Friday, December 29, 2017

Year End Look at 2017

year end look at 2017
Here it is the end of another year that has gone by way too fast. So, I thought I would give you some numbers to update you on how the Greenville real estate market closed out the year.

The median home price for Greenville SC in December is $165,000. This year’s home prices have been a steady incline since starting January at $152,000. Increasing more than $10,000 through 2017. Zillow is forecasting home prices to increase through 2018 possibly topping out at $171,000 in November.

Foreclosures in Greenville are very low with percentages being .71 in January to .34 in August. The national average is 1.6. We still have a percentage of homeowners that are underwater in their mortgage stemming from the market peak in 2007 and then subsequent fall.

Top selling neighborhoods are Pleasant Valley and Nicholtown. Median listing prices rounded out November around $131,000.

Home values have gone up 9.2% over 2017 and Zillow is predicting that they will rise 4% by 2018. The market temperature is being described as very hot.

I also reviewed a Freddie Mac outlook for 2018 and the overview is that the 30-year mortgage price will continue to rise to around 4.4% in 2018. Total home sales will increase to around 6.30 million in 2018. House price growth will be about 4.9%. Three factors will assist the mortgage market as purchase mortgage volume increases, refinance activity will cool off since rates will be rising and existing borrowers will be more apt to tap into their home equity for home equity loans or lines of credit.

Greenville SC is also reported by Freddie Mac to be one of the most improving metro areas month-by-month in 2017 just behind Orlando FL. With the Census Bureau report on U.S. median household income showing an increase in household income for a second year in a row, this reflects that economic growth is modest, but job gains have been strong. The unemployment rate has dropped to 4.1 nationally. Our U.S. labor force has had positive month-by-month job growth for 86 months which is the longest streak in post-war history.

What does this mean for you? Sellers are getting most of their asking prices and buyers are in a competitive market with low inventory. Concessions by buyers are ruling the day and most of the new buying is for new homes. Millennials are buying smaller and less expensive homes within walking distances to shopping, eateries and entertainment. I feel a trend pushing back to living in the city rather than the baby boomers push to live in the suburbs. It will be interesting to watch the next ten years or so.

And remember if you, a friend or family member need assistance with selling or buying a home I can help. Referrals and people needing relocation assistance are welcome! Search Single Family homes in Greenville. Search Condos and Townhomes in Greenville.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Winter Wellness

winter wellnes
Christmas and New Years are almost upon us and once they are past, the excitement that goes along with them are also past. So, you still have several more months of winter and being closed up in the house unless you live in Florida. So here are some tips to help you make the most of your winter days at home.
  • Safety checks. Before the cold starts is when you need to have your heating system checked. If you have a fireplace, get your chimney checked for creosote buildup. It is also a good time to check your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. You will be warmer this winter if you know your heating units are safe.
  • Change up your sleeping quarters. Good sleep is the epitome of good health. Consider revamping your bedroom with new sheets and bedding. Make it more inviting. Also, leak check the room. You get the best sleep when your room is the darkest. No TVs, no ambient light, no outside lights. 
  • Make the most of daylight. With shorter days you need to bring in the light when it is there. Open up the curtains and blinds. Use sunlight bulbs to brighter your mood.
  • Exercise. Another way to beat the winter blues is to exercise. The more the better your attitude will be. But if you can’t go outside, heading indoors is also a good option. Set up a workout room in your home or get a gym membership.
  • Quick warm up. Consider one of the winter bathing rituals that people all over the world do in the winter. Taking a warm soak or using a hot sauna. The heat of a sauna or a hot tub will warm you to the bone and last a long time. If it is a personal tub, think about adding some essential oils.
  • Breathe well. Upgrade your heating system returns with HEPA filters. These filters catch more dust and debris then regular filters and actually clean the air. Consider bringing in a duct cleaning company and have them replace the filters for you. If dry air is the problem, the consider a humidifier. But keep it clean to prevent mold and mildew which brings on a whole other bunch of problems.
  • Healthy eating. A good way to brighten up a grey day is by having a healthy snack. Healthy eating not only keeps your energy levels steady but also brightens your mood. So even if you feel guilty about being inside you won’t feel guilty about your food choices. Keep them in the open and at eye level to encourage your family to eat them.
  • Be social. After holiday celebrations, continuing to see your friends and family will help brighten your mood and keep your spirits up during the cold winter months. Have a game night or a movie night with friends.
  • Outdoor fun. Get outside! Play in the snow if you have it. Take a walk in the cool air. Get some blood flowing and enjoy some of winter’s wonders.
  • Cozy up. Then after you get cold outside head in for some hot chocolate and a warm blanket. Make your space even more appealing by lighting candles. But remember not to leave them alone. This might be the time you finish that book.

Let us know in the comments below which winter activities are your favs. Do the best to keep up your spirits during the cold winter months and keep thinking spring is just around the corner.

And remember if you, a friend or family member need assistance with selling or buying a home I can help. Referrals and people needing relocation assistance are welcome! Search Single Family homes in Greenville. Search Condos and Townhomes in Greenville.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Between Christmas and New Years

between christmas and new years
The week between Christmas and New Year’s Day is one that a lot of people look forward to all year. It is when school is out and hopefully you have down time from your job too. Maybe it’s a great time to reflect over the previous year and decide how to get the new year on track. How will you spend this week? Here are some ideas for you.
  • Declutter and Organize. Use this down time to go through some closets or your fridge or pantry to get rid of old stuff and declutter and then organize it for the coming year.
  • TV Binge. Maybe this will be your chance to catch up on your favorite TV series or movies that have played at the box office over the last year. Look out Redbox!
  • Quiet Reading. Do you have a book that you have wanted to read and just didn’t have the opportunity? Here is a week! Look out War and Remembrance.
  • Road Trip. Maybe you and the fam need a change of scenery. A trip to Grandmas and Grandpas or maybe everyone’s favorite Disney World/Land.
Whatever you may have planned try to make the most of the holiday week. It only comes around once every year so make quick plans now. If you have any great suggestions, leave them in the comments below.

