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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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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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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.

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.

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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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.

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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 🙂

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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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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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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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!

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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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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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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Sold! 12401 Apache Avenue

12 Jun

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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

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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Under Contract – 109 River Pointe

19 Jan

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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

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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.

 

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. 

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!

New Listing! 61 Timber Crest

14 Aug
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Congratulations!

9 Aug

Image  Congratulations to Nicholas & Christine Powell. They just closed on their first home this morning. It’s a beautiful property with expansive back yard, low country porch, and a tranquil water garden in the back. I wish you both many happy years in your home together. Thank you very much for the opportunity to assist you!

Aside

Which is better? Short Sale vs. Foreclosure

26 Jul

Here is a really simple, fast way to explain why a short sale is better than a foreclosure. Before you make any big decision, always a good idea to consult an attorney, a tax professional and your Realtor — I know a good one 😉

Short Sales are timely and require communication and cooperation between borrower, agent and bank. But the outcome is better. Don’t throw in the towel… don’t ‘just walk-away’.

“Never, ever give up” … Thanks Mr. Churchill.

Suds-a-Pup Day: a benefit for the Surfers for Autism Ipad project

23 Jul

ImageWho can resist the urge to help children and animals? Not us! This past Saturday we had a casual day of dog – gussying and grooming with old friends and new to raise a little extra change for the Surfers for Autism Ipad project.(Thank you Tails Spin for letting us borrow the grooming stalls for a good cause!) Ipads can really help stimulate and motivate children with Autism…and we think those families deserve a treat. If you didn’t make it to this event, save September 8th for the big event on Tybee…. and if you have an extra couple dollars…consider a donation here: https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/aJrTf

Under Contract- Total Steal!!

10 Jul

Did you know I am a HUD registered broker? I can help you with all things foreclosure…like this one at 220 Holiday Drive. This 3 bedroom 2 bath ranch is a steal at under $50,000 with an insurable escrow to buy new floors, and a new HVAC. That sales price is a monthly payment under $400, which means it will be a great income producer.

 

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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! 7 E Oemler Court

7 Jun

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We are under contract on this great 3 bedroom and 2 1/2 bath home. This truly unique lot has the most serene backyard with room to park the boat, grow a garden, let the dogs run and the children play. How Exciting!!

The Mincey’s are proud homeowners!

20 May

Congratulations to The Mincey’s!! We closed on a wonderful first home. My excitement explains the slight blur in the photo…but the important thing is they worked hard and got it done! 🙂

Under Contract! 312 Sandy Springs

25 Apr

This is a great buy out of foreclosure from Freddie Mac on Oatland Island. I’m really excited for these first time buyers!

New Listing! 161 Grayson Avenue Savannah GA 31419

22 Mar

I just listed this wonderful 4 bedroom plus bonus/5th bedroom in Bradley Point South. This barely lived in home features vaulted and trey ceilings, upgraded light fixtures and ceiling fans, formal dining room/study with columns. Split floor plan allows lots of privacy and owner’s suite is spacious with double doors leading into bath. Owner’s bath features dual vanities, separate garden tub and shower, and spacious walk-in closet. Community features swimming pool, tennis courts, and clubhouse. Priced well at $179,000!

Play VisualTour

Happy Homeowners !

20 Mar

Congrats to Rainier & Carli Cruz on the purchase of their first home! They were a delight to work with and I wish them many happy years in their home, and even more fun alongside their new swimming pool 😉

 

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St. Patty’s Open House Weekend

15 Mar

This weather and big holiday weekend are a great time to hold open houses. I am featuring two homes this weekend.

198 Lakepointe Drive Pooler GA 31322 $192,000
OPEN HOUSE SUNDAY 2:00-3:30

This beautiful 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath home backs up to a lagoon with wooded views. Wood floors, loft, formal dining/study, sitting room in owner’s suite, custom closet, upgraded lighting and more!

