A survey by Ipsos found that the American public is still somewhat confused about what is actually necessary to qualify for a home mortgage loan in today’s housing market. The study pointed out two major misconceptions that we want to address today.
1. Down Payment
The survey revealed that consumers overestimate the down payment funds needed to qualify for a home loan. According to the report, 36% think a 20% down payment is always required. In actuality, there are many loans written with a down payment of 3% or less.
Many renters may actually be able to enter the housing market sooner than they ever imagined with new programs that have emerged allowing less cash out of pocket.
2. FICO Scores
The survey also reported that two-thirds of the respondents believe they need a very good credit score to buy a home, with 45 percent thinking a “good credit score” is over 780. In actuality, the average FICO scores of approved conventional and FHA mortgages are much lower.
The average conventional loan closed in March had a credit score of 753, while FHA mortgages closed with a 685 score. The average across all loans closed in March was 722. The graph below shows how the average FICO Score required has come down over the last 12 months and has stayed around 722 for the last six months.
Bottom Line info
If you are a prospective buyer who is ‘ready’ and ‘willing’ to act now, but are not sure if you are ‘able’ to, sit down with a professional who can help you understand your true options. Contact us today. 910-279-9398.
Posts Tagged ‘Brunswick County Real Estate’
We think this article written by Cece Nunn of the Starnews Online and posted in WilmingtonBiz is worth sharing.
Two luxury homes with asking prices of more than $5 million in Wilmington were put up for sale in February, an unusual occurrence for the local market, according to a report released this week.
Of the 215 houses priced at more than $1 million in New Hanover and Brunswick counties, the two new listings mean there are only three total with prices that high, and only two homes above that price point have sold in the region in the past decade, the report said. The luxury market real estate report is compiled monthly by Just For Buyers Realty using information from the local Multiple Listing Service.
The two listed in February are at 2336 Ocean Point Drive in Landfall, which is for sale for $5.2 million and listed by Landmark Sotheby’s International Realty; and at 7903 Masonboro Sound Road, listed by Intracoastal Realty for $5.25 million, the report said.
The Ocean Point Drive Mediterranean-revival style home is 7,600 square feet with four bedrooms, seven bathrooms, a saltwater pool, gourmet outdoor kitchen and views of the Intracoastal Waterway and Atlantic Ocean. The 6,470-square-foot Masonboro Sound Road house sits on 8 acres and has 4 bedrooms and five bathrooms. It also has a pier with a boat lift, water views and a putting green, and comes with a separate three-bedroom, two-bath guest cottage.
In New Hanover County, sales of luxury homes continued a mostly upward trend, with five selling last month compared to three in February 2015. Brunswick County’s sales also increased from last February, going from none to one, the report said. In Brunswick, there are 79 homes listed in the local MLS that are priced at more than $1 million, while there are 136 in New Hanover.
The luxury home market is soft compared to overall real estate sales in the region, but “we’ve definitely been seeing increases in the number of homes that are being sold on the high end,” said Kathleen Baylies, broker-in-charge at Just For Buyers Realty, on Friday.
Both New Hanover and Brunswick saw an increase in the number of luxury homes that went under contract in February in a year-over-year comparison – from four to seven in New Hanover and one to two in Brunswick.
In Pender County, the 13,000-square-foot home at 561 Ashton Lake Road in Burgaw came on the market Dec. 17 and is priced at $4.5 million, Baylies said. Located on a 20-acre site, the mansion includes six bedrooms, nine bathrooms, a gym, playroom, sauna, game room, bowling alley and saltwater pool. It also has a 35-acre lake and geothermal heat and air conditioning, according to its listing.
|New Hanover County
Feb. 2015 / Feb. 2016
Feb. 2015 / Feb. 2016
|Newly listed||20 / 24||7 / 5|
|Highest new listing||$4,195,000 / $5,250,000||$1,689,000 / $1,625,000|
|Under contract||4 / 7||1 / 2|
|Closed||3 / 5||0 / 2|
|Most expensive closed||$1,250,000 / $2,712,500||n/a /$1,000,000|
When you are ready to invest in a multi-million dollar home it is especially important to have the right Buyer’s Agent. Coastal Realty Connections works hard to help ensure the success of every client. Contact us for information on representation.
