North & South Carolina Real Estate and Community News

March 15, 2024

Market Update March 15 2024

MARKET UPDATE

SURFSIDE BEACH, GARDEN CITY BEACH, & MURRELLS INLET

According to data made available by the Coastal Carolinas Association of REALTORS, the rolling three-month average Surfside Beach single-family home price was down 4.7 percent at $502,428, and the average townhouse/condo price was up 34.7 percent at $280,685. During this time, there were 107 closed sales, 73 of which were for single-family homes and 34 for townhouses/condos.

 

For Garden City Beach, the rolling three-month average single-family home sales price was up 23.7 percent at $1,263,857, and the average townhouse/condo price was up 53 percent at $447,805. During this time, there were 18 closed sales, 7 for single-family homes and 11 for townhouses/condos.

 

The rolling three-month average Murrells Inlet single-family home sales price was down 1.3 percent at $544,602, and the average townhouse/condo price was up 17.9 percent at $292,455. During this time, there were 169 closed sales, 107 for single-family homes and 62 for townhouses/condos.

 

All statistics are compiled from rolling three months of sales as of March 13, 2024.

Dec. 11, 2023

Buyer Market Update Dec 11, 2023

Buyer Market Update

by Loretta Terranella, Broker/Owner of Loretta Realty Group

https://youtu.be/7DVLzAcrUHc?si=rg3V6uk3f6W-Nyt3

Dec. 11, 2023

Home Buying update December 2023

https://youtu.be/7DVLzAcrUHc?si=rg3V6uk3f6W-Nyt3

Sept. 25, 2023

Are You Selling Your Home?

 

Are you considering selling your home? Or maybe you're just curious about its value? This blog post is intended to help you get ready and understand the selling process so you can make the best choices for yourself and your family. In our experience, many homeowners think that all REALTORs® do the same thing. If you've talked to more than one REALTOR®, then you probably have a similar perception. But at our real estate firm, it's not just about what we do that is different... it's also how well we do it. We use innovative strategies that are proven to sell your home and get you the results that you want. In this guide, we will outline the skills, strategies, and actions that enable us to achieve these results. Read on, or for a personal conversation about your specific situation, reach out to us for a free consultation.

TIMELINE OF A HOME SALE Most people have a general idea of what happens in a home sale, but we’ve found that these assumptions can have costly consequences. For example, you may think that you need to remodel your bathroom before you can go to market, but in fact that renovation could result in wasted time and money if your target buyers won’t value it. Your best bet for a successful home sale is to lean on our experience and expertise, which is why we recommend that you reach out to us first as soon as you think of selling. We’ll then guide you through the rest of these events:

HIRE A REALTOR® - Hire a professional who knows how to list, market, and sell your home. The sooner you connect with us, the more time we’ll have to craft your ideal home selling strategy.

ASSESS HOME VALUE - We use market knowledge and prices of competing homes to set the list price of your home. Learn more about our pricing strategy later in this guide.

PREPARATION - Get the home ready for staging, photography, and showing. We’ll consult with you to ensure you only focus on the projects that will net the best return on your investment of time and energy.

MARKETING - Start marketing the home using a thorough property marketing plan. You’ll see later in this guide what kind of marketing activities we use to net our clients more on their home sales.

SHOWINGS - Buyers will tour the home, ask questions, and determine if your home is the right fit for them. We’ll analyze their feedback and suggest adjustments to your listing if necessary.

NEGOTIATE OFFERS - We will help you evaluate the offers for your home, then negotiate to get the best based on your criteria. Some sellers prioritize price, but you may find that the closing date is more important to you, for example.

MANAGE CLOSING - We work with the buyer's agent, lawyers, and title to legally finish the sale. Once the paperwork is complete, you’ll be ready to move!

