Monday, April 21, 2025

THANKS FOR VISITING POOK'S SUN CITY CAROLINA LAKES NEWS!


Pook's Sun City Carolina Lakes News contains up-to-date articles and information about real estate and other topics of interest. It is sent out as an email to those on my mailing list and then posted to this site. If you would like to receive my Pook's E-News Newsletter and are not currently on my email list, please contact me

Please be sure to use the tabs above to access a wealth of information about Sun City Carolina Lakes and other area information, including links to places and resources that you'll want to visit often.  

And, please be sure to go to my HELEN ADAMS REALTY website to search for homes, mortgage and warranty information, and much more!

Blog postings are found just below this message, with newer postings at the top and older postings further down.  Since there is a limit to how many postings appear on a page, you will need to click on "older posts" (lower right corner of each page) to see older posts that do not currently appear on the main page. There are lots of posts hiding there... don't miss them!  You can also find postings by going to the ARCHIVE on the left sidebar.


 Please note that you can also search for previous postings at the ARCHIVE at the bottom of the left sidebar.  

Thursday, April 10, 2025

LET ME INTRODUCE MYSELF...


I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce myself. My name is “Pook” Bellini and I’m a REALTOR® with HELEN ADAMS REALTY.  I am licensed in South Carolina and specialize in our beautiful Sun City Carolina Lakes community.  Prior to moving to South Carolina, I was an active REALTOR® in the Scottsdale/Paradise Valley, Arizona area since 2005.

My husband and I moved here from Paradise Valley, Arizona, where we lived for 38 years, raised two great sons, and where I enjoyed 12 wonderful years of teaching first grade prior to starting my real estate career.  Before moving to Arizona in 1976, we lived in my hometown, Ossining, New York.  I taught second grade in Chappaqua, NY for 5 years, after attending the State University of NY at New Paltz and receiving a B.A. from Briarcliff College and a Masters Degree from Western Connecticut State College.  

We first came to Carolina Lakes to visit friends in 2010 and we knew immediately that we loved the SCCL lifestyle.  In 2012 we decided to purchase a home here, with the eventual goal of moving back to the east coast to be closer to family and to call SCCL home.  For two years we made regular “visits” to our home until we moved here as permanent residents at the end of December 2014.   We are thrilled to be a part of this community and are enjoying all the wonderful activities that brought us here.  An avid walker and hiker, I love to wander the beautiful trails and walkways at SCCL... if you see me out there, please stop and say hello!

As a former elementary school educator, I bring the heart of a teacher to my real estate career and I am passionate about educating buyers and sellers as I guide them through the process of buying or selling a home.  With this in mind, my goal as a REALTOR® is to provide exceptional service as a consultant, negotiator, and overseer of transactional details, and it is my hope that the relationship I form with clients will last for a lifetime.

  
As  part of the HELEN ADAMS REALTY team, I am dedicated to helping you with all of your real estate needs.  As one of the most respected real estate companies in the greater Charlotte area, including the South Carolina pan handle, HELEN ADAMS REALTY is committed to providing its clients with comprehensive marketing and technology services.  If you are looking to downsize or move up, considering selling your current residence, or even if you just have a real estate related question, please contact me. I would love to have the opportunity to help you!  I will combine my experience, enthusiasm, and hard work, along with the power of the HELEN ADAMS REALTY team, to exceed your expectations for exemplary service and professionalism in everything I do.

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BLOG POSTINGS BEGIN BELOW
Since there is a limit to how many postings appear on a page, you will need to click on "older posts" (lower right corner of each page) to see previous posts. There are lots of posts hiding there... don't miss them!  Alternatively, you can go to the BLOG ARCHIVE on the left sidebar and search for postings by date and title.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Mortgage Rates Strike New 2017 Low

Article Courtesy of REALTOR® MagazineDaily 
Real Estate News | Friday, September 08, 2017 


For the third consecutive week, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged a new year-to-date low.

