Coastal North Carolina Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

Sept. 2, 2021

Nope this is not Normal!

Looking for extra storage in your house? The Wilmington, NC area offers some great small housing options with historic homes and seaside cottages.

According to Merriam-Webster normal means conforming to a type, standard, or regular pattern; characterized by that with is considered usual, typical, or routine.

Well maybe we are seeing a new normal start to emerge...but based on this definition we will need to see where the market goes from here before we make a determination if this is normal or not. But right now...this is not a normal market. 

Lets look at five key housing industry metrics, and you will see that we are still nowhere near normal...

Mortgage Rates

Looking at the 30-year mortgage rate, as chronicled by Freddie Mac, we can see the average rates by decade: 

  • 1970s: 8.86%
  • 1980s: 12.7%
  • 1990s: 8.12%
  • 2000s: 6.29%
  • 2010s: 4.09%

Today the average mortgage rate stands at about 2.87% - which while not quite a historic low, it is pretty close.

So no, current mortgage rates are anything but usual, typical, or routine.

Home Price Appreciation

According to Black Knight, a housing data and analytics company, the average annual appreciation on residential real estate prices since 1995 has been 4.14%.

According to the latest forecast from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), home price appreciation will hit 14.1% this year, which will be greater than any year since Black Knight began collecting this data.

Nope, home price appreciation is anything but usual, typical, or routine.

Months Supply of Inventory (aka how many homes are for sale)

Months’ supply refers to the number of months it would take for the current inventory of homes on the market to sell given the current sales pace. Historically, six months of supply is associated with moderate price appreciation, and a lower level of months’ supply tends to push prices up more rapidly. 

As of the latest Existing Homes Sales Report from NAR, the current months’ supply of inventory stands at 2.6. That’s less than half of a normal supply. In looking at our local data, this supply is much lower in the Wilmington, NC Area, when you consider the average price point of our clients. While there is more supply now then at the beginning of the summer (our typical busy season) there is still very low inventory of home in the area. 

The months supply inventory is not usual, typical, or routine.

Days On Market (aka how long it takes to sell your home)

The days-on-market metric gives an indication of how hot a market is and how quickly homes are selling. In 2019, prior to the pandemic, the average days on market stood at 35, according to NAR. Today, that number is cut in half and is now at 17 days.

Nope, another metric that is not usual, typical, or routine.

Number of Offers per Listing

According to NAR, the number of offers per listing stood at 2.2 in 2019. Today, that number is double at 4.5.

So another metric that is not usual, typical, or routine.

When... mortgage prices are a near historic lows, price appreciation is at historic highs, housing inventory is low, the time it takes to sell a home is cut in half, and there are twice as many offers on each house...

it's hard to say that we are in a normal market!

June 2, 2021

Ready to buy?

Here's what you need to know about working with agents in North Carolina!

 

If you have any questions about working with a Real Estate Agent in North Carolina please don't hesitate to reach out!  Check out our team and reach out to any of our agents, they would all be more than happy to help. You can find our team here: About Us 

Thanks to the North Carolina Real Estate Commission for this video. NCREC.gov for more information. 

May 26, 2021

Ready to Sell?

Here's what you need to know about working with agents in North Carolina!

 

If you have any questions about working with a Real Estate Agent in North Carolina please don't hesitate to reach out!  Check out our team and reach out to any of our agents, they would all be more than happy to help. You can find our team here: About Us 

Thanks to the North Carolina Real Estate Commission for this video. NCREC.gov for more information. 

May 19, 2021

Remember Closing Costs!

When buying a home, it’s important to have a budget and make sure you plan ahead for certain homebuying expenses. Saving for a down payment is the main cost that comes to mind for many, but budgeting for the closing costs required to get a mortgage is just as important.

 

What Are Closing Costs?

Closing costs are the fee that you need to pay when closing on your new home. These typically include title insurance, origination fees, underwriting fees, document preparation fees, and more. You should expect these fees to be between 2 and 5 percent of the total cost of your new home.

For example, for someone buying a $300,000 home, they could potentially have between $6,000 and $15,000 in closing fees. If you’re in the market for a home above this price range, your closing costs could be greater. As mentioned above, closing costs are typically between 2% and 5% of your purchase price. 

