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Date Archives: April 2018

BHHS Bay Street Realty Group Cora Bett Thomas Realty Blog Home

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April
23

Savannah's New Tex-Mex Spot

Many people may recognize the location of El Coyote as the former home of The Florence, which was a place that Savannah either loved or barely regarded. These 2 restaurants have shared a building, and that is where the similarities end.

El coyote savanna

El Coyote is brought to you by the team that has been providing delicious food with a view at the Wyld Dock Bar the past several years. El Coyote's interior is nicer than that of your typical Savannah Mexican restaurant, but not so nice that you feel underdressed in shorts and a T-shirt. Think large, open dining room with the over-popular exposed-filament-edison bulbs, dark and distressed wood and stone. This along with Tex-Mex curated knickknacks and a retro, 70s-style multicolored graphic  visually tie it all together. Nothing terribly original, but it works well, giving the space a livelier feel than the previous inhabitant. And to be honest, I prefer a restaurant with less emphasis on style and more on the delicious food rather than vice versa.

An extensive list of tequilas and mezcals dominate half of the drink menu. The Mezcal Old Fashioned is not be missed. Those looking for something milder can indulge in a glass of Spanish wine or choose from a nice selection of Mexican beers. Margaritas and craft cocktails are of course, also available. I will say that the $8 I paid for the best paloma I've recently had the pleasure of drinking, was well worth it. 

El coyote savanna

Many of the appetizers are in the $3-$10 range and feature classics such as corn elote (aka street corn) and queso fundido. Another must-have appetizer are the Sappelo Bay Clams. For $15, you are served a heaping mound of clams in a michelada broth flavored with chorizo and sofrito. Also not to be missed is the Philli Relleno, El Coyote's cheeky take on a chile relleno and consists of a local blistered poblano pepper stuffed with cheesesteak and topped with mushroom mole.

The street tacos are $4 each and are served a la carte, mostly because there is no need for these tacos to be accompanied by a heap of gluey beans or dry rice. For those with larger appetites, traditional and seasonal sides such rice and black beans — or charred spring onions — are available and they are neither gluey nor dry. A tasty and unexpected side dish is Pam's Hot Pickled Mexican Carrots — for $2, you get a spicy condiment that tastes great with anything else on the menu.

The fajitas, a classic Tex-Mex dish, was hands down better than anywhere in the city. The steak version was an actual grilled steak, cooked medium rare and then cut and served on a hot cast iron plate. Accompanied by roasted poblanos, onions, portabella mushrooms, blistered tomatoes and house made tortillas, this was a welcome return to steak fajitas' roots.

We see El Coyote becoming a local favorite and a new staple for many in Midtown and Downtown Savannah. The cost of grabbing a delicious taco and a cold beer at El Coyote may not be the cheapest taco and beer you've ever seen, but it is without a doubt among the tastiest in Savannah.

El Coyote

1 W Victory Drive

Savannah, GA 31405

www.elcoyotesav.com

April
23

Take a look inside some of the most beautiful homes on Tybee at the 21st Annual Tybee Island Tour of Homes Saturday, May 5 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

tybee island tour of homes

The eccentricity that permeates this community is echoed throughout its residential buildings. Tybee Island is home to great restaurants and boutiques, and because of the size of the island many of these are accessible by bicycle or golf cart. The solidarity of the residents of Tybee Island have attracted many a permanent visitor, and the homes range from beachfront condos to small bungalows tucked away in the pines. The Tybee Tour of Homes features beautiful homes all over Tybee Island, the renovated 1930s Tybee Post Theater and more.

For more information Click Here.

Are You Interested in a Home on Tybee Island?

Browse Tybee Island homes for sale!

April
22

In the majority in the US, buying a home is more affordable than renting.

buying a home

The results of the 2018 Rental Affordability Report from ATTOM show that buying a median-priced home is more affordable than renting a three-bedroom property in 54% of U.S. counties analyzed for the report.

The updated numbers show that renting a three-bedroom property in the United States requires an average of 38.8% of income.

The least affordable market for renting was Marin County, CA, just over the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco, where renters spend a staggering 79.5% of average wages on rent, while the most affordable market was Madison County, AL where 22.3% of average wages went to rent.

Other interesting findings in the report include:

  • Average rent rose faster than income in 60% of counties
  • Average rent rose faster than median home prices in 41% of counties
  • While median home prices rose faster than average rents in 58% of counties

Bottom Line

Buying a home makes sense socially and financially. If you are one of the many renters out there who would like to evaluate your ability to buy this year, let's get together to find your dream home.

April
20

In many markets across the country, the number of buyers searching for their dream homes greatly outnumbers the number of homes for sale. This has led to a competitive marketplace where buyers often need to stand out. One way to show you are serious about buying your dream home is to get pre-qualified or pre-approved for a mortgage before starting your search.

Even if you are in a market that is not as competitive, understanding your budget will give you the confidence of knowing if your dream home is within your reach.

Freddie Mac lays out the advantages of pre-approval in the 'My Home' section of their website:

"It's highly recommended that you work with your lender to get pre-approved before you begin house hunting. Pre-approval will tell you how much home you can afford and can help you move faster, and with greater confidence, in competitive markets."

