For many of us, a new home is the biggest purchase we will make in our lifetime. Well, unless that Gulfstream Jet works out. With that in mind, when you come to us as a first-time homebuyer, our goal is to make building your new home FUN. You can paint the walls whatever color you want, garden if you’d like, put up a basketball hoop for the kids; it’s your home! Building your new home becomes fun when you work with a team you can trust, who respects you, and who answers your questions open and honestly.
Over the years we’ve found that many new homebuyers come to us with hesitation and trepidation. Many hold in the back of their minds some far-fetched horror story they once heard about the homebuying process. “We bought this charming old home in Connecticut. We had three weeks of video-montage style family fun, then my husband started hearing voices in the basement…” You know the drill.
Unwarranted hesitations like these often keep first-time homebuyers from truly listening to what the New Home Consultant is telling them. Instead, they spend the time worrying about anything and everything that could potentially be wrong. Our message to first-time homebuyers: relax. Take a breath. Let’s make this FUN.
When you work with the team at Lamar Smith Signature Homes, you will receive complete transparency. Our team will answer however many questions you may have with honesty and give you the respect you deserve. Over the years we have built together a complete Homebuyers Toolkit encompassing the following major areas of the home buying process:
We want to focus on the first item in the Homebuyer’s Toolkit: The Buying Process. When you choose to build your home, there are a few fun steps that differ from the process of buying one of our already built new homes.
Step 1: Research Online
We have built homes for soldiers who were overseas in war zones using a computer in their barracks. We have designed our website to make it easy for your to learn about our different floor plans, communities and view any “ready to move in” homes. Start there. At this step, we also recommend getting pre-qualified by one of our preferred lenders. More on that in The Mortgage Process.
Step 2: Visit a Community
Visit one of our many communities and meet with a New Home Consultant to decide which community and floor plan suits your lifestyle.
Step 3: Select a Home Site
Work with your New Home Consultant to select the perfect lot for your new home.
Step 4: Build your Home on Paper
Choose from our large selection of floor plans, extra options and upgrades to build your dream home on paper.
Step 5: Writing a Purchase Agreement
Most new home buyers find it surprisingly less expensive to build than they had imagined.
Don’t look for a new house. That may seem like odd advice coming from a homebuilding and real estate company, but we have your best interest in mind. At Lamar Smith Signature Homes, we tell people to never buy a house, when you can invest in a new home that provides the type of lifestyle your family has always dreamed about.
We are currently building a select number of homes in the elegant Lake Bridge at Winding River community. Located in the charming, coastal town of St. Mary’s, Georgia, Lake Bridge offers new homes within a rapidly growing community featuring all the luxuries one would expect in a coastal town. Homeowners in Lake Bridge find themselves amidst quiet, tree-lined streets that exude the peaceful harmony that is so treasured in the low country. The community features designated nature trails and walkways, perfect for an evening stroll or a long run. Lake Bridge also boasts playgrounds and pocket parks throughout, as well as soccer and sports fields where families in the neighborhood mix and mingle as their children make new friends. One of the crowning gems in the community is the Savannah Club, Winding River’s clubhouse and amenity center. The Club features a resort-style swimming pool with a zero-entry step-in entrance, kiddie pool, and a 24-hour fitness center with state-of-the-art equipment.
While there is a bounty of luxuries inside the Lake Bridge community, the natural splendor of the coastal St. Mary’s area is truly hard to match. The historic town of St. Mary’s is a storybook setting, complete with majestic live oaks, white picket fences, and legends of lost pirates and battle tales. The area is home to lovers of watersports, with kayaking, trips to the beaches and boat rides being the highlight of most Saturdays.
Lamar Smith Signature’s New Home Sales Consultant Ann Sanford represents Lake Bridge at Winding River. When working with our potential buyers in Lake Bridge, Ann focuses on doing whatever she can to make the home buying process exciting and making people feel comfortable enough to make the decision that is best for them. Her many years of experience in the Real Estate and Property Management industries gives her a wealth of knowledge she uses to the advantage of everyone who walks through her doors.
If Lake Bridge at Winding River is the lifestyle choice for you, we currently have a few move-in ready homes available, or browse our extensive floor plan list to build your dream home from the ground up.
On the morning of October 17th, 2014 Lamar Smith Signature Homes set out to Frame the Operation Hero House in one day. With their tools in hand and hearts ready to work, a 10 person framing crew and crane operator dedicated their work day to helping accomplish that goal. The crew’s determination to complete a 3-4 day job by end of day was never deterred and neither was their spirit. When it was time to pack up the tools and leave for the day there stood a home framed for a Hero. Mission Accomplished.
