Monday, February 27, 2012

Hidden Creek

Realtor: The Patrick/Darley Team
City: Ellabell, GA 31308
Price Range: From the $180s
School District: Bryan County Hidden Creek is a beautiful new home community that combines the classic beauty of large homes within a quiet country setting. Mere minutes from Fort Stewart’s back gate, Hidden Creek is just off of I-16 making it also convenient to Hunter and Historic Downtown Savannah.

This North Bryan County community has everything you want and more! Amenities include a play area, pool, streetlights, and sidewalks.

Each of our new homes for sale in Ellebell, Georgia are built on a half-acre homesite and include features such as energy efficiency, spray foam insulation and the peace of mind of 2-10 Warranty and Builder’s Warranties.

We have three, four, and five bedroom new homes plus home sites available to start building your dream home! We can help you customize the Hidden Creek home that is right for you! Contact us today for more information.


Take I-16 west to exit 143. Turn left onto Hwy 280. In two miles turn right onto Wilma Edwards Rd then turn left into Hidden Creek.

Hidden Creek Subdivision

Hidden Creek near Black Creek


I-16 West to Exit 143 (Pembroke/ Hwy 280). Make a left towards Pembroke/Black Creek and go approx. 1.5 miles to Wilma Edwards Road (Post Office on corner) and make a right. Follow Wilma Edwards Road about 3.0 miles and Hidden Creek is past Hendrix Park on the left. Make a left into Hidden Creek.

Hidden Creek Subdivision

Hidden Creek Subdivision, Ellabell GA

Offers new homes

9 Broken Bit Road $194,900

The optimal home for growing family with serene country setting. Huge master with the ideal closet. loft upstairs for extra living space plus bonus room which could serve as 5th bedroom.Gotta see. Lotta of home, not a lotta $$$!

18 Sagefield Road $199,900
More than meets the eye!This home is ideal for the growing family w/plenty of space both inside and out situated on 1/2 acre.Master w/HUGE closet.Upstairs loft for additional living.Yet cost effective w/traits like spray foam.

I-16 west to exit 143 turn left onto Hwy 280 In 2 miles turn right onto Wilma Edwards Road proceed to Hidden Creek turn left, next left into Hidden Creek

Contact-Jeri Patrick (912)656-3203

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Hidden Creek Ellabell, GA

Hidden Creek Ellabell contact Jeri Patrick (912)656-3203

New Homes

The Enclave

The Enclave is a beautiful, gated community that has remained a well-kept secret in the Savannah area. With a state of the art amenity Center and its 350 scenic acres of protected woodlands and small lakes, it is unlikely to remain a secret for very long.

The Enclave offers three different home sites: Carriage, Executive and Estate. Carriage homes start in the low $300’s and offer traditional style mixed with modern conveniences. The Executive and Estate home lots range from ¼ to 2 acres and many offer lagoon or wooded views.

Contact Jeri Patrick at (912)656-3203

Bradley Pointe South

Best Value in Savannah. A peaceful and secluded neighborhood at prices that are hard to beat. Bradley Point South offers a variety of single family homes, many with wooded backyard views. Amenities include a Country Club-Style 5,000 sq ft Club House, resort style pool, fitness center, tennis courts and playground. Although quietly removed from the beaten path, this community is only minutes from major shopping malls, theaters, restaurants and downtown Savannah. Many of our residents also find it convenient to Hunter Army Airforce Base and Ft. Stewart in Hinesville. Come visit or call to set up an appointment to tour this great community. Jeri Patrick

Call 656-3203 Jeri Patrick or visit

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Synergy Designer Homes

At Synergy Designer Homes our team brings a wealth of energy, creativity and dedication to the profession of building new homes in Savannah, Georgia. We use the synergy of our combined talents and experience to create the best product possible for the best price.

