Sign up to get new listings emailed daily! JOIN SIGN IN
Jessica Sawyer
REALTOR®

Articles Tagged "For buyers"

Jessica Sawyer Blog Home

Subscribe and receive email notifications of new blog posts.




rss logo RSS Feed
November
17

Brunswick County real estate market surpasses $2 billion in year-to-date sales

SHALLOTTE, N.C. - Brunswick County Association of REALTORS®

Brunswick County's residential real estate market exceeded $2 billion in year-to-date total sales in October with luxury sales leading the way, and more than half of all homes sold during October were sold at or above list price.

"While $2 billion in total sales seemed like an unreachable milestone just a couple of years ago, it doesn't come as a shock this year given our market's consistently strong performance month over month," said Cynthia Walsh, BCAR CEO. "Overall demand remains strong, prices continue to increase, and we continue to see a strong luxury market. Overall, our market is positioned for continued strength as we move into winter."

Brunswick County saw $211,520,000 in total sales volume in October, a 0.5% increase from last year's $210,450,000. The average sales price increased 9.3%, from $432,131 to $472,150. New listings were down 24.4%, from 622 to 470. The number of units sold in October dropped 8% compared to last year, from 487 to 448, and homes spent an average of 33 days on the market. The absorption rate, which is the amount of time it would take to sell all available inventory, remains at two months. Brunswick County's luxury market was strong in October with 24 sales in excess of $1 million, including three sales over $2 million and a 3.4 million sale in Ocean Isle Beach.

Year-to-date sales volume through October is $2,168,330,000, down 3.9% from $2,255,559,429 last year. Average sales prices for the year are 11.9% higher than 2021, increasing from $393,703 to $440,574. The number of units sold through October is down 16.9%, from 5,723 to 4,756, and the number of new listings is down 11.3%, from 6,316 to 5,602.

Brunswick County

  • New Listings
    • October 2022: 470
    • October 2021: 622
    • Increase/Decrease: -24.4%
  • Units Sold
    • October 2022: 448
    • October 2021: 487
    • Increase/Decrease: -8%
  • Average Sales Price
    • October 2022: $472,150
    • October 2021: $432,131
    • Increase/Decrease: +9.3%
  • Median Sales Price
    • October 2022: $425,000
    • October 2021: $343,168
    • Increase/Decrease: +23.8%
  • Total Sales Volume
    • October 2022: $211,520,000
    • October 2021: $210,450,000
    • Increase/Decrease: +0.5%

Bladen County

  • New Listings
    • October 2022: 20
    • October 2021: 9
    • Increase/Decrease: +122.2%
  • Units Sold
    • October 2022: 12
    • October 2021: 18
    • Increase/Decrease: -33.3%
  • Average Sales Price
    • October 2022: $192,408
    • October 2021: $188,289
    • Increase/Decrease: +2.2%
  • Total Sales Volume
    • October 2022: $2,310,000
    • October 2021: $3,390,000
    • Increase/Decrease: -31.9%

Columbus County

  • New Listings
    • October 2022: 31
    • October 2021: 37
    • Increase/Decrease: -16.2%
  • Units Sold
    • October 2022: 29
    • October 2021: 29
    • Increase/Decrease: 0%
  • Average Sales Price
    • October 2022: $215,475
    • October 2021: $192,366
    • Increase/Decrease: +12%
  • Total Sales Volume
    • October 2022: $6,250,000
    • October 2021: $5,580,000
    • Increase/Decrease: +12%

The Brunswick County Association of REALTORS® (BCAR) is the local association level of the largest trade association in the nation, presently serving its members, which are comprised of REALTORS®, Appraisers, and Affiliate Members. For more information, please visit http://www.bcarnc.com.

November
9

Eat Like a Local: Learn to Love Oysters

Oysters in Southeastern North Carolina

Moving to the southeastern coast of North Carolina means acclimating yourself to the most beloved dishes and cuisine of the local area. For those of us in Brunswick County, and the low country of North Carolina, this usually involves falling in love with seafood. And, one of the most popular seafoods during the fall and winter is a salty, briny oyster.

Enjoy Oysters at Area Restaurants

Lucky residents of Southport, Oak Island and the surrounding areas can find these salty delicacies in numerous establishments. A few to note include:

Moore Street Oyster Bar

Earning its name from its extensive menu of oysters and fresh seafood, this popular spot can be found along the downtown streets of Southport. Pop in for a quick bite while shopping or visiting the waterfront. Be sure to order The Kathryn with artichoke, white wine, parmesan cream sauce and basil or the Simply Southern with collards, ham, and bacon topped with pimento cheese.

Shagger Jack's

Featuring an assorted menu with some quality cajun flair, Shagger Jack's is a local and tourist favorite with indoor and outdoor (dog-friendly) seating. Lightly fried oysters can be ordered as a platter with cole slaw and fries, or as a po'boy sandwich topped with lettuce, tomato, pickles and house-made remoulade.

Fishy Fishy

Seated right on the Intracoastal Waterway, boasting gorgeous sunset views is Fishy Fishy Restaurant. With dock side service available and a menu offering everything from delicious appetizers to seafood platters, you're sure to find something for the seafood lovers and non-seafood lovers in your crew! Opt for the highly-sought after seafood plate or add their mouth-watering oysters to any salad.

Island Way

Is there any other way than the Island Way? This oceanfront restaurant neighbors Ocean Crest Fishing Pier and offers some of the best views of any place in Brunswick County. Featuring steaks and seafood, be sure to stop by for a romantic dinner and to grab their oysters on the half shell before diving into your meal!

How to Open an Oyster

Enjoy Oysters at Home

Oysters can be enjoyed a variety of different ways like on the raw bar, steamed, fried or roasted. The only thing that stands in your way from devouring these filters of the ocean is the act of shucking (opening) the oysters. While the process seems intimidating, it's actually very simple.

Shuck in Six: 6 Steps to Shucking an Oyster

  1. Protect. Use a thick cloth, kitchen towel or gloves to cover and protect your hands from the sharp shells and oyster knife.
  2. Place. Using your non-dominant covered hand, hold the oyster with the hinge facing you.
  3. Pressure. Using the oyster knife, gradually apply pressure and oscillate around the hinge to try and insert the knife into the hinge of the shell.
  4. Cut. Once the knife enters the hinge of the shell, reach straight into the oyster for the adductor and make one clean cut across the adductor.
  5. Open. Using the oyster knife, open the oyster and rinse it lightly to remove any broken shell pieces.
  6. Decide. You can test the oyster by poking it around the lips to see if it's alive as it should retract. The oyster should smell fresh and like the ocean but not overly fishy or bad. If the oyster smells bad, or does not retract when poked, do not eat it. If the oyster is good to go, just decide on how you want to prepare to eat this delicacy!

Celebrate the Oyster

While oysters are technically harvested between October and March, they can be enjoyed year round. In Brunswick County, we celebrate all that is the oyster during the NC Oyster Festival. This annual family-friendly event includes everything from an oyster roast and arts and crafts festival to a full entertainment line-up and so much more!

Oyster Festival

Enjoy Oysters In Your Brunswick County Home

Living in Brunswick County is about so much more than just enjoying oysters. Whether you're looking for the perfect second home with a bit of coastal charm or you want to know what island life is all about, reach out to Margaret Rudd & Associates, Inc., REALTORS® today to learn more about living in Brunswick County, North Carolina. Be sure to check out the current available listings on our website to find your new Brunswick County dream home today! 

October
13

Tropical Slowdown: Hurricane Ian affects Brunswick County Real Estate Market

SHALLOTTE, N.C. - Brunswick County Association of Realtors

Brunswick County's residential real estate market felt the impacts of Hurricane Ian during September with fewer new listings and fewer homes sold compared to last year. Prices ticked upward, continuing a recent and familiar pattern.

"September hurricanes often affect our real estate market, and Hurricane Ian was no exception," said Cynthia Walsh, BCAR CEO. "Ian blew through at the end of the month, which is when a large number of closings typically occur. The timing explains why we saw a lower number of homes sold and lower total sales volume last month. While Ian brough a temporary tropical slowdown, and while our market isn't moving at the frantic pace it once was, we continue to see strong demand, and our market remains on track for another strong year."

