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.

Friday, July 20, 2018

What You Need to Know About the Mortgage Process

Whether you are purchasing your first home or are an experienced Buyer, it's vital to understand the Mortgage Process and to know what steps you need to take to start the process.  One important thing to remember throughout is not to sabotage your loan.  DO NOT make any large purchases (car, boat, furniture), apply for any other credit (new credit cards, car loan, home equity loan), or change your job status until after you have closed on your new home!  Know what you DO need to do and do it promptly, so you will be ready to move forward on the path toward home-ownership.

Infographic courtesy of Keeping Current Matters/The KCM Blog


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.”

Friday, July 6, 2018

Cost Across Time

Infographic courtesy of Keeping Current Matters/The KCM Blog

Looking back in time gives us the opportunity to really appreciate the value of today's interest rates.  While rates have started going up, today's rates remain significantly lower than in previous decades and buying power remains strong. 

 

Some Highlights:


  • With interest rates still around 4.5%, now is a great time to look back at where rates have been over the last 40 years.
  • Rates are projected to climb to 5.1% by this time next year according to Freddie Mac.
  • The impact your interest rate makes on your monthly mortgage cost is significant!
  • Lock in a low rate now while you can!


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!

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

SCCL CURRENTLY ACTIVE LISTINGS

THE CHARTS BELOW ARE NOT INTERACTIVE.
TO VIEW ACTUAL LISTINGS,  USE THE FOLLOWING LINKS.

Click HERE for current single family home listings in SCCL.

Click HERE for current condo/townhouse listings in SCCL.



DOM = Days on Market
HLA = Heated Living Area (Square Footage)
Price/SF = Price Per Square Foot

Properties listed and sold by various CMLS participants.

SCCL CURRENTLY UNDER CONTRACT


DOM = Days on Market
HLA = Heated Living Area (Square Footage)
Price/SF = Price Per Square Foot
UC Date = Under Contract Date

Properties listed and sold by various CMLS participants.  

SCCL 2018 CLOSED LISTINGS

JANUARY / FEBRUARY /MARCH

 

APRIL / MAY / JUNE 


DOM = Days on Market
HLA = Heated Living Area (Square Footage)
Price/SF = Price Per Square Foot
UC Date = Under Contract Date

Properties listed and sold by various CMLS participants.  

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.”

Friday, May 25, 2018

MEMORIAL DAY MESSAGE

 
I have always found it strange to wish someone a Happy Memorial Day and I can never bring myself to say those words.  Yes, we all look forward to the first long weekend that marks the unofficial beginning of summer and the first barbecue of the season, picnic, trip to the lake... or the Indy 500.  But, while all of those things make Memorial Day weekend a fun time, we need to remember the real meaning of Memorial Day.  As we enjoy time with family and friends, let us be sure to take time to honor the memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect the freedoms we cherish.    


As we remember those who died in service to our country, let us give thanks to those who are serving now and to all our Veterans for their past service to our country. 
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On a personal note, in September 2017 my husband and I attended the 50th reunion of his United States Marine Corps Officers Basic School Class.  As we gathered with his Marine Corps brothers, the bond was strong, as memories were shared, and those who are no longer with us were remembered.  Memorial Day has a special meaning for these men and it is with heavy hearts that they remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice.


SEMPER FI

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Why Have Interest Rates Jumped to a 7-Year High?

Why Have Interest Rates Jumped to a 7-Year High?
Article Courtesy of Keeping Current Matters/The KCM Blog

Interest rates for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage have climbed from 3.95% in the first week of January up to 4.61% last week, which marks a 7-year high according to Freddie Mac. The current pace of acceleration has been fueled by many factors.
Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist, had this to say:
“Healthy consumer spending and higher commodity prices spooked bond markets and led to higher mortgage rates over the past week.
Not only are buyers facing higher borrowing costs, gas prices are currently at four-year highs just as we enter the important peak home sales season.”

But what do gas prices have to do with interest rates?

Investopedia explains the relationship like this:
“The price of oil and inflation are often seen as being connected in a cause-and-effect relationship. As oil prices move up or down, inflation follows in the same direction.”
You may have noticed that filling your gas tank has become substantially more expensive in recent months. The average national gas price has climbed nearly $0.50 from the beginning of the year, leading to the highest price for Memorial Day weekend since 2014.
As rates go up, your purchasing power goes down, but don’t worry; rates are still well below the averages we’ve seen over the last four decades.
“Freddie Mac said this year’s higher rates have not yet caused much of a ripple in the strong demand levels for buying a home seen in most markets, but inflationary pressures and the prospect of rates approaching 5 percent could begin to hit the psyche of some prospective buyers.”
Buying sooner rather than later will help lock in a lower rate than waiting, as the experts believe rates will continue to climb. Even a small increase in interest rates can have a big impact on your monthly housing cost.

Bottom Line

If you are planning on buying a home this year, keep an eye on gas prices the next time you’re at the pump. If you start to feel a big jump in price, know that rates are probably on their way up too.