Since then, the future home of Wounded Warrior, Hank and his wife Maria has been moving along nicely. Hank and Maria will receive a mortgage-free home in a Savannah Community. The house will be custom-built by the Lamar Smith Signature Homes team to be uniquely equipped to meet his special and give him greater independence and mobility within his home.
Hank is a Purple Heart recipient, wounded in the line of duty in Afghanistan in 2013 when a rocket-propelled grenade struck the back of his vehicle, just a few feet from where he was standing. Hank is of the 3rd Infantry Division.
We invite you to follow our blog or Facebook as we keep you updated on the homebuilding process, until Hank and Maria are in their brand new home!
For more information about Operation Hero House, please contact David Hagan, director of sales and marketing at Lamar Smith Signature Homes at 912.663.4775 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
From the Runway to your Living Room: 3 Hot Fashion Trends Translated into Home Décor Inspiration
Bold, bright colors are have been a popular design trends for several years. Yet recently the trend had evolved to incorporate color blocking and print mixing of these vibrant hues. Incorporating these bright colors into your home décor can be a bit tricky to get just right, but when carefully crafted it can add vibrant life into your space.
Try accessorizing your space of choice with boldly colored lamps, glass vases, or small accents on shelves. Then look for another bright color or two that compliments the first shade to create color pops. Fun prints on pillows or wall art also are a simple way to bring this fashion into your home. For an incredibly inexpensive accent, look for a few brightly colored version of the same print of fabric at your local craft store. Stretch these over canvases and staple to the back of the canvas for instant wall décor that can be easily changed out as your style evolves.
You can also give new life to old pieces of furniture by painting with bold colors or reupholstering with fabric. Use white accents to tone town the bright color and tie the same color in with small accessories throughout the room. To narrow down colors that would compliment your staple furniture, you can look to basic paint swatches.
Going hand in hand with bright colors and bold prints is the revamping of 1970’s retro style. As designers look to the “what’s old is new again” mantra, you can embrace this theme in the décor of your new home. Similar to color blocking, accent pieces are key to bringing this popular trend into your home. We’re not telling you to bring back the Lava Lamp, but instead to scout for modern takes on retro pieces. Try painting or reupholstering worn furniture into flashy accent pieces. Tie in a truly retro, brightly-colored glass or chrome vase with equally bright accent pillows or table settings. While wallpaper was a key design element in the 1970’s, many interior designers are opting to paper a single statement wall that features designs of the flower-power nature. The overall theme of home décor in the 1970’s was bright, sunshiny, and Mod and it can never hurt to add more of those qualities in your home!
Embrace Fur & Fuzz
In 2015, Fuzz & Fur in your home will be cause for style compliments from your guests, rather than a reason to bring out the vacuum cleaner. Similar to the faux fur and fuzzy vests seen in fall and winter styles in 2014, this trend can be incorporated into your new home using statement pieces. Again, no need to go overboard with this trend. A plush faux fur throw for beds or couches, or fur-trimmed accent pillows in any room help will incorporate this trend nicely without overdoing the fluff in your house.
This home is our incredibly popular Savannah Plan. The Savannah offers an expansive floorplan, with all the luxuries of a modern mansion. With over 3,000 square feet, 4 bedrooms and 3 baths, this home is nothing short of a dream house. One of the most impressive features is a 900+ square foot master suite, complete with sitting area, and two spacious walk-in closets. The home also features a formal dining room, living room or study area, and dual staircases elegantly leading from the foyer to the second floor. The home also boasts stainless steel appliances, electric fireplace, crown moulding, and vaulted ceilings in the master suite. Come home to luxury for $274,150.
To view even more pictures of this gorgeous new home, click here.
This 4 bedroom, 3 bath home in the coastal town of St. Mary’s is built in The Raleigh plan. One of the highlights of this new home is a private guest suite, complete with bath, on the first floor. The master suite and the other two bedrooms are on the second floor, with the owners suite tucked away and bordered by a large loft area and a second-floor laundry room, offering added convenience. The future owners of this home will also enjoy vaulted ceilings in the master bedroom, granite countertops throughout, and crown moulding in the breakfast room, kitchen, foyer and great room. This 2,600+ square foot home is currently available for $213,820.
Two of the most notable home décor trends throughout 2014 have been the amped-up transformation of two rooms that used to serve functional purposes into luxurious spaces: the kitchen and the bath. The kitchen now is seen as an open, social hub for entertaining and a family to gather. While all bathrooms in the home have upped the anty on an important space to define your homes overall feel, the master bath has become one of the most elegant and artistic rooms in the home.
