Another Happy Investor!

22 Dec

Dean came to learn about Savannah through the advice of an investment radio program. He was considering a few other areas and Savannah stole the show. He bought 3 properties that we now have in property management so he can kick back and watch his investment grow. Congratulations Dean!

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Under Contract! 1 Sapphire Island Rd

22 Dec

Lovely custom home on Wilmington Island features lanai, media room, upgraded finishes, community dock and more in this gated community.

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Under Contract! 104 Summit Ridge Rd. Savannah GA 31406

22 Dec

Super cute all brick home with spacious floor plan and swimming pool is a perfect starter home!

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Under Contract! 8 Mesa Avenue

22 Dec

Great little country cottage in Bloomingdale with almost two acres and mature Pecan and clementine trees Under Contract!

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Congratulations Kevin & Audra!

19 Sep

I’m so excited to say that these two closed on their lovely new Whitemarsh Island home today. And yes, they are as every bit cute, and sweet as they can be in person. It was a tremendous pleasure to work with such lovely people!!

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New Listing – 7891 Highway 80 East Savannah, GA 31410

4 Sep

This home is so dreamy!

MLS 127077

7891 US Highway 80 East

Savannah, GA 31410

Home is nestled on a private, wooded lot just West of Bull River on Wilmington Island.

Here are some of the features:

4 Bedrooms

3.5 Baths

3365 SF

Separate Formal Dining Room

Separate Office/Study with French Doors

Cook’s Kitchen With Island

2 Story Foyer Entry

Bonus Room

Split Floor Plan

Master on Main

Hardwood Floors

Corian Counters

Stainless Steel Appliances

Wrap Around Porch

Master Suite Opens To Deck

Swimming Pool

Full Bath Accessed From Pool

$395,000

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Under Contract – 35 Bryan Woods Rd.

20 Aug

This house was on the market for just a few short hours when my buyers snatched it up! Awesome garage space, 3 separate garage bays with an extra large space perfect for a boat. A cool spot out back to roast oysters and a fabulous deck. This home is the spot for that Island lifestyle!

I work hard for buyers too..if you know anyone looking for a go-to Agent, I’m your girl!

912.224.0460

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Congratulations to The Watsons!

19 Aug

Brian and Kim will be calling Richmond Hill ‘home’. What a great place to raise a family! I wish them a speedy move-in and many happy years in their gorgeous new home!

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7324 Grant Street – Under Contract in 4 days!

18 Aug

This dreamy little home has dibs called on it and is under contract after just 4 short days on the market.

Do you know anyone serious about selling?

Send them my way.

912-224-0460

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304 Bonaventure Rd – Under Contract in 5 days

18 Aug

Well that went lickity-split! After multiple offers this property is under contract in just 5 days.

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New Listing! 304 Bonaventure Rd. Savannah, GA 31404 MLS 126231

11 Aug

Lots of potential! An opportunity to own property in Thunderbolt right next to Historic Bonaventure Cemetery. The lot is just over a 1/4 acre and features established vegetation like fruit trees, flowering trees, bamboo and oak trees that are hundreds of years old. The home itself was built in the fifties and has some nice features like hardwood floors, screened porch and central heat and air. The home needs a fair amount of work, but is still a bargain at this price.

$35,000

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New Listing! 7324 Grant Street Savannah, GA 31406 MLS 126224

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7324 Grant Street

Savannah, GA 31406

MLS# 126224

$105,000

4 bedrooms 2 baths

(3 bedrooms+bonus/4th)

New Roof

New Windows

Newer HVAC

New Hot Water Heater

New Frigidaire Stainless Steel Appliance

(Refrigerator, Dishwasher, Oven & Microwave)

New Wood Floors, New Carpet, New Paint

Pantry/Laundry Room Combo

Fireplace

Rocking Chair Front Porch

Privacy Fenced Back Yard

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2nd bath, upstairs

2nd bath, upstairs

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3rd bedroom, upstairs

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New Listing – 127 Mary Musgrove, Savannah, GA 31410 MLS 124945

4 Jul

Fabulous new listing in The Settlement on Wilmington Island.

This home is casually sophisticated and turn-key.

Property Features:

3 Bedroom & 2 Baths + Bonus/4th Bedroom

Master on Main, Split Floor Plan

Living Room, Family Room, Dining Room, Breakfast Area

Hardwood, Ceramic & Carpet

Granite counters in Baths & Kitchen

Stainless Steel Appliances & Glass Tile Backsplash

Wainscoting in Dining & Baths

Dual Vanity Vessel Sinks in Master Bath

Separate Garden Tub & Shower in Master Bath

Walk In Closet

Fireplace

Upgraded Lighting

2 Car Garage

Laundry Room

NEW 15 Seer Lennox HVAC

NEW Smart Hotwater Heater

Cul De Sac

Lagoon View

Private, Lush backyard

Koi Pond/Water Feature

NO FLOOD INSURANCE REQUIRED

$289,000

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Happy Fourth of July!

4 Jul


Did you know …

that Thomas Jefferson was only 33 when he wrote the Declaration of Independence? That both Thomas Jefferson & John Adams–the only two signers of the Declaration who went on to be President–both died on July 4, 1826? That 155 million hot dogs will be eaten in the U.S. on July 4th alone? That the Liberty Bell, so it won’t crack, hasn’t been rung since 1846? That each year, it’s tapped 13 times in honor of the original colonies?

Whether you go all out at the Nation’s Capital and watch fireworks over the water, or have a humble backyard BBQ, be thankful for the country we live in and the patriots that make it all possible, daily.

Happy Fourth of July.

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Baldwin Park, welcome your new neighbors!

21 Jun

I’m so excited for Julia & Chris! They just moved here from Charleston and bought in Baldwin Park. Smart! Those prices are going to continue to rise and these two will have good equity very soon!

JULIA

Many Thanks & Congratulations!

20 Jun

Mr. Akridge bought one of my listings and got a great home at a great price. Congratulations!

DOUGLAS

Congrats to The Beesons…again!

19 Jun

These two may look familiar. They have bought and sold with me three times now. We just closed on a new home in Pooler that is just perfect! Congrats to The Beesons!

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Price Improved! 201 e 60th Street, Savannah, GA 31405

18 Jun

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Open House Today – 201 E. 60th St, Savannah, GA 31405 – MLS 117450

5 Jun

Open House Today on this great Midtown/Ardsley Area Cottage. This home features 3 bedrooms & 2 baths (2 bedrooms 1 bath down and 1 bedroom/1 bath up). The upstairs bedroom is an attic conversion and runs the entire length of the house with new carpet and exposed brick. This 1940 treasure has hardwood floors throughout with slate tile in the kitchen and ceramic tile in the bathrooms. All appliances can stay including stainless steel refrigerator, dishwasher, stove and the washer & dryer. 201 e. 60th has a formal dining room with column detail, a mudroom off of the kitchen for storage and easy access to back yard, a living room with fireplace and mantle, and a flex space that would be a lovely yoga area or for casual office space. The bak yard is privacy fenced and features a great deck for entertaining, a detached garage for any of you tinkerers out there, and a fenced side yard that would be fantastic for gardening. This home is situated at the corner of 60th street and Habersham, so you are literally steps from dining, bars, grocery, yoga and more. This would be a fantastic home for a young professional or an artist type.

Open house today is from 12-2. I will serve lunch from Zoe’s Kitchen and welcome agents and the public to stop in and check this wonderful home out!

 

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What is a SCADPAD?

11 Apr

If you only click one link today, it should be this one:

SCADpad | Home.

Students of Savannah College of Art & Design brought big plans in small spaces to life.  These innovative creators were tasked with utilizing a parking structure in Atlanta to create an inspirational and sustainable community that proposes an answer to the growing urban housing challenges cities are facing around the world.  These student designers worked for 10 months to develop and create micro living spaces right down to every last detail, from architectural footprint to custom furniture and to even include home remote control.

Oh, any by micro living, I mean 135 square feet! The project was unveiled yesterday and you can watch the journey unfold by searching for #scadpad on your social media sites. Students will actually be living in these spaces and documenting their experiences.

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Welcome to the South, y’all!

10 Apr

Jeff is smiling on the inside, I swear!

Sharon & Jeff  just bought a new place on the Islands to escape to from the frozen Ohio area.  Congrats and thank you so much!

