Lake Wylie Waterfront Update

August 28, 2014

The numbers are in for the first half of 2014, and after a slow start in first quarter, we’re seeing sales move in the right direction – – UP!

 2014 wf sales 1st half

 Source: CMLS

Although waterfront home sales are behind 2013 sales for the first half of the year, we’ve been keeping pace in May-June.  The year started off slow, most likely due to the extraordinary amount of rain in 2013, and snowy weather over the winter.  Buyers tend to take their time when looking at waterfront properties, spending months or even years.  Because last summer was so rainy, we had fewer buyers entering the pipeline during that time, which has affected our current spring and summer sales.

This summer we’ve been blessed with lovely weather, which has encouraged people to get out on the lake and out for drives – – translating into stronger interest in area real estate!

There are 24 waterfront homes under contract, and the price mix is quite typical for the lake.  Most of the pending sales are in the $500k – $700k range, two are over $1mm.  You can check out the details on our website: Recent Sales – Lake Wylie Real Estate.  Waterfront home listings have climbed in recent months, now at 178 active on the market, the highest number since summer of 2010.

Waterfront lot sales are in a bit of a slump, with number of lots sold to date less than half the number for last year this time.  The majority of the lots sold to date were priced under $200,000.  However, the average lot sales price has crept up to a four year high of almost $225,000.  There are currently 190 waterfront lots on the market, also the highest number since 2010, so buyers have lots of choices.  Thus far in 2014 we’ve seen sales in neighborhoods, in “rural” locations, in various counties and municipalities on Lake Wylie.  We’ve had a couple of premium “big view” lot sales, and sales of some lots tucked in the back of coves.  There are buyers for all types – – just a bit few and far between.

For more information about the Lake Wylie waterfront market, contact the experts with The Lake Wylie Man.  With three times more sales than any other realtor in the market in recent years, you can count on The Lake Wylie Man to provide expert advice on buying and selling Lake Wylie waterfront real estate.

Copyright The Lake Wylie Man

Comments from the Photographer – 5370 Commodore Place Lake Wylie

February 4, 2011

These comments are from Jan Todd, photographer for The Lake Wylie Man, Lake Wylie waterfront specialist.

It is always a treat to visit and photograph a home belonging to a builder. When a builder designs a home for his personal residence, you know it will be solid, great quality, and full of innovative features. My husband is in the HVAC industry, and our “mechanical room” resembles the cockpit of a 747. I kid you not. We have four HVAC heating and cooling zones in our house, and we DON’T have a big house. It is equivalent to having a $15,000 sound system in a Hyundai. But I digress.

Let’s go back to 5370 Commodore Place in Lake Wylie. Off of Lake Wylie Road, it has an excellent location: Clover school district (of which I am personally partial!), main channel lot with a glorious view.

The home itself is beautiful. Not too fancy (real people can live there), but very elegant. It has four bedrooms & baths. The master suite has a panoramic view of the lake, and a beautiful high ceiling with elaborate trim. It was a challenge to photograph – – couldn’t really fit the ceiling and view in a still shot, but it did stitch together nicely for a panoramic in the virtual tour.

I absolutely love the kitchen. Cathedral ceilings with exposed beams, looking out towards the lake and seeing stone columns for the covered porch. It presents a lovely transition from the inside to the natural beauty of the outside.

As nice as the interior is, the strongest appeal of the home is the outdoors. The view is tremendous. There’s a screened porch, covered porch, deck, and inground pool to enjoy a variety of outdoor living areas.

Bells and whistles? The pool has a remote control for lights, etc. The home is a “smart home” – – wired and ready to run a small business with mutliple phone lines, multiple computers, acronymns that made my head spin. Quite an impressive control panel!

Wonder how many HVAC zones HE has??

Thanks for reading, and be sure to visit the Lake Wylie waterfront property page to see the visual tour.

