Real Estate Information

Southeast Georgia Real Estate Blog

Sarah Wood


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A few minutes could save you thousands! File a Homestead Exemption.

by Hayley Johnston

It’s that time of year again! New resolutions, new goals, new taxes to file. If you purchased a home in 2018, you might be eligible for a tax relief that could reduce the taxable value of your home. This bit of tax-season love is called a Homestead Exemption, and here are a few things you should know:

There are several different variations of Homestead Exemptions that you may qualify for. These exemptions vary depending on age, marital status, and military affiliation. Listed below are the current exemptions in Camden County and their qualifications:

  1. STANDARD HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION The homestead of each resident of Georgia that is actually occupied and used as the primary residence by the owner may be granted a $2,000 exemption from state, county, and school taxes.

  2. INDIVIDUALS 65 YEARS OF AGE AND OLDER Individuals 65 years of age or over may claim a $4,000 exemption from all state and county ad valorem taxes if the income of that person and his spouse does not exceed $10,000 for the prior year. Income from retirement sources, pensions, and disability income is excluded up to the maximum amount allowed to be paid to an individual and his spouse under the federal Social Security Act.

  3. INDIVIDUALS 62 YEARS OF AGE AND OLDER Individuals 62 years of age or over that are residents of each independent school district may claim an additional exemption from all ad valorem taxes for educational purposes and to retire school bond indebtedness if the income of that person and his spouse does not exceed $10,000 for the prior year. Income from retirement sources, pensions, and disability income is excluded up to the maximum amount allowed to be paid to an individual and his spouse under the federal Social Security Act.

    Individuals 62 Years of age or over may obtain a floating inflation-proof state and county homestead exemption, except for taxes to pay interest on and to retire bonded indebtedness, based on natural increases in the homestead's value. Income, together with spouse or any other person residing in the house, cannot exceed $30,000.

    A qualified disabled veteran may be granted an exemption of the greater of $32,500 or the maximum amount which may be granted to a disabled veteran under Section 2102 of Title 38 of the United States Code, as amended.

    The surviving spouse of a member of the armed forces who was killed in any war or armed conflict will be granted a homestead exemption from all ad valorem taxes for state, county, municipal and school purposes in the amount of the greater of $32,500 or the maximum amount which may be granted to a disabled veteran under Section 2102 of Title 38 of the United States Code, as amended.

    The surviving spouse of a peace officer or firefighter who was killed in the line of duty is granted an exemption on that person's homestead from all ad valorem taxes for the full value of that homestead. The surviving spouse will continue to be eligible for the exemption as long as they do not remarry.

If you qualify for any of the aforementioned exemptions, you are one step in the right direction! However, certain restrictions still apply. In order to qualify for any Homestead Exemption you must have occupied the property as your primary residence as of January 1 of the current year, and file no later than April 30th. Unfortunately your beautiful second home does not qualify.

Interested in saving money? You can file for your Homestead Exemption for free through the Camden County Tax Assessor’s office, or you can mail in the application found on the Tax Assessor’s website. Just a few minutes and a couple strokes of a pen could save you thousands!

Visit the Camden County Tax Assessor’s office website here for more information and access to the application:


The 5 Greatest Benefits Of Owning a Home

by Sarah Wood

Are you still sitting on the fence about buying a home in Southeast Georgia? If you are considering buying your first home, the thing to remember is that there are definite benefits to owning a home. According to a Freddie Mac report, here are the five benefits that “should be at the top of everyone’s list.”

  1. Homeownership can help you build equity over time.
  2. Your monthly payments will remain stable.
  3. You may have some tax benefits.
  4. You can take pride in ownership.
Let's look at these point deeper.

Homeownership can help you build equity over time.

According to the Federal Reserve's Survey of Consumer Finances, they report that a homeowner’s net worth is 36 times greater than that of a renter ($194,500 vs. $5,400).

Your monthly payments will remain stable.

If you puchase a home using a fixed rate mortgage, the majority of the payment remains stable, as opposed to rent prices that can rise at any time.

You may have some tax benefits.

According to the Tax Policy Center’s Briefing Book -“A citizen’s guide to the fascinating (though often complex) elements of the federal Tax System” – there are several tax advantages to homeownership.