Brunswick County saw $215,280,000 in total sales volume in September 2022, a 12.9% decrease from last September's $247,120,000. The average sales price increased 7.5%, from $433,541 to $465,983. New listings were down 16.3%, from 559 to 468. The number of units sold in September dropped 18.9% compared to last year, from 570 to 462, and homes spent an average of 30 days on the market. The absorption rate, which is the amount of time it would take to sell all available inventory, remains at two months. Brunswick County's luxury market was strong in September with 28 sales in excess of $1 million, including a sale over $4 million in Ocean Isle Beach.

Year-to-date sales volume through September is $1,956,810,000, down 4.3% from $2,045,109,429 last year. Average sales prices for the year are 13.1% higher than 2021, increasing from $389,433 to $440,574. The number of units sold through September is down 17.7%, from 5,236 to 4,308, and the number of new listings is down 9.9%, from 5,694 to 5,132.

Brunswick County

New Listings

  • September 2022: 468
  • September 2021: 559
  • Increase/Decrease: -16.3%

Units Sold

  • September 2022: 462
  • September 2021: 570
  • Increase/Decrease: -18.9%

Average Sales Price

  • September 2022: $465,983
  • September 2021: $433,541
  • Increase/Decrease: +7.5%

Median Sales Price

  • September 2022: $364,438
  • September 2021: $331,532
  • Increase/Decrease: +9.9%

Total Sales Volume

  • September 2022: $215,280,000
  • September 2021: $247,120,000
  • Increase/Decrease: -12.9%

Bladen County

New Listings

  • September 2022: 16
  • September 2021: 17
  • Increase/Decrease: -5.9%

Units Sold

  • September 2022: 8
  • September 2021: 9
  • Increase/Decrease: -11.1%

Average Sales Price

  • September 2022: $192,488
  • September 2021: $193,967
  • Increase/Decrease: -0.8%

Total Sales Volume

  • September 2022: $1,540,000
  • September 2021: $1,750,000
  • Increase/Decrease: -12%

Columbus County

New Listings

  • September 2022: 30
  • September 2021: 36
  • Increase/Decrease: -16.7%

Units Sold

  • September 2022: 32
  • September 2021: 25
  • Increase/Decrease: +28%

Average Sales Price

  • September 2022: $202,054
  • September 2021: $187,324
  • Increase/Decrease: +7.9%

Total Sales Volume

  • September 2022: $6,470,000
  • September 2021: $4,680,000
  • Increase/Decrease: +38.2%

The Brunswick County Association of REALTORS® (BCAR) is the local association level of the largest trade association in the nation, presently serving its members, which are comprised of REALTORS®, Appraisers and Affiliate Members. For more information, please visit http://www.bcarnc.com.

September
13

Brunswick County's real estate market demonstrates stability in August

SHALLOTTE, N.C. - Brunswick County Association of Realtors

In August, Brunswick County's residential real estate market saw higher prices, fewer new listings, and fewer homes sold compared to last August.  

"While there is talk nationally of a real estate slowdown, Brunswick County's market continues to demonstrate remarkable stability," said Cynthia Walsh, BCAR CEO. "When looking at these numbers, it's important to remember just how abnormal the past few years have been. While the number of homes sold is down slightly compared to last year, sales have been pretty much steady month over month for the past two years, generally hovering between 500 and 600 sales per month, with our usual seasonal dip in December, January, and February. Overall, our market remains on track to once again do something that was unheard of prior to 2020: surpass $2 billion in total sales before the end of the year."

Brunswick County saw $232,570,000 in total sales volume in August 2022, a 5.7% decrease from last August's $246,620,000. The average sales price increased 9.4%, from $415,883 to $455,130. New listings were down 10.4%, from 682 to 611. The number of units sold in August dropped 13.8% compared to last year, from 593 to 511, and homes spent an average of 26 days on the market. The absorption rate, which is the amount of time it would take to sell all available inventory, remains at two months. Brunswick County's luxury market remained strong in August with 19 sales in excess of $1 million and two sales of $2 million or more.

Year-to-date sales volume through August is $1,741,530,000, down 3.1% from $1,797,989,429 last year. Average sales prices for the year are 14.8% higher than in 2021, increasing from $383,919 to $440,574. The number of units sold through August is down 17.6%, from 4,666 to 3,846, and the number of new listings is down 9.2%, from 5,135 to 4,664.

Brunswick County

  • New Listings
    • August 2022: 611
    • August 2021: 682
    • Increase/Decrease: -10.4%
  • Units Sold
    • August 2022: 511
    • August 2021: 593
    • Increase/Decrease: -13.8%
  • Average Sales Price
    • August 2022: $455,130
    • August 2021: $415,883
    • Increase/Decrease: +9.4%
  • Median Sales Price
    • August 2022: $370,000
    • August 2021: $325,000
    • Increase/Decrease: +13.8%
  • Total Sales Volume
    • August 2022: $232,570,000
    • August 2021: $246,620,000
    • Increase/Decrease: -5.7%

Bladen County

  • New Listings
    • August 2022: 14
    • August 2021: 20
    • Increase/Decrease: -30%
  • Units Sold
    • August 2022: 12
    • August 2021: 13
    • Increase/Decrease: -7.7%
  • Average Sales Price
    • August 2022: $305,300
    • August 2021: $232,469
    • Increase/Decrease: +31.3%
  • Total Sales Volume
    • August 2022: $3,660,000
    • August 2021: $3,020,000
    • Increase/Decrease: +21.2%

Columbus County

  • New Listings
    • August 2022: 45
    • August 2021: 37
    • Increase/Decrease: +21.6%
  • Units Sold
    • August 2022: 32
    • August 2021: 33
    • Increase/Decrease: -3%
  • Average Sales Price
    • August 2022: $242,337
    • August 2021: $246,548
    • Increase/Decrease: -1.7%
  • Total Sales Volume
    • August 2022: $7,750,000
    • August 2021: $8,140,000
    • Increase/Decrease: -4.8%

Robeson County

  • New Listings
    • August 2022: 10
    • August 2021: 13
    • Increase/Decrease: -23.1%
  • Units Sold
    • August 2022: 6
    • August 2021: 7
    • Increase/Decrease: -14.3%
  • Average Sales Price
    • August 2022: $153,083
    • August 2021: $186,214
    • Increase/Decrease: -17.8%
  • Total Sales Volume
    • August 2022: $918,500
    • August 2021: $1,300,000
    • Increase/Decrease: -29.3%

The Brunswick County Association of REALTORS® (BCAR) is the local association level of the largest trade association in the nation, presently serving its members, which are comprised of REALTORS®, Appraisers, and Affiliate Members. For more information, please visit http://www.bcarnc.com.

August
16

Brunswick County sees fewer homes sold, higher prices and quick sales in July

Shallotte, NC - Brunswick County Association of Realtors

Brunswick County's residential real estate market remained competitive in July, with fewer homes sold, fewer new listings, higher prices, an uptick in the absorption rate, and homes continuing to sell quickly and at 99% of list price on average.

"Our market remains highly competitive thanks to strong demand paired with fewer new listings and a historically low inventory of available homes," said Cynthia Walsh, BCAR CEO. "While we saw fewer homes sold in July compared to last year, we have a healthy number of pending listings, and the absorption rate increased for the first time in months. Buyers would highly benefit from working with one of our professional REALTORS® to navigate this competitive market."

Brunswick County saw $216,760,000 in total sales volume in July 2022, a 14.3% decrease from last July's $252,900,000. The average sales price increased 3.9%, from $430,096 to $446,937. New listings were down 14.1%, from 681 to 585. The number of units sold in July dropped 17.5% compared to last year, from 588 to 485, and homes spent an average of 26 days on the market. The absorption rate, which is the amount of time it would take to sell all available inventory, is up to 2 months for the first time since January 2021. Sellers received 99% of their list price in July on average. Brunswick County's luxury market remained strong in July with 25 sales of $1 million or more, with the highest transaction at $2,550,000.

