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

11 Aug

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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bonus room/4th bedroom ...lower level

bonus room/4th bedroom …lower level

master bedroom ..lower level

master bedroom ..lower level

master bedroom, lower level

master bedroom, lower level

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2nd bedroom, upstairs

2nd bedroom, upstairs

2nd bedroom, upstairs

2nd bedroom, upstairs

2nd bedroom, upstair- walk-in closet

2nd bedroom, upstairs- walk-in closet

2nd bath, upstairs

2nd bath, upstairs

2nd bath, upstairs

2nd bath, upstairs

3rd bedroom, upstairs

3rd bedroom, upstairs

3rd bedroom, upstairs

3rd bedroom, upstairs

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backyard

backyard

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

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!

BEESON2NDCLSOING

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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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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Under Contract – 1212 Crawford Way

24 Jun

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

1212 crawford

Under Contract! 7891 US Highway 80 East

21 Jun

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

HWY80FRONT

HWY80BACK

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

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

FHA-Approved-Lender-Seal

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.

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!

Laurel_wreath

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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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. 

 

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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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.

Congratulations Taylor & Phoebe!

11 Jun

Look at these two! They are officially happy homeowners. Taylor and Phoebe got an amazing interest rate and a kickin’ deal on a Freddie Mac foreclosure. Thanks guys, for the opportunity to work with you both, it was a lot of fun.

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Under Contract! 111 West Tisbury

6 Mar

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In the news…

19 Aug

Welcome to the Neighborhood!

14 Jun

My Karma is kicking!! I have lucked out with some really great clients lately!

Congratulations to The Szymanski Family! We closed on a lovely home in Pooler near the new K-8 Charter school at Godley Station on Friday.  They bought in a amenity packed community with a 65 acre lake, nature paths, 3 swimming pools with splash zone. I wish them many happy years in their new home.

Military personnel still eligble for $8,000 First Time Buyer Credit

20 May

I am shocked at how many people still don’t even know about the first time buyer credit (read about it here). What’s more, qualifying military personnel still have until 2011 to take advantage!

Here is what you need to know:

  • you must have served outside the United States for at least 90 days between the dates of December 31, 2008 and May 1, 2010
  • you must be a member of the uniformed service, Foreign Service, or intelligence community and their spouses
  • you must be under contract by April 30, 2011
  • you must close no later than June 30, 2011

I am a Cartus Network Affinity Specialist and I can help you make Savannah your home!

Click here to get in touch.

More Happy Home Buyers….

27 Mar

Clint & Sarah Jones were so much fun to work with. I sold them a property in Cumberland Point that is absolutely stunning. They got lots of upgrades and will qualify for the first time home-buyer credit. Congratulations guys!



Marvin’s First Home!

15 Mar

Congratulations to Marvin Phidd. We found a great little historic property downtown, that was built in the late 1800’s. I was able to negotiate lots of upgrades and updates, so Marvin got everything he wanted. He really lucked out! Marvin utilized a loan program called Dream Maker, which is sponsored by the City of Savannah. Marvin had his entire down payment paid by Dream Maker and I got the seller to pay all of his closing costs.

Fannie Mae & Buyer Incentives?!

2 Feb

Fannie Mae is offering a 3.5% incentive for buyers who purchase and close on a Fannie Mae-owned home between January 28 and April 30, 2010. Buyers purchasing properties listed on HomePath.com that are closed within this period may receive up to 3.5% of the final sales price for:

· Closing costs;

· The purchase of new Whirlpool appliances by Fannie Mae; or

· A mix of closing costs and appliances, at the buyer’s discretion, up to the maximum 3.5%.

To be eligible for this incentive:

· Offers must be accepted on or after January 28, 2010;

· Property sales must close before May 1, 2010, and;

· Buyers must be owner-occupants (investors are excluded).

Looks like they need a little help selling off all those foreclosed homes…either way, a potential win-win for buyers.

Palm Key

24 Jan

I feel I have been a little quiet lately, but there is a reason. I have been hard at work behind the scenes, helping to bring a new project to light. I was introduced to an amazing place, a real jewel of the earth and I am so fortunate to be part of it.