Kitchens with warm, natural elements and simple lines are dominating 2014 consumer and design trends. Both design mediums and advertising mediums featured the all-white kitchen as the superlative style in 2013. This year the clean white will slowly give way to warm natural colors and elements positioning the kitchen as the hearth of home. Cool gray base colors will dominate this year, with bone and off-white remaining quite popular.
The appeal of more open spaces around sinks and ranges has spurred the popularity of beautiful, elaborate backsplashes that serve as artistic statement pieces and an anchorpoint of kitchen design.
Countertops and cabinets are trending in colors closer to the wall color, creating less of a “pop” and more of a natural, flowing kitchen space.
Bold, non-traditional lighting will take the forefront of kitchen appeal this year. Keeping with the idea of simple, clean lines with lights that “pop.”
Pendant lighting lighting is topping the lists as the first stop when considering a kitchen’s overall design. Pendant illumination can define the overall tone of the room. From simply elegant silver and glass pendants over the kitchen island, to dual pendant chandeliers in the breakfast nook, to industrial aged bronze, it’s all about your personal style. Pair pendants with a few smaller non-traditional kitchen lights such as sconces, and add a recessed can package for the multi-level lightscape.
When considering lighting choices, bring warmth to your kitchen by embracing warm metal accents. Brass, aged gold, and black have become the go-to choice of recent trends, in comparison to the past popularity of colder stainless steel and chrome.
Along with pendants, oversized statement lighting fixtures with elements that appear more like art are becoming more and more popular as the kitchen becomes a hub of entertainment space.
While under-cabinet lighting has been popular for the last several years, 2014 will see it taken to the next level with a move toward more upscale under-cabinet surface lighting. “Feature Lighting” can come in set packages, offering lower-level lighting throughout the kitchen, or offer an elegant illumination of specific areas in consistent use such as over a sink or prep station.
As homeowners look towards sustainability in design and function, many bath trends mirror kitchen trends in looking to clean lines, functionality and natural design elements. Again, gray and bone shades will be a major player. Both shades are simple to accent with as bold of a color as you choose and give you the option of changing your entire space with just a few new colored accent pieces.
Also similar to kitchens, listello accents are becoming popular in the bath. A glass listello backsplash in your wall, above the sink, or inside a step-in tiled shower is a luxurious and quite affordable upgrade for any bath.
Layer, layer layer! The latest and greatest bathrooms have layer upon layer of elegantly placed lighting, giving you a level for every mood and time of day. Imagine a lighting concept the combines dual pendant lights or sconces at the vanity station and recessed can lighting throughout. Being able to go from a romantic dim lighting to a bright illumination is a top desirable quality as the master bath gets larger and larger.
Lamar Smith Signature Homes is excited to announce that we are now building brand new homes in Pooler, Georgia’s Savannah Highlands Community. Just a few miles from downtown Savannah, Pooler has seen an explosion of growth in the past few years. The city of Pooler has been widely known as a safe, “all-American” city, with excellent schools and most major stores just a few miles away.
Our model home in Savannah Highlands is currently being built. Once completed, the stately 4,142 square-foot Gwinnett-style home will be open to tour Tuesday-Saturday, from 10a.m.-6p.m. or Sundays by appointment. Our model home in Savannah Highlands will feature a 900+ square foot master suite, complete with a separate sitting area, and his & hers walk in closets. A formal dining room, loft, private study, and media room are just a few of the great features this home has to offer.
Homebuyers looking to build in Savannah Highlands are able to choose from 8 floorplans, starting at just $187,900. To reserve a lot, or for more information, contact Cole Saturday at 912-253-1419 or email@example.com
Lamar Smith Signature Homes is happy to announce that we’ve selected final candidate to receive an Operation Hero House! Wounded Warrior, Hank will receive a mortgage-free home in a Savannah Community. The house will be custom-built by the Lamar Smith Signature Homes team to be uniquely equipped to meet his special and give him greater independence and mobility within his home.
Hank is a Purple Heart recipient, wounded in the line of duty in Afghanistan in 2013 when a rocket-propelled grenade struck the back of his vehicle, just a few feet from where he was standing. Hank is of the 3rd Infantry Division.
We would like to thank everyone who helped with this process, including our committee of military and community leaders assisting with the selection process, everyone who attended our Operation Hero House Grand Raffle Event, and give a special thanks to Event Chairwoman, Paula Deen for all of her generosity.
We invite you to follow our blog or Facebook as we keep you updated on the homebuilding process, until Hank has his brand new home!
Have you ever imagined building your own home in Savannah?
