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Your Home & Land Resource

for Buyers, Sellers, & Renters

Whether buying, selling or renting, everyone needs information. What do I need to do first to buy a home? How can I know how much my home is worth? Where can I find a home to rent?
This site will try to provide the best advice possible - no matter where you are in your housing journey. 

Local Area Info

Phenix City AL and Columbus GA share a common border - the Chattahoochee River. While Phenix City is officially in the Central time zone, we use Eastern time due to many who work across the bridges in Columbus. Fort Benning, the Infantry Museum, and more is on the south side of Columbus.


What kind of home should you buy? What's a mortgage and why should I care?  Steps to the purchasing process.


Preparing to sell your home, Best marketing tips including photos, Pricing your home to sell! 


Renting options, Benefits of Owning vs Renting, How to Maximize Your Living Space


What Kind of Home Should You Buy?
You should begin focusing on what you’re looking for in a home. Establish priorities in the following areas: 

Location: Are you relocating to a new town because of a new job or to be closer to your current job? How will the location of schools, shops, and transportation affect your choice of neighborhood?
Personal Tastes: How large of a home do you need? What style of architecture do you prefer? What type of lot do you prefer? Depending on where you move to, you may have a choice of homes in dozens of styles, sizes, and settings.
Budget: How much home can you comfortably afford?
Research: As you consider these issues, do a little research of your own. Look through magazines for ideas about home styles and features. Drive through neighborhoods that appeal to you to see what’s available.  You can check online to learn about current prices in the areas you’re considering. Talk to friends about the features that you’d really like to have in your home. The more knowledgeable you become, the better your final decision is likely to be. 
Decide: Consider carefully all the things you’re looking for in a home. The Homebuyer’s Checklist worksheet is a good starting point. When you’ve filled it out, you’ll begin to get a good idea of what you’d like your dream home to be.

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Mortgages and You
Affordability is probably the single biggest concern of today’s first-time home buyers. Given the wide range of media coverage regularly devoted to the issue, it’s not surprising that many young families wonder how long it will take them to afford their first home.

The best advice is: Don’t sell yourself short.

Talk to your real estate professional. He is committed to honestly and responsibly working with you to put you in touch with a mortgage lender, and helping you find homes that fit within your mortgage/budget. 

Steps in the Buying Process

 Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage – so you know how much home you can purchase
Make a Wish List – what you must have, would like to have, and “Wow, it even has…!” –
for your new home
Find the Home – review properties your REALTOR® will find for you.
Make an Offer – a written offer to purchase. If buyers and sellers are in agreement and all sign, then we have a Contract.
Inspections, Insurance and More – once you have a contract, it’s time to have the home inspected, to get homeowner’s insurance, and prepare for moving day
Closing – signing the paperwork at either an attorney or title company’s offices, getting the keys to your new home.
Move In Day – after you’ve closed on your new home, it’s time to get everything moved from your old place to your new home! Remember to change the locks and alarm codes, and get all the utilities transferred into your name.

Keys to home and contract

Got a question? Need more information?



Tips on Correctly Pricing Your Home
Whether you decide to hire a REALTOR to market and sell your home, or attempt to go the unrepresented seller route (aka For Sale by Owner), you need to determine what price you'll ask for your home. You should first:  Consider comparable properties
What have other homes in your neighborhood sold for recently? How do they compare to yours in terms of size, condition and amenities? Your local REALTOR can help you with this information, and can provide a report detailing what you could expect for your home as well.

Pricing is one of the most important attributes of selling your home.
    If your home is overpriced – it won’t sell 
    If your home is overpriced – it will sit on the market for a long time
    If your home is showing signs of deferred maintenance – you won’t get the asking price
    If your home is not in the best condition – you won’t get the best price
    If the location of your home is less than ideal – you won’t get the price you want or need.
(You can’t do anything about the location – it is what it is. In such cases, the great equalizer in real estate is price.)

In most of the above cases, if you are acting as an unrepresented seller - you will lose more money once you do have a buyer. Because the buyer is trying to minimize his costs in purchasing a home, and if you are unrepresented - he will expect a bigger discount off your price. However, if you are using a REALTOR, a study conducted for the National Association of REALTORS indicate you could earn significantly more for your home than attempting to sell it on your own.

Your local REALTOR can provide an estimated market list price for your home, after previewing the home, noting any issues or damage, and photographing inside and out. Then it's back to the office to research the local Multiple Listing Service to find comparable properties (homes similar to yours in age, square footage, location, condition, style, acreage, etc.). Once proper comps have been located, your REALTOR will put together a CMA (Comparable Market Analysis) or an SCA ( Sales Comparison Analysis) to determine the estimated market pricing for your home.

There's no charge for a REALTORS services until your home sells, and the REALTOR's broker is paid from the real estate commission received at the closing.

Consider the competition. How many other houses are for sale in your area? Are you competing against new homes? How does your home compare to these other homes?
Download the free Keys to Killer Curb Appeal ebook today!

Consider your contingencies. Do you have special concerns that would affect the price you’ll receive? For example, do you want to be able to move in four months? Or, do you need to move because of a job relocation?

Get an appraisal. For several hundred dollars, a qualified appraiser can give you an estimate of your home’s value. Be sure to ask for a market-value appraisal. To locate appraisers in your area, contact The Appraisal Institute ( or ask a REALTOR® for some recommendations.

