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Date Archives: December 2019

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December
30

 

When a House Becomes a Happy Home | MyKCM

We talk a lot about why it makes financial sense to buy a home, but more often than not we're drawn to the emotional reasons for homeownership.

No matter the size or shape of a living space, the feeling of a home means different things to different people. Whether it's a certain scent or a favorite chair, the feel-good connections to our own homes are typically more important to us than the financial ones. Here are some of the reasons why

1. Owning your home offers stability to start and raise a family

From the best neighborhoods to the top school districts, even those without children at the time of purchase may have this in the back of their minds as a major reason for choosing the location of the home they purchase. Cora Bett Thomas Realty serves the 100 Mile Coast and we can show you neighborhoods from Beaufort, SC down to Saint Simons Island

2. There's no place like home

Owning your own home offers not only safety and security, but also a comfortable place where you can simply relax and kick-back after a long day. Sometimes, that's just what we need to feel re-charged and truly content and if you're new to the area check out our guide to Savannah to find the best place to pick up dinner on your way home! 

3. You have more space for you and your family

Whether your family is expanding, an older family member is moving in, or you need to have a large backyard for your pets, you can take all this into consideration when buying your dream home, so the space truly works for you. Neighborhoods outside of the city, like Rincon and Pooler, often offer larger lots so that you can stretch out! 

4. You have control over renovations, updates, and style

Looking to actually try one of those complicated wall treatments you saw on Pinterest? Tired of paying an additional pet deposit for your apartment building? Maybe you want to finally adopt that fur-baby puppy or kitten you've been hoping for. Who's to say you can't do all of these things in your own home?

Bottom Line

Whether you're a first-time homebuyer or a move-up buyer who wants to start a new chapter in your life, now is a great time to reflect on the intangible factors that make a house a happy home.

December
17

3 Mistakes to Avoid When Selling a Home in 2020

3 Mistakes to Avoid When Selling a Home in 2020 | MyKCM

It's exciting to put a house on the market and to think about making new memories in new spaces, but we can have deep sentimental attachments to the homes we're leaving behind, too. Growing emotions can help or hinder a sale, depending on how we manage them.

When it comes to the bottom line, homeowners need to know what it takes to avoid costly mistakes. Being mindful of these things and prepared for the process can help you avoid some of the most common mishaps when selling your house.

1. Overpricing Your Home

When Savannah inventory is low, like it is in the current market, it's common to think buyers will pay whatever we ask for when we price our homes. Believe it or not, that's far from the truth. Don't forget that the buyer's bank will send an appraisal to determine the fair value for your home. The bank will not lend more than what the house is worth, so be mindful that you might need to renegotiate the price after the appraisal. A real estate professional will help you to set the true value of your home.

2. Letting Your Emotions Interfere with the Sale

Today, most homeowners have been living in their houses for an average of 10 years (as shown in the graph below):3 Mistakes to Avoid When Selling a Home in 2020 | MyKCMThis is several years longer than what used to be the norm, since many homeowners have been recouping from negative equity situations over the past 10 years. The side effect, however, is when you live for so long in one place, you may get even more emotionally attached to your space. If it's the first home you bought after you got married or the house where your children grew up, it very likely means something extra special to you. Every room has memories and it's hard to detach from the sentimental value.

For some homeowners, that makes it even harder to negotiate, separating the emotional value of the home from the fair market price. That's why you need a real estate professional to help you with the negotiations in the process.

3. Not Staging Your Home

We're generally quite proud of our décor and how we've customized our houses to make them our own personalized homes, but not all buyers will feel the same way about your design. That's why it's so important to make sure you stage your home with the buyer in mind. Buyers want to envision themselves in the space, so it truly feels like their own. They need to see themselves in the space with their furniture and keepsakes – not your pictures and decorations. Stage and declutter your home so they can visualize their own dreams as they walk through your house. A real estate professional can help you with tips to get your home ready to stage and sell.

Bottom Line

Today's seller's market might be your best chance to make a move into a new neightborhood. If you're considering selling your house, let's get together to help you navigate through the process while avoiding common seller mistakes.

