Sunday, November 11, 2018

Veterans Day Message 2018

 

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 100 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. 

The following explanation of the poppy story comes from the American Legion  Auxillary website.

The Poppy Story
From the battlefields of World War I, weary soldiers brought home the memory of a barren landscape transformed by wild poppies, red as the blood that had soaked the soil. By that miracle of nature, the spirit of their lost comrades lived on. The poppy became a symbol of the sacrifice of lives in war and represented the hope that none had died in vain. The American Legion Auxiliary poppy has continued to bloom for the casualties of four wars, its petals of paper bound together for veterans by veterans, reminding America each year that the men and women who have served and died for their country deserve to be remembered. The poppy, as a memorial flower to the war dead, can be traced to a single individual, Moina Michael. She was so moved by Lt. Col. McCrae's poem, "In Flanders Fields," that she wrote a response:

. . . the blood of heroes never dies
But lends a luster to the red
Of the flower that blooms above the dead
In Flanders' Fields.


On impulse, she bought a bouquet of poppies – all that New York City's Wanamaker's Department Store had – and handed them to businessmen meeting at the New York YMCA where she worked. She asked them to wear the poppy as a tribute to the fallen. That was November 1918. World War I was over, but America's sons would rest forever "in Flanders' Fields." Later she would spearhead a campaign that would result in the adoption of the poppy as the national symbol of sacrifice.


In Flanders Fields

"In Flanders Fields" is a war poem in the form of a rondeau, written during the First World War by Canadian physician and Lt. Col. John McCrae. He was inspired to write it on May 3, 1915, after presiding over the funeral of friend and fellow soldier Alexis Helmer, who died during the Second Battle of Ypres.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

–Lt. Col. John McCrae
-----------------
As I did last year, I would like to honor our veterans by sharing two very special music videos.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6s6KIZzxb4&sns=em
The first is this lovely rendition 
of HALLELUJAH by Sailor Jerri. 
The second, is a beautiful tribute to our veterans 
by Richard Kerry Thompson.   YOU RAISE ME UP

Saturday, November 10, 2018

HAPPY 243RD 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 243 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:  2018 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!

Thursday, November 8, 2018

75% of Renters Have Been Misinformed

Article courtesy of Keeping Current Matters/The KCM Blog


75% of Renters Have Been Misinformed | Keeping Current MattersRecently, multiple headlines have been written asserting that homeownership is less affordable today than at any other time in the last decade. Though the headlines are accurate, they lack context and lead too many Americans to believe that they can’t partake in a major part of the American Dream – owning a home.

In 2008, the housing market crashed and home values fell by as much as 60% in certain markets. This was the major trigger to the Great Recession we experienced from 2008 to 2010. To come back from that recession, mortgage interest rates were pushed down to levels that were never seen before.

For the last ten years, you could purchase a home at a dramatically discounted price and attain a mortgage at a historically low mortgage rate.

Affordability skyrocketed.
Now that home values have returned to where they should be, and mortgage rates are beginning to increase, it is less affordable to own a home than it was over the last ten years.

However, what is not being reported is that it is MORE AFFORDABLE to own a home today than at any other time since 1985 (when data was first collected on this point).

If you take out the years after the crash, affordability today is greater than it has been at almost any time in American history.
This has not been adequately reported which has led to many Americans believing that they cannot currently afford a home. 

As an example, the latest edition of Freddie Mac’s Research: Profile of Today’s Renter reveals that 75% of renters now believe it is more affordable to rent than to own their own homes. This percentage is the highest ever recorded. The challenge is that this belief is incorrect. Study after study has proven that in today’s market, it is less expensive to own a home than it is to rent a home in the United States.

Thankfully, some are starting to see this situation and accurately report on it. The National Association of Realtors, in their 2019 Housing Forecast, mentions this concern:

“While the U.S. is experiencing historically normal levels of affordability, potential buyers may be staying out of the market because of perceived problems with affordability.”

Bottom Line

If you are one of the many renters who would like to own their own homes, talk to a local real estate professional to find out if homeownership is affordable for you right now.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

SCCL SALES STATS THROUGH OCTOBER 2018

SCCL Stats are updated regularly... Use the links below or the tabs at the top of this page to check in frequently for the most current information.  

The following information is current as of 11/1/18.

UP-TO-DATE STATS FOR SCCL 


















































CURRENTLY ACTIVE / UNDER CONTRACT / SOLD YTD

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Where Are Home Values Headed Over the Next Few Years?