Palm Key is located in Ridgeland South Carolina…. which doesn’t necessarily sound exciting, but it might just change your life. I am in the process of creating a new website with loads of information.

Here is a taste of what’s to come….click me.

New Home for the Holidays!

21 Dec

Congratulations to John & Becca (not pictured). They just bought a great home in Wilmington Park today. Welcome to beautiful Savannah Georgia!

Another Happy Homebuyer!!

23 Nov

Congratulations to Edward & Felicity Boughner, proud new homeowners! They built a lovely 3 bedroom 2.5 bathroom home, with an expansive rec-room. They chose a new development, in a top notch school district, with a large lot. There home has a beautiful granite fireplace, wood floors, stainless steel appliances… and they even got money back at closing! We got all of their closing costs paid for, they paid no money down and they are taking advantage of the first time home buyer tax credit. What a deal! Edward is overseas serving our country, but he has a beautiful home waiting for him when he gets back.

Want to know how and where? Give me a call.

Tax Credit Extended! Bigger & Better and you don’t have to be a first time buyer…

8 Nov

8000-home-buyers-credit1

The House of Representatives passed legislation Thursday that would extend and expand the tax credit for first-time home buyers.

The provision was included in a bill that also extends unemployment benefits by an additional 14 to 20 weeks and lets all companies, not just small businesses, carry back current losses to offset profits made as long as five years ago. The bill passed the House on a 403-12 vote. The Senate passed the legislation 98-0 Wednesday, and President Barack Obama is expected to sign it into law Friday.

The $8,000 first-time home buyer tax credit, which helped home sales rebound this year, was scheduled to expire Nov. 30. The legislation extends it to homes that are under contract by April 30, 2010, and creates a new $6,500 tax credit for owners of existing homes who buy a new principal residence. To take advantage of this credit, buyers must have lived in their old house for at least five of the past eight years.

The legislation also increases the income eligibility limits for the tax credit from $75,000 to $125,000 for individuals, and from $150,000 to $225,000 for joint filers. The cost of the home cannot exceed $800,000.

More than 1.4 million households have benefited from the current tax credit, “the majority of whom have incomes below $50,000,” said Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga.

“This legislation would help even more moderate-income families fulfill the American dream,” he said.

Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., pushed the Senate to expand the tax credit to “move-up” home buyers. He said this is the last time the tax credit will be extended.

“I urge all Americans, whether they’re first-time buyers who’ve always dreamed of buying a home of their own or someone who’s been gridlocked in the failure of our move-up market, to take advantage of this opportunity,” said Isakson, a former Realtor.

The National Association of Home Builders predicts the extended and expanded tax credit will generate 180,000 additional home sales.

“Today’s action by Congress will further stabilize housing and the economy by creating new jobs, stimulating home sales, reducing foreclosures, cutting excess inventories and stabilizing home prices,” said NAHB Chairman Joe Robson, a home builder from Tulsa, Okla.

The National Association of Manufacturers praised Congress for expanding the net operating loss (NOL) carry-back provision to all businesses. Businesses normally can use current losses to offset taxes paid in the previous two years, enabling them to get a tax refund. The economic stimulus bill enacted in February allowed businesses with annual revenue of under $15 million to carry back losses for five years. The new law allows larger businesses to get this break as well.

“This provision is urgently needed,” said Monica McGuire, NAM’s senior policy director for taxation. “More than 20 percent of small and medium-sized NAM members reported NOLs in 2008, and we expect that number to double for 2009. This relief will give manufacturers the ability to transform a future tax benefit to cash today and stem the flow of mounting job losses.”

Here is a link to a chart that summarizes the details….

TIme is Running Out!

28 Oct

I wrote a blog awhile back that detailed the First time buyer tax credit, and I just wanted to let everyone know that time is running out. As of today you have exactly 33 days to get your financing in place, find a home, and close on it.
33

If you are, or know any first time buyers in the Savannah area, please give me a call. There is still time to take advantage of what really is a buyers market. When have interest rates been this low? When has the government offered you thousands of dollars back at tax time to make a purchase you were already going to make? The answer is NOW!!! Did you know that you can own a home for less than you pay in rent? Did you know, most people begin to build long term wealth through home-ownership?

