What You Need to Know: Jekyll Island Real Estate
With the recent introduction of The Cottages at Jekyll Island, Single Family Home Sales have increased drastically over the last year. Up 52% since 2016 and with an average sales price that has increased over 26%, it’s safe to say that the new oceanfront residential community is a popular choice in the area.*
Residents of Jekyll Island enjoy the scenic natural surroundings, small-town community feel and deep connection to local history that Jekyll offers. The fee simple title and ownership of real property on Jekyll Island is owned by the State of Georgia – which means all residential property on Jekyll is subject to a land lease ownership structure with the JIA. Read more on their website.
*Statistics courtesy of Golden Isles MLS, statistics run Jan-July 2017 vs Jan-July 2016.
Why No Two CMAs Are Alike
Whether you’re a buyer or seller, your agent will give you a market snapshot known as the comparative market analysis (CMA). Comparisons are based on similar homes within a given search area, using size, age, features, condition, location, whether the homes have sold recently and which are currently on the market.
Buyers use CMAs to help them make offers while sellers use CMAs to help them price their homes for sale or to adjust the price. As soon as a home sells or a new home comes on the market, the previous CMA is no longer relevant and your agent can generate a new one for you.
Prices may vary widely, even between identical homes. One property may simply offer better drive-up appeal or more extensive updates. CMAs differ widely by search perimeters like number of bedrooms, views, swimming pools, or a broader search area.
There’s always going to be a home that sold for an astronomical figure, or the one that sold for pennies on the dollar, so you might throw out the highest and lowest priced homes because there’s no knowing why a seller undersells or a buyer overpays. Family pressures, corporate relocations, and other reasons won’t be in the CMA.
Consider how quickly homes are selling, whether they sold for list price or above, or if homes are experiencing price reductions. Your agent will explain how home sales are trending and what strategies may work best for you to get the home you want.
Check the Roof Before You Buy
Before you buy a home, you should learn the age of the roof, the typical lifespan of the roofing material, and whether there’s any deterioration.
- Granular roofs- 10 to 25 years:Asphalt or fiberglass-based shingles have a granular mineral top coating that should be consistent in color and texture. Deterioration wears out the mineral layer, so shingles appear spotty, mottled, bumpy and uneven.
- Wood roofs- 20-30 years:Finer wood roofs are made of redwood or cedar. Shingles are machine made and shakes are hand-split for a more rough-hewn look. Worn wood roofs have visible cracks or curled edges.
- Tile roofs- 75 years:Tiles can be made of clay, concrete or slate. The harder the material, the more durable the roof; broken tiles can easily be replaced.
- Metal roofs- 75 years:Metal roofs have interlocking seams making them attractive, durable, fire-resistant and modern-looking, but dents due to hail are often not covered by homeowner’s insurance.
To judge a roof’s quality, look for the following:
- straight even seams
- consistent color and texture
- no sagging in between support beams
- no corroded flashing around chimneys and valleys
- good soffit vents to circulate air into the attic
- straight gutters free of debris
What You Want in Your Kitchen Now
Those flawless kitchens you’ve seen in home décor magazines don’t come from home improvement stores. They’re precisely designed by top professionals like award-winning interior designer Charlotte Comer, ASID, RID and Helene Terry, founder of Helene’s Luxury Kitchens and 2017 Dallas ASID Industry Partner of the Year.
“I listen to the client and ask many questions,” said Comer. “The priorities are the client, the
space and the finished look and feel.”
Comer sometimes brings Terry into a project to give her suggestions on the latest cabinetry, appliances and fixtures. “Clients want a clean, long-lined look,” said Terry, “Part of the design process is to use cabinet and appliance fronts to lengthen lines and avoid interruptions and disjointed seams.”
So how should you remodel your kitchen? Open it to the living area, with a large island with bar or banquette seating. Gone are cathedral cabinet fronts in favor of smooth surfaces that open with a touch instead of hardware. Modern appliances are matte and should include steam, convection and induction cooking, hands-free faucets and appliance drawers to reduce the institutional look and provide minimal reveals. Natural and engineered stone still rule, but put a waterfall side on the island and use large-scale tiles or planks on floors.