We offer a variety of new homes for sale in Port Wentworth, Richmond Hill, and Savannah, Georgia. Experience the affordable elegance and classic beauty of our unique homes. Our floor plans are open and spacious and we leave no detail overlooked! Why rent or buy used when you can own a new home!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Hidden Creek

New homes with more to come. Hidden Creek in Ellabell, Ga. Close to Ft Stewart back gate. Large 1/2 acre homesites.

Glenwood Grove

Glenwood Grove is a 132 townhome community with landscaped common areas.Units with garage doors with carriage style doors. Lawn and garden storage in the rear. Convenient to schools, malls, churches, shops, sports complexes, fishing marinas, and Historic Savannah. On site pool and club house.

New designs with garage. Master on main and computer space for cyber living! $139,900

Bradley Pointe South

We urge you to come experience Bradley Point South, a master planned community. The community clubhouse is the center for social, recreational and family occasions and per-sonal fitness. All of this, just a few steps from your front door. The decorative main room of the clubhouse is welcoming and comfortable. The large windows , overlooking the and pool and BBQ, will make this feel like your own home. The swimming pool is a great place to es-cape with a book or gather with your friends. The kitchen makes family reunions, parties and gatherings so easy to accommodate. The exercise center with television makes exercising more relaxing, or as difficult as you require. Two tennis courts are waiting for your next match. Value and quality built homes by Regal Builders of the Coastal Empire offer new, open floor plans to enhance today’s active lifestyle

How Much Can You Afford?

Understanding how much you can afford is one of the most important rules of home buying. Depending on your individual situation, your budget can affect everything from the neighborhoods where you look, to the size of the house, and even what type of financing you choose.

Bear in mind, however, that lenders will look at more than just your income to determine the size of the loan. Likewise, you may find that there are some creative financing options that can help boost your purchasing power.

Loan prequalification vs. preapproval
One of the best ways to determine your budget is to have your real estate agent or lender prequalify you for a loan. Prequalification is different from preapproval, because it is only an estimate of what you'll be able to afford. On the other hand, preapproval is a more formal process where a lender examines your finances and agrees in advance to loan you money up to a specified amount.

What factors are important to lenders?
Banks and lending institutions will use several criteria to determine how much money they'll agree to lend. These include:

Your gross monthly income
Your credit history
The amount of your outstanding debts
Your savings--or the amount of money you have available for a down payment and closing costs
Your choice of mortgage (i.e. 30-year, FHA, etc.)
Current interest rates
Two important ratios
Lenders also use your financial information to figure out two, very important ratios: the debt-to-income ratio and the housing expense ratio.

Debt-to-income ratio
Many lenders use a rule of thumb that the amount of debt you are paying on each month (car payment, student loan, credit card, etc,) shouldn't exceed more than 36 percent of your gross monthly income. FHA loans are slightly more lenient.

Housing expense ratio
It is generally difficult to obtain a loan if the mortgage payment will be more than 28 to 33 percent of your gross monthly income.

Down payments make a difference
If you can make a large down payment, lenders may be more lenient with their qualifying ratios. For example, a person with a 20 percent down payment may be qualified with the 33 percent housing expense ratio, while someone with a 5 percent down payment is held to the stricter 28 percent ratio.

Other ways to improve your purchasing power

If you're having trouble saving money, many lenders will allow you to use gift funds for the down payment and closing costs. However, most lenders require a "gift letter" stating the gift doesn't have to be repaid, and will also require you to pay at least a portion of the down payment with your own cash.

Negotiating Closing Costs
Through negotiation, some sellers may agree to pay all or most of your closing costs (for example, if you agree to meet their full asking price). If you choose to try this, make sure to ask your real estate agent for advice.

Loan Programs
Many local governments have special loan programs designed to help first-time homebuyers. Loans may be available at reduced interest rates, or with little or no down payments. Check with your local housing authority for more information.

