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Your MLS Account

Create your own Charleston MLS account and Search like a Pro!

Charleston MLS areas are a helpful search criteria to help you narrow down your choices.  Click on the map below to enlarge and it will help you see the Charleston area geography in MLS terms.

Click on the official Charleston Trident Association of Realtors MLS map to enlarge it

Create a free, no-obligation account with us so you can immediately begin saving those favorite listings for easy retrieval and sharing. With an optional MLS account, you’ll be the first to receive automatic email updates on any new listings that meet your criteria, be notified of important changes in existing listings like price changes, and be able to create and save your own custom searches.

Let us know how we can assist you. We never share your personal information with anyone. Our Privacy Policy can be read here.

Jim Bobo, Jr., Realtor, BIC, ABR, RSPS, MBA

SC Land and Homes LLC
PO Box 1182
Johns Island, SC 29457-1182
Call or text (843) 442-7275
Fax (888) 456-6618

Brace Your Buyers for Higher Home Prices

Home prices throughout the Charleston, SC metro area are on the rise, some at the fastest pace ever. Home buyers need to move in quickly while there is still a decent supply of affordable homes and interest rates are still historically low.
West Ashley Avondale Point sign Jim Bobo www.SCLandandHomes.com
If buyers haven’t already purchased in the iconic Avondale District, they will definitely be paying more – a lot more. Prices in some of the District’s neighborhoods are above their 2007 peak average selling price. Yes, above the peak. And this is trending just about everywhere close-in to Downtown Charleston.  The closer to Downtown Charleston, the faster prices are trending upwards.

June 2013 median home sale prices on James Island are up only 6.4% year over year.  And there is still a supply of affordable homes.

June 2013 median home sale prices on James Island are up only 6.4% year over year. And there is still a supply of affordable homes.

James Island is beginning to see some solid recovery of prices, too, but not nearly as wild as in Avondale.  One home in Stiles Point is set to close and set a new record sales price for any home on the street since the neighborhood was originally built in the 60′s.  Looks like Stiles Point has been rediscovered. Road improvements following the new Stiles Point Elementary School building, plus the additional traffic while Harbor View Elementary occupies the old Stiles Point building, have certainly drawn more attention to this neighborhood where you can walk your children to one of the best elementary schools in the State and still get a good deal on a 3 bedroom, 2 bath ranch home on a 1/2 acre lot – if you’re willing to deal with the updating that many older homes need but that most buyers today simply don’t want to tackle themselves.

You can read the Charleston Trident Association of Realtor’s update by clicking here.

Below is a National report about home prices and affordability from DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS | MONDAY, JULY 29, 2013

Home prices are rising across the country and the prices for new homes in particular may increase significantly in the near future. Economist Bradley Hunter with Metrostudy told The Chicago Tribune that he predicts newly-built homes could see a 9 percent increase in price by the end of the year.

“Here’s what’s happening: Land values are going up very fast right now in prime locations, what we call the ‘A’ locations,” Hunter explains. “In the best A (and B) markets, we expect prices to rise by 11 percent to 15 percent. Builders are desperate to buy lots, which in some cases are 30 percent to 50 percent higher than last year.” The “A” and “B” locations, as Hunter refers to them, tend to be closer to the center city—near jobs, retail, and services.

Hunter does see some relief for those looking to buy in the coming year, however.
“I think the builders are going to have to come to grips with a new affordability mentality,” Hunter says. “They’re going to have to reckon with these forces — rising mortgage interest rates, mainly — that are going to limit how much they can raise prices. That’s why 10 percent to 15 percent price increases will become 3 to 6 percent pretty soon — in six to 12 months. It depends on when mortgage rates move higher. If they go up, say, by 2 percent or 3 percent, it will have a noticeable impact on what people can afford and therefore on what builders are offering.”

Source: “Builders navigating complex housing market,” The Chicago Tribune (July 26, 2013)

Jim Bobo Real Estate can help you find that great deal – give us a call!

Jim Bobo, Jr., Realtor, BIC, ABR, RSPS, MBA

SC Land and Homes LLC
Call or text (843) 442-7275
www.JimBoboRealEstate.com
Contact us

Charleston, SC’s next Avondale – Johns Island’s Central Maybank District

Is Johns Island’s Central Maybank District Charleston’s next Avondale?

