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Date Archives: October 2019

BHHS Bay Street Realty Group Cora Bett Thomas Realty Blog Home

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The Golden Isles, primarily Saint Simons Island and Jekyll Island, are known for their marshes and beaches… But in addition to the beautiful views and relaxing landscape, there are endless events throughout the month of November that are perfect for visitors or full-time residents.

Friday, November 1st- Sunday, November 3rd: Georgia Florida Gameday Weekend

For the past 50 years, the Golden Isles become Bulldawg headquarters for the annual showdown between The University of Georgia & The University of Florida. Although the game is played in Jacksonville, most fans love to spend their game day weekend on Georgia's coast. The town truly turns red and black, most local businesses offer great deals for football fans, there's an abundance of live music and great food, and plenty of TV's for cheering on the dawgs! There's hardly a vacation home or hotel room to spare during this big football weekend each year… So throw on your red & black, and join in on the fun! 

Saturday, November 2nd- Sunday, November 3rd: St. Simons Antique Show

If football isn't for you… St. Simons Island takes advantage of the cooler temps and ocean breeze each and every November, hosting their Antique Show. Wander from tent to tent under the oaks in the historic Pier Village area. This year they will be set up on the grounds of the beautiful revitalized Postell Park, on Beachview Drive off Mallory Street. Antique dealers come from all over the Southeast so there's truly something for everyone: furniture, jewelry, artwork, glassware, collectibles, and treasures galore.  

Sunday, November 10th: Brunswick PorchFest

Head to Brunswick for some community camaraderie, live music, food trucks, and a tour of the beautiful Old Town Historic District. PorchFest is a true neighborhood music celebration! Family and friends stroll from porch to porch to hear live performances and then end with a finale at the Brunswick Manor at 5 pm. Everyone involved volunteers their time and musical talent to the event, and each year it happens rain or shine! 

Saturday, November 16th: Sea Island Half Marathon & 10K

Runners rejoice! The Sea Island Half Marathon & 10k is also known as "A luxury race getaway"... As runners get to escape to a destination unlike any other. Athletes will experience scenic views and minimal hills along the course, and at the end they're treated to a post race champagne brunch. Many decided to turn this into a long weekend vacation! 


There's so much to do and see along the Golden Isles, share your favorite November events with us in the comments below! 


South Carolina Low Country in November


Fall in the Low Country means festival season and celebrating the drop in humidity and temperature. From Beaufort to Hilton Head, Cora Bett Thomas Realty has compiled a list of events that you should add to your calendar for the month of November:

Friday, November 1st - Sunday, November 3rd: Pat Conroy Literary Festival

An opportunity to honor Pat Conroy's legacy as a student, teacher and mentor, the Fourth Annual Pat Conroy Literary Festival is a captivating weekend of panel discussions, readings, book signings, performances, film screenings, tours, and social gatherings. There is an array of presenters on topics galore from storytelling to poem writing. Be sure to check out their website for a full list of events and locations for each.

Friday, November 8th - Saturday, November 9th: Hilton Head Oyster Festival

Steamed, fried, or stewed… The Hilton Head Oyster Festival is the perfect excuse to eat all the oysters your heart desires! In addition to oysters, there will be live entertainment, a kid-friendly zone, and a lounge to cheer on your favorite football team. If oysters aren't your thing, there's plenty of other options to eat, but don't miss out on all the fun at Shelter Cove Community Park.

Saturday, November 9th: Hilton Head Lantern Parade

Take some time, get creative, and illuminate life on the island! This year, artist Chantelle Rytter encourages all of Hilton Head Island and its visitors to make their own light-up lanterns. The goal: to see the whole community as "playful volumes of light marching down the beach together"! Be a part of the parade or watch from afar. Lineup begins at 6 pm at the Alder Lane Beach Access, and the parade kicks off at 7 pm traveling north along South Forest Beach to Coligny Beach Park.

Every Thursday: Bluffton Farmers Market

The Bluffton Farmers Market, under the moss-draped oaks of Calhoun Street, is the place to be each Thursday afternoon in November from 1-6 pm. Fresh and locally grown fruits, veggies, flowers, and plants are sold. Don't forget about the fresh catch of the day, feast Lowcountry style after buying fresh-caught seafood from the market. Families listen to live entertainment and soak in the crisp fall air while perusing delicious tables of local goods. 


