Category Archives: Real Estate

Good HVAC Contractors

In the world of real estate there is one thing you must know… and that’s a lot of people who do great work to help you and your clients when things don’t always go right or break down. With the heat of summer being in the 90’s-100s regularly from July-Sept here in South Carolina having a great air conditioning contractor is paramount.

Taking care of your HVAC unit is a must. I have seen many a home owner that has had nightmare problems with their air conditioning units because they didn’t practice proper HVAC maintenance. If most home owners would just take the time to search even Youtube for HVAC repair, upkeep, and maintenance they’d find out it’s not that hard to keep up with cleaning and clearing out a few things and it makes a huge difference that will save them tons of headaches in the long run.

One Houston TX HVAC installation technician told me that if home owners just blew out their drain pipe for their AC unit just Air Conditioning Repair Houston TXonce it year that he wouldn’t get near as many repair calls. That is such a simple thing to do that a kid in elementary school could do it. Water is the main problem with air conditioning units causing problems because condensation causes the pipes to drip water into the pan and if the pan isn’t set to drain properly then it fills up and over flows over. If the drain pipe for that pan is clogged in anyway then there is no where for that water to go. It’s not rocket science just simple gravity and cleaning. Nothing tricky.

My suggestion to home owners who live in regions like Houston TX or SC is to either spend $100 year and hire a company to do a twice year maintanence check on your system, or click the Youtube link above and learn some simple techniques to keeping your HVAC unit clean and running well.

Mount Pleasant SC Homes For Sale | Listings on MLS Mt Pleasant SC

Mount Pleasant SC Homes For Sale | Listings on MLS Mt Pleasant SC

 Search All Mount Pleasant South Carolina real estate listings by neighborhood below.

Dunes West The Old Village Olde Park I’ON Village Creekside Park Oyster Point Rice Planters Pointe
Shellpoint Scotts Creek Park West Hamlin Plantation Mallard Lake Porchers Preserve Coopers Landing
Charleston National Rivertowne Ravens Run Darrell Creek West Point Patriots Province Pinkney Place
Snee Farm Belle Hall Longpoint Grassy Creek Ivy Hall Candlewood Chadbury Village
Hobcaw Point Brickyard Hobcaw Creek Molasses Creek Crown Pointe Landings Run Sweetgrass Village
Wakendaw Lakes Heron Pointe Oak Haven Wando Lakes Rosemead Coopers Point The Renaissance
Old Mount Pleasant Fiddler’s Marsh Watermark Shemwood Hunter Lake Remleys Point Bayview
Planters Point Harborgate Shores Carolina Park Hamlet Square Phillips Park Simmons Point Glenlake
Sweetgrass Lakeshore Seaside Farms Quail Hollow North Point  The Tides Linnen Place
Center Lake Horlbeck Creek Hidden Lakes Etiwan Pointe Point Pleasant Chelsea Park Oyster Point

Seller’s Market in Charleston, SC?

By most accounts Charleston, South Carolina has been the one glimmer of hope throughout the country in the housing sector. We have been on top of the housing recovery almost from the start. If you live here then you are not surprised by this. The area’s most populous county accounted for 502 homes sold, 57 percent of all homes that changed hands last month within the three counties, according to the Charleston Trident Association of Realtors’ monthly home sales report released Wednesday.

Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester counties combined for 876 sales in September, 13 percent more than the same month a year ago.

Seller’s Market in Charleston

The association’s monthly reports have been showing encouraging residential real estate trends since the fall of 2011. Sales have been rising, inventories have been falling and the uptick in median sales price suggests that broader real estate values are starting to rise.

The Charleston area sold 7,879 homes through September, a nearly 11 percent increase compared to the same period a year ago. The median sale price also has risen to $190,000, up from $179,850 a year ago, according to the association.

Charleston County also is leading the charge in slimming the average number of days a property sits on the market before being sold, bringing it to some of the shortest spans since before the last recession. All three counties averaged house listings before sold in 100 days or less on average. In Charleston the average was 87 days.

Charleston SC home builders even have reason to be excited as  national new homes at an annual rate of 750,000, up 29.1% compared with a year earlier. They applied to build another 803,000 new homes on an annual basis, a 24.5% jump compared with August 2011.

Charleston SC Home Builder’s Happier

Home builders have become increasingly bullish — a confidence index from the National Association of Home Builders reached its highest level since June 2006.

Excerpts by the Post and Courier used:

Cheaper to Own House then Rent

Buying a house in Charleston, Mount Pleasant, or even Daniel Island is now cheaper then renting according to a new report from the real estate website Trulia. In virtually every U.S. city it’s better to buy a house then to rent.

“Despite the recent home rebound, rents continue to rise faster then do home prices, and mortgage rates are at record lows,” said J. Kolko, Trulia’s chief economist, in a news release by The Daily.