Loan Types
Some homebuyers choose Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs) because of low initial interest rates. Others opt for 30-year loans because they have lower monthly payments than 15-year loans. There are significant differences between different loans, so make sure to discuss the pros and cons of different loans with your agent or lender before making a decision.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Ways to turn a Buyer and Seller OFF

In the wild world of dating, when you encounter a “turn-off,” you can just pack it in and not to go on another date with that guy or gal again. But turnoffs can be much more detrimental when they come up in the realm of your real estate goals. Indeed, turn a buyer off, dear sellers, and you risk not selling your home - period - or getting a lower price than you might have otherwise.

And, contrary to what you might assume, the same goes for buyers. Even in today’s ‘buyer’s markets,’ multiple offers do happen. And even in cases when you’re the only buyer on the scene, having a cooperative seller goes a long way toward everything from getting access to the place for inspections to getting a price reduction when the appraisal comes in low. Thus, the potential still exists for buyers to turn sellers off, and risk having their dream home slip right through their fingers.

As you proceed on your quest for drama-free real estate, factor in these frequently occurring gaffes that turn off buyers and sellers, and my tips for avoiding them.

Top 3 Ways to Turn a Buyer Off: If you’re a seller courting buyers, here are 3 faux-pas to avoid:

1. Hanging out when buyers are viewing your home: Buyers stalk properties online and off, checking obsessively for price reductions and the like. But buyer-side home stalking is unobtrusive to sellers. On the other hand, buyers can feel personally stalked and stifled in their ability to fully explore or verbally process their impressions of a home when you, seller, hang out inside your home while it’s being shown.

As soon as a buyer sees you in the house, it instantly becomes much more difficult for them to”
(a) envision themselves living there (it’s your house, after all),
(b) be comfortable opening up drawers, closet doors, etc., and
(c) express their thoughts about how this house might be exactly what they’re looking for, if they can knock out that wall and get rid of those cukoo murals you so lovingly painted in your children’s rooms.

Sellers: If you want to sell your home, it’s best to not be around when buyers are looking. Give them some breathing space and a chance to truly walk around and consider what they like and/or dislike about your home without lurking and looming (and, let’s be real - eavesdropping) nearby.

2. Showing a messy house: Life gets hectic, and it’s easy for things like laundry, dishes and other house cleaning tasks to fall by the wayside. It’s also difficult to keep the home in which you and your 4 kids, 3 gerbils and 2 Labrador Retrievers live perfectly spotless for months at a time, while you’re waiting for an offer. But when you decide that you’re going to sell your home, it’s imperative that you make a pact and a plan with yourself and your family that the place will be in tip-top shape when buyers come knocking.

Remember: your home is competing with dozens of others, as well as with buyer’s HGTV-infused visions of what their next home should look like, so first impressions really count.

Sellers: Stuffing the closet is not the answer. (Buyers will be opening that closet door, after all.) Pack up your personals like you were moving (best case: you are), and put all but the essentials in storage, if needed. Get the carpets cleaned, do the dishes, make the beds, mow the lawn, dust, sweep and mop. Ask your agent to give you a gut check on whether your idea of clean is clean enough (better yet - ask them for the number of a house cleaner who you can engage to get the job done to showable standards).

This might all seem obvious, but agents and buyers alike are constantly amazed at the condition of some of the homes they walk into. Take my word for it; I’ll spare you the ‘ewww’-inducing stories.

3. Overpricing your home: Buyers already have lots to do before making the largest purchase of their lives. They have to wrangle their finances into order, jump hoops to qualify for a loan, collect the cash for down payment and closing costs, and invest sometimes hundreds of hours into market research and house hunting. With all of this already on their plates, the prospect of trying to negotiate down a crazily high asking price is just too much work (and too outside their comfort zones) for most buyers to deal with. The average buyer won’t even bother looking at your home if the asking price is clearly high and off base compared with other similar, nearby homes for sale; they’d rather sit tight and wait .

Sellers: Price to sell from the beginning. Work with your agent to determine a price that is supported by the data on how much nearby homes have recently sold for. You’ll save yourself a lot of time and anguish and get a lot more legitimate bites from serious, qualified buyers.