In 2013, Lamar Smith Signature Homes acquired the last major tract of undeveloped land in Southside Savannah. The community, Village Crossing, has taken off as homebuyers flocked to the bustling Southside area. We currently have just 5 lots left in Village Crossing, as well as 3 completed homes currently on the market.
The Village Crossing community offers your family a peaceful setting, while still being centrally located near major stores and malls, schools, restaurants, hospitals, and local events.
Homebuyers looking to build or buy in Village Crossing are able to choose from multiple floor plans to accommodate specific needs, including a choice from 3-6 bedrooms. To live the Savannah lifestyle in a brand new home, contact Randy Awtrey at 912-445-5439!
We are proud to showcase a brand new model home in Lost Plantation, Rincon’s only Golf Course Community! To celebrate, we are inviting all area Realtors for a private event. We hope you can join the Lamar Smith Signature Homes team for drinks, hors d’oeuvres, and great networking with other Realtors! RSVP to Ktaylor@lamarsmithsignature.com See you there!
We are Now Building New Homes in Coastal St. Mary’s!
Do you have dreams of living the Coastal Life? …of waking up to a light ocean breeze reminding you sandy beaches are just a few miles from your doorstep? The entire area of St. Mary’s and neighboring Brunswick is criss-crossed with creeks and inlets, and there’s rarely a drive to the grocery store or a morning commute that isn’t accompanied by breathtaking water views. Lined with centuries-old live oaks and Antebellum mansions-turned cozy Inns, the streets of historic St. Mary’s feel like a town out of a storybook.
The town is known as the “Gateway to Cumberland Island,” a gorgeous island frequented by weekend visitors from Savannah and Jacksonville to enjoy the wild horses, uncrowded beaches, and natural beauty. Just a short drive from Fernandia Beach, Amelia Island, Savannah, and Jacksonville, St. Mary’s truly is a hidden gem of Georgia’s Golden Isles.
New Homes Available Now!
112 Brooklet Circle – The Greensboro
This 3,000+ square foot home features 3 full baths and 4 spacious bedrooms on the second floor. The living space in The Greensboro is endless. The home boasts a Great Room, separate Living Room, formal Study or Dining Room, and a large Loft or Media Room. Each room can be catered to you and your family’s specific needs or taste. $208,730
110 Brooklet Circle – The Lexington
The 4 Bedroom, 2.5 Bath Home is complete with just under 2,500 square feet of space. The crowning jewel of this home is an enormous Owner’s Suite featuring a separate sitting area, his & hers walk-in closets flanking the entryway into the oversized Master Bath. This new home also offers a formal study area. $197,30
109 Brooklet Circle – The Raleigh
This 4 Bedroom, 3 Bath home offers 2,676 square feet of living space. A true Coastal Retreat, the Raleigh gives homeowners the luxury of a Guest Suite complete with a full bath on the first floor and the Master Suite, two additional bedrooms, and a spacious loft area on the second floor. $213,820
Our brand new Arosa Floor Plan boasts over 3,000 square feet of spacious living area, perfect for families and those who love to entertain guests. The luxurious Master Suite of this home is on the first floor, and includes a large walk-in-closet and available fireplace. The first floor features a Breakfast Area and separate Formal Dining Room flanking either end of the impressive open kitchen. The kitchen flows seemlessly into the Great Room, a perfect layout to entertain family and friends in the heart of your home. The crowned jewel of the Arosa Floor Plan is a mansion-sized 2-story Great Room bursting with natural light, and overlooked from the second floor by the type of stunning Juliet Balcony every girl dreams of one day owning.
The second floor of the Arosa is comprised of 3 large bedrooms, two full Baths, and a generous Bonus Room that can be used as a 4th Bedroom or a Media Room. With all the other bedrooms upstairs, parents know their children are close by at night, yet still have their own space tucked away on the first floor. The Arosa can also be easily adapted to add a golf cart storage space with a separate entryway and several other options are available should you choose this plan for your new home.
The new Arosa plan can be seen in our new model home in Lost Plantation Golf Course Community in Rincon, GA. To tour the Arosa in person contract Sonya Lowry at (912) 253.1385 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on any of our floor plans or communities call (912) 253.1262 or email@example.com.