“The 10-year Treasury yield fell 9 basis points this week,” says Sean Becketti, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “The 30-year mortgage rate followed, dropping 4 basis points to a year-to-date low of 3.78 percent.”

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages with mortgage rates for the week ending Sept. 7:
  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.78 percent, with an average 0.5 point, falling from last week’s previous yearly low of 3.82 percent. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 3.44 percent.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.08 percent, with an average 0.5 point, falling from last week’s 3.12 percent average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 2.76 percent.
  • 5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 3.15 percent, with an average 0.4 point, rising from last week’s 3.14 percent average. A year ago, 5-year ARMs averaged 2.81 percent.
Source: Freddie Mac

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

SCCL COMMUNITY OPEN HOUSE



Carolinas HealthCare Merging With UNC To Form One Of The Largest Medical Giants In America

Article courtesy of Charlotte Stories

Carolinas HealthCare System and UNC Health Care have officially announced plans to create one of the leading non-profit healthcare systems in the nation, by merging a high-performing comprehensive healthcare system with a renowned academically-based enterprise, according to a recent press release.
 
Their signed Letter of Intent states that “UNCHCS and CHS will come together to create a new organization that blends the best of a high-performing comprehensive healthcare system with a renowned academically-based healthcare enterprise. The joint enterprise will provide solutions for healthcare’s most pressing challenges, including access and affordability, while offering unparalleled clinical expertise tied to a renowned academic enterprise and contributing to our region’s economic vibrancy.”

To read complete article, click below:
http://www.charlottestories.com/carolinas-healthcare-merging-unc-form-one-largest-medical-giants-america/

Friday, September 1, 2017

IS SOUTH CAROLINA A GOOD PLACE FOR RETIREES?

Map Source:  Kiplinger.com
For folks looking for great locations for retirement, here are some links to articles that you might find of interest regarding taxes.  Some are SC specific, while others make comparisons to other states.  There's lots to consider when making your decision about where it would be financially beneficial to call home in your retirement,  including income taxes, sale, use and motor fuel taxes, estate tax, and gift tax.  As you contemplate this important decision, be sure to consult with your financial advisor. 
 
This report on the 10 best states for retirees was something I posted at my blog in December 2015.
https://pooksscclnews.blogspot.com/2015/12/kiplingers-10-best-states-for-taxes-on.html

This article was published by AARP in June of this year.
http://www.aarp.org/money/taxes/info-2017/states-best-tax-breaks-retirees-fd.html

Here's some info from the SC Bar Association:

Here's some information from a group of financial folks at The Balance.  I am not familiar with this group, but their info on the best states for retiring is interesting.

No date on this posting, but it has good info regarding SC taxes.  Not familiar with this group, but they've been promoting the Carolinas since 1986.
https://carolinaliving.com/financial-matters/south-carolina-taxes

This source has lots of great information for those considering the Carolinas.  Additional link through this source:  https://carolinaliving.com/search?indexCatalogue=entire-site&wordsMode=AllWords&searchQuery=retirement 

Here's an older article I came across with some interesting information.  Like comps for houses, it should be more current, as a lot has changed since 2013 and they need to do an update.  B
ut the info is interesting, none the less.  Gives an idea of things to consider.
 http://www.postandcourier.com/archives/south-carolina-a-top-state-for-retirees-due-to-tax/article_943d26f4-a483-58c6-8c3c-ffab8821d8a3.html

Thursday, August 31, 2017

HURRICANE VICTIMS GRANTED LOAN FORBEARANCE

Article Courtesy of REALTOR® Magazine
Daily Real Estate News | Thursday, August 31, 2017 


Harvey Victims Granted Loan Forbearance
The mortgage-backing government entities announced that they will offer mortgage forbearance for at least 90 days to borrowers in the Houston area affected by Hurricane Harvey. In some cases, this could be extended for up to a year.

Storm victims with Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Federal Housing Administration–backed loans will not have to make their monthly payments. They will face no penalty fees. Interest on their loans, however, would still accrue.

