Foreclosures, Beach News, Real Estate, & Fishing

Wish you were here. HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!!  The photo was taken a mile or so up the Shallotte River. The old wood shrimp boat fell victim to a storm long ago. Age and weather has it falling apart. There are others, a few I have taken photos of while some are impossible to get to safely. Always something new and something old of interest can be found around the coastal waters. Recently, Pat, Buster, and I took a short boat ride and saw more people clamming thasn ever before- plus a few harvesting oysters. I’m looking forward to Missy coming down to share a pan of NC oysters again soon. Shortly after the last newsletter a trip to Ohio was made. It was great to see my brother, daughter, and grandsons. The boys spent a lot of time at the beach this summer and look taller in 6 weeks. The new ProTackle1 warehouse is huge. Hard to believe the amount of inventory already in place and 5 huge orders still coming. One daughter gave up on Ohio winters and has moved to the beach. That left one of my homes vacant. Sold it to the 1st couple that looked at it and a December 1 close scheduled. David and Bernadette are the happy owners of their place at the beach. There was some frustration with delays due to HOA and lender information. After 3 delays of a week each the lawyer says they are ready to record 1st thing in the morning. I called the lawyer around 11AM– “not yet, the window is closed for a while for a retirement party”.  A county government not doing any work for a retirement party??? Yes, and then they probably went to lunch as I was not informed “we closed” until after 1PM. We can laugh now,, but it was not funny while waiting on keys. As this is being written Hurricane Sandy has created chaos in the NE US. A lot of people are going to need the help of all of us. By the next newletter we will have either a new president or more of the current administration. This election is very important and exciting. Wishing my old friend and 1st mate Captain Bill a quick recovery from his recent illness.

Do you think a local lender in NJ (NY, PA, OH, etc) is in tune to our local market? Those loan officers know their market. They may wonder what is wrong with the property you are buying as the price seems low OR may think you are crazy as the prise seems extreme. A beach condo in DE can cost 4 times that of a similar unit here. A home in MI may be 50% less than a similar home in SC or NC. Clients went to their BB&T branch in WV and were referred to a MB branch for the best service. Expect that most of the time from all lenders that have branches in the area. Local and regional lenders here do not have a handle on the New England markets. The national lenders all have local branches that will work with you through your local branch. If you prefer to work with a local mortgage broker or bank there are several to choose from. Almost any lender with a presence in the area stands the best chance of making your loan be stress free. I have worked with many out of town lenders that were fantastic but if there is a problem….

Foreclosure filings in Horry County (Myrtle Beach area) are down 30.57% compared to the 3rd quarter of last year and down 20.66% compared to the 2nd quarter of this year according to RealtyTrac, a company that tracks foreclosure filings nationally. These numbers are not yet what I would call a trend, but are great news for sellers. The number of detached homes in foreclosure sold last month dropped slightly last month also. In August the median price of a home or condo rose too. The median price was up 8.3% compared to the same month last year according to the SC Realtors Association. Those that follow the foreclosure section of this newsletter have seen the number of new foreclosures drop in both Horry County SC and Brunswick County NC, According to CoreLogic the number of homes in all phases of foreclosure and bank owned is down by 10% over same time last year or about a 6 month supply at current sales levels. Some states will clear inventory faster than others. States like SC, FL, PA, NY, NJ, and others take much longer to go through the process than a Deed of Trust state like NC where a trustee takes care of the process instead of the courts.  Horry/Brunswick September sales saw detached homes increase and condo sales decrease.

Planning on a local or long distance move? While calling for estimates add Kellerman’s Moving Service to your list. Contact Andrew Kellerman at 910 274 6652. Need storage, short term or long term? I keep my boat trailer outside and have a climate controlled storage unit at Ample Storage Seaside in Ocean Isle Beach. Call Jim at 910 579 7400. When contacting either one tell the I sent you and it may help. These two have gone above and beyond to provide great service.

Much of the recent surge in activity of the housing market is due to low prices and record low mortgage rates. The activity has been good for buyers and sellers. The federal government can keep interest rates artificially low for some time. Great for mortgages but not for everything. Many retirees and retirement funds for future retirees are negatively impacted for one example. What is needed for a full housing recovery is jobs and time. Real jobs in energy, technology, manufacturing, and other categories. Much of that needs less government regulation. Real jobs that pay a living wage, not those of minimum wage or slightly higher.  ‘Real jobs’ also means the confidence to start a new business or expand an existing one.  Time in those jobs is also needed for those impacted by the recession to recover the credit rating they enjoyed in the past. This is not a political rant- the economy needs to move again without going farther in debt.