Inside The Arosa
Natural Light in the Two-Story Great Room
Formal Dining Room
Master Bedroom with Fireplace and French Doors
Luxury Master Bath
Upstairs Leads to 3 Large Bedrooms & 2 Full Baths
Juliet Balcony Overlooking the Great Room
Enormous Bonus Room or 5th Bedroom
View from Upstairs of the Spacious, Open Floorplan
Lamar Smith Signature Homes is excited to announce the opening of a brand new model home in Lost Plantation Golf Course Community. Located just a short drive from Savannah, Lost Plantation is the only golf course community in Effingham County. Our new model home is designed in the brand new 4 bedroom, 3.5 bath Arosa Floorplan. The Arosa is a spacious, open floor plan, featuring an impressive two-story Great Room and a Master Suite on the first floor, with three other large bedrooms and an enormous Bonus Room on the second floor. The Arosa offers a formal dining room, as well as a separate breakfast area. The Arosa totals 3,200+/- square feet of living space.
The model home will be open to guests from 10a.m. – 6p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and Sundays & Mondays by appointment. For more information on building or buying a new home in Lost Plantation, contact Sonya Lowry at 912-253-1385 or firstname.lastname@example.org or take a virtual visit to Lost Plantation.
About Lost Plantation
Last year, Lost Plantation surpassed all other communities in Bryan, Chatham and Effingham County by receiving the “Community of the Year” Summit Award. The Lost Plantation community is a well-established, amenity rich, 18–hole golf course community (the only golf course community in the county) located in the town of Rincon, just outside of Savannah, GA, with approximately 400 homes.
18-hole golf course Beautiful, mature landscaping and trees with wooded areas throughout the community Sidewalks and street lights Fishing ponds Two lighted tennis courts Three community pools with hot tub and BBQ grill Pocket playgrounds throughout Driving range and a low-country style clubhouse with pro shop, The Grille restaurant, and card room
New homes are still being built and lots are available (only two phases remaining). Lamar Smith Signature Homes can build one of our signature plans or custom build your own plan. This community is made up of only single family homes with a wide diversity of home styles. Home sites vary in size and are made up of inner lots, golf course lots, and lots with a wooded view. Now building in the new “Arosa” phase, homes in this phase must be full brick or masonry construction with side-entry garage. The “Arosa” has heavily wooded oversized home sites with room for 3rd-car garage and/or pool.
Lost Plantation is conveniently located just 15 minutes from the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport and Gulfstream, 20 minutes from downtown Historic Savannah, 45 minutes from Tybee Island or Hilton Head Beach, and only a couple of minutes (within walking or biking distance) to shopping and restaurants. Lost Plantation’s residents choose golf carts as their main source of transportation around the community.
Your neighbors are a mixture of young couples, families with children, and empty-nesters enjoying active lifestyles in beautiful outdoor settings.
Finally, Lost Plantation is located in the highly sought after, award-winning Effingham County Public School district; Rincon Elementary, Ebenezer Middle, and Effingham High. Ranked in the top 10% of Georgia’s School Districts.
While Lamar Smith Signature Homes is currently building new homes in 11 communities from Savannah to St. Mary’s, we wanted to highlight one of our popular communities. The Retreat at Rice Creek exudes a sense of place. It brings back memories of close-knit neighborhoods, community parks, and inviting homes – all serving as gathering spots for neighbors and friends. Rice Creek’s clubhouse hosts events and gatherings and includes a resort-style pool and kiddie pool, a playground surrounded by plenty of green space, a jogging/walking trail, and scenic lagoons. It is located in Port Wentworth, GA, on Highway 21 just a short drive from Savannah.
Custom touches and classic style describe the homes in The Retreat at Rice Creek. Whether you favor smaller spaces or need lots of room for a growing family, the charming designs in our Plan Library offer home plans designed for affordability with style. From abundant storage to flexible spaces, the path to better home design leads you to Lamar Smith Signature Homes in Rice Creek.
-Event-sized Clubhouse -Resort-style Pool with Kiddie Pool -Playground -Walking/Jogging Trail -Lagoons -Green Spaces -Sidewalks -Full workout facilities
Homes starting in the $150’s!
For more information on the Rice Creek Community or new homes available in Rice Creek
When Lamar Smith Signature Homes was founded, one of the primary goals our leadership team sought to accomplish was to redefine the affordable home. As the housing market continues to show great promise in the early months of 2014, we are growing with the market and rolling out 2 brand new floor plans offering homeowners over 4,000 square feet of space starting in the mid $200’s. With these two new homes, we introduce Savannah to the affordable, big home.
When looking to purchase a new home, there are many longterm benefits that weigh in favor of building or buying a larger house. Although you may not need them now, extra bedrooms in your new home can become a huge money saver as life situations change. With a tough job market ahead of them, many young adults are opting to live with their parents longer. On the reverse side of the coin, as our parents age, an extra room (or two, or three!) gives you the peace of mind that a nursing home or assisted living facility will never be your only option for your Mother, Father, or Grandparent. As more employers allow or even encourage employees to work from home,homeowners with more rooms always have the space to work home.
