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New Phase = Larger Homesites

The Aspen by Lamar Smith Homes
Our Bluffton community, Heritage at New Riverside, has just opened its newest phase. It features larger homesites we've ever offered in this community. We exclusively build our Heartland Collection with floor plans from the mid to high $200s. Conveniently located, Heritage at New Riverside is only 10 minutes from Old Town Bluffton, 20 minutes to Savannah, and less than 30 minutes away from Hilton Head and Parris Island / MCAS. It’s location places it in the Beaufort County School System and is less than 2 miles from Pritchardville Elementary. We're open for on-site tours and virtual appointments. Please contact Scott Kelly, our on-site agent, at skelly@lamarsmith.com or (843) 540-8129. We'd be honored to be the new home builder you choose. 

COVID-19 Update

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Your health and safety is our priority! Throughout the last couple of months, our team has been working remotely and maintaining social distancing.

While we are still available to schedule a phone or virtual appointment, we will be reopening our model homes on June 16th. Scheduled appointments will take precedence over walk-ins; we highly encourage you to make an appointment when visiting on-site. We will be disinfecting high touch surfaces before and after each visit.

In order to maintain safe practices for both you and our staff, please see our guidelines below:

• Call the on-site agent upon arrival.
• Complete a short questionnaire upon arrival.
• Wash hands or sanitize upon entry.
• Please wear a face mask, or one can be provided for you.
• There is no entry to our sales office if you are showing symptoms of COVID-19.
• No more than 2 guests for any visit. (decision makers only)

Phone / virtual appointments and tours are still available!

Increase Efficiency by Lowering your Home's HERS Score

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Every day we all strive to be efficient. At our jobs, with our personal relationships, through our hobbies and with our families, efficiency is key. What if we told you that your home was shockingly inefficient? At Lamar Smith Signature Homes, we can tell you with absolute certainty that energy efficiency is a top priority in the homes we build. In fact, our new homes have some of the best energy ratings on today’s market. According to the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) and the U.S. Department of Energy, the average resale home on today’s marketplace scores a 130, which is about double the average HERS score in a new Lamar Smith Signature Home. The lower the HERS rating, the lower your power bill.

 

One of the top ways homeowners and homebuyers in today’s marketplace gauge the energy efficiency of a home is through the Home Energy Rating System (HERS). The housing industry’s HERS index has often been compared to the miles-per-gallon rating people consider when buying a new car. It’s just one piece of data, but it can save buyers many times over throughout the duration of their purchase. Here are some key points the HERS index analyzes:

 

Here are some key takeaways:

  • The HERS index includes energy consumption that stems from heating, cooling, lights, water heating, and certain appliances.
  • Every one-point change on the HERS index represents a 1% change in energy efficiency, with lower scores meaning a better rating.
  • If the HERS index is zero (which is possible), it means the house has a net energy use of zero and that house actually produces as much energy as it uses.

However, we believe it never helps to be even more efficient. With that in mind, here are a few tips consider when trying to make your home more energy efficient:

  • How energy efficient are the floors in the unconditioned areas of your home, such as a garage?
  • Is air being lost in the attic, foundation or any crawlspaces within your home?
  • When you close your windows and doors, do they keep air both in and out? What about the vents and ductwork?
  • Do you have the most up-to-date, energy efficient water-heating system, thermostat and HVAC systems?
  • Are there any leakage points in the heating and cooling distribution system?
  • Does your home include spray foam insulation to serve as an air sealant?
  • How energy efficient are your major appliances (washer/dry, dishwasher and refrigerator)?
  • Do you replace your air filters often?
  • Do you take small steps to boost energy efficiency, such as using compact fluorescent bulbs?

By doing what you can to ensure these issues are sealed up (literally), you can significantly lower your power bill. The other option? Buy a new home from Lamar Smith Signature Homes and relax knowing you don’t have to worry about energy efficiency!

New phase open in Covington Pointe!

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Covington Pointe has opened it’s new phase! Located off of Highway 341, this beautiful community is located less than an hour from St. Simons and Jekyll Island. As the mainland city of the Golden Isles, you and your family will love living close to Georgia’s gorgeous coast in Brunswick.

Covington Pointe is a quiet neighborhood that’s safely tucked away, but also close to dining and shopping. Currently, we have three quick-move in homes – all of which have options and selections picked by our professional interior designer, Susan Young.

Priced at $205,410, 164 Coral Drive is an Athens plan featuring 1,700+ square feet of living space. It’s a three bedroom, 2 bath ranch style home with an open concept living space. What makes this home a steal, is the four-foot extension of the great room and master.  The kitchen opens into the great room and includes stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, and upgraded cabinets. The luxurious owner’s suite offers an upgraded private bath with a garden tub, separate shower, water closet, linen closet and dual vanities. Luxury vinyl plank is laid throughout the common areas, a great choice for active families.

 

There are two Hickory plans move-in ready at Covington Pointe. Both homes include four bedrooms, two-and-a-half baths and a two-car garage. The first floor offers open living with a great room, breakfast area and kitchen. A formal dining area and covered porch completes the first level, while the second story offers ample living space. The master suite features a large walk-in closet and private bath with dual vanities, while three additional bedrooms share a hall bathroom. The first Hickory plan, priced at $215,970, can be found at 127 Covington Pointe Drive. The second is situated at 141 Coral Drive and is priced at $217,560.

Contact us to get more info about this brand new phase! Call or text (912) 307-3187.

Tips for House-Hunting in the Winter

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There’s no need to postpone the search for a new home just because it’s winter. While you’re hibernating, you could be missing out on the home of your dreams. You probably start your new home search online, browsing real estate listings in the warmth of your cozy home. Once you have narrowed down your list of homes to see, follow these tips for house-hunting in the winter.

