Explore Columbus, GA
By Carey Scott
(Prestige Property Brokers)
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For most of us, the appeal of new construction—a brand new home which your family is first to own—is undeniable. The idea of being able to select your own floor plan with a layout you like and upgrades built to order is hard to beat. But home shoppers looking for new construction in Columbus, GA should be particular. If their future home is to meet expectations, some sophisticated questions should be asked and answered before any agreements are reached. Home models are usually decked out with the best and most expensive furnishings and finishes, unlike more modest packages, where the unadorned dwelling is delivered without any fancy stuff which would be referred to as “options” or “packages”. When you are viewing a home in a Columbus, GA new construction development, be sure to ask how ...
By Carey Scott
(Prestige Property Brokers)
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As the economy continues to improve and more buyers commit to joining (or rejoining) the ranks of our area’s homeowners, access to reliable advice can be a vital difference-maker. If you have never worked with a Realtor® in Columbus, GA before, it’s important to understand the benefits they bring to the table — benefits that cause 84% of successful home buyers to state that they would work with their Realtor again in the future. Understanding Your Buying Power A Columbus, GA Realtor is trained to help clients determine just how much house they can comfortably afford, avoiding a later ‘too much house’ situation. In some instances, their negotiating skills can be key in bringing properties that have been on the market for a while down to a doable price-point. Protecting Your Interests and...
By Carey Scott
(Prestige Property Brokers)
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The price tag that goes with buying a home is hefty enough to give anyone pause. After the fact, anyone – perhaps especially Columbus, GA area first-time homebuyers — can come away wondering if they have could have nailed down a better deal. Preventing any such nagging doubt is easy to do: it just takes a little forethought and preparation. Here are a few tips to bear in mind when buying a home. After you have submitted an offer, be mentally prepared to respond in case a counteroffer follows. Along with the improvement in the Columbus, GA market, we’ve seen a rise in sellers’ confidence levels, so it’s best to be ready for some negotiating. Try not to let your emotions intrude — but always know the maximum amount that you are willing and able to spend. Major athletes have bargaining age...
By Carey Scott
(Prestige Property Brokers)
Comments 0
Even though Columbus, GA area property prices continue to recover, the current market can still present challenges. No one understands this better than homeowners who are re-listing this Fall and Winter season. For some of them, surrounding seas of “For Sale” signs created a less-than-appealing neighborhood setting. Others drew buyers who weren’t able to secure financing in the uncertain mortgage environment. Whatever the reason, it can be disheartening for anyone who has to re-list their property. Once you undertake a repeat attempt to sell your Columbus, GA area home, you want to be certain the job gets done right. A key part of that will be ensuring successful showings. It’s estimated that well-staged homes sell as much as 50% faster than those not “dressed for sale.” Most buyers beg...
By Carey Scott
(Prestige Property Brokers)
Comments 0
When a Columbus, GA home buyer first finds that single-family homes and condominiums have been getting pricier, it shouldn't be a surprise. Nationally, the median sales price is still well below the record $230,400 reached at the height of the housing boom ­ but that gap is shrinking. If you're a future home buyer in the Columbus, GA area, you can take steps to improve the situation. One way is to increase your negotiating leverage - to turn yourself into a highly desirable buyer from the seller's point of view. Show You're Financially Attractive: Maximize your negotiating power by getting yourself pre-approved for a mortgage loan. This is a step beyond merely becoming pre-qualified. To become pre-approved, a mortgage lender pulls your credit, studies your income, debt and employment hi...
By Carey Scott
(Prestige Property Brokers)
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      Like most other parts of the real estate market, luxury homes in Columbus, GA are expected to show a rise in demand going forward. Certain luxury homes have inherently superior marketability: luxury homes that both make a ‘statement’ and are priced competitively within their category are the most likely to attract competition between buyers. If you are among those looking for your perfect luxury home in Columbus, GA area, you could face that kind of competition this season. Here are three stalwart factors shown to help beat the crowd: Money Talks Have your finances ready before you start your home search. If you’re a cash buyer, prepare the qualifying documentation. If needed, get your current home sold, or secure an appropriate mortgage commitment before making your offer. Whethe...
By Carey Scott
(Prestige Property Brokers)
Comments 0
Ah, spring is truly in the air…the traditional time when people can fall in love at first sight! I’ll try not to dampen those springtime spirits too much, but for anyone currently looking into the Columbus, GA area luxury home listings, some advice may be in order: Online love at first sight is a really bad idea.   Those Columbus, GA area luxury home listings can indeed be truly alluring, and using your computer (or iPad, or smartphone) to winnow through the current crop of terrific Columbus, GA area luxury home listings is a supremely practical approach. But do remember that any warm glow you experience after checking out a particularly fetching online tour is best held in check until after you have paid an in-person visit. Then the love affair is more likely to be the real thing. Esp...
