Thursday, November 28, 2013

Rethinking the Dining Room Table

Tables are underrated — and holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas are good reminders of how the right table can mean the difference between good entertaining and great entertaining. Photo: Brookfield Homes San Diego at Seaside Ridge in Encinitas, Calif.
By Ashley Steel
The word is out – last year’s Thanksgiving feast was a hit! This year, your second cousins twice removed are coming out of the woodwork to attend the festivities. Your table seats 10, but now you come in at a party of 20. What do you do? First things first, don’t panic! There is turkey to be brined and pies to be baked and no room for additional stress. Here are nine great dining room options to help your holiday dinner go off without a hitch:
Bar Space
If your kitchen has a bar area, use it! Instead of cluttering it up with snacks, use this long length of counter space for your guests. Though it doesn’t allow for conversation outside of your immediate area, you can periodically call for a change of seating so that everybody can get a chance to catch up. A bit like musical chairs, this can be a fun way to break the ice with your relatives and get to know one another better.
Glass or Wood Overlay Think of any large flat surfaces in your house. Maybe you’re into games such as pool or table tennis. Using one such object as your base, lay a panel of wood or glass over it to create a larger, functional table. Make sure that the material you use is sturdy and has good support beneath it. It’s a good way to transform an already occupied space to meet your growing needs.
The Rounded Table
Photo: Nottingham Model from Ryland Homes near Chicago.
Rounded tables are great because you can fit more people around the edges, without Uncle Bob hitting his elbow every time he goes in for mashed potatoes. For a large gathering, consider a longer, oval shaped table with plenty of room along the body and edges. For additional space, try using chairs without arm rests. Arms rests define how much space a chair takes up, even if there’s only a small child sitting there. Go for sleeker armless chairs for more flexibility around the table.

Two Tables
If your party is large enough, there may be no practical table to meet your needs. Consider splitting into two. A common way to do this is to reserve your larger dining room table for adults and set up a temporary folding table for the kids. This way, the kids don’t have to listen to the boring grown-up chatter and you can each have an age-appropriate spread.
If you’re a frequent entertainer, but find it impractical to keep party-sized amenities in your house year-round, consider the resizable table. With two panels that separate allowing for the addition of another temporary piece, you can grow your modest table to huge lengths in minutes.
Floor Seating
It sounds crazy, but hear me out. With a cheap throw for spills and messes and/or TV trays to catch any extra food, there is nowhere with more space than the floor. Lay out some comfortable cushions for seating and get the added benefit of total flexibility when it comes to where you sit – and who you are able to sit by. No longer are you competing for conversation across a huge table. Certainly a unique dining experience, if nothing else, you will likely be able to answer, “tables” when asked what you are thankful for.
Bench Seating
benches in the dining room
Photo: Plan 2 by Brookfield Homes San Diego. The Haven at Windingwalk community. Chula Vista, Calif.
Along the lines of the earlier-mentioned armless chairs, bench seating is much more forgiving when it comes to squeezing people in. Perfect for keeping an eye on tiny kiddos, this seating arrangement is intimate and casual. If your home has window benches, you can slide a table up against it to maximize not only seating, but floor space for guests to mingle when you aren’t eating.

Outdoor Dining
If you’re lucky enough to live in an area with tolerable Thanksgiving weather, take advantage of it. Set up the lawn chairs and space heaters, clean off that rustic garden furniture and you’ve opened up a whole new world of space. If you don’t have enough chairs for everyone, have your guests bring some of their own for a makeshift set up that is easy to clean up later.
Buffet-Style Dining
Sometimes it’s not a question of being able to fit the people at the table, but the food. Leave the food in the kitchen and have people dish their own plates, buffet style. This will clear up space for you to decorate the table and eliminate the obnoxious passing of food.
Thanksgiving is sneaking up fast. I’m thankful for my dining room arrangements. Are you?
Ashley Steel is a writer for NewHomeSource

Beating the Heating Bill

saving on heating bills
The cold weather brings winter chills, but that doesn’t mean it has to bring high heating bills too.
By Ashley Steel
Brrrr! Baby, it’s cold outside, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the luxurious warmth of your new home, while still saving big on heating bills this season. Striking a more moderate balance between winter’s chill and your heater’s sovereign warmth can be healthy and even save you big bucks on your electricity bill.
Relying on your heater less and still achieving optimal warmth is a two-pronged approach. For best results you will need to equip your house, and yourself, to fend off the cold. Consider these simple changes for a warm (and cheap!) winter.
House Warming
Maintain Your Heater
It’s probably the easiest thing you can do to keep warm, but sometimes this simple task is neglected: maintain your heater. Since you’ve just moved in, your heater is working optimally. To keep it in great shape, maintain it regularly. Follow any guidelines offered by your builder to ensure your heater works efficiently for years to come.
Insulate and Seal
Sure, newly built homes are well sealed, but for those whose homes are aged a bit, make sure that all entry points to the outside are sealed. Check doors and windows for draftiness and stop up any gaps with water-resistant caulk. If you are in possession of storm windows, now is the time to bring them out. Inspect the outside and inside of your home for weak spots.
Cover all pipes with insulation to prevent bursting and to shorten the amount of time need to heat them. Take a look at your attic — a notorious escape route for heat — and fill in any drafty areas and make sure it is properly lined with insulation.
Fan Rotation
If you thought that fans were just for cooling you off, think again! Possessing two directions in which to rotate, fan blades can either push warm air up or down. During the winter, you’ll want to set your fans to a clockwise spin. Because warm air rises, this ensures that fans will circulate that air back down to you. If you own any small or standing fans, you can place them in front of the heater to extend the reach of warm air.
Spare Rooms
If you have spare rooms in your home, it’s time to seal them off until spring. Shut their windows, close their vents and doors, so that you’re not spending money heating extra space. By the same token, the smaller the space, the easier it is to heat, so find a smaller room in the house for the family to hang out in winter. Try reading bedtime stories in the study instead of the living room.
Curtains can be an easy way to manage temperature and provide an added layer of insulation. The good news is that many of us already have them. At night, make sure your curtains are closed, so you can trap cold air from coming inside.  During the day, you’ll want to harness the power of the sun. Open those curtains to the light and enjoy the sun’s natural warmth.
Heart Warming
A simple standby, blankets provide great protection against the cold. Perfect for lounging on the couch or sleeping at night, adding more blankets instead of turning to the heater is incredibly beneficial for your budget. For some wintertime fun, build a blanket fort with you kids.
Heating Pad
Instead of heating an entire room, you can heat your immediate space with a heating pad, hot water bottle or electric blanket. It’s a cheap way to stay warm during sedentary activities like reading or watching TV. If you’re not seated, trying moving around the house. Actively engaging in chores will help keep your heart rate up.
Cuddle Up
It’s the holiday season, so the more the merrier, right? Corral all the kids, the family and any pets and snuggle up together. Body heat goes a long way and you’ll make many memories trying to stay warm together!
Heat may rise, but don’t let your heating bill do the same. For a warm winter, try these tips and tricks and use the money you save on heating bills to buy holiday gifts instead. Cheers!
Ashley Steel is a writer for NewHomeSource.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