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Cute & Quirky Cottage in Thunderbolt – 3204 College Street

3 Apr

This is a super cute, eclectic & quirky cottage in Thunderbolt with 3 bedrooms 2 bathrooms, dining room, big open kitchen, Florida Room, side entry porch with laundry room and a great yard on a corner lot. Home features refinished hardwood floors, tile in bathrooms, fireplace, lots of closet space and renovated kitchen. Owner has made lots of updates & upgrades and it’s kind of a rare find at a great value in Thunderbolt. Would be perfect for a SCAD student or professor, an SSU student or professor, or someone looking to live in a safe, off the beaten path neighborhood that really is only about 12 minutes to everything. Only$139,000. Principal & Interest payments would only be around $650 and taxes and insurance are nominal…BONUS: not in a flood zone. A quick stroll to Tubby’s or Tortugas, a nice bike ride to Historic Bonaventure Cemetery. Watch the tide go in and out on the Wilmington Island River, throw your kayak in at the marina and explore the marshes, or trek through the dairy farm to the prayer flag trail.

Property Features:

3 Bedrooms 2 Bathrooms

Separate Dining Room

Open Kitchen

En-Suite Bathroom in Owner’s Bedroom

Glass Sunroom on Front of Home

Screened Porch off of Kitchen

Fireplace

Drive Under Carport

Refinished Hardwood Floors

Wooden Blinds

Custom Kitchen Cabinets

Ceramic/Marble Floor Tiles in Baths & Kitchen

Tile Counters & Backsplash

Imported Talavera Accent Tiles

Chair Railing

Imported Talavera Sink

Fenced Back Yard

Corner Lot

Average Electric Bill: $129/mo

Average Utilities: $43/mo

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7 Reasons To Own A Home

31 Mar

If you have never owned a home you may not be aware of the benefits. Here is a list of 7 good reasons:

  1. Tax breaks. The U.S. Tax Code lets you deduct the interest you pay on your mortgage, your property taxes, as well as some of the costs involved in buying your home.
  2. Appreciation. Real estate has long-term, stable growth in value. While year-to-year fluctuations are normal, median existing-home sale prices have increased on average 6.5 percent each year from 1972 through 2005, and increased 88.5 percent over the last 10 years, according to the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. In addition, the number of U.S. households is expected to rise 15 percent over the next decade, creating continued high demand for housing.
  3. Equity. Money paid for rent is money that you’ll never see again, but mortgage payments let you build equity ownership interest in your home.
  4. Savings. Building equity in your home is a ready-made savings plan. And when you sell, you can generally take up to $250,000 ($500,000 for a married couple) as gain without owing any federal income tax.
  5. Predictability. Unlike rent, your fixed-mortgage payments don’t rise over the years so your housing costs may actually decline as you own the home longer. However, keep in mind that property taxes and insurance costs will increase.
  6. Freedom. The home is yours. You can decorate any way you want and benefit from your investment for as long as you own the home.
  7. Stability. Remaining in one neighborhood for several years gives you a chance to participate in community activities, lets you and your family establish lasting friendships, and offers your children the benefit of educational continuity.

Oatland Island – Just Listed!

29 Mar

I have a great new listing on Oatland Island.

312 Sandy Springs Rd.

Savannah, GA 31410

MLS 120935

  • Benefits & Features Include:
  • 3 Bedrooms & 2.5 Baths
  • wood, tile & carpet
  • separate dining room
  • screened porch
  • open kitchen
  • bar
  • fireplace
  • 2 car, side entry garage
  • fancy owner’s suite with sitting area
  • owner’s en suite bathroom with dual vanity
  • owner’s walk in closet
  • owner’s suite private deck
  • great Oatland Island location
  • flood elevation certificate: AE (very low cost)
  • termite bond
  • chimney cleaned & inspected 2014
  • new bath tub in owner’s bath
  • new bath tile in guest bath
  • new deck off of owner’s bedroom
  • & more

$199,500

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Ab Fab Condo at The Merritt – Under Contract

28 Mar

My buyers got a sweet deal on a 3 bedroom 2 bath split floor plan condo at The Merritt on Whitemarsh Island. This unit features a separate dining room, breakfast bar, crown molding, new paint and carpets, built ins, screened porch off owner’s bedroom, dual closets & vanity, beautiful bay windows and a serene wooded view. The community is gated and features billiards table, fitness center, car wash, swimming pool, club house, business center and more. A great community for professionals, those seeking maintenance free living on the Islands and a perfect vacation home!

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You Get One Chance To Make A First Impression

24 Mar

You get one chance to make a first impression so improving your curb appeal is a smart move for sellers. There are so many ways to spruce up the appearance of your home that can be quick and inexpensive. Even if you aren’t planning on moving any time soon, a few changes can be just the spice you need to fall in love with your home again. There are oodles of ideas to give your home-sweet-home a face lift and here are a few to help get your creative juices flowing.

  • Add big, bold house numbers. It’s so easy to swap out house numbers, and this one thing can make a huge impact. Echo your house style in the numbers you choose — a clean sans serif font for a modern house, hand-painted tiles for a cottage, aged copper for a Prairie-style home etc.
  • Paint the front door. A front door that pops can be hugely cheering and add a new dimension of character to your home.
  • Add fresh porch furniture. We Southerners love to live outside and a pair of matching rockers, Adirondack chairs or a swing is a must when you have a front porch that is visible from the street.
  • Swap out porch lighting. Try replacing tiny sconces with a big, statement-making pendant light, add recessed lighting beneath the eaves or install solar lights along the front walk.
  •  Sizzle with Red accents. Red has such vibrancy; a little goes a very long way. Try a bright red bench, planter or mailbox to add zing that can be seen from across the street.

Do some hardscaping. Built-in concrete planters, a low stone wall or new paths are all great ways to add structure to your front yard that will last for many years to come.

Spruce up the side yard. Camouflage an eyesore with attractive fencing, clear out weeds and lay out a neat path to the backyard.

Add depth with a fence. A low fence around a property not only adds a welcome boundary between a hectic street and a private space, but it also makes the front yard seem larger.

Grass won’t grow? Don’t want to mow? Replace your lawn with flowers. Dig up part or all of your front lawn and plant perennials instead for a lush landscape that sets your house apart.

Repair the driveway and paths. Cement, stone and pavement all can split and crack over time. Repairing or replacing damaged areas can do wonders to freshen up your home’s street view.

Paint the garage door. The garage takes up a lot of visual space, so it pays to make sure it looks its best.

Refinish the porch floor. If your porch floor has seen better days, renew it by stripping off old layers of paint and finish, and brushing on stain or paint.

Add a shiny new door knocker. Gorgeous hardware (plus a glossy paint job) can make even the plainest door look very classy.

Try a unique front door. A really eye-catching front door can be just the thing to give a plain exterior a big dose of personality. Whether it’s supersleek and modern steel or a beautifully detailed Craftsman Style door, it can set the tone for the entire house.

Match plantings to your house style. Let the plants and pots you choose reflect the style of your house for a cohesive look. Accent a modern home with succulents and spiky-leafed plants in simple round pots, or surround your cottage with lush beds of flowers

Echo the architecture with paths. Another way to accent the style of your home is by repeating the lines of the architecture in the paths and landscaping surrounding it. Wide, angular paths echo the geometry of the modern home here.

Create curb appeal even in the city. When you live in the city, it can be hard to personalize your home’s exterior. Work with what you have by adding neat window planters, glossy black shutters, good lighting and clearly visible house numbers.

Does Moving Up Make Sense?

17 Mar

 

These questions will help you decide whether you’re ready for a home that’s larger or in a more desirable location. If you answer yes to most of the questions, it’s a sign that you may be ready to move.

  1. Have you built substantial equity in your current home? Look at your annual mortgage statement or call your lender to find out. Usually, you don’t build up much equity in the first few years of your mortgage, as monthly payments are mostly interest, but if you’ve owned your home for five or more years, you may have significant, unrealized gains.
  2. Has your income or financial situation improved? If you’re making more money, you may be able to afford higher mortgage payments and cover the costs of moving.
  3. Have you outgrown your neighborhood? The neighborhood you pick for your first home might not be the same neighborhood you want to settle down in for good. For example, you may have realized that you’d like to be closer to your job or live in a better school district.
  4. Are there reasons why you can’t remodel or add on? Sometimes you can create a bigger home by adding a new room or building up. But if your property isn’t large enough, your municipality doesn’t allow it, or you’re simply not interested in remodeling, then moving to a bigger home may be your best option.
  5. Are you comfortable moving in the current housing market? If your market is hot, your home may sell quickly and for top dollar, but the home you buy also will be more expensive. If your market is slow, finding a buyer may take longer, but you’ll have more selection and better pricing as you seek your new home.
  6. Are interest rates attractive? A low rate not only helps you buy a larger home, but also makes it easier to find a buyer.

