Friday, December 28, 2018

Where is the Housing Market Headed in 2019?

Information Courtesy of Keeping Current Matters/The KCM Blog


 Some Highlights:
  • ­Interest rates are projected to increase steadily throughout 2019, but buyers will still be able to lock in a rate lower than their parents or grandparents did when they bought their homes!
  • Home prices will rise at a rate of 4.8% over the course of 2019 according to CoreLogic.
  • All four major reporting agencies believe that home sales will outpace 2018!

NAR Helps Secure FEMA Reversal On New Flood Policies During Shutdown

Courtesy of The National Association of REALTORS®

In a critical win for home sales while the partial shutdown of the federal government is ongoing, the Federal Emergency Management Agency will issue and renew flood insurance policies, reversing an unexpected and controversial ruling the agency released earlier this week.

"FEMA and the Administration deserve credit for hearing our concerns and acting swiftly to address them," says NAR President John Smaby. "This new decision means thousands of home sale transactions in communities across the country can go forward without interruption, as Congress intended when it renewed the flood insurance program earlier this week. Our research has shown that 40,000 home sales are lost every month that flood insurance is not available."

Congress on Dec. 21 passed legislation that extends the National Flood Insurance Program until May 31, 2019. In an unexpected policy decision, though, FEMA on Dec. 26 said it couldn't allow insurers to issue and renew federal policies while the partial government shutdown was ongoing. That ruling was unexpected because in past government shutdowns, FEMA continued to operate the program as authorized. NAR, along with other organizations, including the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America and the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America, urged policy makers to reevaluate the decision. Congress expressed concern as well.

"We thank the Administration and Congress for stepping up so quickly to ensure the smooth continuation of flood insurance at a time when market disruption would be extremely hard-felt," says Shannon McGahn, NAR senior vice president of government affairs.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

How to Save Thousands of Dollars in Interest on Your Mortgage

Article courtesy of Keeping Current Matters/The KCM Blog

How to Save Thousands of Dollars in Interest on Your Mortgage | Keeping Current MattersOne of the most common loans you can get to buy a home is a 30-year fixed rate mortgage. If the thought of paying for your home over the course of 30-years seems daunting, here are some easy ways to shorten that term which will actually end up saving you money over the life of your loan.

Any additional payments to the principal amount (the original sum of money borrowed in a loan), helps to cut down the amount of interest that you will pay over the life of your loan and can also help to shave years off the loan as well.

When you make ‘extra’ payments toward your loan, the key is to let your lender/bank know that you want the extra funds to go toward your principal balance as they will not automatically do this for you.

You don’t have to double your mortgage payment to make a big difference either!

If you have a 30-year mortgage on a median-priced home ($250,000) with a 5% interest rate, you’ll be responsible for a $1,342.05 monthly principal and interest payment. Over the course of the loan, if you pay your exact monthly payment, you will have paid $233,133.89 in interest alone!

Paying a Little Extra Can Pay Off Big

1. Pay an additional 1/12th of your mortgage payment every month

Benefit: In the example above, adding $111.84 to your monthly mortgage payment might not seem like a lot, but each year you will have paid one extra month’s worth of payments which will shorten the term of your loan by 4 years and 8 months, all while saving you $42,000 in interest!

2. Pay an additional $50 per month towards your mortgage

Benefit: Fifty dollars might not seem like enough to make a difference on the term of your loan, but that small amount will save you over $21,000 in interest and will take over 2 years off the end of your loan. Twenty-eight years from now, you’ll be happy to pay off your loan that much sooner!

3. Make one-time lump sum payments when you can

Benefit: If you find yourself with a little extra money after a yearly bonus, a tax return, or from investment dividends, paying that money towards the principal can cut your costs. This option, however, is less predictable than the extra monthly payments.
If you have higher interest debts, like credit cards, consider using any extra funds you have to pay those debts down before applying that money towards your mortgage. Also, if you do not plan on staying in your home for more than 10 years, paying extra toward your mortgage might not make sense.

