Archive for the ‘Local Economy’ Category

I’ve read a lot about the real estate market overall and got to thinking about the business of real estate. While the reports in the news are national trends and may highlight a few locations that prove the report, the seldom, if ever, report on the real estate market in Mt. Pleasant, SC. The real estate market in Mt. Pleasant is not the same as the real estate market in Charleston, or North Charleston. So I thought I’d take a snapshot of the last three months using homes above 2500sf, with 4 bedrooms and 2.5 baths. I selected that size because many sections in the north part of Mt. Pleasant have covenants that set the minimum square footage that can be built. So this report is skewed to the north part of Mt. Pleasant. Here are the numbers:

  Total Highest Lowest Median
Sold Homes 61 $803,000 $155,000 $375,990
Homes For Sale 157 $2,499,000 $229,000 $375,000

The average selling price was 96% of the listing price at the time of sale. Of course, that is an important point…at the time of sales! The real estate industry looks at the age of a listing  and represent this by the number of days a property has been listed for sale. That is important because it may show that a property was listed at a higher price when it was first listed. Some may have had several price reductions before finally selling. The 61 homes sold during the last three months had an average number of days on the market of 492! How likely would you be to accept and offer of 96% of your listed price if your home had been on the market for 492 days?

Which of these products would you buy?

There are a couple of things that we can take from this information. We are emotionally tied to our homes,  ascribe value to that emotion and price our homes accordingly. I’ve done it and so have many other real estate professionals. It is a hard lesson to learn, but what was our home becomes a commodity when we list it for sale. It is a product at that point and needs to be priced to compete with comparable products. The 61 houses that sold were competing with the 157 that are also listed.

Listing your home is a business transaction. If you take the emotional part out of it, you have a product. Regardless of why you are selling your home, when you list it, it has the best opportunity to sell quickly if it is priced at or below the market, within the first month. After that first month it begins to age on the market. We know how to get homes sold and work as a team with our clients.

Email us for our free Market Snapshot. Patricia@MarkandPatriciaFuchs.com, or Mark@MarkandPatriciaFuchs.com. You can also visit our website and sign-up for our Market Snapshot. www.MarkandPatriciaFuchs.com It is the most comprehensive Market Snapshot available.

It is FREE! No obligation and no strings attached. Sign-up today!

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French Quarter, 2002

Image via Wikipedia

I remember when I was a child in New Orleans. My family lived in Jefferson Parish, but Mom’s family lived in the Irish Channel (OK, technically it wasn’t the Irish Channel). Dad’s family had lived above the French Quarter and moved to various sections of the city. We spent a lot of time with mom’s family. We would go to movies at the Happy Hour theater a few blocks away across from Berman’s Dry Goods Store.

We got our school clothes from Berman’s and when we were old enough, our parents let us pick our own clothes. That’s what we thought! What really happened was that dad and mom call Mr. Berman and told him what we needed. Being a good business man, Mr. Berman gently guide us to the selections we needed to make. It was really a village back then. Mr. Berman’s business benefitted from the network of families in the area. He had cultivated a relationship with some of them and depended on word of mouth advertising to build his business. He was building a network.

Businesses have benefited from this model for years. Become part of the community. Find a few good customers and build a network to increase business. The Rotary Club and Chamber of Commerce refined the networking idea. Business men would become members to connect with other business men in affiliated businesses in the hopes of developing leads that would become customers seeking their goods and services. There are also leads groups meeting weekly, or monthly with the specific purpose of finding leads for the members of the group.

Then things changed and the village spread out. Along comes social media, a new type of village.  Soon, businesses saw the potential of social media to expand their markets. People will buy products and use services recommended by friends before those advertised on TV, radio, or in print media. What I saw in the Irish Channel as a boy, is being repeated on the web.

As social media has grown, it has also changed the way business is transacted. Such fast growth has not come without challenges as can be seen in the issues with Craig’s List’s and the privacy discussions on Facebook. Recently, in Charleston, SC, changes is taking place again. The Lowcountry Business Network  (TLBN) is combining the best of the old school, with the best of social media. TLBN is shrinking the village and making it more like what I experienced in the Irish Channel. Local businesses doing business locally building local networks to increase business opportunities.

Mr. Berman would be so proud!

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There’s a flavor on every block.

I remember my first visit to a Baskin-Robbins Ice Cream store when I was a child. There were more flavors than I had ever seen before! How could I decide which was best? I was used to vanilla, chocolate and strawberry, but now there was mango, peach, caramel and cream, and about 27 other flavors to choose from. What was I to do?

Today’s real estate market is kind of like that. There are so many homes and neighborhoods available at great prices. How can a person decide on what to choose? If you are in the market for a new home, how can you avoid being mesmerized by the 33 flavors of homes available to you? Before you start looking, know what you need! Answer some questions before you go. The first answer you need is to the question of what you can afford.

Here are a few others to consider:

  • How big of a home do we need?
    • Will three bedrooms and two bathrooms work? Or do we need more?
    • How many square feet of air conditioned space do we need?
  • What size lot do we need?
    • Do we want a large lot?
    • Are we interested in a small lot?
    • How much yard work am I willing to do?
  • Are we interested in a townhome or condominium?
  • What schools are nearby?