The Worst Things You Can Do Before Buying A Home . . .

10 Mar

Cynics may scoff, but getting under contract on the right home can turn even the most stoic shopper into a bit of a dreamer. From paint colors to planting a garden, picturing yourself in that property is critical for many buyers.

But leave a little room for pragmatism. Remember that getting pre-approved for a mortgage and even under contract isn’t a guarantee. That prefix is there for a reason. Loan pre-approval is not loan approval.

You’ll have more hurdles to clear before a lender legally commits to funding your home loan. Buyers who don’t know any better can inadvertently add obstacles to that path, or even kill the entire deal between contract and closing day.

Some missteps can be costlier than others. Here’s a look at five of the worst things you can do before buying a home.

1. Go Credit-Crazy

It’s almost become cliché in the mortgage industry, but the warning still bears repeating: Don’t buy a truckload of furniture until after your loan closes. The prohibition goes beyond sofas and settees,  avoid obtaining credit for any major expense, such as a car, a boat or, yes, a new bedroom set.

Be careful with even minor expenses. If you absolutely need to obtain new credit or accrue debt before closing, talk with your loan officer as soon as possible.

New payments are going to affect your monthly debt-to-income ratio (and residual income on a VA loan), and not in a good way. Hard inquiries on your credit report could also lower your credit score. That might hurt your interest rate if you haven’t locked or even knock you out of qualifying range all together.

2. Shuffle Dollars and Cents

Lenders will scour your most recent bank statement as part of the pre-approval process. It’s not like they forget about it after that. They’ll take another look at your assets and bank records again during the underwriting process.

You’ll need to explain any unusual deposits or withdrawals. Lenders will require clear documentation and a paper trail if you’re putting gift funds toward a down payment or closing costs. Stuffing a wad of undocumented cash into your account is going to raise some red flags.

3. Get Behind on Bills

Having a late payment hit your credit report before closing can devastate your deal. Payment history comprises about a third of your credit score.

One solitary 30-day late payment can clip 60 to 110 points from your credit score. Maybe not a huge deal if you had an 800 score, right?

Possibly. But if that 30-day late blemish is a mortgage or rent payment, some lenders will boot your application altogether. Many will require at least 12 consecutive months of on-time payments to qualify for a home loan.

4. Co-Sign on a Loan

Co-signing a loan is arguably a bad financial move whenever you make it. But it’s especially risky during the mortgage lending process. It means you’re financially liable for someone else’s debt.

Yes, that someone else might be the most responsible person on the planet. Lenders will still need to factor that new monthly obligation into your overall affordability profile. Adding one more debt to the list could stretch too thin your debt-to-income ratio and assets.

5. Changes in Employment

Probably goes without saying, but losing your job is going to be a big problem. Even job-hopping can present some major hurdles. Lenders crave stable, reliable income that’s likely to continue.

Lenders are likely to slam on the brakes if you take a new job in a different field. Or if you decide to start your own business. Or even if you get a promotion but see some or all of your income shift to a commission basis.

The bottom line: Any change to your employment is significant. Keep your loan officer in the loop, and ask questions when in doubt. The last thing you want is to waste time and money on a home loan you’re never going to get.

Throughout the mortgage process, it can also be helpful to monitor your credit scores for changes so you can know whether you need to address any problems. To do that, you can use a free tool like Credit.com’s Credit Report Card, which updates your credit scores and an overview of your credit report every month.

This article was written by Chris Birk and originally published on Credit.com.

Brand Spankin’ New Listing in Georgetown!

4 Mar

55 Beaver Run Savannah, GA 31419

MLS 120086

$159,900

FEATURES:

All brick 3 bedroom 2 bath with 2 car garage and workshop with brand new roof. Well maintained and loved landscaping and yard with large covered patio in back yard. Interior of home has hardwood floors, ceramic tile and some carpet. Kitchen has updated cabinets and counters, peak-a-boo window with eat-in breakfast area and separate formal dining room. Dining room has glass french doors and chair moldings. Living room has a vaulted ceiling, lots of natural light and wood burning masonry fireplace. Bathrooms have been updated and are squeaky clean, one even  has a new skylight. Laundry room just off garage with pantry.

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Feng Shui 101

3 Mar

Whether you have been practicing Feng Shui for years or never heard of it, here are a 5 Feng Shui concepts to help a home sell.

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  • Pay special attention to the front door, which is considered the “mouth of chi” (chi is the “life force” of all things) and one of the most powerful aspects of the entire property. Abundance, blessings, opportunities, and good fortune enter through the front door. It’s also the first impression buyers have of how well the sellers have taken care of the rest of the property. Make sure the area around the front door is swept clean, free of cobwebs and clutter. Make sure all lighting is straight and properly hung. Better yet, light the path leading up to the front door to create an inviting atmosphere.
  • Chi energy can be flushed away wherever there are drains in the home. To keep the good forces of a home in, always keep the toilet seats down and close the doors to bathrooms.
  • The master bed should be in a place of honor, power, and protection, which is farthest from and facing toward the entryway of the room. It’s even better if you can place the bed diagonally in the farthest corner. Paint the room in colors that promote serenity, relaxation, and romance, such as soft tones of green, blue, and lavender.
  • The dining room symbolizes the energy and power of family togetherness. Make sure the table is clear and uncluttered during showings. Use an attractive tablecloth to enhance the look of the table while also softening sharp corners.
  • The windows are considered to be the eyes of the home. Getting the windows professionally cleaned will make the home sparkle and ensure that the view will be optimally displayed.

7 Bathroom Remodeling Trends

27 Feb

What’s trending in bathroom remodels? Houzz recently released its 2014 Winter Bathroom Trends Study showing the top bathroom remodel preferences of more than 7,500 home owners in the U.S. and Canada. The report shows that 60 percent of home owners are targeting the master bathroom for their bathroom remodels. The two main drivers for their remodels: To upgrade features and fixtures as well as to make space more functional.

Here are some of the growing trends that emerged from the Houzz report:

#1 Goodbye, bathtubs. The bathtub is starting to move out of the master bathroom. More than four in 10 – 43 percent – are forgoing a bathtub in the master bathroom, according to the report.

#2 Frameless glass is “in.” The majority of the home owners surveyed say they prefer glass shower enclosures and frameless glass. Glass block is “out,” according to the report.

#3 Let there be lots of light. Adding light was one of the top goal for home owners with their bathroom remodels, from adding windows to skylights to LED lights in the showerhead.

#4 Showing showerhead preferences. Rain and multiple showerheads are the clear choice for home owners under 45, while the 55-plus age group tends to prefer hand showers and sliding bars.

#5 Seeing white. White cabinets are the top choice in master bathrooms (with medium and dark wood coming in No. 2 and No. 3, respectively). Maple is the most common type of wood used, followed by cherry and oak.

#6 Silver bling. Silver-tone faucets remain the most popular, with brushed nickel topping the list. Polished chrome is also popular, while brushed bronze came in as the least popular choice for current bathroom remodels.

#7 Unique powder rooms. The powder room is getting more unique features than other bathrooms. Hardwood floors, wallpaper, pedestal sinks, and furniture-like cabinets are more commonly used in these spaces than in other bathrooms.

 

 

7 Bathroom Remodeling Trends. reposted from Realtormag.com by Melissa Dittmann Tracy

New Listing: 201 E. 60th Street Savannah, GA 31405

2 Jan

This home is just so fabulous! Check out all of the great features:

  • Fantastic Midtown Location/Ardsley Park Area
  • Corner Lot/Double Lot
  • 30 Year Architectural Shingles
  • Additional Blown-In Insulation
  • Privacy Fenced
  • Deck
  • Storage Building/Garage
  • Iron Wrought Front Door
  • Hardwood Floors
  • Slate Floors in Kitchen
  • Stainless Steel Appliances
  • Extra Deep Garden Sink
  • Mudroom
  • Fresh Paint
  • Crown Molding
  • Formal Dining Room
  • Flex Space (Yoga Room/Office/Studio/Playroom)
  • Two bedrooms & 1 Bath Downstairs
  • 1 Bedroom/Loft & Bath Upstairs
  • New Carpet Upstairs
  • Jetted Garden Tub
  • MLS 117450

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There’s No Place Like Home!