50 Mattie Belle Davis

Jeri Patrick
The Jeri Patrick Team

                                                     Brewton Acres
Situated on a 1/2 acre home site in the newly loved community of Brewton Acres. Regal Builder's Sonata, an alluring home with great room, loft, formal living and dining allowing for tons of actual living space; desirable final touches which polish this home nicely. Now is the time for your sections!

Brewton Acres is down the road from Black Creek Golf Course and Hendrix Park. The master plan community park includes soccer, football, baseball fields as well NEO 360 outdoor family fitness game center, hiking/running trail, and high tech dance equipment and lighting for dances and roller skating rink .
TRACT Brewton Acres YEAR BUILT 2013
STATUS Active PROPERTY TYPE(S) Residential All, Single Family

Elementary SchoolLanier & Bryan
Middle SchoolBryan
High SchoolBryan

ATTICPull Down
CABLECable Ready
COOLING TYPECentral, Common, Heat Pump
ENERGY FEATURESDouble Pane/Thermo, Extra Insulation
EXTERIOR-HOUSEFront Porch, Patio-Uncovered
FLOORSCarpet, Vinyl
HEATING TYPECentral, Common
INTERIORCathedral Ceiling, Ceiling; Trey, Ceiling; Vaulted, Ceilings; 9' Plus, Foyer; Entrance
KITCHEN/BREAKFASTBreakfast Area, Breakfast Bar, Pantry
LAUNDRYLaundry Room
LOT SIZE.50-.75 Acre
MASTER BATH FEATURESDouble Vanities, Garden Tub, Separate Shower
MAY SELLCash, Conventional, FHA, VA
NEW CONSTR DESCNever Lived In, Unfinished
PARKING DESCRIPTIONAttached, Auto Garage Door, Kitchen Level Entry
SEWERSeptic Tank
WATERCommunity Well

Mortgage Calculator

Jeri Patrick
The Jeri Patrick Team

KW This Month In Real Estate

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Survey: Americans Still Thankful for Home Ownership


The recession hasn’t shaken Americans’ confidence in home ownership, according to a new survey of 1,000 adults nationwide by NeighborWorks America.
About two-thirds of survey respondents say their opinion on home ownership has not changed over the past five years. Eighty-eight percent say owning a home is an important element of their “American Dream.”
“Although the housing market took one of the largest hits ever, with home prices falling nationally and foreclosures rising to more than one million homes annually, home ownership remains a goal many want to achieve,” says Eileen Fitzgerald, CEO of NeighborWorks America. “But it’s important to also note that the poll also underscores that we need to have quality and affordable rental homes available for those people who simply prefer to rent.”
The majority of renters and home owners surveyed say they believe the home buying process is complicated. They attribute the major obstacles to personal finance issues, such as lack of job security or not having enough money for a down payment. One in four surveyed say they have no familiarity with the mortgage products available.
Still, about half of those surveyed say they feel more prepared today than five years ago to buy a home. Forty percent, though, say they are less prepared.
“These results tell us that most consumers believe that they know when the time is right for them to buy a home — and feel strongly that home ownership is important — but that their personal situation may have been affected in the past five years and is holding them back from pursuing home ownership,” Fitzgerald says.
Source: “Consumers’ View on Homeownership Remains Optimistic,” National Mortgage News (Nov. 22, 2013)
Read more:
Home Ownership and the American Dream

Selling a home during the holidays

The holidays are in full swing. People are busy planning parties, shopping, trying to reach goals for the year, making travel plans. Probably not the best time to sell your home, right?
Not necessarily.

This could be an opportune time to sell your home. Of course, there are some cons to trying to sell at this time of year, but selling now offers you some distinct advantages over waiting until after the first of the year.

  1. People looking for a home over the holidays are more likely going to be serious buyers.

  2. A lot of sellers take their homes off the market, which means serious buyers have fewer homes to choose from

  3. Less competition right now means more money for you.

  4. The number of homes on the market will drastically increase after the first of the year. Less demand means less money.

  5. Houses show better when they’re decorated over the holidays.

  6. Buyers are more emotional during the holidays and tend to spend more money, which means you can get closer to your asking price.

  7. Because they are likely to be on vacation, buyers have more time to look at new homes over the holidays and are more likely to come on weekdays.

  8. The tax break they receive is a motivating factor for many buyers.

  9. Companies traditionally use January to relocate employees who can't wait until there are more homes available in the spring.

It should be noted that there are some drawbacks to selling your home during the holidays. You may prefer not to schedule showings and closings at this time. You may not want to move during this time – not only are schedules hectic, the weather is not always cooperative. Speaking of the weather, if you live in a colder climate, snow and ice cuts down on foot traffic.

