5 Steps to Being Hurricane Ready in Murrells Inlet

As Hurricane Irene intensified today I made sure I knew what plans my friends and family had in place in the event the storm makes a direct track for Murrells Inlet.  One of my least favorite parts about owning property east of Highway 17 in Murrells Inlet is the fact that it is in an evacuation zone should a Hurricane evacuation order be issued for coastal South Carolina.  While it is my hope I or any of my Murrells Inlet neighbors will never have to follow a storm plan it is one of the necessary elements anyone living near the ocean must have in place.

1.  Make plans in advance!  If you do not have an evacuation plan and live in an evacuation zone you need to make one now.  Where will you go and what will you take with you?  Make your plan now and you will be ready when a storm threatens the South Carolina coast.

2. Pay attention to weather updates.  A Hurricane track can and does change often and knowing the current projections for any storm is as important as having a plan of action in the event a storm is going to hit the Murrells Inlet area.

3. In advance of any storm threats make plans for protecting your home.  Having Hurricane shutters or other devices that could help prevent damage in case of strong winds.  Be sure to always cut tree limbs off your roof and your homes exterior that could cause damage during times of heavy winds.

4. Make sure to secure all loose objects in your yard.  Anything you have outside could become a missle in the event of Tropical Storm or Hurricane force winds.  This should be part of your overall Hurricane Plan.  When will you gather them up and where will you store them?

5. Evacuate if ordered by government officials.  Evacuation orders should be followed in the event of any storm and if you are in an evacuation zone know the route you will take to your destination.  If a Hurricane warning is issued you will be notified 36 hours prior to the storm hitting land.  Play it safe and don’t wait!

For further information and tips for creating your storm plans check out the following resources.

Hurricane Tracking Chart

Georgetown County Emergency Operations

Horry County Emergency Operations

South Carolina Emergency Management

The Weather Channel

 

Determining the Value of Your Murrells Inlet Home

As a REALTOR® that frequently provides Broker Price Opinions on area real estate I have plenty of practice when it comes to helping Murrells Inlet home buyers and sellers determining the present value of their home.  No I am not an appraiser but what I can do is provide a home market analysis based on sales activity in particular homes neighborhood to arrive at a fair market price.

A home market analysis is an important tool in helping both home buyers and sellers and should be used to help sellers when listing their Murrells Inlet home or buyers wishing to purchase a Murrells Inlet home.  Home sellers needing to sell in todays market must take market facts into consideration as with over 500 single family homes listed in Murrells Inlet at this time overpricing could greatly extend marketing time.

When I work as a buyers agent it is especially important for me to show them property that is in their price range but I can also point out others that are overpriced and help them make the best offer possible on the home they wish to purchase by using recent Murrells Inlet home sales of similar properties.  Please contact us for assistance with determining the value of your Murrells Inlet home or to work for you when you purchase your home in Murrells Inlet. Copyright©2011 Sandra Bundy, Broker-in-Charge, B&P, Inc.  Serving the Pee Dee and Grand Strand of South Carolina.

Murrells Inlet Home Sales Increase in July

The number of single family homes sold in Murrells Inlet have increased just over 28% when compared to July of 2010 and appears to support an increase in home sales in the Murrells Inlet area as has been the case in many local market areas.  The bad news is that the sale price of homes in Murrells Inlet have declined 17.4% over sale prices in July 2010 with the average sale price of $222,473 compared to $269,353 in July 2010.

The single family inventory has over 500 homes currently listed for sale at this time and marketing time remains high as a result of slowed demand for homes coupled with overpriced listings in some Murrells Inlet neighborhoods.  The REO inventory remains low in the area as does short sale activity which accounted for only 14.3% of sales in July.  There were 166 new listings in Murrells Inlet in the last 3 months and buyers have plenty of choices in the market area.

This is a broad overview of Murrells Inlet single family homes sales for the month of July 2011.  If you would like a more in depth analysis of what your home is worth in todays market please contact us for assistance. Copyright©2011 Sandra Bundy, Broker-in-Charge, B&P, Inc.  Serving the Pee Dee and Grand Strand of South Carolina.

 

How would you stabilize your neighborhood?

Neighborhood stabilization should be in local hands

News on the housing market remains to be the source of confusion for many as like the stock market you seem to hear about the wild swings in the prices of both since both are market indicators on the health of our economy as a whole.  Truth is that the locality of real estate makes it necessary to investigate the facts of the locale rather than the broader picture of the state of the housing market to determine the health of the local real estate market.  This week FHA released a RFI to solicit input and ideas on how how to best deal with the 242,000 homes it reportly holds in REO inventory in ways that would help to stabilize neighborhoods across the country and provide affordable rental units.

