Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Fantastic Location with Charm and Space to Spare: 114 Wheatfield Ct.

Nestled on a quiet cul de sac in one of Bluffton's most popular communities, the home at 114 Wheatfield offers not only a charming place to live and grow but also great peace of mind with recent updates that make it absolutely move-in ready. With four bedrooms and a large, bright kitchen, this home is perfect for anyone looking for a beautiful view and a perfect central location.

Located in The Farm, just off Buckwalter Parkway, this home sits on a private lot on a cul de sac, featuring a long driveway and a lagoon view.  With a wooded lot and a two-car garage, the home is close to shopping and entertainment, as well as quite close to the Bluffton school complex.  An easy drive to SAV, HHI, or Beaufort makes this nicely situated for commuting as well.

A large, bright living area sits at the front of the home, connected by a unique archway pass through to a large, bright kitchen.  The archways continue to the hallway to the downstairs master, and new neutral carpet extends throughout. 

A large, bright eat-in kitchen features a large island, recessed lighting, and plenty of work space, and the archway keeps the kitchen connected to the living area. 

A spacious eat-in dining area, with wainscoting and a beautiful lagoon view, makes the kitchen seem even larger, and allows plenty of entertaining space.  Doors lead out to the screened patio, extending the entertaining space even further.

The downstairs master is filled with bright natural light, with brand new carpet throughout. Spacious enough to feel like a retreat, its separation offers ultimate privacy to those who live within it.  Combined with its spacious spa-like bath, this is the ultimate owners suite.

Three additional spacious bedrooms sit upstairs, along with a full bath (and a powder room downstairs for guests), which offers plenty of room for guests or family members. 

The Farm offers convenient amenities, including a playground, clubhouse, and beautiful zero-entry community pool.  Homes in this community typically don't last long--make an appointment soon to see this beautiful four bedroom home to decide if it is the right match for your and your needs.

Monday, September 26, 2016

UNDER CONTRACT! Stunning Updates Close to Old Town: 20 Foreman Hill Road

Looking for a beautiful home, with a flexible floor plan and no HOA regulations, in a prime location close to Old Town Bluffton? This gorgeous four bedroom, three and a half bath home is a beautiful option that won't last at this price! 

Situated on a tree-lined street close to Old Town and the new HHI flyover, this home offers a hard-to-find location with plenty of land for boat or RV storage.  With no HOA restrictions, you have the freedom to store and use whatever toys you'd like! Store your golf cart, which you can use to enjoy the vibrant Old Town restaurants and quaint shops or the parks and recreation close by, or your boat, which you can launch from the nearby Alljoy boat landing or take across the HHI flyover to the beautiful HHI beaches. 

This beautiful home features a downstairs open floor plan with the living area, breakfast nook, and kitchen serving as the heart of the home.  Two spacious bedrooms sit on one side, with a beautiful owner's retreat on the other side. 

The living area reflects the attention to detail and beautiful upgrades that you can find throughout the home. Coffered ceilings with recessed lighting provide a layer of luxury that you can't find in other homes, and a beautiful set of custom cabinets surround the fireplace to provide not only additional storage but a designer look for the living area as well.  The living area looks out onto the beautifully wooded backyard, through large windows and disappearing sliding doors, and allows an enormous amount of natural light while also maintaining privacy.

Just off the living area, in the front of the house, a formal dining room offers a lovely entertaining space or a space that can be used for an office, playroom, hobby area, or any other unique space you need.  The way that the room is set off from the living area provides a separate space while also allowing it to remain a part of the overall living area.

An absolutely stunning kitchen sits off of the main living area, completely updated and perfect for a home chef. With updated stainless steel appliances and a beautiful contrast between the marble countertops and black cabinets, this spacious galley-style kitchen is a showplace.  A large island offers a seating area as well, perfect for entertaining as well.  

Next to a beautiful bay window, an eat-in nook allows for informal dining in the open living space and leads to the upstairs in-law suite or guest area.

Downstairs, on the other side of the kitchen, is the owner's retreat. A spacious room, the master bedroom offers a luxury spa-like bathroom with incredible upgrades.

Stunning marble countertops, double sinks, upgraded hardware and mirrors, and a huge glass and tile shower is flanked by a finished walk-in closet and a incredible soaking tub.

One of the smartest parts of the master bath is the design of the window, which allows plenty of natural light without sacrificing any privacy at all.  A cross between a window and a skylight, the window warms and opens up the space. 


The upstairs suite offers a fantastic flexible space that can be used as an expansive guest suite, an entertainment area, or as an apartment for family.  Hardwood plank flooring, a wet bar/kitchen area, and a spacious living area connects to an office/bedroom and a full bath to create a comfortable, separate space that can be used in a multitude of ways.

 Built-ins in the upstairs bedroom make it a perfect place for an office, school room, or hobby room.

In addition, a fully insulated, climate controlled workshop has been built in the garage, perfect for hobby or workshop activities.  If desired, this workshop can also be removed. 

This home will not last long at such a reasonable price and in such a desirable location. Contact Kristy to set up your personal tour now--you'll fall in love with this beautiful part of Bluffton!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Is Fall The Right Time to Buy or Sell a Home?

Fall is one of my favorite seasons: football, pumpkin patches, community festivals, Halloween, and the holiday season that brings with it family and togetherness and, if we're lucky in the Lowcountry, enough of a nip in the air to remind us that summer is really gone. 

For many realtors, fall is an off-season--it's harder to find buyers, it's harder to find sellers--but I think that's because people don't understand the potential of fall! September, October, and even November can be fantastic times to buy and to sell a home.