Article Courtesy of Keeping Current Matters/The KCM Blog


There are many questions about where home prices will be next year as well as where they may be headed over the next several years to come. We have gathered the most reliable sources to help answer these questions:

Where are Home Values Headed over the Next Few Years? | Keeping Current MattersThe Home Price Expectation Survey – A survey of over 100 market analysts, real estate experts, and economists conducted by Pulsenomics each quarter.

Zelman & Associates – The firm leverages unparalleled housing market expertise, extensive surveys of industry executives, and rigorous financial analysis to deliver proprietary research and advice to leading global institutional investors and senior-level company executives.

Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) – As the leading advocate for the real estate finance industry, the MBA enables members to successfully deliver fair, sustainable, and responsible real estate financing within ever-changing business environments.
Freddie Mac – An organization whose mission is to provide liquidity, stability, and affordability to the U.S. housing market in all economic conditions extending to all communities from coast to coast.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) – The largest association of real estate professionals in the world.

Fannie Mae – A leading source of financing for mortgage lenders, providing access to affordable mortgage financing in all markets always.

Here are their projections of prices going forward:

Where are Home Values Headed over the Next Few Years? | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

Every source sees home prices continuing to appreciate – just at lower percentages as we move through the next several years.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Fall Maintenance

Fall is finally here!  And with it comes the need to prepare your home for the colder weather to come.  Here are some suggestions from Michael Lawson of Pillar to Post Home Inspectors.


Seal it up: Caulk and seal around exterior door and window frames. Look for gaps where pipes or wiring enter the home and caulk those as well. Not only does heat escape from these openings, but water can enter and may eventually cause mold problems and even structural damage.

Look up: Check the roof for missing or damaged shingles. Winter weather can cause serious damage to a vulnerable roof, leading to a greater chance of further damage inside the home. Although you should always have a qualified professional inspect and repair the roof, you can do a preliminary survey safely from the ground using binoculars.

Clear it out: Clear gutters and eaves troughs of leaves, sticks, and other debris. Consider installing leaf guards if your gutters can accommodate them – they are real time savers and can prevent damage from clogged gutters. Check the seams between sections of gutter, as well as between the gutter and downspouts, and make any necessary adjustments or repairs.

No hose: Drain garden hoses and store them indoors to protect them from the elements. Shut off outdoor faucets and make sure exterior pipes are drained of water. Faucets and pipes can freeze and burst, causing leaks and potentially serious water damage.

Warm up time: Have the furnace inspected to ensure it’s safe and in good working order. Most utility companies will provide basic inspections at no charge, but there can often be a long waiting list come fall and winter. Replace disposable furnace air filters or clean the permanent type according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Using a clean filter will help the furnace run more efficiently, saving you money and energy.

Light that fire: If you enjoy the crackle of a wood-burning fireplace on a chilly fall evening, have the firebox and chimney professionally cleaned before lighting a fire this season. Creosote, a byproduct of wood burning, can build up to dangerous levels and cause a serious chimney fire if not removed.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Quilts of Valor Ceremony Honors Eight SCCL Veterans

The mission of the Quilts of Valor Foundation is to cover service members and veterans touched by war with comforting and healing Quilts of Valor.

A Quilts of Valor Ceremony honoring eight SCCL Veterans was held at The Lodge on October 20th.  Once again, the Carolina Lakes Quilters and the Honoring Our Veterans group presented SCCL veterans with beautiful handmade quilts in recognition of their service.  To date, the group has given over 60 quilts to SCCL vets, starting with veterans of WW2 and now continuing through the Korean and Vietnam Wars.  Quilts, which can take 200 hours to make, are made by the quilters at their own expense. 



Thursday, October 11, 2018

Dispelling the Myth About Home Affordability

Article Courtesy of Keeping Current Matters/The KCM Blog

Dispelling the Myth About Home Affordability | Keeping Current MattersWe have all seen the headlines that report that buying a home is less affordable today than it was at any other time in the last ten years, and those headlines are accurate. But, have you ever wondered why the headlines don’t say the last 25 years, the last 20 years, or even the last 11 years?

The reason is that homes were less affordable 25, 20, or even 11 years ago than they are today.

Obviously, buying a home is more expensive now than during the ten years immediately following one of the worst housing crashes in American history.
Over the past decade, the market was flooded with distressed properties (foreclosures and short sales) that were selling at 10-50% discounts. There were so many distressed properties that the prices of non-distressed properties in the same neighborhoods were lowered and mortgage rates were kept low to help the economy.

