Thursday, October 12, 2017



     The Real Estate Market remained strong through the third quarter of this year.  According to data from the Multiple Listing Service of the Catawba Valley , Inc, there were 873 single family homes closed during the period from July 1 - September 30, 2017.  That brings the total number of single family homes closed from January 1 -  September 30, 2017 to 2,449, which is slightly more than the 2,416 homes that closed during the same period in 2016.
     With interest rates still remaining in the 3.25% to 4.25% range, there is optimism that the local market will finish with a strong fourth quarter.

More Retirees Carry Mortgage Debt

Retiring baby boomers are less likely to be mortgage-free compared to people their age in previous generations, according to Fannie Mae. That could hurt boomers’ financial security and exacerbate the housing affordability crisis.
Slightly less than 50 percent of the oldest baby boomer homeowners in 2015 were mortgage-free, 10 percentage points lower than the number of Silent Generation homeowners who were in the same age group in 2000 and mortgage-free, according to Fannie Mae. “The increasing prevalence of housing debt among older homeowners could compromise financial security in retirement by expanding housing affordability problems, crimping essential non-housing spending, increasing vulnerability to home loss through foreclosure, or limiting the accumulation of housing wealth,” Fannie Mae researcher Patrick Simmons writes on the GSE’s Housing Perspectives blog.
Between 2010 and 2015, when the housing market was recovering from the crash, baby boomers were paying off their mortgages at an accelerated pace. But even if that trend continues, researchers predict, the rate of boomers who own their homes free and clear in retirement is unlikely to keep pace with previous generations.  
“The greater propensity of boomer homeowners to carry housing debt might signal the need to expand consumer outreach and education that helps older mortgagors manage their monthly housing expenses, including ensuring that they have fully exploited opportunities to reduce monthly mortgage payments through refinancing,” Simmons notes. “Educating younger boomers about options for shorter-duration mortgages that accelerate principal pay-down might also increase the likelihood that they enter retirement with little or no housing debt. For older boomer mortgagors who wish to eliminate housing debt, an option worth considering is trading down to less expensive homes.” 
Source: “Baby Boomers Accelerate Their Advance into Free-and-Clear Homeownership,” Fannie Mae’s Housing Insights (Oct. 5, 2017)

Big Roadblock for Owners of Tiny Homes

Homeowners who have embraced the “tiny home” lifestyle are discovering that it’s not so easy to find a place to put their property. Many tiny houses—usually considered to be between 100 and 400 square feet—are built on trailers with wheels so they can be towed, but zoning regulations in many cities don’t allow for temporary structures such as RVs or other movable homes. These laws also frequently specify a minimum size for a home or lot size, and building codes for residential properties can be problematic for tiny houses built on foundations, The New York Times reports. 
Andrew Morrison, a professional builder, told the Times that he believes “upwards of 90 percent of tiny-house owners are living illegally when it comes to zoning. …  A very small minority live in RV parks, though they usually have a limit on how long you can stay. A friend or family’s backyard, or land in the country, is much more common.”
The tiny home movement has become popular over the last few years, and many municipalities are facing increased pressure to embrace smaller structures as legal residences. Advocates in some cities have made headway in changing ordinances governing accessory dwelling units and backyard cottages. For example, Fresno, Calif., and Nantucket, Mass., now permit tiny houses to share land with existing homes. “It’s a spirit of cooperation,” Morrison told Times. “It’s a simple way to bring in affordable housing that doesn’t cost the municipality anything.”
The tiny home movement won another victory recently when the International Code Council approved a model code for tiny houses to be included in its International Residential Code. The document is the most widely recognized residential building code in the U.S. “There’s a fear that people are going to end up living in shanty shacks,” says Morrison, who helped write the code guidelines. “We don’t want that either. We want people to be safe in their houses and in something they can afford.”
Source: “Where Can You Park a Tiny Home?” The New York Times (Oct. 6, 2017)
If you are interested in purchasing or selling Real Estate,  please feel free to contact me.  I would deeply appreciate the opportunity to work with you...   For All Your Real Estate Needs Call Bill Cox 828-381-7449 or email at

Friday, July 7, 2017


     According to the Multiple Listing Service of Catawba Valley, there were 1,553 homes sold from January 1, 2017 - July 3, 2017, with an average sales price of $162,245.  These homes sold for 96.28% of list price and were on the market for an average of 134 days.
     The number of foreclosure sales in the area seems to be dwindling a little, as the market share of foreclosures during this period was 11.1% compared to 14.6% for the same period in 2016.

     Mortgage interest rates are still good, so now is still an excellent time to make a move.  According to  a 30 year fixed rate is 4.16%, while a 15 year rate is 3.37%.  

