Tuesday, May 1, 2018


The following information was shared by FirstService Residential in their April 27, 2018 Friday Flash.  The links go to the SCCL website.

Trails Maps
Thanks to the Trails Sub-Committee and friends, color booklet-like SCCL Trail Maps are now available for purchase at the Lake House front desk. They are being sold at cost, for $3.  SCCL residents can also download a copy from the website and print at home.
A special thank you to Jerry Burtcher for sharing his map drawings with the Association.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018


The link below is an update for the Summit homes collection at Sun City Carolina Lakes.  It includes information about currently active listings, homes currently under contract, and homes that have closed since March 1, 2018.  While the information is for anyone interested in Summit homes, it has been created specifically for the Grey Hawk neighborhood, highlighting Grey Hawk homes that are currently listed.  If you are interested in receiving regular updates on any particular collection of SCCL homes (Manor, Summit, River, Villa, or Carriage Homes), or a general update on the community, or if you would like a personalized property search, please contact me.  

You can download and/or print this document from the above link, however, feel free to contact me if you would like me to send you a copy as an attachment.  

Please note that you can always go to the PROPERTY SEARCH tab above for links to preset searches for both single family homes and Villas & Carriage Homes, or go to the UP-TO-DATE STATS FOR SCCL tab above to check out a variety of stats for all of Sun City Carolina Lakes.  Stats for currently active, under contract, and recently closed properties are updated daily.  The interactive graphs for New Listings, Homes for Sale, Pending Sales, Closed Sales, Average Days on Market, Months Supply of Homes for Sale, Average List to Close Days, and Average Percent of Original Price are updated monthly.

Friday, April 20, 2018


Information below courtesy of Keeping Current Matters/The KCM Blog

Home Buying Myths Slayed [INFOGRAPHIC] | Keeping Current Matters

Some Highlights:

  • The average down payment for first-time homebuyers is only 6%!
  • Despite mortgage interest rates being over 4%, rates are still below historic numbers.
  • 88% of property managers raised their rents in the last 12 months!
  • The credit score requirements for mortgage approval continue to fall.

Monday, April 16, 2018


Getting Pre-Approved Should Always Be Your First Step
Article Courtesy of Keeping Current Matters/The KCM Blog

In many markets across the country, the number of buyers searching for their dream homes greatly outnumbers the number of homes for sale. This has led to a competitive marketplace where buyers often need to stand out. One way to show you are serious about buying your dream home is to get pre-qualified or pre-approved for a mortgage before starting your search.

Even if you are in a market that is not as competitive, understanding your budget will give you the confidence of knowing if your dream home is within your reach.

Freddie Mac lays out the advantages of pre-approval in the ‘My Home’ section of their website:
“It’s highly recommended that you work with your lender to get pre-approved before you begin house hunting. Pre-approval will tell you how much home you can afford and can help you move faster, and with greater confidence, in competitive markets.”
One of the many advantages of working with a local real estate professional is that many have relationships with lenders who will be able to help you with this process. Once you have selected a lender, you will need to fill out their loan application and provide them with important information regarding “your credit, debt, work history, down payment and residential history.”

Freddie Mac describes the ‘4 Cs’ that help determine the amount you will be qualified to borrow:
  1. Capacity: Your current and future ability to make your payments
  2. Capital or cash reserves: The money, savings, and investments you have that can be sold quickly for cash
  3. Collateral: The home, or type of home, that you would like to purchase
  4. Credit: Your history of paying bills and other debts on time
Getting pre-approved is one of many steps that will show home sellers that you are serious about buying, and it often helps speed up the process once your offer has been accepted.

Bottom Line

Many potential home buyers overestimate the down payment and credit scores needed to qualify for a mortgage today. If you are ready and willing to buy, you may be pleasantly surprised at your ability to do so.


The generalized information contained in the infographic below is based on stats provided by the National Association of REALTORS® and is not specific to a particular area.  
Remember that every market is different and sales in one community may vary greatly from other nearby communities.  For the most current stats for Sun City Carolina Lakes, click HERE.

