Beach News & Views – Real Estate, Foreclosures, Fishing and more!

Wish you were here!!!   Grandsons Scott and Dominic are here for their 2nd visit this summer. The boys have many friends here as well as their own room, their bikes, the pool, the beach, and all the amenities of the area. Aunt Natalie came with them this time. Always nice when our daughters visit. A few days ago a client stated he was buying here for a vacation home that his children would use and bring his grandchildren to. Did not tell him I said the same thing and had moved completely in less than a year. Grandsons Scott and Dominic Jimison spent a day in the boat with me. We had a nice boat ride and did some crabbing. Naturally, a large blue crab had to be brought home to show everyone. Scott wanted to eat him, Dominic wanted to keep him as a pet – we already have 3 hermit crabs of theirs living with us- so the decision was made to take him back to the ICW and let him go. Daughter Natalie has decided to get her real estate license in SC next month and then NC later this year. She is goal orientated, thrives on detail, and has the perfect personality. On the other hand, the market is tough now and tougher on those starting out without a referral base. She has a great work ethic and will do a great job.

Scott & Dominic brought their 1st crab into the boat!

 Don’t forget, I represent sellers as well as buyers. If you have property in Horry County SC or Brunswick County NC you wish to sell we need to talk as I need listings. Sellers and buyers need to have ONE agent that covers both states. I have had many buyers begin their search in the Myrtle beach area and find Brunswick County NC had more of what they were looking for and the opposite also holds true. All my listings are on the local MLS services of both states.

Foreclosures!!! Many of you remain interested in the foreclosure market. Most of those following foreclosures are looking for a deal. Others judge the numbers for market trends. Although there are other properties available these searches provide listings that came on the market in the last three months. Anyone that desires the complete list of foreclosures need only ask. The number of foreclosure sales during the 1st quarter in the Myrtle Beach area is down over last year. Foreclosure filings in SC fell 12.5% in April on top of a 22.3 decline in March. The median home price in SC rose .8% in April, 2.5% higher than a year ago. Not all foreclosures are in good shape and not all are a better deal than like properties.

We all look to save a little now and then. Here are some suggestions from a home inspection company:

  • Avoid opening windows and exterior doors when the air conditioning system is running.
  • Caulk around windows and door openings to reduce air and moisture leakage.
  • Make sure attic insulation matches or exceeds the locally recommended minimums.
  • Change replaceable air filters and clean re-usable filters before starting up the system and then every month. Like dirty coils, dirty filters restrict air flow, increasing operating costs and reducing the life and efficiency of the system. At a cost of a few dollars, it may be a good idea to change the filter each month when you pay your utility bill.
  • Avoid using heat producing appliances such as the oven, dishwasher, washing machine and dryer during the day since heat from those appliances typically increases the demands of air conditioning.
  • Consider closing off supply vents in unused rooms and/or the basement. Located fully or partially below grade, basements are naturally cooler and also benefits from the natural movement of cooler air to the lower levels.
  • Have your cooling system professionally checked and serviced periodically to keep it functioning properly and efficiently.

VIEWS – Well the views of those recently read in various newspapers are housing is in a slow recovery. Sales of new and existing homes are steadily rising. True, but at a very low rate. Although listings of foreclosures and short sales have declined they are still an influence. Interest rates are at historic lows which is certainly helping some buyers although nearly half of local sales are cash sales. I have certainly been busy. The biggest frustration for both buyers and sellers have been the banks. Loans are available at great rates but the lenders are extremely consevative. MLS statistics show every property class had fewer listings in June 2012 than in June 2011 AND from January through June of this year. Although the number of detached homes and condos sold were down slightly June 2012 vs June 2011 the number is up for the year.

S.C. moves up state business ranking
South Carolina moved up a spot to No. 7 on Chief Executive magazine’s list of the best states in which to do business.The magazine released today its eighth annual survey of “CEO opinion of Best and Worst States in which to do business.” Texas ranked No. 1 and California ranked No. 50, rankings that have remained the same for eight consecutive years.