On average, buying is now 45% cheaper then renting in the 100 largest U.S. cities – a savings of almost $800 a month. With more and more home owners having to leave their homes due to job loss, and a poor economy forces those same people to rent thus increasing the demand for rental properties forcing rent costs upward. Furthermore, mortgage lending is still very tight and less people are qualified to purchase.

These factors result in an almost 5% surge in  rental rates in the past year and a glut of 30 yr mortgages around 3.5 percent. Trulia looked at the average age price of all homes for sale and the average rent of all homes for lease between the beginning of June and the end of Aug. It spread its search from the inner cities to the suburbs. Trulia also baked in various expenses like closing costs, maintenance, renter’s insurance, and taxes.

After the analysis was completed in the winter, it was better to buy in 98 of the top 100 markets including Charleston, South Carolina’s. Purchase mortgage rates have dropped while rents have increased. The study however, is built on some big assumptions, primarily that the hypothetical buyer puts down 20% and qualifies for a great mortgage AND doesn’t sell for 7 years.

With that said, even in a case where the homeowner got just a 4.5% mortgage and only stayed in the home for 5 years, the result was still almost the same. It was cheaper to buy in 96 markets.

Nevertheless, some 6 million properties remain close to foreclosure, and most potential buyers still find it difficult to save up the 20% for down payment. Although there are still loans that only require 3.5% down.

Mortgage Rates in Charleston Stay Low

CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA – Average mortgage rates on fixed mortgages fell this week and are just slightly above record lows reached earlier this year. The low rates have contributed to a modest housing recovery.

GSE Freddie Mac said Thursday that the rate on the 30-year loan declined to 3.59%, down from 3.66% last week. Five weeks ago, the rate fell to 3.49%, the lowest since long-term mortgages began in the 1950s.

The average on the 15-year fixed mortgage, a popular refinancing option, slipped to 2.86%. That’s down from 2.89% last week and from the record low of 2.8% five weeks ago.

Cheap mortgages are a key reason the housing market is finally started to rebound five years after the bubble burst. However, another large factor is banks are not releasing the foreclosed homes they have on their books, and are sitting on them thus reducing the inventory and increasing demand. 

Sales of newly built and previously occupied homes are well above last year’s levels. Prices have increased consistently, largely because the supply of homes has shrunk while sales have risen. And Charleston SC builder confidence is at its highest level in five years.

Still, the  Charleston housing market has a long way back to full health. Some national economists forecast that sales of previously occupied homes will rise 8% this year to about 4.6 million. That’s well below the 5.5 million annual sales considered healthy. Many people are still having difficulty qualifying for home loans or can’t afford larger down payments required by banks. If you need help with home financing in Charleston South Carolina and need advice contact me at.

Charleston SC Mortgage Rates

National overnight averages Today +/-
30 yr fixed mtg 3.54%
15 yr fixed mtg 2.89%
5/1 ARM 2.86%
$30K home equity loan 5.68%
$30K HELOC 4.58%
About these rates

Mortgage rates in Charleston SC are low because they tend to track the yield on the 10-year Treasury note. A weaker U.S. economy and uncertainty about how Europe will resolve its debt crisis have led investors to buy more Treasury securities, which are considered safe investments. As demand for Treasurey’s increase, the yield falls.

To calculate average rates, Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the country on Monday through Wednesday of each week.

The average does not include extra fees, known as points, which most borrowers must pay to get the lowest rates. One point equals 1% of the loan amount.

The average fee for 30-year loans was 0.6 point, down from 0.7 point last week. The fee for 15-year loans also slipped to 0.6 point from 0.7.

The average rate on one-year adjustable rate mortgages fell to 2.63% from 2.66% last week. The fee for one-year adjustable rate loans was unchanged at 0.4 point.

The average rate on five-year adjustable rate mortgages declined to 2.78% from 2.80%. The fee held steady at 0.6 point.

Most Article Content By USAToday.com

Home Sales Brighter, prices on rise.

Existing-home sales kept up their recovery in July, rising 2.3% as prices jumped 9.4% from a year ago, according to the Charleston Trident Association of Realtors, but the market’s progress disappointed analysts who expected more.

Smaller inventories of homes for sale let sellers push prices higher, the association said. The average price of a new home rose 9.4% to $187,300, aided by a shift in the mix of homes sold, with fewer low-end units included. “I am seeing multiple offers within in first week a nice home comes on market,” Isle of Palms Realtor, James Schiller.

Nationally, the number of homes sold rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.47 million. The numbers missed economists’ expectations of about 4.52 million home sales, according to Drew Matus, an economist at investment bank UBS.