Year-to-date sales volume through July is $1,508,960,000, down 2.7% from $1,551,369,429 last year. Average sales prices for the year are 16.1% higher than 2021, increasing from $379,353 to $440,574. The number of units sold through July is down 18.1%, from 4,073 to 3,335, and the number of new listings is down 9%, from 4,453 to 4,053.

Brunswick County

  • New Listings
    • July 2022: 585
    • July 2021: 681
    • Increase/Decrease: -14.1%
  • Units Sold
    • July 2022: 485
    • July 2021: 588
    • Increase/Decrease: -17.5%
  • Average Sales Price
    • July 2022: $446,937
    • July 2021: $430,096
    • Increase/Decrease: +3.9%
  • Median Sales Price
    • July 2022: $364,990
    • July 2021: $342,602
    • Increase/Decrease: +6.5%
  • Total Sales Volume
    • July 2022: $216,760,000
    • July 2021: $252,900,000
    • Increase/Decrease: -14.3%

Bladen County

  • New Listings
    • July 2022: 10
    • July 2021: 10
    • Increase/Decrease: 0%
  • Units Sold
    • July 2022: 6
    • July 2021: 12
    • Increase/Decrease: -50%
  • Average Sales Price
    • July 2022: $261,333
    • July 2021: $212,383
    • Increase/Decrease: +23%
  • Total Sales Volume
    • July 2022: $1,570,000
    • July 2021: $2,550,000
    • Increase/Decrease: -38.4%

Columbus County

  • New Listings
    • July 2022: 44
    • July 2021: 28
    • Increase/Decrease: +57.1%
  • Units Sold
    • July 2022: 32
    • July 2021: 21
    • Increase/Decrease: +52.4%
  • Average Sales Price
    • July 2022: $192,787
    • July 2021: $212,732
    • Increase/Decrease: -9.4%
  • Total Sales Volume
    • July 2022: $6,170,000
    • July 2021: $4,480,000
    • Increase/Decrease: +37.7%

Robeson County

  • New Listings
    • July 2022: 4
    • July 2021: 5
    • Increase/Decrease: -20%
  • Units Sold
    • July 2022: 5
    • July 2021: 5
    • Increase/Decrease: 0%
  • Average Sales Price
    • July 2022: $107,700
    • July 2021: $183,360
    • Increase/Decrease: -41.3%
  • Total Sales Volume
    • July 2022: $538,500
    • July 2021: $916,800
    • Increase/Decrease: -41.3%

The Brunswick County Association of REALTORS® (BCAR) is the local association level of the largest trade association in the nation, presently serving its members, which are comprised of REALTORS®, Appraisers, and Affiliate Members. For more information, please visit http://www.bcarnc.com.

August
10

Moving In? Don't Make These Rookie Mistakes

Moving in is exciting, but don't rush in! Here are the most common mistakes you want to avoid.

Moving always brings its fair share of challenges, but if you plan ahead and do your homework, you might be surprised by how smoothly the whole process can go. As always, our real estate agents are here to help.

Some of the most common and potentially disastrous moving mistakes are the ones that are made on move-in day. If you've already found the perfect Southport home for sale and are getting ready to move into your new home, these are the biggest mistakes to avoid:

  • Procrastinating
    If you're the type who always waited until the night before a test to start studying, take note. Moving is not fun if you wait until the last minute! By the time you get to moving day, everything should already be boxed, packed, and ready to go. If you've rented a moving van or truck, it's also a good idea to get as much stuff as possible loaded up the day before the actual move.

    Ditching All Your Furniture
    We understand the appeal of moving into a new home and making it a fresh start. But while it can be tempting to kick all your old furniture to the curb and start fresh, you might want to hang onto a few things. Even if you have to rent a larger vehicle or pay your movers more, you'll still save some money. You might also be surprised how a new space breathes life into some of your old furnishings.

  • Not Matching Furnishings to Architecture
    Of course, if you're moving into a new home that has a radically different architectural style than your old one, not all of your furniture will fit in. Matching decor to architecture is an important way to make your space feel natural and balanced. If, for example, you're moving into a breezy beach house in Southport, you might find that sleek, modernist furniture clashes with the whole vibe.

  • Forgetting to Make Arrangements for Pets
    Moving is stressful for humans, so just think of how your four-legged friends must feel! It's always a good idea to make arrangements for your pets on moving day, like boarding them of having them temporarily stay with a relative while you get settled. That way, they'll be less stressed and won't get underfoot while you're moving in. When you're ready for your pets to join you, make sure their favorite toys and blankets are out and ready!

  • Not Packing a 'Day One' Box
    Pack a separate box with all the essentials you'll need on your first day in your new home, and take it in the car with you. Its precise contents will be different for everyone, but be sure to include basic toiletries, washcloths and towels, electronics and chargers, a few snacks, and a change of clothes for everyone. You don't want to have to wait for the movers to arrive just so you can brush your teeth or take a shower.

  • Not Checking the Weather
    You can't control the weather, but you can plan for it. Do your best to plan your move on a sunny day, but check the forecast religiously as you approach the big day, just in case the weather changes. If rain threatens, take precautions to keep everything from getting soaked as you move (trash bags, tarps, and towels are your best friends)!

Contact us today for more information on moving into your new home in Southport, NC. And if you're still on the hunt for that perfect home to call your own, our real estate agents are here to help every step of the way.

January
26

Brunswick County's real estate market saw almost $3 billion in total sales in 2021

January 14, 2022 - Brunswick County Association of Realtors 

Brunswick County's residential real estate market demonstrated remarkable consistency throughout 2021, ending the year with almost $3 billion in total sales. New listings and units sold were up slightly compared to 2020. Total sales volume was up 26.1% compared to 2020's record-breaking numbers, with the increase driven in large part by higher average sale prices.

"2020's record sales totals foreshadowed the numbers we saw in 2021," said BCAR CEO Cynthia Walsh. "Thanks to continued strong demand and limited inventory, homes are selling quickly and at higher prices. Additionally, we saw an unprecedented number of luxury home sales in 2021. We see no indications of a drop in demand in the near future, so sales volume in January will likely be driven by available inventory. Our market remains in strong shape to kick off the New Year."

Total sales volume increased from $2,144,523,000 in 2020 to $2,703,339,429 in 2021. The number of new listings were up 2.4%, from 6992 to 7157, and the number of units sold increased 7.8%, from 6285 to 6777. Average sales prices were up 19.3% compared to 2020, jumping from $334,251 to $398,774. The increase in average sale prices was fueled in part by a strong luxury market: the number of luxury sales jumped from 127 in 2020 to 229 in 2021, and luxury sales comprised nearly 3.5% of the market. Brunswick County's largest transaction in 2021 was a $6.1 million residence on Bald Head Island.

When it comes to December's numbers, new listings and units sold were down slightly, total sales volume increased, and homes are spending less time on the market. Total sales volume increased 12.9% compared to December 2020, from $214,510,000 to $242,240,000, and average sales prices were up 18.3%, from $371,768 to $439,631. The increase in average sales prices was largely driven by luxury sales, as was the case throughout 2021. December saw 27 sales of $1 million or higher, with the largest being a $3.75 million transaction.

"December saw the highest number of homes sold in the fourth quarter, which is odd given that December is historically the slowest sales month of the year," said Walsh. "Prices are up, and the number of pending sales dropped to 400 in December. While the drop in pending sales could foreshadow a decrease in January, we expect the numbers to remain strong given that homes have been selling quickly."

The number of new listings dropped 4.4% in December, from 385 to 368, and the number of units sold was down 4.5%, from 577 to 551. Homes are spending 30 days or less on the market, depending on location, which is a drop of roughly half since December 2020.