PRICING A HOME - You may have heard that there is not much housing inventory right now, which means that prices are high across the board. This is great news for you as a home seller! The timing is perfect for you to get a strong return on your investment in your home. But even in today's market, there are still homes that sit, waiting for an offer, for months and months. This time spent on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) means that you are still making payments on your mortgage, and you are still not getting equity out of your home. Perhaps even worse is what buyers and buyer agents think about homes that have been on the market for too long. A buyer's first impression about a property that has been listed for a long time in this hot market is "Something must be wrong with that home." That thought will scare away many buyers, and it will prompt the ones who remain interested to try to lowball you when they submit an offer on your home. But why are those homes still on the market in the first place? It's because they are often priced "out of the market." They are priced just a bit over their market worth, or they are not adequately prepared to show. These properties are the ones that will stay on the market for months and months, ultimately selling for way under the initial asking price and causing their sellers a lot of time and frustration. If this sounds complicated, don't worry. We have a specific strategy that will help you avoid the dreaded limbo land of home sales.

FREE HOME VALUE REPORT Your home's market value includes its features, condition, location, and level of competition in your local area. Ask us for an expert Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) to see how your home stacks up and get an estimate of how much you will earn on its sale today.

HOME PREPARATION Just as first impressions are important for people, they can also be make-or-break for a home. When potential buyers walk into your house, they will start to evaluate everything they see. Their impression will ultimately determine how much they are willing to offer on a property... or even if they'll be interested in buying it at all. Therefore, to get you the most money possible for your home, we put a ton of care into its preparation before we put it on the market. Quality preparation that will leave buyers with the best impression of your house involves three elements:

REPAIRS There are several reasons to complete repairs on your home before you put it on the market. Ultimately, buyers will pay more for a home to avoid the work of fixing it, and they will pay faster. Moreover, any money you invest into repairs before you list — when you have time to price-shop and to use a little bit of elbow grease — will be far less than the quote from the home inspector or the concessions for which buyers will ask. The good news is that most repairs are merely cosmetic and inexpensive. Think of the things on your to-do list: that leaky faucet and the cracked bathroom tile were bothering you when you lived in the house, and they're going to bother the new owners too.

CLEANLINESS You wouldn't want your mother to come over when your house was dirty, would you? And you're not even trying to get her to shell out thousands of dollars for the place! Buyers are easily distracted, and they will tend to focus on the negatives instead of the positives of each home they tour. Each dish left in the sink or dust bunny in the corner is going to detract from the perceived value of your home, which means a lower offer amount and more time on the market for you.

STAGING According to a recent study by the National Association of REALTORs®, 96% of buyer agents reported that staging had some effect on their clients' view of homes. They said that staging made it easier for their clients to visualize the properties as a future home and that they were more likely to overlook property faults. And these effects turned into cash for sellers like you. The survey reveals that 52% of buyer clients were willing to offer more on a staged home than a similar home that was not staged — as much as 20% more than asking price!

LET US CONNECT YOU We know the best vendors in our area to help you with your home's repairs, cleanliness, and staging prior to listing it for sale. Ask us about our Trusted Partner Program so we can ensure you get VIP treatment.

PROPERTY MARKETING In the “old days,” real estate agents marketing their sellers’ properties would simply put a sign in the yard, put a listing in the MLS, and pray that it sold. Even today, there are a lot of real estate professionals who think syndicating listings to portals is a job well done. And that might be enough to sell your home in today’s hot market. But if that’s all an agent does to market your home to potential buyers, then they’re not fulfilling their fiduciary responsibility to you — to get you the most money possible for your home. You see, you have a distinct advantage in wanting to sell your home right now: there is not much inventory, but there are a ton of buyers. A smart agent will use this classic example of supply and demand to create an auction environment for your home. Getting multiple offers on your home will allow you to choose the best one for you — the one that has the right price, the right timeline, and the right conditions. And the key to creating this auction environment to get multiple offers is marketing. We employ a strategic Property Marketing Plan that uses the latest technologies to seed the marketplace, optimize for Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and position your home for the best possible impression right out of the gate. For example, we pen compelling marketing narratives to help buyers envision living in your home and we utilize advanced video marketing tactics to showcase your home's best features. And our efforts don't stop once your home has been listed. We use our national network of agents to continuously promote your home to people wanting to move to the area and we run targeted social media ads to help get your home in front of the most people. Check out a quick list of the type of marketing activities you can expect when you list your home with us: Sign Posted in Front Yard Once at Start Property Landing Pages Published to Website Once at Start Property Tour Video Added to YouTube Once at Start Photos & Videos Posted to Facebook Business Page Weekly Photos & Videos Posted to Instagram Business Account Weekly YouTube Ad Campaign to Active Real Estate Searchers Ongoing Facebook Ad Campaign to Real Estate Interested Ongoing Instagram Ad Campaign to Real Estate Interested Ongoing Google Display Ads to Active Real Estate Searchers Ongoing New Listing Email Announcement to Email List Ongoing Listing Posted in Multiple Listing Service (MLS) Ongoing Listing Syndicated to Popular Home Search Sites Ongoing Postcard Mail Drip Once at Start Open House Campaign & Event Monthly Agent Door Knocking with Printed Flyer Once at Start Metrics Evaluation & Campaign Adjustment Weekly Agent Feedback Report from Buyer Tours Monthly.

