No Comments

The Trend of the Square Foot: Maximizing Your Home’s Value

The importance of square footage

In the ever-changing world of real estate, maximizing home value has become an art. Homeowners and investors now focus on intricate details, and one crucial factor gaining prominence is square footage. From open-concept living to multipurpose rooms, smart storage solutions, and outdoor spaces, homeowners are unlocking every inch’s potential to enhance functionality and resale value.

Open Concept Living: Breaking Down Walls for a Bigger Feel

Compartmentalized living spaces are giving way to open-concept designs. Knocking down walls enhances the perceived size, allows more natural light, and maximizes usable square footage, catering to modern aesthetics.

Multipurpose Rooms: Flexibility in Functionality

Today’s homeowners prefer multipurpose rooms that adapt to various needs. Rooms doubling as a home office or guest bedroom exemplify the versatility that appeals to diverse potential buyers.

Smart Storage Solutions: Decluttering for Value

Efficient storage solutions, from under-stair storage to built-in cabinets, enhance the aesthetic appeal and create a sense of order, a significant selling point for prospective buyers.

Outdoor Living Spaces: Extending Square Footage Beyond Walls

Outdoor areas like patios and decks are recognized as extensions of a home’s square footage, providing additional spaces for relaxation and entertainment.

Energy-Efficient Upgrades: Sustainability Meets Savings

Investing in energy-efficient upgrades not only contributes to a greener footprint but also adds value to a home, appealing to eco-conscious homebuyers.

The 12.0% increase in the median sale price per square foot has significant implications for both home valuation and sales strategies. This trend shapes the real estate landscape.

Impact on Home Valuation:

  • Increased Property Values: Homes are appraised at higher rates based on square footage, influencing overall property worth.
  • Renewed Focus on Square Footage: Homebuyers and sellers emphasize square footage as a key factor in determining property value.
  • Renovation ROI Considerations: Renovations focusing on increased usable square footage yield higher returns.

Impact on Sales Strategies:

  • Marketing Emphasis on Square Footage: Real estate listings highlight square footage as a selling point.
  • Strategic Pricing Adjustments: Sellers adjust pricing strategies based on increased median sale price per square foot.
  • Educating Buyers on Value: Real estate agents educate buyers on the correlation between square footage and property values.
  • Highlighting Functional Spaces: Sellers strategically showcase the functionality of each square foot.

Adaptation of Floor Plans:

  • Builders adapt floor plans to align with the demand for increased square footage, incorporating open-concept layouts and flexible living spaces.
  • Negotiation Strategies: Both buyers and sellers adjust negotiation strategies based on the increased focus on square footage.

The 12.0% increase in the median sale price per square foot shifts how homes are valued and marketed. This trend encourages a nuanced approach to homebuying and selling, with heightened awareness of square footage’s impact on property value. Staying attuned to these changes is crucial for successful transactions.

In the dynamic realm of real estate, the square foot has become a guiding principle for maximizing property value. Staying attuned to trends, such as open-concept living and multipurpose rooms, is key to unlocking your home’s full potential. Collaborating with an expert real estate agent enhances understanding of how the increase in median sale price per square foot impacts overall home value in the current market.

No Comments

Why Now is the Time to Sell: Savannah’s Market Heat

Building in Savannah- Savannah Market

In the real estate world, timing is crucial. If you’re thinking about selling in Savannah, Georgia, seize the current opportunity. The city’s real estate market is hot, driven by rising property values, low inventory, historically significant demand, economic growth, and cultural appeal. Here’s why it’s the right time to sell:

  • Rising Property Values:
    • Savannah has seen a consistent uptick in property values, driven by a growing economy and increased jobFe opportunities.
    • Selling now allows homeowners to capitalize on the appreciation in property values, maximizing returns on investment.
  • Low Inventory Levels:
    • Limited housing supply in Savannah gives sellers a distinct advantage.
    • Buyers, eager to secure homes in this coveted city, are willing to pay a premium for well-maintained properties, placing sellers in a strong negotiating position.
  • Historically Significant Demand:
    • Low mortgage interest rates make it an attractive time for buyers to enter the market.
    • The combination of high demand and low inventory intensifies competition, enabling sellers to secure favorable offers and swift transactions.
  • Growth in Local Economy:
    • Savannah’s flourishing economy, driven by tourism, manufacturing, and logistics, ensures continued demand for housing.
    • Sellers can position their properties as attractive options in a city poised for sustained economic growth.
  • Cultural Appeal and Quality of Life:
    • Savannah’s rich history, charming architecture, and vibrant cultural scene make it a sought-after destination.
    • Sellers can highlight these unique aspects to make their properties stand out in a competitive market.