Consider the accessibility. Seeing a home in the winter gives you valuable insight into features like the way the roads are maintained. Are the streets and driveway plowed well? Think about coming home here on a wintry night. Will you be able to access drive up your street and driveway to get home? As you walk to the front entry, do you find slippery spots?

Look at the curb appeal when it’s not pristine. When the garden, shrubs, and trees are in full bloom, you might not get the true picture of the home’s exterior. Without the leaves on the trees, will you have privacy here? How does the foundation look? Seeing the home in the dead of winter is like looking in the mirror first thing in the morning.

Check for leaks and drafts. You’ll feel the cold air seeping in from the outside a lot more in the winter than on a spring day when the windows or open or during the summer with the air conditioning running. As you walk through the home, place your hand on the window sills and frames, the door jamb, and wall outlets. Do you feel drafts? These issues are tips about the home’s maintenance as well as the leaks. If you find drafts, you should also look into frozen pipes, roof leaks, and the quality of the insulation.

Gauge the natural light. The days are shorter in the winter. By touring a new home during the afternoon, you will see how much sunlight streams into your home. Is it sun-drenched or dark and dreary? Sunlight provides vitamin D, which is essential to maintaining a happy mood through the short days. Will this home replenish you?

Sniff out odors. When a home is closed up, you’re more likely to notice odors, like mold and mildew or pet odors. If the home has carpet, take a deep breath.

Get an accurate figure for the heating bill. It’s easy to forget how much you paid to heat your home when you’re enjoying the low bills of summertime. During a winter viewing, those heating costs are fresh in the memory of the homeowner, so you’re more likely to gauge more correctly what it will cost to heat this home.

Ask for a spring inspection. You might need to check features like the sprinkler system and swimming pool for yourself, and it’s not possible during winter. If you have time to wait, make your purchase contingent on an inspection after the snow has melted and the ground has thawed. You can also ask for escrowed funds to cover possible repair of specific items that are unable to be inspected during the winter.

Give yourself a break from the winter doldrums and start looking for a new home during the winter, when there is less competition and motivated sellers.

Bathroom Vanity Design Trends for 2018

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Are you thinking about updating your bathroom? The new year brings new design trends for every room in your home, from the colors to the fixtures to the style. Bathroom vanity design trends for 2018 can show you how to make a big difference here with the focal point of the room.

What will we see more of this year?

Quartz is replacing granite countertops. Granite has dominated the countertop industry for most of this century. It’s natural, durable, and available in so many colors and patterns that you can easily find one to match your taste. Quartz is an engineered stone, a combination of about 95 percent ground quartz stone and 5 percent polymer resin. Quartz looks and feels like stone, but, because it’s manufactured, you can order the pattern and color and get the consistency you want. Unlike granite, quartz doesn’t need to be resealed. Finally, quartz isn’t porous like granite, so bacteria isn’t absorbed, an important factor in a bathroom countertop!

Brass is back in the bathroom. Polished brass has returned from its exile. Designers are trending toward warmer metals, like brass, bronze, and copper. Even rose gold is making a play for bathroom presence. With trends toward richer colors in the bathroom—like navy blue and plum—the warmer hues of other metals will gain prominence in plumbing fixtures.

Sinks are taking a cue from nature. Homeowners have shifted toward natural looks throughout the home, and the bathroom is reflecting this preference. Stone sinks are popular choices, using granite, marble, and onyx that take advantage of the one-of-a-kind patterns created by nature. Wooden basins—like oak, cedar, teak, and bamboo (which is a grass but largely considered wood)—share the same natural beauty as stone.

The all-white bathroom is fading to black. Vanities are going to the dark side with designers moving away from light cabinetry in the bathroom, in favor of matte black and darker stains, like deep chestnut and espresso. The richness of these deeper hues creates a completely different look that transforms the room.

Bathroom storage gets smarter. Vanities are no longer about vanity. They have beauty, of course, but you should expect more. Manufacturers have recognized the way we use bathrooms and vanities today. Drawer organizers present a custom storage solution, along with a tall cabinet that separates the dual sinks. New vanities are incorporating electrical outlets inside drawers. Keep your hair dryer plugged in yet out of sight.

Sinks will have a splash of color. If you love color, you can get more of it in your bathroom. New ceramic and metal sinks reflect the trend toward vibrant statements, like orange and turquoise.

Every year brings more options to customize your home to the place and space you want it to be. Are you ready to make some changes?

Decorating Tips for Your Open Concept Design

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An open concept is a desirable floor plan for today’s homeowners. Having rooms without walls enhances the spaciousness, but it also presents a design challenge. With less definition provided by walls and doorways, how do you create your spaces within this open space?

These decorating tips for your open concept designs can guide you in the right direction.

Consider the flow. The colors you choose and the placement of your furnishings must flow seamlessly throughout your family room, dining room, and kitchen. Look at the natural flow of movement from one space to the next, like the kitchen to the dining area. Do you need a small workspace adjacent to the kitchen or would it work better as part of your family room? How much space do you need to comfortably move around the furniture, like the dining table, kitchen island, and family room’s seating?

Use color consistently. Decide on one color palette to pull it all together. Start with your foyer, which is the entry to this open floor plan. Expand that color spectrum by incorporating a few shades of your chosen colors.

Plan the lighting. The lighting design for your open floor plan must take into account the wide array of uses in this space. Task lighting will be critical in the kitchen and any other work areas. Be sure to incorporate dimmers on every wall switch to give you control of the room’s overall ambience.

Define task areas. You don’t need walls to create rooms. Use your furniture and decorative accents to establish smaller purposeful spaces within the open floor plan. Make a reading nook by setting a comfortable chair, ottoman and occasional table near a window, with its own area rug. Set up a small workstation for managing bills, sorting mail, or doing homework by placing a small desk or console table near the breakfast nook. Be sure you have good lighting here. You can expand the workspace by adding a bookcase or wall-mounted organizer.

