Monday, April 21, 2025

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

Pook's Sun City Carolina Lakes News is both a website and a blog.  It contains up-to-date information about Sun City Carolina Lakes, a premier 55+ Active Adult Del Webb golf course community located in the panhandle of Lancaster County South Carolina, just a short distance south of the Ballantyne Area of beautiful Charlotte, North Carolina.  Looking for an affordable active lifestyle?  Sun City Carolina Lakes is the 55+ community for you!

The tabs above provide access to a wealth of information about Sun City Carolina Lakes and include up-to date stats for real estate sales in the community, as well as links to places and resources that you'll want to visit often.  

Want to search for homes for sale in Sun City Carolina Lakes?  Begin your search for Sun City Carolina Lakes resale homes right here!  Using the same property search tab, you can also search for homes for sale at two nearby 55+ Active Adult communities - TreeTops by Lennar and Carolina Orchards by Pulte.  Or, better yet, contact me to create a personalized search for you through the Carolina Multiple Listing Service (CMLS).  Doing so will create a portal that will allow you access to all that's out there.  If you would like me to create a personalized search for you with automatic updates, please contact me. 

As a blog, this site contains great articles and infographics about real estate and other topics of interest.  You'll want to come back regularly to see what's new!  

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 be sure to go to my HELEN ADAMS REALTY website for more great information.  That website also allows you to search for homes, as well as check out mortgage and warranty information, and much more!

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Please use the above tab labeled  
ACTIVE / UNDER CONTRACT / SOLD YTD
to view all currently Active, Under Contact, 
and Sold (Year-to-Date) listings in Sun City Carolina Lakes.  

Use the above tab labeled
UP-TO-DATE STATS FOR SCCL
to view the most current sales stats for
 New Listings, # of Homes for Sale, Pending Sales, Closed Sales, Average Days on Market, Months Supply of Homes for Sale, Average Days List to Close, and Average Percent of Original Price. Includes interactive graphs with monthly data going back to 2015. 
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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, August 23, 2019

A Latte a Day Keeps Homeownership Away [INFOGRAPHIC]

Do you know someone who would love to own a home, but they don't have enough funds saved for a down payment?  Today's younger folks often haven't saved enough to even start thinking about purchasing a home.  Some are strapped with college loans, car expenses, medical bills, and other daily costs that prevent them creating a fund for a future down payment.  Yet, they do manage to stop by at their favorite coffee shop each day... Hey!  What's a few bucks for a latte gonna matter in my life?  Well, the infographic below, courtesy of Keeping Current Matters/the KCM blog, offers some insight into how eliminating those daily lattes can add up to a down payment in as little as 5 years.

Please share with your kids and grandkids!


BTW, going back to a good ol' coffee maker instead of the store-bought latte or even the single-serve coffee pods, is an inexpensive way to get your fix of joe. Contrary to what coffee aficianados might tell you, making a big pot of coffee and drinking it over a couple of days is not unthinkable. This time of year, my husband reheats and I make iced coffee from a carafe that sits on the counter for a couple of days. My kids would be aghast and turn up their noses at such a thing. Oh, well. It works for us. And let me assure you, my sugar free iced coffee tastes every bit as good as (or maybe even better than) what I might buy at you know where. Though, I must say, the sugar free iced coffee at a certain fast food chain is darn good!

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Seniors Are on the Move in the Real Estate Market

 Article Courtesy of Keeping Current Matters/The KCM Blog

Did you know August 21st is National Senior Citizens Day? According to the United States Census, we honor senior citizens today because,
 “Throughout our history, older people have achieved much for our families, our communities, and our country. That remains true today and gives us ample reason…to reserve a special day in honor of the senior citizens who mean so much to our land.
To give proper recognition, we’re going to look at some senior-related data in the housing industry.
According to the Population Reference Bureau,
The number of Americans ages 65 and older is projected to nearly double from 52 million in 2018 to 95 million by 2060, and the 65-and-older age group’s share of the total population will rise from 16 percent to 23 percent.”

