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5 Inexpensive Ways to Increase Curb Appeal

Winter is over, spring is here and now is the time you might be thinking of putting your home on the market. When selling your home, it is important to showcase your home in the best light. Take a walk across the street and try and see your home from a prospective buyer’s perspective. You might see those weeds popping up already in your beds, grungy siding or the hedge that needs a trim. These are the type of small, yet effective fixes that will help make your home more attractive without a big investment, just some time and elbow grease. All of us at Weichert, REALTORS®-The Sumner Group have put together 5 inexpensive ways you can increase the curb appeal of your home:

1. Spring Planting: The weeds are beginning to creep back. Get a head start on weeding your beds and keeping them weeded for the best look possible. Plant some brightly colored plants for an eye-catching look. Even putting out a few potted plants will brighten up your home. And now might be a good time to freshen up your beds with a few bales of pinestraw or other mulch material.

2. Get it Clean: Rent or borrow a pressure washer and clean off your siding. Be sure to get the porch! It may not be anybody’s favorite chore, but be sure you wash the windows, too. Use newspaper and vinegar for a cheap and environmentally friendly way to clean. Be sure to keep the gutters clear – gutters free of debris will help make your home look clean and neat.

3. Light it Up: Add some pathway lights, kits are inexpensive to buy and easy to set up. Consider installing some exterior lighting to help highlight your home and add security.

4. Keep it Neat: Get rid of the clutter. Put up tools, make sure hoses are coiled neatly, and make sure the kids’ toys are put away so no one trips on them. Keep the lawn mowed and trees/bushes trimmed. Be sure to dispose of your yard waste properly. A tidy lawn is a beautiful lawn!

5. The Final Touches: Things like spending a few bucks on some new house numbers, replacing the mailbox or outside porch lights, or purchasing a couple cans of paint to freshen up the trim and front door will add that final touch to making your home look great!

Got any other suggestions for improving curb appeal? Tell us on our Facebook page.

Congratulations to Our Weichert Award Winners!

weichert award 2012

We at Weichert, REALTORS®-The Sumner Group are proud to announce our Weichert Regional Award Winners this year:

jeripatrick

Jeri Patrick received the Executive Club award.

sharondarley

Sharon Darley received the Executive Club award.

jennifer fletcher

Jennifer Fletcher received the Sales Achievement award.

rob fletcher

Rob Fletcher received the Sales Achievement award.

These awards were based on 2011 sales and are all well-deserved! Thank you to all our hardworking agents!

Social Sharing at Weichert, REALTORS

It’s a world of social sharing and we at Weichert, REALTORS®-The Sumner Group have made some updates to our website to make it easier for you to share content on your favorite social networking sites. See a home that catches your eye? Read a blog you want to share? Now you can easily post it to Facebook, Twitter or most other social websites.

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Share a Home…

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Share an Article!

Don’t see the social website you prefer? Click on the plus symbol to see more sharing options.

We’ve also expanded our social media presence. If you haven’t yet had a chance to check us out, come on by! Now you can “like” us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, socialize with us on Google+ and stay connected with LinkedIn.

As always we appreciate your feedback on both our website and our social sites. Tell us what you think we got right or what you feel needs improvement. We continue to strive for excellence as we help you sell or buy real estate or homes in Savannah, Georgia and greater Savannah areas.

Five Reasons to Buy in 2012

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There are so many reasons you need to buy a home, regardless of whether the economy is up or down, life moves on! You’ve just moved into town for school and need to find someplace that isn’t student housing. You just had triplets and the 2 bedroom starter home is now too small. You’re kids are going to start school and you want to move to a better district. You made the decision to finally move out of your parent’s house. Whatever the reasons you, the potential homebuyer, are now are in the market for a home. You might even think that homeownership is beyond your means and renting might be your only option. This is not necessarily true. We’ve listed five compelling reasons to make the decision to buy a home in 2012.

1. As of the end of February, national mortgage rates for a 30 year fixed-rate mortgage are still holding at a low 3.95 percent.

2. The national average price for existing homes is $154,700 which is down 2% from a year ago.

3. Rent prices are rising, making the rent option less appealing over owning a home.

4. Existing home sales rose in January resulting in three gains out of the last four months which is leading to more favorable market conditions. (Read more about rising home sales here.

