Give Yourself Some Credit…Why Your Score Matters

Categories: Uncategorized | Posted: September 19, 2014 | Comments Off on Give Yourself Some Credit…Why Your Score Matters

When you’re ready to buy a house, you know that your credit score is important – it’s all anyone can talk about! But why exactly is it so critical? What impact does your credit score actually have on your ability to buy a house? We spoke to Betsy Saxon, Mortgage Loan Officer for First Bank Mortgage in Pooler, GA, to get the scoop on all the ways your credit score can affect your new mortgage. Ms. Saxon is an expert when it comes to helping potential home buyers prepare their credit reports for the intense scrutiny they’ll face when it’s time to choose a new home.

First of all, you need to know what is on your credit report. Ms. Saxon recommends that you start the home buying process with a visit to www.annualcreditreport.com, the only free credit reporting site authorized by Federal Law. Everyone is entitled to one free credit report every 12 months from the three major credit reporting agencies; TransUnion, Experian and Equifax. By logging on to this site, you can see what your lenders will be looking at when they examine your credit worthiness. A common misconception is that when you receive your credit reports, you will also receive your credit score. Your credit score is actually a number derived from a mathematical formula; the raw data on your credit report is plugged into the formula, and the credit score is calculated. You can also get your credit score from this site for a nominal fee – usually around $6 to $7.

Once you’ve obtained your reports, go over them carefully. If you spot anything that doesn’t look right, such as credit cards you don’t recognize, denials for credit that you didn’t request, or items in a collection status that you can’t identify, address these problems as soon as you can. These are red flags that will make it much more difficult for you to be approved for a home loan. “Most people don’t check their credit reports as often as they should. You get a report for free each year from the big three,” Ms. Saxon says. “Be sure to take advantage of this. Check your credit reports each and every year. You can help stop identity theft and fraud if you are on top of your credit reports and you know what is in them. You can also resolve any errors that show up before they become a major issue.” Any derogatory credit events that have happened within the past ten years can be reported, so it is best to work out these difficulties before they become firmly entrenched in your reports.

Sometimes legitimate items will show up on your credit report that will surprise you. For example, you may see a bill from a doctor’s office that is in collections. You never visited that doctor, so you call to investigate. It is then that you find out your ex-wife, who has primary custody of your children, took them to the doctor and didn’t take care of the co-pay. Why would that affect your credit report? Isn’t that her responsibility? Not always. If you carry the children on your health insurance, ultimately, the responsibility for the co-pay is yours, regardless of who gets the bill. Situations such as this one happen more often than you would think, and can have a devastating effect on your credit rating. This is one of the reasons it is essential for you to check your credit reports every year.

Why does having a clean credit report with a high credit score mean so much? In a nutshell, lenders are much more likely to work with people who have a high credit score, because they have a great track record of paying their debts on time. There is much less risk involved when they loan money to these people, instead of folks with a lower credit score caused by short payments, missed payments, loan defaults or bankruptcies. The common thought among lenders is if they’ve done this before, they’ll do it again. They don’t want to lose money on this type of gamble.

Not only are you less likely to get a loan with a lower credit score, if you do get a loan, your interest rate is certain to be higher. The more interest that gets tacked on to the principal of your loan, the more you need to pay in the long run to satisfy the debt. Most people also don’t realize that other types of monthly payments can be influenced by your credit score. For example, insurance premiums can vary based on your credit score. Home or auto insurance premiums are often higher if your credit score is low.

Also keep in mind that your credit reports will be monitored for the entire time you are engaged in the home buying process. If you are buying an existing house, in most cases the term will be short – usually around 30 days. If you purchase new construction, your credit reports will be examined periodically for the entire construction timeline – usually four to five months. Any and every change to your credit score could derail your plans to buy your new home. Once you’ve contracted to buy a home, be very careful that you don’t do anything that could drop your credit score. This includes buying a car or a boat, running up a credit card balance, opening or cancelling credit card accounts, making late payments or missing payments. While your credit is under the microscope, take great care that nothing happens to damage it.