Top 3 Ways to Turn a Seller Off: Buyers, if you want a home’s seller to play ball, best practice is to avoid these 3 pitfalls:

1. Unjustified, extreme lowball offers: It’s no secret that buyers have the upper hand in many markets right now. (To be clear, I said ‘many’ - not ‘every’ - your agent can help you understand what the dynamics are in your market.) But let’s be realistic, here. No seller can afford to give away their home at a price far below what it’s worth on today’s market. Lowballing a seller at a price far below the recent sales prices of similar homes in the neighborhood on the ‘let’s-take-a-stab’ plan, is highly likely to turn them off. And that, in turn, will cause the seller to view your offer - and you - as disrespectful and wasteful of their time.

Not only will they turn down your offer, but they may not even bother with a counteroffer, rendering your efforts at securing that particular home dead in the water.

Buyers: Review the recent sale prices of similar homes in the neighborhood (aka “comps”) with your agent before you make your offer. Also, ask them to help you factor in other market data, like the average list price-to-sale price ratio and the average number of days neighborhood homes stay on the market. It’s all right to come in lower than asking, if the market data supports such an offer; just be sure your offer is based on reality - and not your fantastical hallucination about scoring the bargain of the millennium.

2. Buyer-side mortgage fails: Plenty of employed buyers with decent credit and cash in the bank have been turned down for a mortgage these past few years. That means buyers can’t assume (a) that they’ll be approved for the amount of loan they need to buy the house they want, or (b) that they’ll be approved for a loan at all. Your inability to get approved for a home loan can create all sorts of problems not just for you, but also for your home’s seller. The average seller’s worst case scenario is that they accept your offer only to find out a few weeks, or months, later that you can’t get the loan you need to close the deal.

Buyers: It’s not overkill to start working with a mortgage professional as far as six months or a year in advance of starting your house hunt to get pre-approved for a loan. Make sure you get a clear understanding of the amount you qualify for, then work with your real estate agent from there to determine the price range you should house hunt in. And whatever you do - don’t buy a new car, open new credit cards or even change your line of work before your escrow closes, unless you consult closely with your mortgage professional before you make that move.

Tip for Sellers: Work with your agent to vet buyers before you sign a contract. Factor in their down payment and earnest money deposit, and feel free to counteroffer these items, not just the offer price. It’s not overkill to have your agent contact the buyer’s mortgage broker to see how reliable the buyer’s pre-approval really is.

3. Bashing the seller’s home: Home bashing happens when buyers start bad-mouthing (aka “trash talking”) the place and/or the neighborhood in hopes of getting a lower asking price. Examples: pointing out all the foreclosures in the area, saying the house down the street just sold for much lower than the asking price on this house, saying you’ll need to rip out the entire kitchen before you even consider moving in - saying any of these things to a seller who happens to be at home during the showing or the inspection is probably one of the fastest ways to turn them all the way off.

Buyers: Bad-mouthing a house or neighborhood won’t work to get you a lower price. Instead, it only serves to irritate the seller and motivate them to come up with all sorts of reasons why they shouldn’t sell their home to you! Remember: homes hold incredible emotional experiences for owners. Make an offer you’re comfortable with and keep the negative comments to yourself.

If there are legitimate, factual reasons underlying your decision to make an offer at a price the seller might see as a lowball, ask your agent to respectfully communicate those facts to the seller’s agent.

Written by Tara-Nicholle Nelson

Tips for Buyers

Interest rates at favorable levels and a good selection of homes provide an opportunity for buyers. Here are a few tips buyers should keep in mind:

1. Know what you can afford before you fall in love with your dream home.

2. Consider additional expenses that come with owning a home like property tax, insurance, and repairs.

3. Be flexible on the little things. It would be wonderful to find a home with everything you want, but those are hard to come by – distinguish nice-to-haves and must-haves early.

4. Have imagination and look beyond paint colors, wallpaper, or other easy and affordable things you can change.

5. Don't compromise on the big things, such as enough bedrooms to accommodate additions to the family or space for an office if you work from home.