If you’re considering selling your home, it could be the best time of year to sell. Talk to your REALTOR® to discuss your options.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Freddie: 2014 Holds Big Shift for Housing


Freddie Mac forecasts that 2014 will mark the conclusion of the refinance boom and the beginning of a market dominated by purchase money lending — the first such market in 14 years.
"With mortgage rates rising, we're going to see the home-sales gains as well as the impressive house price growth begin to moderate to more sustainable levels," says Frank Nothaft, Freddie's chief economist.
Interest rates are expected to climb gradually throughout 2014, possibly reaching 5 percent by year's end. Most areas are expected to remain affordable, though, helping to sustain the national market. Housing construction is projected to rise 20 percent to 25 percent in 2014, with housing starts growing to a pace of 1.15 million. Home values climbed nearly 14 percent this year, and next year, Freddie Mac expects the increase to be in the range of 5 percent to 6 percent.
Finally, Freddie expects a "continued renaissance" in multifamily housing investments as they become increasingly attractive, Nothaft says.

Fed Signals Tapering Could Start Soon


The economy is strengthening and a tapering of the Federal Reserve’s stimulus program is still on the horizon, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said this week in a speech for the National Economics Club.
Bernanke said that even as the Fed begins to retreat from its $85 billion-per-month bond-purchasing program — which has been helping to keep mortgage rates low — it would likely maintain the bulk of the campaign for several years to come. Bernanke again refused to directly address a timetable for the Fed’s tapering to begin, but some reports say that, based on other recent remarks by Fed officials, the tapering could come as soon as December.
The Federal Open Market Committee, which sets policy, “still expects that labor market conditions will continue to improve and that inflation will move toward the 2 percent objective over the medium term,” Bernanke said during the speech. “If these views are supported by incoming information, the F.O.M.C. will likely begin to moderate the pace of purchases.”
The minutes of the Federal Reserve’s policy meeting last month also hinted that a tapering of the Fed’s economic stimulus is coming soon, despite experts noting that “the housing sector slowed somewhat in recent months, and [budget cuts and tax increases] were restraining economic growth."
The bond-purchasing program has been helping to keep long-term interest rates low for borrowers in recent years. But interest rates have already started moving up since the Fed announced months ago that it was eyeing a timeframe to being tapering. Since this summer, 30-year fixed-rate mortgages have moved up almost a full percentage point, from around 3.5 percent to 4.35 percent, Freddie Mac reports.
Bernanke is expected to step down from his role as Fed chairman at the end of January. The Senate Banking Committee will be voting Thursday on the nomination of Janet L. Yellen, the current Fed vice chair, as Bernanke's replacement.

With Tight Inventory, Prices Only Going Up From Here


A low number of homes for sale is pushing home prices up to double-digit gains year-over-year, the National Association of REALTORS® reports in its latest existing-homes report.
“Low inventory is holding back sales while at the same time pushing up home prices in most of the country,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “More new-home construction is needed to help relieve the inventory pressure and moderate price gains.”
In October, the national median existing-home price was $199,500 — a 12.8 percent surge above what it was a year ago. It also marks the 11th consecutive month of double-digit year-over-year increases, NAR reports.
Meanwhile, housing inventories are falling, dropping 1.8 percent in October to 2.13 million existing homes for sale. That represents a 5-month supply at the current sales pace.
The median time on the market for all home types was 54 days in October, up from 50 days in September. In October 2012, the median time on the market was 71 days. 

Home Buyers Plan to Make a Move This Winter


Home buyers who weren’t successful this summer at finding a home due to limited inventories and competition from all-cash offers are looking to retry their luck in the winter, according to®’s Winter Home Buyer Report.
“This summer and spring, home-buying season was particularly challenging for buyers, especially first-time home buyers trying to compete with all-cash offers and bidding wars because of reduced inventory,” says Alison Schwartz, vice president of corporate communications at®. “In fact, a quarter of the winter home buyers revealed they are in the market now because they were unable to find a home during this last home-buying season.”
But winter home buyers know they’ll face some challenges. Forty-five percent of those surveyed say they believe they will be up against inventory challenges again, with few homes for sale within the price range they desire. Twenty-nine percent also say that winter weather makes house-hunting unpleasant.
But they believe that the winter can be a good time to buy a home. Twenty-six percent say winter is a good time to buy because they feel sellers will be more motivated and willing to negotiate. Twenty-four percent also say they think home prices will be better.
Of those looking to buy this winter, 23 percent are planning to make a down payment of 10 to 20 percent, according to the® survey. Twenty-two percent are planning to put down 21 to 99 percent in cash; 19 percent plan to put down 100 percent cash; and 13 percent are planning to make a down payment of 3.5 percent to qualify for a Federal Housing Administration loan.

25th Annual Christmas Made in the South!

Jeri Patrick Team
Homes for Sale Savannah, Pooler, Rincon, Richmond Hill, Guyton, West Chatham and the surrounding Low Country
Don't forget this weekend!

Nov 22, 2013 - Nov 24, 2013

10:00 AM - 8:00 PM

Savannah International Trade & Convention Center
Admission: $7
Phone: 912.921.1040
Find every gift on your Christmas list when you attend the 25th Annual Christmas Made in the South! This nationally acclaimed beloved art and craft festival brings together the best in holiday-themed arts, crafts, gourmet food, clothing, accessories and more! Taking place Nov. 22 – 24 at the Savannah International Trade & Convention Center, festival goers will find plenty of holiday-themed goodies and treasures, many of which are handmade with love and care by fine artisans and craftspeople.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Clean, Declutter, Discard: Make a House Shine for Resale


Savannah Real Estate Pros Keller Williams Realty

Jeri Patrick Team

Homes for Sale Savannah, Pooler, Rincon, Richmond Hill, Guyton, West Chatham and the surrounding Low Country