 

Brunswick County

New Listings

  • December 2021: 368
  • December 2020: 385
  • Increase/Decrease: -4.4%

Units Sold

  • December 2021: 551
  • December 2020: 577
  • Increase/Decrease: -4.5%

Average Sales Price

  • December 2021: $439,631
  • December 2020: $371,768
  • Increase/Decrease: +18.3%

Median Sales Price

  • December 2021: $359,000
  • December 2020: $295,000
  • Increase/Decrease: +21.7%

Total Sales Volume

  • December 2021: $242,240,000
  • December 2020: $214,510,000
  • Increase/Decrease: +12.9%

Bladen County

New Listings

  • December 2021: 12
  • December 2020: 7
  • Increase/Decrease: +71.4%

Units Sold

  • December 2021: 8
  • December 2020: 7
  • Increase/Decrease: +14.3%

Average Sales Price

  • December 2021: $256,863
  • December 2020: $292,851
  • Increase/Decrease: -12.3%

Total Sales Volume

  • December 2021: $2,050,000
  • December 2020: $2,050,000
  • Increase/Decrease: 0.0%

Columbus County

New Listings

  • December 2021: 16
  • December 2020: 9
  • Increase/Decrease: +77.8%

Units Sold

  • December 2021: 27
  • December 2020: 24
  • Increase/Decrease: +12.5%

Average Sales Price

  • December 2021: $192,142
  • December 2020: $173,979
  • Increase/Decrease: +10.4%

Total Sales Volume

  • December 2021: $5,190,000
  • December 2020: $4,180,000
  • Increase/Decrease: +24.2%

The Brunswick County Association of REALTORS® (BCAR) is the local association level of the largest trade association in the nation, presently serving its members, which are comprised of REALTORS®, Appraisers and Affiliate Members. Chartered in 1959 by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), BCAR represents the interests of its members in southeastern North Carolina and northeastern South Carolina. For more information, please visit http://www.bcarnc.com.

December
22

Brunswick County's real estate market sees higher prices, increased sales volume and tight inventory in November

December 22, 2021 - Brunswick County Association of Realtors 

Brunswick County's residential real estate market saw higher prices, higher sales volume and a tight inventory of available homes in November. The market remains ahead of 2020's record pace in terms of total sales volume for the year. While the number of units sold in November was down slightly, total sales volume increased 10.2% compared to 2020, and new listings were down 13.5%.

"Our market has been amazingly resilient throughout 2021," said BCAR CEO Cynthia Walsh. "We continue to see strong demand and a tight inventory, which results in homes selling quickly and at higher prices. In addition, a strong luxury home market continues to fuel our higher average sale price. The bottom line is that our market is in good shape as 2021 comes to a close."

Brunswick County saw $205,540,000 in total sales volume in November 2021, a 10.2% increase from last November's $186,450,000. New listings dropped 13.5%, from 547 to 473, and the number of units sold decreased 5.6%, from 533 to 503. The market saw a net increase of 30 new listings, which reflects the difference between units sold and new listings. The average sales price increased 16.8%, from $349,811 to $408,628, and was fueled in part by luxury home sales. November saw 19 sales in excess of $1 million, with the highest being a $2.4 million transaction. The average number of days on the market is down slightly at 27 days, with a median of nine days.

Overall, Brunswick County's year-to-date numbers are still ahead of 2020's pace. Total sales volume is up 27.5% compared to the same point in 2020, increasing from $1,930,013,000 to $2,461,099,429. Average sales prices for the year are up 19.4%, from $330,840 in 2020 to $395,059 in 2021. The number of units sold through November is up 9.1%, from 5,708 to 6,226. The number of new listings for the year saw a slight 2.8% increase, from 6,607 to 6,789.

Brunswick County

New Listings

  • November 2021: 473
  • November 2020: 547
  • Increase/Decrease: -13.5%

Units Sold

  • November 2021: 503
  • November 2020: 533
  • Increase/Decrease: -5.6%

Average Sales Price

  • November 2021: $408,628
  • November 2020: $349,811
  • Increase/Decrease: +16.8%

Median Sales Price

  • November 2021: $330,000
  • November 2020: $280,000
  • Increase/Decrease: +17.9%

Total Sales Volume

  • November 2021: $205,540,000
  • November 2020: $186,450,000
  • Increase/Decrease: +10.2%

Bladen County

New Listings

  • November 2021: 11
  • November 2020: 5
  • Increase/Decrease: +120.0%

Units Sold

  • November 2021: 14
  • November 2020: 14
  • Increase/Decrease: 0.0%

Average Sales Price

  • November 2021: $281,854
  • November 2020: $192,211
  • Increase/Decrease: +46.6%

Total Sales Volume

  • November 2021: $3,950,000
  • November 2020: $2,690,000
  • Increase/Decrease: +46.8%

Columbus County

New Listings

  • November 2021: 22
  • November 2020: 22
  • Increase/Decrease: 0.0%

Units Sold

  • November 2021: 24
  • November 2020: 22
  • Increase/Decrease: +9.1%

Average Sales Price

  • November 2021: $198,496
  • November 2020: $131,506
  • Increase/Decrease: +50.9%

Total Sales Volume

  • November 2021: $4,760,000
  • November 2020: $2,890,000
  • Increase/Decrease: +64.7%

The Brunswick County Association of REALTORS® (BCAR) is the local association level of the largest trade association in the nation, presently serving its members, which are comprised of REALTORS®, Appraisers and Affiliate Members. Chartered in 1959 by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), BCAR represents the interests of its members in southeastern North Carolina and northeastern South Carolina. For more information, please visit http://www.bcarnc.com.

November
24

Brunswick County's real estate market sees first significant drop in sales this year

Last month, Brunswick County's residential real estate market saw its first significant drop in monthly sales volume and increase in inventory so far this year. Total sales volume in October was down 19.5% compared to 2020. The only other month with a drop in total sales volume so far this year is August, which saw a slight 0.7% decrease. The market also saw 135 new listings in October.

"While our market remains ahead of last year's record pace, sales volume was down slightly in October compared to 2020," said BCAR CEO Cynthia Walsh. "Even though some national experts think the market may be in the early stages of a cool-down, Brunswick County's market remains consistent. Prices are up, and homes are selling quickly. We expect our market to remain strong moving into Winter."

Brunswick County saw $210,450,000 in total sales volume in October 2021, a 19.5% decrease from last October's $261,340,000, with luxury sales contributing almost $36,000,000. There were 23 sales in excess of $1 million last month, with the highest being $2.75 million. New listings dropped 6.0% compared to last October, from 662 to 622. The number of units sold decreased 27.3%, from 670 to 487, but pending sales are up 24% over last month. Homes are averaging 30 days on the market, and homes listed below $299,000 are spending 15 days or less on the market. The average sales price increased from $390,062 to $432,131, a 10.8% increase fueled by strong luxury home sales.

The market's year-to-date numbers remain ahead of last year's pace. Total sales volume is up 29.4% compared to 2020, increasing from $1,743,563,000 to $2,255,559,429. Average sales prices are 19.7% higher than 2020, jumping from $328,943 to $393,703. The number of units sold through October is up 10.6%, from 5,175 to 5,723. New listings increased 4.2%, from 6,060 to 6,316.

Brunswick County

New Listings

  • October 2021: 622
  • October 2020: 662
  • Increase/Decrease: -6.0%

Units Sold

  • October 2021: 487
  • October 2020: 670
  • Increase/Decrease: -27.3%

Average Sales Price

  • October 2021: $432,131
  • October 2020: $390,062
  • Increase/Decrease: +10.8%

Median Sales Price

  • October 2021: $343,168
  • October 2020: $311,500
  • Increase/Decrease: +10.2%

Total Sales Volume

  • October 2021: $210,450,000
  • October 2020: $261,340,000
  • Increase/Decrease: -19.5%

Bladen County

New Listings

  • October 2021: 9
  • October 2020: 9
  • Increase/Decrease: 0.0%

Units Sold

  • October 2021: 18
  • October 2020: 12
  • Increase/Decrease: +50.0%

Average Sales Price

  • October 2021: $188,289
  • October 2020: $134,058
  • Increase/Decrease: +40.5%

Total Sales Volume

  • October 2021: $3,390,000
  • October 2020: $1,610,000
  • Increase/Decrease: +110.6%

Columbus County

New Listings

  • October 2021: 37
  • October 2020: 30
  • Increase/Decrease: +23.3%

Units Sold

  • October 2021: 29
  • October 2020: 23
  • Increase/Decrease: +26.1%

Average Sales Price

  • October 2021: $192,366
  • October 2020: $152,230
  • Increase/Decrease: +26.4%

Total Sales Volume

  • October 2021: $5,580,000
  • October 2020: $3,500,000
  • Increase/Decrease: +59.4%

Source: The Brunswick County Association of REALTORS® (BCAR)  http://www.bcarnc.com

September
17

Brunswick County again sees higher real estate prices, tight inventory in August, Year-to-date sales up 44.5% compared to 2020

Brunswick County's residential real estate market once again saw increased prices and low inventory in August. While total sales volume was slightly down in August, total year-to-date sales volume is up 44.5% compared the same month last year.

