Get Adobe Flash player


Op-ed, blogs and columns

Make Your House Sell Faster, By Ron Barnes


By Ron Barnes

Associate Broker – Prudential Georgia Realty

A common question being asked by those wanting to sell their home is “what price can we ask to guarantee our home will sell within the next (fill in the time period)?” The truth is there is no magic formula to answer that question. However, there is a way to approach the question. It is called absorption rate pricing.

Space will not allow me to go into great detail to explain this, so check with your real estate professional if you have questions.

The following illustration represents “The Pond” of homes circulating through the market. The “flow” is the top layer representing those homes most aggressively priced that enter the market stream and flow out quickly. The “show” is the group of homes that get shown, but never get offers. The “stagnant mass” is where many homes reside in this market; priced too high, they never even get a showing, much less an offer.



The Absorption Rate is the ability of the real estate market to “absorb” or sell all of the houses for sale in a given amount of time. For example, if 50 homes are sold every month and there are 600 homes for sale, it will take 12 months to sell all of the homes currently on the market. If there are 1,200 homes for sale, the absorption period will be 24 months. This does not take into consideration new listings that come on the market, withdrawn listings, and listings that expire.


If you would like to sell in 12 months, you need to take the absorption rate into account. In the above scenario with 2400 homes for sale, we know that only 1/2 of them will sell in the next 12 months. If you need to sell within the next 12 months you need to price the property in the lower 50% of the price range for similar properties in order for it to sell in the next 12 months. To sell in the next 6 months it would have to be priced in the lower 25% of the competition.


Obviously this article is more theoretical than practical, since the details of your home and local market need to be applied. However, it is no accident that while the average absorption rate for Pickens over the last 15 months is 4.13, the average for homes under $100,000 is nearly three times that rate. Interestingly, homes priced from $250-300K are at about half the rate compared to homes in the $200-250K range, so if your home is worth $240,000 and you’re trying to squeeze it for $260,000, you’re only fooling yourself.


Ron Barnes can be reached at 678-520-6648 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Information in this article includes part of a class by Zan Monroe called “Ninja Marketing”. Prudential Georgia Realty is an independently owned and operated member of Prudential Real Estate Affiliates, Inc., a Prudential Financial Company. Equal Housing Opportunity. Statistics furnished by Trendgraphics.

Emerging Healthcare invites you to change your life in 2011

By Janis Kleinberger, Executive Director of Emerging Healthcare 
Do you know what happened in 2010?  Now when I ask someone in our community if they know about Emerging Healthcare, almost everyone says “Yes!”  

 That’s because our affordable education programs and services are touching hundreds of your lives – promoting healthier lifestyles through prevention, easing chronic conditions, and improving health and well-being. 

To start this New Year off right I would like to announce that Emerging Healthcare, a registered 501(c)3, will be offering some life-changing programs for 2011 that will help you attain the healthy, fulfilling life you want.  Just imagine, this year can really be your year for waking up everyday feeling wonderful!  

You and your family can add healthier, happier years to your life and we can put Pickens County on the map as an outstanding model 5-STAR healthy lifestyles community for Georgia. 

All of this is possible, and much more this year.  

Here are a few exciting programs we at Emerging Healthcare have coming down the pipeline in 2011:  

5-STAR (Step Toward Amazing Results!) Diabetes Program: In collaboration with the Good Samaritan Health and Wellness Center, we are launching our 5 STAR (Step Toward Amazing Results!) Diabetes Program to assist people at risk for and diagnosed with Diabetes.  What makes this program unique?

Our team of screened professionals will coordinate programs and services that address the 5 STAR lifestyle:  *Mindful Nutrition*Stress Management *Movement & Fitness *Healthy Relationships and *Continuous Support.  These are the key elements that can bring lasting results.  In addition to our Mountain Mover Walking Groups some of our services include: nutrition consultations by a registered dietician, personal assessments, healthy cooking classes, emotional support, and more.

Emerging Healthcare is partnering with the Nurturing Family Center of Georgia to offer Nurturing Parenting Programs for parents in Pickens County either expecting children or who have children through pre-school age.  Beginning in February, weekly classes will teach parents how to raise a healthy happy baby and build parent-child bonding. This is a wonderful opportunity for young families in Pickens County. Stay tuned for more details. 

Pickens County Head Start Apple Seeds and Jumping Beans Project: Georgia has one of the highest rates of childhood obesity in the country.  Emerging Healthcare was awarded a grant from the American Medical Association (AMA) Healthy Living Program.  

This program addresses critical healthy lifestyle issues by providing mini-grants to grassroots organizations who are on the front lines in their communities.   Through the imaginative Apple Seeds and Jumping Beans Project Emerging Healthcare is self-empowering 180 Head Start children and their parents with healthy nutrition tools and movement activities to prevent childhood obesity, which is rampant in our community.  Parents are attending monthly education programs, and  the children are receiving weekly yoga instruction and aerobic exercises in the classroom.  

