RE Story 11-5-20

The ongoing real estate boom in the Golden Isles has been a pleasant surprise during what was forecast to be a down year in sales because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

While the demand is high and the inventory is limited, there is still enough business to keep C.J. Jeffries, a broker with Jekyll Real Estate, busy.

The market on Jekyll Island trends toward home purchases by people planning to move there. There are also those buying second homes, with plans to place them in the vacation rental market before eventually relocating and making Jekyll Island their permanent residence.

At this time last year, we had quite a lot of inventory,” Jeffries said. “People are leaving the big cities. People are coming to our market. It’s a good thing for the sellers.

When buyers make an offer on a home, most choose a fixed-rate mortgage, locking in the monthly payment, he said.

“”For the most part, it’s going to be a residence,” he said of the motivation his customers have to buy a home on Jekyll Island.

Some buyers opt for an adjustable rate on their mortgage until they can sell another piece of property, Jeffries said.

Mark North, vice president and regional sales manager for United Community Mortgage Services, said his bank offers loan products designed to fit just about everyone’s needs.

“We offer the standard fixed and adjustable rate options for purchase and refinance transactions,” he said. “We support our communities with first-time homebuyer programs that encourage home ownership with low and no down payment options. Our one-time closing construction to permanent mortgage provides a great option for borrowers who want to build a home without having to pay the costs and the hassle of doing two loans.”

There are pros and cons to the loan option selected, he said.

“All loan products have advantages over the other; it depends on the borrower’s application criteria,” North said. “To make sure borrowers are choosing the right loan product we spend as much time necessary with them to provide the confidence and ability for successful homeownership.”

Jeffries said a fixed-rate loan is the most popular option, but people planning to own the home a limited amount of time sometimes opt for an adjustable rate mortgage. North said those customers also have a variety of options.

“Our adjustable-rate mortgage options offer fixed-rate terms for five, seven and 10 years at rates below traditional fixed-rate programs but are still a 30-year term,” he said. “After the fixed-rate period, rates can adjust higher or lower semiannually for the life of the loan, subject to limitations and indexes.”

The most popular option for purchase and refinance depends on the borrower’s expected occupancy and income, North said.

Fixed rates for those who want the peace of mind of knowing their rate will not change during the loan term,” he said. “Adjustable rates for those with the ability to trade risk for a lower initial rate.