If you have any questions about how your credit reports and credit scores can help you or hurt you when you’re buying a home, don’t hesitate to call Betsy Saxon at 912-663-2510. She’s successfully counseled hundreds of buyers who have needed help getting their credit ready to purchase the home of their dreams. She’s happy to provide an incredible amount of free information to anyone who requests it!

The Lakeside Life…Yours for the Taking at Sweetwater Station!

Categories: Uncategorized | Posted: September 13, 2014 | Comments Off on The Lakeside Life…Yours for the Taking at Sweetwater Station!

If you’re looking for a beautiful, serene and unspoiled location in Savannah, GA that is only minutes away from shopping, schools, entertainment and the services you need every day, Sweetwater Station is where you need to be!

This gorgeous new community located on Savannah’s Southside is designed with the nature lover in mind. The two large, well-maintained lakes on site are stocked with five-pound bass, so be sure to bring your fishing pole! Add a picnic lunch and some Frisbee on the grounds, and you’re looking at a perfect day of relaxation for the whole family!

Trails wind their way through this beautiful community, giving residents their choice of energizing morning jogs, relaxing strolls in the evening, or a bracing walk anytime. There are lots of ways to enjoy the great outdoors at Sweetwater Station, so get your sneakers and get outside!

Eleven different floor plans are available at Sweetwater Station. Ranging in size from 1328 square feet to 3441 square feet, these striking new homes can accommodate families of any size. And with the homes starting in the $160’s, they are truly affordable! You can enjoy the peace and quiet of lakeside life only minutes away from Highway 204, I-95 and Veteran’s Parkway. This ideal location is close to Savannah Mall, Savannah Festival Outlet Center, two movie theaters, a variety of restaurants and a host of local businesses that offer the essentials of everyday life.

For more information on this delightful community, call our sales office at 912-660-9673, or stop in for a visit. The model home and sales office at Sweetwater Station is open Monday through Saturday from 10am to 5pm, and on Sundays from 1pm to 5pm. Or, if you prefer, you can drop us an email and we’ll fill you in on all the details!

The Elegance of the Ellington – Ernest Signature Homes’ Floor Plan of the Month!

Categories: Uncategorized | Posted: September 8, 2014 | Comments Off on The Elegance of the Ellington – Ernest Signature Homes’ Floor Plan of the Month!

If you’re looking for a new home in the Savannah, GA area that is truly unique and out of the ordinary, be sure to consider the Ellington floor plan – one of our more exclusive designs. Available only at Rabun Estates, Sweetwater Station and Tranquilla Hall at Buckhead, this modern home has the amenities you want with a delightful, innovative twist.

The Ellington’s signature feature is an open, airy loft on the second floor that can be used in countless ways. A play room for your children? A craft or sewing room? A home gym? A second living room/TV room? A reading room with comfy furniture and custom bookcases? Or maybe even an indoor garden…the opportunities are endless!

This family-friendly home comes standard with four bedrooms, and includes an option for a fifth in the loft area if you desire. The master suite is located on the first floor, with the other three bedrooms on the second floor. Two full baths and a half bath ensure that everyone has enough mirror time in the morning and a private place to relax with a hot bath in the evening. However, if you have a larger family, have overnight guests on a regular basis or find that your teenager is always monopolizing one of the bathrooms, consider adding the optional third full bathroom to the second floor.

The spacious great room/family room has an optional fireplace for chilly nights (or to set a romantic mood!) and the kitchen comes in both the standard design and an optional upgraded configuration with a handy central island. Sitting down for a meal is comfortable any time of the day, with your choice of a cozy breakfast area or a formal dining room, both standard on this floor plan. You can even dine alfresco on the open patio off the breakfast area – just add some stylish outdoor furniture and you’re good to go! Speaking of outside – if you’re dreaming of warm Southern nights spent swinging on the veranda, looking out at the stars; opt for the enlarged porch available on the front entryway.