 NEXT STEPS - Selling your home is a huge emotional and financial undertaking. You need a professional listing agent on your side who is a master negotiator with the skills and experience to get the job done right. We are home sales experts in our local market, and we are confident in our ability to handle your transaction and any surprises that may pop up along the way to the closing table. So, if you are considering your home in today's market, we invite you to reach out to us at the contact information below. We would love the opportunity to learn more about your specific situation and explain to you in more detail what we do differently to sell homes faster and for more money.

Loretta Realty Group - https://www.lorettarealty.com/ 704.607.8348

Posted in Selling
Aug. 17, 2023

Home Buying Guide Summer 2023

Home Buying Guide

Dec. 10, 2021

Pet Friendly Home Search

A Happy Tail: Pets and the Homebuying Process

A Happy Tail: Pets and the Homebuying Process [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

Some Highlights

  • It’s no secret that we love our furry friends - about 70% of U.S. households have pets. What may come as a surprise is how large a role they play in the homebuying process.
  • Americans spend $1,163 a year on their pets, and nearly half of pet owners say they would move for better accommodations and amenities for their pets.
  • If you’re thinking of adding a furry friend, or if you already have, let’s connect to discuss how you can find a home that meets all your pet’s needs.

Dec. 9, 2021

Two Reasons Why Waiting To Buy a Home Will Cost You

Two Reasons Why Waiting To Buy a Home Will Cost You

Two Reasons Why Waiting To Buy a Home Will Cost You | MyKCM

If you’re a homeowner who’s decided your current house no longer fits your needs, or a renter with a strong desire to become a homeowner, you may be hoping that waiting until next year could mean better market conditions to purchase a home.

To determine whether you should buy now or wait another year, you can ask yourself two simple questions:

  1. Where will home prices be a year from now?
  2. Where will mortgage rates be a year from now?

Let’s shed some light on the answers to both of these questions.

Where Will Home Prices Be a Year from Now?

Three major housing industry entities are projecting ongoing home price appreciation in 2022. Here are their forecasts:

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the median price of a home today is $353,900. Using an average of the three price projections above (6.53%), a home that sold for $353,900 today would be valued at $377,010 at the end of next year. As a prospective buyer, you would therefore pay an additional $23,110 by waiting.

Where Will Mortgage Rates Be a Year from Now?

Today, Freddie Mac estimates the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate in the fourth quarter of this year will be 2.8%. However, most experts believe mortgage rates will rise as the economy recovers. Here are the forecasts for the fourth quarter of 2022 by the three major entities mentioned above:

That averages out to 3.73% if you include all three forecasts. Any increase in mortgage rates will increase your costs.

What Does It Mean for You if Home Values and Mortgage Rates Increase?

If both variables increase, you’ll pay a lot more in mortgage payments each month. Let’s assume you purchase a $353,900 home in the fourth quarter of this year with a 30-year fixed-rate loan at 2.8% after making a 10% down payment. According to mortgagecalculator.net, your monthly mortgage payment would be approximately $1,309 (this does not include insurance, taxes, and other fees because those vary by location).