Think a 4,000+square-foot new home in the Savannah area sounds right up your alley? Let one of our dedicated sales professionals speak with you about your options. www.lamarsmithsignature.com
The spacious, open Gwinnett floorplan offers a generous 4,142 square feet of space. With 5 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms, a formal dining room, study/office, and optional media room there is plenty of room for a family to live, work, and play inside The Gwinnett. The highlight of The Gwinnett plan is a 850-square foot Master Suite comprised of a Master Bedroom, Private Office, Master Sitting Area, His & Hers Walk-in closets, and a luxury Master Bath. The Master Bath offers dual vanities, an oversized garden tub, step-in shower, and a private water closet. A separate bedroom with a private bath on the first floor gives Gwinnett Homeowners the option of offering a Guest Suite to visiting friends and relatives.
This 4,106-square-foot home boasts 6 bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms. The first floor of The Richmond offers families a formal dining room, a living room/study, spacious great room, and a breakfast room. computer nook, and media room on the second floor. The master suite is on the first floor with the other five bedrooms on the second. The second floor is equipped with a full-sized media room and computer nook – both easily convertible into bonus rooms specific to your families needs. Each bedroom in The Richmond comes with a private walk-in closet for maximum storage space. Life’s little luxuries such as a stately two-story foyer, walk-in pantry, and our signature “drop zone” to eliminate clutter, can be found throughout The Richmond.
Think you’re ready to build 4,000+ square-foot the home you always dreamed of? Call us 912.253.1262 or e-mail email@example.com with your questions.
Is one of your New Year’s Resolutions to move into a new home in 2013? One of the keys to making the home-buying process easier and more understandable is planning. In doing so, you’ll be able to anticipate requests from lenders, lawyers and a host of other professionals. Furthermore, planning will help you discover valuable shortcuts in the home-buying process. Follow these steps to achieve your goal of home ownership in 2013.
Resolution #1: Decide What You Want Let’s start with the fun part. The first step is to decide what you are looking for. You need to determine the what, where, and when of your purchase. What kind of house are you looking for? Where would you like to live? When would you like to buy? Spend a lot of time thinking about this, a new home is a serious commitment and you want to choose somewhere where you can happily live for several years.
It can be helpful to write down all the information you have gathered. Be sure to take note of other important factors such as whether or not you hope to expand your family or if you plan to remain at your job for a long period of time. Consider such things as pricing, location, size, amenities (extras such as a pool or extra-large kitchen) and design (one floor or two, etc.). You may want to order your priorities so that you will be prepared to make difficult decisions quickly. If you can’t get a home at your price with all the features you want, then what features are most important? For instance, would you trade fewer bedrooms for a larger kitchen? How about a longer commute for a bigger lot and lower cost?
Resolution #2: Get Your Financial House in Order Once you have an idea of what you are looking for it’s time to get realistic and determine what you can afford. How much do you have available for a down payment? What is your monthly budget for a mortgage payment? Do you have money for closing costs and taxes? Is your financial house in order? Few people can buy a home for cash. According to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), nearly nine out of 10 buyers finance their purchase, which means that virtually all buyers — especially first-time purchasers — required a loan. You should start the mortgage process early. By meeting with lenders — either online or face to face — and looking at loan options, you will find which programs best meet your needs and how much you can afford.
Resolution #3: Get Your Pre-Approval “Pre-approval” means you have met with a loan officer, your credit files have been reviewed and the loan officer believes you can readily qualify for a given loan amount with one or more specific mortgage programs. Based on this information, the lender will provide a pre-approval letter, which shows your borrowing power. You can visit as many lenders as you like and get several pre-approvals, but keep in mind that each one carries with it a new credit check, which will show up on future credit reports.
Although not a final loan commitment, the pre-approval letter can demonstrate your financial strength and show that you have the ability to go through with a purchase. The loan officer will carefully review your financial situation, including your credit report and other information. The lender will then suggest programs which most-closely meet your needs.
One of 20+ Customizable Floor Plans offered by Lamar Smith Signature Homes
Resolution #4: Find Your New Home Now we are back into the fun stuff. A home is more than just a collection of bedrooms and bathrooms. Several properties — each with four bedrooms, three baths, and the same price — may well represent radically different designs, commuting distances, lot sizes, interior dimensions, and exterior finishes. Here’s where the information you gathered in Resolution #1 comes into play. You already know what you want.