You can park two vehicles in the attached garage, with an entrance into the house through a roomy laundry area. What a great place to leave dirty shoes and boots!

At 3,441 square feet, there’s plenty of space in the Ellington to enjoy the good life! For more information on this charming home, call Ernest Signature Homes at 912-660-9673 today, or send us an email. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!

Your Flooring, Your Lifestyle, Your Decision!

Categories: Uncategorized | Posted: August 29, 2014 | Comments Off on Your Flooring, Your Lifestyle, Your Decision!

You’ve found the perfect homebuilder in Savannah, GA, you’ve chosen your perfect floor plan, and now you have a series of big decisions to make – decisions that will have a huge effect on your life every day – decisions that will influence the lives of your children – decisions that will even determine how you spend your leisure time.

Wow…that sounds more than a little overwhelming! What could possibly be this important? It’s something you probably haven’t given much thought to up to this point – your flooring! It’s true…your flooring can make a difference in your life in so many ways.

Until fairly recently, the only question you would be asked about flooring would have been ‘What color do you want the carpets to be’? Beginning in the 1950’s, wall-to-wall carpeting was the obvious choice when people built new homes. Before that time, it was a luxury item – something out of reach for the typical homeowner. But in the 1950’s, innovations in the way carpeting was manufactured caused the price to drop, and suddenly the floor covering of the wealthy was available to almost everyone.

In the last couple of decades or so, however, people began to look critically at their lifestyles and ask ‘Is wall-to-wall carpet really the right choice for our home? Would another surface work better for us’? For some families, carpeting remains an excellent choice. For others, hardwood, laminate or vinyl may be better. How do you decide? Let’s talk a little bit about your lifestyle, and how different flooring options fit into it.

You Have Pets

Little ‘accidents’ can be disastrous if you choose wall-to-wall carpeting! You may want to select hardwood, vinyl or laminate flooring, which is easy to clean, and accent it with area rugs. If you choose hardwood, go with a lighter shade to diminish the appearance of scratches that can appear from your pet’s nails. Be careful, though, to avoid super-slick surfaces that can cause your lively pet to slip and fall when he runs to greet you!

You Have Very Young Children

Wall-to-wall carpeting is great for babies who crawl and toddlers who tumble often. The softer, more giving surface provides warmth and comfort for little ones (and it feels great when you want to go barefoot!) Go with easy to clean, stain-resistant varieties like nylon, polypropylene and polyester.

You Have Active Older Children

In this situation, it’s all about the durability! If your children are hard on floors, consider laminate, noise-reducing vinyl or engineered hardwood with an aluminum oxide urethane finish. These materials are tough, long-wearing and easy to clean, leaving you more time to spend on the things you want to do!

You Have Older Children Who Live on the Floor

TV, video games and sleepovers…tweens and teens seem to spend most of their lives sitting or lying on the floor! Berber or cut-pile frieze carpets are durable, attractive options for comfy lounging. If your children spill often, consider engineered hardwood flooring, topped with a snuggly area rug. For increased durability and easy care, swap out the hardwood with laminate or vinyl.

Your Home Is a Showplace

It’s easy to keep your adults only, pet-free residence pristine and ready for entertaining. Your options are wide open – you can select any luxurious finishing touches you want! Plush, natural fiber carpeting in rich colors, solid hardwoods in elegant cherry, pecan or chestnut, or high quality laminates or vinyls in eye-catching colors or patterns can liven up your home!

Whew…did you know there were so many things to consider before laying your flooring? Fortunately, decisions about what goes under your feet are easy to make at The Gallery at Ernest Signature Homes! We have a wide selection of flooring options to meet the needs of your family, all in one place, and a team of experts ready to help. To reserve a time to visit, or for more information about flooring choices at Ernest Signature Custom Homes, call us at 912-756-4135.