Use area rugs. Define nooks and gathering spaces with area rugs that complement one another with a consistent blend of colors and styles. They don’t have to match, but avoid drastically different designs, like bold contemporary with traditional.

Don’t “arrest” the room. Placing your furniture up against the wall leaves a tremendous gap in an open floor plan. Since you don’t have walls, add boundaries by using larger furnishings, like bookcases and sofas. Break up your seating by building a large section (maybe near the television) and a smaller, more intimate conversation space.

Complement with curves. If your open concept features angular lines, soften them with rounder shapes, like an oval or round dining table, rug, or occasional tables.

An open floor plan presents a creative challenge for decorating, but also gives you plenty of room to create the space that perfectly fits your lifestyle.

2018 Color Trends for Your Home

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The new year is here, and it’s bringing a new look in home color trends. Look for colors that boost your spirit with palettes of vibrant color that might remind you of opening that box of 128 crayons.

In 2017, Pantone Color Institute declared “Greenery” as its Color of the Year. The invigorating color aligns with the desire to revitalize ourselves. This year, Pantone is focusing its attention on palettes of colors that reflect different types of energies. Many of these home color combinations feature vibrant shades, which is the direction that will be trending in 2018. “Playful”, for example, blends bright yellow and lime green. “Verdure” takes its cue from nature, with colors like Celery and berry-infused purples.

There’s still room for people who prefer their neutral colors for home décor. But you might find that neutrals are taking on a bit more commitment to color and metallic accents—currently being called “the new neutrals”.

Sherwin Williams has named “Oceanside”—a bold teal shade that the paint company describes as “deep and moody”. Oceanside blends well with the current “mermaids” obsession, but also presents a richness, particularly when paired with a bright white.

House Beautiful’s editor-in-chief Sophie Donelson describes this hue as “a cocoon color”.

“I love a color that’s also a state of mind — that’s what Oceanside feels like to me,” Donelson explains. “We often see similar hues chosen for libraries and studies, because its depth makes it comforting, but also bold and adventurous. It’s like watching a Nature channel deep-sea exploration from the comfort of your sofa!”

Benjamin Moore continues the shift toward bold color by announcing “Caliente” as its 2018 Color of the Year. The vibrant red reflects the royalty of a red-carpet event, “the assured backdrop for a book-lined library, a powerful first impression on a glossy front door The eye can’t help but follow its bold strokes. Harness the vitality,” says Ellen O’Neill of Benjamin Moore & Co.

Behr has jumped into home color trends and announced its first-ever color of the year. “In the Moment” is a soft shade of blue-green that the paint company describes as evoking “a sense of sanctuary and relaxation amid our always-on lives.”

Behr also presents 19 more color trends that range from the neutral “Wabi-Sabi” and “Soft Focus” to the bold “Spirit Warrior” and “Wide Sky” and the deep “Constellation Blue” and “Nocturne Shade”.

What will you do with your home décor in 2018? Do these trends in home colors inspire you?

Covington Pointe: Affordable New Homes in Brunswick

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Our Covington Pointe community is designed for busy families who want a home that fits into their unique lifestyle. Featuring a wide selection of floor plans, this gorgeous community is located among top-ranked elementary and middle schools with a convenient sidewalk system connecting the community to each one!

Covington Pointe is located off Highway 341 and is minutes from local conveniences. If you’re looking for an affordable new home in Brunswick an exclusive coastal town, with a rich historical heritage and a vibrant economy, then Covington Pointe is for you!

Within minutes of Georgia’s Golden Isles of St. Simons and Jekyll, this community boasts of family fun. Similar to Savannah, Brunswick still holds historical value by keeping the city streets and squares their original colonial names.

Currently, there are four move-in ready homes in this charming community ready to usher you in just in time for the new year!

Located at 164 Coral Drive is the Athens ranch plan featuring 1,714 square feet of comfortable living space, three bedrooms, two baths and a two-car garage. One feature about this home that cannot be overlooked is the four-foot extension of the great room and master bedroom, allowing for additional living space. A large kitchen with 42-inch cabinets, granite countertops and a vaulted ceiling is convenient to the great room, while the luxurious owner’s suite offers an upgraded private bath with a garden tub, separate shower, water closet, linen closet and dual vanities. Priced at $204,110, this Brunswick new home will be perfect for you and your family for the New Year.

There are two Hickory plans well underway in Covington Pointe. Both homes include four bedrooms, two-and-a-half baths and a two-car garage. The first floor offers open living with a great room, breakfast area and kitchen. A formal dining area and covered porch completes the first level, while the second story offers ample living space. The master suite features a large walk-in closet and private bath with dual vanities, while three additional bedrooms share a hall bathroom. The first Hickory plan, priced at $214,990, can be found at 127 Covington Pointe Drive. The second is situated at 141 Coral Drive and is priced at $208,260.

The Camelia plan at 152 Coral Drive is designed for the growing family with five bedrooms, three baths and 2,291 square feet of comfortable living space. Priced at $239,900, this charming design offers a gorgeous living space inside and out. Inside, a study and dining room open into a large great room and kitchen with an island and stainless steel appliances. A covered porch is also easily accessed through the breakfast area. The master suite features an upgraded master bath with a tile shower and granite countertops. There is also a bonus room with a bath included upstairs.

Learn more about these move-in ready homes by calling 912-445-0932 or by visiting www.lamarsmithsignature.com/covington-pointe.

Prevent a Christmas tree fire.

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Every year, about 210 home fires start with a Christmas tree, according to the National Fire Protection Agency. One-third of these fires results from an electrical problem, says the U.S. Fire Administration. That twinkling symbol of holiday joy could end up causing you tremendous loss, unless you follow steps to prevent a Christmas tree fire.