Low Prices + Low Mortgage Rates = High Affordability

Prices have since recovered and mortgage rates have increased as the economy has gained strength. This has and will continue to impact housing affordability moving forward.
However, let’s give affordability some historical context. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) issues their Affordability Index each month. According to NAR:

“The Monthly Housing Affordability Index measures whether or not a typical family earns enough income to qualify for a mortgage loan on a typical home at the national and regional levels based on the most recent monthly price and income data.”
NAR’s current index stands at 138.8. The index had been higher each of the last ten years, peaking at 197 in 2012 (the higher the index the more affordable houses are).

But, the average index between 1990 and 2007 was just 123 and there were no years with an index above 133. That means that homes are more affordable today than at any time during the eighteen years between 1990 and 2007.

Bottom Line

With home prices continuing to appreciate and mortgage rates increasing, home affordability will likely continue to slide. However, this does not mean that buying a house is not an attainable goal in most markets as it is less expensive today than during the eighteen-year stretch immediately preceding the housing bubble and crash.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Should I Buy Now? Or Wait Until Next Year?

Information Courtesy of Keeping Current Matters/The KCM Blog

Some Highlights:


  • The cost of waiting to buy is defined as the additional funds it would take to buy a home if prices & interest rates were to increase over a period of time.
  • Freddie Mac predicts interest rates to rise to 5.2% by the third quarter of 2019.
  • CoreLogic predicts home prices to appreciate by 5.1% over the next 12 months.
  • If you are ready and willing to buy your dream home, find out if you are able to!

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

The Cost of NOT Paying PMI

The following article is especially important for first-time buyers.  If you know someone who is hoping to purchase a home, but is concerned about PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance), please share this article.

Article Courtesy of Keeping Current Matters/The KCM Blog

Saving for a down payment is often the biggest hurdle for a first-time homebuyer as median incomes, rents, and home prices all vary depending on where you live.

There is a common misconception among homebuyers that a 20% down payment is required, and it is this limiting belief that often adds months, and sometimes even years, to the home-buying process.

So, if you can purchase a home with less than a 20% down payment… why aren’t more people doing just that?

One Possible Answer: Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)
Freddie Mac defines PMI as:

“An insurance policy that protects the lender if you are unable to pay your mortgage. It’s a monthly fee, rolled into your mortgage payment, that is required for all conforming, conventional loans that have down payments less than 20%.
Once you’ve built equity of 20% in your home, you can cancel your PMI and remove that expense from your mortgage payment.”
As the borrower, you pay the monthly premiums for the insurance policy, and the lender is the beneficiary. The monthly cost of your PMI depends on the home’s value, the amount of your down payment, and your credit score.

Below is a table showing the difference in monthly mortgage payment for a $250,000 home with a 3% down payment and PMI vs. a 20% down payment without PMI:
The Cost of NOT Paying PMI | Keeping Current Matters
The first thing you see when looking at the table above is no doubt the added $320 a month that you would be spending on your monthly mortgage cost. The second thing that should stand out is that a 20% down payment is $50,000!

If you are buying your first home, $50,000 is a large sum of money that takes discipline and sacrifice to save. Many first-time buyers save for 5-10 years before buying their homes.

To save $50,000 in 10 years, you would need to save about $420 a month. On the other hand, if you save that same $420 a month, you could afford a 3% down payment in less than a year and a half.
In a recent article by My Mortgage Insider, they explain what could happen in the market while you are waiting to save for a higher down payment:

“The time it takes to save a (larger) down payment could mean higher home prices and tougher qualifying down the road. For many buyers, it could prove much cheaper and quicker to opt for the 3% down mortgage immediately.”
The article went on to say,

“Since renters typically devote a higher percentage of their income to housing than homeowners, providing flexible down payment options can help renters with solid earnings purchase a home – and gain a fixed-rate mortgage with principal and interest payments that will not increase over the life of the loan.”
If the prospect of having to pay PMI is holding you back from buying a home today, Freddie Mac has this advice,

“It’s no doubt an added cost, but it’s enabling you to buy now and begin building equity versus waiting 5 to 10 years to build enough savings for a 20% down payment.”
Based on results of the most recent Home Price Expectation Survey, a homeowner who purchased a $250,000 home in January would gain $50,000 in equity over the next five years based on home price appreciation alone (shown below).
The Cost of NOT Paying PMI | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

If you have questions about whether you should buy now or wait until you’ve saved a larger down payment, meet with a professional in your area who can explain your market’s conditions and help you make the best decision for you and your family.