 Have you ever considered flipping homes.  If so this may be beneficial to you.  According to Teresa Mears of money.usnews .com here are 9 secrets of successful flippers

They buy at the right price. If you buy a house at full retail price then spend $25,000 on improvements, clearly you won’t make a profit. You want a house to which you can add value and sell for more than you spend. Especially in today’s market, you may need to search hard for a house that will make a profitable flip. “You make your money when you buy,” Jensen says.
They have access to cash. A traditional lender will want at least 25 percent down and also have the best rate. A hard-money lender, who gives a short-term mortgage based upon the value of the asset, may not care about your credit and will lend enough to buy and rehab, but he or she will charge 10 to 15 percent interest or more. You may get lucky and find a private lender who trusts you enough to give you a loan for acquisition and repair costs at a reasonable rate, but that often takes a track record unless you have relatives with money.
They make accurate cost estimates. Before you decide whether a house will make a good flip, you need to know how much it will cost to repair it, market it and hold onto it during the process, which means you also need an accurate timetable. When you estimate tile costs, don’t just look at the $2-per-square-foot price tag on the tile, but also include the cost of labor, mortar, grout and tools. Don’t forget taxes, insurance, mortgage payments, real estate commissions and marketing costs. “All of a sudden your $10,000 budget is $25,000 in reality,” Jensen says. “It costs a lot of money to flip a house.”
They hire good contractors. Finding a good, reliable contractor to work with you on flipping a house isn’t any easier than finding a contractor to renovate your kitchen. Start looking before you find the house. Ask for references, call those references and look at completed projects. “This is going to be the hardest part of the whole thing,” Jensen says. “I have found three in my whole flipping career who were amazing. I have hired a lot more contractors.”
They buy in the right neighborhoods. When you don’t have a lot of money, the tendency is to assume that an inexpensive house anywhere is a good option. It isn’t. You want a neighborhood that is safe, where values are rising and where people want to live. “Not every house makes a good flip,” Jensen says. “Just because the house is priced low doesn’t mean it’s a good value. You’re not going to be able to force those neighborhoods to be good.”
They do work themselves – when they can do it well. One way to avoid dealing with contractors is to do the repair work yourself. That can be a decent option if you’re good at home repairs. Calculate how quickly you can do the work yourself vs. how much you would have to pay someone else. Your time has value, too. But bad renovations turn off prospective buyers.
They don’t overimprove. If you buy a house in a neighborhood where all the other homes have laminate countertops and linoleum floors, you may not get your money back if you add custom wood cabinets, expensive wood floors and marble countertops. “You don’t want to be the nicest house in the neighborhood,” Jensen says. “You’re not going to sell a $300,000 house in a $175,000 neighborhood.”
They add special touches that don’t cost much. Spend a little more on kitchen faucets, a new doorbell, lighting or plumbing fixtures, Peavey said. Wainscoting, chair rail and crown molding all look nice but don’t cost much. “You sell the sizzle of the steak rather than the nutrients of the steak,” he says.
They sell their homes quicklyEvery day the house sits unsold, you lose money. You need a strong marketing plan, whether you use a real estate agent or list it yourself. And you’ve got to price the property to sell based on market values, not what you’ve invested in it for improvements. “If you list too high, the house won’t sell,” Udelson says. “If you list too low, you leave money on the table.

Monday, March 6, 2017


Buying a home sounding overwhelming? Want to get the 411 on the common forms you are likely to see during your next real estate transaction.
Property disclosure form
This form requires you to reveal all known defects to your property. Your real estate agent will let you know if there is a special form required in your state.
Purchasers’ access to premises agreement
This agreement sets conditions for permitting the buyer to enter your home for activities such as measuring for draperies before you move.
Sales contract
This is the agreement between the buyer and seller, which outlines the terms and conditions of sale. Your agent or your state’s real estate department can tell you if a specific form is required.
Sales contract contingency clauses
In addition to the contract, you may need to add one or more attachments to the contract to address special contingencies — such as the buyer’s need to sell a home before purchasing.
Pre- and post-occupancy agreements
Unless you’re planning on “moving day” being on or before “closing day,” you’ll need an agreement on the terms and costs of occupancy once the sale closes.
Lead-based paint disclosure pamphlet
If your home was built before 1978, you must provide this pamphlet. The buyers will also have to sign a statement indicating they received the pamphlet.
This document officially transfers ownership of the property to the buyers or their lender.
These are binding statements by either party. For example, you may end up signing an affidavit stating that you haven’t incurred any liens on your home.
These are amendments to the sales contract that affect your rights. For example, you may wish to negotiate to stay in the home for a specified period after closing, paying rent to the buyers during that period.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016


     The Real Estate Market in the Unifour area is off to a great start for 2016.  We are still in need of more homes to sell.  With interest rates remaining low, now is a great time to jump into the Real Estate Market.
     From January 1, 2016 through May 24, 2016, there have been 1,080 single family homes closed, according to the Catawba Valley Multiple Listing Service.   There are an additional 435 single family homes under contract.  Of those home closed, 422 sold for less than $100,000, while 201 sales were over $200,000.  Foreclosures were 16.8% of the market with a total of 182 sales.

