Friday, January 25, 2013

Upcoming Local Greenville Events

My 2013 calendars have hit the streets! If you didn't get one, email your address to me today if you want one.

clarity spelling bee
Happening this weekend, the Clarity Spelling Bee. Starts Saturday morning, January 26th at 9:00 am and goes until 12:00 pm. Located at the BMW Zentrum on 1400 Hwy 101 South, Greer. This spelling bee is Upstate SC's largest for 4th, 5th and 6th graders. At least 80 students will test their spelling skills in an exciting environment. Get more info. Or contact Casey Lipscomb, 864-331-1439. Registration fee: $15.

Also this weekend, on Saturday

    go to the theatre in greenville sc
  • "Eurydice" at the Warehouse Theatre, 37 Augusta St. Call 864-235-6948 for details.
  • Classic Country Band with Ed Burrell at the Greer Opry House, 107 Cannon st. Call 864-801-1999 for info.
  • Greenville Little Theatre's Studio 444: 24-hr Play Festival, 444 College St. Call 864-233-6238 for details.
  • Rick Wade's Elvis and the Tribute to the Legends show, Walhalla Civic Auditorium, 101 E. N. Broad St, Walhalla. Call 864-638-5277 for details.
  • Rock N Roll Forever, Centre Stage, 501 River St, Greenville. Call 864-233-6733 for details.
  • Short Haired Grace, Clemson Little Theatre, 214 S Mechanic St, Pendleton. Call 864-646-8100 for info.
  • Halestorm, The Handlebar, 304 E. Stone Ave. Call 864-233-6173 for details. Admission $16-$18.

Next week there are Auditions for Greenville Chamber Singers. This is a four-part all women's chorus. Auditions are from 5 - 7 pm at John Knox Presbyterian Church on January 28th. Contact Pat Fuller at 864-244-3340 for an apt or visit

Upcoming February Events

groundhog day february 2
The Greenville Road Warriors are back and you can catch several local games. Playing on Saturday, Feb 16th, Monday Feb 18th and Sunday, Feb 24th. Times vary. All games at the BI-LO Center on 650 North Academy St, Greenville. Check website for more details. Admission: $10. 

Coming up February 23 is the C. Dan Joyner Mission Backpack 5K and 1 mile walk. In memory of C. Dan Joyner, this fundraiser will raise funds for Mission Backpack which supplies food to elementary children in need in Greenville. 5K starts at 8:00 am. 1 mile walk starts at 8:15 am. More information. There is a registration fee. Location: First Baptist Church, 847 Cleveland St, Greenville.

If you need assistance with selling or buying a home in 2013 I can help. Referrals and people needing relocation assistance are welcome! Search Single Family homes in Greenville. Search Condos and Townhomes in Greenville.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Real Estate Tidbits

National Real Estate
Photo: Piotr Bizior
  • Of interest to those of you wanting to buy luxury homes, seems sales of luxury homes spiked in the final months of 2012. Buyers rushed to take advantage of the lower tax rates fearing an increase on January 1. Sellers of luxury homes were also motivated to sell before the capital gains tax rate hike. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) sales of homes priced at $1 million or higher increased 51% in November 2012 as compared to the year before.
  • The national foreclosure crisis is beginning to ease. Total filings, default notices, auctions and bank repossessions were down 3% in 2012 according to RealtyTrac's year-end report. As the inventory of distressed homes leaves the market, home prices will increase with buyer's having less homes to choose from when looking to buy.
  • The bounce back from the impact of Superstorm Sandy has caused a surge in the home building pace for December. Construction was started on 954,000 homes last month. This is an increase of more than 12% over November.
  • Federal officials have cracked down on lenders by issuing new mortgage rules in January. It is an attempt to limit lenders from issuing loans to borrowers who cannot afford to pay them back. They are hoping to avoid the "mortgage mess" of recent years that led to the financial crisis. The new rules will protect borrowers from bad loans and protect lenders from law suits.

Have you heard that Southern Living is having a contest for the South's Tastiest Town? Greenville is in the running. If you think Greenville deserves the recognition, head over to the Southern Living site and cast your vote.