Resolution #5: Understand Your Mortgage Options The best rates and terms are only available to those with solid credit. To get the best loans, make a point of paying credit cards, installment payments, rent and mortgage bills in full and on time. To obtain a loan you must complete a written loan application and provide supporting documentation. Specific documents include recent pay stubs, rental checks and tax returns for the past two or three years if you are self-employed. During the pre-qualification procedure, the loan officer will describe the type of paperwork required. Mortgage financing can be obtained from mortgage bankers, mortgage brokers, savings and loan associations, mutual savings banks, commercial banks, credit unions, and insurance companies.
Resolution #6: Protect Yourself With Insurance No one would drive a car without insurance, so it figures that no homeowner should be without insurance. Title insurance is purchased with a one-time fee at closing, title insurance protects owners in the event that title to the property is found to be invalid. Coverage includes “lenders” policies, which protect buyers up to the mortgage value of the property, and “owners” coverage, which protects owners up to the purchase price. In other words, “owners” coverage protects both the mortgage amount and the value of the down payment.
Homeowner’s insurance provides fire, theft and liability coverage. Homeowners’ policies are required by lenders and often cover a surprising number of items, including in some cases such personal property as wedding rings, furniture and home office equipment. In high-risk flood-prone areas, flood insurance may be required. This insurance is issued by the federal government and provides as much as $250,000 in coverage for a single-family home plus $100,000 for contents.
For new homes, home warranties provided by home builders are generally designed to provide several forms of protection: workmanship for the first year, mechanical problems such as plumbing and wiring for the first two years, and structural defects for up to 10 years. In the event of a covered defect or breakdown, the warranty firm will step in and make the repair or cover its cost. Be sure to check out the Warranty Program information page on our website for a breakdown of everything that is offered through the 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty Program provided with every new Lamar Smith Signature Home.
Resolution #7: Close On Your New Home The closing process is increasingly computerized and automated. In many cases, buyers and sellers don’t need to attend a specific event; signed paperwork can be sent to the closing agent via overnight delivery.
Settlement is a brief process where all of the necessary paperwork needed to complete the transaction is signed. Title to the property is transferred from seller to buyer. The buyer receives the keys and the seller receives payment for the home. Deeds, loan papers, and other documents are prepared, signed and filed with local property record offices.
Before closing, buyers typically have a final opportunity to walk through the property to assure that its condition has not materially changed since the sale agreement was signed. At closing itself, all papers have been prepared by closing agents, title companies, lenders and lawyers. This paperwork reflects the sale agreement and allows all parties to the transaction to verify their interests. For instance, buyers get the title to the property, lenders have their loans recorded in the public records and state governments collect their transfer taxes.
Resolution #8: Tie Up Loose Ends You’ve done it. You’ve looked at properties, obtained financing and gone to closing. What’s next?
Those papers you received at settlement are extremely valuable, so hold on to them! In the short-term they can help establish tax deductions for the year in which the property was purchased. In the future, such papers will be important for tax purposes when the property is sold, and in some cases, for calculating estate taxes.
Many owners make a photo or video record of the home and their possessions for insurance purposes and then keep the records in a safety deposit box. Your insurance provider can recommend what to photograph and how to secure it. You want to maintain fire, theft and liability insurance. As the value of your property increases such coverage should also rise.
Enjoy your home. Owning real estate involves contracts, loans, and taxes, but ultimately what’s most important is that home ownership should be a wonderful experience.
Due to the great response we’ve gotten from our Livingood’s Shopping Spree promotion – we’ve decided to extend our offer into December! Have you found your dream home yet?
At Lamar Smith Signature Homes, one of the best feelings our sales agents have comes from seeing the happiness that comes to a family when they are handed the keys to their brand new home. To keep that good feeling going, we’re rewarding homebuyers with a Thank You designed to keep that good feeling going: a $5,000 shopping spree! In the month of October, Lamar Smith Signature Homes is teaming up with Livingoods to help fill your brand new home with luxury appliances and bedding.
We know buying a home is a big decision. As a thank you for trusting us with the next chapter of your life, we want to treat you to a shopping spree to help fill your new home! Livingood’s stores offer:
Lost Plantation Golf Course Community was voted 2013’s “Community of the Year,” by the HomeBuilders Association of Greater Savannah. Just like we tell our current residents: at Lost Plantation you’re getting more than a home, you’re getting a lifestyle!
An amenity rich, 18-hole golf course community with approximately 500 homes
Driving range and a low-country style clubhouse with proshop, grill, and card room
An expanse of beautiful, mature trees and immaculate landscaping
Two lighted tennis courts
Two spacious pools with a hot tub and on-site grilling available
Pocket playgrounds for the little ones throughout Lost Plantation
Elegantly lit sidewalks to walk or bike to shopping and restaurants, or grab bite at the community Grille
A mix of neighbors including young couples, families with children, and empty-nesters enjoying active lifestyle in beautiful outdoor settings;
and last but far from least
Lost Plantation is located in the incredibly sought-after, award-winning Effingham County Public School district; Rincon Elementary, Ebenezer Middle School, and Effingham High. Ranked in the top 10% of Georgia’s School District!
