Beach Real Estate News & Views, Foreclosures, and a Little Fishing! April 2013

Wish you were here!  Trying something new with photos,,, hope it works! Warming- spring will be here soon. Can-Am Days went well. Our Canadian neighbors enjoyed themselves and locals enjoyed having them. Everyone had a great time over St Pattys Day. My entire family spent Easter in Ohio — all but me. I remained in the Carolinas to assist clients. Day time temps in the 70s is really nice. Recently the number of dolphins seen in the ICW has been higher than usual. I thought on 3/17 it was going to be a slow day with only 4 until a young one jumped as I was tied at the dock. He had about a dozen others with him. The other recent trip numbers were 11, 19, and 7. A couple were right beside the boat! As the water warms they will head back into the ocean. One thing– no reason to fish near where dolphins are seen as the fish have either been eaten or chased far away. One bright and sunny March morning my daughter in Ohio called. She informed me there was 2″ of fresh snow and I informed her it was going into the low 70s and my plan was to take the boat out. Some contrast! A little later this month but while my wife was in Ohio Buster was no help around the house. She came back in time for our anniversary – 43rd! Then it was tax time– I expect a thank you note from Obama. 

Flood insurance changes!! Those with 2nd homes in a flood zone are in for an UNpleasant surprise. Beginning last January a new law came into effect. It is to do away with government subsidies over the next few years. Rates can go up 25% each year until subsidy is not required. Homes on stilts may catch a break as will those living in their home. Rate change will now take place upon sale. A commercial sale fell through when found the flood insurance premium would jump from $4000 annually to $27,000. A neighbor may have a higher rate if their home has sustained severe or repetitive damage in the past. Talk with your agent well in advance to see how your flood insurance premium is going to be impacted. MOST of the local structures are on stilts which will help but eliminate a surprise by talking to your agent now. Some flood plains have changed so it is best to check with your insurance agent before purchasing near the ocean, ICW, or and river or creek no matter where you live.

Real Estate Ramblings —  Although pending existing home sales dropped 0.4% from January through February but were still at their 2nd highest level in nearly three years. That is an 8.4% INCREASE over February 2012. New home pending sales dropped 4.6% over January but are still close to a 4 year high. Nationally, home prices have gone up slightly since the same time next year. location certainly made a difference if owners saw a nice rise, minimal, or none at all. A recent national survey of lenders found 71% found home prices are rising slow enough to be sustainable. We will see if they make loans more available. Local inventory has dropped and is expected to drop even more. That is good news for those with homes on the market but so far has very little to no impact on prices. The National Association of Realtors stated there were 1.74 million existing homes listed in January about that in December of 1999. Interest rates have been fluctuating recently which some believe indicates they will be inching up soon. 

Boaters Only!   Maybe it is just me getting older or wiser. I no longer wish to launch and retrieve on crowded summer weekends, actually at all. I also do not like a painted hull bottom so that means the boat does not stay in the water. Being a broker in both states has benefits. I started looking for slips near home and was shocked at how much prices dropped since investigated a few years ago. I found wet slips in Little River SC reasonably priced and then found some indoor dry slips almost in my back yard. I’m closing on a ‘dock-ominium’ at the end of this month. Now my HOA fee covers the building, insurance, and etc. Most of all I call and say I want the boat on the water and ‘poof’ when I arrive it is at the dock– filled with fuel if I request it. When I return to the dock the boat is removed from the water the hull is rinsed, the motor flushed with fresh water, and  she is put back inside. The dockmaster and all employees are great. Prices are great right now and should increase as the economy improves. The marina is on the ICW near Shallotte Inlet and Little River Inlet for fast and easy access to the Atlantic. If desired a mortgage can be easily found too.

Foreclosures – Starting with Brunswick County NC only 17 NEW foreclosure listings of single family homes have arrived on the market since February 1st. prices range from $36,000 to $439,000. Included are detached homes, condos, and townhouses. These can be found at: . Moving on to Horry County SC we will find 15 listings of the same period of DETACHED homes. Prices range from $82,900 to $1,099,900! Hey– if you want a castle one is available! Check these listings here: . Now for the condos and townhouses in Horry County! Prices range on the 25 listings from $19,900 to $230,000. They can be found at:  The listings in both counties are not complete as both counties are very big. These are only in the areas most of my buyers have shown an interest in. just ask and complete listings will be sent to you. 

Did you know– the Intracoastal Water Way (ICW) is nearly 3000 miles long? It runs from Boston MA to Brownsville TX in two sections. Although supposed to be 12′ deep some sections are deeper and some as low as 6′ to 9′. It is heavily used by recreational boaters and some section s see quite a bit of commercial traffic too. All along you will see cities, vacant land, commercial property, homes, marsh land, marinas, creeks, rivers, inlets, restaurants, and wildlife.  Every thing from kayaks to tugs pushing a string of barges and everything in between can be seen.  Snowbirds run the ICW from as far away as Canada and past Fl to the islands and then turn around and go home in the spring. It can be an adventure no matter if you run the entire length or simply go to lunch one afternoon. An example – when being dug near Sunset Beach NC one of many islands was built from the spoils. The most effective way to keep one clean was to simply put goats on an island. The wild goats are there after decades although rarely near shore where they can be seen. I’ll add a picture of some. It may not show up on all browsers but will be on the newsletter at my website.  Here are a few pictures from a short trip my wife and Captain Buster took with me:  Boat Day,,,

Fishing and boating  – Well no 1st hand fishing reports from me. With all that has gone on this week it was only possible to get into the ICW fishing once for a short time. A former buyer client turned friend went with me for a short time. Sadly we caught nothing but had a great time anyway. OK, a couple short boat rides I did sneak in. Now for the reports from those that have gone out. A few have taken advantage of the few early weather windows to make the 60 mile trip to the Gulf Stream have found Bluefin tuna, Blackfin tuna, and wahoo accommodating. Sailfish have also made a few appearances. Those going near shore (out to 20 miles) are finding lots of dogfish (small sharks to about 3′) and billions of black sea bass. Few keep the dogfish and the black sea bass season is closed until June 1st. No one except the federal fisheries people can understand why they close a season based on old data they admit is faulty instead of actually doing a study before the fishery suffers and negatively impacts other species as well. The redfish and speckled trout catches have been great all winter inshore. The trout bite should even get better as the water warms. As the water warms the redfish will move offshore and the flounder will be coming inshore and near shore. NOW the baitfish are working their way north and the bluefish are following. Next will be the Spanish and king mackerel– probably within the next 2 weeks. I WILL (promising myself) take 1 day off every week during the week.

Don’t forget to check out my website ( ) or to give me a call ( 843 655 7777 ) if I can be of help in any way. Not only real estate– any thing I can do to help make your time here more enjoyable.

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