Coastal Carolina Real Estate, Foreclosures, Fishing, News and Views

                                               Wishing all a very Merry Christmas and fantastic 2013!

Wish you were here! Thinking of my trip North to visit my daughter (one still lives there), grandsons (at age 10 they have no choice), and brother (his business is rooted there) over Christmas. I’m not a fan of  seeing’white stuff’ in the fields unless it is cotton. It will be great to see them all even if using the 4 wheel drive in my truck is required. NC continuing education is required every year- 8 hours. The morning class consists of what the RE Commission deems required and usually the afternoon is an elective. In my instance it is the ‘BIC (Broker In Charge) Update’ which is always interesting. SC requires 8 hours every TWO years so I will complete for both states next year. Have I mentioned recently I need listings? Hope your Thanksgiving was a great one. One daughter was here along with friends. My wife cooked a feast everyone enjoyed. by this time last year real estate had slowed, not so this year! Had a good chuckle when an old friend called from Pa stating it was cold and he was cold. The temp was 37! Asked what he was going to do when winter arrived there AFTER telling him we are seeing very high 60s yet.

The headline of the November 8th issue of the Brunswick Beacon reads “County has Best Home-Sales Numbers in Years”! According to the MLS nearly 1000 units were sold through August of this year. That is the best year since 2009. Building never stopped in the county but much of the development has been of smaller homes even though price per square foot has not fallen much and increased in some instances. Brunswick County foreclosures and short sale listings have decreased substancially in the county. An article in the November 16th issue of the Myrtle Beach newspaper, The Sun News, stated real estate sales in Horry, Georgetown and Brunswick Counties jumped by the same percentage as it did in the rest of SC. Sales jumped 24% in October compared to the same month last year with 754 units sold locally . Investors make up over half the SC market. They are finding prices attractive and most are paying cash. They are buying now counting on prices to rise and to make a profit when sold later. All buyers are finding current interst rates a real bargain and borrowers can afford more house at the same payment. On to the December 1 issue of the Sun News (Myrtle Beach) where a headline read “Real estate lights up in the Myrtle Beach area”. Home builders are reporting business up 30% – 40% over 2011. Existing home sales rose 10.9% in October compared to October 2011 nationally. Of course record low financing rates are assisting all buyers. The National Association of Realtors reported the median price of an existing home rose for the 8th consecutive month and is now 11.1% over last year.

Dan is a financial writer and hopefully will provide additional content in the future. The article he provided for this issue follows.

“Mortgage loans: Tips to get an affordable one

According to the report published by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), pending home sales grew up sharply. In October 2012, around 5.2% homebuyers signed purchase contracts. This figure is the highest since 5 years. In addition, Pending Home Sales Index of NAR showed a growth of 104.8 that is much better since March 2007.

Hence, homebuyers looking for ways to get  loans in order to buy these properties should find out the basics to get pre-approved and apply for mortgage loans.

Tips to get pre-approved for mortgages

Here are the following ways to get pre-approved for mortgage loans:

1)      Credit score – It is quite usual to see an impressive credit score tank, if a person makes too many hard enquiries or takes out more than one credit card within a short period of time. Mortgage lenders evaluate the credit score so as to determine interest rates, terms and conditions on the loans. However, mortgage loan credit scoring model doesn’t count auto loan, student loan and mortgage loan inquiries, if they have been made 30 days prior to mortgage application.

2)      Financial history – In order to pre-approve the borrowers, lenders ask for their credit reports, income information and personal asset documents for verification. This helps them to know about the borrower’s mortgage affordability. For instance, borrowers will have to provide bank statements, tax return papers, pay stubs, proof of investments, 1099 income statements of 2 years and so on.

3) Lender service –As a result of the housing bust, most of the home sellers have become cautious regarding the buyer’s financer. Moreover, they check the quality of service and financial stability of the lender with whom their buyer has cut the deal. Hence, both the reputation and kind of service provided by the lender will help the homebuyers to opt for the best financer available in the market.


Tips to apply for mortgages


Here are the following essential points homebuyers should take care of while applying for mortgage loans:


1)      Monthly income – Mortgage applicants will have to provide a signed Internal Revenue Service Form 4506-T to the lenders. This will authorize them to request copies of the tax return papers filed by the borrowers. In case of self-employed borrowers, lenders do not accept their application until their tax papers have been verified by the IRS.

2)      Employment details – Besides, providing the basic information in the standard mortgage application form – ‘Uniform Residential Loan Application’, mortgage applicants are also required to provide their income proofs. Lenders may contact the employer in order to verify the borrower’s duration and employment contract’s terms. Ideally, lenders look for a minimal work history of 2 years in the mortgage application. So, it is very important to observe brevity while mentioning the exact period of employment.