That same home one year from now could cost $377,010, and the mortgage rate could be 3.73% (based on the industry forecasts mentioned above). Your monthly mortgage payment after putting down 10%, would be approximately $1,568.Two Reasons Why Waiting To Buy a Home Will Cost You | MyKCMThe difference in your monthly mortgage payment would be $259. That’s $3,108 more per year and $93,240 over the life of the loan.

Add to that the approximately $23,110 a house with a similar value would build in home equity this year due to home price appreciation, and the total net worth increase you could gain by buying this year is over $115,000 (the $93,240 mortgage savings plus the $23,110 potential gain in equity if you buy now).

Bottom Line

When asking if you should buy a home, you may think of the non-financial benefits of homeownership. When asking when to buy, the financial benefits make it clear that doing so now is much more advantageous than waiting until next year.

Dec. 8, 2021

New Construction May Be an Option

Struggling To Find a Home To Buy? New Construction May Be an Option.

Struggling To Find a Home To Buy? New Construction May Be an Option. | MyKCM

There’s no question that the financial benefits of selling a house are outstanding today. Now is truly a great time to list if you’re ready to make a change. But if you do sell your house right now, you may be wondering where you’ll go when you move.

With so few homes available to buy right now, you might be considering building a new home as one of your options. But you may be unsure if that’s the way to go. Let’s compare the benefits of a newly built home versus moving into an existing one, and why working with a real estate agent throughout the process is mission-critical to your success no matter what you decide.

The Pros of Newly Built Homes

First, let’s look at the benefits of purchasing a newly constructed home. With a brand-new home, you’ll be able to:

1. Create your perfect home.

If you build a home from the ground up, you’ll have the option to select the custom features you want, including appliances, finishes, landscaping, layout, and more.

2. Cash-in on energy efficiency.

When building a home, you can choose energy-efficient options to help lower your utility costs, protect the environment, and reduce your carbon footprint.

3. Minimize the need for repairs.

Many builders offer a warranty, so you’ll have peace of mind on unlikely repairs. Plus, you won’t have as many little projects to tackle. QuickenLoans puts it like this: 

“Buying a new construction vs. existing home typically means you’ll have fewer repairs to do. It can be a huge relief to know that it’s unlikely you’ll have to repair the roof or replace the furnace.”

4. Have brand new everything.

Another perk of a new home is that nothing in the house is used. It’s all brand new and uniquely yours from day one.

The Pros of Existing Homes

Now, let’s compare that to the perks that come with buying an existing home. With a pre-existing home, you can:

1. Explore a wider variety of home styles and floorplans.

With decades of homes to choose from, you’ll have a broader range of floorplans and designs available.

2. Join an established neighborhood.

Existing homes give you the option to get to know the neighborhood, community, or traffic patterns before you commit.

3. Enjoy mature trees and landscaping.

Established neighborhoods also have more developed landscaping and trees, which can give you additional privacy and curb appeal. As Investopedia says, if you buy an existing home:

“Odds are, too, that the home will have mature landscaping, so you won't have to worry about starting a lawn, planting shrubs, and waiting for trees to grow.”

4. Appreciate that lived-in charm.

The character of older homes is hard to reproduce. If you value timeless craftsmanship or design elements, you may prefer an existing home. According to Houseopedia:

Charm is priceless. Existing homes, especially those built in the 1950’s or before, often offer architectural elements, historic charm and a quality of craftsmanship not available in new homes.”

The choice is yours. When you start your search for the perfect home, remember that you can go either route – you just need to decide which features and benefits are most important to you. Working with the guidance of your trusted real estate advisor will help you make the most informed and educated decision, so you can move into the home of your dreams.

Bottom Line

If you have questions about the options in your area, let’s discuss what's available and what's right for you, so you’re ready to make your next move with confidence.

Dec. 7, 2021

Why It Just Became Easier To Buy a Home

Why It Just Became Much Easier To Buy a Home

Why It Just Became Much Easier To Buy a Home | MyKCM

Since the pandemic began, Americans have reevaluated the meaning of the word home. That’s led some renters to realize the many benefits of homeownership, including the feelings of security and stability and the financial benefits that come with rising home equity. At the same time, many current homeowners have decided their house no longer meets their needs, so they moved into homes with more space inside and out, including a home office for remote work.

