You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

 

 

Feb. 23, 2024

HOA Dynamics: Standards & Values

HOA Dynamics: Standards & Values

A properly run HOA begins with the developer setting forth the vision for the community from the start. This is where writing and recording of the restrictions and by-laws come into play. These documents give the property owners and the HOA members guidance of what is acceptable construction and behavior in the community. These documents run with the property to be purchased and provide them peace of mind and solidify the surrounding property values.

To maintain the features and benefits of the community there are times when dues become necessary. Things like streetlights, common areas for community use, front signage, insurance, and detention ponds are a few. Depending on the complexity of these items will determine the cost that is then shared by all the owners of the community. Having been a real estate agent for almost 30 years, I have heard plenty of horror stories of HOA boards running rampant with power. Then on the other hand you have a subdivision like I am fortunate enough to live in where the HOA is laid back and almost every homeowner follows the rules set forth by the restrictions.

Problems potential buyers should look for when considering a property located within an HOA are things like dues that go up yearly, in fighting within the board, how are violations handled when they arise? If you are the type of person who wants freedom from restrictions and wants full rein of their domain then a community with and HOA may not be for them. The trade off may be the Clampetts moving in next to them and potential for ruining property values.

In my experience the higher the price of the property, the more important and reviewed the neighborhood restrictions become. For instance, a golf course community that is gated with lots of rules and dues will be considered more closely by a prospective buyer verses one with only a few. It is also my opinion that when the property value increases so does the amount of information on the HOA and regulations that a buyer is given. Quite frequently there is little communication between a closing attorney office and an HOA, which leads to issues for the buyer after they closing.

Personally, my husband and I purchased 2 lots in a golf course community, and I spent hours looking for an HOA or any information about who was to be contacted to pay my dues. I can only imagine how difficult it would have been if I hadn’t been a real estate agent.

Overall, areas that have rules and regulations are a harmonious experience for those who live under their blanket, but one must be prepared and educated before jumping in.

If you would benefit from a conversation about HOA's, give us a call at Expert Real Estate Team. 864-895-9791

Posted in Buying
Feb. 12, 2024

1 in 4 believe homes will depreciate this year!

Today is February 12, 2024, and my name is LeAnne Carswell.  I am the owner and broker in charge of the Expert Real Estate Team.

In my opinion, 1 in 4 people mistakenly believe that homes will depreciate in 2024.  I would like to show you a few slides to alley this fear.

  • Since 1980, home prices have appreciated except for the years when predatory lending caught up with the market in 2007-2010.
  • The 2024 forecast of 8 of the top economists on housing average a 2.8% appreciation gain!
  • Mortgage projections below 6% by the end of the year will mean stiff competition for homes.
  • A few terms you may hear in 2024

To hear the full version click here!

I would love to hear what you think!  Let me know in the comments below.

Posted in Selling
Feb. 1, 2024

Considering selling in 2024?: Sell your house before the spring

   Click here for a personal message:  Considering selling in 2024?

As you plan for the year ahead, relocating may be a key objective on your list. Wondering when the optimal time to make your move is? While spring traditionally marks the peak of the homebuying season, there's no need to delay until then. Here's why.

1. Capitalize on Reduced Mortgage Rates
In October, 30-year fixed mortgage rates reached a high of 7.79%. Fast forward to January, and they hit their lowest point since May. This decline in rates means you might not feel as constrained by your current mortgage rate. Moreover, the lower rates have enticed more buyers into the market, creating heightened demand for your property. Sam Khater, Chief Economist at Freddie Mac, notes:

"With this stabilization in rates, potential homebuyers with affordability concerns have jumped off the fence back into the market."

2. Stay One Step Ahead of the Competition
Currently, there's a higher demand for homes than available listings, providing you with a favorable position. However, it's crucial to be aware that with the recent increase in new listings, more sellers may be entering the market. Listing your property now positions you to outpace your competition, ensuring your house stands out. Proper pricing, especially with the guidance of an agent, can lead to a quick sale with multiple offers. According to U.S. News:

"When there is low housing inventory, sellers could get top dollar for their homes."

3. Maximize the Benefits of Escalating Home Prices
Industry experts predict a continued rise in home prices throughout the year. What does this mean for you? If you're contemplating selling your current home and purchasing another, moving now may be prudent before prices climb further. This strategy affords you the opportunity to acquire your next home at a more affordable rate.