A dog is a man's best friend, and no city takes that to heart more than Savannah! While roaming the hostess city, you will often see locals and tourists with a leash in hand. Whether you are roaming the 22 beautiful squares or grabbing a bite to eat, the best part is that your dog is often welcome. Here are some places to get started with your furry friend: 

Square-hopping is one of our favorite things to do, and in Savannah we have 22 squares! You and your pup will both get some exercise while taking in the beauty and rich history of the city. If you are here for the first time, go on Oliver Bentleys Historic Dog Walk Tour to learn about the history among the squares with your four-legged friend. Also wander to River Street, Jones Street, Wormsloe Historic Site, Forsyth Park, and Bonaventure Cemetery… These are beautiful iconic places in Savannah, which are dog friendly too!

While out adventuring, you'll certainly want in on all the delicious tastes of Savannah! Thankfully many restaurants have outside seating so you and your dog can go for a date night. Tubby's Seafood, Belford's, The Paris Market, The Wyld Dock Bar, Foxy Loxy Cafe, and Coco & Moss are some of our dog-friendly favorites. Your puppy and you will both agree to stop in at the famous Leopold's Ice Cream on Broughton Street, where your dog will enjoy a free pup sundae topped with a biscuit and you will fill that sweet tooth craving with a sundae of your own!

Shopping is a must while in Savannah… not just for two-legged friends but for our four-legged friends too! Pamper your pup by stopping in Woof Gang Bakery, which is Savannah's neighborhood pet store. You'll be greeted with treats galore, leashes, collars, clothes, and all the toys your best bud desires. 

You can bar hop with your bud too! Have a beer in one hand and your leash in the other. Savannah is known for its no open container laws… meaning you can grab a drink to go and walk around with your drink in hand. You should plan to stop in Moon River Brewing Company, where they have locally-crafted beers and an outdoor patio for your pup. Hitch, Starland Yard, The Original Pinkie Masters, and all breweries in Savannah are also dog-friendly!

Cora Bett Thomas Realty is another fun stop your dog friendly tour! There's always a water dish outside and treats inside. Many of the agents even bring their furry friends to work each and everyday, so you may make some new friends while here. 


It's almost time for one of the most anticipated October events in Savannah, and that is the SCAD Savannah Film Festival. This annual event celebrates the art of filmmaking by featuring films made by emerging student filmmakers, as well as films created by award-winning professionals. The 8 day festival has over 63,000 attendees, and in the past has included celebrities such as Hugh Jackman, Timothy Dalton, Sir Patrick Stewart, Holly Hunter, and Emily Blunt.

In addition to film screenings the SCAD Savannah Film Festival also features workshops, panels and lectures and premiers. Both competitive and special film screenings will be held at the Trustees Theater, the Lucas Theatre, and the SCAD Museum of the Arts Theater. Panels and workshops will be held at the Gutstein Gallery.

The SCAD Savannah Film Festival is a great experience for film lovers, and is worth checking out at least once. A variety of levels of Film Festival passes are offered for purchase and many not only get you access and reserved seating to almost all of the screenings and lectures, but also many of the after parties around town. Passes offer the best chance of being admitted to the events they wish to attend.

If you're looking to visit Savannah – or have a friend visiting — to attend the SCAD Savannah Film Festival, book a vacation rental with Cora Bett Thomas Realty and Associates. With vacation rental properties located in the heart of the Historic District, you can enjoy the festival and all that Downtown Savannah has to offer.


Everyone always says that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Whether you agree with that sentiment or not, Savannah has no shortage of places to enjoy a breakfast meal and get your day started off right. Folks love the idea of brunch, but sometimes you want to grab a no-frills early morning meal before you begin the day. Here are some of our favorite places to enjoy a breakfast meal.