31 Dec

Shawnna is an ER nurse and is well deserving of some R-n-R in her beautiful new home. Even here in this picture she seems to be shutting her eyes and clicking her heels together…There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home! Thank you and congrats Shawnna!

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Inspiring Fireplaces

23 Dec

I love the cold weather this time of year. It really gets me in the spirit. You know what is the best compliment to a cold day? Well, warming yourself next to a crackling fire of course! Whether your fireplace is working or non-working, epic or quaint…or even non-existent, here are a few that yule just love..and maybe this will provide some last minute inspiration to give your fireplace a quick Holiday makeover before your guests arrive.

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Our Holiday Expectations & Realizations…

19 Dec

What we imagine the Holidays will look like:

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What the Holidays really look like:

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Under Contract! 7 Austin Drive Savannah GA 31419

16 Dec

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Greenbriar Children’s Center Annual Gift Wrapping Fundraiser

15 Dec

It’s that time of year again! If you are shopping for gifts, or need something wrapped, come see me! I will be in the Macy’s court at the Oglethorpe Mall tomorrow, Monday the 16th from 1-7. Please stop by and I will wrap your gifts for a very minimal fee. All proceeds go to the Greenbriar Children’s Center.

 

Christmas presents piled underneath a christmas tree.

Under Contract – 20 Tara Manor Savannah GA 31406

9 Dec

Short sale property accepted, approved and under contract!

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Under Contract – 3005 Leonard Street Thunderbolt GA 31404

3 Dec

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My 2013 Thanksgiving Toast

28 Nov

 

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite Holidays. I love my family and the way we celebrate. I thought I would share a silly & sentimental toast I wrote:

I hope that today your blessings are many,

 the wine flows aplenty,

football is on your television,

and that the cooks need little supervision.

Maybe today you can cuddle up with a good book,

and the conversation isn’t full of political gobbledygook.

I hope that there is lots to be thankful for

your faith in humanity restored..

I hope that on this Thanksgiving day,

your love is near,

your home filled with cheer,

and your heart is twice as full as your belly.

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Cheers to Chelsea!

25 Nov

Chelsea is an ER nurse. She is also a trooper. Chelsea had to endure the government furlough, but was able to close on her very first home! Chelsea, thanks for your patience! I’m so happy for you! I love seeing young people’s hard work pay off!

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Chelsea closed on Halloween and here she is modeling her pumpkin boppers in her new place :)

Chelsea closed on Halloween and here she is modeling her pumpkin boppers in her new place :)

Total Steal on this South Side Townhouse – 66 Hidden Lake Court Savannah GA 31419 MLS 114454

22 Nov

Hey guys I need your help! This is an awesome townhouse with low amenity fees that is convenient to St. Joseph’s/Chandler, Armstrong Atlantic State University, Oglethorpe Mall, Savannah Mall and Hunter Army Airfield. Surely you know someone who might know someone?

66 Hidden Lake Court Features:

  • 2 bedrooms/2.5 baths
  • (dual owner’s suites)
  • 1371 square feet
  • does NOT require flood insurance
  • bamboo hardwood floors
  • neutral colors
  • serene wooded back yard with deck
  • fireplace
  • laundry room
  • storage room
  • community pool
  • convenient South Side location
  • $75,000
  • Short Sale: Easy short sale, no crazy waiting. I’m in direct contact with the Asset Manager. The asking price is $75,000 but there is some flexibility.

Call me to schedule a showing!

front of 66 Hidden Lake

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Congratulations Tim & Jenni!!!

21 Nov

Tim, Jenni & I have been on quite the ride. I first met the Carey’s a few years ago when they relocated here from blustery Michigan. I helped them find a home while they settled in. Then last year they decided they were ready to buy again. They chose to build a brand new home, and it is gorgeous!! I have to say there were a few challenges on this transaction but in the end everything was great and some of the nicest people I have ever met got a beautiful home. Cheers guys!

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7 Douglas Court Bloomingdale GA 31302 – Price Improvement

10 Oct

 

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  • Seller has improved price to $139,900
  • Seller will give new appliance allowance (up to $1000 at Sears with builder discount pricing)
  • MLS number 110434

More Benefits & Features include:

  • NEW ROOF
  • NEW WINDOWS
  • WOOD FLOORS
  • DECK
  • NEW STORM DOOR
  • ALL BRICK
  • NO HOA
  • PRIVACY FENCED BACK YARD
  • 2 CAR GARAGE
  • 3 BEDROOMS
  • 2 BATHROOMS
  • ABOUT 2 MILES FROM POOLER CITY LIMITS

 

New Listing – 3005 Leonard Street Thunderbolt GA 31404

8 Oct

Fantastic opportunity in Thunderbolt!! This is a rare find featuring over 1800 square feet three bedrooms, 2 baths, living room-dining room combo, den, florida room/sunporch, new roof and detached garage on a corner lot.  Sellers are looking for a quick sale, so bring all offers! List price is $145,000.

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New Listing – 66 Hidden Lake Court Savannah GA 31419

4 Oct

Check out this townhouse I just listed! It is a 2 bedroom 2.5 bath with bamboo floors and serene wood view. Convenient to Armstrong, Hunter Army Airfield, hospitals, shopping and highways. Community features a swimming pool and low amenity fees. It’s priced at $75,000 and is a short sale . Don’t worry though…this is a short sale through Res.Net, which means BPOs have been completed, the negotiator is already asigned and seller documents are already on file. Make an offer and we will have a response in less than a week. No waiting around for months on end like other short sales!

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Home sweet home!

2 Oct

Congrats to Christopher!! He just closed on his first home. He got a smokin’ deal and a great interest rate. He made a smart investment in a great neighborhood. All the best in your new digs, Chris!

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Congrats to Andrea & Jon!!

25 Sep

The big wait is finally over and these two (and their furbabies) are moving into an amazing property. Congrats guys, I wish you many happy years and memories in the new place!

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Under Contract – 210 Opus Court

24 Sep

This is brand new construction in Pooler. Fabulous 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath end unit townhouse is cheaper than rent!

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Under Contract – 640 Park Place

20 Sep

Awesome, like-new home sits in a quiet Ellabell neighborhood. Property backs up to a fantastic recreational park with running track, nature trails, soccer fields and more.

 

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New Listing – 13013 Largo Drive

18 Sep

This home is big enough for the Brady Bunch! Five bedrooms and 3 bathrooms, formal living room, family room with vaulted ceilings and dining room. And…the icing on the cake? Corner lot with swimming pool!

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Best Week Ever…

17 Sep

Meet Shari & Spencer. They are the proud new homeowners of a fantastic property in a peaceful neighborhood with lush, mature trees. Oh, and guess what else? They are brand new grandparents and welcomed their first granddaughter into the world this week. New house, new grandbaby..I think you could say, best week ever!

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439 Archer Way – Under Contract

13 Sep

The livin’s easy in this laid-back home in Guyton.  Quiet, woods-y and just minutes to the Ogeechee River.

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Cutie Craftsman Bungalow – Under Contract

11 Sep

I walked through this house a few years ago and fell in love. Low and behold it came up for sale again and some very good friends will be the new homeowners. Congrats guys!!1309 e 48- croped

Under Contract! – 1 Kingfisher

10 Sep

I’m very pleased to say that my beautiful listing at 1 Kingfisher is under contract!

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Community Karma

28 Aug

Community Karma

I have had countless blessings and want to share the love with my community. If you know anyone thinking of buying or selling, please put me in touch!

Does Your REALTOR Have Their Own App for Android & iPhone?

26 Jul

Does your REALTOR have their own app? I do and I offer this free to all of my buyers and sellers and their friends and family. Thinking about buying a home? Want to keep up with the sales in your neighborhood? Curious about your neighbor’s home that just came on the market? Have you ever driven by a house for sale and wanted info, but didn’t have the time to stop? Or maybe you’re just the ‘hands-on” type.  Whether you are an active buyer, seller, or just curious, this app is super cool and very useful!