Here are four items from the Briefing Book:

  • Mortgage Interest Deduction
  • Property Tax Deduction
  • Imputed Rent
  • Profits from Home Sale
You can take pride in ownership.

Let's be honest, this is the main reason people buy a home. It's yours. You can do whatever you want to with it. So take pride in your home!

Brunswick Schools Get Top Grades

by Sarah Wood

Even though summer vacation just started, it's never a bad thing to think about the new school year.  If you have kids in school and you're thinking about moving to Brunswick, then the great news is that there are some great options for your students here.  Every year, rates the tops schools in every city.  Four of the schools in Brunswick got a score of at least 8 out of 10! The ratings are based on test results, along with parent reviews.  Here's the 4 schools that received this highs score.  Click on the school names to see their full ratings.

Greer Elementary School

695 Harry Driggers Blvd, Brunswick, GA 31525

(912) 267-4135
(912) 267-4135

(912) 267-4135

Glynn Academy

1001 Mansfield St, Brunswick, GA 31520

(912) 267-4210

Satilla Marsh Elementary School

360 South Port Parkway, Brunswick, GA 31523

(912) 265-3675

Risley Middle School

707 Southport Parkway, Brunswick, GA 31523

(912) 267-4100

Have a Happy 4th of July!

by Sarah Wood

It's time to celebrate our freedom this 4th of July weekend!  And to help you have fun, here are some events you can look forward to in Camden County.

4th of July Celebration - Saint Marys Waterfront

Come to St. Mary's this 4th of July for a small-town celebration, complete with a parade, entertainment, kids rides, arts and crafts, food vendors, a street dance and one of the largest fireworks displays in Southeast Georgia.

Jekyll Island 4th of July Celebrations

There will be a full day of events at Jeckyll Island, including a parade, fireworks, Red, White, & Bounce inflatable, and a Beach Village Sidewalk Sale.

Have a safe and happy 4th of July!

Tips For First Time Home Buyers

by Sarah Wood

If this is your first time buying a home, then you surely know already there's much to consider.  The buying process is complex and can vary depending on where you live.  But when you get down to it, there's a few basic steps to consider when buying a home for the first time that will significantly help you during the process.

Hire an Agent

Sure we're going to say this!  But it really does make a significant difference.  Real estate agents know the business, the ins and outs. Sure you can buy a home mostly on your own online. But an agent will mostly save you time and energy.  They know what's on the market, and can even know what's coming on the market before they're listed. An agent also can tell when a listing is overpriced and can help negotiate for the home you want. They can also send you listings that fit exactly what you're looking for.

Find the Right Home

This really is not as easy a task as it sounds.  Find a home can be overwhelming.  So pace yourself.  Try to keep your viewing of homes below 7 at a time, or else you start getting bogged down.  Also make sure to research the neighborhoods where you want to live.  Once you pin down the ideal neighborhood, that will help you hone down the exact home to fit your needs.

Get Pre-Approved

This isn't a must, but it certainly helps.  When you walk into an offer with a promise that you can get a loan, it will help the negotiations significantly.  Some sellers won't even look at an offer if they aren't guaranteed you have the money.  And during the summer when there's more competition for homes, you need an edge.

Of course this isn't everything to consider, but it will help you get a good start on buying your first home.  And of course, we're here to help. Give us a call at 912-673-7373 to see how we can make your first time home buying experience in Southeast Georgia go more smoothly.

Thanks Dad!

by Sarah Wood

We'd like to say a big thanks to all the dads out there who have made such a difference in our lives and to those who continue to do so.

Why not say thanks to dad by taking him out on an adventure in The Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge partners with Okefenokee Adventures to provide a whole range of services such as canoeing, kayaking, or boating on the famous Okefenokee Swamp. You're sure to find an adventure to remember.

Have a fun and happy Father's Day!

Step Back in Time to Okefenokee Swamp Park

by Sarah Wood

Have you ever wanted to step back in time to an age where dinosaurs roamed the earth, a land of carnivorous plants and other rare species? There’s no need for a time machine to make that happen.  You just need to go to Okefenokee Swamp Park - “Land of the Trembling Earth.” The natural wonders you’ll find here are endless, with islands, jungles, lakes, forests, and prairies. You’ll find alligators and all sorts of native wildlife.  This is a land where the Native Americans navigated the waterways and where you can get a glimpse at pioneer life.