Coffee Fox

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The Coffee Fox is on Broughton Street, in the very heart of Historic Downtown Savannah. This coffee shop is pretty simple and is a favorite of locals. The Coffee Fox offers iterations of locally-roasted Perc coffee, but make no mistake--you will find no flavored syrups on this menu. The Coffee Fox serves quiche and a variety of pastries, including homemade kolaches. Kolaches are pastries with either savory or sweet fillings. The Coffee Fox has a couple of standby kolache flavors like egg and cheese, sausage and cheese, and cream cheese, as well as a rotating special savory flavor and special sweet flavor. Past special flavors include mushroom and swiss; ham, goat cheese, and chive; guava and cream cheese, and key lime and cream cheese.


The Grey Market

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The Grey Market is another of our favorite breakfast stops. This Southern twist on a bodega has tables as well as a diner counter where customers can pop in and grab a quick breakfast. Again, coffee here is simple and standard, and the food is the star. Homemade biscuits and pastries by local baker Natasha Gaskill fill the bakery case at the front of the shop. Those looking for something on the savory side should check out the Board for the Melt of the Day, or, on the weekends, the Brunch Blue Plate of the Day. Or, stick with a classic Grey Market menu item and go for The Smoky Pig. With pulled pork, egg, and pepper relish on a kaiser roll, this breakfast sandwich always hits the spot.


Cafe' M

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If you're looking for something a little more sophisticated, check out Cafe' M on Bay Street. This cafe' has been one of our favorite places since it opened a few years ago. The atmosphere and menu is evocative of a Parisian cafe', making Cafe' M the perfect place to grab a bite and escape the average day-to-day routine. Pop in for a coffee and a breakfast sandwich, tartine, or a sweet croissant. On the weekend, Cafe' M offers brunch and bottomless mimosas.


The Collins Quarter

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The Collins Quarter is another impressive spot that offers an escape from the ordinary. This café is modeled after the eateries located on Collins Street in Melbourne, Australia. The Collins Quarter has a full menu of coffee-based beverages, as well as cocktails and wine. Weekenders can stop in for the Short Rib Hash or Crab Cakes Benedict, and pair either of those with a mimosa or two, but we enjoy stopping in for a midweek breakfast of a cortado and a croissant.


Wright Square Café

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Just around the corner from The Collins Quarter is Wright Square Cafe' and Chocolatier. If you want to get a slightly elevated breakfast sandwich to go, then this is the place to visit. The bacon, egg and gouda croissant, paired with a cappuccino, can easily chase away the Monday blahs and still get you going on your way for the week.



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If you're in the mood for good old diner food served with no fuss or frills, then Henry's is your place. This diner is located behind the Planter's Inn on Drayton Street and opens at 6:30am seven days a week. Menu items are standard diner fare, such as eggs and toast, breakfast sandwiches, and pancakes. But, the food is consistently delicious and filling, and the service is friendly and efficient, which probably explains why Henry's is bustling 7 days a week and has a steady stream of regular breakfast customers.


These are only just a few of our favorite places in Savannah for breakfast, and many of those we have listed are open for lunch as well, and some even for dinner. Whatever you're in the mood for as your first meal of the day, these great places in Downtown Savannah have you covered.





Fall is here — well, at least according to the calendar, fall is here. The weather in Savannah may not feel like summer's over until sometime in November, but now is the time to get to work on some colder-weather maintenance for your home. This way, you can have everything ready before the weather changes. Read on for our handy list of home maintenance to-dos for fall home maintenance.

Exterior Fixes

Regularly clean gutters and downspouts.

Fall is when gutters can fill up quickly and we still have a few weeks of hurricane season so keep them clean to protect your property. Make sure all drainage areas are unblocked by leaves and debris. Consider installing gutter guards to make the job a lot easier.

Check for rotting wood.

We live in a subtropical and wet environment. Check for soft spots, which can indicate rotting wood. Problem areas to look for often occur at the bottom sashes of windows, the window sill and the bottoms of trim boards, edges and column pediments. Basically, anywhere that gravity helps water end up. Use a screwdriver to probe the wood trim around your windows, doors, railings and deck. Use caulk to fill the holes, or completely replace the wood if it is rotted.


Lower humidity and cooler (not yet cold) temperatures make fall a good time to paint the exterior of your home. Make sure to check for rot first and prime any repaired areas.