Guess what else? You are invited to try it for free.  There is absolutely no cost to you, ever.  This application is linked directly to the MLS – so no more nightmares from sites like Trulia and Zillow with out-of-date information. It’s like keeping a Realtor in your pocket, information available when you want it, just turn it off when you don’t! Another cool feature is the ability to explore the finance side of real estate through a couple of taps on the screen. Give it a try, you can always delete it– but I guarantee you, you won’t!

  • First, go to either the Android Market/Google Play or the App Store on your Android or iPhone device.

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OR

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  • Next, search for “homescouting” and download.

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  • Your VIP code is: 9122240460

 

 

 

 

 

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Under Contract! 7 River Walk Drive

23 Jul

Great Wilmington Island condo under contract. Fantastic buy on this 3 bedroom 2 bath open floor plan condo with screened porch, just minutes to the beach and downtown.

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New Kids On The Block!

17 Jul

Happy dance, happy dance! Amy & Steve welcome home! SO happy for you!!

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Open House – Sunday July 14 4-6

12 Jul

7 Douglas Court Bloomingdale GA 31302

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  • Seller has improved price to $154,900
  • Seller will pay $3,500 to buyer’s closing costs
  • Seller will give new appliance allowance (up to $1000 at Sears with builder discount pricing)
  • Qualifies for 100% Financing through USDA

More Benefits & Features include:

  • NEW ROOF
  • NEW WINDOWS
  • WOOD FLOORS
  • DECK
  • NEW STORM DOOR
  • ALL BRICK
  • NO HOA
  • PRIVACY FENCED BACK YARD
  • 2 CAR GARAGE
  • 3 BEDROOMS
  • 2 BATHROOMS
  • ABOUT 2 MILES FROM POOLER CITY LIMITS
  • MLS 110434

 

 

Happy Homeowners!

8 Jul

So excited for Nate & Charlotte, who just closed on their first home! Congratulations and here’s to many happy years in your new home!!

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Price Improvement to 7 Douglas Court, Bloomingdale GA

3 Jul

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  • Seller has improved price to $154,900
  • Seller will pay $3,500 to buyer’s closing costs
  • Seller will give new appliance allowance (up to $1000 at Sears with builder discount pricing)
  • Qualifies for 100% Financing through USDA

More Benefits & Features include:

  • NEW ROOF
  • NEW WINDOWS
  • WOOD FLOORS
  • DECK
  • NEW STORM DOOR
  • ALL BRICK
  • NO HOA
  • PRIVACY FENCED BACK YARD
  • 2 CAR GARAGE
  • 3 BEDROOMS
  • 2 BATHROOMS
  • ABOUT 2 MILES FROM POOLER CITY LIMITS

Congratulations Margaret!

28 Jun

Margaret is a transplant all the way from Illinois and just closed on her new home in Pooler.

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Under Contract – 1605 E 50th Street

26 Jun

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Under Contract – 1212 Crawford Way

24 Jun

Cute little HUD house under contract. With a little TLC this will be a happy home again!

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Under Contract! 7891 US Highway 80 East

21 Jun

This gorgeous home is under contract and being purchased by some of my favorite clients!

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Congratulations Dennis!

19 Jun

Another happy homeowner! Dennis bought a wonderful waterfront home out of foreclosure.

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Local Economic Indicator Report from AASU

17 Jun

page-0If you have any trouble reading this, feel free to download from the link provided.

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New Listing – 7 Douglas Court, Bloomingdale, GA

14 Jun

Wonderful family home features:

  • All brick
  • New roof
  • New windows
  • 2 car garage
  • Open floor plan
  • Wood floors
  • 3 Bedrooms
  • 2 Baths
  • Privacy fenced yard
  • Deck
  • Good schools
  • Convenient to Pooler Parkway
  • Convenient to I-95
  • Convenient to I-16
  • $159,000

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Price Improvement! 1 Kingfisher Circle

12 Jun

New price! $225,000 gets you this beautiful brick home, established landscaping, 4 bedrooms, 3 baths plus bonus, office, dining room, 2 car garage, screened porch and swimming pool!

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Sold! 12401 Apache Avenue

12 Jun

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New Listing! 1 Kingfisher Circle, Savannah, GA 31419 MLS 110147

18 May

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Fabulous new listing for sale in Georgetown with tons of benefits and features:

  • Brick front
  • Side entry garage
  • Corner lot
  • Cul De Sac
  • Mature professional landscaping
  • Privacy fence
  • Private wooded lot
  • Swimming Pool w/ pump
  • Screened Porch
  • Storage Shed
  • Dog run
  • Glass storm door
  • 4 bedrooms
  • 3 bathrooms
  • Bonus room
  • Study/office
  • Formal dining room
  • Eat-in kitchen
  • Breakfast bar
  • Whirlpool Appliances – Fridge, dishwasher, oven
  • Extra deep garden sink
  • Glass tile backsplash
  • Corian counters
  • Fireplace with marble surround & molding
  • 2 Story, grand foyer entry
  • 1 Bedroom and 1 Bath downstairs for guests, or for a family member that can’t do stairs
  • Trey ceilings in owners suite
  • Dual vanities in owner’s suite
  • Soaking tub
  • Stand up shower
  • HUGE walk-in closet
  • Laundry room
  • 2 car-garage
  • $232,000
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Congrats to Mike

7 May

Mike is one driven individual. Hard work pays off and he deserves the beautiful new home he closed on. MIKE

Best Birthday Ever!

7 May

Congratulations to Tonya!! She closed on her new home on her birthday. I don’t know about you, but I could get excited about that present!!TONYA

Sidewalk Arts Festival Always Draws A Crowd!

18 Apr

sidewalk2I can’t express enough how much I love this time of year in Savannah, Georgia! The azaleas are in bloom, the Sandgnats have returned to Grayson Stadium for another season, and there seems to be a perpetual breeze keeping the sun from being overbearing. Everyone is in a good mood, the park is full of runners, readers & dogs, and everyone seems to have the same idea to head downtown, beer in-hand, for a leisurely stroll.

Another highlight of the Spring season for me is the Savannah College of Art & Design’s Sidewalk Arts Festival. This is the 32nd year of this popular event where SCAD alumni, students and prospective students gather in beautiful Forsyth park and are able to design their unique paved square in chalk. Over the past years there have been amazing improvements in technique and imagination. Some artists use the chalk like paint and create gorgeous masterpieces you would covet for the walls of your dream home. Some artists use their space for activism or political perspective, and some take a comedic approach and are just silly.

The festival is an open-air gallery through the park and takes place Saturday, April 27th from 11-5. Admission is free, so grab your dogs, kids, or a beer and take a stroll through the park and enjoy the eye candy and soak up some good energy from our local talent.

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Check out last year’s festival at SCAD’s Hong Kong campus here

For additional info for the festivities this year click here

What’s The Deal With Flood Insurance In Coastal Georgia?

4 Mar

flood-insuranceIf you live in or are considering a purchase in our beautiful, coastal Georgia area of Savannah and surrounding Islands, chances are that you will be required to have a separate flood insurance policy. Even if you are not required to have one, I definitely recommend that you add it. The determination of flood policy requirement is based on the flood zone your property lies in, detailed in a  document known as a Flood Elevation Certificate. Hopefully, your agent or the current homeowner can get or has one available, because otherwise you will have to hire a land surveyor to come out and measure. You can bet that if you live near a marsh, creek, beach or other type of waterway that your lender will require this additional policy. More recently, I have seen lenders require flood policies in Pooler, Effingham and Bryan County.