5. OwnAmerica did a survey of real estate investing and found that over 80% of the participants considered real estate the best long-term investment plan. You can read more about the survey here.

With a strong base of knowledgeable agents who specialize in helping people find homes for sale in Savannah, Pooler and Richmond Hill, Georgia and beyond to the Bryan and Effingham Counties, we at Weichert, REALTORS®-The Sumner Group have got what it takes to find you the right home at the right price!

Upcoming February and March Events in Savannah

Living in the Savanna, GA area means access to all sorts of fun local events! We’ve got a few listed for you but if you think we’ve missed any tell us on our Facebook page!

1. Savannah Irish Festival, February 17th-19th: Come celebrate the 20th annual Savannah Irish Festival at the Civic Center with a traditional Ceili on Friday night. Attendees will learn Irish folk dancing in large groups. As the festival continues over the weekend, there will be entertainment, food, crafts and more! Price is $12 for one day Sat or Sun, two day tickets are $16 plus box office service charge. Children under 14 are free. For more info visit www.savannahirish.org or call 912.651.6556.

mardi-gras-tybee2. 4th Annual Mardi Gras Tybee, February 17th-18th: Get your Mardi Gras on at Tybee Island this weekend! Festivities will include the Mardi Gras Tybee Parade, Mardi Gras Tybee Street Party and Masquerade Ball as well as free live entertainment For more info visit www.TybeeVisit.com or call 912.786.5444

3. PULSE 2012, February 27th-March 4th: Telfair Museum’s Art and Technology Festival PULSE will be in a new time slot for 2012 with an exciting line-up of performances, workshops, exhibitions, lectures and events celebrating creative innovation and technology. This year’s featured exhibition will be a 10-year survey of work by renowned light sculptor Leo Villareal, organized by the San Jose Museum of Art.

Other festival activities include performances by local and national electronic music groups, programs and exhibitions by artists using videogames as a medium, a “Green Machine” Art Bike Ride coordinated with the Savannah Bicycle Campaign, and an evening of light installations and projections. Admission is free thanks to generous sponsors and project funding from the City of Savannah. For more information visit www.telfair.org.

baldrick4. St. Baldrick’s Event in City Market, March 10th: Get a new haircut for a cause! The St. Baldrick’s Foundation supports funding for childhood cancer research by hosting head-shaving events. Volunteers shave their heads to show their support for children who usually lose their hair during treatments. These “shaves” receive pledges of support from friends and family whose generous donations go on to fund life-saving pediatric cancer treatment. For more information on how to donate or participate visit http://www.stbaldricks.org/events/SavannahCityMarket.

harlem-globetrotters5. Harlem Globetrotters, March 15th: The world-famous talented and entertaining Harlem Globetrotters will be in Savannah for one night only at the Savannah Civic Center! Experience a night of crazy basketball skills and amazing athletics that is fun for the whole family! Show starts at 7pm. Visit www.savannahcivic.com for more information and pricing. Special group discounts available.

Communities to Consider if You are Military

Weichert, REALTORS®-The Sumner Group is proud of our military bases, Hunter Army Airfield and Fort Stewart and we believe that the military families stationed at those bases are an integral and vibrant part of our community. While those serving may come from all around the country the Savannah, Richmond Hill, Hinesville area quickly becomes home.

If you are in the military and are stationed or will be stationed at either base and are looking for new homes in the Savannah and Richmond Hill Georgia area, Weichert, REALTORS®-The Sumner Group can help! We have homes for sale that are convenient to both Ft. Stewart and Hunter in these fine communities.

Lake Shore

lakeshorelogoThis beautiful 14-acre lake community is located in Port Wentworth GA and is minutes from I-95 and I-16. You can find both single family homes and townhomes for sale in Lake Shore and water front lots are available. The community has plenty of amenities including a pool, Club House and playground. Priced from $99,900 by Synergy Designer Homes.

Homes for Sale in Lake Shore [10 Fox Glen Ct., 14 Fox Glen Ct.]

