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.
 

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.  

Please click on the "ABOUT POOK" tab above for my entire bio.

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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, July 12, 2018

House-Buying Power at Near-Historic Levels

Article Courtesy of Keeping Current Matters/The KCM Blog

House-Buying Power at Near-Historic Levels | Keeping Current Matters
We keep hearing that home affordability is approaching crisis levels. While this may be true in a few metros across the country, housing affordability is not a challenge in the clear majority of the country. In their most recent Real House Price Index, First American reported that consumer “house-buying power” is at “near-historic levels.”
Their index is based on three components:

  1. Median Household Income
  2. Mortgage Interest Rates
  3. Home Prices
The report explains:

“Changing incomes and interest rates either increase or decrease consumer house-buying power or affordability. When incomes rise and/or mortgage rates fall, consumer house-buying power increases.”
Combining these three crucial pieces of the home purchasing process, First American created an index delineating the actual home-buying power that consumers have had dating back to 1991.
Here is a graph comparing First American’s consumer house-buying power (blue area) to the actual median home price that year from the National Association of Realtors (yellow line).
House-Buying Power at Near-Historic Levels | Keeping Current Matters

Consumer house-buyer power has been greater than the actual price of a home since 1991. And, the spread is larger over the last decade.

Bottom Line

Even though home prices are increasing rapidly and are now close to the values last seen a decade ago, the actual affordability of a home is much better now. As Chief Economist Mark Fleming explains in the report:

“Though unadjusted house prices have risen to record highs, consumer house-buying power stands at near-historic levels, as well, signaling that real house prices are not even close to their historical peak.”

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!

 
Wishing you a fun-filled and safe 4th of July

IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America
When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
CLICK ON LINK FOR COMPLETE TEXT OF THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE.

VA LOANS: MAKING A HOME FOR THE BRAVE POSSIBLE

VA Loans: Making a Home for the Brave Possible
Article Courtesy of Keeping Current Matters/The KCM Blog


VA Loans: Making a Home for the Brave Possible | Keeping Current MattersSince the creation of the Veterans Affairs (VA) Home Loans Program, over 22 million veterans have achieved the American Dream of homeownership. Many veterans do not know the details of the program and therefore do not take advantage of the benefits available to them.
If you are a veteran or you know someone who is, here is a breakdown of the VA Home Loan benefits that can be used to achieve the American Dream!

Top 5 Benefits of a VA Home Loan

  1. The greatest benefit of a VA Loan is that borrowers can buy a home with a 0% down payment. In 2016, 82% of all VA Loans put down 0%!
  2. Primary Mortgage Insurance (PMI) is not required! (Most other loans with down payments under 20% require PMI, which adds additional costs to your monthly housing expense!)
  3. Credit Score requirements are also lower for VA Home Loans. The average FICO® score of a borrower for an approved VA Loan is 620, compared to 676 (FHA) or 753 (Conventional).
  4. There is also a limitation on a veteran buyer’s closing costs. Sellers can pay all of a buyer’s loan-related closing costs and up to 4% in concessions in some cases.
  5. Even with interest rates rising, VA Loans continue to have the lowest average interest rates of all loan types.

Who Qualifies for a VA Home Loan?

One of the most important first steps when applying for a VA Home Loan is obtaining your Certificate of Eligibility (COE). “The COE verifies to the lender that you are eligible for a VA-backed loan.”

You Can Apply for a VA Loan if You:

  • Serve 90 consecutive days during wartime
  • Serve 181 consecutive days during peacetime
  • Have more than 6 years in the National Guard or Reserves
  • Are the spouse of a service member who has died in the line of duty or as the result of a service-related disability

You Can Use a VA Loan To:

  • Purchase a Home
  • Purchase a Condo
  • Build a Home
  • Refinance an existing home loan
  • Make improvements to a home by installing energy-related features or making energy-efficient improvements

Bottom Line

For more information or to find out if you or a loved one would qualify to use the VA Home Loan Benefit, contact a local real estate professional who can help! Thank you for your service!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

3 Issues Facing Today's Real Estate Market

3 Issues Facing Today's Real Estate Market
Article Courtesy of Keeping Current Matters/The KCM Blog


3 Issues Facing Today’s Real Estate Market | Keeping Current MattersLast week, the National Association of Real Estate Editors (NAREE) held their 52nd Annual Journalism Conference in Las Vegas, NV. Among the many highly anticipated sessions was one called “Top Ten Issues Affecting Real Estate™,” given by Joseph Nahas, Jr., Chair of the Counselors of Real Estate & Senior Vice President of Equus Capital Partners. 