  • Choose a fresh tree that isn’t on the verge of drying out. Rub your hand along a branch. If the tree is fresh, the needles will stay where they are. If not, you’ll end up with a handful, indicating that tree is not going to last through the holidays.
  • Set up the tree at least three feet from any heat source that could spark a fire, such as a radiator, fireplace, vent, wall sconce, lamp, or candles.
  • Cut off about two inches from the bottom of the tree’s stump so that it will better absorb the water it needs to remain fresh.
  • Fill the tree stand with water every day. During the first few days, the tree will soak up a lot of water.
  • Use only UL-certified strings of lights (and extension cords, if needed). Make sure the cords are not frayed, cracked, or damaged. Check for loose connections or broken light sockets.
  • Avoid overloading your extension cord. Limit your use to three strings of lights per extension cord.
  • Don’t leave on the tree’s lights when you’re away from home or going to bed. Either turn them off or unplug them altogether.
  • After the holidays, remove all electrical lights before taking the tree outside. Don’t store a dry tree in your garage or basement. Place it outside, away from the house until you can recycle or otherwise safely dispose of it.

If you choose an artificial Christmas tree, choose one that is specifically identified as “flame retardant”. Check the lights to be sure they are UL-listed and the cords aren’t twisted.

Everyone in your home will enjoy the holidays even more when you put safety first.

Lost Plantation Offers Something For Everyone in Rincon

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Young couples, families with children and empty-nesters are all finding their perfect home and enjoying active lifestyles at the beautiful Lost Plantation community in Rincon, Georgia. Just minutes from Savannah, this once small town now thrives as a vital part of Effingham County’s economic growth and provides a community where residents are proud to call home.

Lost Plantation offers a little of everything and is truly a masterpiece community. Known for its 18-hole golf course, there are also many more amenities that draw attention to this astounding community, including the clubhouse and grill, two lighted tennis courts, a swimming pool, cabana, sidewalks, a fishing pond, and a playground.

 

As an exclusively selected homebuilder at Lost Plantation, we offer 3 collections which collectively have 14 floor plans in the community, ranging from three to six bedrooms and up to three-and-a-half bathrooms. The Arosa Collection is located near the front of the community and features homes over 2,000 sqft with some of the largest homesites to choose from – homes in this collection start at $259,900. The Signature and Heartland Collections include plans that can be built throughout the rest of the community. The Signature Collection starts at $192,900. The Heartland Collection is our newest addition, with 5 plans to choose from and starting at $179,900. Currently, there is just one move-in ready home available in this desirable community.

Located at 328 St. Andrews Road is a one level design equipped with several added features that make it original. Step into the Madison plan’s foyer where you’re greeted with a spacious dining room that opens to a vaulted great room. The smartly design kitchen gives buyers ample countertop space and connects to a large breakfast room. The split plan gives the master suite its privacy, and the additional bedrooms are designed so that the front bedroom can easily function as a den or home office. Priced at $234,680, this unique plan features 1,954 square feet of comfortable living space and a two-car garage.

If you’re ready to live the relaxed lifestyle afford by Lost Plantation, this home is waiting for you! For more information on these new homes in Rincon, contact our online sales counselor, Nicole, today by calling 912-307-3187 or message her via our Contact Us page online.

This post as been edited to reflect accurate community offerings in Lost Plantation. 02-15-18

Understanding home insulation

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Every homeowner knows that insulating a home is important for comfort and energy efficiency. But it’s equally important to understand how home insulation works so you ensure you’re taking the right steps to effectively prevent the swap of interior and exterior temperatures.

Insulation provides resistance to heat flow. Heat flow is the movement of warm or hot air to cooler air. The flow continues until there is a balance of temperatures. For example, hot air will continue to flow into your home on a hot day until the inside temperature is equal to the outside. On a pleasant spring or fall day, you might open up the windows to take advantage of the ideal temperature. When the weather is more extreme, however, you need to manage the heat flow.

When you buy a new home, insulation is installed to slow down the movement of heat. Now, heat flow moves in three ways:

  • Conduction: Heat moves through a material, like a metal pot absorbing heat.
  • Convection: Heat circulates through liquids and gases, and since hot air is lighter, it rises above cold air.
  • Radiation: Heat travels along a straight path and absorbs energy from anything along that route.

So, your home insulation is installed in any place with exposure to heat flow: exterior walls, around the foundation, and in the roof, to name a few. Without insulation, the heat will move through the walls, floors, and ceilings—up from the basement, down from the attic, and in through the walls, doors, and windows. The goal of insulation is to produce resistant to the natural flow of heat.

R-value: The resistance factor

Home insulation products are rated for their thermal resistance factor, commonly known as R-value. This measurement is determined by the insulation type, thickness, and density. To determine how much home insulation you need, refer to a map that shows the R-value zones, rated on a scale from 1 to 7, with colder climates on the high end. Southern Florida and Hawaii score a 1 rating, while Alaska and northern Minnesota earn a 7.

You probably hear about radiant barriers. This reflective material doesn’t absorb heat, like insulation does. Instead, it reflects the heat. Radiant barriers are commonly installed on roofs to deflect the heat away from the roof (where it can be absorbed and potentially pass into the main part of the home). According to the U.S. Department of Energy, a radiant barrier on a home in a sunny climate (e.g., Zones 1-3) can reduce cooling costs by 5% to 10%.

Retrofitting an existing home with the correct amount of insulation could require a professional, depending on where and what type of insulation you need. New homes incorporate the standards for home insulation. They also improve the comfort and energy efficiency in a new home by installing moisture control and air sealing.

Spend a little time learning about your home’s insulation and you’ll spend much less later on the energy costs.

Fulfilling Coastal Georgia Lifestyle at Savannah Highlands

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Lamar Smith Homes’ Savannah Highlands community presents exciting Savannah living at its finest to its residents! This gorgeous, amenity-rich community has a wide selection of floor plans, so home buyers are sure to find their perfect fit.