"On the surface it might seem like last month saw a slight downturn, but when you look closely, the big picture shows that the market is maintaining strength." said BCAR CEO Cynthia Walsh. "Overall, the market is stable and with year-to-date sales up 44.5%, it is more than a possibility we will reach $2 billion in sales before the 4th quarter."

In August 2021 Brunswick County saw $246,620,000 in total sales, a 0.7% decrease from last August's $248,323,000. Despite this decrease, total year-to-date sales are up 44.5% compared to 2020, increasing from $1,244,333,000 to $1,797,989,429.

While number of units sold fell slightly with a 11.1% decrease from 667 to 593, the six-month average remains consistent at approximately 600 – 650 sales a month. The average sales price increased 11.7%, from $372,449 to $415,883, fueled by a higher number of luxury home sales. One hundred and twelve homes sold between $500,000 – $999,999 and 23 homes sold for over $1 million, with the largest two sales being over $3 million.

Average sale prices for the year are up 20.4% compared to last year, increasing from $318,948 to $338,919, and the number of units sold through August is up from $3,820 to $4,666, a 22.1% increase. Demand is high with listings on the market for about 20 days. New listings in August 2021 saw a 7.2% increase, growing from 636 to 682.

Brunswick County

New Listings

  • August 2021: 682
  • August 2020: 636
  • Increase/Decrease: +7.2%

Units Sold

  • August 2021: 593
  • August 2020: 667
  • Increase/Decrease: -11.1%

Average Sales Price

  • August 2021: $415,883
  • August 2020: $372,449
  • Increase/Decrease: +11.7%

Total Sales Volume

  • August 2021: $246,620,000
  • August 2020: $248,323,000
  • Increase/Decrease: -0.7%

Bladen County

New Listings

  • August 2021: 20
  • August 2020: 7
  • Increase/Decrease: +185.7%

Units Sold

  • August 2021: 13
  • August 2020: 3
  • Increase/Decrease: +333.3%

Average Sales Price

  • August 2021: $232,469
  • August 2020: $700,000
  • Increase/Decrease: -66.8%

Total Sales Volume

  • August 2021: $3,020,000
  • August 2020: $2,100,000
  • Increase/Decrease: +43.8%

Columbus County

New Listings

  • August 2021: 37
  • August 2020: 33
  • Increase/Decrease: +12.1%

Units Sold

  • August 2021: 33
  • August 2020: 26
  • Increase/Decrease: +26.9%

Average Sales Price

  • August 2021: $246,548
  • August 2020: $162,583
  • Increase/Decrease: +51.6%

Total Sales Volume

  • August 2021: $8,140,000
  • August 2020: $4,230,000
  • Increase/Decrease: +92.4%

Source: The Brunswick County Association of REALTORS® (BCAR)  http://www.bcarnc.com.

April
29

March yields Brunswick County's highest real estate sales total in 2021, sales volume nearly doubles compared to March 2020

April 13, 2021 - Brunswick County Association of Realtors

Brunswick County's residential real estate market saw its strongest sales this year in March, with sales volume nearly doubling and units sold up by half compared to March of 2020. Additionally, March's sales volume outpaced every other month in the past five years except for June and July of 2020.

"I feel like I'm running out of descriptive words and adjectives to describe the continuously red-hot real estate market we are experiencing." said BCAR CEO Cynthia Walsh. "Prices are up, sales figures are off the chart, and available inventory and the absorption rate are amazingly low. Our total sales in the first quarter were higher than ALL of 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and just slightly lower than 2012. These numbers are astounding, and we see no indications of a slowdown as we move into summer."

Brunswick County saw $236,960,000 in total sales in March 2021, an 85.4% spike over last March's $127,800,000. The number of units sold jumped 50.6%, from 431 to 649. The average sales price increased 23.1%, from $296,515 to $365,121. Twenty homes sold for more than $1 million last month, more than 100 homes sold for between $500,000 and $999,999, and there are two pending sales over $3 million and two over $2 million. Current active listings are at an all-time low of 629, and the absorption rate is 1.5 months.

Brunswick County

New Listings
March 2021: 692
March 2020: 622
Increase/Decrease: +11.3%

Units Sold
March 2021: 649
March 2020: 431
Increase/Decrease: +50.6%

Average Sale Price
March2021: $365,121
March2020: $296,515Increase/Decrease: +23.1%

Total Sales Volume
March 2021: $236,960,000
March 2020: $127,800,000
Increase/Decrease: +85.4%

Bladen County

New Listings
March 2021: 18
March 2020: 15
Increase/Decrease: +20%

Units Sold
March 2021: 9
March 2020: 12
Increase/Decrease: -25%

Average Sale Price
March 2021: $206,589
March 2020: $173,919
Increase/Decrease: +18.8 %

Total Sales Volume
March 2021: $1,860,000
March 2020: $2,090,000
Increase/Decrease: -11%

Columbus County

New Listings
March 2021: 34
March 2020: 40
Increase/Decrease: -15%

Units Sold
March 2021: 24
March 2020: 17
Increase/Decrease: +41.2%

Average Sale Price
March 2021: $139,729
March 2020: $132,379
Increase/Decrease: +5.6 %

Total Sales Volume
March 2021: $3,350,000
March 2020: $2,250,000
Increase/Decrease: +48.9%

Source: BCAR website www.bcarnc.com  (page view https://bit.ly/3t0jciB)

December
28

7 Tips for Buying a Home Near the Water

Southport Homes Near Water

When you buy a home near the water, it can feel like a vacation every day. The smell of the sea, the sound of waves, beauty, serenity, and endless water recreation opportunities – there's nothing like it. However, having a home near the water is unique in many ways, and there are more factors to consider before choosing your dream home. Here are our real estate agents' tips for buying a home near the water.

  1. Be Wary of Overpricing
    With high demand and low supply of waterfront homes, sellers have the upper hand. As a result, homes might be priced higher than their actual cost should be. Ensure you're getting a good deal by looking at the 10-year sales history of the neighborhood or resort community you're interested in. 

  2. Consider the Beach or Lake Accessibility
    As a buyer, you should know that water isn't private property. Many beaches are open for the public, even if they're within resort communities. Consider how easy it is for other people to access the beach. Footpaths from the street, public parking and busy roads are clear indicators that the beach is convenient to visit.

  3. Determine How You Want to Use the Water
    Are you more interested in sitting on a sandy beach than using the water? Then you probably don't need a waterfront property with a dock. If you're more into swimming, you want to find a water body that is clean and safe for swimming. Is kayaking, boating, or fishing more your style? Check with the locals about boating regulations and the quality of the fishing. You may have found your dream waterfront house, but if the water does not support your recreational activities, you won't be happy in the end.

  4. Research the Shoreline and Changes in Water Levels
    Before buying a home near the water, you want to ensure that the body of water has somewhat constant water levels. Consider visiting the area during high and low tides. High tides can leave your home susceptible to flooding if they come very close to the water, while low tides can make for an unattractive view of debris, dirt, and litter.

  5. Look Into Potential Storm Damage
    Hurricanes and severe storms are always a risk for homes near the water, but some properties are more susceptible to damage than others. Most buyers look for properties with a water view, but you may want to avoid buying a home directly on a lake, beach, river, or bay. To avoid flooding during storms, consider homes that are set far away from the water or at a higher elevation.