4. Harness Your Equity
Today's homeowners possess substantial equity, with the average homeowner holding over $300,000, according to a recent CoreLogic report. If concerns about home affordability have deterred you from selling, remember that your equity can significantly assist in your next move. It might even cover a substantial portion, if not all, of the down payment for your next home.

In Conclusion
If the idea of selling your home and transitioning to a new one is on your mind, let's connect to initiate the process promptly. This proactive approach ensures you gain an advantage over your competition in the current real estate market.

Call today to get a FREE, NO OBLIGATION assessment of your home.  864-895-9791

Posted in Selling
Jan. 31, 2024

Homes under $250,000 in Spartanburg, SC

Affordable Homes in Spartanburg, SC: Your Dream Home Under $250,000!

Click here: AFFORDABLE SPARTANBURG, SC HOMES UNDER $250,000

Hey there, future homeowners! 🏡 Are you dreaming of a cozy place to call your own in Spartanburg, SC? Well, guess what? Your dream home is not just a dream anymore – it's totally possible, and I'm here to spill the beans!

Imagine this: a fantastic town with friendly neighbors, good vibes, and homes that won't break the piggy bank. Spartanburg, SC has got you covered! We're talking about homes under $250,000, and trust me, there's something for everyone.

First up, let's talk about the cool new construction homes. Yep, you heard it right – brand spanking new homes just waiting for someone like you to move in. These homes are like blank canvases, ready for you to add your personal touch. You can choose the paint colors, the flooring – you name it! And the best part? They're super affordable, making your dream home a reality without burning a hole in your pocket.

But wait, there's more! If you're into a bit of history and charm, Spartanburg has some older homes that are just as amazing. These homes have stories to tell and character to spare. Picture yourself in -a home with a cozy fireplace or a front porch perfect for lazy Sunday afternoons. The best part? They're budget-friendly too, making it easy to snag a piece of Spartanburg's history.  

Now, you might be wondering, "How do I find these awesome homes?" Well, fear not, because CLICKING HERE! will take you to everything under $250,000!  Whether its new, older with character, or somewhere in between the EXPERTS  at the Expert Real Estate Team are basically home-finding superheroes. They know all the ins and outs of the housing market and can help you discover the perfect home sweet home.

So, there you have it – affordable homes in Spartanburg, SC waiting for you under $250,000! Whether you're into the shiny and new or the classic and cozy, Spartanburg has the perfect place for you. Get ready to unpack those boxes and start living your dream in this fantastic town! 🎉

Reach the Expert Real Estate Team at 864-895-9791.

Posted in Buying
Jan. 29, 2024

13 Best Ways to Finding Foreclosures in SC

 

Finding Foreclosures in SC

Interested in becoming a real estate investor and want to explore how to  find foreclosures in SC?  Check out this article:  https://realestatebees.com/finding-foreclosures-sc/

It is full of lots of ideas, which include a myriad of online portals and how to buy them from the county!  

Search for Greenville County foreclosures here:  Greenville County Foreclosures

If you are interested in learning more about how to dip your feet into investing in real estate, let us at the Expert Real Estate Team be a resource for you.  Email or text me at leanne@leannecarswell.com or 864-380-5590.

Posted in Buying
Jan. 6, 2024

Spartanburg, SC basement homes

Spartanburg, SC basement homes

Title: "The Cool World Below: Exploring the Awesome Benefits of Homes with Basements"

Hey there, fellow explorers! Today, I want to talk about something super cool that not all homes have – basements! Yep, those magical spaces underneath our houses that are like hidden treasure chests full of awesomeness. So, let's dive into the exciting world of basements and discover why they're so amazing.

 

1. **Extra Space for Fun and Games:**
   Imagine having an entire floor just for fun stuff! Whether it's playing video games, setting up a mini movie theater, or having epic sleepovers with friends, basements are like our secret clubhouse. It's the perfect spot to let our imagination run wild and create awesome memories.

2. **A Cozy Escape from the Heat (or Cold!):**
   Basements are like the superheroes of our homes, especially when the weather goes a little crazy. On scorching hot days, basements are like cool caves where we can escape and chill out. And when winter comes knocking, they're our warm haven. It's like having a personal climate control room – how cool is that?