Savannah Highlands is conveniently situated off of I-95 near Pooler and is minutes from local shopping centers, the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge, Historic Downtown Savannah, excellent schools, the airport and more. Children residing in this popular community attend Savannah-Chatham County schools, including Godly Station, West Chatham Middle and Robert W. Groves High.

When families want to get out of the house for some fun while still staying close to home, the community’s stellar amenities are only footsteps away. Encourage your competitive side at the tennis courts or relax at the swimming pool with water slide. A fitness center is within easy distance to help you reach all your wellness goals. Stroll down the community sidewalks for family exercise or gather for a neighborhood party at the clubhouse. No matter what activity you choose, Savannah Highlands fosters the perfect sense of community in a family-friendly environment.

Each floor plan offered in this Savannah new home community boasts outstanding interior and exterior features that showcase breathtaking, classic Southern design. We invite our future residents to choose from an astonishing 10 floor plans offering three to six bedrooms, two to three-and-a-half baths, and either one or two stories of grand living space.

The plans showcase beautiful living appointments, including open-concept main floors, loft spaces on the second level, ample storage space, two or three-car garages, formal living and dining rooms or studies, sitting areas in the owner’s suites, mud rooms and more. In addition, a variety of energy-efficient features are included, such as water-saving fixtures in the kitchens and bathrooms. Options for upgrades available in these homes include bonus rooms, covered rear porches, fireplaces, up to seven bedrooms and four bathrooms, sunrooms and more.

New homes at Savannah Highlands are priced from the high $100,000s to the high $200,000s. Residents in this community will truly discover an upgraded yet affordable Savannah lifestyle. Learn more about claiming your space at this community by visiting www.LamarSmith.com/Savannah-Highlands or by calling 912-307-3091.

Employee Highlight: Senior Project Manager Del Crow

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Since joining the Lamar Smith family just two years ago, Senior Project Manager Del Crow has shown his passion, talent and leadership in a variety of ways. When coming to Lamar Smith Homes, Crow brought over twenty years of experience in the construction industry and several outstanding awards. Crow is just one member of the strong team that helps provide the leadership and decision-making that keeps Lamar Smith Homes the leading home building company in the greater Savannah area, as well as in Brunswick and Kingsland.

Crow initially began his journey in the medical field as a chemical pre-med major in college, spending all his free time doing electrical work in the construction field. After two years of juggling both careers, Crow realized his heart was with construction. He graduated with a degree in Construction Management and a minor in Business from Georgia Southern University.

Throughout his journey, Crow has worked for two of the largest national builders in the country, as well as small private builders. “My happiest days were with one of the small builders,” states Crow. “I made the choice to come work for Lamar Smith for several reasons. First, once you meet Lamar in person and speak with him you just say to yourself ‘this is a guy I have to work for.’ You’re part of the family here; the entire Smith family would give you the shirt off their backs if you needed it.”

Crow continued to rave about working at Lamar Smith, saying, “Working here allows me the opportunity to put my mark on something. At the big national builders, you’re a number, a robot. Here at Lamar Smith, your thoughts matter and your suggestions can lead to changes that have a positive impact on the business. I’m very honored to be part of our team.”

In his role at Lamar Smith Homes, Crow’s main focus is quality inspecting the homes, managing vendors, and providing a high level of customer service to the buyers. Currently, he is the senior project manager over the Brunswick and Kingsland division.

Crow has been a resident of a Lamar Smith community, Lost Plantation, for 14 years. He chose the community based on several variables that were perfect for his growing family. Cost effectiveness was a big consideration, along with the feel and safety of the community and the opportunity for his future children to attend an excellent school system.

The admiration given to Lamar Smith Homes by Crow is returned fully! One of the things the Lamar Smith team most admires about Crow is the way that he gives back to our community – by putting smiles on the faces of children who enjoy the traditions of hunting, fishing and the great outdoors.  A few times every year, he helps guide hunts for the Outdoor Dream Foundation. ODF raises funds for children with terminal or debilitating illnesses and sends them on hunting and fishing adventures all over the world.

“I got involved with ODF because of my admiration for men in my family, my love of kids and my love of the outdoors,” said Crow. “My grandfathers and my own father taught me it was our duty as men to teach and inspire kids and to also serve others. God blessed me with healthy active children, and in my eyes, it is a gift. It is also my duty to give something back because of my blessings. ODF allows me to do all of these things by donating a little of my time and outdoor skills to make a child’s dream come true.”

Lamar Smith Homes is honored to have Crow on the team and as part of the family! Learn more about our team members by visiting us online.

The Woodland Villas at Southbridge: A Coastal Georgia Paradise

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Showcasing an idyllic backdrop of woodlands, lakes, lagoons and natural trails with resort-style amenities, carefully crafted, energy-efficient homes and closeness to the most popular destinations in the Savannah area, The Woodland Villas at Southbridge is the perfect place to unwind and enjoy a full life. This master-planned, gated golf community offers residents privacy, a unique set of things to do and a true sense of home.

The villa home designs feature three bedrooms, two-and-a-half baths and 2,040 square feet of deluxe living space priced from $286,900. The homes showcase two-car garages and charming front stoops opening into a grand foyer adjacent to formal dining rooms. The great room, kitchen and breakfast area is entirely open, promoting a brightened, airy atmosphere that is perfect for relaxing. The gourmet chef’s kitchen is accented with easy-to-clean stainless-steel appliances, granite countertops, a large walk-in pantry, breakfast bar/island and tile backsplash. Just off of the kitchen, the main living area leads to a stunning outdoor living area with a large open patio and covered porch. A powder room and laundry room are also easily accessible from the main living area.

Just off the great room, a private, generous owner’s suite showcases plenty of natural light, a sitting area and a spa-inspired en-suite bath with dial vanities, gorgeous separate tub and walk-in shower and owner’s walk-in closet with abundant storage space. On the opposite side of the house, two spacious secondary bedrooms share a hall bath.

