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6 Excellent Resources to Use When Buying a Home

a couple searching on a computerScrolling through online listing photos, scouting for the best neighborhoods, and pondering décor in your new home is fun. But the home search itself is not the only enjoyable experience; the entire home buying process can be pleasant when you have access to the best tools.

Here are the top six resources you should use to make buying a home easier and enjoyable.

1. A Wants vs. Needs Checklist

First determine what price, location, size, and any special features your new home must have. Then you can hone in on your favorite properties by searching for additional features that you would prefer.

2. A Mortgage Payment Calculator

What do you want your monthly mortgage payments to be? We have an easy mortgage payment calculator you can use to find out how much you can afford for a home. This tool takes into account the length of the loan, the interest rate, and annual tax and insurance to calculate how much you will pay every month.

3. A Reliable Home Search Tool: PaigeHutto.com

The best source for your home search is a real estate agent and a database of available properties called the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). At PaigeHutto.com we make searching local real estate listings easy.

If you are using national real estate sites to search for homes near you, keep in mind that you are not seeing all the homes that are for sale. HousingWire reported that websites such as Zillow show fewer listings than are available in many major cities, which means you could be missing out on the best home.

4. A Local Neighborhood Guide

Choosing the best home involves more than the property itself. It’s important to research areas and neighborhoods. Here are a few questions you may want to consider when researching communities:

  • Does the community offer amenities, such as a swimming pool or fitness center?
  • What are the parking options in the community?
  • Where is the nearest grocery store, gas station, or shopping area?
  • How is the local school district?

We have helpful information about neighborhoods and areas on our website that you can use when searching for a home. Simply click here to start exploring Charleston neighborhoods!

5. A List of Recently Sold Homes

a line graph with a magnifying glassResearching the real estate market will also make your home search much easier.

If you are thinking of buying a home in a particular community, ask us for the Neighborhood Sold Report, which can help you determine whether the home is fairly priced.

You can always ask us about the real estate conditions in this area, too. Send an email to Paige today!

6. A Local Real Estate Expert

But your best resource for buying a home in this area is the local real estate expert. He or she will have all of the tools you will need, including sold data and an easy-to-use home search, to help you easily find the best home.

Are you ready to buy a home? Let Paige Hutto help! Contact us today and we can work with you to find your ideal home.

What’s different?

Paige Hutto moves to Carolina OneDSC_2500 copy

With the new year, Paige Hutto has decided to make some business changes. It is with both sadness and excitement that she has departed Keller Williams Realty. After 4 wonderful and educational years with the KW team, she decided to return to her first real estate home, Carolina One Real Estate on Isle of Palms, SC.

It has always been Paige’s pleasure serving every single one of her clients throughout her years in real estate. Her commitment has allowed her to form connections that have continued beyond the business transaction and for that, she is grateful. She is still available to handle sales transactions, to offer real estate advice if questions arise or to simply see how life has been treating her clients!  Please don’t hesitate to reach out to her for any reason, as her reputation has been built on her relationship with her clients, fellow professionals and friends.

Please note the change in name, email address and website as show below.  And a link to her Facebook page!

Paige Hutto
Paige@PaigeHutto.com
www.PaigeHutto.com
Paige Hutto On Facebook!

Fall In Charleston

The weather is slowly beginning to change and it’s starting to feel more fall-like throughout the lowcountry, although Charlestonians know that we can still expect warm days in October. With this change in weather and season, there are plenty of wonderful things to see and do in Charleston. To close out September, you can enjoy the following events:

But, we shouldn’t forget that Charleston has events and activities happening all the time! The downtown, Mt. Pleasant and John’s Island farmer’s markets, fishing tournaments on Folly and Isle of Palms, live music all over town, new restaurants opening in and around town and a great county park system that offers activities for the whole family. You might even find us downtown shopping on King Street or picking up some fresh produce at the farmers market.

Last week, to our own delight, we took an afternoon to go boating on the water off Sullivan’s Island and Isle of Palms. We have the pleasure of living in this beautiful city and we want to share our love of this town with you. If you are interested in getting to know more about Charleston and the surrounding areas, please don’t hesitate to ask! Call or email Paige today!