It is important to realize that your homeowner’s insurance policy does not cover flooding! A separate policy is necessary to cover structural and content damage that occurs from flooding. Here are some things that you should know and review with your Realtor and Insurance Agent:

  • Flood Zones: There are basically three categories of flood risk determined by FEMA; Moderate to to Low Risk Areas (B, X & C), High Risk Areas ( all A categories) and High Risk Coastal Areas (any V category). The High Risk and High Risk Coastal Areas carry a mandatory requirement for flood insurance.
  • Transfer of Flood Policy: Some policies may be transferred when buying a property, contingent on new lenders approval. Depending on the length left on the existing policy may determine whether or not new lender will accept.
  • Preferred Risk Policy: The flood maps are being updated regularly, and while Effingham and Bryan County were in an X zone prior to 2008, they are now in A and AE zones in some cases. What that means is that some properties will be grandfathered in, and keep the lower policy premiums for 2 more years, but after that rates are expected to double or triple.
  • Pre-Firm or Post-Firm? Elevated vs. Non Elevated : If you are considering a property on Tybee Island for instance, there is the question of pre-firm or post-firm?  This is simply if a property was built before 1971 (in this example), when the flood maps were drawn. Anything before this time can be insured however it was built, but anything after must adhere to current building codes to guarantee insurability. (Think about those properties with closed in lower levels..are they vented? are there piles, piers, posts or is it on a crawlspace? What year was it closed-in? Was it permitted? Be very careful when considering properties like this!) I’ve seen listing agents count it in square footage and valuation of the property, but how much is worth when only up to about 30% might be covered?
  • Primary Residence vs. Non Primary Residence: Primary residence is defined by a property you spend 80% of your time in. You will start to see variation in flood policies and coverage if a claim is made if it is determined that your property is not your primary residence.
  • Rate changes are coming: This year X zones increased 8% since October of 2012, V zones are up from 6-8%, AE post firm are up 3-4%, and so forth. Any home that is a secondary property, built pre-firm will be removed from any subsidized program. The product of that measure is a 25% rate increase annually until the average risk premium is equal to actuarially rated properties. Translation: be sure you can afford that property, especially if rated VE!
  • Venting: If your property is in an AE or riskier zone it must be elevated. If it is elevated, it must meet building material requirements and venting requirements. Some examples of approved building methods are piles, piers, posts, concrete shear walls,and full story foundation walls.  At a minimum, vents must start within 12 inches of adjacent grade, there must be one square inch of vent for each square foot of enclosure, vents can not all be on the same wall, and they must be on an exterior wall.

The bottom line is insurance is serious. If you live somewhere it rains, it could flood. Now is a great time to pull-up with your insurance agent and go over these items and make sure you are protected. Not all insurance agents are created equal, so make sure your agent knows their stuff! If you have questions or need recommendation, feel free to contact me.

*Information for this article was sourced from Jeff Brady Allstate, Realtor.com, Biggert-Waters Act 2012, and Realtor.org

FHA Changes For 2013

27 Feb

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FHA has long been one of the more affordable mortgage products for consumers to entertain when looking to purchase a home.  This loan only requires a down payment of 3.5%, which can be in the form of gift funds, and only requires a nominal credit score. Here are the upcoming changes Federal Housing Administration is making to this popular loan program:

  • April 1, 2013 , the Federal Housing Administration is increasing its required monthly mortgage insurance premium (MIP) from 1.25% to 1.35%. While that might sound like much, it can add up to a substantial amount of money over time.
  • Starting June 3, 2013, the FHA will no longer allow you to cancel your mortgage insurance premium (MIP) payments when your loan balance drops to 78% of your property’s value. That means you could be paying a mortgage insurance premium for decades.
  • For loans between $625,000 to $729,000 the down-payment requirement will increase from 3.5% to 5%.

 

If you are on the fence, or entertaining which financing to use, don’t let this happen to you. Secure your FHA financing today before these changes go into effect. Take advantage of the low 3.5% down payment and some of the lowest interest rates in mortgage history, before they rise again.

 

 

 

The Top 10 Remodeling Projects That Offer The Biggest Return

25 Feb

As a Realtor, I am often asked my opinion on lots of home related matters including remodeling. It’s my general opinion that you won’t get what you put in, but some creature-comforts are priceless. I also tell my sellers and buyers that even though you may not get a dollar-for-dollar return, the upgrades may make your home stand out from competition and be the deciding factor in getting you sold. I decided to do some research to gain insight on remodeling confidence and return on investment figures.  Recent industry surveys are pointing to a strong rebound in remodeling and gains from those updates.  Another point worth mentioning, job costs are down from 2011-2012 and the gains are higher!

Building a house

Here are the Top 10 Remodels you can do in the South Atlantic area to get the most bang for your buck:

            Estimated Job Cost $1096

            Return on Investment at Resale 92.2%

           *2011-2012: EJC $1,137, ROI 85.6%

            Estimated Job Cost $8,550

            Return on Investment 83.4%

           *2011-2012: EJC $9,327, ROI 77.3%

            Estimated Job Cost $10,374

            Return on Investment 79%

           *2011-2012: EJC $11,192, ROI 72.9%

           Estimated Job Cost $1431

           Return on Investment 78.8%

           *2011-2012: EJC $1,496, ROI 75.7%

           Estimated Job Cost $44,429

           Return on Investment 78.8%

           *2011-2012: EJC $47,919, ROI 72.9%

  • Window Replacement (wood & vinyl rate within .2% of each other, but in our area you are more likely to see vinyl)

           Estimated Job Cost (vinyl) $9268

           Return on Investment 74.5%

           *2011-2012: EJC $9,770, ROI 71.2%

           Estimated Job Cost $17,476

           Return on Investment 74.5%

           *2011-2012: EJC $18,527, ROI 75.4%

           Estimated Job Cost $51,044

           Return on Investment 71%

           *2011-2012: EJC $53,931, ROI 68.9%

           Estimated Job Cost $14,389

           Return on Investment 70.8%

          *2011-2012: EJC $15,084, ROI 67.5%

           Estimated Job Cost $14,612

           Return on Investment 69.8%

           *2011-2012: EJC $15,782, ROI 65.2%

It’s really no surprise to see that in the South we love our kitchens, bathrooms and outdoor spaces. First impressions like front door and windows are important too. These estimates are for mid-price range homes in the South East. Personally, I feel like some of these quotes are on the high-end and I guarantee my well certified contractors can beat these prices. If you are considering any remodeling project, it would be pleasure to put you in touch with my A-Team contractors. If you are a buyer considering FHA 203K  financing, Homepath renovation financing or any other construction loan, I can help you find a great home and match you up with the appropriate lender.

*Figures available for higher-end properties as well. All information I used in this article was compiled from Remodeling Magazine.

9 Easy Mistakes Home Owners Make on Their Taxes

21 Feb

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9 Easy Mistakes Home Owners Make on Their Taxes

Don’t rouse the IRS or pay more taxes than necessary — know the score on each home tax deduction and credit.

Sin #1: Deducting the wrong year for property taxes

You take a tax deduction for property taxes in the year you (or the holder of your escrow account) actually paid them. Some taxing authorities work a year behind — that is, you’re not billed for 2013 property taxes until 2014. But that’s irrelevant to the feds.

Enter on your federal forms whatever amount you actually paid in 2013, no matter what the date is on your tax bill. Dave Hampton, CPA, tax manager at the Cincinnati accounting firm of Burke & Schindler, has seen home owners confuse payments for different years and claim the incorrect amount.

Sin #2: Confusing escrow amount for actual taxes paid

If your lender escrows funds to pay your property taxes, don’t just deduct the amount escrowed, says Bob Meighan, CPA and vice president at TurboTax in San Diego. The regular amount you pay into your escrow account each month to cover property taxes is probably a little more or a little less than your property tax bill. Your lender will adjust the amount every year or so to realign the two.

For example, your tax bill might be $1,200, but your lender may have collected $1,100 or $1,300 in escrow over the year. Deduct only $1,200. Your lender will send you an official statement listing the actual taxes paid. Use that. Don’t just add up 12 months of escrow property tax payments.

Sin #3: Deducting points paid to refinance

Deduct points you paid your lender to secure your mortgage in full for the year you bought your home. However, when you refinance, says Meighan, you must deduct points over the life of your new loan. If you paid $2,000 in points to refinance into a 15-year mortgage, your tax deduction is $133 per year.

Sin #4: Misjudging the home office tax deduction

This deduction may not be as good as it seems. It’s complicated, often doesn’t amount to much of a deduction, has to be recaptured if you turn a profit when you sell your home, and can pique the IRS’s interest in your return. Hampton’s advice: Claim it only if it’s worth those drawbacks. If so, here’s what to  know about what you can write off.

Sin #5: Failing to repay the first-time home buyer tax credit

If you used the original home buyer tax credit in 2008, you must repay 1/15th of the credit over 15 years. If you used the tax credit in 2009, 2010, or 2011 and then sold your house or stopped using it as your primary residence, within 36 months of the purchase date, you also have to pay back the credit.

The IRS has a tool you can use to help figure out what you owe.