Schedules Settle Down

Even if you have kids in sports and so you feel like you're on the move constantly, with fall comes some consistency in schedules. Kids are back in school, the rhythm of daily life (as crazy as it might be) is back, and things become somewhat predictable.  Fall is when you start looking around at your house and noticing the things you don't like or want to change, or start feeling like you want to decorate and make the place feel as cozy as possible.

This can help in real estate! People are back from summer vacation, have a focus on life and home, and may not want to spend another winter in a home they don't love. 

Advantage: Seller

Motivated Sellers

If you're looking for a home in the fall, inventory may be low but the homes that are out there are being sold for a reason.  If the seller is listing now, they're motivated--and that works to your advantage as a buyer. They may be more flexible on price, closing date, or even closing costs.  It doesn't hurt to try!

Advantage: Buyer

Less Inventory

Sellers, if you're listing in the fall you're going to have a lot less competition. Most realtors suggest listing in the spring and early summer for the most potential impact, so many homes will have just sold. But don't forget that people buy throughout the year, and if you're willing to list in the fall, you may just be the very best option in a buyer's price range!

Advantage: Seller

Better Weather

In the Lowcountry, we don't fight snow and ice and sleet during the winter months--in fact, we often have visitors and snowbirds who find the lovely weather here a huge draw to our area.  The weather helps home buyers as well--it's not very fun to look for houses in the blistering heat, so with the milder weather comes more willingness to tour.  As a seller, you can capitalize on this with realtor tours and open houses, and as a buyer, you can probably schedule a showing for almost any time without worrying about melting into a puddle.

Advantage: Buyer AND Seller

Many Schools Will Allow You To Stay

Once you've registered and started school, most Beaufort County schools will allow your children to stay where they are and finish the year.  For those who are buying or selling, this can be a huge comfort. Since we are a school of choice district, many students attend schools outside of their zone. While you'll have to provide transportation, your children will not have to change schools, lose friends, or worry about more new things as they are transitioning to a new home.

Advantage: Buyer AND Seller

If you're thinking about selling or buying soon, let's chat. We can talk about your unique situation and decide if now is the time for you to make a big move.  Give me a call or send a message to my Facebook page--let's get you home before the holidays! 

Do You Really Need Flood Insurance?

As you may know, my family and I live on the May River. It is truly exquisite, and it gives my family the true Lowcountry experience. We can catch crabs off of the dock, go out on our boat to spend precious family time, and enjoy incredible views that can wipe away the stress of any day being a realtor and a mom.

But what living on a river also brings is flooding.  This year, especially, we have experienced several tropical storms and several rounds of King Tides, which bring the rivers up and can potentially threaten homes. We have been blessed, but we are also protected by flood insurance to cover whatever might happen when Mother Nature decides to throw us a curveball. 

Why Flood Insurance?

I have worked with a number of clients who think that, because Bluffton is not in a flood plain, they don't need flood insurance. They may be right--mortgage companies don't require flood insurance for properties not designated as a risk.  But we also live in the Lowcountry, miles from the coast, in an increasingly unusual time for weather events.  Just last year, Columbia flooded and destroyed businesses and homes throughout the region. Did you see that one coming? I sure didn't.  Even our sweet rural neighbors in Ridgeland experienced flooding over the past few seasons.

It happens--and flood insurance is both affordable and a huge weight off of any homeowner's mind.  Most homeowners insurance will not cover flooding claims, so you may actually be out of luck if you do not have flood insurance.  In the past 5 years alone, ALL FIFTY STATES have experienced flooding of some kind. Baton Rouge, Louisiana is the latest and they didn't have a levee break or a river breach its banks--they had a really extreme set of rainstorms and they had a 500 year flood that destroyed an entire community.

I talked to my friend Cynthia Woodhall, one of the area's best insurance experts and one that I highly recommend, about flood insurance.  She gave me some serious food for thought!

The current estimate for 1 inch of water covering 2000 square feet is priced at $21,000, while 1 foot of water increases that bill to $52,000. In the low risk zone, the maximum coverage amount could cost less than $600---you could say that flood coverage is relatively cheap.
So, if you chose not to purchase a $450 policy, for example, to cover your home, you may see 5 figure bills just for ONE claim--and you'd be paying that out of pocket.  Most of us can come up with a few hundred dollars, but can you pay $20,000 in one check? Few of us can--and that's the peace of mind that comes from flood insurance.

How Flood Insurance Works

Unlike your homeowners insurance, which you likely pay in monthly installments as a part of the escrow in your mortgage, floor insurance is paid in one lump sum to cover you for the entire year. It is entirely separate from the homeowners insurance that is paid through your mortgage company.  So let's say that your home is in a preferred flood zone (like Bluffton) and you buy the maximum amount of coverage to cover a $250,000 home and $100,000 for all of the things inside of your home.  Flood coverage will pay only as much as your maximum coverage, regardless of how much the cost of replacing your home actually is.  You'll spend $450, including all FEMA fees, and a policy must be in place for 30 days before it goes into effect--so no running out the day before a hurricane hits to purchase coverage! You also cannot cancel your policy mid-year to simply cover storm season alone.

You'll have two deductibles, one for the building and one for the contents, which is different than how homeowners claims traditionally work.  However, remember what you're avoiding: a $20,000 bill.  And remember also that this coverage is for the worst case scenario!

If you're interested in learning more about how your home might benefit from flood insurance, I strongly encourage you to give Cynthia a call or fill out her contact form. She'll chat with you about your needs and your home and give you fantastic advice.

Now--to enjoy these King Tides while they last!