In the current hot market with an 18.5% rise in home prices, sellers have a clear advantage:

  • Seller’s Advantage:
    • The substantial increase in home prices indicates high housing demand, allowing sellers to fetch higher profits.
  • Profit Maximization:
    • Homeowners stand to maximize returns, capitalizing on the surge in prices by timing their sale strategically.
  • Market Dynamics:
    • A significant rise in home prices signals a seller’s market, giving sellers the upper hand in negotiations.
  • Potential Challenges for Buyers:
    • The steep increase in prices poses challenges for buyers, making it advantageous for sellers to capitalize on the market momentum.
  • Market Timing:
    • The current hot market offers a favorable window for sellers to list their properties, potentially leading to quick sales and competitive offers.
  • Economic Factors:
    • Sellers should be aware of economic factors such as low-interest rates and a strong local economy influencing increased demand and rising home prices.
  • Balancing Act:
    • While conditions favor sellers, it’s crucial to balance profit maximization with personal goals and circumstances.
  • Potential for a Correction:
    • Sellers should be mindful of market sustainability and potential corrections, consulting with professionals for informed decisions.

In conclusion, the 18.5% rise in home prices signals a robust seller’s market in Savannah. Homeowners should assess individual circumstances, market trends, and economic factors to determine the optimal timing for a sale. Don’t miss this golden opportunity—act now, consult your real estate advisor, and unlock your property’s full potential in Savannah’s thriving real estate landscape.

No Comments

Fall Cleaning Tips

Fall Cleaning Tips for Savannah Homes

Fall is here with pumpkins in the fields and bright colors everywhere. It’s also time for the annual Fall clean. With winter on the way, it’s time to start preparing now while you can. If you’ve got any exterior wood or composite structures you need to ensure they’re well protected for the colder months ahead. This time is also good for other deep cleaning chores that will get your home fresh and comfortable for the coming months. 

Our Fall cleaning list and tips will help you make the most out of it and prepare for the coming winter.

Perform a pantry audit

Start by going through all your cupboards and shelves in search of stale food that can be thrown out. This is a chance as well to clean the areas where you store food. Begin by taking out all your cans and boxes and cleaning away any dust that has accumulated. When you’re putting everything back check each item and throw out the ones you don’t need or have passed their expiry date.

Test and Clean Your Smoke Detectors

The safety of your home and family depends on these devices so ensure that they’re worked properly. The batteries should be replaced with fresh ones at least once a year, a good to remember when this should be done is by doing it on Daylight Savings Time. The devices themselves though also need to be cleaned as dust can build up and cause them to underperform. Use your vacuum cleansers soft brush attachment to clean in and around the detectors openings.

Flip Your Mattress

It’s good to also make this an annual chore every Daylight Savings Time. Flip your mattress around to prevent body impressions from causing it to slump. Sprinkle the mattress with baking soda to neutralize odors and then vacuum it up.

Shampoo Your Carpet

This should be done at a minimum once a year. Thanksgiving and Christmas are just around the corner so you’ll want your carpet in top shape for those events. It’s well worth hiring contractors for a professional clean, they’ve got the equipment and expertise to achieve results not possible with store bought chemicals. However, if this is not in your budget you can still get a good job done by renting a carpet cleaning and following some DIY tricks.

Clean and Varnish All Exterior Wood Structures

If you’ve got a wooden patio, deck or seating you need to ensure they’re protected for the colder months ahead. Start with a thorough cleaning of the wood surfaces to remove any dirt. Try to keep any wet leaves off your deck as they can cause discoloration and water damage. What sort of varnish you apply depends on what type of wood you have so make sure you know which one does what. At a minimum, you should apply two coats for best protection.

Seal Your Concrete

If you have any concrete footpaths, patios or driveways you need to protect them from freezing. Without protection moisture, any moisture in any crevices can freeze and cause cracking. Get a good concrete sealant and apply it correctly. This not only protects against cracking but also prevents it from aging more rapidly.   

No Comments

Foreclosures down for 7th straight month

Foreclosures slowing down for 7 months

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — The number of foreclosure filings issued in April plunged 34% from a year ago — the seventh straight month of declines.Foreclosures slowing down for 7 months

And there were just 69,532 homes repossessed last month, a 32% fall from the peak last September just before the eruption of the “robo-signing” scandal, in which banks were found to be mishandling the foreclosure process.

Will the seeming good news continue? No way, said Rick Sharga of RealtyTrac, which issued the latest monthly figures on Thursday.