For more blogs on Lake Wylie real estate, Lake Wylie information, and living in Lake Wylie, visit

Comments from the Photographer – Emerald Point condos for sale

March 21, 2010

These comments are from Jan Todd, photographer for The Lake Wylie Man – David Coone, waterfront specialist for Lake Wylie real estate

I was very happy to hear that David had listed three waterfront condos for sale in Emerald Point.  I visited Emerald Point during the summer, and photographed some general community shots.  It was a gorgeous summer day, with a blue blue sky that really made the water look nice.  Emerald Point is located on a very lovely part of Lake Wylie, with lots of natural shorelines and beautiful scenery.

Sometimes the timing of a new listing, or the schedules of the sellers, don’t exactly match the best part of the day or week for photography.  Unfortunately, this was the case for the properties at Emerald Point.  Bright sunny days have been few and far between lately, so I had to deal with some overcast skies when photographing the condos for sale last week.  Luckily, I had my photos from the summer to blend in for the visual tours and listing shots. 

Each of the three condos had been renovated, and were a pleasure to photograph.  I love to ask the sellers what drew them to the property, and the answers were quite similar – – the lifestyle!  As they described coming home from work, going out on the lake for a boat ride, watching the sun set over the water, I could imagine what was so appealing about the resort-like lifestyle.  One seller said that he went out wakeboarding almost every day during the summer!

Most of the residents are either young, single, newly married, or retired.  Most of the condos have 2 bedrooms, so are not designed for large families.  A few of the condos are larger, but the majority are under 1500 square feet. 

Emerald Point was built in the late ’80’s and early ’90’s, so the condos are around 20 years old.  Prime time for updates!  I was very impressed with the renovations in the Lake Wylie waterfront condo at 7324-4 Lakefront.  The seller had removed most of the wall at the entry, and had really opened up the kitchen area.  He had installed a work island, and had put in new cabinets and granite countertops.  All of the flooring was updated, and it is really nice!

The seller at the Lake Wylie waterfront condo 7340-7 Lakefront was quite meticulous.  He had also done quite a few upgrades, with tile in the bath, new cabinets in the kitchen and baths, and black granite counter tops.  As I was leaving, he came outside and called me back.  He wanted to remove the shower curtain so I could re-photograph his glass enclosed tile shower!  He said he had the shower curtain to make it easier to clean, but wanted to show the shower in the pictures without the curtain.  When I encounter a seller that is particular like that, it indicates to me that he really cares about his property and takes good care of it!

The property at 9817-8 Emerald Point has new flooring and some new appliances.  While all three of the properties have deeded boat slips, this one also comes with a lift.  This one is also located  with a northern exposure, which means it will have both sunrise and sunset views.  (That appeals to the photographer in me, of course!)

All in all, very nice choices for someone who would like a low-maintenance lakeside lifestyle.  The monthly dues are in the low $300’s (depending on the unit), which covers pool & tennis, exterior maintenance of the homes (new roofs, exterior paint, etc.), landscaping and care of the common areas, and water/sewer.  While $300/month certainly isn’t cheap, it really is reasonable considering the items covered.  It’s a whole lot less than $300/night that it would cost to stay in a resort!

Thanks for reading.  To see more Lake Wylie real estate, visit The Lake Wylie Man’s site!

401 Sebring Ct. – Comments from the Photographer

March 14, 2010

Comments from the  Photographer on 401 Sebring Ct., a waterfront home for sale on Lake Wylie

Listed for $965,000 in Lake Wylie’s HarborTowne neighborhood, I had high expectations for this home.  I knew it would be a pleasure to photograph, with lots of big lake views.  I was not disappointed.  The home is located on a beautiful part of Lake Wylie, surrounded by other lovely homes. 

I was greeted by the seller, who gave me a tour.  I asked him what drew him to the home when he purchased it several years ago.  Without hesitation, he said the views and location.  The home was built to capitalize on the lake views; big picture windows are in every room except the bathrooms and bonus room.

