Friday, June 29, 2018

Rent vs Buy: How Greenville Fares

rent vs buy: how greenville fares
Statistical company SmartAsset released a study that shows 17 metro areas with a population more than 200,000 where the cost to rent outweighs the cost of buying a home.

It just so happens that the Greenville-Anderson-Mauldin South Carolina metro area ranks on their map as #8 nationally. Their interactive map shows that renting beyond 1 ½ years cost you more than buying a home. As the years stretch out the cost to rent becomes higher. Here are a few numbers.

Avg. Monthly Mortgage Payment
Avg. Monthly Rent
Ave. Home Price
Breakeven Year
Rent Vs. Buy Index
Greenville-Anderson-Mauldin, SC

Of course, you will need to review your own budget to see if buying a home is feasible. And there will be some instances where renting is just the only option like for short term stays. But with mortgage rates climbing can you really afford not to buy?

There are many options for coming up with a down payment or even being able to forgo it altogether. Contact your preferred lender for a consolation or use one of mine. I am happy to give a referral.

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, June 22, 2018

Greenville Real Deal on Real Estate

greenville real deal on real estate
Greenville has one of the fastest growing real estate markets in South Carolina second only to Charleston, SC. In the month of May, numbers were off the charts with 1400 homes sold. This exceeds the same time last year by 200.

The only thing that could possibly hinder this growth is a lack of inventory. Research economist Joey Von Nessen made a presentation to the Home Builders Association of Greenville in February which talked about declining unemployment, low mortgage rates and rising construction costs pointing to demand for housing continuing to outpace current supply.

Despite this demand, the Greenville SC area remains relatively affordable to the area’s median income f $62,100 per the National Association of Home Builders. They rank the Greenville area 90th out of 227 metropolitan areas they surveyed. However, local Realtors® say these averages do not account for the pressing need of lower and lower-middle income homebuyers. Homes listed between $150K and $200K are often sold in less than 20 days while homes below $150K are sold in five days or less.

Neighborhoods that are close to downtown Greenville are hotter than others. Some longtime residents close to downtown are listing their homes in this strong market with sellers getting about 97 percent of their asking price. One down side is that wages don’t seem to be keeping pace with the demand.

Some statistics from Trulia©: median sales price for Mar 7 to Jun 6 was $216,000 based on 787 home sales. Average price per square foot was $131 which is an increase of 14 percent over the same period last year. As a contrast, the city of Simpsonville has a median sales price of $224,000, a bit higher than Greenville and Greer has a median sales price of $201,500, a bit lower than Greenville.

So, although this may be a great time to sell in Greenville due to low inventory, I would suggest having a plan in place to sell. Are you upsizing, downsizing, staying in the same area or relocating to a different place altogether? Whatever your situation, I can help you make the right choice. Contact me today!

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, June 15, 2018

Fed Raises Rates and Expectations

Fed Raises Rates and Expectations
This week the Fed announced another rate hike which means the cost to borrow money will go higher. Most of this hike affects short term accounts like credit cards and car loans and variable rate mortgages. Which means if you got a variable-rate mortgage to get into your house and didn’t refinance for a long-term loan, you will experience a rise in your monthly payments. Even a small percentage can result in hundreds of dollars.

Good news is that people with money in savings accounts will be seeing higher savings rates. Also, borrowers after 30-year or long-term mortgages will likely not be affected just yet. However, there is a trend in 30-year mortgages that is driving the rate higher. According to This Month in Real Estate released by Keller Williams Realty reports that in June projected home sales dipped to 5.4 million nationally from 5.6 million last month. Also, the median home price rose to $257K this month up 3.2% from May. Finally, Freddie Mac is reporting that this month the national rate for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage is up to 4.66% from 4.47% in May. Predictions are putting that rate at 5% by the end of 2018. Existing fixed-rate mortgages will not be affected.

Wednesday’s rate hike is the second one from the Fed for this year and the seventh since they began the upward movement in 2015. Adjustable-rate mortgages are modified annually so although the rate hike impact may be delayed it will hit hard. If there are four quarter-point raises in 2018 your monthly payments will go from $84 to $112 on a $200,000 mortgage.

Don’t expect your savings account rate to rise or existing CD rates to change. Most CDs are locked in for several years with an anniversary date where you can make changes. But there are some banks eager for deposits that are offering 2.5 percent for a one-year CD. Top money-market rates are closing in on 2 percent which about matches annual inflation rate. Somethings that people who save haven’t seen in years.

Another product that is affected by the Fed hike is home equity loans or HELOC loans which homeowners use for home improvement. Personal credit cards too. Monthly rates you pay on any of the aforementioned products will go up. Time to pay off those short term loans and cards!