Monday, September 24, 2018

How Much Has Your Home Increased in Value?

Article Courtesy of Keeping Current Matters/The KCM Blog
How Much Has Your Home Increased in Value? | Keeping Current Matters
Home values have risen dramatically over the last twelve months. In CoreLogic’s most recent Home Price Index Report, they revealed that national home prices have increased by 6.2% year-over-year.
 
CoreLogic broke down appreciation even further into four price ranges, giving us a more detailed view than if we had simply looked at the year-over-year increases in national median home price.

The chart below shows the four price ranges from the report, as well as each one’s year-over-year growth from July 2017 to July 2018 (the latest data available). 

How Much Has Your Home Increased in Value? | Keeping Current Matters
It is important to pay attention to how prices are changing in your local market. The location of your home is not the only factor which determines how much your home has appreciated over the course of the last year.

Lower-priced homes have appreciated at greater rates than homes at the upper ends of the spectrum due to demand from first-time home buyers and baby boomers looking to downsize.

Bottom Line

If you are planning to list your home for sale in today’s market, find a local agent who can explain exactly what’s going on in your area and your price range.

So, how's the market in Sun City?

I get asked that a lot... and it's often followed by, "I hear things aren't selling."

I make every effort to update the stats for SCCL here at my website every day and encourage you to check them out every now and then, so you can see what our market looks like for yourself.  And, please share the link with others who are interested!  Of course, I'm always here to talk to you about our market, but when you just want to see a quick overview, this is the place to come! 


Be sure to check out the Closed Sales chart for single family homes below to compare this year to the past 3 years.  Now, do you still think homes aren't selling?


Please remember that this information and MUCH MORE can be found by using the tabs at the top of the page!

Below are all the single family homes that have CLOSED here in SCCL since the beginning of June.  Note that while some properties lingered on the market for a very long time, others sold in a very short time.  Why?  Because in our current market, homes that show better and are priced appropriately, sell faster.  

Please note that the last column below shows the ratio of the closing price to the current list price.  The ratio will be different for properties that have had price reductions since the property was first listed.  You can see the additional column showing the ratio of "closing price to original list price" for this year by using the "CURRENTLY ACTIVE/UNDER CONTRACT/SOLD YTD" tab above.   It's an interesting stat to share with your friends.  (Click on the chart to enlarge and use < and > arrows to move from one to another.)


DOM = Days on Market / CDOM = Continuous Days on Market (May be different from DOM.)
BR = Bedrooms
BA = Bathrooms
HLA = Heated Living Area (Square Footage)
Price/SF = Price Per Square Foot
UC Date = Under Contract Date

All that being said, remember that all it takes is for the right person to walk through the door and fall in love with a house.  The right person is out there.  Just try to make your home show well!  Clean, declutter, freshen the paint, declutter, update fixtures and flooring, if necessary... and did I mention declutter?

Sunday, September 23, 2018

ANIMAL ADOPTION EVENT


PICK ME! SC

1,500 Adoptions in Just 1 Weekend

For the first time in history, animal shelters and rescues across South Carolina are coming together to hold an awe-inspiring statewide adoption event October 5 – 7, 2018.  This massive lifesaving mission is sponsored by Petco Foundation and is being organized by No Kill South Carolina. Whether you live in the Upstate, the Pee Dee, the Midlands or the Lowcountry, wonderful animals will be available for adoptions and incredible deals are being offered. From the Mountains to the Sea, Won’t You Pick Me SC!
Visit us on Facebook

Lancaster Animal Shelter Supporters (LASS) will be holding an adoption event at the LANCASTER ANIMAL SHELTER on Friday, October 5th, and Saturday, October 6th, from 11:00 to 3:00.  LASS will be paying part of adoption fees to allow pets to be available at a very reduced cost!  All animals have been spayed or neutered.  Please spread the word!! 

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Hurricane Florence Will Be Hitting the Carolinas Soon

As we all start to batten down the hatches, please be sure to check on your neighbors and make sure everyone is prepared for whatever Florence may bring us.  If you waited to go out for supplies and discovered that stores were out of water, do what we did years ago - fill containers, fill pots, and fill the bathtub.  You can use that tub water to flush the toilet.  They are saying we could possibly be without power for weeks, so make sure you have flashlights and batteries ready.  Prepare for the worst and hope for the best! 