And remember if you, a friend or family member need assistance with selling or buying a home I can help. Referrals and people needing relocation assistance are welcome! Search Single Family homes in Greenville. Search Condos and Townhomes in Greenville.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Lighting up the Holidays!

lighting up the holidays
Always a big production but the joy they bring are amazing! Talking about your annual light display on your home. Here are some tips that the pros use when hanging lights, I wanted to pass along to you.
Before you begin the hanging you need to do some safety checks first. Plug your lights into GFCI outlets. These are designed to shut down the electricity if something goes wrong. Test them to make sure they are working. If you don’t have GFCI outlets outside, then you can get a mini extension cord rated for outdoor use with an outdoor GFCI built into it. Your local hardware store will carry one.
Then check any extension cords you are going to use for the lights. Look for wear and tear especially cuts and frays. If any look unusually worn buy a new one. Then you want to check your light strings for the same type of wear and tear. Replace any that are damaged. Consider this an opportunity to upgrade to new LED lights. Look for a local recycling facility in your area.
Give your indoor lights and outlets the same consideration you do your outdoor options. Check those strings for wear and tear and replace if necessary with newer LED options which will draw less current. Always look for the UL certified tag on any light string.
The pros advise using a power strip for plugging in your lights and not stringing them together one after the other. The first string will have a much heavier load and could possible melt or catch fire because of the load.
For hanging, don’t use any metal like staples and/or nails. Metal can cut the wires and cause damage or malfunctioning lights. You don’t need to spend time troubleshooting. Invest in some plastic clips for your gutters or shingles or railings or clay tiles. There are even magnetic and suction cup options for windows. You can also use zip ties to secure lights in shrubs, on poles or on railings. Get a color that will match your wiring or greenery, so they are seen as quickly.
The latest trends over the past few years has been towards colored lights. Seems bright and white is not so desired anymore. Also, yard decorations and figurines are gaining popularity. Some have gone as far as coordinating their light displays to music.
Wreaths are a good way to add lights and greenery. Opt for battery powered options that have built-in timers.  When lighting your trees, try for random placement. Begin at the top and create a random pattern. Circular patterns are distracting from your display. Use an extension cord that blends into your landscape instead of godawful orange.
If all else fails, you can hire a pro to do the lighting for you. Grab a cup of hot chocolate and let them hassle with placement and such. The pros are there to make it look good so no need to worry about their confidence.
Happy Holidays!
And remember if you, a friend or family member need assistance with selling or buying a home I can help. Referrals and people needing relocation assistance are welcome! Search Single Family homes in Greenville. Search Condos and Townhomes in Greenville.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Laundry Room Makeover

laundry room makeover
Planning to stay in your home for a long time or just in love with your house? How about doing a room to room makeover? Start with a room that isn’t seen by guests much but sees a lot of action. Maybe even every day. Your laundry room.
  • $100 makeover. Declutter, clean up and upgrade your laundry baskets. If you have open shelves, consider baskets with rollers or ones small enough to tuck into shelves. Use them for sorting colors, whites and heavy duty for washing. Think about bins you might use for chemicals or go through your chemicals and safely dispose of ones you don’t use anymore. Clean up spots on the wall that have appeared over the years. A miracle eraser can be used to clean all sorts of grime.
  • $300 makeover. Hampers and put a fresh coat of paint on the walls of your laundry room. A brighter color can bring new life into a otherwise dark room. Here are some color combinations that will work wonders on your mood; pale aqua and white, green and white, beige and white, gray and white, gray, white and a touch of yellow, blue, gray and white, black and white.
  • $500 makeover. Hampers, paint and then add a pop of color with a new rug or floor mat. Perhaps a thick one that is made for standing on especially if you fold clothes in there. Your feet will appreciate it.
  • $700 makeover. Hampers, paint, a new rug or mat and then change out your lighting. But remember bright light is necessary in a laundry room so think about bright LED lighting which will help you save money as well as spot stains that need to be treated.
  • $1200 makeover. Hampers, paint, new rug or mat, new lighting and then add some extra storage or bonus items. Depending on how much room you have you can add an ironing station or drying rack or maybe some extra cabinets or shelves. If space is an issue, put in some space saving items that can be tucked away like a folding drying rack or retractable clothes line.
  • $3,500 makeover. All the above plus new appliances. A new washer and dryer will change how you do laundry. If you buy some front-loading machines look and see if you have room for a shelf above the appliances. This would give you extra space for folding or other laundry day activities.
  • $5000 makeover. Do you want a deep or utility sink in your laundry room? This might be the budget that makes it happen. Price out updated replacement sinks if you already have one or contact a plumber about adding one if you don’t.
  • $10000 makeover. How about all the above and then some new tile or a pet washing station? If you have the room it just might be a helpful item for dealing with dogs and baths. Keeps the dirty stuff in the cleaning room where it belongs and not in your tubs. If you don’t have room maybe new cabinets and new tile floor instead.
No matter what your budget some type of transformation will renew your excitement about the room that turns dirty things to clean things. The happier we are about our home the better the chance is that we will stay. And if you do decide to move, then the makeover will look good to potential buyers.

And remember if you, a friend or family member need assistance with selling or buying a home I can help. Referrals and people needing relocation assistance are welcome! Search Single Family homes in Greenville. Search Condos and Townhomes in Greenville.