 

All the paperwork!

When you close on your new home there is a lot of paperwork, and it is really important to read through it all. Working with a great real estate agent (find one here!) a great lender (find one here!) and a great real estate attorney is important so that you don't get overwhelmed by all that paperwork at the last minute. These professionals will help you know what is expected and help you understand the documents ahead of time.

One of the most important pieces of paper you will see is your closing disclosure. This is the form that is going to break down for you all of the fees associated with your transaction. It will show the terms of your loan, final closing costs, and any outstanding fees for things like inspections. This form is due to you three days before closing so that you have time to review and make sure that it is correct. If you have any questions about the numbers or what these numbers mean be sure to reach out -- your Realtor is a great resource for helping you understand all the bits and pieces that are included in your closing disclosure. 

 

Bottom Line

As home prices are rising and more buyers are finding themselves competing in bidding wars, it’s more important than ever to make sure your plan includes budgeting for closing costs. Work with your lender and a local real estate professional to be sure you have everything you need to land your dream home.

May 5, 2021

Selling? How to prepare you home.

Homeowners ready to make a move are definitely in a great position to sell today. Housing inventory is incredibly low, driving up buyer competition. This gives homeowners leverage to sell for the best possible terms, and it’s fueling a steady rise in home prices.

In such a hot market, houses are selling quickly. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), homes are typically on the market for just 18 short days. Despite the speed and opportunity for sellers, there are still steps you can take to prep your house to shine so you get the greatest possible return.

 

1. Make Buyers Feel at Home

One of the ways to make this happen is to take time to declutter. Pack away any personal items like pictures, awards, and sentimental belongings. The more neutral and tidy the space, the easier it is for a buyer to picture themselves living there. According to the 2021 Profile of Home Staging by NAR:

“82% of buyers’ agents said staging a home made it easier for a buyer to visualize the property as a future home.”

Not only will your house potentially attract the attention of more buyers and likely sell quickly, but the same report also notes:

“Eighteen percent of sellers’ agents said home staging increased the dollar value of a residence between 6% and 10%.”

As Jessica Lautz, Vice President of Demographics and Behavior Insights for NAR, says:

“Staging a home helps consumers see the full potential of a given space or property…It features the home in its best light and helps would-be buyers envision its various possibilities.”

 

2. Keep It Clean

On top of making an effort to declutter, it’s important to keep your house neat and clean. Before a buyer stops by, be sure to pick up toys, make the beds, and wash the dishes. This is one more way to reduce the number of things that can distract a buyer from the appeal of the home.

Ensure your home smells fresh and clean as well. Buyers will remember the smell of your house, and according to the same report from NAR, the kitchen is one of the most important rooms of the house to focus on if you want to attract more buyers.

 

3. Give Buyers Access

Buyers are less likely to make an offer on your house if they aren’t able to easily schedule a time to check it out. If your home is available anytime, that opens up more opportunities for multiple buyers to go from curious to eager. It also allows buyers on tight schedules to still get in to see your house.

While health continues to be a great concern throughout the country, it’s important to work with your agent to find the best safety measures and digital practices for your listing. This will drive visibility and create access options that also keep everyone in the process safe.

 

4. Price It Right

Even in a sellers’ market, it’s crucial to set your house at the right price to maximize selling potential. Pricing your house too high is actually a detriment to the sale. The goal is to drive high attention from competing buyers and let bidding wars push the final sales price up.

Work with your trusted real estate professional to determine the best list price for your house. Having an expert on your side in this process is truly essential.

 

Bottom Line

If you want to sell on your terms, in the least amount of time, and for the best price, today’s market sets the stage to make that happen. Contact a local real estate professional today to determine the best ways to maximize the sale of your house this year.

 

April 14, 2021

5 Myths About Real Estate - Debunked!

1) A Home Passes or Fails an Inspection

This is not like an exam in high school where you either pass or fail. The point of an inspection is to assess the condition of the home, the good and the bad. The inspector will write up a summary after inspecting the home that reports on any issues the home has and the age of key systems, such as plumbing, electric, the roof, etc. This is a benefit not a hinderance.