56 Cordage Circle Port Wentworth GA 31407 $107,000.
OPEN HOUSE SUNDAY 3:00-4:30

This home has new carpet and paint, 2 car garage, brand new whirlpool appliance package, eat-in kitchen, lots of counter space, Godley Station school district and qualifies for USDA 100% financing.

Under Contract! 111 West Tisbury

6 Mar

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New Listing! 198 Lakepointe Drive

1 Mar
Play VisualTour

To Refinance or Not to ?

28 Feb

To refinance or not? That is the question, and it’s one question that I hear almost as much as the word “facebook“. But seriously, even President Obama made a point in his State of the Union address in early February to urge Congress to implement legislation regarding refinance opportunities for everyone, especially for responsible homeowner’s who have a good payment history.

According to CoreLogic, a leading provider of consumer, financial and property information, analytics and services to business and government , an estimated 28 million homeowners could cut the interest rates on their loans by more than one percentage point if they could refinance. That is a staggering amount of savings!

It’s not a bad idea to consult with your financial advisor/tax preparer/real estate agent. Here are a few key things to consider:

1. Make sure you are in good standing on your mortgage. As the President emphasized, refinances will be considered for those homeowners who have a good payment history and are current on their mortgages. If you’re currently underwater, a refinance is probably not an option for you. Consult your real estate professional about other options, including loan modifications and short sales.

2. Check your current credit score. Refinance candidates need to demonstrate steady income and good credit. Make sure your credit rating is up to snuff and see what immediate measures can be taken to improve it if it’s not.

3. Examine how much longer you plan to live in your home. If you are planning to put your home on the market in the near future, refinancing probably doesn’t make sense. You need to make sure you’ll be living in your home long enough to recoup the closing costs of the refinance.

4. Consider the length of the loan. Where you’re at with your current mortgage can play a significant role in your decision to refinance. If you’re close to retirement, for example, and your loan is almost paid off, refinancing could result in extending the life of your loan, ultimately costing you more. Also, if you’re several years into a 30-year mortgage, your goal should be to refinance into a 15- or 20-year mortgage instead. Otherwise, you’re extending the number of years in which you’ll pay interest. Your refinancing goals should be short-term and long-term savings.

5. Find out the costs involved. Before you plunge into a refinance, find out the costs involved. Weigh these fees against the money you will save (contingent upon how long you plan to stay in your home) to make sure refinancing is the right step.

What is Homestead Exemption ?

7 Feb

Hello to all of you homeowners out there! Don’t forget it’s time to file homestead exemption if you have not already.

The Georgia Department of Revenue  specifies that generally, a homeowner is entitled to a homestead exemption on their home and land underneath provided the home was owned by the homeowner and was their legal residence as of January 1 of the taxable year. (O.C.G.A. § 48-5-40)

To be granted a homestead exemption, a person must actually occupy the home, and the home is considered their legal residence for all purposes.  Persons that are away from their home because of health reasons will not be denied homestead exemption.  A family member or friend can notify the tax receiver or tax commissioner and the homestead exemption will be granted. (O.C.G.A. § 48-5-40)

Application for homestead exemption must be filed with the tax commissioner’s office, or in some counties the tax assessor’s office has been delegated to receive applications for homestead exemption. Here in Chatham County, you can just go down to the Courthouse on Montgomery Street. You should take identification with you as well as a utility bill with your name on it.

A homeowner can file an application for homestead exemption for their home and land any time during the calendar year. To receive the homestead exemption for the current tax year, the homeowner must have owned the property on January 1 and filed the homestead application by the same date property tax returns are due in the county. Property tax returns are required to be filed by April 1. Homestead applications that are filed after this date will not be granted until the next calendar year. (O.C.G.A. § 48-5-45)

The Standard exemption for the home of each resident of Georgia that is actually occupied and used as the primary residence by the owner may be granted a $2,000 exemption from state, county and school taxes except for school taxes levied by municipalities and except to pay interest on and to retire bonded indebtedness. The $2,000 is deducted from the 40% assessed value of the homestead. The owner of a dwelling house of a farm that is granted a homestead exemption may also claim a homestead exemption in participation with the program of rural housing under contract with the local housing authority.

