Atlanta’s best restaurants for foodies

Atlanta is home to a wonderful selection of restaurants that are sure to tickle the taste buds and satisfy the cravings of any foodie. You’ll discover an enticing mix of fine dining restaurants, trendy hot spots, and affordable eateries guaranteed to provide a truly unforgettable dining experience.

Here’s a list of some of Atlanta’s must-visit restaurants:

Madre + Mason

560 Dutch Valley Rd NE, Atlanta, GA

Madre + Mason’s menu features traditional Latin cuisine with a Southern twist. The restaurant’s concoctions are sure to dazzle any diner, with combinations that include duck and waffles, tacos with roasted brisket and sweet potato shiitake, and many more.

Brezza Cucina

675 Ponce de Leon Ave, Atlanta, GA

If it’s pizza you’re craving for, you should definitely head to Brezza Cucina. Their pizzas are made with the finest and freshest ingredients, and are available in classic Italian varieties reinvented with different cheese, vegetable, and seafood combinations. Their flavorful creations are topped with out-of-the-box ingredients such as buttermilk cheddar, spicy shrimp, scallions, short rib, balsamic, onion jam, and more.

Home Grown

968 Memorial Dr SE, Atlanta, GA

A local Reynoldstown favorite for years, Home Grown serves delicious diner-style comfort food perfect for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Their Comfy Chicken Biscuit has been voted one of the best dishes to enjoy in the entire state of Georgia, and for very good reason – the mouthwatering dish features crispy, juicy fried chicken sluiced with creamy sausage gravy and placed on top of a buttery biscuit.


130 Clairemont Ave, Decatur, GA

This is Asian fusion at its finest. Located in downtown Decatur, Makan is a Chinese and Korean-inspired restaurant offering a fine chef-driven menu in a comfortable, well-designed setting.

Their menu items are made from traditional Chinese and Korean recipes with a modern twist. Their ramen is absolutely to die for, and is best enjoyed with their pork buns infused with a Southern charm.

The Mercantile

1660 Dekalb Ave NE, Atlanta, GA

Located in Candler Park, this wonderful deli offers gourmet cuisine, prepared meals, and build-your-own sandwiches, along with an impressive wine selection. The deli also features a delicious selection of homemade salads, daily soup specials, roasted chicken, and family-style casseroles.

Fat Matt’s Rib Shack

1811 Piedmont Ave NE, Atlanta, GA

Open since 1990, the award-winning Fat Matt’s Rib Shack offers delicious, mouthwatering BBQ and live blues performances in a comfortable, family-friendly setting. Their expertly prepared, slow cooked fall-off-the-bone ribs is perfectly complemented by their homemade BBQ sauce, and is best enjoyed with their must-have side dishes like their mac and cheese and rum baked beans.


541 Edgewood Ave, Atlanta, GA

Staplehouse is a subsidiary of The Giving Kitchen, a non-profit organization assisting Atlanta’s restaurant community. Located in Atlanta’s Old 4th Ward, the restaurant features a regularly updated menu consisting of dishes made with quality local and regional ingredients. The place is very popular for their selection of delicious meat dishes, fresh produce, and irresistible desserts.

Staplehouse offers several dining options: a la carte service, a reservations-only five-course tasting, and bar seating for walk-in customers.

Summer in Milton & Alpharetta

Looking for events and destinations to check out in the Milton/Alpharetta area this summer? Here are some fun events and places to go to so you can make the most out of your summer:

Kidz Bop 2016 Life of the Party Tour

Friday, August 19, 2016
Show starts at 7:30pm
Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, Encore Park, Alpharetta, GA

Take your kids to the Kidz Bop 2016 Life of the Party Tour, a fun, family-friendly concert headlined by Ashlynn Chong, Sela Hack, Grant Knoche, and Matt Martinez.

Kidz Bop is the top music brand for kids, with over 16 million albums sold since its debut in 2001. They are known for featuring hits that are “sung by kids for kids.”

The Kidz Bop Life of the Party Tour started this spring, and is scheduled to hit more than 50 cities throughout the country before the end of the year.

To view the complete tour schedule and get ticket information, visit [Link].

Family Skate Night

Sunday, August 21, 2016
6pm to 8pm
Ed Isakson/Alpharetta Family YMCA
3655 Preston Ridge Road

Bring the entire family to the Ed Isakson/Alpharetta Family YMCA for Family Skate Night! Strap on a pair of skates and enjoy two hours of non-stop skating as the entire gymnasium will be turned into a roller skating rink for the event.

Members can join the fun for $8, and non-members can get in for $13. For more information, visit the venue’s website here [Link:].