An appraisal will ensure that your home is priced according to the market. Most people believe that their home is worth much more than it really is. Don’t fall for this – get it appraised and then price it accordingly. You’ll save yourself a lot of time and stress by pricing your home to the market.

Get a home inspection. Getting a home inspection completed prior to any sale will help you protect the market value price of your home. The inspector will determine any health and safety issues with your home, plus cosmetic issues. All of these will affect the final price you receive for your home.

After the inspection, have any necessary repairs made, and keep the receipts showing that the work was completed. You’ll be in a better position when a buyer attempts to get a price reduction. You can show them the inspection report and that the work was completed.

Talk to a lender. Since most buyers will need a mortgage, it’s important that a home’s sale price be in line with a lender’s estimate of its value.
Be accurate. Studies show that homes priced higher than 3 percent over the correct price take longer to sell.

Know what you’ll accept. It’s critical to know what price you’ll accept before beginning a negotiation with a buyer.

Excerpted from a reprint from REALTOR® Magazine Online by permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® Copyright 2005. All rights reserved.

Home Maintenance
 If you’re like many of my clients, you’ve probably come across a few things in your home that you’d like to upgrade or renovate. There are lots of home projects that aren’t too complicated to complete if you have a good guide. In that spirit, I thought I’d share three great channels on YouTube full of home maintenance and repair videos.

These channels have videos for a wide range of jobs and even include some reviews on tools you might want to have handy. You can save a lot of money (and really enjoy your home) when you learn more about taking care of it.

Here are my top three picks:


Ron Hazelton

Interior framing Creekstone image
House of money image

Seller's Pricing Tip #1 

Price the property to SELL.

Overpricing your home will not help it compete against similar homes priced at market value. Consider pricing just below market value, to obtain multiple offers. All buyers in today’s market are looking for homes that they consider a good deal. Pricing just 3% or 5% below market value will make your home stand out for a quick sale. Be willing to consider ANY offer at any time. Remember, you are always the final judge of what’s acceptable and what’s not!

Got a question? Need more information?



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Free Home Buyers Guide from NAR
Get the scoop on everything you need to know about how to buy a home.

Benefits of Owning vs Renting

It’s mine! 🙂 vs It’s theirs 🙁
Equity! vs Money lost 
Freedom to change or remodel vs Can’t do that here 
Pride-of-ownership vs Just my stuff in their building 
Choice of location vs Only where there’s apartments/rental house 
Big yard for the kids & pets vs Just a patch of grass or worse 
Private pool all to ourselves vs Shared pool with neighborhood 
Private secure garage/carport vs Shared parking lot/spaces (others can damage my car) 
Pay off mortgage & it’s 100% my home! vs Never-ending payments and increases 
Get an equity line of credit: for car, vacation, remodel, whatever! vs Only have what I can save after rent is paid 
Choice of schools vs Only can use schools near apartment

The Rental Trap

Some choose to rent because they don't expect to be in an area long enough to buy a home. Some are working to repair their credit so they can eventually buy a home. A few actually like renting instead of owning. And others just don't understand the whole process of owning a home, and think it's something for other people. That's the same thought I had when I was a renter. I had friends who were homeowner's tell me I should buy that house I'm renting. But I didn't know anything about buying. And that unknown scared me a little bit.

That all ended the first time I decided to buy a home instead of continuing to pay rent. For me, it was one of the best decisions I've ever made. And it could be for you too!

Does your landlord quickly handle maintenance issues? Are your neighbors quiet and courteous? Do people in your building take pride in the upkeep of common areas?

Many of the renters I’ve talked to say “No” to each of these questions. They also feel like they have no choice but to put up with the inevitable inconveniences of renting: noise, strange odors, and lazy maintenance.

Many have a hard time imagining exactly how they’ll escape the “rental trap.”

(I know about this first-hand: I was a renter for many years before I learned I could be a homeowner instead.)

If you feel this way, I’d like to extend a friendly introduction and invite you to have a conversation about how you might become a homeowner. You see, I specialize in helping people make the transition from renting to owning.

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Got a question? Need more information?


David W Orr photo

David W Orr, GRI - BPOR - e-PRO, SFR 
A former long-time renter who became a homeowner and later, a real estate agent; my passion is helping others make the best choice when it comes to their home. I’m committed to making the goal of buying and selling real estate as stress-free, fun, and positive an experience as possible – both online and off.

I understand that buying or selling a home is more than just a transaction: it’s a life-changing experience. I am dedicated to providing exceptional, personalized service for all of my clients. I take great pride in the relationships I build and always work relentlessly on the client’s behalf to help them achieve their real estate goals.

I’ve been a licensed REALTOR® in Alabama & Georgia since 2004. My brokerage is Platinum Properties LLC, ( at 3800 Lakewood Drive, Phenix City AL 36867 – 334-291-1234. My broker is Rodney Niles.

Platinum Properties LLC
Today’s buyers and sellers need a trusted resource that can guide them through the complex world of real estate. With our extensive knowledge and commitment to providing only the best and most timely information to our clients, myself and Platinum Properties LLC are your go-to source for real estate industry insight and advice.

Our Mission Statement:
To expand into three markets by controlling growth, by being the creative marketing leader, by maintaining a clear focus in all the communities we serve, and by conducting our business with the highest standards of integrity, honesty, and respect. 

Platinum Properties LLC text logo


Platinum Properties LLC
3800 Lakewood Dr                    
Phenix City, AL 36867                     

Mobile  334-614-0004
Office  334-291-1234



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