One of the many advantages of working with a local real estate professional is that many have relationships with lenders who will be able to help you with this process. Once you have selected a lender, you will need to fill out their loan application and provide them with important information regarding "your credit, debt, work history, down payment and residential history."

Freddie Mac describes the '4 Cs' that help determine the amount you will be qualified to borrow:

  1. Capacity: Your current and future ability to make your payments
  2. Capital or cash reserves: The money, savings, and investments you have that can be sold quickly for cash
  3. Collateral: The home, or type of home, that you would like to purchase
  4. Credit: Your history of paying bills and other debts on time

Getting pre-approved is one of many steps that will show home sellers that you are serious about buying, and it often helps speed up the process once your offer has been accepted.

Bottom Line

Many potential home buyers overestimate the down payment and credit scores needed to qualify for a mortgage today. If you are ready and willing to buy, you may be pleasantly surprised at your ability to do so. 

Contact Us Today!

April
13

Rosemary Cocktail

While some herbs and spices might be considered trendy, there is no denying that rosemary is one herb that stands the test of time. Rosemary is native to the Mediterranean region, but the temperate climes of the 100 Mile Coast have also provided a place to flourish to this hardy member of the mint family.

If you venture out into the Historic District of Downtown Savannah, you'll spot rosemary tucked into window boxes and dominating flower boxes along weathered sidewalks. The rosemary plant is an attractive evergreen and can be easily shaped. Besides having pretty blossoms, the rosemary plant also has a pleasant smell.

Perhaps one of the best things about rosemary is its versatility. The ease of growing the plant is appealing to horticulturists new and old alike. But a green thumb is not necessary to appreciate all of the uses of this herb. Rosemary is used in a variety of cosmetic and culinary applications.

Rosemary essential oil is believed to aid any number of maladies. Common uses of rosemary essential oil include thickening hair, improving memory function, and aiding with digestion. The fragrance of rosemary is used in household products such as shampoos, soaps, and candles.

Rosemary is also widely used as a flavor-enhancing herb in both food and beverages. With warmer weather very nearly upon us here in the Lowcountry, we are always looking to expand our recipes with local ingredients that are easily found here in Savannah. So of course, this being Savannah, when we started thinking  about using Rosemary in the kitchen, we immediately thought about a rosemary cocktail.

We contacted our good friend — and cocktail and spirits expert — Jason Owenby, over at Alley Cat Lounge. He happily recommended a gin and rosemary cocktail using a Rosemary simple syrup you can make easily at home. 

The syrup requires minimum effort to make, but the payoff is worth it, since this syrup will elevate any cocktail without the hassle of muddling or straining your cocktails. Best of all, the rosemary syrup lends an aromatic, woodsy flavor that is evocative of the South. So, cheers!

Rosemary Gin Fizz

It's super simple.

2 oz London dry gin like beefeater

.75 oz rosemary syrup (recipe follows)

.75 to 1oz fresh squeezed lemon juice

Cold soda water

Add the first three ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Short shake everything and strain over fresh ice in a double rocks glass, and add soda.

Garnish with fresh blueberries and a rosemary sprig

Rosemary Simple Syrup

Bring 1 cup of water, 10-12 long stalks of rosemary and one 1 cup of white sugar to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove heat and allow to steep for 30 minutes. Make sure that the stalks stay totally submerged. Cover and let sit for up to 12 hours, but at least for 2 hours. Strain the mixture before using. Refrigerate any extra syrup for up to two weeks. But we cannot imagine it will last long!

April
3

Choose From Savannah's Best Real Estate Team!

Savannah's Best Real Estate Team

How do you select the members of your team who are going to help make your dream of owning a home a reality? What should you be looking for? How do you know if you've found the right agent or lender?

The most important characteristic that you should be looking for in your agent is someone who is going to take the time to really educate you on the choices available to you and your ability to buy in today's market.

As the financial guru Dave Ramsey advises:

"When getting help with money, whether it's insurance, real estate or investments, you should always look for someone with the heart of a teacher, not the heart of a salesman."

Do your research. Ask your friends and family for recommendations of professionals they've worked with in the past and have had good experiences with.

Look for members of your team who will be honest and trustworthy; after all, you will be trusting them to help you make one of the biggest financial decisions of your life.

Whether this is your first or fifth time buying a home, you want to make sure that you have an agent who is going to have the tough conversations with you, not just the easy ones. If your offer isn't accepted by the seller, or they think that there may be something wrong with the home that you've fallen in love with, you would rather know what they think than make a costly mistake.

According to the Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report:

"Buyers from all generations primarily wanted their agent's help to find the right home to purchase. Buyers were also looking for help to negotiate the terms of sale and to help with price negotiations." Additionally, "Help understanding the purchase process was most beneficial to buyers 37 years and younger at 75 percent."

Look for someone to invest in your family's future with you. You want an agent who isn't focused on the transaction but is instead focused on helping you understand the process while helping you find your dream home.

Bottom Line

In this world of Google searches, where it seems like all the answers are just a mouse-click away, you need an agent who is going to educate you and share the information that you need to know before you even know you need it. 

Contact Savannah's Best Real Estate Team Today!

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