REALTOR Q+A – Margaret Butler

  • By CURRY HARTMAN
  • Sep 23, 2021, Link to full article
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Name: Margaret Butler

Family: My husband, Mac Butler; our two sons, Albe, 10, and Dean, 8; our Dachsund, Bama Belle and our cat, Tut.

Years in the Golden Isles: 27

School: University of Alabama and Armstrong Atlantic State University

Occupation: Full-time Realtor at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Hodnett Cooper Real Estate

Tell us about how you started your career as a Realtor: I have always loved helping people. After college, I taught elementary school. While I loved teaching, I knew it wasn’t my true calling. Teaching is similar to real estate in many ways, you have to have good communication skills, be able to multitask, and be able to solve problems quickly. I always wanted to get my real estate license, but it never seemed like the right time. Until finally it was. I love how this business is always changing and evolving. I get to meet and help so many different people. I absolutely love where I live, so being able to share it with others makes me happy.

What are some features of homes in the Golden Isles that always stand out to you? I love homes with nice curb appeal and great landscaping, it makes such a difference. I also like to see the different ways people use outdoor living spaces. I have seen some amazing homes with the coolest outdoor areas, it’s like a vacation in your backyard. Of course, homes that take advantage of views are always amazing. It’s also fun to see different kinds of homes and how people use their layout to make the home suit their needs. I love homes with personality and quirkiness, the more unique the better, not just cookie cutter or trendy.

What qualities do you think a good real estate agent should have? I think a good Realtor makes it their goal to understand their clients’ needs and wants and uses this information to help guide their clients in the right direction. Listening to their clients and asking a lot of questions is key to a great relationship. Another great quality for a realtor to have is to be there for their clients after the sale. I keep in touch with my past clients all the time. I think being able to help them find contractors, recommendations for dentists, doctors, babysitters, you name it, shows that you are not just in this business for the sale, but to help people. Communication is also vital to being a good Realtor, no one likes it when they can’t get in touch with someone, so I always try to be available to my clients. Empathy is another essential quality for a Realtor to have. Situations happen in real estate that can make or break a deal, and a good Realtor tries to put herself in the client’s shoes. Being a good problem solver is one of the best qualities a Realtor can have. Coming up with solutions takes the stress away and leads to better outcomes. You must also be a team player to be a good Fealtor because at the end of the day we are all on the same team. And finally, being able to build a good rapport with my fellow Realtors, clients, and business associates goes a long way in this business.

How would you describe the perfect weekend for you and your family? We like to do lots of fun things on the weekends. A perfect weekend for us would start with a Friday night dinner at Crabdaddy’s, Fiddlers, Barrier Island, Halyards or Tramici. On Saturday, we would ride our golf cart to the village to have an early lunch at Mallery Street Café or Palmers. Then take a walk around the pier/village area, while the boys search for SSI Rocks. They are obsessed with them and have found over 20 rocks. Next, we would either go to the Sea Palms Pool or to the beach at Myrtle Street. On Sunday, we would head to the Brunswick Country Club to play golf. I mostly watch the boys play, but occasionally I attempt to play a few holes. Mac is a great golfer, and the boys are getting really good, thanks to their golf coach, Ray Cutright. If we don’t go to the golf course, we would load the bikes in the truck and head over to Jekyll and park at the Jekyll Pier. We love riding bikes on Jekyll because of the amazing bike trails. They go all the way around the island, and it is such a beautiful ride. On our way home, we love to stop at Marshside for an early dinner. There are a lot of other things we enjoy doing on the weekends, like watching Bama Football (Roll Tide), taking out the boat, paddle boarding, fishing, you name it. Obviously, we have a lot of hobbies, LOL!

How would you describe the Golden Isles to a first-time visitor? It’s the perfect place! The Golden Isles is one of the most unique areas in the world. It has a small-town vibe, while having so much to do and enjoy. We have a beach, marshlands, awesome fishing/boating, exceptional golfing, the list goes on. The Golden Isles is much more than just a vacation destination. It’s a great place to live, raise your kids, retire, buy a 2nd home, or an investment property. Where else can you find all these options? There is a place for everyone here, in the Golden Isles.

Update Your White Kitchen

All-white kitchens complement any decor, but they’re hard to keep pristine and can come across as dated. An older white kitchen shows signs of discoloration and wear. What can you do to make your white kitchen more 2021 than 2010?

Make it artsy

Art galleries have white walls because they’re a blank canvas where artwork can be attractively displayed. Add a colorful abstract painting in a key location. Have fun with artistic-themed dishtowels, placemats, and dishes. Try a washable rug or runner with a colorful modern pattern.

Fold in some color

Cookware, serving pieces, utensils and small appliances in analogous colors (those next to each other on the color wheel such as yellow, green and blue) can give you a pleasing new color palette. 

Add texture

Add interest with textures in complementary tones of white, grey or mushroom to walls, backsplashes, curtains or blinds. Natural wood accents like bowls can also warm up a white kitchen. If you have a place for barstools at the island, woven fabric, cane or hemp seats work well to add texture.   

Repaint

White reflects light, making your kitchen brighter, but one reason why people tire of white kitchens is that there’s no focal point. For a soft contrast, introduce watery colors like sea glass. For more drama and sophistication, go for high contrast with deep blue, black or grey. Paint the island a different color from the rest of the kitchen, or paint lower cabinets a different color from the top cabinets. 

The Work Shed Trend

Working from home during the pandemic allowed jobs to be saved, but posed challenges in terms of productivity, and performance. Now, homeowners are building or buying work sheds to get the privacy they need to work, create, and produce.

A work shed can offer physical as well as psychological distance. If you’re at home, you’re accessible, but less so if you’re not in the house. A work shed says “Don’t bother me when I’m in the shed unless it’s really important.”

A shed can be outfitted with enough electricity, storage and furnishings for homeowners to work in comfort. They can be built or purchased in any size you want, making them ideal for telecommuting, woodworking, crafting, model-building, gaming, pen-turning, or any other “ing-ing” your heart desires. And even with the most elaborate materials and finishes, a work shed costs thousands of dollars less, are less noisy, and can be made operational more quickly than adding a room onto your home.

According to ShedKing.net, you need to know if you can build a shed, where on your property you can put it and what size you can make it. Check local building codes to get a permit to build. Check deed restrictions for easements. If you’re part of a homeowners’ association, take your building plan to the board for approval.

Take your plans to the hardware store, lumber supplier, and home improvement store where they will give you an itemized estimate for all your materials and delivery charges.