Month: October 2011

Highlight Homes’ Own Tony Pourhassan Elected to Board of Atlanta’s Green Building Council

Image: GREEN WORLD © Andika18 |
Image: GREEN WORLD © Andika18 |

It could easily be said of Highlight Homes’ founder and principal, Tony Pourhassan, that he’s one of those “outdoorsy” types. Not one to sit idly by, if he’s not working – chances are you can find him trekking through the woods or floating on a lake with a line in the water. Besides a fishing cap, Tony has worn many hats – designer, builder, architect, structural engineer, renovator, and developer. It’s never lost on Tony that the materials his company uses to build – including the very framework with which he bases his homes or home additions – are among some of the Earth’s most precious natural resources. With his combined love of building and renovating fine homes and his dedication to doing his part to protect the environment, Tony is perhaps most proud of Highlight Homes’ distinction as a Green Builder.

In addition to the great emphasis Tony’s development company – Vesmont – has placed on developing unique communities that boast an abundance of beautiful Green Space, Highlight Homes also devotes a terrific amount of energy to designing and building both homes and home additions that reduce energy consumption and material waste. Tony and his team place products that aid in less energy consumption in every home they build and all construction debris is disposed of through recycling. Tony’s dedication to developing his company’s Earth-friendly initiatives and carefully following Green Building guidelines are an important piece of what sets Highlight Homes apart from other Atlanta builders. In order to become a certified Green Builder, certain criteria must be met and recognized by third-party certification programs such as Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design (LEED), the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Green Building Program, Energy Star and Earth Craft House. Highlight Homes has achieved all of these.

It should come as no surprise that Tony was recently nominated and elected to the Board of Directors for the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association’s Green Building Council.  He is honored to be a part of this team of eco-conscious residential construction professionals devoted to providing and promoting green certification programs and educational opportunities for its members and the public. The Green Building Council provides a forum for professionals in the industry to encourage green home standards and best practices, to network with others in the industry, and to take a proactive role as leaders in the green housing industry.

“It’s a terrific opportunity to explore future eco-friendly possibilities for the housing industry in Atlanta,” explains Tony. “I am humbled to have been chosen and look forward to working with a great group of like-minded individuals who are among the best in our industry. My thanks go out to the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association for creating this council – which will play a significant role in the future of home-building in the South, and to those who nominated and elected me to serve.”

To learn more about Tony Pourhassan and his company, Highlight Homes – please visit them online at To learn more about GAHBA’s Green Building Council, click here.

Highlight Homes Will Be Appearing In Real Estate Offices All Over Atlanta

Georgia Builder and Renovator Participates in “Welcome Home” Campaign

Image Credit: BMK Innovations
Image Credit: BMK Innovations

Over the course of the last decade, Highlight Homes has built a solid reputation in Atlanta for our dedication to excellence in custom home construction and quality home renovations. We are often called upon by homeowners who wish to build room additions, create new living spaces, or update the interior of their current home. Some of our most discerning clients will look to us to design and construct the custom home of their dreams.

Like many other businesses across the nation, we’ve witnessed undeniable changes to our industry in response to a sluggish economy. We at Highlight Homes have become very good at rolling with these changes. One of the more prominent trends is the number of foreclosure properties on the market. On a positive note about this sad trend, homebuyers are able to purchase incredible properties at bargain basis prices. Unfortunately, some of these homes may have fallen into a state of disrepair before foreclosure, and many new homeowners wish to make their new home uniquely their own. That’s where we come in. Through well-planned, affordable renovations and repairs, their new house can become something they can call “home sweet home” in no time.

That’s why Highlight Homes has elected to take part in the “Welcome Home” Campaign. At the heart of this campaign is a “welcome home” folder filled with important information for the new homeowner – including contact information for Highlight Homes and a list of our services (see inset). These folders will be distributed to real estate office all over Atlanta. We look forward to working with the homeowners who contact us to initiate kitchen and bath renovations, finish their basement, build a deck, add a sunroom, and a wealth of other home improvements and repairs to their new home.  If you fall into this category or you simply feel you’re ready for a change at your current home, we invite you to contact us by calling 678.873.9234, e-mailing us at, or filling out our convenient online contact form.  To learn more about Highlight Homes, we welcome you to visit our website at where you can meet the members of our team, discover our ever-increasing list of services, and view our portfolio online. To stay up-to-date on the latest Highlight Homes news, “like” us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and/or sign up for our monthly e-newsletter, The Highlight Homes Herald.

