REAL ESTATE AGENT'S GUIDELINES/POLICIES and REAL ESTATE TRANSACTION INFORMATION
This page is intended to introduce the Georgian Highlands community to real estate agents who either anticipate signing contracts for the listing of individual properties within our community or who have clients who may be interested in exploring the purchase of a mountain home/retreat in a gated community like the Georgian Highlands. Likewise, the information contained here will help guide our existing property owners as they organize to list their property for sale either with an agency or privately. In particular, you will find a description of the policies the Homeowner’s Association (HOA) has established for purposes of maintaining security and preserving the aesthetics of our environment. Additionally, a section appears below describing the actual document you can expect to see from the HOA as part of the closing process and how you may obtain this as the closing approaches. And for your convenience, you will find an overview of the applicable restrictive covenants and a description of the controls in place that cover the building process. Links to the primary documents associated with construction are provided here as well. Finally, you will find a “Contact the HOA” link that will allow you to request a numerical gate code or submit any specific questions you may have that are not addressed directly on this page or in the accompanying documents.
The Georgian Highlands community, as depicted in the maps presented in the Neighborhoods section of this web site, is a 3500+ acre tract of heavily wooded terrain that is divided into four distinct development phases constituting a total of 220 individual lots. The community spans the border separating Pickens and Gilmer Counties, but this has no effect on the operation of the community itself other than the fact that the lots in Gilmer County are a minimum of 3 acres in total size and those in Pickens County are a minimum of 10 acres. At this point, all lots within the Georgian Highlands have been sold to private parties. Additionally, it is frequently the case that individual property owners own multiple lots which they consolidate and, as a consequence, the actual number of buildable lots is far less than 200. At present, there are slightly more than two dozen finished homes spread throughout the community.
Given that all lots within the Georgian Highlands have been sold to private individuals, the developer is no longer actively engaged and the community is now self-managed. The property-owner’s association, known as the Highlands at Clear Creek Homeowner’s Association, Inc., owns and manages all roads, all common property (i.e., gates, gate house, entrances, etc.) and two lots that are preserved for recreational purposes. As the management of this organization is a group of volunteers, the makeup of which changes annually, all inquiries should be directed to the HOA generally using the “Contact the HOA” link where they will be redirected to the appropriate individual who should be able to answer your question. The link to do so is provided below.
Inasmuch as the Georgian Highlands is a gated community and security is of paramount importance to our property owners, access through the gates for non-residents (e.g., agents, clients, etc.) is controlled by numerical codes that are entered at a call box located at each of the three entry points. These entry points are video and code-use monitored. Most importantly, access to the community by outside parties who are essentially “window shopping” is not allowed. All interested parties (i.e., prospective buyers) must be accompanied by a real estate agent during each visit. Numerical codes will be provided to all qualified real estate agents upon request via the “Contact the HOA” link provided below and elsewhere on this site. These codes will be good for a period of 30 days and can be renewed upon request by the agent. Similarly, numerical codes will be issued to all agents with active listings in the Georgian Highlands. These codes will be good for the duration of the listing. However, and most importantly, it is the responsibility of that agent to whom this code has been issued to 1) either directly accompany any prospect who has expressed an interest to them regarding a given property, 2) never transfer that code to an outside party or potential client for their personal use, or 3) only transfer the code to a second (e.g., outside) agent/agency with the express understanding that their prospect will be accompanied at all times by that agent while viewing the property. If the HOA becomes aware that this policy is not adhered to or is otherwise ignored, the numerical code will be cancelled.
Existing property owners of lots or homes within the Georgian Highlands are also issued numerical gate codes for their personal use. The property owner is instructed that these personal codes should never be shared with others beyond their immediate family and should never be shared with real estate agents, listing or otherwise, for any reason. Our property owners have been instructed to organize the issuance of a gate code for their agent once they elect to pursue the sale of their property. Further, any property owner who elects to list their property or home privately must accompany any prospective buyer while they are within the Georgian Highlands.
An independently organized survey of any given property within the Georgian Highlands can be contracted at the seller’s or buyer’s expense. Access for the survey crew can be arranged by contacting the HOA in advance and requesting a gate code that will allow them to enter the property through any of the three entry points. Typically, the code will be good for 30 days following issuance.