Seniors Believe in Homeownership

In a recent report, Freddie Mac compared the homeownership rates of two groups of seniors: the Good Times Cohort (born from 1931-1941) and the Previous Generations (born in the 1930s). The data shows an increase in the homeownership rate for the Good Times Cohort because seniors are now aging in place, living longer, and maintaining a high quality of life into their later years.
This, however, does not mean all seniors are staying in place. Some are actively buying and selling homes. In the 2019 Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends Report, the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) showed the percentage of seniors buying and selling:

Here are some highlights from NAR’s report:

  • Buyers ages 54 to 63 had higher median household incomes and were more likely to be married couples.
  • 12% of buyers ages 54 to 63 are first-time homebuyers, 5% (64 to 72), and 4% (73 to 93).
  • Buyers ages 54 to 63 purchased because of an interest in being closer to friends and families, job relocation, and the desire to own a home of their own.
  • Sellers 54 years and older often downsized and purchased a smaller, less expensive home than the one they sold.
  • Sellers ages 64 to 72 lived in their homes for 21 years or more.

Bottom Line

According to NAR’s report, 58% of buyers ages 64 to 72 said they need help from an agent to find the right home. The transition from a current home to a new one is significant to undertake, especially for anyone who has lived in the same house for many years. If you’re a senior thinking about the process, work with a local real estate professional who can help you make the move as smoothly as possible.

JUST LISTED IN SCCL



This beautiful Surrey Crest with full brick veneer front is located on a large corner lot adjacent to a quiet double cul-de-sac street in the highly sought after Grey Hawk neighborhood. The bright sunroom, large screened porch, and large patio w/sitting wall overlook a lovely open green space and are perfect for relaxing or entertaining friends and family. Upgraded fans throughout. MBR has tray ceiling & huge walk-in closet. Master bath has dual sinks, walk-in shower, large separate tub. Kitchen has large dining area, center island, stainless steel appliances, and granite counters. Built-in media shelves in living room. Brand new A/C. Come and enjoy all the beautiful amenities and diverse activities this premier active adult community has to offer - hiking trails, indoor pool, 2 outdoor pools, state-of-the-art fitness center, pottery studio, community gardens, tennis, pickleball, bocce, softball, canoe & kayak center, woodworkers shop, dog park, golf course, and much more!

If interested, please contact me.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Buying a Home: Do you Know the Lingo?

Infographic by Keeping Current Matters/the KCM Blog


Some Highlights:
  • Buying a home can be intimidating if you’re not familiar with the terms used throughout the process.
  • To point you in the right direction, here’s a list of some of the most common language you’ll hear when buying a home.
  • The best way to ensure your home-buying process is a positive one is to find a real estate professional who will guide you through every aspect of the transaction with ‘the heart of a teacher.’

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Busting the Myth About a Housing Affordability Crisis

Article Courtesy of Keeping Current Matters/The KCM Blog

It seems you can’t find a headline with the term “housing affordability” without the word “crisis” attached to it. That’s because some only consider the fact that residential real estate prices have continued to appreciate. However, we must realize it’s not just the price of a home that matters, but the price relative to a purchaser’s buying power.

Homes, in most cases, are purchased with a mortgage. The current mortgage rate is a major component of the affordability equation. Mortgage rates have fallen by over a full percentage point since December 2018. Another major piece of the affordability equation is a buyer’s income. The median family income has risen by 3.5% over the last year.

Let’s look at three different reports issued recently that reveal how homes are very affordable in comparison to historic numbers, and how they have become even more affordable over the past several months.

1. National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) Housing Affordability Index:

Here is a graph showing the index going all the way back to 1990. The higher the column, the more affordable homes are:

We can see that homes are less affordable today (the green bar) than they were during the housing crash (the red bars). This was when distressed properties like foreclosures and short sales saturated the market and sold for massive discounts. However, homes are more affordable today than at any time from 1990 to 2008. NAR’s report on the index also shows that the percentage of a family’s income needed for a mortgage payment (16.5%) is dramatically lower than last year and is well below the historic norm of 21.2%.

2. Black Knight’s Mortgage Monitor:

This report reveals that as a result of falling interest rates and slowing home price appreciation, affordability is the best it has been in 18 months. Black Knight Data & Analytics President Ben Graboske explains:
“For much of the past year and a half, affordability pressures have put a damper on home price appreciation. Indeed, the rate of annual home price growth has declined for 15 consecutive months. More recently, declining 30-year fixed interest rates have helped to ease some of those pressures, improving the affordability outlook considerably…And despite the average home price rising by more than $12K since November, today’s lower fixed interest rates have worked out to a $108 lower monthly payment…Lower rates have also increased the buying power for prospective homebuyers looking to purchase the average-priced home by the equivalent of 15%.”