If you are 65 or older, disabled, or a service member you may be eligible for a greater exemption.

So save yourself some money and file!

Under Contract!! 206 Treasure Loop

7 Feb

13 Riggers Court – SOLD!!

7 Feb

Sold! 305 Dogwood Circle

7 Feb

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4 Windcrest Court Visual Tour

6 Feb
Play VisualTour

The new addition to my family: Meet Winston.

6 Sep

Winston was adopted about a month ago from  Shelter Angels Pit Bull Rescue. They work closely with the Dekalb County Animal Services, who have about 400 dogs available for adoption on any given day. The shelter is located in Decatur Georgia, just outside of Atlanta. I highly encourage anyone entertaining the idea of a new pet to first seriously consider a rescue!

Nerdy News Alert . . . .

4 Aug

Nerdy News Alert… Guess what guys?? You can now search all available properties that are listed in the Savvannah Multi List right here from the Savvy in Savannah Blog.

Just click on the link here or go the tab up top that says “search for property”.

Then call me when you find a few you like and we can take a look.. I’m always available if you have questions too!

Here is a preview of what it looks like… happy property searching!

Big News, New Home for Me!

4 Aug

That’s right, big news! I just got a new home, well a work-home anyway. I am very excited to announce my move to Century 21 Fox Properties! My new brokers are Kimberly Fox and Danny McIntosh and I couldn’t be happier to join the ‘fox-den’. I made my move for a few reasons. I live here in Thunderbolt and I feel like it slips under the radar in many ways… so how better to be an ambassador for the community I live in, than to work there too? I can ride my bike to work now which is awesome!

My contact information is updated up top under the “contact” tab.

 

Boston Butts to raise money for Hugs For Haleigh

5 Jan

Call me! 912 224 0460

 


No Need To Break The Bank!

8 Oct

Just a quick note to remind you that with your good credit you can land an interest rate around 3.9% for a 30 year mortgage and as low as 3.5% on a 15 year loan. That’s crazy good!! Kind of makes you realize how affordable purchasing a home is right now… most people’s credit cards are higher than that!

So you might be able to hold off on smashing that piggy bank after all….

 

New Listing in Southbridge ~ 201 Oak Branch Court

15 Sep

Continue reading

Everybody loves Ardsley Park… and here is why:

14 Jun

Erin Rowley | Coldwell Banker Platinum Partners | (912) 224-0460
306 E. 48th Street, Savannah, GA
A new spin in old Ardsley Park
3BR/2+1BA Single Family House
offered at $374,900
Year Built 1928
Sq Footage 1,800
Bedrooms 3
Bathrooms 2 full, 1 partial
Floors 2
Parking 2 Car garage
Lot Size Unspecified
HOA/Maint $0 per month

DESCRIPTION

Everybody loves Ardsley Park, and this house is why! Fantastic renovation brings old charm and modern flair together for easy and comfortable living!

Three bedroom, two and a half baths plus bonus room in this 1928 home. Kitchen features exquisite custom cabinets, granite counters and marble island. Gourmet kitchen gets you cooking with gas, pot filler above, perfect for serious culinary masters and for those who aren’t…you’ll look like a pro!

Two fireplaces are sure to inspire a little romance in the great room and in the master!

Dining Room has room for the whole family or a quiet evening with someone special.

Bonus room is spacious and gives access to outdoor entertainment space on Ipe deck!

(Ipe is a type of wood that is known for durability and insect resistance and is typically found in Latin & South America. Many companies call this 100 year decking. Beautiful to boot!)

New Master bath offers a punch of fun with beautiful stream line styling; glass tiles abound, separate garden tub and of course, dual vanities. Master bed has great window seats and luscious hardwood floors.

Property sits on a large and beautifully landscaped lot with detached automatic 2 car garage.