Johns Island Land and Homes The Fat Hen

Sometimes it’s hard to kill traditional consumer habits. The City of Charleston and Charleston County Council, while arguing like children, making back-room deals, falling prey to cronyism and in essence completely ignoring the rational public majority opinion over the “future” of Maybank Highway (oh, I almost forgot, that’s what politicians seem to get paid by taxpayers to do), inadvertently did everything in their power to destroy the American spirit of entrepreneurship along the roadway.  Fortunately, politicians don’t always get their way.

The traditional “heart” of Johns Island, in what is now Lane Commercial Center and the area in the immediate vicinity of this long-established venue, is poised to become Charleston’s next “Avondale” – a residential & commercial district in West Ashley minutes from Downtown Charleston that has seen residential sales prices in neighborhoods like Byrnes Down surpass those of 2007′s peak.

This “heart” of Johns Island is only 7 miles to Downtown Charleston, and full of buzz. Fred Neuville took the plunge at the depths of the recession when he bought the former St. Johns Island Cafe and converted it into the iconic Fat Hen restaurant – an overnight success. Long-established businesses like Angel Oak Animal Hospital, Johns Island Tool Rental, Builder’s First Source Hardware and multiple other small businesses in Lane Commercial Center and the surrounding area helped prop up the area during the Great Recession. But now things appear to really be changing.

On August 2, 2013 Sweeney’s is opening its landmark restaurant and other entrepreneurs are moving in and grabbing what limited space is available for rent.
Below: Picture found in the public realm of Sweeney’s but credited to David Thompson Architect http://dthompsonarchitect.blogspot.com/2013/01/sweeneys.html
Sweeneys conceptual interior
At Jim Bobo Real Estate, we have seen a measurable increase in inquiries for commercial and residential building opportunities.  Local and national home builders are quietly building 100s of new homes that are sold before ground is even broken, and remain on the prowl for developable land. Prices that plunged during the recession are rising.

So if you’re looking for Charleston’s next “Avondale”, the Central Maybank District on Johns Island may be your best bet.

Jim Bobo, Jr., Realtor, BIC, ABR, RSPS, MBA

SC Land and Homes LLC
Call or text (843) 442-7275
www.JimBoboRealEstate.com
Contact us

What affect will rising interest rates have on the Charleston, SC regional housing market?

What affect will rising interest rates have on the Charleston, SC regional housing market?
James Island Land and Homes-Charleston Harbor Deep Water

According to Freddie Mac’s Office of the Chief Economist  in its latest U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook, the interest rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage is expected to hover around 4% during the second half of 2013 after rising 0.5 percentage points in the past several weeks.

Also in the report, which can be accessed at the end of this post, most housing markets  remain affordable and it would take a much steeper interest rate hike for potential homeowners to feel the economic pinch of rising rates.  Note the use of “most housing markets” in the report.   Even at a 4% interest rate level, high-cost cities such as San Francisco, San Diego, Washington D.C. and Boston have already regained their historical “unaffordable” label.

Exempting the traditionally unaffordable housing markets, Freddie Mac researchers says at today’s home price and income levels, mortgage rates would have to rise closer to 7% before families with median incomes would find themselves unable to afford a median-priced home.  Of course the assumption that home prices will not rise is negated given the incredible and lightening fast increase in home prices through much of Charleston County.  Some neighborhoods’ average selling price for homes YTD 2013, like Byrnes Down in West Ashley, have actually eclipsed the peak experienced in 2007 (but the Byrnes Down average selling price per square foot YTD 2013 is still 10% below that of 2007).

Byrnes Down Avg Sell Price 2007 - YTD 2013

Byrnes Down Avg Sell Price 2007 – YTD 2013

And to make matters more worrisome for the Charleston, SC housing market, Freddie Mac economists predict that we will have the dubious honor of joining the “unaffordable housing market club” when interest rates hit 5%, not the national 7% doomsday figure.

Still, Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist with Freddie Mac, calls today’s fears about rising rates unwarranted in many respects.  “The recent upturn in interest rates is sparking fears among some that the nascent economic and housing recoveries will be choked off before they produce sustained growth,” said Nothaft.  “Nothing in the recent trends suggests that we need to fear a major slowdown. A gradual rise in interest rates will not derail the recovery, and are an indication that the overall economic situation is improving.”