Sin #6: Failing to track home-related expenses

If the IRS comes a-knockin’, don’t be scrambling to compile your records. Many people forget to track home office and home maintenance and repair expenses, says Meighan. File away documents as you go. For example, save each manufacturer’s certification statement for energy tax credits and lender or government statements to confirm property taxes paid.

Sin #7: Forgetting to keep track of capital gains

If you sold your main home last year, don’t forget to pay capital gains taxes on any profit. You can exclude $250,000 (or $500,000 if you’re a married couple) of any profits from taxes. So if you bought a home for $100,000 and sold it for $400,000, your capital gains are $300,000. If you’re single, you owe taxes on $50,000 of gains. However, there are minimum time limits for holding property to take advantage of the exclusions, and other details. Consult IRS Publication 523.

Sin #8: Filing incorrectly for energy tax credits

If you made any eligible improvements in 2012 — or will in 2013 — such as installing energy-efficient windows and doors, you may be able to take a 10% tax credit (up to $500). But keep in mind, it’s a lifetime credit. If you claimed the credit in any recent years, you’re done. Fill out Form 5695.

Part II of the form, which covers systems eligible for a larger tax credit through 2016, such as geothermal heat pumps, can be incredibly complex and involves crosschecking with half a dozen other IRS forms. Read the instructions carefully.

Sin #9: Claiming too much for the mortgage interest tax deduction

You can deduct mortgage interest only up to $1 million of mortgage debt, says Meighan. If you have $1.2 million in mortgage debt, for example, deduct only the mortgage interest attributable to the first $1 million.

*This article provides general information about tax laws and consequences, but shouldn’t be relied upon as tax or legal advice applicable to particular transactions or circumstances. Consult a tax professional for such advice.

Erin Rowley-Stoner is now an SRS designee!

20 Feb

It’s official. Erin has officially earned her SRS – Seller Representative Specialist designation. This designation is the premiere seller agency designation, conferred by the SRS Council, recognizing real estate professionals who have completed special education in seller representation. Translation: bring on the listing referrals!

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Recipient of the Realtor Distinguished Sales Society award

15 Feb

Erin Rowley-Stoner was recognized today as a recipient for the Distinguished Sales Society award at the annual Savannah Board of Realtors Award Ceremony.

The REALTORS® Distinguished Sales Society Club is to honor REALTORS® demonstrating the commitment and dedication to rise to the top of their profession. Real Estate is more than just showing beautiful homes. Distinguished Sales Society members show their exceptional skills in listening, negotiating, organization, attention to details, understanding legal and financial issues, and all routinely juggled under the stress of moving and change. Real Estate is typically a summary of life experiences: of education, previous careers transition, and dedication to truly serving people. It requires working days, nights, and especially weekends and is unique in that all the work is done, all the negotiations settled, all concerns met, and all the papers signed, long before the Realtor® is compensated. Commitment to service and success are the standards…..and it shows! Each REALTOR® in this Club has sold over one million dollars or more during any calendar year in Real Estate and has volunteered their time to their local board association.

And on a personal note, my infinite gratitude goes out to each and every customer and client that has helped me grow my business over the years. Thank you for the opportunity, thank you for your trust, thank you for referrals!

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Another happy homeowner!!

11 Feb

vik and peggy

Congratulations to Peggy Drummond for the purchase of her beautiful new home on Wilmington Island. Her home features fabulous hardwood floors, an upgraded owner’s en suite bathroom with jacuzzi tub and gorgeous tile work,all  in a perfect tranquil community. She bought this property out of foreclosure and even has some equity going in. Peggy is pictured here with her amazing mortgage lender, Viktor Sasser of Starkey Mortgage.  I am so grateful for the opportunity to work with Peggy, and it was a pleasure working with Vik as well.

Is there a Century 21 agent in the house??

7 Feb

705 E. 38th Street is Under Contract!

28 Jan

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This adorable 3 bedroom, 2 bath cottage with privacy fenced yard is located in the heart of downtown Savannah. It went under contract and is being purchased by a SCAD professor.

35 Harleigh Lane, Ellabell, Georgia

25 Jan

New listing in the Black Creek Community. 5 bedrooms, 3 baths, converted garage for flex space (garage door still on so changing back would be a snap!), large privacy fenced back yard, fire pit, quiet neighborhood in a natural setting. Minuted to I-16, and I-95. Qualifies for USDA 100% financing. Seller may consider a lease.  Contact me with questions!

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Savvy Selling Tips

23 Jan

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So you’re thinking about selling? Here are some tips to help you to get top dollar and a fast sale

  • Choose a Realtor: Choose an agent that is familiar with the area, knows the market, has an established marketing plan and communication plan. (***extra savvy tip: look for an agent that is an SRS – Seller Representative Specialist)
  • Be Objective: It’s important to see your home through the eyes of a buyer and take into consideration the items that would turn a prospective purchaser off. Speak with your agent about which changes make sense for your home, market and budget.
  • Minimize and Neutralize: Clean, clean, and clean some more. Organize your closets, cupboards, drawers and garage. Donate unwanted items and store personal items. Is every room in your house a different color? If you have dark paint, neon paint, or dated wallpaper, it is probably a good idea to paint a more neutral color. The objective is to appeal to as large an audience as possible. Consult with you agent about their opinion on decor. Also keep in mind, you want a buyer to walk in and get the impression that your home is always clean and well cared for, and that they could move right in. If there are items that need repair or maintenance, do them. Presenting your property in the best light possible will net you a higher dollar.
  • Consider a Pre-Listing Home Inspection: Most homeowners think they know the condition of their home, but have you been in your crawl space or attic lately? When was the last time you had your HVAC system checked-up? The health of your home is important and these items are going to pop up when a buyer does their inspection. One thing to keep in mind is that if any latent defect is discovered it would need to be disclosed, and if repairs are made those need disclosure as well.
  • Staging & Photography: Staging is a key element in the marketing and sale of your home. Your agent can help you with this, or might recommend a property staging company. A well staged home will produce better photography. Better photos will generate more interest, and more interest creates a more competitive market surrounding your listing. Looks are everything when selling. The National Association of Realtors notes that 88% of buyers use the internet in their home search. Don’t you want your property presented in the best light?
  • Utilities: All buyers are hungry for information. Make your property stand out by having this information available. Take the time to prepare a report with a 6 month average of all your utility bills. Also, having a list of the companies and providers you use makes the buying process easy, makes a buyer feel welcome, and the less stress in a transaction the better the outcome.
  • Documents: Some other information a buyer will want to see are HOA documents and fees, flood elevation certificates in some areas, utility bills, insurance information, repair bills and so forth. The buyer will appreciate the fact that you are so detailed, because it indicates that you are a responsible owner who took care of the property.
  • Stay involved: Once you are listed, your agent should share MLS information, email flyers, and share links for you to use on social networking. You may consider sharing your listing with clubs and organizations you belong to. The more exposure, the better!

If you or anyone you know is considering a move, please put them in touch with me– I am a Relocation Specialist. I am an Accredited Buyer Representative and a Seller Representative Specialist. Also worth noting here is that 1 out of 7 mortgages is not current. If you or anyone you know is struggling to make their payments, please put me in touch with them. I can help! I am a Certified Distressed Property Expert and Certified Loss Mitigator. 

Under Contract – 109 River Pointe

19 Jan

109Riverpointe

 

Fantastic end-unit townhouse on Wilmington Island features hardwood floors, crown molding and upgraded owner’s bathroom suite. Property purchased from HUD at a great price which is netting the new homeowner favorable equity!

Under Contract – 3 Rolling Springs

17 Jan

3rollingsprings

This beautiful 4 bedroom 2.5 bath home with loft is being bought out of foreclosure. This was a fantastic buy as the buyer got such a good price, the appraisal came back favorable with equity.

 

Breezy Buying Tips

14 Jan

8-515_Ocean_Breeze_hd All buyers, whether first time or very seasoned, should keep a few tips in mind that will help guide you in choosing the right agent, the right property, and a great lender. By doing so, your purchase will be a total breeze so you can fill your time doing the things you would rather be doing!