You have to act now to take advantage. Don’t kick yourself in December because you didn’t act on this opportunity!

Another Happy Buyer!!

7 Oct

Congratulations Dalphine!

We just closed on a beautiful 5 bedroom brick home.

dalphine

Sold!

22 Sep

Erin Rowley | Coldwell Banker Platinum Partners | 912 224 0460
123 Mapmaker Lane, Savannah, GA
Clean as a Whistle, Tip-Top, Move in Ready
3BR/2BA Single Family House
offered at $168,900
Year Built 1989
Sq Footage 1,425
Bedrooms 3
Bathrooms 2 full, 0 partial
Floors Unspecified
Parking Unspecified
Lot Size Unspecified
HOA/Maint $0 per month

DESCRIPTION

Exceptionally well cared for brick home on Whitemarsh Island. Home sits on corner, elevated lot, with mature shrubbery.

123 Mapmaker Lane features 2 car garage with automatic doors, fresh carpet and paint, indoor laundry room, master suite with walk in closet, dual vanities.

Guest rooms are bright with ample closet space.

Home is shown by appointment any time!

direct: 912.224.0460
email: erin.rowley@coldwellbanker.com

http://savvyinsavvyinsavannah.wordpress.com
http://savvyinsavannah.com

Directions

Victory Drive/HWY 80 East to Battery Point.
Entrance is Mapmaker Lane
Look for 123 on the left.

see additional photos below
PROPERTY FEATURES

– Central A/C – Central heat – Fireplace
– High/Vaulted ceiling – Walk-in closet – Living room
– Breakfast nook – Stove/Oven – Laundry area – inside
– Yard

OTHER SPECIAL FEATURES

– HOME WARRANTY INCLUDED
ADDITIONAL PHOTOS


Photo 1

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Photo 3

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Photo 5

Photo 6
Contact info:
Erin Rowley
Coldwell Banker Platinum Partners
912 224 0460
For sale by agent/broker

powered by postlets Equal Opportunity Housing
Posted: Sep 22, 2009, 8:19am PDT

The Landings

10 Sep

The Landings is an exclusive, gated community with it’s own zip code!. Set against the background of coastal Georgia (Skidaway Island) with 6 golf courses throughout ( designed by Arnold Palmer, Tom Fazio, Arthur Hills, and Willard Byrd) , this is a lifestyle community to say the least. The amenities include 2 marinas, 3 tennis facilities, fitness center, 4 swimming pools, 40 miles walking/biking trails, dog park and fine dining. Home prices start in the 300’s, and lots are still available.

The Historic Landmark District

27 Aug

The original city plan was developed by General Oglethorpe. Oglethorpe’s plan consisted of 6 original wards; with a public square at the center of each– and eventually grew to 24 squares. The Historic District is bounded by the Savannah River on the North, Gaston on the South, and East Broad and MLK on sides. The architecture in this area ranges from brick row houses, high style Regency designs, Gothic, Queen Anne, & Greek Revivals. Many of these dwellings have been preserved or restored and command a much higher price tag.

The home in the picture has 3 kitchens, 5 bedrooms, and can function as a very large home, or 3 separate residences. The best part– it’s under $850,000!

his5

The Victorian District

27 Aug

The Victorian District

Is an area developed from 1870 to 1910. In 1869 a streetcar system was installed. The boundaries are roughly East Broad on the East, MLK on the West, Anderson Lane on the South and Gwinett St. on the North. It is here where we start to notice the lack of parks or square between the grids, and have the patch of grass between street and sidewalk, and small gardens in front of the homes. The homes here are beautifully embellished with ornate details. Sadly, with the mass production of the automobile, also cam a depression in the area as residents were able to drive out to suburban areas. However, active revitalization is underway. Prices in the area vary.

First Time Buyer Tax Credit: Advance Topic “Monetization”

14 Aug

creditI’m sure by now, everyone has heard about the Federal First Time Buyer Tax Credit. You know, the free $8,000 you can get back at tax time if you purchase a home as a first time buyer? There are a few other pieces of information that are worth a mention. But first, let me recap the basics of the Federal First Time Buyer Tax Credit, aka American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009:

  • The tax credit is for first-time home buyers only. For the tax credit program, the IRS defines a first-time home buyer as someone who has not owned a principal residence during the three-year period prior to the purchase.
  • The tax credit does not have to be repaid.

