Welcome to the Good Life Blog

Ann Marie is your real estate expert! With a career spanning over 30 years Ann Marie knows what it takes to deliver results! Check out her videos below for some valuable information on buying and selling a home!

Which Online Real Estate Resources Are Trustworthy?

Interested in buying? Contact us to view all listings


There are so many real estate tools and resources online. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed with the overload of information. However, the Internet can provide valuable information you wouldn’t otherwise have. Which ones can you trust?

Ann Marie’s website, AnnMarieMcManus.com, is a great resource for the surrounding area. Particularly, she has the opportunity to connect with those interested in buying, that aren’t currently in the area. T5.24his is a stressful process, and she knows how to mediate it as a tailored professional. Thankfully, all of her former out-of-town buyers are now pleased Augusta homeowners!

These days, photography is so beautiful. You can have both pictures and videos. It ultimately allows you to see inside a property comprehensively through virtual tours. You don’t need to be there physically to get a feel for a home.

On the flip side, you need to be extremely careful about accurate information. Just because it’s online doesn’t mean it’s true! For instance, we run into this issue often with Zillow’s Zestimate tool. Sometimes, it can miscalculate your home’s true worth and misguide you as a result. A home value is too important of a factor to base a decision off the Zestimate.

If you’re thinking about buying or selling an Augusta home, reach out by phone or email. Ann Marie would be happy to answer any questions you might have!

Tips for Hiring the Right Augusta Real Estate Agent

Interested in buying? Contact us to view all listings


It’s amazing how competitive the real estate industry is. There are over one thousand real estate agents in the greater Augusta Board of Realtors. How do you know to pick the right one?

You need to ask a lot of questions. First, ask how long they have been in real estate. It’s important to know what kind of markets they have experienced. For example, have they worked in a rapidly moving market? That could come in handy in our current market, as prices are rising quickly.

Do they have the skills to handle the market when things get tough? Over the past few years, agents have learned how to navigate new appraisal guidelines, lending guidelines, and more. An experienced agent knows how to be successful in a declining market as well as a rising market.

We also recommend asking the agent how many transactions they completed the previous year. Nationally, the average agent only sells 4 homes a year. Of those 1,000 Augusta real estate agents, a lot of them are part-time.4.26

It’s important to know how many transactions a Realtor has done because then you have an idea of how active they are in the current market. Every day, there’s something new to learn in the real estate industry. You want to make sure your agent sells often enough to help you be successful in your transaction.

Ann Marie has over 30 years of real estate experience and has sold over 1,500 homes. Experience matters. If you have any questions, give Ann Marie a call or send her an email. She would be happy to help you!

Which Renovations Should You Be Making On Your Augusta Home?

Interested in buying? Contact us to view all listings


If you’re about to sell in Augusta, you might consider some repairs or projects that will add value to your home and also add appeal to prospective buyers. When it comes to major remodels, you should only undertake them if you plan to enjoy them while living in your home. A big trend is outdoor kitchens and living areas, and buyers seem to love them right now.

The catch here is that if you tailor these big remodels specifically to your own needs, buyers will not appreciate them as much and will not be willing to pay extra for them. That means that you’ll spend a lot of money and get no return on it. Don’t count on getting every cent back, so do enjoy these renovations while you can, but don’t forget about the resale value.

Kitchen renovations are always great, but they don’t always have to be major projects. Installing new appliances, cabinets, or countertops will usually do the trick. Just be sure tha4.14t your updates are modern. Nobody enjoys a ‘vintage’ kitchen.

The bathroom and kitchen are areas buyers will focus a lot of attention, so any small updates go a long way while selling your home. Please don’t hesitate to contact Ann Marie if you have any questions about how you can add value to your home without spending unnecessary money.

The Riverwood Plantation Properties

Interested in buying? Contact us to view all listings


Today, we’re talking about Riverwood Plantation. It’s a place that certainly has some gorgeous properties available for sale. With 1200 completed homes, prospective buyers are able to find something that meets their needs. Look forward to 2000 homes once the development is finished.

It’s a traditional planned community set up so that individuals and families can really enjoy their lives within the area. There’s a pool, community center, sidewalks, and three local schools. With the new bypass, it’s convenient to get downtown in no time. You don’t even have to leave the neighborhood for Publix, your favorite restaurants, and even the orthodontist. Riverwood is also an award winning community two years running:

  • 2014 – Community of the Year – Marketing Strategies, Best Selling Community, Best Community Amenities, Best Community Entrance, Best Website for a Community, Best Sales Promotion.
  • 2015 – Community of the Year – Marketing Strategies, Best Website for a Community, Best Community Amenities, Best Special Sales Promotion.

The market is great for Riverwood Plantation. People in completely different places in their lives have already been able to settle in. For instance, Ann Marie recently sold a property to a client’s parents that relocated, after their child did.

If you’re thinking about buying or selling in Augusta or the surrounding area, contact Ann Marie by phone or email today. She’d be happy to serve your local real estate interests!

We’ve Got a Luxury Auction Coming Up!

Interested in buying? Contact us to view all listings


We are very excited to be visiting with you today. We are delighted to be joined by Scott Kirk of Interluxe – Luxury Property Marketplace to talk about the purchase of 4407 Ferry Landing. We wanted to talk to him a little bit about the home, the auction process, and why someone would want to purchase a home through an online auction. Let’s answer that last question first.

One reason why a buyer would want to participate in an online auction is because it’s a fantastic opportunity for a buyer to name their own price. It’s not necessarily what the seller wants or what it’s listed for, but what the buyers are going to pay for it. This is a first-class property in pristine condition right on the Savannah River. It was built in 2006 and Scott and his team are extremely proud to represent the property.3.11.16

Another reason to get excited about this property is that the seller is highly motivated. This is often hard to determine in the luxury market. It’s a very exciting time of year in Augusta with the Masters coming up next month. We expect a lot of interest in this property going forward. It’s a deep-water lot in Columbia County, which has great schools and hospitals.

