Lake Wylie Real Estate Sales Update

March 18, 2011

Spring is in the air, and as is usual this time of year, calls and buyer activity are picking up (although the phone has been noticeably quiet during basketball games!).  

Looking at sales activity for waterfront homes on Lake Wylie, we’re right on pace thru February vs last year, with a couple of notable differences:

  • Average price of waterfront home selling is around $500,000 – – considerably lower than last year.  Last year this time we’d already seen the sale of a couple of million+ dollar homes; this year none have sold at that level, and none are pending yet.
  • These lower priced homes, for the most part, are “real houses” – – not intended for weekend cabins at the lake, but will be used for primary homes.  Some foreclosures, originally priced in the $700’s, sold in the $500’s.  Add in to that mix a couple of older homes, moderately priced.
  • Distressed properties continue to be a huge factor – – 5 of the 8 homes sold to date were foreclosures or short sales, and about a third of pending sales are in that category.
  • Seventeen home sales are “pending” on Lake Wylie.  If all close in March/April, that would put us about 40% ahead of 2010 sales.  That is cause for optimism!

 Last year, the first vacant waterfront lot sale was reported at the end of March.  Thus far in 2011, we’ve had two lots close, both in January.  Other waterfront lot news:

  • 12 lot sales are currently pending: two are considered “premium” lots (over $300k), and the remainder are foreclosures, etc. for under $150k.
  •  Quite a few bank-owned properties are flooding the market of waterfront lots.  A large group of lots (several with docks) have been listed at Somerset in Autumn Cove for $150k and below. 
  •  There are almost 200 waterfront lots currently available for sale on the lake; almost half are under $250,000.

The number of “pendings” and increase in calls by buyers for lots is an encouraging sign.  I think sales for 2011 will begin to outpace 2010, and am very optimistic about this year.  Please visit my website to see details for Waterfront Sales on Lake Wylie and other helpful Lake Wylie real estate resources.


Shopping for Real Estate on the Internet – Virtual Drive By

February 24, 2010
Technology is certainly changing the world of real estate. The National Association of Realtors reports that 84% of consumers will use the internet in finding their next home. I believe that, as I find my website traffic for The Lake Wylie Man increasing day by day, and many of my customer inquiries and phone calls coming from the internet. 

One real estate agent in our office, who loves to keep us up to date on fun, helpful, and sometimes silly diversions via email, sent a link to Google’s Virtual Turnpike. This is a site where you can type in any address in the U.S. (and several other countries as well), and see a photographed street view of the location. You can see traffic conditions, surroundings, etc. as you pan around and even do a virtual drive-by.

I thought it would be cool to add this link to my property web pages for Lake Wylie Real Estate for Sale, until I typed in a few addresses of my listed properties, just to take a look. Many of the lake properties (especially in more remote areas, as some lake properties tend to be), the Virtual Turnpike has not photographed yet, so I was out of luck on those.

Those that did have photographs, however, were subject to lighting conditions, timing, and things that weren’t always optimal to portray the property accurately. For instance, one address was taken when there was a new house being built across the street. The road was muddy from construction vehicles, and the Port-a-John in the scene did absolutely nothing to highlight the charm of the half-million dollar home I am trying to sell!

Another property had pictures taken not long after the home was completed, and lots of bald patches in the lawn (since grown in thanks to the irrigation system and landscaping efforts of the seller!) didn’t present the property in the best light.

Yet another home had a shot on the street of a pickup truck driving by. The truck was probably 20+ years old, had rust spots and looked pretty rough. Not typical of the neighborhood, mind you, but there it was, marking the area’s personality until an update is done, whenever that might be! One address had pictures taken on garbage pick-up day, and trash cans (with white trash bags sitting atop, no less) graced the curbs . . . again, not the prettiest picture!

So – – virtual drive by’s – – a fun diversion, a handy tool for a slice of life . . . but one to be taken with the realization that the photo may capture things that are not permanent fixtures! Of course, in real estate photography, we do attempt to show a property in its very best light. We try to take pictures when the sun is “just so”, lighting the best angle (though that’s not always possible). We sometimes move the trash cans out of the way, if they’re in the shot. We really, really try not to have any Port-a-John’s in the photo.

Bottom line, though a vast majority of people shop for real estate on the internet, very few BUY real estate without first visiting the property in person. I can’t imagine that changing! And as you will realize, that ACTUAL visit makes all the difference.

Thanks for reading my blog on Lake Wylie real estate. For more blogs about Lake Wylie waterfront and living in Lake Wylie, visit my website.


Square footage, plus or minus a bit

March 13, 2008

The Charlotte MLS system has just announced that beginning in late March, square footage on houses will be reported in ranges, instead of specific amounts.  On the data sheet for a home, the square footage may read something like “3600-4200”.  This change by the Charlotte multi-listing system is consistent with how square footage is reported in many other real estate markets.

The reason for the switch is to prevent disagreements that sometimes come up after the sale is negotiated.  Some buyers want credit if there is even a slight discrepancy.  While square footage is a factor in the price of a home, it is not the only factor, or even the most important one in most cases.  Amenities, level of finish, condition, and location can create a difference in price for houses that are otherwise very similar in age and size.   For waterfront properties, square footage of a house is even less of a factor in price determination.  (See What to Look for in Lake Wylie Waterfront Property)

Also, measuring square footage is hardly an exact science, especially when considering modern architecture with some areas open to the next floor, living spaces with sloped ceilings, bay windows and various other nooks and crannies.  While there are guidelines for measuring (see my blog Understanding Square Footage), rarely will two people come up with an identical number when measuring some of the more challenging floor plans.

Liability has become such an issue that some real estate agents hire measuring services to calculate square footage.  Under the new practice of the Charlotte MLS, the range listed for square footage will leave a bit of room for minor variations in measuring, thus reducing chance of arguments and lawsuits. 

While the new method will no doubt frustrate those buyers who carry calculators to make precise comparisons, it will allow the buyers to place more emphasis on the comparison factors that are not as precisely measurable, but may be more important in their overall satisfaction with the property.

For more information and resources for buying and selling real estate in Lake Wylie, please visit my website, TheLakeWylieMan.


Preparing for a Home Inspection

December 20, 2007

A little preparation can go a long way in getting ready for a home inspection.  If you’ve just sold your home, you want it to be in the best shape possible.  The sale may be contingent on a favorable inspection, and you may be responsible for repairs prior to closing.  It’s best to keep the repair list as minor as possible.  So, before putting your house on the market, take care of some basic maintenance issues that will surely come up:

  • Clean all gutters.  Inspect and repair any roof damage.
  • Make sure mulch is 6-8″ away from the siding of your house.
  • Paint all weathered wood on the outside of your home.  Caulk around the trim, windows, and doors.
  • Replace or clean all filters.
  • Replace burned out light bulbs. 
  • Make sure all plumbing fixtures are in good condition, clean, and free from leaks.
  • Make sure there is access to all electrical panels, water heaters, etc.

Familiarize yourself with what a home inspection covers.  For a sample home inspection report (thanks to Brian Connelly, certified home inspector with Inspection Services in Rock Hill), visit the link below:

http://www.inspect-service.com/Reports/HomeInspectionReport.pdf

Brian’s website has some excellent information on home inspections, what to expect, and frequently asked questions.

http://www.inspect-service.com/default.htm

To return to my website:  http://www.TheLakeWylieMan.com