  6. Consider Additional Fees
    Most waterfront properties come with additional fees. Some common additional fees are marina fees and dock fees. Other fees could include septic and water fees, homeowners' association fees, and fees for leasing the lot. It's important to understand how these fees will increase your monthly or yearly cost of the home. And if the property is subject to an association, understand what this will mean in terms of rules and fees.

  7. Find the Right Agent
    As with any real estate transaction, the right real estate agent makes the process go smoothly. Our team of real estate experts can help you make your real estate dreams in Brunswick County a reality.

Contact us to start your search, and be sure to check out our Southport homes for sale.

September
28

5 Things to do Before Buying a Home

Buying a Home

As interest rates hit record lows in recent months, would-be homeowners have been inspired to seek more spacious dwellings, with rooms where parents and kids can have a comfortable space to work or attend class remotely. If you're a first-time homebuyer looking for more space for your family, you may find your dream home among Southport homes for sale. But have you taken the right steps to ensure you're ready to make the deal? Make sure to do these five things before starting your house hunt. 

  1. Determine Your Financial Health
    Before you start house shopping, pre-qualify for a mortgage. Sure, the impulse is to rush right over and claim your dream home. But think of the heartache when you learn you don't qualify for it! Your credit score and down payment will determine if you're qualified to purchase the house. It'll be a letdown to learn you have to work at raising your credit score, but you can do it. You'll find another home when the time comes.

  2. Get Your Financing in Place
    Get your financing squared away before you start shopping in earnest. If you're a first-time homebuyer, for instance, you probably qualify for several types of financial assistance, such as Federal Housing Authority mortgages, offered at 3.5 percent down payment; USDA low-rate loans for rural and suburban properties, with 100 percent financing; VA loans, with possible 0 percent down and no mortgage insurance; and GSE conventional loans with 3 percent down through Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. First-time homebuyers may also withdraw up to $10,000 out of an individual traditional IRA or Roth IRA without paying an early withdrawal penalty, although you still must pay taxes on a traditional IRA.  

  3. Find the Right Real Estate Agent
    Don't go house shopping without having enlisted your own real estate agent. Choose one who will work for you during those crucial moments, such as the walk-through or at the closing table. Your agent should know the market and the area, and be able to point out the advantages and disadvantages of the location and the home you're considering.

  4. Choose Your Location
    You may have more than one location in mind, and that's just fine. Do check out such things as traffic at rush hour near your dream home; how busy the road in front of your potential home is; how safe you feel; and how well kept the neighborhood is.

  5. Watch Your Credit
    It's crucial to prevent dips in your credit score from preapproval to closing. Avoid opening new cards or closing existing accounts. Resist big purchases such as cars or financing furniture for your new home. Pay existing balances to below 30 percent of your limit. Pay on time and in full each month. 

Our real estate agents can advise you on these steps, and others, to make sure you're a happy homeowner once the deal is sealed. Our knowledgeable team can help with more tips on preparing to buy a Southport home. Contact us today

July
6

Common Myths About the Real Estate Market

Myths About Real Estate

Ask anyone who has bought or sold a home for real estate advice, and you're likely to hear some interesting answers related to that person's own experience. But no matter how good the intentions of the friend, family member, or colleague providing that advice, it can be hard to separate myth from fact. The stakes are high when buying or selling a home, so it's important to have the facts before you engage in the process. Our real estate agents are here to help, by debunking five common myths that you have likely heard about the real estate market.

  • Myth #1: Find the Perfect Home Before You Get Pre-Approved
    Shopping for a home is exciting, so it's only natural that many buyers want to skip right to finding the perfect home. But before you get serious about shopping for Southport homes for sale, it's a good idea to get pre-approved for a mortgage. Getting pre-approved will give you a firm idea of exactly how much home you can afford, and shows sellers that you have the financial means to close the deal.

  • Myth #2: All Real Estate Agents Are the Same
    There are many myths about real estate agents, but perhaps the most common is that all agents are the same. While most agents share common goals, each goes about serving customers in their own way. The best agents can help you with so much more than just making an offer or listing your home.

  • Myth #3: You Don't Need an Agent When Buying a Home
    Going without an agent may seem like a way to save money, but the outcome is often quite the opposite. The right agent will have in-depth knowledge of the communities where you're shopping, can help you avoid common pitfalls in the purchasing process, and will act as your advocate in key negotiations. Without an agent, it can be hard to get your foot in the door and even harder to close the deal.

  • Myth #4: It's Okay to Start with a Lowball Offer
    Starting with a lowball offer may feel like a common negotiating tactic, but the truth is that it backfires more often than not when buying a house. The competition for homes is fierce in many markets because there is more demand than supply. If you want your offer to stand out from the pack in a positive way, skip the lowball offer and start with something realistic for both sides.

  • Myth #5: Spring Is the Only Time to Sell
    Spring is often referred to as " selling season" in the real estate world, and there are certainly benefits to listing your home during the spring. Just don't let anyone convince you that spring is the only good time to sell a home. The truth is that demand is high in many markets, and the right real estate agent will help you attract quality offers no matter the season.

Finding the right real estate agent makes it easy to get the facts and focus on what matters most when buying or selling a home. Ready to shop? Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Southport, NC area.

November
11

Signs it's Time to Buy Your First Home

Time to Buy Your First Home

You've rented numerous apartments and homes up to this point, but there was always a personal element missing. Perhaps it's time to stop renting and start looking for a more long-term place of residence to call your own. Southport homes for sale offer many luxuries and amenities for your everyday lifestyle, and with several locations to choose from, you're sure to find the perfect place for you. Even though you may not be consciously aware of it, there may be several signs that it's time to buy your own home.

Financial Signs You're Ready to Buy A Home

If you've ever been asked to move because your lease expired or your rent increase was too high, you may have thought about other options. Buying your own home will eliminate this from happening in the future. In some cases, your monthly mortgage may even be less than the amount you've been paying for rent. If you have good credit, you can apply for a loan for the down payment, which is usually around twenty percent. If your family is growing and you don't see relocating in the foreseeable future, then buying may be the best option. Other signs you may be experiencing when deciding on purchasing your own home are:

  • You have a steady stream of monthly income
  • You can afford (and are able) to perform the necessary upkeep and repairs
  • You're just tired of the hassle of renting
  • You want to plan for the long-term

Buying a home is a monumental task to take on, but the signs may already be telling you that it's time to take that next step in doing so.

Other Signs You're Ready to Buy A Home

You may want a better life for you and your family and to live in a better neighborhood. You may feel that you've worked hard all your life and that you deserve to own your own home. Or maybe you want a backyard with a fire pit, below-ground pool, and an oversized deck for grilling and entertaining. If you plan on hosting large get-togethers or you want your place to be the main destination point for family and friends to come over on weekends, you want an area large enough to host everyone. Other signs that you're ready to make the move into your own home include:

  • Wanting your own garden
  • Having your personal space without hearing neighbors through walls
  • Having a place large enough to display all your possessions
  • The pride and satisfaction of owning your own home

If all signs are pointing towards purchasing your own home in the Brunswick County area, our real estate agents can assist you with everything you need to get started. When your ready to begin searching for your dream home, contact us and let us help.

August
26

Neighborhood Shopping: Choosing the Right House in Brunswick County

Brunswick County Neighborhood Shopping - Margaret Rudd

When you're in the market for a new home, the neighborhood you choose is just as important as the house itself. After all, the location of your home will impact your shopping and dining choices, commute times, and your lifestyle. 

With such an important decision on the line, how do you make sure the community you're considering is right for you? Our REALTORS® help home buyers find their ideal neighborhoods every day and have gathered up a list of their favorite tips. 

  1. Consider Your Personal Preferences
    Start your search by making a list of the features you want in your new neighborhood. Is it important that your new home is close to work, in a great school district, or gives you access to a community pool? Do you want to live in the center of the city, or would you prefer the type of lifestyle that comes with living in a waterfront home? This "must-have" list will help narrow down the areas you'll explore. By listing out your requirements from the get-go, you'll save yourself the time and frustration of finding a home that seems perfect but is in a less-than-ideal location. 
  1. Talk to Your Agent
    It might go without saying, but we think your agent is the best source for advice about potential neighborhoods. We have access to the most up-to-date information and can also help you find the perfect home in the right neighborhood.