Once you’ve established your needs and balanced them with your wants, your Realtor® can focus the search on that target. Your Realtor® will preview a selected group of homes before spending your time in actually visiting everything in the mix. You should be able to find your home within 5 to 10 homes that you visit.

Remember Baskin – Robbins? I got sick sampling as many flavors as I could. My stomach hurt and I never bought one scoop. Avoid the stomachache in your search by knowing what you want before you go to market.

Patricia and Mark Fuchs can help you find the flavor you want most. Call 843-425-0953 for Patricia or 843-364-9509 for Mark.

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You may have already heard, Charleston, SC is number 4 in Moody’s Top 5 cities where home prices will perform the best in 2010. That’s good news for everyone in the Lowcountry! Whether you are selling, or buying, this indicates that there is some confidence in the economy of the Charleston area.

We have noticed that showings are up and so are sales. Prices are holding and interest rates are low. If you are thinking of moving to the area it is a very good time. Inventories are still good in most price ranges, but more homes are selling, so that could change. Interest rates on home loans are low for now…can they stay this low for long is another question.

If you are thinking about selling your home it is a good time to get it listed. Prices have stabilized and inventories are trending down in many markets. A home that is well priced will attract buyers and often sells fast as a result. With interest rates that are low and the tax credit for home buyers about to expire making this and ideal time to ge into the market.

What ever your situation, buying or selling, as a real estate professional I can help you with your real estate needs. Give me a call for more information. My number is 843-364-9509, or if you would like to work with my wife and business partner, Patricia, call 843-425-0953. You can also visit our website at www.MarkandPatriciaFuchs.com to learn more about us and how we team up with our clients for success in real estate.

A charming courtyard.

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Many neighborhoods to chose from in a large development.
This is your starting point.

 I covered a lot of material in the first two parts of this series. How to define your wants and needs? Finding and agent and your neighborhood were the topics for part 2. So at this point you should be ready to let the search begin.

How many houses should you visit before you find your next home? Once you have completed your wants and needs lists, you have begun to narrow your search. Provide your Realtor® with information about what you are looking for and the neighborhood that you want for your next home. Your Realtor® will use that information to narrow your search so that your time is used effectively. Based on your wants and needs, your Realtor® will screen the listings in your target neighborhood, and visited the houses selected to make sure they are a match. Your Realtor® will then arrange for you to see them. In our personal experience we found that the more houses we looked at, the more confused we became. And it became more of a chore and less of an adventure. Your Realtor® understands that you have better things to do than to look through 20, 30, or 40 homes and will have a targeted list of 5-10 homes for you to see. Of course, you may decide to see more. 

Now that you’ve found your favorite it is time to make an offer. This is where your Realtor® provides the benefit of his/her experience. Your Realtor® will recommend you on how to create an offer that will have the best chance of being accepted. This document details what needs to be done by both parties to complete the transaction. It should protect the interests of both parties. These details are important and your Realtor® will make sure that it meets requirements of the state.

While your Realtor® has helped you craft an offer that has the best chance of acceptance it is not uncommon for the seller to counter the your offer. You understand your wants and needs, but the seller also has requirements that you may not be aware of. Counter offers happen often. The goal is to negotiate a deal that protects the interest of both the buyer and the seller.

In my next post I will discuss coordinating service providers and the steps to close the sale. In the meantime, if you have questions, call Patricia on 843-425-0953, or me on 843-364-9509. You can visit our website www.MarkandPatriciaFuchs.com to sign up for our FREE MLS Market Survey to get started on your home search.

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What type of home do you want?


Now that you have decided to buy a home for you and your family, what’s next? This is a great time to find the home of your dreams. But searching for that dream home can be a nightmare. How can you make your home search more productive?

My wife, Patricia and I bought 14 homes before we became Realtors®. We learned quite a bit from those experiences and have developed a process that will make your search more productive. Today, I am beginning a series of posts to share these steps so that you can benefit from our experience.

One of the most critical steps is to determine what you want in your next home.

  • How many bedrooms do you need or want?
  • How many bathrooms?
  • What type of floor plan fits your lifestyle?
  • Do you want a formal living room? …dining room? …family room? …study?
  • Do you need an attached garage? …for how many cars?
  • What about the schools?
  • What type of neighborhood?
  • How much do you want to spend?

These are some of the questions you want to answer and they set the stage for your search. It is important to write those answers down on paper so that you can keep reminding yourself about what you want. After all, as you look at perspective homes, you might lose focus about what you are really looking for in your next home. Our experience has taught us that if you take this step you will be less likely to become frustrated in your home search.

A home purchase is a major investment. You want to make the right decision and having the right information is critical. Working with a Realtor® is essential to a productive search. A real estate professional will use your wants and needs list to find the best available options that match your list. What we have learned is that while there are plenty of homes on the market, narrowing our focus always produced the best result!

In my next post I will share what we have learned about finding an real estate agent to work with and learning about the neighborhood. Meantime, if you have questions, call Patricia on 843-425-0953, or me at 843-364-9509.

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