Friday, February 22, 2013

Trying To Time the Greenville Real Estate Market

If you listen to news reports about the housing market, then you probably know that it has been down in much of the country over the last few years.  The Greenville market has not suffered as much as most, but the home prices did decline some.  A lot of home owners have been waiting for the market to start improving before listing their home.  Well the good news is that the average home price has finally increased to pre-recession values here in the Greenville housing market.

Home inventory is a great way to gauge how well the market is doing.  It all goes back to supply and demand when it comes to home values.   When home listings inventory is higher that means the supply is high and the demand is low.  So it is easier to sell your home when you have a lower supply of homes listed when the demand remains constant.  According to the home inventory is down 9.12% since January 2012, compared to January 2013.
Also according to Zillow, home values in Greenville area are up 3.7% since last year at the same time.   Values are also up in the surrounding towns Mauldin, Piedmont, Taylors, Simpsonville and Greer.  This is great news for people that would like to sell their home.

Greenville, SC Average Home Prices

If you look at the data in the chart, you will notice that right now is the best time to sell your home in since November 2006.  The chart above indicates the average sale prices of Greenville homes are the highest they have been since November 2006.

November 2006 the average sale price of homes was $119,000 according to Zillow, but in December 2012 the average home price is $119,700.  This is the highest average home price that Greenville has ever had!  

 On the chart you will notice that January, 2013 is lower, but also notice that January of every year is lower.  Prices seem to always increase going into February ~ March time frame.

Trying to time the Real Estate market is difficult, but by analyzing the data, you can see that this year is setting up to be a great one for Greenville. 

To get the most value out of selling your home you need to work with an experienced agent that can advise you on the best way to market your home in the Greenville Real Estate market.  I can give you advice on curb appeal, exterior maintenance, staging and more. 

If you are interested in selling your home please contact me so that we can talk about your options.

Monday, February 18, 2013

February Real Estate Tidbits

What Women Want in Their Next Home

·         We all know women are big decision makers when it comes to buying a home. Here is a short list put out by MSN about what women are looking for in their next home.
o   Supersized closets.
o   Jetted bath tubs.
o   Big, open kitchens that have space for dining, doing homework and entertaining or socializing.
o   Comfortable spaces for socializing, like an island kitchen or cozy den.
o   Easy to maintain or low-maintenance landscaping and a new or recently remodeled home.
staging your home gets higher sale prices
·         Now that you know what the big decision makers are looking for, you can use this list to plan out any updates or renovations that you might have been holding off.

·        Also of note, when you are looking to place your home on the market, request your agent get a staging estimate from a professional home stager for you. Investing in some professional help will go a long way to getting that ideal listing price you want.

State of the Union? or State of Real Estate?

President Barack Obama stated in his latest State of the Union speech that the Fed needs to streamline their rules that are making home purchases and mortgage refinances too hard for creditworthy households.

president obama state of the union speech
The President talked about how families with solid credit and want to buy or refinance are being told no. I have to wonder that in the effort to fix the mortgage crisis of 2007-2008 timeframe, did the Feb go too far to the opposite side in requiring stiffer mortgage qualifications than needed?

He also spoke about an initiative to assist in rebuilding communities hit hard by economic slowdown. He proposed creating new businesses and working with private and public partners to rebuild vacant homes. Are we looking at the Fed helping to clear out the remaining inventory of distressed and bank owned properties across the U.S.?

The President also spoke of an initiative for home and commercial property to reduce their energy waste by 50 percent over the next 20 years. Could this become a great selling or buying point? Could this effort get a seller a higher listing price? Looks like energy efficiency documentation may be in our future.

Leave me a comment and let me know what you think. Will President Obama's policies help or hinder the real estate market across the country?

homes for sale in greenville sc
Local Greenville Stats

Currently on the market as of 2/14/2013 according to Greenville MLS.
  • Active Listings | 4,504 homes on the market
  • Contingent contracts | 654 homes
  • Pending contracts | 646 homes
Closed homes breakdown for January 2013 vs. 2012
  • 2013 | 505
  • 2012 | 371
Homes sales are up across the Greenville real estate market.
For 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, February 15, 2013




You may have heard rumors of some upcoming important changes to both USDA and FHA.  These changes will dramatically affect your buyers and in turn you so please pay very close attention to the information below.  Please also use this information to help your buyers that are currently “on the fence” or lacking motivation to get motivated to move forward.


USDA Eligibility Map Changes:


On March 27, 2013, USDA will revise their eligibility maps to 2010 census data.  As you know, the upstate has seen significant growth and development between 2000 and 2010.  The result of this new map with be an elimination of a large portion of our current now eligible areas.  The counties in the upstate that will be affected are as follows:  GREENVILLE, SPARTANBURG, ANDERSON, PICKENS, GREENWOOD


The full effects of this change are unknown as we have not yet seen what the new map will look like.  It is also unknown whether these entire counties will become ineligible or just portions of these counties will become ineligible.


TIME IS RUNNING OUT.  According to an announcement from USDA (AN 4679) [attached] it appears that if we deliver a full and complete USDA submission package to USDA AND they acknowledge receipt of the submission prior to 3/27/13, they will allow us to fall under current eligibility map guidelines.  If however, we miss this deadline, we will be subject to the currently unknown revised map.  The interpretation of this is still unknown as to what USDA considers “Complete applications on hand as of 3/27/13”.


As a result of the above, as we get closer to the cutoff, all loan files that are submitted with the hopes of using USDA funding will need a backup (such as conventional or FHA financing) in order to be safe.