Bradley Point South

bradley_point_logo_7Just off of Highway 17 South lies the beautiful planned community of Bradley Point South, between Richmond Hill and southside Savannah. Convenient to I-95, this growing community features decorative street lamps, common area, beautiful landscaped entry and well-kept lawns. Priced from the $160’s by Regal Builders.

Homes for Sale in Bradley Point South [46 Dianne MacKenzie Wy, 14 Concordia Dr, 16 Concordia Dr, 25 Wesleyan Dr]

Glenwood Grove

glenwood_logoOne of Berwick Plantations quaint neighborhoods, Glenwood Grove is a townhome community located off of Highway 17 in Savannah, Georgia. A variety of home plans are offered including single and two-story, units with and without garages and 2, 3, or 4 bedroom layouts. Glenwood Grove is convenient to the military bases, malls and Historic Downtown Savannah. Priced from the low $100’s by Regal Builders.

Homes for Sale in Glenwood Grove [95 Reese Way, 101 Reese Way]

hidden_creekHidden Creek

Located in Ellabell, GA, off of Highway 280.

Priced from the $150’s by Synergy Designer Homes

Homes for Sale in Hidden Creek [9 Broken Bit Rd, 18 Sagefield Rd]

The Lakes at Cottonvale

lakes_at_cottonvaleJust four miles off of Hwy 17, Cottonvale is less than ½ mile from the Berwick Market Place. All homes include two car garage, brick front, energy efficient features and spacious floor plans. Priced from the $130’s by Regal Builders.

Homes for Sale in Cottonvale [9 Montero Dr, 122 Fontenot Dr, 125 Fontenot Dr]

Contact us today to find your perfect home!

Can Your Kitchen Sell Your Home?

If you are selling or planning to sell in today’s competitive housing market, your home should be at its best in order to stand out from the rest of the competition. One of the best ways to grab that potential buyer’s attention is an updated kitchen.

kitchenToday’s modern home is focused around the kitchen, as evident by most new home’s floor plans that feature an open kitchen as the center of the main living space. How many of us have had friends over only to all wind up chatting in the kitchen instead of the living room? Gone are the days of the formal living room, now we want to enjoy each other’s company in a more relaxed atmosphere so we usually end up in the kitchen.

A fresh, up-to-date kitchen will be a great selling point to your home, mainly because the potential homebuyer won’t have to worry about upgrading anything once they buy.

You may be concerned that remodeling a kitchen will be an expensive endeavor, but it doesn’t have to be as costly as you think. You can do wonders by replacing old wallpaper with a new coat of paint, de-cluttering your countertops, or replacing an outdated faucet.

According to an article by Carla Hill writing for RealtyTimes the main thing you as a seller should remember “is to not price yourself out of your market”. If you have a home in a $120,000 neighborhood, don’t buy the expensive marble or granite, it won’t draw a buyer. According to Carla Hill, check out local open homes to see what their kitchens are like, or consult your agent. Do they feature stainless appliances and wood cabinets? That’s probably where you should invest your time and resources.

closeup-counterNow, if you’re living in a more upscale neighborhood, it will probably be worth the cost and effort to upgrade to marble countertops, install that island or remodel the cabinets.

In an article by Realtor.com one agent told a story of how one homeowner struggled to get her home to sell. She invested less than $3500 to remodel her kitchen and her home sold in two weeks!

The trusted team of professionals here at Weichert, REALTORS® – The Sumner Group in Savannah, Georgia will be more than happy to give you advice on not only a kitchen remodel but for any of your real estate needs.

Home Sales on the Rise in 2012

Weichert, REALTORS®-The Sumner Group have found some exciting news about the housing market for this year! As the first month of 2012 nears to an end, the outlook of housing in 2012 is one of improvement. According to an article by DSnews.com, home sales have been on the rise for the past three months, with a 5% increase in December.

While home sales are still low, it is clear that both consumers and lenders are growing in confidence.

mortgage1_webIn another DSnews.com article, loosening credit and stabilization of mortgage lending standards will help end the housing crisis this year. According to Capital Economics, banks are both loosening loan-to-value ratios (LTV) and lending up to 3.5 the borrower’s earnings (which are up from a low of 3.2).