Inspect your roof, or hire a licensed professional to examine your roof for wear and tear. If the shingles are curling, buckling or crackling, replace them. If you have a lot of damage, it's time to consider replacing the entire roof.

Garden Maintenance


Fall is the perfect time to divide or move perennials. Remove your dead annuals and mulch hardy perennials.


Clean your gardening tools before storing for the winter. Better still, make sure your storage area/shed is clean before storing your tools.


Cut dead branches out the trees to prevent them from coming down and causing damage in a late tropical storm or future winter storm. Wait until late winter to prune healthy trees and shrubs though.


Fall is a good time to aerate your lawn; it will allow moisture and nutrients to get into the roots. When you're done, spread fertilizer then grass seed. It's also the right time to fertilize turf grasses, preferably with slow-release, all-natural fertilizer. When given adequate nutrients, turf grasses have the ability to store food in the form of carbohydrates during the winter months. That will mean a better-looking lawn come spring.


Pest prevention.

Pests love attics because they are full of nice warm insulation for nesting, and they offer easy access to the rest of the house. If you have gable vents that lead into your attic, it is a good idea to install a screen behind them to keep those critters out.

Check the important gadgets.

Each fall, check carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms and put in fresh batteries. These are very important detectors to have in a home and their importance can't be overstated. Check your furnace filters and check for drafts. We like to also add in a yearly password update for wifi and pertinent websites during this time.

Clean out your fireplace and chimney.

A wood burning fireplace is a wonderful feature to have in your home. However, unless you are well versed in chimney construction, contact a reputable chimney sweep service to do a check before the cold weather sets in. Items such as bird or animal nests built during the summer, as well as excessive soot deposits from the previous winter, can easily obstruct flues and dampers, thereby increasing the chances of chimney fires.

Take a few hours here and there for some basic fall home maintenance. It will help you spot developing problems, and, consequently, prevent costly repairs. For best results, use the tasks above as a guide; everyone's home is different and over time you will develop a fall home maintenance routine specific to your property.



Making the decision to become a Real Estate agent is a career journey that over a million professionals have made. People decide to enter the field at different stages in their lives, some newly out of college, others post-retirement, and some even as a second source of income. They come from all different career backgrounds and with varied outlooks on the industry. But what does it take to become a realtor? If there was a job description written for becoming an agent, what would it look like? So we asked Cora Bett Thomas Realty's agents to weigh in.

First, you'll want to make sure you are eligible for the job. Becoming an agent requires a state license, and the requirements vary state to state, but in Georgia the basics include:

  • You must be at least 18 years old
  • You must have a legal US residency
  • You must complete your 75-hour pre-license education
  • You must pass your state's real estate license exam
  • You must complete your 25-hour post-license education

That is the part of the job description that's required. But, in order to be successful, there are additional decisions, characteristics, and commitments that one must take. How do you know that this career path is right for you?



One of the most important things to remember is that each and every day you are working for yourself. You are handling your own paperwork, you are developing your own new leads, you are managing your own relationships, and you are dealing with buyers and sellers on your own. You certainly have a group of individuals supporting you through your agency, but your success as a realtor weighs heavily on your commitment to the job. Associate Broker, Sandra Sandling, says, "In order to be a good agent you have to be a self-starter and a good negotiator with tenacity." Hard work certainly pays off in this industry.


As a realtor, it's good to have a back-up plan and learn flexibility when Plans A, B, and C all fall through. "You need to possess a lot of patience and really stay up to date on what is going on in the market," Sara Sawyer, Cora Bett Thomas Realty Agent, weighs in. "Having accurate and vast knowledge and the patience to explain it to people over and over again is key." Real estate is never mundane and truly takes a servant's heart to achieve success in the industry.



It is a common misconception that people get into real estate because it is an easy job. However, the notion that you can be a part-time Realtor is totally false! Work-life balance is delicate and not easily achieved. "A successful agent works 7 days a week, nights and weekends, whether it's negotiating contracts, researching, scheduling appointments, showing homes and the community, listing appointments, preparing contracts, counter offers and amendments. Attending home inspections, meeting vendors, counseling clients, hosting agent open houses and public open houses, attending conferences and CE classes. And So Much More," advises longtime agent Mary Merritt. Having a lot of free time is another misconception. "Others may not realize how much time and effort go into the job before the first house is even shown to a buyer or listing appointment is made," says Cora Bett Thomas Realty agent Traci Wells. It takes time to build your business, and start being successful in this field.