The Woodland Villas at Southbridge offers a truly unmatched amenities package. Not only does the community include a natural setting with walking trails to enjoy the beauty of coastal Georgia, but the breathtaking golf community also offers resort-style activities and facilities. Residents will enjoy playing golf and tennis at the Southbridge Golf & Racquet Club or riding their golf carts around the community. Enjoy stress-free living with maintenance-free homes or relieve even more stress with a membership at the Grand Lake Lodge & Spa. Take a stroll on the community sidewalks and walking trails or spend some time with the kids at the playground. Finally, Southbridge offers opportunities to connect with neighbors and foster a sense of community at its events, including the annual Concert on the Green, supper clubs, art club, card gaming clubs and more.

Residents who want to explore the surrounding area are just minutes from the best shopping, dining and entertainment offered in Savannah. Several shopping centers, movie theaters, popular restaurants and more are easily accessible from I-16, and Historic Downtown Savannah is less than 20 minutes away. Savannah National Wildlife Refuge, Hilton Head Island and Tybee Island, all less than an hour away, give residents the opportunity to experience coastal Georgia living like no other.

Your dream home and community is waiting for you at The Woodlands at Southbridge. Learn more about opportunities by calling 912-307-3187 or by visiting www.LamarSmithSignature.com/The-Woodland-Villas-At-Southbridge.

Garage organization: De-cluttering and storage tips

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The garage is probably one of the most preferred stash places in your home. The attic is great, but it can be difficult to access. The basement is good, if you have one, but you might worry about dampness. Or you have a finished basement that’s already full.

Rather than continue to pack and stack boxes and bury items so deep that they are essentially lost, spend some time reorganizing your garage. Take back the space! Here are some de-cluttering and storage tips for garage organization.

  • Start with a blank canvas. Remove all the clutter from the garage. Otherwise, you will be shifting things around, not truly organizing them. Sort things out as you go. Set up bins for “Discard”, “Donate”, and “Keep”. Eliminate all items that really aren’t worthy of valuable space (like your t-shirt collection from the 80s). Will you ever repair that broken thingamajig? Be honest with yourself. If these things are buried in your garage, are they worth keeping? Once the garage is empty, sweep and clean the floor. An empty garage is perfect for cleaning the various stains and repairing cracks. You might even consider painting the floor for a really fresh start.
  • Plan the storage zones. Think about the uses of your garage: tools, car care supplies, seasonal décor and clothing, sports gear, lawn and garden care, and paint/home repair, to name a few. You probably also need an area for your trash and recycling. Once you determine the storage zones, choose the most suitable place for each, based on the frequency of use. Label each area so you know where everything will go, and you can visibly see the flow from zone to zone.
  • Design the storage spaces. Your garage offers many options for creating storage zones. In addition to the walls, you have the overhead area where you can attach hooks and shelves. You can install cabinets and pegboards. Explore the local home centers to get ideas for smart storage systems. Invest in a lockable cabinet to store potentially hazardous items (chemicals, sharp tools).
  • Respect the new and improved space. Place the items from your “Keep” stash in the designated storage zones. Give all household members a tour of the new and improved garage and remind them that your garage storage system must be maintained.

Look at your calendar and schedule a weekend for garage organization. Use the reward of not just having a perfectly organized garage but also finding the treasures that have been long lost in the clutter!

Lamar Smith Homes Now Building in Two Brunswick

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We are excited to announce that we’re once again building new homes in two of Brunswick’s most popular communities, Carriage Gate Plantation and The Plantation at Golden Isles! New home buyers in Brunswick will have limited opportunities to purchase Lamar Smith homes in these two communities, as limited inventory homes are still available.

Carriage Gate Plantation

Carriage Gate Plantation is a beautiful gated community featuring lakes, lagoons and towering live oaks surrounding the homes, as well as preserved green space and buffers to enhance the community’s natural feel. This one-of-a-kind community also features an Architectural Review Committee, which allows for a unique yet cohesive community appearance while ensuring that all homes are built to the committee’s exacting standards.

Located on Harry Driggers Boulevard, the community boasts walkability to Greer Elementary and Needwood Middle schools, as well as the North Glynn Recreation Complex, which offers a variety of multi-purpose athletic fields, concession stands, pavilions, batting cages, a dog park, skate park, stocked freshwater lake with a kayak launch and fishing pier, and a paved walking trail.

New home buyers searching for the perfect place to lay down roots in Brunswick can select from three homes under construction now at Carriage Gate Plantation.

The Madison plan, priced at $286,510, is available at 120 Wellington Circle. Offering 2,008 square feet of living space, this four-bedroom and three bath ranch home offers an open living area complete with a vaulted great room, kitchen with an island and breakfast area, formal dining space and a drop zone between the two-car garage and entry into the main part of the home. The Madison also offers a split bedroom plan with a private master retreat complete with a large bath and walk-in closet, and two additional bedrooms and a shared hall bath that are located on the opposite side of the home. In addition, this home features an added bedroom and bath over the garage, which is the perfect space for guests or older children seeking additional privacy.

Located at 108 Wellington Circle is the popular Arosa plan. Priced at $349,990, this home features 3,432 square feet, including four bedrooms and three-and-a-half bathrooms. Buyers love the Arosa’s main level master suite with walk-in closet and fireplace option. The great room is open to the kitchen featuring a large island with bar seating and breakfast area, and nearby, the butler’s pantry connects kitchen to the formal dining space. The second floor of the Arosa plan offers three additional bedrooms and two bathrooms, as well as a large bonus room that is perfect for a game room or home office. In addition, there is an upstairs media room located above the great room that is perfect for movie watching or for hosting tailgate parties on the weekends!