Wilmington NC Home Sales Increase 13%
Wilmington NC home sales finished last year with an increase of nearly 13 percent over 2014, according to statistics released Monday by the Wilmington Regional Association of Realtors.
The number of Wilmington NC home sales increased by 849 in 2015, from 6,555 to 7,404 in a nearly 13 percent jump, as buyers took advantage of historically low interest rates in a market where some price points are in shorter supply. The figure is the highest year-end number for units sold since 2006, WRAR’s Multiple Listing Service statistics show.
“We’re gaining ground,” said Don Harris, the 2016 president of WRAR.
He said he expects the direction to continue this year. “Interest rates are still low,” Harris said, noting a recent quote of 4.125 percent.
The rates for Wilmington NC home sales are forecast to increase a little, possibly by the fourth quarter of this year, he said. (more…)
When most people think about housing trends, they think about wall colors, cabinet styles and materials. As lives become more complicated, priorities shift and the definition of family has changed significantly. In response to these shifts in society, the housing trends change and adapt. The economic situation for many homeowners has also caused adjustment to future housing plans.
Location, Location, Location! Yes this has always been the most important aspect of choosing a home. In the past, people focused on a location because of family, job or cost of living. Now the number one priority in regards to location comes down to the walkability of restaurants, shopping and services.
We are all familiar with “green” building however the shift to “well” building is right around the corner. “Well” building continues the avoidance of harmful materials and the highlight of water and energy conservation with a new focus on design that enhances the life of the occupants. “Biophilic” design involves window and door placement to strive for a seamlessness between the home and the great outdoors. Increasing natural light and adding LEDs with dimmers and colors that can be changed according to time of day or weather. The lighting can simulate circadian rhythms in the body to improve sleep patterns which in turn is a boost to your health. In similar terms, a “well” home is all about being healthy in your body and in your mind.
In one of our early posts, we discussed the ever growing sustainable movement which has thousands of yards adorned with edible landscaping, backyard chickens and even bee hives. Going a few steps farther is a new housing trend called “Agrihood”. These are planned communities with a “nod” to communal living. The idea is to incorporate farming into planned neighborhoods where homesites are larger, community gardens and livestock herds cover the common areas and neighbors work together maintaining the needs of the farm. You may even see community kitchens and dining rooms instead of tennis courts and pools. The shared work and “fruits of labor” create a sense of pride and connection between neighbors. We expect to see more of these communities popping up as the sustainable movement spreads.
Managing power usage continues to be a top concern for home owners. In addition to solar panels there has been a huge boost in the number of “smart homes” which help to manage usage by automatically adjusting heating/cooling settings and lighting to accommodate time of day as well as weather. Most of the “smart home” technology can be accessed and manipulated by a cell phone app.
Consumers are demanding low maintenance features and materials as they no longer want to spend their weekends mowing grass and painting the deck. The focus has shifted to materials and systems with a greater longevity and durability. A good example is hand built brick walls, they will last for centuries rather than just one owner. This goes along with the push to build structures to withstand severe weather. Many builders and homeowners are “opting to go beyond what is required” says Philadelphia developer Nino Cutrufello.
To further to the low maintenance push, folks are choosing to build smaller, more open floorplans. Including creative use of space and smaller bedrooms allow for overall smaller structures. Since the bedroom is typically where we spend the least amount of time it makes sense to make these rooms smaller. This also is the case for families housing multiple generations. Private entrances offer a feeling of separation and independence while still being cost effective and family oriented.