This is a real jewel!

If you are not currently working with a buyer’s agent, I would love to meet with you and discuss your options!

Erin Rowley (912) 224-0460

erin.rowley@coldwellbanker.com

https://savvyinsavannah.wordpress.com

see additional photos below
PROPERTY FEATURES

– Central A/C – Central heat – Fireplace
– High/Vaulted ceiling – Walk-in closet – Hardwood floor
– Tile floor – Living room – Bonus/Rec room
– Dining room – Dishwasher – Stove/Oven
– Microwave – Granite countertop – Stainless steel appliances
– Attic – Laundry area – inside – Balcony, Deck, or Patio
– Yard

ADDITIONAL PHOTOS


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Contact info:
Erin Rowley
Coldwell Banker Platinum Partners
(912) 224-0460
For sale by agent/broker

powered by postlets Equal Opportunity Housing

Posted: Jun 10, 2010, 9:06am PDT

Makin’ Moves

14 Jun

I love Jessica!

She was such a wonderful client and we sold her house on Friday! A little team work,  a lot of trust, and this girl is makin’ moves! Thank you Jess, for being so awesome.

I wouldn’t be here without people like you.

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.

Chic condo in the heart of Savannah’s Historic District

10 May

Erin Rowley | Coldwell Banker Platinum Partners | 912 224 0460
20 West Oglethorpe Streeet Unit B, Savannah, GA
Fabulous Restoration on Oglethorpe
2BR/1BA Condo
offered at $349,900
Year Built 1925
Sq Footage 1,068
Bedrooms 2
Bathrooms 1 full, 0 partial
Floors 1
Parking Unspecified
Lot Size Unspecified
HOA/Maint $100 per month

DESCRIPTION

Fabulous location, chic downtown condo. This 2 bedroom unit in Savannah’s Historic District is tastefully restored. Exposed brick, gorgeous hardwood, gourmet kitchen,PLUS MUCH MORE!

Please call for an appointment.

Erin Rowley 912. 224.0460

erin.rowley@coldwellbanker.com

http://savvyinsavannah.com

see additional photos below
PROPERTY FEATURES

– Central A/C – Central heat – High/Vaulted ceiling
– Walk-in closet – Hardwood floor – Tile floor
– Living room – Dining room – Dishwasher
– Refrigerator – Stove/Oven – Microwave
– Granite countertop – Balcony, Deck, or Patio

ADDITIONAL PHOTOS


Photo 1

Photo 2

Photo 3

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

powered by postlets Equal Opportunity Housing
Posted: May 10, 2010, 1:35pm PDT

Great price in Exclusive Southbridge neighborhood!

10 May

Erin Rowley | Coldwell Banker Platinum Partners | 912 224 0460
11 Jumper Lane, Savannah, GA
Pretty house, great value in Southbridge
3BR/2BA Single Family House
offered at $259,900
Year Built 1995
Sq Footage 2,100
Bedrooms 3
Bathrooms 2 full, 0 partial
Floors Unspecified
Parking 2 Car garage
Lot Size 12,066 sqft
HOA/Maint $37 per month

DESCRIPTION

Very pretty home with NEW CARPET & PAINT THROUGHOUT and wonderful curb appeal! Fantastic 3 bedroom plus bonus room on cul-de-sac. 1st floor master, formal living & dining rooms, separate family rm/study, eat-in kitchen.

Call for an appointment!

Erin Rowley
912.224.0460
erin.rowley@coldwellbanker.com

https://savvyinsavannah.wordpress.com

see additional photos below
PROPERTY FEATURES

– Central A/C – Central heat – Fireplace
– High/Vaulted ceiling – Walk-in closet – Family room
– Bonus/Rec room – Dining room – Dishwasher
– Refrigerator – Stove/Oven – Attic

COMMUNITY FEATURES

– Clubhouse – Swimming pool(s) – Sauna/Spa
– Tennis court(s) – Golf course – Lake
– Playground


OTHER SPECIAL FEATURES

– volleyball
ADDITIONAL PHOTOS


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

powered by postlets Equal Opportunity Housing
Posted: May 10, 2010, 1:12pm PDT

Award Winning Agent!!