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Lots Near Power Lines Lose Nearly Half Their Value

Article Courtesy of REALTOR® MAGAZINE
August 22, 2018

 
Study: Lots Near Power Lines Lose Nearly Half Their Value


Lots located next to power lines tend to sell for a whopping 45 percent less than similar lots further away from high-voltage transmission lines, according to a new study in the Journal of Real Estate Research. Lots that are non-adjacent to power lines but are located within 1,000 feet of them often sell at a discount of 18 percent, researchers Chris Mothorpe and David Wyman, the authors of the study, found.


The study focused on the value of vacant land, eliminating other factors that could also influence price, such as home style and square footage. The researchers say land typically represents 20 percent of a home’s overall value. Therefore, the 45 percent decrease in land value would translate to a drop in total property value of around 9 percent, according to the study.


Mothorpe and Wyman, assistant professors at the College of Charleston in Charleston, S.C., culled sales data from 5,455 vacant lots sold between 2000 and 2016 in Pickens County, S.C. A network of high-voltage electrical lines are located in Pickens County from the Oconee Nuclear Station.


Mothorpe says health concerns about being near high-voltage lines are one of the factors likely driving down prices of nearby land. But a solid link between power lines and health issues remains elusive, he adds. Unattractive views of power lines also affects land prices, Mothorpe says, and residents who live near them may hear a humming sound produced by the lines. “My intuition tells me the visual [component] is the largest” factor leading to a decrease in values, Mothorpe told The Wall Street Journal.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

What Does the Recent Rash of Price Reductions Mean to the Real Estate Market?

Article Courtesy of Keeping Current Matters/The KCM Blog

What Does the Recent Rash of Price Reductions Mean to the Real Estate Market? | Keeping Current MattersLast week, in a new report from Zillow, it was revealed that there has been a rash of price reductions across the country. According to the report:
  • There are more price cuts now than a year ago in over two-thirds of the nation’s largest metros
  • About 14% of all listings had a price cut in June
  • Since the beginning of the year, the share of listings with a price cut increased 1.2%
  • This is the greatest January-to-June increase ever reported, and more than double the January-to-June increase last year
Senior Economist Aaron Terrazas further explained:
“A rising share of on-market listings are seeing price cuts, though these price cuts are concentrated at the most expensive price-points and primarily in markets that have seen outsized price gains in recent years.”

What this DOESN’T MEAN for the real estate market…

This doesn’t mean home values have depreciated or are about to depreciate.
A seller may put a home worth $300,000 on the market for $325,000 hoping a bidding war will occur and an overanxious buyer will pay more than its actual value. That has happened often over the last few years. If the seller gets no offers and reduces the price to $300,000, it doesn’t mean the home dropped in value. It is still worth $300,000.
Home prices will continue to appreciate over the next 12 months. In this same report, Terrazas remarks:
“It’s far too soon to call this a buyer’s market, home values are still expected to appreciate at double their historic rate over the next 12 months, but the frenetic pace of the housing market over the past few years is starting to return toward a more normal trend.”

What this DOES MEAN for the real estate market…

This does mean that sellers should be more conservative when it comes to the price at which they list their homes – especially sellers in the upper end of each market.
Sellers have been listing their homes at inflated prices hoping a super-hot market will deliver a buyer willing to pay virtually any price to ensure they don’t lose the house. That strategy has worked somewhat successfully over the last two years. However, the time that strategy would have worked may have passed.
Again, quoting Aaron Terrazas in the report:
“The housing market has tilted sharply in favor of sellers over the past two years, but there are very early preliminary signs that the winds may be starting to shift ever-so-slightly.”

Bottom Line

Prices are not depreciating. However, if you want to sell your house quickly and with the least amount of hassles, pricing it correctly from the beginning makes the most sense.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Golf Cart Information From Sheriff Faile

With the new shopping center opening across 521, increased traffic will likely become a safety issue for SCCL residents.  Sheriff Faile has written a letter to the Editor of Living@SCCL magazine with important information about golf cart safety.

To read Sheriff Faile's letter, click HERE.

Pook's Perception:  Even though you can, don't.  Golf carts and traffic are an unsafe mix!

5 Real Estate Realty TV Myths Explained

Article courtesy of Keeping Current Matters/The KCM Blog

5 Real Estate Reality TV Myths Explained | Keeping Current MattersHave 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 “Love it or List it,” “Million Dollar Listing,” “House Hunters,” “Property Brothers,” and so many more all in one sitting.
When you’re in the middle of your real estate themed show marathon, you might start to think that everything you see on TV must be how it works in real life, but 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 being 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 are only a PIECE of the overall marketing of your home. Keep in mind that many homes are sold during regular listing 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/goals.