In addition, we are developing a toolkit of activities, resources, and incentives to promote a shift toward healthier habits.  Just imagine how good life can be. Take action to give yourself and your loved ones the gift of health in 2011. We’re here to support you, from youth to the golden years.   Finally, I would like to extend a big thank you to the ongoing dedication of our screened and trained health practitioners, our advisory committee (Suzanne Bryant, Kathy Glenn, John Hubay, Keith Hunter, Carol Mastroianni, Don Russell, Richard Sims, Larry Toney, and Susan Wright) and all of our incredible volunteers and the Pickens County Progress. The word is out. Call 706.253.2290 to Step Toward YOUR Amazing Results. 

Visit for more information.

Support Freedom Of The Press At The Community Level


By Dan Darrington 
My wife is a gardener, and a very good one I’m glad to say. She has surrounded our screened porch with many colorful flowers and shrubs. Also there is a hummingbird feeder as well as a feeder with birdseed. Her butterfly bush is just that. Many of those little guys dine there and give us much enjoyment. Our backyard is alive with birds and butterflies of all sizes, shapes, colors and songs.
One of the many pleasures we enjoy is sitting on that porch in the mornings with a steaming cup of coffee, reading our newspaper. We’ve done it for years. Many people still enjoy reading the paper. Next time you’re at the Waffle House on Sunday morning, look around; you might see someone with their face in a paper.
But today that pastime is in jeopardy! The newspaper industry seems to be going the way of old generals and defeated politicians; it is just fading away. Many papers have lost significant amounts of readers and younger people now get their news (if they get any at all) from the Internet.
Prior to the age of computers, our major sources of news were newspapers and TV, most of which are owned by the same people. But today people have many choices and newspapers, in general, are losing! Some say that in the near future a printed press will be no more. I hope that does not happen. Most big city papers, I believe, are skewered toward a somewhat socialist agenda. But if you know that, you can read between the lines and still enjoy reading a paper. There’s always sports, the financial page, entertainment info and crossword puzzles, jumble, bridge, your horoscope and, for those of you who call yourselves Progressives, there’s always the funnies!
Freedom of the Press was so important to our Founding Fathers that they put it in the very first amendment to our Constitution. That first amendment also gives us our freedom of speech, freedom of and from religion, the right to assemble peacefully and the right to redress our grievances.
So, as you see, a free press, not controlled by the government, was paramount in the minds of old Thomas Jefferson and his buddies.
But the newspaper business has changed greatly since those wise and brave Americans put those remarkable words on paper. Small newspapers have been gobbled up by huge corporations and conglomerates. There are not many independent newspapers left like the ones old T.J. and the boys envisioned. A newspaper should be the eyes, ears and pulse of and for the community and people it serves.
To do that a paper should air opinions of its readers. But most papers won’t do that unless that opinion parallels their own. Try getting your non-socialist opinion in a big city newspaper. Ain’t gonna happen! Which brings me to the point of this writing.
I wonder how many people in Pickens County realize what a treasure you have in this newspaper you are now reading! This paper prints letters from its readers expressing opinions on literally anything and everything. Some letters are from regulars who have opposing views on various subjects. They remind me of little verbal catfights, played out on the pages of this paper. They’re entertaining and, on some rare occasions, even meaningful.
So I say to you my fellow citizens, if you feel strongly about some issue that has been festering in your gullet for a long time, write down your thoughts and send ’em in! This paper will give it serious consideration and, if it’s not vulgar, nasty or slanderous, you have a good chance of sharing it with your neighbors. Sometimes it feels good to get it off your chest.
This paper has not yet been gobbled up by Mr. Big and I hope it never is. You should feel that way too.
I don’t know what this paper’s political philosophy is and I certainly don’t agree with all their editorial opinions, but that’s the way it’s supposed to be, “Different strokes for different folks.”
So I urge you to buy this paper, advertise when you can and patronize their advertisers, because you’ll miss it if it goes away or is consumed by some big city press.
[Darrington is an occasional contributor to this paper through letters and columns and a regular Progress reader.]

Have a family revolution in 2011

By John Rosemond

Given that this is the first column of a new year, I’m proposing a number of 2011 parenting  Resolutions for my readers. The list is by no means comprehensive. It’s just a good beginning on what is probably a much-needed family revolution:

1. We will not throw expensive “event parties” for our children on their birthdays. Instead, we will confine all birthday celebrations to our family, including extended family. We will keep it uncomplicated: a special dinner of the birthday boy or girl’s favorite food, a cake, the obligatory song, and a few simple gifts, mostly clothing or other useful things.

2. We will spend at least as much time helping our children develop good manners as do helping them get good grades in school, which means we will cut back significantly on the time helping with the latter (in consideration of the fact that good manners, which are expressions of respect for others, will take one further in life than will good grades). Each week, we will work on one specific social courtesy, such as saying “excuse me” when you walk in front of someone. Taking two weeks off, that’s fifty courtesies a year!

3. We will show our love for our neighbors by properly disciplining our children, insisting on proper behavior, and reprimanding immediately (even if that means in front of other people) when they behave otherwise, and on those occasions we will also insist they apologize appropriately.

4. If we have not already done so, we will assign a routine of daily chores to each of our children (at least those who have reached their third birthdays) and we will insist that said chores be done, and done properly, before they engage in recreation or relaxation.