  • The tax credit is equal to 10 percent of the home’s purchase price up to a maximum of $8,000.

  • The credit is available for homes purchased on or after January 1, 2009 and before December 1, 2009.

  • Single taxpayers with incomes up to $75,000 and married couples with incomes up to $150,000 qualify for the full tax credit.

So now that we’ve gone through the refresher, let’s talk about some “advanced” topics regarding the credit. Have you heard of monetization? In relation to the credit, it’s the idea that we can turn the credit into actual cash money. An advance on the anticipated credit. On Friday, May 29, HUD issued Mortgagee Letter 2009-15, which outlines the requirements that must be met in order to monetize the first-time home buyer tax credit.

The tax credit can be monetized in two ways:

  • Qualified individuals (Government) may advance the anticipated credit by creating a second lien (a second “loan” against the property to be purchased).
  • FHA-approved lenders may purchase the anticipated tax credit from a home buyer.

SO LONG AS,

  • The borrower does NOT get cash back
  • The second lien cannot be greater than the sum of the down payment, closing costs, and prepaid expenses.
  • Payments to repay the advance do not have to be counted in the home buyer’s qualifying ratios as long as the payment is deferred at least 36 months from closing.

Which means  you will be able to use the advance to pay closing costs or other expenses, like escrows.

The Downside

The FHA’s required 3.5 percent minimum down payment must still come from the home buyer’s own funds and cannot include any of the money from advancing the credit. Which means you have to get together your own cash for a down payment when using an FHA loan. The only way to get around it is getting a “gift”.  That’s a whole other topic, though. 😉

So as always, I encourage you as a home buyer, to do your homework. Get with a lender and a Realtor. Realize that some people may tell you no along the way, but if you don’t A-S-K, you don’t G-E-T.

Good Luck!

The USDA Loan Program

13 Aug

USDA-RD_web

The first time I heard someone mention a USDA loan, it threw me for a loop. I thought about it for a second, and the only inference I could make is that the USDA is the government regulatory agency for farmers. So, I assumed it was a loan program just for farmers and acreage. I was wrong.  Actually, the USDA loan program is one designed to stimulate the development in “rural” areas, but it’s open to anyone who wants to buy a single family home.

By definition, the USDA loan is a government insured loan program that is designed to make qualifying areas more affordable. In relation to Savannah, anything in Chatham or Effingham County, so long as it’s West of I-95, qualifies.  Stop and think about that folks. That means that a huge chunk of Pooler qualifies, as well as Port Wentworth, Rincon, Guyton, and Springfield. Now that you know where you can get this loan, let’s look at some other qualifications.

  • The USDA loan is considered “100% financing“, which means you don’t have to put any money down. This has the potential to be great! In many cases, you can buy a home for less than what you pay in rent.
  • There is no mortgage insurance premium, like there would be with an FHA loan. ( This is money that is paid into escrow to insure your lender against loss or default on your loan).
  • There is no maximum loan amount. As long as your income and credit can support it, there is no cap on the amount of your loan.
  • Think your credit score is in the can and you can’t qualify? All you need is a credit score of 580 to qualify.
  • ALL USDA loans are 30 year FIXED at whatever the current market rate is.  Today is 5.26% for example.
  • You can purchase re-sell or new construction properties.
  • You may even get approved with Chapter 7 bankruptcy!

There are some downsides to the program:

  • There are income limitations. These limitations are based on your income, and number of people in the household.
  • Also, I think it’s wise to plan to stay in your home a minimum of 3-5 years. At that point, you may have enough equity in the home to move up.

Not to worry though. It’s a great opportunity for many people to purchase a home that aren’t cash friendly. Despite what the media reports, real estate is still a very sound investment, as long as you go about it the right way. Be responsible. Do some investigating. Speak to lenders and get the help of a Realtor!

http://eligibility.sc.egov.usda.gov/eligibility/incomeEligibilityAction.do

USDA Home Loans in Washington