Freddie Mac’s What Happens When Interest Rates Rise

Jim Bobo, Jr., Realtor, BIC, ABR, RSPS, MBA

SC Land and Homes LLC
Call or text (843) 442-7275
www.JimBoboRealEstate.com
Contact us

New listing! 2069 Briar Bend Road Ridgeville SC 29472 Home For Sale MLS# 1314382

We are pleased to announce our newest listing: 2069 Briar Bend Road in Ridgeville SC 29472  MLS# 1314382

Just listed!  2069 Briar Bend Road Ridgeville SC 29472 Town and Country Home For Sale

 2069 Briar Bend Owners Suite Sitting Area

3 Bedroom     2.5 Bathroom     2,751 SF     Built 2006
1.423 acres Listed at $360,000 – this is NOT a short sale!
MLS# 1314382    Status: Active

We provide Premium  Real Estate Listing Services,  Discounted Real Estate Listing Services and Limited Service Flat Fee MLS listing services in Ridgeville, Summerville, Moncks Corner, Goose Creek, North Charleston, Mt. Pleasant, Charleston, James Island, Folly Beach, Johns Island, Wadmalaw Island, Isle of Palms, Sullivans Island, Daniel Island, Edisto Island, West Ashley, Ravenel, Hollywood, Meggett, Adams Run, Edisto Beach, SC – just about everywhere in the Greater Charleston Region.

5 Reasons the Housing Recovery Remains Wobbly

Some information from an article by Rick Newman published by US News
How will the current trends in the Charleston market affect real estate prices? In short, buyers that have been on the fence should consider stepping up to the plate and buy now – at least for your primary residence.  “Flippers” should remain cautious. Sellers who have been on the fence, too, might consider diving into this market head first and selling while demand is up and supply is low. In many ways Charleston’s real estate market is very healthy, almost a “perfect market storm” that benefits everyone.

If you’re a buyer or seller who’s been on the fence, your time to act may be at hand.

First, an interesting factoid: RealtyTrac just published a list of the “top 25 markets for flipping homes”.  No city in South Carolina made the list.    Still, this may be one offbeat indicator of a housing revival.  Why?

Because a few years ago, anybody buying a home to resell for a quick profit probably lost money instead, since home prices declined for six years straight, beginning in 2006-2007.  So if flippers are back, that’s at least one sign that buyers think prices will keep going up.  Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

But some trends in the housing market justify such optimism: sales, like prices, are up after bottoming out in 2010. Foreclosures and mortgage delinquencies are dropping sharply. And housing affordability remains terrific, thanks largely to near-record-low interest rates engineered by the Federal Reserve.

But it’s still a troubled housing market in many ways, as several panelists explained during a discussion Mr. Newman moderated for the recent Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, Calif. Here are 5 signs the housing market is still far from healthy:

The scarcity of good land for developers is crimping the new home construction market.

The scarcity of good land for developers is crimping the new home construction market.

1. Good land is scarce: This might seem hard to believe in a huge country, in the aftermath of a housing glut, but real-estate developers say it is hard to find desirable land for new projects, at fair prices. Part of the problem is that banks took control of a lot of land when they foreclosed on development projects, and the land is now worth less than its original price – which means banks would have to write off additional losses if they sold it.

And lenders remain leery about making loans for land purchases. “Land is a defining element right now,” said Emile Haddad, CEO of the real-estate management firm FivePoint Communities. “A lot of land is hidden in drawers right now.” That limits the supply of new homes for purchase and also restrains job growth in the construction industry.

2. Flippers are at risk: Mortgage rates as low as 3.5 percent make houses a good bargain right now, but the equation could shift abruptly if rates rise, as some business leaders think is inevitable. “Buyers should be very cautious,” said Jeff Greene, president of Florida Sunshine Investments.

“No doubt you can buy a house today and get a really good price and a low-interest loan. But if you want to sell that house to somebody two or three years later and rates go up to 5 or 6 percent, how much is he going to pay for that house?”

Low interest rates are making it possible for buyers to get a whole lot more house than they could during the peak.  But rates are predicted to rise, sometime.

Low interest rates are making it possible for buyers to get a whole lot more house than they could during the peak. But rates are predicted to rise, sometime.

If you end up living in the house for several years, however, rising rates could actually work in your favor, since they’re likely to be accompanied by higher inflation, which would boost nominal home values.

3. The recovery depends deeply on government aid: Virtually all mortgages written these days are backed by a government housing agency such as Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Beyond that, interest rates would probably be at least 2 or 3 points higher if the Fed weren’t pushing them down. “We’re in a financial repression,” says Jim Litinsky, founder of the hedge fund JHL Capital.

“Every asset is mispriced. But,” he adds, “of all assets out there, if you can lock in 30 year, 3.5 percent mortgage, that’s an incredible asset to own to ride the repression.”