Purging belongings can be an arduous task for sellers. Share these 13 decluttering tips with your clients to help them prepare their home for sale.
Sentimentality can be a powerful disincentive to declutter. How could a loving daughter sell her family silver, even though she dislikes the pattern? How could parents ever discard a painting by their young budding Picasso, even though he’s now 30 and hasn’t picked up a paint brush in 20 years?
Most home owners avoid those tough decisions and schlep possessions from house-to-house. But it’s far smarter to shed before moving. Not only does it clear out space to make a listing look its best, it also saves on moving costs to transport less stuff.
Are your sellers clinging to keepsakes? Share with clients these 13 steps to help make the task of decluttering less daunting.
Tip: Taking photos may help your clients look objectively at their house, suggests Amy Trager, certified professional organizer and president of the Chicago chapter of the National Association of Professional Organizers.
1. Study the entire house. Sellers shouldn’t tackle every room in one fell swoop. Advise them to go room-by-room, starting at the front door. Sellers should pretend they’re seeing each room for the first time, says Kammie Lisenby, CEO of The Organizing Experts in Seattle. The goal is to make rooms resemble those in a hotel, says professional organizer Katrina Teeple, owner of Operation Organization in Los Angeles.
2. Make piles. Sellers should organize piles as they clear each room — for example, stack items to keep, give to family or friends, donate to a charity, sell online, get hauled away, and consign. They should bear in mind the size of the home they’re moving to, their degree of sentimental attachment, and the financial value of each item. It’s best to put highly personal items aside in the keep pile, such as family photos they don’t want buyers to see during showings, says Lisenby.
Tip: Sellers could offer a buyers’ allowance to do their own decorating, says Barry Izsak, owner of Arranging It All in Austin, Texas, and former NAPO president.
3. Create a spreadsheet. A master list of what rooms will require organizing tasks can be helpful. This will also aid in prioritizing expenses, such as home improvements, paint, and staging elements. To play it safe with finicky buyers, sellers should go neutral in paint and decor, says Teeple.
4. Empty closets. Often becoming a graveyard for all the belongings home owners don’t know what to do with, clean, spacious closets are a coveted feature among buyers. Izsak suggests eliminating anything not worn or used in the last two years. Aim to dispose of 50 percent of wardrobes since most people only wear 20 percent of their clothes 80 percent of the time, he says. The remaining items should be stored on uniform rods, or in labeled, see-through bins, says Teeple.
5. Clear off counters and bookcases. Get rid of books that won’t be reread, particularly now that so many people read online. Add a few home decor items for sparkle. When in doubt, follow the “rule of three,” a mantra among home stagers, by clustering items into threes to create visual appeal. The final effect should reflect a neutral style.
6. Inspect the home’s exterior. Depending on the time of year, sellers may need to hire a professional to clear leaves, snow, or ice, so that they don’t hide a home’s features. Messiness and wear and tear on the outside indicates to buyers that the inside hasn’t been cared for well.
7. Check curb appeal all around. While the front yard is key to making a good first impression, more home owners spend time out back, so sellers should be sure lawns, shrubs, trees, and amenities like a fence and air conditioning condensers are maintained.
8. Spruce up the kitchen. This is the home’s most popular gathering spot and another place where everything gets dumped—backpacks, car keys, cell phones, etc. The rule of three applies here, too. Tell sellers not to stuff anything into a pantry or cabinets; get rid of it if it hasn’t been used in a few years. Also, clean out the refrigerator and freezer.
9. Make bathrooms spotless. Not every seller has a spa bathroom to unwind in, but clean grout, tiles, shower door, and vanity can make a big difference in an average bathroom. Clear out the prime real estate of a medicine cabinet, add crisp white or other neutral towels, fresh soaps, and a plant, Teeple suggests.
10. Purge basements, attics, and garages. These are a home’s purgatories—where stuff goes to never see the bright light of day, says Izsak. Anything that’s been moved at least twice and not opened needs to be reassessed, says Chris Seman, president of Caring Transitions in Cincinnati, a relocation service. Separate the items to be stored in see-through bins to reveal their contents; do so by categories, such as holiday decorations; and be sure bins are labeled clearly and have lids to keep out pests.
11. Professionalize an office. With more home owners working from home, a separate room or corner for an office can boost sales appeal. Have sellers clear up paper piles and file documents—but remember, most home owners only reference 5 percent of their files, says Seman. The work area should include good illumination, a comfortable chair, and clean equipment, says Izsak.
12. Get rid of belongings. Now it’s time for your sellers to rethink what to do with everything in piles. Here are some upsides and downsides to these decisions:
  • Sell or auction through an online vendor like Craigslist or eBay or at a flea market. Downside: It may take time to get the desired price.
  • Leave at a consignment shop to get stuff out of a house now. Downside: Proceeds get shared, and it may take a while to sell.
  • Give away to family, friends, or a nonprofit such as Some communities let residents leave stuff outside their house with a sign, “Take it!” Upside: It gets rid of things fast.
  • Have a group haul it away such as 1-800-Got-Junk? Upside: This avoids driving it to a dumpster.
  • Donate to a charity. Upside: It gets out of a house, helps someone in need, and provides a deduction. Fill out IRS Form 8283 if total exceeds $500.
  • Organize a yard sale. If time is of the essence, the seller could hire a professional who sets up tables, takes money, and gets rid of what doesn’t sell. Downside: Proceeds get shared.
13. Don’t repeat collector mania. Once sellers move into their new home with fewer possessions, advise them to purchase carefully. Sending organization ideas and decluttering tips is a great way to keep in touch with past clients. Check out HouseLogic’s REALTOR® Content Resource for helpful home staging, maintenance, and organizing articles you can use in your newsletter or blog, or share them on your social networks for free.