Going Green for Halloween

Look to Mother Nature for a little help with your devilish decor this Halloween. Image credit: © Gaby Saliba |
Look to Mother Nature for a little help with your devilish decor this Halloween. Image credit: © Gaby Saliba |

At Highlight Homes, we’re all about going green!  A team of serious outdoor lovers, we infuse eco-friendly elements into every one of our designs – from a home renovation to the construction of a custom home. Here are a handful of fun and simple ways you can incorporate environmentally-conscious components into your Halloween décor leading up to the big day on October 31st.

  1. Gather Your Own Harvest – In addition to the traditional pumpkin, use natural Fall items such as varying sizes, shapes and colors of gourds, dried corn stalks, bales of hay, and brightly colored fall leaves you find in your yard or on an afternoon stroll through the neighborhood.  The pumpkins, gourds, bales of hay, and corn stalks can be purchased at a local farmers market – offering the added plus of supporting the American farmer. In the ultimate act of recycling, many of these items will still look terrific when you greet your guests for Thanksgiving dinner in November. Afterward, you can compost everything and return much-needed nutrients to your soil in time for the long winter months.
  2. Add a Sprinkling of Spooky – By incorporating touches of Spanish Moss both inside and outside your home, you will be infusing the same air of mystery and magic that it lends to ancient oaks in historic Southern towns like Savannah and New Orleans.  It will look terrific draping off of your front porch banisters or hanging from the mantle over your fireplace.  You might even add a little to a few of the trees in your yard.
  3. Light the Night – Natural candles made from beeswax, soy or palm wax can cast an eerie glow from the windows of your home.  Best part is, they are non-toxic and burn clean – rather than polluting the air of your home’s interior like traditional utility paraffin wax candles.
  4. Grow a Gruesome Garden – Transform some old work clothes, garden gloves, and the head of a mop into a homegrown scarecrow. He’ll look right at home planted in your garden next to the new chrysanthemums in a rainbow of fall colors.

We wish you and your family a Happy and Safe Halloween!

Use a Historic Low to Rise Above

Take Advantage of the Lowest Mortgage Rates in History to Refinance or Build the Home of Your Dreams

Mortgage rates are currently at ground-breaking levels - proving an excellent time to break ground on that home of your dreams.
Mortgage rates are currently at ground-breaking levels - making this an excellent time to break ground on that home of your dreams.

In early October 2011, mortgage agency Freddie Mac announced that mortgage rates had fallen to a new historical low – 3.9% for 30-year and 3.6% for 15-year fixed rate mortgages.  While it may still be difficult for some to qualify for a loan during these challenging economic times, those who CAN would be wise to take advantage of such a momentous occasion. In the event that you love the location and basic “bone structure” of your home, but feel some upgrades or enhancements may be in order – talk to your lender about refinancing the loan on your home and building in financing for home improvements. If you have always wanted to build the home of your dreams, there is an abundance of incredible home sites available on the market – many at bargain basement prices.

Once you’ve secured lending and know just how much home/home improvement you can afford, reach out to my talented team at Highlight Homes about transforming those dreams of a house that could grace the pages of any home design magazine into a reality. Because we are a “design-build” firm, we can take your project from initial concept to its beautiful completion. And since we’re a local, family-owned-and-operated company, you can be as involved in each step along the way as you like – or just sit back, relax and wait for some stunning results. Highlight Homes will take care of securing all of the necessary permits, and we’ll do our level best to disrupt your family’s life as little as possible. We’ve built a solid reputation for completing every project – no matter the size or scope – on time, on budget, and far beyond expectations.  We’ll even clean up our mess before we go by contracting with a team of local professionals so you and your family can begin enjoying your new home from the moment we leave.

Excited?  We are, too! When you’re ready to get started, contact us for an initial walk-through and consultation.  The professional team of builders and renovators at Highlight Homes can be reached by calling 678-873-9234, by e-mailing, or by filling out our convenient online contact form.  To learn more about Highlight Homes and view some of our previous work, visit our website at To stay up to date on the latest news and hottest trends, “like” us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and/or sign up for our monthly e-newsletter, The Highlight Homes Herald.

Highlight Homes Designated a Brand Mortgage-Sanctioned Remodeling and Repair Partner

Brand Mortgage Logo

With an inordinate number of distressed properties and foreclosures on the market today, mortgage lenders and renovation professionals have begun forming strategic alliances across the nation. One such alliance was recently established between Georgia-based Brand Mortgage and Atlanta custom home builder and remodeler, Highlight Homes. Brand Mortgage – a subsidiary of the highly respected, century old Brand Banking Company – is focused on being the best and strongest lender in the Southeast, making it an excellent fit for Highlight Homes in their similar quest to be the best and strongest design-build firm in the Southeast.