December
12

 

A 365 Day Difference in Homeownership | MyKCM

Over the past year, mortgage rates have fallen more than a full percentage point. This is a great driver for homeownership, as today's low rates provide consumers with some significant benefits. Here's a look at three of them:

  1. Refinance: If you already own a home, you may want to decide if you're going to refinance. It's one way to lock in a lower monthly payment and save substantially over time, but it also means paying upfront closing costs too. You have to answer the question: Should I refinance my home?
  2. Move-up or Downsize: Another option is to consider moving into a new home, putting the equity you've likely gained in your current house toward a down payment on a new one that better meets your needs – something that's truly a perfect fit for your family.
  3. Become a First-Time Homebuyer: There are many financial and non-financial benefits to owning a home, and the most important thing is to first decide when the time is right for you. You have to determine that on your own, but know that now is a great time to buy if you're considering it. Just take a look at the cost of renting vs. buying

Why 2019 Was a Great Year for Homeownership

Last year at this time, mortgage rates were 4.63% (substantially higher than they are today). If you're one who waited for a better time to make a move, market conditions have improved significantly. Today's low mortgage rates combined with increasing wages are making homes much more affordable than they were just one year ago, so it's a great time to get more for your money and consider a new home.

The chart below shows how much you would save based on today's rates, compared to what you would have paid if you purchased a house exactly one year ago, depending on how much you finance.A 365 Day Difference in Homeownership | MyKCM

Bottom Line

If you've been waiting since last year to make your move into homeownership, or to find a house that better meets your needs, today's low mortgage rates may be just what you need to get the process going. Cora Bett Thomas Realty specializes in properties along the 100 Mile Coast, and as a member of Leading Re, we can connect you globally. Contact an agent today to discuss how you can benefit from the current rates and find the property you've always dreamed of! 

December
11

Savannah's restaurant scene is constantly growing and changing, but some of our favorite places to grab a good meal are the ones that are simple establishments hiding in plain sight. Frali Gourmet is located on Liberty, across from the Savannah Civic Center. This family-owned and operated restaurant and food shop offers fresh and dried homemade pastas, homemade sauces, infused olive oil and other authentic Italian pantry items.

Try taking home fresh cut pasta with a jar of house-made sauce at Frali for an easy dinner during the busy holiday season. Frali Gourmet offers fresh, cut-to-order linguine, tagliatelle and pappardelle by the pound. The pasta and sauces at Frali Gourmet are prepared in an artisan way without preservatives or artificial fillers and are made with all natural ingredients.

Frali Gourmet also offers homemade, flavored dry pasta. The dried pasta is naturally dried for 48 hours. This process allows the pasta to fully lock in flavor and yields rich flavors of pasta like Beet Gemelli, Tomato and Basil Pappardelle, and Chocolate Conchiglie. These pastas are available for purchase in the shop and can be bundled in as part of gift sets and baskets.

House-prepared and packed vegetables under oil are also for sale in the shop. These vegetables, which include bell peppers, eggplant, Giardiniera, and Baby Bella mushrooms, are jarred not packed in brine. Instead, the are jarred in high quality olive oil. These jarred vegetables make for great antipasti and salad toppers, and the oils can be used as a dressing to any salad.

The cafe' at Frali Gourmet is open for lunch and dinner, and the menu offers mouthwatering pasta dishes and sandwiches. Stop in for an Old World lunch with the Parma Melt sandwich, made with a prosciutto crudo that has been aged 18 months.

Or, stop in for an authentic pasta dinner, served with homemade bread and house infused olive oil. Our favorite pasta dishes include the Veal-Stuffed Tortellini in butter and sage, and the Georgia shrimp ravioli with lobster cream sauce. If you happen to be unable to find a pasta specialty on the menu, you can create your own pasta dish by selecting pasta, sauce, and your protein.

Visit Frali Gourmet for your holiday needs — you can buy some unique and delicious infused oils, pastas and sauces as gifts, grab a sandwich to fuel up for the rest of your shopping, and take some fresh pasta and sauce home for dinner. If only all holiday planning were this easy!

