James Schiller – Charleston SC Realtor http://www.autobglo.com Tue, 28 Apr 2020 14:53:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 How Coronavirus Covid-19 Will Effect Residential Real Estate Sales http://www.autobglo.com/how-coronavirus-covid-19-will-effect-residential-real-estate-sales Mon, 30 Mar 2020 17:28:58 +0000 http://www.autobglo.com/?p=5406 As the full effects of the Corona-virus are still being realized one thing is for sure, it has had fairly significant effects on residential home buying. Here in South Carolina where I sell all over the state, my team and I are seeing a slowdown, not because people aren’t interested in buying, just that everyone is sitting thinking “what do we do”? While home sales have dropped dramatically during the outbreak, house prices stayed about…

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As the full effects of the Corona-virus are still being realized one thing is for sure, it has had fairly significant effects on residential home buying. Here in South Carolina where I sell all over the state, my team and I are seeing a slowdown, not because people aren’t interested in buying, just that everyone is sitting thinking “what do we do”? While home sales have dropped dramatically during the outbreak, house prices stayed about the same or suffered a slight decrease. It’s harder for prices to change when there are few transactions.

Home purchase agreements usually outline penalties for not meeting deadlines or for canceling the deal. Many real estate agreements now include clauses to shield buyers or sellers in case they have to delay or cancel because of coronavirus-related issues. These addendums may address such things as the unavailability of inspectors or appraisers, a buyer’s inability to travel to sign documents, or business or government closures, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Video only virtual home tours and virtual showings are becoming commonplace these days. Agents walking through a home while their buyers are on a video watching live has replaced the standard showing in person. When physical showings are allowed extra precaution is in order with gloves, masks, and no touching of surfaces.?

Covid-19 is likely to hit commercial real estate much harder than residential in the long term, as people and companies get more and more used to and comfortable with remote, “from home” work. I believe many companies will see that it is possible to have a smaller staff that works in the office, and thus will either reduce the size of their office space and either cancel or non-renew their leases, or sell their commercial space. Utilizing apps like Zoom and Slack to facilitate team communication.?

  • 13% of CFOs have already cut real estate expenses with another 9% planning cuts in the months to come.

As far as home sales and residential real estate, that remains to be seen. In South Carolina, real estate agents/sales have been classified as an “essential” service so that means we real estate professionals and those in the field are allowed to continue to work. However, on a precautionary basis. What you’ll likely experience is longer than average closing and contract times. Courthouses, where title abstractors have to research, are only allowing so many people in and at certain portions of the day. Banks are working on a skeleton staff, and also remote as well so funding loans, sending wires for earnest money, etc are slower. Paralegals are working from home more, as are underwriters and other crucial careers necessary for a transaction.?

 

VACATION RENTAL EFFECTS

As most of you know South Carolina is a huge tourist destination since we are one of the East Coast’s biggest coastal hot spots. Popular beach towns like Myrtle Beach, Pawley’s Island, Charleston, Sullivan’s Island, Kiawah Island, Folly Beach, Isle of Palms, and Hilton Head just to name a few are home to mostly second & investment homes.?

The likely negative effect is that not as many tourists would be expected to come from up north (especially by plane) and rent smaller hotels, or condos in many of the resorts that dot the Carolina coastline.?

From a luxury real estate perspective rental season is starting earlier now. Instead of Memorial Day, it’s April 1. Vacation rental agencies around have been getting calls about the large high-end rentals because visitors are looking for April and May leases with the option to extend them for the full summer through Labor Day. Whereas, most vacation tourists only come for a week or so. One agent notes: ‘there is just more room to breathe out here’ and families feel safer,” he said, adding that grocery stores have restocked amid shortages and restaurants are offering take out.? “It’s not a bad environment to be quarantined.” Places like Isle of Palms where there are many large beach homes get well over $5000 a week. Although Kiawah Island would be a hard place to get delivery for food, the golf and tennis are worth it. Luckily if you’re a second or third homeowner on one of our many beaches of South Carolina just keep your pantry stocked and enjoy.?

 

Mortgage Lending Environment

Covid-19 or Novel Corona Virus?has pushed the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), [which regulates mortgage facilitators Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac], directed mortgage servicers of Fannie and Freddie mortgages to offer mortgage forbearance or reduced payments to homeowners impacted by the novel coronavirus. There is another directive?from the FHFA put a moratorium on foreclosures and evictions of homeowners whose mortgages are owned by Fannie or Freddie.?

So.. Although that looks nice and enticing to the everyday homeowner there could be much larger ramifications from the after-effects of this. What happens to the mortgage bondholders that rely on the payments? Servicers, banks and lenders will struggle to make their payments as well, and much of these banks are the ones that keep the financial ball rolling for everyone. Among those banks are the biggest in the country—Citi, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo. If mortgage servicers go belly up, there is no one to collect mortgage payments and disburse the money to investors of mortgage bonds. The entire mortgage infrastructure would collapse and investors would be holding potentially worthless mortgage bonds (circa 2008 financial crisis). Banks servicing loans and/or holding mortgage bonds would be short on the cash that they typically lend to homeowners.

Mortgage lending could come to a halt. Pension funds could take yet another hit. It could make the economic recovery after the pandemic take even longer.

So far the idea floating around would be for Congress to approve credit to the mortgage servicers which would allow them to make their payments to mortgage-bond investors in the short term.?

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On the bright side mortgage rates are really low.?

