US home market: Few buyers and not enough sellers

The real estate market right now is like no other time in most of our lives. This article talks about too few sellers, and too few buyers that can afford to buy. (Click on the link above to read the US Home Market article)

What I personally think is that the sellers have their homes priced too high, as such buyers who have struggled through the depression and partially ruined their credit can not get a loan for the amount needed to buy a decent home.

Can you get a loan?

The reality is that the market is going to struggle until people can get their credit back. Many filed bankruptcy within the past 2-5 years, those folks have a ways to go before they will qualify for a loan in the range they need it to be in to get a home they want. Until then, the best bet is renting or finding a seller willing to owner finance. Unfortunately most sellers that are willing to owner finance want an unrealistic amount as a down payment, while they buyers are still looking for 100% financing.

The future is not bright for the near future unless you are one of the people that survived the depression with your credit intact or has access to an abundance of cash.

I would love to help you regardless of your financial status. Feel free to call or email me anytime for some guidance. In the meantime, just try and work on your credit score.

Have a wonderful Spring. Ken

Ken Ruddell {Broker\Owner} – Home Zone Real Estate

706-878-6116 Cell\Text – 800-971-6116 Toll Free

Watch out for “Refinancing Scams”

Always check with a local banker or a friend in real estate to make sure you know what you are doing. There are companies out there posing as agencies that say they can help you… be really careful! Read more about the scams by clicking on this safe link to the full Yahoo website.

Let me know if I can be of service. Thanks Ken Ruddell



Happy St. Patrick’s Day Everyone

Ever wonder why people wear GREEN today.

Click here to read all about that and avoiding getting pinched by a Leprechaun.

Neighbors Helping Neighbors – The Community Helping Place


The Community Helping Place is always in need of food donations as well as many other things.

I copied the paragraph below from their website:
“The Community Helping Place (CHP) is a 501(c)(3) located in Dahlonega, Georgia; dedicated to assisting those in need in Lumpkin County. Services include a food pantry, free clinic, emergency financial assistance (for rent, utilities, etc,), referral support services and family resource counselor. These services are made possible by the generous donations of individuals, businesses, churches, and civic groups. In addition we rely on approximately 180 volunteers who donate their time to help meet the needs of others in their community.”

So as you have read, they help out people in the community in a big way, and any contributions by you would be greatly appreciated. To donate anything, either go to their website or use the contact information below to do so.

Contact “The Community Helping Place”:
Phone: 706-867-9621 Fax: 706-867-6701
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 712, Dahlonega, GA 30533
Street Address: 2030 Highway 19 North, Dahlonega, GA 30533
(between Banister’s Funeral Home and Ace Hardware)

Neighbors Helping Neighbors – I love that!

Thank you. Ken Ruddell, The Realty Guy.
also a proud College Student at the University of North Georgia in Dahlonega.

Spring Forward – at 2am Set Your Clocks and Watches ahead 1 Hour

Spring Forward – at 2am Set Your Clocks and Watches ahead 1 Hour. It’s that time of teh year again – Daylight Savings Time.

Click here to read the why portion of the change. Also, did you know that not every State makes the Daylight Savings change.

Need a professional real estate agents opinion? Call or email me anytime, as I would be glad to help you.

Ken Ruddell, Broker
Home Zone Real Estate
7068786116 Text/Cell

Past President of the Habersham, White
& Stephens County Board of Realtors.

Are You Eligible for a VA Home Loan in 2013?

Getting a VA Loan is the way to go if you are eligible for one.

Click on this link to go to the information at the website.

Once you have the info you need, give me a call and we will find you a mortgage broker to get you started on the path to a new home. Ken

Ken Ruddell, Broker
Home Zone Real Estate
7068786116 Text/Cell

Past President of the Habersham, White &
Stephens County Board of Realtors

Simple ways to make your home energy efficient

By Danielle Blundell | Yahoo! Homes

Click here to read the Yahoo article.

Many of these things are not cheap, but if your plan is stay in your home, they are well worth the money. Ken


Ken Ruddell, Broker
Home Zone Real Estate
7068786116 Text/Cell
Past President Habersham, White &
Stephens County Board of Realtors

New Years Song “Auld Lang Syne”

New Year’s Eve is one of those love-it-or-hate-it holidays. But no matter how you feel about celebrating, odds are you’re going to hear “Auld Lang Syne” at least 500 times. There is no escape.

Click here to read the different versions of the song (poem) – when you get to the website scroll to the bottom) If you want to hear the music go to and type in Auld Lang Syne -there are some beautiful versions.