27 Apr



I have been inducted into the Circle of Excellence with my brokerage! This award is given to recognize well-rounded agents, whose performance is measured in top production, participation and company support.



I have also been awarded the first IT award. This award is given to the agent within the company who excels in innovative technology, exceptional web savviness, and applies computer based creativity to their business.





Coldwell Banker Mortgage recognized me for placing third in most closed mortgages.

Open House Today! 1-3 PM Come See Me!

28 Mar

Erin Rowley | Coldwell Banker Platinum Partners | 912 224 0460
7 Rockwood Ct., Pooler, GA
Like New!
3BR/2BA Single Family House
offered at $179,900
Year Built 2001
Sq Footage 1,450
Bedrooms 3
Bathrooms 2 full, 0 partial
Floors Unspecified
Parking 2 Car garage
Lot Size 30,927 sqft
HOA/Maint $3 per month

DESCRIPTION

Like new – this home has new landscaping, fresh paint, high ceilings, split floor plan, large backyard & located in great neighborhood on cul-de-sac. Lots of room in backyard for pool or entertaining friends & family!
_______________________________________
Open House today! 1-3 PM
_______________________________________
Directions: I-16 W to Pooler Exit Right onto Pooler Parkway.
Right on Pine Barren Rd
Right at red light Quacco Rd
Left on Rogers,
Right into Ashwood Subdivision
Right on Rockwood Ct
_______________________________________

Questions: Call me! (912) 224-0460
erin.rowley@coldwellbanker.com

https://savvyinsavannah.wordpress.com

see additional photos below
PROPERTY FEATURES

– Central A/C – Central heat – High/Vaulted ceiling
– Walk-in closet – Family room – Dining room
– Breakfast nook – Dishwasher – Refrigerator
– Stove/Oven – Microwave – Attic
– Laundry area – inside – Balcony, Deck, or Patio – Yard
– Jacuzzi/Whirlpool

ADDITIONAL PHOTOS


Photo 1

Photo 2

Photo 3

Photo 4

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: Mar 28, 2010, 4:41am PDT

Don’t worry about USDA running out of money!

15 Mar

Awhile back I blogged about the USDA loan program. Read about it here. It’s big business in my local area and has helped tons and tons of people purchase homes that may not have been able to before. In short, the USDA loan is designed to be 100% financing and is in place to stimulate growth and development in “rural areas”.

Unfortunately, USDA is expecting the fiscal year of 2010 funding to be depleted by the end of April. Therefore, many lenders have stopped registering any new USDA applications as of last Friday. I would venture to say that there may be a correlation for the depletion of USDA funds and the mad dash for first time home buyers to take advantage of the $8,000 first time buyer credit.

On the flip side of that coin, applicants in need of 100% financing still have options. For instance, in lieu of the USDA loan, a borrower can seek out the Georgia Dream loan program. Georgia Dream has specifications and limitations, just like any other loan would. It is designed for first time home buyers needing down payment and closing cost assistance. There is a minimum credit score required and a maximum occupant number per household. Read about it here.

Need help finding a home? Have questions about loans, lenders or a property? Give me a call!

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.

Spring is almost sprung

26 Feb

I love home grown herbs & veggies, and I have been day dreaming and doodling the designs of my new garden beds. I think it’s important to remember that no matter where you live, in a condo, a subdivision or out in the quiet countryside you can grow your own organic garden. It’s a great feeling knowing where your food is coming from and that you actually grew it! Then of course there is the added bonus of the beauty and fragrance. I think this year I am going to work on raised beds, and beautiful bushy herbs in the front of my house.