Vegetable Gardening Workshop

Wednesday, August 24, 2016
7pm to 8:30pm
Alpharetta Department of Public Works
1790 Hembree Road, Alpharetta, GA

Hosted by the City of Alpharetta and the Alpharetta Natural Resources Commission, the Vegetable Gardening Workshop teaches sustainable gardening techniques, seeding and transplanting, preparing your garden for winter, and more.

This free workshop is perfect for anyone who has or would like to have their own vegetable garden, as autumn is nearly here, bringing ideal growing conditions for cool-season crops such as kale, lettuce, and spinach.

You can register by calling 678-297-6200.

Alpharetta Art in the Park

Saturdays, August 27 and September 24, 2016
9am to 4pm
Main Street and Milton Avenue, Alpharetta, GA

Drop by downtown Alpharetta and see some of our talented local artists as they showcase their masterpieces at this outdoor artists market.

Take a look at a large selection of artwork made using different media – watercolor, oil, photography, woodwork, metal work, mosaics, pottery, and so much more.

For more information, visit the Alpharetta Art in the Park Facebook page

R.A.D. Women’s Self-Defense Course

August 14, 21, and 28, 2016
1:30pm to 5:30pm
Milton City Hall

The R.A.D. (Rape Aggression Defense)
Self-Defense Course is a special course designed to train women in order to help them recognize, avoid, and resist violent situations. The course teaches self-defense techniques that are effective against different levels of aggression.

There will also be an optional hands-on simulation for those who would like to practice some of the techniques shown during the course.

The course is open for participants aged 13 and up. Students under 15 must be accompanied by a parent. To register, call 678-242-2505 or email

Outdoor activities in Milton’s parks

Summer is definitely the perfect time to enjoy fun, outdoor recreational activities. It’s a good thing Milton is home to many superb parks excellent for almost any type of outdoor activity. Whether you’re into sports, rock climbing, horseback riding, biking, jogging, or simply relaxing under a canopy of trees, the scenic parks of Milton are sure to offer an unforgettable outdoor experience.

Some of the parks you can visit include:

• Bell Memorial Park
• Birmingham Park
• Freedom Park
• Friendship Community Park
• Providence Park

Selling Trends in Atlanta Real Estate Market

There was an increase in new home closings in the Atlanta housing market in April 2016. The increase in percentage was higher compared to March 2016, which may indicate that the market is gaining strength. Closings rose 8.7% year-over-year to 1,341 – compared to the same month in 2015, new home closings had an increase of 6.9%.

Atlanta market reached new all-time price peak in the second quarter of 2016

According to the Q2 2016 US Home Sales Report from RealtyTrac [Link:], home prices in the Metro Atlanta area hit a new all-time price peak. The report is based on official sales deeds gathered from more than 900 counties throughout the US.

The analysis shows that the median price for homes in Metro Atlanta was $192,000, which increased by 2% compared to the previous year, setting a new benchmark. Atlanta was one of 39 statistical areas which reached new all-time home price records in June, including Dallas ($240,156), Minneapolis ($235,950), Seattle ($385,000), and St. Louis ($190, 209).

Experts say that the reason for the recent price surge may be attributed to historically low interest rates in the Metro area. Home price appreciation is likely to drop once the low rates begin to increase once again.

Despite the record-setting increase, Atlanta is still one of the few major cities that have sub-$200,000 median home prices.

Increased interest rates

Interest rates remain substantially low, compared to several years ago. Due to the slight increase, those with limited income or tight budgets may be affected. However, it is important to note that increasing rates typically represent improvement in the economy, resulting in more jobs, raises, and promotions for employees.

Another positive impact of increased interest rates is its potential impact on buyers’ mindsets – it’s more likely that buyers will be more motivated to follow through on their home purchases.

According to experts, the increasing rates will likely continue until 2017, due to the fact that markets usually experience rate volatility during election years.

Lending regulations

Changes to the country’s housing industry include the implementation of new TRID (TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure) regulations, which were effective starting October of 2015. Although the market experienced slight delays in turnaround time for closings earlier in the year due to the new regulations, this is expected to stabilize once the industry begins to acclimate to the new guidelines.

New federal laws and policies also contribute to a more cautious lending environment, with lenders taking additional steps in order to ensure buyers are able to afford a loan and that properties are able to retain their appraised values.

Increased popularity of intown neighborhoods

Atlanta’s diverse and active job market, trendy nightlife venues, and affordable homes are some of the biggest reasons for its increased popularity for young professionals.

This is further enhanced by the arrival of both larger companies as well as small to medium-sized high-tech firms, which are sure to attract younger residents. Along with increased job availability, many exciting projects are currently underway, further increasing the popularity of many intown neighborhoods such as Adair Park, Capitol View Manor, Capitol View, Edgewood, Kirkwood, Lakewood, Peoplestown, and West End, just to name a few.