The park offers a great variety of ways to explore and learn about the swamp. There’s a 45 min boat tour that takes you through the original Seminole Indian waterways, and you can climb the 90-foot observation tower, if you’re brave enough.

You can also enjoy live wildlife shows that let you get a close look at some of the species living in the swamp. Another fun way to see the park is by taking a ride on the Okefenokee Railroad in a 36-gauge replica steam engine train.

There’s a ton of ways you can enjoy yourself at Okefenokee Swamp Park.  Visit their website for all the details.

Glynn County is the Perfect Place to Call Home

by Sarah Wood

Glynn County, part of the Brunswick Metro Area, certainly has a lot of great things going for it.  People chose to live here for a lot of reasons. Being home to the Golden Isles of St. Simons Island, Jekyll Island, Little St. Simons Island, Blythe Island, and Sea Island means that there’s an abundance of fun and relaxation to be found here.

Many people enjoy the peace and tranquility of the area.  Kayaking through the quiet marshes is one way to find that peace.  And of course there are endless beaches where you can just lay back and relax as you watch the boats off in the horizon.  Our canine friends are not forgotten either, as several of the beaches are perfect for letting our faithful companions romp and frolic.  And you can also explore the history of the area in the landmarks and museums in Glynn County, such as  Fort Frederica National Monument.

And don’t forget the shopping and great places to eat. There’s plenty of outdoor markets, specialty shops, designer fashions, souvenir shops, surf shops, art galleries, antique stores, and more to find that perfect item.  You’ll delight at the unique restaurants like Indigo Coastal Shanty, fresh pizza at Fox's Pizza in Downtown Brunswick, and of course, the perfect Southern BBQ delights at Copper Pig BBQ & Smokehouse.

If Glynn County sounds like the perfect place to put down roots, then visit our Glynn County Real Estate And Community Information page for more details about this great place to live, and search for your dream home today.


Memorial Day Weekend Events

by Sarah Wood

Memorial Day is a time to honor and remember all of those individuals who have given the ultimate sacrifice for the freedom we live today.

The American Legion Post 130 of Folkston will hold its annual Memorial Day Ceremony to honor those veterans that are no longer with us at the American Legion Hall on the corner of Little Phoebe Church Rd. and Hwy. 121 Monday, May 29 at 10:00 a.m. in Charlton County.  There will be a featured guest speaker for this event. 

The Camden County Freeholder Board is also hosting a Memorial Day Ceremony on May 27 at 10am at the Camden County Veterans Cemetery at Harleigh. 

This weekend is also a great time to welcome the summer, even if it is a little early.  Camden County is hosting the Hello Summer Festival 2017 on May 26 - 27. The proceeds go to benefit Habitat for Humanity of Camden County.  You'll find arts, crafts, and food to get summer off to a great start, as well as a free concert by Eagles Tribute band, "On the Border". The performance will start at 7pm on the Gilman Park Amphitheater stage.

Have a safe and happy Memorial Day Weekend!



Hello Summer Festival 2017
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What's the Cost of NOT Owning a Home?

by Sarah Wood

It’s a well-known fact that owning a home has many financial benefits.  Even so, many people still rent.  So let’s take a look at the reasons why owning a home in Southeast Georgia can benefit you financially in the long run.

It was recently reported by Zillow that:

“…it turns out that renters currently paying the median rent in many markets could afford to buy a higher-quality property than the typical (read: median-valued) home without increasing their monthly expenses.”

But where’s the proof that owning a home really is better than renting? Trulia recently pointed out in their latest Rent Vs. Buy Report 5 financial benefits of owning a home:

  • Mortgage payments can be fixed while rents go up.
  • Equity in your home can be a financial resource later.
  • You can build wealth without paying capital gain.
  • A mortgage can act as a forced savings account
  • Overall, homeowners can enjoy greater wealth growth than renters.

Studies also show that a homeowner’s net worth is 45x greater than those who rent! People also argue that homeowners have to pay taxes and for home repairs.  True, but so does your landlord, and therefore, so do you if you rent.

In the end, owning a home will always be a better financial choice.

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 21




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Contact Information

Magnolia Realty, Inc.
2353 Village Drive
Southeast GA 31548