However, not every purchaser has been able to fulfill their desire for a new home. Here are two obstacles some homebuyers are facing:

  • The ability to save for a down payment
  • The ability to qualify for a mortgage at the current lending standards

This past week, both of those challenges have been mitigated to some degree for many purchasers. The FHFA (which handles mortgages by Freddie MacFannie Mae, and the Federal Housing Administration) is raising its loan limit for prospective purchasers in 2022. The term used to describe the maximum loan amount they will entertain is the Conforming Loan Limit.

What Is the Difference Between a Conforming Loan and a Non-Conforming Loan?

Investopedia explains the difference in a recent post:

“Conforming loans are the only loans that meet the requirements to be acquired by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Jumbo loans, which exceed the conforming limit, are the most common type of nonconforming loan.”

What Difference Does It Make to Me as a Home Buyer?

Forbes article earlier this year explains the benefits of a conforming loan and why they exist:

“Since lenders can’t sell non-conforming loans to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac to free up their cash, they’re a bit riskier for the lender. This is especially true for jumbo loans, which aren’t backed by any government guarantees. If you default on a jumbo loan, it’s a huge blow to the lender.

Thus, lenders generally charge higher interest rates to compensate, and they can have even more requirements. For example, lenders who give out jumbo loans often require that you make a down payment of at least 20% and show that you have at least six months’ worth of cash in reserve, if not more.”

What Happened Last Week?

The FHFA has significantly increased its Conforming Loan Limits for 2022. Sandra L. Thompson, FHFA Acting Director, explains in the press release that:

“Compared to previous years, the 2022 Conforming Loan Limits represent a significant increase due to the historic house price appreciation over the last year. While 95 percent of U.S. countie​s will be subject to the new baseline limit of $647,200, approximately 100 counties will have conforming loan limits approaching $1 million.”

This means that more homes now qualify for a conforming loan with lower down payment requirements and easier lending standards – the two challenges holding many buyers back over the last year.

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) also increased its Conforming Loan Limits for 2022. That could also mean an easier path to homeownership for many prospective buyers. As the Forbes article explains:

“FHA loans can be very beneficial if you don’t have as much savings, or if your credit score could use some work.”

Bottom Line

Buying your first or your next home may have just gotten much easier (less stringent qualifying standards) and less expensive (possibly lower mortgage rate). Let’s connect to discuss how these changes may impact you.

Resources:
  1. To get more information on the new FHFA Conforming Loan Limits, click here.
  2. To get more information on the new FHA Conforming Loan Limits, click here.
March 29, 2021

Sellers' Market Continues in Q1

What It Means To Be in a Sellers’ Market

What It Means To Be in a Sellers’ Market | MyKCM

If you’ve given even a casual thought to selling your house in the near future, this is the time to really think seriously about making a move. Here’s why this season is the ultimate sellers’ market and the optimal time to make sure your house is available for buyers who are looking for homes to purchase.

The latest Existing Home Sales Report from The National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows the inventory of houses for sale is still astonishingly low, sitting at just a 2-month supply at the current sales pace.

Historically, a 6-month supply is necessary for a ‘normal’ or ‘neutral’ market in which there are enough homes available for active buyers (See graph below):What It Means To Be in a Sellers’ Market | MyKCMWhen the supply of houses for sale is as low as it is right now, it’s much harder for buyers to find homes to purchase. As a result, competition among purchasers rises and more bidding wars take place, making it essential for buyers to submit very attractive offers.

As this happens, home prices rise and sellers are in the best position to negotiate deals that meet their ideal terms. If you put your house on the market while so few homes are available to buy, it will likely get a lot of attention from hopeful buyers.

Today, there are many buyers who are ready, willing, and able to purchase a home. Low mortgage rates and a year filled with unique changes have prompted buyers to think differently about where they live – and they’re taking action. The supply of homes for sale is not keeping up with this high demand, making now the optimal time to sell your house.

Bottom Line

Home prices are appreciating in today’s sellers’ market. Making your home available over the coming weeks will give you the most exposure to buyers who will actively compete against each other to purchase it.

Posted in Listing, Selling