Back to the processes that get us to closing. That would be underwriting, appraisals, and verification of income and assets. Last week,?Fannie Mae?and?Freddie Mac?relaxed their standards for both property appraisals and verification of employment on the loans they buy. According to the FHFA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will use “appraisal alternatives to reduce the need for appraisers to inspect the interior of a home for eligible mortgages.” The issue of appraisers needing to inspect homes as part of the mortgage process has been a mounting concern as the virus has continued to spread throughout the nation. GSEs (Fannie & Freddie) to begin using both drive-by appraisals and desktop appraisals in certain circumstances to ensure that the mortgage process is not held up due to appraisal issues for purchase mortgages only.?Both the adjusted appraisal and employment verification standards are in effect through May 17, 2020

And late last week, the?Federal Housing Administration?and?Department of Veterans Affairs?made similar changes.

The Government loan agencies FHA and VA both announced late Friday that would allow for appraisal and income verification alternatives as appraising homes and verifying employment are more difficult right now than they were just a few weeks ago. VA appraisal process and are still required to meet Uniform Standards of Appraisal Practice and state requirements but are allowed the broader use of exterior inspection?vs the standard requirement of interior views.?

Income Verification Changes

Some lenders have set stricter criteria for mortgages during COVID-19, which means borrowers with lower credit scores and smaller down payments may find it harder to qualify.

The availability of mortgage credit dropped 16% in March to its lowest level since June 2015, according to an index calculated by the Mortgage Bankers Association. A drop in the index indicates that lenders are tightening their standards.

That doesn’t mean you can’t qualify for a mortgage amid the coronavirus outbreak, but you may have to shop a little harder according to Nerdwallet.

For mortgage approvals the FHFA & FHA states that “in the event, lenders cannot obtain a verbal verification of the borrower’s employment before loan closing, they will allow lenders to obtain verification via an e-mail from the employer, a recent year-to-date paystub from the borrower, or a bank statement showing a recent payroll deposit.”

And here, from Fannie Mae’s bulletin, is more detail on how each of those forms of verification of employment will work:

  • Written VOE: The Selling Guide permits the lender to obtain a written VOE (verification of employment) confirming the borrower’s current employment status within the same timeframe as the verbal VOE requirements. An email directly from the employer’s work email address that identifies the name and title of the verifier and the borrower’s name and current employment status may be used in lieu of a verbal VOE. In addition, the lender may obtain the VOE after loan closing, up to the time of loan delivery (though we strongly encourage getting the verbal VOE before the note date).
  • Paystub: The lender may obtain a year-to-date paystub from the pay period that immediately precedes the note date.
  • Bank statements: The lender can provide bank statements (or other alternative documentation as permitted by Selling Guide B3-4.2-01) evidencing the payroll deposit from the pay period that immediately precedes the note date.
  • Assets:?the mortgagee must also provide documentation of a borrower’s cash reserves equaling a minimum of two months of principal, interest, taxes, and insurance as normal.?

 

New Homes Construction Builders

Well, since nearly a third of all building products come from China it goes without saying there is going to be a problem. Subs and tradesmen can continue to work to frame, roof, install siding etc, but with a strain on materials, things could get dicey. These supply lines have been disrupted. Although home builder confidence was sky high before the Corona-virus epidemic started the materials supply chain problems will almost certainly exacerbate an already questionable outlook. ?

 

 

 

 

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The Best Place To Take Seniors To The Beach Charleston SC http://www.autobglo.com/beach-spot-seniors-charleston-sc Fri, 12 May 2017 22:08:58 +0000 http://www.autobglo.com/?p=4313 My mother is 84 years young and moved here from Columbia in 2013 to be closer to me and my son when my father passed away, and boy was she excited to be close to the beach. She currently lives at Franke home in Mount Pleasant and has been very happy there in her independent one bedroom apartment. Interestingly, she unlike most of the residents there she has a fresh mind and is pretty youthful…

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My mother is 84 years young and moved here from Columbia in 2013 to be closer to me and my son when my father passed away, and boy was she excited to be close to the beach. She currently lives at Franke home in Mount Pleasant and has been very happy there in her independent one bedroom apartment. Interestingly, she unlike most of the residents there she has a fresh mind and is pretty youthful of mind given her age. So much so Franke Home asked her to give a camera interview for their website because she is so sharp. I digress, I want to give a HUGE THANK YOU! to BLU RESTAURANT & BAR of FOLLY BEACH? and The Tides Hotel for being so awesome to me & my mother and making an old lady happy and respected.?

My mom had asked me on a few occasions to take her to the beach again (since the last time) I took her to “that place she loved” on Mother’s Day 2015 for brunch (Blu on Folly Beach) located in The Tides Hotel. The thing is, although my 84 yr old mother is sharp of mind, her body is riddled with arthritis and she has to walk with a walker very carefully and slowly, and if you know Charleston beaches they aren’t at all accessible for probably most seniors and especially those who have a walker or wheel chair. This is The Tides & ?BLU Restaurant of Folly Beach come in. Their wonderful establishments are the PERFECT?easily accessible place for you to take your elderly loved one to the beach without hassle and with dignity. They have a ramp at the front door, Blu Restaurant Folly Beachcomplete with auto open button, double doors large enough to accommodate a walker at the deck, and best of ALL the deck is over the beach. Complete with bar, tables, umbrellas, and wait staff.?