“We’re very excited about this new relationship,” explains Highlight Homes’ Principal, Tony Pourhassan. “Both Brand Mortgage and Highlight Homes believe in putting the customer first, and that’s a rare thing to find in this day and age. We also share a common bond in our desire to not only achieve, but to provide excellence in our respective industries. I look forward to a long and rewarding partnership between my company and Brand Mortgage.”

Built upon a foundation of respect, trust, and integrity, Brand Mortgage is a full-service lender offering a wide variety of mortgage finance products. They strive to help each and every one of their clients choose the best options to fit their budget and meet their individual needs. A fine example of how they help meet their clients’ needs is by referring special repair partners to buyers of foreclosed and distressed properties. Each repair and remodel partner is carefully screened before being selected.

“When doing repair escrow accounts, we need to be sure to have contractors waiting in the wings who will treat our borrowers with the utmost professionalism,” explains Sandi Flagg, SVP, Production Manager for Brand Mortgage. “A house is one of the biggest investments our borrowers will ever make.  We need to ensure they have a great experience and are very well informed. That’s why all references are called and only those contractors with high reviews are chosen.”

Highlight Homes will prove a strong partner for the lender. With roots in the home-building industry, the talented team of designers, builders and remodelers can tackle any sort of issue or improvement – from basic home maintenance and repair, to custom renovations and room additions – allowing the new homeowner the opportunity to make their home uniquely their own.

“Highlight Homes came highly recommended,” insists Flagg.  “We called all of their references and everyone endorsed them because of their timeliness and professionalism.  We love partners that take care of our borrowers during the repair process.”

Brand Mortgage provides loans in 10 states in the Southeast. If you are interested in learning more about Brand Mortgage and their services, please visit Once there, go to the locations page to find the location nearest you.  You can even visit the location page closest to you to learn more about your future Mortgage Banker. With such a large inventory of foreclosure properties on the market and historically low interest rates for buyers, this could be the perfect time to buy a new home.

Whether you are a new homeowner of a distressed or foreclosed property, or simply wish to make some changes or repairs to your current home, we encourage you to consider Highlight Homes as YOUR remodel and repair partner.  We are happy to come to your home for a walk-through, at which time we will listen carefully to your needs and wishes, and provide some initial thoughts before developing a proposal to fit your budget. We have built a solid reputation in the Atlanta area for meeting deadlines and budgetary constraints, while exceeding expectations. Our long list of services includes kitchen and bath remodels, basement finishing, room additions, decks and patios, water features and landscape design, window and door replacement, roof and siding replacement, whole home renovations, and much, much more. We can be reached by calling 678.873.9234, by e-mailing, or by filling out our convenient online contact form.  To learn more about Highlight Homes, view our online portfolio, or see our full list of services, we invite you to visit us online at To stay up-to-date on the latest Highlight Homes news, “like” us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and/or sign up for our monthly e-newsletter, The Highlight Homes Herald.

Brand Mortgage NMLS# 75615/627350

Five Tips to Finding a Great Remodeling Company

Photo credit: © Siniša Šešlak |
Photo credit: © Siniša Šešlak |

With the recent arrival of Fall, many of us are all too aware that the holidays are just around the corner. At households all over the South, plans are already underway for who will host Thanksgiving this year, who will throw the holiday party of the season, and who will set the table for the time-honored tradition of Christmas dinner. As your eye sweeps room after room in hopes of unlocking the secret to how to comfortably fit all of those people in your home or how to update the look of your home so it makes a beautiful backdrop to a new collection of holiday memories, you may not have the slightest clue as to how to get started. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of five tips to finding a great remodeling company to help you get started. Once you have a professional, reputable, and creative remodeling company in place, the rest should be easy and FUN!

1)      Ask Your Friends and Neighbors: Word of mouth is perhaps one of the best ways to find a great remodeling company. Many friends and neighbors will welcome the chance to discuss all of the pros and cons of the remodeling company they chose for their renovation project.  Bear in mind that some renovation companies excel in some areas, and not in others.  So while you may love the outdoor living room at the Smith’s house down the street, but you’re in the market for a kitchen renovation – that may not be that particular company’s forte. Ask around and compile as many notes as you can. Be sure to ask if the company your friend or family member used DESIGNED the project, as well as built it.  If not, you may need to plan on hiring an interior designer or architect, in addition to the renovation company. Some companies offer their clients incentive programs for referring new customers, so in the end – you may wind up with a beautiful renovation, and your friend or family member many wind up with a little extra cash in their pocket. If – in the end – you are truly happy with your remodel, be sure to pay it forward to other folks who may be looking for a good renovation company.