Local Greenville Stats

Currently on the market as of 1/16/13 according to Greenville MLS
  • Active Listings | 4,442 homes on the market
  • Contingent contracts | 578 homes
  • Pending contracts | 553 homes
Closed homes breakdown for December 2012 vs. 2011
  • 2012 | 625
  • 2011 | 458
victoria mcdonald cottle licensed real estate brokerFor more detailed information on local market stats and areas, email me to subscribe to my newsletter.
If you need assistance with selling or buying a home in 2013 I can help. Referrals and people needing relocation assistance are welcome! Search Single Family homes in Greenville. Search Condos and Townhomes in Greenville.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Choosing a Mortgage Lender

You have your budget balanced; some money saved and are planning for the future.  Your next step is to purchase a home; you’ve done your homework and know where you want your monthly mortgage payments to be.  Now…where to go from here?  You have so many questions unanswered so here are a few points to consider:

Do you want to stay local with your mortgage; Do your hometown banks and credit unions keep mortgages in house or sell to affiliates? In smaller locally managed financial institutions the loan officer has the authority to make decisions on their own and in the case of a time crunch it may make the difference. If you are looking at a national bank or a mortgage broker; what was your first impression??  Were they all talk or did they take the additional time to explain all of your options and questions?  Were they high pressure or willing to give you time?  Typically 21-45 days for Conventional financing.  Trust your instincts; keep looking if you didn’t get the right feeling.

Loan Options:
Fixed, APR, FHA, VA or RD?? The lender should never suggest a loan type without first finding out more information about your financial situation. Ask them to go over all the pros and cons of a specific loan with you.  When do you lock in your rate? At time of accepted purchase agreement, time of application or after the underwriters approve your loan?  Before locking your rate ask how long that rate is effective and if it protects all the loan costs, if you can get that rate lock in writing?

Some lenders do things different, so it is best to get a clear picture of what you pay for and what the seller will pay for at closing. This should be summarized in a GFE – Good Faith Estimate. They include things like, appraisal fees, credit report fees, title policies, recording fees, taxes and possibly pest or home inspection fees. Ask them when you typically get this and who goes over it with you? If they don’t explain all the fees or if they are higher than you expected, these may be red flags to consider.
Are FREE!! A lender should never require a fee for Pre-Approvals.  You should have a pre-approval to look for homes.  It is respectful to your agent to not waste their time if you can’t get approval.  Lenders do these over the phone usually and it is just that, a Pre-Approval.  It does not mean you have the loan yet. It just means that with your income and your debit you should be able to purchase a home in this range.  But be careful that you stay within what you have allotted for a monthly payment and convey that to the lender to insure that all costs are included so there are no surprises later.

Listed below are some mortgage options in the Greenville Area:
Myers Capital
Mortgage Lenders of America
First Home Equity Loans
Hanover Mortgage Company
Franklin American Mortgage Company
Bankline Mortgage Corporation
GMH Mortgage Services LLC

Monday, January 7, 2013

What Is Happening in January in Greenville

After all the holidays and family events are done everyone looks for something fun and entertaining to do, here are some options that are happening in our area.


Date: November 23, 2012 – January 21, 2013

Location: Downtown Courtyard by Marriot

Cost: $10/Adults - $8/Children


The only open-air ice skating rink in Upstate South Carolina, bring the family and your friends to glide across the ice and create lasting memories.


Dates: Tuesdays and Sundays 1pm-5pm – January 1 – January 13, 2013

Location: BI-LO Center

Cost: $7 to skate, $3 to rent skates


Everyone wants to skate on the same ice that the Greenville Road Warriors skate on.  See what you can do and think of a future of hockey!


Dates: January 12, 2013 @ 7:30pm


Cost: $50


You must experience Nellie’s vast talents of singing, acting, musician and comedian.  She will perform some pop, cabaret in her unique and eclectic way. 


Dates: January 15 – January 20, 2013


Cost: $45-$75


Deloris is a singer who’s seen and knows too much and now the cops need to keep her safe until trial. So they hide her at a convent. While she’s there she helps her fellows “sisters” choir and surprising herself and them by bringing out a new voice.


Dates: January 22, 2013

Location: BI-LO Center

Cost: $20-$45


They are the only Foot Guards Band to be on active duty.  Their origins are unknown, but dates back to 1716.  They entertain troops and have traveled all over the world, recently visiting Australia, Bermuda, South Korea, France, Switzerland and Italy. 



Dates: January 24 – February 23, 2013


Cost: $30


Experience the 80’s music that you love…performing songs from the B-52’s, Pat Benatar, Foreigner, Huey Lewis and the News and The Rolling Stones. Book your tickets soon, these shows have sold out fast in the past.


Dates: January 30 – February 3, 2013

Location: BI-LO CENTER

Cost: $10-$90


Elephants, tigers, acrobats and aerialists on my…these are just a few of the acts that have come together for this event.  Come join us for the 143rd exhilarating edition of the Greatest Show On Earth.