843.259.1307 or Paige@TheAveraGroup.com

Mid-Year Update

So far, so good for 2015

As we approach the midpoint of 2015, the residential real estate market is on track for its best year since 2006, the peak of the housing bubble. In the Charleston area, June sales exceeded all expectations with almost 1700 closings, which is an almost 15% increase over last year. What’s driving this growth and what can we expect in the next half of the year? Here is what the folks at realtor.com our telling us:

  • Job growth is powering the surge in demand for homes. More than 3 million jobs have been created in the past 12 months. And more than 1 million jobs have been created for 25- to 34-year-olds, the age range in which most Americans buy their first home.index
  • We’re seeing record traffic on the web. Real estate websites across the board are experiencing 15% year-over-year growth in unique users. The vast majority of our visitors report that they intend to purchase a home.
  • With rising demand, homes are selling more quickly, too. In May the median age of inventory (homes on the market) nationwide was 66 days—that’s 8 days faster than for last year. The hottest markets are seeing inventory move 18 to 45 days faster.
  • A rapidly declining age of inventory signals that demand is growing more rapidly than supply. Indeed, we’ve had 32 months in a row of existing-home inventory at less than a six months’ supply. That’s why we’re also seeing above-normal price appreciation.
  • Year-over-year median home price appreciation reached 9% in April, which has helped existing homeowners see strong gains in equity.
  • Meanwhile, rents are increasing at a similar or even stronger pace than home prices. Record numbers of renting households have driven down apartment vacancies, and low vacancies led to higher rents. As a result, it is cheaper to buy rather than rent in 80% of the counties in the U.S.
  • And now the clock is ticking as mortgage rates are on the rise. With strong employment data in April and May, the average 30-year fixed conforming mortgage rate broke through the 4% level, and in the past week moved above 4.10%.
  • Is that slowing down demand? No, just the opposite. Consumers can clearly see that affordability is going down for real, so those who are ready and able to buy are searching for homes, looking at listings, visiting open houses, applying for mortgages, and signing contracts.
  • In April, new-home sales were up 26% over last year. Pending home sales, which are new contracts on existing homes, were up 14%.
  • At this level of growth, total home sales in 2015 could come close to 6 million, which is a level comparable to 2007 (if not quite at the level of peak 2006). But 2007 was a year of decline for the housing market, whereas in 2015, we’re expecting more good things to come.

Count on The Avera Group for expert real estate advice!

We hope you have found the information above as insightful and encouraging as we did. Seeing the national housing market recover is definitely a welcome sight! If you are thinking of buying or selling call Paige today! We’d be happy to review statistics that are pertinent to your property or a home you like!

Housing Market Experienced Fantastic Gains This Spring

construction 4We just love having the opportunity to share with you good news about the US housing market and this is one of those weeks!

Evidently, according to a recent article we were reading, sales of newly built homes as well as home prices in general saw some great increases during the month of April, further demonstrating that the housing market continues to improve.

If you’re considering buying or selling real estate anytime soon, we encourage you to continue reading to learn more about this exciting development.

What You Should Know About the Housing Market

Here is some of the most pertinent information you’ll need about the current state of the housing market:

  • New home sales increased 6.8 percent from March to April, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 517,000.
  • The median price of a new home sold in April was $297,300, up 8.3 percent from the year before.
  • Supplies of existing homes remain tight and home builders are still slow to start construction on new project.
  • So far in 2015, builders have constructed just more than 1 million housing units, which is not too much different from 2014.
  • The construction pace increased some in April and actually hit the best level it’s seen since November 2007.
  • Meanwhile, new home purchases have been up 26.1 percent over the last year.
  • The housing market in April had 4.8 months of supply of new homes, although this is still short of the six months inventory that experts consider a balanced market.
  • New home sales represent about a tenth of all home purchases.

Continue reading

Busy Summer Home Buying Season

sullivansThe summer months should be quite busy for home buyers, sellers and real estate agents alike!

As we head into June, real estate analysts are saying that the national housing market is poised for a successful (and busy!) summer home buying market. Several factors are at play, experts say, including low housing inventory, pent up demand and increasingly optimistic sellers.

Already in May, Mt. Pleasant saw 136 homes sold with an average sale price of $533,000. In May of 2014 the average sales price was $520,000. There are currently 517 single family homes for sale in the north and south areas of Mt. Pleasant which is a 3% increase from this time last year. The absorption rate, or Months of Inventory is still dropping, which means that the demand for homes in Mount Pleasant is still strong and outpacing supply of new construction homes.

What Every Buyer and Seller Should Know

According to the latest sales figures released by the National Association of Realtors, sales of previously owned homes increased in March by the most in four years.

On average, homes were being purchased in 52 days on average, which is the fastest sales rate the country has seen since July. In Mt. Pleasant, the average days on market for homes sold in May was slightly longer at 70 days.