With such a shift in housing trends it will be interesting to see what effect if any these changes have on the resale market. We may start to see more and more renovations to retro fit homes for the “new style” of living.
In a recent article by the Southport Stateport Pilot‘s Staff Writer Lee Hinnant, he highlights the ways in which marinas contribute to the local economy.
More than just places to tie-up and buy fuel and ice, marinas are substantial contributors to the economy and gateways to some of the nest spots on the Cape Feat coast.
With thriving restaurants, an inn, real estate sales and other businesses, Bald Head Island Marina is like a second village square. Everyone who visits the island passes through, wither on private boats or the large passenger ferries.
At South Harbor Village in Oak Island, the marina helps support two large restaurants and several small businesses overlooking the water. Just up the Intracoastal Waterway at St. James, the marina anchors a market, restaurant and Tiki hut. One of the area’s top seafood restaurants and a motel overlook Blue Water Point Marina. At the heart of it all is Southport Marina. During the past decade, Preston Development has turned what was an aging marina into a first class facility that has garnered numerous awards. There are 10 full-time employees and two part-time workers. Businesses based at Southport Marina include a boat brokerage, a boating club, a boat rental company, a sail supplier and an American Sailing Association-certified sailing academy. Seven charter Companies and Zimmerman Marine Service also call the marina home.
There’s a waiting list for the boat dry stack and manager Hank Whitley said that’s no happy accident. “We’ve put a lot of effort, headache and heartache to do it right,” he said. “It’s a big deal for us and a major revenue stream to bring folks from elsewhere.”
The boaters who stayed at Southport Marina less than a month increased by about 150 last year to more than 1,500. Whitley estimates that one-quarter of the marina’s business is with transients. “We think of ourselves at concierges,” Whitley said. “The biggest thing about the impact is that just about every single one of them want to go out and eat somewhere in town.” The visitors who boat to Southport also need provisions, fuel and marine parts and services.
“It’s the same thing as a hotel,” said Cindy Brochure, tourism director for the City of Southport. “If they like you they will come back.” Brochure said the marina’s awards and favorable mention in publications such as Sail Magazine have helped introduce Southport to many newcomers. “We have big-city amenities in a small town. It’s an economic boost when these people come in.” Brochure called the area marinas “a year around economic development tool” and said her office enjoys handing out information about the community. “It’s like having a stop on the interstate highway” she said.
A 2008 study of the southeastern region of NC stated that marinas employed 783 people and had a secondary economic impact of $305-million in sales.
Crews are digging a 32- to 40-foot-wide trench in the sand, then placing rock-filled geotextile mattresses on the leveled surface. After that, they’re stacking large boulders on the specially constructed mattress pads.
Work is going slowly because the contractors have to pump water from the excavation and make sure the construction area is perfectly flat and at exactly the correct elevation, said Chris McCall, shoreline protection manager and assistant village manager.
“The terminal groin is moving along,” McCall said. “They are putting the rocks in place.” Orion Marine Group crews place a six-by-20-foot mattress on the construction centerline, then place additional pads on each side of the center mattress.
The mattresses go down first so that the heavy boulders won’t subside into the sand.
McCall said the crew was averaging eight to 10 mattresses a day. They are staging mainland operations just east of American Marine Co. on the Intracoastal Waterway at Oak Island.
When finished, the terminal groin will be 1,300 feet long and reach into the Atlantic about 300 feet. It is designed to capture some, but not all, of the sand that washes by in the longshore current.
Four community-based terminal groins are allowed in North Carolina under a 2011 law. Other beaches seeking to build groins are Holden Beach, Ocean Isle Beach and Figure Eight Island.
Construction is expected to wrap up in October. Technicians will monitor the groin’s performance for at least two years before the project engineer decides whether to add another 600 feet to the structure.