Unlike Sullivan’s Island or Isle of Palms?where this is not possible to do?these fine establishments have shown respect for the senior population. To top it off the staff at both places were so kind and respectful in both visits to their restaurant, 2015 for Mother’s Day brunch, and just last week when I took my mom back for her “mother’s day beach excursion”. It made her day (probably her month) to sit there with a glass of wine and watch her grandson play on the beach, and look for shells with me. After my son had enough beach time we all sat there on the outside deck and had wonderful lunch before heading home.

With Charleston quickly becoming the new hot spot for retirees over Florida it probably comes as no surprise that an average of 20% of the Charleston area’s population is 60 or above. There are also approximately 40 or more retirement, assisted living/seniors living facilities in the area as well with more currently under construction.?

Image Credit: Trip Advisor

 

So if you have an elderly loved one who enjoys the ocean and you want to give them the gift of good food, warm atmosphere and fun at the beach then The Tides Folly Beach & BLU Restaurant is your place to go. This is definitely the best place to take someone who has physical challenges to the beach in Charleston SC, not just the elderly because their location has all you need to make visiting the beach an easy activity for everyone.?

*Please have respect for them and make sure you spend some money while you’re there otherwise they won’t be there to enjoy. ?

 

In case you’re wondering, NO I do not have any affiliation or obligation to this restaurant or hotel other than to say THANK YOU again for being good stewards of the community?and making the day of an 84 yr old senior.?

Sincerely,

James Schiller of Mount Pleasant

 

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2017 Real Estate Expectations & Housing Trends http://www.autobglo.com/2017-real-estate-expectations-housing-trends Thu, 08 Dec 2016 15:33:47 +0000 http://www.autobglo.com/?p=3986 Well now that Thanksgiving is over, and Christmas and New Years is upon is it’s time to start planning for what we are likely to see in the new year. The election was a wild ride and bumpy to say the least, but now that president elect Trump is in office we can move on. With newly appointed future HUD secretary Ben Carson in office it remains to be seen how low income housing, lending,…

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Well now that Thanksgiving is over, and Christmas and New Years is upon is it’s time to start planning for what we are likely to see in the new year. The election was a wild ride and bumpy to say the least, but now that president elect Trump is in office we can move on. With newly appointed future HUD secretary Ben Carson in office it remains to be seen how low income housing, lending, and urban real estate will be affected since Mr. Carson has admittedly said he is not well versed in the industry. One thing we do know is he is a very sharp level headed man, and I have no doubts he will be well informed by those familiar with our field to help him in making good decisions to help home owners and home buyers.?

Now that 2017 is quickly approaching home buyers and sellers alike are weighing their options as the holidays fade the slow season will too. What’s that mean for you?

According to Moody’s Analytics projections – nationally, home prices are expected to keep rising, albeit more slowly— 3.5% in 2017, vs. 4.5% in 2016. But even more so than in recent years, your position is now going to hinge on what and where you’re buying or selling.?

It probably comes as no surprise that there has been a resurgence in interest in urban living as millennials move away from mom and dad’s house. Most of who prefer to walk, bike or Uber from place to place with in their city or town. No where is that more evident than Charleston SC, where parking is almost impossible in the city and loft style condos are becoming the new hot trend.?Small homes have seen much sharper price growth than larger ones, urban areas have appreciated faster than metro outskirts— and both trends are expected to continue in 2017.

If you’re a suburbanite, things are looking bad for you either.?Over the five years between 2011 and 2016, the average price on a two-bedroom house climbed 59% nationwide, while four-bedroom houses?climbed a more modest 41%, according to an analysis by Attom Data Solutions. Inventory has also risen at the higher end of the market, rising almost 8% for homes in the $500,000 to $750,000 range.

Most of my clients here in the area are retirees looking to move from colder climates and enjoy the laid back beach feel, charm, and phenomenal world class dining that only Charleston offers. If you’re one of those retirees looking to move to sunnier climates, you may profit from what are now bigger variations between U.S. metro areas than have existed at any time in the past two decades, according to Yun – chief economist at the National Association of Realtors.?

MORTGAGE RATES:

If you haven’t pulled the trigger just yet on buying it may have cost you, as mortgage rates have risen from once all time lows to current rates of 3.85%, and I wouldn’t be surprised if you see them push over 4% within in the first half of 2017. For example:?That would mean an $864 increase in annual payments on a $250,000 mortgage if rates jump to 4.2% from the 3.7% average on 30-year fixed loans in November.

FHA LOANS:

For 2017 The FHA has announced they are going to increase loan limits due to rising home prices.?

Here are the upcoming changes. In high-cost areas, the FHA national loan limit “ceiling” will increase to $636,150 from $625,500.? FHA will also increase its “floor” to $275,665 from $271,050.?

Additionally, the maximum claim amount for FHA-insured Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECMs), or reverse mortgages, will increase to $636,150.?

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Latest Home Sales Climate http://www.autobglo.com/charleston-sc-home-sales-conditions Thu, 28 Jul 2016 16:27:43 +0000 http://www.autobglo.com/?p=3792 Well we can definitely tell it’s summer here in Charleston SC, because the temperature outside is hovering around 96 degrees and the heat index is around 105, and it’s not even August. Unfortunately, for buyers looking to purchase in the area they are experiencing much of the same thing, but for how long? Is there about to be a new bubble? In a recent article by Reuters.com,?new single-family home sales hit their highest level in…

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Housing Market Conditions

Image Credit: Realtor.com

Well we can definitely tell it’s summer here in Charleston SC, because the temperature outside is hovering around 96 degrees and the heat index is around 105, and it’s not even August. Unfortunately, for buyers looking to purchase in the area they are experiencing much of the same thing, but for how long? Is there about to be a new bubble? In a recent article by Reuters.com,?new single-family home sales hit their highest level in nearly 8-1/2 years in June flaming the fire of talks of if the Fed will soon raise interest rates.?A Reuters survey of economists stated, the government is expected to report on Friday that the economy grew at a 2.6 percent annual rate in the second quarter, accelerating from the 1.1 percent pace logged in the January-March period.