2) All Agents Are the Same

This could not be farther from the truth! The general process of a transaction, be it buying or selling, is the same. However, an agent's approach, ability to negotiate and be flexible, the resources they have and the preferred lenders and attorneys they work with make certain agents invaluable to the home buying or selling process. When an agent is notably pleasant to work with other agents prefer to work with them as well, giving them a better chance of getting the deal done.

3) New Agents Don't Have the Know-How

Being new to any field and not having specific experience in real estate does not mean you do not have the "know-how". As in any job, it is the skills you can bring to the job and the continuing training that helps an agent succeed.

4) Agents Accept Kickbacks

A lot of people feel certain agents get kickbacks. A Congress bill RESPA (Real Estate Settlement Procedure Act) effectively restricted such unlawful activities in the real estate sector. We do offer a vendor list to our clients. It is by no means a paid endorsement of any kind, but rather a suggestion of quality vendors that we have used in the past that we know do exceptional work. 

5) Find Your Perfect Home and Then Get Your Pre-Approval

Buying a new home is exciting. It is no surprise that as a home buyer, one of the first things you want to do is to drive through desired neighborhoods looking at homes or attending open houses. But you should NOT focus your time on finding your desired home before getting pre-approved for a mortgage. Putting your pre-approval first, as many qualified real estate agents and lenders would tell you, will help your home buying process be less stressful and go much smoother. In an extremely competitive real estate market like today, having your pre-approval will give you a significant competitive edge in a scenario with multiple offers. 

April 7, 2021

When will the market cool off?

 

We are in a hot market right now! Properties are not staying on the MLS long. Many with offers in place with sight unseen. Cash offers are paving the way in the market.

The inventory of available homes for sale is now at a record low. 

It is driving competition and home prices ever higher across many regions of the country including ours. With demand for homes remaining strong, it's hard to imagine when the market might become more affordable and that has left many buyers wondering whether they should act now or just wait it out. 

Different story a year ago...

Home Buying fell off a cliff when the pandemic hit. Home sales dropped about 40%. But, while home sales bounced back last May, the inventory has not. And that's the issue, because of lack of supply, the demand is that much higher - causing prices to rise as well. Frustrated buyers want to know when this will end. As prices rise and mortgage rates climb - the housing market may cool down in the fall. But that is pure speculation.

Most people took advantage of the lower interest rates when they refinanced their homes last year - more affordable payments and shorter terms on their current mortgage may also be a reason the inventory is low.

Builders are trying their best to get new homes into inventory - but they are being bought up just as quickly. 

Who knows what the rest of 2021 will bring with the housing market. Only time will tell.  

 

March 24, 2021

Spring Home Maintenance

With the days lengthening and weather warming, spring is a good time to get outdoors and tackle some larger home projects and prepare your home for summer.

Interior

  • Change HVAC Filters
  • Clean and inspect window screens for any damage - a little work now will keep pests from inside your home
  • Look for moisture in the basement and crawl space - leaks in the spaces can be costly
  • Trim brush around the HVAC unit and clean the coils if necessary
  • Inspect the washing machine hose for cracks and dryer vent for lint buildup
  • Inspect the air ducts for buildup and possible mold, allergens and debris

 

Exterior

  • Inspect your gutters and downspouts for damage and debris
  • Trim trees and shrubs that are near your house
  • Inspect caulking around doors and windows for damage or wear
  • Inspect wooden decks, railings, windowsills and steps for any rot
  • Pressure wash patios, decks, driveway/walkways, and outdoor furniture
  • Inspect your outdoor sprinklers if necessary for any damage
  • Clean debris from foundation vents and window wells

 

Bottom Line

Spring is the perfect time to do some home maintenance. Routine home maintenance can save you the headaches of costly repairs that could be avoided. It can also help you prepare and budget for any future repairs or upgrades. Care for your home and the surrounding property, and it will continue to keep you and your family safe and comfortable. Check this list off every spring to prolong the life of your home’s building materials, landscaping, appliances and more.

Stop by our Preferred Vendors page should you need any assistance with any repairs or cleaning or maintenance. 