The Counselors of Real Estate (CRE) “is an international organization of high profile property professionals which include principals of prominent real estate, financial, legal, and accounting firms as well as recognized leaders of government and academia.” 
Their annual “top 10” list spans any and all issues that could have an impact on the real estate market. This year, the list was broken up into “Current” and “Long-Term Issues.”
Today we’re going to focus on three of the five “Current” issues with a brief explanation of their impacts on the housing market today!

E-Commerce & Logistics

With promises of 2-day shipping no matter where you live, we are benefiting more now than ever before from the speed and ease-of-use of online retailers like Amazon. These e-retailers haven’t changed whether or not we buy certain items, but rather HOW we buy them!

Many traditional malls or big-box stores are being repurposed as warehouses or distribution centers for online retailers so that they can get their products out faster.

A Look to the Future: “Developers who are including experiences into their locations are the ones who will succeed. It’s about the experience and gaining something over just going to buy a product.”


Generational Change & Demographics

By now we’ve all heard that the millennial generation is the largest yet, just by sheer volume. The largest group of millennials turns 30 years-old in 2020. The average first-time homebuying age is between 30 and 32, depending on marital status. Real estate professionals will be inundated with more and more buyers as the years roll on. Nahas commented on this in his presentation, saying that,

“Too many developers have become dependent on making decisions based on baby boomer’s preferences.
The 75 million millennials are coming, and they will influence real estate and commerce even faster than the baby boomers in the 50s and 60s.”

Interest Rates & the Economy

The interest rate that you secure for your mortgage is a big factor in your monthly housing cost and in how much you ultimately pay for your home. According to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey, rates rose to 4.62% on a 30-year fixed rate loan last week.

The Federal Reserve also raised the federal funds rate for the second time this year. If unemployment continues to be at or near record lows, two more hikes are likely to come later this year.
Nahas added,

“Rising rates can be good and bad for the economy. Bad for borrowing money with additional costs, but good to control inflation and help grow the economy at a moderate pace.”

Bottom Line

If you are planning on buying and/or selling a home this year, consult a local real estate professional who can help you navigate the conditions in your market and set you up for success.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

5 Reasons You Shouldn't FSBO (For Sale By Owner)

5 Reasons You Shouldn't FSBO (For Sale By Owner)
Article Courtesy of Keeping Current Matters/The KCM Blog

In today’s market, with home prices rising and a lack of inventory, some homeowners may consider trying to sell their home on their own, known in the industry as a For Sale by Owner (FSBO). There are several reasons why this might not be a good idea for the vast majority of sellers.

Here are the top five reasons:

1. Exposure to Prospective Buyers

According to the 2017 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers from NAR, last year 95% of buyers search online for a home. That is in comparison to only 15% looking at print newspaper ads. Most real estate agents have an internet strategy to promote the sale of your home. Do you?

2. Results Come from the Internet

Where did buyers find the home they actually purchased?
  • 49% on the internet
  • 31% from a Real Estate Agent
  • 7% from a yard sign
  • 1% from newspapers
The days of selling your house by just putting up a sign and putting it in the paper are long gone. Having a strong internet strategy is crucial.

3. There Are Too Many People to Negotiate With

Here is a list of some of the people with whom you must be prepared to negotiate if you decide to For Sale by Owner:
  • The buyer who wants the best deal possible
  • The buyer’s agent who solely represents the best interest of the buyer
  • The buyer’s attorney (in some parts of the country)
  • The home inspection companies, which work for the buyer and will almost always find some problems with the house
  • The appraiser if there is a question of value

4. FSBOing Has Become More And More Difficult

The paperwork involved in selling and buying a home has increased dramatically as industry disclosures and regulations have become mandatory. This is one of the reasons that the percentage of people FSBOing has dropped from 19% to 8% over the last 20+ years.

