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Friday, February 21, 2020
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Residential Real Estate

AUG. 24: Private Design Galleries Help Buyers with New Home Decisions

By Lou Phelps
SBJ Staff

There’s a hidden treasure on Abercorn Street on Savannah’s Southside, a private design gallery provided by Landmark 24 Realty, Inc. to help buyers with the myriad of decisions involved in completing the purchase of one of the firm's new homes.
The company currently has 21 developments and master-planned communities in Beaufort, Effingham, Chatham and Bryan counties with both single family and townhomes for sale. The builders of the communities are Jack Wardlaw and Jerry Wardlaw of JCW Construction and Steve Hall and Greg Hall of Hallmark Custom Homes. Landmark 24 Realty is a jointly operated real estate firm for the two builders.
Traci Alexander serves at the Hallmark 24 Design Gallery coordinator, located at 6605 Abercorn Street. In a small, but well-laid out space, the builders have crammed extensive information to help buyers, assisted by a trained architectural designer.
The gallery is open Monday to Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., closed on Saturday and Sunday, and she can generally help buyers make all their decisions in just a two hour process, according to Alexander. If more than two hours is needed, the company offers an additional session with her for $125.00 per hour.
Once a buyer receives their mortgage approval letter, it’s time to meet with Alexander to make the decisions to personalize the buyer’s home, she explained. The gallery has examples of exterior and interior finishes and fixtures, including colors and upgrade options.
It’s a process the company has honed to help buyers make the long list of choices that are needed, and all decisions are final once the session has been completed. In advance, buyers are provided with extensive information on choices and checklists for all the finishes, flooring, carpeting, countertops, plumbing and electrical options they need to make. Each home package sold by Landmark 24 has a list of included options.
But if the buyer wants to upgrade, the changes can be included in their mortgage if made during the design gallery appointment. “Home buyers often underestimate what they can afford. Upgrades translate into just a few dollars a month in a mortgage payment,” she said. Buyers are encouraged to discuss their finances with their loan officer in advance of their appointment.
Landmark 24 also helps buyers make decisions about the ultimate use of spaces in their new home, such as changing a bedroom into an office. In that case, Alexander helps buyers think through electrical changes and outlets that may be needed. And there are other upgrades buyers may want to consider, such as surround sound, that can be added much more inexpensively is done during the construction process.
“One of the most important decisions…is which color palette to use in your home,” Alexander explained. She tries to help customers select more neutral palettes, and buyers are encouraged to bring fabric swatches of current or future furnishings to their session.
Landmark 24 is not the only company in the area with a design gallery. Ernest Homes of Richmond Hill has also offered state of the art services for more than two years, according to Sherry Murat, director of sales and marketing, who runs the gallery.
Ernest Homes is currently building and selling eight communities in Effingham, Chatham and Bryan counties, including The Highlands in Pooler.
The company’s gallery, includes examples of all the standard features that come with our homes, and then examples of how our customers can upgrade,” Murat explained. “In some of the communities, granite countertops are standard features, for example, in others they are an upgrade.”
The Ernest Homes Design Gallery is located at 10393 Ford Ave. Building C, Richmond Hill, and is open Mon-Fri, from. 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and also by appointment in the evenings and on weekends.
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