3. First American’s Real House Price Index:

While affordability has increased recently, Mark Fleming, First American’s Chief Economist explains:
“If the 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage declines just a fraction more, consumer house-buying power would reach its highest level in almost 20 years.”
Fleming goes on to say that the gains in affordability are about mortgage rates and the increase in family incomes:
“Average nominal household incomes are nearly 57 percent higher today than in January 2000. Record income levels combined with mortgage rates near historic lows mean consumer house-buying power is more than 150 percent greater today than it was in January 2000.”

Bottom Line

If you’ve put off the purchase of a first home or a move-up home because of affordability concerns, you should take another look at your ability to purchase in today’s market. You may be pleasantly surprised!

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

5 Real Estate Reality TV Myths Explained

Have you ever been flipping through the channels, only to find yourself glued to the couch in an HGTV binge session? We’ve all been there, watching entire seasons of shows like “Property Brothers,”Fixer Upper,” and “Love It or List It,” all in one sitting.

When you’re in the middle of your real estate-themed TV show marathon, you might start to think everything you see on the screen must be how it works in real life. However, you may need a reality check.

Reality TV Show Myths vs. Real Life:

 
Myth #1: Buyers look at 3 homes and decide to purchase one of them.
Truth: There may be buyers who fall in love and buy the first home they see, but according to the National Association of Realtors, the average homebuyer tours 10 homes as a part of their search.  


Myth #2: The houses the buyers are touring are still for sale.
Truth: Everything is staged for TV. Many of the homes shown are already sold and are off the market. 


Myth #3: The buyers haven’t made a purchase decision yet.
Truth: Since there is no way to show the entire buying process in a 30-minute show, TV producers often choose buyers who are further along in the process and have already chosen a home to buy. 


Myth #4: If you list your home for sale, it will ALWAYS sell at the open house.
Truth: Of course, this would be great! Open houses are important to guarantee the most exposure to buyers in your area, but they are only one piece of the overall marketing of your home. Keep in mind, many homes are sold during regular showing appointments as well. 


Myth #5: Homeowners decide to sell their homes after a 5-minute conversation.
Truth: Similar to the buyers portrayed on the shows, many of the sellers have already spent hours deliberating the decision to list their homes and move on with their lives and goals.


Bottom Line

Having an experienced professional on your side while navigating the real estate market is the best way to guarantee you can make the home of your dreams a true reality.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

How Much Do You Know About Down Payments?

Article Courtesy of Keeping Current Matters/The KCM Blog


Whether you’ve owned a home before, or you’re ready to jump into homeownership for the first time, there are always a lot of questions swirling around about what is truly required for a down payment, and how to best source down payment assistance. Let’s tackle these two today.

1. How much do you really need for a down payment?

There is a long-standing misconception about down payment requirements. A survey from Fannie Mae shows only 17% of consumers know the minimum options are actually between 1 – 5% of the purchase price and 40% don’t know how much they need at all.

How Much Do You Know About Down Payments? | Keeping Current Matters
There are many mortgage loans available that require as little as 3% down for first-time buyers, and some ask for only 3.5% down from repeat buyers. There are even loans available for Veterans that provide 0% down payment options too.

We’ve mentioned recently that you don’t need to come up with a 20% down payment to buy, and we’ve also shared how quickly you can save for a 3% or 10% down payment, depending on where you live. If you’re planning to put down just 3%, the research shows it may be possible in most states to have enough saved for a down payment in less than a year. That puts homeownership in a much closer reach for many potential buyers, maybe even you!

2. How can I get help with my down payment?

Regardless of the loans available, many buyers still need assistance with a down payment. The great news is, there are a lot of ways to tap into down payment assistance options. Here are just a couple of them:

Assistance from Family Members

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) said, “a third of recent first-time buyers received down payment assistance from family members.” They also mentioned, “the average net worth of those aged 75 and over stands at $264,800…They just might offer the boost the next generation needs to become homeowners.

