Tag Archives: home ownership

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.

Quick Ways to Build Equity

Quick Ways to Build Equity: Equity is the percentage of market value that you own in your home. Your lender owns the rest, so your goal should be to pay the lender’s share (the principal) down and build your share (equity) up.

You don’t need to go to extreme lengths to pay down your mortgage. Just follow these few easy tips:

  1. Buy wisely. Buy as much home as you can without straining your resources, so you can occupy your home longer. Moving and closing costs eat away equity.
  2. Pay a little extra. Pay a little more every month toward reducing your principal. Use bonuses or cash back on your credit cards to apply to your mortgage. Making one extra payment a year could shorten your loan payoff by as much as four years, saving you thousands of dollars in interest.
  3. Pay off other debts. Don’t incur new debt. Spend less on automobiles, dinners out and other expenses. Pay off credit cards and student loans as quickly as you can, so you’ll have more money available to pay toward your mortgage.
  4. Make improvements. Keeping your home repaired and updated helps you preserve equity by making market value higher.
  5. Let time work for you. Think of your home as a savings account where the money you put in can be retrieved one day – with interest. Historically, homes have increased in value as much as three percent a year in normal markets, which is a great way to build instant equity.

Too many Clothes, No Down Payment

Too many Clothes, No Down Payment: Crazy fashion trends do more than strain closet space. They can sometimes send the message that trendiness is more important than building wealth. Here’s to save the money you spend on new clothes for something more rewarding – a down payment on your own home.

Reduce your wardrobe. Consign, donate or give away clothes you haven’t worn in a year or two. Keep anything that goes with at least three other items, like a jacket that works with a dress, skirt and blouse, or jeans. Too many Clothes, No Down Payment

Take better care. Fast fashion doesn’t last, so when you wash clothes, turn pants, skirts and blouses inside out first. Don’t use wire hangers. Fold knits instead of hanging them. Your clothes will look better and last longer.

Buy less. If you buy something for $100, look at how long the season is to wear it (four months) and how many times you’ll actually wear it (17). Take the cost ($100) and divide by the number of wearings. That’s a tax of $5.88 every time you wear it.

Bank the money. If you spend $200 a month on clothes, try a year without buying anything new and let that $200 multiply in a savings account, 401K, or CD. That’s $2,400 that could grow with compound interest and investment growth. In three years, you could have over $10,000 or more and that’s a good start toward owning a home.