By Carey Scott
(Prestige Property Brokers)
Comments 1
  FSBO: “For Sale By Owner” - it can be a siren’s call when you first mull over the prospects for selling your house.  A Columbus, GA For Sale By Owner listing promises to allow a homeowner to sell without even consulting a Columbus, GA/ Phenix City, AL area real estate agents! Depending on a home’s final sale price, the commission saved looks to be substantial. While there are certainly theoretical attractions to the idea of working on your own, time and again statistics prove it is not only more efficient to work with a real estate agent -- it also frequently nets sellers more at the bottom line. There are logical reasons why it works out that way. They are the same reasons why only one in ten homes are successfully sold as FSBOs. First off, while it may seem easy to arbitrarily pick ...
By Carey Scott
(Prestige Property Brokers)
Comments 1
It can happen when you least expect it: an opportunity unexpectedly opens up – and you suddenly realize that the time to become a homeowner is here! It may happen when the landlord of the Columbus, GA/Phenix City, AL area home you have been renting suddenly decides it’s time to sell. Or, during a search for a rental, you happen upon a new Columbus, GA/Phenix City, AL area listing that’s such a bargain you’d be crazy not to snap it up! For Columbus, GA/Phenix City, AL area first-time buyers, unexpected opportunities like these may be the first time they seriously entertain home ownership. If that’s the case, they may well be disappointed. The fact is, the time for first-time buyers to start planning is well in advance. Job One is to take very seriously the sometimes arbitrary-seeming Rul...
By Carey Scott
(Prestige Property Brokers)
Comments 1
When you search through the latest listings of Columbus, GA – Phenix City, AL area homes, you first find those that fit your top-line needs. Then you winnow down that list. Some of the candidates will seem more appealing than others; and some will seem to be over- or underpriced. Before making a final judgment on which homes bear a closer look, the most successful homebuyers also factor in qualities that may not be at the top of their own personal priorities list, yet which make a difference to the majority of homebuyers. In other words, they keep in mind the most important qualities that add value in market terms – that add investment value to homes that are principally your personal residential choice. Some of the more important ones: Location has a huge impact on a property's long-te...
By Carey Scott
(Prestige Property Brokers)
Comments 1
First time homebuyers in the Columbus, GA/Phenix City, AL area are told a lot of things — “Save your money,” their parents advise. “Location, location, location!” their friend’s friend cautions.   Reasonable advice, for certain. But there some important elements of the home buying process which a typical Columbus, GA/Phenix City, AL area first time homebuyer doesn’t usually hear. I’ve listed some of the most important ones, in no particular order: 1.  Mortgage rates you see advertised aren’t usually what you get The banner ads are everywhere online: “3.2% rates!” “No money down!” But the truth is, mortgage rates vary greatly. The only way you’ll know what rates you actually qualify for is to go through a complete mortgage application including credit pulls and income verification. One m...
By Carey Scott
(Prestige Property Brokers)
Comments 0
Keeping control of your kitchen is one of the most basic actions you can take to help your real estate agent sell your home. The execution can be simple when it’s approached systematically.  Especially during the winter months, kitchen control can seem an all but unmanageable task. Days are shorter; kids or pets may be cooped up inside; and everyone tracks winter through the kitchen all day long. But Spring is here! To help you keep your kitchen looking great (and your Columbus, GA/Phenix City, AL area real estate agent beaming), some simple preparation is needed. That, plus sticking to a simple routine, will turn the impossible into a ‘done deal.’ Put appliances and gadgets away as soon as you use them. According to Realtor.com, removing the least frequently used items from kitchen cou...
By Carey Scott
(Prestige Property Brokers)
Comments 2
Buyers’ agent, sellers’ agent – what does it mean? In every Columbus, GA/Phenix City, AL area real estate transaction, the differences are easy to understand, right? Not quite. A potential linguistic trapdoor can lie right around the corner.              For openers, that sellers' agent may also be called the “listing agent” – both mean the same thing. The trapdoor is a further complication that comes into play once a contract is in place -- after which the buyer’s agent may also properly be called the “selling” agent!             The potential confusion between seller’s agent and selling agent doesn’t usually have much practical significance: after all, by then, everyone should know the cast of characters and who represents whom. But it can come into play if buyer or seller is not actu...