What’s this mean for the Charleston SC housing market? Considering there is not much inventory and consumer sentiment is so high suggests that there is likely not to be any slow down in real estate sales any time in the near future. With the election looming things might take a slight bump which is normal in an election year, but the simple principles of economics are what’s driving our market locally. If there aren’t a lot of desirable properties on the market, and more buyers than inventory then prices will continue to rise. Which has been the case for the last 5 years.

 

Recently Realtor.com ranked Charleston SC #9 out of potential housing bubble cities in America citing falling unemployment, relatively affordable housing compared to other hot markets, and increasing pay as factors contributing to a very hot market. ?According to a recent article by The Post & Courier,?The local market has about 5,400 homes listed as “active” for sale in the Charleston Trident Multiple Listing Service, and, at the current rate, about 25 percent of those will be sold in July. Still, inventory is down 12.5 percent from a year ago, and a more “normal” market saturation rate would be about 6500 homes for sale. Mount Pleasant especially has been getting a lot of criticism from locals about it’s building too fast for growth sparking talks of a building moratorium which would only increase prices more in the already most expensive town to live in South Carolina.

Bottom line, as long as there are people looking to buy and a lack of inventory you better expect to be in a potential bidding war at any given moment for a nice home. If you’re looking at the “sweet spot” of $150,000 – $200,000 then you had better be willing to live away from the suburbs of Charleston because affordability is still a concern for most looking to live in the Low-country.

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Housing and Economy Not Looking Good http://www.autobglo.com/housing-bubble-to-return Thu, 05 May 2016 22:00:18 +0000 http://www.autobglo.com/?p=3540 Did we not learn our lesson? Has it been so long ago that we have already forgotten the complete and utter collapse of not only our economy but more or less the world’s because of reckless mortgage lending. Don’t be alarmed when I tell you that you had better be prepared for another economic recession within 5 years or less. I am calling it now. There are already signs there are cracks in the armor.…

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Did we not learn our lesson? Has it been so long ago that we have already forgotten the complete and utter collapse of not only our economy but more or less the world’s because of reckless mortgage lending. Don’t be alarmed when I tell you that you had better be prepared for another economic recession within 5 years or less. I am calling it now. There are already signs there are cracks in the armor. Reuters reports?(May 5th 2016) “unemployment benefits rose more than expected last week, posting the biggest gain in more than a year, and?showed a 35 percent surge in planned layoffs by U.S.-based employers last month.” Our economy has been artificially propped up by the current administration through purchasing bonds and “Quantitative Easing” or a snazzy way of saying the Fed artificially infusing money into the economy.?

I spent over 13+ years in the mortgage industry as not only a loan officer, but also the founder and president of my own mortgage firm from 2002-2009. I had 13+ associates and two offices, and in 2007 all of it came crashing down. For one reason and one reason only, extremely irresponsible home mortgage lending, and subsequent manipulation of the mortgage loans packaged and sold on Wall St. (but that’s another story). Watch the movie The Big Short if you want to know more. The real problem was high LTV loans (loan to value) or in other words “non-accountability” loans (as I like to call them) at 100%. When you do not require buyers to put money down you’re basically absolving them of any consequences or responsibility when they can’t or in some instances won’t pay. It doesn’t take a professor of economics and finance to know you have to require people to have “skin in the game”.?sdds

Recently another real estate agent peer that I respect highly made comment on social media that a mortgage lender with Ameris bank had taken him to lunch to tell him about a “new 100% product”, and I about fell over. Granted it’s a strict portfolio loan product (the bank isn’t going to sell them), or so they say. He also said there was a second bank?he talked with offering a no money down mortgage too. I don’t know what is going on in the heads of these bank presidents but are they losing their mind? This is EXACTLY what got our country into this mess. Not all of it, but I’d guess 95% of it.?

I started in real estate in 1998 in the mortgage business when 10% was the minimum if you wanted to buy a house and that seemed aggressive even. Then it continued to easier and easier to buy a home. I remember when 95% came out, then 97%, then 100%. As if that wasn’t bad enough you could also get that high of LTV without showing much in the way of collateral or significant job stability. The writing was on the wall but Americans, bankers, Wall St, agents, investors, traders, loan officers, and myself included were all too drunk on the money to see it.?

Here is the kicker which makes NO sense whatsoever, lending has gotten so tight and even to some extent still is that people with only W2 jobs with verifiable income from THEIR employer can get loans. Meanwhile those of us who are self employed struggle to get approved even with perfect credit. This is one way the economy could be helped since much of America’s work force are self employed. Let me explain. If you own your own business and/or get a 1099 which is basically the same thing; good accountants will do their best to show you how you can relieve your tax burden through allowable tax deductions. In an effort to keep you from paying uncle Sam as little as possible. Sounds good right. However, when buying a home you have to show your income, which means your tax returns have to show enough income to prove you can afford the home. Understandable right. Depending on your level of success this is a catch 22 because you do not want to show significant income because you’ll pay through the nose in taxes, but if you do not show the bank enough income underwriters will not sign off on the loan. Regardless of your credit score and if you have paid every debt perfectly and you put money down. There used to be a lending product where self employed borrowers could simply show 24 months of deposits in their bank to prove income, had to have 700+ credit scores, and show liquid assets. That worked well. I digress.