For your kitchen to wow buyers, hire an experienced team. Check references and ask to see pictures of previous installations. Tell your design team if you have time constraints. You should receive renderings and CAD drawings to eliminate surprises and to facilitate a smooth installation.
Whether you are looking to build your own dream kitchen or buy a new home that already has your dream kitchen, let BHHS Hodnett Cooper help you. We have agents ready and willing to give you great advice for your next home project or they can help you find the kitchen of your dreams!
Advice for Sellers With Pets
Nearly two out of three households in the U.S. have one or more pets. While homebuyers may have pets, too, they don’t like to consider homes that have “gone to the dogs.”
This is when crate-training really pays off. You can take your pets with you or board them with loved ones or at a reputable pet care. If you can’t take your pets with you, your pet sitter can come over and quickly crate your animals so you don’t have to reschedule the showing.
Don’t leave your dog in the backyard because the buyer needs access to all of the property. Also, don’t leave your dog next door as your dog may continue to bark. Buyers wont like a barking neighbor’s dog either.
Pet-loving homebuyers won’t overlook stained carpets and bad odors from litter boxes, aquariums, and pet beds. Change litter boxes and bird cages daily, and pick up dog waste from your yard every day.
Keep your dog and cat brushed and bathed so there’s less fur stuck to furniture and carpets. Sweep and vacuum daily, and deep clean or replace stained carpet.
Remember, it’s always better to correct problems yourself, rather than offer credits like carpet replacement to the buyer. The fewer negatives the buyer notices, the better the offer to purchase will be.
Best Front Door Curb Appeal
When buyers pull up to the curb in front of your home, you want them to feel intrigued and excited to come inside. What says “Welcome!” more than a fabulous front door?
The front door should be a beacon, with a clear uncluttered pathway that leads up to the steps or the porch. Trim away overhanging bushes or creeping grass that crowds the walkway. Plant fresh flowers and shrubs in an attractive curve pointing toward the entry.
For safety reasons, the front door should be easily identifiable from the street and accessible without navigating around furniture or potted plants. Replace porch light bulbs, and clean light fixtures of dirt and bugs.
Whether you repair, replace or repaint your front door, an upgrade should be at the top of your to-do list. Choose a paint or stain color that complements the exterior of your home. Red is the color of hospitality, like “rolling out the red carpet.” Bright colors are cheerful choices while deeper colors tend to be more elegant. Greenery, Pantone’s 2017 Color of the Year works well in all seasons.
Update the hardware on and around your door including a new peephole, door handle, doorbell, house numbers, and entry lights. Replace worn weather-stripping and seals on glass inserts. Fill in nail holes and scratches with wood filler before painting.
Stage the area around the front door with a new doormat and color-coordinated cushions on chairs or porch swings.
Make a great first impression (and possibly a sale!) with a clean, attractive entrance.
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About Homeowner’s Insurance
Homeowner’s insurance, or hazard insurance, provides protection from damage or loss of your home as well as limited liability coverage for anyone who has an accident on your property. But that may not be all the coverage you need.
Lenders require borrowers to escrow a year’s worth of policy payments for new loans and to maintain enough coverage to pay the mortgage off in case of a total loss. That keeps payments lower, but with building costs constantly rising, it’s wise to insure your home with a guaranteed replacement homeowner’s policy. Your home can be rebuilt to the same size and quality as before, no matter what the current cost for materials and labor.
A basic HO-1 policy will cover fire, lightening strikes, explosions, vandalism, theft, and limited liability, but it doesn’t cover personal possessions. The HO-3 provides comprehensive coverage, including loss or damage to personal property. Be sure to purchase insurance riders for valuables such as heirlooms, jewelry, antiques, fine art, and rare collections.
If you live in an area prone to hurricanes or earthquakes, coverage must be purchased through riders at additional cost. Consider flood insurance for natural disasters where water can breach the home from outside. Your insurance won’t cover any roof with more than two layers, so repair or replace your roof to meet current building codes.
You want to save money by choosing a higher deductible or combine your homeowner’s insurance with your car insurance. Many insurance carriers will lower premiums for multiple products.