By Carey Scott
(Prestige Property Brokers)
Comments 0
In our Columbus, GA/Phenix City, AL area market “Bank-Owned Homes” are usually described as “Foreclosures”. Even though the terms are used interchangeably here and in other places, there is a difference. The difference between a “Foreclosure” and a “Bank-Owned Home” may be technical, but important to understand.  Foreclosures are properties that are auctioned off in a court process. A bank-owned home, on the other hand, is one that has reverted to the mortgage issuer: a bank. A foreclosure can change hands with the bang of the auctioneer’s gavel: it’s a cash-in-hand situation, carrying all of the excitement (and risk) of any auction. With a bank-owned home, the ‘owned’ is attached by hyphen to a banking institution – a spot not exactly known for excitement. True, banks are eager to sell...
By Carey Scott
(Prestige Property Brokers)
Comments 0
When you plan on getting a mortgage in the Columbus, GA/Phenix City, AL area anytime this year, you’re fairly certain to run into something known as the GFE. It’s the acronym for ‘Good Faith Estimate’-- and despite the reassuring name, the federal government decided they had better make it mandatory.  The GFE has a new format dictated by the federal Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act which requires lenders to provide an estimate of the charges and fees due at closing. Lenders have three days to make it available. The GFE looks like a bill. It features a list of fees and charges denoted by three-digit codes. It is grouped into sections to make it more readable, and although at first glance the resulting grid looks overly complicated, after you scan through it once or twice, it actuall...
By Carey Scott
(Prestige Property Brokers)
Comments 0
Homeowners who are puzzling over whether to add their property to the Columbus, GA/Phenix City, AL area home listings this winter (rather than hold back until spring) have more than just timing to factor into their decision. How their offering will stack up alongside the other home listings is a prime consideration. The residential market has made good progress this year – and a strong majority of pundits expect more of the same for 2013. I deal with the home-buying public all the time, and so get an inside look and listen to what features and qualities wind up having the greatest impact on their buying decisions. Another way is to survey home listings across the nation to track buying trends: the features highlighted in home listings are just about the most market-sensitive indicator o...
By Carey Scott
(Prestige Property Brokers)
Comments 4
One of the effects of the steady national rise in home prices is a shift in attitude by previously cautious consumers. It’s only natural to find more people focused on buying homes in the Columbus, GA/Phenix City, AL area while it is still relatively inexpensive to do so. Homeowners who are listing their own Columbus, GA area properties this year are well advised to be mindful of those and other considerations bound to be motivating prospective customers. Buying homes – especially homes in a far away locale – gives rise to many concerns. Positioning the way a home is marketed to anticipate those concerns can mean a sale to an out-of-town buyer on a Columbus, GA/Phenix City, AL area home-hunting trip. Some of the questions out-of-towners are likely to be thinking about: What are the neig...
By Carey Scott
(Prestige Property Brokers)
Comments 0
For bargain-hunters looking over 2013’s first listings of foreclosed homes for sale in the Columbus, GA/Phenix City, AL area, the opportunities speak for themselves. Throughout 2012, the size of that selection of Columbus, GA area foreclosure varies. But no matter how large that increase or decrease turns out to be in 2013, in addition to representing a unique opportunity to potential buyers, each one also posed a substantial decision for the departing homeowner. The question each homeowner faced was whether to attempt to short sell or to allow their property to be foreclosed upon. Choosing the most positive outcome means shedding the negative repercussions as rapidly as possible – clearing the way for a brighter future. Depending on the unique situation of each homeowner, one option is...
By Carey Scott
(Prestige Property Brokers)
Comments 1
Success in selling Columbus GA area homes can depend on being able to distinguish what is important to buyers from what is not.  Proactive homeowners know that one room usually gets more attention than does any other: the kitchen. There are many good reasons why this is so (we have discussed them before) -- but one kitchen detail in particular can have a disproportionate impact. It's a detail that is all too easy to overlook: the condition of the appliances. Realty Times declares, “Sellers should update their appliances." I don't think I would go quite that far, but the gist is right. When the appliances look like they deserve their starring role in the main act -- the kitchen -- it indicates a homeowner who has taken pride in their property. To a prospective buyer choosing whether or n...
By Carey Scott
(Prestige Property Brokers)
Comments 0
We take it for granted at this point, but digitized listings have to be the greatest of all the advances technology has brought to real estate. For both prospective Columbus, GA area home buyers and sellers, the ease and efficiency that has resulted puts past practices back there with horses and buggies.  There are some unintended side effects, too (isn't it always so?) The way the search features work, future home owners find themselves thinking objectively much sooner than they used to. In order to narrow down any search, prospects have to decide which features are important right off the bat. Is it price? Neighborhood? Those first tentative choices provide a preliminary direction for how the house hunting will proceed. Nevertheless, it's only a direction, not a roadmap. The truth is ...

Columbus, GA Real Estate Professionals