If you’re smart you’ll start saving now because with a new president on the way into office who knows where our economy will go when banks are already being reckless. ?

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Real Estate Sales And Today’s Technology http://www.autobglo.com/real-estate-sales-todays-technology Wed, 17 Feb 2016 19:13:44 +0000 http://www.autobglo.com/?p=452 Wow! How the internet has changed the world in the last 10 yrs. They say technology capabilities double every six months, meaning what you buy now in technology will be obsolete in actually 3 months. So, how has the world of real estate changed with the evolution of technology? Listing tips from a Charleston SC real estate agent using technology to his and his clients advantage. As a licensed broker and someone who sells real…

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Wow! How the internet has changed the world in the last 10 yrs. They say technology capabilities double every six months, meaning what you buy now in technology will be obsolete in actually 3 months. So, how has the world of real estate changed with the evolution of technology? Listing tips from a Charleston SC real estate agent using technology to his and his clients advantage.

As a licensed broker and someone who sells real estate in Charleston SC I have seen first hand how technology has changed my area and how homes are sold. Gone are the day of you working for a broker, and the broker owns or has the “stuff” as it pertains to marketing, leads, and office toys. In today’s real estate world most agents don’t even need an office because everything is digital. Even when I owned my mortgage company I rarely met my clients because everything was done with fax and then email. Now it’s even more streamlined. Don’t get me wrong I definitely have to meet clients to sell homes, but SOO much can be done with technology now that there is less effort in “prep” and “work” than was once the case. For Instance: Today’s buyers search the internet 90% of the time for homes for sale (and rent) versus looking in the paper or even one of those magazines in the grocery. ?For the most part agents really don’t need (in a lot of cases) to search their local MLS and send their prospects properties although if an agent cares about providing excellent service they still will do that. But it’s really not necessary if you think about it. Most buyers know what they want already and just tell you what addresses they want to see. However, where agents come in, is helping those buyers NOT familiar with the area. In fact; I have had clients tell me “We have seen that one already”.. After I have sent them homes to see via email. Which leads me to tell them,”just email me the ones you want to see and I’ll set up showings for you”. Buyer’s don’t necessarily have all the sold homes data and that’s where agents are still needed, to help them determine a price and negotiating strategy. Here in my local area, Charleston SC real estate agents are pretty tech savvy. One of the coolest things I love about the latest technologies are digital signatures. When I send out contracts I use (personally) services like Hellosign, or Dochub to send out my contracts and docs to clients for digital signatures. Which is SOO easy and helpful in saving me time, which we all know is money. Assuming the buyers or sellers have a computer and a little know how it’s so simple for me to set and for them to sign. Recently I showed a real estate in Wild Dunes and my buyers were from out of town as this is a beach resort so for many buyers it’s a vacation second home they are looking for. They came down to visit, we looked at a few homes, and I used my ipad to have them sign an agency agreement, and then a few days later I used Hellosign to send them the contract to sign once they were already back home. Never once actually touching or printing a piece of paper. Listings & Marketing with ease: Either when agents or “for sale by owners” wanted to market property for sale before the internet and smart phones it was a serious undertaking. ?Now the cameras on smart phones are SO good that they take phenominal digital high resolution images ready for publishing immediately. Furthermore, they are so user friendly that you no longer need to hire a professional photographer to take decent photos of a home. However, a professional is recommended because no matter how good the cell phone or digital camera, there are techniques with lighting, framing, editing, depth of field and so on that pros know that the average person will not. ?With that said someone on a budget can do a pretty good job representing a home well enough just by using their iPhone or Android OS device. Youtube and Vimeo the two most respected cloud based video publishing sites both make it really easy to put a video on the web. So you can now take a bunch of good photos (or video) with your device and easily use and app to edit it, or just upload to Youtube and edit it there. Boom you have just published a nice online walking tour of your home for sale.

A new company offering 3D Video walk-through cameras for virtual reality makes you feel like you’re standing in the home. SEE EXAMPLE.?

Conclusion: Both buyers, sellers and agents can benefit from utilizing the latest helpful technologies like tablets, smart phones, and the internet to ensure the transaction is simple, quick, safe, fast, and reliable without sacrificing quality service. ?

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United States Prices in Housing Continue to Go Up http://www.autobglo.com/prices-continue-to-rise Wed, 20 Jan 2016 15:08:16 +0000 http://www.autobglo.com/?p=3277 Have we learned nothing from the Great Recession? Housing appears to be headed down the same road it was in 2006 when “the bubble” burst. I owned a flourishing wholesale mortgage firm for 7 years and wrote loans for over 13 years total. After closing my company in 2009 after seeing that there was no hope in the near future for a turn around and decided to focus on real estate sales only vs doing…

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Have we learned nothing from the Great Recession? Housing appears to be headed down the same road it was in 2006 when “the bubble” burst. I owned a flourishing wholesale mortgage firm for 7 years and wrote loans for over 13 years total. After closing my company in 2009 after seeing that there was no hope in the near future for a turn around and decided to focus on real estate sales only vs doing both I said to myself, “on the bright side we [as a country] have at least learned our lesson”, or so I thought.?