6. Always inspect even if the surface looks great; it's important to know if anything major is wrong and what it will cost to fix.

7. Think about the future in regard to the neighborhoods, surroundings, schools, and developments.

2012....promising start!

2012 is off to a promising start. Mortgage rates continue to drop and have remained under 4% for nearly two months. Home sales are strengthening and pending home sales, a measure to gauge future sales, are at their highest levels since March 2010.

Job growth has been increasing for most of 2011, with unemployment dropping to 8.4%. As more people are getting jobs, consumer confidence has also been increasing. However, underemployment continues to be a problem for a stronger recovery. The underemployment rate is 18.1%, and there are still a significant number of people working part time, who would like to have full-time work.

Even with substantial national improvements, this continues to be a "one neighborhood at a time" recovery. Payroll jobs were up in 25 states, but down in 24, demonstrating the delicate state of the U.S. economy. Global factors such as the European debt crisis are also complicating a more robust recovery. Strong guidance is needed from local and global leaders to continue this growth, as well as allow for business to maintain momentum toward building and expanding upon the opportunities that exist.

Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics, National Association of Realtors

Military Buyers

Buy or Refinance with $0 down and no PMI with a VA Loan

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Year Ahead 2012

The Year Ahead: Real Estate’s Best Bets in 2012
Whatever your specialty, you can find opportunities for business growth.
January 2012 | By Robert Freedman, Nichole Odijk DeMario
Slowly, a recovery seems to be taking hold. “More jobs, rising rents, a rising stock market, and continuing high affordability conditions” are combining to get more people into the market, says NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. On the commercial side, all the major sectors are seeing improving fundamentals, and more positive trends are expected in 2012. Against that backdrop, we asked some of you to tell us what you expected to be your best source of business this year.

With prices expected to rise slightly in both existing- and new-home sales in 2012, buyers may not get quite the same bargain they got last year. Still, conditions remain favorable for buyers, and NAR is forecasting a 5 percent increase in existing-home sales over 2011. Here are three pockets of opportunity.

1. International investment. With U.S. real estate values down, a favorable currency exchange rate, and the promise of a stable place to invest while Europe deals with debt crises in Greece, Spain, Italy, and other countries, foreign buyers continue to stream steadily to the United States.

“People [are trying] to move their cash somewhere safer,” says Brian Block, broker-associate with ­RE/MAX Allegiance in Arlington and McLean, Va.

Elaine Murphy Carlson, a broker-associate with RE/MAX Palos Verdes Realty in Palos Verdes Peninsula, Calif., says foreign investors who stayed away during the darkest days of the financial crisis are coming back. Indeed, NAR’s 2011 Profile of International Home Buying Activity shows foreign households bought $82 billion worth of residential real estate last year, up from $66 billion in 2010.

Block says the investors he works with are professionally successful individuals with cash available. “They will buy when they see a good deal,” he says. He has gained investor business by demonstrating a solid knowledge of the market and finding networking opportunities, from local Chamber of Commerce meetings to regular real estate industry functions.

2. Distressed inventory in centrally located neighborhoods. Affordable housing in inner-ring suburbs or center city areas may be real estate’s sweet spot in 2012, Block says, because buyers today aren’t looking just for bargains, they’re looking for convenience and lifestyle amenities. A 2011 survey of U.S. adults conducted for NAR by research firm Belden Russonello & Stewart seems to support Block’s assertion. Nearly six in ten adults (58 percent) said they’d prefer to live in a neighborhood with a mix of houses and stores and other businesses within an easy walk.

Block says he has seen first-hand the shift among both first-timers and retirees toward smaller, close-to-the-city homes in walkable neighborhoods. He reaches out to potential clients by using social media and blogging to talk about issues like lengthy commutes.

3. Rentals. Rising rental rates in many markets are making home ownership a more appealing option, especially for those seeking to buy distressed property. But many households aren’t financially ready to buy, either because of credit dings or the continuing overly tight credit restrictions of lenders. Others are waiting to make sure home prices have bottomed out. That’s why many real estate companies have shifted their business model to include rental and property management.