What are the pros and cons of being a salesperson in the real estate industry? Disappointed clients, hearing the word "no" (having thick skin), and managing your time effectively are three of the hardest parts of being an agent. However, the pros seem to outweigh the cons. The job provides great joy, the freedom to build your own business exponentially, and the opportunity to create a work schedule that works for you and your family. "The sky is truly the limit," says Mary Merritt. "The job is so rewarding, especially if you like to help other people."




A Bluffton State of Mind


About a half hour from Savannah, and a few minutes from Hilton Head, sits the gorgeous Low Country town of Bluffton, South Carolina. Right on the banks of the May River, this town is filled with beautiful antebellum homes, rich history, southern hospitality, salty air, and centuries-old oak trees. There's no better place to vacation, adventure, or find yourself at home than Bluffton.

So how did Bluffton come to be? The story of this coastal town started more than 250 years ago, as settlers started to stake their claim on the area… when they were faced by the Yemassee Indians, who were already occupying the land. As a result, the Yamasee War broke out in 1715, fighting continued for several years until the tribe migrated to Florida. European settlement then began, and in the early 1800's the Historic Old Town Bluffton emerged. Early on it became a summer town, as many escaped the hard inland plantation conditions to come to Bluffton, where the breezes helped keep yellow fever and malaria outbreaks at a minimum. The first cries of secession were given voice in Bluffton, and eventually South Carolina was the first state to succeed from the Union. During the Civil War, the town was mostly abandoned, destroyed, and eventually burned in 1863. Only 15 homes and 2 church survived the fire. By the turn of the century, the town experienced commercial growth and residents began making Bluffton their summer home again. Today, Bluffton is one of the fastest growing towns in South Carolina, and tourism here continues to blossom.

For history buffs coming to the area, you should take a tour through Old Town Bluffton. The two must-see places are The Heyward House (which seconds as the Welcome Center) and The Church of the Cross. The Heyward House was built in 1840 by a local plantation owner. The house is a representation of the architecture and lifestyle of that time period, as it has been virtually untouched. The Church of the Cross is one of Bluffton's oldest surviving buildings which overlooks the May River. It has witnessed everything from the Civil War to the burning of the town, and the hurricane of 1898. It remains a place of worship and beauty for the town. 

Winding through the Old Town area, is the May River. Take advantage of its beautiful views and fun adventures. You can go kayaking, take a fishing charter, eat oysters, see the beautiful wildlife (from dolphins to sea birds), and hit the links at the May River Golf Club while you're here.

While the gentlemen adventure away, the ladies will shop! Calhoun Street and The Promenade are the perfect place to start; you'll find eclectic shops and art galleries galore. Boutiques and antique stores aren't the only shops found here, the town is also home to a factory outlet which attracts visitors and locals alike.

The food in Bluffton is out of this world. The Cottage is a Cafe, Bakery, and Tea Room. It's a cozy spot to grab a delicious bite for breakfast, lunch, or casual dinner but they're especially known for their sweet treats. If you're looking for a fancy date night out on the town, The Bluffton Room is perfect with its rooftop bar area. Agave for tacos and margaritas, and fire roasted pizza at Local Pie. The Bluffton Oyster Factory-- four generations owner-- is another crowd favorite, located oceanside and serving up fresh seafood and sandwiches in a casual setting. Every Thursday afternoon, Calhoun Street comes alive as it's transformed into a vibrant Farmers Market with locally grown fruits, veggies, and freshly caught seafood so you can feast like a local.


If you're looking to live in a Bluffton State of Mind, there seems to be no better place to start than Cora Bett Thomas Realty. The homes here offer unique architecture and breathtaking views. From entry-level properties, cottages, family-friendly neighborhoods, to that dream home along the May River. There's truly something for everyone in this rapidly growing Low Country town.

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