INFOGRAPHIC courtesy of Keeping Current Matters/the KCM Blog
A Tale of Two Markets [INFOGRAPHIC] | Keeping Current Matters

Some Highlights:

  • A trend that has been emerging for some time now is the contrast between inventory & demand in the Premium & Luxury Markets vs. the Starter & Trade-Up Home Markets and what that’s, in turn, doing to prices!
  • Inventory continues to rise in the luxury & premium home markets which is causing prices to cool.
  • Demand continues to rise with low inventory in the starter & trade-up home markets, causing prices to rise!

Saturday, April 7, 2018


Looking for a home with an amazing view?   This is the one you've been waiting for!
Check out the VIRTUAL TOUR.

This gorgeous Surrey Crest with a spectacular view of Carolina Lakes 11th fairway offers a serene sanctuary for the most discriminating buyer. Enjoy fabulous views from the beautiful MBR, office, and bright and airy sunroom.  The custom paved patio with a charming pond is the perfect place to relax and enjoy beautiful sunsets and an amazing golf course view. This is the only single level home on the golf course side of a double cul-de-sac. Features include hardwood flooring throughout with tile in bathrooms and sunroom, plantation shutters, a custom TV cabinet in the family room, and custom storage cabinets in the garage. Searching for a special place to live?  This is the one you've been waiting for!  Come LIVE THE DREAM at Sun City Carolina Lakes and enjoy all the beautiful amenities and diverse activities this premier active adult community has to offer! 

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Be Thankful You Don't Have to Pay Your Parents' Interest Rate!

Here's a great message for those concerned over rising interest rates... especially those younger first-time home buyers.  Granted, even small increases will affect your monthly payment and that's what is most important when you're analyzing how much of a home you can afford.  So, as interest rates start going up, moving ahead with making a purchase sooner, rather than later, is a prudent move, if you are in a position to do so.  That being said, this article gives a great perspective on interest rates over the past 45 years.  

Article Courtesy of Keeping Current Matters/The KCM Blog
Be Thankful You Don't Have to Pay Your Parents' Interest Rate!

Be Thankful You Don’t Have to Pay Your Parents’ Interest Rate! | Keeping Current MattersInterest rates hovered around 4% for the majority of 2017, which gave many buyers relief from rising home prices and helped with affordability. In the first quarter of 2018, rates have increased from 3.95% up to 4.45% and experts predict that rates will increase even more by the end of the year.

The rate you secure greatly impacts your monthly mortgage payment and the amount you will ultimately pay for your home. Don’t let the prediction that rates will increase stop you from purchasing your dream home this year.

Let’s take a look at a historical view of interest rates over the last 45 years.

Be Thankful You Don’t Have to Pay Your Parents’ Interest Rate! | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

Be thankful that you can still get a better interest rate than your older brother or sister did ten years ago, a lower rate than your parents did twenty years ago, and a better rate than your grandparents did forty years ago.

Friday, March 23, 2018


Raffle tickets for dinner at the 4-star Gallery Restaurant in the Ballantyne area of Charlotte with transportation in a classic Rolls Royce are available for $10 each or 3 for $25.
Note that transportation is between Sun City Carolina Lakes
(or other nearby communities) and the restaurant.

Hand-sewn queen-size quilt made by Darlene Hallman
Raffle tickets: $1 each or 6 for $5
Last year's LASS luncheon was a huge success - we raised $13,000!  If you would be interested in getting tickets for this year's luncheon and/or raffle tickets, please contact me.   Tables of 8 may be reserved, otherwise it is open seating.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