Another unique element increasing the popularity of Atlanta’s intown neighborhoods is the Atlanta Beltline. In other areas, bodies of water such as rivers and lakes serve as boundaries dividing certain areas. The Beltline, on the other hand, connects previously isolated neighborhoods, resulting to a more interconnected city.

This year, a significant number of new developers and investors are buying land within the Beltline as well as in nearby areas, directly affecting home and land values and further increasing the popularity of neighborhoods within its vicinity.

Warren Buffett: There is No Housing Bubble

No Housing Bubble - Anita Wheeler Realtor

No Housing Bubble – Anita Wheeler Realtor

Words we really don’t want to hear today is “Housing Bubble” and it seems to be the case that we are not going to, at least for now. With home prices expected to appreciate by over 5% this year, some are beginning to worry about a new housing bubble forming.


Warren Buffet addressed this issue last week in an article by Fortune Magazine.


He simply explained:

I don’t see a nationwide bubble in real estate right now at all.”


Later, when questioned whether real estate and/or mortgaging could present the same challenges for the economy as they did in 2008, Buffet said:


I don’t think we will have a repeat of that.”  (Notice the I don’t think)


What factors are driving home prices up is the question?


It is easily explained by the theory of supply and demand. There is a lack of housing inventory for sale while demand for that inventory is very strong. According to a recent survey of agents by the National Association of Realtors(NAR), buyer traffic was seen as either “strong” or “very strong” in 44 of the 50 states (the exceptions being: Alaska, Wyoming, North Dakota, West Virginia, Connecticut and Delaware).


Also, in NAR’s latest Pending Home Sales Report, it was revealed that the index was the highest it has been in a year.


What does the future bring?

As prices rise, more families will have increased equity in their homes which will enable them to put their home on the market. As more listings come to market, price increases should slow to more normal levels.


Anand Nallathambi, President & CEO of CoreLogic, recently addressed the issue:


Home price gains have clearly been a driving force in building positive equity for homeowners. Longer term, we anticipate a better balance of supply and demand in many markets which will help sustain healthy & affordable home values into the future.”


The KEY for YOU as a Homeowner or Prospective Homeowner is to keep up on changing trends and that is why I am here for YOU!! I will keep you updated on what is happening in the Atlanta and North Georgia markets so you will be informed and up to date!

Stay tuned and visit my site @ or if you have a question about Selling, Listing or just want to talk about the market you can reach me at:

Anita Wheeler 404.219.1938










The Top Reasons Why Americans Buy Homes

Ownership: That’s what people really want!

Home Ownership is desired by most couples

Last week, the inaugural “Homebuyer Insights Report” was released by the Bank of America.  The report revealed the reasons why consumers purchase homes and what their feelings are regarding home ownership.Consumer Lending Executive, D. Steve Boland, explained:

Homebuyers today are motivated by both emotional and practical reasons. Nearly all want more space, but a majority of homebuyers, especially those purchasing their first home, are also looking for a place to call their own, put down roots and make memories. They value the emotional benefits of owning a home as much as the financial ones.”


Boland went on to say:

The path to homeownership is a journey and can be as overwhelming as it is exciting. For many people, this is the single most significant financial transaction they will ever make.”


This was evidenced in the report when they asked today’s homebuyers to define homeownership. Their answers tell the whole story.



Bottom Line

Home ownership has always been a part of the American Dream and survey after survey confirms this will always be the case

If you are thinking of purchasing a home and just want to talk about your dreams for the future, LET’S TALK!  CALL ME 404.219.1938 







Homeowner’s Net Worth is 45x Greater Than a Renter’s

Are you a homeowner?


Every three years the Federal Reserve conducts a Survey of Consumer Finances in which they collect data across all economic and social groups. The latest survey, which includes dates from 2010-2013 reports that a homeowner’s net worth is 36 times greater than that of a renter ($194,500 vs. $5,400)

In a Forbes article the National Association of Realtors (NAR) Chief Economist Lawrence Yun predicts that in 2016 the net worth gap will widen even further to 45 times greater. Simply put, home ownership is a form of ‘forced savings’. Every time you pay your mortgage you are contributing to your net worth. Every time you pay rent, you are contributing to your Landlord’s net worth.

 Homeowner New Worth

Putting Your Homeowner Costs to Work for You

Simply put, home ownership is saving you money!  The latest National Housing Pulse Survey from NAR reveals that 85% of consumers believe that purchasing a home is a good financial decision.

Yun comments: “Though there will always be discussion about whether to buy or rent, or whether the stock market offers a bigger return than real estate, the reality is that homeowners steadily build wealth. This simplest math shouldn’t be overlooked.”

Bottom Line

If you are interested in finding out if you could put your housing cost to work for you by purchasing a home, call me and let’s get together and discuss.  Call today at Toll Free # 1-800-306-8766. 


Home Equity Loans a New Reality?