Naturally, Web searches on the song pop like champagne corks on New Year’s Eve. Our guess is that folks simply want to know what the song actually means. After all, it’s not often that people belt out a tune that they don’t really understand. Well, wonder no more. Here’s the scoop on the song that is mandatory for one night every year.
Click here to read all about the song “Auld Lang Syne”…

Have a Healthy & Happy New Year everyone and may all your dreams come true in 2011. Your Freind & Realtor – Ken Ruddell

The History of CHRISTMAS

I wish Everyone a Very Merry CHRISTMAS. May GOD bless you with Love, Peace and Joy on this wonderful day.

Here are is a great link to the History of CHRISTMAS.

Click here to view the answer to “Where did the Christmas tree come from?

FIREPLACES & CHIMNEYS – Time For A Check-up!

Fall is upon us and the nights here in Northeast Georgia getting nice & COOL. And now lots of our friends and neighbors are kick starting their Fireplaces. But you have to be careful.

Some quick tips:
- Have the Chimney cleaned. Call a local Chimney Sweep to come and take a look… it may cost a few bucks; but I am certain we all can agree that our personal belongings are much more important to us than risk losing it in a fire that could have been prevented. Would be very sad.
- Don’t burn wood unless it has been split and dried for a while (I heard at least 6 months).
- I hear oak is best and pine is the worst (too bad because we have plenty of pine wood around here)
- A friend noted that him & his wife likes Hickory wood because it crackles & pops.
- Not sure who to call? Ask a friend. Ask a cabin rental company in your area. Check your Yellow Pages under Chimney Sweep.
- When the Chimney Sweep comes out, don’t be afraid to ask for a refresher course on how to operate a Fireplace properly and the best practice for keeping your chimney in the best shape possible.

Here is a link for Southern Chimney Sweep
I hear Mr. Sooty is real good. 706-865-7101

I hope you all have a wonderful bright burning Fireplace to sit around and enjoy… happy Fall everyone.
Your friend & Realtor Ken Ruddell 706-878-6116 / 706-754-8589

VA Loans – Active Military or Veterans – Buy a Home with NO Money down

Attention all present and past Military personell:

VA Loan Benefits can be used towards the purchase of a New Home or to Refinance

and is available to active duty Servicemembers as well as Veterans.

Mortgage rates have never been lower. Act now to:

Buy a Home with No Money Down
Refinance to Lower Monthly Payments
Pay off Higher-interest Balances
Lock in Historic Low Rates

Don’t let this opportunity pass you by.

If you need help finding a lender give me a call and I will be glad to assist you.

I am a Fellow Veteran and Real Estate Broker. Call me.
Ken Ruddell 706-878-6116 / 800-971-6116 Home Zone Real Estate

FYI: has tons of great info for anyone

interested in the Military – Past & Present.

Having a Party? 10 Things Party Guests Won’t Tell You.

by Woman’s Day,The holidays are here, and chances are you have your fair share of parties to attend. You know the rules: Bring a bottle of wine and follow up with a thank-you note. But what if you’re the one throwing the bash? We talked to partygoers from around the country and found out what they have to say about hosting dos and don’ts. If you’re planning to open up your home this season, read on to learn everything your guests are too polite to tell you.

10 Tips for Saving Money in the Garden

Are you getting your garden ready for a good crop here in Habersham County this summer. Check out the video below with 10 Tips for Saving Money in the Garden.


Happy Gardening. Ken

Great list of Mountain Bike Trails put out by “The Saint”



827 Hanes Ridge Road, Clarkesville GA

FaceTweet it!

FOR SALE: 827 Hanes Ridge Road, Clarkesville GA
If you are looking for privacy you have found it. This home is in a gated subdivision and on 5 Wooded Acres.

Four Sided Brick home with Cedar Shake & Copper Accents.
4 Bedrooms & 4.5 Bathrooms. This home is everything you could possibly want in a home. Quality, uniqueness, open spaces, inside & outside privacy, any Cooks Dream Kitchen w/Formal DR and a huge eat-in Dining Area as well as the Kitchen Breakfast Bar & of course a pantry. 2 Amazing REAL ROCK Fireplaces set-up for Gas but can burn wood as well, most of the Floors are either Random Width Oak or Tile, all Granite or Marble Countertops, 2 x 80 Gallon on demand Hot Water Tanks, Automatic Gas Generator (for main level) with a 1000 Gallon Propane Tank will keep power on the main level, whole house Alarm System, and as if you needed more – Heated Floors in the Master Bathroom with a Bubble Jet Tub, Huge Tiled Shower, Jack & Jill Sinks and Walk-in Closets… still need more? How about a gigantic Media Room already wired for Surround Sound and a Full Private Bathroom, a Wine Closet, Private Bar, 2 Living Areas, a Laundry Room big enough for any family & finally a huge workshop/canning room. Oh yeah… enough beautiful covered porches to satisfy any person who loves the outdoors, a Large 3 Car Garage and a fantastic front Courtyard giving all of your company real easy access. And really the last thing – the backyard – wide open for your enjoyment and situated perfectly for a private inground pool & spa put in (plan ideas available upon request).

