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.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Holiday Gifts Are Not the Only Hot Things Right Now

Article Courtesy of Keeping Current Matters/The KCM Blog

Black Friday is behind us and holiday gifts are flying off the shelves in stores and online. Unlike last year, however, there’s another type of buyer that is very active this winter – the homebuyer.
Each month, ShowingTime releases their Showing Index, which tracks the average number of appointments received on active U.S. house listings. The latest index revealed:
“Traffic was more active once again compared to 2018, as the nation saw its third straight month of higher year-over-year showing activity…The 5.5% increase in showings nationwide was the largest jump in activity during the now three-month streak of year-over-year increases vs. 2018.”
The same report indicates showings increased in every region of the country:
  • The South increased by 10.8%
  • The West increased by 8.6%
  • The Northeast increased by 3.8%
  • The Midwest increased by 1.5%

Why is the traffic more active?

One of the main reasons buyer traffic has increased year-over-year is that mortgage rates have fallen dramatically. According to Freddie Mac, the average mortgage rate last December was 4.64%. Today, the rate is almost a full percentage point lower!

Bottom Line

There are first-time, move-up, and move-down buyers actively looking for the home of their dreams this winter. If you’re thinking of selling your house in 2020, you don’t need to wait until the spring to do it. Your potential buyer may be searching for a home in your neighborhood right now.

Monday, December 9, 2019

Have You Budgeted for Closing Costs?

Article Courtesy of Keeping Current Matters/The KCM Blog

Saving for a down payment is a key step in the homebuying process, and it’s not the only piece you need to include in your budget. Another factor that’s important to plan for is the closing costs required to obtain a mortgage.

What Are Closing Costs?

According to Trulia,
When you close on a home, a number of fees are due. They typically range from 2% to 5% of the total cost of the home, and can include title insurance, origination fees, underwriting fees, document preparation fees, and more.”
For those who buy a $250,000 home, for example, that amount could be between $5,000 and $12,500 in closing fees. Keep in mind, if you’re in the market for a home above this price range, your costs could be significantly greater. As mentioned before,

Closing costs are typically between 2% and 5% of your purchase price.

 Trulia gives more great advice, saying,
“There will be lots of paperwork in front of you on closing day, and not enough time to read them all. Work closely with your real estate agent, lender, and attorney, if you have one, to get all the documents you need ahead of time.
The most important thing to read is the closing disclosure, which shows your loan terms, final closing costs, and any outstanding fees. You’ll get this form about three days before closing since, once you (the borrower) sign it, there’s a three-day waiting period before you can sign the mortgage loan docs. If you have any questions about the numbers or what any of the mortgage terms mean, this is the time to ask—your real estate agent is a great resource for getting you all the answers you need.”

Bottom Line

Reach out to your lender and a local real estate professional to discuss the homebuying process, to be sure your plan includes budgeting for what you need to purchase your dream home – without any surprises!


Thursday, December 5, 2019

Is A Bigger House Within Your Budget?

Article Courtesy of Keeping Current Matters/The KCM Blog

At this time of year, many families come together to celebrate the season. It’s also the time when many realize their homes are just not quite big enough to host all of their guests and loved ones. Are you one of those homeowners dreaming for a larger space to call home?

You may have enough equity in your current home to move up.

According to the Q3 2019 U.S. Home Equity & Underwater Report by ATTOM Data Solutions,
“14.4 million residential properties in the United States were considered equity rich, meaning that the combined estimated amount of loans secured by those properties was 50 percent or less of their estimated market value.”
This means that one in four of the 54 million mortgaged homes in the U.S. have at least 50% equity. If these homeowners decide to sell, they can use their equity to put toward the purchase of a new home. Maybe you’ll be one of them.
NAR recently released their 2019 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers showing that,
“This year, home sellers cited that they sold their homes for a median of $60,000 more than they purchased it, up from $55,500 the year prior. This accounted for a 31 percent price gain, up from 29 percent the year before.”
Here’s the equity gain breakdown based on the number of years these sellers lived in their homes:

Bottom Line
If you’re one of the many homeowners with big dreams of owning a larger home, contact a local real estate professional today. Working with a trusted advisor to find out how much equity you have is a great step toward putting your move-up plan in motion.

Monday, November 25, 2019

7 Reasons to List Your House This Holiday Season

Article Courtesy of Keeping Current Matters/The KCM Blog

Around this time each year, many homeowners decide to wait until after the holidays to list their houses. Similarly, others who already have their homes on the market remove their listings until the spring. Let’s unpack the top reasons why listing your house now or keeping it on the market this winter may be the best choice you can make.