5. When our children ask us for cell phones, we will tell them that they may have cell phones when they are able to pay for them as well as the monthly bills.

6. When our children complain that they are the only kids who don’t have cell phones (and do chores), we will tell them that learning how to be different is character-building.

7.  Our children will not be able to order customized meals unless we take them to a restaurant. At home, they will eat what we are eating, and they will sit at the table until they are finished. We will do this so that when they are invited to eat at someone else’s home, they will be the best of guests.

8. We will surely bond with our children, but we will not bond with them in the marital bed, nor will we bond with them in their beds.

9. In keeping with number 8, we will put our marriage first and our children second…for their sake as well as ours. They will revolve around us; thus, they will not grow up thinking the world revolves around them.

10. If I am a single parent, I will take good care of myself for my sake as well as my children’s. I will have an active, adult’s only, social life. I will take plenty of personal time to simply relax and do those things I like to do. I will do all of that so that my children will not ever think the world revolves around them.


11. We/I will put our/my children to bed early so that we/I can end each day reconnecting as a couple or relaxing as a single.

12. We will eat as a family around our own table at least six nights a week.

13.  We will keep after-school activities to a minimum, and only let them enroll in activities that do not prevent us from delivering on number 11.

14. Instead of buying our children expensive things, we will help them develop hobbies and take them to museums and on trips.

15. We will do all of the above so that when they grow up, they will have wonderful memories of their childhoods and raise our grandchildren in a manner that honors us.

Family psychologist John Rosemond answers parents’ questions on his website at


Other Voices

Other Voices From the Community and across the region


Life Coach offers advice - On 15-year-olds dating 20-year-olds; handling religious e-mails


Pickens County Budget Meetings, October 21-23. Be There. By Joe Kelly



The Biggest Mistakes Parents Make - By National Parenting expert and author John Rosemond.






Why We’re Still Working To Stop Obamacare -- By Rep. Tom Graves and Rep. Doug Collins



An Affront to the Constitution Right in Our Backyard -- A member of discusses some frightening emergency powers that a county government can invoke.


A firsthand look at helping the people of Africa -- A retired Peace Corps volunteer now living in Talking Rock discusses the role of sending aid to Africa.


Pondering the Trials of Summer Gardening --I no longer scoff at the idea of a $64 tomato. By Lynn Turner



The Curse of the Grand Dogs? -- Along with the grandchildren come the dogs. By David Altman.


Thoughts from a BRAG Cyclist -- Progress Contributor ponders pedaling.


Is Your Senior Heading to College? No? Maybe?- Life Coach Vicki Roberts offers advice for parents and students deciding what will follow high school.

Film Production in Pickens County Economic Blockbuster or Flop? - Pickens County Economic Development Director Gerry Nechvatal discusses impact of Eastwood film coming to Pickens.

My thoughts on the retail vacancies in Jasper - Downtown Merchant Royce Hayley says high rents are hampering business here.

Reaching the "New Normal" - Associate Broker Prudential Georgia Realty talks about the current state of the real estate market.

Governor's water plan ignores conservation - Hear what Joe Cook, executive director of the Coosa River Basin Initiative, has to say about Nathan Deal's new $300 million water plan.

Sports Fanatic on the Death of an Icon -- Monday Night Football (published Dec. 15th, 2011) 

Be careful when following advice from Dr. Google -- By Dr. Lyn Lewis. A local vet offers cautionary tales of pet owners who relied on internet advice rather than professional help when diagnosing and treating animal ailments.


North Ga. Environmental Health Director discusses swimming pool safety -- "You may be surprised to learn that the swimming pool serving your residential development is not inspected by any authority for health. Published June 22, 2011

Nelson Mayor Comments on Police Protection -- Why should concerned citizens buy security systems and firearms instead of having the benefit of the one full-time and two part-time officers they are taxed for? While under my direction the police covered peak times and were very visible, says Mayor David Leister


The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Pet Food -- Local veterinarian Lyn Lewis chimes in on what to feed your animals.


What is Lent? -- The Rev. Rob Bruce, Pastor at Tate UMC, offers thoughts on the yearly Christian period, typically observed by giving up something. But Rev. Bruce says for this year, to add something to your life.


National Spay Day USA -- Local Vet says, "We need to be responsible for the pets we consider ours.  Please spay and neuter your pets before the age of 8 months."

High profile legislation responds to citizens' needs - By State Senator Steve Gooch

From Hard-Head, with love - By Bettina Huseby

North Ga. Vet offers advice to pet owners; Handling Pet Emergencies - By Dr. Lyn Lewis, (published, January 27, 2011)

Help our school system help students, says Pickens Tea Party  -- By Nancy Davis, published, January 20, 2011

Emerging Healthcare invites you to change your life in 2011 -- New programs offered by local group. Published in print January 13, 2011.

Make Your House sell faster -- By Real Estate columnist Ron Barnes of Prudential Realty. 

Have a family revolution in 2011 -- parenting expert offers list of ideas for new year. Published in print January 6, 2011.

Support freedom of the press at the community level by Dan Darrington, published in print December 30th, 2010