NC and SC Beach Area News & Views

Why this picture? Several Southern States recognize a day as Confederate Memorial Day, North Carolina and South Carolina recognize May 10. No matter the color of the uniform during that terrible time, all were American soldiers. This weekend I wish to thank every person that served. Special thoughts of my dad, a WWII combat veteran and all those that served with me during the 1960s. A very special Thank You to every man and woman that has worn the uniform of the US military!

Hard to believe another MONTH has passed! The weather has been great. A lot has happened and a whole lot more coming up. Bike week added a little controversy as usual but those that enjoy it remember it always happens this time of year. Those that find the noise and traffic a bit much remember there is very little associated with it a few miles north. I only had the boat out twice since the last newsletter. I have been busy! No keeper fish were caught but it looks to be a great blue crab season. They are delicious! Our twin 9 year old grandsons have 2 visits planned this summer. It is always fun to have them here!

Condo prices were up 3.8% over last year in April. Many of the low priced units have new owners. Buyers now are finding those on the market priced a little higher. Statewide the number of home sales was down 1.3%. For the past 8 months, except for a slight dip in December, home prices have risen nationally. Nationally, prices were up 1.9% over the past quarter. Pending sales (contracts are signed but have not closed) of existing homes were at their highest level in 2 years in March, up 10.8%. Along the Grand Strand single family home sales rose 9% over a year ago from January through March. Condo sales fell 1% during the period. Interest rates from 3.875% to 4.25% are helping even though cash sales still account for 51% of sales. The number of cash sales indicate investors are still in a buying mode as rents continue to rise.

Foreclosures!!!!  Everyone is still interested in the foreclosure market. The searches at the links below were completed on May 20. They include all new foreclosure listings from February 1. There were 22 new listings in Brunswick County NC during that period. They range in price from $59,000 to $575,000 and can be found at http://bcarnc.rapmls.com/scripts/mgrqispi.dll?APPNAME=Brunswick&PRGNAME=MLSLogin&ARGUMENT=JZi5FLz3tQIC%2FtL6pU13BQeuWhR1RUjWho%2BN%2FMmV2Wk%3D&KeyRid=1&Include_Search_Criteria=&CurrentSID=194683401 .                                          The searches in Horry County SC include Myrtle Beach are from the same time frame. There were 117 condos and town homes found. They range in price from $14,900 to $859,00 and can be found at: http://ccar.paragonrels.com/publink/default.aspx?GUID=072e2acc-44f6-492b-886e-d03401fa8832&Report=Yes . There were 90 single family homes that went into foreclosure in the Grand Strand area during the time frame. They can be found at: http://ccar.paragonrels.com/publink/default.aspx?GUID=c2273bc0-f1c3-4212-951c-3a68205cd2f5&Report=Yes .  The Horry County Search can be expanded to include areas farther from the beach when requested.

Golfers!!! I know several of you do golf– how about a volunteer to give an update once in a while? I know former client Gary C is doing fantastic since he moved here last winter. He plays several courses and does extremely well nearly every time out!

Buyers and Sellers should know there is still a lot of inventory available. Buyers can be and are very selective. Some have specific ‘must haves’ on their list. Many ‘must have’ a shower or tub or both in the master bath. Others will discount most newer developments in search of mature trees on the lot. Most buyers look first and hardest at the kitchen and bathrooms. They expect these rooms to be up to date. Sellers are finding an inexpensive way to add to the total square footage and visual appeal is to add a well constructed wooden deck. Add a little outside furniture and grill will often make buyers smile. Buyers also expect thermal windows and sufficient insulation. Appliances often go on sale. Most buyers will appreciate shiny new stainless steel appliances- but I have heard a few say black or white is preferred. If the landscaping is shabby or grass uncut many buyers will simply drive by without a desire to see the inside.

Prepare for a Home Appraisal

You’ve just signed all of the paperwork for the sale of your home and now you’re wondering what is going to happen
next. Good news-the appraisal inspection is painless, and usually takes anywhere from 30-60 minutes to complete. However, there are a few things that you should do to help the process move along as smooth as possible.

Preparing for the appraisal inspection:

  • Create a detailed list of the recent improvements, which should include the following: when completed, cost of the improvement, before and after pictures if available.
  • Make sure each room is accessible; the appraiser is required to inspect each room.
  • If there is a crawl space, this area will also have to be made accessible for inspection for an FHA appraisal.
  • Give the appraiser room to do their job. Errors are more likely to occur when the appraiser isn’t able to concentrate on their inspection.
  • Keep all pets restrained.
  • If you live within a development that has a homeowners association, have the name and phone number of the contact person
    available, along with a fee statement.
  • If the appraisal is for an FHA loan, then the area leading to the attic will have to be cleared and made accessible-the appraiser is required to make at least a head and shoulders inspection of the attic area.
  • Walk through each room and straighten up as if you were getting ready for company to visit. Appraisers are objective and can look past many things, however, the underwriter reviewing the appraisal photos may feel differently.
  • Complete any unfinished projects-most appraisals are done “as is”, and any projects that haven’t been completed, will have to be adjusted for within the appraisal report.
  • A copy of  agreements regarding easements (shared driveways and/or garages,etc.) should be made available.

Let’s talk GREEN. We all know credit scores are important not only for a mortgage but also to determine credit card and even insurance rates. When applying for a mortgage most lenders are looking for a score over 650. However, the best rates are reserved for those with a score over 760. There are some things you should know on how to improve and protect your credit score. Keeping track of your credit reports is easy. You are entitled to a free copy of your credit report once a year. It is available through websites like creditkeeper.com and identityguard.com. As nearly 80% of all credit reports have errors having your report and going through the process of fixing errors is important. Your payment history comprises 35% of your score. Just one payment 30 days late can drop your score 50 points. The amount you owe and the amount of credit available make up 30% of your score. For that reason and another it is not wise to cancel old credit accounts even if they are no longer being used. Naturally, the lower the percentage of credit used is important and those old accounts add to the total available. The other reason not to cancel old accounts is 15% of your score is based on length of your credit history. Inquiries by lenders or credit card companies and new credit account for 10% of your score. The last 10% is based on the type of credit used.

Don’t forget to check my website for all the current information on the area and real estate. Take a moment and click the buttons, you may be pleasantly surprised. www.rakoci.com

Ever wanted to see Shakespeare? Live at the theater? Free? It happens every year at the Greenfield Lake Amphitheater. It started 20 years ago and is now the largest free Shakespeare festival in the Southeast. This year’s production is “A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM”. “TWELTH NIGHT” will be performed by the “Shakespeare Youth Company also. Call the amphitheater at 910 399 2878 for dates and time during June and July 1 only.

Fishing is picking up. All the charter captains are reporting great catches inshore, near shore, and off shore. Sadly, I’ve been too busy to get the boat out other than twice this month. Neighbor Joe and I went out in the ICW and in addition to the fishing saw an immature bald eagle and many shore birds. The largest caught that day was a sand shark- but was just under 3′. It was hard to keep live bait in the water due to the blue crabs- but they were tasty!

It is late and time to hit the ‘send button’. Wishing everyone a great Memorial Day weekend! As ‘Jimmy’ said for over 40 years– “Good night Mrs Calabash, wherever you are”!

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