4. Foreign buyers are helping boost prices: In top markets such as Miami, Los Angeles and New York, strong demand by foreign buyers has been one reason real estate prices have recovered. On one hand, that indicates faith in the U.S. market by buyers who could put their money anywhere. But it makes homes more expensive for Americans and could lead to another bubble, which could pop if interest rates rise rapidly.

Foreign buyers are pushing up prices in some markets.

Foreign buyers are pushing up prices in some markets.

5. It’s a very patchy recovery: Greene points out that while the Miami market is “on fire,” Palm Beach County, about 80 miles to the north, is still struggling with a “huge glut of housing.” And while home prices on average may be rising sharply, there are some regions – such as San Bernardino, west of Los Angeles – where the housing bust still hasn’t ended. Nobody will be flipping there.

Jim Bobo, Jr., Realtor, BIC, ABR, RSPS, MBA

SC Land and Homes LLC
Call or text (843) 442-7275
www.JimBoboRealEstate.com
Contact us

Summerville Land and Homes For Sale

We’ve added a photo gallery for Summerville Land and Homes For Sale!

Check out our newest Summerville Home For Sale at 225 Brandywine Drive.

Search all Summerville Land and Homes For Sale with our convenient 1-click MLS searches.

April 5-7 was the annual Summerville Flowertown Festival featuring live music, food, and vendors selling everything from hi-tech pizza ovens for your backyard or kitchen, to crafts and arts.  Friday started with inclement weather, but the weekend was perfect.

Summerville Land and Homes Flowertown Festival 2013

Summerville Land and Homes Flowertown Festival 2013

It was nice to be able to walk around the historic town and play tourist for an afternoon.  Summerville is rich in history and features some of the most beautiful homes in the area.  Streets like Sumter, Rutherford and West 5th are adorned with some exquisitely preserved homes that rarely come on the market.  I recall only seeing 1 “For Sale” sign for the entire walk.

Summerville Land and Homes

Summerville Land and Homes

It was also a good opportunity for some contractors to get the word out about their services.

There were several home additions, remodeling and new home contractors at the Flowertown Festival 2013.  Photo by Summerville Land and Homes

There were several home additions, remodeling and new home contractors at the Flowertown Festival 2013. Photo by Summerville Land and Homes

One of the more interesting vendors I came across was Total Refractory Management, a local company providing custom refractory manufacturing and service. According to Wikipedia, “refractory materials must be chemically and physically stable at high temperatures”. That makes sense if a homeowner has a ceramic wood-burning oven in the kitchen that is capable of reaching 1000 degrees F.

Hi-tech pizza oven by Total Refractory Management.  Photo by Summerville Land and Homes.

Hi-tech pizza oven by Total Refractory Management. Photo by Summerville Land and Homes.

While they prefer to work with builders during new homes’ design stage, they can work with existing homeowners to design and install incredible brick wood-burning ovens indoors or out.  This option might not be one that your typical home buyer ever thinks of, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it becomes more common in custom homes or in backyard kitchens.

Hi-tech wood-burning oven by Total Refractory Management - great for pizzas.  Photo by Summerville Land and Homes

Hi-tech wood-burning oven by Total Refractory Management – great for pizzas. Photo by Summerville Land and Homes

It was a great festival, with lots to do for young and old alike. Can’t wait until next year’s!

Brought to you by SCLandandHomes.com and the Summerville Land and Homes For Sale Team
(843) 442-7275

225 Brandywine Dr Summerville, SC 29485 Home For Sale

New Listing! 225 Brandywine Drive Summerville, SC 29485 Home For Sale

225 Brandywine Summerville, SC 29485

225 Brandywine Summerville, SC 29485

5 Bedrooms 3.5 Baths 2916 Square Feet Built 1987
$325,000 MLS# 1308609

Click here to go to 225 Brandywine page for more information

Play VisualTour

Jim Bobo, Jr., Realtor, BIC, ABR, RSPS, MBA

SC Land and Homes LLC
Call or text (843) 442-7275
www.JimBoboRealEstate.com
Contact us

How To Price Your Home To Sell

How To Price Your Home To Sell

One of the most important things sellers in the Greater Charleston Area do before putting their home on the market is setting a list price.  Price it too low and you give away equity.  Price it too high and it doesn’t sell.  Just how does one figure out how to properly price their home in this unpredictable market?