7 Factors to Consider When Choosing A Home to Retire In

After our first visit to Sun City Carolina Lakes in 2010, my husband and I decided that the lifestyle at Sun City Carolina Lakes would be perfect for us. But, we wondered how long we should wait to make it happen.  The question we finally asked ourselves was, "If not now, when?" and in 2012 we decided NOW was the right time. Even though we hadn't yet put our Arizona home on the market, we purchased our home and then "visited" it a couple of times a year until we made the big move in 2014. Our adult sons thought we were nuts for leaving our home and friends of 38 years back in Arizona, but we knew that this is where we wanted to be. While they originally believed SCCL was "training wheels" on the road toward assisted living, our sons quickly realized that "ACTIVE" was the key word in this "55+ active adult community." Being closer to family was definitely a very important part of our decision to move, but moving to a place where we could "live the dream" was the key factor.  We've now been here full-time for a little over 3 years and we have absolutely no regrets.  In fact, like so many others, we now ask ourselves why we waited so long to make the move. 
As people nearing retirement age start to consider their options about staying where they are or making a move, there are some very important things to think about.  Everyone must look at their own situation as they begin the decision-making process. This great article by Keeping Current Matters suggests 7 things to consider and I would suggest one more... #8 (perhaps a subtopic under #7) Availability to Healthcare Services.  After reviewing all 8 Factors, allow yourself the luxury of dreaming about how and where you would want to spend your retirement years.  Start looking at your options and then ask yourself, "If not now, when?"

7 Factors to Consider When Choosing A Home to Retire In
Article Courtesy of Keeping Current Matters/The KCM Blog

7 Factors to Consider When Choosing A Home to Retire In | Keeping Current MattersAs more and more baby boomers enter retirement age, the question of whether or not to sell their homes and move will become a hot topic. In today’s housing market climate, with low available inventory in the starter and trade-up home categories, it makes sense to evaluate your home’s ability to adapt to your needs in retirement.
According to the National Association of Exclusive Buyers Agents (NAEBA), there are 7 factors that you should consider when choosing your retirement home.

1. Affordability

“It may be easy enough to purchase your home today but think long-term about your monthly costs. Account for property taxes, insurance, HOA fees, utilities – all the things that will be due whether or not you have a mortgage on the property.
Would moving to a complex with homeowner association fees actually be cheaper than having to hire all the contractors you would need to maintain your home, lawn, etc.? Would your taxes go down significantly if you relocated? What is your monthly income going to be like in retirement?

2. Equity

“If you have equity in your current home, you may be able to apply it to the purchase of your next home. Maintaining a healthy amount of home equity gives you a source of emergency funds to tap, via a home equity loan or reverse mortgage.”
The equity you have in your current home may be enough to purchase your retirement home with little to no mortgage. Homeowners in the US gained an average of over $14,000 in equity last year.

3. Maintenance

“As we age, our tolerance for cleaning gutters, raking leaves and shoveling snow can go right out the window. A condominium with low-maintenance needs can be a literal lifesaver, if your health or physical abilities decline.”
As we mentioned earlier, would a condo with an HOA fee be worth the added peace of mind of not having to do the maintenance work yourself?

4. Security

“Elderly homeowners can be targets for scams or break-ins. Living in a home with security features, such as a manned gate house, resident-only access and a security system can bring peace of mind.”
As scary as that thought may be, any additional security and an extra set of eyes looking out for you always adds to peace of mind.

5. Pets

“Renting won’t do if the dog can’t come too! The companionship of pets can provide emotional and physical benefits.”
Evaluate all of your options when it comes to bringing your ‘furever’ friend with you to a new home. Will there be necessary additional deposits if you are renting or in a condo? Is the backyard fenced in? How far are you from your favorite veterinarian?

6. Mobility

“No one wants to picture themselves in a wheelchair or a walker, but the home layout must be able to accommodate limited mobility.”
Sixty is the new 40, right? People are living longer and are more active in retirement, but that doesn’t mean that down the road you won’t need your home to be more accessible. Installing handrails and making sure your hallways and doorways are wide enough may be a good reason to look for a home that was built to accommodate these needs.

7. Convenience

“Is the new home close to the golf course, or to shopping and dining? Do you have amenities within easy walking distance? This can add to home value!”
How close are you to your children and grandchildren? Would relocating to a new area make visits with family easier or more frequent? Beyond being close to your favorite stores and restaurants, there are a lot of factors to consider.

Bottom Line

When it comes to your forever home, evaluating your current house for its ability to adapt with you as you age can be the first step to guaranteeing your comfort in retirement. If after considering all these factors you find yourself curious about your options, contact a local real estate professional who can evaluate your ability to sell your house in today’s market and get you into your dream retirement home!