Mortgage interest rates have been at record lows this year while rents have been rising at faster rates,” NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said in a statement. “Combined, these factors are helping to unleash a pent-up demand. However, the market is constrained by unnecessarily tight lending standards and shrinking inventory supplies, so housing could easily be much stronger without these abnormal frictions.”

Independent economists are looking for the housing market to begin slowly reversing its more than 30% slide in prices, though most do not expect substantive price gains until at least 2013 or 2014.

“It was a little below expectations but still good,” said Mike Zoller, an economist at Moody’s Analytics. He said the sharp gains in prices reflect the smaller percentage of foreclosure-related distress sales included in the numbers, as well as the shift to more higher-end home sales.

Tight credit or worries about jobs may be prompting buyers to stay on the sidelines, said Patrick Newport, an economist at IHS Global Insight. The gain in home sales was the second-smallest reported this year, he added. As long as the buyer has good credit, money to put down, and good job security getting a loan is still easy by most standards.

“These are not great numbers,” Newport said. “We have record-low mortgage rates. Something is going on.”

The economists also disputed the Realtor association’s argument that sales might be stronger if more homes were available.

Nationally, inventories of available homes work out to about six months’ worth of expected sales, Zoller said, a level he called “reasonable.” The proportion of homes that are vacant is still above 2%, Newport said, citing Census data. That’s higher than a historical norm of about 1.7%, he said. Locally,  Charleston, SC homes sales appears to be improving as inventory stays lower than normal.

The bright side is that the overhang of foreclosures are finally seeing a decline, relieving an overflow that pushed prices lower, Barclays economist Michael Gapen wrote in a note to clients. About 24% of sales were foreclosure-related, down from 29% last July, he said.

Most Content Courtesy of USA Today

Pricing Home in Charleston to Sell

A first-quarter survey of home buyers and sellers done by HomeGain.com, a real estate services website, revealed that 76 percent of homeowners believe their home is worth more than the list price recommended by their real estate agent. To See Charleston SC First Quarter Sales

Home buyers usually have a better grasp of current market value in the area where they’re looking to buy than do sellers who own and live there. Buyers look at a lot of new listings. They make offers, know what sells quickly and for how much, and what doesn’t and why. HomeGain reported that homebuyers still think sellers are overpricing their homes.

* Your home is worth what a buyer will pay for it given current market conditions.

This may not be the same as your opinion of what your home will sell for, or what you hope it’s worth. Relying on emotion rather than logic when selecting a list price can lead to disappointing results.

The prime opportunity for selling a home is when it’s new on the market. This is when it is most marketable. Buyers wait for the new listings. Usually, listings receive the most showings and have the busiest open houses during the first couple of weeks they are on the market.

Real Estate Charleston SC

By: Inman News

Investment Property Charleston SC

For investors in Charleston SC the real estate game is a tricky one. We all made thousands and — probably millions if you add it all up — flipping houses, leasing offices and renovating condos. Then the real estate market collapsed, throwing the U.S. into the 2007-2009 recession.

Now the prognosis for real estate investments is looking much better, though it’s anything but simple. Some commercial real estate has rebounded, with investors craving income that real estate provides, while Lowcountry residential Charleston real estate — particularly single-family homes — may be at once-in-a-lifetime bargain prices.

Four top experts were asked for their take on the the opportunities and potential pitfalls facing real estate investors in the coming years. Edited excerpts of their interviews follow:

Jim Sullivan, managing director of REIT research, Green Street Advisors

Every diversified investor should have some exposure to commercial real estate, and REITs [real estate investment trusts] provide a terrific, transparent and liquid way to get that exposure. Operating fundamentals in most property types range from good to great, with good being the shopping center business and industrial business and great being the apartment business. The economy is not doing great, but the silver lining for commercial real estate is how little new supply is coming on the market. Too much new commercial construction is typically what puts a halt to real estate recoveries. This time around, it’s just not an issue.

REITs tend to be specialized by property type. You can pick and choose, depending on what your economic outlook might be. If your forecast is a little rosier, you’d want to be in property types that respond well in economic recoveries — hotels, for example, or REITs that own shopping centers with lots of small tenants. If you wanted to be a bit more defensive, health care REITs are a terrific place to be. When investing in Charleston real estate the safe bet would obviously be in tourism based avenues considering that is the most consistent driver of revenue.

James – Charleston Real Estate Consulting

The biggest opportunity is buying distressed single-family homes, because that market has been completely beat up. The next biggest opportunity is buying land because very few people have been focused on it. If you have a long-term view, you’ll probably see a significant multiple return. Buying land is a complicated business, though. Mom-and-pop investors should not be buying land.

Lauren Pressman, director of investment research at wealth management firm Aspiriant

The U.S. is in a period of sustained but very slow growth. Job reports are huge factors for real estate, because jobs create demand for housing, for offices, for travel and at retail establishments. We’re wary of things like retail and office, except in very unique circumstances. Multifamily real estate (apartment buildings) arguably had all the tail winds at its back to do the best of all asset classes. However, be careful. There is so much capital chasing multifamily, and that can lift prices beyond a point where your return is commensurate with risk.

