Tag Archives: real estate

REALTOR Q+A – Margaret Butler

  • Sep 23, 2021, Link to full article

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.

Is It Cheaper to Rent or Buy?

Home prices are going up, but in some areas of the country, it may be cheaper for you to save money for your own home by renting another year. According to Move.com, renters can save thousands on a lease in the nation’s largest tech hubs, compared to pre-pandemic prices.
In February 2021, the U.S. median rent, which is calculated by averaging the median rent of the 50 largest metros, was up 0.6% to $1,452, well below its pre-COVID growth rate of 3.2%. Meanwhile, the median mortgage payment, reports TheBalance.com, was $1,100 in 2020.
Monthly mortgage payments are based on the loan amount, interest rate, and the term, typically 30 years. Renters are required to pay hefty security deposits that are often not refundable. Landlords can raise rents when your lease expires. Homeowners make down payments which reduce the amount of money they need to borrow to purchase a home; they pay ongoing expenses such as property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, and private mortgage insurance in many cases. However, mortgage interest and property taxes are tax-deductible, if you file long form. TheMortgageReports.com suggests that buying is a long-term investment, with prices going up over time. The amortization of your monthly mortgage means that at first little money goes to reduce the principal and the majority goes to pay interest to the lender. The longer you own, that slowly reverses until you’re paying mostly principal and little interest. Over time, you’ll own something, whereas with renting, you get no ownership stake.


Link to full article

Connor Burke.jpg

Name: Connor Burke

Family: My wife, Jessica Bush Burke, is a fitness instructor and personal trainer at The Club, and we have five children, Olivia, Katelynn, Reid, Scotland and Hazel.

Years in the Golden Isles: I was born and raised in the Golden Isles, but spent 13 summers leading canoe trips in the Canadian wilderness and traveled for some time after college before returning home to settle down.

School: University of Georgia and post-grad at Georgia Southern University.

Occupation: Teacher in the Golden Isles for 12 years and recently transitioned into real estate with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Hodnett Cooper.

Describe the ideal night out in the Golden Isles: My ideal night out would be watching the sunset, followed by dinner at one of our favorite spots, some local live music, frozen yogurt and a moonlit walk on the beach.

How would you describe the perfect weekend for you and your family? My family loves the outdoors and doing anything competitive or active, such as riding bikes or playing games. We love taking the kids surfing and taking turns catching some waves together.

What inspired you to become a Realtor? I was inspired to become a Realtor because the nature of the job allows me to meet so many people that I may have never met otherwise. Building strong relationships brings me a lot of satisfaction and joy. I love helping others accomplish their real estate goals and enjoy helping them solve problems. I am also a very analytical person, so I enjoy the numbers side of the business as well. My late grandfather, James H. Burke, was a successful Realtor on St. Simons so I am grateful to be able to follow in his footsteps.

What do you believe are the attributes for becoming a successful Realtor? I believe a successful Realtor must consistently follow the Golden Rule and treat others the way they would want to be treated. Buying or selling a home is a major life decision and deserves the care and attention that matches the magnitude of that transaction.

How would you describe the Golden Isles to a first-time visitor? The Golden Isles is a beautiful place, but it is the people that set us apart from other coastal communities. We have such a diverse, loving and caring community that welcomes visitors and treats them like neighbors. We have a wealth of local talent and culture that have spawned unique local businesses.