Bottom Line

If you’re wondering what strategies would work best for you to shorten the term of your loan, consult a local real estate professional who can answer your questions or connect you with someone who can.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Ronald McDonald House

We all have causes that are dear to us and one that I have been proud to support in various ways over the years is Ronald McDonald House.  In keeping with a tradition I brought with me from Arizona, periodically I like to get a group of friends together to prepare and serve a meal at Ronald McDonald House.  Together, we chip in and purchase the food and then we go to the house and prepare the meal and serve it to the families who are staying in the house. 
Carmen Fitzpatrick, Kathy McPherson, Carol Stillerman, Pook Bellini
This year, several friends and I also volunteered to help in the Holiday Shop at the Charlotte house.  In order to spread the word about Ronald McDonald House, I wrote an article about volunteering there which appeared this month's Living@SCCL Magazine

During this holiday season, and throughout the year, I encourage everyone to support causes that are important to them.  There are so many wonderful organizations out there that need not only financial support, but hands-on support.  Whatever you can do to help will make a difference.  

Click on article below to enlarge.  Contact me for a pdf version.



Thursday, November 29, 2018

FEMA: Property Owners Aren’t Prepared For Disaster

Source:  National Association of REALTORS® /REALTOR® Magazine
Article by Robert Freedman, Director of Multimedia Communications at NAR/ rfreedman@realtors.org.


Too many property owners are caught unprepared when a natural disaster strikes, said FEMA Administrator Brock Long. They assume the federal government will step in and make them whole after a disaster, or they feel they don’t need protection because they’re not at risk. Both those thoughts are misguided, Long said.

First, the financial assistance the federal government provides after a disaster is far less than what property owners would get if they are properly insured—whether it’s for fire hazards, earthquakes, flooding, or another type of disaster. The typical federal assistance is about $2,500 compared to more than $100,000 from insurance companies.

Second, many properties located outside federally designated flood zones or in areas that haven’t been affected by a disaster in years are at risk. Fault lines, for example, may remain inactive for decades, but that doesn’t mean the risk of an earthquake has disappeared.

Long said proper disaster insurance is cheap compared to the cost of rebuilding and should be part of any prudent homeowner’s cost calculus, even if the insurance isn’t required to get a mortgage. Natural disasters, after all, are increasing in number and severity.
____________________
For additional information, contact your trusted insurance professional and visit the FEMA website:  FloodSmart.gov

Further Proof It's NOT 2008 All Over Again

Article Courtesy of Keeping Current Matters/The KCM Blog

Further Proof It’s NOT 2008 All Over Again |Keeping Current MattersHome sales numbers are leveling off, the rate of price appreciation has slowed to more historically normal averages, and inventory is finally increasing. We are headed into a more normal housing market.

However, some are seeing these adjustments as red flags and are suggesting that we are headed back to the same challenges we experienced in 2008. Today, let’s look at one set of statistics that prove the current market is nothing like the one that preceded the housing crash last decade.

The previous bubble was partially caused by unhealthy levels of mortgage debt. New purchasers were putting down the minimum down payment, resulting in them having little if any equity in their homes.

Existing homeowners were using their homes as ATMs by refinancing and swapping their equity for cash. When prices started to fall, many homeowners found themselves in a negative equity situation (where their mortgage was higher than the value of their home) so they walked away which caused prices to fall even further. When this happened, even more homeowners found themselves in negative equity situations which caused them to walk away as well, and so a vicious cycle formed.

Today, the equity situation is totally different. According to a new report from ATTOM Data Solutions more than 1-in-4 homes with a mortgage have at least 50% equity. The report explains:
“…nearly 14.5 million U.S. properties were equity rich — where the combined estimated amount of loans secured by the property was 50 percent or less of the property’s estimated market value…The 14.5 million equity rich properties in Q3 2018 represented 25.7 percent of all properties with a mortgage.”
In addition, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, 30.3% of homes in the country have no mortgage on them.
Further Proof It’s NOT 2008 All Over Again |Keeping Current Matters

Almost 50% of all homes have at least 50% equity.

If we take both numbers, the 30.3% of all homes without a mortgage and the 17.9% with at least 50% equity (25.7% of the 69.3% of homes with a mortgage), we realize that 48.2% of all homes in the country have at least 50% equity.

Bottom Line

Unlike 2008, almost half of the homeowners in the country are sitting on massive amounts of home equity. They will not be walking away from their homes if the housing market begins to soften.

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!
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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.