For one thing there is no doubt the task of dealing with the large number of REO properties can be overwhelming especially on this large of a scale and it only makes sense to ask for input from stakeholders.  After all it is the feet on the ground like REALTORS® and local officials that know what effect foreclosures are having on their neighborhoods.  Sure there are others just as qualified to answer the RIF and provide solid strategies for the disposition of FHA assets and surely they will but that doesn’t mean the local homeowners association in a hard hit areas couldn’t provide a solution of their own along with local community development corporations or other housing advocate groups.

The way I see it the rehab and rental of some of these properties by local Real Estate & Property Management Firms is the way to go in some areas especially where affordable quality rental homes are needed.  Jobs will be created in the very neighborhoods that are affected unlike when national vendors are used who have no neighborhood ties or focus on the facts of the market needed to make the proper decisions on the rental or disposition of a home in the first place.  It is certainly understandable to have national vendors in some instances and new rules have been implemented so listing agents are local however it does not appear to be followed as I write but it certainly needs to be the standard when dealing with distressed homes no mater who happens to own the REO inventory.

In other areas adding to the rental inventory and competing outright with investors for tenants could have a more negative impact as falling rents could bring down home prices too in areas where investor activity is heavy.  This is no doubt when selling the REO inventory would make sense and again local Real Estate & Property Management Firms should be used for this as well but having an office 25 miles away from the property is not truly local.  Using asset management firms with access to thousands of qualifed REO agents can easily address the locality rule and present more opportunity for the neighborhoods.  I for one don’t know of anyone more famaliar with that cares as much about helping our communites overcome the current financial conditions and the state of the housing market than a local REALTOR®. Copyright©2011 Sandra Bundy, Broker-in-Charge, B&P, Inc.  Serving the Pee Dee and Grand Strand of South Carolina.

 

Leadership in REO

This year one of my goals has been to increase my education in the REO business sector. In January I became a member of the FORCE through Five Star and have certainly learned much through the weekly webinars. I also entered a contest to get free registration to The Five Star Conference in Dallas in September. Please help by watching and sharing my video entry through August 15th.

Thank you for your help.

A Short Sale Success Story

Yesterday marked the end of my short sale journey with a family I had met over a year ago that was struggling financially when we closed the sale of the home they had owned for over 20 years. The fact that they allowed me to help was more about them wanting to do what was right for their situation and less about the fear I find with so many people I meet who are in over their heads financially.

It all started when I knocked on their door and told them their lender had sent me to offer assistance because they were getting behind on their mortgage payments. I’ve done it hundreds of times as a home retention consultant and this family unlike many who shut me out actually listened when I talked to them about alternatives to foreclosure that might work for them. No the first option was not a short sale as we originally started out working on a loan modification but they soon realized when the modification was approved they would not be able to keep up due to job loss and medical issues.

What this family realized was that even with a loan modification they would continue to struggle with making their mortgage payments and at the end of the day selling the home they had built was the best decision. I listed the home for sale while the market took a dive with values falling 50% over the course of my listing. During this time there were documents this family had to provide to their lender and the hardship letter they lived daily that they had to write so we could get short sale approval.

Yesterday when I spoke with the homeowner as they were removing the final boxes from the home that had once been filled with all things precious they said they felt relief because the weight had lifted and they could move on without the heavy burden. They like so many others would be moving in with family until they can get back on their feet and it is very likely that in a few years with new jobs and better health they will buy another home and because they avoided foreclosure with a short sale they certainly should be able to do just that.

During this process they told me the best thing the bank had done was send me to help as they were getting ready to give up before I knocked on their door. I didn’t expect to hear such praise from this family facing foreclosure and not knowing if an offer would come to make the short sale possible. Thankfully it did but the real thanks goes to this family because with all the difficulties and paperwork necessary to complete the short sale they never once complained and always provided everything requested and that is what it takes to have a short sale success story. Copyright©2011 Sandra Bundy, Broker-in-Charge, B&P, Inc. Serving the Pee Dee and Grand Strand of South Carolina.

If you are struggling with making your mortgage payments and need help you can contact me at 843-902-7615 for information and resources available.

Beware of Craigs List Rental Ads

I recieved and email today from a fellow REALTOR® that has a home listed for sale that had been offered as a rental on Craigs List. The kind folks that posted the ad were off doing missionary work in West Africa and would be generous enough to let the potential tenants stay until they returned from their mission work if they were ‘good’ tenants. This is just one of the ploys used everyday across the globe by scam artists trying to get into unsuspecting pockets to seperate people from their money and another reason why you should use extreme caution when dealing with rentals and sales on Craigs List.

Don’t get me wrong about Craigs List as it does provide a valuable service however when it comes to real estate listed for rent or for sale you need to be sure you can verify the source. Do a google search of the property and see if it is for sale or better yet, if you are looking to rent or buy property, or have questions about either consult a REALTOR® for help.