Wednesday, March 7, 2018


I always like to remind everyone that the answer to the question, "How's the real estate market?" usually requires an answer that is specific to a local area such as a town, subdivision, or even a neighborhood.  That being said, it can also be helpful to look at the bigger picture over an extended period of time to see how the country as a whole is doing.  The article below shares a great overview of the national recovery in terms of home appreciation following the recession that began in 2007.  

For those who are interested in specific market information for Sun City Carolina Lakes, I encourage you to visit my website often for up-to-date stats for SCCL and for property searches for SCCL and other nearby communities (including TreeTops and Carolina Orchards).  If you would like to stay current on our market, contact me for a personalized search with auto-updates.

Home Prices: The Difference 5 Years Makes
Article courtesy of Keeping Current Matters/The KCM Blog

The economists at CoreLogic recently released a special report entitled, Evaluating the Housing Market Since the Great Recession. The goal of the report was to look at economic recovery since the Great Recession of December 2007 through June 2009.
One of the key indicators used in the report to determine the health of the housing market was home price appreciation. CoreLogic focused on appreciation from December 2012 to December 2017 to show how prices over the last five years have fared.
Frank Nothaft, Chief Economist at CoreLogic, commented on the importance of breaking out the data by state,
“Homeowners in the United States experienced a run-up in prices from the early 2000s to 2006, and then saw the trend reverse with steady declines through 2011. After finally reaching bottom in 2011, home prices began a slow rise back to where we are now.
Greater demand and lower supply – as well as booming job markets – have given some of the hardest-hit housing markets a boost in home prices. Yet, many are still not back to pre-crash levels.”
The map below was created to show the 5-year appreciation from December 2012 – December 2017 by state.
Home Prices: The Difference 5 Years Makes | Keeping Current Matters
Nationally, the cumulative appreciation over the five-year period was 37.4%, with a high of 66% in Nevada, and a modest increase of 5% in Connecticut.

Where were prices expected to go?

Every quarter, Pulsenomics surveys a nationwide panel of over 100 economists, real estate experts, and investment and market strategists and asks them to project how residential home prices will appreciate over the next five years for their Home Price Expectation Survey (HPES).

According to the December 2012 survey results, national homes prices were projected to increase cumulatively by 23.1% by December 2017. The bulls of the group predicted home prices to rise by 33.6%, while the more cautious bears predicted an appreciation of 11.2%.

Where are prices headed in the next 5 years?

Data from the most recent HPES shows that home prices are expected to increase by 18.2% over the next 5 years. The bulls of the group predict home prices to rise by 27.4%, while the more cautious bears predict an appreciation of 8.3%.

Bottom Line

Every day, thousands of homeowners regain positive equity in their homes. Some homeowners are now experiencing values even higher than before the Great Recession. If you’re wondering if you have enough equity to sell your house and move on to your dream home, contact a local real estate professional who can help!

Tuesday, March 6, 2018


As you may know, I proudly serve on the Board of LASS (Lancaster Animal Shelter Supporters), and today I'd like to take this opportunity to give LASS a plug.   

LASS' mission is to provide volunteer support and funding for stray and unwanted dogs and cats received by the grossly underfunded and understaffed Lancaster County Animal Shelter.  

LASS was recently invited to attend an event to view the airing of a special episode of CBS TV's Lucky Dog, sponsored by Nutramax Laboratories, at the Springs House in Lancaster. The event was attended by Nutramax company executives, local officials, and two animal-rescue groups (LASS and the Lancaster SPCA), who received generous donations.

In this episonde, a rescued poodle-terrier puppy was trained by show host, Brandon McMillan, and given to a Nutramax employee who has been battling cancer.    

Please visit the LASS website to read a complete article about the event.

On May 12th, LASS will be holding its 3rd annual Luncheon & Fashion Show Fundraiser at The Ivy Place in Lancaster.  Last year's event raised $13,000 for the shelter.  Tickets to the luncheon fundraiser, which will include a silent auction, raffle prizes, and local vendors, are $40.  If interested, please contact me

Friday, March 2, 2018

Mortgage Rates Just Got Higher Again

For the eighth consecutive week, borrowing costs were on the rise.
“Optimistic testimony on Capitol Hill from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell sent Treasury yields higher as Powell stated his outlook for the economy has strengthened since December,” says Len Kiefer, Freddie Mac’s deputy chief economist. “Following Treasurys, the 30-year fixed mortgage rate jumped 3 basis points to reach 4.43 percent in this week’s survey. The 30-year rate has been on a tear in 2018, climbing 48 basis points since the start of the year.”