Here are seven great reasons not to wait:

  1. Relocation buyers are out there now. Many companies are still hiring throughout the holidays, and they need their new employees to start as soon as possible.
  2. Purchasers who are looking for homes during the holidays are serious buyers and are ready to buy now.
  3. You can restrict the showings on your home to days and times that are most convenient for you. You will remain in control.
  4. Homes show better when decorated for the holidays.
  5. There is minimal competition for you as a seller right now. Over the past few months we’ve seen the supply of homes for sale decreasing year-over-year, as shown in the graph below:      
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
  6.  The desire to own a home doesn’t stop during the holidays. Buyers who were unable to find their dream homes during the busy spring and summer months are still searching, and your home may be the answer.
  7.  Late fall and early winter make up the “sweet spot” for sellers. The supply of listings increases substantially after the holidays. Also, in many parts of the country, new construction will continue to surge and reach new heights in 2020, which will lessen the demand for your house next year.

Bottom Line 

It may make the most sense to list your home this holiday season. Reach out to a local real estate professional to determine if selling now is your best move.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

4 Reasons to Buy a Home This Fall

Article Courtesy of Keeping Current Matters/The KCM Blog

Here are four great reasons to consider buying a home today, instead of waiting.

1. Prices Will Continue to Rise
CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Insights Report shows that home prices have appreciated by 3.6% over the last 12 months. The same report predicts prices will continue to increase at a rate of 5.8% over the next year.

The bottom in home prices has come and gone. Home values will continue to appreciate for years. Waiting no longer makes sense.

2. Mortgage Interest Rates Are Projected to Increase Next Year
The Primary Mortgage Market Survey from Freddie Mac indicates that interest rates for a 30-year mortgage have recently hovered just above 3.5%. This is great news for buyers in the market right now, because low interest rates increase your purchasing power – but don’t wait! Most experts predict rates will rise over the next 12 months. The Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the National Association of Realtors are in unison, projecting that rates will increase by this time next year.

An increase in rates will impact your monthly mortgage payment. A year from now, your housing expense will increase if a mortgage is needed to buy your next home.

3. Either Way, You Are Paying a Mortgage 
There are some renters who haven’t purchased a home yet because they’re uncomfortable taking on the obligation of a mortgage. Everyone should realize that, unless you’re living rent-free with your parents, you are paying a mortgage – either yours or that of your landlord.

As an owner, your mortgage payment is a form of ‘forced savings’ that allows you to have equity in your home you can tap into later in life. As a renter, you guarantee your landlord is the person with that equity.

Are you ready to put your housing costs to work for you?

4. It’s Time to Move on With Your Life
The ‘cost’ of a home is determined by two major components: the price of the home and the current mortgage rate. It appears both are on the rise.  But what if they weren’t? Would you wait?

Look at the actual reason you’re buying and decide if it is worth waiting. Whether you want to have a great place for your children to grow up, you want your family to be safer, or you just want to have control over custom renovations, maybe now is the time to buy.

Bottom Line

Buying a home sooner rather than later could lead to substantial savings. Reach out to a local real estate professional to determine if homeownership is the right choice for you and your family this fall.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

This is Not 2008 All Over Again: The Mortgage Lending Factor

Article Courtesy of Keeping Current Matters/The KCM Blog
 
Some are afraid the real estate market may be looking a lot like it did prior to the housing crash in 2008. One of the factors they’re pointing at is the availability of mortgage money. Recent articles about the availability of low-down payment loans and down payment assistance programs are causing concern that we’re returning to the bad habits of a decade ago. Let’s alleviate the fears about the current mortgage market.
 
The Mortgage Bankers’ Association releases an index several times a year titled: The Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI). According to their website:
“The MCAI provides the only standardized quantitative index that is solely focused on mortgage credit. The MCAI is…a summary measure which indicates the availability of mortgage credit at a point in time.”
Basically, the index determines how easy it is to get a mortgage. The higher the index, the more available the mortgage credit.

Here is a graph of the MCAI dating back to 2004, when the data first became available:This is Not 2008 All Over Again: The Mortgage Lending Factor | Keeping Current Matters
As we can see, the index stood at about 400 in 2004. Mortgage credit became more available as the housing market heated up, and then the index passed 850 in 2006. When the real estate market crashed, so did the MCAI (to below 100), as mortgage money became almost impossible to secure.

Thankfully, lending standards have eased since. The index, however, is still below 200, which is half of what it was before things got out of control.

Bottom Line

It is easier to get a mortgage today than it was immediately after the market crash, but it is still difficult. The difference in 2006? At that time, it was difficult not to get a mortgage.

Monday, November 11, 2019

75 Years of VA Home Loan Benefits

Article Courtesy of Keeping Current Matters/The KCM Blog

Today, on Veterans Day, we salute those who have served our country in war or peace, and we thank them for their sacrifice.