Iconic Movie and TV Homes – Which Is Your Dream House?

Categories: Uncategorized | Posted: August 22, 2014 | Comments Off on Iconic Movie and TV Homes – Which Is Your Dream House?

Certain houses have a special place in a person’s memory, and it is often because we’ve seen them in our favorite movies and television series. The most iconic and memorable houses in America resonate with viewers because there’s something about them – a special feature, a unique amenity, or a distinct personality – that make them immediately recognizable. We’re counting down some of our favorites…all guaranteed to make you say “Hey! I know that house!”

# 10 – Home Alone


This classic comedy made Macaulay Culkin into an instant star, and established this roomy, comfortable home as the ideal residence for a huge, noisy yet loving family. Located in Winnetka, IL, this 4 bedroom, 4 bath beauty is more than ready to welcome you home for the holidays! Sold in 2012, it brought in a little more than a cool $1.5 million.


#9 – Beetlejuice


Quirky and experimental, this house is instantly recognizable, but it doesn’t really exist. This ‘shell’ of a house was built on a hill overlooking East Corinth, Vermont, just for the exterior shots of the 1988 movie. This photo of the famous movie home depicts the remodel of the classic Victorian owned by the recently deceased Maitlands by the more than slightly daffy Deetz family.


#8 – Full House


full house

A staple of family viewing during the late 1980’s and the first part of the 1990’s, the popular sitcom Full House was set in San Francisco. This Victorian is a fine example of the style, and is situated on Broderick Street, not the imaginary Gerard.


#7 – Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Ferris Bueller

Probably the most famous garage in the world is the one in the house belonging to Ferris Bueller’s best friend Cameron. This house located in Highland Park, IL was sold just a few months ago for $1.06 million dollars. You can buy quite a few Ferraris for that chunk of change!


#6 – The Munsters


Delightfully creepy, yet hopelessly homey and inviting, the mansion of the Munsters is the ideal choice for any modern family who thinks every day is Halloween! A delightful replica of this home is located in Texas, and they will be holding a fundraiser for the Waxahachie Senior Citizen Center this October. Check out their Facebook page here for more information!


#5 – A Christmas Story


This modest home in Cleveland, OH just wouldn’t be the same without a leg lamp shining in the front window! Along with catching the pop culture favorite movie every Christmas for 24 hours straight on TBS, you can visit the actual house, which is now a museum dedicated to…what else but “A Christmas Story”! For more information on this retro side trip of a lifetime, check out their website.


#4 – The Amityville Horror


One of the most popular “real-life” ghost stories ever told, The Amityville Horror made this colonial with its distinctive windows world-famous. It’s a little ironic that the Lutz family, who made tons of money with the royalties from the book and the movies, lost this house to foreclosure!


#3 – Up

Up House

One of the most popular animated films of all time has inspired an actual house built in Herriman, UT, a suburb of Salt Lake City. Disney/Pixar gave Bangerter Homes and the Salt Lake City Home Builders Association permission to construct this fully habitable house that is a true replica of the famous balloon-driven residence.


#2 – Psycho


One of the most recognizable real estate silhouettes in history, the home of Norman Bates and his mother has chilled and thrilled audiences for decades. The original film by Alfred Hitchcock first stirred our imaginations in the 1960’s, and a whole new generation of fans is being treated to the gothic horror of this famous inn with the modern TV series Bates Motel on A&E.


#1 – The Brady Bunch

brady bunch stair shot

The only home on our list to be more recognizable on the inside than on the outside is Mike Brady’s masterpiece – complete with the truly memorable modern staircase! Everyone who had a child or was a child in the 1970’s remembers this nostalgic family program, which still runs in syndication today.

Did we miss any of your favorites? Drop us a line via email and tell us which home or homes should make our next edition of the list!

You can also check out the new iconic homes we’re building in Savannah, GA – some of them with the same great features as these fan favorites!

Dunham Marsh – The Living Is Good in Richmond Hill!