Bottom Line

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

Friday, August 17, 2018

The Cost of Waiting: Interest Rates Edition [INFOGRAPHIC]

Infographic Courtesy of Keeping Current Matters/The KCM Blog

The Cost of Waiting: Interest Rates Edition [INFOGRAPHIC] | Keeping Current Matters

Some Highlights:

  • Interest rates are projected to increase steadily heading into 2019.
  • The higher your interest rate, the more money you end up paying for your home and the higher your monthly payment will be.
  • Rates are still low right now – don’t wait until they hit 5% to start searching for your dream home!

Thursday, August 2, 2018

LASS ARTICLE - LIVING@SCCL / AUGUST 2018


As an animal lover and rescue dog mom, I proudly serve as a member of the Board of the Lancaster Animal Shelter Supporters.

I am delighted to share an article that I wrote for our community magazine, LIVING@SCCL.

For additional information about LASS, please visit the LASS website.   You, too, can help the animals of Lancaster County...


ADOPT • VOLUNTEER • DONATE • FOSTER

To view as a PDF, click HERE.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

4 Reasons Why We Are Not Heading Toward Another Housing Bubble

4 Reasons Why We Are Not Heading Toward Another Housing Bubble 
Article Courtesy of Keeping Current Matters/The KCM Blog


With home prices continuing to appreciate above historic levels, some are concerned that we may be heading for another housing ‘boom & bust.’ It is important to remember, however, that today’s market is quite different than the bubble market of twelve years ago.
Here are four key metrics that will explain why:

    1. Home Prices
    2. Mortgage Standards
    3. Foreclosure Rates
    4. Housing Affordability

1. HOME PRICES

There is no doubt that home prices have reached 2006 levels in many markets across the country. However, after more than a decade, home prices should be much higher based on inflation alone.
Last week, CoreLogic reported that,

“The inflation-adjusted U.S. median sale price in June 2006 was $247,110 (or $199,899 in 2006 dollars), compared with $213,400 in March 2018.” (This is the latest data available.)

2. MORTGAGE STANDARDS

Many are concerned that lending institutions are again easing standards to a level that helped create the last housing bubble. However, there is proof that today’s standards are nowhere near as lenient as they were leading up to the crash.
The Urban Institute’s Housing Finance Policy Center issues a monthly index which,

“…measures the percentage of home purchase loans that are likely to default—that is, go unpaid for more than 90 days past their due date. A lower HCAI indicates that lenders are unwilling to tolerate defaults and are imposing tighter lending standards, making it harder to get a loan. A higher HCAI indicates that lenders are willing to tolerate defaults and are taking more risks, making it easier to get a loan.”
Their July Housing Credit Availability Index revealed:

“Significant space remains to safely expand the credit box. If the current default risk was doubled across all channels, risk would still be well within the pre-crisis standard of 12.5 percent from 2001 to 2003 for the whole mortgage market.”

3. FORECLOSURE RATES

A major cause of the housing crash last decade was the number of foreclosures that hit the market. They not only increased the supply of homes for sale but were also being sold at 20-50% discounts. Foreclosures helped drive down all home values.
Today, foreclosure numbers are lower than they were before the housing boom. Here are the number of consumers with new foreclosures according to the Federal Reserve’s most recent Household Debt and Credit Report:

  • 2003: 203,320 (earliest reported numbers)
  • 2009: 566,180 (at the valley of the crash)
  • Today: 76,480
Foreclosures today are less than 40% of what they were in 2003.

4. HOUSING AFFORDABILITY

Contrary to many headlines, home affordability is better now than it was prior to the last housing boom. In the same article referenced in #1, CoreLogic revealed that in the vast majority of markets, “the inflation-adjusted, principal-and-interest mortgage payments that homebuyers have committed to this year remain much lower than their pre-crisis peaks.”
They went on to explain:

“The main reason the typical mortgage payment remains well below record levels in most of the country is that the average mortgage rate back in June 2006, when the U.S. typical mortgage payment peaked, was about 6.7 percent, compared with an average mortgage rate of about 4.4 percent in March 2018.”
The “price” of a home may be higher, but the “cost” is still below historic norms.

Bottom Line

After using these four key housing metrics to compare today to last decade, we can see that the current market is not anything like that bubble market.