That means one of the ways to find help with a down payment is to accept a gift from a family member. If this is an option for you, make sure you talk to your loan officer before you accept the money, to ensure you document the process the way it is required by your loan. This way, it will be received properly and you can still potentially qualify.

Down Payment Assistance Programs

The reality is, not everyone has a loved one or a family member who can provide help with a down payment. There are, however, more than 2,500 down payment assistance programs available (by local areas like city, county, or neighborhood), and some of them are even specifically for first-time buyers.

The gap, as mentioned in the same survey, is “only 23% of consumers are familiar with low down payment programs.”
That’s why it is so important to get familiar with these options by doing your homework before you plan to buy a home. Determine what is available in the area where you ultimately want to live, so you have all the details you need to take advantage of the down payment assistance option that is best for your family.

Bottom Line

If buying a home is one of your long-term goals, you may be able to get there sooner than you think by tapping into one of the many down payment assistance programs available.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Mid-Year Housing Market Update: Three Things to Know Today

Article Courtesy of Keeping Current Matters/The KCM Blog

Shifting trends and industry-leading research are pointing toward some valuable projections about the status of the housing market for the rest of the year.
If you’re thinking of buying or selling, or if you just want to know what experts are saying is on the horizon, here are the top three things to put on your radar as we head into the coming months:

  1. Home prices are appreciating at a more normal rate: Home prices have been appreciating for about ten years now. Experts at the Home Price Expectation Survey, Mortgage Bankers Association, Freddie Mac, and Fannie Mae are forecasting continued growth throughout the next year, although it should be leveling-off to normal appreciation (3.6%), as we move into 2020.
  2. Interest rates are low: Over the past 30 years, the average mortgage rate in the United States has been 8.27%, and rates even peaked as high as 18% in the 1980s. Today, at 3.81%, the rate is considerably lower than the historical 30-year average. Although experts predict it may climb into the low 4% range in the near future, that’s still remarkably lower than our running average, suggesting a great time to get more for your money over the life of your loan.
  3. An impending recession does not mean there will be a housing crash: Although expert research studies such as those found in the Duke Survey of American CFOs and the National Association of Business Economics, are pointing toward a recession beginning within the next 18 months, a potential recession isn’t expected to be driven by the housing industry. That means we likely won’t experience a devastating housing crash like the country felt in 2008. Expert financial analyst Morgan Housel tweeted:

“An interesting thing is the widespread assumption that the next recession will be as bad as 2008. Natural to think that way, but, statistically, highly unlikely. Could be over before you realized it began.”
In fact, during 3 of the 5 last U.S. recessions, housing prices actually appreciated:

Bottom Line With prices appreciating and low interest rates available, it’s a perfect time to buy or sell a home. Reach out to a local real estate professional to see how you can take the next step in the exciting journey of homeownership.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

What Experts are Saying About the Current Housing Market

Article Courtesy of Keeping Current Matters / The KCM Blog


We’re halfway through the year, and with a decline in interest rates as well as home price and wage appreciation, many are wondering what the experts predict for the second half of 2019.

Here’s what some have to say:

Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.com
“Lower mortgage rates, higher wages and more homes for sale have helped counteract rising home prices, and ultimately, made it so that buyers are able to afford more than last year.”
“Our outlook implies 4% growth for the remaining months of the year, predicated on…more supply than last year, the decline in mortgage rates, moderating home price appreciation and improving affordability.”
Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at NAR
“Rates of 4% and, in some cases even lower, create extremely attractive conditions for consumers. Buyers, for good reason, are anxious to purchase and lock in at these rates.”
Doug Duncan, Chief Economist for Fannie Mae
“Moderating home price appreciation and attractive mortgage rates continue to support affordability, particularly as home builders are now paying more attention to the entry-level portion of the housing market.”
Kaycee Miller in a Realtor Magazine article
“At the moment, some observers suggest the housing market is indeed headed for a slowdown. But no need to panic — experts say the financial and economic factors that were in play during the big crash a decade ago don’t exist today.”

Bottom Line

The housing market will be stronger for the rest of 2019. If you’d like to know more about your specific market, contact a local real estate professional to find what’s happening in your area.