The final inventory home available now in Carriage Gate Plantation is the Savannah plan located at 100 Wellington Circle. Offering five bedrooms and three bathrooms, this 3,372-square-foot home is priced at $349,990. The Savannah plan impresses with its two-story foyer, beautiful great room and nearby L-shaped kitchen that features a bar overlooking the great room, as well as a walk-in pantry, breakfast area and island. The main floor also offers a study or formal living space, formal dining room and guest bedroom and bath.

Upstairs, this home features an award-winning master suite with a large sitting area, incredible bathroom and dual walk-in closets. Also located on the second floor are three additional bedrooms and a shared hall bathroom.

The Plantation at Golden Isles

The serene community known as The Plantation at Golden Isles features energy-efficient homes designed for growing families in a beautiful coastal setting. The community offers easy access to nearby shopping, churches and restaurants, while maintaining its secluded yet close-knit feel with spacious home sites, as well as sidewalks and street lamps throughout. Buyers will also love knowing that home is less than 30 minutes from Georgia’s Golden Isles, St. Simons and Jekyll, and families with children will be pleased to have a home that is zoned for excellent Glynn County schools.

Currently, we have two new homes under construction at The Plantation at Golden Isles that are available for sale.

The Birch plan at 221 S. Beckingham Drive offers more than 2,400 square feet of living space, including five bedrooms and three bathrooms. Priced at $222,610, this spacious home features an open living space complete with a great room, breakfast area and kitchen with an island and bar seating. The main level also offers a functional drop zone, formal dining room and spacious guest retreat.

Upstairs, the Birch plan offers a stunning master suite with a walk-in closet, three additional bedrooms, a shared hall bath and easy access to a walk-in laundry room. In addition, there is a spacious loft that is perfect as a kid’s hangout spot, family movie room or homework space.

Just down the street is our Scarlet plan located at 234 S. Beckingham Drive. Priced at $192,300, this home offers four bedrooms and two-and-a-half bathrooms throughout 2,127 square feet. The foyer opens to a study that can be tucked away with optional glass doors, or extends into the heart of the home, where you’ll find a great room, breakfast area and large kitchen with an island and bar-top seating.

On the second floor, homeowners will enjoy a private master bedroom with a large bath and envy-worthy walk-in closet, as well as three additional bedrooms with a shared hall bath. The Scarlet plan also offers a large second-story laundry room, making that loathed chore a breeze!

If you’re ready to own your own piece of paradise in the form of a new home in Brunswick, we can help! For more information on the limited inventory homes available at Carriage Gate Plantation or The Planation at Golden Isles, contact our online sales counselor, Nicole, today by calling 912-307-3187 or message her via our Contact Us page online.

Go Home for the Holidays with Lamar Smith Homes

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What’s the best holiday present you could have? How about a new home! For a limited time, you can purchase a Lamar Smith quick delivery home and be in your new home just in time for the holidays. From Savannah to Kingsland, we have homes ready in some of the area’s top communities, with homes priced from the high $100,000s. Check out our available homes now, and then plan to stop by and see them soon – they won’t be available long!

Savannah

At our amenity-rich Teal Lake community in Savannah, new home buyers will find three inventory homes ready to close now priced from the high $260,000s. The homes ready for the holidays all feature four bedrooms, as well as open living spaces, beautiful master suites and outdoor living options in the form of a patio, deck or porch.

Surrounded by natural landscape including woodlands and a community lake, these homes offer access to a swimming pool and bathhouse all overlooking the 10-acre lake. Buyers will enjoy easy access to nearby amenities like Kings Ferry Landing, while everyday conveniences are also just a short drive away.

Buyers searching for single-level living in one of Savannah’s premier communities can own now at The Woodlands Villas at Southbridge. We have just one home available now in this community complete with an abundance of amenities, like walking trails, playgrounds, a Grand Lake Lodge and Spa, golf course, tennis facilities and more.

Our unique villa plan is available at 2011 Woodside Crossing. Priced at $299,900, this spacious home offers three bedrooms and two-and-a-half bathrooms. This split bedroom floor plan offers privacy for the homeowners with a secluded master retreat on one side of the home. In the center of the home is an incredible open living space with a great room, large gourmet kitchen, breakfast area and formal dining room, all capped by tall ceilings that make the spaces soar. In addition, this plan offers two guest bedrooms with a shared hall bath.

Rincon

Just minutes outside of Savannah in Rincon, Lost Plantation offers an incredible setting. Homes here are surrounded by a mature 18-hole golf course, clubhouse and grill, tennis courts, two swimming pools, cabana, sidewalks, fishing pond, pocket parks and playgrounds. This community is the perfect place for everyone from young families to active adults!

Currently, just one home will be move-in ready in time for the holidays at Lost Plantation. Located at 328 St. Andrews Road, our Madison plan offers four bedrooms and three bathrooms throughout nearly 2,000 square feet of living space. Priced at $234,990, this ranch-style home includes a vaulted great room, a smartly designed kitchen with plenty of countertop space and a large breakfast room. The split bedroom plan offers privacy, and even allows for the option of making the front room a home office.

Located nearby is Picket Fences. A sought-after community offering a simple family lifestyle, it is convenient to nearby churches, stores and more, while also being part of a great Effingham County School System.

Our Athens home plan is available now at 217 Crooked Oaks Drive in Picket Fences. Offering four bedrooms, this ranch home features a gallery entry hall that opens to the breakfast room and spacious great room. The kitchen features ample storage with a built-in bar for quick meals on-the-go, while the split bedroom floor plan offers privacy for everyone. A master suite is located on one side of the home, while two additional bedrooms and a hall bath is located on the other. The additional bedroom is located above the garage.

Brunswick

New home buyers in Brunswick, Georgia have just one opportunity to own a new Lamar Smith home in time for the holidays! Located at Covington Pointe just minutes from St. Simons and Jekyll Islands, our spacious Hickory plan offers the ideal place for families, as the community offers direct walking access to the local elementary and middle schools!