No matter what your strategy is always be careful and have a good local agent to help you navigate through the maze of options out there for investing in real estate in Charleston or anywhere. Find a great contractor in Charleston and let them help you with the renovations, and repair necessary to get a C.O. and move onto the next real estate opportunity.

There has never been a better time to pull money out of the equities market and into real estate, rates are low, and prices are too.

 

Foreclosures on the Decline

Although Charleston SC real estate is performing better then most cities around the country, the good news is that foreclosures are on the decline.

(article by:  Ester Cho of DS News)

In June, 60,000 homes turned into completed foreclosures compared to 80,000 foreclosures a year ago, CoreLogic reported Tuesday.

 

The analytics company stated the yearly drop puts completed foreclosures at 2007 levels. Month-over-month, there was no reported change in completed foreclosures for June. Since September 2008, 3.7 million homes have been lost to foreclosure.

“The decline in the flow of completed foreclosures to pre-financial crisis levels is more welcome news pointing to an emerging housing market recovery,” said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. “However, we believe even more can be done to reduce the inventory of foreclosures by decreasing the level of regulatory uncertainty and expanding alternatives to foreclosure.”

The number of homes in national foreclosure inventory in June stood at 1.4 million, or 3.4 percent of all homes with a mortgage. June’s figure is a slight drop from a year ago when the total was 1.5 million, or 3.5 percent. From May, the figure was unchanged. CoreLogic defines foreclosure inventory as the share of all mortgaged homes in some stage of the foreclosure process.

“While completed foreclosures and real-estate owned (REO) sales virtually offset each other over the past four months, producing static levels of foreclosure inventory for most of this year, they are beginning to diverge again,” said Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic. “Over the last two months REO sales declined while completed foreclosures leveled out. So we could see foreclosure inventory rising going forward.”

The states that saw the highest number of completed foreclosures over a one-year period since June 2012 were California, leading with 125,000, followed by Florida (91,000), Michigan (58,000), Texas (56,000) and Georgia (55,000).

The top five states accounted for 48.4 percent of all completed foreclosures nationally.

Florida (11.5 percent) led as the state with the highest share of inventory in foreclosure, with New Jersey (6.5 percent), New York (5.1 percent), Illinois (5.0 percent), and Nevada (4.8 percent) taking the next four spots.

Meanwhile Charleston SC has one of the lowest foreclosure rates in the United States.

James Schiller – Charleston SC Real Estate Agent

Mortgage Rates Still Good

National Mortgage Rates

National overnight averages Today +/-
30 yr fixed mtg 3.62%
15 yr fixed mtg 3.03%
5/1 ARM 2.78%

In another report Thursday, Freddie Mac said average rates on fixed mortgages fell again to record lows.

US Existing Home Sales Chart

The average rate on 30-year loans fell to 3.53% from 3.56% last week. It is the lowest since long-term mortgages began in the 1950s.

The average rate on the 15-year mortgage, a popular refinancing option, declined to 2.83%, below last week’s previous record of 2.86%.

The rate on the 30-year loan has fallen to or matched record lows in 12 of the past 13 weeks. Cheaper mortgages have contributed to the modest housing recovery. Home prices are rising in most markets. Mount Pleasant SC Builders are putting up more houses than they have in nearly four years, a long-awaited recovery that could help energize the local economy.

Low mortgage rates could also provide some help to the economy if more people refinance. When people refinance at lower rates, they pay less interest on their loans and have more money to spend on other things. Many homeowners use the savings on renovations, furniture, appliances and other improvements, which help drive growth.

Still, many people are having difficulty qualifying for home loans or can’t afford larger down payments required by banks. And the sluggish job market could deter some from making a purchase this year.

Mortgage rates have been dropping because they tend to track the yield on the 10-year Treasury note. A weaker U.S. economy and uncertainty about how Europe will resolve its debt crisis have led investors to buy more Treasury securities, which are considered safe investments. As demand for Treasurys increase, the yield falls.

To calculate average rates, Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the country on Monday through Wednesday of each week.

The average does not include extra fees, known as points, which most borrowers must pay to get the lowest rates. One point equals 1% of the loan amount.

The average fee for 30-year loans was 0.7 point, unchanged from last week. The fee for 15-year loans slipped to 0.6 point, down from 0.7 the previous week.

The average rate on one-year adjustable rate mortgages was unchanged at 2.69%. The fee for one-year adjustable rate loans also stayed the same, at 0.4 point.

The average rate on five-year adjustable rate mortgages dropped to 2.69% from 2.74% last week. The fee was unchanged at 0.6 point.

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