atlanta, a “small town in the big city. The original Kirkwood neighborhood, designed by architect Will Saunders in the 1870s, became a streetcar suburb of Atlanta by 1910. It's now entirely in DeKalb County and is bordered by Oakhurst, Edgewood, East Lake, and Lake Claire.

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Beyond the Beltline: What Other Projects Will Breathe New Life into Atlanta's Neighborhoods?

There’s no question that the Atlanta Beltline’s miles of trails, acres of green space and improved access to transit is transforming the city of Atlanta. The Beltline creates economic boosts to Atlanta's Intown neighborhoods, new access to employment opportunities, and creates the opportunity for foot traffic (and bike traffic) to reach new retail and office space. 

Guess what? It's not alone.

Beyond The Beltline

The Beltline isn’t the only redevelopment project that can breathe new life into the City of Atlanta.

In the coming decades, the following five projects — Turner Field, Fort McPherson, Martin Luther King Jr. Drive,...

Up Close and Personal with Atlanta's Intown Neighborhoods

Sherwood Forest

First developed in the 1940s, Sherwood Forest is a quiet, residential neighborhood which runs adjacent to Ansley Golf Course. Going with the Robin Hood theme, the main thoroughfare is Robin Hood Road, with Friar Tuck Road and Little John Trail overlooking the greens.  On Lady Marian Lane and Nottingham Way you’ll find well-kept mid-century ranch style homes.

Since the Sherwood Forest neighborhood is within walking distance of the Beltline’s loop, residents look forward to a future Beltline connection.

Virginia Highlands

What started as an early 20th-century streetcar suburb, Virginia-Highland is a neighborhood named after the intersection of Virginia Avenue and North Highland Avenue, the heart of a busy commercial district at the center...

Don't Have 20 Percent Down? Don't Worry!

Buyers find lots of reasons to lose sleep when purchasing a home, but coming up with a 20 percent down payment shouldn’t be a source of anxiety.

In the days before government groups guaranteed mortgage loans, lenders usually required 20 percent down payments so buyers would have some skin in the game – equity –and incentive to keep paying down their mortgage debt.

Today, however, lenders can accept less than 20 percent down payment because a myriad of government agencies will guarantee the loans under specific conditions. And even if your lender requires 20 percent down, there are ways of raising that money without tapping out your savings.

Here are some ways you can handle a down payment so you can buy the house you love.

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In 2012, 14 percent of...

10 Overlooked (and Easy) Ways to Prepare Your Home for Sale

10 overlooked way to prepare your Atlanta home for saleYou want your home to stand out when you list it for sale, but you’re not a design expert. You may watch HGTV on occasion to get some ideas, but every time you do, you feel overwhelmed. The average busy person just doesn’t have the skill or the time to tackle most of the projects they show.

Fear not, intrepid homeowner — there are 10 easy things you can do to make sure your house impresses potential buyers, and you don’t need a ton of time or an extensive tool collection to do them.

1. Make It Sparkle

It’s easy to overlook the little things when you’re getting your house ready for sale. You may clean the windows, polish the hardwood floors and put a fresh coat of paint on the walls, but sometimes the smaller details...

405 Melrose Avenue, Decatur GA 30030

405 Melrose Avenue, Decatur GA 30030

405 MELROSE AVENUE
DECATUR GA 30030

Priced to Sell @ $699,900

MLS #5599146

Located in the sought after Westchester Elementary School district, 405 Melrose Avenue is a 4 bedroom 3.5 bath home with 2-car attached garage parking and fully finished basement level.  If you could pick just one neighborhood that best exemplifies the vibe City of Decatur is famous for, it's here in ...

Housing Prices Continue to Climb. Should You Wait to Sell?

Interested in selling your home? You might have questions about timing.

Have home prices peaked? Is it currently the best time to sell your house? Or should you wait for another six months or a year, with the hope that home prices will rise further?

Unless you own a crystal ball, there’s no way to know where home prices are headed. We see that home prices nationwide, including distressed sales, increased by 6.8 percent in April 2015 compared with April 2014, according to CoreLogic, a property research firm.

News about the Atlanta real estate market is generally upbeat. Atlanta is the third fastest-growing market in the U.S for new homes, posting sales gains of 10 percent from a year ago.  What’s more, the median sales price for Atlanta homes is $262,500, up 6.4 percent since the same time a year before.

So the...

How to Buy a Great Home for the Long-Run

Searching for a new home? You may know what you want – granite countertops and an open floor plan – but it’s hard to predict what you someday will need.