House with dollar signThe answer depends on the seller’s true motivation.  Do you just want to test the market to see if you can “get your price”?  Or are you truly “motivated to sell”?  This article is written for that motivated group of sellers who are ready to sell.  But for those who are more interested in “getting your price”, you may want to read on, too, because I’ll discuss why overpricing your home can hurt you in the long run.

Important variables concerning home pricing and solutions to sell include the following. This article is too long to post here – please contact us below for the full version.

“My house isn’t selling”.
In my experience, there are 3 main reasons a house listed in MLS isn’t selling.

Understanding “fair market value”.
Fair market value is often called “market value”, “priced right” or “priced to sell”.

Know the comps.
To price your home to sell, you’ll need to know and understand “comps”, or “comparable properties”.

Does an agent’s recommended pricing count?
Whoa – this subject is important.

How quickly will an overpriced house sell?
This answer might not surprise you.

Is it true that overpricing now can lead to a lower selling price in the end?
This answer (and why) may surprise you.

When is buyer interest the greatest?

What principles are used to evaluate property?

Ask yourself these questions when pricing your property…

While inventories of homes for sale in the Charleston, SC region are still low, price gains have only been moderate.  More importantly, gains haven’t been across the board – some neighborhoods are experiencing zero gains or continued soft prices.  It’s extremely important to price your home “to sell” from the beginning and not fall into that trap of “testing the water”.

Please call, text or use the form below to let us know how we can assist you. We never share your personal information with anyone. Our Privacy Policy can be read here.

Jim Bobo, Jr., Realtor, BIC, ABR, RSPS, MBA

SC Land and Homes LLC
PO Box 1182
Johns Island, SC 29457-1182
Call or text (843) 442-7275
Fax (888) 456-6618

2012 Annual Report on the Charleston Trident Housing Market released

2012 Annual Report on the Charleston Trident Housing Market released
Charleston Trident Association of Realtors has released its 2012 Year in Review report on the Charleston, SC  area’s residential housing market. Highlights:
* Home values up and down in 2012, depending on your home’s address.
* Inventory of real estate available for sale continued its decline to less than 6,000 units, which was 44% below that of 2008 and 21% below 2011. In an expanding market, reduced inventory theoretically helps stabilize or increase prices by creating more competition among buyers who are ready to buy.
* If your home was a new listing in 2012, it  had a 54% chance of selling in 2012; inversely, 46% of homes in the MLS in 2012 did not sell.  3 main probable  reasons for weak results: prices perceived as too high by buyers, property condition, and property location.  Buyers want move-in ready homes that are energy rated.  Read the latest report “What Home Buyers Really Want in 2013“.

CTAR 2012 Median Sales Price

CTAR 2012 Median Sales Price

Up or down?
If your home is in  Rural West Ashley – Hollywood, Ravenel, Meggett and Adams Run – your property may  have experienced the largest gain in home values in the area – up 13.5% from 2011.  Rural Berkeley County, Daniel Island, Folly Beach and James Island rounded out the other top 5 hot spots.

However, if you live in Greater North Charleston, Wando/Cainhoy, Upper Mt. Pleasant, St. George/Rural Dorchester County, or on Kiawah or Seabrook Islands, you may have experienced a decline in your home’s value over 2012.

Access the report here.  Remember that this is only an aggregate trend report and does not indicate what your home might be worth on the market today.  To determine a likely sales price range for your home, you should obtain a more detailed analysis of pricing trends in your neighborhood or for your property type  and a custom CMA (Competitive Market Analysis).  It is also advisable to obtain an appraisal of your home.

How is your neighborhood  trending?
SC Land and Homes
produces the CART Report (Charleston Area Real Estate Trends Report) to help clients identify trends relevant to their property, and provides custom CMA’s to help clients price their home appropriately.  We generally do not request seller’s obtain an independently ordered appraisal  except in certain situations but recommend one if a seller has any doubts about their home’s value.  Below is a sample from a recent client report for a Summerville, SC neighborhood.  Remember that this report uses all MLS sales data compiled from multiple party sales, and only shows possible pricing trends – not necessarily values.  Please contact us for a more detailed explanation.

CART Average Selling Price graph example

CART Average Selling Price graph example
2012 Median price of 7 sold units was $280,000
Data obtained from multiple MLS parties and is deemed reliable but not guaranteed

Jim Bobo, Jr., Realtor, BIC, ABR, RSPS, MBA


SC Land and Homes LLC
Call or text (843) 442-7275
www.JimBoboRealEstate.com
Contact us