'Resurgent Housing Sector' to Lead 2014 Economic Recovery

Daily Real Estate News | Wednesday, November 20, 2013    

Mortgage giant Freddie Mac is expecting a good 2014 for housing. Economists predict a much stronger economic recovery will take hold next year, “led by a resurgent housing sector,” according to Freddie Mac’s November U.S. Economic & Housing Market Outlook report.
Despite rising interesting rates and home values, Freddie Mac economists believe “housing will remain generally affordable in most parts of the country.”
“Even if rates were to go to 5 percent next year, housing in most of the country would remain affordable,” Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, notes in the report. “Large metro areas along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts are already expensive for the typical family, so rising rates will have a bigger effect there. But in most of the country, incomes and home prices are such that rising rates by themselves will not be enough to end the recovery. What we need is some better income growth.”
Economic growth is expected to be in the 2.5 percent to 3 percent range, more than half a percentage point better than what is expected for this year. Economic growth will help spur more jobs, and Freddie economists predict that the unemployment rate will fall below 7 percent by mid-2014.
Freddie predicts that in 2014 single-family home sales and housing starts will reach their highest levels since 2007.
Buyers will likely face increasing borrowing costs, with mortgage rates expected to continue to rise in 2014, Freddie predicts. Mortgage rates have climbed about a full percentage point since early May.
“We look for fixed-rate mortgage rates to creep higher in 2014, gradually moving up throughout the year and ending at close to 5 percent,” Nothaft notes. “However, expect some volatility in the short-term from renewed concerns about the debt ceiling or other fiscal policy.”
Read more about housing predictions for 2014 from the National Association of REALTORS®’ Chief Economist Lawrence Yun.
Source: Freddie Mac November 2013 U.S. Economic & Housing Market Outlook

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Clients’ Cash Deposits Can Delay Closing

The Jeri Patrick Team
Contact (912) 656-3203

Savannah Real Estate Pros Keller Williams Realty

Jeri Patrick Team – Homes for Sale Savannah, Pooler, Rincon, Richmond Hill, Guyton, West Chatham and the surrounding Low Country
Home buyers who make cash deposits to their checking accounts that don't come from payroll checks or income tax refunds during the processing of a mortgage likely will face delays in closing, lending experts warn. That's because lenders are required to investigate possible suspicious activity for deposits that are not documented or cannot be explained, slowing down the process.
Scott Sheldon, a senior loan officer with Sonoma County Mortgages, told only money that can be adequately "sourced" can be used in the mortgage transaction.
"If you are self-employed and show cash deposits, that's OK — so long as you claim those monies as income on your tax return and you 'show' income from a filing standpoint," Sheldon says.
For example, if borrowers receive money from parents or family members, they will need to document and explain that deposited check to lenders. Sheldon says that buyers may want to avoid making deposits that will need to be explained at least 60 days prior to closing.

Source: “How Cash Income Can Cost You When Applying for a Mortgage,” (Nov. 18, 2013)


Why flood insurance rates are rising

As a homeowner, you may have noticed two developments concerning flood insurance recently:

  1. You now have to buy flood insurance

  2. It's really expensive

This is not due to your insurance company raising rates because they are paying for damages caused by Hurricane Katrina, Superstorm Sandy, or Midwest flooding in 2012. It is due to the Biggert-Waters Insurance Reform Act of 2012. The Act made sweeping changes to the National Flood Insurance Program and they just kicked in last month. At the point that Congress passed the new law, NFIP was $18 billion in debt.

How does it affect homeowners?

Biggert-Waters phases out flood insurance subsidies on hundreds of thousands of older homes. This means that premiums will necessarily skyrocket. Homes sold after Biggert-Waters passed in July, 2012, or those whose policies lapse, will see their premiums immediately go up to the non-subsidized actuarial rate.

Part of the Act raised what's known as the base flood elevation (BFE) for certain areas, which means that some homeowners who never had to carry flood insurance now have to. If your home is now in a high risk zone, you may have to raise your home by putting it on pylons, which could cost tens of thousands of dollars, but will not significantly increase the value of the home.

Homeowners who have properties in the new FEMA flood zones could experience flood insurance premium increases of 500-1000%. Mortgage payments in effect double when seeing that kind of increase. This means that property values go down. Owning a home along the nation's coasts and river valleys becomes less attractive. Building a new home in these areas becomes almost impossible.

Reaction to Biggert-Waters is gaining momentum as homeowners realize exactly how it affects their homes’ value and premiums. If you find that your premiums have risen, talk to your insurance representative.

Monday, November 18, 2013

First Steps to Homeownership

1. Decide to buy.
Although there are many good reasons for you to buy a home, wealth building ranks among the top of the list. We call home ownership the best accidental investment most people ever make. But, we believe when it is done right, home ownership becomes an intentional investment that lays the foundation for a life of financial security and personal choice. There are solid financial reasons to support your decision to buy a home, and, among these, equity buildup, value appreciation, and tax benefits stand out.

Base your decision to buy on facts, not fears.
  1. If you are paying rent, you very likely can afford to buy
  2. There is never a wrong time to buy the right home. All you need to do in the short run is find a good buy and make sure you have the financial ability to hold it for the long run
  3. The lack of a substantial down payment doesn't prevent you from making your first home purchase
  4. A less-than-perfect credit score won't necessarily stop you from buying a home
  5. The best way to get closer to buying your ultimate dream home is to buy your first home now
  6. Buying a home doesn't have to be complicated ? there are many professionals who will help

2. Hire your agent.

The typical real estate transaction involves at least two dozen separate individuals ? insurance assessors, mortgage brokers and underwriters, inspectors, appraisers, escrow officers, buyer's agents, seller's agents, bankers, title researchers, and a number of other individuals whose actions and decisions have to be orchestrated in order to perform in harmony and get a home sale closed. It is the responsibility of your real estate agent to expertly coordinate all the professionals involved in your home purchase and to act as the advocate for you and your interests throughout.

Seven main roles of your real estate agent

A Buyer's Real Estate Agent:
  1. Educates you about your market.
  2. Analyzes your wants and needs.
  3. Guides you to homes that fit your criteria.
  4. Coordinates the work of other needed professionals.
  5. Negotiates on your behalf.
  6. Checks and double-checks paperwork and deadlines.
  7. Solves any problems that may arise.

Eight important questions to ask your agent

Qualifications are important. However, finding a solid, professional agent means getting beyond the resume, and into what makes an agent effective. Use the following questions as your starting point in hiring your licensed, professional real estate agent:
  1. Why did you become a real estate agent?
  2. Why should I work with you?
  3. What do you do better than other real estate agents?
  4. What process will you use to help me find the right home for my particular wants and needs?
  5. What are the most common things that go wrong in a transaction and how would you handle them?
  6. What are some mistakes that you think people make when buying their first home?
  7. What other professionals do you suggest we work with and what are their credentials?
  8. Can you provide me with references or testimonials from past clients?