  2. Check Out Safety Statistics
    Before moving into a new neighborhood, it's essential to check out the area's safety and crime statistics. You may also want to talk to some of the area residents to get a better feel for living in the neighborhood is really like. Living in a gated community or an area with a homeowner's association can also help ensure that you're choosing a neighborhood that is both safe and quiet. 
  1. Evaluate the Community
    Some people prefer to keep a healthy distance from their neighbors, while others love living in a close-knit community. If you enjoy a laid-back island life or small-town coastal living, then you may want to explore some of the beautiful Southport homes for sale. You'll also want to consider other lifestyle factors that contribute to a community's vibe. This may include whether the area is walkable if it has easy access to parks and recreational facilities and whether residents participate in community activities.
  1. Live Like a Local
    When you're considering moving to a new neighborhood, the more time you can spend living like a local, the better off you'll be. On your days off, head over to your potential new neighborhood to run errands, check out nearby shops and go for walks. When it's time for a night out, take the opportunity to visit a local restaurant and explore the area's nightlife.

  2. Plan a Stay-Cation  
    If you want to get an idea of what a neighborhood is like, try renting for a while. Consider getting an Airbnb for a week or renting a home for a few months. Both choices will give you a chance to get an "insider's view" of what your life will be like. While you're there, consider things like local traffic, commute times, and accessibility to the places you visit most often. 

Let Us Help You Find Your Ideal Neighborhood

Buying a new home is a big decision, but at Margaret Rudd & Associates, we work hard to make it easy. Contact us today to discuss your goals and get started!

August
12

Don't Let These Homebuying Hindrances Keep You From Homeownership

Homebuying Hindrances - Margaret Rudd & Associates

Don't think you can afford to own your own home? Not so fast. There are plenty of people out there who want to buy a home but go into a panic after looking over their finances. So you're definitely not alone.

If there's one thing our REALTORS® believe, it's that home ownership should be within everyone's reach. Watch out for these common myths that keep people from becoming homeowners, and remember not to let them stop you!

  1. You can't afford the down payment
    Worrying about saving for a down payment is one factor that keeps a lot of people from buying a home. It's usually recommended that you pay 20 percent of the home's value upfront, but let's face it—20 percent of even a low-priced home is quite a big chunk of change. 

    Fortunately, it's possible to buy a home with a smaller down payment, and according to the National Association of REALTORS®, 81 percent of American homeowners do just that. The downside of making a smaller down payment is that you end up with a bigger mortgage (and more interest in the long run), but for a lot of new homeowners that's a very worthwhile trade-off.

  2. Your credit is too low
    It's easy to get stressed out about your credit score. After all, it's one of the significant factors that lenders use to decide whether they will offer you a mortgage. But low credit doesn't necessarily disqualify you from a mortgage—more on that in a minute—and there are many steps you can take to improve your credit. 

    The best thing to do if you have bad credit is to get to work on improving it. Lenders will notice the improvement. Work on paying back any debts you have, and stay on top of keeping bills current. Avoid incurring any new debt, and don't open up any new lines of credit. Most importantly, work on improving your credit utilization, which is the ratio between the amount you owe, and the amount of available credit you have.

  3. You can't afford a mortgage
    A lot of first-time homeowners fear that even if they do manage to qualify for a mortgage, they won't be able to afford the interest or keep up with monthly payments. It's smart to be wary of taking out a major loan, and it's never advisable to buy a house that you can't truly afford. Still, there are several mortgage options available for low-income individuals, as well as those with low credit, which may be worth considering:

    • FHA loans: Backed by the Federal Housing Authority, FHA loans are intended to open up homeownership to borrowers who can't make a sizeable down payment, or have less-than-perfect credit. You'll need a minimum credit score of 580 to get 3.5 percent financing, but a score of 500 is accepted if you can put at least 10 percent down. 

    • VA loans: These flexible low-interest loans are available to members of the U.S. military, veterans, and their families; and they do not require a down payment or private mortgage insurance. 

    • USDA loans: Many mid-range borrowers can buy homes in certain areas using USDA loans. You need to meet income limits to qualify, but eligible borrowers may not be required to make a down payment.

If you're looking for your dream home among the many available Southport homes for sale, don't be held back by myths that say you can't afford it. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help make your dream of homeownership a reality. 

July
29

Self-Employed? Take These Steps When Applying for a Mortgage

Self-Employed Mortgage Process - Margaret Rudd & Associates

Being your own boss and building your own business is one of the most satisfying things you can ever achieve. When the long hours and hard work pay off, you are most likely going to want to invest the spoils of your labor into one of the many fabulous Southport homes for sale. While you're no doubt eager to start reviewing listings, the first thing you should take care of is securing mortgage pre-approval. For the self-employed, this critical approval is easier when you take the following steps.  

  1. Document Your Income
    It's crucial to document your income and establish that you have sufficient resources to make mortgage payments. To do this, you'll want to provide at least two years of tax returns. It's also a good idea to prepare a profit/loss statements since the lender may ask for this. Further, if you have been self-employed for a few years, you can use your income records and profit/loss statements to establish patterns in your business profile.

    Conversely, if you have been self-employed for less than two years, you can provide one year of W-2s if you worked in the same field as your current enterprise. You should note that when you do this, it's essential that you can show the same amount or greater income from your business when it's compared to the W-2. You should also prepare a quarterly statement for your asset accounts, including all bank accounts, CDs, IRAs, stocks, etc.

  2. Stabilize Your Expenses
    Lenders want to see more than just stable income. They want to see that you're spending your money wisely. As with all mortgage applications, you will want to pay your debts down and avoid applying for new credit before you purchase your home. Lenders will look closely at your debt-to-income ratio, and you'll want to keep this at 36% or less of your gross monthly income.

  3. Correct Your Credit
    You should clear up any problems with your credit report before you apply for a loan. Making sure that your report is error-free and accurate is crucial. It can take months to remove inaccurate information, so you should start this process long before you intend to apply for a mortgage.

    If you're like many self-employed business owners, there's a good chance that you also have business expenses on your personal credit cards. If this is the case, you should apply for business cards and transfer those debts away from your personal cards because carrying a balance can lower your credit score. Similarly, don't close accounts as this lowers the average age of your accounts, which can take points away from your score.

  4. Understand the Income Calculation
    Lenders calculate the income of self-employed applicants differently than for those who collect a W-2. Rather than using gross income, lenders use taxable income as the baseline for self-employed borrowers. To this, they add back deductions such as depreciation. They also have the option to make subtractions, such as a windfall project that was a one-time source of revenue. Unless you can document that the revenue is ongoing and steady, the lender may deduct it when they calculate your net income.

Our REALTORS® are happy to help self-employed clients throughout Brunswick County find the homes of their dreams. Contact us to learn more about our services and the steps we take to help business owners and entrepreneurs realize their real estate goals.  

July
1

Home Buyers: Don't Miss These 5 Things During a Final Walk-Through

Final Walk-Through - Margaret Rudd & Associates

Congratulations! You've found the house after looking at many wonderful Southport homes for sale and made it to the final walkthrough. You're about to officially become a homeowner! You're probably excited to get into your new home, but take the time to make sure everything is right before you sign the papers and get the keys. Our REALTORS® recommend you look for these five things on your walkthrough.

  1. Verify repairs. Many people request repairs after a home inspection. Bring along your inspection report so that you can confirm repairs were made and done to your satisfaction. The seller should have provided documentation as well, and you'll need that in case you would have a problem covered under the contractor's warranty policy. Construction debris and materials should have been cleaned up.

  2. Check the details against your contract. Your purchase documents included statements about items that are to stay and the condition of the house. Appliances, light fixtures, and window treatments are some examples. The landscaping should be intact. You'll need to check that everything that was supposed to stay is still there and that the home is reasonably clean and damage free.