Even with the drop, there were nearly 220,000 foreclosure filings during the month, including notices of default, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions.

And there are 3.7 million borrowers at least 90 days late on payments. Normally a large percentage of them would already be in foreclosure. They are not — for two reasons.

One is that ongoing regulatory issues. Banks want to make sure their procedures are all in place.

Second, the banks have already saturated many markets with repossessions they’ve put back on the market.(“Best shrinking places to live”)

“Banks can’t move inventory fast enough, at prices high enough, that they’re excited about foreclosing on any more homes,” said Sharga.

On the other hand, there are a couple of reasons to believe the conditions may be improving. Hiring has picked up, enabling some borrowers to resume paying their bills.

Banks are also doing more to keep borrowers in their homes. In March, banks completed 77,000 mortgage modifications without government assistance, according to Hope Now, a coalition of mortgage servicers, investors and private counselors. That was 26% more than in February.

“What’s important,” said Faith Schwartz, the head of Hope Now, “is that these modifications are much more affordable. They should perform much better.”

Home prices, however, continue to erode. That’s a problem because it pushes more borrowers “underwater,” with home loans worth more than the value of their homes. (“6 cities with falling home prices”)

That removes an important financial cushion should the borrower run into financial problems. And it given incentive to “strategically default,” or walk away from their homes and mortgage payments.

The percentage of underwater owners of single-family homes has now reached 28.4%, according to real estate web site Zillow. That will worsen if home prices fall further.

“Home value declines are currently equal to those we experienced during the darkest days of the housing recession,” said Zillow Chief Economist Stan Humphries. “That’s going to put more homeowners in default.”

Home prices have fallen so fast lately that Humphries changed his 2011 outlook, forecasting a 7% to 9% price drop for the year, up from 5% to 7%.

Just as falling home prices result in more foreclosures, rising foreclosures hurt home prices by swamping housing markets with repossessed homes.

Bottom line is that the crisis could last for years, according to Sharga. It could be 2014 before the housing market returns to a more normal condition. To top of page


No Comments

Buy vs. rent: These days, buying wins

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — For the first time in years, buying a home may beat renting.

Two factors are at play, according to researchers who recently crunched the numbers, Ken Johnson of Florida International University and Eli Beracha of East Carolina University for a paper to be published in Real Estate Economics.

First, rents, though mostly stagnant the past few years, are expected to head higher as more people bitten by the housing bust turn to renting. Rents could rise 7% in each of the next two years, according to Peggy Alford, president of

Second, home prices have finally dropped enough to create a buying opportunity. Nationally, prices are down 32% from their peak, set in 2006.

The net result is that home price gains would need to average only 3.25% annually to beat renting, according to Beracha and Johnson. To make the math work, you have to stay in the home for at least eight years. (Buy or rent? 10 cities rated)

Beracha and Johnson compared the cost of owning with the cost of renting.

Renting has usually come out ahead, they say. Buying typically leads to higher monthly and annual bills once all costs are factored in — mortgage payments, property taxes, maintenance and transactional costs.

Those higher costs can be offset if the home gains in value. But renters — the researchers assume — can invest the savings. And that is a big part of why the professors say renting has typically been the better deal. “I was shocked at how often renters won,” said Johnson.

Another reason had been the push to homeownership, which resulted in a premium on home values. “My dad always told me not to ‘throw my money away on rent,'” said Johnson. “This mania toward homeownership tends to drive prices up.”

But that’s changing: Homeownership has dropped to 66.4% from a peak of 69.1% in 2005, according to the Census Bureau. (See “Home prices in ‘Double-Dip'”)

How much better buying will be depends on location. Of the 23 cities Beracha and Johnson looked at, Seattle is the best place to buy right now. When renters invest in portfolios that include stocks, the appreciation rate required over the next eight years there is 4.84% and the area’s historical average is 6.06%.

For several cities, including New York, Boston and Dallas, renting is still preferable. In New York, for example, homeowners would need a 7% annual rise in home values to beat renters. (See “Fastest growing cities in the South“)

Buyers should beware the assumption that home prices will rebound, even from these depressed levels, said Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research.

Hiring has been slow and there are tons of potential foreclosures that could flood the market with distressed homes, depressing prices.

Even in cities where people are, theoretically, better off renting, they may not be in reality. Paying off a mortgage is a forced savings plan, said Baker. The mortgage bill comes in every month, the homeowner pays it and the mortgage balance goes down.

Renters, meanwhile, are just as likely to spend their savings. They’ll wind up with less money than homeowners, which is kind of what your dad was saying all along. To top of page