  •  Speak with a mortgage lender: This should be your first step in your home search. (Savvy buyers may consider being pre-approved with more than one lender). Need some good recommendations? Ask me!
  • Pre-Approved vs. Pre-Qualified: Ask to be pre-approved, instead of just pre-qualified. The approval holds more weight, and a savvy seller’s agent may consider this item in a multiple offer situation.
  • Learn about your loan: Are there geographical restrictions? What are the down-payment requirements? Are gift funds allowed? Are there pre-payment penalties? Ask your lender about the fine points of your loan.
  • Get a Realtor: Would you go to court unrepresented by an attorney? Would you consider surgery from a paramedic? It is very important to choose a Realtor. Realtors are licensed by the state and are bound by a code of ethics. They have continuing education requirements and are true professionals. Sellers and builders are represented by their agents, wouldn’t you want someone looking out for your best interests? Make sure your Realtor explains your agency options to you. (***extra savvy tip: look for an ABR – Accredited Buyer Representative***)
  • Start Online: This is obvious. Most buyers start their search online, but you should make notes about the properties you like. Include MLS numbers, addresses, and any questions you have up front. Narrow your search to your top five choices and begin your viewing that way.
  • Ask Questions: Do you know the tax information in the house you like? What is homestead exemption? When will my first payment be due? If there is anything on your mind, ask it!
  • DONT: It is very, very important that you don’t make any big purchases that could throw your debt to income ratios off. Don’t pay any bills off without asking your lender, as this may affect the reserve funds that are part of your qualification. Don’t open any new lines of credit… no new credit cards, and no new cars! Keep in mind, most lenders will check your credit at your initial application, during under writing, and may even do it again just before closing. Don’t quit your job! These may all seem obvious, but lots of buyers disqualify themselves by doing some of these things.
  • Insurance: See if the property you are considering requires any additional insurance, for instance a flood policy. Ask your insurance agent what your policy does not cover. Consider bundling your auto and home policies by the same companies for savings. If you need recommendations, I can help!

 

If you or anyone you know is considering a move, please put them in touch with me– I am a Relocation Specialist. I am an Accredited Buyer Representative and a Seller Representative Specialist. Also worth noting here is that 1 out of 7 mortgages is not current. If you or anyone you know is struggling to make their payments, please put me in touch with them. I can help! I am a Certified Distressed Property Expert and Certified Loss Mitigator. 

 

Greenbriar Children’s Center & Georgia Gives Day

5 Dec

GA_gives_day_2J32DUN3This is a busy time of year without a doubt. Tomorrow is December 6th, which also happens to be Georgia Gives Day… this is a fundraiser set up to benefit the non-profit of your choice in Georgia. You can search the site (here) to “give where you live” or you can “give to a special cause”. Donors can visit the site to learn about different non profits, track donations, read inspiring messages, and maybe even donate.

It just so happens that one of the eligible non profits is the Greenbriar Children’s Center here in Savannah. Greenbriar is a private non-profit agency whose mission is to provide services, which promote the healthy development of children and the strengthening of families. The center is accredited and runs seven different programs that run the gamut from emergency shelter, residential care, runaway & homeless programs, independent living, family preservation, early childhood development programs and Project Safe Place.

Now through December 24 is the annual Greenbriar Center’s Gift Wrap fundraiser. The schedule is available here and is located in the Macy’s court at Oglethorpe Mall. I will be volunteering, so come see me this Saturday, December 8th from noon until 3:00. Kill two birds with one stone, I’ll wrap your gifts for you and proceeds go to a great cause!

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Many Thanks…

5 Dec

The Jenkins are a young military family with two of the cutest twin boys I have ever seen! I helped them sell their first home and move up to a second home to accommodate their growing family. Mr. Jenkins will deploy in a few days to Afghanistan and I wish him a safe journey and many,many thanks for his service to our nation. The strength it takes to be an Army family is inspiring and I am grateful for that as well. Congratulations Solomon & Shameia. Thank you both for your service to our country. 

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Congratulations to The Hankins!

5 Dec

Eric and Stephanie stuck out a bumpy ride with an REO, but got a wonderful first home. They bought in a community with lots of amenities and their home has plenty of room to grow into. Thank you both for the opportunity to work with you. Congratulations!

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Home for the Holidays!

19 Nov

Under Contract- 143 Wax Myrtle

 

This super cute, like-new, 4 bedroom home has plenty of room for this young family. Complete with formal dining room and fireplace, this new home will be perfect to host Holiday celebrations.

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New Listing! 11 Cockle Shell

9 Oct

Beautiful Low Country home nestled in quiet subdivision, features hardwood floors, Corian counter tops, bonus room, trey ceilings, cultured marble counters, jacuzzi tub, fenced back yard and nice deck. Subject to 3rd party approval.

 

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Under Contract! 56 Cordage

27 Sep

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Patience Pays Off

26 Sep

A client of mine bought a house a few years ago after permanent orders from the military. It turned out those orders weren’t very permanent, due to base realignment. Through the Homeowner’s Assistance Program we were able to qualify him for benefits and with lots of patience and cooperative efforts from The U.S Army Corps of Engineers, release him from over $100,000 of debt without affecting his credit or security clearance. Pictured below is the selling agent and his clients who very graciously hung on through this lengthy but rewarding process. For their hard work they got a great deal on the house! I love it when hard work comes together and everyone is happy!

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Before & After and now Under Contract: 321 E. 52nd Street

5 Sep

The oh-so-sad-and-scary Before Photos:Image

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And After…. You will be amazed!!

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Under Contract – 9 Springwater

28 Aug

This house is an REO with Chase Bank and is being purchased using the USDA loan program by some very excited first-time home buyers. This property has an awesome two car garage and open floor plan. There is a huge unfinished basement that is a blank canvas just waiting for this couple to get creative. 

New Bill Brings Better Housing Benefits for Veterans

24 Aug

President Obama stepped up to the plate for our military personnel and veterans this month. The President signed into law the Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act. A bipartisan bill that unanimously passed through the House and Senate, made specific and much needed changes to the VA loan program, expand Veteran support and also provide extended medical care for veterans and their families who were based in Camp Lejeune in the years the water was contaminated there.

This bill primarily focuses on the extended healthcare for those affected at Camp Lejeune, but I am a Realtor in a heavily military occupied area and prefer to focus on the reform to the 68 year old, VA Loan program.

Here are the changes:

Surviving Spouses
Prior to the bill’s passing, the only way a military widow or widower could receive zero down financing was if their spouse died with a service-connected disability or in the line of duty. Meaning, if their husband or wife died of normal causes, they were not eligible. Today, the VA’s mortgage benefits are now extended to surviving spouses of veterans who had a permanent, service-connected disability for at least a decade before their death.

Occupancy Requirements
Before the bill was made law, if a service member serving abroad were to buy a home, only a spouse could fulfill the occupancy requirement. Those who were married military couples and single-parent service members were powerless to buy homes while deployed.

This has now been repealed, ensuring that active duty members can meet the requirements of a new home purchase through a dependent child of the soldier.

The VA Funding Fee and Disabled Veterans
For every purchase or refinance loan that the VA backs, it applies a fee known as the VA Funding Fee. This fee helps fund the program and makes sure that it’s independent of the Congressional appropriations process.

Prior to the bill, veteran borrowers that had service-connected disabilities didn’t have to pay the fee, which is usually financed directly into the loan. But recently, because of delays with the VA’s medical system, many soon-to-be veterans have had to wait months to get an official disability rating after receiving a pre-discharge exam by the VA.

Meaning, if a disabled veteran tried to buy a home with the VA home loan program before then, they would have to pay the fee, which forces some VA borrowers into larger mortgages than they can afford.

The new policy provides that the VA will waive the fee if a future veteran is eligible to receive compensation for disability, without having the official rating.

VA Loan Limits

When veterans lives in one of the more expensive areas in the country, such as California, Hawaii, or the Eastern Seaboard, they lose some of their purchasing power because of lowered loan limits on VA-backed mortgages. The limits dictate the amount a veteran can borrow without having to make a down payment. Last year, the loan cap was reduced from $729,750 to $625,500. The bill brought the caps back up to last year’s levels, which are set to stand until after 2014.

Adjustable-Rate Mortgages

At the end of this year, adjustable-rate mortgages were no longer going to be offered through the VA loan program. Under the Act, adjustable-rate mortgages and hybrid ARMs will continue to be available through the VA. This is the only change I am not wild about. I still don’t think ARM’s are a good idea for the majority of borrowers.

Million Dollar Smile

24 Aug

Well, look-y here. It’s Jeffery Hodges wearing the million dollar smile of a man that just bought his first house! It’s always so exciting for me to be a part of this dream that many people have. I love my job! Congratulations Jeff!

Jeff just bought his first home!

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