3. Secure financing.

While you may find the thought of home ownership thrilling, the thought of taking on a mortgage may be downright chilling. Many first-time buyers start out confused about the process or nervous about making such a large financial commitment.

From start to finish, you will follow a six-step, easy-to-understand process to securing the financing for your first home.

Six steps to Financing a Home
  1. Choose a loan officer (or mortgage specialist).
  2. Make a loan application and get preapproved.
  3. Determine what you want to pay and select a loan option.
  4. Submit to the lender an accepted purchase offer contract.
  5. Get an appraisal and title commitment.
  6. Obtain funding at closing.

4. Find your home.

You may think that shopping for homes starts with jumping in the car and driving all over town. And it's true that hopping in the car to go look is probably the most exciting part of the home-buying process. However, driving around is fun for only so long if weeks go by without finding what you're looking for, the fun can fade pretty fast. That's why we say that looking for your home begins with carefully assessing your values, wants, and needs, both for the short and long terms.

Questions to ask yourself
  1. What do I want my home to be close to?
  2. How much space do I need and why?
  3. Which is more critical: location or size?
  4. Would I be interested in a fixer-upper?
  5. How important is home value appreciation?
  6. Is neighborhood stability and priority?
  7. Would I be interested in a condo?
  8. Would I be interested in new home construction?
  9. What features and amenities do I want? Which do I really need?

5. Make an offer.

When searching for your dream home, you were just that a dreamer. Now that you're writing an offer, you need to be a businessperson. You need to approach this process with a cool head and a realistic perspective of your market. The three basic components of an offer are price, terms, and contingencies (or conditions in Canada).

Price the right price to offer must fairly reflect the true market value of the home you want to buy. Your agent's market research will guide this decision.

Terms the other financial and timing factors that will be included in the offer.

Terms fall under six basic categories in a real estate offer:
  1. Schedule a schedule of events that has to happen before closing.
  2. Conveyances the items that stay with the house when the sellers leave.
  3. Commission the real estate commission or fee, for both the agent who works with the seller and the agents who works with the buyer.
  4. Closing costs  it's standard for buyers to pay their closing costs, but if you want to roll the costs into the loan, you need to write that into the contract.
  5. Home warranty this covers repairs or replacement of appliances and major systems. You may ask the seller to pay for this.
  6. Earnest money this protects the sellers from the possibility of your unexpectedly pulling of the deal and makes a statement about the seriousness of your offer.

6. Perform due diligence.

Unlike most major purchases, once you buy a home, you can't return it if something breaks or doesn't quite work like it's supposed to. That's why home owner's insurance and property inspections are so important.

A home owner's insurance policy protects you in two ways:
  1. Against loss or damage to the property itself
  2. liability in case someone sustains an injury while on your property

The property inspection show expose the secret issues a home might hide so you know exactly what you're getting into before you sign your closing papers.
  • Your major concern is structural damage.
  • Don't sweat the small stuff. Things that are easily fixed can be overlooked.
  • If you have a big problem show up in your inspection report, you should bring in a specialist. If the worst-case scenario turns out to be true, you might want to walk away from the purchase.

7. Close.

The final stage of the home buying process is the lender's confirmation of the home's value and legal statue, and your continued credit-worthiness. This entails a survey, appraisal, title search, and a final check of your credit and finance. Your agent will keep you posted on how each if progressing, but your work is pretty much done.

You just have a few pre-closing responsibilities:
  1. Stay in control of your finances.
  2. Return all phone calls and paperwork promptly.
  3. Communicate with your agent at least once a week.
  4. Several days before closing, confirm with your agent that all your documentation is in place and in order.
  5. Obtain certified funds for closing.
  6. Conduct a final walk-through.

On closing day, with the guidance of a settlement agent and your agent, you'll sign documents that do the following:
  1. Finalize your mortgage.
  2. Pay the seller.
  3. Pay your closing costs.
  4. Transfer the title from the seller to you.
  5. Make arrangements to legally record the transaction as a public record.

As long as you have clear expectations and follow directions, closing should be a momentous conclusion to your home-searching process and commencement of your home-owning experience.

8. Protect your investment.

Throughout the course of your home-buying experience, you've probably spent a lot of time with your real estate agent and you've gotten to know each other fairly well. There's no reason to throw all that trust and rapport out the window just because the deal has closed. In fact, your agent wants you to keep in touch.

Even after you close on your house, you agent can still help you:
  1. Handle your first tax return as a home owner.
  2. Find contractors to help with home maintenance or remodeling.
  3. Help your friends find homes.
  4. Keep track of your home's current market value.
Attention to you home's maintenance needs is essential to protecting the long-term value of your investment.
Home maintenance falls into two categories:
  1. Keeping it clean: Perform routine maintenance on your home's systems, depending on their age and style.
  2. Keeping an eye on it: Watch for signs of leaks, damage, and wear. Fixing small problems early can save you big money later.

Keller Williams Realty’s Google Migration Largest in Real Estate History


It’s not just industry-leading technology like eEdge – the all-in-one lead-to-close agent business solution – that’s setting Keller Williams Realty apart. Innovative at its core, the company has embarked on a new mission: moving away from its old Webmail system to a highly collaborative and incredibly flexible communication and productivity platform.
Creating innovative products and solutions for 93,000 associates scattered across four continents doesn’t happen easily. Which is why Keller Williams enlisted the help of Google’s Enterprise solutions.
Nathan Rader, Keller Williams Realty’s Southwest Google Apps sales manager, has been with Google for almost six years. He’s had his hands in more than 20 migrations, moving organizations of all shapes and sizes – including a real estate investment and property group with 3,000 employees – over to Google’s cloud-based enterprise infrastructure.
The KW Blog Editorial Team spoke with Rader recently to find out what it took to move Keller Williams associates over to Google Apps for Business and how agents can get up and running on their core Gmail, Calendar, Drive and Talk Apps.
What made Keller Williams Realty’s migration unique?
Rader: I’ve never seen an organization so focused on using technology and innovation as a competitive advantage for numerous people distributed over disperse geographic locations.
How many Google team members worked on the KW migration?
Rader: Six team members from Google have been involved in this project. As you might expect with a project of this scale, the team hailed from all over the country, including Fort Worth and Austin, Texas as well as Mountainview, Calif.
You attended Mega Camp 2013. What was your impression of our second largest event?
Rader: Mega Camp was an absolutely incredible experience. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to speak to over 10,000 agents. The excitement and passion for their business was infectious. I could smell in the air the love for KW and building a legacy in their local real estate market.