The great room has huge cathedral ceilings, with windows all the way to the top.  The upper window are tinted, which cut down on heat and excessive light.  I didn’t notice the tinting until I downloaded the photographs.  That was a bit of a challenge with the pictures!  Sometimes the camera picks up things that my eyes do not notice. 

The master bedroom is on the main level, and and a huge walk in closet.  It reminded me of a closet I photographed in another house about a year ago.  In that one, the owners had actually hosted a party INSIDE their closet after the remodeling was done.  Neighbors were gathered around a center island, enjoying wine and cheese in the closet.  Quite memorable!

In this home’s closet, there is a center island cabinet that houses 100 pairs of shoes.  “97 for her, 3 for me,” quipped the seller. 

One of my favorite features of the home was the library loft above the great room.  It was loaded with built in bookshelves, and lots of places to curl up with a good read.  And, naturally, it overlooks the water!  To see this house, visit the property webpage: Lake Wylie Waterfront Home for Sale.

Let me know what you think.  And have fun counting the shoes!

Thanks for reading.  To see more Lake Wylie real estate, please visit our website.

Comments from the Photographer – 12735 Withers Cove

March 13, 2010

12735 Withers Cove in Charlotte, NC, just listed for $649,000.  Comments from the photographer: Jan Todd

When I arrived at the home to take pictures for this new listing, I was greeted warmly by the seller, a man with a delightful sense of humor and most helpful.  It didn’t take long for me to determine that the homeowners were very creative and artistic.  Their home has many details that are whimsical, yet very tasteful.

Occasionally I see marks of individuality on a property that would not appeal to the masses, in fact, might deter most buyers.  This was not the case at 12735 Withers Cove.  The home was inviting and interesting and quite lovely!  Take a look at the property webpage:

My favorite feature in the home was the kitchen/dining area.  The builder used columns to define the dining area, giving it a very intimate feel in an otherwise open area.  A sitting area next to the dining table opened up to the second floor.  The seller had hanging plants (on adjustable cables, for easy watering!).  It reminded me of a mini-atrium.  Quite lovely!  Take a peek and tell me what you think.

Thanks for reading!  To see more Lake Wylie Real estate, visit The Lake Wylie Man’s featured properties!

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.

Modular Homes

December 28, 2007

A year or so ago, the neigbors were abuzz about a house – – a rather large house – – being brought down Allison Creek Road on the back of four semi-trucks.  It isn’t that uncommon to see someone’s future new home rolling down the highway with a “Wide Load” sticker on the back.  What is uncommon, but becoming less so in this area, is for that house to carry a price tag of over half a million dollars.

So what is it with these new modular homes?  Modular homes are built and assembled in a factory, then shipped in sections to its site.  The industry is becoming more and more popular as people learn the advantages of modular homes. 

For one thing, they are more economical to build:

  • Material is bought in bulk, shipped to the factory instead of to numerous home sites.  Quantity discounts are significant.
  • Material waste is much lower. 
  • Job site theft is reduced.
  • Since the factory allows homes to be built indoors, weather delays are not a consideration.
  • Labor efficiencies result from full-time construction staff that can move from one job to the next with no travel time.
  • Faster construction time means less interest costs on construction loans!

Modular homes are built with the same materials as site built homes.  In the climate controlled environment, many of the houses are built from the inside out – – drywall, then insulation, then sealed with the exterior.  There are no worries about rain or weather damage, no risk of wet materials being used, and greatly reduced possibility of mold on the lumber.  The work area (and therefore the home itself) is much cleaner.

Modular homes are built to the same building codes as site- built homes.  Inspectors comply with codes and regulations set by the state where the house will be located. 

Cottage Living magazine’s 2007 Idea Home was a modular cottage that was constructed right here in South Carolina (Haven Custom Homes), then shipped to New Orleans.

