Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Southport, NC gets an Idea House

Coastal Living has decided on Seawatch at Sunset Harbor for the magazine's 2009 idea house. The home will be built in parternship with Mark Saunders. Saunders is master builder and CEO of The Coastal Companies. Mark Saunders Luxury Homes will build a home encompassing traditional cape design that will overlook Mercer Mill Creek. According to a press release "Coastal Living constructs special Idea Houses in hand-selected communities that represent responsible consciousness to shoreline presesrvation and sensitivity to natural enviroments, as well as present the best coastal home design innovation, decor, and construction." The 2009 Coastal Living Idea House will be featured in the November 2009 edition of the magazine. For more information on Seawatch at Sunset Harbor, contact Jessica today!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Study Shows Housing Values Have Climbed

News reports have been packed with stories about declining home values, but a recent government report shows that the situation is not nearly so dire as some reports make it sound.

Despite big loses in some areas of the country, the majority of markets continue to show growth in home value over the last five years.

According to the third-quarter survey released by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, out of 292 metropolitan markets, 273 showed positive net home values in the last five years. Only 19 percent were negative.

While home values declined 4 percent on average in the last year, values were up nearly 29 percent over the past five years.

According to the Federal Housing Finance Agency, markets that gained the most over the last five years were:

Honolulu: up 78.7 percent
Virginia Beach: 72.6 percent
Flagstaff, Ariz.: 66.5 percent
Bellingham, Wash.: 65.6 percent
Wilmington, N.C.: 62.1 percent
Baltimore: 60.6 percent

Source: The Washington Post Writers Group, Kenneth R. Harney, (12/06/08)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Real Estate Reality Check

I had the pleasure of attending the Wilmington Business Journal's Power Breakfast titled "Real Estate Reality Check". The breakfast included a panel discussion made up of some of the top heads of the local real estate, builiding, and lending industry, including president of my company, Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Realty, Tim Milam.

The room was packed and the breakfast was sold out with a long wasting list. The panel discussion was a wealth of knowledge and I am happy to be able to share some of the information with you now.

The optimism was impressive and former Wilmington mayor Spence Broadhurst started the conversation by summing up the Wilmington region's economical reality. He stated that "...the recession was much slower to affect this region and this region will be much faster to snap back."

Michael Lopez, president of Alpha Mortgage, mentioned that when he got into the business 25 years ago "rates were at 16%". A number much higher than current rates.

Another important note is how important it is for the general public to be educated on the fact that the real estate market is local not national. The "national real estate market" is a lie that Americans have bought into and it has been fed by the media.

Craig Stevens, president of Stevens Fine Homes, noted that "There are jobs here and people want to move here." He also said that he "would rather be building homes in Wilmington, NC than anywhere else in the country."

Tim Milam added that it is projected by leading industry experts, experts that have correctly made these projections for the last several years, that the bottom of the real estate market is 2008 and that we will see a 2-3% gain over then next 10 years. If this does happen numbers in 10 years could look very similar to those of 2004 and 2005.

Stevens also mentioned that "It is important to remember that builders are tight right now and don't have anymore room to go down but a lot of room to go up. There is a lot of pressure on these builders and as soon as more people start buying those prices will probably be the first to go up.

Lopez also pointed out that although the rules have changed there is still a lot of money available for home buyers. Milam added to this stating that many people who have been waiting to buy here based on the need to sell another home in different market. These folks are biting the bullet and starting to sell those other homes and be able to purchase in Southeastern, NC. Also, are prices are still much better then the Notheast, so even if you sell your home in the Northeast for less than you were hoping you will be able to get so much more home at a better value here.

All in all, the entire panel sees a bright and positive real estate future in very near sight. These are the best of the best and it is obvious that they have weathered the storm and see clear skies ahead.

After all, like Warren Buffet says, it is times of extreme pessimism that you should buy and times of extreme optimism that you should I'm just wondering why it is easier for most to listen to the media than to one of the most wealthy entrepreneurs in the world...

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Junior League of Wilmington's 12th Annual Holiday Market

Today is the final day to shop The Junior League of Wilmington's 12th Annual Holiday Market...a shopping extravaganza at the Schwartz Center at CFCC in downtown Wilmington, NC. This is our largest funraising event of the year! I hope to see you this afternoon.

"The Junior League of Wilmington creates positive change in the lives of children and families through the identification of individual and organizational needs, implementation of community programs, distribution of funds raised, and utilization of trained volunteers."

The Junior League of Wilmington (JLW), member of the Association of Junior Leagues's International was formed in 1952. Currently, there are nearly 500 members in the Wilmington Chapter. JLW members give over 10,000 hours of volunteer work to the community annually and continue to impact the lives of children and families each and every day.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

There is money available.

I had two very long conversations with potential real estate buyers this week and the major topics of concern for them both was that "there are no mortgages out there, it is too hard to get a home loan, and I dont have 20% cash to put down." I continue to hear this from many folks in the industry and in the general public.

The truth is that there IS money available and you CAN get financing on a home right now. Some of the awesome loan programs available for real estate buyers in the Wilmington, NC area are:

100% USDA loans
100% VA loans
97% FHA loans
95% Conventional loans
80% Jumbo ARMS

Take the availablity of the programs above and pair that with the fact that interest rates are still at all time record lows, there is a $7500 tax credit for first time home buyers, down payments can be gifted, seller paid closing costs are okay, and even 10 day closings are available!

NOW is the time to buy real estate in Southeastern North Carolina. These types of programs wont be available forever so position yourself to sease an opportunity to create financial wealth and independence today!

"Don't be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better." -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursday, November 20, 2008

To buy or not to buy

You make money in real estate by doing the opposite of what everyone else is doing. In 2005 what was everyone doing? They were buying. Who made money? The sellers. NOW, what is everyone doing? Selling. So what should we be doing? Buying.

You can’t make money by following the heard. If you are going along with everyone else you are missing the opportunities right in front of you. The ones that sold and got out of the market when it was strong made money. Those that waited and waited for just a little more or just a little longer for prices to go up missed out on the peak selling time and ended up with their homes sitting on the market and taking longer to sell and ultimately selling for less money.

No one rings the bell at the bottom of the real estate market. At the first signs of improvement great opportunities become less and less available. Don’t let your opportunity slip way from you.

In the Wilmington, NC area the listing inventory of new homes coming on the market each month is decreasing from where it was. This is a sign of a shifting market. The less homes that are available means less for buyer to choose from and ultimately less opportunity.

If you keep waiting and waiting because of “fear” you will end up standing at the back of the line wishing you were a seller, not a buyer. Why not buy now and be ahead of the crowd?