Categories: Uncategorized | Posted: August 15, 2014 | Comments Off on Dunham Marsh – The Living Is Good in Richmond Hill!

The rapid growth of suburban communities in the Savannah, GA area isn’t a surprise – this beautiful area is noted for its booming tourist trade, historical significance and reasonable cost of living. Add in major employers such as Gulfstream, the Georgia Ports Authority, the Savannah College of Art & Design and a number of large medical systems and military bases, and you have a growing economy that needs a lot of people to keep it going. And quite a few of these people are choosing to live in Richmond Hill, GA, a cozy community of just over 20,000 people. This growing city retains a friendly, small-town feel, has a low crime rate, an excellent school system and a variety of lovely parks and public areas. Only minutes south of metropolitan Savannah, Richmond Hill is close to everything you need, yet far enough away from the congestion of the city to help you relax and enjoy the good life.

If you’re choosing Richmond Hill, be sure to visit Dunham Marsh. This gorgeous planned community has been named the Community of the Year by the H.B.A. of Greater Savannah in 2010 & 2011. With 35% green space, it is a leader in preserving the natural environment of the area while giving residents access to a wide variety of impressive amenities. A salt-water swimming pool with beach entry is the focal point of the elegant million-dollar pool club, complete with cabanas and outdoor fireplaces. Work out in the state-of-the-art fitness center, entertain your children at the playground or plan to throw a party in the all-purpose community room.

Dunham Marsh provides each residence with a fiber optic communication package that truly sets this community apart. Your home will be outfitted with digital television, high-speed internet and telephone service with unlimited nationwide calling.

The community is served by the top-rated Bryan County School District, and is close to shopping, the Fort McAllister marina, Ford Plantation and Sterling Links golf courses, the new DeVaul Henderson Park and I-95.

Ernest Signature homes offers 17 attractive floor plans at Dunham Marsh, with homes to accommodate a family of any size. With starting prices in the low $200’s, Ernest Signature Homes gives buyers the lowest entry point into the Richmond Hill market, while providing high-quality construction and all the same great services and conveniences you will find in this attractive, desirable community.

If you’d like to learn more about Richmond Hill and Dunham Marsh, we’re happy to help! Call us at 912-660-9673 or drop us a line with this handy email request form. Get acquainted with Dunham Marsh today!

Ernest Signature Homes Invites You to Choose the Hilton

Categories: Uncategorized | Posted: August 8, 2014 | Comments Off on Ernest Signature Homes Invites You to Choose the Hilton

While it may sound like we want to treat you to a night in a fabulous hotel, we’re really offering lovely accommodations for a lifetime.

Welcome to the Hilton, the Ernest Signature Homes floor plan of the month!

This delightful home is available in the communities of Clover Point at Belmont Glen, Dunham Marsh, Rabun Estates, Sweetwater Station, Tranquilla Hall at Buckhead, White Oak Village, and Cumberland Point, making it one of our most popular floor plans. Whether you choose to live in the cities of Savannah, Pooler, Richmond Hill or Guyton, the Hilton could be the ideal home for you.

With 5 bedrooms and 3 full baths, the Hilton is a larger home ideal for a growing family or for someone who likes to have a generous amount of space. Featuring a generous 3,080 square feet of living area, the Hilton’s two-story plan offers several optional upgrades including a sunroom, a message center off the garage, a fourth bathroom or an expanded master bedroom suite with enhanced bathroom, sitting area, and his and hers walk-in closets. The dedicated laundry center on the second floor makes this bothersome chore easy by keeping the washer and dryer close by most of the bedrooms and bathrooms, where your laundry tends to collect.

For the benefit of your guests or for a person who loves their privacy, one of the bedrooms is placed on the ground floor, away from the other sleeping quarters. Your teenager will love having this room – and it’s the perfect mother-in-law suite if she comes to stay! You can also convert this handy space into a high-tech home office or study, sewing or craft room, or a handy home gym.

