What’s ahead for South Carolina Housing

Yesterday I the pleasure of joining South Carolina REALTORS® from across the state for SC Lead 2014 conference in Columbia where Joey VonNessen of USC presented the Economic Outlook for the Palmetto State. South Carolina leads the US in economic growth and several indicators point to increasing employment opportunities while wages in SC for now remain sluggish.

The annual report on the SC Housing Market shows the median sales price at a 5 year high of $157,500 with many areas meeting most of their declines. In the Myrtle Beach area median sale prices rose 4.7% to $146,500 while average sale prices rose 5.7% in 2013. Increasing price trends are expected to continue in our area in 2014 but with limited wage growth home affordability may become an issue for entry level buyers as prices increase over the next year.

Bottom line – home affordability is as good as it gets today and if you are in the market to purchase a home now might be the best time to make your move.

REALTOR® is a federally registered collective membership mark which identifies a real estate professional who is a Member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics.

Free Foreclosure Prevention Clinic December 1, 2012 in Myrtle Beach

Today struggling homeowners have more options than ever when it comes to avoiding foreclosure.  For some a short sale might be the best option but there are programs that might help if you having a temporary setback in income or an unexpected emergency that has cut into your housing budget.

If you have fallen behind on your mortgage payments and want to learn about services and programs available to help Family Services, Inc. will be holding a foreclosure prevention clinic in Myrtle Beach December 1, 2012.  To learn more about this free program visit the event page.

The event will be held at Coastal Carolinas Asssociaton of REALTOR® at 951 Shine Avenue, Myrtle Beach, SC 29577.  Copyright©2012 Sandra Bundy, Broker-in-Charge, B&P, Inc.  Serving the Grand Strand and Pee Dee South Carolina.

 

REALTOR® is a federally registered collective membership mark which identifies a real estate professional who is a Member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics.

Myrtle Beach leads the Grand Strand in Short Sale Listings

Short Sales

While Horry County ranks third highest for foreclosures in South Carolina a positive sign in the real estate market can be attributed to the increase in short sale listings along the Grand Strand.  Short sales are far better than foreclosures for struggling homeowners and neighboring property owners.  Currently Myrtle Beach leads the Grand Strand in Short Sale listings with 191 single family homes offer as short sales versus 94 bank owned properties.

Murrells Inlet has 37 short sale listings and 22 REO of 526 single family listings while Pawleys Island only has 3 REO listings and 16 short sales.  Georgetown has 20 REO listings and 17 short sales of 253 listings.  Currently there are 279 REO listings in the CCAR MLS while there are 461 Short Sale listings and buyers also understand that short sales are a good alternative to foreclosed homes as they are often in much better condition.

The short sale trend is likely to continue as homeowners become more educated about the benefits of working with their bank to sell their homes instead of letting the home go to foreclosure.  A short sale has much less negative impacts on credit scores than in the past and homeowners are also coming to realize that foreclosures can hurt them tremendously especially where employment is concerned since employers are turning to credit scores when making hiring and promotion decisions.

Short sale processes have been streamlined by banks and the real estate community is more educated in how to serve their clients that need to sell their home when they owe more than it is worth.  If you or someone you know is having difficulty making mortgage payments and need to sale your home contact us for more information on how a short sale might be of benefit.

Copyright©2012 Sandra Bundy, Broker-in-Charge, B&P, Inc.  Serving the Pee Dee and Grand Strand of South Carolina.

Antiques Roadshow ~ Checking out local History for the 2013 Season

Antiques Roadshow in Myrtle Beach

In my book there is nothing else like the excitement of having a long held family treasure or garage sell find being appraised by the Antiques Roadshow and this weekend scores of people will be at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center to do just that if they were lucky enough to get a ticket to the event.

This week the Roadshow Crew landed in Myrtle Beach and has wasted no time in hitting some of the public treasures found along the Grand Strand.   No doubt Brookgreen Gardens was on the top of their list and according to their Facebook status updates they were there filming on Thursday and it is very likely Atalaya Castle was filmed too.  Today they were at Hobcaw Barony and surely will be hitting Historic Georgetown later in the day.

While living here we sometimes forget all the great historical sites we have access to in Murrells Inlet and along the Waccamaw Neck when the show airs for the new season of the Antiques Roadshow in 2013 it will certainly provide a glimpse into this wonderful place we call home.

Follow me on twitter for live updates from the Myrtle Beach Convention Center tomorrow as I brave the crowds for my appraisal.  Who knows you might just see me on TV.

Selling Your Murrells Inlet Home

Spring is just around the corner and typically means Murrells Inlet home sellers get ready to place their home on the market in order to catch the wave of home buyers that look for homes so a summer move won’t disrupt the school year.  In an area like Murrells Inlet and the attraction from resort and second home buyers typical might not hold true for that rule but the spring and summer months look promising for Murrells Inlet real estate.