At least $23 billion worth of property has been affected by record-level flooding from Hurricane Harvey in parts of Texas’ Harris and Galveston counties alone, according to a Reuters analysis
Freddie Mac announced on Tuesday that it was suspending evictions and foreclosures on homes with mortgages that it owns or guarantees in disaster areas impacted by Hurricane Harvey. Fannie Mae issued a similar statement.

“We’re committed to ensuring that homeowners receive the mortgage assistance they need to overcome the devastating tragedy of Hurricane Harvey,” Yvette Gilmore, Freddie Mac’s vice president of single-family servicer performance management, said in a statement. "Once they’re out of harm’s way, homeowners should contact their servicers—the company to which they send their monthly mortgage payments. They may be eligible for forbearance on mortgage payments for up to one year if their mortgage is owned or guaranteed by Freddie Mac.”

In the Houston area and nearby areas, there are more than twice as many mortgage properties with nearly four times the unpaid principal balance as there were in the Louisiana and Mississippi counties hit by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Mortgage News Daily reports. Black Knight Financial Services estimates more than 75,000 borrowers in Houston may be unable to make a mortgage payment within the next two months.

“This is an unprecedented crisis in the region as it relates to housing,” says Dave Stevens, CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association. “We are not even at the point where we can evaluate the total costs, walkaways, insurance coverage, homes uninsured, jobs lost, not being able to make your mortgage payments.”

Source: “Harvey Hits Mortgages: Flood-Stricken Homeowners Less Likely to Pay,” Mortgage News Daily (Aug. 30, 2017)

EMPTY NESTERS: BEST TO REMODEL OR TIME TO SELL?

Empty Nesters: Best to Remodel or Time to Sell?
Article courtesy of Keeping Current Matters/The KCM Blog
8/31/47

Your children have finally moved out and you and your spouse now live alone in a four-bedroom colonial (or a similar type of house). You have two choices to make: 

  1. Remodel your house to fit your current lifestyle and needs
  2. Sell your house and purchase the perfect home
Based on the record of dollars spent on remodeling and renovations, it appears that many homeowners are deciding on number one. But, is that the best long-term solution?
If you currently live in a 3-4-bedroom home, you probably bought it at a time when your children were the major consideration in determining family housing needs. Along with a large home, you more than likely also considered school district, the size of the property and the makeup of other families living in the neighborhood (example: you wanted a block with other kids your children could play with and a backyard large enough to accommodate that).

Remodeling your home to meet your current needs might mean combining two bedrooms to make one beautiful master suite and changing another bedroom into the massive walk-in closet you always wanted. However, if you live in a neighborhood that historically attracts young families, you may be dramatically undermining the value of your house by cutting down the number of bedrooms and making it less desirable to the typical family moving onto your block.
And, according to a recent study, you will recoup only 64.4% of a remodeling project’s investment dollars if you sell in the future.

Your home is probably at its highest value as it stands right now. Instead of remodeling your house, it may make better financial sense to sell your current home and purchase a home that was built specifically to meet your current lifestyle and desires.
In many cases, this well-designed home will give you exactly what you want in less square footage (read less real estate taxes!) than your current home.

Bottom Line

If you are living in a house that no longer fits your needs, at least consider checking out other homes in your area that would meet your lifestyle needs before taking on the cost and hassle of remodeling your current house.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

FLOODED HOMES CAN BE FIXED, BUT...

Sadly, many homes will be unsalvageable.  Mold will be the greatest threat. The BUT in this article is a HUGE one. And at what cost? 

-Pook

Flooded Homes Can Be Fixed But…


As Hurricane Harvey moves off the coastline of Texas, it's leaving massive flooding in its wake that has destroyed homes and businesses.
More Harvey Coverage
REALTORS® Promise to Send Help to Texas
Tips for Filing an Insurance Claim
Harvey Sparks Flood Insurance Disaster
Until the floodwaters recede, cleanup efforts are mostly on hold. But remediation companies say they’re ready to jump into action as soon as they’re able. In preparation for the undertaking, here are a few important items to share about repairing a flooded home, compiled by realtor.com®.