About 90% of the work on a modular home is completed inside the factory.  When a modular home is ready to leave the factory, it travels in sections on tractor-trailer trucks.  Sections are lowered by a crane onto the foundation.  The roof is then installed, and final touch up work is done. 

Modular homes should not be confused with “manufactured homes” (formerly referred to as mobile homes or trailers).  A manufactured home is built on a non-removable steel chassis, is transported to its destination on its own wheels, and is not necessarily attached to a permanent foundation.  Manufactured homes are usually more difficult to finance, and generally decrease in value over time.

Well built modular homes, on the other hand, have the same longevity as site-built homes, and generally increase in value over time (same as site-built.)

Modular home construction is also a consideration for additions to existing homes.  Plans can be customized as needed.  If you consider modular construction for your new home or addition, be sure to check with neighborhood covenants and restrictions. 

Lake Wylie Real Estate

Visit my website for Lake Wylie real estate property searches, helpful information for waterfront residents, Lake Wylie links and community information.

The Home Inspection

December 15, 2007

A home inspection, performed by a trained and certified inspector, will provide you with valuable information about the condition of the home you are about to purchase.  It can also be very helpful to have a professional inspection done on a house you are preparing to sell, as you can identify potential problem areas and take care of before you market your house.  The following information is edited from a report by Brian Connelly of Inspection Services in Rock Hill, SC.  Brian is a certified home inspector.  More information can be found at his website.

A home inspection is an objective visual examination of the physical structure and systems of a home, from the roof to the foundation. It is a physical “check-up” for a home.  If problems or symptoms are found, the inspector may recommend further evaluation.  The following information should give you a better understanding of exactly what your inspector should (and should not) do for you during the course of a home inspection.

First and foremost, an inspection is a visual survey of those easily accessible areas that an inspector can clearly see. No destructive testing or dismantling is done during the course of an inspection, hence an inspector can only tell a client exactly what was clearly in evidence at the time and date of the inspection. The inspectors eyes are not any better than the buyers, except that the inspector is trained to look for specific tell-tale signs and clues that may lead to the discovery of actual or potential defects or deficiencies.

Many inspectors belong to national inspection organizations such as NACHI, ASHI, and NAHI. These national organizations provide guidelines for inspectors to perform their inspections. Make sure that you as a consumer ask your inspector about his/her credentials and affiliations.

According to Industry Standards, the inspector evaluates and reports the condition of the structure, roof, foundation, drainage, plumbing, heating system, central air-conditioning system, visible insulation, walls, windows, and doors. The inspector is NOT required to inspect some items, such as private water and sewer systems, solar systems, security systems, etc. However, the inspector may provide additional inspection services (typically for an extra fee), if the client requests.  Some of these additional services may include wood-boring insect inspection, radon testing, well and septic inspections, and a variety of environmental testing. Be sure to discuss these extra services ahead of time so the inspector can bring the proper equipment and/or a qualified specialist.

The average time for an inspection on a typical 3-bedroom home usually takes 1.5-2.5 hours, depending upon the number of bathrooms, kitchens, fireplaces, attics, etc., that have to be inspected.  You should accompany the inspector through the house, so that he can answer questions and explain findings as he goes along.  The inspector should provide a complete written report as well.

Four key areas of most home/building inspections cover the exterior, the basement or crawlspace areas, the attic or crawlspace areas and the living areas. Inspectors typically will spend sufficient time in all of these areas to visually look for a host of red flags, telltale clues and signs or defects and deficiencies. As the inspector completes a system, major component or area, he/she will then discuss the findings with the clients.

After the inspection, you should know the positive and negative aspects of the condition of the home you are purchasing, what repairs are needed (as well as the urgency of those repairs), and if there are any safety issues that need immediate attention.  Your real estate agent will assist in communicating necessary repairs to the sellers so that any issues can be promptly handled.

Visit my website for Lake Wylie real estate property searches, helpful information for waterfront residents, Lake Wylie links and community information.