I recently read an article in Business Insider called “Something strange is Happening in Housing“, and although most of what was in the article came as no surprise to me because our real estate market here in Charleston SC has been on fire for the last three years more or less, I was however alarmed to read there are banks lending 100% again.?San Francisco Federal Credit Union announced a new loan program that will allow San Francisco-area borrowers to finance up to 100% of their mortgage – with no requirement for mortgage insurance – on loans up to $2 million. This is insanity! Jumbo loans at 100% financing! Not to mention it’s call “The Poppy Loan”! They claim it’s an acronym that stands for?Proud Ownership Purchase Program for You, to me it’s referencing the poppy the seed, the flowering plant where the drug heroin comes from because you’d have to be on drugs to write this loan. It’s 100% financing loans that got us into this mess in the first place.?

Not making borrowers have “skin in the game”, was the entire reason things got completely out of control in the first place. No wonder San Fran has some of the highest housing costs in the entire country. When I started writing mortgages in 1998 the minimum you had to have to buy a house was 10%, and that was with an 80%, and 10% equity line, assuming you had flawless credit. Which is how it should be.?

Putting that aside – how do we explain the meteoric rise in real estate prices when we have a stagnant economy (regardless what the white house wants you to believe) with 2% GDP, and incomes that aren’t commiserate with the cost of homes? The article by Morgan Housel points out,?San Francisco prices are up 79.2% since 2009. Atlanta is up 53%. Phoenix, up 47.1%. Denver, 42.6%. Los Angeles, 49.7%. The magnitude of these gains rivals what we saw during the nuttiest portions of the 2000’s bubble.

The only thing that does make since is that it says housing prices are up anywhere from 30-70% from 2009 prices. Well duh, that was the lowest of the low in decades. No surprise there.?They’re now just 4.5% off their 2006 bubble highs, according to data from respected Yale economist Robert Shiller (no relation): reports the article.?

The writer points out his beliefs as to what the culprit is for the unjustified boom in housing prices, and I can’t say as I disagree, because I watched it happen myself. For example in 2013 DR Horton released news of its largest development in the United States, Oyster Point?right here in Charleston’s suburban community Mount Pleasant. As I met with clients and the listing agents at the new community we were informed that the builder DR Horton was temporarily freezing contracts and although they claimed it was to “slow down the growth” because it they couldn’t keep up – it’s hard to say. The writer feels the large national builders were intentionally slowing down building to drive up prices and profits. ?

Bottom line is, it’s simple economics supply and demand. Mortgage rates were at an all time low for SO long that made housing a little more affordable so people were eager to buy as fast as possible. Home owners who were once struggling and under water were able to refinance and modify their loans and remain in the home. However, weren’t necessarily in a place financially to move because their credit was ruined from the crash so they weren’t selling. Banks had a gluttony of REO properties they were forced to sit on for legals reasons. Who knows if there is any truth to the builders scenario laid out above. Fact is there are many factors in play that have all contributed to the fast rise in real estate prices, but supply and demand will always be the main reason. Nothing other than that. ?

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San Diego CA And Charleston SC Sister Cities? http://www.autobglo.com/san-diego-ca-and-charleston-sc-sister-cities Tue, 28 Apr 2015 19:48:05 +0000 http://www.autobglo.com/?p=2241 I bet when you think of San Diego the last thing you think of is Charleston SC. Trust me, I understand why. However, you’d be really surprised at how very similar the two cities really are. Truly. I have lived in Charleston SC since 1999, and am originally from Columbia SC. I have traveled all over this great United States, and honestly there really isn’t much like Charleston SC. I am not being biased I…

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I bet when you think of San Diego the last thing you think of is Charleston SC. Trust me, I understand why. However, you’d be really surprised at how very similar the two cities really are. Truly. I have lived real estate investingin Charleston SC since 1999, and am originally from Columbia SC. I have traveled all over this great United States, and honestly there really isn’t much like Charleston SC. I am not being biased I promise. I mean there are some cities that architecturally are very similar like: Wilmington NC, New Orleans LA, and Savannah GA (which might be the closest in a general to a lot of Charleston’s characteristics). That’s about it. After having just left from a visit to San Diego I couldn’t help but think to myself how similar the two cities are in so many ways, and in trying to give the locals of San Diego who have never been to our great city an idea, I couldn’t help but sum it up by saying “it’s kind of the San Diego of the South”. ?I know you’re say WHAT??!! How is that? I’ll explain, but first you must know that like San Diego, Charleston SC is one of the United States and World’s most renowned destination cites. ?

Recently my wife and I visited San Diego California for a week long business/vacation get away, and had a most wonderful time. Prior to going my wife did about 5 months worth of internet research on the best dining, things to see and do that San Diego has to offer and it paid off. We had a blast. We went to their amazing zoo (like most people), ate at some of the city’s best restaurants, drank at the most famous bars, took a two hour sailboat tour through the harbor, even did a small biking excursion on Coronado Island to see the famous hotel Coronado.?

We met so many kind people, almost everyone we talked to that lived there was very gracious and a pleasure to talk to. Offering suggestions and giving us their thoughts on places to go and see while visiting their great city. We ate some amazing breakfasts at the very well known Hash House– twice because it was so good, had drinks at Cafe 21 in the gas lamp area and met the nicest bartender (thanks Zane), drank craft beers at Ballast Point?(had 6 different kind)?and spent one morning before breakfast at the farmers market in Little Italy. Dined at?The Prep Kitchen (twice that week), had happy hour drinks on top of the 5th Avenue Financial Center at Bertrand at Mister A’s?which has the MOST amazing views of the entire city while airplanes fly by you, and raved for the food at?Cucina Urbana?restaurant. You get the point by now. We had a great time.?