Source State Port Pilot
William “Woody” Hall, senior economist at University of North Carolina Wilmington, predicts the Wilmington area will grow 3.5% this year and 3.8% in 2016. According to an article printed in the Greater Wilmington Business Journal, 3% is a key figure as it is the rate the economy needs to grow to keep the unemployment rate stable. Mr. Hall has been a senior economist for 41 years at UNCW.
The growth prediction is good news for the Wilmington area. His evaluation of the economic condition from the local economic indicators he uses show that with the exception of airport passenger traffic, there is a good outlook for 2015 – unemployment, residential real estate, retail sales, tourism and State Port activity show signs that the sectors have fully recovered or are on their way back from the Great Recession that crippled the economy about seven years ago.
Hall maintains that retail sales and tourism have rebounded completely from what was considered one of the worst economic downturns since The Great Depression. Furthermore in an economic outlook for 2015 released by a Wells Fargo analyst indicate recovery is gradually building with areas such as Raleigh and Charlotte leading the way. Asheville, Wilmington and Durham were specifically mentioned as growing areas. Most other areas in the state will grow at a slower pace than the stars mentioned above, according to the analyst.
A number of factors will contribute to the continual growth one of which is the possibility of increased interest rates. Taking advantage of the growing economy to purchase property now may save buyers increased interest rates and guarantee buyers a better selection of properties. As the economy continues to improve real estate “deals” of the past seven years are disappearing. Let us at Coastal Realty Connections help you take advantage of today’s market!
From the places that draw crowds to the places that help you escape them, when you are in North Carolina you will find it all. Those of us who call it home experience its beauty daily. For others that #visitnc and wish to return time and time again, consider purchasing this year.
- CNN Money reports home prices are climbing. Wilmington is expected to rise 8% through third quarter 2014.
- CBS Money Watch predicts 2014 will be another year of gains for the real estate market.
- The National Association of Realtors indicated in their March report that a shortage of inventory is proving problematic.
- Albeit still low, according to Forbes, the average mortgage rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage is expected to rise the most recent year’s 3’s to 5.5% this year.
- The coast of North Carolina is gaining in popularity. New Hanover and #Brunswick Counties in particular continue to get national exposure on film and are experiencing growing awareness through national publications. CNN Money Magazine listed Wilmington, NC real estate as the #7 city to invest in and #Brunswick Forest located in Leland just outside of Wilmington and near Southport, NC has been given the Bliss Award Winner designation, Best North Carolina Community of the Year for the Coastal Southern North Carolina area.
At Coastal Realty Connections we understand buying is often an emotional choice. So more than the statistics, it is about finding the place that matches your natural rhythms, provides activities that bring you joy, and above all brings you peace of mind.
I am delighted to announce the launch of our new website and to post the first of many updates on our area, local real estate market and other interesting topics.
The economy has been tough over the past few years and many of us have debated whether the real estate market has hit bottom. Indicators are that it has, sales are improving and, according to the NC Association of Realtors, year on year sales have remained higher for the last 29 months. Enquiry levels are up, mortgage rates are at historic lows and buyer’s are steadily returning to the market. There has not been a better time over the last five years to purchase property than now.
While it is not always easy to determine the best time to list or buy, having the guidance and support of the right real estate agent is a key factor to your success. At Coastal Realty Connections we are committed to helping buyers and sellers find the right property at the right price. We work hard to satisfy a buyer’s desire to take advantage of the best values in the market place and a seller’s need to achieve their price points.
The coastal region of North Carolina is well positioned to take advantage of a recovering market. Wilmington, the Port City, has something to offer everyone who enjoys the conveniences of a big city along with all the advantages of quick access to sandy shores. Brunswick County, the 87th fastest growing county in the nation, continues to offer amenity-rich communities, traditional neighborhood locations and wonderful beaches at great values. New Bern, the second oldest city in North Carolina, is one of the coast’s undiscovered gems. With average sales prices below state averages, the New Bern area provides an affordable place to live, enjoy and explore the coast.
Please consider Coastal Realty Connections as your agent and we will do our very best to help you with your goals.