Click on this link to view the MLS Listing for 827 Hanes Ridge Road

If you would like to set-up a private showing on 827 Hanes Ridge Road just call or email me at your convenience. I will do my best to work around your schedule.

Ken Ruddell is an active Real Estate Broker with Home Zone Real Estate & Resident of Habersham County. Email me at or call me at 706-754-8589. Ken is on Twitter at @TheRealtyGuy and on Facebook at

Be well and keep in touch. Ken


Click on the pic to read the TRADITIONAL meaning of EASTER

When I grew up as a kid it was like most others, candy, candy and more candy. Oh yeah EGG coloring. We weren’t regular Church goers, but when we did I loved it. Today I find myself much more Spiritual around Easter. I enjoy conversations about Jesus Christ and his sacrifices for us.

But I do still hold some traditions carried on from when I was a kid. Easter morning we color eggs – and now that the kids are teens they try and get really creative, so we get some kool looking eggs. And then of course egg salad for lunch using Hellmans Mayonaise (has to be Hellmans original. And it is the only time of year I eat Mayo). We talk about Jesus and God around the breakfast table, and whoever wants to go to Church can go with Great Granny.

So that is my little Easter story.

If you wish to read the TRADITIONAL meaning of EASTER – click on the picture above.

From my Family to you and yours; HAPPY EASTER and GOD bless you. Ken

City of Clarkesville History – Habersham County Georgia

City of Clarkesville History
Clarkesville, the county seat of Habersham County, received its charter in 1823. The city was named for General John C. Clarke, governor of Georgia in 1819 and 1821, or his father, General Elijah Clarke, a revolutionary war hero, according to various versions of the city’s history.

Clarkesville was a resort town for many years, catering to coastal residents trying to escape the heat and diseases of the low-lying areas. Delighting in the climate, some of the visitors bought land and built summer homes. Others found ample room in one of Clarkesville’s many hotels: The “Mountain View Hotel” (previous names: “Village Hotel” and “Habersham House”), “Alleghany House” (later called “The Inn”), “Spencer House,” “Free House,” “Erwins,” “Grove House” and “Fuller House.”

During the course of its history, many people have enjoyed their visit to Clarkesville. The names of some of the more famous visitors or residents include the following:

•Jarvis Van Buren, relative of President Martin Van Buren
•John MacPherson Berrien, later attorney general for President Andrew Jackson and a United States Senator
•Amos T. Akerman, attorney general for President Grant
•Robert Tyler Walker, grandson of President Tyler
•E. W. Eppes, grandson of President Thomas Jefferson
•Thomas M. Bradford, descendant of President James Madison
•Andrew Jackson (as a youth), his mother and aunt
How did travelers get to the city? The stagecoach from Athens to Clarkesville brought many. After 1873, trains became a popular method of transportation. Around 1910, a street car, running between the Clarkesville Train Depot and the Square, carried visitors to and from the center of town. About 1924, a paved road from Clarkesville to Cornelia (the first paved road north of Atlanta) further increased the ease of traveling to the city.

But long before Clarkesville became a tourist spot, Cherokee Indians inhabited the area. Around 1540 Spanish explorer De Soto passed through what would become the city of Clarkesville. It would be many years later, but still long before Clarkesville was created, that white settlers began living in the area.

By 1820 a post office, named “Habersham Court House,” began operation, with Walter Adair as the first Postmaster. After the charter was granted in 1823, the city was surveyed and laid out. Streets were named for presidents Washington, Jefferson, Madison and Monroe, and for Benjamin Franklin and generals Greene, Wayne and Marion of the American Revolution.

That same year, the first courthouse — a simple wooden structure — was erected. Then, in 1832, a brick building, located in the center of the Square in town, replaced the wooden one. It remained until 1898, when it was blown up with dynamite in a controversy between Toccoa (then part of Habersham County) and Clarkesville as to which should be the county seat. Both cities eventually got their wish: Clarkesville remained the county seat of Habersham, and in 1905, when Stephens County was formed, Toccoa became its county seat.

The next courthouse, although partially destroyed by fire endured until the construction of fourth (and current) one in 1964. The Hills of Habersham lists the date of the fire as December 28, 1923, but A North Georgia Journal of History gives the date as 1928.