Bill Bloomberg, broker-owner of Distinctive Rental Homes in Eden Prairie, Minn., opened his business in 2011 with high-end rentals as his central focus, providing assistance to both renters and owners who choose to rent rather than sell their property.

Bloomberg, who has nine years of experience working in conventional real estate sales, says helping owners find tenants is a great way to retain clients who might otherwise have turned to another real estate professional.

“If a listing isn’t selling, it’s usually because of price. However, most owners are going to try to switch to another agent first to see if that will make a difference,” Bloomberg says. “Presenting an option such as renting can prevent that from happening.”

And when owners opt to rent their property rather than sell it, they may be providing a unique opportunity, helping renters get one foot into a neighborhood that’s currently beyond their buying power, says Gina Chirico, sales associate with Lattimer Realty in Fairfield, N.J.

Best Year Ever!

Real Estate Today, the radio show about all things real estate, is opening the year with a series of shows devoted to helping sellers, buyers, property owners, and investors make 2012 the “best year ever.” The weekly two-hour show is broadcast in 165 markets and in all 50 states. To embed the free audio player on your Web site, visit

To attract rentals and tenants, Bloomberg says, he keeps up with sites that renters frequent such as Craigs­list and syndication sites such as ListHub, Postlets, and vFlyer. He also relies on referrals, listings bringing other listings, and basic cold calling.

“As long as wages go down, traditional homes sales will suffer,” Bloomberg says. “People say I’m pessimistic, but understanding how the economy works has helped me make the adjustments I needed to make it in my business.” Another plus, he says: Rentals are less stressful than sales.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg recognizes that today’s renters could well become buyers of the future. The majority of renters (63 percent) say they are at least somewhat likely to purchase a home in the future. Among them, young adults (age 18 to 24) have the strongest aspirations for home ownership, according to an NAR survey of 3,793 adults conducted by Harris Interactive and released in January 2011.

All of commercial real estate’s main sectors — office, industrial, retail, and multifamily—began improving last year, but a solid turnaround is still another year away at least, according to Yun’s research. Here’s a look at what to expect in each sector.

Office. The office sector is seeing improving fundamentals, particularly in larger metro areas, with absorptions this year expected to be twice that of completions. Yun is forecasting vacancies in 2012 to drop from 17.3 percent this year to 16.3 percent next year and 15.9 percent in 2013, with the 2011 median rental rate of just under $28 per square foot, increasing 1.7 percent in 2012 and 2.4 percent in 2013.

Greg Schenk, SIOR, of The Schenk Co. Inc., in Columbus, Ohio, says he’s capturing business in today’s climate by encouraging clients to think about renewing their leases well before they come due so that they can take advantage of today’s attractive interest rates. It’s also a good time to negotiate on behalf of tenants with building owners who need to refinance the debt on their building, because they’re looking for long-term leases that will put them in a stronger position with lenders. Under such conditions, owners who aren’t willing to offer a favorable renewal deal risk losing tenants.

“I just helped a small retailer by showing the owner there were 10 other places within a mile that would fit the tenant,” says Schenk. “The landlord said, ‘Look, you already have this renewal option for x amount,’ so I showed him the other properties that would pay for the tenant to move and reduce the rent 30 percent. We got the landlord to reduce the lease by 15 percent, my client didn’t have to move, and they extended for five years.”

Industrial. Warehouses, distribution centers, and manufacturing plants on a national basis are also seeing strong absorption. It’s now three times as high as completions. Even so, Yun expects vacancy rates to rise for another year, from about 11.1 percent to 11.9 percent next year. That’s because there remains slack in the market. Vacancies should drop back down to 11.1 percent in 2013. The rental rate, at a median of $4.60 per square foot, will rise 1.8 percent in 2012 and 2.34 percent in 2013.