I bet you’re thinking let’s get to the nitty gritty as to why you think they’re so similar. I call Charleston SC the “San Diego of the South” for many reasons beyond just being popular tourist cities, but truthfully that does have a lot to do with it.?

It should be of no mystery that Charleston SC is one of, if not the most kind hospitable town in America; well at least it was for 13 straight years as voted by the world’s most respected tourism magazines. We found the people we met in San Diego to be so welcoming, kind, and accommodating so much so that it instantly reminded me of home. Unfortunately, we did have an Uber driver (had never even been to S.C.) that made a ignorant “stereotype type” comment about South Carolinians I wasn’t happy about. That’s ok, there’s one in every bunch as they say.?

Both San Diego and Charleston South Carolina are coastal cities, with a military base(s) and military life influences to which if you live in a city that has a large military population you’ll understand. ?Although Charleston SC is considerably smaller it is one of America’s most respected and well known “foodie”, and culinary destination cities according to the most well respected chefs, dining critics and media outlets. As does San Diego. I think it’s safe to say we don’t have near as many eating and drinking establishments as San Diego does, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the Charleston SC tri-county area has as many well publicized restaurants as San Diego.?

Both cities also are heavily reliant on tourism for a large portion of their cities revenue streams, and both cities have a very young, “hip”, fun, and diverse population most of which aren’t in fact from the area. Mostly transplants from around the United States and world that made the cities their home after visiting. Charleston unlike any other major city in SC (there are only 3), is mostly comprised of people not from Charleston. Likewise, almost everyone we met who lived in San Diego was not from San Diego. Many people from around the United States have a tendency to want to lump California into the same “stereotype”, as liberal, sometimes weird, and sometimes fake. That maybe the norm for some cities in California, but San Diego does not fit that mold at all. The city makes you feel like you’re in a small normal everyday American town that could be anywhere in the U.S. Our lovely cocktail waitress at Cafe 21 summed it up perfectly when she said that locals characterize San Diego in one sentence, “the biggest small town in America“. ?

Both areas have beautiful beaches to enjoy, but unlike San Diego one thing we do have they don’t is warm waters to enjoy almost year around whereas you need a wet suit most of the year in almost all of California.?

Charleston SC & San Diego are also growing at leaps and bounds as being two of America’s fast growing coastal communities. So if you live in San Diego and want to go east, Charleston SC will be your best bet for reminding you of home. If you live in Charleston South Carolina and have need to go west, and want the same feel that only Charleston SC gives you look no further than San Diego. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.?

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James Island SC Neighborhoods Charleston http://www.autobglo.com/james-island-neighborhoods Mon, 30 Mar 2015 20:48:26 +0000 http://www.autobglo.com/?p=2180 James Island SC Subdivisions | Neighborhoods on James Island SC Charleston | Real Estate For Sale James Island.?Learn about James Island (29412 zip code) living, list of every development, search homes for sale, and property listings on MLS, find interesting helpful information about the town of James Island. On January 8, 1993 Island residents incorporated “the Town” of James Island, which then went through multiple lawsuits to stop the incorporation, and in the end, the…

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James Island SC Subdivisions | Neighborhoods on James Island SC Charleston | Real Estate For Sale James Island.?Learn about James Island (29412 zip code) living, list of every development, search homes for sale, and property listings on MLS, find interesting helpful information about the town of James Island. On January 8, 1993 Island residents incorporated “the Town” of James Island, which then went through multiple lawsuits to stop the incorporation, and in the end, the South Carolina Supreme Court ruled against “The Town of James Island” in June 2011. It ruled that the South Carolina incorporation law used by the Town was constitutional, but that approximately 25% of the Town was not contiguous. Rather than remove that portion of the Town, it ordered the Town closed.

The community of James Island is an older community of Charleston SC, by the standards of Mount Pleasant, and Homes for sale zip code 29412Daniel Island which began their “boom” in the 90’s. Although, Mount Pleasant has a few neighborhoods from the 1800s like The Old Village, and The Hamlin Community area, James Island as a whole has more older homes. So finding new construction on James Island doesn’t come up very often.?

The Town of James Island currently includes a population of 11,500. Approximately 6,000 residents remain in unincorporated Charleston County, and 20,000 in the City of Charleston.

About James Island Living

Riverland Terrace one of James Island’s oldest neighborhoods was developed in the 1940s and initially planned to include a large resort like hotel, the Terrace is located 10 minutes west of downtown Charleston, South Carolina along Wappoo Creek and the inland waterway. The homes in Riverland Terrace are mostly smaller homes that would need renovation or have undergone renovation today’s home buyers would prefer. The neighborhood contains its own public boat landing, Charleston Municipal Golf Course (MUNI by the locals), a playground, five restaurants, and antique shops. Leading into the neighborhood is the Avenue of Oaks, consisting of 73 live oak trees believed to be well over 100 years old. They once led to Wappoo Hall Plantation on the Stono River. A Civil War fortification known as Fort Pemberton, built in 1862, remains today. Riverland Terrace has long been one of the hottest real estate markets on the Island. More upscale neighborhoods in the town include Stiles Point, Eastwood, Harborwoods, and Parrot Creek. The only other golf course on James Island other than the Municipal course is the Country Club of Charleston, one of America’s oldest established membership golf country clubs. Homes in the Country Club of Charleston offer prospective buyers large lots, mature oak trees, and mostly large ranch one story houses due to the fact it’s such an older community.?