March 17, 2021

Irish Blessing for the Home

In honor of St. Patrick's Day, we wanted to share some history behind an Irish Blessing for the home.

 

Blessing a home is an important part of Irish cultural heritage.

In years gone by, a priest was often asked to bless a new home, or when a family moved to a new home the owners would sprinkle holy water around the rooms and ask God for his blessings.

This lovely blessing is wonderful for sharing when someone moves to a new home, or it can be displayed as a saying in your home:

 

“God bless the corners of this house,
And be the lintel blest,
And bless the hearth and bless the board,
And bless each place of rest,
And bless each door that opens wide
To stranger as to kin,
And bless each crystal window pane
That lets the starlight in,
And bless the rooftree overhead
And every sturdy wall.
The peace of man,
the peace of God,
The peace of love on all.”

 

March 10, 2021

5 Reasons to Sell Your House This Spring

If you’re waiting for the best time to win as a seller, the market is calling your name this spring.

Here are five reasons why this is the perfect time to sell your house if you’re ready.

1. There’s high demand from homebuyers.

Buyer demand is strong right now, and buyers are active in the market. ShowingTime, which tracks the average number of buyer showings on residential properties, recently announced that buyer showings are up 51.5% compared to this time last year. Daniil Cherkasskiy, Chief Analytics Officer at ShowingTime, notes:

“As anticipated, demand for real estate remains elevated and continues to be affected by low levels of inventory…On average, each home is getting 50 percent or more requests this year compared to January of last year. As we head into the busy season, it’s likely we’ll push into even more extreme territory until the supply starts catching up with demand.”

When your house is positioned to get a ton of attention from competitive buyers, you’re in the best spot possible as the seller.

2. There aren’t enough houses for sale.

Purchaser demand is so high, the market is running out of available houses for sale. Recently, realtor.com reported:

“Nationally, the inventory of homes for sale in February decreased by 48.6% over the past year, a higher rate of decline compared to the 42.6% drop in January. This amounted to 496,000 fewer homes for sale compared to February of last year.”

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) also reveals that, while home sales are skyrocketing, the inventory of existing homes for sale is continuing to drop dramatically. Houses are essentially selling as fast as they’re hitting the market – in fact, NAR reports that the average house is on the market for only 21 days.

It’s this imbalance between high buyer demand and a low supply of houses for sale that gives sellers such an advantage. A seller will always negotiate the best deal when demand is high and supply is low. That’s exactly what’s happening in the real estate market today.

3. You have a lot of leverage in today’s market.

Clearly, many more people are interested in buying than selling this spring, creating the ultimate sellers’ market. When this happens, homeowners in a position to sell have the upper hand in negotiations.

According to NAR, agents are reporting an average of 3.7 offers per house and an increase in bidding wars. As a seller, this means the ball is in your court – so much so that you can use your leverage to negotiate the best possible contract. Demand is there, and now is the perfect time to sell for the most favorable terms.

4. It’s a great way to use your home equity.

According to the latest data from CoreLogic, as of the third quarter of 2020, the average homeowner gained $17,000 in equity over the past year, and that number continues to grow as home values appreciate. Equity is a type of forced savings that grows during your time as a homeowner and can be put toward bigger goals like buying your next dream home.

Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First American, notes:

“As homeowners gain equity in their homes, they are more likely to consider using that equity to purchase a larger or more attractive home – the wealth effect of rising equity. In today’s housing market, fast rising demand against the limited supply of homes for sale has resulted in continued house price appreciation.”

5. It’s a chance to find a home that meets your needs.

So much has changed over the past year, including what many of us need in a home. Spending extra time where we currently live is enabling many of us to re-evaluate homeownership and what we find most important in a home.

Whether it’s a house that has the features suited to working remotely, space for virtual or hybrid schooling, a home gym or theater, or something else, selling this spring gives you a chance to make a move and find the home of your dreams.

Bottom Line

Today’s housing market belongs to the sellers. If you’ve considered making a move but have been waiting for the right market conditions, your wait may be over. Contact a real estate professional so you’ll be positioned to win when you sell your house this spring.