3)      Personal assets – Homebuyers must provide details of all their assets. For instance, they must declare all their financial assets like retirement funds, savings and checking accounts. Moreover, they have to separately file ‘Schedule of Real Estate Owned’ paper. This will give a clearer picture of the borrower’s financial soundness.


Lastly, borrowers will have to furnish details of all their monthly liabilities like child support or alimony, if there are any. Getting pre-approved for mortgages and applying for them accordingly is no mean task, hence, it advisable for the homebuyers to work with an attorney or a mortgage broker while securing these types of loans.”


For Sale by Owner – Those attempting to sell on their own are taking on a big job. Selling property is a complex full time job. Your home is most often your single largest asset and you want to be certain to make the best of it. There is more to sticking a sign in your yard. Rapidly value changes can make setting the price of your home a guessing game without professional assistance. Even if going alone it is required to follow real estate rules and regulations. How strong are your negotiating skills? Marketing and showing your home requires a lot od dedicated time. Are you able to qualify buyers? Do you understand deeds, offers, contingencies, disclosures and more? About 87% of those taking the job on alone end up listing with an agent. Some sell on their own and others simply give up. Many potential buyers are working with a Realtor, they have professional and experienced representation. Many potential buyers will not know your home is available and many others will not work with an owner.

Aqua Fit — A local lady offers group classes and personal training. She is a ‘National Water Fitness Instructor’ and NETA Personal Trainer. No matter if you have a group interested or desire individual lessons give Silvia a call at 717 333 1272 or email her at

Foreclosures!!!  As always an area of great interest. As usual, the listings here are active. Fewer are being found so the time frame of the listing coming active has been suspended. There are more in an expanded area search of all catagories. A complete listing will be sent upon request. The listings do not include Horry and Brunswick Counties in entirety, but only the areas of most interest found over the years. Brunswick County NC listings will include detached homes, townhouses, and condos. Horry County will be produced in two links; detached homes in one and condos/townhouses in another. Let’s start with Brunswick County. From the SC border to Shallotte 31 properties were found priced from $50,000 to $999,000. Find them here:  Now for SC detached homes- 41 were found priced from $39,000 to $1,395,000. Find them here:  Our last group is of SC condos and townhomes. There are 54 priced from $26,500 to $249,900. They can be found here: As always, if you desire more information on any of these listings simply call me (843 655 7777) or email ( ).

Where is that ball? Really, I cannot see into the future or I would be wealthy and living on my own Carribean island. Recently, I’ve been asked if now is a good time to sell or good time to buy more often than usual. Only a seller or buyer can make that decision. A few things to keep in mind as a seller; is it worth it to hold something you no longer want instead of redirecting the equity and/or curtailing expenses. Mortgage payments, utilities, taxes, insurance, and maintenance expenses add up monthly. Is it worth it to you to hold on to a home you do not want in a stabile/declining market? Would you sleep better without those expenses? Sellers also have to consider another thing if planning on purchasing a more expensive home. If the current home is valued at $200,000 and rises 20% you are up $40,000 but if the home you want at $300,000 risies the same percentage it rises $60,000 and you are $20,000 in the hole to start. Buyers are more in the drivers seat. No one I have read or hear speak expects the market to fall greatly from these levels. Some are talking recovery in the works and granted in some areas prices are rising. Today’s price levels are down substancially from recent levels. Current interest rates are at historical lows. Buyers also usually have time on their side and expect prices to rise long before they plan to sell. I do not like to answer questions like a politician but I cannot see into the future. Those considering selling or buying need to call and we will get the facts, the current market conditions of the area and neighborhood of interest. The one constant that always requires up to date research is location.

Fishing– the speckled trout bite is fantastic this year! Shallow water on a falling tide and individuals are easily found. A little searching and a school can be located. Toss a Gulp shrimp, live shrimp, or hard bait and hold on as these little fish are great fighters. The limit is 4 fish 14″ or larger. Many 16″ to 21″ fish are being caught. If you don’t have a boat– they are in the surf too. Speaking of boats- I’m looking for a new old boat. My current boat is fantastic and in great shape but not real comfortable miles out in the ocean. Most of my fishing has been in the ICW, inlets, and marsh areas- shallow water. She has taken me 10 – 12 miles offshore on good days but I’m looking for 30 – 50 miles on most days. Must be memories of my charter captain days but I’m looking to hook up some larger sharks along with bottom fish.

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