Relax on the open patio in the evenings, or enjoy a leisurely Sunday brunch in the delightful breakfast nook adjoining the kitchen. The kitchen, with its raised bar, is also open to the formal dining room and the family room, making it easy to serve elaborate holiday meals or snacks during movie night. The Hilton is also a great home for your vehicles – there’s plenty of room in the 2 car garage.

Click here to see our Hilton photo gallery and to view the floor plan in detail. If you have any questions about this elegant yet comfortable home, don’t hesitate to give us a call at (912) 756-4135 or drop us a line via our email request form.

When you choose the Hilton as your floor plan, you’ll feel like an honored guest in your own home every single day!

A Puppy’s Eye View of Your New Home

Categories: Uncategorized | Posted: July 31, 2014 | Comments Off on A Puppy’s Eye View of Your New Home

Many home buyers tend to overlook the needs of some very important family members when selecting a new home. Over sixty percent of American homes contain at least one pet, and often, human home buyers don’t consider what features and attributes of a residence are best for their furry, feathered or finned friends. If you’re buying new construction in the Savannah, GA area, it’s time to talk to the pet experts at Ernest Signature Homes. We’ll help you design the ultimate living area for your entire family, including your pet!

One of the most important things to do when considering a new home is to drop on all fours and take the tour. Don’t worry about looking silly – an experienced realtor or new home salesperson has seen this happen many times before! It is much easier to see potential dangers and hazards to your pet when you view your new home from their level. Note where pets can climb upward on “ladders” such as counter tops, kitchen islands, mantels or wide window sills. Avoid making furniture placement decisions that would make it easier for pets to fall. Examine window treatments for hanging loops or long cords that can cause choking or strangulation. Check the placement of electrical outlets and plan to cover those that are not in use; cover any accessible power cords that stay active all the time.

Another thing to observe during your “on-all-fours” tour is the location and closure of storage cabinets. Many household cleaners and human medications are poisonous and should be safely latched behind doors. Clever pets can find ways to open doors without closures, so ask your home builder for safe solutions to storage challenges. Don’t forget to check the storage spaces in your garage as well – over 10,000 pets ingest anti-freeze each year, which is often fatal for animals. Move along to trash disposal next, ensuring that all receptacles are sturdy, with tight-fitting lids. Check into compactors and in-sink disposals to help reduce the amount of tempting trash in your home. Many items in the trash can cause harm to pets, including bones, seeds and fruits such as avocados, grapes and raisins, chocolate, onions and coffee grounds. For a handy list of people foods that are dangerous to pets, click this link to the ASPCA’s site. Additional foods that are hazardous to pets can be found at The Goody Pet site.

Make sure that all windows are covered by glass and/or strong, well-installed screens. Window guards will not keep cats or very small, agile dogs safely inside. Choose the flooring options that work best for your pets. In many cases, wall-to-wall carpeting is impractical for cat and dog owners. Look into hardwood floors with a substantial urethane finish, ceramic tile, or other hard, non-porous surfaces accented by easier-to-clean area rugs. If you do decide on full carpeting, consider matching the shade of the rug to your pet’s fur to reduce the visibility of shedding, and choose a carpet with a performance rating of 3.5 or above.

It is important that your new house provides a special, secure area that your pet can call its own. Elderly pets need comfortable accommodation on the ground floor. Cats need a private area away from their feeding place for their litter boxes. Set aside some space in a mud room, spare bedroom or the casual family room for your pet, complete with a comfortable bed, an area for toys, and possibly a pet door leading to a fenced-in yard or enclosed sun porch. Some pets such as small mammals, reptiles, birds and fish are kept in cages or tanks. Make certain that your floor plan allows sufficient space for these pet homes in safe areas away from windows and heating vents. This will help you keep their environment at the proper temperature. It will also reduce stress for your pet, as it will keep them out of the sight line of possible predators they can see through the windows.

When designing your new home, don’t forget about your landscaping! Many plants are dangerous for your pets. Check this link for a comprehensive list of Toxic and Non-Toxic Plants. Ask your veterinarian or the professionals here at Ernest Signature Homes for tips on selecting lovely greenery that will be safe for all family members.

Choosing your perfect homebuilder in Savannah is easier when you know what you need to accommodate all of your family members…especially the ones who love you unconditionally, just because you’re you!

Remodeling Mistakes – 10 Home Upgrades to Avoid!

Categories: Uncategorized | Posted: July 25, 2014 | Comments Off on Remodeling Mistakes – 10 Home Upgrades to Avoid!

Last time we talked about 10 great ways to improve the value of your home. However, it is also important to know which popular upgrades can actually do the opposite. Some things that seem like a great idea at first can actually reduce the desirability of your residence. We’re going to give you the heads-up on these to make sure you don’t fall into the home improvement trap!

1. In-ground Pools

While the long swimming season in the south makes this sound like a slam-dunk, installing a pool may not always be the best idea for improving the resale value of your home. Many people don’t swim. Others think a pool is too labor intensive and costs too much to maintain. And there are those who are concerned about the additional responsibility of pool safety and the additional insurance that may be required. If you are installing the pool for yourself, because you would love to have one, it’s the right move. If you’re doing it just to be able to hike the asking price of your home, stay away.

2. Additional Power Generators

Most homes don’t experience the extended power outages that make having backup generators practical. The investment in an additional power source doesn’t equate to an increased listing price when your home goes on the market.

3. Home Offices

Even though more and more people are working from home these days, the overall percentage of home workers is still low. Office spaces are highly personal surroundings. What works well for one person is a nightmare for another. If you don’t have a home office, don’t add one. If you do, don’t upgrade it in hopes of asking more for your home. Keep the area simple, so that prospective buyers can “see” the room being used for another purpose if necessary.

4. Extreme Appliances

Many remodelers make the mistake of going “whole hog” when replacing appliances in their homes. Expensive gourmet-quality stoves, ovens and wine coolers might sound like a great idea, but in most communities, they’re overkill. So few people have a need for these high-end appliances – there aren’t enough interested consumers to make the expense pay off in the long run.

5. Hot Tubs, Spas and Whirlpools

Much like fancy appliances and in-ground pools, these specialty items will only be seen as desirable by a limited number of people. In many cases, upkeep is an issue. Others may want to repurpose the space in a room or in the yard and see these “treats” as liabilities.

6. Roof Replacement

We’re not talking about putting a new roof on a home that needs it. By all means, if the roof isn’t sound, replacing it is the way to go. However, replacing the roof simply to put a higher sale price on the home doesn’t work. It is expected that the roof will be intact and in good working order when a house is sold, so putting a new one on doesn’t increase the asking price on a home.

7. Wall-to-Wall Carpeting

Home fashions are always changing, and right now, hardwood floors are “in”. Wall-to-wall carpeting used to be a hot selling point, but now, in many cases, it is a liability. People are much more aware of how carpets trap allergens, and many people with pets or small children find cleaning carpeting to be a hassle.

8. Home Theaters

Expensive, hard-wired home theater systems appeal to a small percentage of the population. Most people don’t have an intense appreciation for these high-ticket items, and won’t pay a premium price for a home outfitted with super-sound and an enormous screen TV.

9. Colorful Bath Fixtures

If you’re looking to remodel your bathroom to increase the value of your home, stay with neutral colors. If you add avocado green “retro” tile or a pink tub to your bath because you think they look “cool”, most prospective buyers will see these “upgrades” as renovation “to-do’s”.

10. “Adding On”

Most additions don’t pay for themselves in the long run. Some of the biggest offenders are sunrooms, extra garages and master suite additions. Additions are expensive to complete, and rarely add enough to the overall value of the home to make them worth the financial outlay. While many homeowners splurge on these projects because they appear “upscale” or “custom”, it is usually much more economical to work with the area of the existing home when upgrading.

