Coronavirus Response from Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Hodnett Cooper Real Estate

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Hodnett Cooper Real Estate Extended Family,

The health of our employees and agents, their families, and our customers is our top priority. Our office continues to operate with respect to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Guidelines.

In this uncertain time, it is our hope that we can offer you comfort and stability as your trusted real estate advisors.  Now, more than ever, HOME is important to us all. 

Our commitment to you remains the same – we will continue to provide outstanding service in all things real estate. However, the way that we do that may be a little different in the coming weeks as we minimize person-to-person contact. 

Our offices have made the following adjustments to normal operations:

  • Office visits have been limited to essential real estate functions
  • All office and company-wide meetings have been cancelled
  • Social distancing within the offices is in full effect
  • Operations and marketing staff have been set up to work remotely

Our agents and staff are available to assist you by phone (912.638.5450) and email.  You can also look for several of our team members to employ new methods of communication in our industry in order to continue to serve your real estate needs.  Virtual Open Houses, video tours, social media communication, online meetings, etc. – the list goes on.

While we can’t predict the future, we are pleased to report that business is currently up over last year.  And, while we may experience a slowdown in new business due to social distancing, we expect that it will be a temporary setback. 

We realize that many people are nervous about the future and may not know how to navigate the current real estate market. We are here to help, and we remain confident in our ability to serve your real estate needs. We are your trusted advisors and we are backed by three solid brands in the industry – Berkshire Hathaway, HomeServices of America, and Hodnett Cooper.

Pat Hodnett Cooper

Broker & Owner

Should You Manage Your Own Rentals?

The nice part about being a landlord/lady is the passive income stream, meaning you don’t have to be present to make money, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of work to be done for a rental property. You can do all the work, or hire a property manager if you’re willing to pay someone else to do all or part of what you don’t want to do.

 So which makes the most sense for you? Should you manage your own rental property in the Golden Isles? We (of course) think you should look into the Long Term Rentals program with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Hodnett Cooper Real Estate. Some things you should consider:

  • residing reasonably close to your rental
  • financially able to carry the costs of your rental while vacant
  • prepared to run your rental as a real business
  • able to market your rental
  • able to meet potential renters to show the home and negotiate leases
  • willing to do background and credit checks on potential renters
  • willing to collect the rent and enforce late notices and fees
  • willing to address tenants’ complaints in a timely manner
  • willing to deal with problems at any hour, day or night
  • handy with tools or have a good reliable handyperson on call
  • unafraid to deal with and evict bad renters legally
  • willing to abide by court decisions in any tenant-landlord dispute

Depending on where you live, how many properties you own, and which services you require, you can expect different rates for your monthly rental fee to a property manager. Contact us if you are considering this option for your rental property in the Golden Isles. We’d be happy to tell you all about our program!

The Best Homebuying Strategy

You don’t want to throw money away on rent anymore, do you? Instead, you can build an asset that can grow large if you handle your money wisely.

Your best strategy? Prepare financially now.

Down-payments.  Small down-payments spell risk for lenders. You’ll pay a higher interest rate, and you’ll have to get private mortgage insurance, about 0.5 to 1.0 percent of your mortgage. That’s about $2000 a year on a $200,000 mortgage, which will add about $167 to your monthly bills.   

While 20% down is ideal, paying PMI allows you to get into a home faster with less money down. You’ll benefit in a desirable housing market where home equity is rising.

The costs of homeownership. According to The Motley Fool, you should prepare to pay about two to five percent of the transaction in closing costs. Afterward, expect to pay for maintenance and repairs, which average about 1% of your home’s value annually. Property taxes can be reassessed annually by multiplying your home’s value by the mill rate (percentage) for your county. Prepare for utilities to rise in winter and summer.

Debt management. Money guru Dave Ramsey says buying a home when you’re in debt is like running a marathon with weights chained to your legs.

Rutgers University economists suggest your monthly consumer debt service should be no higher than 10% of your net income. At 20% or more, you’re in the danger zone. Divide your monthly consumer debt payments by your total net income to find your percentage.