Friday, April 29, 2016


There is no inflation, says the federal government. The consumer price index rose by only 0.4 percent in 2015 so there will be no cost-of-living adjustment to Social Security checks this year. However, as most real estate professionals know, housing costs are still climbing. Rents rose at their highest pace in seven years and home prices nationally increased by 6 percent. That would be three times the pace of average wage growth. Housing costs are expected to keep rising in 2016 simply because not enough homes are being built.
From 2009 to today, new construction of single-family homes, condominiums, and apartment units totaled 5.6 million. Over the same period, approximately 1.7 million housing units were deemed uninhabitable or obsolete and were demolished and removed from the housing stock. These two figures result in a net addition of 3.9 million housing units to the country’s stock. Is that adequate in light of 17.3 million additional people living in the country over the same period?
Clearly, the answer is no. Given the average household size of 2.5 persons, a total of 6.9 million new housing units would be needed to accommodate the country’s rising population. The 3.9 million units that were actually created fall far short of the demand—by some 3 million homes.
That explains why rental vacancies are falling and housing inventories are shrinking. Of course, local market conditions vary. States with declining populations, including Connecticut, Illinois, and West Virginia, may have a less pressing need for additional home construction. But those places are exceptions. Housing shortages are the rule in most states and there’s no reason to expect anything to change this year.
There are essentially two major consequences of a persistent housing shortage: a continuing steep rise in housing costs and people needing to double or triple up to afford a home. Young adults may have to find multiple roommates or else live with their parents.
That latter scenario is probably not what most young people dream about, but it’s what the American dream of home ownership could turn into if we don’t spur more housing development in the country soon.

Content taken from: Lawrence Yum  NAR chief ecnnomist
We are having a home shortage in here in the unifour area..We have qualified buyers and are in need of homes to put them in.  If you are considering selling your home, now is the time.  Interest rates are still good and home prices are up.  Please contact me if I can help..BILL COX  828-381-7449

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Getting Your Home Sold In A Tough Real Estate Market

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Although the Real Estate market is improving in 2012, it is still a buyers' market. However, there are steps a seller can take that will assure them of getting their home sold quickly and getting a fair price.

According to the MLS of Catawba Valley, homes in Hickory, NC are selling for 90% of list price with an average marketing time of 183 days. Keep in mind, this 90% does not include any closing costs the seller may pay for the buyer or the seller's own closing cost, but on a positive note, if the average is 90%, then that means there are homes selling for 93 -- 95% of list price.

Here are some steps a seller can take:

In preparing your home for the market, spend as little money as possible. Concentrate on making minor and inexpensive touchups to your home, rather than extensive and costly renovations. While prospective buyers may be impressed by a brand new roof or a modern kitchen, they aren't likely to give you enough extra money to pay for the renovations. Putting new knobs on cabinets and a fresh coat of neutral paint in the living room are more practical and less expensive updates.

Sellers should take the time to maximize the exterior and curb appeal of their home before putting it on the market. This can be done by:
• Keeping the lawn edged, cut, and watered regularly
• Trimming the hedges, weeding lawns and flowerbeds, and pruning trees regularly
• Adding some fresh mulch, rock, or stone to the landscaping
• Checking the foundation, steps, walkways, walls, and patios for cracks and crumbling
• Inspecting doors and windows for peeling paint
• Cleaning and aligning gutters
• Inspecting and cleaning the chimney
• Repairing and replacing loose or damaged roof shingles
• Repairing and repainting loose siding and caulking
• Re-sealing an asphalt driveway
• Keeping your garage door closed
• Storing RVs or old and beaten-up cars elsewhere while the house is on the market
• Applying a fresh coat of paint to the front door

• A seller should take the time to give each room in the house a thorough cleaning and remove all the clutter. This alone will make your house appear bigger and brighter. You may give some thought to renting a storage unit and storing some of your furniture or collectables. 
• Remove the less frequently used items from kitchen counters, closets, basement, and attics: this makes these areas much more inviting. Since you're already anticipating a move, you may want to consider holding a garage sale at this point.
• Repaint dingy or strongly colored walls with a neutral shade of paint
• Check basement and attic for cracks, leaks, and signs of dampness.
• Repair cracks, holes, and damage to plaster, wallboard, wallpaper, paint, and tiles.
• Replace broken or cracked windowpanes, moldings, and other woodwork.
• Inspect and repair the plumbing, heating, cooling, and alarm systems.
• Repair dripping faucets and showerheads. 
• Spruce up a kitchen in need of major remodeling by investing in new cabinet knobs, new curtains, or a coat of neutral paint.
And finally, when you are ready to put the home on the market, price it to sell. Too many times a seller wants to put their home on the market at a higher price with the intentions of coming down on the price later. Please understand, when a home is on the market for a long period of time, buyers think the home has a problem and that creates low incoming offers.
Therefore, by getting the home ready to sale before marketing and initially pricing the home to sell, you can improve the odds of getting your home sold quickly and at a fair price.