Foreclosures! Always an area of interest. As usual, the listings here are active and were new in the past 3 months. There are more that those that have been on the market longer you have seen several times past editions of this newsletter. 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. Just follow the links. Find 22 listings in Brunswick County NC priced from $24,900 to $640,000 here Strand are condos and townhouses can be found here from $28,900 to $319,900 . Detached homes in the area are priced from $29,900 to $735,000 at this link . As always, if anything is of interest, just drop me a not or call for additional information.

Sales are increasing along the Grand Strand. Compared to last year, from July through September, single family home sales were up 17% and condos around 10%. Cash sales were around 46% compared to 48% last year. The median price of a single family home increased slightly in September and that of condos decreased slightly compared to last year. One thing helping sales is the record low interest rates. They permit more people to qualify for a loan and everyone to buy more house for the same monthly payment. everyone I speak to says rates can only go up from here and expect that to begin next year. SC coastal real estate is seeing more sales than just across the border into NC for several reasons. There is much more inventory in SC to begin with. Prices are also being impacted by the much larger number of foreclosures and short sales. SC has many more second homes and investment properties than NC. Although there are both in NC, there is a much higher ratio of permanent residents along the coast. Those that want “in the action” find it along the Horry County SC coast while those that prefer knowing that is close but without the traffic and congestion prefer Brunswick County NC. Beaches and golf abound in both locations. New home construction in both states is up considerably over the recent past! The builders I have been dealing with are holding their prices much closer to list now as they are busy and have buyers.

How to buy a home the EASY way. Buying a home can be very stressful. After all, it will be the most expensive purchase in your lifetime. My best advise is to be informed and not emotional. Additionally, I suggest avoiding these ten most common mistakes. 1. Inspect and inspect again. Review the home inspection report and get answers to all questions. If there is an HOA, go over the master deed, by laws, and fees. 2. Imagine the property vacant. Don’t be swayed by the owners furnishings as they will leave with the owner. 3. Income + life style + Mortgage Payment. Sit down with your real estate professional and honestly discuss your income and living expenses. Consider future changes in lifestyle and how they may affect the comfort level of your mortgage payment. The pre-approval letter received from a lender may not indicate a payment you are comfortable with. 4. View more than 1 home. I have sold homes to buyers that have not seen them until long after the close. That is NOT something I suggest. View a minimum of 5 homes to get a feel of the market and more than one neighborhood. View the neighborhood(s) at various times of day. When you find the right house for you it will say “welcome” when you walk in the door. 5. Realize you have a team working for you. Your real estate professional will have lenders, lawyers, inspectors, and others he has worked with in the past to assist you in the transaction. 6. Dig Deep! Check out ALL your costs before making an offer: utilities, taxes, insurance, maintenance, and HOA dues. If the seller has shut off utilities and will not have them available for your inspector- walk away. 7. The Final Walk-Through. As close to the closing time as possible walk through your new home after the seller has removed everything to be certain the home is exactly as you had agreed upon in the contract. 8. Plan  To Be Flexible. Closing dates are not guaranteed! Most contracts have a 10 day or longer extension built in as “Stuff Can Happen”. Something as simple as a typo can cause a delay. Don’t become frustrated or upset. Delays are not uncommon in real estate transactions. 9. If it is not written it does not exist. Almost anything can be negotiated but everything must be in writing. 10. Be LOYAL to Your Team. Be open, up-front, and honest with your team. In order to do the best job for you they must have correct information and a good reporte. Anything less can cause delays, stress, and could keep you from getting into the home of your dreams.

Fishing – Again I’ve been too busy to have much personal input! Flounder, trout (called weakfish up north), and redfish are being caught in greater numbers as the water cools down. As long as the tide is moving they are biting although my best luck has been on a falling tide. Gulp shrimp in pearl white has been my best producer but the new penny color works some days just as well. This time of year you don’t really need a boat as the piers and surf are also producing. I’m seeing the nets in the ICW but the spots have not yet arrived in great numbers. Some are being caught but the catch is ‘spotty’. When that run begins, and it will soon, the piers are a great place to be. My brother Tom, at ProTackle1 provided me with 2 new rods on my last trip (plus a great “care package”) and both caught fish the 1st time out, the only time as I write this. OK…. as soon as time permits I’ll be looking for a larger boat.

It is getting late- or early in the morning so time to hit the ‘send’ button. Comments are appreciated and if there is a subject you would like to see here just let me know. Never hesitate to contact me by phone (843 655 7777) or email ( ) . There is a lot of information on my website (  ). Please take a moment and browse all the pages. You may be amazed at all the subjects covered there. Take care and I’m looking forward to hearing from you!

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