David Murphy, CCIM, SIOR, of CB Richard Ellis in Orlando, says he’s reaching out more to e-commerce companies looking to expand their warehousing and distribution capabilities and to “m-commerce” companies, e-commerce companies that focus on consumers who make purchases on mobile devices.

“Tenants today are more comfortable signing longer-term leases,” he says. “Two or three years ago, they only wanted to sign leases for 18 months, but they’re more comfortable today with where their business is going. So we’re seeing more three-, five-, and even 10-year leases, and they can get really attractive rental terms. Whenever we close a deal with one of these companies,” he adds, “we pull that company’s SIC code [a federal “standard industrial classification” code for categorizing business types], and we’ll reach out to companies in the same field and say, ‘Hey, we just represented a company that had a requirement similar to what you might have and we’re available to assist you in your real estate needs.’ ”

Confidence in the business climate is creeping back into his central Florida market, among both building owners and tenants. That means negotiations are becoming more tactical, with neither side having a market advantage, particularly for deals involving larger properties. “We have very little inventory in properties of 100,000 square feet or above,” he says.

As with the office market, because properties with long-term leases are more “bankable,” says Stuart Kingma, SIOR, of NAI Wisinski of West Michigan in Grand Rapids, he can help both tenants and owners get what they want by negotiating favorable rates for the tenants in exchange for a strong long-term lease. “We see how lenders are solving issues on a broad front, and the information gathered from that experience allows us to assist clients with an individual issue,” says Kingma.

Retail. Although sales picked up during the 2011 holiday season, retail continues to struggle the most as consumers continue to retrench on their spending. Yun is forecasting vacancies to rise from 11.1 percent to 12.2 percent next year before dropping to 11 percent in 2013. The rental rate, at just under a median of $19 a square foot, is projected to rise 0.7 percent next year and 1.4 percent in 2013. Absorption could pick up if there’s improvement in the dollar volume of retail sales, which remains below its pre-recession peak.

Palmer Bayless, CCIM, of Emerge Real Estate Services, in Roswell, Ga., outside of Atlanta, leverages social media to help communicate his expertise in locating and negotiating retail deals and build his brand as a specialist with his two high-profile clients, Starbucks and Pet Supermarket. “The first thing every potential client does before working with you is to Google your name,” he says. So he maintains a high-profile presence on LinkedIn and writes about retail real estate strategy on his blog. By covering topics such as signage, demographics, and traffic patterns, he’s able to demonstrate his grasp of market and showcase his transactions. “It ultimately comes down to the relationships, not social media, but this gets my name out there,” he says. (For a more in-depth look at retail trends, see page 16.)

Multifamily. Apartment rentals are once again expected to be the best-performing commercial sector. For the second year in a row, absorption of existing units is far outpacing completions of new units: Almost 170,000 units were absorbed in 2011, against completions of about 38,000 units. In 2010 the spread was even wider. As a result, vacancies continue to drop and rental rates continue to rise.

Yun is forecasting multifamily vacancies to drop to 4.6 percent in 2012 from 5.3 percent this year, and to drop to 4.5 percent in 2013. The rental rate, at a median of $1,066 per unit, is expected to increase 3.5 percent next year and 3.8 percent in 2013.

A word from the President

My Pledge: to Stand by You
Things are looking up. Still, our vigilance on behalf of the real estate industry must continue.
| By Moe Veissi
I’m a guarded optimist, but it doesn’t take an optimist to see positive signs for housing in America. Several independent surveys last year showed that, despite five difficult years in which many owners lost value, Americans still want to own a home. In December, there were reported increases in pending home sales, existing-home sales, and housing starts. My guarded optimism tells me the beginning of a bona fide recovery is underway.

To some extent, the final answer depends on how well we absorb the distressed housing that’s on the market or waiting to be sold over the next 24 to 36 months. Although I’m an optimist, I’m also a realist who sells real estate in one of the hardest-hit markets in the country, Miami. But I can tell you this: In 2007, most pundits were saying Miami would take a decade or more to right itself. Today, NAR is predicting double-digit appreciation for Miami in 2012. How about that!