Lenders Loosen Down Payment Requirements

Lenders Loosen Down Payment Requirements

Sunday, November 17, 2013

What do Buyers like?

Keller Williams
Jeri Patrick Team
Noticeable Different, Noticeable Better!
Positioning Your House for the International Market
According to recent National Association of REALTORS® research, overseas buyers’ attraction to U.S. homes is at its second-highest level in recent years (NAR 2013 Profile of International Home Buying Activity). International clients are estimated to have purchased $68.2 billion of residential property in the United States, approximately 6.3% of the total dollar value of the U.S. existing home sales (EHS) market of $1.08 trillion. The average mean sales price for an international transaction was $354,193 vs. $228,383, and 63% of those sales were for all cash. Canadians represented 23% of the transactions followed by China with 12%, Mexico with 8% and India with 5% of all international transactions in the 12 months ending March 2013.
Why they are buying
International transactions take place for three main reasons. The United States is a desirable place to live, U.S. real estate is a profitable investment and that real estate is also a secure investment. Driving these three reasons are the underlying desires to immigrate to the United States using the government’s EB-5 visa program, education, and lastly the ability to invest and realize a realistic profit.
Where they are buying
International transactions are closely related to the area you live. If you live on the West Coast, the majority come from Asia; if you live on the East Coast, they will typically come from Europe. Therefore, if you are in a major coastal city such as Los Angeles, San Francisco or Seattle, the likelihood of Asian buyers being interested in your home increases and you might want to consider working with a broker who specializes in the Asian community. 
Another major draw is the proximity to top universities. In 2012, research indicated that 764,495 international students came to the United States and a big percentage of them bought homes rather than live in a dormitory. ( If you live near the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign or New York University in Manhattan, then you would have an opportunity to find an international student as your potential buyer and would want to list with a broker who is aware of this fact and who is actively working with the housing departments in their local university.
Online exposure
International buyers are always looking online for terrific photos and videos. Since they are not physically present, they will quickly respond to the broker who makes their search simple and painless.
Furthermore, the above-mentioned “Profile of International Home Buying Activity? indicated that 29% of foreigners who were unsuccessful in buying a home in the United States could not find a suitable property and gave up. Therefore it is critical that you choose a broker with a strong online presence who understands the power of multiple photos (at least 20) and virtual tours. The best agents expose your property on an international level in multiple languages to maximize the home’s exposure.
Why hire a Keller Williams Global Property Specialist? (KWGPS)
Our Keller Williams Global Property Specialists have been trained to cover all of the above marketing avenues and have the expertise and cultural sensitivity to work with their international clients. 
When you list your home with a KWGPS agent, it will be automatically uploaded into the Proxio International MLS & Global Referral Network ( for a global reach to more than 500,000 real estate agents in over 100 countries. Your listing is automatically translated into 19 different languages, converted to metric and 50 currencies along with a complete social media solution!  Prospective buyers around the world can search online in their native language for your home and send a request to your KWGPS agent, which arrives in English.

Where do Buyers come from?

 Jeri Patrick Team   
Call or Text (912) 656-3203

Savannah Real Estate Pros Keller Williams Realty

Homes for Sale Savannah, Pooler, Rincon, Richmond Hill, Guyton, West Chatham and the surrounding Low Country

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Ready to Ring in the Holidays in your New Home

Jeri Patrick Team

Savannah Real Estate Pros Keller Williams Realty

 Homes for Sale Savannah, Pooler, Rincon, Richmond Hill, Guyton, West Chatham and the surrounding Low Country
Regal Builder's offers exceptional craftsmanship throughout this tantalizing home the grand entryway lures you with its two-story foyer; the smooth flowing design welcomes family interaction on both floors. Private double cul-de-sac in the amenity filled community of Bradley Point. Minutes to Hunter.
TRACT Bradley Point South YEAR BUILT 2013
STATUS Active PROPERTY TYPE(S) Residential All, Single Family

This property is offered by Jeri Patrick with Keller Williams ~The Jeri Patrick Team~ visit my website for more information on the Savannah, GA real estate market including new construction ~  or email  912-656-3203

Would you like a home like 40 Amherst in Bradley Point?

Jeri Patrick Team

Savannah Real Estate Pros Keller Williams Realty

 Homes for Sale Savannah, Pooler, Rincon, Richmond Hill, Guyton, West Chatham and the surrounding Low Country
Situated on a private double cul-de-sac and always a favorite, Regal's Sonata, an alluring home with great room, loft, formal living and dining allowing for tons of living space; desirable final touches help polish this home nicely, much as wood, granite, and stainless appliances. Move in Ready!
TRACT Bradley Point South YEAR BUILT 2013
STATUS Active PROPERTY TYPE(S) Residential All, Single Family

This property is offered by Jeri Patrick with Keller Williams ~The Jeri Patrick Team~ visit my website for more information on the Savannah, GA real estate market including new construction ~  or email  912-656-3203

What's My Home Worth

 Jeri Patrick Team

Savannah, Pooler, Rincon, Richmond Hill, Effingham, West Chatham and the entire

Tri-Country Area

In today’s complex and difficult real estate market you need a professionals who will do whatever it takes to market and sell your home. Jeri Patrick has a team with an established history of success of selling homes in and around the Savannah Area. Jeri specializes in the home buying and selling process and is available to answer any of your real estate questions, provide information and handle any obstacles that may arise. So if you are looking for homes for sale in Savannah, Richmond Hill, Rincon, Pooler, and the surrounding low country then you’ve come to the right place!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Godley Station k-8th