I am inspired by the tremendous talent of a guy who is known as Farmer D.
I have heard him give talks about sustainable and organic gardening a few times and he comes with his own line of products. It’s a beautiful thing he has going. Read about Farmer D here. I love the idea of supporting local business, tuning my botanical knowledge, and making healthy choices that are sustainable for the earth and for me.

I am ready for some nice warm weather so I can get my hands dirty.

12300 Apache Avenue #211 Reduced! $98,900 — SOLD

11 Feb

Erin Rowley | Coldwell Banker Platinum Partners | erin.rowley@coldwellbanker.com | 912 224 0460
12300 Apache Avenue #211, Savannah, GA
Total Steal in a deep water Condo community…
2BR/2BA Condo
offered at $105,000
Year Built 1995
Sq Footage 1,106
Bedrooms 2
Bathrooms 2 full, 0 partial
Floors 1
Parking 2 Covered spaces
Lot Size Unspecified
HOA/Maint $195 per month
DESCRIPTION

Fabulous 2 bedroom 2 bathroom condo on the third floor backs up to a serene wooded view. Private balcony is great for relaxation.

Community is gated and located on beautiful Hoover Creek. Community dock, swimming pool and hot tub.

It’s priced less than the one bedrooms, and is not a short sale or foreclosure. The sellers are ready to sell! Unbeatable Deal!

Bring all offers!

Ideal for Armstrong students& faculty, hospital employees , investors & first time buyers, and especially HAAF.

Just minutes from the Rio

see additional photos below
PROPERTY FEATURES

– Central A/C – Central heat – High/Vaulted ceiling
– Walk-in closet – Living room – Office/Den
– Breakfast nook – Dishwasher – Refrigerator
– Stove/Oven – Microwave – Laundry area – inside
– Balcony, Deck, or Patio
COMMUNITY FEATURES

– Clubhouse – Fitness center – Swimming pool(s)
– Tennis court(s)
OTHER SPECIAL FEATURES

– Located on Hoover Creek
– Boat slips available
ADDITIONAL PHOTOS


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Photo 5

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Photo 2
Contact info:
Erin Rowley
Coldwell Banker Platinum Partners
912 224 0460
For sale by agent/broker
powered by postlets Equal Opportunity Housing
Posted: Feb 11, 2010, 5:54am PST

News Place Condo’s to be Auctioned

19 Oct

The News Place River Homes condo development will be going to auction on Thursday October 29, 2009.

newsplace

The historic Savannah Morning News building was converted into luxury condo’s and completed less than a year ago. From then to now, only 4 units have sold in the building. Asking prices started at about $440 per square foot and decreased some over the past year, with current asking prices ranging from $300,000 to $1.25 million.

However, downtown condo prices have been averaging about $270k since August, creating a stale mate at News Place. I think it’s incredibly unfortunate that what was to be the most anticipated downtown conversion has essentially just flopped. But not for lack of trying. The condo’s themselves are stunning. Each unit is a little different from the next. The condos drip with luxury; hardwood, stainless gourmet chef’s kitchen, granite– everything that you might expect to find in a luxury home mid-city.

My heart goes out to Cathy Dunn. But according to her, this is not a distressed sale! Instead, ‘“this is just an alternate way to speed up the sales.” Similar auctions in the area have proved to be a buyer’s delight. According to Chatham County property records, the Villages at Tybee townhomes, originally priced in the same $800,000 range as the News Place condos, recently went for as little as $280,000 in an auction.

Want more information?

Absolute Auction

Call or email me.

Chatham County Charter School (almost) Announced!

23 Sep




books460

We are one step closer to learning where the West Chatham Charter School will be located.

The contending locations are in Godley Station or on Technology Drive in Pooler.


Homebuilder, Fred Williams graciously offered to donate land at the backside of a subdivision in Port Wentworth. However, there is no access road from there to Pooler and the city council (foolishly IMHO), denied a request to build one.


I will follow up here later this week, as soon as the final location is announced. Parents will meet tonight with planning leaders to discuss the school and it’s proposed location.

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!