The rent versus sell decision should not be taken lightly especially if your original purchase was in the last few years and you fully intended to keep the property.  Rental units are in demand in Murrells Inlet and along the Grand Strand and while sale price declines appear to be leveling increasing values might not occur in the short term.  Location means everything and we can assist you with analysing your sell or rent senario or buy or rent if you are looking to buy a Murrells Inlet home.

This infographic has some great info for home sellers but don’t forget your REALTOR® can be invaluable when listing your home for sale or when you are looking to buy a home.  If you need assistance or have any questions about selling your Murrells Inlet home let us know as we are here to help. Copyright©2012 Sandra Bundy, Broker-in-Charge, B&P, Inc.  Serving the Pee Dee and Grand Strand of South Carolina.

 

 

Source: mint.com via Sandra on Pinterest

Important reminders after buying a Murrells Inlet home

After buying a Murrells Inlet home it is important to make sure you are getting the full benefits afforded to home owners by way of making sure you have applied for 4% legal resident tax. As a general rule your closing attorney makes mention of this at the closing of your home purchase but many buyers fail to apply this benefit that can save hundreds of dollars off of yearly property taxes on your new Murrells Inlet home.

This 4% legal residents only applies for owner occupants and applications must be made at the county assessors office and is not automatic even if the previous owner was taxed at the 4% rate. I am amazed by the number of homeowners who do not apply for the 4% tax rate and end up overpaying property taxes year after year. For more information see Georgetown County Tax Assessor or Horry County Tax Assessor.  Homeowners should also consult with the taxing authority if they feel do not agree with the current tax assessment.

South Carolina law also allows for a homestead exemption for homeowners that are 65 years old or disabled that will help to further lower property tax bills on owner occupied homes.  This exemption for SC homeowners must be applied for and is not automatic and can exempt up to $50k of your homes value.

This information is not intended to be legal or accounting advise and is provided to help alert Murrells Inlet homeowners of potential property tax savings on owner occupied homes in Murrells Inlet.  Copyright©2012 Sandra Bundy, Broker-in-Charge, B&P, Inc.  Serving the Pee Dee and Grand Strand of South Carolina.

 

Outdoor living in Murrells Inlet

Two years ago we installed a salt water pool and replaced an unused concrete patio and pad that once was home to a storage building. While I love the addition of the pool we are in need of a yard crash and want to add more outdoor living space.

Like many homeowners we spent most of our time working on the inside of our home. With the temperate climate we enjoy in Murrells Inlet my next project is likely going to be an outdoor kitchen. Since our budget won’t allow for the hardscape right now we will need to start with the landscape.

In this real estate market we certainly aren’t looking for quick monetary returns with any of our outdoor projects. After all the pleasure we get out of our Murrells Inlet home can’t be measured in dollars and cents.

An Inside Glance at Home Retention

Yesterday afternoon as I was approaching my latest home retention assignment I was hoping to find the homeowner so I could share important information about options available to help them avoid foreclosure.  As I turned onto the street I noticed a UHaul in the road and wondered if it was the house I was going to visit.  Mine was the house next door and I was glad to find the homeowner and I think the homeowner was glad to for me to find them too.

Thanksgiving was less than 12 hours away and the homeowner was getting ready to leave town to visit family with a load of worry about what might happen next. The fact that so many homeowners really don’t know that these days their lenders would rather find a solution to the current deficiences than foreclose amazes me. But I also understand when someone is dealing with difficult situations they sometimes don’t get the information they need.

Worn out from a year of medical issues the homeowners initial response was “I don’t want to loose me home”!  And I was not there to take it but to advise the homeowner that contacting the lender was the right action to take for now.  As the homeowner connected to the lender and explained the failed attempts to work out modifications we me I could only listen to the tale of mounds of paperwork lost or sent numerous times or the denial of any solutions offered on the part of the lender.

Yes I am very aware that many homeowners have been denied loan modifications but I also understand the rules are changing and new programs are available and the only way to find out what might be the best option for the homeowner is to open the lines of communication.  So thankful this time the homeowner wanted to hear the message I had when I knocked on the door and to know that perhaps this time both the homeowner and the lender were ready to work things out together.  Copyright©2011 Sandra Bundy, Broker-in-Charge, B&P, Inc.  Serving the Pee Dee and Grand Strand of South Carolina.

If you or someone you know is having difficulty making mortgage payments, contact Sandra Bundy for a confidential consultation. 

Additional resources

SC Mortgage Help – Funds for SC homeowners who have been laid off and direct loans to help avoid foreclosure.

 

 

 

 

 

Grand Strand Area Short Sales to Rise in 2012

Short Sale Listing in Myrtle Beach

According to the non-profit counseling agency CredAbility South Carolina ranks 9th in household distress with the overall distress at 63.9% for the third quarter of 2011.  Not surprising when the unemployment rate in SC for September at 11% ranking 5th highest in the US.  Homeowners that want to sell their home in this tough climate are more likely than not to owe more than their home is worth especially if they made their purchase during the housing boom in the Myrtle Beach area.  With no housing recovery in sight short sales along the Grand Strand are likely to rise next year.