The chief economist for the National Association of Realtors (NAR) Lawrence Yun stated that “The pattern of home sales in recent months demonstrates a market in recovery.” Lower mortgage rates and home prices give consumers more confidence in the housing market.

Basically this means that banks are making it a little easier to borrow and while home sales are still low and may not contribute a whole lot to the GDP, they are slowly improving as the job market improves and interest rates stay low.

So if you are thinking of purchasing a home this year, now is the time to buy! Our dedicated staff of agents offers homes for sale in Savannah, Georgia and the outlying areas. Let us help you find your next dream home!

Read the full articles here and here.

Big Changes for the Start of 2012!

We’ve made some big changes for the start of 2012! First, we have changed our name from Weichert, REALTORS®-Pursuit Real Estate Group to Weichert, REALTORS®-The Sumner Group. There’s still all the same professionalism and experience you’ve come to expect from Pursuit; we’ve just changed the name to better reflect who we are as a company.

In April of 2009, John Sumner founded Pursuit Real Estate Group to focus on New Home Communities in the Savannah and Richmond Hill Areas. Since that time, Pursuit Real Estate Group has affiliated with Weichert Realtors, an international real estate company with over 500 offices. Weichert Realtors provides the tools and resources needed to survive and thrive in today’s market. The name switch to Sumner Real Estate Group, DBA Weichert Realtors, – The Sumner Group, better reflects the true hard work and passion the company has for our local and regional real estate market.

We now have over 20 agents who focus on resale, new home sales and commercial real estate in Georgia and South Carolina.

The next big news for the start of 2012 is that we have relocated our offices from southside Savannah to the heart of the Landmark Historic District in downtown Savannah. Our new office is located at the southwest corner of Liberty and Price Streets at 413 East Liberty Street.

We are here to serve your real estate needs in Savannah and the surrounding Georgia and South Carolina areas. Please contact one of our knowledgeable agents today!

January Events

It’s a new year and we at Weichert, REALTORS®-The Sumner Group look forward to serving Savannah, Georgia’s real estate needs in 2012. Below is our list of fun, local events in January to kick off the New Year:

Oatland Island Wildlife CenterFamily Campfire Night at Oatland Island Wildlife Center

Bundle up the kids and have a night of campfire fun! Come to Oatland January 14th for an evening of making S’mores, hot chocolate, storytelling and campfire sing-a-long, star-gazing, nocturnal animal program and a night hike. Event runs from 6pm to 9pm, adults are $15 and children are $10. Registration is required; call 912-395-1500.

12th Annual 2012 Savannah Low Country Home and Garden Show

Turn your home and garden dreams into reality! The 12th Annual Savannah Low Country Home and Garden Show features thousands of square feet of exhibits where you’ll find the latest in products and services for landscaping, gardening, contracting and more. Highlights of this year’s show include home improvement alley; booths featuring the latest trends in kitchen, bath and interiors; pools, spas and hardscapes; complimentary gourmet food and wine tastings; Kid Zone; and shopping including art, gifts, gourmet and plants. Admission price includes entire weekend’s events and all seminars and discussions. Pay once and return all weekend long!

Located at the The Savannah International Trade and Convention Center, the show runs from Friday, January 20th: 2pm – 7pm; Saturday, January 21st: 10 am – 7pm; Sunday, January 22nd: 11 am – 5 pm. Admission is $7 for adults, $5 seniors and $4 for Active Duty Military. Children under the age of 16 are free. Phone: 210-408-0998.

Grease: Jan 20 - Feb 5Grease

The Savannah Theatre presents this worldwide smash hit musical brought to life by the theatre’s award-winning cast and band. Dates run from January 20th to February 5th at the Historic Savannah Theatre. Tickets are $35 for adults and $16 for children. For more details call 912-233-7764.

dejaBLEU :: the event – savannah’s designer consignment sale

Join BleuBelle Boutique, Cherry Picked Consignments and Savannah Magazine for an amazing opportunity to find great deals on designer clothing at a fraction of the cost. This second annual event also benefits Dress for Success Savannah so clean out your closet and shop for a great cause! Admission is free and the sale runs from January 27th to 29th at the Savannah Mall. Call for details: 912-355-3554.

Are there other events that we didn’t include you’d like to share? Tell us on our Facebook page!