JAMES ISLAND DEVELOPMENTS/SUBDIVISIONS

 

 

There are two “main roads” that run through James Island, Folly road and Harbor View Road. Currently, Harbor View road (aptly named because the Charleston harbor is visible from many of the homes) is going through an improvement project.?The purpose of the Harbor View Road Improvements project is to improve traffic flow and safety on Harbor View Road and to provide adequate bicycle and pedestrian facilities. The scheduled completion of the project is expected in September 2016.

 

Situated in a prime location for most because of being just between the city of downtown Charleston and Folly Beach, James Island has remained a favorite area for many looking to buy a house in the Charleston SC area.?

PathJSJames Island offers residents and homeowners alike many things to do and close proximity to all that living in Charleston SC has to offer. There are many dining establishments on James Island, parks,?campgrounds, Christmas light show,?and even a water park?for families to enjoy on the hot summer days. James Island also has multiple public boat ramps for boat owners to use year around since fishing and boating is very popular in the Charleston SC area.?

 

 

 

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Southern Interior Design Style Charleston SC | Design Planning http://www.autobglo.com/interior-design-charleston-sc-southern-style Thu, 26 Mar 2015 19:46:12 +0000 http://www.autobglo.com/?p=2156 How to Plan for Your “Southern Style Home” The south has always been a picture of opulence, class, and rolling green fields. Movies like ‘Gone with the Wind’ brought into our attention how the plantation barons of the old days live in near palatial grandeur. Captivating with its glorious beauty and rich history. So as a new homeowner, it would only be too understandable if you want the southern theme for your home. ?Either you…

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How to Plan for Your “Southern Style Home”

The south has always been a picture of opulence, class, and rolling green fields. Movies like ‘Gone with the Wind’ brought into our attention how the plantation barons of the old days live in near palatial grandeur. Captivating with its glorious beauty and rich history.

So as a new homeowner, it would only be too understandable if you want the southern theme for your home. ?Either you actually have a newly acquired cozy “Lowcountry” home, ?or you just want to redecorate the old one is not important. You want that look, then you should have it. The problem, however, may lie when you do not know what to do to achieve it.?

Like any homeowner, you want your home to show your personality while still being able to project a southern style interior designgeneral theme that you are going for. A nice charming southern atmosphere is a good choice as any. You may stress about how you should go about making your dream southern home. Or, whether or not to hire a professional. And you may have even challenge yourself to do everything on your own then a good start is Charleston Home and Design Magazine. What you need to know is that the difference between your success or your failure in this little project depends on what you know and how you use that knowledge. It’s basically like staging a home in Charleston. Often times you can save money by hiring a home stager than you would a interior designer to help you achieve the desired look.

You need not have a degree in interior design to be able to do this. But, before you hire an interior designer who can do the job for you or embarking on the task yourself, you first need to read tips like these:?

 

  • Have the proper visuals. Knowing the look or familiarizing yourself with the physicality is probably the best advice there is when it comes to home design that favors a specific geographical theme. Understanding the items and styles that people used in the past to decorate mixed with new world features will help you achieve this. Such as: worn down antique wood tables, benches, furniture, sweet grass, sea grass rugs, color selections, are all common to the area.?

 

  • Get to know the culture. We are a very laid back society here in the Low-country so acquaint yourself with the culture that dictates how this look must be. This is not only a very historic old world town, but also a beach community as well. Knowing how the culture of the region figure into the details of the design will help you see which can work for you or not. Like for instance, southern plantation homes have heavy draperies because they have extremely large windows that allow too much light in. So, if your home is in the city where larger buildings such as luxury condos like: The Peoples Building, Concord St Condos, Vendue Range, or Anson House might block majority of the natural sunlight, you might want to forgo the heavy drapery. It is through knowing the culture that you can understand the importance of each elements of the southern home look.

 

  • Be goal oriented. Before setting out to do anything, make sure that you visualize in your mind your end goal, or the look you want to achieve for your home. This will be the gauge you will work around on. This way you do not go all over the place, and to help you always stay on track. We can’t have you wanting a southern look and then be motivated by an unexpected sale to buy an oriental lamp, do we??

 

  • Canvas the materials you need. Before you go shopping, look around different place where you think you can buy the items you need. There are many inspirational stores like Celadon, Bird Hardware, & GDC that have been design staples locals have relied on for years. Find out which gives the cheaper price or which ones will be having a sale soon. Try to figure out as well which outlet would be a more credible vendor that the others. The last thing you want is to be scammed of your budget for your dream house.?

 

 

  • Set the budget. It is always important to set a budget when making home decoration projects. Let’s face it, shopping has a way of making you think you can go overboard, especially if you believe you got a lot of your items on a “steal” either because they were on sale or you are good at haggling. Setting the budget will force you to prioritize and keep you from spur of the moment buys that you will more than likely regret later.?

 

  • Make the plans. Plan everything before setting the project to motion. This will give you a timeline or a sort of “to do” list to go over from time to time. A practice that will save you from disastrous mistakes along the way. You will be able to track your progress using your plans as well, which would then help you which task have been accomplished and which ones need to be hastened. This is also the stage when you decide whether or not you are going to hire a professional or you trust yourself to be on your own on this.

 

 

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