That’s the challenge of house hunting in real time: It’s hard to select a home that will fulfill both your current and future desires.

Life as we know it changes. Maybe you’re newlyweds and plan a family down the road. Maybe you’re married with teenage kids who, hopefully, will get a job and move into homes of their owns. Or perhaps your parents are aging, and you envision inviting them to live with you when they need a little more help.

The scenarios are infinite, but home choices aren’t. That’s why it’s important to choose a home that you’ll love today, but that you can also customize to meet future needs. Here...

6004 Manchester Circle, Roswell GA 30075

6004 Manchester Place

6004 Manchester Circle
ROSWELL GA 30075

Priced to Sell @ $275,000

MLS #: 5594119 

Located in one of the U.S. Top Cities, 6004 Manchester Circle is a 4 bedroom 3.5 bath custom designed Townhome built in 2006. It sits in a quiet gated enclave just 3 miles from Downtown Roswell on Canton Street and walking distance to local shopping (Publix, Target), restaurants (Sushi, Taco Mac) and entertainment (Movie Tavern). The unique open floor plan on the main level includes...

The Ultimate Guide to Selling a Home

selling a homeFor most of us, listing a home is the biggest sale we’ll ever make. No pressure there!

Putting a house or condo on the market doesn’t have to be a stomach churner. Experienced real estate agents, like The Keen Team, can guide you through this step-by-step process. Here are a few tips that can help you understand what's ahead.

Prepare to Succeed

Prepping your house for sale means denuding it of “you,” so buyers can imagine “them” living in the home.

Put away photos, kiddy artwork, and that ugly vase Aunt Bertha gave you for Christmas. Clear all clutter, replace stained carpeting, and refinish scratched floors. If you’re confused about what should stay and go, ask your real estate agent, who knows how a saleable house looks, feels and smells.

Don’t Forget...

The Ultimate Guide to Buying a Home

buying a homeBuying a home is no small decision, and the process is no minor feat.

To make things less stressful for you, here is a quick and easy overview of all steps along the way. This can help you understand what you’re getting into, and learn how to handle each step as you get there.

Don't forget: if you work with the Keen Team, you'll have an advocate helping you every step of the way. (Check out our testimonials.)

1. Set a Budget

When deciding how much to budget for a home, remember that the mortgage amount you’re approved for doesn’t necessarily equal the amount you can afford.

The cost of owning a home involves more than just the price of the property; it also includes the extra expenses that come along with homeownership — furniture, repairs...

254 Norwood Avenue NE, Atlanta GA 30317

254 Norwood Avenue

254 NORWOOD AVENUE NE
ATLANTA GA 30317

Priced to Sell @ $550,000

MLS #: 5578922

Located in the Historic Kirkwood neighborhood of Atlanta, 254 Norwood Avenue is a 6 bedroom 4 bath neo-craftsman bungalow built in 2001. It sits on a private lot and includes additional “bonus space” on the 2nd level. The galley-style kitchen showcases solid granite counters, a stainless appliance package and wood cabinetry. The living room features a fireplace, soaring 10ft+ ceilings and gleaming hardwood floors throughout the common areas. Upstairs you'll find a master suite with private master bath, large walk-in closet and plush wall-to-wall carpet. There’s a wood entertainment deck off the kitchen...

How to Find a Great Real Estate Agent

How to Find a Great Real Estate AgentLooking for a new home? Eighty-eight percent of homebuyers use a real estate agent or broker, who becomes their guide, advisor, even confessor. But with more than 2 million active real estate agents and brokers working in the U.S., it’s hard to know which one will be right for you.

We can help. Here are some steps to take and questions to ask when looking for a real estate agent to help you buy or sell a house.

Roundup Independent Referrals:

The National Association of Realtors says 86 percent of buyers are likely to use the same agent again or recommend their agent to others. So work those cocktail parties, PTA meetings and family reunions to gather names of agents who have earned the trust and respect of the people you admire most.

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The Risks of 'For Sale by Owner' and 'Lease-Purchase' Agreements


lease option lease purchase for sale by owner
If you're thinking about selling your home, you might be entertaining two outside-of-the-box ideas: listing your home FSBO (for sale by owner) or renting out your home on a lease-purchase (or lease-option) agreement.

But both of these options are more complicated than meets the eye.

In this article, we'll walk through the nuances of both of these choices to explain some of the risks that you may not have considered.

In fairness, we'll also elaborate on the benefits, too, and give you tips if you're considering making a move in one of these directions.

The Risks of FSBO

At first glance, selling your house yourself seems like a money-saving idea. After all, you won’t have to pay a commission on a listing agent.

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