Along with the opportunity to build your own home in Lost Plantation, Lamar Smith Signature Homes has two beautiful homes ready now
The brand new Grayson home at 408 Plantation Place offers a spacious open floor plan perfect for the larger family, or those who enjoy a lot of space. This home features an expansive master suite downstairs along with a private secondary bedroom with a full bath perfect for guests or in-laws. Upstairs you will find two more spacious bedrooms, a full bath, and a large bonus room or 5th bedroom/media room/office. This plan boasts a large, open kitchen with lots of cabinets, plenty of prep space, and two pantries. Directly off the kitchen is a formal dining room, perfect for those who like to entertain. Beautiful interior finishes are found throughout the home. An extended covered front porch, Energy Wise certification, spray foam insulation, and an easily maintainable lawn with irrigation system complete the property. $234,900. More Photos
The brand new Savannah plan at 314 St. Andrews Road is currently being built and will be ready to move in this February. This beautiful home backs up to the #6 tee box and offers gorgeous views down the fairway. The spacious, open floorplan is sure to impress! It has that “wow” factor from the minute you enter the grand two-story foyer with wrought-iron staircase and majestic, high ceilings. The foyer leads you into the two-story great room centered around an inviting fireplace surrounded by a beautiful window fenestration that showcases the view. The spacious, open kitchen has more than ample cabinet and prep space, and the center island and large walk-in pantry are must-haves for any chef in the family. This home plan also offers a formal living room/study and a formal dining room. The home has a bedroom and full bath located on the first floor perfect for guests. Some of the most spectacular views can be seen from the upstairs catwalk that separates the two secondary bedrooms and hall bath from the unbelievable spacious master suite and sitting room on the second floor. The master suite has two huge walk-in closets to fulfill every woman’s dream! The large master bath has a comfort height double vanity, an oversized soaking tub and a beautiful ornately tiled shower. All our new homes are Energy Wise certified and feature spray foam insulation. This is a must-see home!
It’s Earth Day, and it’s never been a better time to start looking for ways to go green while saving yourself some green. At Lamar Smith Signature Homes, our homes include energy efficiencies that promise to cut your energy consumption and save you money. Our homes are better for the environment and better for you!
Among the Energy Efficiencies incorporated into a Lamar Smith Signature Home are:
— ENERGY STAR certified new homes are designed and built to standards well above most other homes on the market today, delivering energy efficiency savings of up to 30 percent when compared to typical new homes. An ENERGY STAR home has undergone inspections, testing, and verification to meet strict requirements set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
— At Lamar Smith Signature Homes, we only use Low-E windows which are made with a special coating to reflect radiant infrared energy. Infrared heat radiating from the sun during the summer is reflected away, keeping it cooler inside, while radiant heat originating from indoors in winter is reflected back inside.
Throughout our models you’ll find the best house logo displayed. We encourage you to stop by one of models in any of our communities throughout the area and look for the BEST house logo with the highlighted E. Each time you see this logo you’ll know these are features that represent an Energy Efficient feature.
April 10th is Golfer’s Day! This annual “holiday” is dedicated to those who love the sport of golf.
Regardless of how young or old you happen to be or whether you consider yourself a novice or pro, today is the perfect day to get out on the course, play a round or two and take your best swing! And Lamar Smith Signature Homes has the perfect community for golf lovers called Lost Plantation.
Located in Rincon, Ga., just minutes from Savannah, Lost Plantation is truly a masterpiece community with its mature 18-hole golf course, clubhouse and grill, two lighted tennis courts, two swimming pools, cabana, sidewalks, fishing pond, and pocket parks with playgrounds throughout. This intertwined community is a return to what communities used to be. Your neighbors are a mixture of young couples, families with children, and empty-nesters enjoying active lifestyles and beautiful outdoor settings.
Lost Plantation offers a little of everything, including the exceptional Effingham County Public School System. The mature golf course offers a scenic backdrop to the many fairway homes, and, if you do not play golf, you do not pay anything for enjoying the setting that a golf course provides. You only pay if you play.
Each exclusively selected homebuilder at Lost Plantation creates a unique neighborhood within a specific price niche and style of 3 to 5 bedroom homes. No matter what taste, price point, or preference a homeowner might have, Lost Plantation probably has the perfect home or home site.