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, June 8, 2018

Housing Going Up!

CoreLogic Home Price Insights
CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Insights monthly report shows home prices are going up nationally. The change in home prices during April 2018 was 6.9 percent over April 2017 and the change between March and April 2018 was an increase of 1.2 percent. The forecast for May 2018 is 0.2 percent over April which then puts home prices 5.3 percent higher in April 2019 compared to April 2018.

CoreLogic’s Chief Economist Frank Nothaft has stated, “The best antidote for rising home prices is additional supply. New construction has failed to keep up with and meet new housing growth or replace existing inventory. More construction of for-sale and rental housing will alleviate housing cost pressures.”

The best antidote for rising pricesADDITIONAL SUPPLY

President and CEO of CoreLogic Frank Martell states that, “Florida continues to show price resiliency after Hurricane Irma in 2017. Despite the impact of the hurricane, prices were up 5.8 percent across the state compared to a year ago. CoreLogic data projects contained gains to home prices in Florida for the remainder of 2018. However, gains could be erased if a significant storm makes landfall again.”

Home price growth across Florida up 5.8% over 1 year ago

As for South Carolina, the change in home value for April 2018 was 5.3 percent higher than the same time last year. The projection for April 2019 is 4.7 percent higher. Month over month percent increase is showing an actual and projected 0.7 percent.

Our closest Top U.S. Metro area is still Washington, D.C. which is showing a 2.5 percent home price index change over the same time last year.

The latest market conditions indicators Metro area maps for April 2018 is showing Greenville-Anderson-Mauldin are overvalued in April and will continue to be overvalued into April 2023. Our neighboring metro area to the north Spartanburg is showing normal valuation which will continue into April 2023.  Columbia metro area will continue to be undervalued as well with the coastal areas of Charleston, North Charleston, Hilton Head Island, Bluffton and Beaufort continuing to be overvalued.

My take on this study is that home prices in our area and across the U.S. will continue to rise due to a lack of inventory. Builder confidence is still not where it was before the housing crash of 2007 and rebuilding that confidence will take some time. Until that recovery happens most markets will be overvalued. It is a great time to sell! However, interest rates are rising along with the economy so if you are wanting to move up or move down or just buy for the first time, don’t wait, do it this year.

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.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Did Grandma Tell You About These?

did grandma tell you about these
Grandma and the women who came before them new how to pinch pennies in their day. They knew where every bit of the money coming into their household went and on what it was spent. That's ok if you don't have the same amount of control. Today we all have apps and auto billing that reach into our accounts and just pay things. It is hard to keep up.

Doesn't mean we can't learn from grandma. I am going to spell out a few money-saving and money-making habits that your grandparents cultivated with a modern twist.

  1. Rent out your rooms. If you have extra empty rooms in your home rent them out. Grandma did! People back in the 50s and 60s new that extra room in a house was a gold mine for them. Today its even easier with the advent of AirBnB or HomeAway. Be sure to check your local regulations. Another option is to find a roommate and become a landlord, gain tax deductions and extra income. If you have a large open area for entertaining consider putting the space on Splacer, an online marketplace for event planners. If you live near an event space consider using your extra yard space for paid parking.
  2. Yearly review of home insurance. Take the initiative to talk with your insurance agent each year when your home insurance renews to make sure you are not overpaying for insurance. Look for instances where you may be paying double and ask what you can do to get discounts. Also if you have gotten rid of anything that insurance covered you may be able to reduce your replacement cost a bit.
  3. Do your own research. Before you decide if you need to hire a professional, do a Google search and understand what is needed to actually fix the problem. You may find out that you can DIY the solution and save the cost of a professional. Remember, most of them charge you a call fee and then charge you the cost of the repair plus parts.
  4. Pack up your refrigerator. Not something you may know about but actually packing your fridge helps you save money. With less dead space for hot air to gather your fridge will actually stay consistently colder. Set your thermostat to 36 - 38 degrees F for maximum efficiency.
  5. Free stuff! Check with your local electric, gas or water utility company to see what free items or assistance they offer. You may be able to get an energy audit, energy-efficient light bulbs, new shower heads, HVAC coil cleaning or usage assessments. What is there to lose?
  6. The power of rags. In our throw away society, we may depend heavily on paper towels but take another look at keeping a good bag of rags. Use old t-shirts, cut up towels and even old socks. When calculating the energy cost to wash them compared to paper towels you will come out ahead. But make sure the rags is good and dirty first.

Hope you enjoyed reading about grandma's tips and remedies. It seems we can all take a lesson from the past and get back to basics. You may want to consider using this method with your food preparation too. Get back to preparing whole foods and drop the over-processed meals we have become accustomed to today.