Given the HOA’s longstanding commitment to aesthetics within our forested community and the emphasis on maintaining a natural environment, management maintains a policy regarding the placement and removal of the lot line markers ------ the ubiquitous pink tape ------ generally used by surveyors. The policy requires the new owner to remove the tape within 90 days following the closing of the sale unless construction is initiated (i.e., an ACC document package is filed) within that 90-day period. In instances where a new home is being constructed on a newly purchased lot, the tape must be removed within 90 days following the issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy. Likewise, existing property or home owners who launch construction on their lot and organize a survey as part of that process are required to remove the tape within 90 days of the completion of the project. Real estate agents are strongly encouraged to inform their clients of this requirement while the survey is being organized. Ultimately, responsibility for removal of the survey tape will be the responsibility of the property owner but the HOA reserves the right to remove the tape once any 90-day period has been exceeded.
Once a property sale has been consummated and a closing date determined, an affidavit will be prepared by the HOA’s Treasurer regarding the fees associated with membership in the HOA, the calendar dates covered by these fees, and the current status of any fees (including late fees or liens, if applied) owed by the seller. At present, there are no transfer fees associated with the change in ownership.
In return, the HOA requires that the agent or closing attorney provide contact information for the new owner. A best practice for the transmittal of this affidavit is for the agent or closing attorney to request the preparation of the affidavit approximately seven (7) business days in advance of the scheduled closing date using the Contact the HOA link provided below. The request will be forwarded to the current HOA Treasurer who will, in return, request the contact information for the new owner. Upon receipt of this information, and only after receipt of this information, the Treasurer will issue a completed affidavit for use as part of the closing package. A blank copy of the affidavit is provided below for your immediate reference.
Link to a blank copy of the Closing Affidavit
DECLARATION OF PROTECTIVE COVENANTS
The developers of the Georgian Highlands established an underlying philosophy for development within our community that was focused on preserving the natural environment of our surroundings. The management of the Homeowner’s Association has continued with this philosophy as they strive to preserve a sense of remoteness and natural beauty. As a consequence, two sets of carefully designed protective covenants were put in place at inception and are maintained today. They are essentially identical with a couple of very minor differences. One set applies to properties within Phases I – III and the second set applies to Phase IV. Copies of these covenants are provided here for your reference and your clients should be made aware of their existence and their value to them as property owners inside the Georgian Highlands. Please direct their attention to these links or provide them with a copy at your convenience.
Link to a copy of the Declaration of Restrictive Covenants
The management of the HOA has established and maintains a comprehensive set of architectural guidelines that ensure that the homes that are constructed in the Georgian Highlands are built in such a manner that disturbance caused by the home building process results in a minimal impact to the natural shape and flow of the land and the canopy remains largely undisturbed. The buyer of a property inside the Georgian Highlands needs to understand that there will be no clearing of the undergrowth or removal of trees on their new lot or around their new home without first presenting their plans to the Architectural Control Committee for review and approval. The primary documents for design and construction control are provided here.
Link to a copy of the ACC Design Standards and Guidelines
Link to a copy of the ACC Design/Construction Guidelines
Once the sale has closed, the new owner of the Georgian Highlands property will be presented with a Welcome Package organized and distributed by the Homeowner’s Association. Typically, this is sent by electronic means or US Mail shortly after the contact information for the new owner is received. The package will familiarize the new owner with the management of the community. It also contains all the information the owner will need on how to get set up with gate access (e.g., key fobs and personal codes) for property owners, log in to the private portion of this web site, organize a review of any construction they may wish to undertake, and other important bits of information that they will need to establish themselves in the Georgian Highlands as well as the surrounding community. Hopefully it will answer all of the questions they may have and, if not, direct them to individuals who can provide what they need in the way of specific information. Agents should make their client aware that they should expect to receive this package shortly after they close on their Georgian Highlands property.
CONTACT THE HOMEOWNER'S ASSOCIATION
As stated above, the management of the Highlands at Clear Creek HOA, Inc. changes annually and a personal contact you may have had yesterday may well have passed on their responsibilities to another volunteer who would be your contact today. As such is the case, your best bet is to use the “Contact the HOA” link provided and allow us to forward your inquiry or concern to the individual best equipped to respond. Please keep in mind that the HOA is, in fact, a collection of volunteers and many on the Board, if not all, have day jobs or other personal responsibilities that may make it difficult for them to be immediately attentive. We are doing our best and appreciate your patience and understanding.