In some of Myrtle Beaches newest neighborhoods sale prices declined 23% this past year and while real estate prices might appear to be holding steady for now any increase in foreclosures could have negative impacts on home values.   In May of this year the halt of foreclosures on owner occupied homes slowed down foreclosures but as work out options are exhausted foreclosures could increase.  Horry County already ranks among the highest in foreclosures in South Carolina.  A better option for Myrtle Beach area homeowners facing foreclosure is to consider a short sale.  Not only would a short sale help neighborhood home prices but it also allows homeowners to remain in control of the sale and move on.

Homeowners often overlook the option of short sales even if they have not experienced financial hardships however a short sale might be a good option especially where the owner needs to sale the property in a timely manner.   Increasing inventory and higher marketing time are evident in many neighborhoods and short sales could outpace foreclosures in the coming months which would certainly mean a winning outcome for area home prices in the Myrtle Beach area.  Copyright©2011 Sandra Bundy, Broker-in-Charge, B&P, Inc.  Serving the Pee Dee and Grand Strand of South Carolina.

If you would like a confidential consultation on a short sale of your home contact Sandra Bundy for more information.

Is it Time to Change your Home Buying Strategy?

There is no doubt that it is a buyers market in Murrells Inlet and the surrounding communities of Myrtle Beach and Pawleys Island. Just today as I checked out the active home listing inventory there are no less than 1800 single family homes for sale and when you count all areas along the Grand Strand that number goes up to over 4000. These numbers don’t include condo units or other home choices available in the Myrtle Beach real estate market. Given all the choices home buyers have in today’s real estate market is it time to change your home buying strategy?

Home Buying Strategy – Start Home Search Online

Looking at homes usually starts online for most buyers and it is a useful resource.  While a majority of home buyers start their search for homes on the internet the hidden gem of a home in Murrells Inlet is well known by local REALTORS® and unless you are very familiar with all the neighborhoods on the Grand Strand your online search won’t alert you like your Myrtle Beach area neighborhood expert can.

Better Home Buying Strategy – Search Online for a REALTOR®

SC agency relationships when buying real estate offer 2 choices for buyers with the choice of customer or client level services.  The listings you are viewing online are made possible because the seller has hired a REALTOR® to represent their interests in selling their home.  As a buyer of real estate in SC you have the choice of also being represented by a Buyer’s Agent who will promote and protect your best interest too.  Don’t overlook this valuable service available to you when you are purchasing a home in South Carolina.

Home Buying Strategy – Getting Pre-Qualified for a home loan

Contacting a lender should be at the top of your priority list when you are ready to make a home purchase and lenders are more than happy to assist you with your financing options.  Getting pre-qualified is a great starting point and a must for any home buyer.

Better Home Buying Strategy – Get Pre-Approved for a home loan

Today’s real estate bargains in Murrells Inlet and along the Grand Strand can and do go into multiple offer situations especially well priced homes in good condition.  In addition Myrtle Beach foreclosures are a favorite among deal seekers and a pre-approval is the only way you might get your foot in the door.  Ask your lender to take the steps necessary to provide you with a pre-approval so you don’t miss out on the Murrells Inlet home you want to purchase.  While cash buyers could win out on REO bargins that is not always the case and if you are looking at homes in need of repairs a 203k loan is a must.

Home Buying Strategy – Looking for Foreclosure Bargains

Myrtle Beach foreclosures are a popular target of area home buyers and many are certainly deals when compared to competing properties for sale in Grand Strand area neighborhoods.  Bank owned properties have made up approximately 20% of single family home sales in Myrtle Beach neighborhoods over the last year.  Inventory of foreclosure listings in Murrells Inlet, Pawleys Island and Myrtle Beach make up approximately 2.4% of active single family listings.

Better Home Buying Strategy – Check out Short Sales

Home prices in some areas of the Grand Strand continue to be listed above market value as sellers resist getting real about proper pricing in today’s real estate climate.  REO inventory accounts for only 2.7% of active single family home listings in Myrtle Beach but if you are looking for home bargains considering a short sale listing could be a smart move.  With over 11% of Myrtle Beach homes listed as short sales they offer more choices and are priced at market value.  In addition short sale processing has been streamlined by most major lenders and closing timeframes have been shortened making them a viable option for home buyers in the Myrtle Beach area.

If you have questions about buying or selling a home in Murrells Inlet, Myrtle Beach or the Pawleys Island area contact us for more information on how we can assist you with your next real estate transaction.  Copyright©2011 Sandra Bundy, Broker-in-Charge, B&P, Inc.  Serving the Pee Dee and Grand Strand of South Carolina.

REALTOR® is a federally registered collective membership mark which identifies a real estate professional who is a Member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics.