Jackson County Real Estate Trends, Community Events, and Hot Spots!

You’ll find this blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings, events, and hot spots. That’s because I care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. I’d love to talk with you!

March 27, 2024

Best Of: Stay-cations

Are the kids off school and begging for something to do, yet the last thing you want to do is splurge on a hotel for a trip away? How about a fun day trip/stay-cation! The great thing about Georgia is that there is SO much to see and do, all within a day's drive. Check out the map below for some of our favorite Stay-Cation spots, and comment below with any that you think should be added!


Posted in Best Of
March 26, 2024

Septic vs. Sewer: Does it Matter?

As Buyers are on the search for a new home, a common question is about the wastewater: Is this house on septic or sewer, and does it matter? There are pros and cons to each, and there are people who prefer either (or don't care either way). Here's what you need to know:

A septic system is comprised of tank(s) and a drain field on the property where wastewater passes through and is collected.

  • Require a bit of physical land space, so it's most common to see them on lots greater than 0.25 acre.
  • You cannot put anything heavy on top of the septic system (the tanks, lines, or drain field), so if you want to install a pool, pour a concrete pad, etc it is critical that you know the location of your system and plan accordingly.
  • The cost for a septic system is predominately paid up-front at installation.
  • Maintenance: It is advised to have your septic tank pumped every 3-5 years. (Costs $400-$500 to pump & it stinks!)
  • Can be more prone to clogging/issues, and you need to be careful what you flush down drains (no grease for sure!)

Sewer systems are a network of pipes that deliver wastewater to a treatment facility.

  • Not available everywhere- must have the connections to the sewer system available.
  • Sewer lines are predominantly in the front yard (from the house to the street), so it is uncommon to have to work around sewer lines in your back yard if you are considering a pool, RV parking, etc.
  • There is a monthly cost associated with sewer, most often an add-on to your water bill.
  • There is very little maintenance, though you want to keep your drain lines clear.
  • While they may not be prone to clogging, issues with a sewer line can be costly to repair.

So the big question: Does one of these systems increase the value of your property?

NOPE! No price difference in the housing market for septic vs. sewer. Though, as stated, there can be Buyer preferences at play. Though I've had Buyers strongly on both sides of the fence regarding which they prefer.

Regardless, you'll want to ensure your wastewater system is working properly, and if there are known issues, you will need to disclose these to a potential Buyer on your Seller's Property Disclosure.

Posted in Real Estate Tips
March 20, 2024

Buy Land & Build

I'm hearing it more & more each day: We want to buy land & build our dream home!

Everyone wants space to spread out, no HOA to tell them what to do, and oftentimes want animals or the homestead living.

Below are some things you need to consider:

  • Financing: Yes, there are some programs that will allow you to get a loan to purchase land. Often, this is only through local banks (for example, I know Mountain Valley Community Bank does). It definitely complicates things in certain situations, especially depending on the condition of the land (is there a roadway making the property accessible?).
    • There are also loan programs called Construction-to-Perm loans, and some will even allow you to roll in the land purchase into your loan! I have a few connections for C2P loans, and I'd love to get you connected with my favorite lenders.
  • Testing: It's more than just buying land and running with it! First, you need to do your due diligence on the land itself to make sure it will suit your needs. Some things to consider:
    • Soil testing- Is the soil conducive to installing a septic tank?
    • Water source- If the land does not have access to public water, then you need to make sure you can get water via a well.
    • Survey/property boundaries- Do you know exactly what the boundaries are for the property? Do you have access to a roadway, or is there an easement?
    • Is any part of the property in a Flood Zone?
  • Zoning- Will the county/city allow you to build what it is you want to build? Does the property have to be zoned a certain way to do so?
    • "Barndominiums" vary by county/city and have a wide range of requirements. Not as cut-and-dry as a traditional-style home.
    • Wanting to live in an RV? Make sure you check zoning! Many areas won't allow full-time living in an RV for more than 60 consecutive days.
    • Wanting to build a "guest house"- there are requirements!
  • Finding a Builder- The sooner you can select a Builder, the better! It's always the best idea to have your Builder view the property before you purchase it so they can help you navigate layout on the lot, if your selected floorplan will work on that lot, and more.
    • If you're getting a Construction-to-Perm loan, your lender will have to get approval for your Builder, and this can be tedious. It's often easiest to either use a Builder that is already approved with your Lender, OR ask your Builder for Lenders they have already been approved through.

Wanting to start the process of finding land to build? Let's chat!

Posted in Real Estate Tips
Nov. 30, 2023

Jackson County Tour of Lights 2023

Christmas Lights! What a fun tradition to drive around with some hot chocolate and enjoy beautiful Christmas light displays! This has become one of my family's favorite traditions, and we can't wait to see the beautiful light displays around the county again this year!

The following is a list/map that has been crowdsourced from our Living in Jackson County (Georgia) Facebook group! PLEASE help us to expand this list by contributing addresses of places in & close-by Jackson County with great light displays! You can e-mail them to me (Sarah@SarahProutyRealty.com) or comment in the Facebook group!

WE ALSO NEED YOUR HELP: If you visit an address on this map (AFTER Sunday, November 26th) and there is not a drive-worthy display up & running, please comment to let me know so I can remove the address from the map! **Any addresses marked with a ? have NOT BEEN CONFIRMED & we need your help confirming them to improve our map!

**Addresses marked with an orange "pin" are professional-level light displays synchronized to music!

2023 Inaugural JaxCo Light Fight!!

With 25 homes nominated in 5 different categories, it's YOUR TURN to decide who has the BEST CHRISTMAS DISPLAY IN JACKSON COUNTY!! The winner from each category will win a special $50 prize from one of our sponsors. 

CLICK HERE to download the list of addresses & categories so you can plan your routes & see all of the nominees!

Once you have selected your "winner" for each category, CLICK HERE to cast your votes! (*Note that you MUST reside in Jackson County, GA to vote. Only 1 vote per eligible resident address.) ***AS OF DECEMBER 18, VOTING HAS ENDED!

Sarah Prouty, REALTOR: 678-438-2570 | SarahProutyRealty.com
Wilco Printing & Signs: 706-658-2303 | WilcoPrints.com
The Frosted Roll: 804-510-3515 | Thefrostedroll.com
Cheeky Space Gifts & Decor: www.cheeky-space.com | cheekyspacegifts@gmail.com
The Catered Kitchen: 706-765-7427 | www.thecateredkitchen.net
Sunless Glow Studios: 404-867-5582 | www.SunlessGlowStudios.com
Sassy Grass Yard Designs: 678-249-0787 | sassygrassyarddesigns.com

About the Map:
Orange pins= The Professional nominees
Black pins= The White Lights nominees
Purple pins= The Inflatables nominees
Yellow pins= The Minimalist nominees
Green pins= The Griswold nominees
Blue pins= Other light displays not currently nominated

Link to the Google Map

Posted in Entertainment
Nov. 6, 2023

Hot Spot: Hoschton Cafe

Hot Spot of the Week: Hoschton Cafe

On the hunt for some home-cooked goodness (breakfast or lunch) in the Hoschton area? You cannot miss Hoschton Cafe!

I have honestly been meaning to stop by here for the past 9 years, and I finally made it for breakfast this week. And can you say DELICIOUS?? Orders are slower to come out because they are made fresh for each diner, and it shows in the quality and taste of the food! Their breakfast menu was what you'd expect- pancakes (yum) and french toast, biscuits with a wide assortment of meats, hashed browns (yum!), oatmeal, eggs all kinds of ways. Truly a great variety! And it looks like their lunch menu is a featured meat & sides.

And the environment was friendly. You can tell there is a solid set of regulars, and yet they were very welcoming to this newbie! Locally, family-owned. **Warning: Cash only!** Available for dine-in or carry-out & only open until 2PM M-F, open Saturday 7-11AM, and closed on Sunday.

Address: 28 Bell Ave, Hoschton, GA
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HoschtonCafe/

Oct. 16, 2023

Hot Spot: reBar

Hot Spot of the Week: reBar

If I'm being honest, some of my favorite local spots to eat are in the Jack's family (Jack's, Local Station, Public House), and now reBar! Located in downtown Braselton in The 1904 building, reBar is a laid-back place to enjoy a drink and quick bite with friends and colleagues alike! The menu is limited, but the Toasted Italian sandwich is by far my favorite (and a HUGE portion!). We've both dined in (very casual atmosphere) and ordered take-out, and we have always been pleased. 

Address: 9924 Davis Street, Suite 1, Braselton, GA
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100090112817454

Oct. 9, 2023

Hot Spot: Sugar Mommas & Co

Hot Spot: Sugar Mommas & Company

JUST OPENED in Jefferson, you can't miss Sugar Mommas & Company at the roundabout at 124 & 11. Serving a selection of breakfast items & baked goods, this is a great stop for breakfast or a sweet treat on your way to Athens or Jefferson! While their menu is limited right now due to their soft opening (serving bagel breakfast sandwiches, english muffins, cinnamon rolls, and cookies), the sweet lady at the register did tell me a few more items will be added after their grand opening this weekend.

Address: 3181 Winder Hwy, Jefferson
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sugarmommasx3

Oct. 2, 2023

Hot Spot: The Rig

Hot Spot of the Week: The Rig

If you want to know my kids' #1 favorite small business in JaxCo, THIS IS IT! The Rig is a Ninja Warriors-style gym packed full with tons of the obstacles you see on American Ninja Warrior. The owners, Glenn & Melissa, are not only incredibly kind people, but they are both repeat contestants on ANW, so they know their stuff!!

The Rig offers classes for ALL age groups (yes, even adults can train to be Ninja Warriors! And y'all- this isn't kids play!) and also host Open Gyms (normally Wednesday, Saturdays, and Sundays from 12-2) for $15/person. They also offer birthday parties! (We had my kids' party there last year, and I think it was the easiest party we've ever done!)

The perfect rainy day activity for the kiddos or an incredible upper-body workout for the adults, you can't beat The Rig.

Address: 84 Pearl Industrial Ave, Hoschton
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100083041127117

Sept. 22, 2023

Hot Spot: Juke 'n Jive

Hot Spot of the Week: Juke 'n Jive Creamery

There is NOTHING BETTER than a delicious cup (or cone) of homemade, natural ice cream. For years, my family has enjoyed Juke 'n Jive's ice cream at their Braselton location, but they are NOW {ALSO} OPEN in Hoschton! This is a dangerous one for me: way too conveniently located for me at a location I drive by daily.

We took the kiddos on a Friday evening and beat the crowds! The ice cream was delicious and fresh, waffle cups/cones equally as fresh. The decor is everything you've come to expect from Juke 'n Jive- retro and cool. They also had cornhole set up outside, which my kids loved playing before we left!

So excited to have some delicious ice cream on this side of town!

Juke 'n Jive
Address: 4162 Hwy 53 suite 120, Hoschton, GA 30548
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JukeNJiveCreamery

Sept. 18, 2023

Halloween Haunts In & Around Jackson County 2023

Looking for some Halloween fun? Maybe the spookiest haunted house? Or just some great Trunk or Treat celebrations? Or even just fun Fall Festivals? Here's a list of fun Halloween Haunts in & around Jackson County this year!


Fall Festivals

October 6-8: Hoschton Fall Festival
October 6-7: Maysville Autumn Leaf Festival
October 7 5PM: New Hope Baptist Fall Festival
October 12 4-6: Fall Family Fun Night
October 14 1-5: Commerce Fall Fest
October 14 12-4: Talmo Fall Festival
October 21 11-4: AuburnFest
October 21 2-7: Harvest Fest
October 22 6PM: Jefferson Church Fall Festival @ Jefferson Elementary
October 25 6-8: Fall Fun Fest
October 28 11-2: Fall Festival
October 29 3-5PM: Fall Festival at Church on the Hill
October 29 5-7: Crossview Fall Festival
November 3 5-8: Commerce Fall Festival
November 4 10-3: Jefferson Fall Festival

Haunted Fun (May or may not have scary stuff!)

October 15-Halloween Nightly: Halloween Lights Show
October 20 6-8PM: Haunted Gym Maze
October 20 6-8PM: Mummy & Me Dance Party *advance tickets
October 21 8-9PM: Haunted Gym
October 28: Halloween Movie Under the Stars
October 26-30: Haunted Hall


Trunk or Treat

October 20 5:30-8:30: Bear Halloween
October 21 10-2: Halloween Fly-In
October 21 5-7: Trunk-or-Treat at the Harvest Festival
October 21 2-4PM: Harvest Hoopla @ Crossroads Church of JC (Behind DQ in Jefferson)
October 24 7-9: Traditions Walk Trunk-or-Treat
October 25 6-8: Hoschton Church of God of Prophecy
October 26 4-7PM: Jefferson Halloween
October 26 5:30-7:30: Commerce Library BooFest
October 27 4-7: Halloween at INK
October 27 5-9: Spooktacular
October 27 6-9: Hoschton Trick-or-Treat
October 28 10:30-1: Halloween PathFest & Carnival
October 28 3-7: Flick or Treat
October 29 3-6: Maysville Baptist
October 29 4-5PM: 12Stone Trunk-or-Treat (all campuses)