Here are some more highlights from the latest data report:

  • The share of first-time buyers increased slightly
  • The number of homes for sale increased in March for a second month. In fact, that gain was the biggest since December 2010
  • New listings in Mt. Pleasant increased 12.5% over last year in May
  • More sellers expressed confidence about buyers entering the market as the weather warms, further helping to increase the supply of properties for sale.
  • And sellers’ instincts about buyer interests appear to be spot on. For instance, 40 percent of homes sold in March were on the market for less than a month.
  • The median price of an existing home jumped 7.8 percent from March 2014 to March 2015, to $212,100. That’s the most since February 2014.
  • Sales of single-family homes rose 5.5 percent to an annual rate of 4.59 million, which is the most it’s been since August 2013.
  • Meanwhile, closings on multifamily properties (including condominiums) increased 11.1 percent.
  • Also, the average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage was 3.67 percent recently. The rate was 3.59 percent in February, which was the lowest in almost two years.

We’re Your Real Estate Market Experts!

We hope you have found the information above as insightful and encouraging as we did. Seeing the national housing market recover is definitely a welcome sight! If you are thinking of buying or selling call us today! We’d be happy to review statistics that are pertinent to your property or a home you like! Sold data is also available on our website for Mt. Pleasant neighborhoods like Belle Hall, Carolina Park and a host of others.

Renting More Expensive Than Buying

According to USiHomes, rents all over the US continue to soar upwards, and online real estate database Zillow has recently found out that renting imagesa home is now twice as expensive as buying one. According to their recent affordability report, in the third quarter of 2014, renters in the US were spending an average of 30% of their monthly incomes on rent, while homeowners were spending just 15% of their monthly incomes on their mortgage payment.

These findings shed light on a major shift that has occurred in the US housing market over the past few years. In the years before the real estate bubble, between 1985 and 2000, rent was usually more affordable compared to buying houses, in most US cities. Now, in most American metros, if you can just come up with a down payment, you are much better off buying your own house than renting. Continue reading

Excellent News for Home Buyers: US Prices Stabilizing

Home Selling 6If you’ve been weighing whether now is the right time to enter the local housing market as a home buyer, we have some news to share with you that will help you decide. According to a recent report from real estate data provider CoreLogic, U.S. home price gains are slowing down, despite an increase during the month of August. This is great news for home buyers because it means that you have a fantastic opportunity to get a reasonable price on your next home before prices continue to rise!

What Every Home Buyer Should Know

CoreLogic reported that home prices increased 6.4 percent in August when compared to last year. Still, that figure is actually down slightly from the annual gain of 6.8 percent in July.

Here’s what else the recent housing market report revealed:

  • The increase in home prices is also down when compared to how much they had been rising toward the end of last year. During that time, prices were rising as much as 12 percent.
  • Home sales have been mostly stable throughout 2014, as have price gains.
  • All states showed home price gains during the month of August, save for Arkansas where prices were stagnate.
  • Home prices nationwide remain about 12.1 percent below their peak average in April 2006.
  • Home purchases decreased 1.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.05 million in August.
  • Home sales decreased from a July rate of 5.14 million.
  • Meanwhile, the pace of home sales dropped 5.3 percent year-over-year.
  • Experts say that an annual sales rate of 5.5 million is considered a healthy market.
  • Meanwhile, the median sales price has increased 4.8 percent over the last 12 months to $219,800, although that average dropped slightly during the month of August when compared to July and June.

Continue reading

Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist

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Paige Avera Earns Luxury Designation

Recognized as the mark of accomplishment in luxury markets around the world, the Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist (CLHMS) designation assures affDSC_2490 copyluent buyers and sellers that the agents who have earned it have the knowledge, experience, competence, and confidence they require. Members of The Institute who hold the CLHMS designation have documented performance in the TOP 10% of their markets, and have successfully demonstrated their expertise in the luxury home and estate market. Continue reading

Baby Boomers Setting New Trend in Retirement

As more Baby Boomers retire, real estate experts all across the United States are seeing more cash deals, according to a recent report from Bloomberg.  Evidently, these Baby Boomers (defined as anyone born between 1946 and 1964) are opting to purchase their homes with all cash instead of taking out a mortgage.
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l8JmuOK0tgI[/youtube]
Experts credit this in part to the fact that US home price gains have restored $3.8 trillion in value to home owners since 2012. This means that a record number of Americans (including Baby Boomers) are using that equity to help them pay cash for properties, avoiding a home loan altogether. Another factor is that these Baby Boomers have more money in savings, allowing them the option to pay with cash.

This is an important trend that is sure to have an effect on all home buyers, not just those who fall in the Baby Boomer cohort. Continue reading