FHA Mortgage Insurance Premium Changes:


FHA has two revision dates coming in the near future according to Mortgagee Letter 2013-04 (attached for those brave enough to try to interpret).


For FHA case file numbers assigned ON OR AFTER APRIL 1, 2013 [and no, this is no April Fool’s Joke]

·         Increase in Annual Mortgage Insurance Premiums by 0.1% per year (this is the insurance that is paid monthly)

EFFECT: This will increase the monthly payment about $8.25 per month per $100,000 in loan amount (not the end of the world but it keeps creeping up on us)


For FHA case file numbers assigned ON OR AFTER MAY 6, 2013

·         MAJOR changes to ability to cancel monthly paid mortgage insurance as summarized below

o   All FHA Mortgages with a down payment less than 10% will have monthly paid mortgage insurance for the LIFE OF THE LOAN (never cancels)

o    All FHA Mortgages with a down payment equal to or greater than 10% will have monthly paid mortgage insurance for 11 years

EFFECT: Instead of most current FHA mortgages dropping mortgage insurance between years 8 and 9, they will pay this for the entire life of the loan.


Please remember that in order to get an FHA case number we need all of the following: Full and complete application, fully executed purchase contract.  Please do not cut it too close.


FHA FUTURE USAGE:  Please note that FHA will still remain an important part of our mortgage lending as a result of current high requirements of low down payment conventional loans and flexible FHA underwriting standards.  In addition, FHA loans also still have amazing interest rates (especially for credit scores below 720) as compared to conventional financing.  We will educate all of our borrowers as to the effects of these new changes and for those that require FHA financing, we will encourage them to refinance with us at their earliest availability for reduced cost.



I have an optimistic view of our purchase market for 2013 and beyond in our market and expect this to be a very busy season.  Even though the above changes are drastic, people will still need to buy homes and I of course will be here to help them figure out the BEST mortgage option for their specific needs and circumstances.  I value our partnership very much.  Please let me know if you have any questions about this email or if there is ANYTHING else that I can do to assist you in your business in 2013 and beyond.


Friday, February 8, 2013

Did you know?

You already know about my blog...but did you know:
    greenville sc home search online
  • I currently have two listings in the Simpsonville area? My latest market snapshot for Simpsonville shows that the average days on the market for this area is 113 days, the median sold price is $109,200 and the number of homes for sale increased by 50 percent. Check out my featured listings. If you are looking to buy or sell in Simponsvile, contact me today and let's get started.
  • You can search all the communities I serve in the Greenville SC area through my area links? From Asheton Springs to Warrenton, even the Downtown Area. See what the most popular listings are and new listings on the market. Using my interactive search, you can save your searches, change the parameters and see market trends for the area. It's all FREE and easy!
  • I have a Facebook page dedicated to Greenville, SC Real Estate? Here you can view my profile and check out my other listings. Like my page to get updates on local happenings.
like Victoria Cottle's Corner in Real Estate on facebook

Local News:
Upstate Homeschool Students Essay Contest
  • Upstate Homeschool Students Essay Contest. Enter this essay contest to win cash prizes. Sponsored by First Foundation Inc., the contest is open to grade levels 9 - 12. Subject for the essay is to communicate the relevance and reality of Christ's resurrection as it applies to 2013 society. Top three winning essay authors will be announced Easter week. Cash scholarships awarded to the winners. Complete details.
  • Retail giant Walmart is opening two new neighborhood market stores in Upstate. One located on Wade Hampton Blvd in Greer. The other also located on Wade Hampton Blvd near the QT at Rushmore Dr in Greenville County. Eighty new jobs have already been filled in the community between these two stores. Openings are expected late summer or early fall.
Walmart neighborhood market comes to Upstate SC 

Friday, February 1, 2013

Local Town in the News

Budget Travel's 8th Annual America's Coolest Small Towns How would you like our local small town of Travelers Rest to win big! Travelers Rest has been nominated as a finalist for Budget Travel's 8th Annual America's Coolest Small Towns. Your votes will increase National awareness for Travelers Rest, plus Greenville County and the Upcountry of South Carolina. You can vote daily. Click here to VOTE now. Time left to vote is now 16 days.
December Home Sales Trend Down

National Association of Realtors
The National Association of Realtors® reports that pending home sales declined in December 2012 but stayed above previous year levels for 20 consecutive months. Using the Pending Home Sales Index, which is based on pending sales but not contracts, NAR determined pendings fell 4.3 percent in December to 101.7. November's high was 106.3. NAR chief economist, Lawrence Yun, said shortages of available inventory are limiting sales in certain areas. Buyer interest is there and foot traffic is up. One result of these conditions is the potential rise of home listing prices.  Conditions are right, if you thought about selling your home, get it on the market now. National studies by other MLS' associations are showing that sellers are getting 90 percent or more of their asking price.

Should I Invest in Home Improvement?
should I invest in home improvement

According to the 2013 Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report, Realtors® voted exterior projects among the most valuable. It seems that "curb appeal" has not gone out of style. Think of it as the first impression a buyer gets of your home. Will they think "nice" or "bad?" Ok, so now what should you do? Try thinking about cleaning or replacing siding,  and window and/or door replacements. These projects can recoup 70 percent or more of their cost at resale. Need an opinion? Contact a local Realtor®, like me, Victoria Cottle.  I list and sell lots of homes in the area and can let you know what improvements potential buyers want to see. By checking out the report mentioned above, you can get a regional analysis of job costs vs. the resale value the owners got from the project. Helpful information when considering your next move.

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.