Look, I know one thing about real estate: It has never been a quick answer to wealth. Patience and perseverance make real estate a long-term, but enormously able, wealth builder and portfolio staple.

With regard to distressed sales, it’s challenging to make an impact on a national level. But if you read this month’s special package on short sales and foreclosures (“A Clean Slate,” page 32), you’ll see that the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® has ably represented your interests on a number of issues—from defending your right to receive your full commission to changing a lender affidavit that might have led innocent practitioners to be held liable for others’ dishonest dealings. For these efforts, I’m grateful to my predecessors in NAR leadership, today’s volunteer leaders, and our staff. They have relentlessly pursued solutions and, in recent years, helped to reduce foreclosures and make short sales move more smoothly

As your 2012 president, I pledge to continue that work, and to confront the many other challenges we face today, including threats to home ownership. Although we concluded our Home Ownership Matters bus tour, after hitting 52 cities in 2011, we’re keeping this valuable campaign alive. REALTORS®, as well as economic historians, have long held that our nation’s health depends on strong real estate markets and widespread ownership of real estate by those who choose to own and are financially able. We can’t allow this economic downturn, severe as it has been, to take us off course from those principles. Watch for campaign updates in the “NAR Weekly Report”e-mail, and join me in this effort by participating in REALTOR® Party Calls for Action. Engage your customers, too, through

I’m happy to see 2012 starting out on an upbeat note. But I assure you that, whatever the year brings, NAR will be standing beside you all the way. Thank you for your involvement, and remember that “REALTORS® are the heart of the deal

NOW is a great time to buy a home

NOW is a great time to buy a home

1. Homes are more affordable than they've been in a long time.
2. Mortgage rates hit record lows last year and are expected to inch back up as the recovery gains traction.
3. Home prices appear to have stabilized.
4. Financing is readily available for qualified buyers!
5. Homeownership is key to financial stability and wealth building.

If you or anyone you know would like to learn more about opportunities in
the current market, we'd love to help!

Getting Your Loan Approved

1. Get the following items together. The faster you get them to your lender the faster your file will progress:
a. Last 2 years of Signed Tax returns including your W-2s. If you are self-employed they will need business and personal returns with ALL schedules.
b. 30 Days of paystubs
c. Last 2 months of bank account statements-Must have your name and account number on them and must have ALL numbered pages attached.
d. Current 401K, IRA statements-All pages with your name and account number.
e. Copy of Social Security Card and Clear copy of Driver’s License
f. Proof of any other income you receive. Social Security will need awards letter. Child support or alimony will require court documents.
2. Make sure there are not any funds deposited into your bank account that are not your normal payroll earnings. You will have to source all cash deposits and show where they come from. Cash is usually not acceptable. Be sure to talk to your lender ahead of time if you are going to get a gift.
3. DO NOT USE CASH AS YOUR EARNEST MONEY! Make sure that you will be able to prove that your earnest money came out of your bank account. Once your earnest money clears your account we will have to have a copy of the front and back of the check.
4. DO NOT incur any debt! Don’t open any new accounts! This can hurt your debt to income ratio and also hurt your credit score.
5. DO NOT pay off any debts without talking to your lender. Paying off debts can decrease your credit score.
6. Do not overdraw your bank account. NSF Fee’s do reflect negatively on your loan.
7. DO NOT co-sign with anyone else on a debt without talking to your lender.
8. DO pay all of your bills on time.
9. DO save all that you can to show more assets. Assets make your file stronger.
The mortgage process is very thorough. Make absolutely sure to take the application very serious and give the lender the CORRECT information. This will eliminate some of the headaches for you and help make the transaction smoother. If you are in doubt about anything, call your lender BEFORE you do anything.

Tracey Burdette
NLMS:# 411399
Mortgage Branch Manager/Loan Officer
Atlantic Coast Bank
7395 Hodgson Memorial Dr. Ste 103
Savannah GA 31406
Apply on line at or e-mail me at