3. **Space for Hobby Headquarters:**
   Whether you're into painting, crafting, or building cool stuff, basements are the ideal spot for letting your hobbies shine. It's your own private workshop where you can get messy, creative, and have a blast doing what you love without worrying about making a little noise.

4. **The Ultimate Sleepover Spot:**
   Picture this: sleeping bags, pillows, and your best buds all gathered in the basement for an epic sleepover. It's like having a slumber party paradise right at home. With plenty of space and a bit of imagination, your basement can transform into the ultimate sleepover spot.

5. **Storage Galore:**
   Let's not forget the practical side of basements – they're fantastic for storage! Whether it's old toys, seasonal decorations, or your parents' mysterious boxes, basements are like the superhero sidekicks that keep our homes clutter-free.

6. **Extra Room for Family Time:**
   Basements aren't just for kids – they're awesome for the whole family! Movie nights, game tournaments, or just hanging out – basements are the perfect place for everyone to come together and have a blast.

So, there you have it, my fellow adventurers – the incredible benefits of having a basement in your home. From epic play zones to cozy retreats, basements are like the hidden gems that make our homes even more awesome. Next time you find yourself in a basement, let your imagination run wild and enjoy the endless possibilities that this cool space has to offer!

  

For all the homes available in Spartanburg, SC with basements click here!

Posted in Buying
Sept. 6, 2023

Mortgage Rates: Past, Present, and Possible Future

 

If you’re hoping to buy a home this year, you’re probably paying close attention to mortgage rates. Since mortgage rates impact what you can afford when you take out a home loan – and affordability is a challenge today – it’s a good time to look at the big picture of where mortgage rates have been historically compared to where they are now. Beyond that, it’s important to understand their relationship with inflation for insights into where mortgage rates might go in the near future.

Giving Context to the Sticker Shock

Freddie Mac has been tracking the 30-year fixed mortgage rate since April of 1971. Every week, they release the results of their Primary Mortgage Market Survey, which averages mortgage application data from lenders across the country (see graph below):

Looking at the right side of the graph, mortgage rates have increased significantly since the start of last year. But even with that rise, today’s rates are still below the 52-year average. While that historical perspective is good context, buyers have gotten used to mortgage rates between 3% and 5%, which is where they’ve been over the past 15 years.

That’s important because it explains why the recent jump in rates might have you feeling sticker shock even though they’re close to their long-term average. While many buyers have adjusted to the elevated rates over the past year, a slightly lower rate would be a welcome sight. To determine if that’s a realistic possibility, it’s important to look at inflation.

Where Could Mortgage Rates Go in the Future? 

The Federal Reserve has been working hard to lower inflation since early 2022. That’s significant because, historically, there’s been a connection between inflation and mortgage rates (see graph below):

This graph shows a pretty reliable relationship between inflation and mortgage rates. Looking at the left side of the graph, each time inflation moves significantly (shown in blue), mortgage rates follow suit shortly after (shown in green).

The circled portion of the graph points out the most recent spike in inflation, with mortgage rates following closely behind. As inflation has moderated a bit this year, mortgage rates haven’t yet made a similar move.

That means, if history is any guide, the market is waiting for mortgage rates to follow inflation and head back down. It’s impossible to accurately predict where mortgage rates will go for sure, but moderating inflation means mortgage rates going down in the near future would fit a well-established trend. 

Bottom Line

To understand where mortgage rates may be going, it’s helpful to look at where they’ve been in the past. There’s a clear connection between inflation and mortgage rates, and if that historical relationship holds true, the recent decline in inflation may mean good news for the future of mortgage rates and your homeownership goals.

Sept. 1, 2023

Homeowners Have a Lot of Equity Right Now [INFOGRAPHIC]

  • Your equity grows as you pay down your home loan and as home prices increase. With home prices rising again, your equity is getting an extra boost.
  • Almost half of homeowners are equity rich because they have at least 50% equity in their homes. If you’ve been in your home for a while, you might have gained a considerable amount of equity, too.
  • Want to find out how much equity you have? Connect with a trusted real estate agent for a Professional Equity Assessment Report (PEAR).
Aug. 29, 2023

Why You May Still Want To Sell Your House After All

 

Even though you may feel reluctant to sell your house because you don’t want to take on a mortgage rate that’s higher than the one you have now, there’s more to consider. While the financial side of things does matter, your personal needs may actually matter just as much. As an article from Bankrate says:

Deciding whether it’s the right time to sell your home is a very personal decision. There are numerous important questions to consider, both financial and lifestyle-based, before putting your home on the market.”