Home Equity loans are worth looking into.

home equity

Are we really looking at Home Equity Loans? It’s hard to believe, but it is a reality again and here is the scoop…


Do you remember Home Equity Loans? A thing of the past? Not quite. A sharp increase in home prices over the last few years has given homeowners more equity to tap into, about $825 billion according to a recent report from Black Knight Financial Services. However, we do not think that tapping into that home equity is much more difficult than in the last decade, when many homeowners used their home equity lines like an ATM.


One of the key factors today (as it should be) is the customer’s credit. Home equity line lending has jumped some 40% from just a year ago, however it is still below what it was back in 2007 when the bottom started to drop out. Credit scores for new borrowers average a FICO score of 782, which is considered a very low risk. It also seems that many borrowers are using their home equity for much different reasons than a decade ago.


The difference today that ten years ago is that homeowners are using their home equity on things that they need vs. things that they want. (ie. Boats, vacations, etc) The whole shakedown of foreclosures, etc. has given way to “less is more” possibly. With that said, the home equity process has definitely shifted and it is much more like getting a mortgage. Interestingly, over one third of the equity is in California and in the top ten markets in the United States.


The good news, I guess, is that is still a product “home equity” and that it is available for those that have been fortunate to maintain high credit scores and to actually live in a market that home prices have increased enough to have “equity”. Will it change again? Probably. We never know with the fluctuation in different products and an interesting changing economy.






July Real Estate Market

Is the current real estate market going up or down?

July 2015 real estate market report


The National Association of Realtors said that it’s seasonally adjusted pending home sales index rose 0.5 % to 110.9 last month.  This is a slight recover from June, when the index fell to 100.4 after reaching 112.3 in May, a level last seen in 2006.


Slightly more Americans signed contracts to buy homes in July, as pending sales edged up after dipping in June.  It seems that steady job growth coupled with low mortgage rates have spurred more of a buying and selling trend.


As the recovery from the Great Recession enters its seventh year, more Americans have rebuilt their savings, increased their home equity and returned to the real estate market.


We know that pending sales are a barometer of future purchases. A lag of a month or two usually exists between a contract and a completed sale.


Completed sales of existing homes increased 2 percent in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.59 million, the fastest pace in eight-and-a-half years.


But the market has also revealed a mismatch between rising demand and limited supplies of homes on the market. Sales have increased 9.6 percent over the past 12 months, while the number of listings has declined 4.7 percent. We are still seeing the higher demand has largely emerged out of solid hiring since early 2014 and relatively low mortgage rates.


In addition, over the past 12 months, employers have added 2.9 million jobs as the unemployment rate has fallen to 5.3 percent from 6.2 percent. The hiring has generated a greater sense of financial security that has boosted housing.


Mortgage rates have also remained roughly two percentage points below their historic levels.


(Good news! )


The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 3.84 percent this week, according to mortgage firm Freddie Mac.  All of that said, the market is starting to build and it is a great time to take inventory of your own real estate and make decisions based on your real estate goals!  Let me send you the latest comparisons for your home!  Call me at 404-219-1938.  




It’s Good News

atlanta realty statistics 2015

Anita say “Atlanta is Steady and here is the latest report from The Atlanta Board of Realtors new release.”

The Atlanta Board of REALTORS® Releases April 2015 Statistics on Housing Market

The ABR Market Brief examines sales, prices in 11-county metro area

Atlanta, GA (May 12, 2015) – The Atlanta Board of REALTORS® (ABR), the largest association of its kind in Georgia, released its April 2015 Market Brief on residential housing statistics for 11 area counties in metro-Atlanta.  Market Brief, now compiled by First Multiple Listing Service (FMLS), provides the only regionally focused synopsis of monthly sales and home prices for single family residential properties.

Supply: Atlanta area housing inventory totaled 14,836 units in April, an increase of 3.8% from April 2014. New listings totaled 5,407, up 6.4% from April 2014 and up 10.2% from the previous month. The supply for sales over a 12 month period was steady at 3.8.

Demand: April residential sales were at 4,339, an increase of 8.6% from the previous year.

Price: Average and median sales prices continue to gain traction and outpace 2014’s figures, with positive gains. The median sales price in April was $229,000, an increase of 12.3% from last April.The average sales price was $290,000, up 11.5% from the previous year.

A Word from ABR President Ennis Antoine: “We have seen several consecutive months with positive year-over-year gains in median & average sales prices in metro Atlanta. 8 of the last 11 months have positive year-over-year gains in single family home sales as well. This strongly indicates that the selling season will continue to be very active. Labor and economic statistics continue to look positive, which will also largely impact the number of  first-time home buyers and the ability of millennials to obtain the necessary financing to purchase a home.”

Positive gains are always good!  If you are ready to buy or sell YOUR home…it couldn’t be a better time. Call me TODAY to set an appointment to go over a unique and specialized marketing plan for your home.