If you have any questions about choosing the best upgrades for your home, ask the professionals at Ernest Signature Homes. We’ll give you the advice you need to create the home you want – with an eye to later resale value!

Thinking of Selling Your Home? 10 Ways to Boost Your Home’s Value!

Categories: Uncategorized | Posted: July 20, 2014 | Comments Off on Thinking of Selling Your Home? 10 Ways to Boost Your Home’s Value!

If you’re looking at new construction in Savannah, GA, chances are you’re thinking of selling your current home, whether it is located nearby or out of town. Are you considering sprucing up your residence to make it more appealing to potential buyers? If so, there are certain tried and true upgrades that are almost certain to increase the value of your home. These ten changes (some large, some small) usually bring the “oohs” and “aahs” from hard-to-please shoppers.

1. Most Important…Take Care of the Basics!

Be certain that any serious structural problems are addressed before looking to upgrades. For example, if your basement is damp and musty, or your roof is leaking, your money is best spent taking care of these core issues before investing in improvements.

2. Updating Your Kitchen

This is one of the most popular ways to bring some added value to your home. The best part about this update is that you can decide how far you want to go. Do you want to gut the room and begin again, or do you want to change a bit here and there? You can customize the amount of work you want to do based upon your budget. The high points in any kitchen remodel – cabinets and appliances. Stick with neutral colors and high-class touches such as stainless steel appliances and upscale counter tops for the best results.

3. Clean Up Your Bathroom

Similar to a kitchen remodel, bringing your bathroom up to date is a sure way to sway buyers. Once again, be sure to go neutral. Remove colored fixtures such as your grandma’s pink tub or that baby blue tile. Avoid trendy items such as whirlpool tubs. Make a small bathroom look larger by replacing your vanity sink with a pedestal-style unit. If you can’t afford new fixtures, or have ones that are difficult to remove, look into companies that offer surface restoration at a lower cost.

4. Replacement Windows

Energy-efficient windows are valuable upgrades in any area of the country which experiences extreme temperatures…in either direction! Here in the south, keeping your air conditioning in and the hot air out is a great way to save on your energy bill! Look into new windows specially designed for warm weather climates.

5. Deck It Out!

If you have the space, adding a deck is a great way to increase the living area of your home. The deck can be used as an area for dining, entertaining, or just relaxing.

6. The Perfection of Paint

Whether outdoor or indoor, a fresh coat of paint can spruce up any home. Exterior paints should be lighter in color, and trending toward neutral. Popular shades include white, off-white, or pale yellow. In fact, pale yellow homes tend to sell more quickly, and for more money! Why? Yellow is an optimistic color that indicates brighter times ahead, according to Barbara Richardson, Director of Color Marketing for Glidden. Interior colors should also stay neutral, so that potential buyers aren’t put off by trying to imagine what a room would look like without “those crazy orange walls”.

7. I’d Like That on the Side…

Consider fresh siding for your home. New foam-backed vinyl siding products increase energy efficiency and look fantastic! Fiber-cement siding is also a great option, due to its durability and resistance to fading.

8. A Welcoming Entry

Investing in a new entryway is almost always a great move! An appealing outer door doesn’t need to be expensive, and can completely change the way a buyer looks at your home. A steel door is a great way to increase energy efficiency as well!

9. Landscaping

Curb appeal is crucial – investing in your yard is a certain win! Tidy shrubs, bright flowers, and neatly groomed grass are appealing to the eye. However, keep it simple – too much plant and color variety can be distracting.

10. Increase Storage Space

For many families, storage space is always a problem…especially in older homes. Adding handy storage areas can be the secret to increasing the value of your home!

Now that you know what things will work to increase the value of your home, make sure you visit us for our next post – when we tell you which upgrades to avoid! These ideas may sound good at first, but can often backfire when it comes time to sell your home. See you next time!

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