Kiefer continues that historically when mortgage rates rise, the housing market teeters, but he doesn’t foresee that happening this time around.

“We think strength in the economy and pent-up housing demand should allow U.S. housing markets to post modest growth this year even with higher mortgage rates,” Kiefer says. “We really have to wait for housing markets to heat up in the spring, but early indications are that housing demand remains robust to these rate increases.”

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages with mortgage rates for the week ending March 1:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 4.43 percent, with an average 0.5 point, rising from last week’s 4.40 percent average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 4.10 percent.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.90 percent, with an average 0.5 point, rising from last week’s 3.85 percent average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 3.32 percent.
  • 5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 3.62 percent, with an average 0.4 point, dropping slightly from last week’s 3.65 percent average. A year ago, 5-year ARMs averaged 3.14 percent.
Source: Freddie Mac

Tuesday, February 20, 2018


Hint: Overpricing to allow room for negotiating is NOT one of the ways. 

Article courtesy of Keeping Current Matters/The KCM Blog 2/20/18
2 Ways to Get the Most Money from The Sale of Your Home | Keeping Current MattersEvery homeowner wants to make sure they maximize their financial reward when selling their home. But how do you guarantee that you receive the maximum value for your house?
Here are two keys to ensure that you get the highest price possible.

1. Price it a LITTLE LOW

This may seem counterintuitive, but let’s look at this concept for a moment. Many homeowners think that pricing their homes a little OVER market value will leave them with room for negotiation. In actuality, this just dramatically lessens the demand for your house (see chart below).
2 Ways to Get the Most Money from The Sale of Your Home | Keeping Current Matters
Instead of the seller trying to ‘win’ the negotiation with one buyer, they should price it so that demand for the home is maximized. By doing this, the seller will not be fighting with a buyer over the price but will instead have multiple buyers fighting with each other over the house.
Realtor.com gives this advice:

“Aim to price your property at or just slightly below the going rate. Today’s buyers are highly informed, so if they sense they’re getting a deal, they’re likely to bid up a property that’s slightly underpriced, especially in areas with low inventory.”

2. Use a Real Estate Professional

This, too, may seem counterintuitive. The seller may think they would make more money if they didn’t have to pay a real estate commission. With this being said, studies have shown that homes typically sell for more money when handled by a real estate professional.
A study by Collateral Analytics, reveals that FSBOs don’t actually save any money, and in some cases may be costing themselves more, by not listing with an agent.
In the study, they analyzed home sales in a variety of markets in 2016 and the first half of 2017. The data showed that:
“FSBOs tend to sell for lower prices than comparable home sales, and in many cases below the average differential represented by the prevailing commission rate.”
The results of the study showed that the differential in selling prices for FSBOs when compared to MLS sales of similar properties is about 5.5%. Sales in 2017 suggest the average price was near 6% lower for FSBO sales of similar properties.

Bottom Line

Price your house at or slightly below the current market value and hire a professional. This will guarantee that you maximize the price you get for your house.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Where Are Mortgage Interest Rates Headed in 2018?

Article Courtesy of Keeping Current Matters/The KCM Blog


Where Are Mortgage Interest Rates Headed in 2018? | Keeping Current MattersThe interest rate you pay on your home mortgage has a direct impact on your monthly payment. The higher the rate the greater the payment will be. That is why it is important to know where rates are headed when deciding to start your home search.
Below is a chart created using Freddie Mac’s U.S. Economic & Housing Marketing Outlook. As you can see, interest rates are projected to increase steadily over the course of the next 12 months.

Where Are Interest Rates Headed? | Keeping Current Matters

How Will This Impact Your Mortgage Payment?

Depending on the amount of the loan that you secure, a half of a percent (.5%) increase in interest rate can increase your monthly mortgage payment significantly.
According to CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index, national home prices have appreciated 7.0% from this time last year and are predicted to be 4.2% higher next year.
If both the predictions of home price and interest rate increases become reality, families would wind up paying considerably more for their next home.