Coming to Pooler

Upscale Outlet Mall - This is not a rumor. The plans can be found at It will be over a half of a million square foot of retail space located behind Sam's Club. The Village on Pooler Parkway - Under Construction - This will be a 143,000 SqFt shopping center located on Pooler Parkway between Benton and Maxwell. Proposed tenants will be TJ Maxx, Ross, Michael’s, PetSmart, Rack Room Shoes, Panera Bread, Jersey Mike’s, Palm Beach Tan, Moe’s Southwest Grill, Sawa Sushi, Legacy Nails, Sprint, Aspen Dental, Jalapeños & more. More Information can be found at New City Hall - Hwy 80 next to the old City hall - Pooler plans to use eminent domain to condemn a shopping center to build the new city hall. Goodwill - Under construction at Pooler Pkwy and Godley Station Blvd Steak and Shake - Next to Sam's Club. Dillard's - 5 Guys - Near Publix. Water Park - Next to Royal Cinemas -

Outlet Mall of Georgia has broken ground

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Just an ordinary fall day as a Realtor

The day in the life of a Realtor, sometimes feels much like the day of a kindergartener. Today we were all a little fussy because of the weather. Sniffle sniffle, cough cough. We must attend a group open house, which means several agents holding multiple houses open to get the best attendance. Of course my friends and I are all there to show our support to our fellow agents not for the free food and prizes plus this agent open had a hay ride. After this my friends and I must part ways for a day of work which starts at 2pm today, but what most people forget our “work” (hard to call something you love so much work) just begins as everyone else is getting off of work ready to see homes. The best part of my day was stopping by one of my seller’s home where her grandson claims I am famous because he saw me on the computer. As I was leaving he told me he loved me. It is great to be in Real Estate again, no more people whispering, "your in real estate? How are you?" Like it was a sickness. We can be famous again, yea!

Fake Online Reviews Become Growing Problem

Fake Online Reviews Become Growing Problem

Agent Aids Police in Drug Bust at Open House

Agent Aids Police in Drug Bust at Open House

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Moving truck driving tips

Many people choose to rent a moving truck rather than hiring professional movers in order to save money when they move. Make sure to review all safety information with the rental business before driving the truck.

Here are some guidelines for safe truck driving.

Drive defensively

Practice these basic driving habits so others know your intentions and to help prevent accidents.

  • Check the mirrors for other vehicles frequently.

  • Never tailgate. Trucks require more time and room to stop.

  • Never use the passing lane on the interstate.

  • Allow more room and more time for lane changes.

  • Watch sharp turns. Trucks are longer and wider than cars, so they need more turning area.

  • Always use your turn signal to let other drivers know your intentions.

  • And, of course, always wear a seatbelt!

Vehicle safety

  • Make sure to familiarize yourself with the truck before hitting the road.

  • Never drive if you are over-tired.

  • Avoid medication and never drive under the influence of alcohol.

  • Bring a friend or family member to help with the driving.

  • Stop every two hours or so to prevent fatigue.

  • Stop regularly for coffee or soda and a snack, or just to stretch your legs.

Backing up

  • Avoid backing up if you can. If you must back up, have someone direct you from the side at the rear.

  • If you're towing anything, it's best to NEVER back up.

Save money on fuel

  • Obey the speed limits.

  • Gradually build to the desired speed.

  • On the highway, keep a consistent speed and don't attempt to pass.


  • Set the emergency brake every time you park.

  • Turn the wheels away from the curb with the truck faced uphill; toward the curb when facing downhill.

  • Look for "drive-through" parking spaces to avoid backing.

  • If you're stopping at a hotel, always park in well-lit areas. Lock all doors and padlock the safety chains if you're towing anything.

  • At road stops and restaurants, park where you can see the vehicle.


  • Allow at least five vehicle lengths between you and the vehicle ahead of you.

  • Brake earlier than you think you need to.

  • Ease off the accelerator when stopping to avoid shifting cargo.

Avoid height-related accidents

  • Know the height of the vehicle you're driving.

  • Be aware of low canopies, overpasses, bridges, tree branches, parking garages and signs prohibiting truck traffic.

  • Don't use the drive-through at a restaurant. Park the truck and walk in.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

VirtuallyShow Tour ~16 Marcy Court~

VirtuallyShow Tour: VirtuallyShow Tour video.

Pottery Barn Perfect! Loads Of character with great floor plan. Stunning stone fireplace brings an organic touch to casual living and tranquil lifestyle. Galley Kitchen, Stainless Appliances, and Huge Pantry. Impeccably maintained and well taken care. No remodeling needed in desirable community.

This property is offered by Jeri Patrick with Keller Williams ~The Jeri Patrick Team~ visit my website for more information on the Savannah, GA real estate market including new construction ~  or email  912-656-3203

VirtuallyShow Tour ~217 Sebring Drive

VirtuallyShow Tour: VirtuallyShow Tour video.

The perfect breather from a busy lifestyle, you'll immediately sense the feeling of space and the balance of comfortable, casual living both inside and out. New HVAC and roof. All brick split plan with extra-large bedrooms centering around family living bringing the heart of the home-the Kitchen-alive.

This property is offered by Jeri Patrick with Keller Williams ~The Jeri Patrick Team~ visit my website for more information on the Savannah, GA real estate market including new construction ~  or email  912-656-3203

VirtuallyShow Tour of 114 Pampas Drive

VirtuallyShow Tour: VirtuallyShow Tour video.

Welcome Home! This well kept Godley Station Home is move in ready. Beautiful backyard w park like setting. Split floor plan.. large eat in kitchen, Formal dining, Comfortable Great room w a fireplace, Master Bedroom w bath that includes separate shower and soaking tub. All in the heart of Pooler!

This property is offered by Jeri Patrick with Keller Williams ~The Jeri Patrick Team~ visit my website for more information on the Savannah, GA real estate market including new construction ~  or email  912-656-3203