2)      Ask a Real Estate Professional: If you have a friend or an acquaintance who sells real estate, ask them if they can recommend anyone. After all, these folks often have their finger on the pulse of the latest trends and best return on investment for most remodeling projects, and frequently have a direct line to a skilled contractor or design-build firm.  They are often accustomed to referring homeowners to renovation companies in order to get their homes “show ready” before putting a FOR SALE sign in the yard due to the competitive nature of the housing market these days. With all of the foreclosure and distressed properties out there, some have built solid relationships with qualified renovation companies due to much-needed repairs before the sale and aesthetic enhancements after the sale. Depending on their relationship with the company, they might even be able to get you a great deal with their referral.

3)      Look to Professional Organizations: There is a wealth of resources out there with regard to professional organizations that can help point you in the right direction. It is always wise to dig a little deeper in order to discover if the general contractor or design-build firm you are considering for your next home renovation or improvement project is above board and will not leave you standing in the midst of a half-finished home while they take off with your deposit. Some companies may take your project to completion, but their craftsmanship is shoddy, they may not have filed for all of the necessary permits, or they are not properly insured and licensed and your project may end up costing you far more than you originally planned in the long run.  One way to guard against any of these scenarios from happening is to look into the company’s/contractor’s professional affiliations. If they have none, that’s probably not a good sign. Many of the professional builders’ organizations in Georgia and the United States require a membership fee to join as well as a review of business practices – in other words, they’ve already done a lot of the research for you. Be on the lookout for Better Business Bureau-accreditation and National Association of the Remodeling Industry, in particular. You can also place a call to your local Chamber of Commerce to see if they can recommend anyone – chances are, it will be one of their members.

4)      Sweep the Internet: Whether you use Google, Yahoo, or Bing to begin your search, it’s a good practice to read everything you can about a company before you spend the time, energy and money to meet with them. Perform a simple internet search of the company name and look at their company website, as well as any reviews that people may have posted about them – good and bad.  If any of them raises a question in your mind, you may want to scratch that company off your list. In the event that you know the company owner/principal’s name, perform an internet search on them, as well.  Sometimes, company owners will close a business after too much bad press or to hide from creditors, only to reopen under a different name.  Long story short, do your homework.

5)      Request a Face-to-Face Meeting: All of the research in the world doesn’t mean a thing if you don’t click with your renovation company.  You are about to let these people take a sledgehammer to one of your most prized possessions – your family’s home.  It’s vital that you two are on the same page with regard to the direction of the project. The initial meeting should be jovial and light. You should be able to feel a charge of excitement as you share your needs and they share their visions. If there’s no spark or the meeting is strained in anyway, you can bet that will serve as a sneak preview into how this renovation is going to play out. Keep in mind, many renovation companies do charge for an on-site consultation – that’s why it’s important to narrow the list down BEFORE you get to this stage.  Ask for bid proposals, but don’t take the cheapest price as your only consideration. The relationship between you and your renovator is key to the overall success of the project.

We at Highlight Homes hope we make your list of renovation companies to consider. We serve the entire Metro Atlanta area and surrounding suburbs, and – because we got our start in the home building industry – boast a broad array of specialties.  We offer kitchen and bath remodels, basement finishing, room additions, decks and patios, water features and landscape design, window and door replacement, roof and siding replacement, whole home renovations, and much, much more.  Because we are a design-build firm, there is no need to hire an architect or interior designer – we do it all in-house! We are also members of the National Home Builders Association, Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association (GAHBA), Certified Professional Home Builders of Georgia, the GAHBA’s Remodelers Council, the National Kitchen & Bath Association, and the National Association of the Remodeling Industry. Highlight Homes is the proud recipient of the 28th annual Obie Award – a great honor in the highly revered Atlanta Home Market, in addition to being a certified Earth Craft House Builder, Energy Star Partner, and LEED Certified Home Builder – fully committed to protecting the environment by promoting green initiatives in both design and construction of the homes and home additions we create. We are also extremely thrilled with our recent 2010 distinction as a Better Business Bureau accredited business. We are honored to have built solid relationships with the clients we serve as well as a number of Atlanta’s finest real estate professionals and mortgage companies.  If you would like to jump ahead to number 5 on our list of Five Tips to Finding a Great Remodeling Company, look no further than Highlight Homes. Contact us TODAY to schedule an on-site consultation. We can be reached by calling 678.873.9234, by e-mailing, or by filling out our convenient online contact form.  To learn more about Highlight Homes, view our online portfolio, or see our full list of services, we invite you to visit us online at To stay up-to-date on the latest Highlight Homes news, “like” us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and/or sign up for our monthly e-newsletter, The Highlight Homes Herald.