Bottom Line

Even a small increase in interest rate can impact your family’s wealth. Meet with a local real estate professional to evaluate your ability to purchase your dream home.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018


With the vote for incorporation coming up on March 27th, it's important to know what the vote will mean for Indian Land in general and SCCL in particular.  This posting in no way suggests you vote one way or another, but presents both sides of the issue to help you make an informed decision.  If you are not a registered voter in Lancaster County, be sure to register so you can vote in this and all elections.  You can request an absentee ballot by contacting the Lancaster County Board of Voter Registration and Elections.

Below are links to the websites of the primary groups on each side of the incorporation issue, as well as documents that have been circulating around the community from various sources.  New items are being added as received, so the quantity of information on each side of the issue may vary at any given time.

- YES FOR INDIAN LAND (http://yes4il.com/)
- VOTERS FOR A TOWN OF INDIAN LAND/VTOIL (townofindianland.org)

- NO TOIL/NO TOWN OF INDIAN LAND (http://notownofindianland.org/)

2/21/18 Update
The Carolina Gateway newspaper began a series today which compares the "pro" and "con" on various incorporation issues.  Today's topic was "How would incorporation affect law enforcement?"  

If you do not receive Carolina Gateway (delivered on Wednesdays), I believe that you can view a limited number of pages online each month without having to purchase an online subscription.  http://www.carolinagatewayonline.com
You might also want to contact the paper for a print subsciption.
Carolina Gateway | circulation@thelancasternews.com | 803-283-1145

The following voting information comes from an article in the January 31 issue of the FORT MILL TIMES:
Voters need to be registered for the March 27th Indian Land incorporation vote a month prior to the vote (February 27th).
Voting will take place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., "with other details mirroring typical elections in the county."

According to Lancaster County Board of Elections director Mary Ann Hudson, they plan to have absentee voting open by February 26th.

Thursday, February 1, 2018


Please be sure to check out the interactive charts available by clicking on the "UP-TO-DATE STATS FOR SCCL" tab at the top of this home page.  These charts have the most current stats available through CMLS (through the end of the previous month).
Click on a graph to see stats at a given point in time.  Each data point is 1 month of activity. 

Home Inventory Determines What Kind of Market We Are In
See the "Months Supply of Homes for Sale" chart to determine what kind of market we are currently in here at Sun City Carolina Lakes.
  • Less than 6 months of inventory = Seller's Market with upward pressure on prices
  • 7-9 months of inventory = Flat Market
  • More than 9 months of inventory = Buyer's Market with downward pressure on prices

Friday, January 19, 2018


Article Courtesy of Keeping Current Matters/The KCM Blog
Every month, CoreLogic releases its Home Price Insights Report. In that report, they forecast where they believe residential real estate prices will be in twelve months.

Below is a map, broken down by state, reflecting how home values are forecasted to change by the end of 2018 using data from the most recent report.  (Click on map to enlarge.)

What Impact Will the New Tax Code Have on Home Values? | Keeping Current Matters 

As we can see, CoreLogic projects an increase in home values in 49 of 50 states, and Washington, DC (there was insufficient data for HI). Nationwide, they see home prices increasing by 4.2%.

How might the new tax code impact these numbers?

Recently, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) conducted their own analysis to determine the impact the new tax code may have on home values. NAR’s analysis:
“…estimated how home prices will change in the upcoming year for each state, considering the impact of the new tax law and the momentum of jobs and housing inventory."

Here is a map based on NAR’s analysis:
What Impact Will the New Tax Code Have on Home Values? | Keeping Current Matters
Bottom Line
According to NAR, the new tax code will have an impact on home values across the country. However, the effect will be much less significant than what some originally thought.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018


As we face some extended freezing weather, you will want to make sure you do everything you can to prevent your pipes from freezing. Click HERE for some great information provided by the American Red Cross regarding preventing and dealing with frozen pipes. Topics covered in this article:

Why Pipe Freezing is a Problem
How to Protect Pipes From Freezing
How to Prevent Frozen Pipes
How to Thaw Frozen Pipes