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

18 Jun

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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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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.

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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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

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.

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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705 E. 38th Street is Under Contract!

28 Jan

7051

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. 

New Listing! 56 Cordage Circle

24 Feb
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In the news…

19 Aug

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.

Quick Tip: Have you short-sold your home??

12 Apr

If your mortgage debt is partly or entirely forgiven during tax years 2007 to 2012, you may be able to claim special tax relief and exclude the debt-forgiveness income.

Normally, debt forgiveness results in taxable income. But under the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007, you may be able to exclude debt forgiven on your principal residence.

Speak with your tax professional to find out if you qualify.

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.

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!

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

8 Nov

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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….

Another Happy Client!

23 Oct

2009-10-23 18.06.52

Congratulations Kay Patrick. I sold her perfect brick home to a military couple. We closed today… Another happy client!