December
4

 

5 Reasons to Sell This Winter | MyKCM

Below are five compelling reasons to list your house this winter.

1. Demand Is Strong

The latest Buyer Traffic Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows that buyer demand remains strong throughout the vast majority of the country. These buyers are ready, willing, and able to purchase, and are in the market right now. More often than not, in many areas of the country, multiple buyers are competing with each other to buy the same home.

Take advantage of the buyer activity currently in the market.

2. There Is Less Competition Now

Inventory is still under the 6-month supply needed for a normal housing market. This means in the majority of the country, there are not enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers in the market.

Historically, a homeowner would stay an average of six years in his or her home. Since 2011, that number has hovered between nine and ten years. There is a pent-up desire for many homeowners to move as they were unable to sell over the last few years due to a negative equity situation. As home values continue to appreciate, more and more homeowners will be given the freedom to move.

Many homeowners were reluctant to list their homes over the last couple of years, for fear they would not find a home to move into. That is all changing now as more homes come to market at the higher end. The choices buyers have will continue to increase. Don't wait until additional inventory comes to market before you decide to sell.

3. Buyers Are Serious at This Time of Year

Traditionally, homeowners think about spring as a great time to list their homes, when more buyer traffic may be out there actively searching. In the winter, however, the buyers who are seeking a home – whether for relocation or otherwise – are serious ones. They're ready to make offers and they're eager to move, often quickly. Your house may be exactly what they're looking for, so listing when other potential sellers are holding off may be your best opportunity to shine.

4. There Will Never Be a Better Time to Move Up

If your next move will be into the premium or luxury market, now is the time to move up. There is currently ample inventory for sale at higher price ranges. This means if you're planning on selling a starter or trade-up home and moving into your dream home, you'll be able to do that now. Demand for your entry-level home is high, and inventory in the luxury or premium market is too.

According to CoreLogic, prices are projected to appreciate by 5.6% over the next year. If you are moving to a higher-priced home, it will wind up costing you more in raw dollars (both in down payment and in your mortgage) if you wait.

5. It's Time to Move On With Your Life

Look at the reason you decided to sell in the first place and determine whether it's worth waiting. Is money more important than being with family? Are you ready to go on with your life the way you think you should?

Only you know the answers to these questions. You have the power to take control of the situation by putting your home on the market this winter. Perhaps the time has come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you have only imagined. 

That is what is truly important, contact one of our highly skilled agents today! 

December
4

It's here! The most wonderful time of the year! Grab a friend to enjoy parades and plays, feasts and opportunities to give back to our community. Here's a list of Cora Bett Thomas Realty's favorites:


Wow! At The Westin, the Boat Parade of Lights entertains thousands with live music, fireworks, and a toy collection for Greenbriar Children's Center. Dozens of vessels decorated in Christmas lights line the waterfront. Grab a front row seat on Saturday, November 30th!

On December 7th, Savannah's Holiday Tour of Homes brings hundreds of people together from far and near to tour the exquisite architecture, beautiful furnishings, Christmas decor, and gracious hospitality inside our homes. 

 

Santa awaits you! Savannah's Waterfront presents Christmas on the River, on December 6th. Shop hand crafted art, live music, and holiday happiness- a family affair.

Enjoy a Coastal Christmas in Richmond Hill! Preparing the floats is almost as much fun as the parade. Saturday, December 7th Santa rides through town in the 24th Annual Christmas Parade. Wear your favorite Christmas sweater and have a blast!

A Christmas classic takes center stage at the beautiful Lucas Theater. The Nutcracker by Savannah Ballet Theatre tells the story of a young girl's dream in which a Christmas gift comes to life. Showings are Saturday, December 7th through Sunday, December 8th. 

Hospice Savannah's annual Tree of Light ceremony is on Sunday, December 8th. The night is spent sharing stories, music and candlelight for hope, healing and remembrance. 

We're going back in time for A Colonial Christmas at Wormsloe. Participate and celebrate with caroling, burning of the yule log, and dancing to live period music. One of the most beautiful sites in Savannah gets in the holiday spirit on Saturday, December 14th.



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