5. You Net More Money When Using an Agent

Many homeowners believe that they will save the real estate commission by selling on their own. Realize that the main reason buyers look at FSBOs is because they also believe they can save the real estate agent’s commission. The seller and buyer can’t both save the commission.

study by Collateral Analytics revealed that FSBOs don’t actually save anything, and in some cases, may be costing themselves more, by not listing with an agent. One of the main reasons for the price difference at the time of sale is:
“Properties listed with a broker that is a member of the local MLS will be listed online with all other participating broker websites, marketing the home to a much larger buyer population. And those MLS properties generally offer compensation to agents who represent buyers, incentivizing them to show and sell the property and again potentially enlarging the buyer pool.”
If more buyers see a home, the greater the chances are that there could be a bidding war for the property. The study showed that the difference in price between comparable homes of size and location is currently at an average of 6% this year.

Why would you choose to list on your own and manage the entire transaction when you can hire an agent and not have to pay anything more?

Bottom Line

Before you decide to take on the challenges of selling your house on your own, sit with a real estate professional in your marketplace and see what they have to offer.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Top 4 Home Renovations for Max ROI (Return on Investment)

Before you consider renovating your home, consider how it will affect the value of your home.  Here are the the four updates that Keeping Current Matters suggests will give you the best return on your investment.

Infographic Courtesy of Keeping Current Matters/The KCM Blog 

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

State-of-the-Art YMCA Coming to Indian Land

Lancaster News/Carolina Gateway Article 
6/5/18
Announcement has been made that a state-of-the-art 74,000 square foot YMCA will be built at CrossRidge Center in Indian Land.  The YMCA will be the "anchor" of a 170-acre planned development which, according to the Lancaster News/Carolina Gateway Article, will include a "business park, gated residential community, retail businesses, walking trails, greenways and other amenities."  

Construction of the YMCA, which will include a large water park, will begin in the fall and it is expected be competed in 2020.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Will Home Prices Fall as Mortgage Rates Rise?

Will Home Prices Fall as Mortgage Rates Rise?
Article Courtesy of Keeping Current Matters/The KCM Blog

Will Home Prices Fall as Mortgage Rates Rise? | Keeping Current Matters
Mortgage interest rates have increased by more than half of a point since the beginning of the year. They are projected to increase by an additional half of a point by year’s end. Because of this increase in rates, some are guessing that home prices will depreciate.  However, some prominent experts in the housing industry doubt that home values will be negatively impacted by the rise in rates.

Mark Fleming, First American’s Chief Economist:

“Understanding the resiliency of the housing market in a rising mortgage rate environment puts the likely rise in mortgage rates into perspective – they are unlikely to materially impact the housing market…
The driving force behind the increase are healthy economic conditions…The healthy economy encourages more homeownership demand and spurs household income growth, which increases consumer house-buying power. Mortgage rates are on the rise because of a stronger economy and our housing market is well positioned to adapt.”

Terry Loebs, Founder of Pulsenomics:

“Constrained home supply, persistent demand, very low unemployment, and steady economic growth have given a jolt to the near-term outlook for U.S. home prices. These conditions are overshadowing concerns that mortgage rate increases expected this year might quash the appetite of prospective home buyers.”

Laurie Goodman, Codirector of the Housing Finance Policy Center at the Urban Institute:

“Higher interest rates are generally positive for home prices, despite decreasing affordability…There were only three periods of prolonged higher rates in 1994, 2000, and the ‘taper tantrum’ in 2013. In each period, home price appreciation was robust.”
Industry reports are also calling for substantial home price appreciation this year. Here are three examples:

Bottom Line

As Freddie Mac reported earlier this year in their Insights Report, “Nowhere to go but up? How increasing mortgage rates could affect housing,”
“As mortgage rates increase, the demand for home purchases will likely remain strong relative to the constrained supply and continue to put upward pressure on home prices.”