Time is of the essence.
A home that has been flooded does not need to be torn down, but the water does need to be removed quickly. Truck-mounted vacuums with 2,000 horsepower and dehumidifiers can extract moisture from furniture, hardwood, tile, and Sheetrock. But Robyn Kent, a claims administrator at Dalworth Restoration in Euless, Texas, says the most important element is getting it cleaned up quickly: “Closer to the three- to five-day mark is when it becomes questionable, since by then, all the materials have become fragile.”

Mold is the real issue.
"One of the biggest problems—especially in Houston in the summer—is going to be mold," Tyler Drew, a Los Angeles real estate professional and investor, told realtor.com®. "The longer a house sits with water, the worse the mold infestation. Affected areas have to be removed, the wood and concrete treated with anti-mold agents, and all of this has to be done after the house is sealed, in order to prevent the infestation from spreading and sickening people."

Repair costs can escalate.
"Drying off a 2,000-square-foot house in normal conditions may cost more than $2,500, while in situations like Harvey is producing, the job scope expands quickly—and so will costs," says Peter Duncanson, director of operations and safety with ServiceMaster Restore. Flood insurance may cover the cost of repairs, but it depends on what type of insurance the owner has. Standard homeowner's insurance policies don’t typically cover flooding inside a home, and many in Houston don't have flood insurance.
Source: “5 Surprises About Fixing a Flooded Home,” realtor.com® (Aug. 29, 2017)

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

HURRICANE HARVEY SPARKS FLOOD INSURANCE DISASTER

Harvey Sparks Flood Insurance Disaster
Article Courtesy of REALTOR® Magazine
Only 15 percent of homeowners in Houston have flood insurance on their properties. The city is under two feet of water after Hurricane Harvey ravaged the Texas coastline over the weekend. (Getty Images)
The majority of the thousands of Texas homes submerged in floodwaters after Hurricane Harvey slammed the coastline over the weekend do not have flood insurance—a costly reminder of the importance of extending the National Flood Insurance Program, which the National Association of REALTORS® is fighting to support. Only 15 percent of homes in Harris County—which includes Houston, now under two feet of water—are covered by flood insurance, CNN reports. Only 20 percent in the coastal town of Corpus Christi are covered. Fannie Mae alone says more than 36,500 homes in its portfolio are in the storm’s path, according to Fox Business.
Standard homeowners insurance polices cover wind damage caused by a hurricane, but not damage caused by flooding from storm surges or overflowing rivers. Harvey, now downgraded to a tropical storm that could dump up to 50 inches of rain on parts of Texas by Tuesday, will leave many homeowners in the storm’s path unable to cover the costs of repairs to their homes. “This could be the worst flooding disaster in U.S. history,” Greg Postel, a meteorologist with The Weather Channel, told news agency UPI.
NAR is assessing the situation as it worsens and expects to send an all-member email about relief efforts for homeowners and renters displaced by the storm.
Federal financial regulators also have urged lenders to work with customers affected by Harvey to accommodate their needs. Freddie Mac has announced the availability of disaster relief options, including forbearance programs, for borrowers living in places that have officially been declared major disaster areas. “We strongly encourage the many American families whose homes or businesses are being impacted by Hurricane Harvey to call their mortgage servicer if the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s declaration is announced,” said Yvette Gilmore, Freddie Mac’s vice president of single-family servicer performance management. “Relief—including forbearance on mortgage payments for up to one year—may be available.”

The Department of Housing and Urban Development also announced measures to provide disaster relief to homeowners affected by Hurricane Harvey, including reallocating existing federal funds to recovery efforts in Texas, granting a foreclosure moratorium and forbearance in affected areas, and providing mortgage insurance to victims. “Our thoughts and prayers are with those who are beginning the process of recovering from Hurricane Harvey,” HUD Secretary Ben Carson said in a statement. “As FEMA begins to assess the damage and respond to the immediate needs of residents, HUD will be there to offer assistance and support the longer-term housing recovery efforts.”
—REALTOR® Magazine