This year marks the 75th anniversary of VA Home Loan Benefit offerings through the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act, also known as the GI Bill. Since 1944, this law has created opportunities for those who have served our country, ranging from vocational training to home loans.


Facts About VA Home Loans:


  • Nearly 24 million home loans have been guaranteed by the Veterans Administration.
  • Nearly 82% of VA home loans are made with no down payment.
  • The VA also provides grants to help seriously disabled Veterans purchase, modify, or construct a home to meet their needs. Last year the VA provided 2,000 grants totaling $104 million.

Benefits of a VA Home Loan:


  1. No down payment
  2. No Private Mortgage Insurance*
  3. Lower credit score requirements
  4. Limitation on closing costs
  5. Lower average interest rates
*More information on VA Home Loan Fees

Bottom Line

The best thing you can do today to celebrate Veterans Day is to share this information with those who can benefit from these opportunities. For more information, or to find out how to qualify to use a VA Home Loan Benefit, contact a local real estate professional who can help you through the process. Thank you for your service!
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VA LOANS - Loan Types

VETERANS DAY 2019


It is with grateful appreciation that we give heartfelt thanks to the men and women who have served in our armed forces, protecting our nation, and preserving the freedoms we cherish.

When those of us now referred to as "seniors" were young, we celebrated "Armistice Day" to recognize the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I and to honor those who bravely served and those who made the ultimate sacrifice on foreign soil. The main hostilities of WWI were properly finished 101 years ago at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, with Germany signing the Armistice. Red poppies were distributed by members of the American Legion Auxillary, as a remembrance of the sacrifices of those who served during the war.  

 

The symbolism of the red poppy began with the poem IN FLANDERS FIELDS, penned by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918) of the Canadian Army, after presiding over the funeral of a friend and fellow soldier and being moved by the poppy flowers that grew in the Flanders battlefields on the southeast edge of the town of Waregem, Belgium. The imagery created by that poem remains an important symbol of the sacrifices of war today. On June 1,1954, Armistice Day was changed to Veterans Day to honor all U.S. veterans.   





Beautiful tribute to our Veterans 
by Richard Kerry Thompson.   YOU RAISE ME UP

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6s6KIZzxb4&sns=em
Lovely rendition honoring our Veterans
of HALLELUJAH by Sailor Jerri. 



Sunday, November 10, 2019

HAPPY 244TH BIRTHDAY TO THE UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS

"On November 10, 1775, the Continental Congress commissioned Samuel Nicholas to raise two Battalions of Marines. That very day, Nicholas set up shop in Tun Tavern (in Philadelphia). He appointed Robert Mullan, then the proprietor of the tavern, to the job of chief Marine Recruiter -- serving, of course, from his place of business at Tun Tavern. Prospective recruits flocked to the tavern, lured by (1) cold beer and (2) the opportunity to serve in the new Corps of Marines."
 

Source: http://www.usmcpress.com/heritage/usmc_heritage.htm

Since those earliest days when the "Continental Marines" fought for our country's independence at sea and on shore, the United States Marine Corps has responded to conflicts around the world, participating in combat operations and humanitarian relief efforts by air, land, and sea. Mandated by Congress to be our county's rapid response force, the United State Marine Corps has proudly served our country for 244 years. From the shores of Tripoli to Guadalcanal and Iwo Jima, Korea, the jungles of Vietnam, the mountains of Afghanistan, the Iraqi desert, and all the operations in-between, Marines from all walks of life have defended our nation.


Each year on November 10th, Marines around the world live up to the motto "Semper Fidelis" (Always Faithful) as they celebrate the birth of the Corps. Whether attending a formal Marine Corps Ball or a small informal gathering, or even with just a phone call or a handshake, those who share the bond of being one of "The Few. The Proud." proudly honor the values, traditions, and history of the Corps on this day by wishing each other  a Happy Birthday.
Each year Bob Parsons, founder of Go-Daddy, shares his love for "Mother Green" by presenting a birthday video to honor the United States Marine Corps.  Here is a link to this year's video:  2019 USMC Video
Additionally, each year the Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation partners with the Semper Fi fund to raise funds to provide financial support for wounded, critically ill, and injured members of all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces.  Last year, they raised more than $20 million dollars.  Again this year, the Foundation will match donations dollar-for-dollar up to $10 million dollars. 
To donate, please visit: SemperFiFund.org

On a personal note...
In Loving Memory of  Bob "Heavy" Petrella
Today and always we remember with deep love and affection our dear friend, Bob "Heavy" Petrella, USMC Captain during the Vietnam War and recipient of 2 Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star for Valor. Heavy will always be with us in spirit.

SEMPER FI!