Situated at 127 Covington Pointe Drive, the Hickory plan is complete with four bedrooms. Priced at $219,990, this home offers open living with a great room, breakfast area and kitchen all taking up the rear of the home. This plan also features a formal dining space and covered porch on the first floor, while the second story offers ample living space. The master suite features a large walk-in closet, while three additional bedrooms share a hall bathroom.

Kingsland

Our Kingsland new home community, Settlers Hammock, currently offers two move-in ready homes priced in the $220,000s. Both homes offer four bedrooms, but while one features two stories of living and one is a ranch plan. Like all of our homes in Settlers Hammock, these feature beautiful kitchen cabinetry, granite countertops in the kitchen and master bath, stainless steel appliances and luxury vinyl plank flooring, among other sought-after features.

Located near St. Marys, Settlers Hammock is part of the Laurel Island Plantation community, meaning homeowners have access to incredible amenities. These include a golf course, clubhouse with a restaurant, shops and spa. In addition, the community is close to Cumberland Island, Savannah and Jacksonville.

No matter what city or community you choose to call home, you can enjoy it in time for this holiday season with Lamar Smith Homes. For more information on any of this move-in ready homes, contact our online sales counselor, Nicole, by calling 912-307-3187 or click here to contact her online.

Tips for choosing the right wall colors for your home

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For some people, changing colors in a room is like changing your hairstyle. It’s nice to try something different—and it’s easy enough to change back if you don’t like the result. For others, the prospect of switching is a scary proposition.

Painting a room is one of the most affordable ways to make a big change in your home. The only hard part can be the color choice. Looking at the array of paint chips in the store can be overwhelming. Before you head there, narrow down your choices.

Here are some tips for choosing the right wall colors for your home.

Look at your wardrobe. What colors do you like to wear? That’s a big clue to your color preferences. If you’re drawn to neutral colors, you’re comfortable with those soft shades, making this palette a smart choice for your interior walls. If your penchant for lime green or sunshine orange feels too daring for your walls, tone it down a bit.

Inspect your photos, artwork, and other accents. What colors prevail? You chose these decorative pieces for the message they communicate, but was color a factor as well?

Pull the paint color from a print. You might have a favorite pillow, upholstered chair, or even table linens. Zoom in on the shades that might work well on your wall. Take the fabric to the paint store and ask them to match it.

Use a color wheel. See how colors relate to each other. A color wheel gives insight into the hues that work harmoniously together. You might like a monochromatic color scheme, with variations of a particular color (lightness and saturation). A complementary color scheme uses colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel, usually a warm and a cool one (yellow and blue, for example). An analogous color scheme combines colors that are next to each other, like blue and green, or orange and red, and varying shades of those colors. There are several other options for color schemes, but this will get you started. Once you choose the color scheme, you build your palette of specific colors.

Check out color trends. Home décor colors are like fashion. They change with the seasons and the years. Greenery was the 2017 Pantone Color of the Year. The foliage-inspired shade is like a springtime refresh. Home décor watchers are expecting 2018 interior color palettes to move from pastels to more intense hues. With palettes named “Far-fetched”, ”Resourceful”, and “Resourceful”, you might find one to suit your taste.

Think holistically. Your house is a sum of its parts, which includes your wall colors. Make sure you have smooth flow from room to room. This is where organizing a whole-house color palette will help.

Which is the best smart home assistant?

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If your name is Alexa and you’re an actual person, you’re probably getting asked a lot more questions these days. ”Alexa, what time is it?” “Alexa, when is the next full moon?” “Alexa, how far is it to the nearest coffee shop?”

And you can thank Amazon for this annoyance.

Amazon launched the Echo in 2015 in the U.S. This cylindrical speaker connects to a voice-activated, computer-generated, smart home assistant named Alexa. Alexa is capable of answering questions (when properly phrased), playing music, acting as a timer or alarm clock, requesting an Uber ride, checking your calendar, making lists, reading audiobooks aloud, and reciting the news and weather updates. Of course, Alexa can also place your Amazon orders, too.

Yes, Alexa is smart, but is she the best smart home assistant for you?

Google Home emerged soon after Echo, and at a lower price point, while offering the same type of assistance. The Echo Dot, a hockey-puck-sized version of the larger Echo, gives you a very affordable entry into the smart home assistant experience.

If you want the most accurate “intelligence”, Google Home appears to have a slight edge. Digital agency Stone Temple quizzed both devices. Google Home was able to answer 3,383 questions, while Alexa was only able to answer 1,030. Of those responses, Google Home was correct 89.5% of the time, and Alexa achieved 86.9% accuracy. Alexa relies primarily on Wikipedia for information, while Google reaches a wider range of third-party sources, like Google Maps for checking traffic conditions.

Google Home can also remember your last question. So, if you ask, “Who won the last Super Bowl?” and followed up with “What was the score?”, you’d get both answers. With Alexa, your second question would have to be, “What was the score of the last Super Bowl?”

Amazon Echo, however, currently has the edge on managing your smart home devices, like your thermostat, lighting, security, home entertainment, and appliances, but Google Home is gaining ground. Compare the Alexa-enabled smart home devices with Google Home’s list of supported devices and partners.

Google Home will also connect your videos, photos, and television, via Chromecast. You can even tell it to skip ahead 30 seconds on a video, and show photos of a selected person, location or time period. Alexa isn’t quite as savvy.

Both Google Home and Echo offer hands-free calling. Tell them to call a contact from your list or ask your smart home assistant to find a phone number.

Apple is finally responding to the demand for the smart home assistant. The Apple HomePod is scheduled to launch before the end of the year. It promises to have superior audio, but like all Apple products, will also emerge in limited quantities and at a higher price than Google Home and Amazon Echo.