An interesting fact about Interluxe Properties is that 100% of the listings sold through their platform are worked on in cooperation with listing agents. Scott strongly encourages any buyer interested in this property to hire a buyer agent to navigate them through the sale. Buyer’s agents are fully protected and compensated. Ann Marie would be delighted to represent you and help you get this magnificent property at a great price!

We are very much looking forward to the auction. If you have any questions for us, don’t hesitate to give us a call or send us an email. We look forward to speaking with you soon!

Property being offered by the seller. Listing agent is not engaging in auctioneering activities. Interluxe is not acting in the capacity of a broker or auctioneer and provides advertising and online bidding services only. For full terms please visit www.interluxe.com/termsofuse.

What Can You Do to Avoid a Long and Stressful Augusta Home Sale?

Interested in buying? Contact us to view all listings


Decluttering is one of the least expensive, but most effective, things you can do to get your home ready for the market. It is crucial that you let go of your home’s look when selling. This will help keep potential buyers focused on the features and benefits of the house, not your things!
We recommend getting three boxes: a “throw away” one, a “give away” one, and a “put away” one. You need to put them all in one room and start filling them until you have a pile to go out to each area. Essentially, you need to edit your home in order to present a clean, clear picture of it.

Sometimes it takes just a few tweaks here and there to make your home a whole lot more appealing. Plus, it can be quite liberating getting rid of some of your things! 

If you would like Ann Marie’s help getting the selling process started, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us! She would love to give you a hand in any way possible!

Why Does it Make Sense to Invest in Augusta?

Interested in buying? Contact us to view all listings


After over 30 years of experience in Augusta real estate, Ann Marie believes investing in a home in the area is a no-brainer. Her family has been in real estate since the 1950’s, and Augusta real estate has continued to improve over time. 2.8.16

Augusta has such a broad and varied economy, it isn’t reliant on one single segment of jobs. Throughout the years, the area has had stable, reliable employers that have given buyers the confidence to invest in the area and not worry about the ups and downs you might see in other markets. Augusta has fared very well in the grand scheme of things.

Investing in Augusta real estate means a solid investment in your future. Homes here will always have resale value, because there will always be buyers looking to invest in the area.

For more information about Augusta real estate or if you have any questions, give Ann Marie a call or send her an email. She can’t wait to hear from you!

Highgate: Augusta’s Once-in-a-Generation Home

Interested in buying? Contact us to view all listings


We are excited to let you know that we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity for you. The Historic Highgate Estate, known for it’s tall gated fences, is now for sale! This home is part of Augusta’s history, in the most convenient, prestigious and delightful location, and even has its architectural history and charms documented in the Smithsonian Institute!

This property is only a block away from Episcopal Dayschool, Applebee Library, Woodlawn Methodist, Church of the Good Shepherd, and Reid Memorial Presbyterian. You’re also nearby the Augusta Country Club for all of your entertainment needs.

This beautifully-restored home is an absolute treasure to Augusta. We’re experiencing a nice state of growth in the area due to the United States Military Cyber Command, and the growth of Augusta University.

On the property at Highgate, you will find majestic gardens, multiple porches, a summer guest house, a pool, and top-tier landscaping and hardscaping.2.3

We could spend hours telling you about the treasure that is this home. It’s chronicled in Augusta history, and is even documented in the Smithsonian Institute. This is your chance to become part of history!

Please contact Ann Marie today if you would like to see this home. These photos don’t do it any justice.

She looks forward to hearing from you!

How to Approach Selling Your Parents’ Home

Interested in buying? Contact us to view all listings


Today we are going to address a topic that’s often difficult to discuss. Nevertheless, it’s an important conversation to have. People age, it’s a fact of life. As your parents and other relatives get older, you have to make some very difficult life decisions. One of them is related to the home. Should you sell it? Maintain it? How do we help someone in a situation like this?

There are a lot of factors that come into play in this situation, as well as unique family dynamics. That’s why we choose to take a professional approach. A home is a large investment, and you want to protect it to the best of your ability. It really helps to have a plan and process in place when you have to make a decision like this.

Each case is different. Sometimes you might just need to maintain the home or make a few upgrades in order for your family to be more comfortable. Sometimes the best decision is to 1.26sell for the most money possible for all parties involved with the least amount of inconvenience.

We know the process is difficult, and have been through it ourselves. We know how important it is that things are handled professionally and with compassion. If you have any questions for us or are going through a situation like this, give us a call or send us an email. Let’s start a conversation. It’s important to have someone to talk to during this difficult situation that will help you objectively find the best solution.

How the Masters Tournament Affects Augusta Real Estate

Interested in buying? Contact us to view all listings


Every April, there’s a golf tournament that attracts a few hundred thousand people to town. It actually impacts the local real estate market. In fact, many people rent their homes for the Masters Tournament. Ann Marie’s daughter works in the Masters housing business, so we have exclusive insight on the niche market.

Clients often ask how much their home goes for if they decide to rent it out. We often notice a bedroom with a bathroom connected inside typically goes for more than those without. We see people adding bathrooms to market to this audience.1.5.16

Additionally, we notice Augusta homeowners get a head-start if they rent in April. They know how to prepare even the exterior of their home to add curb appeal.

We’ve noticed rental prices increase. In certain areas of town, we’ve even examined a pattern taking place. For instance, six months worth of rent can cover your home mortgage entirely, depending on your neighborhood. That’s huge.

Augusta is a hospitable town, too. Beyond the profits, renting your home is a fun thing to do. Visitors seem to enjoy our lifestyle.

If you have any questions, give us a call today!