The original hotels have been torn down, the street car line is gone and the Square looks a lot different than it did back in the 1800s and early- to mid-1900s. Today, very few people can leave their jobs to spend all summer here. Still, Clarkesville attracts new residents each year. In the early 1980s, Clarkesville was voted once the No. 1 retirement community in the United States and once the No. 2 retirement community.Information was taken from The Hills of Habersham, by Mary L. Church, and A North Georgia Journal of History, Volume I, by Olin Jackson. His information was a reprint of an article from “The Northeast Georgian.”)

City of Clarkesville History

Be well and keep in touch. Ken

Ken Ruddell is an active Real Estate Broker & Resident of Habersham County. Email me at or call me at 706-754-8589. Ken is on Twitter at @TheRealtyGuy and on Facebook at

4 Steps to Take When Preparing to Buy a Home

4 Steps to Take When Preparing to Buy a Home:

Interest rates are at record lows, and many homeowners have priced their homes to sell. Many buyers who waited for rock-bottom prices know that now is the time to buy.

Click here to read the 4 Steps…

Call me when you are ready to buy (or sell) and I will work around you busy schedule to help you accomplish your real estate needs.


Ken Ruddell, Realtor-Broker
Home Zone Real Estate

New Year – New Home?

Happy New Year Everyone. This is a great day to start looking to find that new home or gem of a piece of land to enjoy.

My resolution is to help my customers & clients even more than before. To do my best to respond back to phone calls & emails as fast as lightning if possible.

Wishing you all Health, Happiness & Prosperity in 2012.

Your Realtor, Ken

Average Interest Rate on 30-year Mortgage Falls to Record 3.91 Percent

Associated Press: WASHINGTON (AP) — The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage fell to a record 3.91 percent this week, the third time this year that rates have hit new lows.

Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average on the 30-year home loan fell from 3.94 percent the previous week. The 3.91 percent rate is the lowest average for long-term fixed mortgages on records dating to the 1950s

The average on the 15-year fixed mortgage was unchanged this week at 3.21 percent. That’s also a record.

Low rates offer a historic opportunity for those who can afford to buy a home or refinance. But many Americans either can’t take advantage of the rates or have already done so.

Rates have been below 5 percent for all but two weeks in 2011. Even so, this year is shaping up to be one of the worst ever for home sales.

Rates could fall further still. Many economists think the yield on the 10-year Treasury note could creep lower in 2012. Long-term mortgage rates tend to track the 10-year Treasury yield.

Should the Federal Reserve launch a new program of bond purchases in the coming months to try to help the economy, it could further drive down mortgage rates.

Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, has said that despite the super-low loan rates, foreclosures and falling home values have created obstacles for would-be buyers.

But builders could see more interest from buyers in the coming months if mortgage rates stay low. The low rates contributed to a modest 2-point increase in builder sentiment in the latest National Association of Home Builders survey released this month, said Yelena Shulyatyeva, an analyst at BNP Paribas. Those rates, coupled with falling prices, could draw more people into the market, she said.

Sales of previously occupied homes are just slightly ahead of last year’s dismal sales figures. New-home sales appear headed for their worst year on records going back half a century.

Mortgage applications fell about 2.6 percent last week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Refinancing fell 1.6 percent. And loan applications to buy homes fell nearly 5 percent. Over the past four weeks, the level of mortgage applications has been relatively unchanged.

Some lenders have reported an increase in applications through the Obama administration’s refinancing program. That program was broadened in October to allow up to 1 million more homeowners lower their mortgage payments. But the MBA said such government-assisted loans account for just a small portion of refinancing.

High unemployment and scant wage gains have made it harder for many people to qualify for loans. Many Americans don’t want to sink money into a home that they fear could lose value over the next few years.

To calculate the average rates, Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the country Monday through Wednesday of each week. The average rates don’t include extra fees, known as points, which most borrowers must pay to get the lowest rates. One point equals 1 percent of the loan amount.

The average fee for the 30-year loan fell to 0.7 from 0.8; the average on the 15-year fixed mortgage was unchanged at 0.8.

For the five-year adjustable loan, the average rate fell to 2.85 percent from 2.86 percent. The average on the one-year adjustable loan declined to 2.77 percent from 2.81 percent.

The average fees on the five- and one-year adjustable-rate loans were unchanged at 0.6.

Contact me to take advantage of these incredible rates on some amazing home deals in Northeast Georgia.

You can count on me!

KEN RUDDELL, Broker/Owner
HUD Certified Broker

Home Zone Real Estate
706-754-8589 Direct
706-878-6116 Cell
7068786116 Text



Local Information:

Mailing Address:
Post Office Box 2288
Clarkesville, GA 30523


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