Appraisals — Some appraisals are coming in under the agreed upon sales price which is making it difficult for some buyers to take advantage of todays prices and interest rates. Low appraisals can cause a delay in closing, contracts being renegotiated, or the deal to never close. Some appraisers are using distressed proprty sales as comparables and many of those homes are in very poor condition. Borrowers and sellers can explain upgrades and improvements during the appraisal inspection to curtail the possibility of an unreasonable number being on the final report. Pointing out recent sales to support the agreed upon price is also a possibility.

Safe Grilling takes a little thought and preparation. Gas and charcoal grills cause more than 8000 house fires every year. Grills should be on stable ground at least 10′ from a structure and never in a garage, car port or under an overhang. Periodically, check the hoses and connections and if any found cracked or brittle replace them before use. Never leave the grill unattended when lit and do not wear loose fitting clothing while cooking. Remove grease and residue from inside the lid to prevent flareups. Always keep children and pets away from the grill even after use as the exterior remains hot for a long time. This is not meant to be all the safety items you need to consider but a jolt to put your thinking cap on.

Considering financing your new home? Thinking a foreclosure or short sale is for you? There are a few things to do or not do to prepare for financing. For at least 90 days prior do not take out a new loan on a vehicle or anything else. Do not open any new credit card accounts. As soon as you are about to begin viewing homes visit a lender for a pre-qualifed letter. If planning on paying cash visit your financial institution and ask for a ‘proof of funds’ letter. If you find your dream home and it is a foreclosure or short sale an offer will not be considered by the financial institution without one of those letters included. Some owner/sellers are also requiring those letters before accepting an offer. Prices are low and stable. Interest rates are at historic lows. Inventory is still high but has been dropping. Banks are lending but are taking fewer risks. The perceived risk may not be the borrower but the property or development. If there is a problem another lender may be able to help, most often close to the same or possibly a lower cost. Most of the time your loan will go smoothly. Preparation is the key. Don’t forget- veterans can still get a 100% VA loan at a better rate than a conventional loan.

Fishing reports– this time most of the information comes from others. I’ve only had the boat out twice since the last report and one of those with my grandsons crabbing. On my only trip nothing of interest was caught. The first brought over the gunnels was a flounder. Sadly, he or she was only sandwich size and returned to grow up. Next- a skate which looked like a small stingray. Thinking that was bad- the boat was moved to new waters and an eel over 2′ swallowed the bait. He was cut looses into the net and as being released slid out of the net and into the boat. He did not like our company and slithered into the water in about 10 seconds. Knowing the catch had to get better a minnow was cast into the strong current. In a short time a small shark took the bait. All in All it was a great day for a boat ride! As most of the country- it has been unusually warm here. Morning fishing has been most popular followed by evening hours. Flounder are being caught in the inlets and around docks and other structure. Minnows and soft baits have been successful. The red fish bite is still strong. Summer schools are smaller and the fish scattered but if you find them they will cooperate. Quite a few decided to move around the Sunset Beach bridge. Once the word got out there were more boats than fish in the area. Those hitting the piers have said to go early or not at all. The early birds are finding a nice summer mix catch around the pilings. Those fishing the surf with live bait or cut bait have been finding a lot biting. Mostly expect a ray or shark and if lucky a nice bluefandwichish. Few have been going offshore so no report.

Tom at Protackle spent the week (and spent a lot of money) stocking up on great deals at the annual tackle dealers show. He has found a lot of new items to add to his huge inventory. He will be moving to a much bigger warehouse soon. If in need of anything fishing related drop him a note at tom@protackle1.com.

Did you know a $200,000 home at 5% will have a lower principal and interest payment than a $150,000 home at 7%? Now think of where the payment will be at 4%!

Please visit my website for great information on real estate and much more at www.rakoci.com. Please never hesitate to call me (843 655 7777) or email (john@rakoci.com) if I can help with ANY questions about the area.

How about checking out ‘my town’ at their website? I can answer questions if you have any on the fantastic place to live or visit! Check the town’s website at http://www.oibgov.com/ . 

 

 

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