  3. Check for damage. Especially if the house hasn't been occupied in a while. It's not something anyone wants to think about, but accidents, critters, storms, and other unfortunate events do happen. Water damage, pest damage, and storm damage can go unnoticed when the property is unoccupied. Check inside and out. Look for telltale signs like standing water, mold where there wasn't any before, newly peeling or bubbling paint, and soft or damp spots on walls or ceilings. Make sure to check under sinks. Outdoor storm damage can include loose siding or missing shingles. Look for evidence of mice, bugs, or other animals that may have gotten in.

  4. Do a safety check. Check windows and doors and make sure they all open, close, and lock. Screens or windows should be present in storm doors and windows. Security systems should work along with smoke alarms. You want to make sure your home is secure and that you can get out in case of a fire.

  5. Check HVAC, electrical and other systems. No matter the season, turn on the heat and air conditioning and make sure they are blowing hot and cold air. Check the outlets and make sure they're getting power (plug in your cell phone to ensure it charges). Switch on the lights, ceiling fans, and bathroom fans to make sure they're working. Turn on the faucets and make sure the water drains. If you've had any repairs made after the inspection, verify they've been completed to your satisfaction.

    Your agent has a lot of experience here and can be a second set of eyes if you have questions or find anything that concerns you. Some things are significant problems, and others are just good to know or may require action after you move in. If there's a major issue, your agent can help you figure out what to do next.

After you've thoroughly gone through everything, you can sign the papers and get started on living life in your new home and experiencing all the Southport area has to offer. Margaret Rudd & Associates can help find the right home in Southport for you and your family. Contact us today to get started.

April
29

Home Buyers: Take These Steps After a Less-Than-Stellar Inspection

Home Inspection Report-Margaret Rudd & Associates

Our REALTORS® can't stress enough how important a home inspection is before buying. An inspection can save you a lot of money and some major headaches. But what happens next, especially if the home inspection turned up some serious issues?

The most important thing is not to panic. Home inspection issues might make you think twice about a house, but they shouldn't be an automatic deal breaker. When you get less-than-stellar home inspection results, here's what you need to know about how to proceed. 

Common Inspection Issues

We see a lot of the same inspection issues pop up again and again. If you're looking at Southport homes for sale, keep an eye out for some of these issues and necessary repairs on the inspection report: 

  • Roof damage, from minor leaks and missing shingles to full replacement
  • Electrical problems, including frayed wires, and wiring not being up to code
  • Plumbing issues, like leaking pipes and failing water heaters
  • Termite damage
  • Mold issues
  • Presence of asbestos or lead paint
  • Foundation issues, such as cracking or sinking

Have a Contingency Plan

As a buyer, it's important that you have an understanding of contingencies before signing any contracts. Contingencies essentially lay out how you and the buyer may proceed if certain circumstances arise. Some of the most common are inspection contingencies, which give the buyer the ability to negotiate repairs or cancel the sale based on the results of a home inspection. 

Be sure to talk with your REALTOR® about contingency options as you are getting ready to buy a house. You want your rights as a buyer to be clearly laid out, especially when it comes to inspections. Having this in place before you have an inspection carried out will allow you to be in control of the situation. Your contingency should include the following: 

  • The scope of the inspection you can perform
  • Types of communication required from the inspector
  • The time frame for the home inspection
  • Consequences that can or will occur based on the results of the inspection
  • Specific time frame for inspection and any necessary repairs

Planning Your Next Move

If the results of your home inspection come back with some serious problems, don't react too quickly. Hopefully, you have contingencies in place that allow you to walk away if you so choose, but that isn't always the best option. Weigh all the information to decide if you want to move forward with the sale, insist upon repairs, renegotiate the sale price, or simply back out. 

  • First, mentally assess how much work you are willing to invest in your new home, including both the cost and inconvenience of repairs.
  • Contact several contractors (at least three) to get bids for any repairs that might be needed. This is for your own information, as well as to lend weight to your renegotiation with the seller. 
  • Approach the seller through your REALTOR® to renegotiate. Start with a request for them to pay a closing-cost credit toward post-closing repairs. If they decline, request that they complete some repairs. As a last-ditch effort, ask them to reduce the price. 
  • Once your renegotiation with the seller is done, assess your satisfaction with the condition of the property and the results of the renegotiation, and decide whether or not to move forward with the deal.

Contact us today to learn more about getting a home inspection, and what to do next if the inspection reveals potential problems. We pride ourselves of helping our clients every step of the way on the road to home ownership.

March
25

Buying a Home: 5 Tips for Successful Springtime Bidding

Spring Home Bidding-Margaret Rudd & Associates

Buying a home in the spring means more competition among buyers, so being prepared is a must. Getting your finances in order, deciding on a neighborhood, and brushing up on your bidding strategy are key ways to make sure you get the home you want. Making your offer stand out is an absolute must. Our REALTORS® can be a big help during the entire process, but especially when you're making an offer or stuck in a bidding war. Here are some tips to navigate the process.

  1. Make your first offer incredible. Don't go into the process expecting that you'll pay below list price or assuming you can make a low offer then negotiate. There is competition in the spring, so sellers won't necessarily be willing to negotiate. And when there's competition, bidding low is a surefire way to get your bid ignored. Your agent can show you a comparative market analysis from other Southport homes for sale and help structure your offer right the first time.
     
  2. Prepare for a bidding war. When competition is plentiful, knowing ahead of time that a bidding war is a possibility, and what you're willing to do in that situation can help you keep perspective. You may want to discuss an escalation clause or another strategy with your agent that can give you an advantage.

  3. Offer more money. If you're competing with multiple offers or caught in a bidding war, the most tried and true strategy is offering more money. There are a few ways to do it. You can outbid other offers, increase the amount of the down payment, or even pay cash if your financial situation allows it. Keep in mind you don't always have to increase your offer by much; sometimes a few thousand will do it.
     
  4. Offer different terms. There are many things other than the price that can be negotiated in a real estate deal. Ideally, you want something that creates a win-win scenario. Your agent can be a big help here. They have to communicate with the seller's agent, so they can often give some insight as to what the buyer might need, why they are selling, or where you may be able to negotiate. And that's the kind of information that will help you present a better offer. You may be able to give them a longer or shorter closing time, a different share of the closing costs, a leaseback, home repairs, or personal property like furniture or appliances.
     
  5. Be willing to waive a contingency. If you're competing with several other offers or in a bidding war, waiving a contingency or two may give you the edge. This can be risky so it should be an informed decision. Your agent can let you know which contingencies can be waived and which can't, what the consequences are, and what might work for your situation.

Buying a home and negotiating with a seller can be a complicated process. Having the right agent on your side can make a big difference. It can help the process go smoother and increase the chances your bid will get accepted on the home you love. Our agents at Margaret Rudd & Associates can help you at every step of the home buying process. Contact us today to get started!

Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. All properties are subject to prior sale, change or withdrawal. Neither listing broker(s) or information provider(s) shall be responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, misprints and shall be held totally harmless. Listing(s) information is provided for consumers personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. Information on this site was last updated 12/08/2022. The listing information on this page last changed on 12/08/2022. The data relating to real estate for sale on this website comes in part from the Internet Data Exchange program of NCRMLS (last updated Thu 12/08/2022 6:49:23 PM EST). Real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than Margaret Rudd & Associates, Inc. may be marked with the Internet Data Exchange logo and detailed information about those properties will include the name of the listing broker(s) when required by the MLS. All rights reserved.

MLS Licensed Data - Copyright 2018 NCRMLS. All rights reserved. North Carolina Regional Multiple Listing Service, (NCRMLS), provides content displayed here (“provided content”) on an “as is” basis and makes no representations or warranties regarding the provided content, including, but not limited to those of non-infringement, timeliness, accuracy, or completeness. Individuals and companies using information presented are responsible for verification and validation of information they utilize and present to their customers and clients. NCRMLS will not be liable for any damage or loss resulting from use of the provided content or the products available through Portals, IDX, VOW, and/or Syndication. Recipients of this information shall not resell, redistribute, reproduce, modify, or otherwise copy any portion thereof without the expressed written consent of NCRMLS.--

Privacy Policy / DMCA Notice / ADA Accessibility

Login to My Homefinder

Login to My Homefinder