So, ask yourself this: why did I want to move in the first place?

Chances are your primary motivation wasn’t just financial in nature. Why you’re really thinking about selling likely has more to do with something changing in your life or a shift in what you need out of your house.

Reasons Homeowners Still Need To Sell Today

Let’s explore some of the most common reasons sellers are moving today. A recent article from Builder Online helps shed light on this. In this research, they identified the following categories:

  • Marriage – If you just got married, you may find you either need more space than you currently have, or the two of you want to find a new place you picked out together.
  • Divorce – If you’re getting separated or are divorcing your partner, chances are it’ll be difficult to live under the same roof. Selling the place you have, so you can own get your own spot, may be necessary.
  • Births – If your household is growing, you may need more square footage, including more bedrooms. If you’re running out of room for everyone, you may not be able to wait to move.
  • Deaths – If you’ve recently lost a loved one, it can be hard to spend time in that home. You may need to move for financial reasons or because you no longer need all the space.
  • Retirement – If you’re in the process of retiring, or you just did, you may be looking to downsize to cut costs, relocate to be closer to loved ones, or move to a dream location. In this new phase of life, your current home may not be able to deliver what you need. 

You may find you share one of these top motivators. If any of these resonate with you, it may be time to move so you can find a house better suited to your changing needs. A survey from Realtor.com finds other sellers are in the same boat. It says, 1 in 4 sellers are choosing to move for personal reasons, even with current mortgage rates:

“. . . more than half of seller-buyers (56%) who are planning to sell in the next 12 months said they are waiting for rates to come down, while 25% need to sell soon for personal reasons.”

If you need to sell now because something in your own life has changed, don’t let rates hold you back from what you want. You have options to help make that move possible. You can use the equity you already have in your current home toward your next purchase. And with how much equity homeowners have right now, you may be able to finance less than you’d expect, or pay all cash to avoid borrowing at all.

Bottom Line

When you're ready to prioritize your changing needs, let’s connect. You need an expert on your side to help you list your house and find a home that delivers on everything you're looking for.

Posted in Selling
Aug. 25, 2023

Why You Need a True Expert in Today’s Housing Market

 

The housing market continues to shift and change, and in a fast-moving landscape like we’re in right now, it’s more important than ever to have a trusted real estate agent on your side. Whether you’re buying your first home or selling once again, it’s mission critical to work with an expert who can guide you through each unique step of the process. 

The reality is, not all agents operate the same way. To truly make a powerful and confident decision as you buy or sell a home, you need a real estate expert who uses their knowledge of what’s really happening with home prices, housing supply, industry projections, and more to give you the best possible advice. Someone who can provide clarity and trust like that is essential to your success. Jay Thompson, Real Estate Industry Consultant, explains:

“Housing market headlines are everywhere. Many are quite sensational, ending with exclamation points or predicting impending doom for the industry. Clickbait, the sensationalizing of headlines and content, has been an issue since the dawn of the internet, and housing news is not immune to it.”

Unfortunately, when information in the media isn’t clear, it can generate a lot of fear and uncertainty for consumers. As Jason Lewris, Co-Founder and Chief Data Officer at Parclsays:

“In the absence of trustworthy, up-to-date information, real estate decisions are increasingly being driven by fear, uncertainty, and doubt.”

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Buying a home is a big decision, and it should be one you feel confident making. You can lean on an expert to help you separate fact from fiction and get the answers you need.

The right agent can assist you in figuring out what’s going on at the national level and in your local area. They can debunk headlines using data you can trust. Experts have in-depth knowledge of the industry and can provide context, so you know how current trends compare to the normal ebbs and flows in the housing market, historical data, and more.

Then, to make sure you have the full picture, an agent can tell you if your local area is following the national trend or if they’re seeing something different in your market. Together, you can use all that information to make the best possible decision.

After all, making a move is a potentially life-changing milestone. It should be something you feel ready for and excited about. And that’s where a trusted expert comes in.

Bottom Line

If you want sound advice and trusted information about our local housing market, let’s connect.

 

Posted in Home Tips