Are you glad that 2020 is over? I hear you screaming yes from here! Despite some of the problems we experienced in 2020, the real estate market was strong in many areas with the main problem being a lack of homes for sale. This month I have some stats to share with you about the market, an update on flood zones and some interesting news that is impacting homeowners. Fear not! All Good News!!!
I hope 2021 has given you a great start to the new year and hope you and your family stay healthy and safe.
Flood Maps Updated…YAY!!!
After years of waiting, new flood maps have been created with changes to many properties. Historic flooding in recent years made this critical but it still took some time to put the facts together. Take a look at the newly updated flood zone definitions here. If you aren’t sure how this impacts your property, call your insurance agent right away. In most cases around the Lowcountry, it is a very good thing! It could mean thousands of dollars less in your premium.
Image courtesy of Pixabay.
Lumber Prices Continue to Bounce Around
Lumber prices took their first hit at the start of the pandemic as lumber mills were shut down for extended periods of time causing a serious disruption to the supply of lumber. While that supply issue has since been resolved, the market is still squeezed due to the increase in remodeling projects taking place nationwide and the demand for lumber from home builders for new construction homes. If you are planning to remodel your home or build a new one, this will impact your price. Read more about the lumber prices here.
Image courtesy of Pixabay.
I Need Real Estate!
If you are paying attention to the real estate market these days, most of you know it’s a bit brutal out there when trying to find properties for buyers. The low inventory is wreaking havoc on pricing and being competitive, and that is if you even have a chance to send in an offer before it gets scooped up. And it’s not just in the higher end of the market – it knows no bounds!
I personally have had 3 different buyers, in very different price-ranges, lose to multiple offers several times. It’s not fun to tell your buyers they lost the deal even when they offer over asking price!
There are a few ways to combat a market like this. You have to be prepared, which means getting pre-approval on a loan, having a good downpayment, and if at all possible, pay cash. The adage that “cash is king” is never more true than in a sellers market. I have a few other tricks up my sleeve, as do most Realtors if they are worth their salt. So make sure you find a good one! And if you have thought about selling, this is the time!
What I’m looking for:
- Mt. Pleasant, I’on or possibly Old Village area, minimum of 4 bedrooms and 3 baths, garage or option to add one, a yard but it doesn’t have to be huge, could be a small renovation but prefer turn-key
- Mt. Pleasant: Adorable military and teacher family is looking for their first-time home! Minimum 3 bedrooms, 2 baths with a small yard. Can be a bit of a fixer upper but not a total renovation.
- Isle of Palms: 3 bedroom, 3 bath townhome (not a high-rise) partially or fully furnished with good rental potential but doesn’t have to have rental history. Price up to $1.2M.
State of the Market
More homes sold in 2020 than 2019 in every market in our area. Other than Downtown Charleston, the median sales price was also up in every single area and saw significant jumps in many areas. While prices are high and sales are high, there is still a huge demand for houses that could cause prices to increase further especially if sales inventory remains limited.
Nosy Neighbors or “Noisy” Neighbors
Since we have been working at home a lot more, we may be hearing more than we’d like to…a few things can help cut down on noises from room-to-room or home to home. Audimute and SoundSense custom acoustic consulting companies, have lots of great products that can help. A few ideas:
- Cover hard surfaces. Hard, highly reflective surfaces are among the worst sound offenders. Use softer materials, such as area rugs with a sound-absorbing pad underneath and upholstered furnishings.
- Reduce echoes in open spaces. In open floor plans, sound can bounce everywhere. Fabric-covered panels added to walls really absorb sound. Even bookcases, partially filled, help absorb sounds. Artwork can also be used as a sound barrier.
- Seal doors and windows. Soundproofing companies offer acoustic door seal kits that fit snugly around doors or window edges to reduce sound coming through cracks.
- Add sound-absorbing window coverings. Roman shades, using heavy fabric, can help reduce noise, as can cellular shades and plantation shutters. Heavily-lined draperies are also effective at absorbing outside noise.
- Go green. In addition to improving air quality, houseplants can help reduce noise. (They’re most beneficial on hard-surface floors.) Long-leafed plants are best, but any will help. Noise is absorbed in the foliage.
Bubble or No Bubble?
In the real estate world, we regularly have conversations about the market bubble and if we are in one, nearing one or over one. The last year has seen a lot of changes and home values have appreciated quickly in some markets making the bubble conversation even more common. While it really doesn’t matter if we are in a bubble or not, it’s still good to understand the state of the market and what to expect in the coming year. This informative article offers a great perspective on where we have been, where we are and where we might go this year. Bottom line, buy now!!